Posts tagged with cookies

I love my local bulk store. I can spend an embarrassing amount of time perusing the aisles, taking little baggies of this and that; it’s a great way to try out new spices, grains, flours etc in small quantities until you decide they’re not for you, or that you love them! In which case you can come back and fill your boots for a price that’s usually way better than at the grocery store. You guys know I am a shameless bargain hunter!

The hazard of shopping like this though, is that my very deep kitchen cupboards make it easy to unintentionally  hoard odds-and-ends baggies of nuts, seeds, and other baking supplies. I’ve had a pile building up for a couple of months now, it was time for these misfits to have their turn in my belly.

These little treats take zero time to whip up and have a fluffy yet hearty vibe. They’re completely sans grain, so eat your heart out GF and Paleo folks! Super yummy with tea in the evenings, or even as a pre-workout energy boost!

Trail Mix Cookies

Yield: 12

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp almond flour
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch sea salt (omit if using salted nut butter)
  • 1/4 cup natural nut butter, softened (I used PB)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or foil. If you have neither, be sure to grease your sheet well.

If you are making almond flour out of raw, whole almonds, toss about 3/4 cup into a food processor and let them process on high until they become flour-like in texture. Do not go too long, or you will end up with almond butter! Measure out a generous 1/2 cup of the flour, or about 1/2 cup +1 tbsp.

Mix together the rest of the dry ingredients with almond flour in one bowl. Combine PB, maple syrup, and beaten egg in another bowl until mixed then add to dry ingredients until totally combined.

Drop rounded tablespoonfuls on the lined baking sheet and bake for 9-11 minutes, until just starting to get golden. Be careful not to overcook!

Allow to cool and store in an airtight container.

My girlfriend, Kathy, came over for dinner last night and like clockwork, a hankering for ANYTHING chocolate set in as soon as we finished our meal. I really had no desire to whip up a batch of cookies or something equally labour/time intensive, so I started leafing through my online bookmarks. Gina, from Running to the Kitchen, posted these a few days ago and I knew that they would be a perfect solution to our raging sweet tooths (sweet teeth?).

These are similar to a larabar in consistency, and flavour, too. Larabars have a gloriously short ingredients list,  with usually only one or two ingredients in addition to dates and nuts! They are one of my favourite things to grab for a snack on the run.  I really don’t eat much pre-made/ pre-packaged foods because my mind gets blown by all the unpronounceable ingredients on their labels;  when did people lose desire to eat real, whole foods? Don’t get me wrong, I occasionally enjoy hoeing into a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos as much as the next person, but seriously, how do we expect our bodies to function if we’re fuelling it with that shizz.  For pre-packaged food’s ingredients- less IS more!

The ‘dough’ for these tasty treats can be shaped into whatever your little chocoholic heart desires. I rolled them into balls then flattened them, and popped a walnut half on top, just cause I’m fancy like that. You could shape it into bars and wrap them individually, or roll into little power-ball bites, regardless, they are addictive. Like, get-these-out-of-my-house addictive!

Feel free to play around with different nut combos and extract flavourings, like most of my recipes, there’s tons of room for playing around and making it your own!

Raw Two-Bite Brownies

  • 1.5 cups nuts (I used a mix of almonds and peanuts)
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 10 dates
  • 2 oz semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 tbsp nut butter
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1-3 tbsp milk or water (I used Almond Breeze)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  1. Add the nuts and flaxseed to a food processor and process it until it turns to a flour. Don’t let it go too long or you’ll get nut butter! You may have to stop a couple of times to loosen bits/scrape down the sides. That’s cool.
  2. Add  everything but milk to the food processor and process until everything is well incorporated. If it doesn’t begin to form a dough ball, add milk or water, just a little at a time, until it does.
  3. Dump dough into a small bowl.
  4. Put into desired shapes, place on a plate/tray and pop them in the fridge! They need to sit for an hour or so to firm up. Keep ‘em in the fridge!

 

One of the things I look forward most to when going home to Prince Edward Island is settling in around my parent’s kitchen table with a hot mug of tea and a little sweet after dinner.

