Chocolate Dipped Almond Butter Cookies

When I started baking these almond butter cookies I had every intention of keeping this recipe super healthy for Max’s afternoon snack. But then I got to thinking, what is nut butter without chocolate?

almond butter cookies

We all know and love the classic combination of peanut butter and chocolate but trust me, almond butter and chocolate is just as delicious. I have been known to dip a piece of dark chocolate in the jar of almond butter late at night. I see these cookies as a more socially acceptable take on that habit. And just as delicious!

These cookies are super easy to throw together with only a handful of ingredients that you most likely already have in your pantry. And since there are so few ingredients they are healthy! Healthy fat from the almond butter, wholesome goodness from the whole wheat flour and just a kiss of sweetness from honey. I opted to make these with almond butter but you can easily use any nut butter. However, you may need to improvise with the amount of flour to achieve the correct dough consistency. Some nut butters are a bit more runny than others. But I’m sure anything you do will still be delicious – you can’t lose with this ingredient list!

almond butter cookies

And finally, I strongly suggest doubling the amount of chocolate and coconut oil as a dip. Having extra chocolate is never a bad thing and after you are done dipping your almond butter cookies start dipping everything else! Pretzels, marshmallows, fruit, graham crackers…. Or pour it over ice cream for a magic shell.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup almond butter
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 teaspoons honey
1 egg white
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon coconut oil

Combine all ingredients – almond butter through egg white – in a medium bowl. Mix until well combined. Roll dough into  about 12 two inch balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Press each dough ball lightly with a fork to make the cross hatch pattern and bake for about 8 minutes. Let cool completely on the cookie sheet.

almond butter cookies

While the cookies cool, combine the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments until melted, stirring frequently.

Once the chocolate is melted and the cookies are cooled, dip each cookie in the chocolate and let rest on the parchment paper. You may want to put the cookies in the fridge so the chocolate sets faster.

almond butter cookies

Enjoy!

Chocolate Coconut Cookies

I love having cookies around the house to dunk in tea or to have as a little afternoon pick-me-up. The problem with keeping cookies around though is that I eat them, all. So my solution is to make healthy-ish cookies that scratches my cookie itch but is a little less guilt inducing. These particular chocolate cookies are full of whole wheat and use less butter and sugar than most while still being full of chocolatey coconut goodness. I classify this one as a win-win!

Chocolate Cookies

You can easily substitute the coconut with toasted nuts, more chocolate or even peanut butter chips! Really, anything that goes well with chocolate is begging to be mixed into this cookie dough. I may try pistachios next. And more chocolate.

Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4  teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons apple sauce
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1/2 cup chocolate chips *I prefer mini chocolate chips 
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut

Pre-heat over 350 degrees and prep baking sheet.
Begin by combining your dry ingredients, through salt, in a medium bowl and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, blend butter, apple sauce and sugars until combined. Add vanilla and egg. Slowly add in dry ingredients, chocolate and coconut until just combined. Drop batter onto prepared baking sheet a few inches apart. Bake cookies for 12 to 14 minutes or until edges begin to crisp. Cool on a cooling rack.
 Chocolate Cookies
Enjoy!

Biscotti Two Ways

To say life has been stressful these past few weeks would be an understatement. So when I found myself craving biscotti I was not too surprised. When life gets hectic there is nothing better than sitting down, or standing at the kitchen counter, and dipping biscotti into a cup of tea. Or if shit really hits the fan I dip them in wine – don’t judge!

And since I can never make up my mind, I went with two half batches of my favorite biscotti recipe – one chocolate and one cinnamon… and chocolate. I don’t believe a dessert is a dessert if it doesn’t include some chocolate. But the greatest thing about this recipe is that you can easily adapt it depending on your craving! I’ve done triple chocolate, cinnamon raisin, pumpkin spice…. You get the idea.

Biscotti

Almond and Coconut Chocolate Biscotti
Ingredients:
¾ cup whole wheat flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ cup cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
½ cup sliced almonds
½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
2 tablespoons butter, softened
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 egg

Cinnamon and Dark Chocolate Chip Biscotti
Ingredients:
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup dark chocolate chunks
½ cup cinnamon chips
1 tablespoon butter, softened
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 egg

Once you have your ingredients squared away both recipes play out the same. Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together your dry ingredients and mix-ins (chocolate chunks, almonds, coconut etc.) in a bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until the dough just comes together.

Turn the dough out on a floured surface and form into a flattened loaf – about an inch or so thick.

Biscotti

Bake loaves for 20 minutes then let the loaves cool for at least 15 minutes. Do not skip the cooling step!

Biscotti

Slice loaves at a diagonal into ½ inch slices using a serrated knife. If the loaves are not cool enough they will crumble as you cut them. And no one wants crumbly biscotti!

BiscottiArrange slices on a baking sheet and bake four minutes on each side. Let cool completely before eating.

Enjoy!

Biscotti

Breakfast Cake…. Cake for Breakfast!

I am on a dessert for breakfast kick. And before you judge me for eating brownies with my morning coffee – though I have done that in the past – I’ve transformed cake into wholesome and filling breakfast. Yes, cake. The bananas, whole wheat and oatmeal make this a great breakfast option while the fact that its cake makes it just plain fun. Top a slice with some almond butter and chocolate chips or dip in your coffee as is. Any day is a good day when it starts with a slice of a cake!

