Christmas cookies with a purpose

 

Robin WankeBy April Jones
Photos by Carol Hutchison

“Nothing brings a smile to someone’s face like a cookie,” says Robin Wanke, Georgetown baker extraordinaire. Seven years ago, Robin was diagnosed with a rare stomach condition and was forced to limit her diet considerably. She soon found that baked goods were not on her naughty list and began to bake with a passion. Although Robin began a baking business, she gave away more muffins than she sold and decided to stick with baking as a ministry instead. She blesses those who come across her path in need of a little blessing: friends, family, coworkers, anyone.

Although Robin bakes daily, Christmastime is her favorite. “I love the smells of the season: spices, hot chocolate, coffee, and cinnamon.” She is comforted by knowing that she is investing in loved ones. “If I give them something I’ve made, it lets them know that I love them. I bake to bring happiness to others.”



Print Recipe
Cinnamon Streusel Muffins

Ingredients

  • Muffin
  • 8 Tbsp butter softened
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • Streusel Topping
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 8 Tbsp butter chilled

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. In a small bowl, cut chilled butter with pastry cutter or fork and mix in dry ingredients of streusel topping; set aside.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Using an electric mixer, beat together butter, sour cream, sugar, and vanilla. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat flour mixture into the butter mixture. Divide half of the batter among 12 large muffin cups. Top each one with half of the streusel mixture. Then, add remaining batter, and top with streusel. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out clean.



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Double Chocolate Chip Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 package devil’s food cake mix
  • 1 3-oz box instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips chilled

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line 2 12-cup muffin pans with muffin cups. In large bowl, combine first 6 ingredients. Mix well for 3 to 4 minutes on medium speed. Fold in chilled chocolate chips. Bake muffins for 21 to 23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out clean.



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Lemon Ricotta Cookies

Ingredients

  • Cookie Dough
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 8 Tbsp butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 15-oz container whole ricotta cheese
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • lemon zest from two lemons
  • Lemon Glaze
  • cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • lemon zest from one lemon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.
  2. In another bowl, combine butter and sugar; then beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Beat mixture. Then add the dry ingredients.
  3. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place spoonfuls of dough, 2 inches apart, onto baking sheet. You should have about 3 dozen cookies. Bake 15 minutes, or until edges are golden. Let cool for 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, combine ingredients for glaze. When cookies have cooled for 20 minutes, drizzle glaze on each cookie.



Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • Muffins
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 sticks butter melted and cooled
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp orange extract
  • ½ tsp salt
  • zest from 2 oranges
  • Orange Glaze
  • cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • zest from 1 orange

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line muffin pans with 16 muffin cups. In medium bowl, whisk together milk, orange juice, sour cream, eggs, and melted butter. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt until blended. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients, and mix until incorporated. Fold in the orange zest. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, until toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes.
  2. Mix together ingredients for glaze. When muffins have cooled for 10 minutes, top with glaze.



Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup pecans or walnuts, toasted
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 stick butter melted and cooled
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp espresso or strong coffee
  • 4 bananas ripe
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. In a shallow baking pan, roast pecans or walnuts for 12 to 15 minutes and let cool.
  2. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. In medium bowl, combine melted butter, eggs, coffee, bananas, and vanilla. Combine dry and wet ingredients; do not over-mix or muffins may be dense.
  3. Line muffin pans with 16 muffin cups. Spoon the batter into prepared muffin tins. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out clean.

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