Recipe: Fudge Monkey Cookies

fudge monkey cookies

I really like to create my own recipes, for a number of reasons. But high on the list of reasons is that then I get to name them anything I want! Isn’t that fun? These cookies are both delicious and my new fave, simply because they are named Fudge Monkey Cookies. They are a cross between banana bread and brownies. Seriously, who doesn’t want to eat a Fudge Monkey Cookie? I do!

Blog posts have been few and far between these last couple of weeks. Why? Because I’m madly working on the cookbook! Stay tuned!

Fudge Monkey Cookies

makes approx 2 dozen

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup raw sugar(or brown sugar)

2 bananas

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg

1 1/2 cups of spelt flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

3 tbs cocoa

1/2 cup oats

handful of chopped pecans

handful of dark chocolate chips

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add bananas, vanilla and egg and beat until blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl. In a small bowl mix together all the dry ingredients. Add to wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Stir in pecans and chocolate chips. Drop tbs full onto parchment and bake for 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Cookbook Preview: Toasted Coconut Cookies

toasted coconut cookies

Thought I’d break out a little cookbook recipe to share with you all this week! I love this beautiful picture Kristy-Anne took. Something about the light makes me hopeful for spring. Enjoy!

Toasted Coconut Cookies

makes approx 3 dozen

1 cup coconut flour

1 cup spelt flour

1 cup dried unsweetened flaked coconut

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup honey

1 egg

large handful of chocolate chips

 

Preheat oven to 350

Whisk dry ingredients together.

In a 2 cup measuring cup, stir together coconut oil, honey, and egg. Pour into dry ingredients and stir together. Add chocolate and stir. Drop teaspoons full of batter onto parchment lined baking sheets. Lightly pat down. The cookies will not spread hardly at all. Bake for 15 minutes until toasted looking.

 

Thoughts On: Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day! To everyone in love: may it only grow, may it ever change to properly embody you, may the sacrifices it requires be worth it every time. To everyone who longs to love: may you and love find each other, may the light of hope never dim, may your time from now until then be filled with lessons and experiences that need to be held alone. To everyone happily single: may there be rich friendships in your life, may there be chocolate and red wine.

I’m neither particularly jaded, nor particularly commercial about the whole thing. Each year, we take it as we come. Some years, Vday is a big deal, others, not so much. I am so blessed to  be married to someone who is thoughtful and romantic every day. Sexy Husband and I were away for work this weekend, the Girlies stayed with Grandma. So we ate some delicious food, saw some fabulous friends, and it was fun.

Valentine’s Day is, however, such a fun thing to celebrate with our little girls. We never turn down an opportunity to do things pink and lovey. We started the day with toast, cut into gingerbread men shapes and hearts. Always a hit. Then Picky Princess had her preschool Valentine’s Day party. Then we came home for a treasure hunt that involved following a pink Smartie trail around the house to find a treasure! Finally, we made some cookies(pink Smarties to use up!).

following a Smartie trail

the treasure: hand knit hearts with their names embroidered. These were made by Delilah & Co. They have the sweetest stuff, check them out at http://facebook.com/delilahtoys

If you would like to make these Oatmeal Smartie Heart Cookies, here’s how:

cookie dough

1. Make the dough from the Chewy Oatmeal Cookie recipe. Omit chocolate chips/pecans/coconut. Add Smarties.

2. Roll into a log in wax paper, about 3 inches in diameter. Freeze for at least 30 mins.

cookie dough log

3. Preheat oven to 350 and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut dough into 1 inch rounds. Squish into the shape of hearts. Bake for about 10 mins.

squished into hearts

For some reason my camera doesn’t seem to be working. So you get a photo tour of our day courtesy of Hipstamatic on my iPhone!

my little Valentines

Recipe: Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

oatmeal chocolate chip dough

The house is very very quiet. Picky Princess got new skates for Christmas from Grandma and Grandpa, so she and Sexy Husband are out in the chill skating. Foodie Baby is sleeping upstairs. The peacefulness brought a deep sense of….cookies. They were begging to be made!

My Little Family has been overwhelmingly gracious about being back to a life full of healthy food. I’ve barely heard a peep this week about meals featuring lentil salad, roasted kale, and bok choy. I know the peace will end soon; with pink cheeks begging for hot chocolate, giggling girls, piano practicing and the singing from the Studio that NEVER ends.

And I will greet the madness with…cookies.

chewy and easy

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

makes 3 dozen

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup coarse raw sugar(demerara) use brown sugar if you prefer

1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 cup spelt flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup oats

handful each of shredded coconut, pecans, chocolate chips (measure carefully ;)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 baking sheets with silpat or parchment paper. Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl with a wooden spoon. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until combined. Drop by teaspoon full onto baking sheets. Bake for about 12 minutes. They will be slightly golden on the bottom, and chewy in the middle.

