RECIPE: Chocolate Muffins

Funny story about these muffins – I created this recipe months ago, but when I went to type up the blog post, my notes got all jumbled together and I couldn’t figure out which trial was the one. I stared at four separate pieces of paper with jotted measurements and couldn’t figure it out! I was SO bummed! Last week I decided to revisit this recipe and took a guess as to which piece of paper held the winner, but also made a couple of simple adjustments. The house smelled amazing, they looked like muffins, and the taste test…

Willow: “Mom! Did you know you’re the best baker?”

I certainly wouldn’t go that far, but it’s always sweet to get a compliment from your child because they’re blunt + honest. Guess we figured these out!

Whew!

These aren’t dry like many of the gluten-free muffins I’ve had and they’re not overly sweet…which means they’re ok for breakfast, right?

RECIPE: Chocolate Muffins

Inspecting for chocolate chips!

CHOCOLATE MUFFINS {gluten-free, soy-free, oil-free, oat-free, vegan}

Makes 9 muffins or 8 mini loaves

What you need:

  • 1 cup King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour*
  • 1 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cacao powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt
  • 3/4 cups unsweetened plant milk (I’ve used almond and cashew)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 flax eggs (2 TBSP ground flax + 6 TBSP warm water)
  • 1/2 TBSP blackstrap molasses
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup Enjoy Life mini chips

*This is my favorite all-purpose, gluten-free flour as it doesn’t contain any gums or chickpea flour (which can overpower baked goods).

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How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F and lightly grease your muffin pan or mini loaf pan.
  2. In a small bowl, prepare your flax eggs and set aside to thicken.
  3. Next, measure out your milk in a liquid measuring cup and add the 1 teaspoon of ACV. Mix and set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, add all of the dry ingredients (except the chocolate chips) and whisk until incorporated – breaking up any clumps from the almond flour.
  5. Then add all the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until well combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Using a spoon, fill the muffin cups about 1/2-3/4 of the way full. You can sprinkle extra chocolate chips on top, if you’d like.
  7. Bake for 18-22 minutes; you want the tops to spring back when touched and the toothpick test should come back clean.
  8. Allow to cool in the pan for at least 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
  9. ENJOY!

Like a lot of baked goods, these are best the day they’re made. I recommend storing any leftovers in the fridge and warming them in the oven for the best flavor…or you can eat them cold.

RECIPE: Chocolate Muffins

RECIPE: Chocolate Muffins

RECIPE: Chocolate MuffinsIf you really want to take these muffins over the top, sneak 1/4-1/2 square of dark chocolate into each muffin cup while filling – you get a nice, melty, chocolate surprise in the center! I got that idea from my friend, Diana, and I can tell you first hand that it’s pretty fantastic.

You can also add a bit of cinnamon and/or espresso powder to the batter for a richer flavor.

RECIPE: Chocolate Muffins

We used 1/2 square of Theo 70% dark chocolate in each muffin. After sneaking the chocolate in there, be sure to top with more of the batter.

 

RECIPE: Chocolate Muffins

RECIPE: Chocolate Muffins

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!

RECIPE: Rich, Creamy (Vegan) Hot Cocoa

RECIPE: Rich, Creamy (Vegan) Hot Cocoa // Be Sol-Ful Living

After a day of sledding or snow fort building, there was nothing better than warming up to a mug of cocoa. For me, every time I sip on hot cocoa, I’m flooded with childhood memories of playing out in the snow and cold with my brother – and we’d come inside to hot cocoa with marshmallows. My grandmother used to make some of the best homemade hot cocoa and I’m pretty sure it was because she used whole milk and for all I know, she could have used Hershey’s syrup, but it was darn good. For the last couple of years, I’ve been making my own homemade version and my sweet Willow LOVES it. Josh has been on me to share my recipe here on the blog, but it seems so simple and silly to me…but with winter upon us now I guess there’s no better time!

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The key to this recipe comes in two parts:

  • The addition of full fat coconut milk to make it extra creamy
  • The coconut sugar-maple syrup combo gives it a rich, somewhat caramel-y, sweet flavor.

RICH, CREAMY (VEGAN) HOT COCOA:

Gluten-free, Soy-free, Dairy-free, Oil-free, Vegan

Serves 2-4

What you need:

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or your choice of milk)
  • 1 cup coconut milk (preferably full fat)
  • 2-3 heaping Tablespoons raw cacao powder (use 3 for a richer flavor)
  • 1.5-2 Tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • pinch Himalayan salt
  • Optional Add ins: 1/2-1 tsp peppermint extract/flavor OR 1 tsp pure vanilla extract OR a square of dark chocolate OR 1/4-1/2 tsp Ceylon cinnamon.

