Category Archives: Cookies

Cookies Dessert

Chewy, Delicious Whole Wheat Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I thought you might need a little pick-me-up this Thursday, so how about some cookies?

Chewy, Delicious Whole Wheat Oatmeal Raisin Cookies l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

As the title of this post says, these Whole Wheat Oatmeal Raisin Cookies are perfectly chewy and SO delish!

I spent last Friday night on a baking spree. I’d had a very long week at work and all I needed was to put away my phone and computer and just totally de-stress. Wine, Netflix, scented candles and bubble baths are all great, but this girl just wanted cookies.

So I hit the kitchen.

Chewy, Delicious Whole Wheat Oatmeal Raisin Cookies l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I was craving Oatmeal Raisin Cookies in particular, so I looked to my favorite cookbooks to find a recipe.

Of course, all traditional recipes use all-purpose flour, but I only keep whole grain flours in my pantry, so I knew some adapting was in order.

Chewy, Delicious Whole Wheat Oatmeal Raisin Cookies l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I used white whole wheat flour and lots and lots of oats, making these cookies fiber-PACKED. Plus, I reduced the amount of butter and sugar just enough to make them a little healthier, while ensuring that they’re still totally addicting.

I won’t lie to you and tell you that you can eat four of these babies as part of a nutritious breakfast. But they’re certainly cookies you can feel BETTER about eating.

Chewy, Delicious Whole Wheat Oatmeal Raisin Cookies l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Next time, I am going to double the dough and freeze half, so I can make these oatmeal raisin cookies whenever a craving strikes!

Enjoy, guys!

 

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 20 cookies
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup white whole wheat flour
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 7 Tablespoons unsalted butter (7/8 a stick), softened
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, unpacked
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups rolled oats
  • ¾ cup raisins
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl beat together the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar, until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  4. Slowly add in the flour mixture and stir to combine, about 30 seconds. Mix in the rolled oats and raisins, stirring to incorporate.
  5. Using wet hands, roll the mixture into 1.5 inch balls and place them on the lined baking sheets, spacing at least 1 inch apart. Flatten the cookies slightly with the palm of your hand. Bake for 14-15 minutes, until the bottoms begin to turn golden brown, but the insides are still soft.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet. Use a rubber spatula to remove the cookies from the sheets and place onto wire racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
 

Chewy, Delicious Whole Wheat Oatmeal Raisin Cookies l www.littlechefbigappetite.com
Cookies Dessert Gluten-Free

Dark Chocolate Meringue Cookies

Valentine’s Day is on Sunday! Travis and I never typically go out to eat on the actual day because we try to avoid the restaurant madness (and fixed-price menus!). So Travis and I have plans to go out on Saturday night instead, and then we’ll likely stay at home and cook together on Sunday night.

Dark Chocolate Meringue Cookies -- www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Every year I like to bake something for Valentine’s Day, but baking for Travis can be tricky because he only likes cookies (or chocolate-covered strawberriesand he only will eat cookies that are either gluten-free or made with whole wheat flour. I have a healthy, healthy guy on my hands, friends!

Travis was away this past weekend, so I spent some time in the kitchen experimenting with different recipes. Meringue cookies are gluten-free by nature, so I decided to make dark chocolate meringue cookies. Boy, did they turn out well!

Dark Chocolate Meringue Cookies -- www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Whether or not you have a special Valentine in your life, you have to try these cookies. All you need is six simple ingredients, all of which I already had in my pantry and fridge and I’m sure you do, too!

Dark Chocolate Meringue Cookies -- www.littlechefbigappetite.com

One important piece of advice: don’t microwave the chocolate. The best way to melt chocolate for baking is with a double boiler.

If you don’t have one, they are incredibly easy to make at home using existing kitchen equipment.

Dark Chocolate Meringue Cookies -- www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Hope you guys love these delicious chocolatey cookies and Happy (early) Valentine’s Day!

 

What do you have planned for Valentine’s Day (or weekend)? Do you prefer to go out to eat or stay at home?

