Category Archives: Cookies

Mocha Almond Fudge Cookies

I’ve been at home for four weeks now and our oven is STILL non-functional. It takes a while for things to get fixed around our house. 🙂 The toaster oven has served me pretty well, but it’s just not efficient for baking a large batch of cookies. Somehow I’d managed to avoid baking a single batch of cookies for nearly a month!

But on Saturday afternoon, I had a serious cookie craving that just could’t be ignored. Also, I had saved a recipe for these Mocha Almond Fudge cookies a couple of months ago and I couldn’t get them off my mind! If a recipe has chocolate + coffee involved, I am ALL over it. 🙂

It took about six batches, and nearly an hour to bake up all the dough, but these cookies were definitely worth the hassle. The cookies are wonderfully soft and fudgey when still warm from the oven, and the delicious crunch from the toasted almonds have them rivaling Cappucino Cookies as one of my top 5 favorite cookies ever!

Although the cookies are fabuous, I like the raw cookie dough even better! It tastes EXACTLY like the mocha almond fudge ice cream from Baskin Robbins. I’m a little ashamed to admit how much raw dough I ate while baking, but let’s just say there could have been another tray of cookies if I’d practiced some more self-control. 🙂

Mocha Almond Fudge Cookies

Source: slightly adapted from How Sweet It Is

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup lightly brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 heaping tablespoons instant coffee powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup chopped almonds
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips
Directions
1. Place chopped almonds and cinnamon in a saucepan and toast over low-medium heat, shaking pan occasionally. This should take no more than 10 minutes.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, instant coffee, baking soda, and salt.
3. In a separate bowl, cream butter, sugar, and eggs until light and fluffy. Add flour mixture and mix until combined. Fold in toasted almonds and chocolate chips.
4. Refrigerate dough for 2-4 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
5. Roll chilled dough into 1-inch balls and place on baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes in preheated oven. Cool cookies on wire rack.
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Maple Almond Butter Cookies

I feel like I always have a latest obsession, and this time, it’s nut butter. I’ve always liked it, but now I am seriously crazy about the stuff! I drizzle it on oatmeal, spread it on bread, blend it into smoothies, and I like to bake with it, too. But my most favorite way to enjoy nut butter is straight out of the jar with a spoon. 🙂

I grew up eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches practically every day, but my favorite of all nut butters is almond butter. The first time I tried it, I was still in elementary school, but I clearly remember the freshly ground almond butter being so warm and nutty and delicious. Then proceeding to eat huge globs of it on my afternoon snack of apple slices. 🙂

It was love at first taste, and since then I’ve been eating it almost daily. I’ve even made my own almond butter (and peanut butter and sunflower seed butter) in my food processor. You would think that I’d be sick of it by now, but if anything, I love it even more! Whenever I’m at the grocery store, I make a beeline for the nut butter shelves (after the baking aisle though, of course!).

I don’t know what it is about nut butter, but I can’t seem to get enough of it! And I don’t think my obsession is going to wear off anytime soon. This is going to make me sound like a total dork, but my goal is to try every single nut/seed butter out there by the end of this year – walnut, pecan, cashew, hazelnut etc., etc., etc.

When I was at Whole Foods last weekend, I picked up a pack of Justin’s Maple Almond Butter to sample, and I absolutely loved it! I made sure to squeeze every last drop out of the packet. 🙂 The maple syrup and almond butter combo is a winner, and I had the PERFECT recipe to try it out in!

These maple almond butter cookies were really, REALLY good. Out of all the healthier cookie recipes that I’ve tried, these are definitely the best. I didn’t miss the lack of butter or sugar in the recipe at all! Plus, it’s the perfect excuse to eat cookies for breakfast! 🙂

Maple Almond Butter Cookies

Source: slightly adapted from Sweet and Natural

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup creamy almond butter
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a large bowl, combine almond butter, maple syrup, oil, vanilla extract and almond extract and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.

3. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Fold in chopped almonds. Let sit for 5 minutes.

4. Roll heaping tablespoons of dough into balls and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Flatten slightly to about 1/3 of an inch. Bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes.

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Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies

Happy Monday!! This is an especially happy Monday because it’s the last one of the semester. In just two days, I will be done with my last final, and completely done with undergrad! During the 1.5 weeks until graduation, I plan to sleep lots, bake all day and every day, and QUIT DRINKING SO MUCH COFFEE.

