Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Healthy Butterfinger Brownies and Healthy Homemade Butterfingers Candy, Gluten Free and Refined Sugar Free

Healthy Butterfinger Brownies

Healthy Butterfingers?  Healthy Brownies?  What?  I know, hear me out—these, believe it or not, are made with no refined sugars and are gluten free.  The Butterfingers candy is even vegan.  Not that I really care about that, but my son who is vegan does and he admitted these taste great and just like the candy bars!  While deciding to start blogging again, I thought of an idea.  I collect cookbooks and love following along with favorite bloggers.  With my diet changes, I can’t just make every recipe I want anymore.  Well, I can make them, I have just chosen not to eat certain things.  It’s been kind of boring.  I’ve missed just indulging!  My new idea is to make something in a cookbook or from a blog that I think looks great and make the recipe as written once, then change it up to suit my needs another way and share it here. 

I recently got to purchase The Recipe Girl Cookbook from one of my longest known food blogger friends, Lori from Recipe Girl.  Looking through her cookbook, which you can still get on the link I left for Amazon, besides drooling at all the pictures, I was drawn to one that I remember from way-back-when that I made when she first came out with the recipe not long after I started blogging in 2008 for these Butterfinger Brownies.  I remembered that they were so good and decided I wanted to make them again.  I made her full recipe for Butterfinger Brownies as written in her book and found on her blog (linked).   Here’s the Recipe Girl’s Butterfinger Brownies.  

recipegirlbutterfingerbrownies


They are great and were eaten up by others around here.  But I decided to take the idea and make some I could eat, too.  I did a little homework on finding some Butterfingers that were made healthy, I knew I could find some from somewhere online as there are a lot of fantastic bloggers and recipes for candies made healthier out there.  I found these Healthier Homemade Butterfingers at Megan’s blog, Detoxinista. She mentions they can be made with either honey or maple syrup.  I tried them with both.  I definitely like them better with maple syrup and made them twice that way.  The honey ones didn’t set up the same.  Maybe I didn’t let the boiling honey come to the correct temperature, but the maple syrup Butterfingers taste GREAT!  They ARE healthier, but probably should still be eaten in moderation!

Healthy Butterfingers 8-2-17


I made just a few small changes in the way I made them so I will post that, but all inspiration and detailed instructions that I used came from Megan’s post, so definitely read it before just diving in to my simplified version.  Once you add the peanut butter to the boiled maple syrup, it begins hardening to that crispy Butterfinger goodness.  I realized I was adding natural peanut butter that I store in the fridge to that hot syrup and it would seize up quickly.  So I now warm the peanut butter so it is smooth and a little runny and it mixes a lot nicer and is easily spread into the pan.  Megan scores hers before chilling so they are easily cut into bars before dunking them in melted chocolate, but since I was just using mine for chopped up mix-ins, they didn’t need that.  I just spread the melted chocolate over the whole panful, then removed it from the pan and foil and broke it into pieces and chopped the pieces with a knife. 

Healthy Homemade Butterfingers (vegan, refined sugar free)

I tried a few different brownie recipes that I adapted, but ultimately chose one that I adapted from my favorite brownies.  These are made with coconut oil, coconut sugar, a little raw honey and a gluten free flour blend.  I’m telling you, I don’t think anyone would have a clue if you didn’t tell them.  I love how these brownies turned out, so I made them again and added the chopped Healthy Butterfingers.  Heavenly!  They are fudgy and have a perfect chocolate and peanut butter ratio.  I was actually going to put a chocolate-peanut butter drizzle on the brownies, but decided they didn’t need it.

