Showing posts with label Cookies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cookies. Show all posts

Monday, July 17, 2017

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies #vegan

According to my kids, I have committed a royal sin.

 I announced I made cookies.

Now you would think that Mom making cookies is a good thing, right?

I have learned that not all cookies are the same.

If, and only when, they contain chocolate will they ever be deemed "a cookie" in my home.

Finnley schooled me on exactly what constitutes a "real" cookie. Keep in mind she is three.  Her favorite saying of late is: "I'm outta here."  I haven't the slightest idea where she is learning these things but they are funny coming from such a small human being.

I explained to her when she woke up that I made cookies. Oh, she was excited!  She ran to the kitchen.  Reached her tiny hand to the top of the counter and grabbed the first one she touched. As she brought it to her mouth she stopped.  She looked at me and cried with frustration.  I had not made a proper cookie. There wasn't a single chocolate chip present.  She quickly returned the cookie and said, "I'm outta here."

Maybe this isn't a kid cookie. But, when I take these cookies to a function with adults, they love them and some kids gobble them up too. The cookies are soft on the inside and crispy on the edges.  I personally think they are a bowl of oatmeal just in a cookie form.  To be honest, sometimes I get tired of eating oatmeal.

I never get tired of eating these Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies 
Makes 24-36 cookies, depends on size of cookie scoop


2 flax meal eggs (1 Tbsp flax meal/3 Tbsp warm water)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup of flour (white or wheat)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups old fashion oatmeal (uncooked)
1 cup golden raisins

1. Preheat oven to 350.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2.  Prepare flax meal eggs and let sit for 3-5 minutes.

3.  Add remaining ingredients to a medium bowl.  Stir to mix well.  Add flax eggs.  Mix together until well combined.

4.  Use a cookie scoop and space cookies 1 inch apart. The cookies do not spread.  They will puff up and outward. I can get 15 scoops on each cookie tray.

5.  Bake for 9-10 minutes. We like ours a little under cooked. If you want a crispier cookie then bake a few minutes longer. Remove cookies to a cookie rack and let cool.  Keep unused cookies in an air tight container.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Peppermint Melt-in-your-Mouth Cookies

I love a cookie that melts in  your mouth.   These little morsels of tenderness have a wonderful texture that is soft.   The  buttery flavor reminds me of my grandmothers sugar cookies.  The frosting on top adds a little cloud of fluffiness and to top it off, the peppermint candy bits,  add the right amount of color and flair.

The reason I used these Thin Mint Peppermint Bits is because I made Cookies and Cream Popcorn with mini chocolate filled cookies and decided to throw these in the bowl for flavor and color.  It turned out pretty good.  So, don't fret about using the whole bag because you can easily make both items.

I am excited for the Christmas season in our home. We have a new baby and my parents are coming for a visit.  We have not spent a Christmas with them in 9 years.  My big kids were so little and now they are almost out of the house.

We will fill our home with lots of goodies and these cookies will be at the top of the list.


Peppermint Melt-in-your-Mouth Cookies
{adapted from Taste of Home Quick Cooking, 2009}

Makes 30 small cookies

1 cup of butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 & 1/4 cup flour, sifted (to make gluten free-use an all purpose gluten free flour blend)
1/2 cup corn starch
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

*Eggs are not used in this recipe


1 oz. cream cheese
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
Crushed Candy Canes or Peppermint Thin Mints

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1.  Cream Butter and powdered sugar together in a medium size bowl; add extract and beat well. 

2.  Combine flour and corn starch in a separate bowl. Gradually add to butter/sugar mixture. Mix well. 

3.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Using a small cookie scoop, space cookie scoops two inches apart.

4.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  Do not over bake. 

For Frosting:   

1.  Beat cream cheese until its fluffy.

2.  Add powdered sugar, milk, and peppermint extract until smooth.

3.  Spread over cooled cookies and sprinkle with crushed candies.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Pecan Crescent Cookies

Around election time our friends throw a "bologna party". This was the first year that we were invited. We all brought a few of our favorite things and enjoyed each others company.  The bologna sandwiches were amazing.  Iris also made Chicken Matzo Soup!  That was a real treat.

I brought two salads:  Broccoli  Salad and a family favorite,  Pea Salad.   I also wanted to test this recipe with the gluten free flour conversion. I brought a whole plate of these delicious Pecan Crescent Cookies or also known as Rugelach.

When ever I bring something to a party and I am testing a recipe I am always very honest with my friends.  In return, I need them to be very honest with me in their evaluation of the dish.  I don't get offended.  I expect all types of reviews.   After all, we are all different and like different things.

Everyone had rave things to say, but one friend in particular, ate half the pan.  I am not joking.  He could not get enough of this delicate pastry like cookie-gluten free or not.  I am going to take that as a fantastic review of the product--LOL

The only thing I notice to be a bit different in the dough are the layers.  The batch made with all purpose flour definitely had a more flaky texture, but the gluten free version was not far off in texture.

