Healthed-Up Chocolate Chunk Cookies

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I’ve been keeping these in my back pocket for months now. Not literally, of course. But the recipe!

During my pregnancy I decided I needed something healthier to indulge in when my cookie cravings were rampant. These are gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free and surprisingly delicious!

I wouldn’t recommend tinkering with the recipe a ton because it can be finicky. Oat flour can vary in its coarseness so if your dough seems way too wet, try adding a bit more. I love the nutty flavour it gives the cookies, especially coupled with coconut sugar, which gives a toasty flavour that reminds me of graham crackers. Also, don’t think about skipping the chilling or you will have a mess on your hands.

These cookies are super filling and delicious fresh out of the oven and dunked in milk. I do prefer them the day they are baked so I freeze the extra dough balls and bake fresh as needed. Give them a try the next time you need a healthier treat!

Healthed-Up Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Makes one dozen cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, measured solid
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups oat flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks

Instructions:

Line a large cookie sheet with parchment or silicone liner.

Melt the coconut oil in a large mixing bowl in the microwave (or melt it on the stove and add it to a large bowl), then stir in the sugar until smooth. Chill mixture for ten minutes or so in the refrigerator until room temperature.

Once mixture is cooled, stir in the egg and vanilla. Then add the flour, salt and baking soda. Mix well until dough forms. It might seem a bit wet but this is normal. Stir in the chocolate chunks then drop tablespoons of dough onto the prepared cookie sheet. Chill for at least 30 minutes.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 325 degrees and bake cookies for 6-8 minutes. The oat flour dries out quickly so don’t overbake! The centres should look a bit raw. Let cool, then store in an airtight container.

Notes:

Don’t chill the dough without scooping the cookies first unless you have time for it to warm back up. It gets really hard and you’ll have trouble scooping it after it’s cooled.

I like to flash freeze the cookie dough balls during the chilling stage and then store them in a freezer bag for cookie emergencies. Just bake the frozen dough balls for an extra minute!

I buy my coconut sugar and oat flour at Bulk Barn. You can also blend oats until fine to make your own oat flour.

 

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S’mores Cake

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On Monday, I turned thirty.

This is a milestone year for me in so many ways. A thirtieth birthday. Our first wedding anniversary. Our first baby. Life feels so full of excitement and possibility and reason to celebrate these days. I am so, so thankful. Last year, life was much different.

Stress. Planning a wedding.

Fear. My mom was so sick.

Grief. We said goodbye to my Grandma.

Most days last year were full of uncertainty and stormy weather and there seemed to be no way to right the ship. These days the load feels lighter. There is breathing room and sunshine feels plentiful. I know challenging times will come and go. I know this wonderful season of life will pass, too. But certainly there has been enough hard to enjoy the wonderful and that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I am so ready for my thirtieth year and all that it has to offer.

But enough mushy stuff. You came for the cake, didn’t you?

I’ve wanted to make Momofuku’s Chocolate Chip Cake forever and really wanted to work that into my birthday creation. They layer theirs with homemade passion fruit curd, chocolate crumbs and coffee buttercream. As much as I’d love to try it, we aren’t exactly swimming in high quality passion fruit around these parts and I didn’t think that my guests would appreciate such a combination anyway. So, s’mores, AKA my favourite.

This cake took me half a day to make and I still have toasted marshmallow crusted INSIDE my stand mixer but I was really happy with how everything turned out. The chocolate chip cake reminded me of a boxed white cake (in a good way) and that buttercream, although incredibly messy, is my new favourite.

I know it looks like a lot of “stuff” but if you have an epic celebration coming up, I highly recommend this baby.

S’mores Cake

Serves 16

Chocolate Chip Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 light brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and flour two 9 inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper circles. Set aside.

Combine butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Cream together on medium-high speed for 2 to 3 minutes. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs, and mix on medium-high again for 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl once more.

