Rustic Chocolate Hazelnut Tart

I logged into WordPress yesterday after several people have asked why I am not blogging anymore. ( It seems I do have more than 1 blog reader after all, whew!)

How do I answer that question? I have actually written a few drafts here and there  but never published because…well..

Our 8 year old computer has slowed down to a snails’s pace-sooooo slooooow. Uploading photos? HA that’ll take a day and half. Plus we have zero lights in our computer/family room due to recent painting and renovating.  I find myself bumbling about in the dark with a headlamp trying to see the damn keyboard, which is just comical and inefficient. The new light is sitting in a box upstairs, waiting for someone to hang it. Hmmm.

Somehow the Holiday’s snuck up and I realized, I HAVEN”T WRITTEN A BLOG POST IN 6 MONTHS! I MUST CHANGE THAT!

Now I  love Christmas time: the baking, the parties, the decor,  and  the joy of  spending time with friends and family. AND THE FOOD!

Yet I find myself more and more disenchanted by the consumerism. This year I avoided it completely by shopping locally at a couple of artisan fairs and during our travels in February in Germany and by  making homemade gifts. What a difference it has made in our stress levels! We have been able to enjoy the season so much more without feeling like we are supposed to go out and buy stuff for people who have stuff already just to show we care…That is not what Christmas is supposed to be about in my opinion.

So back to the food!  I love celebrating, but to balance that out we stock our fridge with a plethora of fruits and vegetables, but also prep a healthy snack or treat for the week to avoid those terrible-for-you prepackaged cookies and cakes that taste great but make you feel like crap.

Enter, this rustic chocolate tart. It’s  the perfect treat for you to enjoy with a mug of hot tea without feeling like crappola the next morning. While it is dairy-free, has no refined sugar, and no flour, its actually uses  a pretty neat technique I recently discovered, soaking cashews.

When you soak them for several hours,  cashews can be blended into a beautiful creamy base for all types of things.

Head down to the bulk bin section of your grocery store and stock up on hazelnuts and cashews. Use the best quality dark chocolate you can find and have fun with it!  If you are short on time or don’t feel like making a crust at all, the filling of this tart makes a  scrumptious fudge which you could gift to friends or take to  party.

Tis the season to be merry! Let’s try  not to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of shopping/spending money/scrooginess and just enjoy time with friends and family over a good ole’ tart, ok?

 

 

Ta-ta!

In love and light,

Lydia

Rustic Chocolate Hazelnut Tart

Serves 10
Prep time 4 hours
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 4 hours, 15 minutes
Allergy Tree Nuts
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Freezable, Serve Cold
You will have no idea this nutty chocolate tart is healthy for you!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1 1/2 cup cashews
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

Crust

  • 3/4 cups hazelnuts
  • 11/2 cups oats
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Note

Make just the filling and freeze in an 8 X8 in pan for fudge instead of a tart.

Directions

Step 1
Blend a 1/2 cup of oats in the food processor until they become a fine flour.Remove and set aside. Blend the hazelnuts unitl they become sand-like in texture.Add in other crust ingredients, including oat flour, and pulse until dough can be pressed together.
Step 2
Press the dough into a pie plate or tart pan and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes to set it.
Step 3
Soak the cashews for at least 4 hours in a bowl of water, completely covered.
Step 4
Drain the cashews and rinse. Melt the cholcolate in a double boiler over the stove.
Step 5
Combine cashews, chocolate, coocnut oil, espresso powder, salt and vanilla in food processor and let it blend for several minutes. It can take a while to get smooth. Keep turning off and wiping down the sides with a spatula. If blender needs more liquid you can a dd a couple of teaspoons of almond milk.
Step 6
Pour the filling into the cooled crust, sprinkle with sea salt, and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving. Slice frozen and eat frozen for best results. Store int eh freezer wrapped in freezer paper.

