The Fresh Sheet…Birch Syrup

birch syrup with spoon

The celebration of a cold Canadian winter is never complete without tire d’érable, aka maple taffy on the snow at the Cabane à Sucre festival. Sweet maple syrup is boiled down into maple taffy and a steaming strip is poured over a bed of snow and then rolled up onto a stick for sweet licking. I like to call this delicious treat the true Canadian lollipop. I have fond memories of celebrating this tradition with our French Canadian friends in Kamloops.

A couple of years ago, we learned that some folks up in Quesnel were tapping birch trees and boiling the sap down into birch syrup. Not quite as sweet as maple syrup but the birch trees still dripped a scrumptious sap that is worth the hard work to boil it down into a sugary treat. Hiking in the forest behind our cabin we discovered a peaceful grove of birch trees. It sparked our interest to try making our own birch syrup. So, we packed up a backpack full of empty containers, a drill and some taps and headed out on our adventure.

As you can imagine, we didn’t really strike syrupy gold the first time we tapped the trees. It took a few tries and some learnings before we got a tasty batch we were proud to showoff. We quickly learned that you need to extract a lot of sap to make a small jar of birch syrup. You need about 80 to 100 litres of birch sap to make just 1 litre of birch syrup (maple syrup is about a forty to one ratio). Even so, it made for a fun adventure hiking up to the birch grove each day over a long weekend to empty our buckets and revel in how much sap dripped out of the trees.

birch sap

Straight from the tree, birch sap looks just like water. I enjoyed taking a couple of gulps right from the tree spout. It was refreshing like water with a hint of sweetness. We couldn’t wait to boil it down into sweet syrup. Three days of harvesting the sap and a few more boiling it down in our backyard to a gorgeous amber colour, birch syrup has a unique caramel-like flavour. We’ve enjoyed a quick sip of birch syrup when we crave a sweet treat or a few more spoonfuls drizzled on ice cream. We do look forward to cooking a few of our favourite recipes with our homemade birch syrup.

birch syrup in jars

You can find Sweet Tree Ventures Birch Syrup at Edible Canada on Granville Island or from the Sweet Tree Ventures website.

A Bite of Spring: Mini Lemon Curd Cheesecakes

lemon curd 2
It’s finally starting to feel like spring. The sun does more than just peek through the clouds. You enjoy and curse the birds churping way too early in the morning. You dress in layers to stay warm in the chilly shade, yet take off the coat to soak up the warmth of the sunny afternoon. It’s time to come out of hibernation. Spring has this amazing ability to get our engines revving and inspire renewed fervor to tackle life.

Being food lovers, Desiree and I were chatting the other day about how spring also has this ability to tantalize our tastebuds to shift from the comforts of hearty winter to  colourful and lighter fare. We desire the fresh flavours of sunshine and start dreaming of home grown delights from the garden. While we’re still a ways away from enjoying the rich flavours of locally grown produce, we like to indulge in seasonal fare from afar, mainly citrus fruits. At this time of year, we love to whip up a batch of lemon curd to fill in the gap until we can enjoy local berries. It’s fresh, fruity and so delicious. We like it stirred into plain yogurt, drizzled on granola or just eaten by the spoonful. It’s also scrumptious with frozen berries, spread on freshly baked scones and paired with cheese and bread. There are so many delicious ways to enjoy lemon curd.

For a treat during an evening with my girlfriends, I decided to swirl lemon curd into mini cheesecakes. It received an A+ and many requests for the recipe. I’ve made a few batches since and they seem to disappear more quickly than I can make them. Mini cheesecakes are quicker and easier to make than a full cheesecake and make bite-size treats perfect for any party, holiday celebration or tea with friends. Even lemon curd is super easy to make. I like to use another Heather’s (if it’s made by a Heather, it’s gotta be good!) lemon curd recipe from Missing Goat Farm. You can even make it in the microwave in under 5 minutes. Yes, that’s right: the microwave! Here’s the recipe from My Baking Addiction.

