Chocolate Coconut Trail Mix.

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You know this time of year, when the days are still short, the weather is cold in a way that keeps you inside with a warm cup of tea and a blanket, and you’re just waiting for spring. But this time of year is also one of my favorite times of year because it is an actual, honest-to-god cookie season. It’s Girl Scout Cookie season, and it comes but once every 365 days. (As seasons tend to do…) Sometimes, I celebrate by turning the most perfect of all cookies (debate me on which one if you’d like, but I’ll say that chocolate, coconut, and caramel always wins), the Samoa, into ice cream.

But since I can’t eat ice cream all day, mainly because it wouldn’t survive the subway trip, there are other ways to pull out the very best of the Samoa cookie, the chocolate, nutty coconut, the crunch and the sweetness and turn it into an all-day, everyday sort of snack. Trail mix is one way. And with this chocolate coconut trail mix, you really get a bag full of something you can haul around. On the subway, to the dinner table, at the movie theater…man. If you had problems with limiting the amount of Samoas you consume, I actually recommend against this snack. But if you’re daring and strong of heart and stomach and not particularly prone to sugar rush, the recipe is here.

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Chocolate Walnut Rugelach.

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The holidays are back and with them, butter, sugar, spice and truly, everything nice. It’s not my fault I get them mixed up though? Brisket and rugelach for Christmas? Sounds about right. After all, if it’s wrapped in a cream cheese dough, it really fits in with any and al holidays. Because really, what’s better for a rainy holiday morning than something rolled and filled with a ground chocolate and spices?

Oh yeah. Sticky buns rolled with cinnamon and sugar. Babka baked through with chocolate and topped with streusel. I guess I have a thing for rolling and filling pastry.

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Woops. You’ve caught me. Once a year Christmas rolls around and with it, something baked and well…rolled. The best part—aside from pure and absolute deliciousness—is that a rolled pastry is always more impressive and looks like more work than it actually is. 30 cookies later, you don’t know how you ended up with such cute little cookies. And then you turn around and half of them are gone.

How did that happen?

Recipe on the following page.

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Banana Chocolate Chip Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting.

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Oh hello, cake it’s been a long time.

It’s not like I’ve been ghosting as a healthy baker, cook, and eater.

No, that would be silly.  And false. Want proof? Here it is in all it’s peanut-butter-frosted, chocolate chip studded banana-scented glory. Fair warning: This cake is heavy. I’m talking maybe should have spent more time doing light reps with free weights in the gym heavy. (I found that it was less heavy once inside bellies, so perhaps the tactic here is to simply eat the cake, instead of attempting to carry it around.)

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For all the lovers of banana bread out there, who maybe like to toast a slice and spread it with Nutella or peanut butter, this is the cake for you.  Because what this cake is, at it’s core, is a very moist, rich banana bread, dressed up in peanut butter frosting.

And you know what? There’s nothing wrong with that.

Recipe on the following page. 

Continue reading “Banana Chocolate Chip Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting.”

Chocolate Cake with Almond Flour.

 

It’s happened: I’ve gone healthy. Well, as healthy as a chocolate-cake for breakfast kind of person can be. And to be truthful, I’m healthiest during the 9-to-5, kind of like a dieting vampire. Abstain from the indulgence during the daylight hours and such. But who knew that better for you desserts could taste so good? With a few simple tweaks and careful portioning, this dark chocolate wonder cake can be gluten free and quite tasty. Rich enough to satisfy. Holy cow. Holy chocolate cow, where’s the milk? Head on over to BetterForYou for the recipe and to catch more recipe remakes.

Breakfast Cookies.

Something terrible happened. Something life changing.

I came to the realization that I can’t, everyday, eat cookies, pastries, cakes, and the likes for breakfast. Six days a week, fine, pastry and butter-filled heaven. But seven days a week? That’s just too much sugar for breakfast.

I know, I shed a couple tears too.

Ah the responsibilities of growing up. Limiting yourself to six pastries a week.

I making big adult strides as it turns out.

But since cookies and sweets for breakfast are really a phenomenal thing, the best thing perhaps to start off a day alongside a cup of coffee. And so I give you…fat-free(ish) cookies. What’s more, they’re made with beans.