 

 

<3 V-Day Chocolate Without the Guilt<3

 chocolate dip

Do not deny that you, yes you, have at some point in your lifetime swiped your finger into that glorious little plastic container of chocolate icing from the grocery store when you were icing your kid’s cupcakes or maybe you just bought the icing to eat straight from a jar when you had a bad breakup.

It’s ok. It happens.

Big bowl of delicious icing. Finger. Yum.

I am not judging you.

However, I am here to tell you that the list of ingredients in a highly processed can of icing is scary. And ridiculous. And…carcinogenic.

So, let’s make some homemade chocolate icing with more wholesome, real foods ingredients, shall we? Definitely still a treat, but one that won’t make you feel like crap afterwards!

Perk #1: NO butter. Much less sugar than “canned” icing.  Healthy fats and antioxidants.

Perk #2:If you make this for your honey on Valentine’s Day, you can literally dip anything imaginable into it. I’ll leave that up to your imagination, ok? You can thank me later.

Perk #3. If you have no Valentine you can eat it alone, in your pajamas, watching Breaking Bad and dip in graham crackers to your heart’s content.

In case you are wondering what kind of fantastically romantic night I have in store tomorrow, let me tell you,  I have an exciting night ahead indeed: cleaning, dog washing, and packing to get all ready for our European travels the next morning. I promise a recap when I return in 2 weeks, as we will not be going as tourists, but rather, locals in the small Bavarian town of Bad-Tolz! Tolzers, as they call it over there. Larsen and I will also be staying on a small Swiss farm high in the mountains of Switzerland near a town called Murren. Anyone been there?

 

See you in a few weeks!

Auf wieder sehen!

Chocolate Dip(Icing)

Serves 12
Prep time 5 minutes
This no-guilt chocolate dip is the perfect Valentine's Day Treat!

Ingredients

  • 1 very ripe avocado
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cups peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 3-4 tablespoons honey

Note

You could replace most of the sugar here with stevia to taste if  you want to avoid processed sugar completely!

Directions

Step 1
Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Serve with graham crackers for dipping! Done.

Flourless Chocolate Chip Blondies

We once had a small, dirty, skinny dog last year appear at our house, walk in the front door, and act like he owned the place. We tried to feed him both wet and dry dog food, and he absolutely refused. I must have offered him 10 different things before I discovered the only food he loved was peanut butter. I fed him peanut butter 3 times a day. ..Henceforth we called him “Peanut” and he stole our hearts with his snuggly cuteness, and we had decided to keep him..and one day, after living with us over a month, he disappeared.  I was worried sick about him and found him being walked by his overjoyed owner 3 days later.

907e1cbcc9bb11e1b2fe1231380205bf_7

His name was apparently  “Oreo”. He will always be my  li’l Peanut though. I enjoy seeing his  owner walking him every once in a while because he  still perks up and wags his tail when I say “Peanut”!

The reason I tell this story is that today is an incredibly important day among American Holidays. If it were up to me, we would all have the day off and eat these blondies together with some milk(or in my case Almond milk).

It’s NATIONAL PEANUT BUTTER DAY !

We go through 1 jar per week, minimum. This week  the jar ran out on Tuesday. We bought it Sunday. Something is wrong with that, really but my excuse is I have been cooking and baking with nut butter lately.

choc chip blondies

These blondies have zero refined sugar,  flour, or butter and taste peanutty.

You might be surprised at the ingredient list, but I will let you discover what’s inside on your own …hehehe.

Flourless Chocolate Chip Blondies

Serves 24
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Allergy Egg, Peanuts
Dietary Gluten Free
Meal type Dessert, Snack
These healthy flourless chocolate chip blondies have a hidden secret ingredient, but you won't guess what it is!

Ingredients

  • 1 can organic garbanzo beans (drained)
  • 3/4 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup or agave nectar (or a bit more according to your tastebuds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Note

You can replace the peanut butter with almond butter here with good results.

