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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!

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!

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!

 

 

GF Peanut Butter M&M Cookies

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I’ve really been craving an m&m cookie. Not just today, or this week, but for months! When you eat GF you can’t just go to the store and buy some m&m cookies. You’ve gotta make them. So I did! And they were delicious and worth the wait!

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For how much I enjoy cooking, I really don’t enjoy getting out a dozen different flours/starches just to make some cookies. When I open the flour bags, a big cloud of flour always appears, and then ends up all over my shirt. No matter how hard I try to be careful and clean the counter top still ends up with a white flour coating. This is why most of my baking recipes are very simple, and my eBook only uses all purpose GF flour. Less flours = less chance for a mess.

I was thinking over how to make a GF m&m cookie without messing around with lots of flours. I had a few ideas, but the quickest and easiest was to use my Peanut Butter Cookie as the base of the recipe. With only 5 ingredients, none of which are flour, you can’t get much simpler! Especially for a gluten free cookie!

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With the exception of the m&ms, the five ingredients in these cookies are all pantry staples. Maybe other people keep m&ms on hand, but I don’t. And, being the thrifty shopper that I am, I waited for m&ms to go on sale before I bought them for this recipe. I was really ready for an m&m cookie by time I actually got around to making them.

It’s easy to whip up a batch in under half and hour, start to finish. Great for a last minute dessert or when you want to impress with soft, warm, freshly baked cookies and don’t have time for something complicated. Enjoy!

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Gluten Free Peanut Butter M&M Cookies

Ingredients
  • 1 c creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 c brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 c mini m&ms
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Mix the first 5 ingredients (you can do this by hand or in a stand mixer. I used my KitchenAid with the paddle attachment).
  3. Stir in the mini m&ms.
  4. Rill a spoonful of dough (about 1-2 tablespoons, but you can approximate) into a ball in the palm of your hand. If the dough is sticking too much run your hands under cold water, shake dry, and then try working with the dough again. Place the balls on a non stick baking sheet, or a regular baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat mat.
  5. Bake for about 12 minutes total, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time. The cookies should be set and golden brown on the bottom but still soft on the top. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack or eat!

 

Chocolate Peppermint Bark Cookies

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I know this is probably the millionth peppermint recipe you’ve seen this week, but these cookies are so good!

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The inspiration for this recipe came from Brittany at Real Sustenance. She creates awesome recipes that are allergen free (check out her blog – it’s a great resource)! The particular peppermint bark cookie I spotted on her site is gluten, dairy, soy, and egg free, and because of that there were a few extra steps and ingredients that I wasn’t used to in baking.

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I’m all for cooking and baking to meet your specific needs so I decided to create an only GF peppermint bark cookie. I took the idea and ran with it, and many, many batches later ended up with these cookies. These peppermint cookies been a big hit with everyone, not just people who eat gluten free. They’re the closest to a gluten free thin mint that I have tasted, so that’s a winner for me! Everyone who eats them loves them, including people who don’t usually like mint!

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Since these cookies disappear quickly I’ve tried to steamline the recipe to make it quick and simple. One of the ways I do that is by using melted chocolate chips for the coating. I know peppermint bark usually uses white chocolate but I just hate working with that stuff! It always seems so much harder to melt than regular chocolate. Since these cookies are a frequent baked good in my house and I always have chocolate chips on hand that’s what I use. These are delicious with white or dark chocolate too, and would look great with a red or green coating, too!

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Chocolate Peppermint Bark Cookies

makes about 4 dozen cookies, depending on size.
 
Ingredients
  • 2 c almond meal (I make this by grinding up almonds in my food processor)
  • 1/2 c cocoa powder
  • 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 3 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 c water
  • melted chocolate chips (about 1 bag)
  • 6 peppermint hard candies, crushed
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Mix the first six ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Roll the dough (starting with about half of it)  between two pieces of wax or parchment paper, to 1/8″ thick. Cut out cookies using a small circle cookie cutter. Place cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Repeat until all of the dough has been used. The cookies will not expand at all during baking so you can put them very close together on the baking sheet.
  4. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through.
  5. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet. They will firm up as they cool.
  6. Put the chocolate chips in a deep bowl and microwave for 30 second increments until melted.
  7. To coat cookies, get out a fork and a knife. Gently press a cookie down into the melted chocolate, then flip it over with the fork and knife. With the fork in your left hand, slide it underneath the cookie and lift out of the chocolate. Use the knife to scrape excess chocolate from the top of the cookie and then the bottom on the cookie. Place the cookie gently on the cookie sheet, using the knife to guide it off of the fork.
  8. Top with a pinch of the crushed peppermint candy.
  9. Repeat until all cookies have been coated, then place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator to let chocolate harder.
  10. Store cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

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.

