The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Bites

Fah, la, la, la, la.

It’s that time of year again where the cookies come out in full force.

Not just for Christmas, but for a great cause that I am super passionate about.

This is my third year participating in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap and all of the proceeds go to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.

This year I wanted to gift my fellow food bloggers with my favorite combo of all time…peanut butter and chocolate.

Enter my Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Bites.

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Oh, I threw in a touch of cinnamon for a holiday twist.

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Plus, I hear cinnamon speeds up your metabolism, soooo…we can just assume that we are losing weight as we eat these.

These little peanut butter cookie dough balls get dunked in a vat of chocolate.

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Plus, the cinnamon flavor adds a nice little holiday spice.

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Is there anything else you need to know?

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I’m thinking not.

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ūüôā

A big shout out to the three lovely lady food bloggers that I received cookies from: Christina at Body Rebooted, Lindsey at Cafe Johnsonia, and Brianna at Flippin’ Delicious. All of your cookies were delicious.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Bites
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies
Cuisine: American
Serves: 12
 
No bake peanut butter balls spiced with a touch of cinnamon and dipped in a cocoa powder glaze. Gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan.
Ingredients
  • ½ c. natural peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut flour
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp. pure vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. To make the peanut butter balls, combine the peanut butter,1 Tbsp of maple syrup, and ½ tsp. of ground cinnamon until combined.
  2. Stir in the coconut flour until a firm dough forms.
  3. Roll into balls the size of one tablespoon. Place the balls on a large plate and place in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  4. For the chocolate coating, place the coconut oil in a smell bowl and melt in the microwave.
  5. Add in the cocoa powder, remaining 1 Tbsp. of maple syrup, and vanilla until smooth.
  6. Remove the peanut butter balls from the freezer and dip the balls one-by-one into the chocolate coating.
  7. Place the balls back on the plate and place back in the freezer until set.
  8. Devour!

 MANGIA!!!

New Year, New Perspective.

Happy Happy New Year y’all!
Now, I know that some of you are probably nursing hangovers or actually just rolling into bed so you are probably not reading this. However, you also may be one of the few (like myself) who rang in the new year in your pj’s watching reruns of Mob Wives on demand t.v. Heck, you may have already woke up and started the year off right with a good bit of exercise and a yummy breakfast. Totally me.¬†
I have absolutely no tricks for those of you with hangovers. 
Let’s talk fudge. I have always been a non-fudge believer. It is just always too rich for me. My grandmother (my mom’s mom) cannot even get me to touch her dark chocolate fudge after I overdosed on it one year at Christmas. Can you say stomach ache? O yes. This is crazy talk seeing as I will eat anything that my grandmother puts in front of me. Except that fudge. It’s kind of the way I feel about fruit cake and eggnog. I am just not having it. Until now that is.¬†
Here are the ingredients for making the most delicious, super healthy fudge on the planet.

I’m so freaking dead serious it’s not even funny.

This stuff is addicting.
This coconut butter and almond butter had a little baby that is packed with protein.

Oh, and it’s paleo, vegan, and all that other good stuff.¬†

Did I mention absolutely delicious?

Please come over and help me finish it off!
I just might have bloody Mary’s on hand as well!

Coconut Almond Butter Protein Fudge (GF/V/Paleo):

Ingredients:
4 c. unsweetened, shredded coconut
1/4 c. almond butter (I made my own, no salt added)
1/2 c. non-dairy organic chocolate protein powder
2 t. pure vanilla extract
1/3 c. raw honey (maple syrup or agave for vegan version)
1/2 t. salt
Instructions:
1. Line an 8×8 in. square cake pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. Place the coconut in the bowl of a food processor and make coconut butter.
3. Place the coconut butter in a large mixing bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix until everything is well incorporated.
4. Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Freeze for 10 minutes or until firm.
5. Using a large serrated knife, cut the fudge into small squares. I made vertical cuts then horizontal cuts.
6. Devour!
Makes 36 pieces of fudge.
Nutrition Facts (per piece of fudge): Calories: 57.2, Total Fat: 3.5 g (sat: 2.1), Carbs: 4.4 g, Protein: 3 g, Sugars: 3 g. 
MANGIA!

Cookie Monster.

