No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Bites

SONY DSCYou aren’t going to believe these.  Truly.

Let’s just start with the fact that they involve only 5 simple ingredients.

And then lets discuss the fact that there is no cooking involved.  Or blending.  Or pureeing.  Or effort.  None.

SONY DSCAnd then let’s talk about how much more healthful they are than your typical store-bought white sugar packed peanut butter chocolate granola bars.

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Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies

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I’m in full recovery mode over here.  From a sleep-deprived, exhausting absolutely amazing weekend with family.  We headed down to my hometown in Iowa to celebrate something pretty darn major in my family.  My parents’ 50th wedding anniversary.  Can you handle it?  I can’t.  I can’t handle so much about it; how quickly time flies, how much they have accomplished in 50 years and, more than anything, how they define what marriage is all about.

I’ve told you before and I’ll tell you time and time again, friends, I am blessed to no end to have been brought up by these parents of mine.  Not because of how much they have done for me or how selfless of parents they are, but because of how they do it TOGETHER.  And so well.  Nick and I have enormous shoes to fill in that department; and from what my eyes have seen it all comes down to teamwork.  And empathy. And respect.  And simply learning that it isn’t all about ourselves and that it is okay to let things go and pick your battles-thank you, Mom and Dad, for teaching me all of these values by example.

So, needless to say, this weekend involved a lot of celebrating.  My five siblings, myself, spouses, 17 crazy-amazing grandchildren and some top notch aunts and uncles.  And as you are aware, in my family, celebrating and food tend to go hand in hand.  These Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Chunk cookies were one of my contributions to the  celebrating.  I’d say they were graciously accepted by all-there was not a morsel left of the double batch I made.   Continue reading

Oatmeal, Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chunk Cookies

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Oh guys.  Today has been quite the adventure.  Nothing like a two year old to keep things fresh and new.

First off, let me tell you that my intention of making these cookies this afternoon was to have them to take to the nurses when “go-time” finally arrives….which is looking like it could be any day now, by the way.  I mean, I had the BEST experience ever with the birth of my daughter with regard to the staff at the hospital…they were all just amazing and I love to be able to take treats to them just to let them know that they are appreciated.

Second, let me tell you that I may need you to remind me of how wonderful and easy and low-maitenance Georgia is.  I know Ive shared so many moments with you where I am just amazed at how this kid could be so simple to raise thus far..is there any way you could share those stories with me right this very minute?  I seem to have forgotten at the moment.

I put her down for her nap this afternoon and got started on these cookies.  She was playing in her bed for quite some time, reading books, which is normal for her before she falls asleep.  But each time I looked at the monitor I noticed she was standing on her bed, not sitting like she usually does.  Ah-ha!  Totally figured it out.  She pooped…I’d just go change her quick and shed be all set to get a nice snooze in..and I could get the cookies made, photos taken and then sit down to write.  I put my cookie madness aside and ran upstairs, grabbed a diaper and wipes and headed into her room.  And this is where the ease of this child tends to get a little blurry for me.  You guys.  I walked in to her standing there looking at me with those big eyes…and two HUGE, ENORMOUS, RIDICULOUSLY LARGE handfuls of poop.  She apparently dug in her diaper and thought it would be fun to not only get it all over her bedding but continue to look at books, play with her stuffed animals..the whole bit.  Her bed and everything in it was covered.  Ugh.  So I took her and just threw her in the shower, got her cleaned up the best I could and left her in the shower while I conquered her room.  God bless Clorox, Lysol and Oxyclean, people.

So after I got her room cleaned up, the first load of laundry in, and Georgia out of the shower and dressed I headed back down to finish these cookies.  Don’t worry, I washed my hands at least 457 times after I showered too 🙂

She is now sitting by me on the couch, with a warm cookie in her belly and a cup of milk and acting like nothing ever happened.  What a life.  And somehow, after writing this and venting to you..all I can think about is how much I love that little shit (no pun intended)

These cookies are perfect in every way…my personal favorite.  I adapted this recipe a bit from a monster cookie recipe a friend gave to my sister some years ago.  They are so chewy, so crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, so sweet, so nutty and they have just that tiny hint of salt that takes them over the edge of delicious.  I’m pretty sure the hospital staff wont be disappointed.  And I must admit they were worth the minor roadblock we encountered this afternoon 🙂

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Oatmeal, Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Notes:  If you do not have or prefer to use coconut sugar you can use half brown sugar and half white granulated sugar instead.  I prefer the taste of coconut sugar along with the fact that it is a more nutritious option.  Also, if you’d like to make this recipe 100% gluten free just substitute gluten free oats.

