Category Archives: Dessert

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.
 

Dessert

Whole Wheat Blondies with Pecans

Well friends, I had fun travel plans scheduled for this upcoming weekend, but I think they might be foiled by the ridiculous blizzard that’s about to hit the east coast.

Tomorrow morning, I am supposed to fly to Washington DC to visit my BFF Emily, who is getting married in 9 short months! The plan was to do some wedding dress shopping and snuggle up on the couch with a good bottle of wine and catch up all weekend long. Now I am worried that all this snow will mean my flight will be cancelled, but I am keeping my fingers crossed that I can get out of LA tomorrow!

 

Anyway, if you happen to be stuck inside all weekend from the snow, I’ve got a delicious baking project for you!

Whole Wheat Blondies with Pecans Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I found a recipe for Whole Grain Blondies from Cooking Light, and after a couple of tweaks, I finally perfected them and made them my own.

These blondies are buttery and sweet, just like a traditional blondie recipe, but this recipe calls for whole wheat flour and waaaaaay less butter than usual.

Dear 2016 Resolutions, you’re welcome.

Whole Wheat Blondies with Pecans Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

If pecans aren’t your thing, I think mini chocolate chips would be DELISH. Travis requested that I try that next time.

Whole Wheat Blondies with Pecans Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.comWhole Wheat Blondies with Pecans Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

 

Whole Wheat Blondies with Pecans
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 16
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2¼ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1.5 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 16 toasted pecan halves (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8x8 inch square pan with unsalted butter or cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, warm the oil, butter and brown sugar. Cook until the butter is melted, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Pour into a large bowl. Add the vanilla extract and eggs to the sugar mixture. Stir to combine.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine. Add the flour mixture and the chopped pecans to the sugar mixture and stir until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  4. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Arrange the pecan halves in 4x4 rows (as seen in the photos).
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 22-24 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack (at least 30 minutes) and then cut into 16 squares.
Notes
Recipe adapted from Cooking Light.
 

Whole Wheat Blondies with Pecans Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

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.
 

Dessert

Miracle Crust Apple Pie

Fall is upon us people! It’s really hard to believe because the temperatures are still in the upper 80’s in Los Angeles. Don’t get me wrong, I love the summer, but I am itching for the temps to cool down a bit.

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that I haven’t been cooking as much recently. It’s just been too darn hot in our apartment to even think about turning on the stove or oven!

Miracle Crust Apple Pie

Luckily, the weather cooled down a bit the last few days, so I was able to make a delicious meal for Rosh Hashanah. This year, I was interested in making something slightly different than a traditional Apple Cake for our Jewish New Year celebrations.

In comes this Miracle Crust Apple Pie! It took a few tries to perfect, but I promise this recipe is amazing.

Even Travis (who, might I remind you, doesn’t like dessert), loves it!

Miracle Crust Apple Pie

Here is the deal: this apple pie makes its own crust during the baking process. That’s right, NO buttery pie crust needed, saving you tons of time and calories!

Miracle Crust Apple Pie

The apple mixture goes into the pie plate just as you see above. As you’re making it, you’ll think, “What the heck? This can’t be right.”

But, just trust me…because when this baby comes out of the oven it’ll look like THIS:

Miracle Crust Apple Pie

With the help of eggs and a bit of whole wheat pastry flour, the pie magically forms its own crust.

This recipe can easily be made gluten-free by substituting any GF flour (or even ground rolled oats!) for the whole wheat flour.

Miracle Crust Apple Pie

I love this Miracle Crust Apple Pie because it comes together in no time, uses no butter, and contains a lot less sugar than traditional recipes.

I know you’ll love it, too. If you make it, be sure to let me know in the comments below or tag me in a photo on Instagram!

 

 

Miracle Crust Apple Pie
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 2 apples, peeled (I used one Granny Smith and one Fuji)
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar, unpacked
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup whole wheat pastry flour*
  • 1¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup pecan halves
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a pie plate with unsalted butter or cooking spray.
  2. Slice the apples into very thin slices, about ⅛ inch. Place in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate medium bowl combine the sugars, flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir well to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the apples. Next add the eggs, vanilla and pecan halves. Stir well to combine.
  4. Pour the mixture into the greased pie plate. Use a rubber spatula to get every bit out of the bowl. Spread the mixture evenly across the pie plate. Bake for 45-60 minutes. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing.
Notes
*Can substitute any flour of choice (gluten-free, oat flour, all-purpose, etc.)
 

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.
 

Dessert Tips and Tricks

Perfect Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries

You may remember from a few weeks ago that I made Travis Dark Chocolate-Covered Strawberries for Valentine’s Day.

