Paleo Gingerbread Men Cookies

One of my earliest memories is from Christmastime in preschool. We spent a whole day making gingerbread cookies. We mixed the dough together, rolled the dough out, cut out cookies, put them on a cookie sheet, and then popped them in the oven. We got them out of the oven, and set them in the school kitchenette to cool. Only when we went back to eat them, they were mysteriously gone! Can you believe that those little guys got up off the cookie sheet and walked away? We looked everywhere for them, finding gingerbread parts randomly strewn through the hallway – a crumb here, a Red Hot button there… Until we finally found them! We then proceeded to eat them all.

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I don’t know why certain memories stand out in my mind, but this one fairly clear. It was definitely a great day, and a fun little trick/activity for us. I hadn’t had a real gingerbread man cookie in several years but the memory randomly popped into my mind a few weeks ago and I’ve been craving them ever since. After doing Whole30 diet for several weeks, I was in the mood for something sweet, but not too sweet. These cookies definitely have that perfect balance! They are also perfectly crunchy but still slightly chewy – so tasty!

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Paleo Gingerbread Men Cookies

Servings: 18-24

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch
  • 3/4 cup oat flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons blackstrap molasses
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • pinch salt

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • Mix together melted coconut oil, molasses, maple syrup, and egg.
  • Add in the almond flour, starch, oat flour, spices, and salt.
  • Mix together with an electric mixer until crumbly and starting to come together.
  • Combine together until it forms one large ball of dough.
  • Roll out on the counter or pastry board until 1/4 inch thick. Cut out gingerbread men with a cookie cutter and place on a cookie sheet.
  • Bake for around 12 minutes until just starting to turn golden around the edges.
  • Decorate with icing and enjoy!

Pumpkin Pie Bars with Cheesecake Topping

You cannot go wrong with pumpkin pie + cheesecake. I like pumpkin anything, including pumpkin cheesecake, but every pumpkin cheesecake I’ve tasted just doesn’t have the full pumpkin flavor of pumpkin pie. The flavor, while tasty in its own right, seems to be diluted by all of the cream cheese. These super easy bars solve that problem. You get the savory pumpkin pie flavor combined with actual cheeeecake baked on top. You can even swirl the cheesecake into the top layer of the pumpkin bar layer for another delicious variation.

Pumpkin pie cheesecake bars

Pumpkin Pie Bars with Cheesecake Topping

Makes a 9 x 13 inch pan

Ingredients:

For the bars

  • 15 ounce can of pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Morena sugar (or another 1/4 cup brown sugar)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 stick of butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • dash of salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

For the cheesecake layer:

  • 1 block of cream cheese (I used Greek yogurt cream cheese), softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9 x 13 pan and set aside.
  • Combine canned pumpkin, sugars, egg, and butter in a large bowl. Add in salt and vanilla and stir.
  • Add spices, flour, baking powder, and baking soda and mix batter together. Batter may be slightly lumpy.
  • Pour into prepared pan and spread as evenly as possible.
  • With a whisk attachment, beat together cream cheese and sugar. Add in egg and vanilla and combine. Spread in a thin layer over pumpkin mixture. Swirl lightly with a knife if desired.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes or until cheesecake is set.
  • Cool for at least 4-6 hours in the refrigerator or overnight before cutting into squares and serving.
  • pumpkin pie bars with cheesecake topping

Vegan Pumpkin Overnight Oats

Who else loves overnight oats? They are so simple to make and you can constantly change up the ingredients so you don’t get tired of the same thing. It’s becoming my favorite time of the year: Pumpkin Season! So I hope you are prepared for basically pumpkin everything recipes for the next few months. I have even made pumpkin chili before – it was delicious!

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Vegan Pumpkin Overnight Oats

Servings: 5

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup (I used agave maple syrup)
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk of choice – I used coconut milk

Instructions:

  • Combine pumpkin, chia, brown sugar and maple syrup. If you only have brown sugar or maple syrup, then I would suggest using either 1/4 cup brown sugar or 1/3 cup maple syrup depending on desired sweetness level.
  • Mix in spices, salt, oats, and vanilla and stir. Add milk and refrigerate overnight. Enjoy!

vegan pumpkin overnight oats with pecans maple syrup

Pumpkin Cookie Butter

Guys. I did something dangerous today. I made a whole batch of this pumpkin cookie butter, and I have to admit, most of it didn’t make it to the fridge. I have a weakness for cookie butter. It just has the perfect mixture of tastes and textures. You can’t go wrong. Every time we have gone home this summer, I had to get the cookie butter ice cream from Braums. (It’s so tasty, you should check it out before it’s gone!) I had a crazy idea today. What if you could make a pumpkin version? I did, and it lives up to everything you would expect. With only THREE INGREDIENTS this recipe is super easy and delicious!

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Pumpkin Cookie Butter

Servings: 6-8 (or 1 if you’re me..)