I also noticed that the gluten free dough was a bit different.  You want the dough pliable-not too dry and not too wet.  Do what you need to do to make sure this is the case by adding a drop or two more water if the dough is too crumbly or adding a bit more white rice flour if the dough is too wet.

Like with most pastry like doughs, handle it gently and not too much.

The recipe below is not gluten free.  To make it gluten free I substituted the 2 cups of flour for this conversion:

1 cup of very fine white rice flour (I purchase this from our local asian store)
1 cup tapioca starch
1/2 teaspoon xantham gum

**Use the white rice flour to dust your surface and rolling pin.  Use a generous amount--I did.

The last thing I would suggest is to roll the cookies as tight as possible.  Any of the dough (for both versions) that was not rolled tight had a tendency to unroll during baking.  Take your time and you will have a successful batch of delicious cookies.

I can tell you that even if they don't turn out perfect, they still taste really, really good.  I had three piles on my plate--the first batch (not pretty), the second batch (getting better) and the the third (beautiful).  It took me a few rounds to make the perfect rolled up crescent cookie.

I hope that my few tips will help you make the first batch flawless.


Pecan Crescent Cookies

Makes 36 cookies

*Dough needs to be refrigerated for 2 hours before being used

Easy Dough

2 cups all-purpose flour (for gluten free conversion, see above)
1 cup butter
1 cup cottage cheese


1/2 cup  butter, softened  
1 1/2cups packed brown sugar
1 cup pecans, chopped small

1.  In medium bowl add flour and butter. Use a pastry blender to blend until crumbly. Stir in cottage cheese. The dough will still be a bit crumbly but it will come together after resting in the refrigerator. Divide dough into thirds; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 2 hours.

2.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

3.  Remove dough from plastic wrap and knead 4-5 times until dough is well combined. On well-floured surface, roll one part of the dough into 10-12 inch round.

4.  Combine brown sugar and pecans in a small bowl, set aside.

5.  Using a butter knife, spread one third of the butter used for the filling onto rolled out dough. Sprinkle with one-third each of the brown sugar and pecans; lightly press into dough with hands.

6.  Cut each round into quarters. Cut each quarter into 3 wedges. Roll up starting with long end; place, point side down on lined cookie sheets. 

7.  Bake 30 minutes or until lightly browned. 

8.  Remove immediately from cookie sheets to cooling racks.  The brown sugar will melt onto the cookie sheet but there is still enough filling to make the cookie quite tasty.

Cool completely.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Gluten Free Chocolate Cookies

This is my favorite spatula and the handle is broken. My family has been threatened more times than I like to admit about the consequences of throwing this away.  I love the metal paddle because it is perfect for cookies and pancakes.  My biggest fear is when guest come and help with the dishes--they always want to trash this precious kitchen tool.

Have you missed me?  I have missed you.  My life seems to be moving without much time to breathe or slow down.  Summer schedules have taken over my life with running two teenagers to work and back and chauffeuring Isabella to her many camps, classes and play dates.

Making a baby is tiring, exhausting to be exact.  I know it sounds like an excuse to nap all day but I am sure feeling (kicking and all) the process this time around.

My taste buds are all off. I am still cooking and trying to stay active in the kitchen but  I will be the first to admit that we have eaten out way too often over the last few months.  I have spent time remaking the recipes on the blog to "test" them one more time.  My family has enjoyed revisiting some of their favorite meals without wondering what "new" cooking experience they will encounter at the dinner table each night.  LOL

When I sit in front of my keyboard I don't know what to write--baby brain, I guess.  I have felt a waves of emotion, thoughts and ideas over the last 6 months but, to be honest, they have been challenging thoughts.

Thoughts that have brought me down at times, made me question a few things, had me in tears other times and down right depressing.  I don't like to write about these things but maybe I should---who knows.

I was recently told that I like my life to be "fairy gardens" and " cat pictures".  This was in response to me unfriending  someone on Facebook.  I was accused of not wanting to have adult conversations.  I laughed.  This person did not know me and her statements were purely her opinions based on my personal Facebook updates.  In part she is right--I do like my life to be filled with things that make me smile, cheer others up and share a positive message.  My childhood was rough--it sucked to be quite honest.  I became who I am because of those challenges and have chosen to become someone better because of it and not let those things define me.  I don't want to be bitter, upset, a victim or focus on negative things.  I choose to see life with a smile, peace in my heart and with an abundance of joy towards other.  I spent most of my youth worrying about the opinions of others and letting fear be my beacon.  I have not lived this way for a very long time and don't intend to go back to that lifestyle--EVER.  For this reason, I have found myself in a place of not wanting to write my true feelings in blog post and updates.  I have waited for the time when I felt good and my thoughts were not percolating with random ideas.  Sometimes we need the time to refocus and regenerate ourselves to a higher place.  These past few months were necessary for me to slow down and regroup.  I find that if I listen to the small inner voice and accept the council it pays off in the end--I did and I feel good.

