Tag Archives: cookies

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.
 

Eats Lately Life Lately

Five Foods from Last Week

Last week was a pretty delicious week in the food department. Here are five foods that fancied my taste buds:

 

1. Bourbon Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies from the Los Angeles Planned Parenthood Food Fare.

I had the pleasure of attending this amazing event at the Barker Hanger in the Santa Monica Airport last Thursday evening. The restaurant group for which I work was serving food at the event, so I was able to attend and check out DELICIOUS small bites and drinks from the top restaurants, wineries, and breweries in Los Angeles. These Bourbon Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies were stationed near the entrance of the event, STARING ME DOWN and begging me to eat one three.

Gah, cookies! They were so darn good. I declare that all cookies must be made with bourbon milk from now on.

P.S. You’re not alone, I didn’t know what bourbon milk was either. Turns out it’s a mixture of bourbon (duh), milk (duh), sugar and vanilla.

Bourbon Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

2. Orca Beans!

What is orca, you ask? They are black and white heirloom beans that are super high in iron and fiber. I sampled these special beans at the Natural Products Food Expo in Anaheim, CA last Friday afternoon (more details to come on this event later this week!). In an effort to highlight this “new ingredient,” Bob’s Red Mill served a delicious salad with orca beans, mango, lime, and chiles. It was delicious and oh, so healthy! I am definitely going to buy a bag and start experimenting with orca beans ASAP. I’ll bet they are going to be one of the next trendy healthy food ingredients.

Orca Beans

 

3. Happy Hour at the Misfit: The Basil Gimlet

Travis and I LOVE The Misfit in Santa Monica. You know the name because I’ve talked about it 5,473 times on the blog. We had zero plans this past Saturday (just the way I like it sometimes!), so we decided to head over to The Misfit for Happy Hour in the late afternoon.

Basil Gimlet

I tried a new-to-me cocktail, The Basil Gimlet, and this basil-fanatic right here LOVED it. It was so refreshing, not too sweet, and just what I was craving. After one sip of mine, Travis decided to order one for himself. Considering most (good) cocktails in LA start around $14, we really couldn’t miss out on these $6 Happy Hour cocktails. WINNING!

4. BBQ Salmon

While at The Misfit, we also split this amazing BBQ Salmon. The salmon was cooked to perfection and the BBQ glaze was the ideal amounts of tangy and sweet. I could have easily devoured this on my own.

Salmon The Misfit

 

5. A Purim Surprise from Mom: Hamentashen!

Happy Purim!

My mom sent us a surprise package for the Jewish holiday of Purim! On Purim, we traditionally eat triangle-shaped cookies, called Hamentashen, and the cookies are filled with sweet spreads such as apple, apricot, chocolate, and poppy seed (like shown below).

hamentashen

Words can’t even express how much I love surprise packages, especially from my mom. She always decorates presents and packages with adorable stickers, like above, and no matter how old I get, I will always love this special touch. I love you, Mom!

 

So tell me, have you ever tried Orca beans? What about Hamentashen?

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 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

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

I have a confession.

I just have to tell you.

I mean, if we’re going to be friends, then you probably should know…

I don’t really know how to put this, so away with it…

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

I have a disgusting, unhealthy, obsession with peanut butter. I’m talking spoon to jar, to mouth, to jar, to mouth, to jar…yeah you get the idea.

Shhh stop it. I know it’s gross. You’re cringing.

Unless you are a peanut butter-loving-freak like me. (If so, you rock)

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

But I am really trying to break this bad habit. I am. Except it gets REALLY hard when you dream up these insanely delicious little devils. I mean, I am talking two oaty-peanut buttery-mouthwatering cookies with a creamy MELTINYOURMOUTH  layer of peanut butter frosting in between.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

WARNING: You will be tempted to lick the bowl. Do not. Because once you start, you won’t stop. And there will be no frosting left for your cookie sandwiches. Then you wouldn’t be very happy, now would you?

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies Recipe - Little Chef Big Appetite

I dare you to eat just ONE of these incredible peanut butter oatmeal cookies!

 

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup quick cooking oats (or ¾ cup old-fashioned oats)
  • 3 tablespoons butter (salted or unsalted), softened
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ cup smooth peanut butter
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons half and half (milk or heavy whipping cream work well, too)
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter, ½ cup of peanut butter, white sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla.  Add the egg and beat until well combined.
  2. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and stir.  Stir in the oats.
  3. Drop by teaspoons onto a greased cookie sheet (I lined mine with parchment paper, which made cleaning up a breeze). Using your fingertips, press the cookies down so that they are about ½ inch thick (the cookies will be sticky). Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
  4. While the cookies are baking making the filling. Cream 3 tablespoons of butter with the confectioners’ sugar, ½ cup peanut butter, and the half and half (or milk or cream). Spread a thin layer onto half of the cooled cookies and then top with the other half to form the cookie sandwiches.