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Chocolate Dipped Orange Meringues

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Light and airy citrus cookie with a hint of chocolate. These festive Hallowen cookies are naturally gluten free!

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It seems like people either love or hate meringues. If you’ve been one of my loyal blog followers then you may remember a post nearly a year ago about Mint Chocolate Chip Meringues. I shared a recipe I loved as a child and chronicled my attempts at recreating the recipe in a much higher humidity climate. Making meringues still feels a little bit daunting to me, but not enough to totally give up on them. I am one of those people that just loves meringue cookies!

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I had the idea for these chocolate orange Halloween meringues months and months ago. I finally gave in to making them in September. Steve convinced me into making a double batch, saying the cookies would be a “good snack”. I argued that they were full of sugar and a far cry from my usual healthy recipes. He said the cookies were mostly air, which is truthful, I suppose.

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We whipped up the double batch on a Saturday morning and let them sit in the oven all day (FYI I usually leave mergingues in the oven overnight, which is plenty of time for them to set. If you bake them during the day you need to leave them in the oven for 6 – 8 hours. They look done around the 4 hour mark, but the insides will still be gooey). The cookies were ready for a party in the evening. I had been a bit nervous that orange flavor and meringue might not be a good combination, but it met my expectations! Light and airy citrus flavored cookie with a hint of dark chocolate. When I put it that way, it sounds perfect and I wonder why I doubted the flavor in the first place!

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I’m not super into themed food, but yes, these are a nice gluten free Halloween dessert. It’s not the kind of gluten free cookie that has an unusual texture, unwelcome aftertaste, and you wouldn’t really want to serve to other people. These are real, edible, naturally gluten free, “normal person” cookies! You can easily switch these up from classy gluten free Halloween cookie to just regular classy cookie by skipping the food coloring, too. Pure white meringues with chocolate tips make a nice looking cookie tray any time of the year!

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Chocolate Dipped Orange Meringues

Beat the egg whites by hand using a beater or in a stand mixer using the whisk attachment. I have successfully used both methods.
 
I piped my cookies onto the baking sheet using a pastry tool (that I got at target for $9 in an after Christmas sale last year), but you can also spoon them onto the baking sheet for free form cookies, if you don’t have a tool to pipe the meringue.
 
Ingredients
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 3 egg whites (separated from eggs or from the carton)
  • 1 c granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp orange extract
  • 4 drops red food coloring
  • 4 drops yellow food coloring
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (semi sweet or milk chocolate would also work)
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and cream of tartar at a medium low speed until stiff peaks form (warning: this takes a few minutes).
  3. Still beating at the same speed, add the sugar slowly mixing in just 1 tablespoon at a time (another warning: this takes a long while to do slowly. Don’t rush it or you may ruin the meringue).
  4. When all the sugar has been added, beat in the orange extract and food coloring.
  5. Line two baking sheets with wax paper. Using a pastry bag/tube, pipe the meringue onto the baking sheet, leaving an inch between each cookie.
  6. Turn the oven off, and place the cookie sheets in the oven. Leave the cookies in the oven overnight, or for 8 hours.
  7. When the cookies are cooked and cooled, melt the chocolate. I use chocolate chips for this, and follow the melting directions on the bag. If your package doesn’t have directions try microwaving for 1 minute, stirring, and then doing additional time as needed in 15 second increments.
  8. Drip bottoms, tops, or both ends of each cookie into the melted chocolate. Place back on the baking sheet (still with wax paper on it). Put the cookie sheets in the freezer to let the chocolate harden.
  9. To keep chocolate firm store these cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

This post is linked to Gluten Free Wednesdays. Check it out at Gluten Free Homemaker, Gluten Free Easily, and Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures!

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Vanilla Chocolate Chip Yogurt Pops

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These quick and easy Vanilla Chocolate Chips Yogurt Pops are a yummy frozen treat!

