Tag Archives: cookies

Mexican Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups {vegan, paleo, gluten free, dairy free, egg free}

28 Apr

I received free samples of the Barlean’s products mentioned in this post. All opinions are my own; I was not compensated for my time.

Cookies have always been a dessert mainstay in my family. Grandma made the BEST EVER chocolate chip cookies, Oma’s Christmas cookie variety never ceases to please (lemon hearts for me!!), and my mom can make some mighty delicious peanut butter cookies. As a child, making chocolate chip cookies with mom, we’d always make a double-batch, so that we could eat half the dough while the other half baked!

What’s more, as a lifelong Girl Scout, I sold cookies from age 5, all the way through senior year of high school – and consumed quite a few along the way! Oreos, Fig Newtons, monster cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies, the list is endless. I was born a Cookie Monster, and part of me will always be one.

Mexican Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

But cookies aren’t exactly a picturesque health food. Sure, indulgence is fine now and then – I’ll never say no to a cookie from my Oma! But what about more frequent sweet tooth urges? How do I best satisfy those cravings?

Mexican Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

One of the cookie treats we always made for parties, potlucks, or share-at-school sweets were these delectable chocolate chip cookie cups, filled with a creamy chocolate buttercream. The recipe is simple enough: prepare cookie dough as per directions on the back of a Nestle semi-sweet morsels package. Stuff dough into mini muffin tins (or normal muffin tins if you’re feeling generous), bake, indent and fill with prepared chocolate frosting.

Sweet on top of sweet? Heck yes.

Which is why I wanted to perform a #RecipeMakeover on these tasty frosting vessels. A paleo chocolate chip cookie dough replaces the old standard, and is filled with what turned out to be a cross between chocolate ganache and buttercream.

The problem with most paleo or alternative cookie recipes is that they lose their butter flavor when you make them with coconut oil. But Barlean’s has you covered, because they make an organic coconut oil that’s BUTTER FLAVORED. That’s right folks. It tastes like butter, but isn’t butter. Move over, Fabio – I CAN believe it’s not butter! They “sustainably harvested organic coconuts, then add butter flavoring that comes only from botanical extracts.” Aka, it’s vegan, GMO-free, contains no gluten or soy, and doesn’t even taste like coconut. How cool is that?

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Fabio can’t believe it.

As such, these cookies maintain the delicious butter flavor that traditional cookies can boast, in both the cup AND the frosting! These are great for parties, or just to have on hand to satisfy that sweet tooth. They’re even freezable – instructions are below in the recipe.

Mexican Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway! The prize pack is valued at over $200, and one lucky winner will get it all! This giveaway is open worldwide except where prohibited. Update: The Rafflecopter giveaway has closed.

Mexican Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups

Makes 18 mini cookie cups

For the cookie cups:

  • 2 C almond meal
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 C Barlean’s Butter-Flavored Organic Coconut Oil, melted
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 C mini vegan and/or paleo chocolate chips

For the frosting:
  • 3 oz chopped unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 3 tbsp Barlean’s Butter-Flavored Organic Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 C powdered sugar, or paleo alternative
  • up to 1/4 C nondairy milk

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 24 mini-muffin cups.

In a medium bowl, whisk together almond meal, salt, baking soda, cayenne, and cinnamon. Then mix in the coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla.

Fold in the chocolate chips. Using a cookie scoop, divide dough into prepared muffin tins. Press down lightly in the center to make a well in each of them.

Bake at 350 for 9-11 minutes, until the edges are set. Remove and set on a wire rack. Use a teaspoon or measuring spoon to make an indentation, so the cookies become little cups.

Let cool completely in the tins – this will help them hold their shape. Use a knife to carefully release the cooled cookies from their tin.

To make the frosting, heat the chopped chocolate with the coconut oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until completely combined. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla, cayenne, cinnamon, and salt.

Transfer to a medium bowl and let cool in the fridge 15-30 minutes. Remove and beat with a hand mixer. Slowly add in the sugar and milk and continue to beat until light and fluffy. Use as much milk as you need to get the desired texture. Transfer the frosting to a piping bag and fill each cooled cookie cup. Or, use two small spoons to fill the cookie cups.

Serve immediately, or refrigerate until you intend to serve these. They also freeze well for a satisfying and guilt-free snack! Simply freeze on a tray for five hours, then wrap well in plastic wrap. Let thaw three hours before eating.

I’ll leave you with this horribly embarrassing photo, in which I was about 9 years old. My sister is next to me, blowing out candles on her 8th birthday cake. And sure enough, in the foreground, you can see a platter of chocolate chip cookie cups! Thanks to mom, Ron, and Helen for the timely sharing of this photo 🙂

fbf cookie cups

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30 Minute Meals with Cheese

5 Jul

Now that I’m training once again for a half marathon, my summer evenings are quickly being whittled away. It’s not always easy to find time for running, family, chores, friends, and cooking. Rather than settling for a packaged meal, or going out to eat all the time, I strive to make dinner most nights of the week.

30 Minute Meals with Cheese | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

That’s where these 30-minute meals become incredibly handy. Healthy food doesn’t always have to take long to make. A combination of vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and healthy fats makes the perfect dinner. And in my life, cheese often plays a big part of that 🙂 The uses are endless, and it can really elevate a dish to be something your whole family can look forward to eating.

