Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies #vegan #glutenfree

Vegan & gluten-free ultra soft pumpkin cookies filled with chunks of bold dark chocolate. Perfect cookie (not cakey) texture without a single ounce of butter–something even I thought was impossible!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies #vegan #glutenfree.jpg

I  get a little sad every year around this time. The end of pumpkin season. The day after Thanksgiving, I spend the next 10 months waiting for September 1st so I can start posting pumpkin recipes again. Every year, without fail, I’m left with a handful of recipes that never made it to the blog before the season ended.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies #vegan #glutenfree

I had just about given up on pumpkin cookies. I loooove pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cupcakes–anything that is supposed to be light and cakey, the pumpkin basically works like a dream, but cookies? I don’t like my cookies cakey, and especially while trying to avoid using butter, I just thought that pumpkin cookies were an impossible task.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies #vegan #glutenfree

After seeing my girl Sally’s recipe for her pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, I was inspired to try again. It was the first pumpkin cookie recipe I’d seen where you could see just from the photos that the texture was perfect. I did a little more research and saw this recipe on Baked by Rachel. They also looked ridiculously good–and again, with that perfect cookie texture.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies #vegan #glutenfree

I was pretty sure once I got rid of the butter, there was no way I’d be satisfied, but it turns out I couldn’t have been more wrong. The texture was absolutely spot on. The edges got ever so slightly crisp, and the middle was soft, gooey, and everything I’ve ever wanted in a cookie. The pumpkin flavor shines through, and the huge chunks of dark chocolate are the perfect finishing touch. I used a sea salt dark chocolate which I would highly recommend, but any good quality dark chocolate will do. I also made a batch with bits of Heath toffee thrown in, and let me tell you, that was magnificent. You could use white chocolate, add cranberries, anything really–the dough is the perfect container for all your favorite add ins!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: approx 2 1/2 dozen

Serving Size: 1 cookie

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Vegan & gluten-free ultra soft pumpkin cookies filled with chunks of bold dark chocolate. Perfect cookie (not cakey) texture without a single ounce of butter--something even I thought was impossible!

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups gluten-free baking blend (or white whole wheat flour)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • dash salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 6 tbsp apple butter
  • 6 tbsp pumpkin
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 oz good quality dark chocolate, roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, cornstarch, and salt until combined. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together sugars, coconut oil, apple butter, pumpkin and vanilla until combined. Add dry ingredients and mix until combined. Gently, stir in chocolate. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. If you leave it in longer (ie: several hours to overnight), you may need to let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes before scooping and baking.
  3. Preheat oven to 350. Line two large baking sheets with silpat of parchment papers. Use a small cookie scoop to transfer dough to baking sheet.
  4. Bake until edges are lightly golden and cookies are just set, about 10-12 minutes. Cool completely on baking sheet. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to one week.

Notes

http://arismenu.com/pumpkin-chocolate-chunk-cookies/

My Gluten-free Baking Blend

#GlutenFree Baking Blend

A simple & easy gluten-free flour blend perfect for cookies, cupcakes, quickbreads, and more! Looking for more gluten-free recipes? Check these out!

#GlutenFree Baking Blend

Almost 6 months ago, my husband discovered he was gluten intolerant. He (obviously) cut out gluten completely, and as a result, I now eat about 90% gluten-free as well. I had toyed with gluten-free baking a little bit, but mostly using just almond meal or oats. I tried many gluten-free flours, and even when I enjoyed the end result, you could always tell they were gluten-free. The texture was never quite right. Sometimes they’d be gummy, or other times too crumbly–it is definitely a challenge, and it’s taken quite a bit of time, resources, and trial & error to get to a place where I feel like I’ve started to figure it out.

#GlutenFree Baking Blend

I’ve been making vegan desserts for quite some time–something that is so easy in my opinion. I already use butter alternatives, and cornstarch replaces an egg seamlessly in most cases (I’m not vegan, I just like to bake things that work for many different diets). Gluten-free on the other hand? I feel like it’s a constant learning process.

#GlutenFree Baking Blend

However, after trying a lot of different combinations, I truly feel like I’ve found my winner–my go-to flour blend that I will use 90% of the time. Of course, I will still try new things and learn lots of new tricks as I go, but after a series of successful baked goods (teenager approved and all!), I finally feel ready to share my blend with you guys. In fact, tonight I told Steve I may even like this better than wheat flour. The texture is ultra-soft, and perfect for baked goods.

