• Dairy Free,  Dessert,  Recipe,  Snacks,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Sea Salt & Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies (Vegan)

    If I ever run out of new ways to reinvent the chocolate chip cookie I’ll probably have to stop blogging all together. Like “Let’s pack it up guys my work’s done here.”

    But seriously, these are gonna be a popular addition to my chocolate chip cookie recipe collection. If you haven’t noticed I’ve created a few. Lol.๐Ÿช๐Ÿช๐Ÿช๐Ÿช

    This is one if f those times where I had a random idea that I just needed to make as soon as possible. You know, like those great ideas you get in the middle of the night or in the shower. Well, this was one of those. Besides, sea salt and tahini just sound so good in the same title with chocolate. At least I think so anyway.

    So regardless of names, you simply need to try these cookies. I personally am always in the mood to bake. It’s my happy place and it’s always a great way to relieve stress or just share something delicious with friends and family. I’m excited to know what you think about these cookies so be sure to let me know!

     

    Sea Salt & Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies (Vegan)

    Take a traditional chocolate chip cookie and give it a little something new. These cookies have the most pleasant balance of sweet, nutty, and of course salty!

    Prep Time 20 minutes
    Cook Time 20 minutes
    Total Time 40 minutes
    Servings 28 - 30 cookies

    Ingredients

    • 1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
    • 1/4 cup coconut cream *see note
    • 2 tablespoons plain non-dairy yogurt
    • 3/4 cup organic granulated sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    • 1 1/4 cups dairy free semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
    • 2 tablespoons course sea salt

    Instructions

    1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). Cream tahini, coconut cream, yogurt, and sugar together in bowl of stand mixer (or with hand mixer). Scrape sides of bowl and add vanilla, soda, and salt. Add flour one cup at a time and beat after each addition but just until combined. You really want to try to mix/handle this dough as little as possible for the best results on your final cookies. (If you are using a hand mixer you may have to hand stir the last cup of flour into the dough.) Stir in chocolate and line a cookie sheet with parchment.

    2. Roll into golf-sized balls and place about 2 inches apart on baking sheet. Press the cookies down into discs and sprinkle lightly with desired amount of sea salt (Tip: if you don't want to use course salt you can try just giving them a light sprinkle of table salt.)

    3. Bake for 8 - 9 minutes until edges just start to turn golden brown. (The trick for making these the best is to keep them light and soft so that the retain the super chewy texture.) Remove from oven and cool for about 5 minutes before moving to cooling rack.

    Recipe Notes

    If you have trouble finding coconut cream at your local grocery store it's completely fine to use full-fat coconut milk and scrape the cream off of the top. Just be sure that it's cold enough to separate.

  • Dairy Free,  Dessert,  Gluten Free,  Recipe,  Snacks,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Chocolate Covered Almond Butter Eggs (Vegan+GF)

    Did you hear that Easter is going to be on April 1st this year?

    So I know I’ve been told more than once how the date for Easter is determined each year. I got it, there’s a method, but honestly, wouldn’t it be easier and so much less confusing to just stick to one day for it? Well, that’s obviously not happening anytime soon so I’m going to have to just get over it.

    Some of you probably already know that I’ve only been back in the States since the beginning of last Summer. It’s so so nice to be back in the seasons I’m so used to rather than going into Autumn right now. I’ve always loved the holiday traditions and the smells and tastes that come with Springtime so having the seasons all switched around on me was really hard to get over (Haha, as any of you who’ve been following for a while would know by all the complaining I did.)

    It’s a tiny bit strange though, because I did finally get used to it being opposite so having Spring and Easter back together is throwing me off. Hey, but I’m definitely not complaining about that. it’s just that this is the first Easter I’ve been able to plan fun Springtime foods around in a long time. Whereas, the last many years I was thinking up cozy recipes for my family, now I get to join in all the fresher food fun and get excited about warmer weather, yes!

    Anyway, like I said, it’s been a while since I’ve spent an Easter Stateside, so I kinda forgot about all the variety of candies and decorations and stuff. Easter was probably one of the most highly celebrated holidays while I lived in Chile, but because the culture there is so heavily Catholic, it’s more of a religious thing than the commercialized, candy-filled extravaganza it is in the US. Please understand that I’m not trying to knock either culture, just stating the difference because I can appreciate them both now.

    Eh hem, but back to the candy, I was at the store perusing the Easter aisle this past week trying to see if anything struck a note of inspiration and, I don’t know if this is because I’m getting old, but all the sour candies and brightly colored fruit sweets were so unappealing. Yeah, I remember as a little kid never understanding why my parents didn’t really like sour candy, but now I completely understand. It’s just like “what’s the point?” when you have chocolate on the table, you know what I mean?