How’s that for easy?

Foodie Baby approves

Recipe: Cinnamon Pinwheel Cookies

Cinnamon Pinwheel Cookies

It is a gorgeous, stunning, 21 degrees, sunshiney fall day! I cannot believe it’s November. I am so grateful for such a beautiful autumn. Christmas is next month!!! I wouldn’t believe it if it wasn’t for the fact that it’s THAT time of year again! You know which time?  Red Starbucks Cup time!!!! Truth be told, I drink Starbucks as a last resort(ok a second last resort to Tim Hortons). It is generic but consistent and I don’t hate it, it’s just…typical. But there is something about the red cups that just warms my heart. It’s become a seasonal icon of my generation. I don’t even EVER drink the seasonal Starbucks drinks! (somewhat because I don’t like sweetened coffee of any sort but mostly because I credit my 40lb weight gain whilst pregnant with Picky Princess, almost entirely to Starbucks egg nog lattes.) Never again. But when Sexy Husband brought me home an Americano in a red cup, I felt warm and quite possibly, festive.

So I whipped up this little recipe for some reasonably clean festive cookies. You know, there is a reason that Martha insists that cookie dough be chilled, and then rolled and then chilled and then cut and then chilled and then baked. Most the time I have to ignore at least a couple of those steps because I don’t have time to sit inside all day as if baking pretty cookies is my only task of the day. And this pinwheel cookie recipe is the type of dough that I totally should have chilled for longer. But I didn’t. Because Picky Princess was too excited about them to make her wait, and, like I said, it’s 21 degrees outside so we have big plans for the park. So they didn’t turn out to be quite as pretty as pinwheel cookies can be. But they are delicious, and autumnish, and barely indulgent. So give them a try!

Cinnamon Pinwheel Cookies

Makes about a dozen

1 1/4 cups spelt flour

1/4 tsp baking soda

pinch of coarse sea salt (don’t skip this, really adds a nice zing to the cookies)

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

1/2 cup raw cane sugar (or brown sugar if you prefer)

1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla

Filling:

1/2 cup dates

1/2 cup sliced almonds

2 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

Sift flour, baking soda and salt together into a large bowl. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together until creamy, 2 minutes, scraping down sides as needed. Add egg and vanilla, beat until combined. Reduce speed to low and add in flour mixture. Collect dough into a ball, wrap in plastic and chill until solid, one hour or so.

Remove from fridge. On a lightly floured parchment papered surface, roll out dough into a large rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick. Return rectangle to freezer while you make the filling. For filling, combine dates, nuts and cinnamon in a food processor and process until it is small crumbly pieces. Sprinkle this over the rectangle of dough. Carefully roll the dough up into a long tube. Cute dough into 1 inch circles, lay on silicone or parchment covered baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until starting to turn golden. Remove and let cool(if you can). Enjoy!

***tip – to speed up chill time, put dough in the freezer for a while instead of fridge, dough can be made one day ahead and chilled overnight***

Think Fresh: Cranberries

cinnamon cranberry cookies

IronSister mentioned to me the other day that apparently it has been a very good year for fresh cranberries! Who knew? Today I was out and about and saw some and thought I would buy them and put them to use somehow. I have envisioned roasted portabellos with cranberry salsa, and apple cranberry pie. Being forever weak to all things pretty, I find their jewel like quality and tart-fresh taste nearly irresistible. Fresh cranberries barely even seem related to the sweetened dried version of themselves. Fresh cranberries pack an enormous amount of vitamin C and fibre. They have flavonoids known to be anti-cancer agents and they have anti-adhesion properties, which stop bacteria from clinging to the inside of the body(most commonly used to prevent bacteria clinging to the inside of the bladder). 95% of harvested cranberries, are used for juices, dried cranberries and canned cranberries. Only 5% are sold fresh. They are healthy and pretty and make beautiful accents to a festive table, frozen, in place of ice cubes, roasted on skewers, garnishing drinks etc.

Picky Princess and I decided to do some baking to use some of our fresh cranberries. We invented this delicious cookie recipe. They are reasonably healthy, quick to make, and make the house smell like…autumn. We hope you enjoy them!

Cinnamon Cranberry Cookies

makes 3 dozen small cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/3 of a brick of cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup of raw sugar

1/3 cup of agave nectar

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg

1 tsp finely grated orange peel

1.5 cups spelt flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tbs cinnamon

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/2 cup fresh cranberries, quartered

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. Beat together butter, cream cheese and sugar. Beat until fluffy. Beat in agave nectar, egg, vanilla and orange peel,until well combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Stir in almonds and cranberries. Drop by teaspoons-full onto parchment lined baking sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until edges are turning golden.