I am starting my 7th month of pregnancy and still have only bought a handful of items.  I am not sure if this is normal or not with your fourth child.

My Mom is shocked and might even be a bit worried for her latest grandchild.  I honestly don't feel the rush like I did when I was 28 with my first baby to have the nursery complete.  Finnley (her name) will be our fourth child and I am pretty sure I know how to do this.  The first few months she will eat, sleep and dirty a diaper or two.

Her needs will be simple and I want to keep things simple for myself too.   I don't want to over spend on all of the things that we will use for a month or two and then have to store.  Our home is small and I am trying to be very particular about the items I bring into our house, after all, they will be a part of the furnishings for a while.

Our goal of living on the road in two years is still in the planning stages.  We have already done this once and I know that many of the things we purchase now will be sold later at a huge estate sale.  I am shopping consignment stores and yard sales.  Doing it this way takes more time because it has to be safe, the right price and in good shape.  I like looking for the perfect deal.  We will be buying two things brand new though: a car seat and crib (and no I have not bought either of them yet--LOL)

If it sounds like I am rambling, it is probably because I am.  I have a lot to say but don't want to bore you with all of the details so I will get to the recipe of these soft and chocolaty cookies.

I make these for my family when we need a quick "cocoa" fix.  They are cake-like and make the perfect dunking cookie.  Oh yeah--it helps that you check if you have milk before you make them.  LOL  My kids were so mad the last time because our milk bottles were empty.  How can you eat cookies without an ice cold glass of milk?

An emergency store run was made and the troops were once again happy.  I hope you enjoy this snippet into my life over the last few months and I will try to be better about keeping the blog up to date with recipes and updates on family, travel and Finnley.

Recipe: Gluten Free Chocolate Cookies
Makes 24-30 cookies depending on cookie scoop used.

1/2 cup almond meal (purchased at Traders Joe or make yourself)
1/4 cup tapioca starch (can also be called flour)
1/4 cup super fine white rice flour (purchased at Asian market)
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
7 tablespoons butter, soft
1 large egg
2 teaspoons coffee grounds ( I use the grounds from one of my Keurig cups)
1/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a small bowl combine all of the dry ingredients and whisk to blend.

In a medium bowl add butter and sugar, beat until butter is light yellow in color.  Add coffee grounds, egg and milk.  Combine well.

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix well.

Using a cookie scoop, space cookies 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet. Bake 7-9 minutes.

Transfer to a cooking wire rack.  Serve while still warm or store in a sealed container for later.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Peanut Butter and Nutella Cookies, gluten free

The one thing that seems to be constant when I become pregnant is the need for peanut butter.  If at anytime--and this has been most of the time over the last two months--I start to feel queazy, I long for a peanut butter fix.

In searching the internet and pinterest I found this delicious recipe.  I have changed it just a hair and added my own special ingredient but the original recipe can be found on a blog titled Laurens Latest which another blog titled The Spiffy Cookie shared too. 

I am pretty sure I have made these too many times to count.

They are easy.

They are tasty.

They are my new favorite.

I added the uncooked oatmeal to add more texture and to add more fiber.  I think the pairing of the three flavors works well. 

Tell me what you think?  A keeper or what?  

Have a wonderful start to your 2013 Spring, I know I will.

Recipe:  Peanut Butter and Nutella Cookies, Gluten Free

1 1/4 cup of creamy peanut butter  (260 g)
1/4 cup white sugar (55g)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar (55g)
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup Nutella
1/4 cup uncooked old fashion oats (20g)
Course Salt, optional

Preheat oven to 350.  Line a baking sheet with parchment.

In a large bowl blend peanut butter and sugars.  Add egg and vanilla.  Blend until smooth.

Stir in oatmeal.

Scoop onto cookie sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and transfer to wire cookie rack to cool.  While still hot, use something to make a well in the top of the cookie.  I have an old spoon that works well.

Place Nutella in baggie and pipe into the well of each cookie.

Let finish cooling and then serve or eat them hot, either way they are moorish and you may find yourself making a second batch immediately...LOL

Written by Sherron Watson

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Berger Cookie--Gluten Free Version

New York has their Black and White Cookies that are adored by many; Baltimore has their Berger Cookies that seem to have an equally enthusiastic crowd of followers. I love how we can attach our love to a city because of a simple tasty treat, a cookie. I have reviewed many comments about the Berger Cookie and how people travel to the city never knowing that they are about to be mesmerized by this cake like, shortbread tasting, fudgy topped cookie.

It is a delight to many the first time they sink their teeth through the two layers of fudge and cookie. Oh, and their are two layers. The fudge is piled high on the cookie; it is a sight to see. The cookie holds together and welcomes the teeth with that last and final have now introduced your taste buds to a new favorite.