#GlutenFree Baking Blend

A couple things to note: While I have used this blend to replace wheat flour in many different recipes, sometimes (especially in cookies) you may need to some extra flour. I often add an extra 1/4 to 1/2 cup compared to what a recipe calls for in cookies. My suggestion is to start off following the recipe, then add extra as needed. I usually start by adding 1/4 cup if the mixture is overly sticky and unworkable. Be careful though–too much flour leads to dry and cakey baked goods.

#GlutenFree Baking Blend

My favorite part of this blend? No weird ingredients. No xanthan gum, nothing too obscure, and no need to add any extra ingredients when baking. And it’s a whole grain mix! You better believe I’m not about to start baking with refined grains just because it’s gluten-free. ;) The method is simple–it’s a 3:3:2 measurement of brown rice flour, gluten-free oat flour  (you can buy this at the store, or easily make your own with gluten-free oats in a food processor), and almond meal (you can also buy this, or make your own). You can simply mix these flours together for a recipe, or you can make a larger batch so that the measurements are already taken care of.

#GlutenFree Baking Blend

Making the blend ahead of time in a larger batch is a great time saver. You could also make a batch as a gift for a friend who maintains a gluten-free diet. If they haven’t found a lot of products they like yet, they will seriously love you for helping them enjoy the delicious treats they’ve been missing. This blend literally tastes no different than any regular flour, and is great for everyone no matter if you follow a gluten-free diet or not.

My Gluten-free Baking Blend

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 8 cups

My Gluten-free Baking Blend

A perfectly soft whole grain gluten-free baking mix perfect for cookies, cakes, quick breads, and more.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups brown rice flour
  • 3 cups gluten-free oat flour*
  • 2 cups almond meal*

Instructions

  1. Stir all ingredients together in a large bowl until combined. Store in an airtight container.

Notes

*Oat flour and almond meal can each be made by pulsing oats or almond in food processor until a fine flour forms. Be careful with almonds not to over-pulse or you will end up with almond butter.

*This mix can replace all-purpose flour in most recipes. You may need to add a little bit extra (especially in cookies).

*Recipe inspired by Edible Perspective

http://arismenu.com/gluten-free-baking-blend/

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

Big, tall, soft and fluffy blueberry buttermilk muffins topped with coarse sugar that will give those bakery muffins a run for their money!Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

I am out of just about every food imaginable at my house. Yesterday I had frozen enchiladas for breakfast, and today I started a fire in my microwave trying to spice up my oatmeal. Maybe I should explain. I really like drippy peanut butter (or almond, or whatev) on my oatmeal, and I’m completely out of all butters except for a 1 tablespoon packet of almond butter. You know? The kind you have to knead first and it never really gets drippy like the stuff from a jar? So I thought it would be brilliant to put it in the microwave for 10 seconds. It was not the first time I’ve ever made that type of mistake, but it was the first time anything has actually caught on fire.

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

I stared at in in disbelief for a moment, then I blew the fire out. It was mildly scary, and also a little funny. You know, one of those times where you’re really glad no one else is at home and has to see how dumb you are, but then you tell the entire internet, and the whole idea of any discrepancy is completely lost.

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

It’s funny. You go away for a weekend leaving the man in your house to his own devices, and you come home to find no new groceries, just lots of receipts from Chipotle. And somehow I can’t find the motivation to go grocery shop. Or make more muffins. Or get off the couch? Post adventure hangover is apparently still in play.

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

Basically, I wish these muffins had lasted more than 48 hours and magically withstood the 3 months that have now passed since I made them. I would eat the crap out of them, and I wouldn’t even have to burn the house down to do it.

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

I’d been eyeing my girl Sally’s blueberry muffins for a good long time, and been dyyyying to try to make some muffins as tall and beautiful as her’s, so one day I had some leftover blueberries in my fridge, and just decided they needed to happen already.

