Posts tagged ‘Cookies’

Anytime Oatmeal Cookies

I absolutely love oatmeal cookies! These have nuts, dried fruit, and oats with lots of fiber, protein, and other nutrients, and since the dough is low in fat and sugar, these cookies are also great any time of the day. You can also warm up a small bowl full to eat like regular oatmeal. As these cookies are completely vegan (and therefore eggless), you can safely eat the dough raw. If you like, you can even makes these cookies raw vegan (with raw oats, apples, and almonds) by dehydrating them instead of baking in the oven.

This recipe is so neat! As the dough does not spread out during baking, you can shape the cookies however you like, even into bars, which makes it easier to take them on trips or to work or school. You can completely customize the ingredients too with eggs, milk, and whatever fruit and seed/nut combination you want. If you have problems with fiber, you can choose to leave out the bran entirely or add more, just make sure you adjust the amount of liquids you add. This recipe is 4 5/8 cups of liquid, 4 7/8 cups of oatmeal cookie dough, and 6 3/4 cups of mix-ins, so you will need a very, very large mixing bowl. You can, of course, reduce the amounts to create a smaller batch. There are so many options.

Cosmic Cookies6

Gluten-Free Cosmic Cookies
Adapted from Cosmic Cookies on Wellsphere.
I like these cookies so much that I doubled the recipe to add a greater variety of ingredients.

Yields about 60 cookies

Ingredients
1 1/4 C Warm Filtered Water
1/4 C Chia or Flax Seeds, course ground
1 C + 2 T Hulled Oats
1 C + 2 T Oat Bran
1 C Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
1 C Almond Flour
1/2 C Sucanat
1/2 C Evaporated Cane Juice
1 T Ground Cinnamon
2 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
1 tsp Xanthan Gum
1/2 C Sunflower Seeds
1/2 C Pumpkin Seeds
1/4 C Hemp Seeds
1/2 C Chopped Walnuts or Pecans, shelled, chopped
1 C Dark Chocolate Chips
1 C Dairy-Free Malted or Regular Carob Chips
1/2 C Sulfur-Free Unsweetened Finely Shredded Coconut
1/2 C Dried Cranberries
1/2 C Golden Raisins
1/2 C Chopped Dried Figs
1/2 C Chopped Apricots
5 T + 1/8 tsp Blue Agave Nectar
1/4 C Sulfur-Free Blackstrap Molasses
1/4 C Filtered Water
1 C Unsweetened Apple Sauce
1 C Almond or Other Dairy-Free Milk

Directions
In a small bowl with a fork, beat ground chia or flax seeds together with 1 1/4 cup water. Set aside for 15 to 20 minutes to allow seeds to gel and soak up the liquid, stirring about every five minutes to avoid clumps.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2-3 baking trays with parchment paper.

Cosmic Cookies1

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Cosmic Cookies2

In a medium bowl, combine the wet ingredients, including remaining 1/4 cup water. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry.

Cosmic Cookies3

Use a 1/3 measuring cup to portion out the dough about two inches apart onto baking sheets. Gently flatten cookies with your fingers or a spoon, as this dough will not spread out as it cooks. Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly browned.

Cosmic Cookies4

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Super Chunky Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Super Chocolate Reeses Cookies 2

Who doesn’t love chocolate and peanut butter? These cookies are perfect for satisfying your chocolate and peanut butter cravings. Thankfully the adaptation that I have included below is much healthier than the original.

At first when I tried this recipe, I made the cookies healthier by including less butter and more apple sauce, but did not take the candy coating of the peanut butter buttons into to consideration. With all of the water-based wet ingredients, it did not take long for the candy shells to dissolve and the colors to run. When I tried making the cookies again with peanut butter chunks, they turned out much better. If you do decide to peanut butter buttons, increase the amount of butter and decrease the apple sauce. If you want to boost the peanut butter flavor of the dough, replace some of the butter with peanut butter.

Super Chocolate Peanut Butter Chunk Cookies 3

Super Chunky Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
Adapted from Super Chocolate Cookies published in The Great American Cookie Cookbook.

