Peanut Butter, Chocolate, and Honey No Bake Cookies (Gluten Free and Dairy Free)

No Bake Cookies // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen with Honey  (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

These cookies are filled with my favorite flavors…Peanut Butter and Chocolate. I’m in absolute heaven.

When I was in college and times became super stressful, I would always turn to my grandma’s No-Bake Cookie recipe. It took less than 10 minutes to have a handful of devilishly delicious, misshapen, peanut butter-chocolatey goodness. And hey, it had oats in it…soooo it has to be good for me, right?

No Bake Cookies // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen with Honey  (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)I recently had another hankering for these little oaty smorsels. But when I read her original recipe, I was shocked at the quantity of sugar! I decided to reevaluate and reinvent my grandmother’s (and so many other’s grandmothers) recipe. The original recipe contains:

  • 2 CUPS of sugar (yes…cups)
  • 1/2 cup of butter (ooooh yaaaaa)
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1/4 cup of cocoa powder
  • 1 cup of peanut butter (likely Jiff)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups of quick-cooking oats

No Bake Cookies // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen with Honey  (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

Soooooo… whaaaa? Instead of the empty calories seen in the original cookie recipe, my reinvented cookies are full of nutritious and healthy ingredients. Honey. Coconut Oil. Cocoa Powder. Natural Peanut Butter.  Rolled Oats. Unsweetened Coconut. And my new No Bake Cookies are SO delicious. You don’t have to feel an ounce of guilt when eating one…or two…or three. Eat your feelings…and feel good about it.

No Bake Cookies // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen with Honey  (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

Note – These cookies are made with coconut oil. Since coconut oil melts at room temperature, it is best to keep your leftover cookies in the fridge so that they are a set and solid…that is, if you have leftovers.

No Bake Cookies // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

Peanut Butter, Chocolate, and Honey No-Bake Cookies (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

  • Servings: 30
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup honey (or maple syrup)
  • 1/2 Cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 Cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 Cup natural creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Cups gluten free rolled oats
  • 1/2 Cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Heat honey, coconut oil, and cocoa powder in a large pot over medium-high heat stirring constantly until boiling. Stop stirring and allow to boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter and salt. Mix well.
  2. Add oats, shredded coconut, and vanilla extract to chocolate-peanut butter mixture. Stir well until  everything is thoroughly mixed together.
  3. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet or plate. Plop spoonfuls of the no-bake cookie mixture onto prepared pan/plate. If it is too warm in your kitchen, place the cookies in the fridge to set.  Because there is coconut oil in this recipe, the oil will tend to melt a bit at room temperature. Keeping the cookies in the fridge will ensure that they are firmer.

No Bake Cookies // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen with Honey  (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

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Chocolate and Peanut Butter Macaroons (Grain Free)

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Macaroons / Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Sorry for the long delay in between posts. Recently life has been tough at times but life also has been very good. When I am going through a roller coaster of emotions and dead lines and choices and what not, I consume chocolate and peanut butter. Doctors orders.

But when life is good…I also eat chocolate and peanut butter.

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Macaroons / Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Macaroons / Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

The combination sends warm fuzzies through my body. It’s a choco-pb hug for my soul. I get my best soul hugs from those crack-like addictive Reese’s PB eggs that spring forth from every corner around this time of year. I can stay away from Reese’s (nearly) the rest of the year, but throw them in an egg shape! Holy frijoles, I can’t stop. My eyes pop out of my head all googley and I froth at the mouth and I protect them like a squirrel, hiding my Reese’s eggs in weird and unassuming places.

These cookies are the wonderful love child of two of my favorite cookies: No bake cookies + macaroons. Whoa. Whoa.

Let this happen.

Make them egg shaped. They are better for you than those other choco-pb eggs and just as addictive.

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Macaroons / Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

It will make you love life even when there are a few major down moments.

