Ooey Gooey Chocolate Chip and Flax Cookies from Prevention RD’s Cooking and Baking with Almond Flour (+ Win a Copy!)

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I always get excited when a food blogger I admire releases a cookbook. I love having that little piece of the internet on my bookshelf. Nicole Morrissey’s (aka, Prevention RD) first cookbook, Prevention RD’s Everyday Healthy Cooking, is in frequent rotation around here so when her editor asked if I wanted to review her new cookbook, Prevention RD’s Cooking and Baking with Almond Flour, I jumped at the chance.

As the title suggests, this book is full of gluten-free recipes – but the recipes are also marked as sugar-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan, low-carb, high-fiber and dairy-free as appropriate, making it a super friendly resource for anyone trying to stick to a specific diet. Neither Mark or I have food allergies, but we have friends and family that do so we’re always looking for tasty things we can make them. We’re also, naturally, a little skeptical of recipes that stick to special diets – I mean, how do you trust chocolate chip cookies that have no butter or flour?

Luckily, Nicole has this thing nailed – these cookies were amazing. If you didn’t know they were gluten-free (and dairy-free, vegetarian and low-carb), you never would guess. They taste like regular chocolate chip cookies – not always an easy feat when you’re making something allergy-friendly. We passed off most of the batch to a friend of Mark’s who has recently gone gluten-free and they went over wonderfully.

And, there are so many equally delicious looking recipes in this book. I’m especially excited to work through the breakfast section and I’m loving that I’ll have a whole bunch of gluten-free cookie options for Christmas cookies for our Celiac family members this year.

Nicole’s editor was also kind enough to offer up a copy for a Kate’s Recipe Box reader. Want to win? Leave a comment below letting me know if you follow a gluten-free or other special diet and your favorite diet-friendly dish to make. I’ll pick one comment at random to receive a copy of Prevention RD’s Cooking and Baking with Almond Flour, compliments of Skyhorse Publishing. You have until midnight eastern time on September 7, 2014. Open to US residents only.

Ooey Gooey Chocolate Chip and Flax Cookies
(from Prevention RD’s Cooking and Baking with Almond Flour)
Makes 16 Cookies

1 1/4 cups blanched almond flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips (I used dairy-free chips)

In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, flaxseed, baking powder, salt and brown sugar. In a second bowl, lightly beat the egg. Slowly whisk in the coconut oil to the egg, whisking constantly.

Fold the wet ingredients into the dry, then fold in the chocolate chips. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.

After chilling, preheat the oven to 375F degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and arrange on the baking sheet. Flatten slightly, to about 3/4 inch thickness.

Bake for 7-9 minutes, until dry-looking and slightly browned. Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.


Brownies

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All of the brownie recipes on this blog so far start with a box mix. I like boxed-mix brownies – the soft inside and the shiny crunchy layer on top really do it for me – so I was never in a rush to make them from scratch. When I ran across this recipe, they looked like my beloved box version enough that I decided to give them a shot.

These were really, really good. A bit more work than a box – but totally worth it. If you’re a fan of boxed-mix brownies and looking for a from-scratch substitue, these are a great bet.



Brownies

(from Sweet Anna’s)
Makes one 9×13″ pan

3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2/3 cup butter, melted and divided
1/2 cup boiling water
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/3 cups flour
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a 9×13″ pan.

Stir together the cocoa powder and baking soda in a large bowl. Stir in 1/3 cup of the melted butter. Stir in the water until the mixture is smooth. Stir in sugar, eggs and remaining butter until well combined. Stir in vanilla and salt until smooth.

Add in flour and chocolate chips and stir until just combined. Transfer brownie batter to the greased pan.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the edges of the brownies start to pull away from the pan slightly. Cool completely in pan before cutting.


Irish Cream Double Chocolate Cookies

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day! This month’s What’s Baking theme was Irish Cream – perfect for the holiday. We’re not Irish, so it’s not a big holiday for us, but I do use it as an excuse to invite our family over and make a big pot of beef and Guinness stew so making an Irish cream dessert for our get together was a no-brainer.

Irish cream liquor is not something we regularly keep in the house (and, since I’m pregnant, I’ve been trying to avoid buying bottles that will just sit around) so I was excited that these cookies use Irish cream coffee creamer instead of liquor. It ends up giving the same type of flavor, but was much easier for just one recipe – a win-win. These cookies were soft and fluffy and had just a nice, subtle Irish cream flavor. I’m sure I’ll be making them for future St. Patrick’s Day parties!

You can check out the rest of the Irish cream dishes other bloggers baked up on The Redhead Baker later this month.

Irish Cream Double Chocolate Cookies
(very slightly adapted from Something Swanky)
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup Irish cream coffee creamer
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.