Perfect Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries Recipe

Over the last few years, I’ve made these strawberries numerous times and they are secretly SO easy. Even though Valentine’s Day is over, there is no reason you can’t make these for another occasion – that is why I wanted to share them on the blog today.

Perfect Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries Recipe

I love Chocolate Covered Strawberries because are a relatively  healthy dessert and this version is made with just TWO ingredients, so they come together in no time!

The biggest trick to perfecting your strawberries is all in how you melt the chocolate. For years growing up I watched my mom melt chocolate in her fancy glass double boiler.

img_4211

(Stock Image)

In college she bought me my own double boiler, but when I was packing up my things to move across the country to LA, I decided it was just too big and not worth shipping. I’ve survived the last year and a half without one because of one very nifty trick that I will show you today.

The purpose of a double boiler is to melt chocolate slowly without burning it. If you melt it too quickly (i.e. in the microwave or directly in a pot on the stove) then you will run the risk of nasty burnt bits that won’t look very appealing on your strawberries. With a double boiler the steam from the simmering water below the chocolate is what causes it to melt, as opposed to direct heat.

If you don’t have a double-boiler at home, here is what you do:

First, find a small sauce pan and a glass dish. The base of the glass dish must be large enough to SIT ON TOP of the sauce pan without falling in. Fill the sauce pan with 2 inches of water, place it on the stove and bring the water to a boil.

Perfect Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries Recipe

Once the water boils, bring it to a simmer and place the glass dish on top of the sauce pan. Put the chocolate in the glass dish and stir the chocolate constantly until it is melted.

Perfect Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries Recipe

Constant stirring ensures that the chocolate closest to the bottom of the dish does not burn. Your goal is velvety-smooth chocolate.

Perfect Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries Recipe

Once the chocolate is melted and smooth, remove it from the heat immediately.

You must move quickly here because you cannot let the chocolate harden, which will happen if you allow it to sit for awhile untouched.

Perfect Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries Recipe

Next, pick up your washed strawberries by their stems. Dip them in the chocolate, twisting in a circle as you remove them to ensure that the chocolate coats all the way around the strawberry. Lay the dipped strawberries on a large plate or dish lined with wax paper.

Perfect Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries Recipe

That’s it! Then you just let the strawberries cool and harden at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Good luck waiting. They sure are tempting…

Perfect Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries Recipe

Store the strawberries in the fridge so they do not melt. I think they taste delicious cold!

Perfect Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries Recipe

You can make these strawberries for someone special or you can make them just for yourself! Everyone needs to spoil themselves once in awhile, am I right?

Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 20-25
Ingredients
  • 20-25 medium Strawberries (washed and dried)
  • ½ cup Dark Chocolate Chips (or 1 bar of good quality dark chocolate)
Instructions
  1. Wash and dry your strawberries thoroughly with a paper towel. The chocolate won't stick if they are wet. Put aside.
  2. Using a double boiler, melt the chocolate until it smooth and velvety, stirring constantly. Immediately remove the chocolate from the double boiler.
  3. Pick the strawberries up from their stems and dip them in the melted chocolate, twisting as you remove to ensure the chocolate coats all sides. Place the dipped strawberries on a large plate lined with wax paper. Allow the strawberries to cool and harden for 30 minutes. Store in the refrigerator.
 

 

Dessert

Healthy Blondies

Recently, my friend from elementary school, Ben, reached out to me on Facebook after seeing my blog (Hi Ben!). I hadn’t heard from him in years, so when he asked me if I ever made my mom’s congo bars it brought back a flood of memories. I hadn’t thought about my mom’s beloved congo bars in ages. In fact, I couldn’t even recall that last time she made them.

But when i was growing up, my mom used to always make Congo Bars. By the way, if you’re sitting there scratching your head, wondering what the heck a congo bar is, then think of it like a blondie. In fact, I don’t even know if there is a discernible difference between a congo bar and a blondie. Is there?

Healthy Blondies Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

Whenever I had friends come over for playdates, study sessions, sleepovers, etc. there seemed to always be a batch of ooey-gooey melty congo bars.

Ben, in particular, loved my mom’s congo bars. In fact, he loved them so much that he made up a song and dance about them.  No joke. My mom loved this, of course, so just about every week she asked me if she should make a batch of congo bars just for Ben (my mom is one of the most thoughtful, generous women you will ever meet and if she knows you love one of her baked goods, she will make sure to always bake it for you).

