turtle cookies

I confess, I have absolutely no idea what to call these cookies besides delicious.  At first I was going for caramel-chocolate chip, but that’s a bit wordy and does not do justice to how incredible these are.  Then I thought monster cookies, since that’s somewhat where the inspiration came from but they did not have any other ingredients in them to make them actual monster cookies (m&ms, whole oats, raisins, etc.).  And then I thought, well I think it came from either my mom or sister when they were eating them that they were almost turtle flavored.  caramel, chocolate + nuts.  Although no nuts.  But close enough for me and maybe next time they will have nuts.

So if you can think of a better name for these delightful cookies, please share.

 

Turtle Cookies

  • 1 stick unsalted butter or margarine at room temperature
  • 1/4 c grapeseed oil (or any other light oil)
  • 1/2 cup organic sugar
  • 2t vanilla
  • 1t salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/4c oat flour (oats ground into flour is what I used)
  • 1/2c sorghum flour
  • 1/2t baking soda
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup caramel bits
1. In a small bowl, combine the oats, sorghum flour and baking soda.  Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, beat up the butter or margarine until it is nice and fluffy.
3. Mix in the oil to the butter or margarine until it is somewhat mixed well, and then add in the sugar and continue mixing.
4. Once the sugar and butter/oil mixture are combined, add in the salt and eggs.
5. Dump the dry ingredients into the wet and stir until fully mixed together.  If this ends up being too sticky, you can add some more oat or sorghum flour.
6. Once the batter is a good consistency, add the chocolate chips and caramel bits.
7. Try not to eat the entire batter as-is… and then take small scoopfuls of what is left and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
8. Bake in a 350′ oven for 10-12 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through if necessary.
I used the smallest scoop I had and these cookies were still a very good size, and it made 4 dozen cookies.  If you add in extra cookies for the amount of dough that was consumed.
Holy yum.
The caramel bits were such a random splurge at the store…
But definitely, 100% worth it.
They could also be called “I took way too many photos of these cookies” cookies, but that’s an even greater mouthful than caramel-chocolate chip…
Mouthful being the key word.

oatmeal chocolate chip

I am currently procrastinating packing…  Well, not serious procrastination.  It might be worse – I’m waiting for laundry to be done so I actually have clothes to pack.  Which could have been done right away when I got home at 5pm.  But no, it’s 9:30 and the stuff just went in the dryer.  Whoops.

It’s a little nerve-wracking packing for my first business trip.  Having to pack a bunch of ‘dress-up’ clothes that will need to be ironed at the hotel (shocker!), shoes, plenty of workout clothes (hoping I won’t have to get up super early to do it!), all my getting-ready goodies.  Not to mention my food.  I have no clue what there will be for gluten-free, dairy-free vegetarian offerings.  My guess is not much – if even that much.  So I have oats and a box of almond milk to make overnight oats in the fridge in my room so at least I’ll have a nice and filling breakfast in the morning.  I even picked up a few individual packs of Justin’s to have on top!  I also bought a pack of rice cakes today and have a myriad of Lära and Clif Bars as well as some raw almonds.  This way, I will at least have some options available to supplement what I am guessing is going to be a fruit and salad-filled weekend.  And a long weekend at that since it is Wednesday – Sunday.

I am all checked in – after an incredibly long phone call with a guy from AirTran.  For some reason my payment wasn’t going through for a checked bag that was holding up the whole process and took much longer than it even needed to…  Good thing that right as I got off the phone, these little guys just happened to be waiting for me to eat them ;).

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 2 1/4 c oat flour
  • 3/4t baking soda
  • 1/4t salt
  • 1/3c melted earth balance (or other butter)
  • 1/4c organic sugar
  • 1T molasses
  • 1 egg (or flax egg)
  • 1/2c non-dairy milk
  • 1t vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 c mini non-dairy chocolate chips

1. In a bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients except for the oats and chocolate chips (you could sift them as well).

2. Whisk together the melted earth balance, sugar and molasses.  Add in the egg, milk and vanilla.

3. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet and add the oats and the chocolate chips.

