Archive for the 'Cookies' Category

Sticky Tahini Date Cookies

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So glad you guys are having fun with my European vacation posts!  I love reminiscing on good times, so am happy to share.  However, before I turn into a travel guide, I thought I’d break it up a bit by going back to my roots and giving you a new treat to bake!

I’ve been eating a lot of hummus of late.  I eat it at home.  I eat it at work.  I eat it down the street from my apartment at a restaurant called – yep – Hummus Place – which is excellent and cheap for any fellow New Yorkers out there!  Hummus with carrots.  Hummus with chips.  Did you know that hummus, avocado and tomato sandwiches are the best things ever?  No?  Well, now you do.

With all the hummus eating going on, I thought I’d try to make my own.  All I needed to add to my pantry was a jar of tahini.  Bought that, made the hummus, ate the hummus, ’twas tasty.

Then I had a nearly full jar of tahini to finish.

You may have noticed by now that any leftover ingredients in my apartment are destined to be featured in a baked good – ahem…Pumpkin BrowniesBanana Coconut Bars…ahem.  So obviously I was off to make tahini cookies.  Isn’t that what you would do?  Since I was recently drooling over giant Barcelona dates, it was only fitting that I toss juicy Medjools into the mix as well.

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Here’s my recipe for Sticky Tahini Date Cookies, adapted from this recipe:

1/2 cup tahini

1/2 cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup chopped Medjool dates

1 1/2 cups oats, coarsely processed

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350*F.  Grease cookie sheets – don’t forget these are sticky cookies!  In a large bowl, combine tahini, honey, vanilla extract and Medjool dates until smooth.  In a separate bowl, mix together oats, cinnamon, salt, baking soda and walnuts.  Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until well-blended.  Drop spoonfuls of batter onto prepared cookie sheets.  Bake for 10 minutes. Cool on the cookie sheets for a couple minutes before removing to cool completely.  Makes 15 cookies.

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Off topic, but look out the window – isn’t my block cute?

These. are. so. GOOD!  Like surprisingly delicious!  You can definitely taste the sesame seed flavor, and it’s totally enhanced by the cinnamon and vanilla.  I’m already imagining all the things you could add to these cookies – other dried fruits or nuts, flax seed, more spices.  And they’re so nutritious!  Make them now!

Have you ever used tahini when baking something sweet?

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Walnut Chocolate Chip Spelt Cookies

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I finally did it.

I jumped on the Dreena Burton bandwagon! And let me just say how happy I am to be here. The woman is a genius I tell you.

It’s not like I was avoiding Dreena and her recipes. She’s ALL over the blog world, and I’ve done my fair share of oohing and ahhing over her creations. But I’m careful with my pennies and always felt I should make more use of the cookbooks I have before purchasing new ones. I guess that belief slipped my mind when I saw eat, drink + be vegan at the bookstore the other day. I knew I had to have it. So into my collection it went!

The first ed+bv recipe I set my sights on was for the infamous Super-Charge Me! Cookies. OMG – they were like little balls of nutritious crack. I would have loved to share them with you all, but since Dreena hadn’t posted the recipe on her site, no dice! So to celebrate my newfound Dreena love, I found another one of her cookie recipes that was on the internet to modify and write about.

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Oh, and wouldn’t you know, Dreena posted the Super-Charge Me! Cookie recipe this week? Go figure!  Or go make them.  You won’t regret it.

Anyway…

Here’s the recipe I followed to make Walnut Chocolate Chip Spelt Cookies:

1 cup spelt flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup Sucanat

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon molasses

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup grain sweetened chocolate chips

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350*F. In a large bowl, mix together spelt flour, baking powder, baking soda, Sucanat and salt. In a separate bowl, stir together maple syrup, molasses, vanilla extract and canola oil until well combined. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts. Place spoonfuls of batter on cookie sheets and bake for 10-11 minutes. Makes 12 cookies.

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These cookies were YUM! After tasting my Maple Almond Butter Cookies and these, I am convinced that maple syrup = cookie perfection. It really adds a depth of flavor and keeps cookies wonderfully moist and gooey. Seriously, that stuff’s not just for pancakes.

The only thing I’d change about this recipe next time around is leaving the molasses out. I’m not buying that 1/4 teaspoon is making a huge difference when spread throughout 12 cookies. I mean, really, that’s 1/48 teaspoon in 1 cookie. You know? Other than that, A+.

What’s your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe?

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Maple Almond Butter Cookies

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Raise your hand if you like almond butter!

I’m going to assume a unanimous arm lift just occurred out there in the blogosphere.  Because almond butter is sa-weeeet!  Peanut butter often takes the leading role in my life – can’t deny unending love.  But almond butter is truly one-of-a-kind.  It really has its own roasty, nutty thing going on.  And because it’s not an everyday eat for me, I do feel a little more special each time a spoonful meets my lips.