Healthy Butterfinger Brownies

Healthy Gluten Free Butterfinger Brownies, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

½ cup coconut oil

½ cup cocoa powder

¾ cup coconut sugar

¼ cup maple syrup or honey (I liked the results with honey better but both worked)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

¼ cup gluten free flour blend

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

¾ cup, divided, *Healthy Homemade Butterfingers candy, chopped


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8x8 inch baking pan with nonstick foil. Spray lightly with coconut oil or brush it on. Set aside. In a medium sized saucepan, melt the coconut oil and cocoa powder over medium-low heat. Remove it from the heat when just barely melted. Let sit for a few minutes. Add the coconut sugar and honey or maple syrup and the vanilla and whisk together. Whisk in the eggs and combine well. Stir in the salt and flour. Fold in ½ cup of the chopped Butterfingers. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Scatter the remaining ½ cup of Butterfingers over the top of the batter. Bake for 23-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Let brownies cool completely on wire rack. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until ready to cut and serve. Refrigeration not necessary, but gives them a great fudginess.


*Healthy Homemade Butterfingers, (vegan) by Katrina, Baking and Boys!, adapted from Detoxinista

1 cup Grade A or B pure maple syrup

1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 cup natural peanut butter, warmed and stirred until smooth

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips (or chocolate of your choosing), melted

In a tall saucepan, combine the maple syrup and cream of tartar. Attach a candy thermometer to the saucepan. Set heat to medium. Let the mixture come to a boil, do not stir, this could take 5-10 minutes. Prepare a 9x9 inch square pan with nonstick foil. When the syrup has reached 300 degrees on the thermometer, remove from heat and add the warmed peanut butter and salt. Stir quickly to combine well. Spread mixture in the prepared pan. Spread the melted chocolate over the top of the Butterfinger mixture. Cool/harden in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Remove from pan/foil and break into desired sized pieces for sharing and snacking.

healthybutterfingerbrownies

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Gluten Free Banana Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake Recipe, Vegan, too!

Gluten Free Refined Sugar Free Banana Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake (Vegan)

Hello?  Is anyone here?  I’m here!  My last post was exactly one year ago.  What in the world have I been doing?  Just being a busy mom of three teenagers and a ten year old.  That and I just felt like I needed a break.  Not sure why.  I have missed blogging terribly.  I started feeling like a part of who I am was missing.  I love baking and I love sharing it with others.  My health is great!  I cannot complain at all.  With my diet changes of going gluten free and refined sugar free (and my 15 year old deciding to be vegan!), I think I had just been in a rut on what to do, what to make, what to share and post here.  But I decided I really want to try again with this little part of me that was missing.  I’m not in it for hundreds of thousands of visitors.  I’m not going to be making videos.  My blog is WAY outdated.  But I don’t care.  I need to do it for me.  A lot of it is that I’ve just decided I need to keep documenting things I love somewhere else besides just scribbled in a notebook.

notebookrecipe

 

My idea the last couple months has been to take some of my favorite tried-and-true recipes, whether they be from here on my blog, or favorite blogs or cookbooks and make them gluten free, refined sugar free, and sometimes vegan and share them with you.  I’ve made a number of things already and am so happy with how they are turning out with simple changes like gluten free flours, unrefined sugars (coconut sugar, raw honey, agave, etc.).  I plan to share links to my favorite cookbooks, blogs and recipes as they were originally made, then post my changed results here.  Does that sound good?  I think so.  I’ve asked a few people and they think it’s a great idea.  So I’m here to try it!

 

Now, this cake—I first shared this cake not long after starting my blog in February 2008!  I saw it on a blog, who adapted it from Bon Appetit in a 2003 magazine article.  I adapted it enough that I’m leaving you the link to my post for this Absolutely Delicious Banana Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake.  I made this more times than I can count over the years.  Well, I’ve come up with a new, delicious favorite that everyone here loves, except it’s gluten free, vegan and refined sugar free.  The boys don’t care!  This is a good sign.  A lot of times, they won’t even try something when I tell them it’s gluten free.  This is gone so quickly every time I’ve made it recently, which is like three or four times. 