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

The result was the tallest, most gorgeous muffins I have ever seen come out of my oven! Sally uses extra baking powder and starts with a high oven temp which is the secret to these perfect muffin tops. So much better than my usual muffin top (#whatisgoingonwithmymuffintop)<–Inside joke from Hood to Coast just for you, Laurel. ;)

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 12 muffins

Serving Size: 1 muffin

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

Ingredients

  • 3 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup reduced fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/4 cup fresh blueberries (preferably organic)
  • coarse sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425. Spray muffin tin with nonstick spray, or line with paper liners. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar until combined. Mix in buttermilk, applesauce and vanilla until well combined.
  4. Gently, fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just combined. Do not over mix. Gently fold in blueberries.
  5. Evenly divide batter between 12 standard muffin tins. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with a nice pinch of coarse sugar. Bake for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 and continue to bake for an other 17-20 minutes, until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean (with just a few crumbs).
  6. Let stand for 10 minutes, then serve or transfer to a wire rack. Store leftovers in an airtight container for 3-5 days.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction

http://arismenu.com/blueberry-buttermilk-muffins/

Drink & Dish: Orange Creamsicle Cookies

Orange Creamsicle Cookies

Orange Creamsicle Cookies

When I was a little girl, my brother’s mom (yeah, my family is hard to explain…she’s not my mom, or my step mom…) always kept the creamsicle ice cream in the house. You know, the swirl between the orange sorbet, and vanilla ice cream? The one that is 100x superior to just the bar with the ice cream on the inside? She always had it, and I always finished it. She probably never got more than a bowl full, and I didn’t even live there.

Orange Creamsicle Cookies

There is something so refreshing about the bright, citrusy, orange flavor against the smooth and creamy vanilla that is just about perfect in every way. Great on their own, better together.

Orange Creamsicle Cookies

I’m a little obsessed with stuffing cookies. I mean, I love a good chocolate chip cookie, but it is almost always better if all of the chocolate (or white chocolate as the case may be) is contained to the center, so that when you bite into the cookies you have the same experience as, say, a jelly-filled donut. And if you don’ know it’s in there, you get an AWESOME SURPRISE!!

creamsiclecookies-13

These creamsicle cookies are dangerously addictive. The cookie is soft and chewy, and the white chocolate filling stays perfectly creamy, even after the cookies have cooled. In fact, these are a rare cookie case when they taste BETTER after cooling completely. They come out slightly underdone, and need about a full hour after that to set, and cool completely. I mean, I was impatient, and I still loved them right out of the oven, but it wasn’t until I had one the next day that I fell deeply, deeply in love. In fact, the second batch didn’t even make it past the filming day. They were that good.

Orange Creamsicle Cookies

Cookie stuffing can be one of those things that no matter how well you try to describe it, it’s better just to see it in action, so Nicole and I are bringing you an awesome summer episode of drink and dish! Be sure to check out her recipe for her delicious rum punch!

Orange Creamsicle Cookies

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 12-16 cookies

Serving Size: 2 cookies

Orange Creamsicle Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • dash salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Zest of one orange
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 1 large egg white
  • 4 oz good quality white chocolate squares or chopped into large chunks

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl mix together sugar and orange zest. Then beat in cream cheese, egg white, and orange juice until combined. Slowly, beat in dry ingredients until combined, scraping down sides of the bowl as necessary. Refrigerate dough for 30-60 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350. Roll cookies into 1? balls, then stuff with a white chocolate square. Re-roll into 1? ball, making sure all the white chocolate is covered. Repeat with remaining dough.
  4. Bake for 9-11 minutes until golden. Cool completely on baking sheet. Store in a loosely covered container for 5-7 days.
http://arismenu.com/drink-dish-orange-creamsicle-cookies/

Plain Ol’ Chocolate Chip Cookies {vegan}

Chocolate Chip Cookies #vegan via arismenu.com

Chocolate Chip Cookies #vegan via arismenu.com

 

Sometimes you just need plain, simple, classic comfort food. This is one of those times.

Chocolate Chip Cookies #vegan via arismenu.com

Would you believe I didn’t have a chocolate chip cookie recipe on here? I’m actually more intimidated by simple, well-known recipes. I feel like it has to be *perfect* and I don’t want to post it, until I know I’ve gotten it right.

Chocolate Chip Cookies #vegan via arismenu.com

Chocolate chip cookies with no butter is not an easy feat, my friends. You see, with peanut butter cookies, it’s easy–the fat in the peanut butter works perfectly, and you don’t realize you’re missing the butter, but in a plain ol’ chocolate chip cookie? The flavors I associate are butter, brown sugar and, well, chocolate! But honestly, butter is probably number one.

