Grain-Free Chocolate Cookies

Over the last couple of months, I have become obsessed with this DIY paleo flour blend. Not only is it way cheaper to make your own blend, but it also took all of the guesswork out for me because when it comes to using coconut flour, I literally fail every. single. time. But with this blend I have created a birthday cake/cupcakes as well as some cookie recipes. They may, or may not, all make it on the blog! This recipe is a huge hit with my entire family (parents included). I was inspired to create these cookies after trying Simple Mills Double Chocolate Cookies – if you read my March Favorites blog post, you already know my love for this company. They use minimal ingredients…and ingredients I feel good about letting Willow eat – no gums, additives, “natural” flavors, or refined sugar.

RECIPE: Grain-Free Chocolate Cookies

Now, the texture isn’t as crispy as Simple Mills (I didn’t use or have konjac root) and they aren’t flat, but I’m really excited about how well they turned out! A slightly crispy exterior, soft center (I very much dislike the word moist, but I’ll say it), and they melt in your mouth. They’re like little buttery orbs of deliciousness! I made these with my little chocoholic in mind and she loves them so much…in fact, she’d be content with eating the dough! I plan to make them using carob instead of cacao and when i do, I’ll update this post with the outcome.

*UPDATE – the carob trial was fantastic! Instead of the two tablespoons of cacao powder, I used one tablespoon of carob. And I paired it with 2 TBSP tahini + 1 TBSP coconut oil. I gotta say, I think this is my new favorite way to make them!*

I have made these countless times and with different variations: using almond butter instead of coconut oil, leaving out the chocolate chips, adding flax egg, flattening them before baking, and a few other ways. The recipe, as it’s written below, is my family’s favorite version.

The trials I ran using a flax egg required an additional 2 tablespoons of paleo flour blend and the outcome was more of a brownie-like cookie and not at all crispy. I’ll have instructions below for this variation.

Here’s a photo of a batch using flax egg:

RECIPE: Grain-Free Chocolate Cookies

GRAIN-FREE CHOCOLATE COOKIES: {soy-free, gluten-free dairy-free, vegan, paleo, oil-free option}

Makes 8-10 small cookies

Brownie-like variation will make 12-14 small cookies

What you need:

  • 1/4 cup + 2 TBSP paleo flour blend*
  • 3 Tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons tigernut flour
  • 2 Tablespoons organic cacao powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch Himalayan salt
  • 3 Tablespoons softened (not melted) coconut oil or creamy almond butter*
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons organic, fair trade chocolate chips (optional)

* I know Bob’s Red Mill has a paleo flour blend, but I have not tried it – so cannot verify the outcome. Before measuring your flour, please shake it really well to mix up the flours and DO NOT scoop it out with a measuring cup, but rather spoon the flour into a measuring cup so that the flour doesn’t get overly packed in.

*Please DO NOT use melted coconut oil! Keep it in a softened, solid state. Use coconut oil for a crispier cookie and almond butter for a softer cookie. Both are equally delicious! I’ve even used a combo of both in a few batches…including the batch in these photos.

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, cacao powder, baking soda, and salt. Then, stir in the coconut oil (or almond butter), and vanilla (if using). Mix until creamed together and the dough sticks together. I use my hands to really incorporate the ingredients. You’ll be tempted to add in extra oil or butter – trust me, don’t do it 🙂 Next, stir in the chocolate chips, if using.
  3. Roll the dough into small balls, leave about one inch of space between the cookies, do not overcrowd them and bake for 12-18 minutes. My oven requires longer baking times, which is why there is a wide baking time frame. Once they start cracking on the top, it is time to remove them. If you are looking for a crispier cookie, increase the baking time by 2-3 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet before carefully transferring them to a cooling rack. I recommend letting them cool completely before eating. If you try to eat them right as they’re done, you’ll have a crumbly mess!
  5. Enjoy with a glass of nut milk, coffee, or tea.
  6. Store any leftovers in an airtight container.

**VARIATION: for a brownie-like cookie add 2 extra tablespoons of the paleo flour blend (making a total of 1/4 cup + 4 TBSP) and when incorporating the wet ingredients, add in one flax egg (1 TBSP ground flax + 3 TBSP water…allow the flax egg to set for at least five minutes before adding the dough). These will spread out a bit while baking, unlike the original recipe – so spacing is important.

RECIPE: Grain-Free Chocolate Cookies

RECIPE: Grain-Free Chocolate Cookies

RECIPE: Grain-Free Chocolate Cookies

If you make these, please come back and let me know how they turned out! I’d love to hear from you!
Thanks for stopping by!

