A Whole-Wheat, Fairly Traded Baking Party   Leave a comment

At the moment I’m procrastinating the prep work for my holiday party. I should have started the cake for the Buche de Noel already. This year’s theme is the oven because in our new house we finally have a normal non-disgusting oven that doesn’t set off the fire alarm. So I’m planning to bake all day. Some things will be savory, but there will be plenty of cookies, and the Buche de Noel. I’m hoping that people like the goodies, but it’s not a given because of two things: I haven’t baked a cake or cookie in over a decade, and I don’t cook with bleached wheat flour.

Yup, I’m going to attempt to feed a bunch of non-hippies whole wheat flour desserts. I’ve been using whole wheat flour for my scones, so I think it is doable for cookies. I bought some whole wheat pastry flour, and I know that I will need to adjust recipes on the fly a bit to add a little bit more moisture to compensate for the different flour. I’m not too worried about flavors since everything planned is filled with goodies. Even the cake recipe that I’m using has orange zest, orange juice, and almond extract. The cookies will be oatmeal cookies with goodies in them, plain cookies with white chocolate and cranberries, and peanut butter cookies (or at least that’s the plan). Why not just use regular bleached flour? Because I don’t think I should have to. Whole wheat flour seems more real and down-to-earth to me. I think that with the fiber included in the flour, the resulting cookies are a little bit better on the blood sugar levels, too. My mom has tweaked several recipes to reduce the fat and sugar, and as a result we call them “breakfast cookies” because they are healthy enough to eat for breakfast. I hope that with the addition of whole wheat flour that is even more true.

Not only am I trying to be healthy for this party, but I’m also trying to be an example of shopping with conscience-ness. It will be as fair trade of a party as I can make it, which is unfortunately less fair trade than I’d like. I only buy fair trade sugar, partly because I support fair trade standards and partly because I am so opposed to the ridiculous sugar quotas and tariffs in the US. So we have coarse raw cane sugar and fine sugar that are both fair trade. Unfortunately we weren’t able to find fair trade confectioner’s sugar. Likewise the semi-sweet chocolate chips are fair trade, but the baking chocolate and cocoa are not certified (but they claim to be fairly traded), and I was not able to find fair trade cocoa nibs or white chocolate. That really disappointed me because I know for a fact that I have purchased fair trade cocoa nibs before. I do what I can, and unfortunately when shopping at the last minute options are limited. One last ingredient, the vanilla, is real, organic, and fair trade certified.

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Posted December 18, 2010 by mayakey in conscious living, fair trade, food, health, shopping

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