On low speed, stream in buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. Continue mixing for 4 to 6 minutes, until the mixture is practically white, twice the size of your original fluffy butter-and-sugar mixture, and completely homogeneous. Be patient and don’t rush the process! Stop the mixer and use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Once the mixture is completely mixed, continue mixing at low speed and add cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix for 45 to 60 seconds, just until your batter comes together and any remnants of dry ingredients have been incorporated. Do not over mix. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl — if you see any lumps of cake flour in there, mix for another 45 seconds.

Using a rubber spatula, transfer the cake batter to the prepared pans. Give the bottom of your pans a tap on the counter top to even out the layer. Sprinkle the mini chocolate chips evenly over the cake batter layers.

Bake for 25-30 minutes. The cakes will rise and puff, doubling in size, but will remain buttery and dense. At 25 minutes, gently poke the edge of the cake with your finger: the cake should bounce back slightly and the centre should no longer be jiggly. Leave the cakes in the oven for an extra 3 to 5 minutes if it doesn’t pass these tests.

Take the cakes out of the oven and cool on a wire cooling rack.

Toasted Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp. heavy cream
  • 6 cups mini marshmallows

Instructions:

Beat butter in your stand mixer until smooth. Add in powdered sugar slowly and then the cream and continue mixing until smooth.

Turn oven onto broil. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread marshmallows out in an even layer. Place under broiler for about 45 seconds until they are browned and puffed. Watch closely because they will burn very quickly.

Immediately scrape the marshmallows into the butter mixture and beat until smooth and fluffy.

The frosting will be warm due to the marshmallows, so allow it to cool a bit before spreading.

 Milk Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • ½ cup heavy cream

Instructions:

Put chocolate chips in a small bowl. Heat cream in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once the cream just starts to boil, pour it over the chocolate chips. Let it sit for two minutes and then start whisking slowly from the centre out, whisking continually until totally smooth and blended.  Cool slightly before assembling cake.

Vanilla Milk

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions:

Stir milk and vanilla together and refrigerate if not using right away.

Assembly

Ingredients:

  • ½ prepared graham crust, coarsely crumbled
  • Milk chocolate chips or chunks for garnish

Instructions:

Lay one cooled cake layer down on a plate and brush it with half of the vanilla milk, then spread the cake layer with half of the marshmallow buttercream. Press half of the graham crust crumbles into the buttercream. Drizzle with half of the milk chocolate ganache.

Lay down the second cake layer, brush it with the other half of the vanilla milk and spread it with the other half of the marshmallow buttercream. Drizzle this with the remaining milk chocolate ganache and pile the remaining graham crust crumbles artfully on top. Sprinkle the top of the cake with milk chocolate chips.

Cover cake and freeze overnight. Make sure to thaw the cake fully before serving.

Notes:

I made Momofuku’s graham crust, baked it for 10ish minutes and used half of it in my cake but any recipe will work. I personally found this one high maintenance because it needs powdered milk, which I never have on hand. Feel free to make a half batch if you don’t want extra.

This cake was even better on day two after being thawed. Make ahead if you can for the flavours to really mesh.

The marshmallow buttercream is CRAZY messy. Spray your parchment and stand mixer paddle with non-stick spray if you can.

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Chocolate Chip Cake Recipe

Toasted Marshmallow Buttercream Recipe

Vanilla Milk Recipe

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Recent Obsessions #12

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White Chocolate Reese’s. I’ve loved these forever but only used to get them in the States so I was stoked to find them here. I also just bought a pack of white chocolate Reese’s EGGS on our recent trip to Minot and it will be a struggle to savour them.

Remember how I said I hated coffee? I did, my entire pregnancy, until like last week, when I woke up full blown dying for a coffee. I also just discovered Starbucks Iced Coconut Milk Mocha Macchiato. Have you tried this?! OMG.

This Old Navy black plaid shirt. It flows over my baby bump so well, can be unbuttoned over a tank when I get even bigger and then I can wear it after delivery. The length is perfect and the fabric is the softest ever. I already have my eye on the red/blue version.

