St. Patrick’s Day Cookies

I love St. Patrick’s Day- the music, the story, how green the grass is, and all the wildflowers that are blooming.  If you haven’t heard the story of St. Patrick before, let me fill you in on the major points.  As a teenager, Patrick, who was actually from Britain, was captured by Irish pirates and became an animal-tending slave in Ireland for about six years.  He escaped, but then later he returned to Ireland as a missionary.  What a story of forgiveness!  With the powerful story and my love of Irish music, I always anticipate St. Patrick’s Day with eager expectations.  I am often disappointed on the actual day because I am reminded each year that most people don’t really celebrate the day, and if they do, it’s mostly about drinking.  Well, this year, I played some Irish violin music, listened to my Irish Pandora station, and actually made something green with the intention of celebrating tonight with some friends.  These are the cookies I made for tonight’s event.  Hope you enjoy!

Time requirement:

Mixing: 10 minutes

Chilling: 2 hours or overnight

Baking: 7-8 minutes per cookie sheet

Frosting: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

1 1/2 c. powdered sugar

1 c. vegan butter (SmartBalance or EarthBalance work)

1/4 c. non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened coconut milk)

1 tsp vanilla

2 1/2 c. Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking Flour

2 T. cornstarch

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cream of tartar

 

Icing:

4 c. powdered sugar

4 T. non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened coconut milk)

dash salt

1/2 to 1 tsp vanilla

Green food coloring, if desired

 

Cookie Directions:

Combine 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar with butter, 1/4 c. non-dairy milk and vanilla.  Mix on low in a stand mixer.  Add flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and cream of tartar.  Give it a little stir so the flour won’t poof, and then mix with a stand mixer until combined.  Cover and let sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours.  The dough will be wetter than normal cookie dough.

After two hours, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  You have at least two options with the dough.  The quick version is to take it out by Tablespoons and press onto a piece of parchment paper to about 1/4 inch thick in the shape of a cookie.  If you want shaped cookies, it will require a fair amount more of effort since the dough is wetter.  Always put remaining dough back in the fridge until you are ready to shape it so it will be less sticky.

Bake the cookies on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet for 7-8 minutes at 375 degrees until edges just start to brown.  Cool on a cooling rack (I just pull the whole sheet of parchment paper onto the cooling rack.)

Icing Directions:

Mix powdered sugar, salt, vanilla, and non-dairy milk.  Stir well and then spoon onto cooled cookies.  If it is too thick, add a tiny bit of milk at a time until it is the desired texture.  Put a spoonful on each cooled cookie and spread as needed.  It will flatten out and turn to a glaze-like icing in a minute or two.

Enjoy and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

 

Adapted from:

http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/vegan-sugar-cookies/45ab6889-511a-4345-9391-9ea5c00c8d4a

 

 

 

 

 

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Rocky Road Chocolate Cookies

Nothing says, “I love you” like some chocolate cookies.  Okay.  Maybe there are some other ways to say it quite effectively, but this won’t hurt.  Try these out for your valentine tonight!

Ingredients:

3/4 c. brown rice flour

1/4 c. tapioca starch

1/4 c. potato starch

1/4 tsp xanthan gum

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2/3 c. cocoa powder

1/2 c. coconut oil, melted but room temperature

1/2 c. granulated sugar

1/2 c. packed brown sugar (I used light brown because that’s what I had)

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/3 c. non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened Cashew Milk this time, but normally I use coconut milk)

1/4 c. Enjoy Life Mini-Chocolate Chips

1/4 c. mini marshmallows or 4-5 big marshmallows torn into bits

1/4 c. chopped walnuts

 

Directions:

In a small bowl, mix flours and starches, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder.  In a stand mixer bowl, mix coconut oil and sugars.  Blend on low.  Add vanilla and blend again on low.  Add half the flour and half the milk and stir just a little bit before turning on the mixer to prevent a flour cloud.  Mix briefly with the mixer.  Repeat with the rest of the flour and milk and mix with mixer briefly.  The dough should be very thick.  Add in chocolate chips, marshmallows, and walnuts.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Meanwhile, form dough into balls and place on parchment paper on a cookie sheet.  Chill the dough balls on the cookie sheet until ready to go into the oven.  Bake for 10 minutes or until desired firmness.  *Note* Coconut oil will harden as it cools, so do not over bake.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

These taste just like Thanksgiving.  What does Thanksgiving taste like?  Cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg.  I don’t have much to say about these.  Just try them if you are jealous of everyone else’s Thanksgiving sweets :-).

