Oatmeal Lace Cookies and Nutella Almond Butter Cookies

I find myself watching repeat episodes of the Big Bang Theory all. the. time. In my defense, the repeats are shown on TV all. the. time. It’s funny to me how easily I am influenced to make or eat foods based on what I see on TV. I’m basically a marketer’s dream.

Cookies (12)

Anyways, the other day I was watching the episode where Bernadette is going to be featured in a magazine as one of the top sexiest female scientists to watch, and Amy Farrah Fowler is upset because she feels female scientists shouldn’t have to flaunt their good looks to be recognized for their achievements. Plot line aside, the girls were eating cookies in the opening scene, so I decided to make some.

Cookies (2)

Oatmeal Lace Cookies:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (or gluten free flour)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal (use gluten free if desired)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp almond milk
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Cookies (3)

Preheat oven to 375F

In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour through oatmeal and mix well. Set aside.

In another bowl, combine remaining ingredients and mix on low with a blender until smooth. Slowly add dry ingredients and continue mixing until well combined.

Drop tablespoon sized balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet, about 2 1/2 apart. These cookies will spread flat in the oven.

Bake for 7-9 minutes, removing when the edge is just golden. Let cool for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack or plate.

Cookies (9)

Nutella Almond Butter Cookies:

  • 1/2 cup Nutella
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/3 cup turbinado sugar, such as Sugar in the Raw
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350F

In a mixing bowl, mix together all ingredients with a blender until well combined.

Spoon a tablespoon of the mix onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Use a fork to gently press diagonal lines across each cookie in an X.

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are just golden. Let cool for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack or plate.

Cookies (8)     Cookies (11)     Cookies (7)

Homemade Marshmallow Fluff

I want to put on the record that this recipe was a complete accident. My friend and I recently traveled to a trail race on probably one of the nicest days we’ve had since summer. After the race, we stuck around with some of the other runners and happened to meet two really nice people who were leaving shortly to have dinner with their family.

IMG_0315

Before they left, they told us about something called boiled frosting. I was pretty intrigued – I’d never made my own frosting before (because I do not often bake) so it seemed like a good thing to try in preparation for the holidays.

IMG_0307

So, it’s super easy to make this recipe. But the big disclaimer is that it’s not exactly frosting. What it is, is marshmallow fluff. I’m not sure whether this recipe was a success or a failure. What I do know is that it would go absolutely fabulously on top of a peanut butter or chocolate cake.

If you happen to be a fan of fluff, like my husband, you’ll appreciate a recipe that delivers the same exact completely unique, cavity-inducing taste without the weird ingredients in the store-bought kind. And it’s super-simple to make – it literally takes 5 minutes.

What You Need: 

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 unbeaten egg white
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup boiling water

IMG_0308

What You Do:

Combine sugar through cream of tartar in a mixing bowl.

Add boiling water.

Using a hand mixer on high speed, blend for about 5 minutes or until the mixture becomes thick and creamy.

Give it a taste. Marshamallow fluff!

Whole Wheat Holiday Rum Spice Cake

Adapted from the Applesauce Spice Cake recipe on Epicurious

Every time the holidays roll around, I kind of assume I’m going to be amazing at life and have my gifts bought, wrapped and under the tree by December 15. Needless to say, that absolutely never, ever happens.

IMG_0330

And I was really scrambling this year when my equally lofty dreams of baking and cooking in preparation for our visits to various family over Thanksgiving took a backseat to other life events (normal things like work and sleeping – where do the days go?!?). That’s why I was thrilled to come across this fabulous recipe for a Thanksgiving dessert that is not a pie and didn’t require me to quit my job in order to prepare it. Mike and I were even able to go on an impromptu date at our favorite restaurant the night I baked this and I still got to bed at a reasonable hour (before midnight, just to clarify what constitutes “reasonable”).

IMG_0314

This recipe will be great to offer up for the Christmas holiday too, and I plan on making it again.

What was your favorite dessert for the Thanksgiving holiday? I’d love to hear some different treats you baked up for the celebration. Baking isn’t really my forte but I like doing it every once in awhile, especially when I get a really good idea that will taste great without traumatizing my body with sugar.

IMG_0328

What You Need: 

  • 1 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup turbinado sugar such as Sugar in the Raw
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons light rum
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened applesauce

What You Do:

Preheat oven to 350F

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt.

IMG_0301

In a separate, larger bowl, combine the sugar, butter and rum. Beat with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until a nice batter has formed.

Add the egg and beat again at a medium-high speed until light and fluffy in texture. Reduce blender speed to low and slowly add the dry ingredients, continuing to blend until combined well.

Fold in applesauce and blend on low until combined.

In an 8-inch square non-stick baking dish, spread the batter evenly.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until lightly browned and a toothpick in the middle comes out clean.

Pro Tip: Make ahead by wrapping the cooled cake in plastic wrap and freezing until ready to use. It will thaw really quickly and can be warmed in the oven on low before serving. This is a great strategy if you’re traveling.

IMG_0329

Healthy Black Bean Power Brownies

I have an obsession, along with 103,000 other people (and that’s just on Facebook!) with Chocolate Covered Katie and her healthy dessert blog. This obsession is borne from a life-long addiction to desserts and internal struggle between cravings and being healthy. Sure, I exercise multiple times a week. I run long distances and get up early to squeeze in a workout before heading to the office.

But when I delve into a pint of Ben and Jerry’s at night following a heaping plate of dinner food, I hear that nagging voice in my head letting me know I’m probably undoing all the good I had done earlier.

The solution to this battle between desserts and being healthy is to combine the two. Healthy desserts. And that is exactly what Chocolate Covered Katie does on her blog. My latest indulgence is brought to you today in the form of chocolately, ooey-gooey brownies made with – wait for it – black beans.

Brownie 2

They’re only slightly tweaked from this recipe on Chocolate Covered Katie – she’s basically a genius so I can’t really improve upon what she’s done here. I omitted some sugar and added flax seeds and a couple options for the flour mix. No biggie.

Enjoy!

Preheat oven to 350 F

What You Need:

  • One 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup quick oats OR whole wheat flour OR gluten-free flour OR cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup or honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp whole flax seeds (chia seeds or hemp seeds or any other seeds you like work here too)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips

Brownie

 

 

What You Do:

Put everything into a food processor EXCEPT the chocolate chips and flax seeds. Blend well, stir in the chips and seeds, and then pour the batter out into an 8X8 brownie pan.

Bake for about 18-20 minutes. Let cool well for about 10-15 minutes before serving.

 

 

 

Pro Tip: Substitute the oil for applesauce maybe? I didn’t try it this way but it’s worked for brownies and cookies I’ve made in the past. If you do this, let me know how it goes!

Brownie 3