Directions

Step 1
Combine the drained chickpeas, peanut butter, and all other ingredients EXCEPT chocolate chips in a food proccessor or blender.
Step 2
Stir the batter to make sure everything is incorporated, toss in the chocolate chips, and pour the batter into a greased 8 x8 or 9X9 inch pan.
Step 3
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

 

 

 

Snickers Fudge

MrSnowman2

Ah, where were we?

Oh yes. I was writing this blog post a few days before Christmas, before the chaos ensued.

Since that moment, I have scarcely had time to sit down at a computer, and when that has occurred, work has been on my mind.

No matter.If you had been spending Christmas with me you would already see  all the presents wrapped under the tree, and me frantically making a homemade caramel cake and red velvet trifle on Christmas Eve in a mere 2 hour span of time after work . In past years, I started planning the Christmas menu months ahead, but this year with the move and a trip to Louisiana planned the day after Christmas, we knew it would be a last minute and laid-back affair.

I winged it with caramel cake, taking an old recipe for pound cake and turning it into a layer cake topped with a caramel frosting . I measured almost nothing for the frosting, so I can’t give you the exact recipe, but perhaps I will sit down and try to remember exactly what went into it. It was phenomenal, moist, and rich.

The red velvet trifle is an oldie, one that I made last year for our engagement party at Christmas time. Think thick squares of homemade moist red velvet cake, layered with a decadent mascarpone, whipped cream layer, mint, crumbled Andes and dark chocolate, and it is easily one of the most beautiful desserts you have seen at Christmas with all the beautiful colors.

 

Except the trifle dish was deep in the bowels of a box. So I had to sacrifice the 4 or 5 beautiful layers for two fat layers. Here is the result:

(sorry, phone photo!)

(sorry, phone photo!)

 

But the whole reason I write this post is not to rub in all the delicious food we ate on Christmas Eve (weiswurst, kraut, knackwurst, pretzels, grainy mustard, and Lebkuchen) or Christmas(minted lamb, cranberry salad, squash casserole, fig and blue cheese salad), or even to tell you about all of the wonderful presents and family time I was so blessed by this Christmas,  but to share the recipe for which so many people have been asking: Snickers Fudge.

Snickers Fudge

Before you turn up your nose, let me tell you there is no Snickers to be found in this. It just tastes like the most delicious, thick, nutty, creamy, frozen snickers bar you ever tasted.

So for all of my friends begging for the recipe, here it is a week late.

It requires zero baking, only a pan and a freezer.

These are rather sweet, so I advise you cut them into tiny squares and enjoy in small portions.

Though I  am sad I have had little time for baking this year, I have been stuffing my face in New Orleans for a few days , before driving to Lafayette to eat po’ boys, boudin, cracklins, and other Cajun goodies.

I only packed stretchy pants. No worries. I am prepared.

I promise a foodie recap when I return, and then perhaps I will tell you about 2 Blue Egg’s New Year’s changes and resolutions.

See you in the New Year!

Snickers Fudge

Serves 48
Prep time 2 hours
Allergy Peanuts
Meal type Dessert
Misc Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold
A fudgy, nutty homemade candy bar fudge that bring you back to the freezer again and again to sneak a bite.

Ingredients

chocolate layer 1

  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1/2 dash creamy peanut butter (JIF or Skippy)

marshmallow filling

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 dash evaporated milk
  • 3 cups marshmallow cream
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups salted peanuts
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

caramel layer

  • 1 bag caramels (14-22 oz bag, unwrapped)
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk

chocolate layer 2

  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (JIF or Skippy)

