Sunflower Seed Butter (Sunbutter) Ginger Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Sunflower seed butter is made from roasted sunflower seeds. NOT RAW. Found this out the hard way… after trying to pulverize raw sunflower seeds in the Vita-Mix to only come out with grayish, powdery, thick … something.

I roasted the unappetizing mess at 350° for 25 minutes to try to redeem myself, and it worked! The roasted seeds dispersed their oils beautifully, and in no time I had roasted sunflower seed butter. Two cups. From 12 ounces of seeds.

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What to do, what to do? Besides shoveling it in by the spoonful taking little licks from the knife?

A paleo cookie! Naturally. A paleo cookie = a flourless cookie, usually made with a nut butter, an egg or two, some baking necessities (powder, soda, vanilla, etc), a little bit of sweetener and some spices. Generally, a very delectable treat. However, something kind of turns me off from eating what is basically straight-up nut butter in cookie form. Filling yes, but high in fat… Even though it’s good fat. I like to have fifths seconds or thirds of desserts like cookies… especially healthier cookies.

So, this led to the addition of oats! No longer strictly paleo, but I don’t subscribe to any one “diet/lifestyle” and just eat what I find works for me. And I LOVE oats.

And what goes with peanut butter, or sunbutter?

… Ginger. Obviously.

Oh, and chocolate.

 

Sunflower Seed Butter (Sunbutter) Ginger Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Eat Well, Adventure Well

1 cup sunbutter (or other nut butter) (I used my homemade one, to which I added some sea salt and roasted flaxseed)

1/3 cup honey

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 to 1 teaspoon cinnamon

dash salt

1/4 cup minced ginger, chopped finely

1 to 2 cups oats

chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350° and line a pan with parchment paper.

Mix everything but the oats and chocolate chips in a medium-sized bowl. Add the oats, more or less depending on the consistency and how you prefer your ratio of oats to nut butter.

Dollop the “dough” by the tablespoonful and top with 4-5 chocolate chips per cookie; press down to flatten a bit.

Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown.

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These were SO good… Really, truly reminiscent of the texture of Kashi cookies (but of course, much better). They are lightly sweet, and the crystallized ginger adds to much depth and deliciousness. The small amount of chocolate on top is perfect–just enough, not overdoing it.

Plus, they’re vegan [if you sub maple syrup for strict vegans], babe. Even if no longer Paleo.

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies

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Portable strawberry shortcake. What could be better? I made these for my grandmother who loves strawberry shortcake, but at her senior living center, it’s either not made or not made “right,” and restaurants rarely offer this gem for a dessert.

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Fresh strawberries, rich butter and cream, zingy lemon zest, crunchy biscuit… In delectable cookie form. These are actually more scone-like than cookie-like, what with cutting in butter and barely-there mixing. Either way, these won’t disappoint… or last very long.

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies

Adapted from and seen on many, many blogs like Sweet Pea Kitchen and Martha Stewart

12 ounces strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/4-inch pieces (2 cups)

2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (half a lemon)

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Lemon zest of half a lemon

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

2/3 cup heavy cream

Coarse sugar for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 375° and line a sheet with parchment.

Combine the strawberries, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons sugar and allow to macerate while you prepare the batter.

In a separate bowl, combine the 1/2 cup sugar and lemon zest by rubbing the sugar and lemon zest together with your fingers until combined and fragrant. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Add the heavy cream and mix until just combined. Don’t fret if the dough remains clumpy and seemingly unmixed; the macerated strawberries will wet the batter. [I added an extra tablespoon of heavy cream because I did fret, and this made the baking time much longer… by about 10 or so minutes!!! Do not do this!]

Fold in the strawberries. Dollop 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough on to the baking sheet and bake 12-15 minutes until golden brown on the tops and edges. Let cool on a baking rack, and devour as soon as possible.

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If you are a fan of cookies eaten minutes after their departure from the oven, then these are for you. Sadly, they tend to lose their crunch before long.

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But, that’s nothing an extra bit of whipped cream can’t fix.

 

Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti

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It’s always fun to try new things.