One-Bowl AIP Sugar Cookies

One-Bowl AIP Sugar Cookies

Ah, the glorious world of grain-free, nut-free, vegan baking. Have you tried it? It’s definitely NOT easy and I bow to those who are seasoned pros because after just a few trials I was ready to pull my hair out and throw in the towel. But I’m glad I didn’t because otherwise I wouldn’t be sharing our new favorite cookie recipe with you!

What’s your cookie type?

Are you a crunchy or soft cookie kind of person?? For me, it depends on the cookie. I love a pillow-y, melt-in-your-mouth, soft snickerdoodle or peanut butter cookie, but when it comes to sugar cookies or chocolate chip cookies, I’m a sucker for the crispy ones. It brings me back to my childhood and my Mom’s fabulous chocolate chip cookies.

I tried experimenting with coconut flour, cassava flour, arrowroot, tapioca flour, but hit fail after fail. It wasn’t until my friend, Rebecca shared her recipe for snickerdoodles that I was hit with the realization that I hadn’t tried using tigernut flour! I’ve used it to make pancakes (which Willow didn’t like, but Josh & I did), so I decided to give it a try in cookies.

Obviously the tigernut flour worked, otherwise we wouldn’t be here today with this recipe (it only took three trials)! And the best part is….only SIX ingredients and ONE bowl! Super simple. Thank you for the inspiration, Rebecca!!! xo

Josh thought I should title these: So Good You’ll Want to Go AIP Sugar Cookies…kind of a long title, don’t you think? 😉

One-Bowl AIP Sugar Cookies

These have a wonderful crispy exterior with a soft center and they absolutely melt in your mouth with a buttery deliciousness! I gave myself a tummy ache testing these out since I still can’t tolerate sweet too well, but with the holidays fast approaching, cookies are a must! I’m happy to report that they got a thumbs up from all who tried them!

I realize that there are chocolate chips here when they’re supposed to be sugar cookies, but that’s what happens when you have a four-year-old chocoholic helping you. So you have the option to make just sugar cookies OR chocolate chip cookies…both are equally delicious.

One-Bowl AIP Sugar Cookies

Makes 10-14 depending on size of cookie scoop

What You Need:

  • 1 cup TigerNut flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 Tablespoons coconut oil (solid)
  • 2 Tablespoons Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips (optional or for AIP use carob chips)

How To:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
  2. Using a stand up mixer with the paddle attachment, combine all of the ingredients (except the chocolate chips). Once everything is well incorporated and there aren’t any signs of coconut oil,  you can fold in the chocolate chips. If you don’t have a stand up mixer, you can use a fork and spatula to mix the dough.
  3. Roll into balls or use a small cookie scoop and place onto the baking sheet. These cookies will spread out some, so be sure to space them out.
  4. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to cool completely on the baking sheet. ENJOY!
  5. Best stored in cookie tins or a cookie jar to maintain the crispiness.

One-Bowl AIP Sugar Cookies

One-Bowl AIP Sugar Cookies

Thanks for stopping by!

RECIPE: Nutty Cookie Bars

RECIPE: Nutty Cookie Bars

If you open our refrigerator, you’re bound to find jars filled with just about every variety of nut (and seed). Not only are they packed with protein, but they also make excellent milks, cheeses, desserts and much more. I was experimenting with a new cookie recipe and was feeling a bit lazy…rather than taking the time to roll them into individual balls, I chose to just spread the dough into a baking dish and call it a day. Simple, buttery and another way to get a chocolate fix.

RECIPE: Nutty Cookie Bars

 

I had the best little helper assisting me through each trial of these…I think she enjoyed sneaking the chocolate chips the best.

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NUTTY COOKIE BARS: {gluten-free, oil-free, soy-free, vegan}

Yields 8 large bars or 16 smaller bars

What you need:

  • 3/4 cup blanched almond flour*
  • 1/4 cup hazelnut flour**
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt (omit if your nut/seed butter contains salt)
  • One flax egg (1 Tablespoon ground flax + 3 Tablespoons warm water)
  • 1 cup nut/seed butter (I did half peanut butter, half raw tahini)
  • 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (or more) Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts (I used raw pecans and walnuts)

*We buy a 3-pound bag from Costco for an awesome deal.

**I used left over pulp from making hazelnut milk and dried it in my dehydrator, then ground it in a nut grinder.

RECIPE: Nutty Cookie Bars

All spread out and ready to bake!