Yields 18 to 20 Cookies

Ingredients
2 T Chia or Flax Seeds, course ground
6 – 8 T Warm Filtered Water
2 C Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum
1/3 C Unsweetened Cacao
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 C Earth Balance, softened
1/2 C Unsweetened Apple Sauce
1 1/3 C Sucanat, ground
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 C Candy-Coated Peanut Butter Buttons
OR 1 1/2 C Peanut Butter Chunks or Chips
1 1/2 C Chocolate Chunks or Chips

Directions
In a small bowl with a fork, beat ground chia or flax seeds together with water. Set aside for 15 to 20 minutes to allow seeds to gel and soak up the liquid, stirring about every five minutes to avoid clumping.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpats.

Into a medium bowl, sift the dry ingredients, from flour to salt.

In a large bowl, cream together the spread, apple sauce, and sucanat with an electric mixer. Beat in the seed “eggs” and vanilla until thoroughly incorporated. Gradually mix the sifted ingredients into the creamed. Fold in the candy pieces.

Super Chocolate Reeses Cookies 1

Spoon cookie dough in 1/4-cup portions onto baking sheets about 3 inches apart. Slightly flatten cookies to roughly 4 inches in diameter. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until edges start to turn golden brown. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 5 minutes or until they do not buckle when lifting them with a spatula. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely or until just cool enough to eat. Enjoy!

Super Chocolate Peanut Butter Chunk Cookies 1

Gingerbread-Spiced Marshmillet Treats

I was craving rice crispy treats for a while, as well as warm spice mixes, such as clove, cinnamon and ginger. Thankfully, the local overstock grocery store was selling leftover holiday marshmallows for cheap. The marshmallows smelled amazing through the bag and were in the shape of adorable little gingerbread people. I could not resist buying them; I bought vanilla snowmen marshmallows, too. (If you want to use other marshmallows, please read my gingerbread spice-infused butter.) The overstock store, however, did not have any puffed rice, so next I stopped at Sprouts to see how much their bulk puffed brown rice was. The price was more than I expected, so I looked around for other puffed cereal options. I cannot eat puffed wheat of any variety, so those grains were right out. I was rather curious about the bags of millet, which happened to be on sale, especially since I had never eaten it before.

Gingerbread Marshmillets 02

Puffed millet cereal

Puffed Millet

The texture of millet was surprising, but I thought this cereal would work well with my desire to make gooier treats by adding extra mallows. These are not crispy. At all. Puffed millet grains are much, much softer than puffed rice. I actually added one third more marshmallows than the original recipe called for. I also halved the amount of mixed in oil, but greased my hands repeatedly to cut down on the stickiness.

Gingerbread Marshmillets
Based on the Shamrock Rice Crispy Treats recipe as a guide.

Yields: 12 to 15 Servings

Ingredients
2 8-oz bags Kraft Jet-Puffed Gingerbread Men Mallows
2 T Earth Balance Spread, plus more for greasing
6 C Puffed Millet Cereal

Directions
Line a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with either baking parchment paper. Set aside.

Grease a large glass mixing bowl with buttery spread. Pour the cereal into a large measuring cup or clean dry bowl. Set aside.

Little gingerbread flavored marshmallow people

Coated Gingerbread Marshmallow People

Melt the spread and marshmallows in a large pan or medium pot over low heat, stirring constantly to prevent the sugar from burning to the bottom. Remove the melted mallows from the heat.

Gingerbread marshmallow people melted down into goo.

Melted Gingerbread Marshmallow People

Transfer the cereal into the greased bowl. Fold the melted marshmallows into the millet. I mixed the marshmallow and millet together with my hands. If you use this method, grease up your hands first with a bit of the butter or spread to prevent the marshmallow from sticking to you so much. My hands became sticky marshmillet treats themselves as I was mixing. As the mixture cools, it will harden and become more difficult to mix, so work fast.

Mix the millet into the melted mallows.

Mix the millet into the melted mallows.

Once thoroughly combined, quickly press the mixture into the pan, spreading evenly and flattening the surface. Use a knife to cut the marshmillets into bars.