For example, biscotti. I’d never had any desire to make it. I’ve had it at restaurants and coffee shops and wasn’t that enthusiastic about it–it’s a super dry, hard & crunchy, rather bland biscuit/cookie, and I knew I could fulfill my sweets craving with much “better” alternatives (um, molten chocolate lava cake? chocolate chip cookies? chocolate…).

However, then I tried my friend Sarah’s homemade chocolate chip biscotti.

Let’s just say, I was converted.

Having been on a pistachio kick lately and always in the mood for (dark) chocolate, I found a recipe for chocolate biscotti with pistachios. Not only that, I had a willing audience: a small shindig was being held at my house (read: one of my mom’s friends came over to do scrapbooking) and I took this as a sign that I should bake.

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I’m pretty glad I did.

Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti

Adapted from SkinnyTaste

1 2/3 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

pinch salt

3/4 cup whole pistachios

1/4 cup Earth Balance

3/4 cup powdered sugar

2 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt in one bowl. In a mixer, cream butter and sugar and then add the eggs one at a time.

Add the dry ingredients in increments and mix on low speed until just combined. Stir in the pistachios.

Divide the dough into two or three and form into long flat shapes about 8.5 x 1.5″ wide. Place on the baking sheet and bake 20 minutes. Remove, and allow to cool.

Gently cut the loaves on an angle into 1/2 inch slices. Use a serrated bread knife, but don’t saw, merely press down. My dough crumbled easily.

Arrange the slices on the baking sheet and bake another 3-4 minutes per side. Let cool and serve.

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I actually halved the above recipe using volume measurements (and my digital scale!) and it made about 12 pieces. They were really yummy–not too sweet and felt more wholesome due to the whole wheat pastry flour.

Plus, they weren’t overly crunchy. Homemade biscotti is where it’s at. I really liked the combination of pistachio and chocolate. The only thing I would do differently is add dried cherries or dried cranberries–that would just bring out all the flavors even more, or add sea salt on top. But, no cherries didn’t mean that these weren’t scarfed by my family (and my mom’s friend) the same night!

Sarah, however, reigns queen of biscotti-making–hers are just so good.

Cacao Nib Cookies …with browned butter, sea salt, and dark chocolate

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Easy as… cookie.

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Crunchy edges and outside; chewy and tender cookie.  Texture, nailed.

Browned butter, a mix of brown sugar and raw sugar, crunchy sea salt and both cacao nibs and 90% dark chocolate (yes, 90%)?  Taste, delectable.

Cacao nibs are crunchy and their bitterness complements the caramel/molasses flavor of the browned butter and sugars. Plus, we’re about 30% over the necessary 60%-minimum for dark chocolate–I think I can justify the stick of butter with the oodles of antioxidants.

Because butter is just so good.

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A perfect Mother’s Day treat… that my father also enjoyed (he ate four).

Cacao Nib Cookies

Adapted from The Food Yenta

1 stick of butter
1/2 cup of sugar in the raw
1/3 cup of light brown sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup of whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips or chunks (I used 90%… if you’re a dark chocolate aficionado, this totally worked; feel free to substitute)
1/4 cup cacao nibs
sea salt, for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and brown it (check out this post for some visuals and instructions… or just Google it). Carefully watch it; butter might take a while to brown but once it does it’s almost instantaneous and will definitely burn if not removed from the flame right away. (Uh… this didn’t happen or anything)
In a bowl, combine the sugars and add browned butter and combine. Add egg and vanilla extract; mix. Sift in the flour and baking powder and combined. Fold in the cacao nibs and chocolate. Dollop cookie dough onto prepared baking sheet by the tablespoonful. Be careful, these things will spread, so leave ample room (at least 2 inches, depending on the volume of dough you drop). Sprinkle some sea salt on each cookie. Bake for 8-12 minutes (depending on size of cookies), let cool on a wire rack, and savor every delicious bite. I got about 13 cookies but I made mine kind of large.