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I call these popsicles. It’s a frozen treat on a stick, what else would it be called? But I’m told by my husband that these are NOT popsicles. Apparently “popsicle” is a technical term that involves fruit juice and sugar. Oh, my mistake. So I called this recipe Vanilla Chocolate Chip Yogurt Pops. Hopefully that gets the message across without offending any die hard popsicle fans.

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I’m not going to go on and on telling you that these yogurt pops are healthy. It’s vanilla yogurt and chocolate chips – there is plenty of sugar and processed foods in there. It’s better than eating a store bought equivalent, and certainly a better choice than grabbing a bowl of ice cream for your frozen dessert. I find these just as satisfying as other less healthy desserts. Crunchy chocolate chips, frozen yogurt, lots of vanilla flavor. Sub this in for a bowl of chocolate chip ice cream and you will not be disappointed!

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These are so, so easy to make. Whip them together in just a couple of minutes or make them with your kids. They’ll love stirring in the chocolate chips! Fill your popsicles molds with the yogurt mix, and then put in the freezer. A few hours later your popsicles will be ready to eat. In the meantime, grab a spoon and eat any leftover yogurt/chocolate chips!

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Vanilla Chocolate Chip Yogurt Pops

This ratio of yogurt to chocolate chips make 4 yogurt pops using the molds I have. If you happen to have extra mixture, just eat it with a spoon or store it in the refrigerator like you would any yogurt product. If you run out of mixture, just whip up another batch!
 
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 c vanilla yogurt (I prefer regular yogurt over greek yogurt here)
  • 4 Tbs chocolate chips
Directions
  1. In a bowl, stir the yogurt and chocolate chips.
  2. Spoon mixture into popsicle molds, leaving about half an inch of empty space at the top of the mold (since freezing will make the popsicles expand).
  3. Put the popsicles in the freezer for a minimum of 3 hours, or until ready to eat.
  4. To remove popsicles from the container, run it under hot water until the popsicles loosen.

 

This post is linked to Gluten Free Wednesdays – a great place to see and find GF recipes. Check it out at Gluten Free Homemaker, Gluten Free Easily, and Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures.

Flourless Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

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The beloved chocolate and peanut butter combination comes together in soft, flourless cookie. These simple cookies can be made, start to finish, in just about 30 minutes!

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Everyone loves these Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies! I make them often.  We’ve made and mailed them to family and friends for birthdays, served them at parties, and bring them to potlucks. These are the quickest gluten free cookies I have ever made!

A few weeks ago, after agreeing to bring a dessert to a party, I immediately thought of the flourless peanut butter cookies. I wanted to do something a little bit fun, so I made some “opposite” cookie. My typical, peanut butter chocolate chip, and then some chocolate peanut butter chips.

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I had the cookies baked and packed to bring to the party when Steve asked if he could just try one. He tried the Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip variety, and then tried another, telling me how soft they were. I had to have a bite. Sure enough, it was delicious. A moist, soft baked chocolate cookie with warm, melty peanut butter chips – how could it have NOT been an amazing cookie?!

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So I unpacked the Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies and quickly snapped a few photos in the 10 minutes before we had to leave.

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Steve wasn’t the only one who liked the cookies. I’m not one to brag about my cooking or baking, but everyone at the party enjoyed them, too!

Next time you need a dessert, these will surely be a hit! After all, who doesn’t like chocolate and peanut butter?!

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Flourless Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

Ingredients (makes about a dozen and a half cookies)
  • 1 c creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 c cocoa powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 c peanut butter chips
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Mix the first six ingredients (you can do this by hand or in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment).
  3. Stir in the peanut butter chips.
  4. Roll a spoonful of dough (about 1-2 tablespoons of dough) into a ball in the palm of your hand. Place cookie dough balls onto a baking sheet (a non stick baking pan will work fine, or use a regular baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat). Using the palm of your hand, gently flatten the cookie dough balls just a bit (these cookies don’t spread a whole lot, so once you’ve flattened the cookie you only need about 2 inches between each cookie on the baking sheet).
  5. Bake for about 12 minutes. Finished cookies will be firm on the bottom, but still soft on the top. Let the cookies sit on the sheet for a couple of minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack or plate (or eat).