I should just dub this week “Cookie Week” on the blog seeing as that is all I have been baking non-stop. I have definitely become a cookie monster, and so what if I had a peanut butter cookie with my lunch yesterday, and uh, this morning I crumbled a banana cookie over my Greek yogurt and fruit! I can’t even deal with it right now. Cookies are definitely what i like to call an “any time of day food.” Seriously, cookies can be your best friend. For example, long day at work…grab a cookie, boyfriend drama…cookies are better, grab one, loud woman at the bookstore having a conversation with her friend she bumped into about how her and her husband are teaching their son to read and after a week he knows how to say his ABC’S and read all books by Shakespeare…blah, blah, blah,…breathe. grab a cookie. it’s no biggie. Cookies will fix all of your problems. The best thing about cookies? You can make them healthy. I know, I ¬†know…what the what? Now, we all know that I love me some banana bread. Get ready for it…a banana bread cookie, crispy on the outside, gooey on the inside, and in hand-held, on the go form…no way! Did I mention that they are good for you too? Yes, lots of good, um stuff in them.¬†
What they are vegan? What they are gluten-free? 

What, what? Okay, now seriously, what are you waiting for? 

Cookies for breakfast. It’s the new black.¬†
Get some.


Nutty Banana Coconut Cookies (GF, Vegan):


Ingredients:
2 ripe bananas mashed
2/3 c. melted coconut oil
2 T. maple syrup
2 T. agave nectar (or honey)
2 t. pure vanilla extract
2 c. almond flour
2 c. hazelnut flour (grind hazelnuts into a fine powder using a food processor)
1 c. unsweetened shredded coconut
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt


Instructions:
1. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the bananas, coconut oil, maple syrup, agave, and vanilla.
2. Add both flours, coconut, baking soda, and salt. Mix well using a spatula. 
3. Form dough into a giant ball and refrigerate for 1 hour.
4. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
5. Form dough into small round balls and place on the prepared baking sheet. 
6. Flatten each cookie ball with the palm of your hand…don’t worry the cookies will not spread out.
7. Bake for 15 minutes or until slightly golden brown. The cookies will be soft straight out of the oven, but will firm when cool. Place on a wire rack to cool, or just eat immediately. I would recommend a tall glass of milk with these cookies. You can’t go wrong!


MANGIA!!!

I’m on an Island.

Happy Thursday all!

It’s been pretty foggy, wet, and rainy round’ these here parts. The best part is the humidity which makes for perfect hair! Seriously, I styled my hair yesterday only to go outside to walk the dog, and BAM…I looked like Diana Ross. I know that it may work for her, but I am just not feeling it. I already have long, thick hair, add even 20% humidity and it turns into an afro on a tiny white girl. The weight of it is enough to make me fall over. Plus, how I am I supposed to catch this dude looking like I just stuck my finger in a light socket. No bueno!¬†

Regardless of the weather, today I take you on an escape, to paradise, that is. The sun is beaming down on you, hot cabana guys (a.k.a. multiple Ryan Reynold’s, at least in my world) are cooling you down with palm leaves while you sip on a icy margarita with a cutesy tiny umbrella in it. You have no care in the world as one margarita turns into two, maybe three or four. Now, while most of us prefer to drink our calories, especially on vacation, food is essential. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some alcohol, but I would take a four-star meal over a glass of wine any day. Well, maybe.¬†

Anyway, at any point on your fantasy vacation, after you are 3 drink-drunk, this salad will enter your life. It is totally (did I just say totally?) a tropical beach-like salad. Now, I am not talking about the salad you make to take with you to the beach in a picnic basket and before you know it, SAND salad occurs. No, I am talking about this salad…

It starts with Roasted Butternut Squash
which is tropical because I say it is. 
Then I combine it with some Kale, the most tropical green of all?
Then I add some raisins, because who doesn’t love sweet dried up prunes?¬†
 Love them.
Then, o yes, then it happens.


Toasted Coconut.
Yea, I said it. Now we are on an tropical vacay.

You toss the salad with my Honey Walnut Dressing and BADA-BING!
It’s a tropical vacation in your mouth! Just make sure Ryan Reynold’s serves this to you!

WHERE WOULD YOU TAKE A TROPICAL VACATION? WHAT WOULD YOU EAT?

