Tag Archives: recipemakeover

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

Peanut Butter and Jelly Beet Smoothie

27 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.

Most Americans grew up eating peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. Whether for breakfast, lunch or a last-minute run-out-the-door to your extracurricular activities dinner, PB&J was, and still is, a household staple.

If you asked younger Christina how to make the most perfect PB&J sandwich, she’d tell you it had to be on squishy soft bread, though a whole wheat variety is fine as well. The CREAMY peanut butter (no chunks here, folks!) had to be layered on thickly – something to sink your teeth into. And the jam, which was almost always homemade jam from my Oma (her strawberry-raspberry mix will always be my favorite), had to completely cover the peanut butter foundation. Slap on another slice of bread (not toasted, mind you), cut into two triangles, and there you have it! The ideal PB&J sandwich.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Beet Smoothie | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

These days, however, I know better than to consume that amount of sugar and empty carbs for breakfast, or any meal for that matter. My bread is much more wholesome, the peanut butter is natural, or it might even be almond butter, and the jam is used sparingly, just to get a taste. I’m more apt to use fresh, sliced berries, or perhaps chia jam.

But if that all sounds like too much work, and too messy for your half-hour morning commute to work, this smoothie is just for you! It’s loaded with peanut butter and jelly taste, without all the added sugars and morning-slump-causing empty carbs. The beet juice goes unnoticed, except in color. (Trust me on this – I hate beets and would never propose you make a recipe wherein you can taste the beets!) The protein powder adds a nice boost to get you through the day, or to refuel after a workout. Finally, the Barlean’s Digestive Blend lends all the fiber, omega-3’s, antioxidants, vitamins & minerals that your body needs to keep things moving, and keep things clean, if you catch my drift.

In fact, Barlean’s Digestive Blend is a combination of all the good things you might find hard to work into your diet otherwise: flaxseed, quinoa, chia seeds, coconut, and a blend of warm spices. It’s also vegan, organic, kosher, GMO-free, and gluten-free!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Beet Smoothie | 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 world-wide except where prohibited. Update: the Rafflecopter giveaway has ended.

 

Peanut Butter and Jelly Beet Smoothie

Serves 1

  • 3/4 C cold water
  • 1/2 C prepared beet juice
  • 1 frozen, sliced banana
  • 1 C frozen blueberries (preferably wild blueberries)
  • 2 tbsp powdered peanut butter (or you could use real PB)
  • 1 scoop vegan vanilla protein powder
  • 1 heaping tbsp hemp seeds
  • 2 tbsp Barlean’s Digestive Blend

Add all ingredients to your blender and puree until completely smooth. I find it’s best to use the “ice crush” setting first, to break down the frozen fruit.

Serve in a glass, and enjoy cold!

#RecipeMakeover Giveaway

24 Apr

This giveaway has ended.

Spring is in full swing and with it, all of the fruits, vegetables and time spent outdoors that we’ve been craving all winter long. The variety of fresh produce lends itself to making dishes that are better for your overall health.

Rather than thinking about what you can’t or shouldn’t eat, it’s time to embrace all the goodies you CAN and SHOULD eat! This week is about making baby steps to a healthier, whole foods diet.

That’s why I’ve joined forced with more than 40 food bloggers to present #RecipeMakeover. During this week, we’ll be sharing delicious better-for-you alternatives to unhealthy dishes. Follow along on any of the blogs below or with the hashtag on social media to find nutritious dishes that are packed with flavor.

#RecipeMakeover Giveaway | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

A huge THANK YOU to our sponsors, who have made #RecipeMakeover possible! They’ve provided a number of awesome products that you can win by entering our #RecipeMakeover giveaway below.

Just follow the instructions below, and you could win the following prize pack:

  • Butter-flavored coconut oil and digestive blend from our sponsor Barlean’s – Barlean’s butter-flavored coconut oil is an organic, dairy-free alternative that can be used as a 1:1 substitution for butter. Their digestive blend is an organic, vegan combination of flaxseed, chai seed, quinoa, unsweetened shredded coconut, and a proprietary pumpkin blend, that is delicious sprinkled into salads, smoothies, oatmeal, and more.
  • Sampler pack of original, mesquite, and applewood Smokin O’s from our sponsor Smokin O’s – Instead of frying, choose a healthier cooking option like grilling! Smokin O’s is an innovative new product that allows you to add a natural wood taste even if you are using a propane grill, and they work great in charcoal grills and smokers too. No soaking, no mess, no wait – just delicious wood flavoring from a 100% natural product with no binders or chemicals.
  • 4 flatbread pizzas from our sponsor American Flatbread – Choose from any of America Flatbread’s 15 all-natural, handmade pizza varieties, available at your local grocery store. These pizzas feature 100% organically grown wheat crusts and are topped with fresh herbs, vegetables, and cheeses (no rBST growth hormone!). They’re all-natural, with no preservatives, artificial colors or flavors, and handcrafted from scratch and par-baked in wood-fired ovens.
  • 5 containers (48 oz) of ice cream from our sponsor Turkey Hill – Ice cream for a health food event? Try out their line of no-sugar-added products for a sweet treat without the guilt or their line of light ice creams, which have a rich taste with a fraction of the fat. They also have a rainbow sherbet option, which is Vitamin C and naturally low in fat. These all make great dessert options for special occasions. Turkey Hill also believes in implementing green initiatives to cut down on waste, reduce packaging, and minimize outputs into the environment.
  • 15 tuna creations pouches from our sponsor StarKist – For all my meat-eating followers, StarKist tuna pouches have at least 13 grams of protein, and their Tuna Creations® BOLD line now includes three gluten-free varieties: Thai Chili Style;, Jalapeño, and Hot Buffalo Style.
  • Mueller Spiral-Ultra 4-Blade Spiralizer from blog hosts, The PinterTest Kitchen – this 4-in-1 gadget allows you to spiralize your favorite veggies, and it also has extra attachments for a juicer, mandolin and grater.

This prize pack is valued at over $200, and one lucky winner will get it all! This giveaway is open world-wide except where prohibited. A winner will be randomly drawn on April 29, at the conclusion of #RecipeMakeover, and the winner will be contact via email.

Update: The Rafflecopter giveaway has ended.

Thank you to all of our participating bloggers. Click the links below to find out what recipes they’re cooking up for #RecipeMakeover:

The PinterTest KitchenFix Me a Little LunchRosie Discoverscrave the goodZesty South Indian KitchenThat RecipeThe Domestic DietitianAuthentically CandaceEat, Drink, Be Healthy!Body RebootedCindy’s Recipes and WritingsFaith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered AccompliceFeeding BigNatural ContentsSeduction In The KitchenEveryday EileenFamily Around The TableFairyburgerJane’s Adventures in DinnerKitchen Counter ChroniclesKate’s Recipe BoxKelly Lynns Sweets and TreatsChocolate SlopesLittle House Big AlaskaMakes, Bakes and Decor2 Cookin’ MamasMeadoe Out on a LimbStrawberry Blondie KitchenMel ClaireCookaholic WifeFor the Love of FoodThe Saucy SouthernerCook’s HideoutTwo Lazy GourmetsInk and SugarCookingwithsapanaThe Chef Next DoorSarah Cooks the BooksChef Sarah ElizabethFrankly EntertainingPalatable PastimeOur Good LifeThe Food Hunter’s Guide to CuisineA Day in the Life on the Farm

Stay tuned to see all of the delicious recipes bloggers create during #RecipeMakeover!

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