Gluten Free Refined Sugar Free Banana Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake (vegan) 7-12-17

I made this again yesterday for dinner as we were having the LDS sister missionaries over and one of them has celiacs.  They both went crazy over how good it was and we let them take the leftover cake home.  There wasn’t a lot left, maybe two pieces, but it’s because they had seconds while we were eating it!  Win.  I love when someone is happy with something I’ve made, especially when there are changes that most would think would make something taste strange.  This one is good!  Try it!  It is our go-to when we have overripe bananas.

 

Gluten Free Refined Sugar Free Banana Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake, vegan

Gluten Free Banana Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake (vegan), by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

*Streusel topping:

1/4 cup coconut sugar**

1/2 tablespoons agave nectar

1/4 cup pecans, chopped

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/3 cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips

 

Cake:

1 1/2 cups gluten free flour blend (xanthan gum included)

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1/4 cup agave nectar

1/2 cup (4 ounces) coconut oil

1 flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed, 2 1/2 tablespoons water, let sit for 5 minutes)

1 1/3 cup mashed banana (about 4 small/medium or 3 large bananas)

3 tablespoons almond milk (or non-dairy milk of your choice)

1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (I use Bragg’s)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Make the streusel topping.  Combine the coconut sugar with the agave, mix together with a fork until it is all moist like brown sugar.  Add the pecans, cinnamon and chocolate chips.  Stir together, set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line an 8x8 inch square pan (9x9 also works fine!) with nonstick foil and spray lightly with a non-propellant cooking spray (I like coconut oil).  In a small bowl, make the flax egg, let it sit while you prepare the rest.  In another small bowl, combine the almond milk and vinegar, let sit.  In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, whisk together and set aside.  In a large bowl, add the coconut sugar, agave and coconut oil.  Whisk until well combined.  Whisk in the flax egg and almond milk mixture and the vanilla.  Stir in mashed banana (sometimes I pulse it in a food processor, sometimes I just mash them with a fork).  Fold in the dry ingredients.  Pour into the prepared pan and spread evenly.  Evenly sprinkle the topping over the cake batter.  Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean or with just a few crumbs.  Let cool on a wire rack completely.  Remove pan using foil edges.  Carefully remove cake from the foil and put it on a serving plate.

*Note—The original Absolutely Delicious Banana Cake I linked above also has streusel in the middle.  I did make it that way once (photo above), but decided it’s not necessary.  Good, but not necessary.  So if you’d like you can double the topping able and put half of it on half the batter in the pan.  It’s all natural sugars, so no harm done!

**Make your own, all-natural brown sugar.  Combine coconut sugar with agave (use amounts posted above in the streusel for the correct consistency) until moist.  It’s perfect, in my opinion!

 

Coconut Sugar "Brown Sugar" (add a little agave or honey)

 

Make your own healthy, all-natural “brown sugar”.  Combine coconut sugar with a touch of agave, raw honey or molasses, mix with a fork until all moist.  Use about 1/2 cup coconut sugar and 1 tablespoon agave/honey/molasses.  I love it!

Coconut Sugar Cinnamon Chocolate Streusel

If I had some more overripe bananas right now, I’d make this again today.  Guess I’ll have to wait another couple days. 

You may be wondering what is going on with my family.  Quick update, Scott graduated school last year and is 19, has a girlfriend that he spends all his time with when he’s not working at Taco Bell.

scottanddiana

Parker is almost 16, almost done with driver’s ed, aching for a job and will start his sophomore year of high school soon!  He’s currently having “fun” with hair colors.  He did purple and a pink for a while, but his hair is currently an orange color (MS awareness???).

parkerpurple

purpleparker

Taylor is 13 and starts 8th grade soon.  He’s busy being a crazy 13 year old and doing his best trying not to drive me crazy.  He’s pretty funny and still likes lots of creative crafty things.

tpandsam

tandme

Sam is 10 and about to start 5th grade.  This is crazy!  When I started my blog, Scott was 10 and my baby was a baby!  Waaahhhh!  They aren’t supposed to grow up so fast!  Sam loves baseball and discovered this year that he loves being the catcher. 

