Vanilla almond choc-chip cookies

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I baked cookies. Honestly, I probably shouldn’t have because I’ve already eaten 3. It happened. The recipe is from The Whole Pantry app, which if you’ve not discovered yet I highly recommend. It’s full of tasty, healthy recipes and general goodness.

All of these healthy hints are perfect when trying to change your eating habits, as I have been since returning from Europe (we’ve now been home longer than we were gone, that means it’s time to plan the next trip, right?) I’ve been focusing on real, whole foods, nothing processed or refined. The only time that feels a little difficult is when you want a treat. But not anymore!

These babies tick a whole heap of boxes… Paleo- check! Vegan- check! Gluten free- check! Refined sugar free- check! You can even make them nut free, by substituting sunflower seed meal in for the almond meal. There are only a handful of ingredients, and they come together and are ready for the oven in less than 10 minutes flat. IMG_4799Dry ingredients meet wet ingredients… the warmed up honey and coconut oil smelled absolutely incredible. IMG_4801Crumbly but combined. At this point you have to exercise some serious self restraint to not eat the whole bowl like this. I managed to hold off until I had twelve cookies ready to go- then I ate the remaining mixture and was tempted to eat one two cookies raw. IMG_4802Ready for the oven. I put them in for 10 minutes to start with, and they didn’t need anymore (keep an eye on them just in case). They’ll be super soft when you pull them out of the oven but they firm up as they cool.

I will most certainly be making these babies again. I briefly considered making a second batch today- it may still happen…

Vanilla almond choc-chip cookies (from The Whole Pantry app)

Ingredients:
1.5 cups almond meal
2.5 tbsp coconut oil, melted
0.25 cup cacao nibs
2 tbsp maple syrup (I used honey due to my lack of maple syrup)
1 tsp vanilla
0.25 tsp sea salt (I forgot this…)
0.25 tsp baking powder

Method:
1. Preheat your oven to 170*c (340*f)
2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl (I melted my coconut oil and honey together first)
3. Mix it up
4. Portion onto a lined baking tray, press down slightly
5. Bake those suckers for 13 minutes (as I said mine only needed 10, but I may have a hot oven)
6. Leave them to cool- yes this is necessary, they’ll fall apart if you try and sneak one early
7. Eat ’em! IMG_4791

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

There are few things in life as satisfying as pulling freshly baked chocolate chip cookies from the oven. The smell is enough to make me a little weak in the knees, and I  don’t even eat them anymore. IMG_2405I mean look at them… all golden with flecks of chocolate, just begging to be eaten before they are appropriately cooled.

Everyone has a go-to recipe for chocolate chip cookies. My go-to has evolved over the years to arrive at this fail safe, always incredible, mouth watering, concoction. IMG_2403Even the raw dough looks incredible. There have been times when I’ve bought those cookie dough rolls just to eat them raw… so good. IMG_2404They are perfectly bite sized at this stage. One mouthful. Gone. What raw cookie dough?IMG_2406But then you wait and that smell comes out of your oven! Good lord. What a smell.IMG_2407Then you box them up and take them all out of your house (much to the disppointment of the BF). They were highly appreciated in the wee hours of morning during Relay for Life, I am sure.

Chocolate chip cookies

Ingredients:
1 cup (235 grams) butter
2 cups plain flour
0.5 tsp baking soda
0.5 tsp baking powder
0.5 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar (I sometimes do half white, half raw if I feel inclined)
2.5 cups oat bran (I like mine a little bit chunky still, it gives the cookies a chewier texture)
200gr milk chocolate
140-200gr dark chocolate

Method:
1. pre-heat over to 180*c (350*f) and line some cookie trays with baking paper
2. combine flour, oat bran, salt, baking power and baking soda in a bowl, set aside
3. cream your butter and sugars until they are looking fluffy and glorious (you’ll know it when you see it)
4. add vanilla and eggs one at a time, beat baby, beat
5. add your flour mixture gradually until it’s all combined
6. roughly chop all of your chocolate, I use chocolate blocks rather than chips because it melts rather than holding its shape giving you these pockets of chocolate goodness… is anyone else drooling a little?
7. mix your chopped chocolate through your dough, get in there with your hands for even distribution
8. Roll dough into balls, I go with about a teaspoon of mixture, place them on your prepared tray a little way apart so it doesn’t become one big cookie (would that be so bad though, really?)
9. bake for 8-10 minutes, if you want them crispier leave them a little longer, I personally like them soft and chewy so 8-10 is perfection.
10. pull out of oven and try not to burn the roof of your mouth while stealing piping hot cookies off the tray,

Easter slutty brownies

I will pretty much take any excuse to bake something. And easter is as good a reason as any. I had many ideas in mind when it came to easter creations.

1. Cheesecake filled chocolate eggs with a passionfruit “yolk”
2. Chocolate egg nests
3. Easter slutty brownies.

Two and three happened, my nests were not quite as nest-like as I was hoping, but it’s hard to go wrong with slutty brownies. Now you can make these babies bonkers easy by using box mix for both the cookie and brownie components. But I am a sucker for creaming some butter and sugar so I made a from scratch cookie base. The brownie layer however, well you must use Betty Crocker. IMG_2006Ingredients, most of them anyway, not pictured is the flour, baking powder and castor sugar for the cookie layer and the vegetable oil (I used rice bran) for the brownie layer.

First up, cookie layer…IMG_2011Butter and both sugars. Cream.IMG_2012Egg and vanilla. Beat. IMG_2028I love a good action shot… or four. Mixing. Mixing. Mixing. Mixing. IMG_2029Cookie dough. IMG_2016Now squish it into your pan.

Brownie time! IMG_2023Peel your eggs. I had two kinds, the big ones are caramel filled, the little ones are straight up chocolate. Once that’s done you’re ready to make brownie batter. Now focus, this is tricky…IMG_2018Dump all ingredients into a bowl and mix.IMG_2020Eggs meet brownie mix.IMG_2021Brownie mix meet cookie. IMG_2008And you’re ready for the oven.IMG_2034Baked up to gooey-brownie-cookie goodness. The only mistake I made was cutting the chunks too large…

If you fancy looking at the original slutty brownies head over to The Londoner, I can almost guarantee they won’t be the only thing to catch your eye.

Happy (slightly belated) Easter!