Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Grain Free Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Grain Free Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I had a hankering.  I’ve been so deprived lately.  ha  Part of my problem is I often don’t feel like making something.  I want to have something, but don’t want to go through the steps to make it.  Yesterday, I wanted chocolate chip cookies.  I could deny myself a treat no longer.  Nice thing is, I whipped these up in no time. 

Thinking of something similar to a flourless peanut butter cookie, I came up with these using almond butter.  I decided to add a little coconut flour when the dough wasn’t quite as firm as I wanted.  Easy peasy.  At first I thought I didn’t really love the flavor, but after I few hours, I think they’re great!  I added a little almond extract, which really brings out the almond flavor.

Grain Free Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

1 cup almond butter

3/4 cup coconut sugar

1/4 cup raw honey

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon salt (only about 1/2 teaspoon if your almond butter has salt)

1/4 cup coconut flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a large bowl, combine the almond butter, coconut sugar and honey.  Stir together well.  Add the egg and extracts and stir to combine.  Add the coconut flour, salt and baking powder.  Once combined, add the chocolate chips and stir until evenly mixed.   Scoop cookie dough on to baking sheet spaced about 2 inches apart.  Bake for 8 minutes.  Let sit on baking sheet for a couple minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.  Makes 12-16 cookies depending on size. 

Grain Free Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies 2

These have a great soft, chewy texture and are a much healthier chocolate chip cookie!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Tuesdays With Dorie—Baking Chez Moi—Palets de Dames, Lille Style

Palets de Dames, Lille Style  (TWD-BCM) 11-9-14 at Baking and Boys!

Palets de Dames, Lille Style from Baking Chez Moi

Guess what?!  It’s Tuesdays With Dorie back on my blog again!  I have missed it after baking my way through Dorie Greenspan’s cookbook, Baking From My Home to Yours and participating in some of Baking With Julia as well as Around My French Table.  Well, now that Dorie has a new book out, Baking Chez Moi, I’ve decided to get back with the program.  Many others have still been baking and cooking their way through the other books, but I had to stop for a time.  I’m back!

The first recipe that was chosen from Baking Chez Moi was these simple little sugar cookies, Palets de Dames, Lille Style.  The recipe can be found on the link for the book on Amazon.  We won’t be posting recipes in the group.  We all think you should get Dorie’s book.

I love that these cookies were so easy and used just a few basic ingredients that are almost always in my home—butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt and flour.  Mix up the dough, refrigerate it for an hour or more, then scoop the dough with a small cookie scoop, bake, cool and dip them in a powdered sugar lemon glaze.  You don’t have to, but you can also sprinkle a little coarse sugar on them—in any color you’d like.   Perfect cookies for a baby or bridal shower or just for easy entertaining or giving as a gift. 

Palets de Dames, Lille Style from Baking Chez Moi at Baking and Boys! 2

I made the dough on Sunday morning and wasn’t able to bake the cookies until later that evening.  My boys have happily munched on them since and they are almost gone.  I’m sure my family…..and friends will be happy to receive a lot more goodies to come as I bake with the Tuesdays With Dorie group again!  The group will be baking twice a month.  See you for the next one right before Thanksgiving with a perfect holiday dessert, Cranberry Crackle Tart.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Candied Date Crispies, Almost Like Aunt Helga’s

Aunt Helga's Candied Date Balls

It’s time for a sweet, healthy treat!  Remember in August when I posted my last Secret Recipe Club post?  And I got to cook and bake deliciousness from Shelby’s blog, The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch?

One of the things I made and posted about were her Aunt Helga's Candied Date Balls.  As much as I really did stick with the recipe, I did change it up enough that if you want her recipe, check it out, but here’s the recipe as I made it.  I swapped out the sugar and used a less amount of coconut sugar and some honey.  I also used coconut instead of butter and I used organic brown rice crispy cereal. 

These were a perfect treat for me for a good week or two when I’d just need a little something sweet.  I rolled some of them in chopped walnuts, some in unsweetened coconut and then of course, I had to add chocolate to the mix with some of them.

Candied Date Crispies at Baking and Boys!