Directions

Step 1
Coat a 9 X 13 pan with cooking spray.Prepare a space in your freeze where you can easily set the pan later.
chocolate layer 1
Step 2
In a double boiler, melt together the chocolate and peanut butter until creamy. Spread onto the bottom of the pan. Place in the freezer.
marshmallow filling
Step 3
In a large saucepan on medium heat, melt the butter, then add the sugar and evaporated milk. Stir on medium-high heat until boiling. Boil for 3 minutes and remove from heat quickly.
marshamallow filling
Step 4
Quickly stir in the marshmallow cream, peanut butter, and vanilla until incorporated. Toss in the peanuts and stir.
marshmallow filling
Step 5
Spread onto the set chocolate layer in the pan in the freezer and leave in the freezer.
caramel layer
Step 6
In another small saucepan melt together the evaporated milk and caramels. Once melted, spread onto the fudge layer, only after the fudge layer has hardened slightly.
Step 7
Let the pan sit in the freezer around 20 minutes until caramel has set.
chocolate layer 2
Step 8
Melt together the chocolate and peanut butter in a double boiler for the last layer. Spread onto the top evenly and top with a few extra peanuts if you prefer. Let sit in freezer at least an hour or two.
Step 9
Cut the frozen fudge into 48 tiny squares with a sharp knife and serve. Can be left in the refirgerator or freezer for a week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fudge Spice Cabin Cookies

I call these cabin cookies because they are rather rustic and remind me of cabins and drinking Gluwein, mulled wine,  around a  big warm fire.  If you have never tried Gluwein, you are seriously missing out.I had my first sip 7 years ago when my German mother-in-law served it to me with a plate of Lebkuchen and gingerbread. It’s a Holiday ritual around here now, and on cold nights we warm it up with some sticks of cinnamon and enjoy it with cookies.

This year, I made some delicious cookies to eat for the Holidays, but spruced them up to include more wholesome ingredients.

Buckwheat flour , which I do use often ,  is the ugly duckling of the flour family, yet it is one of the nuttiest and heathiest whole grains. Let me reveal a  secret: it actually has a hint of spice to it. When you try it, you will say to yourself ” Whatever is that hint of spice?”. It tastes Christmas-y.

Buckwheat is not a grain or type of wheat, but is actually classified as fruit. Confused yet?It  contains all eight essential amino acids, so it’s nearly a complete protein. Buckwheat is also high in fiber , B vitamins and, according to a USDA study, keeps glucose levels in check better than other carbohydrates.

Because I was feeling particularly daring and  ill after having too much dairy and wine over the weekend, I used buckwheat, as well as some other healthier ingredients for these cookies: dark chocolate, walnuts and coconut oil. This ganache  is the kind of  thing a girl could pull out of the fridge and eat by the spoonful if she was having a particularly bad day..

not that I ever do that...

I urge you to try these, and you will see what I mean about the Holiday-feel of these cookies.

Oh, did I mention they are vegan? That was purely by accident, but a happy accident nonetheless.

Here are some more ideas for you to incorporate buckwheat flour  into your diet:

pizza dough

quick breads

pancakes

waffles

protein bars

crepes

nutty cookies

You can find buckwheat  at your local health food store.

 

Happy Holidays,

Lydia

Fudge Spice Cabin Cookies

Serves 12
Prep time 1 hour
Cook time 15 hours
Total time 16 hours
Allergy Tree Nuts
Dietary Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Freezable, Pre-preparable
Occasion Christmas
A rustic and wholesome vegan fudge cookie with the essence of the Holidays in every bite.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Buckwheat Flour
  • 3/4 cups walnut meal (walnuts ground up in food processor)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 heaped teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons almond milk or soymilk
  • 1/3 cup virgin coconut oil (melted)

Filling

  • 3/4 cups dark choc chips(vegan if preferred)
  • 2 tablespoons almond or coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil
  • pinch of salt

Note

Freeze these individually for a snack that can be eaten right out of the freezer.