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Macaroons (Grain Free and Diary Free)

Adapted from Against All Grain

Makes 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons natural creamy unsweetened peanut butter*
  • 1 egg white
  • salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325F. Place a piece of parchment paper onto a rimmed baking sheet. Set the baking sheet aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the coconut, honey, cacao powder, peanut butter, and a pinch of salt.
  3. Place egg white and another pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Using a whisk or electric beaters, beat the egg white for about 2 minutes until soft peaks form. Combine meringue with other ingredients in the large bowl.
  4. Using a melon baller, scoop out cookies and place them onto the parchment paper. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 1 hour on a wire cooling wrack.

*Note – To make these Paleo friendly, use either almond butter or sunflower seed butter in place of the peanut butter. 

Paleo Chocolate Banana Ice Cream Sandwich

I grew up in the smack dab middle of Oklahoma. And Oklahoma summers are HOT. And Windy. And LONG. We often experienced over a month or two straight of days exceeding 100 degrees!  The only cure for those days is a body of water, air conditioning, and ICE CREAM.  Or just ice. Lots of ice ice baby.

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Unfortunately I did not grow up around any body of water nor a creek (pronounced crick). Instead of lakes or ‘cricks’ or rivers….I grew up running in and out of a water sprinkler attached to our water hose in our front yard. I would jump over and over and over the stream as it sprayed into my face.  The only thing that would make me stop the water dance was when the homemade ice cream machine would finally stop churning. I would inhale fresh ice cream with it dripping all over my face as the sprinkler water quickly evaporated from my hair and swimsuit. By the time I had devoured my ice cream, I was bone dry and ready for another round of the great water sprinkler dance.

Even though I’m older (much), my priorities of summer remain the same. But sometimes, waiting for fresh churned ice cream is not possible…also, my butt loves to hoard it. Stupid butt. So in order to deny my butt the pleasure of hoarding all of the ice cream AND to cut down on time to prepare homemade ice cream, I came up with a BRILLIANT ice cream sandwich that is gluten free, grain free, dairy free, paleo-friendly.  Bonus…they taste like the classic ice cream sandwich (or even better in my opinion).

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My criteria for this recipe were: (1) simple to make; (2) gluten free and dairy free; and (3) the cookies couldn’t be rock hard. There is nothing worse in my opinion than biting into an ice cream sandwich and having all of the ice cream squeeeeeze out the sides and into my lap and floor and face and shoes and toes and other odd crevices. UGH. Or is that just me?

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I’m serious…these puppies are amazing. I woke up in the middle of the night with this idea. I would patent the crap out of these if I could. I’m THAT excited about it. Pretty sad, huh? My little sister was in town for the weekend and once I proclaimed my amazing recipe idea to her, she immediately replied “LET’S DO IT”. Such conviction! I love it.

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The “ice cream” is just 5 to 6 frozen bananas that have been pureed into an amazing banana sorbet. Simple. One ingredient. Then the banana ice cream is sandwiched between two simple chocolate-nut butter cookie-cakey layers. I have made the cookie layer using peanut butter and almond butter.

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So first things first, go peel and chop up a crap-ton of bananas and throw them into the freezer. I always have a huge gallon bag of frozen bananas ready to go. Anytime one is nearing the “great for banana bread stage” I just chop it up and add it to the ziplock freezer bag. Insta- banana ice cream whenever I want!

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Paleo Chocolate Banana Ice Cream Sandwich 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of creamy nut butter (almond butter or peanut butter)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 5 to 6 sliced frozen bananas

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the almond butter, honey, and egg until combined. Stir in the baking soda, salt, vanilla, and cocoa powder until well mixed. Spread cookie mixture with a spatula onto prepared pan evenly to 1/4-inch thick.  The batter will be thick like dough. Keep pressing it until it evenly covers the bottom of the pan. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes (times vary between ovens) or until edges appear done and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. I placed the cookie sheet into the freezer while I made the banana ice cream.
  3. Once cookie is cooled, make the banana ice cream. For the banana ice cream, place the sliced bananas into the bowl of a good food processor or into a blender. Blend on high or process for a few minutes. Bananas will turn into a creamy sorbet.
  4. Using a serrated knife, cut the cookie in half crosswise. Use a spatula and spoon out the banana ice cream and place onto one side of the cookie. Spread evenly. Then carefully lift and place the other side of the cookie (flat side up) on top of the ice cream-covered side. Smooth sides and wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for at least 2 hours.
  5. When ready to serve, unwrap the ice cream sandwich. Using a serrated knife, cut into 12 rectangles. Freeze leftovers wrapped in plastic wrap.