 

Dark Chocolate Meringue Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 16-18 cookies
Ingredients
  • 2 egg whites
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon juice
  • pinch salt
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 6 oz. 50-60% cacao dark chocolate, melted and cooled
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries, separated and not stuck together
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Use a hand mixer or stand mixer (fitted with a whisk) to beat the egg whites, vanilla, lemon juice and salt until foamy. Slowly add in the sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold in the melted chocolate and cherries (Make sure none of the dried cherries are in clumps).
  3. Scrape the batter into a one gallon plastic bag. Cut a one half-inch hole in one corner of the bag. Pipe cookies into 2 inch rounds on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 1 inch of space in between each cookie.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the outside of the cookies is set and dry. Allow to cool completely on the baking sheets, about 15 minutes. Use a spatula to remove the cookies from the baking sheet and store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
 

Cookies Dessert Gluten-Free

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies with Chocolate Chips and Raisins

Is this the longest cookie name ever?

I really couldn’t shorten it – these cookies have ALL THE INGREDIENTS.

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies with Chocolate Chips and Raisins Recipe

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen a few photos of these cookies over the weekend.

I hadn’t made a new cookie recipe in awhile, because I usually just stick to our two favorites: my amazing Whole Wheat Dark Chocolate Chips Cookies and these Gluten-Free Almond Butter Cookies.

But this weekend, Travis was begging for cookies (rare!, so I jumped on it) and I was feeling creative.

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies with Chocolate Chips and Raisins Recipe

After a bit of experimenting in the kitchen, I came up with these bad boys. Like all LCBA recipes, I aimed to make these healthier than a traditional cookie by reducing the amount of butter and added sugar. But don’t worry – they still get plenty of flavor from the peanut butter and sweetness from the chocolate chips and raisins.

And a side note, I know you might be thinking, “Chocolate chips and raisins in the same cookie?”

Just trust me on this one, would’ya?

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies with Chocolate Chips and Raisins Recipe

To guarantee these cookies are gluten-free, make sure your rolled oats are certified GF (some are not).

Next time, I may change these up a bit: dark chocolate or milk chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet or golden raisins in place of regular.

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies with Chocolate Chips and Raisins Recipe

Serve these cookies with a cold glass of milk and happy dunking, friends!

 

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies with Chocolate Chips and Raisins
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 2 dozen
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup natural peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1.5 cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • ⅓ cup + 1 Tablespoon semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup raisins
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl combine the butter, peanut butter and brown sugar. Beat until creamy. Add the egg, vanilla, cinnamon, and baking soda. Mix well.
  3. Stir in the rolled oats, chocolate chips and raisins.
  4. Drop by the teaspoon onto the lined baking sheet, placing the cookies about 1.5 inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 1 minute. Use a spatula to remove the cookies from the sheet and place on a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Notes
* Cookies are best eaten the same day.
 

Bread and Muffins Cookies Tips and Tricks

6 Tips for Perfect Whole Grain Baking

I try to bake with whole grain flours as much as possible. We all know that whole grains are much healthier than simple white flour, but do you know why? It’s because whole wheat flour has almost four times more fiber than all-purpose flour and provides more potassium, magnesium and zinc. However, if you’ve baked with whole wheat flour before, you know that it can be tricky and it is not always as simple as substituting whole wheat flour for white in every recipe.

Over the last eight years or so, I have slowly swapped out all the white flour in my kitchen for whole grain flours and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Today I want to share with you some my best whole grain baking tips to help you transition to healthier, heartier baking.

 

Simple Tips for Whole Grain Baking

 

1. Start Gradually

If you’re new to baking with whole grains, don’t expect to be able to substitute all whole wheat flour for all-purpose and like the end result. Start by gradually substituting 1/3 of the flour in the recipe for whole wheat. Your family won’t taste the difference and you’ll boost the nutritional content of whatever you’re making. With time you’ll be able to swap out all the white flour for whole grains and you won’t want to go back!