My challenge is to try and get as close as possible to this beloved cookie only in a gluten free recipe.

Is it and would it be possible? The question of the day!

I had to try. I found a recipe from 2009 that was printed in the Washington Post which was adapted from a King Arthur recipe. The recipes were both given great reviews and seemed easy enough to follow.

I knew that in order to make an exceptional cookie, I had to start with the best ingredients. For the butter I chose to stick with my favorite, Kerry Gold. For the rice flours I purchased super fine blends because they work the best in delicate desserts. I used whole milk and eggs from our local dairy; milk was creamy white and the yolks were a nice orange.

I followed each step and I hope that you will too. The recipe is one that builds the batter from the first ingredient to the last. With out the gluten in the flour to help the cookie bind together we must add "air" and a foundation for the batter to be perfect. The batter is thick but fluffy and spongy at the same time. This is what you want.

The final key to the success of this gluten free cookie is the pan I used.  I know from experience that some gluten free cookies don't hold their shape and flatten to nothing; then there are others that don't budge...the way you scooped them is the way they bake (those are a bit disappointing to open the door and see a scoop instead of a round cookie).  To make sure that this would not be the case with these cookies, I got creative.   A few months ago at a Goodwill, I bought a whoopie pie pan.  It makes six cookies at a time.  I only paid $2.00 for it and thought what the heck.  I brought it home and threw it in to my cookie sheet drawer and there it sat...until today.

It was the perfect shape and size for the Berger Cookie.  It held an ice cream scoop of batter and allowed the batter to bake and rise without spreading into one large cookie.  The cookies ended up being about a 1/4 inch thick, cakey and buttery--oh, they are delicious! 

You will notice that the frosting on my cookies is not the suggested 3 tablespoons from the original recipe.  I knew that my family would not want to eat the cookie with that much rich and sweet frosting. I think you can add any amount that you're comfortable with and not feel guilty, unless you plan on eating the whole may just never know.

Are you ready for a cookie that is gluten free and will knock your socks off?  I thought so.

Recipe:  Baltimore's Berger Cookie, gluten free
Adapted from a recipe found in the Washington Post on 10-29-2009

NOTE:  I used a scale to weigh all of my flours and starches.  I have included estimates in cups for those that do not have a scale.  I would recommend a scale because then your measurements can match mine in the recipe. 

Cookies depend on size of scoop you use.  I was able to get 21 large cookies.

8 ounces of unslated butter, at room temperature
1 1/2  (184 g) cups confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar)
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups (293 g) of fine white rice flour or powder (the later can be purchased at an Oriental store)
1 cup (122 g) tapioca starch
1 cup (135 g) fine brown rice flour
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup  (240 g) whole milk, at room temperature


1(12 oz) bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips (Gheridelli is what I used)
3 ounces of unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons of brown rice syrup (you can use corn syrup if you prefer)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar

To make the cookies:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray your pan with Pam or cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the flours, starch, salt, and baking powder.  Mix well with a wire whisk.

In a large bowl add butter.  Beat for 3 minutes until pale yellow and fluffy.

Add the powdered sugar and beat for 2 minutes, add vanilla and combine well.

Add each egg separately and blend well after each egg is added.  You should notice the batter starting to be fluffy.

You will alternate the milk and the flour mix into the butter mixture.  Mixing well after each addition.  It took me 5 sets of flour then milk, then flour again, repeat.   The batter should be increasing in volume and yet still fluffy.

You can make the cookies any size you want.  I used an ice cream scoop and did one scoop per bun circle in my bun pan.  (see note and link above).

Cook each sheet of cookies for 9-11minutes.  Do not over bake them.  You want them cake-like, not dry and crumbly.  The edges should be lighlty brown and the tops a pale yellow.

Let cookies cool on wire rack.

To make frosting:

I will tell you this is like no frosting I have ever made, its very fudgy and stiff yet shiny and moldable.

In a large sauce pan on the stove top, set your heat to medium low.

Combine the first 5 ingredients, mix well.  You do not want to burn this chocolate, so stay by the pan and keep stirring the bottom.  It takes about 5 minutes for every thing to melt together.   

Turn heat off and let cool slightly.

Add confectioner's sugar and beat for 2 minutes.

Slather each cookie with the amount of frosting your family would enjoy.

This is my husbands hand holding the cookie, it is a big cookie!

Written by Sherron Watson

Monday, December 17, 2012

Almond Orange Cookies, gluten free

Sometimes  I have failures in the kitchen.  At times, it is devastating, and then other times, it's not.  Like THIS one time (at band camp).  <----- I couldn't help myself.  This is the one movie quote that is used over and over in my house….. I digressed, sorry.  Back to the story now.

I had set out to make an Almond Florentine Cookie that was gluten free. It was my first attempt and I was excited.  

I had gathered all of the ingredients, prepped the cookie sheet and preheated the oven.