Chocolate Chip Cookies #vegan via arismenu.com

The secret? It’s the combination of apple butter, which gives the perfect texture (far superior to applesauce or yogurt in cookies) and the tiniest bit of butter extract. That stuff is magical. Using cornstarch in place of an egg not only makes them vegan, but helps keep them thick and chewy, and the massive amount of chocolate chips is 100% necessary. Also, a tiny sprinkle of salt on your dough just before it goes into the oven will take your cookie flavor to the next level! Not quite salted, but it evens out the sweetness.

Chocolate Chip Cookies #vegan via arismenu.com

The result is healthier chocolate chip cookies that taste like the real deal. Thick, chewy, with a slight crunch on the outside, and that perfect soft, gooey, and extra chocolatey inside. I am finally ready to share my chocolate chip cookies with you, because I finally got it right.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen

Serving Size: 1 cookie

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Simple, classic, vegan and whole grain chocolate chip cookies that taste just like the real deal.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • dash salt
  • 1/2 cup apple butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp butter flavoring (optional, but recommended)
  • 1 heaping cup dark chocolate chips
  • sea salt for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat together apple butter and sugars until combined. Beat in almond milk, vanilla and butter flavoring. Slowly add in dry ingredients, beating until just combined. Beat in chocolate chips. Cover and chill dough for 30 minutes, or up to overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 375. Line a large baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper.Use a small cookie scoop, or roll dough into 1" balls. Add a tiny pinch (or more if you want them to have the "salted" taste) of sea salt to the top of each cookie dough ball.
  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden and just set. Do not over bake. Allow to cool completely on cookie sheet. Store in a loosely covered container for 5-7 days.
http://arismenu.com/chocolate-chip-cookies/

Cookie Butter Streusel Banana Bread

Cookie Butter Streusel Banana Bread #vegan via www.arismenu.com

Soft and tender vegan banana bread swirled with creamy cookie butter and topped with a crumbly cookie butter & oat streusel. 

You know when there is a trendy clothing item that everyone starts wearing? First, you judge it (well…I do). Then, it starts to grow on you, and eventually curiosity gets the best of you, and you find yourself in a fitting room not even 100% sure why you’re trying this on, but then once it’s on your body you fall in so much love, and everything makes sense in the world?

Cookie Butter Streusel Banana Bread #vegan via www.arismenu.com

That’s how I feel about banana bread. One day, I opened my reader, and almost all of the food blogs I follow posted banana bread. I’ve never been one to think “OMG, I really want to make some banana bread!’, but that day all the cool kids were doing it, and I totally wanted to fit into their crowd.

Cookie Butter Streusel Banana Bread #vegan via www.arismenu.com

PS: I was NOT a cool kid in school. I was that awkward kid that fit into absolutely no social groups, and didn’t really have any friends until high school. Somehow awkward clothing choices, bad jokes, and an obsession for musical theatre don’t equal popularity? It’s a total mystery. But I mean, let’s be honest…those things still pretty much apply…

Cookie Butter Streusel Banana Bread #vegan via www.arismenu.com

Anyway, I was on a mission to make banana bread, but it couldn’t just be regular banana bread. That’s not the way I work. So I filled it with melted cookie butter, and topped it with what might be my favorite thing ever–cookie butter streusel.

Cookie Butter Streusel Banana Bread #vegan via www.arismenu.com

You guys. First of all, I made streusel with no butter. I didn’t think it was possible to achieve the right texture, but I did. Not only that, I made streusel with no flour, and, this streusel is…so….good. I wish I could give you a better description–I mean, it’s crumbly and it tastes buttery (magic), but words can’t describe how amazing it is, so we’ll stick with “….so….good.”

Cookie Butter Streusel Banana Bread #vegan via www.arismenu.com

And the banana bread? It’s so soft and that m word that I really hate. I really wanted the cookie butter to stand out, so I didn’t want to just mix it into the batter where the flavors get muted–that’s my biggest pet peeve about cookie butter (and Nutella for that matter) in baked goods. I wanted to sink my teeth in and get slapped in the face with cookie butter flavor. Can you think of anything better?

Cookie Butter Streusel Banana Bread #vegan via www.arismenu.com

I don’t think I can. This was one of those recipes that made my dance-around-my-kitchen-giddy, and I had to give it away to my family immediately so that I wouldn’t eat the entire loaf. It was that good.

Cookie Butter Streusel Banana Bread

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 12-16

Serving Size: 1 slice

Cookie Butter Streusel Banana Bread

Soft and tender vegan banana bread swirled with creamy cookie butter and topped with a crumbly cookie butter & oat streusel.