Whole Grain Baking Tips That Will Take Your Baking to the Next Level

 

2. It’s not always one to one.

If you are trying to substitute whole wheat flour in a recipe that calls for all-purpose, a good rule of thumb is to use only 3/4 cup whole wheat for 1 cup all-purpose. This is because whole wheat flours are denser and true baking is a science based on weights.

Whole Grain Baking Tips That Will Take Your Baking to the Next Level

 

3. Sometimes you need more liquid.

When baking cupcakes, muffins and cakes with whole wheat flour, you will likely need more liquid. Try adding an additional tablespoon or two more of wet ingredients (oil, butter, applesauce, etc.) to your batter.

Whole Grain Baking Tips That Will Take Your Baking to the Next Level

 

4. Whole Wheat flours expire more quickly than all-purpose.

Check your package’s expiration date and try to use the flour within three months of opening. I’m not messing around with this one. The smell and taste of rancid flour is awful. Trust me.

Whole Grain Baking Tips That Will Take Your Baking to the Next Level

 

5. Find the right flour.

There are so many brands and varieties of whole grain flours out there. I find that while regular whole wheat may work well for one recipe, it can yield dry, bland results in another. There are so many varieties of flour: whole wheat, white whole wheat, whole wheat pastry flour, oat flour, and so on. It can get confusing! My favorite is whole-wheat pastry flour. It’s lower in protein and milled from a softer wheat—yielding more tender results than regular whole-wheat. I also love white whole wheat flour because the flavor is milder, making it most similar to white flour. BUT, it has the same nutritional value as regular whole wheat flour. Win, win!

My go-to brands are King Arthur Flour and Bob’s Red Mill and I truly believe that higher quality flour yields a better baked good.

Whole Grain Baking Tips That Will Take Your Baking to the Next Level

6. Follow a recipe.

If you’re new to baking with whole wheat flour, follow a recipe! Chances are the end product will be much better than if you just played around on your own the first time. Check out some great examples below!

Whole Grain Baking Tips That Will Take Your Baking to the Next Level

I asked some of my blogger buddies to share their favorite whole grain recipes with you guys. Some of these use a mix of different flours and others are 100% whole wheat.

Blueberry Banana Marscapone Coffee Cake from Jenna Braddock

Vegan Jacoma Almond Fudge Cookies from Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen

No Bake Banana Nut Protein Bars from Healthy Helper Blog

Mini Snickerdoodle Biscotti from Barr and Table

 

More from Little Chef Big Appetite:

Whole Wheat Apple Honey Muffins

Whole Wheat Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

Whole Wheat Bagels

 

What about you? Do you have any other whole grain baking tips? Share them in the comments below! 

 

Cookies Dessert

Oatmeal Cookies with Cranberries, Pistachios, and White Chocolate

As promised, I am popping in today to share one of the recipes from my cookie baking extravaganza last weekend.

Oatmeal Cookies with Cranberries, Pistachios, and White Chocolate Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

Now, I can’t take full credit for these delicious cookies because Kelly was truly the mastermind behind them. But with her permission, I get to share these bites of sugary heaven with you.

Oatmeal Cookies with Cranberries, Pistachios, and White Chocolate Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

My favorite part about these cookies is the texture. They are crispy on the outside but soft on the inside, and the oats and nuts give each cookie that perfect crunch. Every cookie in this large batch is jam-packed with so many different flavors: oats, brown sugar, cranberries, pistachios, and white chocolate, so you never have to go digging for the “best” cookie, because they’re all so darn good!

Oatmeal Cookies

Bake these oatmeal cookies for a holiday party this week. Odds are they’ll be gobbled up in no time!