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF
  2. Prepare your flax egg in a small bowl and set aside for a few minutes to thicken.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients (except chocolate chips and nuts). Use the whisk or spatula to break up any clumps from the almond flour.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the nut/seed butter, maple syrup, vanilla and flax egg until smooth.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mixture and stir until well combined (no visible flour). Then fold in the chocolate chips and chopped nuts.
  6. Spread the mixture out into a lightly greased (or can use parchment paper) 8×8 baking dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and the edges are golden. Remember, my oven requires extra baking, so times will vary depending on your oven.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the baking dish. If you can be patient enough, I recommend allowing them to cool completely to make for easier cutting. Cut into bars and enjoy!
  8. Store any leftovers in an airtight container.

 

RECIPE: Nutty Cookie Bars

RECIPE: Nutty Cookie Bars

RECIPE: Nutty Cookie Bars

 

RECIPE: Nutty Cookie Bars

Did I mention that they’re toddler approved?

Thanks for stopping by!

REVIEW: December Favorites

Happy New Year, everyone!!! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday (to those who celebrated) – I’m wishing each and every one of you a beautiful and healthy 2016! December was a very BUSY month for me and while I didn’t get all the blog posts up that I had hoped to, I am beyond grateful for those who kept me and my Etsy shop busy! Wow! Can’t thank you enough! I have a few products, recipes and books to share with you from last month. As always, please feel free to comment here and share any of your recent favorites!

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DECEMBER FAVORITES:

CALIFIA FARMS >> NOG and PEPPERMINT MOCHA COLD BREWED COFFEE 

Oh, my. It was love at first sip with the Peppermint Mocha – so incredibly creamy, dreamy and pretty much heavenly! We drank it as is and also used it to make a delicious chia pudding (inspired by my friends over at CiCi Kitchen). The Nog, on the other hand, took me a second glass to really fall in love with it. It’s essentially a nog flavored almond milk – I went in expecting a thick beverage like the other nogs on the market, but once I realized that, I was able to enjoy it for what it was. It’s more on the gingery side, but I LOVE ginger…and apparently, Willow does, too!

 

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COCOKIND >>

I very rarely enter giveaways, but when I saw that Margaret (@plantstrongvegan) was running a giveaway with CocoKind, I had to take a chance. Guess what?! I WON! I had been wanting to give them a try because they use ingredients that I use in my own products…which means they’re safe enough for Willow to use. All organic with ZERO additives or hidden toxic ingredients. But I have also learned that CocoKind gives back by donating proceeds to those in need (clean water, food and books to children). Definitely a company I’m happy to support. I love backing products like this because I want them to be readily available for everyone. We deserve to have more vegan, cruelty-free AND SAFE products on the store shelves. The giveaway that I won included the following:

Now, I LOVE all things coconut, so I immediately fell in love with these products. Strong coconut scent, very moisturizing and Willow approved. With it being SO cold here and our bathrooms don’t have heat, the Facial Repair Serum and Eye Firming Oil stay solid…so I have to run the bottles under hot water before use. But this is also a good sign because it’s proof that they don’t add any junk to their products and use pure, all natural ingredients! I love how everything feels, smells and it’s all very effective! CocoKind isn’t available to buy in stores here in Bend, OR…but here’s the link to see if you can purchase their products in a store near you:

http://www.cocokind.com/stores/

REVIEW: December Favorites

REVIEW: December Favorites

 

 

RECIPES WE TRIED AND LOVED:

VEGAN CUCUMBER RANCH DRESSING >> VEGETARIAN GASTRONOMY >> I have yet to try one of Anjali’s recipes that I didn’t fall in love with! This ranch was no exception. Before I went vegan, ranch was my absolute favorite dressing – I would pair it with everything from salads, raw veggies, veggie burgers, fries and more. I’ve made vegan ranch dressings before, but none have come close to this version. The flavor was spot on and the texture…amazing! Fresh, creamy and lighter than the dairy-based ranch dressings I’ve had in the past. I had to stop myself from eating it out of the jar with a spoon! We used it on tacos one night and then veggie burgers the next. I highly recommend doubling this recipe…it is that good!

REVIEW: December Favorites

Taco Tuesday featuring Anjali’s Cucumber Ranch!