Directions

Step 1
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Step 2
Combine all wet cookie ingredients in to a mixing bowl. Fold in the dry ingredients.
Step 3
Once all ingredients are combined by stirring, chill the dough 20 minutes in the fridge. Once you remove your dough that has been chilled, it should be firm enough to roll out.
Step 4
Roll out the dough, and cut into small 2 inch circles with a cookie cutter OR just hand drop into teaspoon -sized balls. The roll-out method produces prettier cookies, but the ball drop method is faster and easier, which is what I did.
Step 5
If you used the ball method, flatten the cookies a bit, and bake them on a parchment-paper lined cookie sheet for about 15 minutes.
Filling
Step 6
Combine filling ingredients in a double boiler, so the chocolate doesn't scorch, and stir over heat until all ingredients are combined and chocolate has melted.
Step 7
Chill the chocolate mixture 20 minutes, until it has the consistency of peanut butter and is thick enough to spread.
Step 8
Slather fudge filling on a cookie and top with another cookie.

 

A Travel Itch & A Snack

A view of Patagonia from an airplane

The travel bug has bitten me.

One of our favorite things to do at the dinner table is  rank the places we want to visit the most. Try it. You may  have a argument  slight difference of opinion with your significant other because one of you wants to rough it and avoid cities and the other wants to visit museums and famous landmarks, but that happens while traveling and in relationships. Compromise, people.

I am busting at the seams to tell everyone where we will be cavorting in exactly 23 days on our honeymoon, but, it’s a secret until the wedding.

I DO want to tell you how we chose our honeymoon destination because it is a little” off -the- wall” . Playing the aforementioned game of listing the places we most wanted to visit , we decided, why not watch all the flights to the top 5 places?The first place with a cheap  flight deal will be our honeymoon destination.  Check for cheap flights Tuesday and Thursday nights and Sundays. Those are the days you are most likely to find a deal.

Now, I realize that this game is not for everyone. If  you want to stay in a resort, drink on the beach, and chill for a week for your honeymoon, then obviously do it! However, we are not those kind of people. I am fully aware someday when I have a toddler attached to me 24/7 that may change, but right now we are still the adventurous types.

There are the Savannas of Arfrica to safari, the tastes of Thailand, the villages of China, oceans of Australia,  mountains of India and Nepal, and natural  wonders of the world to explore!

One Thursday night I happened to look at the flights to secret honeymooon destination. I thought there was actually a typo because it looked cheap enough to be one-way. But NO, the tickets were suddenly and inexplicably half- off.

In a split second, we had to make a decision. Should we do it or not? What about those other places on the list.. ?

And in a matter of minutes, flights were booked, before we could change our minds.

I can’t say I ever expected to be going to  this place on my honeymoon, but I am thrilled because it happens to be the most perfect time of year for it.  I am super excited about the cuisine there and hope to re-create some dishes and drinks when we return.

So, friends, would you like to know the other 4 places are that we WILL NOT BE going for our honeymoon but hope to visit in the next 5 years?

Thailand

Greece

Tanzania/Africa

Australia and New Zealand

That narrows it down to exactly 192 countries now. Good. You are getting closer.

Planned trips for 2013 do not include any of the aforementioned countries because it is time I visit my fiance’s country of origin, Germany!

Germany& Austria  around Christmas

Eugene, Oregon and surrounding areas in the spring

possibly Portugal or France(that is, if I can take a few days off) summertime

If anyone has a buddy pass or miles they want to donate, I will bake you cookies or give you fresh chicken eggs for life. You know you want some of these babies.

After that terribly rich peach cupcake, I  stepped-up the next recipe  and made it extra-healthy.

I must confess, I really wanted another sweet snack- so I made the Protein-Packed Chocolate Cookies pictured above. You can make them in 25 minutes!  I have learned to excel in short , spur-of-the-moment recipes when juggling wedding planning with 2 jobs.

So, peach milkshakes next week, then? Who’s with me? Just kidding. The next recipe will be savory. But I can’t promise  I won’t make peach milkshakes soon.

Happy eating.