    I’d say one of the only candies that does still tempt me are Reese’s peanut butter eggs. I know, I know, they’re so not the greatest choice, but they’re so good, you know? Hey, but have you tried Justin’s organic peanut butter cups? I’m not advertising for them or anything, I’ve just heard how good they were and I’d never tried them until a few weeks ago. My sister and I got back to our hotel in San Diego late one night and we were both really wanting something sweet but all the nearby stores were closed so we had to settle for shopping in the little snack shop that was inside the hotel. Um sidenote, am I the only one that always mentally gasps at the WAY overpriced things at hotels? Maybe I’m just cheap but, seriously, why can they get away with charging so much? The funny thing is that we bought them anyway. Ha, I guess that’s how. #toolazytowalksomewhereelse

    My point, yes I have one, is that they’re really good and they inspired me to try making something similar, except (killer twist ending!) these are made with almond butter instead. For one thing, I know there are lots of people out there with peanut allergies that can still have almonds so this is a great alternative. I also feel like almonds are just a little healthier than peanuts ’cause peanuts aren’t technically even nuts right? So that’s a plus.

    These still aren’t “health food” by any means, but you can feel a lot better about them because they’re made with minimal ingredients that you can pronounce. and they’re a really fun thing to make with the kids. For shaping them into eggs I actually just used my hands but you can buy a candy moldย like this oneย or even use a mini cupcake pan instead.

    I hope you’re all getting excited about the changing season with me and I really hope you enjoy these!

    Chocolate Covered Almond Butter Eggs (Vegan+GF)

    Need the perfect Easter treat hold the long list of ingredients? Try this spin on the favorite Reese's PB eggs using AB instead! (V+GF)
    Prep Time 30 minutes
    chilling time 1 hour
    Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
    Servings 12 eggs

    Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup raw almond butter
    • 1/4 cup maple syrup
    • 2/3 cup almond flour
    • 2 teaspoons arrowroot starch or cornstarch
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
    • 2/3 cup about 120g dairy free semi-sweet dark chocolate, roughly chopped
    • slivered almonds for topping optional

    Instructions

    1. Combine almond butter, vanilla, and salt and mix until smooth. Add in the almond flour, arrowroot, and syrup and gently fold in until it all starts to form a dough-like mixture.
    2. Divide the dough into balls (about 1 tablespoon each) and shape into eggs or use a candy egg mold like like this one" class="instruction-link" target="_blank">this one. Also, if the dough seems a bit sticky to work with then chill it for about 30 minutes. Place on parchment covered baking sheet or plate. Refrigerate for 1 hour or freeze for at least 30 minutes.
    3. After cooling the eggs, melt chocolate and oil in a double boiler over low heat. Dip each egg into chocolate and turn to coat all sides before placing it back on the tray. If desired top with slivered almonds. Repeat with all eggs. Allow Chocolate to cool completely then use a thin spatula to loosen from pan. Store in an airtight container. (P.S. these are so good chilled!)
  • Dairy Free,  Dessert,  Gluten Free,  Recipe,  Snacks,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Mint Chocolate Chip Muddy Buddies

    Happy March you guys!

    I’ll do you guys a favor and skip talking about how it got here so fast, even though it did, and get right to the recipe today. I don’t know if I’m the only one, but I always seem to forget about any holidays in March because there aren’t any major ones. I honestly don’t consider St. Patrick’s Day much of a holiday, but who am I to pass up a chance to make some Irish recipes and minty chocolate treats? Now that, that I can do.

    So I’ve made a few versions of this stuff (btw, what do you call it? I’ve heard it “puppy chow”, “muddy buddies”, and “crack mix”) I’m thinking since the original stuff that you can buy is called muddy buddies, that might be the most common, but I also like to call it puppy chow too. Whatever you call it this stuff is addictive.

    So earlier this year a family member was in the hospital for a while. I’m pretty terrible in these kinds of situations, especially when there isn’t much I can do. Well, something I did really enjoy was getting to bring food to those staying at the hospital room for company. My mom probably spent the most time there, so when she asked me to pick up some snacks for the room I was so happy to do that.

    I know my mom’s taste pretty well too, so I grabbed some salty sweet type stuff and one of the random items that ended up in my cart were Chex mix muddy buddies. I’ve actually never bought them before so I wasn’t sure about them, however my mom said even though they were probably not the healthiest option, she really enjoyed having them at the time.

    Anyway, now that, thankfully, the time at hospitals is passed my mom reminded me that I used to make a version of these addictive treats using oatmeal squares cereal instead of Chex, because at the time we were living in Chile where I couldn’t find Chex cereal. She also hinted that she wouldn’t mind if I felt the need to try making them again. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    It was really good with the oatmeal cereal, but I must admit there’s just something way more addictive about the lighter crunch of the Chex. It’s nearly dangerous actually. There are so many flavor combinations I thought of when trying to decide on this recipe but with it being March I thought I’d go for this one.

     

    I know I said this the last time that I made these, but wow they’re so easy and fast. Like, this would be the perfect last-minute treat if you find out you’re having company and don’t have time to make up something more complicated. The ingredients are pretty basic as well and they’re actually an accidentally gluten free treat also.