Grain Free Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

Sometimes we all just need a cookie.

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Sometimes nothing else cures a long day or a rough week like homemade chocolate chip cookies.

But being gluten free, warm chocolate chip cookies became a ghostly memory that haunted me with melty goodness.  Were they that good? Maybe not. Maybe I just beefed it up in my imagination. Like ALF…I mean really…that show could NOT have been as great as I remember it. A hand puppet alien? Really.  Anyone?

And then my girlfriend Tessa made a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies made with almond flour. I was floored. It was like a hug wrapped up in a cookie. It was soft. It was chewy. It tasted like the real thing! Like the kind that my mom would make on cold winter days.

And then it happened…

I snapped. I couldn’t stop thinking about those COOKIES. Those amazing cookies.

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I woke up in the middle of the night. COOKIES.

I smelled them in my dreams. COOKIES.

I kept coming up with bad excuses to make them. HEY, Let’s celebrate me getting gas in my car! COOKIES? Hey honey, you look great in plaid…COOKIES???  I’m so sorry that you worked on a Saturday….COOKIES?????

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They solved all my problems last week.  I had to hide a few in the freezer so that my cookie-monster husband didn’t eat them all.  So for special occasions I will warm a few up….like “hey, I organized my sock drawer and found most of the missing socks”….Time for a cookie and a milk stout!

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Grain Free Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies (slightly adapted from Against All Grain)

Makes 2 dozen small cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter or ghee
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour (such as Honeyville)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (use Enjoy Life chocolate chips for dairy free)
  • 1/4 cup walnut pieces

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat. Set aside. 
  2. In a large bowl, combine melted butter, eggs, and honey. Whip with a fork until combined and creamy.  Add almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix until a dough forms. Stir in the chocolate chip pieces and walnut pieces until combined.
  3. Using a tablespoon, scoop out dough and place on parchment paper or silpat mat on prepared baking sheet. Flatten out cookie dough slightly with either the back of the spoon or your fingers. The cookies won’t spread during the cooking process. Therefore create the shape that you want before you bake the cookies.
  4. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes at 350 degrees F until lightly browned on edges.  Remove from baking sheet and allow to cool on wire rack.

Grain-Free Hazelnut-Pecan Delights

First things first. I have some amazing news. I received my official notification in the mail that I passed my Professional Engineering exam!!!!  A grueling exam that I studied for nearly half a year for last year. It consumed me, but was worth it.  I now am a certified P.E., which has been a huge goal of mine. CHECK that off my bucket list.

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But now that I have checked that huuuuuge goal off of my list, I find myself at a bit of a loss. Where do I focus my energy next?  I’m a goal-oriented person and it only seems proper to set new goals. But aside from the small goals of “read more books” or “travel more”, I just can’t seem to figure out where to point my laser beams. So, if you have any ideas, I’m game.

At this point, I’m trying to tackle small things that include: (1) Organizing my “office” (junk room), or (2) Thinking about hanging pictures that have never been hung, or (3) Properly learning to do laundry because reading the labels seems more like reading hieroglyphics and I end up just throwing everything in at once and washing on cold. Evidently when clothes say gentle…they mean it. Booh.

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I also have been perfecting cookies….my butt thanks me and my skinny jeans do not. These Hazelnut-Pecan Delights are THE perfect cookie. They are just sweet enough, with a hint of salty, and are chewy and are….well….redonculous. Yes…redonculous, people.

They taste like my favorite Girl Scout cookie….oh that beloved Caramel Delight…and yes…they are soooo delightful.  The bonus with MY cookies is that they are gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free. Plus they have hazelnuts and pecans, giving them added protein.

These are perfect to bring to your New Years Eve party, or football Bowl Game watch party, or for your last-hoorah-before-you-go-on-you-2013-fit-back-in-your-jeans party.