This recipe is linked to Gluten Free Wednesdays hosted by Gluten Free Homemaker, Gluten Free Easily, and Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures. Check it out!

Banana Chocolate Chip Smoothie

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I’ve wholeheartedly given into the smoothie trend. I have a general policy to not “drink my calories”, but smoothies have become an exception. They taste good and fill me up. A smoothie can be a meal on the go or quick snack. With a blender and a few ingredients it’s easy to whip up a healthy smoothie!

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This is my current favorite smoothie. I make it if I happen to be craving something sweet or just need something nutritious in the middle of a busy day.  A few months from now I’ll probably have a new favorite smoothie, but for now this one is my smoothie obsession.

Banana and chocolate is loved combination, and this smoothie is a healthy way to fill that sweet craving. Just 15 chocolate chips will add a touch of chocolate flavor, and only about 35 calories to the drink. Much more wholesome than grabbing a candy bar!

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I’ve found that this smoothie, and any with banana, taste best when the bananas are ripe and frozen. Overly ripe bananas (you know those ones with all the brown spots that you can get on clearance at the grocery store) are sweeter than a perfect yellow banana. Since the banana provides most of the sweetness for the smoothie, the riper the banana the sweeter the smoothie you will have.

Using a frozen banana is just a personal preference for me. Of course, you can use a banana at room temperature + ice to make a smoothie, but I like the result from using a frozen banana better. The smoothie is, well, smoother! It’s still thick, but there are no little ice chunks that water down the flavor.

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I always keep ripe, frozen bananas on hand, ready for smoothies. Whenever I buy bananas I purchase a few extra. When they get brown spots I peel, slice in half, and store in a ziploc bag in the freezer. It’s much easier to choose a healthy smoothie over a cookie or candy when the ingredients are on hand and ready to use!

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 Banana Chocolate Chip Smoothie

 
Ingredients (makes 1 smoothie)
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 c milk of choice (I use unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (alternatively, you can skip the vanilla extract and use vanilla flavored almond/soy milk)
  • 2 Tbs plain greek yogurt
  • 15 chocolate chips
Directions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth.

Baked Cookie Oatmeal

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This is the best breakfast you will ever eat!

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So, maybe that was a bit of an exaggeration, but only a little, teeny tiny bit! See, this is not ordinary oatmeal. I eat lots of oatmeal and try lots of oatmeal recipes. There are lots of flavor variations on oatmeal, but it all tastes like oats + toppings (not that this is a bad thing – I love oatmeal). This oatmeal tastes like a cookie. And, get this, no added sugar (except for what is in the chocolate chips – but there are substitutions, just keep reading)! Did you get that? Sugar free oatmeal that legitimately tastes like a cookie!

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Okay, okay, so let me mention a few practical things about this recipe. I found this recipe a few months ago on The Nutritious Kitchen. I made it, with a few convenient substitutions. I also misread the amount of honey – opps! Turns out increasing the honey is totally delicious, and I have to eat a tablespoon of local honey every day for my allergies anyway – why not get it in cookie oatmeal form?!

The base of this recipe is oatmeal and unsweetened applesauce. The cookie flavor comes from honey, peanut butter, and vanilla extract. Almond flour adds to the texture and provides a bit more sweetness. Admittedly, with the honey, peanut butter, and almond flour this recipe is a bit high calorie, even though it’s all clean ingredients. If you’re like my spouse and can eat whatever the heck you want and never gain a pound then go for the larger batch. If you’re like me, and need to be diligent about what you eat to maintain a healthy weight then make the smaller batch. Since this oatmeal is full of whole grains and protein you’ll be full until lunch even with the small batch.