Candy-Sprinkled Gingerbread Cookies

Candy Cane-Topped Gingerbread Cookies

Gingerbread is one of my absolute types of cookies. Gingerbread cookies are perfect for the winter harvest and festival season, but sadly the winter season is over. Of course now that we are officially in spring, I am craving those warm homey spiced flavors, like gingerbread, pumpkin pie, chai and curry. At least gingersnaps, chai, and numerous curries are popular enough that they are available throughout the year. I really enjoy cooking with spices beyond salt and pepper. Spices, liven up dishes and make foods so much more interesting. As an added bonus, they also contain trace minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants.

Spiced treats after holiday meals (and spices in your entrees) are actually quite helpful. The spices increase digestion for eating meat and other heavy foods as well as boost metabolism, which helps increase the burning of calories and body temperature, so it makes sense to me that gingerbread is a traditional winter holiday treat. In addition, ginger acts as an anti-inflammatory. I know it is strange to mention in an entry about cookies, but cinnamon regulates blood sugar, reduces LDL cholesterol levels and is anti-microbial (and therefore a natural preservative). Cinnamon also reduces arthritic and menstrual pain. Blackstrap molasses is high in iron, calcium and magnesium (with a serving size of two tablespoons dissolved in warm water) as well as significant amounts of manganese, potassium, vitamin B6, and selenium.

Gingerbread has historically been so popular, it is available in many different forms, textures and flavors from across the world. There are dry or moist cakes and hard and soft cookies, for instance, not to mention all of the other gingerbread flavored desserts. German lebkuchen are glazed flattened cookies, whereas the German Sankt Nikolaus spekulatius are very large cookies, which are made by pressing the  dough into a highly detailed design (usually St. Nick or other religious shapes) cut into a large wooden cookie presses (really a cookie board). For the Dutch and Belgian versions (speculaas and speculoos) the cookies are pressed into wooden molds of all sorts of religious  and secular shapes, even chickens and windmills. Pfeffernuesse are also German cookies but are made with peppercorns. For more gingerbread information and various cultures’ recipes, visit the St. Nicholas Center; they even have a gluten-free recipe for making speculoos. Check out Chef Petrus Hermanni Kurppa’s great collection of wooden cookie molds over on his blog, Turku Gingerbread.

Image Credit: Chef Petrus Hermanni Kurppa of Turku Gingerbread

Image Credit: Chef Petrus Hermanni Kurppa of Turku Gingerbread

Of course, you can always make crispy gingerbread cookies with a stiff dough by rolling it out thin, and then cutting the cookies into small shapes with either preformed cutters or cutting them into larger shapes by cutting the dough with a knife while following the outline drawn onto a piece of butcher or parchment paper. Making the pieces for constructing gingerbread houses (or lebkuchenhause) are also cut this way. Decorate with colorful frosting, sanding sugars and dragees to your heart’s content!

Candy Cane Gingerbread Cookies
These cookies are not specifically based on any one recipe but a couple from The Great American Cookie Cookbook.

Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookie Dough
This cookie dough recipe is adapted from The Great American Cookie Cookbook’s Gingerbread Cookie Dough.

Yields 1 to 2 Dozen Cookies

Ingredients
1 T Chia Seeds, course ground
1/4 C Warm Filtered Water
1/4 C Unsweetened Apple Sauce or pureed pears
1/4 C Earth Balance Spread, softened
1/3 C Powdered Sucanat
1/4 C Unsulfured Blackstrap Molasses
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 C Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp Xanthan Gum
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
Icing (see below)
Fruit Flavored Candy Canes, crushed

Directions
In a small bowl, beat the seeds and water together with a fork. Set aside for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring every five minutes or so to prevent the seeds from clumping.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with silpats or parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the apple sauce, spread, sucanat, molasses, “egg” and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, gum, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Add wet ingredients and mix until fully incorporated.

Spoon dough onto the baking sheets in one-tablespoon portions. Flatten slightly to spread the cookies to at least a two-inch diameter size. This dough is really sticky and difficult to work with, but try your best. Space the flattened cookies about inch apart.

Bake for eight to ten minutes or until the edges start browning. The cookies will harden as they cool, so do not worry if they are still soft. Cool the cookies for five minutes on the baking sheets. Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

Once cool, drizzle or spoon the icing on the cookies. Immediately sprinkle the crushed candy on top and press larger pieces into the icing to ensure that it sticks. Let the icing dry for up to ten minutes.