lemons in green bowl (juiced) 2

lemon curd cheesecake - no muffin liner

Mini Lemon Curd Cheesecakes
Makes 12 mini cheesecakes

crust
3/4 cup almonds
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
1-1/2 Tbsp melted butter

filling
8 oz/225 g cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup lemon curd

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a regular muffin tin with muffin liners.
Place almonds in a food processor and pulse until almonds are mostly ground. If you prefer, you can substitute 1 cup of almond meal in place of grinding your own whole almonds. I like to grind the whole natural almonds for the coarser crumb and for the extra flavour from their skin. Transfer ground almonds to a bowl and stir in sugar and ground ginger. Stir in the melted butter until the ground almond mixture is moist.
Place a spoonful of the almond mixture into each of the muffin liners. Use your fingers or the back of a spoon to pack down the crust. Pop them in the oven for 5-6 minutes to bake the crust.
In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the cream cheese with the sugar until well combined and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth. Divide cheesecake filling among the muffin cups. Add a dollop of lemon curd and use a knife to swirl the lemon curd into the cheesecake filling.
Bake for 15-18 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Refrigerate until ready to enjoy. Remove from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving to allow cheesecakes to come to room temperature. (They taste even more delicious this way.) You can serve the cheesecakes with additional lemon curd if you like.

lemon curd cheesecake - lemons

Gluten Free? Be Grain Aware: Buckwheat Crackers (Plus a Contest!)

buckwheat crackers - close up

It’s no surprise that the most common question we’ve been asked this month is all about the gluten-free diet: “Is it healthy?” “Should I start following a gluten-free diet?” “Is wheat really that unhealthy for me?”

Let’s start from the beginning. One of the key principles of a healthy diet is enjoying a wide variety of different foods – we can’t get all of the nutrients we need from a single food or food group. From a safety standpoint, eating just a single food from any food group may also pose harm and, when it comes to your taste buds, enjoying a variety of healthy foods beats boredom. So, yes eating mostly wheat 6 times a day – especially in its most processed form – is not considered healthy.

In the North American diet, we might eat wheat cereal or a wheat muffin for breakfast; munch a wheat bread sandwich for lunch; wheat crackers for a snack and wheat pasta for dinner with wheat garlic toast. Wow! I’d say that’s a lot of wheat. And that’s just the obvious wheat sources. What you might not know is that many common pre-made and packaged products, everything from salad dressings to flavoured rice dishes, also have wheat added. When you add it all up, there’s almost no variety in our grain choices.

To add insult to injury, we almost always choose the most processed form of wheat: white pasta, white bread, white goodies, white baked goods, etc. I’m sure you’ve heard the rumours: white just doesn’t cut it when it comes to nutrition and health. White grains have had their nutritious bran and germ removed from the whole grain kernel, also removing essential vitamins, minerals, fibre and phytochemicals. You’re missing out on a whole lot when you choose white over whole grain.

What about our typical portion sizes of these nutritional zeros? They’re huge! It’s just too much white flour for our bodies to deal with.

Unless you have celiac disease or a gluten intolerance (perhaps 10% of us, according to some recent data), there’s no need to follow a strict gluten-free diet.

However, for good health, it is essential to:
1. Upgrade to truly whole grain wheat (think wheat berries, sprouted grain bread, 100% whole grain pasta etc.).
2. Eat a variety of different grains including gluten-free grains, so you’re not eating wheat 6 times a day. Hello barley, rye and buckwheat!
3. Be aware of your portion sizes. This isn’t your last meal ever! If you are hungry later, you can have more.

Our collective taste buds are accustomed to the mild flavour of white wheat. Rather than making major changes overnight, give your taste buds a little time to adjust to the richer flavour of whole grains. Start with half white and half whole grain if you need to. Upgrading slowly will give your taste buds some time to adjust to the new flavour of whole grains and make it easier for you to make changes that lead to longterm habits. This works well with homemade baked goods like muffins, pasta, 60% whole wheat bread, light rye bread or a combo of white and wild rice. You can also combine a few different grains like quinoa, rice, millet, barley and buckwheat to create a tasty alternative to rice. Grain mixes like this are also more readily available at the grocery store.