4. Scoop into little balls, roll, and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

5. Bake in a 350′ preheated oven for 10 minutes.

6. Eat!

These cookies are similar to the Wheat Free Chocolate Chip Cookies I made awhile back but with more chunks due to the oats as well as puffier because of the egg addition.  These are also way cut down on the sugar (only 1/4c for over 3 dozen?).  I thought they were a good sweetness, not an over-the-top sugar high but enough so it tasted like a treat!

Who knows what I will be experiencing this weekend, but I have been told it will be an ‘ease’ into what some business trips will be like in the future, so enjoy it while I can ;).

pre-race fuel

I do not have a long history with running, as I have said before.  It is relatively new in my life and I am still trying to figure out how to best fuel my body for short and (more importantly) long runs.  I obviously know pasta is a huge tradition for pre-race dinners.  Spaghetti nights being very common the night before a long run or race.  But since recently eliminating gluten from my diet, it has become harder to fill my meals up with carbs.  I used to eat a sandwich every day, something that I rarely have since the bread I now buy is more expensive than my previous gluten-filled sprouted wheat bread.

A simple carbo-loading night is now not quite as simple.  No plain spaghetti for us.  So when Kinley was gearing up to run in the Summerfest 1/2 marathon, we had to think of something that would help her get through her run.  What did we end up with?  Pancakes!

We had somewhat of a pancake party as my friend, Ashley, was spending the night.  She brought her own mix, but Kinley whipped up a delicious recipe we have been using that was inspired by the recipe Weekend Pancakes Made Easy in the cookbook, Vegan Yum Yum.

Gluten Free Oatmeal Pancakes (the picture above is actually a triple recipe, so don’t be concerned when you don’t make a pile of pancakes with the below measurements 😉 )

makes 2-3 servings

  • 1 c oat flour
  • 1/3c millet flour
  • 1t baking powder
  • 1/4t salt
  • 1t cinnamon
  • 2T ground flax
  • 1cup non-dairy milk (plus more milk or water if needed to thin out batter)
  • 2T unsweetened applesauce
  • 1t vanilla

1. Whisk together the flours, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and flax.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, applesauce and vanilla.

3. Mix the wet ingredients to the dry and add more liquid if necessary.

4. Preheat a skillet over medium-high heat and cook until golden brown on the one side, flip and cook the other side to golden-brown as well.

*It also works to keep cooked pancakes in a 250* preheated oven if you wanted to make up the whole batch before serving!

I love my pancakes topped with banana, almond butter, coconut butter and of course pure maple syrup – but use any of your favorite toppings (or mix-ins!).

These definitely helped Kinley carbo-load for her race!

it’s fall… somewhere?

I was looking for something to bake.  I was in the mood for some type of coffee cake, but came up short in the recipe department.  I was also in the mood for something made with pumpkin… yes, it’s currently June but pumpkin is not a seasonal ingredient for me :).  I found this recipe for gluten free pumpkin muffins, and thinned out the base to make it in a 9×13 pan and topped with some cinnamon oat pecan topping – yum!

*I used the measurement for honey listed below as I prefer my baked goods less sweet.  If you are looking for something a bit sweeter and more dessert like, you can add up to 1/3 cup honey in the base recipe and adjust the amount of honey (or possibly add some brown sugar) in the topping as you desire as well.  Even with the 1T listed below, these bars got a lot sweeter the next day and really turned out delicious!

Cinnamon Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Base

  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1/2c millet flour
  • 1/2 cup (2T garbanzo bean flour + the rest sorghum flour)
  • 1/2 cup ground flax
  • 1t baking soda
  • 1t baking powder
  • 1t nutmeg
  • 1T cinnamon
  • 1/4t salt
  • 1/4 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 15oz can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/3 c unsweetened applesauce
  • 1T honey
  • ~3/4c water

Topping

  • 1/2c oats
  • 1/2c crushed pecans
  • ~1 1/2 T honey
  • ~1T water

cinnamon to taste (lots for me!)