I’ve always been a tea drinker, but over the past year, I’ve become increasingly dependent on coffee. I typically drink a HUGE cup in the morning, a small cup at work, and a HUGE cup after dinner. And as if I wasn’t getting enough caffeine already, I supplement my execessive coffee intake by overdosing on tea. 🙂

I’m going to take baby steps, and start out by pouring myself a little less coffee each morning and having tea instead of coffee in the evenings. Then I’ll work on trying to cut my afternoon cup completely. I know I should probably reduce my tea intake too, but that’s going to be a little more difficult since I love the stuff so much! 🙂

Even though I have multiple cups of tea per day, I guess that’s not enough, because I love incorporating it in my desserts, too. I like it in my ice cream, cake, and cookies! The only tea that I’ve baked with so far is matcha (green tea) though, so yesterday I decided to use one of my other favorite teas – Earl Grey!

My friend Angelina mentioned something about Earl Grey shortbread a longgg time ago and it’s been in the back of my mind ever since. I finally decided to try them out last night, and they were even better than I had imagined! Crisp, delicate, and buttery, with just a hint of Earl Grey flavor. The most PERFECT shortbread cookies ever!

For maximum enjoyment, use cookie cutters to make the shortbread into fun shapes and have a nice big cup of Earl Grey tea on the side! 🙂

Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies

Source: Claire Robinson

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons loose Earl Grey tea leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

Directions

1. Combine flour, tea and salt in a food processor, and pulse until tea is just spotted throughout flour. Add confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and butter, and pulse again until dough forms.

2. Place dough on a sheet of plastic wrap, and roll into a log about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Cover tightly with the plastic wrap, and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

4. Slice log into 1/3-inch disks and place on prepared baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake in preheated oven for about 12 minutes, until edges are just brown. Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature.

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Nutty Apple Spice Muffies

The world seems like SUCH a better place now that I am eating sugar again! Okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but I love being able to eat whatever I want and not have to restrict myself from my favorite food group! 🙂

I got a little too excited about eating sugar again though, and had way too much gelato, cheesecake, and doughnuts at a school event earlier this week. It was blissful. 🙂 The sugar high actually made me feel kind of sick afterwards, but it was worth it!

I think I will take it easy with sugar from now on, though. As much as I love sugar, I don’t want to revert back to my old habits of eating multiple servings of dessert a day or substituting dessert foods for meals altogether.

Even though Lent is over (thank goodness!), I’m still going to bake with no added sugar from time to time. I made a batch of sugar-free nutty apple spice muffies yesterday, and they were sooo yummy! I call these “muffies” because they look like cookies, but they are more like muffins in taste and texture.

I think my tastebuds have become accustomed to the taste of naturally sweetened desserts because the muffies tasted so much better to me than all the sugary treats I indulged in this week. They are addictively good. I singlehandedly devoured half the batch in less than 24 hours. Oh well, at least they’re healthy, right? 🙂

Nutty Apple Spice Muffies

Source: adapted from Kat’s Health Corner

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease two baking sheets.

2. Place walnuts, almonds, oats, and raisins in a food processor and process until a coarse meal forms. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and combine with baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.

4. Add applesauce and vanilla to dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.

5. Drop heaping tablespoons of batter onto prepared baking sheets, spacing about 1 1/2 inches apart, and flatten slightly into a cookie shape.

6. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until bottoms are lightly browned. Cool muffies on baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

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Cocoa Date Cookies

The last four recipes that I have posted on this blog have featured oatmeal. I am a huge oatmeal fanatic, so I don’t think I could EVER get tired of it. My suitemates have probably had enough of the oatmeal overload though, so I decided to leave oats out of my baked treats this time. 🙂

Although I have cut out added sugar from my diet, I can still enjoy foods that are naturally sweet. I’ve been cooking bananas into my oatmeal, munching on frozen grapes (SO GOOD!), and eating a TON of fresh fruit at every meal to please my sugar-crazy palate. 

Sometimes, if I’m feeling super lazy and want something sweet to eat, I just pop a couple of dates in my mouth. I have a huge container of dates handy in the fridge for whenever a sugar craving strikes. 🙂

The cookies that I made last night use dates for sweetness (brilliant!), and also include cinnamon (my latest obsession!), pecans (love the crunch!), and chocolate (one of my favorite foods!). Can you tell that I’m pretty much in love with these cookies? 🙂

This is by far the best sugar-free recipe that I have tried so far. These cookies are moist, chewy, and SO delicious!They also completely oil-free, and made with whole wheat flour, so they are a great healthy indulgence. I’m definitely going to be making these A LOT over the next few weeks.