samcatcher

sambaseball

Kevin and I celebrated our 20th Anniversary in June!  Twenty years—what????  Crazy.  He’s amazing and treats me like a queen.  I don’t deserve him.  He receives awards at UVU for being an outstanding educator.  He got to be in a spread in UVU’s magazine as Captain America.  He’s my hero.  He’s a great professor, just took over as department chair in the business school at UVU, he’s a wonderful dad and the best husband!  So there.

heroesofeducation

kevandigentri

For our 20th, since we didn’t get to take a big trip or anything (he taught for the summer session of school), he surprised me with a bunch of my favorite concerts over the last month, including New Kids On The Block/Paula Abdul, David Archuleta, the Utah Symphony and GENTRI and we got to spend some time together in Salt Lake City.  I’m spoiled.  Love my life.  My health is good.  MS is 100% stable, nothing new.  Besides being tired more than I’d like, I’ve got this.  Glad to be back here and hopefully I’ll post again soon!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe and Zucchini Lemon Cranberry Walnut Muffins Recipe

This original post from 2009 disappeared from my blog.  Not sure how or why.  But here’s a new current repost of it---It's that time of year.  You practically have them growing out your ears.  I'm talking about zucchini.  Some of them are huge.  They aren't quite as good for savory cooking when they get too big.  But they make a dang good killer chocolate cake!  Bah--look at this!

DSCF3946

Yep, believe it or not, there is zucchini in there!  I know.  I hear ya.  You just would NEVER know it's there.  So this means this cake is healthy, right.  Well, we can pretend anyway.  Sigh. 

Yeah, it's not healthy.  But for goodness sake, it's delicious!  (Dad--it's chocolate cake!)

After buying two giant, cheap zucchini at the farmer's market last week, I went on a Google search for just what to do with them.  I already shared with you my zucchini ("apple") crisp.  I knew there were all kinds of quick breads and muffins out there with zucchini and I even knew there were zucchini snack cakes.  But THIS cake, it's not just your run-of-the-mill "snack".  This is big time dessert here.  Kevin was even a little bummed that I didn't have any ice cream to serve with it.  (I know, me, slacking on the ice cream making! ;)

I found this beauty on Em's blog,  The Repressed Pastry Chef.  I actually didn't even know she was a fellow TWD baker.  (What?  I can't read them all.  I wish.  But after finding this cake on her blog and browsing around a bit, I've added her blog to my reader.)  Em found this recipe on the King Arthur Flour website.  I halved the recipe and baked it in an 8x8 inch baking pan.  I made some minor changes, so here's the recipe as I made it, but please when you're done with me, go look at Em's!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake, adapted by Katrina from The King Arthur Flour Company and Em at The Repressed Pastry Chef (halved)

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/4 cup canola oil

6  1/8 ounces granulated sugar (1/2 cup plus 6 tablespoons)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1/4 cup buttermilk (original recipe calls for sour cream or yogurt)

1  1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour

1  1/8 ounces Dutch-process cocoa

(optional 1 teaspoon espresso powder)  I did not use it

1 cup zucchini, finely grated (middle/seeds removed)

1/2 cup (3 ounces) chocolate chips  (I used 58% cacao Ghiradelli chips)  (I didn't halve the chips)

Ganache Icing--

3 ounces heavy cream

4 1/2 ounces dark chocolate (I used the Ghiradelli chips)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Line an 8x8 inch baking pan with foil.  Spray with cooking spray.  Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter, oil, sugar, vanilla, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Beat in the egg.  Scrape sides of bowl. 

Stir in the buttermilk alternately with the flour.  Then add the cocoa.  Mix until well combined.  Fold in the zucchini and chocolate chips.

Pour and spread the batter evenly in the baking pan.  Bake for 30-35 minutes (mine took 32 minutes), until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool the cake on a wire rack.  Remove the cake from the pan using the foil edges.