Of course, there are lots of ingredient substitutions you can make. I’ve used all purpose flour instead of almond flour a few times – I prefer the almond flour, but a GF all purpose flour will lower the calories and price point for this breakfast. The peanut butter can be generic brand, all natural, or even any other nut butter. I use regular chocolate chips, but the Enjoy life chocolate chips will cut out all refined sugar from the recipe. Cacao nibs are totally sugar free options. Honestly, this would still be good without chocolate chips! Choose the modifications that suit your diet and health and then go make this oatmeal!

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Baked Cookie Oatmeal

Thanks a million times to Selena at The Nutritious Kitchen for the recipe inspiration!

Ingredients for larger batch (about 550 calories)
  • 1/2 c Gluten Free oatmeal (be sure to make sure you choose a brand that is certified GF)
  • 6 Tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 Tbs peanut butter
  • 2 Tbs local honey
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbs almond flour or almond meal
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 19 chocolate chips (yes, 19. That seems to be the perfect ration)
Ingredients for smaller batch (about 325 calories)
  • 1/3 c Gluten Free Oatmeal (be sure to make sure you choose a brand that is certified GF)
  • 5 Tbs unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 Tbs peanut butter
  • 1 Tbs local honey
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbs almond flour or almond meal
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 10 chocolate chips
Directions
  1. In a small ramekin, mix the unsweetened applesauce, peanut butter, honey, and vanilla extract (I often mix this the night before, refrigerate, and have less to do in the morning).
  2. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  3. Stir in the oats, baking powder, and almond meal/flour. Once all mixed, stir in the chocolate chips.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes.
  5. Eat and Enjoy 🙂

Flourless Chocolate Peanut Butter Reese’s Stuffed Cookies

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This is a because-I-bought-a-bunch-of-Easter-candy-on-sale-and-won’t-just-eat-candy recipe.

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I’ve never been a big candy eater. I was the kid who spent more time sorting and trading my halloween candy than actually eating. In October, my Dad would have us clean out the uneaten candy from the previous Halloween before we went trick or treating again. Apparently kids + uneaten candy is abnormal. That was news to me. Now, I feel guilty just eating some candy. I guess something about putting it in a cookie makes me feel better, like I’m getting more for my calories.

So, yes, Sunday was Easter and that meant that on Monday I was scouring the stores looking for post Easter bargains. I had the best luck at a semi-sketchy grocery store just up the road and Aldi. I scored a bunch of bags of bite sized candy bars for between 50% and 75% off. Mostly, Steve will eat the candy over the next few months. For my fun, I decided to bake with it. And, truthfully, the bargain hunting for the candy in the first place was pretty fun, too.

These cookies are flourless. It’s great for anyone on a GF diet, and an excellent choice for anyone who isn’t familiar with GF baking but wants to bake for someone with a gluten intolerance. There are no crazy, expensive flours in the recipe and all of the ingredients are pretty normal items in the pantry (except the reese’s). The dough whips up in 5 minutes in a stand mixer, and just a minute or two more if you stir it by hand.

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I love that these cookies are double chocolate and double peanut butter. The best dessert combination x 2! The cookie base has cocoa powder and peanut butter before even adding in the reese’s candy. The baked cookies end up having an mouthwatering swirl of reese’s. Any peanut butter and chocolate lover will enjoy these cookies, whether they are on a GF diet or not!

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P.S. If you like these cookies, try these other flourless cookie recipes:

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Flourless Chocolate Pretzel Cookies

Flourless m&m Cookies

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Reese’s Stuffed Cookies

Ingredients
  • 1 c creamy peanut butter
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 c cocoa powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (I use imitation vanilla)
  • 1 c roughly chopped Reese’s eggs/cup (I used 8 Reese’s eggs to get 1 c)
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or with a strong arm and a spoon) mix the peanut butter, brown sugar, cocoa powder, egg, baking soda, and vanilla until very well combined.
  3. Stir in the chopped Reese’s, gently.
  4. Prepare a cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  5. Roll 1-2 tablespoons of dough into a balls and place them about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. I got 24 balls out of the dough, spread over 2 baking sheets.
  6. Bake for 12 minutes, rotating the baking sheets at the halfway point.
  7. The cookies will still be soft when you remove them from the oven, but will firm up. Be careful not to over cook, the dark color from the cocoa powder can be deceiving!