Golden Apple Powered Sugar Icing
The Powdered Sugar Icing recipe is also from The Great American Cookie Cookbook’s.

Yields 2 1/4 Cup Icing

Ingredients
2 C Powdered Sugar
2 tsp Unfiltered Apple Juice
5 tsp Filtered Water
Yellow Food Coloring

Directions
Sift the sugar into a medium to large bowl to get rid of lumps. Mix the juice, water and sugar together with a fork.* Add more juice to increase flavor and thin the icing as necessary. Slowly stir in the yellow food coloring until you reach the medium shade of your choice.

*Increase the icing’s apple flavor by adjusting the ratio amounts of juice to water.

Cordoza’s Deli Cafe and Catering

Cordoza’s Deli and Cafe is a great local family deli run by Bonnie Cordoza and her husband in downtown Petaluma near the theater district. They have amazing foods, like sandwiches and salads, for decent prices. The atmosphere is open and welcoming, and the staff is really friendly. AND they have foods I can eat! In fact, they just won Petalum’a Best Deli in the 2012 People’s Choice Awards through Petaluma 360! Congratulations, guys!

Cordoza’s carries Mama Baretta’s award-winning multi-seed loaves of bread for sandwich making upon request. The multi-seed bread is so tasty and wonderful with the deli’s Number 3 sandwich, which I get without mayo and cream cheese but with pesto added on. I usually get the mixed berry or green salad with a gluten-free dessert to accompany my sandwich, taking half of the entree home. They also sell bags of gluten-free crackers in their chip and cracker area of the deli. I also found out that their meats are sulphate and nitrate free!

Cordoza’s has a daily special, which includes sandwiches, wraps and other dishes. Every time I check out it out, the special always sounds wonderfully mouth watering. Sometimes Cordoza’s asks for suggestions from their Facebook followers. There’s also usually a couple kinds of soup available in the refrigerated case. If you arrive at the deli early enough, you can also get breakfast, from breakfast burritos to oatmeal with fruit. I haven’t had any of those dishes, but they look really tasty. It may not sound like anything special, but they often have flavored ice water, coffee and hot tea available all day long, too, which is important to me, since hot beverages aid in digestion. There are also at least two cases of cold beverages.

Her catered meals are so good. If whatever you want isn’t on their menu, just ask. They can accommodate for your needs. They’re rather flexible and will adjust for special dietary needs, which is fantastic, since I know I’m not the only one with allergy and digestive issues. Cordoza’s is catering all of the Petaluma-Hamilton Masonic Lodge’s monthly stated meeting dinners this year, and they also catered the officers’ installation lunch and my husband’s congratulatory dinner afterward for our family and friends at the deli.

My husband loves her meaty lasagna, and her vegetable pesto lasagna is a smash hit, too. She made me a special gluten-free penne pasta dish with a superb pesto sauce made with brown rice noodles on the spot when she found out that I couldn’t eat her gluten-free veggie lasagna due to my dairy issues. How great is she?! Bonnie also makes a killer flourless chocolate torte served with fresh fruit. I have eaten many of her catered meals, and I have never been disappointed. Her family also has a small vineyard and winery, and she offers bottles of her wines in her cafe and with her catering.

Cordoza’s is also now featuring Jill Habansky’s Sweet gluten-free baked goods. Jill has her own gluten-free space to work in within Bonnie’s kitchen in the back. How cool is that?! So far, I have tried the salted chocolate chip cookies and almond scone, fennel scone and vegan chocolate-frosted chocolate cupcake. Bonnie also has some of Jill’s lightly sea salt-sprinkled chocolate chip cookies, white chocolate chip cookies, carrot cupcakes with cream cheese icing, cardamon crumb cake, rosemary cornbread, morning glory muffins and more. She does not make the same things every day, so it’s always a surprise to see which little delectable goodies are in the case. Jill supposedly makes great baguettes that have really nice flavor and great textures, nice and crunchy on the outside with a soft airy inside. Bonnie told me that Jill’s goodies were featured at the Petaluma Valley Rotary’s Edible Art Tasting in March. I can’t wait to taste her other baked goods.