Ingredients

1 Stick Unsalted Butter, softened

1 3/4 Cup Coconut Sugar

3 Eggs

1 1/2 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter (preferably no sugar added)

2 Teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract

2 Teaspoons Baking Soda

3/4 Teaspoon Salt

4 1/2 Cups Quick Cook Oats

1 Cup Semi Sweet Chocolate Chunks

Directions

Preheat oven to 350.  In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer beat butter and sugar until combined.  Add eggs and beat until smooth.  Add peanut butter, vanilla, baking soda and salt and beat until completely combined, scraping the sides of the bowl if needed.  Add oats and mix until just combined.  Stir in chocolate chunks.  Using an ice cream scoop (about 2 tablespoons full)  drop dough 2 inches apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet and flatted slightly with the palm of your hand.  Bake 10-12 minutes.  Makes 40 cookies.

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

SONY DSCI have cherished this recipe for a couple of years now and I tell you we just don’t get sick of these treats.  They taste like a cross between banana bread and a chocolate chip cookie and they are as close to healthful as you can get for a “cookie”.  My husband, who could give any sweet fanatic a run for their money, devours theses every time I make them.  I, myself, love them because they are not overly sweet.  They don’t contain refined sugar or flour and It’s so gratifying to feed your family such a delicious sweet treat that you can feel good about.  SONY DSC

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Notes:  I often substitute almond meal for flax meal depending on what I have on hand.  Also, these cookies will not flatten out and rise like your “typical” cookie.  For the most part they will remain in the shape you’ve dropped them.

adapted from this recipe

Ingredients

2 Very Ripe Bananas, mashed (about 3/4 cup)

1/2 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce

2 Tablespoons Peanut Butter

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1/4 Cup Melted Coconut Oil or Butter

2 1/4 Cup Rolled Oats

2/3 Cup Flax Meal

1 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon

3/4 Teaspoon Salt

1 Teaspoon Baking Powder

3/4 Cup Chopped Dark Chocolate or Chocolate Chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a large bowl whisk together banana, applesauce, peanut butter, vanilla and coconut oil or butter.  In a medium bowl mix together oats, flax meal, cinnamon, salt and baking powder.  Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until mixed well.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Drop by tablespoonfulls onto prepared baking sheet about 1 inch apart.  Bake until cookies start to turn golden, about 18- 20 minutes.  Yeilds 2 dozen cookies.

Vanilla Spice Cookies

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I know, I know, this is not a “mom blog”.  But this little cookie date was too much wonderfulness not to share with all of you.  Below meet Hadley, my beyond dear friends adorable little lady.  We had a plan to head to the park but the weather was pure gloom so we made a cookie date out of it instead.   I think all were happy about the decision…including the mothers who have ingested 98.7% of the results.  I was going for a take on an animal cracker but calling these a cracker would be selling them far too short.  They are so simple tasting but so addictive; the hint of vanilla and spice are perfect and that tiny bit of salt hits you right at the end.  The plan was to make these into number shapes but we were working with two toddlers.  Who both liked stars.  Clearly the stars won, but any shape cookie cutters would do.  Such a fun treat.

The method is as simple as it gets.  Measuring the ingredients is the most difficult part

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And cutting out the shapes is the perfect job for the kiddos.  Look at that teamwork

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Tasting their blood, sweat and tears

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Taste test approved.  They were so good high fives were given

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Vanilla Spice Cookies

adapted from this recipe

note:  I chose to use gluten free flour in this recipe  but any all purpose flour would do.  Also, butter can be substituted for the coconut oil, so you would be using 1/4 cup total butter.  If you are using coconut oil you can zap it in the microwave for a couple seconds to melt it.

Ingredients

1 1/2 Cups Gluten Free Flour (xanthan gum included)

1/2 Cup Oats

1 Teaspoon Baking Powder

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg

1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1/2 Cup Sugar

1/4 Cup Melted Coconut Oil

4 Tablespoons Chilled Butter, cut into cubes

1 Teaspoon Vanilla

1 Large Egg

Directions

Preheat oven to 350.  Add flour, oats, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and sugar to the food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine.  Add butter and pulse until it is broken up into little pieces, about 10 pulses.  Add coconut oil, butter, vanilla and egg and pulse until a dough ball has formed.  Remove dough from processor, pat into a firm ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.  Remove from wrap, place on a floured surface and roll out until dough is about 1/4 inch thick.  Cut out shapes, place on a greased cookie sheet and bake 12-15 minutes or until bottoms are just golden.  Makes 45-55 cookies.

Hadley thanking Georgia for the fun morning.  And baby Will wondering how he got screwed out of the cookie deal

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Two words.  Heart Melting.  xo