 

Ingredients:

1/2 c. coconut oil

1/2 c. butter (I used SmartBalance)

1 c. white sugar

1 c. brown sugar

2 eggs (I used 2 flax eggs which means 2 T. golden flaxseed meal mixed with 6 T. water)

1 tsp vanilla

1 c. canned pumpkin puree

3 c. flour (I used: 1 c. oat flour, 1 c. brown rice flour, 1/2 c. potato starch, 1/4 c. tapioca starch, 1/4 c. millet, 1/2 tsp xanthan gum)

2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1 c. mini-chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life)

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Pre-mix flax eggs.  In a large bowl, blend coconut oil and butter.  Add in sugars and stir well.   Stir in flax eggs, vanilla, and pumpkin puree and stir well.  In a medium bowl, combine flours together and add all dry ingredients except chocolate chips.  Add dry ingredients to wet and mix well.  Add chocolate chips at the end and stir in.  I refrigerated my dough for about 10-15 minutes.  An hour would have been better but I was in a hurry :-).  I would do so especially if your house is warm.  Drop batter by Tablespoons onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets.  Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees.  You really do want to bake it that long.  I thought mine looked fine at 12 minutes this time so I took them out early.  They were fine that day, but the next day they were super duper moist and were acting a little underbaked.  Don’t take them out too early and you’ll be fine :-).

Original recipe:  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/pumpkin-chocolate-chip-cookies-recipe.html

Healthy Coconut Flour Chocolate Cookies

I think this recipe might be paleo.  I’m not too sure since I don’t follow that diet, but I’m pretty sure it falls under a lot of “healthy” categories (low sugar, low carb, etc).  It tastes kind of healthy too.  I typically don’t go for “healthy” tasting recipes, but some of my friends do and they loved this recipe, so I’m adding it in case you like healthy cookies too.  The taste grew on me, but I have a pretty big sweet tooth and I would normally eat cookies with more sugar.  With that said, those of you who avoid refined sugar might just love this recipe.  Plus, it is helping me get rid of the large amounts of coconut flour currently in my possession.  I have had trouble finding recipes that sound good and that don’t call for eggs.  So, there are many reasons to try this recipe -just don’t expect it to be as sweet as the other dessert recipes I have posted :-).

 

Ingredients:

1/2 c. coconut oil

1 1/2 tsp dried mint or fresh mint or more (optional)

1/2 c. honey

1/4 c. cocoa powder (The original recipe calls for carob powder but I would only do that if you’re allergic to chocolate.  The taste is NOT the same.)

1/4 c. golden flaxmeal plus 3/4 c. water

1/8 tsp salt

1 c. coconut flour

1/2 c. shredded coconut (I used the sweetened kind, but you could use unsweetened if you don’t want the sugar.)

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

 

Optional step: Heat coconut oil over low heat.  Turn off the heat and add mint leaves and allow to steep for 10-30 minutes.

Directions: Mix flaxseed and water first.  Stir all ingredients together, including coconut oil and flaxseed mixture.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake for 10-12 minutes.  After baking, I rolled some of them in powdered sugar to sweeten them up, but you could skip this step.

 

Chocolate Chip Coconut Flour Cookies

This is the same recipe I used for my Coconut Flour Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies, but for some reason it turned out WAY better this time.  Maybe it was the coconut oil and cashew milk switch?  Last time I thought the recipe was ho-hum, but this time I got a lot of compliments on it and enjoyed it better myself.  I think rolling them into balls helped too as it kept the center soft.  If you’re debating which one to make, I say make this one first :-).

