that's forking good

adventures in a culinary neophyte's kitchen

Posts Tagged ‘cookies’

chocolate-covered strawberry paleo pancakes

Posted by culinaryneophyte on January 19, 2015

Thank you to Mrs. Thinsters for featuring my breakfast on their social media channel!

paleo chocolate-covered strawberry pancakes with Mrs. Thinsters brownie batter cookie thin crumbs.

chocolate-covered strawberry pancakes with Mrs. Thinsters brownie batter cookie crumbs.

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paleo mocha chocolate chip cookies

Posted by culinaryneophyte on December 10, 2014

paleo mocha chocolate chip cookiesFor the last few years, I’ve been participating in a cookie exchange with the same group of girls — past and present soccer teammates who have become good friends. And while I love catching up with them, I have to admit, it’s become a biz (yeah, that’s short for biznatch) coming up with a new recipe each year to top the previous year’s cookie.

This year, I went with the cookies I made for my fantasy football draft a few years back. In searching for an idea, though, I realized I don’t have all that many cookie recipes on here, so here’s a new one — paleo mocha chocolate chip cookies.

Now, they’re gluten free and made with natural ingredients, but they are still cookies. Please don’t think you can eat 100 and be chiseled. (Challenge accepted!)

From Paleo Spirit
♦2 1/3 c. almond meal/flour
♦1/2 c. cocoa powder
♦1/2 tsp. sea salt.
♦1/2 tsp. baking soda
♦2 tsp. instant espresso powder
♦1 tbs. vanilla extract
♦1/2 c. coconut oil, melted
♦1/2 c. coconut nectar
♦3/4 dark chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life)

Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl. Combine wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Add in chocolate chips. Form dough into 1/2-inch balls and place on parchment paper. Press each ball down to form a disc. (They do not flatten on their own.) Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Total time? 20 minutes prep and bake.
Cost? $9.98 almond meal, $7.99 coconut oil, $2.99 chocolate chips, $7.49 coconut nectar
Overall success relative to expectations? 10 out 10. Whenever something is labeled #paleo or “clean” or whatever, people assume it won’t be as tasty as the “real” thing. (Funny to put that in quotation marks when it actually means real, but is referring to what everyone has come to accept as real… which is fake. How meta.) These are legitimately good. I brought them to a tailgate, and no one could tell they were “caveman cookies.” This recipe is very simple and the mix goes a long way, but the ingredients are on the pricier side. If you aren’t on a strict paleo diet, it may not be worth the investment; but if you are or you don’t care about budget, see what you think.

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on Sunday morning

Posted by culinaryneophyte on September 29, 2014

chocolate coconut pancakesThis weekend, we held a surprise retirement party for my dad, who’s retiring early and moving to NC to play golf all day, erryday. In catching up with family friends whom I have not seen in years, I got a lot of questions about whether or not I’m still writing — for work (barely) or in my blog (embarrassingly little). It is one of those things I think about almost on a daily basis, but life has been flying by — more so this year than ever before — and so many things have been pushed aside if they are not of the utmost priority.

(And yes, pretty much every post I publish here now is some sort of apology and/or promise to write more. This is no exception.)

To be honest, Instagram has taken the place of my blog because it’s “Twitter for people who can’t read,” and I can post from my phone while I’m laying in bed worrying about all the things I didn’t get done today and all the things on the horizon for tomorrow. If you are interested in checking out my latest creations, please follow me on IG, @thejerc. I will also try to make a better effort to post them here to at least keep you drooling.

In other news, these are the pancakes I made yesterday morning using AboutTime chocolate coconut protein as part of the sauce and these fancy new little brownie thins from Mrs. Thinsters. I tried them at a festival in Philly this weekend, and they’re delicious. I can’t wait to use them on top of my “protein ice cream” and other assorted goodies. (Also, big thanks to them for the recent shout out on social media!)

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cookies & cupcakes combined

Posted by culinaryneophyte on May 24, 2013

cookies & cupcakes combined

Some food porn for your Friday: special birthday cupcakes for my good friend!

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are you ready for some baseball?!

Posted by culinaryneophyte on March 31, 2013

It’s pretty rare to find someone [at least in my generation] who doesn’t get the reference, “You’re killing me, Smalls.” And if they do give you a quizzical look, well then they probably deserve the Scotty Smalls comparison. The Great Bambi?!

smore cookies

Anyway. My point is “The Sandlot” may not have won Best Picture in 1993, but from my comedy-loving, film-novice standpoint, it’s a classic. Bunch of ragtag kids playing America’s game, trash talking crosstown rivals, talking to specter Babe Ruth and taming James Earl Jones’ scary dog. Who doesn’t get chills hearing, “Heroes get remembered, but legends never die”? And what prepubescent boy didn’t dream of having cajones big enough to pull a Squints and kiss the hot lifeguard at the pool?

I’ll bet you knew about s’mores before you saw Sandlot, but it’s hard to put one together without recounting the treehouse scene in which Squints lays out the “s’more stuff” and demonstrates proper construction techniques. When it came time for me to choose a dessert to make for my fantasy baseball draft last weekend, I thought s’more cookies was an apropos (albeit, slightly contrived) offering. When the boys made the connection, I heard, “It’s nice to have a woman’s touch in this league.” They probably would have said that even if I brought some box mix cookies, but hey, whatever.

Happy MLB 2013, everyone!