Breakfast banana cake
Ingredients
1 ½ cups quick oats*
1 cups whole wheat flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon melted butter
2 large egg whites
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mashed banana, about 2 medium
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons honey
¼ cup milk
Optional add-ins – almonds, coconut, chocolate chips, dried fruit… anything!

*If you only have regular oats, simply toss them in the food processor and give it a few pulses to break them up a bit. This will help them absorb the liquid while baking.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9″x9″ pan with nonstick spray.

Combine all dry ingredients in a medium bowl – oats through salt – and set aside. In a second bowl combine the remaining ingredients except milk. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients and milk, alternating like you would with a real cake batter.

At this point you can add in any of your additional add-ins.

Spread the batter in your pan and bake for about 23 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely in the pan before slicing.

breakfast cake

Enjoy!

Espresso and Almond Banana Bread

Weekends are for banana bread in my house. There is something about the smell of freshly baked banana bread that feels so warm and comforting. And since I am usually the first up on Saturday mornings I take the time to bake and use my French press for a good cup of coffee. So by the time my husband and son are up – the house smells like fresh bread and I’ve already enjoyed my coffee in a quiet kitchen. I get some alone time and they have fresh banana bread – we’ll my husband does since my son doesn’t have enough teeth yet.

The below banana bread recipe is actually healthy. The banana and apple sauce replace the need for oil and the butter is cut down to reduce the fat even further. But this bread by no means tastes healthy. And I like to add the espresso powder for some extra flavor.

And on a side note – this is amazing warmed up with some ice cream on top. Just saying!

Banana Bread

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon instant expresso powder
3 bananas, mashed
1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
2 tablespoon butter, softened
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2  cup almonds, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a loaf pan.

Sift together flour, baking soda, salt and expresso powder in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and brown sugar together. Add bananas, apple sauce, egg whites and vanilla. Slowly add in flour mixture and almonds. Mix until just combined.

Banana Bread

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake 45 minutes. The bread will be done if a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle.

IMG_5201

Enjoy!

 

Cowboy Cookies

These are the kind of cookies I dream about with a giant glass of milk. These are not fancy cookies, they are not multi-day creations. They are simple, delicious and remind me of what a cookie should be. Soft, crunchy, buttery, chocolately…
And I tell myself the oats and almonds makes them healthy.

cowboy cookies

cowboy cookies

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup quick oats
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 chopped almonds

Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.

Begin by creaming the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, mixing until combined.

In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Slowly add into the wet mixer and mix until just combined. Mix in the oats, chocolate chips and nuts.

cowboy cookies

Drop tablespoon sized balls of dough on a prepped baking sheet. Be sure to place the dough a few inches apart – these will spread a bit.

IMG_4188

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.

cowboy cookies

This recipe should make about 3 dozen cookies – if you don’t eat too much of the dough like I do.

Enjoy!

Strawberry S’mores and Peanut Butter S’mores

S’mores are one of my all-time favorite desserts and luckily for me we usually have everything on hand to make them. And while the classic graham cracker, chocolate and marshmallow combination is delicious – I like to mix mine up. In place of a fancy dessert this New Years Eve we made two kinds of s’mores, peanut butter and strawberry.

You can of course make any combo you’d like – PB&J, cinnamon and chocolate chips, cinnamon sugar, bacon (my husband’s suggestion), apple pie….

s'mores

Note, this is what happens when you have a fussy baby and can’t go out to a party. You get excited about something as simple as s’mores and cheap champagne.

And if you are talking about s’mores…

Ingredients:
4 sheets graham crackers
4 marshmallows
1/2 dark chocolate chocolate chips (this is what we had on hand)
2 sliced strawberries
2 tablespoons peanut butter

Set your oven to broil.

On a baking sheet lined with foil, layout the graham cracker halves. Four halves with marshmallows and the other four with the chocolate or peanut butter combo you prefer.

s'mores

Set the baking sheet under the broiler until the marshmallows have turned golden and the chocolate begins to melt. Pull from the oven and assemble the s’mores – don’t forget the sliced strawberries!

s'mores

Enjoy!

Almond Cookies

We are only a few days away from Christmas and I decided to begin my baking a few days early. The first recipe is always my husband’s favorite – almond cookies. This recipe comes from my his aunt and he requests at least one batch every Christmas. Which I don’t mind since they are so easy to make and only take a few pantry staples. The original recipe calls for pecans – but I prefer the taste of almonds a bit more. I am guessing you can use any nuts you have on hand and it will still be delicious. It is powdered sugar and butter after all…

almond cookies, gingerlife, cookies

You will also notice my attempt to decorate sugar cookies. Clearly my decorating could use some improvement – but this dough recipe works every time!

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 powder sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1 cup finely chopped almonds (use the food processor – its easier!)
Powder sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Begin by beating butter in the bowl of a stand mixer until smooth, about two minutes. Add powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Then slowly add the flour and mix until just combined. Lastly, add the almonds.

The dough will look very dry and coarse, but as the butter softens it will hold together.

almond cookies, gingerlife, cookies

Shape dough into small rounds, about 1 1/2 inches wide.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 – 22 minutes. While they are still warm, roll in or dust with the extra powdered sugar.

almond cookies, gingerlife, cookies

almond cookies, gingerlife, cookies

Enjoy!

On a side note, how amazing do this ombre icing look?!? This was dumb luck.

On a side note, how amazing do this ombre icing look?!? This was dumb luck.