We’ve created a nutty whole grain cracker that uses the whole buckwheat groat or kernel. Buckwheat, despite the name, has nothing to do with wheat and is actually a seed – not a grain. These crackers are fairly easy to make and perfect for everyday eating or to wow your guests at a party. It’s naturally gluten-free but versatile, so you can make it with half all-purpose wheat flour and half buckwheat flour if you’re just starting to get to know whole grains.

buckwheat crackers - rosemary

Rosemary Buckwheat Crackers

1 cup buckwheat groats
1/2 tsp baking powder
1-1/2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, finely minced
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp water

buckwheat crackers - asiago

Asiago Buckwheat Crackers

1 cup buckwheat groats
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1/4 cup Asiago cheese, finely grated
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp water

Preheat oven to 375°F.
In a food processor, grind buckwheat groats to a fine texture. Some coarse pieces in the flour are fine. One cup of buckwheat groats will make 1 cup + 2 Tbsp of flour. Measure 1 cup of flour for the crackers and save the remaining 2 Tbsp for dusting and rolling.

Place 1 cup of the ground buckwheat groats in a large bowl. Stir in baking powder, salt and spices to mix well. Stir in cheese if making the Asiago crackers.

Pour in the oil and stir until well combined. Add water and stir until the dough comes together. The dough will be moist.

Flour hands, rolling-pin and counter. Split dough in two pieces. Pat down one piece of dough using your hands into a square shape. Roll to 1/4 inch thickness using a rolling-pin. Cut dough into 2 inch squares or rectangle shapes using a ravioli cutter, knife or bench scraper. Transfer crackers to a parchment lined baking sheet using a spatula or bench scraper. Repeat with remaining piece of dough.

Bake for 12-14 minutes or until just starting to brown on the edges. Store in an airtight container or cookie jar for 2 weeks….if they last that long!

Both recipes will make about 30 crackers.

Our First Contest of 2013!

To help ring in the New Year, we want to connect with you on our Facebook Page! It’s the easy way to stay connected to everything we are doing on the blog. We have a whole grains gift basket to give away (within North America only) to everyone who likes our Facebook page by February 1st.

Thanks to the Healthy Grains Institute for providing some goodies for the gift basket. The Healthy Grains Institute did not compensate us for this post or have input into the content…they just generously provided some treats for you!

Resolution: Cleanse? Revolution: Eat cleansing foods daily! Pineapple Lime Smoothie

smoothie pineapple lime shade

After all of the rich, indulgent food and drink we consume in the month of December, eating better almost comes as a relief. There is nothing more I love in January than loading up on salads and green tea. This kind of food just tastes better to me right now and I certainly feel better for eating it. In the post-excess hangover, the idea of doing a more formal cleanse or detox program may pop up in peoples’ minds. While a thoughtful cleansing program can be helpful to some, cleaning up your act for two weeks and then going back to the burgers and fries might not be exactly what the dietitian ordered.

If you are thinking of doing a cleanse this January, or perhaps the cleanse program you started is almost over and you need a maintenance regime, why not consider making cleansing foods a daily habit? Eating well day in and day out has the most powerful effect on your overall health so resolve to simply eat at least one food daily that has powerful cleansing effects. Here is our list of 5 foods that, when consumed daily, will support your body’s naturally ability to cleanse itself.

Green, leafy vegetables: No surprise here…top of the list are the greens. We love kale but there are plenty of other greens to tempt your taste buds and nourish your cells. Spinach, chard, collard or dandelion greens, arugula, rapini, beet greens or kale in all its forms are supremely cleansing foods. Greens top our list because they are incredibly nutrient dense and contain multiple compounds such as glucosinolates and betalains which support detoxification mechanisms in the liver and are potently anti-inflammatory. Anti-oxidants such as kaempferol and quercetin help protect our cells from the effects of daily stress. Go raw in salads and smoothies and wraps, bake up some kale chips, sauté into soups, stews and casseroles.