Candied Date Crispies, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!, adapted from Shelby, The Life and Loves of Grumpy’s Honeybunch

1/2 lb. (8 ounces) dates, pitted and finely chopped

scant 1/4 cup coconut sugar

2 tablespoons raw honey

1/4 cup coconut oil

2 cups organic brown rice crispy cereal (or crisp rice cereal of your choice)

finely chopped walnuts

shredded unsweetened coconut

2-4 tablespoons Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips (optional)

Simmer coconut oil, sugar, honey and dates in a saucepan over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, until dates have softened.  Remove from heat and stir in the cereal. Roll in to walnut sized balls.  Roll balls in finely chopped walnuts or coconut.  If desired, added some chocolate chips to some of the date mixture.  Since it is still warm, the chocolate melts and that is okay.  Then roll in nuts or coconut.  Set on baking sheet lined with waxed paper to firm and cool.  This made 6 walnut balls, 6 coconut balls and 5 with chocolate. 

Candied Date Crispies at Baking and Boys!

Thank you to Shelby’s Aunt Helga for these yummy treats.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Peanut Butter Overload Chocolate Chip Cookies

Peanut Butter Overload Chocolate Chip Cookies

You ready for these?  I mentioned in my last post about the Almond Joy Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies that I also made some with lots of peanut buttery goodness.  Well, here they are.  I know, took me long enough.  Trying to get my blogging mo-jo back. 

The reason for these cookies was because I’d bought a couple bags of the mini Nutter Butter cookies and after eating so many of them, the boys decided they were tired of them.  So I watched another bag of them just sit in my baking cupboard.  I decided to chop them up and put them in My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe, yes—these:

My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

But that wasn’t enough.  I put an entire bag of peanut butter chips and Reese’s Pieces in them, too, along with chocolate chips.  Overload, I’m telling you.  If you are a peanut butter and chocolate fan, you’ll love these!  These were well liked at Kevin’s surprise 40th birthday party I had for him a couple weeks ago. 

Peanut Butter Overload Chocolate Chip Cookies, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

8 ½ ounces cake flour (2 cups minus 2 tablespoons) (lightly spooned into the measuring cup and swept level with a knife)

8 ½ ounces bread flour (1 and 2/3 cups) (lightly spooned and swept)

1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 ½ teaspoons coarse salt

2 ½ sticks (1 ¼ cups) unsalted butter, room temperature

10 ounces (1 ¼ cups) light brown sugar

8 ounces (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup Nutter Butter cookies, roughly chopped

10 ounce package peanut butter chips

10 ounce package mini Reese’s Pieces candies

8 ounces milk chocolate chips

3 ounces dark chocolate chips (you can use any combination and/or amount of chocolate you’d like)

Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl with a wire whisk. Set aside.

In bowl of electric mixer, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes.  Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Then add the vanilla and combine.  Scrape the sides of the bowl. With mixer on low, add dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Put the mix-ins in the bowl and carefully fold together with rubber spatula just until combined.  Scoop with a 2 ounce (1/4 cup scoop).  You should get 24 scoops.  Put them on a wax paper lined baking sheet.  Cover with foil and freeze (or refrigerate).

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and put the cookies on an air bake sheet, only 5 cookies per sheet.  Bake from frozen for about 12 minutes.  Check the cookies, remove from the oven and with the sides of a metal spatula, if any of the cookies are misshapen and not nicely rounded, push the spatula lightly on to the cookies where they need rounded around the edges.  Decide if they need another minute or two in the oven.  Sometimes I think they do, sometimes they are perfect.  Let them cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes.  Remove to a wire rack to cool until you can’t stand it anymore and have to taste one.  (If you have a convection oven, you can bake 2 or 3 cookie sheets at a time.  Every oven is different, but even though baking on convection you should lower the temperature 25 degrees, I still leave mine at 350 for these.)  Test yours for best results.

Peanut Butter Overload Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you haven’t before, try kicking things up with chocolate chip cookies, be creative, add things to change them.  Mmmm!

Here’s some others I’ve done before with the same recipe.  (It’s the best chocolate chip cookie recipe, I’m telling you!!)  These are a favorite by many when I have freeze dried raspberries available to put in the cookies.

Raspberry Chocolate Chip Cookies

Raspberry Chocolate Chip Cookies

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Almond Joy Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Almond Joy Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sure wish I shoulda-woulda-coulda tasted one of these cookies.  Okay, I could have, but didn’t.  I made a big batch of these using My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe—you know—these--

My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

I got this wild idea to make cookies with Almond Joy in them.  It was Kevin’s 40th birthday recently and I surprised him and had many friends over, some that he hasn’t seen for years and some of his favorite people, as well as some of his current friends.  He had no idea.  He just thought we were having our usual celebration of goodies with two of his sisters and their families.  It was such a fun evening and worked better than I thought it would. 