How to:

  1. In a small pot, gently warm your milk over medium-low heat, whisking often. You DO NOT want the milk to come to a boil – steaming is OK,  just not boiling (approx 10-12 minutes). Don’t worry if it isn’t “hot” enough because you’re going to whirl it in the Vitamix and it will warm up some more. If you’re using the additional square of chocolate, add it to the milk to melt.
  2. Once the milk is warmed up, carefully pour it into a high speed blender with the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth and frothy, approximately 1-2 minutes. Adjust the sweetness level as needed. If it’s not warm enough for you, simply return the mixture to your pot and heat on the stove. I keep it on the cooler side for Willow’s sake.
  3. Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream or marshmallows! Enjoy!

*** For an added superfood boost, after blending the ingredients together, add in 1 teaspoon mesquite powder + 1 teaspoon maca, then whirl again for a few seconds. This combo isn’t recommended if you’re using peppermint.

*** If you don’t have a Vitamix or high-speed blender, that’s ok! Simply warm the milk over the stove with all of the ingredients (except the peppermint or vanilla), whisking often. Once heated to desired temp, remove from heat and whisk in the peppermint or vanilla (if using). I love using the Vitamix to get the super frothy top.

RECIPE: Rich, Creamy (Vegan) Hot Cocoa

RECIPE: Rich, Creamy (Vegan) Hot Cocoa

 

 

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I’ve shared how I make my whipped cream before, but I’ve since then learned a trick for a guaranteed perfect batch! I have tried literally every brand of organic full fat coconut milk and hands down the best one is Whole Foods brand and it’s always 2 for $4. I know it has guar gum (I try to avoid too many “gums”), but I’ve tried a couple brands without it and you will never get a thick, fluffy whipped cream AND the flavor was really bad, in my opinion. You can also use Trader Joe’s canned coconut cream, but it is very strong in coconut flavor (my mom wasn’t a fan when I used it). Ok, so the trick?!? Before you buy the can, give it a little shake and if you hear a lot of sloshing around, don’t buy it! Sounds silly, but since learning this trick, I’ve made successful whipped cream every single time!

Homemade Coconut Whipped Cream:

What you need:

  • 1 can organic full fat coconut milk (use two cans for a bigger batch)
  • Your choice of sweetener (maple syrup, coconut nectar, coconut sugar, etc.)

How to:

  1. Chill the coconut milk can in the fridge for 24 hours, at least.
  2. Chill your mixing bowl in the freezer for 10-15 minutes prior to making the whipped cream.
  3. Gently turn the coconut milk can upside down, open it, discard the liquid and scoop the thick cream into your chilled mixing bowl.
  4. Mix until fluffy and smooth – adding sweetener, as desired (I usually do a drizzle of pure maple syrup). Store any leftovers in the fridge and use within a couple of days.
RECIPE: Rich, Creamy (Vegan) Hot Cocoa

Willow insisted on a chocolate chip topping…surprise, surprise!

RECIPE: Rich, Creamy (Vegan) Hot Cocoa

RECIPE: Rich, Creamy (Vegan) Hot Cocoa

 

 

 

Thanks for stopping by!

RECIPE: Triple Chocolate Peppermint Brownies

 

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When my friend Angela, over at Canned Time, invited me to be a part of the Family Favorites Dessert series, I was over the moon and excited for my chance to try NuNaturals Stevia products. So, thank you, Angela, for the opportunity and challenge.

I knew that my dessert had to be something super chocolate-y because I swear chocolate runs in my family’s blood. My mom used to have to hide the bags of chocolate chips when I was growing up because my dad would eat them straight out of the bag…I’d be lying if I didn’t say I used to do the same. When I think back to my childhood, I’m reminded of my mom’s delicious chocolate chip cookies and brownies – we’d devour them right off the baking sheet, melted chocolate all over our fingers. Since I’m fairly comfortable with creating cookies, I wanted to move outside my comfort zone and attempt brownies…but not your ordinary brownies.

You know my love for tahini and when paired with chocolate, you’ve got a rich, magical combo. After several trials (only one of which went directly in the trash), I nailed the texture and flavor I was looking for. So, I present to you, my take on my mom’s brownies, but these are infused with peppermint for the holidays…

Rich – Fudgy – Sweet – Chocolate-y

So, how is it triple chocolate?! We’ve got cacao powder, melted chocolate chips (and un-melted) AND NuStevia Cocoa Mint Syrup. A chocolate lover’s dream!