Prepare the ganache by heating the cream to a simmer.  (I actually used the microwave and it worked great, just do it in 20-30 second intervals and stir in between.)  Pour the cream into a bowl with the chocolate chips.  Let sit a minute or two.  Stir the melted chocolate and cream until combined and smooth.  Spread over cake evenly with an offset spatula.  See how long you can wait before cutting slices of the cake and eating it.  (The ganache hardens as it sits, but doggonit it's good right away! ;)

DSCF3948

You know you want a bite.  I'm not kidding, there's zucchini in there.  (You would never in a million years know it, Bob!)

DSCF3955

__________________________________________________________________________________

Now after all that, take a deep breath, it's going to be okay.  Breathe.  Okay.  I kind of feel like these poor little muffins will take a huge back seat to that cake, BUT just keep in mind, sometimes you feel like a muffin and sometimes a little cake and the muffins really could be considered somewhat healthy and a great grab and go breakfast or perfect snack and they are also delicious if I do say so myself.   You'll have to try them and give them the credit they too deserve just as much as that cake.  Again, in my Googling around, I ran across this Low Fat Lemon Zucchini Bread on about.com.  These muffins were inspired by that bread, but I changed many things and came up with these darn-tootin' good muffins.

DSCF3930

Zucchini-Lemon Cranberry Walnut Muffins, by Katrina

1  3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or could use all purpose)

1  1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2/3 cups sugar

1 tablespoon lemon zest (zest of 1 lemon)

1/4 cup coconut oil (or any vegetable oil)

1 large egg

1 egg white

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup low fat buttermilk

1 cup zucchini, seeded and finely grated

1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

1/2 cup dried cranberries

turbinado sugar for sprinkle over top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line muffin tins with paper liners (this made 14 muffins). 

In medium sized bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.  Whisk together and set aside.  In another bowl, combine the sugar and lemon zest, combining it together with your fingers until the sugar is moist, yellow and fragrant.  (I got this idea from Dorie Greenspan and love it.)  Combine the zesty sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla and buttermilk until well mixed with a wire whisk.  Stir in zucchini.  Add the dry ingredients with the wet and fold together just until moist.  Fold in nuts and cranberries.  Fill each muffin cup with a good sized scoop of batter.  Sprinkle each with turbinado sugar.  Bake for 14-16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of one comes out clean.  Set pan on wire rack and cool for five minutes.  Remove the muffins from the tin and cool to room temperature on wire rack.

DSCF3935

There is some nutty, berry-sweet goodness hiding in there and a wonderful lemon flavor!

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You've seriously got to try these.  Coming soon--more zucchini!  I bought two giant ones remember.  These two recipes didn't even use one whole one.  Did you know you can grate the zucchini and freeze it in plastic bags?  It will last a couple months in the freezer.  Run to your gardens, neighbor's gardens, farmer's markets, grocery stores now and stock up!  You'll for sure want to make this cake and these muffins over and over again! ;) 

Easy Three Ingredient Berry Ice Cream

3 Ingredient All Natural Ice Cream (Strawberry Blueberry Banana)

I know super easy “ice creams” made with frozen fruit, especially bananas has been done many times and I’ve made it many times myself.  I usually make it with only bananas and sometimes add peanut butter and/or chocolate to it, which IS probably my favorite.  But last night I had a hankering for a sweet treat and saw how much frozen fruit I have in my freezer right now so I threw some in the food processor and made this heavenly version.

 

SO easy!  Perfect.  Healthy.  I even was so kind to share some with Parker, who is trying out veganism right now.  Going crazy trying to keep him fed!  This is my kid whose favorite foods were bacon and A1 Steak Sauce and steak.  I’m going crazy and hope this doesn’t last too long for him.  To each his own, but I think someone shouldn’t go all certain-diet crazy unless they can buy their own food and feed themselves!  Back to the delicious treat!

 

I went a little crazy (ha!) and drizzled some melted Enjoy Life chocolate chips on mine.  It was just like Magic Shell, but way, way healthier!  Love!