Everyone Soap in Coconut Lemon. I really like Dr. Bronner’s castile soap as a bath soak but I’ve still really missed bubble baths and I’ve had lots of trouble finding a cleaner formula. I had heard lots of good things about this line and decided to give it a go. It foams well, smells like dessert and is super gentle on my skin. The bottle is large so it should last awhile, too.

I’ve been slathering my chest and belly with Coconut Oil before bed and it’s become a nice nightly ritual. I tend to be lazy about body lotion but my skin looks so much better when I moisturize it well.

Thursday nights have quickly become my favourite due to our Prenatal Classes. I always leave feeling like I’ve learned a ton and it’s such a nice date night for Tom and I. If you’re local you’ve probably heard it a million times but you need to take Sally’s class!

I’ve been on the hunt for black athletic shoes for a long time and I finally settled on these New Balance ones after getting an awesome deal on our Minot trip. I had super specific criteria (ask my husband) so this is a huge win. They are super comfortable and so classic looking.

 

What are you obsessed with right now?

Photo credit to Tom. 

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Easy Banoffee Cups

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These little cups were born out of laziness. I wanted Banoffee Pie. But I didn’t want to make a pie (or be tempted to eat the whole thing, for that matter). Sometimes my lazy brain can be kind of clever, in a “work smarter, not harder” kind of way and I started to think about how I could really simplify things. Enter these cups. All the great flavours of Banoffee, way less effort and ready to eat in no time. I think these little cups would be a perfect dessert for your Valentine. And if your Valentine is yourself then you get to eat both…lucky you!

Easy Banoffee Cups

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. powdered sugar
  • 8 chocolate sandwich cookies, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large ripe banana, peeled and sliced
  • 4 tbsp. caramel sauce

Instructions:

Put the heavy cream and vanilla extract in a bowl and beat until stiff peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and whip until combined. Set aside.

Layer two of the crumbled cookies into the bottom of a 12 oz. glass. Then layer on ¼ of the sliced banana, 1 tbsp. of the caramel sauce and ¼ of the whipped cream. Repeat the layers again and garnish the cup with leftover cookie crumbs. Now repeat these steps with the second glass.

Chill the prepared cups until ready to serve and devour!

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Peanut Butter Lover’s Brownie Cups

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These and these had a baby.

A really rich and sinful, salty and sweet baby.

I was brainstorming last week on what kind of treat to make my Dad for his birthday.  We’re on the same sweets wavelength, him and I, and with us, chocolate and peanut butter is the combo that reigns supreme. I threw around a lot of different possible creations but we were celebrating at the lake and I knew what I made had to be portable and easy to serve. He had recently gushed about a peanut butter brownie that he had tried and that got me thinking.

I morphed two of my favorites and the result was THESE.

A thick, chewy homemade brownie cup with a layer of salty peanut butter buttercream and crumbles of peanut butter cup on top. I mean, look at these things.

Pass the milk! You’ll need it.

Peanut Butter Lover’s Brownie Cups

Makes 12

Ingredients:

Brownie Cupcakes:

  • ½ cup butter, partially melted
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cups white sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder

Peanut Butter Buttercream:

  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 ½ – 2 cups of icing sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. of milk
  • a pinch of salt

Garnish:

  • Chopped Reese’s peanut butter cups (I used 20 regular size)

Instructions:

Brownie Cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a standard muffin tin with liners and set aside.

Mix the butter, oil and sugar together until well mixed. Stir in the eggs and vanilla, and then add in the dry ingredients, mixing until very well combined. Batter will be very thick. Divide batter evenly in the prepared cupcake tin. Bake for about 20-22 minutes, until center of cupcakes is just set. Do not over bake. Let cupcakes cool in the tin for 30 minutes, then turn out of the tin and cool for at least another 30 minutes before icing.

Buttercream:

Cream peanut butter and butter together with electric mixer. Mix icing sugar in on low speed until blended, then add vanilla and milk.  Beat until incorporated. Add more milk or icing sugar if needed depending on desired consistency. Beat until smooth. This frosting is VERY thick and if you are wanting to pipe it, you will probably need more milk.

Assembly:

Ice each cooled cupcake and garnish with chopped peanut butter cups.

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