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TRIPLE CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT BROWNIES

Gluten-free, soy-free, oil-free, nut-free, egg-free, vegan

Makes 8 large brownies or 16 smaller ones.

What you need:

  • 2/3 cup gluten-free all purpose flour (preferably garbanzo bean free)
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar (or your choice of granulated sugar)
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (divided)
  • 1/2 cup raw tahini
  • 6 Tablespoons aquafaba (chickpea brine)*
  • 4 Tablespoons unsweetened plant milk
  • 2 Tablespoons NuStevia Cocoa Mint Syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

*Aquafaba is the liquid from a can of chickpeas. If you’re not a fan or happen to be allergic, I have also made these with two flax eggs (2 Tablespoons of ground flax + 6 Tablespoons of water).

**If you’re not a into stevia, simply omit and add an additional 1/4 cup of coconut sugar. You can use mint flavor/extract instead, but I do not have exact measurements. If you don’t like mint flavored treats, these brownies are still delicious without it.

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease an 8×8 glass baking dish.
  2. In a medium-large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cacao, coconut sugar and salt. Set aside.
  3. Next, in a double boiler (over med-low heat), gently warm your tahini and 1/2 cup of chocolate chips – stir constantly. Once the chocolate has melted and is smoothly combined with the tahini, remove from heat.
  4. Add the chocolate-tahini mixture to the dry mixing bowl, along with the other wet ingredients (aquafaba, milk, vanilla, cocoa mint syrup). Stir until well combined and then fold in the other 1/2 cup of chocolate chips. The batter will be thick and somewhat sticky.
  5. Evenly spread the batter into your greased baking dish using the back of a spatula to smooth it out.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until your tester comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for at least 25 minutes before cutting. I was super impatient the first trial and not only made a crumbled mess, but I burned the roof of my mouth! Ha!
  7. Top with homemade Coconut-Peppermint Whipped Cream (see below) or ENJOY them plain.

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Coconut-Peppermint Whipped Cream:

  1. Chill a can of full fat coconut milk in the fridge for at least 24 hours.
  2. Once your coconut milk has chilled, place your mixing bowl in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Scoop the thick cream part out of the can of coconut milk and place it in your chilled mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer or stand up mixer, whip until fluffy and creamy!
  4. Add 5-6 drops of Pure Liquid Peppermint NuStevia and whip again until combined.

*If you’re not a fan of stevia, simply omit and use 1/4 – 1/2 tsp of mint flavor/extract. Sweeten to taste.

For photo purposes, I crushed a TruJoy Sweets Organic Candy Cane.

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Thanks for stopping by!

RECIPE: Baked Chocolate Earl Grey Mini Donuts

Who’s ready for another donut recipe?! This may or may not be the last one I share for a while…we’ll see. I’ve been eating WAY TOO many sweets lately – one of the downfalls to running trials for dessert recipes. So, I’m thinking I’ll focus on savory after this 😉 If you follow me on Instagram, you got a sneak peek for this recipe…I think the chocolate-y goodness on top lured you in. I wrote this recipe almost six years ago and have drastically changed it and also added one of my favorite teas! The first few trials I ran, I steeped a couple of tea bags in almond milk and then added it to the batter, but the flavor just wasn’t there. It was also being covered up by the strong garbanzo bean flavor (from the all purpose flour) and a couple other ingredients, so after several trials, I finally got the flavor down – it also helped that I took a chance and ground the contents of the tea bags and added it to the batter. Once again, I intended to create an oil-free recipe, but all of the ingredients I tried substituting, took away from the chocolate-earl grey flavor. BUT this recipe is (as always) gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free AND can easily be made nut-free!

If you know me, you know I LOVE Numi teas – they’re one of the few companies I trust when it comes to tea. They’re organic, fair-trade, nothing artificial (no “natural” flavors), just pure ingredients AND use safe, non-toxic packaging materials (no genetically modified corn, pesticides or carcinogens). I buy a wide variety of their teas from Natural Grocers and occasionally from Whole Foods. Here’s the ingredient list for their Organic Chocolate Earl Grey:

Fair Trade Certified organic cacao powder, Fair Trade Certified organic Assam black tea, organic orange peel, organic vanilla beans, organic bergamot oil.