Mini Halloween “Oreo” Truffles

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My sister was visiting last week! We some big plans (going to an aquarium) and some not so big plans (eating snacks). We had a night full of popcorn experiments, and then the next day we wanted to make something special for Halloween. We brainstormed for a while and then decided on these Oreo truffles in Halloween shapes. We realized that our cookie decorating skills aren’t the best, but we had fun (and isn’t that what matters?)! Plus, these cookies do not need to be baked, so even though we cut out and decorated each tiny cookie the time commitment was not huge, and there weren’t a bunch of cookie sheets that needed to be washed! Recipes that don’t result in a million dirty dishes are usually my favorites!

Have you had Oreo truffles before? They are a Christmas tradition for my family. My Dad and I used to make them on Christmas Eve and bring them to our family festivities. My family has always had the job of providing all the different cookie varieties. There was a year when my Dad and I decided to switch it up and replace the Oreo truffles with something else. Well, no one liked that! A few family members said that they wait all year for those cookies!

Making Oreo truffles is so simple. Mix Oreos, or GF oreos in the case of this recipe, with cream cheese in a food processor. To make regular truffles you roll the mixture into balls and then coat them with melted chocolate. Instead of making balls, we rolled the dough out to cut out Halloween shapes.

I rolled the dough out on wax paper, for easy clean up and less sticking. Since I don’t have any Halloween cookie cutters we improvised with a bottle cap and a dough cutter.

Making spiders is simple; you just cut out a circle with a bottle cap. We made the legs by piping on melting chocolate. The ghosts we a bit more complicated. First, I cut out a half circle using the bottle cap.

Next, use the pastry cutter, or a pizza cutter, to extend the cut straight down.

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If you want, you can leave the ghost in this shape or use the pastry/pizza cutter to cut a few diagonal lines.

One all of the cookie shapes were cut we just “frosted” and decorated  them with melted chocolate and white chocolate. Hopefully our finished cookies resemble ghosts and spiders. I have not spent a lot of time frosting and decorating so this project was a stretch for me! I’m sure many of you out there have great decorating skills and could use this same idea to create some really amazing looking cookies. Looks aside, these cookies taste decadent, and since they a mini you don’t have to feel badly if you eat a few!

Mini Halloween Oreo Truffles

 
Ingredients
  • 1 package (10.5 oz) gluten free oreo cookies (I used Glutino brand)
  • 2 oz cream cheese
  • 4 oz white melting chocolate
  • 4 oz chocolate chips
Baking Directions
  1. Combine oreos and cream cheese in a food processor. Mix for a few minutes, until fully combined. The mixture will look brown.
  2. Roll or pat out the dough to about a 1/8″ thick.
  3. Cut out cookie shapes from the dough (see post above for how to make ghost and spider shapes using a bottle cap).
  4. Put the dough in the freezer to firm up, 5-10 minutes will be enough.
  5. Melt both chocolate varieties according to package directions.
  6. Top the ghost cookies with the white chocolate and spiders with regular melted chocolate. Use the opposite colors for eyes and mouths.
  7. Using a ziplock bag or a pastry bag, pipe melted chocolate off of each spider body to create legs.
  8. Once all decorating is done return cookies to the freezer again. Store in the freezer until you are ready to serve.

Spiced Sweet Potato Muffins (GF)

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There muffins are good AND they are healthy!

No refined sugar.

No oil.

Grain free.

It sounds like these would also be taste – free, but they are not! The sweet potato + the spice combination is surprisingly delicious. Case in point: My husband, who usually dislikes the taste of healthy baking, actually asked if he could eat another one! He said “I can tell it has healthy stuff in it, but it tastes good!” I actually had to cut us both off from eating any more until I snapped a few photos.

Three notes about the recipe: First, this calls for mashed sweet potato. The easiest way I’ve found to prepare that is to boil the sweet potato in chunks. First, peel a sweet potato, then cut into one or two inch chunks. Boil until you can feel they are soft when poked with a fork. Drain and mash, using a blender, food processor, or immersion blender. I’ve found that one medium sized sweet potato usually gives me about a cup, mashed.

Second note: These muffins bake up to be very moist and soft, as written. If you prefer firmer muffins, increase the almond flour.