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Grain-Free Hazelnut-Pecan Delights

Makes 2 dozen tiny, bite-sized cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup pecans (or other raw nut such as almonds, walnuts)
  • 3 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil, softened
  • 4 Tablespoons maple syrup or honey
  • 1 Tablespoon unsulphured blackstrap molasses
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips, chopped into tiny pieces
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper or a Silpat mat.
  2. In a the bowl of your food processor, add nuts and process for 2 minutes, until finely ground.  Add ground ginger, salt, and baking soda and process until well mixed. Add coconut oil, honey, and molasses and process until a thick cookie dough ball forms. Add chocolate chips and shredded coconut to the food process or and pulse for 15 to 30 seconds to finely chop the chocolate, distributing throughout the cookie batter.
  3. Chill the batter in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, making it easier to scoop and form cookies.
  4. I like these cookies tiny and barely bite-sized.  Scoop out the dough in exact, level tablespoons. Then tear those pieces of dough in two before rolling each 1/2 tablespoon of dough into a ball shape.  Place dough a few inches apart on prepared baking sheets.  Use a wet fork to flatten each dough ball into your desired cookie thickness.
  5. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until firm around the edges (ovens vary so watch them), but still soft in the center. Allow to cool on the pan for 5 to 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before serving.

Flourless Brownie Bites (Grain Free)

Merry Christmas!

I hope you all are having a wonderful and cozy day.  My husband I made the trek from KC down to Oklahoma to visit my family.  My brother had back surgery a week ago and has been recovering.  It was wonderful getting to spend time with all of us together.

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We cooked, we ate, we laughed, we made our gingerbread house, and we watched christmas movies on repeat while my bro was horizontal in bed recovering. He’s getting around better and was able to eat dinner with us and walk around with his walker.

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We had to leave a day early because Oklahoma freaks out over the mere mention of a slight chance of snow. So thinking Snowmaggeddon is on its way, we had to make a mad dash up north to Kiley’s family’s house in Tulsa last night to try to miss this “massive” snow storm. We woke up this morning to clear skies and no snow. Womp womp.  But at least we are safe and sound in Tulsa with Kiley’s family now with the warmth of coffee and a fire in the fireplace.  We hope you and your families are warm, cozy, and enjoying time together and slowing down this season.

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I’m whipping up a batch of flourless bite-sized brownies. I love the tiny size for snacking.  There is no flour, only cocoa powder, melted chocolate, honey, eggs, and butter or coconut oil! They are super easy and can be topped with anything you have on hand. Yes…even bacon.  I topped some with bacon (it was a hit), some with crystallized ginger, others with toasted walnuts, and some with salted caramel (my fave). The recipe is inspired by the flourless brownies in my new favorite cookbook, Practical Paleo. The recipe is found below.

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Also, if you are looking for some last minute quick gluten-free recipes to make for Christmas dinner, I’ve gathered up a few of my favorites….

Gluten-Free Breakfast:

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Mexican Breakfast Casserole (Grain Free and Dairy Free)

Crustless Quiche (Grain Free and Dairy Free)

Pumpkin-Apple Muffins (Grain Free and Dairy Free)

German-Style Apple Walnut Pancake (Grain Free and Dairy Free)

Gluten-Free Appetizers:

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Spinach-Cheese Balls (Vegetarian and Grain Free)

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs (Grain Free and Dairy Free)

Nutty Coconut Date Balls (Vegetarian, Grain Free, and Dairy Free)

Gluten-Free Side Dishes:

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Kale Salad with Cranberries, Pecans, and Apples (Gluten Free and Vegan)

Roasted Cauliflower 

Grilled Delicata Squash with Kale (Gluten Free and Vegetarian)

Gluten-Free Desserts:

Ginger Chocolate Chip

Chewy Ginger Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten Free, Grain Free, and Dairy Free)

Fudge Brownies (Gluten Free and Vegan)

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Flourless Brownie Bites (adapted from Practical Paleo)