 

Oatmeal Cookies with Cranberries, Pistachios, and White Chocolate
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4 Dozen
Ingredients
  • 1 stick + 6 Tablespoons (14 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • ½ unsalted shelled pistachios
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until creamy. Add in the eggs and vanilla extract and beat well. In a separate bowl, combine the whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and oats and mix.
  3. Slowly sift the flour mixture into wet mixture and stir. Fold in the dried cranberries, pistachios, and white chocolate chips. Mix well. Drop the dough by rounded tablespoonfuls on the parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake for 8 minutes or until the edges begin to brown slightly. Cool for 1 minute on the baking sheets and remove the cookies to wire racks to cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container.
 

Cookies Tips and Tricks

Mom’s Best Baking Tips

I’ve mentioned this plenty before, but my mom is a fantastic baker. I’ve learned so much by watching her mix, stir, roll, ice, and slice in the kitchen. My mom would admit she is a total perfectionist, and I think that is what makes her such a great baker. I, personally, don’t have the same level of patience,  so I don’t follow everything she does (e.g. all of her cookies are EXACTLY the same size  – madness!)

In honor of Mother’s Day this weekend, I am sharing five of my mom’s best baking tips:

Tip #1

Baking is a science. You must be precise. Use the back of a knife to level dry ingredients in measuring cups. Scrape off the excess ingredients.

My mom's best baking tips for guaranteed perfect results.

 

Tip #2

This tip goes with #1. Place a piece of wax paper on a cutting board. Measure all of your ingredients over the cutting board (NOT your mixing bowl). The dry ingredients that spill onto the wax paper (from tip #1) can easily be scooped up and poured back into their respective containers. This makes clean up a breeze and you end up wasting so much less.

My mom's best baking tips for guaranteed perfect results.

My mom's best baking tips for guaranteed perfect results.

 

Tip #3 

1 cup milk + 1Tablespoon white vinegar = 1 cup buttermilk. Learn this equation. Memorize it. I use this one ALL the time, especially for pancakes. I never, ever buy buttermilk because I can make it so easily with this simple substitution. Simply add 1 Tablespoon of white distilled vinegar into a liquid measuring cup. Then pour milk (nonfat and lowfat are fine) into the measuring cup until it reaches the 1 cup mark exactly. Give the mixture a quick stir and allow it to sit for 10 minutes. Then use as you would buttermilk. Easy peasy!

My mom's best baking tips for guaranteed perfect results.

 

Tip #4

When making multiple batches of cookies, always let the baking sheet cool before adding more raw cookie dough. A hot baking sheet will cause the cookies to bake unevenly. If you want perfect looking round cookies, allow the baking sheet to cool for about 10 minutes before adding your next batch.

My mom's best baking tips for guaranteed perfect results.

 

Tip #5 

You can never be too generous,” my Mom says.  Whenever family and friends come over, my mom always bakes their favorite treat in preparation of their arrival. My aunt is hooked on her ginger snaps. I always request her carrot cake and my brother loves her Bailey’s Irish Cream cake. Growing up, my friend Ben loved her congo bars. No matter how busy she is, my mom always makes sure to bake these treats for us whether or not it is a special occasion. This year on Passover she sent me a surprise package with lots of homemade Passover goodies. It felt so special having a little piece of home all the way across the country in Los Angeles with me.

I’ve really tried to embrace this value and bake for those I love whenever possible. Even our foster dogs get homemade treats from me now:

My mom's best baking tips for guaranteed perfect results.

Growing up I have vivid memories of my mom baking late at night for my school bake sales. I was really good at letting her know about the sales well in advance (NOT!), but despite working a full-time job, my mom always managed to stay up late the night before and bake the best treats.  I know lots of other moms would have just run out to the store  and picked up something for the bake sale, but not my mom – she insisted on baking something every time. And it was worth it, because her baked goods sold out immediately at each sale!

Looking back on it now, I realize she always has been “SuperMom” and I am incredibly lucky. I wish I appreciated these little things more when I was younger (like how she would take me to shop at Hollister, even though she hated it because it was pitch black and the music was blasting).

I love you, Mom. Thank you for your endless love and support. And, see – I will always remember your tips no matter how silly they are!  I am so looking forward to celebrating Mother’s Day at home with you this year.