I also made some peanut butter overload cookies using the same recipe, but with lots of peanut buttery add ins, like chopped up Nutter Butter cookies, Reese’s pieces, and peanut butter chips as well as some chocolate chips.  Stay tuned for a post for those cookies!

Kevin loves Almond Joy cookies and likes pretty much anything with coconut, so I knew he’d like these and that others would, too.  

I’ve mentioned and posted before (link above) about my favorite chocolate chip cookies, they are my take on the famous Jacques Torres chocolate chip cookies, I’ve made a few slight changes, but a few things that make those cookies so good is that instead of all purpose flour, they have cake flour and bread flour.  I really think that these flours make all the difference in how the cookies come out, besides using the best chocolate chips you can find (I use Ghirardelli 60% chips, which are bigger and flatter, like the disks of chocolate Jacques uses).  I have had friends and family rave about my chocolate chip cookies for years, so I’m sticking with this recipe.  It’s worth it to me to always have bread and cake flour on hand.  As often as I make these cookies, I decided it was time to try them with other things added to them.  Yep, they turn out perfectly!  So I’m telling you, try the chocolate chip cookie recipe.  Once you do, you’ll never go back to another recipe. ; )

Almond Joy Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

8 ½ ounces cake flour (2 cups minus 2 tablespoons) (lightly spooned into the measuring cup and swept level with a knife)

8 ½ ounces bread flour (1 and 2/3 cups) (lightly spooned and swept)

1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 ½ teaspoons coarse salt

2 ½ sticks (1 ¼ cups) unsalted butter, room temperature

10 ounces (1 ¼ cups) light brown sugar

8 ounces (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

6 ounces (1 cup) dark chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (Ghirardelli 60% cacao chips are what I always use)

11.3 ounces (1 bag of fun size, or the equivalent) of Almond Joy candy bars, roughly chopped

1 cup sweetened, shredded coconut

(I was out of almonds, but would have added some more chopped, toasted ones if I’d had them)

Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl with a wire whisk. Set aside.

In bowl of electric mixer, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes.  Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Then add the vanilla and combine.  Scrape the sides of the bowl. With mixer on low, add dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Put the mix-ins in the bowl and carefully fold together with rubber spatula just until combined.  You don’t want to overmix the candy bars.  Scoop with a 2 ounce (1/4 cup scoop).  You should get 24 scoops.  Put them on a wax paper lined baking sheet.  Cover with foil and freeze (or refrigerate).

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and put the cookies on an air bake sheet, only 5 cookies per sheet.  Bake from frozen for about 12 minutes.  Check the cookies, remove from the oven and with the sides of a metal spatula, if any of the cookies are misshapen and not nicely rounded, push the spatula lightly on to the cookies where they need rounded around the edges.  Decide if they need another minute or two in the oven.  Sometimes I think they do, sometimes they are perfect.  Let them cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes.  Remove to a wire rack to cool until you can’t stand it anymore and have to taste one.  (If you have a convection oven, you can bake 2 or 3 cookie sheets at a time.  Every oven is different, but even though baking on convection you should lower the temperature 25 degrees, I still leave mine at 350 for these.)  Test yours for best results.

Almond Joy Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookie

These turned out just as I’d hoped they would!

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Apple Crisp

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Apple Crisp at Baking and Boys!

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Apple Crisp

After seeing Mary at Bunny's Warm Oven recently post her Crock Pot Apple Crisp, I NEEDED to make it gluten free so I could have some!  It wasn’t that hard to recreate with gluten free oats and a little gluten free flour.  I changed up a few other things and this made for a delicious treat for days.  I might have even had some for breakfast one day. ; )

There’s nothing quite like the fall aroma of baking apples with cinnamon and nutmeg!  I love that it was slow cooked, which made the smell go on longer.  The apples cooked perfectly to my liking, not too crisp and not too mushy.  Whether you make this with Mary’s version or my gluten free version, you will love it.  Of course all crisps are great with vanilla ice cream, but for me, it was perfect on its own and I didn’t need to make sure I had some ice cream I could eat.