Ben’s comment got me craaaaaaaaaaaaaving one of my mom’s congo bars. So, I set out a healthier version of my beloved childhood treat.

Healthy Blondies Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

In this version we’re using chickpeas.

Yup, chickpeas. No flour. These are gluten-free. In fact, they’re vegan, too (unintentionally, but hey now I am just pleasing loads of different diets!)

Healthy Blondies Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

And what goes better with chickpeas then peanut butter, am I right!?

*Crickets*

I’m kidding. I’ll admit we’re doing weird things with these blondies. It is completely strange combination, but it works, so just hang in there a little while longer, would’ya?

Healthy Blondies Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

You’re going to need a food processor or a very good blender. Everything gets thrown in and blended up all nice and smooth. You just let that food processor do alllllll the work.

Healthy Blondies Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

I may or may not have eaten 1/3 of the batter before it went into the pan. I mean, there was no egg in it, and it was calling to me….so what’s a girl to do – just let it sit there??

Healthy Blondies Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

See if you can exercise a little more self-restraint than me and get the batter into the pan sooner than I did. In the end you’ll have some pretty delicious congo bars / blondies / whatever the heck you want to call them.

You would never in one million years know these contain chickpeas…OR they’re gluten-free and vegan. Next time I may try adding an egg to the batter and see if they come out more “cakey” as opposed to fudgey. It’s all about experimenting.

 

Healthy Blondies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • 1 15oz. can unsalted chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ⅓ cup natural unsalted peanut butter or almond butter* (See note below)
  • ¼ – ⅓ cup maple syrup (to taste)**
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 bar good quality dark-chocolate, chopped
  • ¼ cup chocolate chips for sprinkling (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8×8 baking pan.
  2. Combine all ingredients besides the chocolate in the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth (about 45 seconds). Gently fold in the chopped dark chocolate.
  3. Pour the mixture into the baking pan. Sprinkle the top with additional chocolate chips (optional). Bake for 25 minutes or until the edges begin to harden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The blondies will harden as they cool, so be careful not to overcook them. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Be careful not to cut them too soon, or you will just get blondie mess instead of nice squares!
Notes
*Peanut Butter will provide a noticeable peanut butter taste and almond butter will be mild and less detectable.

**You can substitute honey, but they will no longer be vegan.
 

Dessert Gluten-Free

Healthy Brownie Bites

I have been seeing lots of raw vegan desserts pop up around the internet these days. Some of them intrigue me, but most of the time I sit there and question the fact that combining XYZ ingredients is actually going to taste like a piece of carrot cake, apple pie, or the like. I am all for healthy desserts, but my goal is have the healthier version taste exactly (or better!)  than the real thing. That's why I love desserts like my Whole-Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies - they're healthier than the classic chocolate chip cookie, but they taste so gosh-darned freakin' delicious, so you never feel like you're missing anything. Healthy "Brownie Bites" Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite So when I saw this recipe for 3 ingredient recipe for truffles that claimed to taste like healthy brownie bites, I knew I had to give it a whirl.  I thought, "Hey - if they don't turn out well,  at least I only wasted three ingredients!" Healthy "Brownie Bites" Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite So, I set out to make these little bites. At first I wasn't impressed -- they weren't sweet enough for my liking. But, after making a few changes to make them a bit sweeter, I think I made a real keeper. Healthy "Brownie Bites" Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite I was snacking on these all throughout the weekend. As someone who usually craves something sweet right after lunch or dinner, I think these are perfect. You get that sweet chocolate-y fix without loads of calories. Healthy "Brownie Bites" They also transport quite well, so they could be a great healthy dessert to bring to a party this holiday season. Did I mention they are vegan, gluten-free AND dairy-free, so they are bound to please all of your friends with dietary restrictions. If you try them let me know what you think!    
Healthy “Brownie Bites”
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Walnuts (raw, unsalted)
  • ½ cup Dates (pitted)
  • 2 tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Stevia (or another all-natural sweetener)
  • ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • ½ cup Sweetened or Unsweetened Shredded Coconut (Optional)
Instructions
  1. Place the walnuts in a bowl of a food processor and process until they become like sand (about 45 seconds). Add the dates, cocoa, stevia and vanilla and process until well combined and the mixture looks like brownie batter (about 20 seconds). You may have to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula once or twice to make sure all of the ingredients are well incorporated.
  2. Form the dough into balls slightly smaller than a golf ball, rolling to smooth in your hands. Put the shredded coconut in a small bowl or plastic baggie and toss the balls in the coconut. Place the bites in the fridge for about 30 minutes to harden and then they will be ready to serve. I stored mine 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.
 

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