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These were so good and relatively easy after the browning of the butter was done (which you really don’t have to do, but it gives such a nice flavor). Perhaps next time I might add some roasted, chopped pecans… I feel like they would go really well with the brown sugar. Mmm. Now I want another cookie.

Best “Healthy” Cookies

ANOTHER cookie recipe?! Um yes, when the Huey Kitchen Contents include:

A jar of almond butter needing to be used.

Three huge, overripe bananas.

1/2 a bag of chocolate chips.

Dried cherries.

Maple syrup.

Cinnamon.

Oats.

And the other little things. Baking powder, salt, flour, vanilla. The items that go without saying.

…Combined into the best tasting “healthy” cookies I’ve ever tried! They are vegan, whole grain, low sugar, delectable, and hard to mess up.

Best “Healthy” Cookies

Adapted from this recipe… makes 2-3 dozen depending on size

3 large overripe bananas, mashed

1 cup almond butter

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

4 tablespoons maple syrup

2 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon-1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup-2/3 cup dark chocolate chips

1/2 cup dried cherries

Optional: shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350°

Combine mashed bananas, almond butter, vanilla, and maple syrup in one bowl.

Combine oats, flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in another bowl.

Add 2nd bowl to 1st bowl. Stir to combine throughly. Dough will be sticky and wet.

Fold in chocolate chips and cherries.

Drop by tablespoons onto parchment-papered cookie sheet.

Bake 15-17 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom.

Devour most delicious cookies ever.

I cannot get over the texture of these cookies! They aren’t rubbery or chewy–probably because of all that delicious almond butter instead of trying to bake fat-free–and they are definitely satiating (especially when you eat like 7 or 8 in a sitting, like me… oops). They taste more like… an actual cookie. Cherries and almonds go hand in hand, as do oats and cinnamon; chocolate and little chunks of banana bring it all together. Mmmmm.

Coconut Macaroons

In the mood for an easy, vegan, soft, chewy, coconutty cookie that is… well… adorable?

Stop here.

Coconut Macaroons

Adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie; made 13

1 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
1 tablespoon whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut milk
3 tablespoons agave syrup
1 packet truvia (or +1 tablespoon agave)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 360°.

Combine all in glass bowl and then microwave 3 minutes on high. For pretty, spherical-ish cookies, use a melon baller, ice cream scoop or cookie scoop to deposit on parchment-papered pan.

Cook 14-16 minutes or until very lightly browned. Cookies will be very soft.

For chocolate, drizzle melted chocolate, dip, or make chocolate and pipe on with a plastic bag.

1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon agave
splash vanilla
2 tablespoons+ cocoa powder

Mix until combined, add more cocoa if not thick enough to pipe. Put in small ziplock, trim off corner, and design away.

Mmm.

I can’t believe I hated coconut for so long! These were so delicious. And much better texture than traditional egg/condensed milk/sugar-laden macaroons I’ve tried in the past.

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Maybe I’ll just make a chocolate chip cookie using every nut butter. I’ve already done peanut butter. Cashew butter? Pecan butter? Walnut butter? Soynut butter (…ew…)?

Well if we keep having rainy 65° days in the middle of JULY that inspire me to both wear pink wool socks and turn on the oven, I just might.

And I mean… if they come out tasting like these… I don’t see why not.

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Pink of Perfection; makes 13-20 depending on size

1 cup almond butter (256 grams–if possible, measure right into the bowl using food scale! So much easier than measuring cups.)

3/4 cup raw sugar

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon sea salt plus more to sprinkle on top

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (I used Ghiradelli 60%)

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix everything but chocolate chips until thoroughly combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Place on parchment-paper (for easy cleanup) prepared pan, drop by rounded tablespoon or roll in balls and place. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt on top of each one.

Bake for 10-12 minutes (I actually went like 15, but I think mine were a bit bigger).

Allow to sit at least 15-25 minutes to cool (firms them up).

Crumbly, melt-in-your mouth; the bottom firmed up nicely for some chew. The chocolate chips just brought them to the next level. Also, they are super-satisfying and will quench any craving for chocolate. All-in-all, a success!