Category Archives: Sweets

“Healthy” Cookie Butter

Though I’ve yet to try the Cookie Butter some friends have raved about at Trader Joes, when I saw this recipe, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to make it myself and enjoy a somewhat healthier version.  You probably wouldn’t believe me that the base is made from garbanzo beans, but they are!  This tastes like cookie dough, and has the texture of hummus.  My favorite part of this recipe is that it tastes great even without the chocolate chips, and because it has Sunbutter in it, it tastes similar enough in a PB&J – a great sub for Sunbutter, with added protein!

Vegan Cookie Butter

adapted from this recipe

Makes about 16 servings (2 tbsp = 1 serving)

INGREDIENTS

1 15oz. can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

2 tbsp. sunflower seed butter

2 tbsp. honey

1/4 cup coconut milk* (or other non-dairy, would prob also work with any milk)

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

1/8 tsp. baking soda

1 tbsp. – 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips** (optional; I use less for kids, more for adults)

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a small food processor, combine all ingredients, except chocolate chips, and blend until smooth.
  2. If adding chocolate chips, remove mixture from food processor and put in a small bowl.  Stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Keeps in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

 

*We like So Delicious Coconut Milk that comes in a box

**We like Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips

Sweet Monday: Ruby Red Grapefruit Cookies

A friend brought over some Ruby Red Grapefruit Cookies and I just had to share.  Although I’m generally not a fan of grapefruit, this recipe knocks it out of the park!  Here’s the recipe my friend used, and a picture of them.  They are delicious and would be a big hit the next time you need to bring cookies somewhere!  Happy Monday.

Ruby Red Grapefruit Cookies
picture from Homesick Texan

Happy Halloween + Sandy + Giving

This is what my mom made for us in her free time this week (below).  She continues to be a source of endless energy, inspiration, creativity, and unconditional love – and for that I am incredibly grateful.  Speaking of which, I am grateful for so many other things this week and can’t help but think of those in the Northeast.  I remember vividly the 1994 Northridge earthquake – being in our family friend’s house for two weeks, while we cleaned up the aftermath at our house.  It’s not an easy time, and as human nature often proves, we are strong survivors, making the best out of not-so-great situations.  If you are able, remember to give what you can the the American Red Cross, to help those in need.

Mom’s Halloween Treats

Almond Butter + Chocolate Chip Cookies

Last night Scott wanted me to make him brownies, because along with an ice cream sundae, he could always go for some brownies.  As we were glued to the TV, watching coverage of Sandy on the East Coast, we looked up recipes I could make from scratch.  But, with the realization “we don’t have any butter in the house,” our search quickly turned to a quest for another sort of chocolate-y baked good.  I remembered there were some dairy-free cookies I’d pinned in the past month, and after showing Scott the picture of these bad boys, he was all in.  To be honest, I hadn’t looked past the picture myself and was surprised to find not only did we readily have all the ingredients in the house, but the recipe is completely dairy and gluten-free (double score for me).  They were super easy to make and turned out almost like a meringue, with almond-butter and chocolate chips.  Like the original recipe description states, “it’s hard to eat just one.”

Almond Butter & Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from recipe by Nicole Spiridakis via NPR

1 cup crunchy almond butter
1/2 cup turbinado raw sugar (we didn’t have white granulated available)
1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 (scant) cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats.

Combine almond butter and sugars.  Mix well.  Add egg, syrup, vanilla, baking soda, and cinnamon.  After combined, stir in almonds and chocolate chips.

Using a small spoon, take the dough and make cookies to about the size of a walnut. (If using an ice cream scoop, 1 scoop equals 2 cookies.) Place on sheet an inch apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown on top. Let cool for 5 minutes. Note – They might be soft when taken out of the oven but will firm upon cooling.

Almond Butter & Chocolate Chip Cookies

Some notes

  • We didn’t have granulated white sugar, and used turbinado raw sugar instead.
  • We added 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon.
  • We used traditional crunchy almond butter, but per the recipe, any nut butter will work.
  • We both agreed we could barely taste the almonds, but I think they might be in this one for the overall texture.
  • The recipe yielded us 30 cookies.
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Weekend (Gluten-Free) Baking with Aran Goyoaga

Two blogs I’ve read through this week have both included some seemingly delicious (and gluten-free) recipes from a new cookbook by Aran Goyoaga.  Heads up the description that goes with the Everything Cookies, will probably evoke some tears – especially if, like us, you watched this week’s Parenthood episode.  P.S. Can you help me think of a reason to make the Apple, Almond and Olive Oil cake?  Have a good weekend!