 

Easy Three Ingredient Berry Ice Cream, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

 

1 cup frozen bananas

1 cup frozen strawberries and blueberries (there were probably more strawberries)

2 tablespoons Enjoy Life (or any of your choice) chocolate chips, optional

 

You can easily do 2-3 cups of any fruit of your choosing.

Add the frozen fruit to a food processor.  Blend for 3-5 minutes until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl every minute or so.

While it is blending, melt the chocolate in a small microwaveable dish in 20-30 second intervals until melted.  Drizzle over ice cream. Yum!

 

Easy 3 Ingredient Berry Ice Cream with Chocolate

I know this probably isn’t a very exciting post and something you’ve seen before but I decided to document it on my blog, which has been suffering from neglect lately. I’m going to try to get back into sharing……and making more goodies!  I miss it!

 

Easy 3 Ingredient Frozen Fruit Ice Cream

Friday, July 01, 2016

MELT Grain Free Chocolate Chip Cookies and MELT Buttery Baking Sticks and Spreads

MELT Grain Free CCC's

Have you seen or heard of MELT Organic?  It’s a company that makes organic coconut oil baking sticks and spreads. They sent me some samples.  They are really good!  They are made of all organic ingredients and are vegan.  This is good news for me, since my 14 year old is trying out being vegan right now.  Not sure how long he’ll go on with that diet plan, but it’s been interesting for me to try to keep him fed.  He seems to be living off peanut butter sandwiches right now.  But I hadn’t realized these baking sticks and spreads were vegan, so I can’t wait to tell him to have some toast!  It’s kind of a family joke—whenever the boys tell me their stomach hurts and that they’re hungry, I tell them to have toast.  It became such that they were really annoyed every time I’d say that.  So now lately whenever they have any issues at all, a stubbed toe, sunburn, headache, you name it, I tell them the best thing for them is to have toast.  They LOVE it. (eyeroll)  Try it next time you have any ailment, have some toast.  Try it with MELT.  I’ve made a couple grilled cheese sandwiches with it (with gluten free bread for me).  Good stuff!

 

MELT Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Hello, back to cookies—you know, really what life is all about. Winking smile

Since I have My Favorite Grain Free Chocolate Chip Cookies already, I simply used the MELT Organic baking sticks in place of the coconut oil in the recipe and they turned out delicious and perfect.  I love them.  They are all for me. Winking smile  One thing I realized as I made them a couple days ago, they seem to be better with age.  Which is quite the opposite with regular chocolate chip cookies.  If you’re looking for a grain free, refined sugar free chocolate chip cookie recipe, you should definitely try mine that I’ve linked here.  Try them with MELT! 

MELT Grain Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

Want a cookie?  I’ve got plenty.

 

MELT Grain Free Chocolate Chip Cookies 2

But hurry, they won’t last long…………..

MELT Grain Free Chocolate Chip Cookies 4

 

Guess what, MELT also makes a Chocolate MELT Organic Spread!  (It’s not vegan, as it has some honey), but it’s good!  I actually haven’t tried it on just some toast, but all the sudden that sounds really good and now I must.  MELT Organic mention that even their spreads can be used for baking, so I have tried the Chocolate MELT Spread a couple times with a brownie recipe.  But I’m still tweaking it.  I don’t think it’s the MELT that is causing me to not be perfectly in love with the recipe yet, I think it’s my substitutes for regular granulated sugar (using coconut sugar and raw honey) that I haven’t gotten just right yet.  My goal (and we should all have goals, right?) is to keep making brownies, brownies, brownies until I get it right.  Then I’ll share the recipe.