Enjoy!

Thoughts On: Cooking with Kids

 

my best little helpers making cookies

 

Today, Picky Princess had her little friend Sweet Hanna over for a playdate! In between playing, I had them help make lunch so that we could give you some new ideas for healthy lunches that your kids can help make! I’m a firm believer in including my kids in the cooking/baking/preparing process of meals, whenever possible. I try to make meal time fun and full of quality time and important life lessons about gratitude, caring for each other and community.

We started by making some cookies. I used the easiest recipe in. the. world. Adapted from Clean Eating Magazine’s Almond Butter Cookie Recipe. (see below). Because it’s all of 5 ingredients in one bowl, they girls stirred while I poured and we had batter ready in about 3 minutes.

 

cheese toast faces

 

 

quite proud of their creative cuteness

 

Next, the girls decorated cheese toast with some vegetables to make funny faces. They giggled and happily decorated! We used red peppers for smiles, arugula for hair, and olives for eyes. I cannot believe Picky Princess ate ARUGULA!

 

yogurt sundaes

 

While the cheese toast toasted, Sweet Hanna and Picky Princess made themselves a first course of yogurt sundaes. This was a HIT! The fact that they got to put anything they wanted on their own yogurt made them particularly enthusiastic to eat it!

 

Little Sister Nola

 

Sweet Hanna’s Little Sister Nola even got to make her own sundae. She’s only two but was happy to be included in meal prep fun!

 

Foodie Baby

 

And of course, I couldn’t leave Foodie Baby out.

I did minimal prep ahead of time, the girls cooked, ate, and cleaned up in 30 minutes. Sometimes we leave our kids out of the fun because we think it will all take a bit too long, are rushed, or stressed. But it’s amazing how helpful they can be when they are empowered to participate. Obviously I don’t include Picky Princess in every meal I make, but when there’s an easy meal, or tasks perfect for little fingers, I definitely try to include her(even if it means 2 minutes of extra clean up time)!

Recipe: Almond Butter Cookies

1 cup almond butter(I prefer crunchy)

1/2 cup succanat or cane sugar

1 egg

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 heaping tbs flour(I use spelt)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350. Stir all ingredients in a bowl. Drop by tbs full onto parchment lined baking sheet. Bake until barely set, 8-10 minutes. Let cool slightly, enjoy! (ok seriously, how easy is that?) (I have also been known to add the odd square of dark chocolate to the tops of these cookies.)

Thank you to my friend Danielle for lending me her adorable girls!

Recipe: Chocolate Coconut Haystacks

quickest cookies ever

Scenario: 8:30pm, babies in bed after a long day, home alone, craving chocolate. What’s a girl to do? Time for a new healthy cookie recipe!

This is my evening! So I called up my neighbor/bff and ask her about her delicious haystack cookies. She gave me the recipe and with a few teensy tweaks…voila! A healthy cookie with no flour, no sugar, and gluten free (as long as you use GF oats). Yummy and start to finish 10 minutes! I am currently getting chocolate fingerprints on my MacBook.

Also, if being yummy wasn’t simply enough, these cookies also win the prize for least-destruction-to-the-kitchen. This is kind of a big deal in my house. Sexy Husband is practically perfect in every way. He is thoughtful, completely responsible, an AMAZING Daddy, Sexy(obviously), and, believe it or not, the cleanest man who ever did live. Now some people (of course not me, never me) might say that his cleanliness borders on obsessive. I for one, am not going to complain that he is so largely involved in the keeping the house clean process. AND it must mean that he just really loves me that much more that he lets my random hobby and business be about how much of a disaster I can turn the kitchen into. (I honestly think if it wasn’t for the fact that he can EAT the output, he wouldn’t be impressed. Thank God I don’t scrapbook). He spends hours(not exaggerating) washing dishes. I adore him.  Not much mess from these cookies however. The dirty dish count for this project was….1 spoon, 1 pot. Impressive. So…you should make them.

Chocolate Coconut Haystacks

Directions:

In a medium pot, over medium heat, melt 1/4 cup of butter. Stir in 1/2 cup of coconut milk, 1/2 cup of honey, 4 tbs cocoa(I use and highly recommend Cocoa Camino which is organic and fair trade and such good quality), 1 tsp vanilla. Once combined, stir in 1 1/2 cups oats and 1/2 cup of shredded unsweetened coconut. Stir until oats and coconut are coated with chocolate mixture. Remove from heat and drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper. Let cool. Enjoy.

***Tracey, smart and beautiful neighbor puts the zest of one orange in hers, making them extra grown up and fabulous.***

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 91 other followers