Thanks to the Wisconsin Cheese Mart, I was able to develop three nutritious, quick, cheesy meals for your enjoyment, plus a bonus dessert recipe! Yes, a sweet treat made with cheese 🙂 Head over to the Cheese Mart’s blog to get the full details on all these tasty meals!

30 Minute Meals with Cheese | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Spicy Vegetable One Pot Pasta

This pasta is the perfect quick weeknight dinner. All the ingredients cook together in the same pot, at the same time. It’s packed with vegetables and the spicy Ghost Pepper Monterey Jack cheese gives it a bit of a kick.

30 Minute Meals with Cheese | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Roasted Sweet Potato Rosemary Risotto

Risotto is an elegant classic dish that may seem daunting and time-consuming, but can actually be made in 30 minutes, start to finish. Roasted sweet potato makes this a hearty main or a side dish to just about any protein. The Parmesan cheese is the perfect finishing touch.

30 Minute Meals with Cheese | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Baked Spinach Quesadillas

Quesadillas can be a quick, healthy meal for the entire family when you add vegetables! Make them even easier by baking them in the oven. Customize the fillings to your heart’s content. Make sure to choose cheeses that melt well, such as provolone or a spicy pepper jack.

30 Minute Meals with Cheese | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Gjetost Filled Shortbread Cookies

No dinner is complete without a sweet treat! This simple shortbread is filled with a layer of Gjetost – a cheese that looks and tastes like caramel candy. The end result is a buttery cookie layered with a sweet, salty caramel cheese that’s sure to please everyone!

30 Minute Meals with Cheese | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

I received free product from the Wisconsin Cheese Mart and was compensated for my time. All opinions and creations are my own.

Healthier Walnut Refrigerator Cookies {vegan, whole grain, egg free}

9 Jun

By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Walnut Commission and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

Do you remember those “refrigerator cookies” your grandma used to make? They weren’t exactly pretty, or terribly interesting as far as cookies are concerned, yet they tasted SO GOOD. My grandma packed hers with chopped walnuts, they were scented with vanilla extract, and they had the lightest brown color to them. She usually kept a tin of these cookies stocked in her fridge for when we stopped by to visit. But that’s not why they’re called refrigerator cookies – the dough for these bad boys needs to set up in the fridge like most other slice and bake cookies require.

The traditional recipe is unfortunately made up bleached flour, lots of white sugar, and too much butter. The problem here is that I always wanted to eat three, four or even five of these cookies in one sitting…not exactly a healthy choice.

Healthier Walnut Refrigerator Cookies | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

So, to combat this issue (aka make cookies I could feel better about eating by the half dozen), I swapped out quite a few of the processed ingredients with some purer options. A combination of ground oats and whole wheat flour increase the fiber content dramatically without sacrificing flavor. I reduced the amount of sugar, and used coconut sugar instead of nutrient-void white sugar. And finally, I replaced half of the butter with coconut oil for a nutrition boost. And, of course, I added even more walnuts, the star of the show!! Yep, these treats are filled to the brim with chopped walnuts, providing a nutty flavor, some crunch, and Omega-3 fatty acids the nuts are known for.

Healthier Walnut Refrigerator Cookies | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

The result is a cookie reminiscent of what grandma used to have waiting for your enjoyment, but with a much healthier profile. Enjoy these for yourself or bake them for a family gathering! They’re sure to please. And, check out the other great walnut recipes that are being posted this week with The Recipe Redux. There’s a link-up at the end of this post containing many delicious recipes!

Healthier Walnut Refrigerator Cookies | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Pro tip: serve cookies in cute bowls, rather than on a platter. They’ll look more appealing!

Healthier Walnut Refrigerator Cookies {whole grain, egg free}, adapted from Food.com

Makes 36 cookies (8 servings)

  • 1 C ground oat flour
  • 1 C whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 C coconut sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 C (1 stick) butter, softened (vegan or otherwise)
  • 1/2 C coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp flax + 3 tbsp water)
  • 1 C finely chopped walnuts (about 2 cups walnut halves)

In a large bowl, combine flours, sugar, salt and baking soda. Mix well with a wooden spoon or hand mixer.

Mix in the butter, coconut oil, extract and flax egg. Keep mixing until thoroughly combined. Finally, mix in the chopped walnuts.

Lay out three pieces of plastic wrap and form three logs of dough, about 5″ long. Wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours.

Preheat oven to 350; line two baking sheets with silpat mats or parchment paper.

Slice two logs into 12 pieces each. Lay on the baking sheets with about 1″ between each cookie.

Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes, turning halfway through. Remove and let cool on the sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Repeat with remaining dough log.

Serve cooled cookies, or store in a cookie tin in the fridge (I enjoy these slightly chilled).

Healthier Walnut Refrigerator Cookies | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

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As the first and only recipe challenge founded by registered dietitians, The Recipe ReDux aims to inspire the food lover in every healthy eater and inspire the healthy eater in every food lover. Thank you for visiting. We hope you enjoy!

(Please note that this is a closed link-up for Recipe ReDux posts only. Any links added to this collection for non-ReDux posts will be deleted.)

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