My mom's best baking tips for guaranteed perfect results.

 

Has your mom taught you any special baking tips?

Cookies Gluten-Free

Almond Flour Tea Cookies

There is something about hot tea and warm cookies that makes me feel all warm and cozy inside… like I want to curl up in my PJs and not leave my couch for hours.

Well, except to get more cookies that is.

Gluten-Free Almond Flour Tea Cookies Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

And these cookies are guilt free! Made from almond flour and with no butter or oils to speak of, you can just keep dunkin’ and munchin’.

Gluten-Free Almond Flour Tea Cookies Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

These cookies have a hint of cinnamon that makes them perfect for the holidays, too!

Roll out the dough and use holiday-themed cookie cutters to make these extra festive and cute.

Gluten-Free Almond Flour Tea Cookies Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

And who can say “No” to a super-light thin layer of glaze (again, no butter or oil!)?

Not me! I’ll take all of them, please.

Gluten-Free Almond Flour Tea Cookies Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

Serve these almond flour cookies with hot tea or coffee. Just dunk and enjoy.

P.S. These cookies stay VERY well, so if you’re planning on any homemade holiday gifts this year, these would be perfect (even to ship!).

 

Almond Flour Tea Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 10
Ingredients
Cookies:
  • 3 cups Almond Flour
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • scant ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon raw natural honey
  • 1 egg white
Glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix all cookie ingredients in a bowl until the mixture is smooth. I recommend using your hands. If the mixture is dry and cracking, add about ½ Tablespoon of water and mix again until the dough comes together and is smooth.
  3. If using cookie cutters: dust a large piece of parchment paper with powdered sugar and roll the dough out until it is about ⅓ inch thick. Use cookie cutters to cut the cookies into a desired shape and place the cookies on the baking sheet leaving about ½ inch of space in between each cookie.
  4. Without cookie cutters: Use a tablespoon to scoop balls of dough. Roll in your hands to form a smooth ball. Place on the baking sheet leaving about ½ inch of space in between each cookie. Flatten the balls with your palm.
  5. Bake the cookies for 12 minutes and then remove and cool completely on wire racks.
  6. To make the glaze, mix the three ingredients in a bowl. The glaze will be thick. When the cookies are completely cool, take a butter knife and spread a thin layer of glaze on each cookie. Let the cookies rest until the glaze is completely dry. Store the cookies in an airtight container.
 

 

Cookies Dogs

Homemade Pumpkin and Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits

Warning: This ain’t people food. Eat at your own risk (kinda).

These biscuits are made from all human ingredients — just made for doggie taste buds. I tried them. You won’t like them. But your dogs (or your friend’s dogs) totally will! (Yes – I ate a dog biscuit, because as I said before you always must taste test before serving).

I have two little slobbering taste testers at home with me right now and I can guarantee these treats are doggie approved.

Fiddle

Banjo

Travis and I have been fostering rescue dogs for about a year now. It is the most rewarding volunteer work either of us have ever done. Banjo and Fiddle (brothers) are our 8th and 9th foster dogs. All seven of our previous foster dogs are now in loving homes, which is fantastic! Some of them came from pretty awful circumstances, which has definitely been very heartbreaking to witness. Sometimes they haven’t trusted us at first because their previous owners were abusive, but after feeding them (a lot), bathing them, giving them a warm place to sleep, and cuddling the living hell out of them, all of these dogs turned around really well.

Fostering comes with a lot of questions, so I thought I would answer a few here.

 

Fostering FAQ:

Where do the dogs come from?

We foster through a non-profit organization called Much Love Animal Rescue based in LA. Leaders in the organization pull dogs from shelters around Los Angeles.  Some dogs are strays found on the streets, others have been dropped off at the shelter by an owner who can no longer keep the pet (e.g. they are moving or their new apartment does not allow animals), and some dogs have been taken away from unsafe/unstable homes.

IMG_9818

How do the dogs get adopted?