Kale Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash, Raisins, and Toasted Coconut in a Honey Walnut Dressing:

For the Butternut Squash:

Ingredients:
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into small cubes
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil, as needed 

Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. Place the prepared butternut squash on the baking sheet and toss with the olive oil, salt, and pepper.
4. Bake for 45 minutes or until the edges of the squash begin to turn brown and caramelize and all pieces are soft.
5. Allow to cool.

For the Toasted Coconut:

Ingredients:
1 c. unsweetened large flake coconut.

Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Spread the coconut evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
3. Bake for 6 minutes, or until lightly golden brown, tossing once while baking.
4. Remove from the oven and immediately transfer toasted coconut to a small bowl to cool. This will prevent it from burning.  

For the Honey Walnut Dressing:
Ingredients:
1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1 t. walnut oil
2 T. honey

Instructions:
1. Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl.

For the Kale Salad:

Ingredients:
the roasted butternut squash (see above)
the toasted coconut (see above)
1 c. raisins
the Honey Walnut Dressing (see above)
3 c. kale, ribs removed and leaves tore into bite-sized pieces (I used plain leaved kale but you could use any type, curly leaved or dinosaur kale would work well!)

Instructions:
1. In a large bowl, toss butternut squash, kale, and raisins.
2. Add the toasted coconut and toss again. 
3. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss again.
4. Devour. 

MANGIA!!!
Don’t Forget to Enter my CHOBANI GIVEAWAY!

Brussels…the Land of Sprouts?

Happy Monday all!

Obviously, Brussels is not the land of sprouts. However, every time I think of Brussels, which is actually in Belgium…if you didn’t already know that, I think of brussel sprouts. Now, this is only because my sister studied abroad in Brussels one summer, and every time she has mentioned it all I can really think about are brussel sprouts. Really, I should be thinking about Belgium waffles every time Brussels is mentioned, seeing as Belgium is the birthplace of those fluffy waffles, piping hot, dusted with powdered sugar and adorned with your choice of topping. I hear Nutella with sliced strawberries is the bees knees for the local Belgians…is that what they are called? Boy I hope so. Anyway, like I was saying Nutella…I am sold. But we are not here to talk about Belgian waffles or Nutella, unfortunately. No, we are here to talk about something so far from Belgian waffles it isn’t even funny…brussel sprouts.¬†

Now, I used to absolutely detest, loathe, hate…you get the picture…any mention or sight of brussel sprouts. Then I realized that I could possibly never dislike something that I had never even tried. So, what did I do this past Thanksgiving season? I tried brussel sprouts the first chance I could get, from possibly the best place that I could at the time, Whole Foods of course. Yes. Those little green balls of cabbage were staring at me through the looking glass of the prepared foods section as I ordered my go to grilled piece of chicken for lunch. I needed a side to go with my meal and thought I might as well dive in head first. If worse came to worse I could always exchange the brussel sprouts for a side of roasted teriyaki glazed sweet potato fries, which is what I really wanted. I sat down and carefully pierced the brussel sprout with my plastic fork, gave it a good smell, and with one eye open and my teeth clenched, lifted the foreign veggie into my mouth. Sweet symphony! I never thought a brussel sprout roasted with olive oil, salt, and pepper could taste like a piece of veggie candy. Yes, veggie candy people. It was perfectly crunchy and a whole lot of savory. Moral of the story, never knock it, until you’ve tried it.¬†

My take on brussel sprouts…I tossed them with a bit of this Apple Balsamic Vinegar from House of Balsamic
 Glorious Brussels!
 Along with a bit of sweet apple, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Apple Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts.
 Definitely the bees knees.
Apple Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts:

Ingredients:
1 lb. brussel sprouts, halved
1 apple, peeled, cored, and roughly chopped
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 T. Apple Balsamic from House of Balsamic (or any other good quality balsamic vinegar)
1 t. agave nectar (or honey)
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Toss everything together in a large bowl minus the salt and pepper.
3. Pour brussel sprout mixture onto prepared baking sheet.
4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

Serves 4

DON’T FORGET TO ENTER MY LARABAR GIVEAWAY? I will announce the winner Friday, February 10th, at 8 a.m. Central Time.¬†


MANGIA!!!