A Chef’s Life,” the PBS show that follows the personal and culinary journey of farm-to-fork Chef Vivian Howard, airs its one-hour holiday special tonight. I like “A Chef’s Life” because it takes a realistic look at the challenges of running a restaurant and also the joys that come from meeting those challenges.

I have one of Chef Vivian’s holiday recipes to share, an Apple Ginger Snap that uses whole wheat flour, oats and flax meal to help add some whole grains to your holiday cookie tray.

After the recipe, I also have a mouth-watering sneak peak at tonight’s special episode.


  • 1 cup palm sugar, plus 1/3 cup for rolling
  • 1/3 cup unrefined coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup flax meal
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Add palm sugar, coconut oil, molasses and applesauce to a food processor. Completely liquefy the ingredients by processing for three minutes.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients except the oats. Using the pulse function on your processor, add the dry mix in small batches. Do not to overprocess. Once everything is almost mixed in but not yet fully incorporated, return the batter to the bowl and finish mixing with a spatula.
  5. Divide dough into tablespoon-size pieces. Roll each piece in the oats and then in the palm sugar. Gently flatten each cookie on the parchment. Leave 1/2-inch between each cookie.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool on a rack.

Check PBS.org for the station in your region that will air “A Chef’s Life” holiday special.  This recipe originally appeared in Kiwi Magazine.

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Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Whole-Grain Apple Ginger Snaps
Chef Vivian Howard from ‘A Chef’s Life’ shares a wholesome, holiday cookie recipe just in time for her PBS show’s holiday special.