Ingredients

  • For the banana bread:
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 extra ripe medium bananas, mashed
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cookie butter or Biscoff spread, melted
  • For the cookie butter streusel:
  • 1/4 cup raw oats
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cookie butter or Biscoff spread

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9x5" loaf pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. Begin with banana bread. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together almond milk and apple cider vinegar. Let stand.
  3. In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat together mashed bananas, applesauce, sugars and vanilla until well combined. Add half the dry ingredients, followed by almond milk mixture, then remaining dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
  4. Pour half the batter into prepared loaf pan. Pour 1 cup melted cookie butter on top in an even layer. Top with remaining batter.
  5. To make the streusel, combine oats, brown sugar and 1 1/2 tbsp cookie butter. Mix by hand until ingredients are combined and form a crumbly texture. Sprinkle evenly over batter.
  6. Bake until golden and set, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean, about an hour. Cool completely. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
http://arismenu.com/cookie-butter-streusel-banana-bread/

 

Salted Triple Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirled Brownie Cookies

Salted Triple Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirled Brownie Cookies #vegan via www.arismenu.com

Salted Triple Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirled Brownie Cookies #vegan via www.arismenu.com I’m sorry. I know my title is so long. Ridiculously long. I promise I tried to change it, but I just needed to tell you all of those things about these cookies. They are too important to leave out.

Salted Triple Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirled Brownie Cookies #vegan via www.arismenu.com

 

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it, but my best friend from high school is having a baby!! She’s due in less than a month, and it’s so strange. I’ve seen a lot of people have kids, but never someone my age and close to me. It’s like we’re becoming adults, and I can’t even handle it.

Salted Triple Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirled Brownie Cookies #vegan via www.arismenu.com

I’ve also never been so excited for someone to have a baby. There are no two people in the entire universe that could make more amazing parents than Lisa and Sam. Whenever I need to talk something through, Lisa is one of the first people I call, and she is always so loving, supportive, and filled with amazing, insightful advice. It has been so amazing to watch her meet the perfect man who loves her like crazy, and watch them build their life together.

Salted Triple Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirled Brownie Cookies #vegan via www.arismenu.com

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending her baby shower. I’ve never been so excited for one of those things! I got totally emotional picking out her gifts. I came *this close* to making her black & white cookies, but I ended up deciding to try something new…like always. ;)

Salted Triple Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirled Brownie Cookies #vegan via www.arismenu.com

I just lightly adapted one of my favorite cookie recipes which was originally adapted by one of my very favorite bloggers, and I now might have a new favorite cookie. These cookies are not for those who love a mild taste, or feel luke warm about chocolate. Oh no, these are rich, bold, decadent, and insanely dark. They have the kind of intense chocolate flavor that satisfies you with just one cookie.

Salted Triple Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirled Brownie Cookies #vegan via www.arismenu.comI mean, don’t get me wrong…You will want to eat 3 or 4, but one really does the trick. I always find dark chocolate to be more satisfying than milk chocolate. Sometimes I prefer a milk chocolate taste, but it always leaves me craving more, where as dark chocolate satisfies my sweet tooth. Anyone else? Am I just a total freak?

Salted Triple Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirled Brownie Cookies #vegan via www.arismenu.com

I originally wanted to make my own peanut butter chips. Natural, no sweetener, “healthy”. But then I got impatient, and I didn’t chill the peanut butter nearly long enough, and as I stirred it in, it just started swirling around. I was totally bummed for a hot second, then decided to just go with it. I ended up LOVING the peanut butter swirl! So pretty, so peanut buttery, so right. One of those happy accidents.

Salted Triple Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirled Brownie Cookies #vegan via www.arismenu.com

Add a little bite with so coarse sea salt on top, and you’ve got the makings of a perfect cookie. All sorts of things happening, but all working perfectly together.