Even though these cocoa date cookies are pretty spectacular, I’d give anything to sink my teeth into one of  these right now. 🙂

Cocoa Date Cookies

Source: adapted from Food.com

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup pitted dates, packed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and pecans. Set aside.

3. Place dates, eggs, water, and vanilla in a food processor. Process until combined, then blend in cocoa powder. Pour mixture into dry ingredients and mix well.

4. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place on prepared baking sheet. Flatten slightly with a water glass.

5. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

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Oatmeal Raisin Walnut Cookies

There are currently three boxes of Girl Scout cookies sitting on our kitchen counter,  ice cream in the freezer, cereal on top of the refrigerator, and Craisins in the cupboard. All foods that I can’t eat until after Easter due to the added sugar. The kitchen is a major temptation zone!

But cutting sugar out of my diet has been a positive experience so far. Over the past few months, I’d noticed that I had become addicted to sugar. I had some form of added sugar at nearly every meal, and I relied on it to get me through the day. If I didn’t have sugar, I would feel sluggish and cranky, and I’d think about it CONSTANTLY until I got my hands on something sweet to eat!

My sugar intake had become quite excessive, which is why I made the decision to fast from it during this Lent season. I haven’t had any sugar for about a week and a half, and I’ve realized that I really don’t NEED it. My body actually feels so much better without it!

The only time it’s really hard not to throw in the towel and devour a whole box of samoas is when my suitemates and I are drinking tea or coffee after dinner. I just try to pretend like it’s no big deal when they are eating cookies or ice cream and nibble on some fruit or homemade larabars (minus the chocolate chips).

I’ve also been trying to bake some desserts with no added sugar, like these oatmeal raisin walnut cookies, which are sweetened only with pureed raisins. They were actually really tasty! Of course, they can’t beat my mom’s oatmeal cookies, but they are definitely a great option if you are looking for a sugar-free dessert.

I think these cookies would also be awesome with other dried fruit and nuts. Next time, I’m going to use dried cherries and almond meal with a splash of almond extract in place of the raisins, walnuts, and spices. Doesn’t that sound delicious? I can’t wait to try it out! 🙂

Oatmeal Raisin Walnut Cookies

Source: adapted from Little House in the Suburbs

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups walnuts, finely ground
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups golden raisins
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Lightly toast the rolled oats in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant. Place toasted oats into a food processor and process to a coarse flour.  Transfer oat flour to a large bowl and combine with ground walnuts, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt.

3. Place raisins in food processor and process until a thick paste forms. Blend in melted butter and egg. Pour mixture into dry ingredients and mix well.

4. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place on prepared baking sheet. Flatten slightly with bottom of a water glass. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

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Green Tea White Chocolate Chip Cookies

After three wonderful days in Boston, a spontaneous one-day detour to New Jersey, and over 20 hours in the car, we got back to Cleveland late Wednesday night. Although I was a little sad to come back to Cleveland, I am glad to be getting more sleep, working out, and eating oatmeal again. And blogging, of course! 🙂

We had such a lovely time touring Boston, catching up with old friends, and eating delicious food! This was one of those trips that I am SO glad we took. It was so much fun!

Even the long hours in the car were really enjoyable and the time seemed to fly by. Of course, good company, good music, frequent breaks, and lots of yummy snacks definitely helped. 🙂

I originally planned on baking some cappuccino cookies for the road trip, but at the last minute I decided to try something new instead! I swapped out the instant coffee for some green tea powder and used all white sugar instead of half white and half brown.

The end result was fabulous! The cookies had a really nice green tea flavor, which balanced out the sweetness from the sugar and white chocolate chips. I like them almost as much as the original cappuccino cookies and I ended up eating practically half the batch all by myself! 🙂

Green Tea White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Source: adapted from Joy the Baker

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons green tea powder (matcha)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and green tea powder. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together butter, and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Stop the mixer and use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add egg, egg yolk, and vanilla  extract, and beat on medium speed until mixture is fluffy, about 1-2 minutes.

3. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and beat on low speed until just combined. Fold in the white chocolate chunks or chips with a spatula. Cover dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 45 minutes.

4. Place racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

5. Scoop heaping tablespoonfuls of cookie dough onto the prepared baking pans, spacing them about 1 1/2-2 inches apart. Bake in preheated oven for about 12 minutes, until edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven, and allow cookies to cool on pans for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

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