My first batch was scooped and spaced equally apart.  The timer was set.

Imagine my surprise when I opened the door of my oven expecting to see a flat cookie to find these perfectly and evenly spaced scoops of almond orange cookie dough.

I scratched my head, pulled them out and thought, "what a waste of ingredients".  That is usually the first thing that comes to my mind when something does not go right, the waste of food.  

My kids could smell the cookies down the hallway and soon my kitchen was filled with teenagers all asking for a cookie.  With my pride, as a cook, in the palm of my hand, I handed them each a failed cookie.

Only to them, they had no idea of what the cookie should look or taste like.  In their minds, I had made a cookie.  Plain and simple.

I quickly made the second batch, as to not waste the dough, and turned around to find the first batch gone. 

They loved them.  NICE!

In the process of trying to make a classic gluten free cookie, I had made a new favorite among my kids and their friends.

I decided to get fancy and decorate the second batch with a bit of chocolate, ground almonds and orange zest.

Not only did they taste delicious (I finally got to try one) they looked beautiful too.

I have yet to figure out a good gluten free florentine cookie but these little morsels of orange and almond will do until I get around to the other recipe.  ENJOY!

Recipe:  Almond Orange Cookies
Makes about 20 cookies

4 tablespoons of melted butter
1/4 cup of sugar
1 cup of almonds, chopped finely
2 teaspoons of orange zest
1/2 cup of almond meal
2 tablespoons of coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of potato starch

To top the cookies:

Chocolate chips to melt (optional)
Orange zest (optional)
Ground Almonds (optional)

On the stove, add butter and sugar.  Bring to a boil and remove from heat.  Cool slightly.

Add remaining ingredients to separate bowl and stir.

Combine the flour mixture and butter mixture together.

On a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, scoop cookies.  They will not spread so they can be close together.

Bake for 10 minutes.

Remove and transfer to a cookie rack.

Dip each cookie into melted chocolate, garnish with almonds and orange zest.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Currant Amaretti Cookies

Looking for a recipe is a lot of fun for me.  I spend a fair amount of time searching blogs, magazines and Pinterest.  I get recipes mailed to me by total strangers. These recipes have been handed down from family member to family member.  These usually come with just the ingredients and the person emailing would like me to figure out how it goes together and the technique used to get from a list of ingredients to a fabulous recipe.  

I have stacks of papers that I have printed in piles around my office.  My husband thinks I am a hoarder when it comes to paper…LOL

Why the constant search?  For me it is the creative process that I use to develop a recipe.  I take lots of input on certain ingredients, cooking methods, flavors, techniques and foods and then an idea starts to grow.  

I always have a notepad with me…ALWAYS!  When I am sitting waiting for a friend or my kids I write notes and lists.  As my ideals come together and the recipe starts to form I feel a certain amount of excitement and joy.  I would relate it to an artist staring at a blank canvas and once the paint hits the brush, then the white slowly transforms into a picture, the story unfolds and a masterpiece is born; or in my case, a recipe.

I find a lot of inspiration among my friends in the food world.  I printed a recipe about a month ago for an Apricot Amaretti Cookie by my friend Irvin from Eat the Love.  At the time I printed the recipe I had no idea that he was the author.  I was captivated by the photography and the fact that the recipe was naturally gluten free.  

I did not see any need to adapt his recipe, other than I did not have apricots on hand, so I used dried currants.  My method of preparing the ingredients is a bit different from Irvin's and I will share that below but please go visit his site and see how lovely his cookies turned out.

The joy that my mouth experienced after the first bite is almost indescribable.  The only way I can explain the fusion of this cookie is a soft, chewy inside similar to a macaroon; the pillowy, crispy exterior that is fragile to the touch and yet sturdy to the bite. 

 BLISS is what comes to mind, in fact, that bliss cost me about 15 cookies  the first day.  

If you are a fan of macaroons, almonds and totally addicting cookies, then I suggest you give these a try. 

 Simply wonderful and divinely gourmet is the true essence of this cookie from Italy.

Recipe:  Currant Amaretti Cookies
Adapted from Eat the Love

3 cups of almond meal, purchased from Trader Joe's
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of almond extract
3 egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 cup dried currants, purchased from Whole Foods

Coating the cookies:

1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Note: I used almond meal and did not need the meal to be any finer than what I had purchased it as.

Combine the almond meal, sugar and confectioners sugar in a bowl attached to your table mixer with the paddle attachment. 

 Add the vanilla and almond extract.  Combine until mixed.

Add one egg white at a time and COMPLETELY mix in each egg to the flour/extract.  The dough will start to form.

Gently fold in currants. 

With two small bowls, fill each one with the two different sugars. This combination of the two sugars creates that wonderful exterior of the cookie that makes it so unique.

The dough is thick.  I was able to use a cookie scoop and scoop the dough and drop each one into the white sugar.  Using your hands roll the ball first in the white sugar and then in the confectioner's sugar.  