Salted Triple Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirled Brownie Cookies

Prep Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 1 dozen

Serving Size: 1 cookie

Salted Triple Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirled Brownie Cookies

Rich, decadent brownie cookies swirled with peanut butter and topped with sea salt. Vegan and whole grain.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup peanut butter, slightly melted
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • dash salt
  • 4 oz dark chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 tbsp apple butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks
  • Sea salt for topping

Instructions

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour peanut butter on in a thin layer. Transfer to the freezer to chill for 1 hour.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, corn starch and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together chocolate, vanilla, apple butter, and sugars until well combined,Add almond milk, then slowly beat in dry ingredients until just combined.
  4. Remove chilled peanut butter from parchment paper (it should be solid, but bendable. Gently, fold peanut butter and chocolate chips into batter. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat. Use a small cookie scoop to transfer dough to prepared cookie sheets. Add a small pinch of sea salt to each cookie. Press down dough balls to flatten slightly (they don’t spread when they bake, so if you don’t flatten them, you will end up with round cookies).
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes until just set. Do not over bake. They will continue to cook themselves as they sit. Let the cookies stand on the pan until completely cooled. Store in an airtight container for one week (these cookies stay pretty darn soft and gooey for days!).
http://arismenu.com/salted-triple-chocolate-peanut-butter-swirled-brownie-cookies/

Peanut Butter Chip Brownie Cookies

Peanut Butter Chip Brownie Cookies

This was the last thing I made in 2012, and let me tell you, it was a heck of a way to end out the year!Peanut Butter Chip Brownie Cookies

 

You see, our New Years Eve was realllll exciting. I had stopped drinking for taper (or I had said I was, then had a glass of champagne, then went to a wedding 2 weeks later, and well, ya know…), and we were all exhausted from the holidays. We went to a friends house, watched Looper (Matt’s choice) which I didn’t like at all, then watched Burlesque (my choice) which never gets old if you ask me.

Peanut Butter Chip Brownie Cookies

 

I’m not sure which part of my evening was better: these cookies, or Cher’s You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me. It’s a really tough choice, so I will say the best part of my evening was eating my weight in these cookies while watching Cher sing her heart out during her 11 o clock number.

Peanut Butter Chip Brownie Cookies

 

Fresh out of ideas from my overkill holiday baking, I hit up my girl Sally’s site for some inspiration. I knew I was craving something with chocolate and peanut butter, and I had some peanut butter chips I’d been wanting to use, so I looked for a base chocolate cookie recipe.

Peanut Butter Chip Brownie Cookies

 

I wasn’t surprised that Sally’s cookies delivered (her recipes are amaaaaazing), but I was pretty blown away by just how amazing these cookies were! They had the perfect flakey brownie top, and the middle was rich and gooey like a perfect batch of brownies, but in my favorite baked good. Can you tell cookies are my favorite thing to make? I think my recipe page speaks for itself. ;)

Peanut Butter Chip Brownie Cookies

 

The peanut butter chips add the perfect touch, and we all know that chocolate and peanut butter is the best combination since pb&j. Steve also said more than a few times that these were “the best cookies I’ve ever made”, and since we all know how many cookies I make, you know these are a must try!

 

Peanut Butter Chip Brownie Cookies

yield 2 dozen 

adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

  • 1/2 cup gluten-free baking blend (or white whole wheat flour)
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • dash salt
  • 4 oz dark chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 tbsp apple butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter chips

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together baking blend, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together chocolate, egg, vanilla, apple butter, and sugars until well combined, then slowly beat in dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in peanut butter chips. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat. Use a small cookie scoop to transfer dough to prepared cookie sheets. Use a small piece of parchment paper sprayed with nonstick spray to lightly press down dough balls to flatten slightly (they don’t spread when they bake, so if you don’t flatten them, you will end up with round cookies).
  4. Bake for 10 minutes until just set. Let stand for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for one week (these cookies stay pretty darn soft and gooey for days!).

Salted Caramel Mocha Cookies

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I’ll never forget the year Starbucks released their Salted Caramel Signature Hot Chocolate. It was simultaneously the best and worst holiday season ever. It didn’t take long for this perfect flavor combination to become a near every day occurrence in my life.

Did I mention I was living in northern Idaho at the time? It was cold, and nothing says comfort from the cold like a warm, rich, delicious drink. Except maybe a warm soft and chewy chocolate cookie filled with gooey caramel and topped with coarse sea salt. I knew as soon as my amazing friend Nicole shared some of her amazing caramels with me, that I wanted needed to make these cookies.

Do you feel comforted yet? Once upon a time I used to be the comforting one. I was the one everyone went to when they had a bad day, and I would listen and give tons of advice that I probably had no business giving because I was kind of a hot mess myself, but I was, like, 20 years old and thought I knew everything. You know how it goes. I had (ummm, wait…I still have…) a special “heart to heart” pillow. That’s a little embarrassing. You hold it while you cry then I feed you words that magically fix everything, and at the same time put an end to world hunger. I know, I am so cool.