OIL-FREE PUMPKIN COCONUT SUNBUTTER >> THE PLANT STRONG VEGAN >> 

I was so excited to have all the ingredients on hand to make this right away!  I realize that for most people, once December hits, pumpkin is off their radar and they move on to all things peppermint and ginger, but I couldn’t resist. The flavor combination was too tempting and as expected…absolutely DELICIOUS!! I’m somewhat embarrassed to share this photo because it doesn’t look as creamy & smooth as Margaret’s, but it tastes wonderful! I added the optional pumpkin spice and I’m so glad I did! Besides eating it right out of the jar, we’ve enjoyed it with crackers, toast and sliced apples. Hubby smeared it on Maple Cornmeal Banana Bread…see the next recipe…

REVIEW: December Favorites

 

 

MAPLE CORNMEAL BANANA BREAD >> FEASTING ON FRUIT >> 

When I saw Natalie’s post on IG about this creation, I knew it needed to be made ASAP. I fully admit that I was bummed about the use of oats, but I still made it for my family to enjoy and they LOVED it! Willow actually helped me make this and went overboard with the chopped pecan topping. It took SO much patience for her to wait for the bread to cool…I’m talking every two minutes she was begging for some. When I was finally able to cut it, she devoured two slices! Hubby loved it, too!! I may not have been able to eat it, but goodness, I sure did enjoy how wonderful our house smelled.

REVIEW: December Favorites

 

REVIEW: December Favorites

 

 

SHARP WHITE MAC AND CHEESE BAKE >> VEGGIES DON’T BITE >>

Make this now. Just do it. Literally click on the above link, run to the store and grab any missing ingredients and MAKE THIS!!!! Holy moly, the sauce is TO DIE FOR! As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a sucker for any new vegan cheese sauce that surfaces, so it was a no brainer that I was going to make this. Sophia nailed the flavor of this sauce – literally perfection – and there was a whole lot of “oooohhhing” and “aaaaaahhhhhing” going on while eating it. And that crispy topping?! I could have eaten it right out of the food processor it smelled SO good! It was a wonderful addition to the mac and cheese. The sauce is loaded with good, wholesome ingredients – plenty of veggies, but you’d never know it. Makes you feel a lot less guilty going back for seconds….or thirds…don’t judge. I really wish I could have captured a better photo, but considering it gets dark way before we have dinner, this was the best I could do…I think you can see how creamy it is though!

REVIEW: December Favorites

 

VEGAN SUGAR COOKIES (Gluten-free, Oil-free) >> THE VEGAN 8 >>

PURE HEAVEN. I don’t really need to say more, but I’m going to. Easily one of the best cookies I’ve made (and eaten) in a while. I used homemade raw cashew butter, as Brandi does in the recipe, but you can use store bought, too – which will make these even simpler than they already are. These ingredients are perfection and I wouldn’t dare stray from them because I’m not kidding when I say that they’re better than any sugar cookie I’ve had before AND they’re free from all the refined junk and oil!!! WIN, WIN! The cookie dough is good enough to eat on its own and I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t eat about a full cookie’s worth before scooping them onto baking sheets…so good. Vanilla-y, sweet like a sugar cookie should be with a crispy outside and pillow-y, soft center. It took all of my willpower not to devour half the batch in a sitting. Have I convinced you to make them yet?! I hope so!

REVIEW: December Favorites

 

 

LEMON CRANBERRY & PISTACHIO CASHEW CHEESE BALL >> THE PLANT STRONG VEGAN >>

Margaret did an excellent job of luring me in to this festive creation! The pops of color from the cranberries and pistachios are beautiful!! I knew straight away that I had to add it to our Christmas Day menu. Incredibly simple to prepare and absolutely delicious!! I fell in love with the lemony tang and rich, creamy base – paired so perfectly with the cranberries and pistachios! Willow loved this, too! Her favorite way to eat this was with some gluten-free pretzels. This recipe makes a large amount and as Margaret suggested, I chose to split it into two smaller cheese balls.

REVIEW: December Favorites

 

BOOKS I’M ENJOYING:

UNCONVENTIONAL TREATS by AUDREY SNOWE >> My friend, Audrey, over at Unconventional Baker, released her ebook!! You guys! It is GOREGEOUS!!! I spent two (loooong) nights drooling over each recipe and got lured into each dreamy photo. Audrey is incredibly creative and talented in every sense of the word. Reading this book felt like I was sitting at her kitchen table chatting over a nice hot cup of tea. She explains things so perfectly and provides wonderful tips from substitutions, how-to’s, and step by step instructions. I know I will love every single one of these recipes because I’ve tried so many of Audrey’s creations from her blog. We have very similar taste preferences, not to mention the same food sensitivities, so I’ll be making my way through each recipe! Click HERE to download your copy!