Citrus fruit: Oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes are a welcome dose of sunshine throughout the drizzly, grey winter. Of course, citrus provides immune-boosting vitamin C but it also offers other helpful compounds to support cleansing. Limonins in citrus fruit are potent anti-carcinogenic substances that help prevent cell proliferation. Pectin, a soluble fibre found in citrus, helps lower cholesterol in the blood. Naringenin, a compound found in grapefruit might help repair DNA damage. Lycopene, also found in red grapefruit, helps protect against DNA damage in the skin. Always a great snack, don’t forget to try citrus fruits in salads and smoothies too. When you enjoy them, be sure not to over-peel citrus – the white spongy substance called pith is nutritious!

Foods rich in soluble fibre: Your digestive tract is a key site of detoxification. When it works well, you are able to digest and absorb the nourishing aspects of food and excrete what you don’t need. Your digestive tract turns over roughly every three days and that gets sloughed off, along with dead bacteria, in your feces. Fibre is key in cleansing. While insoluble fibre from cereals acts like a ‘broom’ to sweep the intestines, soluble fibre forms a gel-like sponge in your digestive tract, helping attach to cholesterol, fats and other substances and carry them out through the intestine. We need 25 – 38 g of fibre a day and if we can get at least 10 grams of soluble fibre, we are in good shape. Barley, oats, legumes such as lentils, psyllium, citrus, apples, eggplant and okra are all good choices.

Deep blue and purple foods: Berries, pomegranates, red onions and purple cabbage all have their own unique properties with respect to cleansing too. Ellagic acid, a compound found in these dark blue and purple pigments, helps support detoxification in the liver and sulfur compounds in red onions and cabbage boost the liver as well. These pigments all offer numerous anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds to support overall health and defend against the stressors of daily life.

Water: Water is the real staff of life. Our cells bathe in a liquid medium and keeping water flowing through our system allows all the metabolic wastes that cannot be excreted in our digestive tracts to be cleansed. Despite plenty of advice to the contrary, our best guess at how much water you need to drink daily is just that – an educated guess. Your water ‘prescription’ is as individual as you are depending on your activity level, the weather, stress and your diet. If you eat more plant foods, which contain more water, you will need less than someone on a heavily processed diet. Your cleansing goal? Drink as much water (fresh juice, seltzer or tea too) as you need to have clear or almost clear urine.

Let’s raise a glass to healthier living in the New Year, pineapple lime smoothie perhaps?
smoothie pineapple lime top

Pineapple Lime Smoothie
This smoothie is a perfect start for those new to drinking their greens. The pineapple lends an almost creamy quality to the smoothie and the spinach is chock-full of green goodness. This is a thick, fibrous smoothie…if you want it thinner, thin it out with water or more apple juice.
Serves 2

1/2 medium cucumber, broken into chunks
1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
1 medium apple such as gala or braeburn, cored and sliced
1 cup unfiltered, not-from-concentrate apple juice
2 cups (or handfuls) baby spinach
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until well-combined and frothy.

Resolve to Eat Breakfast…Breakfast Cookies

Happy New Year everyone!

Right about now, many of you might be launching into some healthy eating resolutions. January 1st never really works since after the party, what you really want is to sleep in and have a big, rich brunch. Then you might need a couple of days to focus on what you want the New Year to bring…which leads you to the weekend so you can prepare to make it happen. Personally, I love the ‘blank slate’ feeling of January. In reality, you can vow to evolve and change on a daily basis but there is a lot of tradition and cultural support for making a fresh start at the turn of the year.

So Heather and I thought we would share our slightly different spin on New Year’s resolutions. To us, dietary change as a whole works better when it is focused, concrete and sustainable. When you focus on building new, positive habits you avoid the deprivation trap and eventually the less positive habits get crowded out. It might not be as dramatic as a juice cleanse but it is sustainable!

So for the first weeks of 2013, we would like to offer our suggestions on healthy eating resolutions that will not only make you healthier but will actually be possible to maintain long term. Because of course, a resolution that you pick up every year in January and drop every year by February 1st doesn’t exactly spell real change.