Slightly adapted from Lindsey’s Kitchen
Makes about 40 cookies
♦2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. unsalted butter, melted
1 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
1 tbs. vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 c. mini chocolate chips
1 c. graham cracker crumbs
1 1/2 c. mini marshmallows
2 bars of milk chocolate or bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. In mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugars until fluffy. Beat in egg, egg white and vanilla. Slowly mix in dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips and graham cracker crumbs. Drop tablespoons of dough on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes, and remove from oven. Press one small square of chocolate and a few marshmallows into each cookie. Bake for 3 more minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes. Transfer for wire rack to cool completely (or steal a bite of a hot, melty, delicious cookie).

Calories? 76 calories per serving (based on approx. 40 cookies made).
Total time?
 30 minutes prep and bake.
Cost? $2.69 mini chocolate chips, $3 chocolate bars, $1 marshmallows, $2.50 graham crackers
Overall success relative to expectations? 10 out 10. These cookies were soft and delicious, packed with a little bit of s’more stuff in each bite. They were most delicious fresh out of the oven, which can be easily recreated by a few seconds in the microwave. My fellow fantasy baseball managers obliterated the plate of these before the sixth round, so I take it they were a success. I’m not a big sweets girl, but I absolutely loved these. I’d eat them — dare I say? — FOR. EV. ER. FOR. EV. ERRRRR.

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reverse Samoa

Posted by culinaryneophyte on February 16, 2013

“Clean eating”  and “Paleo” are all over the place these days, and I’m kind of intrigued. Generally speaking, the Paleo diet focuses on eating like a caveman — things that were around 10,000 years ago, like meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, healthful oils, etc. I still need to do some research, but from what I can tell, the biggest difference is that clean eaters can have grains and Paleo followers should not.

I’m in the middle of the Insanity workout, playing soccer four days a week and trying to reduce (ideally eliminate, but one step at a time) the bad-for-you things I occasionally put in my body. And we’re still in the thick of Girl Scout cookie season, so that’s not always an easy task, especially when you have a weakness for the delicious, caramely, coconuty Samoas. Fortunately, Elana’s Pantry posted a Paleo Samoa recipe that caught my eye, and I decided to try out my first caveman confection.

paleo samoas

A few notes: I don’t think budget is an excuse for eating poorly; if you plan it right, you can buy a week’s worth of healthy foods for the same amount as two meals at Wendy’s. That being said, clean eating is expensive. More than likely, you will have to hit a more specialized supermarket like Wegmans, Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods to find what you’re looking for, and you’re going to pay significantly more. It’s up to you to weigh the pros and cons.

Also, I botched two steps in this recipe, so these cookies are like, the Samoa’s cousin — a reverse Samoa if you will. (I stupidly dipped the tops of the cookies in the chocolate instead of the bases, and then I put the toasted coconut in the chocolate instead of the caramel.) There are a lot of steps in this recipe, but nothing too challenging. They are coated with dark chocolate and drizzled with a vegan caramel. The end result is a tasty organic cookie that serves as a healthier bit of indulgence at the end of your meal (or in the middle of the day when you’re craving something sweet…which happened to me three times today — eek!).

Paleo Samoas – Makes about 30 cookies
♦2 c. almond meal

♦1/2 c. unsweetened shredded coconut
♦1/2 tsp. baking soda
♦1/4 c. honey
♦1 tbs. vanilla extract
♦1 egg
♦3 tbs. coconut oil, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor (recommended — I admittedly used my Kitchen Aid mixer), combine almond meal, coconut and baking soda. Pulse in honey, vanilla, egg and melted coconut oil until dough forms. Put the dough in the freezer for 30 minutes or until firm. Roll dough between two pieces of parchment paper until 1/4 inch thick. Use a 2-inch round cookie cutter to cut out cookies. You may also cut out holes in the middle for a more authentic-looking Samoa. Bake on parchment paper for 6-8 minutes. Allow cookies to cool completely before dipping.

♦1/2 c. unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted
1 c. dark chocolate chunks
1 c. coconut sugar
1/4 c. coconut nectar
1/2 c. coconut milk

In a double boiler, melt dark chocolate. Meanwhile, toast coconut in toaster oven until just browned. In a separate saucepan, combine sugar, nectar and milk. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 10 minutes. Once cookies are cooled, dip the base of each cookie in the chocolate mixture and place on parchment paper to set. Remove caramel from heat and mix in toasted coconut. Drizzle a small amount of caramel over each cookie. If desired, top with additional chocolate and/or toasted coconut. Allow to set in the fridge.

Calories? About 95 calories per cookie.
Total time?
 8 minutes baking, 10 minutes for caramel, 10 minutes prep.
Cost? $8.57 almond meal, $8.49 coconut oil, $2.50 dark chocolate chunks, $7.49 coconut nectar, $1.99 coconut milk, $5.49 shredded coconut
Overall success relative to expectations? 8 out 10. These cookies have certainly opened my eyes to how great a “clean” dessert can taste. They’re not necessarily low-calorie, but I felt less guilty about dessert knowing that all the ingredients are organic. As I mentioned, I didn’t follow the directions exactly and these don’t look much like Samoas (nor are they very pretty in general), but they sure were tasty. I docked points only because I felt they were a little light on coconut. It’s best to keep these in the fridge (and I prefer to eat them on the colder side). One other thing worth mentioning is that the caramel is very sticky and you may end up with a little in your teeth after the cookie is gone. Small price to pay, though, amIright?

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