Ingredients:

  • 18-20 gingersnap cookies or enough to make roughly 1 cup of cookie crumbs (I found pumpkin ginger snaps at the fresh market.)
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted but slightly cooled (or coconut oil + pinch salt)

Instructions

  • Add cookies to a food processor and process until you have mostly fine crumbs. Pulse for a few seconds at a time until you have a coarse meal. It’s okay if there are still a few small cookie chunks as this adds more a cookie-like texture. You can also use a tightly sealed bag and a meat tenderizer or rolling pin.
  • Mix together pumpkin and butter. Add cookie crumbs and mix. Enjoy!

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Gooey Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blondies

Gooey soft chocolate chip peanut butter blondie barsThese chocolate chip peanut butter bars are so tasty. Eating one of these is like eating a big scoop of peanut butter cookie dough. Plus they are completely vegan and dairy-free so you could just eat the dough if you feel like it (hey, I won’t judge you.) They taste like you are eating a giant Reese’s peanut butter cup in bar form.  They were a perfect addition to our Labor Day weekend at the lake.

Gooey Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blondies

Servings: 16-20 bars

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 8 x 13 inch baking pan and set aside.
  • Combine peanut butter, apple sauce, sugars, almond milk, and vanilla.
  • Add oats, flour, baking soda, and salt and mix well. It will be hard to mix at first. If you need to thin the batter out, add more milk 1 tablespoon at a time.
  • Stir in chocolate chips.
  • Transfer to greased dish and press down with a spatula.
  • Bake for 15-18 minutes.

Vegan chocolate chip gooey peanut butter bars Blondies dessert

Raspberry Matcha Coconut Chia Pudding

I never used to like chia pudding. I had tried a lot of recipes and just wasn’t a fan of the taste or texture. I have recently started trying recipes with the chia seeds mixed with different flavors, like raspberry. The raspberries themselves have seeds, so you brain is already expecting a little more of the texture and crunch. I made this pudding as a snack the other day and could not stop eating it. I got to the end of this Mason jar and wished I had another Mason jar full of this delicious pudding. The earthiness of the matcha mixed with the creaminess of the coconut milk and the sweet but tartness of the raspberries together was a divine combination.

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Raspberry Matcha Coconut Chia Pudding

Servings: 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon matcha powder
  • handful of raspberries
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar or other sweetener
  • toppings: more raspberries, slivered almonds, coconut chips

Instructions:

Combine 1 tablespoon of chia and half of coconut milk and let sit for at least 2 hours or overnight. Combine the rest of the coconut milk and matcha and combine. Add chia and let sit for at least 2 hours or overnight. Add raspberries to a sauce pan and heat on medium until raspberries have come apart and start to form a purée. Add sugar and cook for 1-2 more minutes. Let cool before serving. Assemble, layering if desired.

 

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Mini Apple Galettes With Bourbon Caramel Sauce

I’m now obsessed with making galettes. They are the easiest dessert I’ve ever made! They can also be sweet or savory with any fillings that you have on hand. It’s been really rainy in the south and this dessert will definitely cheer you up on a rainy day.

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Mini Apple Galettes with Bourbon Caramel Sauce

Servings: 6

Ingredients:

For the crust (Adapted from Williams Sonoma Pie Crust)

  • 1 1/4 cups All Purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon Morena sugar
  • 3 tablespoons ice water
  • egg white
  • Turbinado sugar

For the apples:

  • 2 ripe apples (I used honey crisp), cored and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • squeeze lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon corn starch

For the caramel sauce

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • up to 1 tablespoon good Bourbon
  • 1/4 cup milk (the milk makes this more saucey, but if you want thicker caramel, then substitute with half and half)
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions:

  1. Add all purpose flour, salt, and sugar to a food processor. Pulse 2-3 times to combine. Add butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing in between until mixture starts to come together. Be sure not to add too much water, as the dough will be sticky. Wrap in saran wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
  2. Combine apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice, and corn starch. Toss to combine and set aside for 1-2 hours.
  3. Heat the butter, brown sugar, and milk (or half and half) together in a pan, stirring regularly. Heat for 5-10 minutes until thickened. Add Bourbon and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Take off stove and add salt and vanilla.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove crust dough from saran wrap and place on an even surface lightly coated with flour. Cut dough in half, and then cut each half into thirds, until you have 6 even sections of pie dough. Roll each on a lightly floured surface until 1/8 inch thick. You can put the dough back in the fridge after rolling it out to firm it up again for a few minutes.
  5. Divide apple mixture evenly between the 6 rounds of rolled pie dough. Take care to only use the fruit and leave as much juice behind, as this will seep through the bottom pie crust. Brush crust with egg white and sprinkle Turbinado sugar.
  6. Bake in oven for 30-35 minutes until golden brown.
  7. Serve with caramel sauce.