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Numi Organic Tea - Chocolate Earl Grey

Before and After

Enjoy Life’s All-Purpose Flour & King Arthur’s Gluten-free Multi-Purpose Flour (they do not contain garbanzo bean flour). Both are pricier than your standard flour. I have found that Vitacost carries the Enjoy Life flour for the best price and Natural Grocers currently has the King Arthur Flour on sale…so go grab a box!

BAKED CHOCOLATE EARL GREY MINI DONUTS {gluten-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free, nut-free option}

Makes 24 mini donuts

What you need:

{DRY}

  • 1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour that doesn’t contain garbanzo bean flour (I use King Arthur or Enjoy Life)
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar (or your choice of granulated sugar)
  • 3 bags of Numi’s Chocolate Earl Grey tea*
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan salt

*You can use chai tea or espresso powder instead. For those who only use loose leaf tea, use a tablespoon of finely ground tea.

{WET}

  • 1 flax “egg” (1 Tablespoon ground flax + 3 Tablespoons water)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened plant milk (I use almond)
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 Tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup(optional)**

**If you like a really sweet donut and have no plans to glaze them, I recommend adding the maple syrup.

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease your donut pan(s).
  2. In a small bowl, prepare your flax “egg” and set aside for at least five minutes.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the wet ingredients (milk, ACV, vanilla, flax “egg” and avocado oil). Whisk until thoroughly combined. I used my stand-up mixer.
  4. Next, cut open the tea bags and empty out the contents into a spice grinder (or coffee grinder). Grind until it resembles a fine powder (see photo above). Should amount to approximately a tablespoon’s worth. Add this and your other dry ingredients to the bowl and mix until just combined. I recommend sifting your flour & sugar to get the clumps out. The batter will look a bit like pancake batter or creamy almond butter (not as thick and sticky as my previous donut recipe).
  5. Spoon a tablespoon’s worth of batter into each donut “cup” – somewhere between 1/2-2/3 full.
  6. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick (tester) comes out clean. My oven is awful and always requires a longer cooking time. The donut should spring back to the touch.
  7. Remove the pan(s) from the oven and allow to set for five minutes. Then transfer the donuts to a cooling rack.
  8. Enjoy plain or with a simple chocolate glaze (see recipe below). I store my leftovers uncovered on a cooling rack in the oven, but you can also leave them on the counter (on the cooling rack) with a piece of parchment paper loosely draped over them. Plastic airtight containers will change their texture significantly.

RECIPE: Baked Chocolate Earl Grey Mini Donuts

RECIPE: Baked Chocolate Earl Grey Mini Donuts

RECIPE: Baked Chocolate Earl Grey Mini Donuts

Simple Chocolate Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened plant milk (I used almond)

Over low-med heat, melt the mini chips and milk in a double boiler – stirring frequently. Once melted, remove from heat and dunk the tops of the cooled donuts in the chocolate. Eat right away or allow them to set longer for a firmer glaze. Make sure the chocolate glaze has firmed up before storing them away.

RECIPE: Baked Chocolate Earl Grey Mini Donuts

RECIPE: Baked Chocolate Earl Grey Mini Donuts

RECIPE: Baked Chocolate Earl Grey Mini Donuts

RECIPE: Baked Chocolate Earl Grey Mini Donuts

RECIPE: Baked Chocolate Earl Grey Mini Donuts

This is how the chocolate glaze looks once it has been set.

RECIPE: Baked Chocolate Earl Grey Mini Donuts

My little helper (and photo assistant) took some photos of her own – she was so proud of them, I had to share them with you!

RECIPE: Baked Chocolate Earl Grey Mini Donuts

Thanks for stopping by!

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

How many of you actually love your job? I’m talking passionate, happy, excited and motivated by the life you’ve chosen. Sadly, I don’t know too many people who would raise their hands. The last paying job (early 2010) I had just about broke me. I was at an all-time low – physically falling apart with numerous ailments, mentally and emotionally unwell and I remember day dreaming about things I wish I could be doing. I felt defeated. Sounds depressing, doesn’t it? I promise, this story has a happy ending…obviously, otherwise I wouldn’t be typing this, right? After connecting the dots and realizing that my job was the cause of my unhappiness, I gave my notice and quit. I needed to take control of my life, health and well-being, as well as find my true passion…my calling. I brainstormed all sorts of ideas – everything from homemade jewelry to opening some sort of vegan, gluten-free bakery or food cart. So, I started experimenting in the kitchen with homemade donut recipes. I spent a couple of months running various trials and scribbled my creations down in an old notebook which later got lost during one of our moves. Luckily (and I owe thanks to The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up book) I found a few of my recipes from almost six years ago!