REVIEW: December Favorites

 

 

YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE by LOUISE HAY >> Do yourself a HUGE favor and buy this book…now. No joke, I plowed through this book in a couple of nights (stayed up waaaaaay too late reading) and felt incredibly empowered and enlightened. While reading this book, I became more aware of my thinking and where I needed to make some changes. I literally felt like a new person after finishing it and will forever keep Hay’s words very close to my heart. Your thoughts literally change your world, your life. She helped me to better understand my past history with an eating disorder, along with other health issues I battled. This book has changed so many things for me and has helped me to manifest my destiny. I’m more aware of my thinking – more mindful of how my thoughts can impact my health and well-being. I truly feel everyone should read this book as a way to kick off 2016!

REVIEW: December Favorites

 

READY PLAYER ONE by ERNEST CLINE >> This book came recommended to my by my hubby and a dear friend – so far, I’m really enjoying it! I’m only a quarter of the way through it, so I’ll give a full review when I’m finished.

 

Thanks for stopping by!

RECIPE: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s the season of all things PUMPKIN!!! My absolute favorite time of year. Crisp air, leaves changing, apples galore and cozy sweaters. And BAKING! After a few months of very limited oven use, we make the switch to roasted veggies, potatoes and LOTS of baked goods…such as cookies. I had this vision in my head of a pumpkin molasses cookie and as soon as the weather cooled down, I started running trials. I cooked up some dried garbanzo beans and saved some brine for an “egg” – used applesauce, did an oil-free batch, played with flours and sweeteners. The first batch turned out way too cake-y for my liking, but got the thumbs up from our toughest critic…Willow. Second batch was still too cake-y and a bit too much molasses – yes, I said too much molasses. Third and fourth trials got closer, but just didn’t grab me. Let me share that through all of the mess up trials, Willow gave each one a thumbs up…clearly in it for the chocolate chips. Fifth batch was a giant win. A slightly crisp initial bite with a soft, chewy center. Exactly what I was looking for! I knew it was the best batch yet when Willow’s eyes lit up with the first bite and asked for a second one when the first cookie wasn’t even half eaten.

RECIPE: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Before I dive into the recipe, I have to share one of my favorite kitchen gadgets. A couple of years ago, my parents bought us this amazing little Cuisinart Spice and Nut Grinder. Since this came into our lives, we buy whole spices and grind the seeds ourselves, along with making a lot of our own flours. Literally within seconds you can turn rolled oats into oat flour. Yes, a Vitamix can do the same thing, but this is easier clean up and faster.

RECIPE: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

RECIPE: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Homemade oat flour

PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES: {gluten-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free, vegan}

Yields 16 cookies (more or less depending on how big you make them)

What you need:

DRY:

  • 3/4 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 cup finely ground raw pecans (flour-like; be careful not to grind too long, it will turn into a butter)
  • 4 TBSP raw coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan salt

WET:

  • 3 TBSP pumpkin puree
  • 1 TBSP avocado oil (or coconut oil, melted)
  • 1/2 TBSP molasses (1 TBSP for molasses lovers)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

RECIPE: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients (except chocolate chips). Whisk until incorporated and if you need to, use your fingers or the back of a spatula to break up the pecan clumps.
  3. In a small-med bowl, combine the wet ingredients until smooth.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients bowl. Stir until evenly incorporated, no signs of dry “flour.” Then fold in the chocolate chips. The dough will be slightly sticky
  5. Using your hands or a small cookie scoop, form small balls. My cookie scoop was a bit smaller than a tablespoon measure. Place them on the baking sheet and flatten with the back of a spatula or wooden spoon. You can press in extra chocolate chips to each cookie at this time, if you’d like.
  6. Bake for 12-16 minutes or until the cookies no longer look sticky/wet and can easily be removed from the baking sheet without sticking.They’ll be slightly golden brown. If you’re looking for a super crispy cookie, bake them for a few minutes longer, but keep a close eye on them so as not to burn them. Our oven is awful and we have to always cook/bake things far longer than called for. I baked a trial for 22 minutes and they turned out crispy inside and out. For a softer/chewier center, stick to the initial baking time.
  7. Remove from oven and allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for five minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and ENJOY!

RECIPE: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I had to distract Willow with some bad dancing and singing to allow the cookies to cool a bit. This kid is a chocoholic, so patience doesn’t come easy. Be glad that there weren’t any photos to document that portion of our baking session.

RECIPE: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

RECIPE: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are best eaten the first day or two, which is pretty easy to do! If you do have leftovers, store them in an airtight container (preferably a cookie tin).