Finally, this recipe calls for garam masala, which is a spice blend, mostly composed of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cardamom. I get it at a Mediterranean food market, but I know it is also available in some upscale grocery stores. I’ve found so many uses for this spice blend. I add it to hummus, curries, and a variety of baked goods. I use this spice all the time, so I’d suggest to just go buy a bottle if you don’t have one, but in a pinch you could also sub in some of the spices listed above.

Spiced Sweet Potato Muffins

 
Ingredients (makes 12 muffins)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c sweet potato puree (directions for pureeing are in post)
  • 1/4 c creamy peanut butter
  • 1 Tbs plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 Tbs pure maple syrup
  • 1 c almond meal/flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c chocolate chips or cacao chips
Baking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the two eggs with a fork until they are a bit frothy.
  3. Stir in sweet potato puree, peanut butter, yogurt and maple syrup.
  4. Add in all remaining ingredients except the chocolate/cacao chips. Once all the dry ingredients are combined stir in the chips.
  5. Line a muffin pan with muffin liners (I used silicone muffin liners, which I love), and fill each muffin tin. These muffins expand some, but not a lot, so you can fill them almost to the top.
  6. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. I rotate the pan once, halfway through the cooking.
  7. Let cool in the pan before eating.

Healthy Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’ve been trying to make a safe for eating and not funky tasting GF cookie dough. Not to turn into cookies, just to eat or use as cookie dough. There must be other people who miss cookie dough ice cream! I’ve had a number of dessert ideas that involve safe to eat GF cookie dough, but I really needed a cookie dough that didn’t have that weird GF flour flavored aftertaste before I could make those.

I’ve been experimenting and testing different ideas for this cookie dough with no really good results. I’m just getting funny flavors across the board. That is exactly what happened when I tried to turn this Chocolate Cover Katie recipe for blondies into cookie dough. I had high hopes, but it tasted funny! Maybe it was the flax, or maybe it was the chickpeas. It didn’t taste badly (I actually did enjoy it eating the dough!), but the taste did not scream “cookie dough”.

I don’t like wasting food and I couldn’t use the strange tasting dough in my recipe so I decided to bake it. Novel idea for a dough, I know, right? I had a small batch since I was testing, so I plopped some cookie shapes onto a cookie sheet and threw it in the oven for 10 minutes. I wasn’t expecting much, honestly. My cookie experiments end poorly about 75% of the time. So, when I opened the oven door, and there appeared to be real looking cookies on the baking sheet, I was quite pleasantly surprised.

Yes, that is a half eaten cookie.

I let the cookies cool, and ate one. Actually, I think I ate three. They are surprisingly good. They are soft, like I think cookies should be, and there is no funny aftertaste. Baking win!

Making these cookies is simple. You throw all the ingredients in the food processor. For thicker cookies, you’ll refrigerate the dough overnight. For thinner cookies, you throw them on the cookie sheet and bake them right away. You will literally have warm, soft, chocolatey cookies in under 20 minutes.

Thick cookies (chill dough overnight)

Thin Cookies (no chilling required)

Oh, and did I mention, these are healthy?! Just look at the ingredient list – its a lot healthier than a normal cookie recipe! So many good things in one cookie 🙂

Healthy Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies

 
Ingredients
  • 15.5 oz. can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 2 Tbs creamy peanut butter
  • 2 Tbs ground flax
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 c + 2 Tbs (or 1C – 2 Tbs) brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 c chocolate chips (or more)
Baking Directions
  1. For the smoothest result, take the thing clear shells off the the chickpeas. This will take a while, FYI. It’s also not necessary, and will only change the texture of the cookie slightly.
  2. Combine all ingredients except the chocolate chips in the food processor, letting it run until a smooth, uniform dough forms.
  3. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  4. For thicker cookies, chill the dough in the refrigerator overnight, before moving on to next step. (Note: you may have an easier time with shaping the dough into cookies if you refrigerate it for even 15 minutes before baking.)
  5. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Put a silpat (or parchment paper) on a large baking sheet.
  6. Run your hands under cold water, and then scoop up about a tablespoon of dough, roll in into a ball, and flatten the ball onto the prepared baking sheet.
  7. Repeat with the rest of the dough, wetting your hands when the dough starts to stick to them. Leave space on the cookie sheet for the the cookies to expand.
  8. Cook for 12 minutes.
  9. The cookies will be very soft. Let them cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes and they will firm up.

Recipe Inspiration: Healthy Chocolate Chip Blondies from Chocolate Covered Katie

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