Makes 30 brownie bites

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces dark chocolate (I use 85% cocoa from Trader Joes), melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil or butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Toppings or mix-ins: bacon, walnuts, crystallized ginger, caramel, unsweetened coconut, flaked salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease mini muffin tin with butter, coconut oil, or nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. To melt the dark chocolate bar, break into small pieces and place in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high at 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until the chocolate is melted. It takes me 2 minutes.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the melted dark chocolate, melted coconut oil (or butter), maple syrup, vanilla, and eggs. Slowly sift the cocoa powder over the wet ingredients, whisking it evenly to ensure there are no lumps. Stir in salt and baking soda.
  4. Spoon the brownie batter into the mini muffin tins (about 1 1/2 tablespoons per muffin tin), filling about 3/4ths full. Top the batter with the topping of your choice (chopped bacon pieces, walnuts, ginger, coconut, caramel pieces, kosher salt). Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Grain-Free Chewy Ginger Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’m so excited. Christmas is getting closer. We went and picked out our tree a week ago. Even though it feels like Christmas in California (temps are in the 70s!!!), we still decorated the tree, drank bourbon-spiked egg nog, and watched Home Alone.

We pulled out all of our old and favorite childhood ornaments, placing them strategically on each limb.   We have many ornaments that have special meaning, but some are just funny.

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For instance, we have a ceramic ornament that came from some craft show ages ago that has Santa’s face painted on what appears to be tree bark but instead looks like Santa is floating on poop. We lovingly refer to this ornament as “Terd Santa”. Terd Santa has a high priority placement on the tree. He is usually placed near the 1980 Avon classic Bear Bell (a mama bear whose legs are the swinging bell) and the Headless Paper-mache Angel.

Now that it looks like Christmas has vomited throughout my house, leaving poinsettia and pine cones everywhere….it was time to make it SMELL like it too! I cooked up a batch of ginger chocolate chip cookies to make the house smell of gingerbread and spice.  These are inspired by this amazing cookie that I made last year, which unfortunately contains gluten from the wheat flour. In order to make those cookies grain free, I used almond flour as the base.  If you don’t have almond flour on hand, I have also made these cookies using almond butter, making them slightly more dense and chewy but still scrumptious.

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Even if you are not gluten-free, I seriously recommend this grain free cookies for the following reasons:

(1) The nuts give them protein…GOOD.

(2) They ooze of chocolate…DOUBLE GOOD.

(3) The ginger gives a nice spicy kick in your mouth….YES.

(4) And they are a COOKIE! Hellooooo. Nuff said, peeps.

I made these cookies bite-sized and rolled each one in turbinado sugar. The crunch of the sugar in contrast to the gooey, chewy, chocolatey cookie is divine.  WARNING – these suckers are so easy to pop in your mouth like popcorn. They can be quite addictive.

SO HIDE THEM IF YOU WANT TO EAT ANY!!!!  Because as soon as you tell anyone else that you made them, they will disappear and you may not get any…booooh. At least that is what happens in my house!!!

Ginger Chocolate Chip

Grain-Free Chewy Ginger Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten Free, Vegan, Paleo Friendly)

Makes 2 dozen tiny, bite-sized cookies

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups almond flour*
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil, softened
  • 4 Tablespoons maple syrup or honey
  • 2 Tablespoons unsulphured blackstrap molasses
  • 3 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips or bar, chopped into tiny pieces
  • 1/3 cup turbinado sugar or coconut palm sugar (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper or a Silpat mat. Place the large-grain turbinado sugar or coconut palm sugar in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine almond flour, coconut oil, maple syrup, ginger, salt, and baking soda. Mix until a thick batter is formed. Chill the batter in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes which will make it easier to scoop and form cookies.
  3. I like these cookies tiny and barely bite-sized.  Scoop out the dough in exact, level tablespoons. Then tear those pieces of dough in two before rolling each 1/2 tablespoon of dough into a ball shape. From there, grab a small handful of the large-grained sugar that was set aside earlier and roll each ball between your palms to coat the outside of each dough ball.  Place dough a few inches apart on prepared baking sheets.  Use a wet fork to flatten each dough ball into your desired cookie thickness. 
  4. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes or until firm around the edges, but still soft in the center. Allow to cool on the pan for 5 to 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before serving.
  5. Hide a few for your secret stash!

