raw pistachio cookies. {gluten-free, vegan}

we are leaving for LA in just a couple of short weeks. nick has a large convention & a few conferences he will be attending for work. the sunshine is desperately needed. i am eagerly, and somewhat restlessly, awaiting its warmth. who knows how alarmingly low my vitamin D levels could be after the cluster of depressingly gloomy, snowy, sleety days we have been experiencing off & on for months here in colorado?! i swore i would take a supplement last winter but somehow it slipped my mind. this mini get-away honestly could not be coming at a better time. i want to frolic on all of the beaches along the OC area west coast in my brand new suit. bathe in the sun [with sunscreen of course], enjoy the little cottage-feeling bungalow where we’ll be staying & maybe take a drive — either down to tijuana [where our safety may be questionable] so that i can relive my glory days as a child during my first trip to mexico — or up to a couple of vineyards in the madera|fresno area. both are fabulously within driving distance. & i’m sure both would be equally as exciting. nick has been trying to talk me into a kid-less disneyland visit for months. i suppose we wouldn’t feel so guilty, being as we just stopped off at disney with the kiddos when we were coming back from hawaii in november. LA is my second favorite US city, just down the list from chicago. i love the people. i love the sunny days. the beach. the food. and everything else that the entire state of california has to offer up & down the western coast. hiking. seafood. activities. they have it all. i mean, don’t they?

i was going to have these cookies up last weekend. & as promised, but late, here they are. . .

DSC_0077

DSC_0140

DSC_0084

extra delicious & full of nutrients — this recipe from Miryam Quinn Doblas, RD, is listed exactly as i found it from nuts.com. direct link listed at the bottom as always and i have included a link to Miryam’s site as well! enjoy!! xx.

DSC_0105

DSC_0137

Cookies:
Filling:

Instructions

  1. Place the cookie ingredients in your food processor and pulse until combined or until the mixture comes together. Place the mixture between two pieces of plastic wrap, and use a rolling pin to roll the cookie dough until it becomes about 1/2 inch thick. With a round cookie cutter, cut cookies out until you have no more dough. Set the cookies in the freezer for 5-10 minutes to harden.
  2. In the meantime, prepare the filling by placing the ingredients in the food processor and pulsing the mixture until it is nice and smooth.
  3. Take the cookies out of the freezer and scoop about 1-2 tablespoons of the filling over half of the cookies. Place another cookie on top of the filling to assemble the cookie sandwiches.
  4. Enjoy immediately or store cookies in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

DSC_0093

recipe courtesy — Miryam Quinn Doblas, RD via nuts.com — Miryam’s website, eatgood4life.com, can be found by following the link provided!

mexican hot chocolate cookies.

i seriously think i purchased one of everything — so many different styles and heights of thigh-high, knitted and crocheted leg warmers, socks, tights & footless leggings. they are all so adorable. urban outfitters tends to suck me in — guilty as charged. i have been wanting some for a long time. .just to lounge around the house in with my baggy, jack butler flannel while knitting, crafting or baking. who can resist a flannel with yoga shorts and thigh-high socks?! not i. not i. i felt it only necessary after all i had gone through over the past several weeks with my donor cycle, that i was totally entitled to a splurge purchase of comfort & sheer joy [ie. socks are a purchase of comfort & joy, right? they fit that bill? thought so.] nick was all for it and i’m now so glad i did because today was a (very chilly!) snow-day! those socks kept my legs happily warm and comfortable.

DSC_0057

the kids didn’t have to go in to school. even nick got to stay in with me & snuggle up under the warm covers this morning because the wind was strong and the snow, heavy & wet, was accumulating more and more as the morning went on. he had forgotten to bring his laptop home from work last night so he actually wound up completely having the day off today. i was totally glad because we got to lie in bed for a while longer and it was a lazy day for the most part [aside from a scheduled dental appointment for dristyn and two trips to the store for necessities, argh]. looking past the blinds, we could see the ice building up into mini mountains around the window frames and the snow drifting heavily in the wind so it was hard to even make anything out that was further than right outside the window.

DSC_0071

i had some cookie dough left over from a couple of days ago so i baked up a few of these spicy, soft cookies to keep everyone’s bellies extra warm this afternoon.