For this week, we are taking our mother’s advice and advocating that breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Here’s why…

1. You need to break the fast: As you sleep, your body has to switch from storing energy to liberating it to keep your organs and brain fueled with glucose. In order to do that, hormones such as glucagon and cortisol (the stress hormone!) rise and help convert stored energy into useful forms. When you eat breakfast within 2 hours of rising, the morning meal sends a signal that the fast is indeed over and the balance of hormones can shift into a fed, relaxed state. If you don’t, your hormones continue to work hard to keep your body running, which can lead to cravings, crabbiness and sluggishness.

2. You will set a good example for the kids (and for your future self!): In the morning we tend to have stronger willpower (there’s that old ‘fresh start’ again!) than at the end of the day and consciously eating a very healthful breakfast helps set the eating tone for the rest of the day. Bolstered by a good meal, you just might choose another good meal at lunch. For those of you with kids, modeling healthy eating behaviours pays off!

3. It will help you stay trim. There is some evidence that breakfast eaters weigh less than those who regularly skip it. This probably has to do with hormonal and metabolic response to prolonged fasting but the evidence is still a work in progress.

Convinced? Great! So…what should you actually eat for breakfast? Anything is better than nothing but certain foods are clearly better than others.

A medley of white flour, fat and white sugar will send your own blood sugars soaring and keep you on a blood sugar rollercoaster for the rest of the day. What you want is a meal that will help provide a slow, steady rise in blood sugars to hit the ‘reset’ button on your metabolism. Whole, intact grains, nuts, seeds and lean proteins, along with some fruit or veggies are a nice combination.

Here are a few options to try, some of which you can prep the night before for those who can’t think straight before 8:00AM:

- Scrambled eggs and spinach with a slice of sprouted grain toast. Bake the egg mixture in muffin cups for a make-ahead option.
- A smoothie with silken tofu, Greek yogurt or plant-based protein powder and fruit. Bonus marks for throwing a bit of kale or spinach in with your blueberries!
- Hard-boiled eggs and a piece of fruit for those in a super rush!
- Cottage cheese layered with berries, a bit of high fibre cereal, chopped nuts and ground flax seeds
- Our Brilliant Breakfast Cookie…ta da!

breakfast cookies - round & stacked

Brilliant Banana Breakfast Cookies

Makes 15 cookies.

Why are these cookies so brilliant? Because they are made from whole foods, with all their fibre, protein and slow-burning energy intact. Make them on the weekend and have an on-the-go breakfast ready when you are. Enjoy them with a skim milk or organic soy latte or crumble them over Greek yogurt to add vital protein to help you stay energized all morning long.

3/4 cup oat flour - if you can’t find oat flour, you can make it yourself by pulsing oats in a food processor until they are fine as flour
3/4 cup large flake oats
1 cup unsweetened coconut
1 tbsp ground flaxseed
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 tbsp agave syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

If you want to toast the walnuts, roast them in a preheated 375°F oven for 4-6 minutes. Then reduce heat to 350°F.

In a large bowl, whisk together oat flour, oats, coconut, flax and salt. Stir in toasted walnuts and dried apricots.
In another bowl, mash bananas with a fork and stir in coconut oil, agave syrup and vanilla. Add banana mixture to flour mixture and fold until combined.
The dough for these cookies is pretty easy to handle so we recommend getting your hands dirty!

Run a little coconut oil on the inside of a 3 inch square or round cookie cutter so dough doesn’t stick. Place cookie cutter on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Add a small handful of cookie dough into the cookie cutter and lightly press the dough down with your fingertips. Aim for about a 1/2 inch thickness. Repeat until the baking sheet is full and cookies are about 1 inch apart.
Bake for 25 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Allow to cool 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

These breakfast cookies are perfect for freezing. They will keep for 1-2 months in the freezer. Simply remove from the freezer the night before and grab’n go for a quick breakfast in the morning.