These days however, I’m painfully aware that I know basically nothing, and so instead of pretending to be smart, I shove cookies in people’s face and call it “my way of showing I care”. Somehow, I think people prefer this.

I may not be a master with words, but I have to say, I am pretty much a master of soft, gooey cookies. I mess up a lot of things in the kitchen (including ending up with things that are kind-of-not-really-at-all-baked on a regular basis…), but I always have soft cookies, and these cookies are like biting into a dark chocolate mocha brownie, finding surprise caramel on the inside, and then getting the hint of salt that cuts through the sugar to provide perfect balance.

I wish I could solve all your problems by shoveling them into your mouth right at this moment. Keep me in mind for the next time, though…   Salted Caramel Mocha Cookies yield 20 cookies

  • 1/2 tbsp espresso powder
  • 1/4 cup Dutch process or Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup + 2 tbs white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup apple butter
  • 2/3 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg or 1/4 cup egg substitute
  • 10 caramels, halved
  • 2-3 tbs mini dark chocolate chips
  • coarse sea salt for topping (such as fleur de sel)
Directions:
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together espresso powder, cocoa powder, baking powder and flour. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together apple butter, sugar, vanilla and egg until well combined. Beat in dry ingredients. Cover dough and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 350. Form dough into 1″ balls. Press 1/2 caramel into the center of each ball and roll dough around until it is covering it completely, then place on lined baking sheet. Gently press a pinch of mini dark chocolate chips onto the top of each dough ball, then top with a pinch of salt.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes until the edges have set and cookies pull easily off of the baking sheet. Let stand for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

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There is no better combination than peanut butter and chocolate. It’s a proven fact.

I would also like to say that chocolate chunks > chocolate chips. Fact. Just call me the Chocolate Encyclopedia. Or the Chocolate Whisperer. I like the sound of that. You can picture me sitting in my kitchen whispering sweet nothings to my chocolate.

In college, my friends referred to me as the Musical Theatre Lexicon. I guess you could say when something’s important to me, I spend a lot of time with it. Like chocolate. And peanut butter.

I made these for my wonderful friend Emily’s birthday. Then I spent too much time taking pictures of them and was late to her party. Story of my life. The cookies were so good though. Like, really reallllllly good, so I like to think they made up for it ;)

You know what’s REALLY hard??? Not eating all the birthday cookies you baked for your friend. Especially when they are so gooey it’s practically like biting through a slightly crunchy shell into hot cookie dough with rich, bold dark chocolate pouring out from the inside. Not eating all the cookies = true friendship.

I’d had my eye on doing some chocolate chunk cookies for a while now. I recently read a post on making the perfect chocolate chip cookies, and the two things that stood out were that you should use more than one type of chocolate to keep the taste buds interested, and always very lightly salt the dough before it goes into the oven–not for the “salted cookie” effect, but just a tiny bit to contrast the sweetness and bring the most flavor out of the cookie, so that’s what I did. The result? Cookie heaven.

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

yield 1 dozen (these are BIG cookies)

  • 1 1/4 cups gluten-free baking blend (or white whole wheat flour)
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbs corn starch
  • 1/2 cup apple butter
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup water (+ corn starch = egg replacement)
  • 4 oz good quality dark chocolate, chopped into large chunks (I used a chili dark chocolate and an espresso dark chocolate, but any chocolate would be delicious)
  • sea salt for topping

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and corn starch. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the apple butter, peanut butter, sugars, and vanilla until smooth. Add water, followed by flour mixture and beat thoroughly. Fold in chocolate chunks. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Use a large cookie scoop (or your hands) to drop dough onto prepared cookie sheet. Lightly sprinkle the top of dough with sea salt.
  4. Bake for 14-18 minutes until just golden. Do not overbake. Let cookies stand on sheet for 2-3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Pumpkin Beer Cakes

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This recipe brought to you thanks to my amazing friend Polly.

One day she wrote on my facebook requesting “pumpkin beer pumpkin cupcakes”. You, my friend, are brilliant.

Is there anything that screams fall more than pumpkin cupcakes made with pumpkin freaking beer? And oooooomg. These are not only the softest cupcakes I have ever tasted (yes, EVER), but the pumpkin flavor is so bold, and tasted like absolute perfection. The top even got this incredible texture that I don’t even know how to describe–almost like a cookie with the slightest crunch on the edges and a perfectly gooey center? That’s kind of what happened here.