DSC_0097

i hate that i found this recipe on lauren conrad’s site. okay, okay — secretly i sort of loved her back in the day. when i was in my late teenage years. i would watch all of those shows. but now, i’d never tell a soul. aside from all of the souls reading this blog [thanks for stopping by!].

DSC_0108

i was searching for something super chocolate-ee to make the other day because nick wanted chocolate cake and i came across these by happenstance. by the way, can i just interject and mention that nick could possibly be the luckiest partner ever because i would honestly bake anything for that cute boy. all he needs do is ask. anyway, the cookies — they are listed up on her site from a resident baker, Lauren Lowstan from A Sweet Savory. i have the recipe and link listed below! these cookies may be the most wonderful things in the whole wide world with a satisfying combination of spicy and sweet. {ladies — seriously. if you are in dire need of chocolate, definitely try this recipe out!!} i increased the cayenne pepper by just a bit and added some ancho chile powder [because, well, i loooove spicy and i also always put ancho into my mexican hot cocoa so it only seemed fitting for the cookies as well]. HAPPY BAKES! xx.

DSC_0083

i listed the recipe just as is on the site. i generally don’t like to specifically list out other people’s recipes|instructions on my site {which is exactly why i put links in, so that you may find them yourselves!} but i think it actually may be easier for people visiting if it’s right here. i’ve sited the source and so if you’d like to, visit the page — there is still a link listed below! without further ado. . . .

recipe courtesy Lauren Lowstan via Lauren Conrad’s website — {links can be found at the very bottom of the page}

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chunks (or substitute chocolate chips)

Instructions:

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, add sugar and canola oil and whisk until combined. Whisk in eggs and vanilla extract until thoroughly combined
  • In a separate bowl, whisk all of the dry ingredients together.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix with a spatula just until combined. Add the chocolate chunks and mix until distributed evenly. Tip: Do not over mix your cookie dough, or it will be rough! The dough should be looser than your average cookie dough.
  • With a cookie scoop (preferably a 2 tbsp. size) scoop out cookies onto parchment lined cookie sheet, about 1.5″ apart from one another.
  • Set in fridge for 10 to 15 minutes or until cookies harden a little.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Push cookies down a little with the palm of your hand so that they are more flat than dome shaped.
  • Bake in preheated oven for about 8 minutes, until the edges are set and the center doesn’t look raw. Cookies will continue to bake once they are out of the oven. (I like my cookies extra fudgy, so bake more or less depending on your preference!). Enjoy!

recipe courtesy Lauren Lowstan via laurenconrad.com.

 

oatmeal cranberry sandwich cookies.

these sandwich cookies were supposed to be up last month but time has been running through my fingertips as quickly as beach sand and blogging has been sitting comfortably at #50 on my priority list.

DSC_0007

DSC_0080

the white chocolate cream filling in this recipe is spot-on taste wise — however, i would say try to thin it a tad if you can.

DSC_0069

DSC_0122

the cookies are chewy and wonderful when they are baked just to doneness, no more. mine came out a bit too crispy so i chalked it up to a baking lesson for next time. 🙂 the recipe link is listed at the bottom. xx.

DSC_0024

DSC_0134

recipe courtesy — two peas & their pod.

mini meringues.

i always choose recipes based off of the images. and these tiny beauties caught my eye while i was searching for the perfect valentine’s day meringue cookies to bake for the family.

DSC_0049

they are elegant & simple to make. .& along with a super sweet crunch they pack a serious explosion of flavor depending upon the essences you choose to use. i followed this recipe precisely as meringues are still fairly unfamiliar to me & egg whites can be tricky to work with. overall, i was incredibly pleased with the results aside from a few air bubbles.

DSC_0080

the raspberry & vanilla were a perfect combination. xx.

recipe courtesy — food for my family.

maple & flax peanut butter chunk cookies.

i have been wanting to put together my version of a peanut butter cookie since fall began. something that would compliment the cool weather & leave traces of pure maple syrup sticking around after each bite.