Using a stand mixer, beat together the butter and shortening. Add the sugars and beat until fluffy. Beat in the egg, creamer and vanilla.

Mix in the flour, baking soda and salt until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Rolls into 1″ balls and place on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool for several minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.


What’s Baking: Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Brownies

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We’re not big Valentine’s day celebrators. We’ve been doing the same date – a college basketball game and some sort of bar-food dinner – for years. It’s not terribly romantic, but it’s a fun night out and I honestly don’t miss the mushy stuff.

I do miss the fun Valentine desserts, though, which is why I was excited when I saw this month’s What’s Baking theme was red velvet. So perfect for Valentine’s Day!

These brownies were a delicious splurge. I sent most of them to work with Mark, because that Oreo truffle layer is dangerously addictive! These are gorgeous and impressive looking, but really not that hard to pull off.

You can check out the full roundup of all the red velvet treats on Kim’s blog, Just Baked, later this month!

 

Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Brownies
(from Pizzazzarie)
Makes 1 9×13″ pan of brownies

1 box Duncan Hines Red Velvet cake mix
1 3.3 oz. pkg. instant vanilla pudding mix
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
6 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 pkg. Oreo cookies
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 325F degrees. Liberally grease a 9×13″ baking pan and set aside.

Whisk together cake mix and pudding mix. Beat in melted butter, eggs and vegetable oil until well combined. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan, smoothing it to the edges. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out clean. Let cool.

Crush the Oreo cookies and mix pieces with the cream cheese until well combined. Spread over the cooled red velvet brownies.

Melt the 2 cups of semisweet chocolate chips and pour the melted chocolate over the Oreo layer, smoothing to cover. Sprinkle immediately with mini chocolate chips and pan them down lightly to set.

Refrigerate until the chocolate sets, then cut into bars. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.


What’s Baking: Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter Cookie for 2

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This month’s What’s Baking theme is “Small Servings”. I decided doing something savory would be a cop-out – I often scale down dinner recipes for just the two of us. Dessert seemed like much more of a challenge.

When I think of baking up a dessert, I never think of small batches – I think of big, special sweets. This cookie is sort of the best of both worlds. By being one giant cookie, it looks impressive and seems special. And since it’s just one cookie, you won’t end up with a ton of leftovers and the guilt of eating cookies all week.

Given how much I rave about chocolate peanut butter desserts, it’s no surprise we loved this. If you want to see what other bloggers baked up for this challenge, check out the roundup on Eva Bakes later this month!

Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter Cookie for 2
(from Sally’s Baking Addiction)
Serves 2

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. beaten egg (crack an egg, beat it, and use 2 Tbsp.)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup Reese’s Pieces
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla and mix until well combined. Add in the peanut butter and mix until well combined. Add the flour, baking soda and salt and stir just until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and Reese’s Pieces.

Scoop the dough onto the baking sheet. You want the dough to be rounded and a bit tall, but not totally round like a ball.

Bake for 17-19 minutes, until lightly brown around the edges. Remove from oven (The center may seem undone, but it’s okay! It will set as the cookie cools.) and let sit for 10 minutes on the baking sheet before serving.


Crunchy Peppermint Bark Blondies

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Are you guys finished with Christmas yet? Because I’m not. We’ve still got the decorations up. The freezer is still full of Christmas cookies. I’ve got all my new toys strewn around the house. And, I’m just getting around to blogging my holiday recipes.

Maybe next week I’ll be ready for the new year?

I made these blondies for a cookie swap. I had intended them to be cookies, but as things evolved they ended up being bars instead. I actually think they came out even better than the cookies would have and they were a lot easier, since I only had one pan to bake instead of multiple cookie pans. You could also make these a bit less holiday-oriented by swapping the peppermint bark for chocolate chips.

Crunchy Peppermint Bark Blondies
(adapted from Christina Tosi via Glamour)
Makes 1 9×13″ pan of blondies

2 sticks butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 c. granulated sugar
2/3 c. light brown sugar, tightly packed
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3 c. frosted flakes
1 lb. of peppermint bark, roughly chopped
1 1/4 c. mini marshmallows

Using a mixer, cream together the butter sugars for 2-3 minutes. Add egg and vanilla, scrape down sides and beat for an additional 7-8 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix just until the dough comes together.

Stir in frosted flakes peppermint bark and marshmallows  just until incorporated. Refrigerate dough for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 375F degrees. Line a 9×13″ baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Press dough into the lined pan, spreading to the edges. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until set in the center. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely. Slice and store in an airtight container.


What’s Baking: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

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This month’s What’s Baking theme, hosted by Sandra from She Cooks and Bakes, is favorite childhood treats with a modern twist. My favorite childhood treat, hands down, was chocolate chip cookies. I loved coming home from school to find fresh baked chocolate chip cookies for snack. Sometimes, Mom would even make them before school and we’d get them in our lunches. Cookie days were always awesome days.