1. Sift together the flours and add the flax, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt.

2. Whisk together the almond milk, pumpkin, applesauce and honey.

3. Create a hole in the center of the dry ingredients.  Add in the wet mixture and mix until combined.  You can add the water at this point to get your desired consistency.  (Since I was baking it as a coffee cake, I wanted it thinner than the original recipe made).  Pour into a 9×13 pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

4. Mix together the oats and pecans for the topping.  Add in the honey and water to create a crumbly topping.  Sprinkle on top of the base batter.

4.  Bake in at 350* for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Serve with butta!  (aka Earth Balance)

carrots for breakfast

Many people, including myself most days, ignore vegetables in the morning.  I would rather have my oatmeal without broccoli or peas and definitely no salads… Only when I happen to have spinach in a smoothie do I seem to get a dose of veg in the morning, but to be honest, there are more mornings than not where I wait until later in the day to get my veggies in.  But not this morning.

Normally baked goods with carrots contain so much sugar and oil that it definitely outweighs the benefits of carrots haha.  This recipe is great in that regard because it contains only 1T of maple syrup and no oil, leaving only the vitamins and nutrients found in carrots!  This recipe is also vegan and gluten-free, making it a great treat for almost anyone!  I just started experimenting with gluten-free baking, and it did take a couple trips to the store to stock my cupboards with some of the staples.  The original recipe called for Sweet Rice and Teff flours, which I didn’t have, so I replaced it with my favorite gluten-free flour, oat.  I also made a few other changes that I typically do to recipes ;).

Vegan & Gluten Free Carrot Muffins

  • 1c sorghum flour
  • 3/4c oat flour
  • 1/2c millet flour
  • 1/2c tapioca starch/flour
  • 2 1/2t baking powder
  • 1/2t baking soda
  • 2t cinnamon
  • 1/2t nutmeg
  • 1c finely grated carrots
  • 1/4c raisins (optional)
  • 2t vanilla
  • 1 flax egg (1T ground flax +2-3T warm water, let sit for 5 minutes and whisk)
  • 1c unsweetened organic soy milk (or non-dairy/dairy milk of your choice)
  • 1t vinegar (I used apple cider)
  • 1/3c unsweetened applesauce
  • 1T maple syrup
  • optional: pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350* and line a muffin pan with muffin wrappers.

2. Sift all dry ingredients into a large bowl.  Add in the carrots and raisins.

3. In a small bowl, combine the soy milk and vinegar.  Add in the applesauce, flax egg, maple syrup and vanilla.

4. Combine the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until fully incorporated (no risk of overmixing with gluten-free flours!).

5. Scoop into the muffin pan (I made 12 muffins).  And top each muffin with a sprinkling of pecans.

6. Bake for 20-22 minutes.  These won’t brown up too much, so make sure to test with a toothpick.

I was surprised with how big these muffins got!  Usually vegan baked goods don’t puff or spread that much, but these definitely did!  They also did not have the extremely grainy texture that is common in gluten-free goods, I think because I didn’t use rice flour?  I’m getting used to this gluten-free baking!  Glad to have another success!

cookie monster

Cookie baking has been my thing for quite a few years now.  Shortly after the Martha Stewart Cookie Cookbook came out, I received it for a birthday present and I was instantly hooked.  All of the photographs were beautiful and all the cookies looked absolutely delectable.  The weekend after that birthday, I set out to bake my first batch.  I decided to bake the good ol’ standby, chocolate chip cookies.  Easy, right?  Well, Martha has not one, but three recipes for various chocolate chip cookies.  How was I to choose?  Well, I didn’t, I made them all to be able to try the cookies side by side.  And don’t worry about cookies going to waste, a few friends got a nice box of cookies mailed to them and our freezer was well stocked with the rest.

Needless to say, chocolate chip cookies are my favorite and I have not baked them for awhile.  Wheat flour has not been the kindest to me lately and baking with gluten-free flours still intimidates me.  Well, I decided to get over my fear of gluten-free cookies and bake some cookies on Saturday.  Lucky enough for me, I was able to find this recipe from Post Punk Kitchen which utilized oat flour instead of wheat.  And as I am an oat fanatic, I had the flour on hand!