DSC_0004

these ones have ground flax [which can easily be omitted should you prefer].

maple & flax peanut butter chunk cookies

3/4 C turbinado sugar

3 Tbsp. dark brown sugar, packed

2/3 C unsalted butter, room temp

2 large eggs, room temp

1 C peanut butter

1 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste

2 Tbsp pure maple syrup, grade b

2 C all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 Tbsp flaxseed, ground just prior to use {optional}

1 C peanut butter cups, loosely chopped {optional}

pre-heat oven to 350°. cream together the sugars & butter until thoroughly combined (2-3 minutes). while these are mixing, in a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients including ground flaxseed. return to the sugar/butter mixture and to it, add the eggs. mix for one minute more. add peanut butter, vanilla bean paste & maple syrup. continue mixing with the paddle attachment until all ingredients have been equally incorporated. in three separate installments, add dry ingredients to the wet mixture — combining after each addition, only until mixed. once you have a batter ready, stir in chopped peanut butter cups if desired. roll cookies out using a large cookie scoop & place on an unbleached parchment lined plate. freeze for 30+ minutes. transfer the parchment paper to a cookie sheet & bake for 15 minutes. you may need to adjust the baking time just a bit. i had to leave mine in for a few extra minutes. xx

DSC_0008

wintery ginger crinkles.

he got hit pretty hard. the reverb of his helmet caused an even bigger blow. the very next day while resting, he asked me if i could make him some gingerbread cookies. my heart did that thing that all mom hearts do when their kids ask for cookies — it melted. and i said yes.

DSC_0024

DSC_0022

only — it was far too early for gingerbread men per say. we still had a good three months until christmas. so i came up with a recipe for ginger crinkles instead. crinkles are the best. covered in sugar of different sorts. . . .sugar that seeps into the giant ravines, splitting through the tops of the cookies down into the middle where they’re soft & warm.

DSC_0013-2

wintery ginger crinkles

2 ¾ C. all-purpose flour [i started with 2 ½ C. of flour but wound up using extra because we are at high-altitude. I think you could easily get away with using 2 ½ C. of flour if you are at a lower altitude.]

¼ tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

1 C. butter, softened and cut into cubes

¾ C. brown sugar, packed

¼ C. granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

¼ C. molasses

1 ½ tsp. ground ginger

1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon

½ tsp. ground cloves

additional granulated sugar, for dusting the tops

chill dough in the freezer for at least one hour prior to baking. i like to scoop my cookies out before freezing as it makes it simpler once the cookies are ready to be put into the oven. but you can do it either way. pre-heat oven to 375°. line a cookie sheet with unbleached parchment paper. using a large cookie/ice cream scooper, scoop out large balls of dough [all as evenly sized as you can muster] onto an unbleached parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. dip the tops of each scoop/ball into the granulated sugar. bake for 15-17 minutes. allow cookies to cool on a cooling rack – but eat a few while they’re warm.

chewy m&m monster mash-ups.

i meticulously picked at three different recipes [much like a bird] for quite a while. . . .

DSC_0195

. . . .before eventually getting frustrated, including some of my own additives and cobbling together a finalized, frankenstein sort of ingredient list.

DSC_0192

DSC_0197

up until now, i really haven’t been ballsy enough to play around with ingredients in recipes, nor attempt to concoct my very own. however, i took it upon myself this week during some down-time that i had — and the first two creations were a very large success!

DSC_0203

DSC_0204

i happened to surprise even myself a bit.

DSC_0208

sometimes school-days can be rough for the kids. and the start of the week is usually the absolute worst for everyone. so i wanted everybody to feel that mom-love with freshly baked cookies straight out of the oven when they got home last monday.

DSC_0210

‘end-of-day’ times tend to vary. and so i was popping batches of cookies in left & right — until every last person had received one [piping hot, of course] when they came in.

DSC_0206-2

xx.

chewy m&m monster mash-ups

1 C. butter, softened

1 C. brown sugar

1/2 C. granulated sugar

1 large egg + the yolk of another large egg

1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract

2 1/4 C. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 C. rolled oats

3/4 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips

2/3 C. butterscotch chips

1 C. M&M’s (any variety — i used 1/2 C. peanut M&M’s, 1/2 C. mini M&M’s)

1/4 C. M&M’s (any variety) for topping the cookies prior to baking

you know how to mix it, stir it & scoop it. freeze for at least 45 minutes prior to baking (i let mine sit in the freezer for 60). 325°. 15-18 minutes. additional dough balls may be frozen for later use.