Category Archives: Cookies

Christmas Cookie Round-Up

This year we made some great Christmas cookies and while most of the recipes were from other bloggers, I wanted to keep track of what we made and the minor changes I did to some of the recipes so we can use them again next year.  So, here are the links to what we made and how we made them our own!

*Two notes… First, while I am generally dairy-free as well as gluten and corn free, I have found that I can tolerate some butter so many of the recipes do include it.  Second, in any recipe that calls for an all-purpose gluten free flour, I used the Namaste mix that you can find at Costco.  It worked great and I was even able to sub it one-for-one for regular all-purpose flour in my family’s traditional Belgium cookies.

1. Gingerbread Men and Royal Icing

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I love gingerbread cookies and I love to do cut-outs with the boys each year.  The cookie recipe was fairly simple and the only change I made was leaving out the xanthan gum (my flour mix had it in it already) and using arrowroot powder in lieu of cornstarch.

http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/gluten-free-gingerbread-men-cookies/

For the Royal Icing, I needed a recipe that didn’t use confectioner’s sugar as that is made of white sugar and corn starch.  Seriously, corn is in everything!  😦  This recipe uses regular granulated sugar.  While mine didn’t stiffen up as well as the recipe indicated, it got thick enough for the boys to pipe it out onto the cookies.

http://heavenlycakepops.com/2014/02/royal-icing-granulated-sugar/

I think for next year with these two recipes, I would like to work on finding a way to make these without refined sugar at all but for this year, we let go a little and just enjoyed them!

2.  Peanut Butter Balls

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Oh goodness were these delicious!!!  And, truly, they really aren’t too unhealthy for you with just simple ingredients: dates, peanut butter, oatmeal, coconut oil, dark chocolate.  The only change I made to this recipe was that I used an unsalted peanut butter so I added a pinch of sea salt to the mix.  Oh, and we made a double batch of these because they were just so good.  These may become a year-round treat at our house instead of just at Christmas treat!  🙂

http://www.eatingbirdfood.com/2014/12/healthier-peanut-butter-balls/

3.  Butter Crunch Toffee

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One of my all time favorite Christmas treats that my dad always made when we were younger is Butter Crunch Toffee.  I love it!  But, unfortunately it has corn syrup as one of the ingredients.  Boo!  So, I came across the following recipe that was quite similar to my family’s original.  When my dad and I made it this year, he and I agreed that it turned out even better than the original recipe!  And, I love that it uses maple syrup and no refined sugars!  How awesome is that.

The main changes we made to the recipe were using chopped walnuts instead of almonds, and using unsweetened chocolate on both the top and the bottom of the toffee rather than semi-sweet chocolate on one side.  The other thing that we did was use a candy thermometer, getting the toffee to a hard crack before adding the nuts.

This toffee was so good that we ate it all up well before Christmas even happened and needed to make a second batch. Yum!!!!

http://www.thenourishinggourmet.com/2013/12/almond-roca-with-maple-syrup-graincorn-syrup-free.html

4.  Belgium Cookies

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When I first started cutting out gluten, one of the foods I most mourned not being able to eat were our family’s traditional Belgium Cookies.  While it is a family recipe and I am not going to publish it here, I just wanted to make note that by using Namaste flour mix one-to-one in the original recipe worked great.  They are such a treat!!! I LOVED that this recipe turned out and tasted so close to the original that even my dad, the Belgium Cookie maker of the family thought they were a close match.  Yay!

 

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Healthy Cookies – Gluten-Free

Tonight I am hosting a kick-off event for my church’s Team World Vision team. We are a group of mostly non-runners who are training together to run a half marathon in October.

Why would non-runners do this, you ask? Well, that is a great question! We are doing it to raise money to bring clean water sources to people living in Africa who do not have such access, specifically the country of Zambia.

Did you know:

*4,200 Children die each DAY from dirty water

*3.75 million people die each year from water-related causes.

Clean water is so integral in our lives and we take it completely for granted here in the US. When I think about how much water I used just in washing up my dishes, wiping my counters after baking, and throwing in a load of laundry this afternoon and how some people don’t even have enough clean water to drink or cook with, I am even more motivated to help! For $50 dollars, a person in Zambia will receive clean water access for LIFE. That’s right – less than the cost of a tank of gas!!!