Making pumpkin chocolate chip cookies seemed like the perfect twist, considering the season and how popular everything pumpkin is now. It also seemed appropriate since I wouldn’t touch pumpkin as a kid, but as an adult I’m loving the flavor. These are a perfect, more grown-up version of one of my childhood favorites.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
(from Cooks.com)
Makes about 2 dozen

1 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Line two cookie sheets.

Dissolve the baking soda in milk. Set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together the pumpkin, sugar, oil and egg until well combined. Add in flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt, baking soda mixture and mix well. Stir in vanilla until combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

Drop by tablespoon-full onto the cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until beginning to brown around the edges. Remove from oven and let cook for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container. These are best enjoyed the next day.


PB Pretzel M&M Rice Krispie Treats

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I’m pretty sure these could be considered a health food. Marshmallows and pretzels are low-fat. Chocolate has antioxidants. Peanut butter is a good source of protein. Mix it all together and it’s practically a superfood.

No? Not buying it?

Well, these are worth making anyway: quick, easy and a crowd pleaser.

PB Pretzel M&M Rice Krispie Treats
(from Cait’s Plate)
Makes one 9×13″ pan

1 bag of regular marshmallows
3 T. butter
6 c. rice cereal
1/2 cup peanut butter, melted
1 medium bag of pretzel M&Ms

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the marshmallows and stir until melted. Stir in the melted peanut butter.

Add the melted marshmallow mixture to the rice cereal in a large bowl. Stir until well combined. Add the pretzel m&ms and stir to combine.

Press the mixture into a lightly greased 9×13″ baking dish. Let cool before slicing.


What’s Baking: Rum & Coke Cookies

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As soon as bake your favorite cocktail was announced as the July theme for What’s Baking, I started looking up rum and coke recipes. Rum and coke was my go-to in college and even though I’m more likely to opt for a glass of wine, I still consider it my favorite. Old habits die hard, I suppose.

When I started looking for recipes, I assumed I’d make cupcakes… and then I ran across these. These start with store-bought sugar cookie dough and then you dress them up to make them rum or cola flavored. I thought having two separate doughs would make the flavors come through more strongly, but the flavor of the cookies is on the subtle side. Knowing they’re rum and coke, I can totally pick out the flavors, but if I was just handed the cookie and told to guess, I’m not 100% sure I could.

Either way, these were delicious and a very fun baking experiment!

Rum & Coke Cookies
(from She Knows)
Makes about 3 dozen

2 tubes Pillsbury sugar cookie dough
2 c. flour
1 egg white
1/4 cup white rum (and 1 Tbsp. rum extract, if desired – I skipped this but would recommend it!)
20 oz. Coca-Cola
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder

Mix one tube of the cookie dough until smooth and creamy and then mix in one cup of flour, white rum and rum extract (if using) until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Add Coca-Cola to a saucepan and over medium-high heat, reduce until only 1/4 cup remains. Cool slightly. Mix the other tube of dough until creamy and smooth. Add boiled-down Coke, remaining one cup of flour and cocoa powder and mix until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

After the dough has chilled, roll them into rectangles, approximately 1/4-inch thick. Brush egg whites on the rum-flavored dough and stack the coke flavored dough on top. Cut in half lengthwise. Brush the top of one half with egg white and stack the other half on top of it. Repeat until you have a stack the desired width. Wrap log in plastic and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Unwrap the chilled dough and slice the stacked layers approximately 1/4-inch thick. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges. Cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.


What’s Baking: Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies

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When I saw this month’s What’s Baking theme was sweet and salty, I knew I’d be making something with a chocolate/peanut butter/pretzel combo. It’s embarrassing how many recipes I have saved with that combo – it’s clearly a favorite!

This recipe won out over the others because the cookies are portable – perfect for taking on vacation! We’re renting a house on the Outer Banks so I’ve been working on some dishes and snacks to bring with us. Even though we’ll have a kitchen, I don’t want to spend my whole vacation cooking! Having these already done will make for an awesome treat.

You can check out the rest of the sweet and salty recipes next week in a roundup on Hezzi D’s Books and Cooks.

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies
(from Keep it Sweet Desserts)
Makes about 3 dozen 2″ cookies

1 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
1 c. creamy peanut butter
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temp
1 t. vanilla extract
2/3 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c. pretzel pieces
Sea salt for sprinkling

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, peanut butter, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Slowly mix in the flour mixture until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and pretzel pieces. Chill the dough for two hours.

Once the dough is chilled, preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Drop dough by rounded tablespoons-full onto a lined baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly brown around the edges. Let cool on the making sheet for 2-3 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.