Protein-Packed Chocolate Cookies

Serves 13
Prep time 25 minutes
Allergy Tree Nuts
Dietary Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Dessert
Misc Freezable, Pre-preparable
These gooey chocolate cookies pack a powerful nutritional punch from almond flour, coconut oil, and honey.

Ingredients

  • 2.5 cups almond flour/meal
  • .5 teaspoon baking soda
  • .5 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate or choc chips

Directions

Step 1
Combine all dry ingredients.
Step 2
Beat or whisk together all wet ingredients.
Step 3
Stir dry ingredients into wet until well combined. Then stir in chopped chocolate.
Step 4
Drop large Tablespoons of dough onto a cookie sheet
Step 5
Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Cookies will be soft when you take them out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PMS Bread

I am pissed off for no reason other than that it’s time of the month . This happens to us ladies once per month. No, no one has done anything to me. I am just pissy. The man keeps asking what he did. Poor thing. If only men could understand what it feels like to just be moody ….crave chocolate… and cry for no reason.

I want chocolate.  I want butter. I do not want to work out.

I have the desire to eat that entire $2.00 bag of mini Reese’s cups hidden in the back of the pantry .That bag I never should have bought at Big Lots a week ago.But it  was on sale. And I love Reese’s even if I only eat them a couple times per year. Sigh.

I decided to resist that  temptation for a healthy, wholesome, yet decadent tread: Chocolate Zucchini Bread.

The word “zucchini” is misleading, because, friends, you will not even know it hides in the folds of the dark, creamy batter.Promise. I have tested it on numerous non-health-food-eating friends in the last month, and everyone says the same thing,

“MMM…That is good. So rich. What is that..that flavor?I can’t place it?”

It’s actually NOT the zucchini you taste when you bite into the moist, rich, warm chocolatey goodness, but just a hint of allspice.

This loaf holds up incredibly well for days  because e it becomes more moist the day after you bake it, and is the perfect treat to bring to your neighbor’s house, your coworkers’ party, or  you can slather a thick layer of almond butter on top  and eat standing up in your kitchen when you come home starving from work.( Not that I have done that.)

Your friends will think they are eating an unhealthy chocolate loaf, when in reality they will be eating mostly superfoods like coconut oil, honey, cocoa powder, almond butter, zucchini, and whole grains.

BAM!

You can’t beat  that.

Numerous studies show that people think foods taste worse if they are healthy or vegan. In a recent study, a  group of people was given different energy bars and asked to rate flavor between  them.

They were first given a Powerbar, the chocolatey kind that tastes like a Snickers, and told it was  just an energy bar. They were then given another bar, and told it was a vegan energy bar.

They rated the vegan bar as having a funky taste. Except…… THE VEGAN BAR WAS SECRETLY THE SAME!

PERCEPTION about health foods can easily become your reality. It just goes to show, you don’t need to tell anyone this bread is healthy or includes zucchini.

It will be our secret.

All that your health-food- hating friends or husbands or boyfriends  will notice about this bread is how flavorful and decadent it tastes, not the list of , gasp, “healthy” ingredients.

 

And with that, I guess I will pick myself up off this chair and head for workout # 2 today. This 90 -day challenge will be the death of me.  The man  is just behind me by 5 points. I can’t miss a workout this week!

 

To Your Health,

Lydia

Chocolate Zucchini Bread (PMS Bread)

Serves 15
Prep time 1 hour
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 1 hour, 45 minutes
Allergy Egg, Tree Nuts
Meal type Bread, Snack

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1.5 teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 1/2 cup Almond Butter, creamy
  • 4 tablespoons butter, preferably organic or grassfed
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 cup sugar in the raw or sucanat
  • 2 eggs, large
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1.5 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
  • 4 cups zucchini, grated finely
  • 1 teaspoon allspice

Directions

Step 1
Combine and whisk together all the dry ingredients except chocolate chips and zucchini.
Step 2
Beat the honey, sugar, butter, coconut oil, and almond butter well until combined and foamy. Beat in 1 egg at a time.Add vanilla.
Step 3
Stir dry ingredients into liquid ingredients and beat until just combined.
Step 4
Stir in zucchini and chocolate with a large spoon carefully.
Step 5
Bake at 350 degrees in a large loaf pan for 45 minutes or until center is not liquidy. Test with toothpick in center for doneness. Can be made in 2 medium loaf pans, as well, as this makes around 15 servings.
Step 6
Slather with almond butter and eat warm out of the oven!

