Meatless Monday: Serious Sweet Tooth!

Gotta love cookie dough!

Fresh baked cookies

Sinful orange glaze

One cookie down…25 more to go!

Much better!

Happy Monday everyone!
It’s time for another Meatless Monday! Now, when you think of meatless dishes, the first thing that comes to mind for you is probably a dish consisting mainly of vegetables. However, meatless dishes are simply defined as any recipe that does not contain meat. This means that anything from appetizers to dessert is fair game. Like I said before my sweet tooth has been on a rampage lately and last week it was definitely at an all-time high. Did you see my lemon bar recipe…those things are my new addicton! So, what’s a girl to do? Well, when I have a sweet tooth, the first thing I do is start brainstorming and eventually come up with a new dessert recipe. I love cookies, I mean, who doesn’t? From peanut butter, to oatmeal, and white chocolate macadamia nut…honestly, there isn’t a cookie I have met that I didn’t like. When I was a kid my favorite cookies were the Mother’s brand iced oatmeal cookies, between the crispy oatmeal cookie and the sweet powdered sugar glaze on top, I didn’t know where to start. Luckily, my mom would always do a good job at slipping one or two of those babies into my lunch box. I wasn’t in the mood for oatmeal because it has been my favorite breakfast lately (oatmeal+almond butter+agave=oatmeal from heaven), so I went straight to my fridge to see what I had on hand for a quick cookie recipe. I saw half a cup of walnuts, leftover chicken, a stack of those lemon bars glaring at me, pumpkin bread, and then I saw it INSPIRATION: 2 small oranges nested on the side door. My plan of attack fell right into place, I would make a gluten-free citrus cookie with a zesty orange glaze. A few ingredients, a whirl of the electric mixer, and a few minutes in the oven and BAM, that is just what I had! Let me tell you, it was very difficult for me to wait for the little babies to cool from the oven…even more torturing was icing them with the orange glaze. I couldn’t stop licking my lips the stuff was so tasty! I really could have taken the bowl and eaten it with a spoon had I not only had 1/2 c. of powdered sugar to work with. Anyway, by the time I had glazed these cookies, they were mine for the eating, and boy were they good, if I must say so myself. To keep myself from going into sugar shock from all the desserts in my house, I brought the cookies to work as a treat for my co-workers. I have a friend that I work with who, like my sis, also has celiac, so she was thrilled! I was so glad that everyone enjoyed them as much as I did! By the time I returned to work on Saturday, my airtight container was empty! Love my team! Can’t wait to bake them more treats…get ready, it’s coming! I hope you all enjoy this recipe and always remember to get creative in the kitchen with whatever you have, you might end up creating a successful recipe that you will use for a lifetime!

Citrus Cookies with Orange Glaze

Ingredients:

For the cookies:
21/2 c. almond flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. arrowroot powder
6 Tbs. grapeseed oil
1/2 c. agave nectar
1 Tbs. Mexican vanilla extract
juice of 1 orange

For the glaze:
1/2 c. powdered sugar
juice of 1 orange

Instructions:

For the cookies:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Using an electric mixer, combine the almond flour, baking soda, and arrowroot powder.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the grapeseed oil, agave nectar, vanilla extract, and orange juice..
4. Using an electric mixer, stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until thoroughly combined.
5. Spoon the dough 1 Tbs. at a time onto the prepared baking sheets, pressing down with the palm of your hand to flatten, leaving 2 in. of space between each cookie.
6. Bake for 7-10 minutes, until lightly golden.
7. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 30 minutes.

For the glaze:
1. In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar and orange juice until smooth.
2. After the cookies are finished cooling, brush each cookie with the glaze using a pastry brush.

Makes about 26 cookies.

MANGIA!!!

When life hands you Lemons…make Meyer Lemon Bars!

The crust before being baked off in the oven

The topping…O Joy!

The finished product

Side profile view of the beautiful Meyer Lemon Bars!

Different angle…

And again…

SO.EPIC.

I.JUST.COULD.NOT.STOP.SNAPPING.

Don’t you just love my even slicing job?

Happy Tuesday everyone!
I hope that everyone is having a spectacular week so far. So, over the weekend I was pretty sick. Unfortunately, that meant no cooking or baking for me, or anyone else for that matter. The last thing I wanted to do was make myself more sick than I already was, or infect someone else. This has happened before where my cousin and I decided to make a batch of white chocolate peanut butter cookies when we were younger. Needless to say, we didn’t know much about cross contamination and didn’t think much about eating peanut butter off the knife and sticking it back in the jar. Next thing we knew, everyone in the house was sick…it was like the domino effect, we all dropped like flies…one.by.one. My uncle finally realized the source of the virus and ever since then, those cookies have been a death wish at family events! Well, not exactly, but my cousin Morgan (my partner in cookie crime) still cringes at the sight of them. Haha! Anyway, by Sunday I was feeling all better and surprisingly energetic, so I ventured to the grocery store. When I arrived at the supermarket, I let my imagination take me through the food aisles. Lately I have been craving sweets more than usual, so I knew I wanted to make dessert. I came across this lovely produce stand filled with Meyer lemons. They were bright yellow and just calling my name. So, I decided to make one of my faves, lemon bars. So, if you don’t know much about Meyer lemons, that’s okay, all you need to know is that they originate from China (big surprise), are often thought of as a cross between a mandarin and an orange, and they are less acidic and slightly sweeter than a regular lemon. When I got home I got into the kitchen and started baking up a storm. I had seen my sister that morning and wouldn’t you know? she called me an hour after I left her to tell me that she was sick. Go figure. I felt really bad that I could have possibly passed on my sickness to her, so what do I do? I make these lemon bars “Leslie friendly.” She adores lemon bars as much as I do and I know that making them gluten-free would absolutely make her day! I made an almond flour crust and OMG, this thing smelled absolutely divine in the oven…so buttery and fragrant, almost enough to make me eat the crust by itself before pouring the lemon mixture on top. These bars are outstanding, with a subtly sweet lemon flavor and a crunchy, nutty crumb crust that makes you savor each bite. I cannot wait to take some of them to my sister…hopefully, she will be feeling better by then. I hope you all enjoy this recipe and share it with someone you love, sick or not!

Meyer Lemon Bars

Ingredients:

Crust:
3 c. almond flour
1 tsp. salt
1/4 c. grapeseed oil
2 Tbs. agave nectar
2 Tbs. Mexican vanilla extract

Topping:
1/2 c. grapeseed oil
1/2 c. agave nectar
6 large eggs
1 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 Meyer lemons)

Instructions:

For the crust:
1.Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 9×11 rectangular baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Combine almond flour and salt using an electric mixer.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the grapeseed oil, agave nectar, and vanilla extract. Stir the wet ingredients into the almond flour mixture until thoroughly combined.
4. Press the dough evenly into the prepared baking dish.
5. Bake for 17-20 minutes, until thoroughly golden.

For the topping:
1. While the crust bakes, prepare the topping.
2. Using a blender or food processor, combine the grapeseed oil, agave nectar, eggs, and lemon juice. Process on high until smooth.
3. Remove the crust from the oven. Pour the topping evenly over the hot crust.
4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the topping is golden.
5. Let the bars cool in the baking dish for 30 minutes, then refrigerate 2 hours to set.
6. Cut into bars and serve.

MANGIA!!!