Turkey Leftover Idea – Thai Pizza

pizza thai turkeyThe holiday turkey dinner may be scrumptious, but there is nothing like the yummy leftovers re-created into more family meals in the lazy days after Christmas. My dad loves to make a basic turkey sandwich for breakfast the next day and my aunt loves to take the bones home to make a hearty turkey soup. My sister loves to create mashed potato turkey bowls with all the leftovers. Oh ya, I live in foodie heaven when I’m at home with my family.

There always seems to be a little bit of turkey left and we’re not quite sure what to do with it. That’s when I step in and spice up a pizza with colourful Thai flavours and leftover turkey. This is one of my favourite standby meals that’s super quick and easy to make and uses up leftover turkey, chicken or tofu – whatever you’ve got in your fridge. Whole wheat pitas make a tasty thin crust that’s crunchy and requires no prep work. This is a lovely fresh flavoured pizza thanks to its colourful vegetables and peanut sauce. It’s delicious piping hot from the oven or slightly chilled for breakfast or lunch the next day.

pizza thai turkey uncooked with cilantropizza thai turkey unslicedThai Turkey Pizza
Makes 4 small pizzas

4 whole wheat pitas
4 Tbsp peanut sauce - I like to use spicy peanut sauce
1 medium carrot, grated
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup leftover cooked turkey - you can substitute chicken or tofu
3/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese
handful of fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place whole wheat pitas on a baking sheet. Spread 1 Tablespoon of peanut sauce on each pita. Divide vegetables between pitas. I like to start with grated carrot, red pepper and then green onion. Divide turkey on each pita. Sprinkle with grated cheese.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cheese has melted and starts to turn golden brown. Cut each pizza into 4 pieces. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro stems and leaves.
This pizza is delicious served cold for breakfast or lunch.

Salted Rosemary Chocolate Cookies

rosemary choc cookies - stacked close upIt’s been awhile. Life has definitely gotten in the way this month. It’s sad when you’re so busy you haven’t had time to bake those famous family holiday cookies. But don’t you worry. It all changes today. A little time off and to the kitchen I go to whip up those tasty family treats.

Nothing beats those holiday goodies that grandma or mom bake for you. They add that little something extra that makes them so delicious and special. My grandma always said it was love and good cheer that she added to make them extra scrumptious.

I’ve been experimenting with chocolate cookies the last couple of years. They have become the cookie that everyone asks me to bring to a party, potluck or just because they have a craving. It’s such a great feeling when something you created becomes the special cookie that friends and family crave. The combination of rosemary and chocolate with a touch of salt has become a real favourite. While you might not think that rosemary and chocolate go together, dark chocolate seems to bring out the cool evergreen flavour of rosemary for the perfect wintery cookie.

rosemary choc cookies

Salted Rosemary Chocolate Cookies
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup dark chocolate chips
fleur de sel or good quality salt for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 375°F.
In a bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
In an electic mixer, cream butter, sugars and fresh rosemary together over medium speed until light and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until well combined. Add vanilla and combine.
Over low speed, stir flour mixture into creamed butter mixture until combined. Stir in dark chocolate chips.
Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Press cookies down slightly with the bottom of a glass or measuring cup powdered with cocoa powder. Sprinkle each cookie with a pinch of fleur de sel or other good quality salt.
Bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes or until just set. Cool slightly and transfer to cooling rack.

rosemary choc cookies2
The rosemary in these cookies adds a wonderful aroma to your home while baking. And they are absolutely scrumptious while still warm. They entice both your tastebuds and sense of smell when you eat them, which I think gives off a little zen feeling or maybe that’s just me. I like to keep a batch of this cookie dough in the freezer so I can bake a fresh batch or maybe just 2 cookies whenever someone’s got a craving. To freeze cookie dough, simply prepare cookies and roll into 1 inch balls. Place on a cookie sheet and freeze in the freezer until frozen solid. Transfer to a freezer bag or container and save up to 3 months. When ready to bake, remove the amount of cookies you want from the freezer, preheat oven, flatten cookies, sprinkle with salt and bake as above. Enjoy!