 

Thanks for the samples, MELT!  Toast, cookies, brownies and grilled cheese sandwiches, gluten free and all pretty healthy.  Sounds good to me!  Check them out on Facebook and Twitter.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Chocolate Chip Walnut Blondies—Grain Free, Refined Sugar Free

Grain Free Chocolate Chip Walnut Blondies

One of the best goodies I’ve made that I can eat right here and I love the taste and texture.  I have a simple, little secret to tell you—I made the dough of My Favorite Grain Free Chocolate Chip Cookies.  I wanted to add nuts, because for years now, I haven’t been putting nuts in cookies, even though I totally think they should be there, because people around here at my house don’t like them.  Then it dawned on me that I can put all the nuts I want into my own goodies because I am generally the only one around here who will eat them.  So good, healthy, grain free, refined sugar free chocolate chip cookies, with walnuts, needed to happen.  After making the dough, I didn’t feel standing around baking the cookies. 

 

So I hurried and threw the dough into a baking pan and baked them.  Hello?  Easiest thing ever—and these blondies were born.  I know, takes a lot of brain power for that one.  I love the texture and I love having nuts in my own treats.  So win—win.  I wasn’t sure how they’d actually bake, but I decided after 20 minutes to call it good and I let them cool completely.  I thought they’d sink down after taking them out of the oven, but they stayed nice firm.  Not sure I’ll ever make chocolate chip cookies for me again, because this was sure easy and I have 16 blondies to enjoy over the next little while, you know, if I wouldn’t eat three or four of them a day. ; ) No, I think the most I’ve had the first day was three.  They were great stored in an airtight container for a few days.  Now the rest have been in the fridge and are still great. 

 

Chocolate Chip Walnut Blondies, Grain Free, Refined Sugar Free (2)

These have a perfect soft, chewy texture that you want in a blondie and work the same magic that having a cookie would have in the cravings department.

 

Chocolate Chip Walnut Blondies, Grain Free, Refined Sugar Free, by Katrina Smith, Baking and Boys!

1 cup almond flour

¼ cup coconut flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons coconut oil

½ cup coconut sugar

¼ cup raw honey

6 tablespoons almond butter

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon pure almond extract (optional)

1 large egg

1 cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips, or chocolate of your choice (ingredients in the chocolate—evaporated cane juice, natural chocolate liquor (non-alcoholic), non-dairy cocoa butter—dairy, soy, nut and gluten free)

1/2 cup lightly toasted, chopped walnuts (or nut of your choice)

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x9 inch baking pan with nonstick foil, lightly oil with coconut oil (probably don’t have to have the foil, but I like using it). In a medium sized bowl, combine the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a mixer, combine the coconut oil, coconut sugar, honey and almond butter. Beat until well combined. Add the egg, vanilla and almond extract and beat well. Add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts with a spatula. Spread all of the batter  evenly into the baking pan and bake for 20 minutes.  Check the center of the bars with a toothpick that comes out  mostly clean, but a little bit of crumb/chocolate is okay. Let cool on wire rack completely.  Remove the bars from the pan using the foil edges and cut on a cutting board into 16 squares.   Store the ones not eaten immediately in an airtight container.

 

Chocolate Chip Walnut Blondies, Grain Free, Refined Sugar Free 3 

Deliciousness!  Can’t wait to try them with pecans.  Also going to try them with peanut butter instead of almond butter and put some peanuts in them.  Oh the endless possibilities!

Thursday, April 07, 2016

No Bake Coconut Almond Chocolate Chip Oat Bites

No Bake Coconut Almond Chocolate Chip Oat Bites

A perfect, easy, sweet treat!

 

These would be great for any Almond Joy lover, but someone looking for something a little more healthy.  Like me.

 

I know, it’s been a month since I posted anything.  I’ve been in a bit of a baking, sweet sharing slump.  I’ll never be gone for good, but seem to just be slowing down a bit with things I must share.  I whipped these super simple no bake bites up today and decided to get them posted for you. 