Ingredients:

1/2 c. white sugar

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/2 c.coconut oil

1/3 c. cashew milk

2 tsp vanilla

3/4 c. white rice flour

1/3 c. coconut flour

2 T. potato starch

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp xanthan gum

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 c. Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips

1/4 c. chopped pecans

 

Directions:

Cream coconut oil and sugars.  Add milk and vanilla and stir well.  In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients.  Add dry ingredients to wet and stir in chocolate chips and pecans.  Set the dough aside for 20 minutes so it can rest (maybe this is because of the coconut flour?) Roll into 1-inch balls. Bake cookies on parchment paper-lined cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 9 minutes.  Edges should have just a tinge of brown.  They will harden when they cool so do not overbake.  Allow to cool.  May be frozen for longer storage.

 

Adapted from:

http://www.yammiesglutenfreedom.com/2014/05/gluten-free-chocolate-chip-cookies.html

Coconut Flour Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you’re like me and have been experimenting with baking, you may find yourself with way too much coconut flour on hand.  So many of the coconut flour recipes call for eggs but this one doesn’t!  At first I was disappointed because these were a little gritty, but then I froze them and found them quite addicting in their mostly frozen state.  Forewarning that these taste a little “healthy”, but if you like that taste, you might love these.

 

Ingredients:

1/2 c. white sugar

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. vegan butter

1/3 c. coconut milk

2 tsp vanilla

3/4 c. white rice flour

1/3 c. coconut flour

2 T. potato starch

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp xanthan gum

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 c. Enjoy Life chocolate chips

1/4 c. chopped pecans

 

Directions:

Cream butter and sugars.  Add milk and vanilla and stir well.  In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients.  Add dry ingredients to wet and stir in chocolate chips and pecans.  Set the dough aside for 20 minutes so it can rest (maybe this is because of the coconut flour?)  Bake cookies on parchment paper-lined cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  Allow to cool.  May be frozen for longer storage.

 

Adapted from:

http://www.yammiesglutenfreedom.com/2014/05/gluten-free-chocolate-chip-cookies.html

Simple Peanut Butter Banana Frozen No-Bakes

The name is longer than the ingredient list.

One of my friends told me about these.  It is her husband’s dessert that he makes.  She didn’t, however, give me the exact recipe, so this is my experiment.  It is very simple and oh so good!  I think I am going to try it as popsicles sometime and I’ll let you know if they turn out.  This is a good, cheap, and healthy snack for kids too.

 

Ingredients:

1 large, very ripe banana, mashed

2 T. peanut butter

 

Directions:

Mash banana.  Add peanut butter and stir well.  Place onto wax paper and freeze for at least an hour.  I froze mine overnight.

 

Notes:

I tried adding additional ingredients, but it actually made them less tasty.  The only down side is that your fingers get kind of messy as the heat from them melts the “cookie” which is why I want to try them as popsicles.

 

Thumbprint Cookies

My mother-in-law and brother-in-law make a delicious Mustang Grape jelly.  We made rolls and used the jelly, but we still had a lot left, so I decided to try these cookies.

Ingredients:

1/2 c. vegan butter (SmartBalance)

1/4 c. packed brown sugar

1 flax egg (1 T. ground golden flaxseed, 3 T. water)

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 c. Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 baking flour

1/4 c. chopped walnuts

1/3 c. jam of any flavor, approximately

1/4 tsp salt

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Make flax egg and let rest for 5-10 minutes.  Cream butter and sugar.  Add flax egg and vanilla and stir.  Add flour and stir well.  Add chopped walnuts.

Roll into balls a Tablespoon at a time and place on parchment paper on a cookie sheet.  Bake at 300 degrees for 5 minutes.  Remove pan from oven and make an indent with your thumb in each cookie.  Fill each indent with jam and then return to the oven for 15-18 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool before eating.  I made the mistake of trying to eat one too soon and the jelly was way too hot!

The first time I made these I rolled the walnuts on the outside as seen in the picture, and the walnuts kept falling off.  They will work much better if the walnuts are included in the dough as I directed in the instructions.