See image below. They will gently spread a bit and then spread more when baked.

Bake for 24-28 minutes for a soft, chewy cookie and a bit longer for the crispier version.

The recipe will make 3-4 dozen, depending on size of cookie scoop. I used a tablespoon scoop so I got the smaller number.

Written by Sherron Watson


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Chocolate Caramel Coconut Cookies

My cat had to get in on the action…LOL
Eating gluten free has it's ups and downs. This is one of the ups.

Finding a delicious cookie recipe that almost taste better than the original is awesome!

I try to find basic recipes that I used to make and then use the new version in my baking of treats and goodies.  This is one of those recipes that I know will be used over the rest of my life time.

Everyone needs a basic brownie, cake, bread and cookie recipe in their collection.  I found this recipe by Elizabeth Barbone on her site, Gluten Free Baking.  If you click on her page you will find the shortbread/sugar cookie recipe.

With using basics or simple recipes great things, like these cookies, can be created.

I used the left over coconut oil caramel that I had in my fridge for the gooey portion of this cookie.

I experimented with having the cookie bottom dipped in chocolate and without the extra layer.  We liked it better without the cookie bottom covered in chocolate.

I used toasted raw coconut for the sprinkles.  You could use sweetened coconut and have a much stronger flavor than we did.

To finish off the cookie, I melted a few chocolate chips and zigzagged them across the top.

I had someone tell me these did not look simple.  I laughed.  Simple is relative like everything else.  To me these were a piece of cake (well, a cookie actually) because I already had the caramel and the cookies made.  It took just a few minutes to throw them together.

Your neighbor and family members will think you visited a fancy bakery after you deliver a batch of these to their doorsteps.


Recipe:  Chocolate Caramel Coconut Cookies

1 batch of sugar cookie dough (follow link above for gluten free or make your own)
1 jar of caramel sauce or make this one HERE
1/2 cup of toasted coconut
1 cup of melted chocolate chips

Bake cookies according to directions. Let cool.

Warm caramel sauce and spread over the top of each cookie.

Sprinkle caramel with toasted coconut.

Zig zag milk chocolate on top of cookie.

Let everything set and serve when ready.

To Toast Coconut:  In a large skillet over medium heat add raw coconut and stir.  In about 3-5 minutes the coconut will start to turn color and eventually become darker.  Be careful to not over toast the coconut.  Once it starts to brown it goes fast.  Stir it to keep it from burning.

To melt chocolate chips:  In a microwave proof bowl place chips.  Microwave for 30 seconds, stir and do it again until they are melted.

Written by Sherron Watson

Monday, October 8, 2012

Pecan Bars

Sometimes I don't want pie.  

I don't want to make the crust and hope it turns out.  I just want something easy that I can take to family parties that will be easy to eat and enjoyed by others.

This dessert is always well received.  I have made both versions (regular and gluten free) for family and friends.  

The one that gets the most praises is the gluten free.  They love the crust.  The almond meal adds another layer of rich flavor and texture.

I like to add extra pecans so that they are the star of the show.  If you don't have enough, then the bars look a bit naked, if you ask me.  See the picture below of the "Naked Pecan Bars"….boring.  When compared to the image above you can see what I mean.  The three cups in the recipe will give you ample pecans but please feel free to add a few more to your liking.

I also made these in small ramekins to see if I could do individual portions.  It worked like a charm.  I find that guest like to have their OWN small dish.  I used a knife to go around the outer edge and they popped right out.  They make the perfect mini pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream balanced on top.

 Recipe: Pecan Bars

Makes 9X13 pan

For the crust:

2 sticks of butter, softened

2/3 cups of packed brown sugar

2 2/3 cups all purpose flour (for gluten free substitute, see below)

1/2 teaspoon of salt

*To make this gluten free, use this conversion: 2 cups of almond meal plus 1 cup + 2 tablespoons of brown rice flour for the regular flour.

For the topping:
1/3 cup of butter

1 cup of packed brown sugar

1/3 cup of honey

2 tablespoons of heavy cream

3 cups of chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9X13 pan with parchment paper or spray individual ramekins with Pam. (see picture)

Combine the crust ingredients. Push into 9X13 pan. Bake for 20 minutes.

While the crust is cooking, combine the butter, brown sugar, honey and cream in a saucepan. Simmer the mixture for 1 minute and add pecans. Stir to combine.

Remove crust from oven and add the topping. Spreading topping to cover all of the crust. If baking individual size portions, scoop enough filling into each cup to cover crust.

Return to the oven and bake for 15 minutes.

Remove bars and let cool completely in pan. Remove bars by lifting parchment paper out of pan. Cut into squares.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

205. No Bake Oatmeal Cookie Balls

Balls is such a funny word.

In our family for a while we just could not even mention the word without someone dying of embarrassment (usually our pre teen son) or a joke being cracked (usually by Dad).