Obviously I had to make a pumpkin beer glaze to go on top. Duh.

Don’t get me wrong, the glaze is awesome, but I found the cupcakes to actually be perfect on their own. It depends on how sweet you like them. The glaze is reaaalllll sweet. I mean, glaze is essentially powdered sugar so, ya know… Steve loved the glaze (he likes his desserts with a side of insulin), but I preferred mine plain.

I’m telling you, before the season is over and you are totally sick of pumpkin (does that really happen to people!?), do yourself a favor and make these cupcakes. Then drink the rest of the beer because, well, it’s the holidays… ;)

 

Pumpkin Beer Cakes

yield 1 dozen

  • 6 tbs pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tbs turbinado sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tbs corn starch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • dash salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin beer + more for brushing the tops
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbs unsweetened vanilla almond milk

For the Pumpkin Beer Glaze

  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • dash salt
  • 1-2 tbs pumpkin beer

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Line 12 muffin tins with paper liners and spray lightly with nonstick spray.
  2. In a medium bowl combine flour, corn starch, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat together pumpkin and sugar. Combine almond milk, vanilla  and pumpkin beer in a measuring cup or small bowl.  Alternately add flour mixture with beer mixture to the pumpkin and sugar starting and ending with dry ingredients until combined, scraping down sides of the bowl when necessary.
  3. Evenly divide the mixture between the 12 muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.
  4. Let stand for 1-2 minutes, then use a toothpick or thin fork to poke several holes in each cupcakes. Brush each cupcake 2-3 times with extra pumpkin beer and let stand for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. If you would like to add the glaze, combine powdered sugar, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a medium bowl. Very slowly, add in pumpkin beer whisking constantly until it reaches your desired thickness. Careful, a small amount of liquid goes a long way with powdered sugar. Glaze cupcakes and serve.

 

 

Chocolate Chip Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

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If you had to choose only one cookie to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?

For me, it’s definitely a toss up between oatmeal and peanut butter, but then you have to take into account black and white cookies which, you know, could solve all of our problems.

Okay, so can we just talk for a second about that moment you search for something strange on the internet, or at least you think  it’s strange, and then a few words in, it pops up all the way because so many other people searched for it too? It makes me giggle. I didn’t realize how many other Seinfeld fanatics were out there searching for the black and white cookie episode on youtube. Turns out, there are tons of crazies out there just.like.me. Scary thought. Look out world.

You know what else is scary??? My “baby” brother just got his freaking learners permit. You see, I’m so much older than him (wahhh) that most of his life I referred to him as my baby brother, but somehow he got to be 15, and I got to be pushing 30 (well, I mean I’m pushing it from a distance, I guess, but still, IT’S LOOMING), and the world as I knew it has ended. I can’t even handle it.

And he had to go and do it on marathon week when I am an emotional basket case. Rude. Umm, today I got teary eyed IN FRONT OF MY STUDENTS when I spoke the word “marathon”. I should be locked away until this thing is over.

Okay, so back to the cookies. “Look to the cookie, Elaine.” Sorry. Go watch the video on youtube, and that will make sense. These cookies would definitely be on my list if I had to choose one to eat for the rest of my life. I kinda feel like I’ve developed my perfect oatmeal cookie recipe, and I keep coming up with different variations on it, but the basics stay the same, and it all started with this cookie. The edges just slightly brown, the soft is so gooey that you would swear I used a Paula Dean portion of butter (spoiler alert: I used none), and they have the perfect amount of sweetness for my taste–somewhere between diabetic coma and healthy tasting. ;)

I made these for an event my mom was attending, and they were a huge hit. Everyone that tasted them fell just as in love as I did. Also, they’re vegan so some of my awesome friends can enjoy them too!

 

Chocolate Chip Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

yield 3 dozen

  • 1 1/2 cup white whole wheat Flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • dash salt
  • 1 tbs cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup apple butter
  • 1 1/2 tbs coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, not packed
  • 1/4 cup water or unsweetened almond milk (+ the corn starch = egg replacement)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup reduced fat unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup mini dark chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and corn starch. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together apple butter, coconut oil, sugar, water/almond milk and vanilla until combined. Slowly beat in dry ingredients, then fold in oats and coconut, followed by the chocolate chips.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and drop cookies onto the sheet using a small cookie scoop.
  4. Bake for 12 minutes until golden. Let stand on cookie sheet for 3-5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.