    Mint Chocolate Chip Muddy Buddies

    Salty, sweet, fast, easy, addictive. This recipe for minty chocolatey coated cereal is a major crowd pleaser!
    Prep Time 1 hour

    Ingredients

    • 9 cups rice wheat, or corn Chex cereal *see note
    • 1 cup 180g non-dairy white chocolate
    • 1/3 cup coconut oil or a non-dairy butter
    • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
    • 1 teapoon vanilla
    • a few drops of natural green and blue food coloring
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar for coating
    • 2/3 cup about 120g semi-sweet dark chocolate (non-dairy)
    • 2 teaspoons coconut oil

    Instructions

    1. Melt oil (or butter) and white chocolate in a medium sauce pan slowly over low heat. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, peppermint, food coloring, and salt. Pour cereal into a large bowl and pour mixture over it. Use a large rubber spatula to carefully mix and coat all of the cereal pieces.
    2. For the powdered sugar coating you can either use ziplock freezer bags and shake with powdered sugar until coated or just pour it on top and toss gently until coated.
    3. After cereal is coated with powdered sugar, spread it out on a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper and melt the dark chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler over medium heat until smooth. Drizzle it over the coated cereal pieces then allow it all to dry for at least 1 hour.
    4. Store in an airtight container at room temp.

    Recipe Notes

    If you cannot find Chex cereal this recipe can be made with Quaker oatmeal squares cereal instead or you can even try popcorn. Also, obviously don't use wheat chex if gluten free.

     

     

     

  • Dairy Free,  Reader Favorite,  Recipe,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies (Vegan + GF)

    I realized a few days ago that I just couldn’t let January end without sharing a healthy cookie recipe.

    Firstly, can I just say that all I wanna do sometimes is take pictures of chocolate chip cookies all day! Okay, if you’re thinking what I think you’re thinking, something along the lines of “how can you have anything close to a chocolate chip cookie if you cut out the butter, eggs, and wheat flour????”, well you’re not alone.

    To be honest, I was thinking the same exact thing until batch no. 4729474 of these cookies came out of the ovenย (okay not really, more like batch no. 8)

    Anyway, for my family it’s pretty hard to beat a classic chocolate chip cookie. I think if I had to guess-timate how many chocolate chip cookies I’ve made to date I’d be pretty challenged to come up with any kind of number. Although, I do know that I’ve probably made more of them than any other one single thing or recipe.

    In fact, I’m fairly sure they were the first recipe I ever learned how to make. I can still remember our excitement as little kids when we’d hear my mom turn on her mixer to make them and we’d hurry in to see if the dough was ready for “poison checking”. I know not everyone is a fan of raw cookie dough in case of health risks and I totally get that, but um…..me and my sibs are still around to eat it so, yeah…..

    She would also let me sit on the counter and watch sometimes (something I look back at and admire now because I know having a kid sitting on my workspace would personally make me a little nuts.) When she first taught me how to make them I remember thinking I could never make them as good as hers, and while I still don’t think I ever have, I’ve always used her basic recipe with very little changes. It’s drilled in my head actually and I even use it as a starting point for an adaptation like this one.

    I may not have have made as many batches as I exaggerated before but I did go through quite a few not so glamorous variations. My main goal was to find a recipe that could fit both the gluten free category AND the vegan category. At the end of the day there are two versions that I’d say were keepers. One does include eggs but still no dairy or wheat flour.

    Thankfully I have a team of wonderful taste control helpers around for projects like these, especially when they involve chocolate in any form, so I can always count on second opinions, and third, and fourth….. What really surprised me is that with all the different flours I tried for these recipes the best ones were when I used exclusivelyย  almond flour. Even the kiddos that don’t like nuts agreed on that.

    So here it is, a cookie that you can love and still feel good about if you’re trying to keep things nutritious this month. I’m sharing the version without eggs but I’ve added in the swaps with details on how to make the version that does use eggs. I think either version might even be acceptable enough for the breakfast menu, or at the very least a fun treat to snack on.

    Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies (Vegan + GF)

    If you've ever wanted a great cookie without using dairy, eggs, or wheat, this is it. These are chewy, delicious, and really easy to make.
    Prep Time 20 minutes
    Cook Time 15 minutes
    Total Time 35 minutes

    Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup coconut oil room temerature
    • 1/2 cup granular sugar
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
    • 2 tablespoons coconut cream *see note
    • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder or cornstarch
    • 2 cups blanched almond flour
    • 1 cup 175g semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (be sure your brand is gf and vegan if necessary)

    Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). Cream together the coconut oil and sugars in bowl of stand mixer or large bowl. Scrape sides of bowl and add the coconut cream; beat until fluffy. Add vanilla, soda, salt, and starch. Add flour one cup at a time and beat after each addition. Stir in chocolate until combined.
    2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment and roll dough into balls, about 1 inch in diameter, and place about an inch apart on baking sheet. Press the cookie dough balls down slightly and place tray in oven. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes until the edges are golden.
    3. Remove and cool for at least 5 minutes and enjoy.

    Recipe Notes

    If you have trouble finding coconut cream at your local grocery store it's completely fine to use full-fat coconut milk and scrape the cream off of the top. Just be sure that it's cold enough to separate.