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Apple Crisp at Baking and Boys! 2

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Apple Crisp, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

Apple filling:

5-6 large apples, or 8 small-medium sized (I used 5 large organic Fuji apples), peeled, cored and cut into chunks 

1/4 cup organic coconut palm sugar

2 tablespoons raw honey

1 tablespoon non-GMO cornstarch

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Crisp topping:

1 cup gluten free flour blend

1 cup gluten free old fashioned oats

1/3 cup organic light brown cane sugar, lightly packed

1/3 cup organic coconut palm sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

pinch of salt

1/3 cup coconut oil, chilled for a few minutes if it’s not solid

3/4 cup chopped pecans

Put the cut apples in the bowl of a slow cooker.  Add the sugar, honey, cornstarch, spices, lemon juice and vanilla and stir to combine. 

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, oats, sugars, spices and salt.  Work the coconut oil into the mixture, kneading it together with your fingers until it is all well combined.  Stir in the pecans.  Sprinkle the topping mixture evenly over the apples.  With the lid on the slow cooker, cook on high for 2 hours.  Remove the lid and cook for another hour.  Serve warm.  Or cold for breakfast the next day! ; )

GF Apple Crisp

So good, even right out of the slow cooker!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Big Fat Delicious Clone of a Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls

Big Fat Delicious Clone of a Cinnabon (2)

I wanted to wish my friend Shelby from The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch a Happy Birthday today!  You might recall at the beginning of this month when I participated in my last Secret Recipe Club assignment, I got to make something from Shelby’s blog.   And at that time, I decided to go all out and throughout the month since getting my assignment, instead of making one thing, I cooked and baked from recipes on Shelby's blog and made a dozen things instead of just one.  So I wanted to post another one of those recipes today in her honor. ; ) 

Who can resist a cinnamon roll?  Not my family.  Shelby’s cover photo on her blog are these cinnamon rolls.  It seemed wrong to not make them since they were right there every time I turned to her blog and seemed so right to try these because I knew they would be a big hit here.  While eating them, Sam could be heard saying, “These are the BEST cinnamon rolls ever.”  While that makes me feel a little sad because I already have a tried and true family favorite recipe for cinnamon rolls that I’ve been making forever, these ARE really good.  They look awesome and are huge, which is what makes them most like a Cinnabon roll. 

This Cinnabon clone recipe isn’t too far off from the size of ingredients of mine when I usually halve it.  But the reason they are like a clone is because the recipe only makes eight rolls!  I’ll definitely make these again because the boys all really liked them.  I made a few small changes (I used 2% milk instead of almond milk and butter instead of margarine) to the recipe Shelby posted, so I’ll post mine here. 

Clone of a Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls

Big Fat Delicious Clone of a Cinnabon, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!, adapted from The Life and Loves of Grumpy’s Honeybunch

For the rolls:

1 cup warm milk (I used 2%, you could use any kind you’d like)

2 large eggs, room temperature

1/3 cup butter, melted

4  1/2 cup bread flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2  1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

2  1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

1/3 cup butter, softened

For the icing:

1/4 cup butter, softened

1  1/2 cups powdered sugar

pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2-3 tablespoons milk

Put the milk, eggs and melted butter in the bowl of a mixer.  With the dough attachment, mix together.  Add the bread flour, salt, sugar and yeast (adding the yeast last).  Let the mixer stir the mixture together on low until all combined into a dough.  With the mixer set to about medium speed, knead the dough for 5 minutes.  Turn off mixer and let the dough stand for 10 minutes.  Turn mixer back on and knead for another 5 minutes.  Put the dough in a bowl that is lightly greased and cover it with plastic wrap.  Let rest in warm place until doubled in size, about an hour.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes.

Roll the dough into about a 16-21 inch rectangle.  Spread the dough with the 1/3 cup softened butter.  Sprinkle evenly with brown sugar, then cinnamon.  Roll up dough and cut into 8 rolls.  (I rolled from the short side of the dough, but you could roll the long way and get even bigger rolls.)  Place rolls in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking pan.  Cover and let rise until nearly doubled in size, about 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Bake rolls for about 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.  While rolls are baking, beat together 1/4 cup butter, powdered sugar,  salt, vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of milk.  Add a little more milk until it is the consistency you want.  When the rolls are somewhat cooled, spread the icing over them.  Serve! 

Big Fat Delicious Clone of a Cinnabon

Hope you have a wonderful birthday, Shelby!  I’m sure you will, since you get to be with your boys!