It’s finally Friday. I feel like I should be sharing some sort of cocktail with you. Since I haven’t the first clue about making any sort of alcoholic drinks, let’s just pretend I’m telling you about these granola bites over margaritas. Or, if you’re reading this in the a.m., over mimosas. 

granolabites1

Anyway, it’s almost the weekend! My sisters are coming to visit and I’m thinking I need to make a double batch of these granola bites for us to snack on. These taste exactly like cookie dough except, unlike cookies, these are actually really healthy for you AND satisfying. They’re full of healthy fats from coconut oil, peanut butter and omega-3s from chia seeds. I read somewhere that eating 1 tablespoon of nut butter can help satisfy any cravings and hunger. 

I’m not sure if that is exactly true. I don’t know about you, but one spoonful of peanut butter makes me immediately want to have another one (and then another). But, it is definitely more satisfying then mindlessly munching on some pretzels or granola, for that matter. I’ve always loved granola. I would find myself digging through the bag/box to get the biggest, clumpiest bites and then I’d be left with the sad little crumbs.

granolabites2

Which is why I love this bites because they are essentially just big clumps of granola with no annoying crumbs left over! They are incredibly versatile; you can throw pretty much anything in your pantry into these babies. Next time I’m most definitely adding chocolate chips and I also think it would be fun to add sprinkles – just because everything is better with sprinkles. 

These could also be made into a healthy dessert if you wanted to coat them in some dark chocolate and sprinkle with sea salt. Holy crap, that is an excellent idea. I need to go do that right now! granolabites3

No-Bake Granola Bites
makes about one dozen

- 1/4 cup coconut oil, room temp
- 1/3 cup peanut butter (any nut butter will work)
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tbs chia seeds
- 1 1/2 tbs ground flaxseed meal
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cup oats (old fashioned or rolled work best)

In a bowl, microwave the coconut oil, peanut butter, honey and vanilla for 30 second intervals, mixing in between, until melted together. 

In a larger bowl, add oats, cinnamon, flaxseed and chia. Pour the melted mixture over top the oats and using your hands or a spoon, mix well. The dough should be sticky and firm. Take about 1 tablespoon-ish of the mixture and form into balls. Place on a baking sheet or plate lined with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining dough and place the bites in the fridge for about 2-3 hours until firm. 

These are best stored in an air-tight container in the fridge. 

granolabites4

What is one thing you are looking forward to this weekend? I’m going to see Aladdin on Broadway with my sisters! Super excited about that.

The other night I had a slight moment of insanity.
COOKIES6We’ve been living in our apartment for about two years without any major problems (with the apartment or the people in our community). In the past few weeks, I feel like everything is falling apart. First, the people above us overflowed their bathtub which caused water to drip down into our space. Yes, full grown adults overflowed the bathtub…and now, our dishwasher is broken.  We discovered that the dishwasher was broken because one night, while running, it starts beeping like crazy. After trying to figure out what was wrong, we decided to see if it would hopefully finish the cycle and then we’d call a repairman. Well, it never finished its cycle. And we listened to that obnoxious beeping for two hours.

COOKIES4I kept trying to tell myself it didn’t bother me but nothing could drown out that beeping. Not even the even more obnoxious little girl that lives up stairs banging on playing the piano. Finally, we gave up and pulled the plug on it, vowing to fix it the following morning. I finally crawl into bed (swearing that I can still hear that beeping) and start to fall asleep. Only to be woken up by the girl playing the piano. It was almost midnight! She’s 7 and should not be staying up later than a 25 year old.

COOKIES2I don’t think I ever flew out of bed so fast. In my half dazed stupor, I stumbled around the bedroom, grabbed a broom and started hitting the ceiling. I know, I’m so mature, right? I scared the crap out of my dog and got quite a few laughs from the boyfriend but after three bangs on the ceiling, she stopped. When I laid back in bed, I was wide awake and just realizing what I had done in my half asleep anger rampage. I felt super guilty and slightly embarrassed…I pretty much decided if the people upstairs ever confronted me about it, I would blame it on my boyfriend. Definitely a good plan….and if all else fails, make cookies and pretend nothing happened.

COOKIES3Black & White Cookies
(makes about 2 dozen large cookies)

“White” Sugar Cookie:
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/3 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder

“Black” Chocolate Cookie:
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 egg
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/3 cup cocoa

Start with the sugar cookie part first. In a mixer bowl, mix together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla. Sift together the flour, baking soda and powder. Slowly add in the dry ingredients into the butter mixture while mixing. Once all ingredients are incorporated, transfer the cookie dough to another bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for an hour.

If you want to save on dishes (like me), you can reuse the same mixer bowl for the chocolate cookie since it’s almost the same recipe with the addition of chocolate. Again, mix the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla. Sift together dry ingredients and slowly add to the butter mixture. Transfer the cookie dough to another bowl or cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for an hour.

Once both the ‘black’ and ‘white’ cookie dough has firmed in the fridge, Pre-heat oven to 375°. Using a cookie scoop or spoons, take about a tablespoon of dough and roll into 1-in balls. Combine one white and one black ball, pressing them together. Place on an ungreased baking sheet, pressing down slightly to flatten them out. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Bake for about 8-10 minutes, until the ‘white’ parts are golden brown. Let sit for about a minute on the baking tray before transferring to a cooling rack.

COOKIE1

I definitely dreamed up these cookies the other night. I couldn’t fall back asleep because I felt so bad and after awhile I started craving chocolate and cookies. These are WAY WAY WAY better than those other black and white cookies you see in bakeries and stores.