 

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Roasted Peach Pie Crumble

Did you know that today is National Peach Pie Day? It also happens to be National Waffle Day – how is a girl supposed to choose? I ended up making these peach pie-inspired roasted peach crumbles. These are super delicious and incredibly easy to make. They also make a great breakfast. IMG_8419.jpg

This recipe can also easily be made vegan by swapping out the butter for coconut oil.

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Roasted Peach Pie Crumble

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 peaches, halved and pitted
  • 1.5 tablespoons butter, melted (or coconut oil)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons flour of choice (I used almond flour)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar or sweetener of choice
  • pinch of salt (larger pinch if using coconut oil)

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Arrange peaches, cut side up, in a greased baking dish.
  • Combine melted butter, oats, cinnamon, flour, brown sugar, and salt in a bowl. Spoon topping over peaches.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes until peaches are cooked through and topping is browning. Enjoy!

roasted peach crumb

Easy Rustic Sweet Cherry Galette

Why did I ever waste my time trying to make perfect pies? Rolling out the dough, cutting strips of pastry, moving it all to a pie dish, adding the filling, trying to arrange the strips of pastry perfectly all the while they are getting gooey from the filling and starting to fall apart… Why put myself through that torture? I am much too impatient for all of that work, just for a tasty dessert. But then I learned how to make a galette. IMG_8158.jpg

What is a galette, you might ask? It is the French term for a flat crusty cake. You start out with a pie crust dough, roll it out, add filling, and bake. The end result has the buttery crispiness of a pie dough mixed with the sweet fruit filling. It is delicious, for half the work of a regular pie. I have tried a lot of pie crust recipes, and my favorite is the William’s Sonoma recipe. It always turns out perfect for very little effort. I make my pie dough in the Cuisinart because that is how my mom taught me to do it.

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One thing I would recommend would be to move wrap your pie crust around your rolling pin and move it to your baking sheet before adding the filling. The galette can get pretty heavy with all of the filling inside and you don’t want to risk spilling the filling or poking a hole in the bottom when transferring (definitely didn’t do that….).

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You may remember that I have a surplus of sweet cherries laying around (https://lifeoffite.com/2017/08/19/cherry-limeade-smoothie-bowl/). They made the perfect filling for my summer galette. I added less sugar than most people would, because my husband does not like sweet desserts. A small dollop of whipped cream or ice cream was enough to sweeten it up for me.

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Easy Rustic Sweet Cherry Galette

Servings: 6

Ingredients:

For the crust (Adapted from Williams Sonoma Pie Crust)

  • 1 1/4 cups All Purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon Morena sugar
  • 3 tablespoons ice water
  • egg white

For the filling:

  • 3 1/2 cups sweet cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup Morano sugar (depending on your taste buds)
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons corn starch

Instructions:

  1. Add all purpose flour, salt, and sugar to a food processor. Pulse 2-3 times to combine. Add butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing in between until mixture starts to come together. Be sure not to add too much water, as the dough will be sticky. Wrap in saran wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
  2. Mix together the cherries, sugar, lemon, and corn starch.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll dough on a floured surface until approximately 1/8 inch thick. Wrap around rolling pin and transfer to a baking sheet. Add filling to the middle, taking care to just add the fruit, without the juice. Too much juice will make the crust too soft. Fold in the ends, pleating as you go.
  4. Brush with egg white and bake for 35-45 minutes until fruit is bubbly and crust has browned. Enjoy!
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Secret Ingredient Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough For One – NO oil or butter

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Sometimes my chocolate chip cookie dough never makes it to the oven. I much prefer a big bowl of cookie dough to a baked cookie. It’s just better. I love cookie dough so much that I probably make a small batch of chocolate chip cookie dough at least once a week and eat it with a spoon.

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Traditional recipes usually have at least 1-2 tablespoons of butter or coconut oil. Some recipes will use applesauce in place of oil, but that usually needs to be cooked in order for it to work. If I ever tried to substitute something like milk to bring everything together, the recipe would be more gummy and would be more the texture of scone or biscuit batter. While those batters are delicious, the recipe did not compare to the buttery deliciousness of a true chocolate chip cookie dough. The other recipes I have seen involve chickpeas. I have made many a chickpea cookie dough in my day, but no matter what I do, there is always an underlying grittiness to the dough. But yesterday I started to make my usual cookie dough and had a stroke of genius. 

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Trust me when I say that this recipe is super delicious. I have never seen a recipe that substitutes the fat of coconut cream for butter or oil in cookie dough. This recipe also isn’t super coconut-y. I mean, if you hate coconut, then you may not like this recipe. But if you enjoy something else with a hint of coconut flavor such as curry, then trust me, you will like this recipe.

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Secret Ingredient Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough For One

Servings: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut cream (if you only have canned coconut milk, be sure to use the cream that you scrape off the top)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 5 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions:

  • Mix together coconut cream with vanilla. Add sugars and salt to combine. Add flour and mix completely. Fold in chocolate chips. Enjoy!

 

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