 

I will say, I got my inspiration for these from a blog, The Beaming Baker, when her No Bake Peanut Butter Coconut Bites showed up on Pinterest and Facebook.  I changed up her recipe since I’d just made some homemade almond butter and had finished off a jar of peanut butter.  These will sure be nice to have around for a snack as sometimes I can’t find anything I’m hankering for and it needs to be somewhat sweet.  Otherwise, I eat sugar snap peas like they are Lays potato chips and I can only eat so many of them before I’ll have pea sprouts coming out my ears or something. ; )

 

No Bake Coconut Almond Chocolate Chip Oat Bites

No Bake Coconut Almond Chocolate Chip Oat Bites, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free

 

3/4 cup almond butter (I made homemade with raw almonds, but you can use a purchased one also)

1/4 cup raw honey (I also added another tablespoon of honey after decided it needed a bit more, start with 1/4 cup)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut

3/4 cup gluten free old fashioned oats

1/4 cup ground flaxseed

1/4 cup chopped almonds

6 tablespoons Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips

 

In a medium sized bowl, combine the almond butter, honey and vanilla.  Stir together well.  Add the coconut, oats, flaxseed, almonds and chocolate chips.  Stir until all combined.  Decide if it needs a little more honey by making a ball of the mixture in your hands and squeezing it together.  When I make almond butter, it’s a little thicker than the store bought kind, so using a runnier one may make the mixture wet/sticky enough to combine.  Using your hands, form the mixture into about 1 inch balls, squeezing the mixture together so it stays in its shape.  Lay them on a waxed paper lined sheet.  Makes 16-20 depending on size.  Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

 

No Bake Coconut Almond Chocolate Chip Oat Bites 3

Easy peasy and yummy!

Monday, March 07, 2016

My Favorite Grain Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

My Favorite Grain Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
I have had My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe for years now.  I’ve tried so many different recipes over the years, even since finding THE one, but the one I always make holds true.  It is a perfect cookie dough and makes perfect cookies.  I’ve used the recipe to add all kinds of things to the cookie, including peanut butter yumminess, coconut and nuts, and freeze dried raspberries, just to name a few.  I adapted the Jacques Torres/New York Times recipe years ago and have made this one my go-to.  Everyone loves the cookies.  Check out the link for lots of mouth-watering pictures.  There was a problem—now that I don’t eat gluten and refined sugar, I knew I was really missing out on one of my favorite things.  In the meantime, I’ve tried many gluten free and grain free chocolate chip cookie recipes.  They are usually okay.  They usually “do the trick” for me, you know, get me over that “I need a chocolate chip cookie” fix. 

My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

I need to tell you though—I’ve found My Favorite Grain Free Chocolate Chip Cookie and need to share it with you all here.  I almost always make the regular ones into huge cookies, they are just perfect that way.  I give them away to lots of happy people and hear many compliments.  I recently needed to give some good gluten free chocolate chip cookies to someone who can’t have gluten (at all, I cleaned everything well and kept it well away from anything gluten), so I created this one and it’s the best one I’ve made.  Perfect combination of chewy on the inside and crisp edges and the flavor is great with what I think is just the right amount of sweetness from coconut sugar and a little honey.  Must make these again!

My Favorite Grain Free Chocolate Chip Cookie

My Favorite Grain Free Chocolate Chip Cookies, by Katrina Smith, Baking and Boys!
 

1 cup almond flour
1/3 cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons coconut oil
½ cup coconut sugar
¼ cup raw honey
6 tablespoons almond butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon pure almond extract (optional)
1 large egg
1 ¼ cup Enjoy Life chocolate chunks and mini chips (ingredients in the chocolate—evaporated cane juice, natural chocolate liquor (non-alcoholic), non-dairy cocoa butter—dairy, soy, nut and gluten free)
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium sized bowl, combine the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a mixer, combine the coconut oil, coconut sugar, honey and almond butter. Beat until well combined. Add the egg, vanilla and almond extract and beat well. Add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chunks/chips with a spatula. Scoop the dough into cookies on the baking sheet and bake for 10-14 minutes (depending on size of cookies). Let cool on the baking sheet for 3-5 minutes, then move them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
 
My Favorite Grain Free Chocolate Chip Cookie 2
You know you want a bite.  Or maybe even your own cookie (s )!