While we were waiting for the cookies to bake, Willow asked to play around with the camera…here’s a small collage – I picked my favorites from the 50 that she took! I’m rather impressed that she managed to get some selfies in there.

willow pics

RECIPE: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

RECIPE: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

What’s your favorite pumpkin recipe?!

RECIPE REVIEW: The Vegan 8 Baking Day {aka International ‘Baking’ Day}

So, it wasn’t actually International Baking Day. In fact, it was International Bacon Day, but my mom misunderstood me and the entire day thought it was International Baking Day. Maybe you had to be there, but I found it rather humorous. I personally find it disgusting that such a day actually exists – not just because I’m vegan and I LOVE pigs, but because with the overwhelming rates of obesity in our society, do we really need a day dedicated to celebrating bacon? It’s heavily processed and loaded with fat….the bad kind of fat. Wow! I could go on a rant about why you SHOULDN’T eat bacon, but instead, I’m going to share with you not one, not two, but THREE fabulous recipes that will satisfy any sweet tooth.

sweet tooth

I am a sucker for sweets. Yep. Chocolate and any baked goods are my weakness. I don’t like to have them in the house because I don’t like having the temptation around, but my dear friend, Brandi of The Vegan 8, is quite literally the Cookie Master and I needed to try some of her recipes that I’ve been eyeing up. The thing I love about Brandi is that her recipes are simple in the sense that the ingredient list isn’t a page long and every single one of them is refined sugar-free, soy-free, oil-free, vegan, and gluten-free. My kind of recipes! She has taught me that oil is absolutely unnecessary when it comes to baking and now when I’m browsing recipes on Pinterest, if the ingredient list is too long, I skip it. You’ve officially spoiled me, Brandi!

Since the weather was much cooler and cloudy this past Saturday, we planned a baking day all dedicated to The Vegan 8! Willow loves going to my parents house because it means playing in a giant pile of pillows, watching some Peg + Cat and running around. My dad and Oma kept her occupied while my mom and I baked. Family is the best!

 

We started with a recipe we hadn’t tried before – Brandi’s 4 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies. Who doesn’t like peanut butter cookies?! Let me tell you, these did NOT disappoint! In fact, Willow gave them a giant thumbs up! The only modification we made was using almond pulp (leftover from making almond milk) instead of unblanched almond flour. These were fluffy, soft, and oh so peanut buttery. One of these could satisfy the sweet tooth, but who am I kidding…I had a few. We loved how these had only four ingredients – in the past the ones I’ve made were loaded with oil (peanut butter has plenty of natural oil) or too many flours. The addition of rolling them in coconut sugar, the fourth ingredient, was genius.

 

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Proudly wearing her Herbivore Clothing shirt – “Bacon Had A Mom” and giving a thumbs up for the peanut butter cookies.

 

Next we made her Dark Chocolate Molasses Cookies. I made these once before and let me tell you, these were some of the best cookies I’ve ever had. Yep. No joke. They are a molasses lover’s dream! Willow devoured these the first time I made them, so we made sure to double the batch this round! They’re crispy on the outside, but chewy & fudgy inside with a perfect molasses undertone. The first time I made these, I ran out of flax seeds, so I used ground chia seeds instead. This time we had flax seeds and each time they turned out perfect. For this round, we used a combination of leftover almond pulp, raw ground pecans (because at first we actually thought it was leftover almond pulp) and some unblanched almond flour. I did notice that they turned out a bit more flat and seemed a bit crispier, but were still absolutely delicious! Out of the three recipes we made, these were Willow’s personal favorite.

 

 

We might have saved the best for last. When I came across this recipe, I was literally drooling. Cinnamon Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies. OH. MY. GOODNESS! I am a HUGE fan of hazelnuts, but the addition of chocolate and cinnamon is heaven in every bite. We followed this recipe exactly and were blown away. There was just the right amount of cinnamon and the hazelnut flavor was astounding. There were so many things I loved about this recipe, but I’d have to say my favorite part was making homemade hazelnut butter. Not to embarrass my mom, but while I was getting these bad boys set for the oven, I could hear her repeatedly oooohhhing and ahhhhing over this hazelnut butter….we were both guilty of licking the spoons and spatulas because it was that good.

 

 

So, there you have it! THREE amazing cookie recipes all created by the fabulous Brandi, of The Vegan 8. Please check out her website and for those who are new to my blog, you can read more about Brandi, HERE, in an interview I did with her.

 

Thanks for stopping by!