 

 

Almond Joy Oatmeal

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This is one of my current favorite breakfasts. It tastes just like the candy bar, but is totally sugar free! It’s actually a 100% healthy, filling breakfast. What a great way to start the day – with a warm bowl of oats that tastes like candy but is secretly healthy.

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Let’s break down the flavors in this oatmeal. First, there’s chocolate. Chocolate for breakfast – I’m in.  Then there is coconut. I’ve always been a fan of coconut. Coconut with chocolate – even better! Remember when they came out with coconut m&ms a few years ago? I ate a lot of those.

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Finally, the almond flavor. To be honest, until recently I could take or leave almonds. When I was working on my eBook last year I bought a bottle of almond extract for some of the recipes. There’s something about that strong almond flavor that just melts in my mouth. The GF Candy Cane Cookies from my eBook were one of my favorites. I enjoyed every single bite of those. Well, now I’m all about almond flavored things. Almond butter is a new found favorite ingredient for me. I made these mints (but un-vegan), and the almond chocolate ones were seriously amazing. I brought them on a weekend family trip. At the end of the weekend I traded the leftover mints with my mother in law for basically all of her remaining food + some incredibly soft toilet paper.

Anyway, I digress. Chocolate + Almond + Coconut + HEALTHY = winning breakfast combination.

Since I mentioned my eBook, can I insert a shameless plug here? If you read this blog and enjoy the recipes, please help me keep it going by buying a copy of the eBook! I have plans to expand this blog to a more sophisticated site with easier to read recipes, better site navigation, and a much nicer recipe index. All funds from eBook sales will go straight into improving the blog! Plus, you’ll have a few new cookies recipes! You can check out my eBook page, or go right to my Selz page to purchase it. Thanks for reading my blog, trying my recipes, liking my posts, and leaving encouraging comments! I appreciate all of your support!

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Almond Joy Oatmeal

As written, this oatmeal is sweetened only with banana. If you find that isn’t sufficient sweetness for your tastes, try adding 1 – 2 tablespoons of sugar.
 
Ingredients
  • 1/2 c GF oats
  • 1/2 c almond milk (or other milk of choice)
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2 Tbs shredded coconut (unsweetened)
Directions
  1. Combine the oats, almond milk, and water in a small sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium.
  2. Stir in the cocoa powder, making sure it dissolves completely, and then the banana. Let cook, stirring frequently, until much of the liquid is absorbed (under 10 minutes).
  3. Add the almond extract. Cook a few minutes longer, until the oatmeal reaches your desired consistency. Personally, I like to have nearly all of the liquid absorbed.
  4. Sprinkle with the shredded coconut before eating.

Grain Free Banana Pancakes

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These pancakes have totally changed breakfasts around here.

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I found a banana pancake recipe on Gluten Free Fix months ago, and tried it right away. I think it was actually lunch that very day I first saw the recipe. Can you say delicious? Yes, yes, I can. These were soft and slightly sweet. I’d whipped up the batter in a matter of minutes and the pancakes cooked up so easily. The pancakes stayed together, and if you’ve been GF for very long you know how remarkable that can be!

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Now, my husband eats most anything, but I knew it was going to be a sell to get him to eat the banana pancakes. Enter, modifications!

First, I used some of the crunchy, cheap, store brand peanut butter. It’s totally different from the organic, all-natural stuff (aka there’s sugar in it), and the crunch gives the pancakes a unique texture.

Second, I added chocolate chips. I hate to be one of those “everything is better with chocolate” people, but in this case it is true. A small handful of chocolate chips helps to detract from the strong banana flavor, adds a little more to the texture, and just in general makes the pancakes more fun.