I say balls to my 5 year old and she is running to the closet to get her soccer ball or basketball.


I love words.  I always have.  Challenge me to a good game of Scrabble or Boggle and I would stop almost anything to play.

Words can be funny, terms of endearment, hateful, loving, harsh, whispered, spelled out or shortened to an acronym.

Words connect a family, a recipe, a thought.  We must always choose them wisely.

In using the name balls for this recipe,  it just fit.  Orbs sounded to scientific.  Circles too boring.  Round cookies was not specific enough.  So you have balls.

No Bake Oatmeal Cookie Balls that are easy to prepare and a change from the ordinary no bake cookie.


Recipe:  No Bake Oatmeal Cookie Balls

1 cup of almond meal (buy at Trader Joes)
1 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup butter, softened
¼ cup of peanut butter

1/2 cup powdered sugar, for tossing each ball in

Combine all ingredients, except powdered sugar, in a large bowl and mix until a dough is formed.

Using a cookie scoop, firmly pack the scoop and place each scoop on a cookie sheet.

Chill for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl add powdered sugar. Remove cookies from fridge and toss each cookie in powdered sugar until well coated. Shake off excess.

Place on a plate and chill for 10 minutes.

Keep leftovers in refrigerator

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Nutella Peanut Butter Cookies

When you find a cookie this AMAZING, you realize it just has to be shared. 

Neighbors, friends, kids and spouses will sing your praises for days or even weeks once they bite into the perfect balance of soft and crunch of this cookie.

Of course the combination of Nutella and Peanut Butter are already a proven dynamic duo.  Our family enjoys this combination in smoothies, syrups, brownies and cakes.  Why not a cookie too?

A bigger note of importance for me, no wheat!  

I made a batch of these and within minutes they were gone, like a speeding bullet they vanished into thin air. 

Let me know in the comments below how your family enjoyed these cookies.  

Recipe:  Nutella Peanut Butter Cookies
recipe adapted from

1 egg
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1 tablespoon of milk
1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup of Nutella
3/4 cup of Old Fashion Oats, not cooked
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 teaspoon of salt

Preheat oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium size mixing bowl or a table mixer, mix until smooth: egg, brown sugar, milk, peanut butter and Nutella.

Add the salt, baking soda and oats. Stir well.

Use a cookie scoop and drop cookies every two inches onto to parchment paper.

Bake for 8 minutes.

Cool cookies for 2 minutes on cookie sheet and transfer to cookie rack.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe: Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies
Makes 3 dozen cookies


1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup of brown sugar
3/4 cup of granulated sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

 Preheat oven to 350˚F.

Cream together the butter and sugar in a table top mixer;  add pumpkin, eggs and vanilla.  Beat cookie dough for 2 minutes.

In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients.  Mix well.

Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture.

Fold in the chocolate chips.

Prepare cookie sheet with spray or laying down a piece of parchment paper. Scoop cookie dough two inches apart onto cookie sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Cool on wire racks.

Recipe: Gluten-Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies 

½ C butter
1 C brown sugar
1 egg
1 C canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
2 cup of Rice Flour
1 tsp GF baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.

Cream butter and sugar together.

Add egg, pumpkin & vanilla. Combine together well.

Add all dry ingredients. Stir well.

Add chocolate  chips.

Prepare pan with spray or parchment paper. Scoop dough two inches apart.

Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes. (They're best a little underbaked, so they are still really soft.)

Remove to cooling rack and let cool.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Oreo Wafers

When I was a kid I would share my Oreo's with my dog.  He got the creamy center and I got the cookie.  Now that I am a parent, I used to share my Oreo's with my kids.  They got the white soft center and I got the cookie.  With this recipe I solved my issue, no creamy white soft center.  Just a nice simple, thin wafer all to myself.   I still share though.  

Recipe:  Oreo Wafers
Simply Gourmet

Yields: 30-32 cookies
Prep time: 5 minutes
Bake time: 7-9 minutes
skill level:  easy

Preheat oven to 375.

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 large egg, slightly beaten

In a Kitchenaid bowl, combine all ingredients.   If you don't have a counter mixer, then use a medium size bowl and mixer, combine all ingredients.  

Mix ingredients until well blended.  Batter will be similar to thick brownie batter.

Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Using a scoop, scoop cookies 2 inches a part.  These cookies spread and you will need the whole cookie tray.  Don't try to make them fit or you will end up with one large cookie.

Bake for 7-9 minutes.  They are very thin and will burn if you over bake them.

Remove cookies from oven and let rest on sheet for a few minutes, remove carefully with spatula to a cookie cooling rack.

If you would like to have a filling, let cookies cool completely and then fill.  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie with Peanut Butter Sauce

I have told you before how awesome I think cast iron pans are.  

My love and adoration for them has been bumped up another notch after making this one dessert.

Two weeks ago my husband and his buddies read a book about being wheat free.  They have decided  they would like to cut wheat out of their diets.