Much Love Animal Rescue hosts adoption events every weekend in Los Angeles. We drop off our foster dog for the day and anyone can stop by and fill out an application to adopt a dog. Much Love is particular about who adopts each dog — matching a dog  perfectly to its new family is crucial because we don’t want to risk the dog being given up again. We want dogs to stay in their “forever homes.” For example, some dogs are not good with kids, so homes with young ones are a no-go. Others may have separation anxiety, so they are much better off with someone who works from home.

IMG_2609

How come you don’t adopt?

We aren’t ready to adopt right now. As you know, having a dog is a BIG time commitment and our schedules can be a bit crazy. Fostering is great because we can foster on OUR schedule. If we know we have a busy month coming up with work or travel, we can take a month off.

IMG_3041

What do you pay for?

Nothing. Much Love covers all medical expenses, food, toys, beds, crates, treats, you name it. On occasion we buy new treats, collars,and toys on our own dime if we need them – it is such a small expense to us and we enjoy spoiling the cuties (and most of it is tax deductible).

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Don’t you get attached?

YES. I get VERY attached. When you have a dog for so long they basically become like a family member – giving them away can be very difficult. We had our first foster dog, Killian (now renamed to Wally), for 4 months – I was absolutely in love with him. I HATED bringing him to the adoption events on the weekend in fear of him being adopted and leaving us. But at the same time, I also had to be realistic and I knew that adopting a pet at that time wasn’t the best idea. When the perfect couple came along to adopt Killian, I knew I had to let him go. Luckily, his new mom became my friend through the whole process and now I am his “godmother” and I can still see him whenever I want. So, it really worked out in the end.

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How can I get involved?

If you are in the Los Angeles area – contact me! I can help get you involved. If you live in another city, simply do a Google search for animal rescue organizations in your community. There are so many needy dogs (and cats) out there that need homes! Even if you can’t foster, you can certainly donate your time in other ways.

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Because I love the bejesus out of these dogs, I decided to make homemade dog biscuits for them this weekend. Every dog has their taste preferences, but I have yet to meet a dog who hasn’t loved peanut butter.

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Banjo and Fiddle were taking a little afternoon nap when I woke them up to tell them there were freshly baked treats waiting for them.

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The progression below is what ensued next:

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Treats

Needless to say, they LOVED them. I am pretty sure Banjo didn’t even chew his – he just gulped it down whole.

 

Homemade Pumpkin and Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup rolled oats (quick-cooking would also be fine here)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 5 oz pumpkin puree (about ⅓ of a standard 15oz can)
  • 2 Tablespoons peanut butter
  • ½ egg, whisked
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl stir together the oats and whole wheat flour. In a separate smaller bowl, stir together the pumpkin, peanut butter and egg. Stir the wet mixture into the dry and mix well to combine.
  3. On a floured surface roll out the dough with a rolling pin to ¼ inch thickness. Use a cookie cutter or a knife to shape the dough into biscuits (my dog bone cookie cutter is from Sur La Table). Place the the biscuits on a baking sheet. They won't spread, so don't worry about putting them close to each other. Bake for about 35 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven and place the biscuits on a wire rack to cool - they will harden more on the rack.
  4. Store in an airtight container. If biscuits are not going to be consumed within a few days, I recommend storing them in the fridge.
 

Cookies Dessert

Fall Sweet Potato Cookies

I really want you to trust me on this one.

Fall Sweet Potato Cookies Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

I am fully aware of how weird these cookies sound. I am telling you to put sweet potatoes into cookies. It’s completely bizarre. I get it. But hey, we’ve done weirder things before: put black beans in brownies. Avocados in our smoothies. (Ahem, maybe that is just me…)

Fall Sweet Potato Cookies Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

When I told Travis he was coming home to cookies made with sweet potatoes, he said, “Is this going to be like the time you made those terrible coconut things, but you tried convincing me they were good?”

Well, umm….hopefully not.