Wheat Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 3/4 cup oat flour (I weigh out all my flours for baking on a kitchen scale to avoid dense cookies/muffins, etc.)
  • 1/2t baking soda
  • 1/4t salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup melted Earth Balance (could be substituted for oil or butter)
  • 1T ground flax
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1t vanilla
  • 3/4 cup (dairy-free) chocolate chips

1. Preheat your oven to 375*.

2. SIFT together the dry ingredients into a large bowl.  Oat flour is clumpy so this step is crucial!

3. In a small bowl, mix together the wet ingredients and make sure it is completely combined.

4. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry and then mix in the chocolate chips.  You do not have to worry about over mixing gluten-free flours (which is one redeeming quality), so mix away until it is well combined.

5. I used a small cookie scoop to make my cookies.  The first tray I simply scooped and baked, the second tray I flattened them out with my fingers since the cookie does not spread.  All the pictures I posted are of the cookies flattened slightly since I prefer that, but it is entirely up to you.

6. Bake for 8-10 minutes (the flat tray took 8, the regular scooped tray took 10).  Remove from the oven and let cook for a few minutes before putting them on a cooling rack.

Whether or not you are trying to avoid wheat or you want to try something new with cookies, this recipe is fantastic.  The cookie itself tastes just a little oatey, but the flour is finely ground so there are no chunks of oats.  Although adding a few old fashioned oats would be a nice addition if you wanted to change it up.  Don’t have oat flour?  You can purchase it (mine is from Bob’s Red Mill) or you can grind up old fashioned oats or oat groats in a blender.  It might be a little different texture, but I think it would work.

And by the way, Martha’s cakey chocolate chip cookies were my favorite, but this one might have it beat :).

sweet perfection

I’ll write a recap of my race this past Saturday tomorrow – but I wanted to start out the week with a delicious recipe Kinley and I had for dessert yesterday! It was a nice, sunny day outside but still a little chilly. But being from Wisconsin, I could eat ice cream any month of the year! Unfortunately, ice cream is only a memory for me and the ice cream replacements on the market have quite a long ingredient list. This recipe definitely curbed my craving for ice cream and only has TWO ingredients – can you believe it? Adding gluten free cookie dough chunks is the icing on the cake… er topping on the ice cream.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Soft Serve
adapted from Oh She Glows

Ice ‘Cream’ (2 servings)

  • 3 frozen bananas (cut into chunks before freezing)
  • 2T or so unsweetened vanilla almond milk

In a food processor, add the frozen bananas and blend until they break down and start to get creamy, scraping down the sides when necessary.  Drizzle in some dairy-free milk to speed up the process and make a more creamy consistency.  It all came together within 5 minutes!  At this point, scoop into 2 bowls and you can eat it straight up, or add any toppings you would like such as cookie dough pieces!

Cookie Dough Pieces

  • 1/2 cup unsalted cashew pieces
  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup oat flour
  • 1/4t salt
  • 1t pure vanilla extract
  • 2T pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup chunked dark chocolate

1. In a food processor, blend together the cashew pieces and the old-fashioned oats until crumbly.  Add in the oat flour and salt and process to combine.

2. Add in the vanilla extract and maple syrup and blend until the mixture comes together.  It’ll stay sticky.  Scoop into a bowl and add in the chunked dark chocolate.  You can either roll these into balls and stick in the freezer, or press out onto some wax paper, freeze, and then cut into pieces to avoid rolling a bunch of little cookie dough balls.  We may or may not have skipped freezing all of the cookie dough step so we could eat some right away ;).

You can add the cookie dough to the top, blend a few pieces in to the ice cream (which is what we did + added a couple on top with a sprinkling of non-dairy chocolate chips).  The original recipe was created to mimic a Dairy Queen Blizzard, and does the job perfectly.

I can see many more of these in my future!