Sinful Cheesecakes 3Recently I learned that Sinful Delights mini cheesecakes, made by Amber Merkel, are now being featured at Cordoza’s Deli. They are so cute! I love the bright and dark color contrasts and the way the layers are stacked. These little morsels look so tasty! (I was “good” and ate one of Jill’s deliciously amazing chocolate cupcakes instead. ;P ) The prices aren’t bad either, considering what they are and how they are made. I couldn’t resist! I bought one for my hubby, hoping that I could enjoy it vicariously. He’s rather picky about food, but he totally approved with a big grin on his face and a compliment. I’ll have to buy him another one the next time I go buy a sandwich. When I pied them in the case, I knew I had to buy one! Yesterday, they had three different kinds, New York with various fruits, chocolate, and caramel macchiato, but the choices seem to change often. Amber also makes full-sized and mini cheesecakes for whole sale orders and catered events, too. The pictures of her treats are gorgeous! Oh, how they really make me wish I could eat dairy foods easily!

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Please pardon the empty looking deli shots, I snuck in at the tail end of the day; I took these pictures as I was waiting for my order to be filled, I think. There are usually many more people inside eating, ordering and snacking earlier on in the day. If you want something from the gluten-free Sweet case, make sure you get there at least 30 minutes before the deli closes, otherwise you may find the case empty. Trust me. I already made that mistake. Oh well. There’s always next time.

These are so cute and pretty. I’ve been looking for a great gluten-free dairy-free madeleine cookie recipe! These are perfect for brunch or afternoon tea. What an adorable treat to feature on Mother’s Day, too. 🙂

Bliss Bakery

Over the last few months, I’ve stopped by the Bliss Bakery booth almost every Saturday at the Santa Rosa farmers market to buy tasty treats (sometimes as a late not-so-healthy breakfast). If you want to buy their baked goods, make sure you go early; Bliss’s items are really popular and often sell out rather quickly. From my experiences, if you get to there around 11:00am or 12:00pm, you may find your choices a little slim. It really doesn’t matter what you buy though, since everything is very very good, vegan and gluten-free.

I have great news! Bliss Bakery now has a store front! Cori, one of the talented bakers, says the bakery is open Monday through Friday from 1:00pm to 6:00pm. They bake a variety of items daily. I went by on Thursday and bought freshly-made caramel blondies and a bunch of day-old almond maple bars, pecan “butter” cookies, chocolate chip cookies and chocolate hazelnut cookies, and the day-old items are only a dollar! The caramel blondies are much different than their chocolate chip blondies; instead of being in the regular muffin shape, they are baked in a pan like square-cut brownies. The blondies were nice and ooey-gooey after I warmed them up in the microwave for a bit. Cori said these blondies were actually a kind of experiment, but I think they turned out pretty well.

Everything looked lovely in the little pink box. It only cost $15 for the whole thing! I cleaned them out of all of the day-old cookies and bars. (We are having a painting party on Saturday, and I only had glutenous cookies in the house.) I took a picture but not until after Christopher ate two of the chocolate chip cookies and after I ate both of the blondies. Bliss’s Flax bread is nice and savory and perfect with either sesame (tahini) or almond butter spread on top. Their oatmeal raisin cookies are also scrumptious. Amazing!

When I first bought their cookies and bars (either last summer or the summer before that), I was only really impressed with the maple bars. I honestly wasn’t really impressed with their other items and only found them okay, nothing I would recommend. (At that time, The Cosmic Cookie Jar was still in Santa Rosa and had a booth at the Santa Rosa farmers market, but they don’t anymore. I really miss their mouth-watering cookies.) Since then, gluten-free recipes all over have advanced and improved, it seems, and (maybe as a result of that or merely trial and error) Bliss’s baked goods’ visual appeal, textures and flavors have improved astonishingly! Now everything tastes delicious and has great “mouth feel” and texture, definitely goodies I recommend.

I can’t wait to buy more from Bliss on Saturday. If they have another big blueberry coffee cake this week, I may have to just buy it, that is if lamb farmer from two weeks ago has lamb sausage, goat or rabbit. Some of the farmers aren’t at the market every week and are only there once or twice a month. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the names of all of the meat selling farm booths, since they seem to swap out all of the time. More than a few of the farmers are only at the market seasonally. Well, we’ll see. If the lamb farmer is there and I can get the sausage or other meats, I’ll make a post about it.  ^_^