To celebrate the opening of a new AB jar – and my subsequently boosted self-image – I decided to make Maple Almond Butter Cookies!  Almond butter cookies were actually the brainchild of my sister – also known as Ashley’s Part-Time Muse, The Egg Separator or Amanda The Panda, if I’m feeling silly.  She’s a nut butta luva just like me.  I have taught her oh so well.

So Miss Muse e-mailed me last week with her genius idea.  A few days later, I stumbled upon the perfect recipe to adapt.  I knew it was meant to be.

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Here’s my recipe:

1/2 cup natural almond butter

1/2 cup maple syrup

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chopped almonds

Preheat the oven to 350*F. In a large bowl, combine natural almond butter, maple syrup, oil and vanilla extract until well blended.  In a separate bowl, mix together whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, along with chopped almonds, and stir until just combined.  Let sit for five minutes.  Roll heaping tablespoons of dough into balls, flatten to about 1/3 of an inch and place onto cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Makes 18 cookies.

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These were goooood. Dan ate five a couple last night.  After his first bite, a long silence and many questions on use of ingredients, he declared them “Hands down the best thing you’ve ever baked.”  Now I personally wouldn’t go that far.  But I, too, am a fan.

The cookies are softly chewy with a perfect almond crunch.  And I love that maple syrup is the sweetener.  I’ve been meaning to use a liquid sweetener cookie recipe for awhile and this one fabulously fit the bill.  The only change I’d make for next time is using almond extract instead of vanilla – to add some extra almond-y oomph!

What’s your favorite nut butter treat?

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Blueberry Coconut Oaties

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I’m a HUGE fan of oats.

I eat them for breakfast nearly every morning.  To me, a big bowl of oats is a blank palate, a warm and fluffy vehicle for yummy mix-ins.  Cinnamon’s always there.  Mashed banana and peanut butter are definitely favorites.  Berries, pumpkin, walnuts – all super tasty.  Mmm…what’s not to love about oats?

And what’s not to love about oatmeal cookies?!  The good ol’ standard version is chock full of raisins.  But I look at oatmeal cookies the same way I look at my big bowl of oats.  Just waiting to live up to their true potential.  The kind of potential that can only be fulfilled by those scrumptious additions.

These Blueberry Coconut Oaties were inspired by my daily oats.  Dried blueberries and coconut were the mix-ins of choice this time around, but feel free to put your own little twist on them.  You can do whatever you like!

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Here’s my recipe, adapted from this recipe:

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup Sucanat

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

2 cups oats

3/4 cup dried blueberries*

3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

* I used dried blueberries sweetened with fruit juice.

Preheat the oven to 350*F.  In a large bowl, mix together canola oil, Sucanat, egg and vanilla extract until well blended.  In a separate bowl, mix together whole wheat pastry flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and oats.  Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until blended. Stir in blueberries and coconut. Note: Dough will be sticky, so it may be easier to work with if you refrigerate it for 30 minutes or so. Roll heaping tablespoons into balls, flatten to about 1/3 of an inch and place on cookie sheet.  Bake for 6-8 minutes.  Makes 18 cookies.

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Blueberry wrinkles!

These cookies were deliciously oaty!  There’s chewiness from the oats.  There’s juiciness from the blueberries.  And when coconut joins the party, it definitely ups the fun factor.  Throw in some spicy cinnamon and nutmeg and you’ve got yourself a wonderfully wholesome treat.

What’s your favorite oatmeal cookie mix-in?

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Thumbprints

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I heart chocolate.

I heart peanut butter.

I know, I know, we all know this by now.

Lucky for me, my favorite holiday treat combines these two loves – Peanut Butter Blossoms.  You know the ones.  The crumbly, peanut buttery cookie with the sweet sugar coating and slightly melted chocolate kiss pressed right into the top.  YUM.  They’re on my Grandma’s cookie platter every holiday season and are always the ones I grab the second I walk in her door Christmas day. After giving her a big hug of course!

Fun fact – Peanut Butter Blossoms were the Pillsbury Bake-Off winner in 1957.  Hoo hoo!

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Here’s my adapted recipe:

1/4 cup non-hydrogenated shortening

1/2 cup natural peanut butter

1/3 cup turbinado sugar

1 egg

1 tablespoon skim milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup white whole wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup grain sweetened chocolate chips

2 tablespoons natural peanut butter

Preheat the oven to 375*F.  In a large bowl, beat together shortening and 1/2 cup peanut butter until well blended.  Add turbinado sugar and beat until fluffy.  Beat in egg, milk and vanilla extract.  In a separate bowl, mix together white whole wheat flour, baking soda and salt.  Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and blend until combined. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place on cookie sheet.  Using your thumb, make an indentation in the center of each dough ball.  Bake for about 8 minutes.  Note: You may need to press the indent in again when the cookies come out of the oven.  Mine stubbornly popped up a bit in there!  While the cookies are cooling, melt together chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons peanut butter.  Fill cookie indents with melty goodness.  Makes 20 cookies.