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We now eat these pancakes multiple times a week, and have gotten our families hooked on them, too (Hi, Mom)! Now its your turn! You won’t be disappointed!

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Grain Free Banana Pancakes

To customize your batch size use any multiple of 1 banana, 1 egg, and 1/4c peanut butter. The cooking directions remain the same for any batch size.
 
Ingredients
  • 2 bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4c crunchy peanut butter
  • 1/4c smooth peanut butter
  • 1/4 c chocolate chips
Directions
  1. Mash the bananas. If they are not ripe enough to easily mash simply slice the bananas, microwave for 30-45 seconds, and then mash.
  2. Crack the eggs into the bowl, add both types of peanut butter and stir with a fork until everything is combined. This may take a few minutes as the peanut butter will be sticky. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips.
  3. Heat a non stick skillet over medium heat. When the skillet is warm, scoop pancakes into the pan using  large spoonfuls of batter. You may spread/flatter the batter with the spoon.
  4. Let the pancakes cook for a few minutes, until the sides are set and tops are partially set. Carefully flip each pancake and cook for a few more minutes on the other side, until it is golden brown.
  5. Remove pancakes from the skillet and repeat with any remaining batter.
  6. Serve hot or make these ahead of time and reheat in the microwave for a snack or breakfast on the go!

Mint Chocolate Chip Meringues

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These irresistible mint chocolate chip cookies are light and fluffy. Their green color is perfect for Christmas, too!

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My Mom, sister, and I used to make these cookies every Christmas season. We would whip them up late one night, just before bed, since they sit in the oven overnight to bake. I was always so excited to wake up in the morning and try one of the freshly baked cookies! We made these meringues at other times of the year, too, and changed the color to match the holiday.

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After years of making these cookies – and as a child, at that – I was very frustrated when my first four (yes, four) attempts at making these cookies as an adult failed. Not only did I waste ingredients (I hate waste!) but I knew that I could make these cookies and that the recipe worked. All of our modifications were written right on the original copy of that recipe in my own 8 year old handwriting! Well, four attempts and no cookies later I gave up, figuring my failure was probably due to the humidity.

Fast forward a few weeks. I made a huge pot of Avgolemono Soup and had 5 leftover egg whites. Rather than waste the egg white I decided to give the meringues one more try. I took every humidity precaution possible and when I saw the meringue form perfectly I knew the cookies would be a success! I happily ate one for breakfast the next morning.

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Here are some tricks I learned about successfully making a meringue:

  1. Use room temperature egg whites. I let the egg whites sit out on the kitchen counter for about 12 hours before using them, which was more than enough time for them to get to room temperature.
  2. Chill the mixing bowl and beaters. Put the mixing bowl and beaters in the refrigerator at least half an hour before you start baking.
  3. Use a low speed and be patient! Don’t try to rush the meringue by jacking up the beater speed too high or by dumping in a bunch of sugar at once. Just go slowly.
  4. When beating the egg whites you want stiff peaks to form. Egg whites will first get foamy, and then softer peaks will form. You will know you have achieved stiff peaks when the meringue stands up straight when the beaters are lifter out of the bowl (only test this when the beaters are turned off). If the tips of the meringue fall to the side you are still at the softer peaks – be patient and keep beating until you see stiff peaks!

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When you are familiar with what meringue looks like making these cookies is a breeze! These are great to bake with kids or a friend – anyone you can share the beating with (you arm will get tired if you do it on your own). The overnight baking is a fun feature of these cookies, too. You’ll love waking up in the morning to freshly baked mint cookies!

