Company Cookies.

These moist and chewy Cinnamon Spice Orange Zest Company Cookies are quite a treat for you and your guests. Plus baking these cheerful cookies makes the whole house smell like a cozy, warm hug. Expecting summer guests or simply want to make your house ooze with comfort? Make these cookies and show everyone who nibbles them that you are glad they came...

Cozy Home Cookies. Breathe in vanilla, citrus, cinnamon, clove and ginger. Dreamy, sweet and comforting. These cookies kind of melt in your mouth. Perfect with tea or coffee. Mine are gluten-free - but you can play around with subbing with your favorite flour.

I'm expecting company this weekend. Did you guess? Why else would I bake cookies in the middle of a summer "heatwave" - and even more extreme - reach to the back of my spice shelf and pull out the cinnamon and pumpkin pie spices. But these cookies deliver! They give me something cozy and cheerful to offer guests - and bonus.. They saturate my place with the aroma of home. Spice. And cookies.

And that divine scent of spices, vanilla and citrus hopefully creates some cozy-home appeal...

Cozy atmosphere accomplished .. kicked up paws...

Smells Like Home. My mom was a real estate agent when I was growing up. Once in a while I'd tag along with her to Sunday open houses. I'd watch her arrange the cheese and cracker platter, set up a stack of business cards and house flyers, dust the crevices of each bookshelf, adjust the lighting and schlep those heavy "Open House" signs all the way down the street to the corner where cars would hopefully drive by and follow the arrows to check out her listing.

California real estate in the nineties may not have been as splashy as BravoTV's Million Dollar Listing (love that show) .. but hey, the market was way better so I guess she didn't need all the glitzy bells and whistles anyways.

But my mom did have a few secrets up her sleeve to make her a top selling agent in coastal Northern Cali (Santa Cruz) where I grew up.

Secret #1. As I quietly followed my mom around with wide eyes, watching her prep for brokers, agents and buyers I'd watch little curious tricks. My favorite memory is when I spotted her pulling out a fresh bottle of vanilla extract. Baking cookies mom? Nope.

She tore off the cap and dumped about half the bottle in a pot - plus a few cups of water. She turned on the stove burner and let the liquid simmer for about a half hour. Letting the vanilla-y steam waft through the house like the ghost of freshly baked cookies past. Heaven. The aroma was heaven.

I must have looked at her crazily because I remember her explaining that this trick made the whole house smell like freshly baked cookies. Like home. Like cozy. Like "I want to buy this vanilla-scented dream house!"

Good trick. I still use it to this day if I need to made a room smell cozy (and don't have the time, space or tools to bake cookies) .. of course being me, I'd always rather just bake cookies...

Freshly baked cookies, piled high on a platter..

Watch them disappear..

Company Cookies: Orange Spice
vegan, makes 12-17 cookies depending on size

1 1/2 cups white gluten free flour (I used Bob's Red Mill Sweet Sorghum flour)
*substitute with your favorite flour of desired .. wheat, spelt ..
*if using non-gluten free (heartier) flours you may want to add a splash more liquid.
3/4 cup organic sugar (I used Florida Crystals)
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or sub with ginger powder)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp safflower oil (veg oil)
3 Tbsp water + 2 tsp flax seeds
1/2 cup soy milk
1 tsp orange zest + extra pinches for tops of cookies as desired

1/2 cup sugar for rolling the cookie dough balls in


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Combine flour, baking powder, spices, salt.

3. Soak flax seeds in water for a few minute - until gel forms a bit. Add in the soy milk. Add this milk + flax + water mixture to a high speed blender or food processor. Blend from low to high until the seeds become ground up and smashed. The liquid should be slightly gel-ish. (note: you can skip this step if you'd like - I added it because sometimes my guests don't like whole flax seeds showing up in their cookies.)

4. Pour the oil, flax mixture + the vanilla extract and sugar into the dry mixture. Fold until smooth. Fold in the orange zest - or add zest in pinches over top cookie dough balls if you'd prefer.

5. Place dough in the freezer for at least ten minutes - this step is optional but will allow you to form more perfect balls of dough for "prettier" cookies.

6. Scoop dough and shape into balls - roll the balls generously in your dry sugar mixture.

7. Bake at 375 for about 15 minutes - or until edges begin to crimp and brown. These cookies will firm up quite a bit as they cool. They become chewy yet stay moist.

Cool. Serve on a pretty platter for your guests. Accent cinnamon sticks are a nice touch.

Lets see that drowsy kitty again..
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