 

If you would like to support this cause, you can visit my personal fundraising page at www.teamworldvision.org/goto/heatherwilford.

There you will see all kinds of information about this cause as well as how World Vision is going about bringing water into the communities in need.

So, what does this have to do with a food blog?  Well, like I said, I am hosting the kick-off event for our team.  And, I needed some good snacks for it.  Being that we are training and running, I couldn’t just do a regular cookie… I figured I should at least make it healthy, right?  So, I found a few different recipes for healthy cookies, breakfast cookies, whatever you want to call it and ended up with this one.  It’s pretty delicious and it taking a lot of self-control right now for me to not go back over to the counter and scoop up more!!!

Before you make this recipe (and you are going to want to make it), please take a second to think about how much water you use every day and how little it could take for you to help out someone else who doesn’t have that.  Then, go to www.teamworldvision.org/goto/heatherwilford and save a life by making a donation.  Then, go and make these cookies!  🙂

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Healthy Cookies

Recipe adapted from www.minimalistbaker.com

3 Tbsp. flaxseed meal with 6 Tbsp. warm water
2 medium bananas
1/2 c. natural crunchy peanut butter
2 1/2 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3 Tbsp. honey (if vegan, sub agave nectar)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
pinch sea salt
1 1/2 c. gluten-free rolled oats
1/2 c. oat flour (grind from g/f oats)
1/2 c. almond meal
3/4 c. dark chocolate chunks (I broke a 85% cocoa dark chocolate bar into small chunks; if vegan, choose dairy-free chocolate chips)

In a large bowl, combine water and flaxseed meal. Allow to sit for a few minutes to “gel” together. Mash bananas into flaxseed mixture.

Add peanut butter, oil, vanilla, honey, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix well. Stir in oats, flour, and almond meal. One well combined, add chococlate chunks.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Scoop drops of cookie dough onto parchment paper using a spoon.

Place baking sheet in oven and bake for 15-17 minutes or until lightly golden on the edge. Remove from baking sheet and allow to cool on a cooling rack.

Store in an air tight container for a few days or in the fridge for even longer storage.
Makes approximately 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

Chicken and Vegetable Lo Mein

This was an easy recipe and could easily be adapted for the 21DSD in a few weeks if I substitute something for the soy sauce – I have seen a few pages mention something called Coconut Aminos but I don’t know what that is so I will have to look into that further.  I would maybe consider adding a few different veggies to it to flavor it up – maybe some snow peas and carrots… Overall a healthy, easy meal that 3 of 4 of us enjoyed.

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Recipe adapted from http://beta.primal-palate.com/recipe/chicken-and-vegetable-lo-mein/

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 Tbsp. ginger
1 tsp. fresh minced garlic
1-2 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
3 c. broccoli florets
1/4 c. green onions
1/4 c. chopped almonds
2 c. shredded green cabbage
2-4 Tbsp. gluten-free soy sauce
2-3 Tbsp. sesame seeds.

Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. Set aside. Finely mince ginger. Heat sesame oil in a large skillet. Add ginger and garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes or until chicken is almost cooked. Add broccoli and saute for another 3-4 minutes. Finally, add the onions, almonds, green cabbage, and soy sauce. Cook for another 2-4 minutes or until cabbage is softened. Top with sesame seeds and serve with brown rice.

Husband Rating: 5 out of 10

Chocolate Mocha Truffle Cookies

Chocolate Mocha Truffle Cookies

1/4 c. butter, cubed
1/4 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 tsp. instant coffee granules
1/3 c. sugar
1 egg, beaten lightly
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 c. brown sugar
1 c. flour
2 Tbls. + 2 tsp. baking cocoa
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1/3 c. toffee bits
1 ounce dark chocolate, for melting

Melt butter and chocolate chips in small pan on the stove over low heat.  Stir until smooth.
Stir in the coffee granules until dissolved and let cool for 5 minutes.

Transfer to a large mixing bowl.  Add brown sugar, white sugar, eggs, and vanilla.  Mix well.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; add to the chocolate mixture and stir well.  Stir in the toffee bits.

Drop onto cookie sheet in tablespoon size drops.  (I found a melon baller works really well for this job.)

Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.  Cool cookies 1 minute before transferring to a cooling rack.

When completely cool, drizzle with dark chocolate.

Makes 15 cookies.

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