(At least he has such great faith in me…)

Fall Sweet Potato Cookies Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

Okay, I experiment. Sometimes things don’t work out. But these ones are GOOD. I sweaaaaaar.

And now after tasting them, Trav thinks so too!

Fall Sweet Potato Cookies Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

Why did I think to put sweet potatoes in my cookies? Well, I had all of these sweet potatoes on my counter that were begging to be used. I was going to bake them into muffins, only to realize that my muffin tin was nowhere to be found (moving problems).

Fall Sweet Potato Cookies Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

So out came little sweet potato cookies.

I think these taste like oatmeal raisin cookies. The sweet potato gives the cookies a softer texture but they are FULL of perfect fall flavor.

Fall Sweet Potato Cookies Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

I wolfed down three of these babies right out of the oven. In fact, I liked them SO much that as I continued taking pictures, the cookies just kept disappearing one by one. Oopsies!

Fall Sweet Potato Cookies Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

 

Fall Sweet Potato Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup mashed sweet potato (from about one large sweet potato or 2 small) *
  • ⅓ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup shredded coconut
  • ⅓ cup raisins
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ stick unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Put all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Roll the dough into the size of golf balls and place on the baking sheet, leaving at least 1 inch of space between each ball. Using a large spoon, press down on each ball to flatten. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes. Then use a spatula to remove the cookies onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Notes
*To mash your sweet potatoes, poke a few holes into the top of the potato and put it in the microwave for about 5 minutes (more or less depending on the size of your sweet potato). Remove the sweet potato from the microwave (WARNING: It will be HOT!) and let cool for a few minutes. Slice it open and the sweet potato should be completely soft and fall away from the peel without any effort. Discard the peel. If you do not have a microwave, this can be done in the oven as well. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Wrap the sweet potato in aluminum foil. Bake in the oven for 40-60 minutes depending on the size of the potato.
 

Cookies Dessert Gluten-Free

Gluten-Free Almond Butter Cookies

Anyone who knows me well knows that I am obsessed with Peanut Butter. Now, we need not delve into the details of this obsession because it is safe to say you would be completely disgusted by the amount of Peanut Butter I can comsume in one sitting.

I like any kind of Peanut Butter. Natural, Crunchy, Smooth, and sadly even the kinds with High-Fructose Corn Syrup (yes, Skippy, I will always love you).

Gluten-Free Almond Butter Cookies Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

This past summer, I decided to branch out and try Almond Butter as a healthier alternative. Now I am just as obsessed with AB as I was with PB.

I eat with it everything. Bananas, toast, smoothies, pancakes, eeeeeevvvvvverrrrrryyyyyyything. But, I will only eat one kind. The “grind your own” from Whole Foods. It is delicious, perfect, and totally overpriced. But WHO CARES. It’s THAT good.

Gluten-Free Almond Butter Cookies Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

Now, I bring you Almond Butter cookies. They are Gluten-Free. No flour. Nada. Just a whole lot of Almond Butter goodness.

Gluten-Free Almond Butter Cookies Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

And plenty of dark chocolate chips for good measure.

Gluten-Free Almond Butter Cookies Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

Oh, and did I mention there is no butter or oil? Yeah, they’re low-fat, too.

BOOYAAAAAH!

Gluten-Free Almond Butter Cookies Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

Healthy, nutty, chewy, chocolatey, yummy.

You know you want to take a bite.

 

Gluten-Free Almond Butter Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup almond butter (I prefer the fresh stuff from Whole Foods, but any will do)
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon agave nectar (honey or maple syrup are fine, too)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup slivered roasted almonds (optional)
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips (or a good bar of dark chocolate, chopped)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the almond butter and brown sugar. Add the egg, baking soda, agave, vanilla, and salt and mix well. Then add the almonds and dark chocolate.
  3. Using a Tablespoon, scoop out small scoops of dough and roll in your hands to form a ball. Place the balls on the baking sheet, making sure to allow at least 1 in. of space between the cookies (they spread a lot in the oven). Bake 9-10 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes. Then, using a spatula, transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
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