Honestly, sometimes you have to just shake your head.  I say this with a ton of love for my hubby but I have been saying this for about 3 years.  This is when I first discovered I had a sensitivity to wheat and some other foods myself and started limiting my intake.  

For the most part I am wheat free and so we have lots of wheat free stuff in our house to eat.  I cook a lot of vegetarian dishes, I make all of my own sauces (most of them without wheat), we eat meat in moderation and try to eat more fish than we used to.

I have kids and so we do have the healthy boxes of cereal (with wheat), I buy pretzels (with wheat) and on occasion I make bread, cookies, cakes and breakfast foods, (all with wheat).

We try to eat wheat in moderation.  With my husband, it is usually a case of being in a hurry and grabbing what is easiest to eat on the run.  Sandwiches, a bag of pretzels, a cookie here and there. The amount of wheat he ate started to add up and his diet was not balanced with fruit, veggies and proteins. He ate almost all carbs and pretty soon his body craved them all the time.

I will say this, just because you drag a horse to the watering hole does not mean it will take a drink.


I cannot make him eat a certain way just like he cannot make me eat a certain way.  It has to be a choice that you/they/us make. 

He  believes, after reading this book, that he has a wheat gut.  He exercises until he is blue in the face and still he has his Budda belly.

I have watched him struggle with portion control, running, going without and then giving up.

So you can imagine my surprise when out of the blue he made this announcement, another diet.

I want to be that supportive wife, but I cannot babysit my husbands diet.  He would have to make the decision and LIVE by it no matter what food we had in our house.  He had to fight his own temptations to say NO, walk away and make a better choice.

I cannot do that and our kids cannot do that for him.  

I will say this:  I am so proud of him.  He has committed to making a lifestyle change with his eating habits and he is succeeding.

I have admired Cory as he has tackled his eating habits and changed things slowly.  He made himself a success in changing the way that he was feeding his body. 

I know how hard it is making these choices from my own experience.  I was encouraged to go cold turkey.  He recognized that in order for him to accomplish his goal, he would have to give up some of the things he enjoyed having: cookies, cakes and breads.  I explained to him that this was not always the case.  He would have to change what he reached for but not give up completely.  I know this is not new "news" but, we do have many more grains and flours at our disposal than just wheat.  Many of these recipes are healthier for us.  

I went on a quest to find him healthy alternatives to some of the things he had chosen to give up.  In searching, I have found many low carb, vegan  and high protein snacks.  

Choice and change are possible but it does take work, motivation and a desire.  Cory was willing and he had all three.  I just made it easier for him to feel his success by preparing things he can eat, staying positive, applauding his journey and encouraging him every step of the way. 

I may not be able to control what he puts into his mouth, but I certainly am willing to be his cheerleader as he goes through this process.

I am going to share two recipes, one with pictures and the other without (we ate them too fast) that are wheat free and low carb.  You don't have to be on any type of diet to enjoy a yummy and healthy treat. 
I know that it is easier to reach for a bag of this or that, but with a little bit of time and a few ingredients on hand, you can make something that is tastier and healthier for you and your family.

Your friends and family will be amazed after they finish their serving and ask for seconds. They also may be surprised to learn what this delicious skillet cookie was made of as well.

Quite simply, this is a simple recipe in a simple cast iron skillet, with the best peanut butter sauce served over the top to add that gourmet touch.


Recipe:  Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie with Peanut Butter Sauce

1/2 cup of coconut oil (see note)
1/2 cup of peanut butter
1/2 cup of real maple syrup
1 tablespoon of vanilla
pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
3 cups of almond meal 
1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips ( I use bittersweet)

Preheat oven to 350.

NOTE:  Virgin coconut oil will taste like coconut, refined coconut oil will have little to no flavor of coconut.  I used the virgin coconut oil in this recipe.

In a blender, combine the first 5 ingredients and blend for 5-6 minutes.  The ingredients will pull together and make a caramel type sauce.  

I used a 10 inch cast iron skillet.  Add one cup of caramel to the pan.  Add baking soda, almond meal and dark chocolate.  Combine until well blended.  

Using your fingers, pat mix into pan.  Bake 12-14 minutes.  The cookie will be golden brown and puff up.  This is a good sign it is done.

Remove from oven and spread the remaining sauce over the cookie.  

Serve with a bunch of spoons and eat right out of the skillet or dish it up, either way it won't last long.

Recipe: Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup of mashed ripe bananas
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon of baking soda
pinch of salt
1 1/4 cup of almond meal
1/4 cup of chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine all of the above ingredients in Kitchenaid or bowl.  Mix together.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Using a cookie scoop, scoop dough 1 inch apart on sheet.  They don't spread too much.  Bake for 12-14 minutes, they should be golden when done.

Let cool slightly on cookie sheet and remove to cookie rack to cool.

Donut Breakfast Casserole

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