Inspired by: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/9618/thumbprint-cookies-i/

Sugar Cookies

You know those grocery store cookies- the big cakey sugary cookies that are decorated differently for each season?  Here is how to make them gluten free and vegan!  These still tasted good when they were several days old!

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 c. powdered sugar

1 c. vegan butter (SmartBalance or EarthBalance work)

1/4 c. non-dairy milk (I used original cashew milk)

1 tsp vanilla

2 1/2 c. Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking Flour

2 T. cornstarch

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cream of tartar

 

Icing:

4 c. powdered sugar

4 T. non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened flax milk)

dash salt

1/2 to 1 tsp vanilla

 

Directions:

Combine 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar with butter, 1/4 c. non-dairy milk and vanilla.  Mix on low in a stand mixer.  Add flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and cream of tartar.  Give it a little stir so the flour won’t poof, and then mix with a stand mixer until combined.  Cover and let sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours.  The dough will be wetter than normal cookie dough.

After two hours, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  You have at least two options with the dough.  The quick version is to take it out by Tablespoons and press onto a piece of parchment paper to about 1/4 inch thick in the shape of a cookie.  If you want shaped cookies, it will require a fair amount more of effort since the dough is wetter.  I managed to get some hearts out and then decided to go back to circles.  See below for details.*  Always put remaining dough back in the fridge until you are ready to shape it so it will be less sticky.

Bake the cookies on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet for 7-8 minutes at 375 degrees until edges just start to brown.  Cool on a cooling rack (I just pull the whole sheet of parchment paper onto the cooling rack.)

Icing Directions:

Mix powdered sugar, salt, vanilla, and non-dairy milk.  Stir well and then spoon onto cooled cookies.  I found that it spread by itself, so I just needed to put a big spoonful in the middle of the cookie.

*To make the hearts, I grabbed a handful of dough and put it on parchment paper dusted with white rice flour.  Then I dusted the top of the dough and put a piece of wax paper on top to help me press it down.  I then stuck it in the fridge for about 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, take it out and remove the wax paper.  Use a cookie cutter to cut out the shape you want, but instead of scooping up the cookie and putting it onto a pan, remove the excess dough and leave the cookie where it is.  This would be a fairly tedious process to cut them all into shapes which is why most of mine became circles.  I will experiment another time with ways to make cookie cutter cookies.

IMG_5239
One of the hard-earned hearts!
IMG_5235
The inside looks just like it’s supposed to!
IMG_5236
This is how they looked right after being frosted.
IMG_5245
This is how they looked after the frosting had dried.

Adapted from:

http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/vegan-sugar-cookies/45ab6889-511a-4345-9391-9ea5c00c8d4a

 

 

No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies (a.k.a. Dinosaur Food)

I remember making this recipe in junior high with a friend.  At the time we called it dinosaur food, but I have since learned that is has a much less exciting name.  Whichever name you choose to use, this is an easy, quick recipe and relatively inexpensive depending on the ingredients you use.  If you don’t need to be gluten free, you can use regular oats and it is really cheap.  I like Skippy Natural Peanut Butter because it is a compromise between cheap peanut butter and “healthy” peanut butter.  The ingredient list is really short but it still looks and tastes like the peanut butter I remember.  These are all the ingredients you need:

IMG_5033

Ingredients:

1/2 c. butter (one stick)- regular butter or a n0n-dairy butter both work.  I used SmartBalance.

1/2 c. milk (I used coconut milk)

2 c. granulated sugar

1/3 c. cocoa powder

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 c. peanut butter (could use SunButter or another nut butter if you can’t have peanuts)

2 1/2 c. oats (I used gluten free quick-oats this time but it is good with whole oats too)

 

Directions:

Mix butter and milk in pan and turn on medium low until butter is partially melted.  Add in sugar and cocoa and mix well.  Bring it to a boil over medium high heat and boil for one minute (I sometimes do 2 minutes.)  Remove from heat and add vanilla and peanut butter and stir until melted.  Add in oats and stir well.  Line a baking sheet with wax paper and drop cookies onto pan by Tablespoons.  Let cool completely and then store in an airtight container.