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Mint Chocolate Chip Meringues

Ingredients:
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp mint extract
  • 8 drops green food coloring
  • 1 c mini chocolate chips
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and cream of tartar at a medium low speed until stiff peaks form.
  3. Still beating at the same speed, add the sugar slowly mixing in just 1 tablespoon at a time.
  4. When all the sugar has been added, beat in the mint extract and green food coloring.
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Line two baking sheets with wax paper. Drop tablespoons of the meringue onto the baking sheets, about and inch or two apart.
  7. Turn the oven off, and place the cookie sheets in the oven. Leave the cookies in the oven overnight.
  8. Store cookies in a dry place.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies (GF)

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Here’s the deal with these cookies: They are amazingly delicious!

Flour-less peanut butter cookies are a wonderful thing for anyone on a GF diet. So tasty, so simple, and maintaining all the qualities anyone thinks of a normal cookie having. Why even bother with mixing all of those expensive flours when you can combine some PB, sugar, and eggs and end up with a perfect cookie? These cookies take the basic flour-less PB cookie to another level. Adding cocoa powder gives the whole cookie a chocolatey flavor. And the pretzels make the cookie. The slight crunch and saltiness from the pretzels combined with the soft chocolate and peanut butter dough is mouthwatering.

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I decided to bake these cookies on Tuesday afternoon. I bake a minimum of once a week in the hope of improving my baking skills. Sometimes my weekly baking is a flop (Like, two weeks ago, when I melted candy corn into cookies (accidentally) and the entire pan turned to mush). Other times, the baking is a success. In the mood for a success, I figured a modification of my Flour-less Peanut Butter Cookies recipe would surely lead sometime edible.

Once the cookies came out of the oven and had cooled for a few minutes and ate one and was happy with the results. Chocolate, peanut butter, pretzel – I knew that combination couldn’t turn out badly! Steve got home from work and a little while later and was excited to see the cookies and gobbled down a bunch. How that guy eats so many cookies and stays so slim I do not know!

On Tuesdays we go to the climbing gym with some people, and I often bring desserts. We packed up all but four of the remaining cookies and were handing them out to our climbing friends. People were really loving these cookies. Almost everyone took seconds. One lady said it was the best cookie she ever had. Everyone was talking about the cookies and asking me how to make them. We got home from climbing, hungry, and finished off the remaining few cookies. Yup, all the cookies eaten in one day, really, one half of a day. That’s proof of how amazing these cookies are!

The coolest part is that these are so simple to make compared to other GF baked goods. Since these cookies are flour-less you don’t have to measure out half a dozen different flours. In fact, the ingredient list is short, and consists of basic ingredients you probably keep on hand. With a stand mixer, you can be done mixing up the cookie dough in under 10 minutes and then its just shaping the cookies and baking them. These cookies are a great last minute dessert. You can whip up a batch quickly and easily and you’ll still get that “wow” factor from everyone who tries them!

Flour-less Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies

 
Ingredients (makes about 20 cookies)
  • 1c creamy peanut butter
  • 1c brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2c GF pretzels, broken into small pieces (I used Glutino’s pretzels)
Baking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer (if you don’t have a stand mixer just use a large bowl and mix by hand) add all ingredients except the pretzel pieces.
  3. Mix on medium speed, with the paddle attachment, until all ingredients are thoroughly combined. Scrape down the bowl a few times if needed.
  4. Add in the pretzel pieces and stir into the dough on the lowest mixer setting, or by hand.
  5. If desired, refrigerate the dough for about half an hour. (I prefer to work with cooled cookie dough, but this step isn’t necessary)
  6. Using your hands, shape the dough into cookie shapes. These cookies will not expand, so the size you shape them is the size they will stay. If larger pretzel chunks are falling out of the dough as your shape the cookies, but just shove them back in.
  7. Place cookies on 2 baking sheets lined with either parchment paper or silpat. Since the cookies won’t expand, you can place them fairly close together on the baking sheets.
  8. Bake for 8-12 minutes, and then let the cookies cool on the pan for a few minutes before moving them to a cooling rack. The cookies will be very soft on top when you first take them out of the oven. The key to knowing they are done baking is to watch for the bottom and sides to set.
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