 

 

NCCC Day

NCCC Day.

You do know what that acronym means right? No? Well that’s because I made it up just now. Its stands for National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day, which just so happens to be today.

I try to eat healthy most of the time, and the indulgence happens usually on a weekend and is in the form of dessert, alcohol, or every once in a while some good ‘ole soul food. I do live in the South.

BUT I guess I will take one for the team today and break my general habits of  avoiding sugar and flour during the weekdays. If it is NCCC Day, so be it.

 

My  problem with chocolate chip cookies lies in the fact that every cook, baker, and blogger  has beaten it into the ground. Everyone seems to have discovered the “best” recipe or be on a quest for it. I am not in any way saying  there is anything wrong with those people, but I just feel there are enough chocolate chip cookie recipes in the world to feed every hungry child in Africa if we all made a different recipe.

 

I was not even planning on creating my own recipe, but rather pointing you to my personal favorite recipe on Eat Live Run or to the one in the  Back in the Day Bakery cookbook , which is similar. I prefer a chewy, thick and gooey cookie myself.

My creativity got the better of me when I pulled out the butter, and I decided, “NOOOO!” I do not want  to use white flour and sugar because that is not what I represent and that is not what this blog represents!  I can  make a recipe that tastes sinful and chewy, but is made with healthier ingredients. A recipe that will not make me feel like taking a nap afterwards . A recipe  that will energize me for a run or make a worthy snack.

I scoured the pantry, pulled out a hodge- podge of ingredients,  and hoped for the best, eagerly watching them as they baked to see if any disaster befell them: flattening, exploding, burning..you know… all the usual things that happen in my kitchen when I make up recipes. That’s when they go to the chickens.

The cookies looked surprisingly…perfect.Wait…Do I even dare use that word in the same sentence with anything asociated with me?

But they were very smooth, fluffy, round, oozy, and  looked  appetizing and bakery-like.

I waited in anticipation for the taste test, which happened exactly .2 seconds after I pulled them out the oven and burned my mouth eating it.

Verdict:Uh-maz-ing-ness

Did I mention that your friends will not even know they contain no white flour, white sugar, and very little butter?

I test every recipe with one simple question: Does it taste healthy? Because, to me, the answer should be a resounding “NO”.

These are decadent and rich. Exactly the way I like them.

 

Excuse me while I pour a glass of almond milk and dip in my cookie.

Wholesome Chocolate Chip Cookies

Allergy Egg, Tree Nuts, Wheat
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Freezable
These chewy, rich chocolate chip cookies pack healthy punch.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups whole wheat Pastry flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (fine)
  • 1/2 cup crunchy almond butter
  • 4 tablespoons organic butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (room temperature)
  • 1 cup sucanat or natural cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1.5 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 Large eggs (room temperature)
  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips (large size)

Optional

  • 3/4 cups cherries (dried)

Directions

Step 1
Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda.
Step 2
Cream almond butter, butter, coconut oil, sucanat, and honey together.
Step 3
Beat in eggs 1 at a time, then vanilla.
Step 4
Add flour mixture to wet egg mixture. Beat until blended.
Step 5
Carefully stir in chocolate chips and cherries.
Step 6
Scoop 2 T of dough into a ball(should be a large ball) onto a pan lined with parchment paper and repeat with remaining dough.
Step 7
Bake cookies at 325 degrees for 10 minutes. The cookies should be soft when taken out of the oven.