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They’re so cute!  Like little buttons.

These cookies are so soft!  And the chocolate-peanut butter filling is sort of truffly in texture once it cools.  It wasn’t all that peanut buttery though.  I think next time I’ll up the peanut butter to chip ratio or just melt the chocolate chips themselves to make the filling.

Do you have a favorite memory of Peanut Butter Blossom cookies?  

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Chocolate Peppermint Chewies

REMINDER – Don’t forget to send your BSI recipes to me by tomorrow, December 14 @ 7:00 PM EST!

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I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again.  I LOVE Christmas.  I love the white holiday lights and decorated store windows.  I love Christmas trees with presents piled underneath.  I love family time and the happy and generous feel of the season.  I love Christmas songs and Christmas movies on TV.  I love cozy fires when it’s snowing outside.  Ok…I realize the White Christmas dream doesn’t come true all that often, but it’s how I imagine the holidays to be anyway.  What can I say – I’m an idealist.

If there’s one flavor I love this time of year more than others, it’s peppermint.  To me, peppermint epitomizes the taste of the holidays.  I mean, really, what would Christmas be without candy canes?!  A little less joyful if you ask me. 

To honor peppermint’s reign over Christmastime, I choose it as this week’s BSI.  And I made Chocolate Peppermint Chewies!

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Whole Foods makes some chocolate cookies that I’ve been eyeing for awhile.  They have no flour and no butter or oil – basically just sugar, cocoa and egg whites.  I’ve never actually tasted them, but they always look awesome and I thought they’d be great cookies to add a little peppermint flair to.  I found this recipe with similar ingredients, so I decided to adapt it and give it a go. 

Here’s my naturalized, peppermintized version: 

2 1/4 cups unrefined powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup cocoa powder

3 egg whites

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon peppermint extract

3/4 cup grain sweetened chocolate chips

In a large bowl, mix together unrefined powdered sugar, salt and cocoa powder.  In a separate bowl, mix egg whites, vanilla extract and peppermint extract.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix with an electric mixer at low speed for 2 minutes – the batter should be shiny and smooth.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Cover bowl and refrigerate for 3 hours or up to overnight.  Preheat oven to 350*F and spray cookie sheet with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.  Drop tablespoon-sized balls of dough onto cookie sheet.  Don’t flatten and be sure to leave space between the drops – these cookies spread out in the oven!  (Note: I used cooking spray for my cookie sheets and suspect that made them like Slip ‘n Slides for the dough.  I’m thinking using parchment paper instead would prevent major spreadage.)  Bake for 9-10 minutes until tops are glossy and crackly.  Let stand for 3 minutes and remove to cool.  Makes 16 cookies.

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Check out those glossy crackles.

I’ll be honest here, I was a little skeptical of these guys when they came out of the oven – they looked all crunchy and stuff!  But my doubt quickly disappeared after a taste test – they weren’t crunchy in the slightest!  The edges are crispy, but still soft, and the middle is fudgy like a brownie!  And the peppermint flavor was a perfect match for the chocolate goodness.  It left my mouth feeling quite refreshed.

What’s your favorite peppermint treat for the holidays?

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Crystallized Ginger Cookies

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Christmas tiiiime is heeeeeere.

A little Charlie Brown Christmas anyone?  I totally grew up on that movie.  My parents still have the VHS – yup, you heard me, VHS – in their film collection.  And my mom gets super excited when it’s on TV each year.  It’s like network television’s sign that Christmas has arrived.  And we all know that network television is the calendar of the modern age.

Anyway, I LOVE Christmas and was really excited to start getting some Christmas baking business up on the blog.  Since Andrea over at bella eats [and runs] chose ginger as this week’s BSI, what better way to welcome the holiday cheer than to spice up a traditional Christmas ginger cookie!  I adapted this recipe and doubled the ginger fun by adding crystallized ginger to the mix.  And there you have it!  Crystallized Ginger Cookies.

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Here’s the recipe:

1/2 cup turbinado sugar

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 tablespoons skim milk

2 tablespoons molasses

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1/2 cup crystallized ginger, chopped*

* I used crystallized ginger that was made with raw unrefined sugar.

Preheat the oven to 350*F.  In a large bowl, cream together sugar and oil.  Add skim milk, molasses and vanilla and blend.  In a separate bowl, mix together whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves.  Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and blend.  Stir in crystallized ginger.  Dough will be sticky, so you can refrigerate for 15 minutes or so to make it easier to work with.  Roll heaping tablespoons into balls, flatten to about 1/3 of an inch and place on cookie sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Let stand two minutes and remove to cool.  Makes 14 cookies.

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These cookies are super soft and super SPICY.  The crystallized ginger really gives them an extra kick!  If you’re a ginger fan, you’d love them.  I do think next time I’ll throw an egg into the batter though – I’d like a little more crispy action around the edges!

Do you have a fun ginger cookie recipe?

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