*NOTE – I use Honeyville almond flour. I have also made these cookies using 1 cup of almond butter instead of the 1.5 cups of almond flour. The cookies tasted great but were a little more dense.  I personally liked them both! So feel free to sub out for almond butter if you do not have access to almond flour.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Blondies

These gluten free blondies are closely related to my Paleo Fudge Brownies which have almond butter as the base ingredient.  For these Pumpkin Blondies, I wanted the pumpkin flavor to be front and center stage.  Pureed canned pumpkin plus pumpkin pie spices give them an amazing fall flavor that will blow your mind.

I’ve made these several times for dinner parties and group gatherings. I have to say that I prefer them with dark chocolate chunks, unsweetened shredded coconut, and just slightly undercooked (about 25 minutes), where they end up more like gooey pumpkin chocolate chip cookie bars.  However, if you prefer to not eat your blondies with messy gooey hands (freaks), then cook these puppies until they are fully set up (about 30 minutes).

Note – if you are using salted almond butter, reduce the quantity of salt or leave out entirely. Similarly, if your nut butter is sweetened, then reduce the quantity of honey equivalently. You could easily sub another type of nut butter for the almond butter. If you do not have pumpkin pie spice blend, then sub cinnamon. 

Pumpkin Blondies (Grain Free, Gluten Free, Paleo Friendly, Dairy Free, Refined Sugar Free) adapted from This Primal Life

Serves 16

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted almond butter
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin (canned or fresh)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup honey (or maple syrup)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice blend
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray an 8″x8″ pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine almond butter and pumpkin. Mix until combined. Add egg and honey. Mix well. Stir in baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spices. Stir in chocolate chips and 1/4 cup coconut. Top the remaining 1/4 cup shredded coconut.
  3. Pour into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Best when eaten warm!

Chewy Chocolate Chip Gingersnap Cookies

To break the chill in the air and to add a warm spiced aroma to my home, I decided to make these cookies as a treat. They are adapted from Heidi Swanson’s ginger cookies featured in here. These are sweet and a tad bit spicy from the ginger. Now, for you ginger-aholics, these are not THAT snappy or gingery…but you can ramp up that ginger by adding more ground or fresh ginger. I added diced semisweet chocolate chips to balance the spicy ginger and because my hubby was hankering for chocolate chip cookies. And like the good domestic flower of a wife that I am (cough cough), I made the cookies that I wanted (gingersnaps) and just added chocolate….win win…right?

Now, these cookies call for 1/4 cup of molasses. Make sure you use a good unsulphured molasses. I use Plantation brand which is organic, rich, and densely flavored, not harsh. These cookies are fun and easy to whip up. I make these cookies bite sized, using about 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of dough per cookie. I love the crunch of the large turbinado sugar that the cookies are rolled in for a finishing touch.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Gingersnap Cookies (makes about 40 to 50 tiny bite sized cookies)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grained sea salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into small cubes
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
  • 1 large egg, well beaten
  • 1/3 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (chopped and/or shaved)
  • 1/2 cup large-grain raw sugar or turbinado sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F with racks in the top and bottom third of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, ground ginger. Set aside.
  3. Heat the butter in a saucepan or microwave until it is just barely melted. Stir in the molasses, brown sugar, and fresh ginger. The mixture should be warm, but not hot. Whisk in the egg. Pour this mixture over the flour mixture and stir until barely combined. Stir in the chocolate. Chill for about 30 minutes or long enough to let the dough firm up.
  4. Place the turbinado sugar on a plate. Shape the dough into balls (using about 1/2 to 1 tablespoon each). Roll in the sugar to coat. Place 2 to 3 inches apart on the baking sheet.
  5. Bake the cookies, rotating the baking sheets halfway through the cooking time, until the edges firm but the centers are still slightly soft. This should take 7 to 10 minutes. The cookies will puff up, darken a bit, and crack slightly. The bottoms will be deeply golden. If you make larger cookies, they will take 16 to 18 minutes. Let cool slightly on the baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.