As for finding my true passion or calling, I’m living my dream now. Being a stay-at-home mom and being able to have fun with my hobbies (recipe creating and product making) is more than I could ask for. I actually wake up in the morning excited for what the day holds, for what adventure awaits. I feel truly blessed.

I’ve spent the last few weeks refining these recipes – adjusting the ingredients to my current way of eating and making them even “healthier” than they were originally. In the last few weeks I have gone through MANY trials and attempted to make these oil-free, but I gotta tell you, this is an instance where a little oil takes it from: “It’s OK” to “Whoa. This. Is. Amazing!”  I am SO excited to share this first donut recipe with you!

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

BAKED COCONUT PECAN MINI DONUTS: {vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free}

Makes 24 mini donuts

Soft, cake-y, sweet and almost melt in your mouth delicious! The combination of ground pecans and coconut oil create a buttery treat.

What you Need:

Mini Donut Pan(s)

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

All of the ingredients needed. Our kitchen table is always covered with large brown paper so we can doodle while we sit together…it’s also a great distraction for Willow while she waits for meals.

{DRY}

  • 1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1/4 cup finely ground raw pecans (almost flour-like, not butter)
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt

{WET}

  • Flax “egg” (1 Tablespoon ground flax + 3 Tablespoons filtered water)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 rounded Tablespoons raw coconut oil (no need to melt)

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

I almost didn’t post this photo because of how messy it looks, but I felt it was important to show the process – it doesn’t need to be perfect.

How To:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit & lightly grease your donut pan(s) with either coconut oil or avocado oil.
  2. In a small dish, stir together the ingredients for the flax “egg” and let it sit for five minutes.
  3. Measure out your milk, ACV and vanilla; add it to a large mixing bowl (preferably to a stand-up mixer or you can use a handheld mixer). Add in the coconut oil and flax “egg,” then mix until well combined.
  4. Next, add in all of the dry ingredients – works best if you sift your flour, sugar and finely ground pecans, but my sifter recently broke…that’s what happens when a three-year-old plays with your kitchen stuff!  Mix until just combined (be careful not to over mix). It will be a somewhat sticky, pudding-like consistency.
  5. Using a piping bag or tablespoon, fill each donut “cup” 1/2 – 2/3 full – do not fill to the brim as they will expand as they bake. Bake for 15-19 minutes. They should spring back to the touch and your tester should come back clean (no wet batter).
  6. Remove from the oven and allow the donuts to rest in the pan for five minutes before removing.
  7. You can enjoy as is OR indulge and coat them in this delicious Cinnamon-Maple Sugar mixture (see below).
  8. As for leftovers, DO NOT store in a plastic container (such as Tupperware or a Ziploc bag) otherwise they will get “wet” and sticky. They’re actually best kept on the cooling rack with a piece of parchment paper or wax paper draped over them loosely. Best eaten within the first 2-3 days.

***UPDATE*** For an oil-free version, simply omit the coconut oil and replace with coconut milk (I used full fat) – so, 3 Tablespoons of coconut milk. You might have to adjust the baking time, but start with the suggested time above.

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

You can see which donut “cups” I overfilled! Ha! That’s OK, they got eaten pretty fast!

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

A couple of the donuts before being tossed in the Cinnamon-Maple Sugar mix.

CINNAMON-MAPLE SUGAR:

If you’ve never had maple sugar before, you are missing out! We used fresh maple sugar from Graham Farms Maple in Vermont and I’m not kidding when I say, it is the BEST I’ve ever had. Rich, sweet and oh so maple-y. The smell is absolutely intoxicating. Pure heaven. If you don’t have access to maple sugar, you can substitute it with either coconut sugar or regular sugar, but I recommend whirling it through a spice grinder or coffee grinder to get it a bit finer. I’m sure you could use brown sugar too.

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

A close up of the maple sugar.

  • 3 Tablespoons Pure Maple Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Ceylon Cinnamon

Measure out the maple sugar and cinnamon – then add it to a medium-large Ziploc bag. After the five minutes of setting in pan, remove the donuts and shake them in the cinnamon/sugar mix. I only had a small bag, so I did a couple at a time.

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

My little helper and taste tester patiently waiting for a donut!

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

RECIPE: Baked Coconut Pecan Mini Donuts with Cinnamon-Maple Sugar

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?!