Chocolate Coconut Quinoa Cookies

Chocolate Coconut Quinoa Cookies

I’m having some friends over tomorrow night, which seemed like a good reason to finally try this recipe. These cookies came about by accident, as I neglected to note that I was supposed to let the quinoa cool before adding it to the bowl, so my chocolate chips got all melty. I think I’ll actually like this “modified” recipe better, because the chocolate flavor is present throughout the cookie  as opposed to being concentrated in bits of chocolate.

Chocolate etc Cookies 1

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (freshly cooked so it’s still warm)
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut (sweetened)
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chunks or chips (I used Hershey’s Special Dark chips)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
  3. With a stand or handheld mixer, cream the butter, brown sugar, and honey until it’s light and fluffy. Add the eggs, vanilla, and almond extract, and mix well.
  4. Add the flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time and mix until incorporated. Mix in the coconut and chocolate, then stir in the quinoa, making sure the chocolate chips/chunks get nice and melty.
  5. Place tablespoon-sized amounts of dough roughly 1-inch apart on baking sheets. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until top is firm.

Source: Adapted from Food 52

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Easter 2014: Peanut Butter Eggs

A few weeks ago I decided that I was going to start eating less refined carbs and sugar, because I noticed that my energy levels got all wacky when I ate too much (or even some) of either. I’ve certainly set myself up for something other than success these last two weeks, making foods that contain lots of carbs and/or sugar. *Shrugs* I simply couldn’t resist whipping up a batch of one of my favorite Easter candies – peanut butter eggs.

Peanut Butter Eggs

Peanut Butter Eggs

Ingredients

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 cups chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet, to knock down the sweetness level a bit)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable shortening

Instructions

  1. Line a baking sheet with wax paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan combine the peanut butter, butter, and brown sugar over medium heat. Heat until everything is melted together and it starts to get bubbly, stirring pretty consistently throughout the melting process. Remove from heat.
  3. Add the powdered sugar to the peanut butter mixture about 1/4 cup at a time. I used a whisk to mix it all together because it did a better job of breaking up the powdered sugar and making it nice and smooth. I switched to a wooden spoon when it became much thicker and harder to mix. Cool to room temperature; pop it in the fridge if you want it to cool faster.
  4. Using a spoon or your hands, scoop out the peanut butter mixture and shape into egg shapes. Put the “eggs” on the baking sheet and place in the refrigerator or freezer until they’re set.
  5. In a large, microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips and shortening on 50% power for 30 second increments, stirring as needed, until completed melted. Change out the wax paper on the baking sheet. Dip the peanut butter eggs in the chocolate, flipping them with a fork and letting the excess chocolate drip off before placing them back on the baking sheet and into the refrigerator/freezer.

I like to keep these in the freezer because I like the taste/texture of them frozen, but you can keep them in the refrigerator if you’d like. These are very sweet/rich, so it might be a good idea to eat them with a glass of milk (dairy or not).

Source: Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

Chocolate-Zucchini Muffins

As I’ve written before, I often find myself using leftover ingredients – things that I’ve used in other recipes that sit around for a while in my fridge – when I cook. This works especially well with things like fresh herbs and certain types of produce, that tend to have shorter shelf lives.

The other day I cut up some zucchini to take as part of my lunch and realized that I don’t really like zucchini, especially when raw.  I was looking through some recipes last night and found one that would use most of the leftover zucchini. It also called for cocoa powder, which meant that I would get to eat a chocolatey baked good, which doesn’t happen often when one is on a mostly dairy-free diet (unless I bake said chocolatey baked goods myself).

Chocolate-Zucchini Muffins

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins 2

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup whole grain pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 to 1 c raw sugar (depending on sweetness level you prefer)
  • 1/4 cup lactose-free milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease/spray muffin pan or paper liners, depending on what you plan to use. I use paper liners because they look nice and keep the muffin together.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  3. In a large bowl, mix mashed banana with oil and sugar, then add in the milk, vanilla and zucchini.
  4. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients little by little, stirring until just combined.
  5. Spoon batter into muffin cups until about 3/4 full.
  6. Bake for 18 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. Let cool in the pan for a few minutes before transferring muffins to a wire cooling rack.

You can sub out the milk for a non-dairy version to make this recipe vegan.

Source: Adapted from The Happy Herbivore by Lindsay S. Nixon