Of course, they’re not totally fat free. Because even in my new adult state, I couldn’t bake up a batch of any kind of cookie without chocolate chips and an egg or two. Sorry, but that’s just a couple steps too far.

Absurd you say, bean cookies sound ridiculous. But here’s the thing, as far as a cookie-hybrid goes, as far as trying to eat a ‘healthy’ cookie instead of something loaded with, you know, butter, these are pretty darn good cookies. They’re studded with loads of chocolate, raisins, and walnuts and glossing over the fact they’re sans fat for the most part, they taste of everything an oatmeal cookie should be. Cinnamon, vanilla, the rustic texture of oats. They’re good cookies, especially warm and with a cup of coffee. True, they are not the full-fat cookies you love and crave, but they’re delicious as a healthier breakfast. What’s more, they’re good for you, as far as cookies go. Protein-filled with loads of flavor.

If eating beans hidden in my cookies means I can eat cookies for breakfast, that’s something I can get behind. Of course, I understand if this whole healthy episode has traumatized you, dear readers. Never fear, while I’m eating these healthy cookies at least a couple times a week, there are still those (couple) days a week when I’m eating full-fat, sugar drenched, and frosted things at well. As it turns out, I’m not quite ready to act like an adult at every breakfast.

Recipe on the following page.

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Coconut Cream Pie.

Genius happens everyday and it’s there, always. It hides behind bookcases, follows you down sidewalks, hangs out in trees. Specifically, genius in food is everywhere. It’s in the perfectly crafted cortado, nestled amongst dim sum plates on that little cart. Genius is the perfectly dipped hard chocolate shell on a soft serve cone. It’s the brilliant balance of caramelized onions, gooey cheese, and butter-grilled rye bread on a patty melt. Sometimes however genius surprises, even when you should be expecting it. Enter the Coconut Cream Pie at Tartine in San Francisco. Beautiful and petite, it looks as delicious as a pie has the right to be. And yet, there is a bit of hidden genius beneath that cool custard and peaked cream.

It’s there, in the perfectly thin chocolate and salted caramel layers underneath the whipped cream and coconut custard. Those two layers keep the crust dry and flaky, and add that necessary, surprising, and absolutely fantastic hint of salty sweetness. Those two hidden layers are pure genius, the kind of addition that makes any other coconut cream pie seem incomplete. From that first bite forward, it’s clear that no other coconut cream pie should ever be sans those two perfect layers. After all, nobody likes soggy crust, and everybody likes salted caramel and bittersweet chocolate.

The chocolate is painted onto the crust in a layer so thin so as not to be obtrusive yet still be effective as a moisture barrier. And while the caramel is just a frivolous flavor addition, it’s genius to be sure. A show-off kind of genius.

Which as it turns out is great, when it comes in pies. All pies should contain a bit of genius. One could argue, in fact, that most delicious pies already do.

Recipe on the following page.

Snowdrop Cookies.

As it’s 80 degrees outside consistently day to day now, it’s time to retire cake for breakfast. It’s officially the end of spring, or summer if the sky would have us believe and while cake is appropriate for cold weather breakfast, cookies are the new hot thing for endless summer days.

One day, yes, all my teeth will fall out. Most likely earlier than average, considering the amount of sugar going into my breakfasts. But that day is not now, or even later this week and thus, it’s cookies for breakfast.

A little chocolate here, bittersweet and white together, combined for a perfect brownie-like bite. Counteract the richness with a healthy dose of pristine powdered sugar and hello Snowdrops.

It’s summer outside but in the cookie jar, it’s only winter. Snowdrops, or chocolate crackle cookies, are one of those lovely baked goods that are more impressive in appearance that one would expect, considering how easy they are to make. A little rolling of the dough, a powdered sugar bath and voila! Snowdrop cookies by the dozen.

Eventually I suppose, I’ll have to sit down and make a real breakfast. One with flax, orange juice, and maybe some wheat toast, a breakfast that is lacking in large quantities of sugar. There’ll be no sugar in my coffee, no cookies in sight. But hey, I’m about a month off from the end of school. I think a couple cookies are in order.

Recipe on the following page.