Like clockwork, as everyone’s finishing up their last few leisurely bites of home-cooked comfort, you’ll hear the kettle begin to sing its little tune.  Nothing but Red Rose orange pekoe for my family, I always (much mom’s distaste) add a nice big splash of milk and a generous teaspoon of sugar, grabbing a few cookies out of the jar on the way back to the table. There’s no calorie counting on PEI, okay folks. I’ve tried, it’s a waste of time. Remember the oreo overload bites I wrote about over the holidays? Yeah…my clean eating habits don’t stand a chance when I’m home.

It’s something about tea and cookies share with friends that can instantly make an insignificant snack-time feel like a valuable quality time (they can also act as the PG/weeknight version of beer and nachos). A reason to meet a friend, nibble, chat, rant, gossip, whatever. Unwinding at the end of a crappy day with a hot tea and a delicious treat can seem to turn the whole trainwreck around. But it takes some damn good treats to do that; I bring you…the almond cherry chocolate biscotti!

Biscotti are traditional Italian cookies, which have simple ingredients and preparation. An extra baking step gives them that crispy, crunchy, perfectly-dunkable texture. They weren’t a cookie that I grew up around, and therefore was intimidated to make for a long time. Once I started, and realized that they’re super easy and so lovely to have around, now I make them pretty often. They make fab gifts too, because they’re hearty and have a great shelf life. Not like these will need them, though. They won’t last!

This recipe is extremely flexible. Sub in your favourite nuts and dried fruits for endless cookie combos!

Almond Cherry Dark Chocolate Biscotti

Yield: 24

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil or melted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries (or cranberries, apricots, etc.)
  • 1 1/2 cup almonds, roasted and coarsely chopped
  • 4 oz dark chocolate

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Roast your almonds/nuts in a dry frying pan over med-high heat, keeping them moving until toasted and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together oil/butter and sugar until well blended. Mix in the vanilla then beat in the eggs.

Combine flour, salt, and baking powder; gradually stir into egg mixture. Mix in dried fruit and nuts by hand. The dough will be very stiff, do your best to incorporate all ingredients evenly throughout.

Divide dough in half. Form two logs (about 2 inch x 12 inch) on a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Dough may be sticky; wet hands with cool water to handle dough more easily.

Bake for 30-35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until logs are light brown. Remove from oven, cover with a dish towel (to slow cooling and prevent the logs from cracking) and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 275 degrees F.

Cut logs on diagonal into 1 inch slices. Lay on sides on parchment covered cookie sheet. Bake in 275 F oven for another 8-10 minutes, or until slightly browned and crispy.

Once biscotti is totally cooled, melt chocolate in double boiler or microwave. Using a spoon, drizzle dark chocolate over cookies and allow to cool. Store in an airtight container.

 

Gingerbread cookies are diverse as the people who devour them each Holiday season. Like em crunchy and coffee-dunkable? Or pillowy and stick-to-the-back-of-your teeth molasses-y? I love them both ways! So for someone who plays for both gingerbread-lovin’ teams, you can trust me – this recipe is the best of both worlds.

I made some swaps to an old family recipe, and gave them a nutritional upgrade. Using half whole-wheat flour, subbing coconut oil for butter, and natural cane sugar (aka sucanat) for regular old white gives them a little boost and takes them down a few notches on the glycemic index. Every little bit helps this time of year! Despite (or maybe because of) the changes I made to the original, traditional recipe,  they turned out damn good! My coworkers devoured them and were none the wiser to their vegan-ness. They’re a definite keeper in my cookie arsenal!

Vegan Gingerbread Kids

Goldilocks Gingerbread Kids

  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup sugar (sucanat or turbinado preferred)
  • 3 tbsp melted coconut oil (or other light-tasting oil)
  • 1 tbsp non-dairy milk
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves (if you have them, I didn’t)
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger

Heat molasses to boiling (doesn’t take long!) and add sugar, butter, and non-dairy milk. In a mixing bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients. Add them slowly to the pot where you’ve mixed the wet stuff, stirring as you go. If you find it dry, add 1-3 Tbsp of water, one at a time until you get a good dough consistency. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface or parchment paper, until 1/4 inch thick, go thicker if you like to chomp into a bigger cookie. Cut the little guys into your desired shapes and bake on a parchment-paper lined sheet at 350F for 5-7 minutes, depending on how soft or crunchy you like.

I absolutely suck at decorating cookies, hence mine being completely naked. These cookies are super sturdy though, so if you consider yourself a cookie artiste or just wanna add an extra special touch, let these be your blank canvas!