 

 

It’s almost the weekend and I have a fun treat to share in celebration.

IMG_4695

I make cookies all the time but I have to admit, the cookie dough is always the best part. I always steal a big spoonful (or two) of cookie dough whenever I bake a batch – which probably isn’t the best, with the whole raw egg thing. I’m a firm believer that a little bit won’t hurt you. The cookie dough layer in this parfait, though, is completely egg free and it legitimately tastes like real cookie dough. If you’re not feeling the whole ‘parfait’ thing and just want to eat some cookie dough, I totally understand if you double (or triple) this recipe and eat it with a spoon.

IMG_4697

Not only is this perfect for a healthier dessert, it’s also great for breakfast or midday snack. I’m already planning on having this for dessert later tonight. My boyfriend and I have recently re-discovered the show House on netflix instant watch. We watch at least three episodes every night; the show is so addicting. The weather has been crappy and rainy lately, so I’m thinking our Friday night will be perfect with some Netflix, a bowl of popcorn and this cookie dough parfait.

IMG_4708

Oatmeal Cookie Dough Parfait
serves 1

- 1/3 cup oats
- 1 tbs honey
- 2 tbs almond milk
- 1/2 tbs peanut butter
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tbs chocolate chip
- 2/3 cup greek yogurt

In a small bowl, mix together the oats, honey, almond milk, peanut butter and cinnamon. The dough will be thick and sticky; fold in the chocolate chips.

In a separate bowl or glass, spoon 1/2 cup of greek yogurt in. Pour the oatmeal dough mixture on top of the yogurt, pressing down if needed. Scoop the remaining greek yogurt on top of the dough.

Sprinkle with additional chocolate chips if desired.

IMG_4711

This is like having milk and cookies all in one!

I just realized that pretty much every recipe I’ve posted recently has contained chocolate. The post I have planned for Friday has chocolate, too! I blame it on all the holiday candy because I just cannot stop thinking about chocolate.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake 1  I used to make a batch of cookies every weekend for my boyfriend and I to enjoy after dinner or to pack in our lunches. Those cookies would barely last through Wednesday! Our cookie consumption was clearly off the charts, so I decided to cut back on the baking for awhile. I still make the occasional batch of cookies, usually for a special occasion or event. There are some nights, though, that we need to satisfy that cookie craving; that’s where this single serving cake comes in.

singlecookie2This Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake is way more satisfying than a cookie or two. Instead of sitting down with a glass of milk and a few cookies, you get to take a bite out of a warm, gooey, chocolatey cookie cake. It’s tastes like a cookie but is lighter and fluffier, like a cake. It’s pretty much the best of both worlds. While it’s certainly not the healthiest treat, it’s definitely better than half a dozen cookies. Plus, if you top with a bit of ice cream, it’d be great for sharing. Although, I’d totally understand if you don’t want to share.

singlecookie3Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
makes 1

- 1 tbsp butter, melted
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 egg white
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 3 tbsp flour
- 1 tbsp chocolate chips

Melt butter in a microwave safe bowl or mug (about 30 seconds). Once the butter is melted add sugars and vanilla; mix well. Add in the egg white and stir. Next add the salt, baking powder and flour. Fold in the chocolate chips and mix well.

Microwave for a minute. If the top of the cookie cake is still doughy, put it back in the microwave for 15 second intervals, until the top is slightly browned but still soft. You can eat it right out of the bowl or plop it onto a plate a dig in!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake 4I like putting it on a plate because the chocolate chips usually turn into a melted pool at the bottom; when flipped over, it’s almost like frosting!

 

Let’s talk cookies.

I live, eat and breath cookies. I run on the treadmill dreaming of cookies. I like all cookies; both big and small. I make the boyfriend cookies probably once every week – mostly because I can get my cookie dough fix. It’s an added bonus, I guess, that he gets sent to work with a container bursting with sweet cookie goodness.

These cookies are almost my favorite. I would say they are my favorite, but let’s be honest, all cookies are my favorite. However, these cookies are so good, the boyfriend has learned to bake them for his friends at work. By the way, “the boyfriend” likes being referred to in this manner because “it makes him sound like a super villain”. Yes, he actually sad that and yes, he actually baked cookies. I don’t know what’s more surprising.

What I really love about these cookies is that they are fairly easy to make and you can make the batter a day ahead of time. There have been so many times when I’ve made the cookie dough for these at like eleven at night, put the bowl in the fridge and baked the batch the next day. I like things that sit overnight because the next day it feels almost like hassle-free baking; no assembly required and not many messes to be made.

Except, of course, when it comes to photographing; this is secretly where all the biggest messes are made. It’s when I’m allowed to take bites out of five cookies because it looks cool in the picture (and then after I’m done photographing, I get to eat those) and it’s also when I dirty about seventy percent of my dishes trying to find the right one. It’s also when I get lazy and sometimes leave my cookie/food photo shoot set up in my living room until after I get back from class. These cookies, however, could not be left out in fear that I would surely eat the whole batch. They disappeared quiet fast, though, as I was generous enough to share.

Fluffy Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
(Makes about 3-4 dozen cookies)

1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar, plus more for rolling
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. maple syrup
1/2 c. pumpkin
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/3 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt

In a bowl, beat the butter and sugars together until creamy and smooth. Add pumpkin, egg, maple syrup and vanilla; mix well. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mix well. Chill the dough for at least an hour.

After the dough is chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using your hands, rolls balls of dough and then dip the tops in a bowl of sugar. Place on baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the cookies are puffed up and golden around the edges.

It’s rainy and cloudy today, which means its the perfect day for more cookie making.