(source – Design Sponge)

Everything Cookies
(source – Sprouted Kitchen)

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Sweet Tuesday

For those who celebrate, here’s to an easy and meaningful day tomorrow.  And, be sure to eat something sweet tonight, for a sweet new year!  As I’ve mentioned before, in my family, we’re always finding some excuse to have a sweet year (year-round!) – Robin’s lemon bars below are no exception!  Thanks, Robin!

Here’s to a Sweet New Year!

Baking on Monday

I’ve taken a break from blogging, but luckily not from cooking.  I was craving something sweet a few Saturdays ago, and made another attempt at the Chocolate-Spiked Oatmeal Cookies.  Turns out baking them for 9-10 minutes is perfect.  The consistency was great (although I liked them before too) and this batch even got the seal of approval from family and friends alike!  My next experiment will be to make granola bars as delicious as Farmshop.  I hope I achieve their perfectly balanced recipe – so hearty but not overpowered by what tastes like the peanut butter and honey holding it all together.  What are you baking  and making these days?

Watching Chocolate-Spiked Oatmeal Cookies Bake Away

Farmshop Granola Bar

Hot Day Cool

It’s getting up there on the thermometer these days.  While I spend most of my day in air conditioning, I often think about what I’d be doing were I not.  Despite the warm weather (I grew up in the heat – 100 degree, what?!), I would certainly be spending my time outside – and perhaps even with a cold (or hot) treat.  I’ve rounded up some of fun links – what are yours?

Apparently, it’s hot drinks that keep us cool in the heat.

A new list of LA’s Best Ice Cream Parlors.

My good friend Claire’s wonderful tale of why she loves Sweet Rose Creamery.

A dairy-free alternative that looks like a cinch to make (if you have a blender + ice cream maker).

A fairly easy recipe for a light dinner on the patio courtesy of Giada.  (Need to try these!)

While I’m missing Jack’s awesome iced coffee, I recently discovered Peet’s new cold brew Baridi coffee.  YUM!

Almond Butter + Blackberry Bars

I may be one of the few kids who didn’t grow up on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  There were no nut allergies in our house, we just never ate anything with peanut butter.  As an adult, I go in phases where I enjoy it, and when I saw this recipe last week for Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars, I thought it would be a great way to get a taste of a PB&J.  The recipe also looked simple enough that I could use my preferred nut-butter – Almond Butter with Flaxseeds, and my preferred jelly – Blackberry Preserves.  Not only are there just a few ingredients for this recipe, it also requires minimal cooking and the refrigerator/freezer “bakes” them.  However, like Gwyneth’s Vegetarian Chili, there are a few easy steps, but each requires a significant amount of time to pass from one to the next, making this a better recipe for a weekend.  That said, the final result is a great snack and fun to make!  The portion sizes are small – so I think it would be a great one to make for kids (with no nut allergies, of course).  And for those of you who love chocolate and peanut butter- a drizzle of dark chocolate could make these amazing.

Some tips

  • I used Trader Joe’s Almond Butter with Roasted Flaxseeds (the flax adds some fiber)
  • I used Whole Foods Light Maple Syrup (I used 1/2 cup, but I think 1/4 cup would be fine) – Amber Agave will probably work too
  • I think 3 tbsp. of preserves is plenty – 1/4 cup seemed like too much
  • After cutting into triangles, I took 2 pieces (1 square) – wrapped in saran wrap, and put all in a freezer bag to store.  Scott and I agree they taste better frozen than refrigerated.

Almond Butter & Blackberry Bars

Chocolate-Spiked Oatmeal Cookies

Last week I found myself craving oats.  Admittedly, a little strange.  I found a recipe for oatmeal cookies that looked great and no dairy- perfect experimenting material!  I was really excited to make a recipe with raw honey, flaxseed meal and almond butter – new baking ingredients for me.  Could this be the perfect cookie?  The recipe was incredibly easy to follow, and I feel like the new items I purchased are good staples to add to our pantry – but cookies, these are not.  I would describe them more as a nutrition bar consistency in the shape of a cookie – the flavor being nice nonetheless.  I liked that for 12-24 cookies, it only calls for 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips and they cook quick.   As cookies can be to individuals what bagels and pizza are to New Yorkers, this might not be the greatest recipe to bring to a party in mixed company.  That being said, if you’re feeling adventurous (and craving oats) try this recipe.  I think you’ll be pleased.

Some tips

  • I used Silpats instead of spraying the pans with Olive Oil spray
  • I added 1/2 tsp. more cinnamon
  • I made the cookies in two batches – one using an ice cream scoop; the others using a tbsp. measuring soon – ice cream scoop yields 12 cookies and tablespoon yields 24 cookies
  • Ignore the recipe’s description these will be crispy – 8-9 minutes is perfect to cook these at 350 (longer makes them like ‘cardboard cookies,’ according to Scott)

Chocolate Spiked Oatmeal Cookies