Tag Archives: cookies

peanut… flour?

21 Sep

One of the many reasons that I love Trader Joe’s is because aside from the everyday staples (like flour and soy milk), you discover these random treasures. They vary by region (I still miss the vegan grape juice sweetened cinnamon rolls they sell in Phoenix) and you never know how long you have before they mysteriously disappear, just as quickly as they came. A recent trip uncovered a new friend, lurking in the shadows. Who knows how much time we’ll have together?

Vacuum-sealed like a little bundle of love, peanut flour! While almond and hazelnut meal are essentially just finely chopped nuts, peanuts are too oily and would just make peanut butter so the peanut flour is partially defatted to make it light and powdery.

So what do I do? I make cookies, of course! And after all these years of baking, I’m happy to post my first (and definitely not last) gluten-free recipe!

I’m not usually big on posting recipes that have exotic ingredients which aren’t widely available… to make up for it, I’m going to do a giveaway! Sorry folks, but US residents only. Leave a comment and I will draw a random winner on Friday and will send them a bag of peanut flour!

Gluten-free* PB Cookies

1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup sorghum or amaranth flour
1/4 cup peanut flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp. tapioca starch
1 teas. guar or xanthan gum
1/2 teas. baking powder
1/4 teas. baking soda
sprinkle salt
1/4 cup agave
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tbsp. peanut butter
2 tbsp. milk of choice
1/2 teas. vanilla
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients, through the salt. Mix well to break up any clumps. In a larger bowl, whisk together the agave, oil, peanut butter, milk and vanilla. Incorporate the dry into the wet until just mixed than add the chocolate chips.

Scoop out in even sized scoops onto cookie sheet and flatten each cookie slightly. Bake for 8-10 minutes until they are slightly golden and the edges are set.

Makes 1 dozen cookies

*If you don’t want to make them gluten free, omit the brown rice flour, sorghum flour, tapioca flour and gum and replace with 3/4 cup all-purpose flour.

holiday wrap up

28 Dec

Oy.

I’m feeling the post-holiday impact. True, we still have New Year’s to ring in, but the giant feasts, present wrapping and family wrangling are behind us. It always leaves me feeling simultaneously wistful and grateful.

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season. I got completely spoiled in the kitchen by the wonderful Jim. I received a set of pots and pans that I’ve been wanting for some time now, but couldn’t really justify splurging on. I had very specific things I wanted in a set (stainless, tri-ply, no non-stick, glass lids) so when I came across a set that met my desires, it seemed too good to be true… but I didn’t really need them. They are a great deal though, very high quality but not too expensive. Not wanting to play with fate and have them go out of production, Jim got them for me, along with a stocking full of fun kitchen gadgets I can’t wait to play with.

Did you do any fun holiday baking?

Like these delicious Cranberry Almond Squares from Baking Bites… (veganized with applesauce for the eggs). I also added a little almond extract to make them very almond flavored.

Some Lemon Drop Cookies…

The often imitated but never rivaled Chocolate Peanut Butter Shells (my favorite!)

Some Spice Spiked Chocolate Chunk Cookies.

Some Chewy Chocolate Peppermint Cookies topped with some Chocolate UFOs from Trader Joe’s.

All were safely stowed away into festive tins for our co-workers to enjoy!

What treats did you indulge in?

cookies for two

15 Nov
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Beware cookies! Your natural predator is on the hunt!

Most nights Jim and I won’t be past the first half of our dinner before he looks at me with a sly expression and asks, “What do we have for dessert?”

Most often, I try not to have anything. I’m not trying to be cruel, but after creating two cookbooks that focused on baking and the resulting sweet tooths, I really try to curb the snacks and treats, only baking when it’s for an event or meant to be shared. Dessert often amounts to a square of high quality chocolate or a mouthful of peanut butter and chocolate chips, where Jim will then patiently wait, with a full mouth, for the chips to melt before mashing it all on the roof of this mouth with satisfaction. Such a silly boy…

But sometimes we want a real dessert, not some sugary stand-in. Being fully aware of how weak we both are, I know that making a whole batch of cookies is never a good idea. It always ends in the two of us sneaking cookies well after we should have stopped and a remorseful belly ache. Self control in the sweets arena has never been very successful in our house.

Which brings us to this recipe, Cookies for Two. This makes 8 regular sized chocolate chip cookies, 4 for each person. I know 2 is a more appropriate serving size than 4, but hey, we’re taking baby steps. If you can muster some restraint, eat 2 after dinner and save the other two for your lunch the next day.

novcookies2

Cookies for Two

1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp flour
1/4 teas. baking soda
spinkle of salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup margarine, softened
splash of vanilla
splash of vegan milk of choice
3 tbsp. to 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Cookie Coating (optional)
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 teas. fleur de sel

Preheat oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment.

In a small bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a medium bowl cream together the margarine and sugar. Add vanilla and milk. Add dry ingredients to wet in batches until well combined. Add chocolate chips.

Roll tablespoon sized dough balls in the Cookie Coating (if using) and place on cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies have risen, spread and the edges are set. Let cool completely (well, not too completely) before serving.

Makes 8 cookies.

i love you, alberta

8 Oct

No, Alberta is not a person (although I work with someone by that name, so that could be weird). Alberta is a street in NE Portland and it’s quickly becoming one of the tastiest streets in town.

Homegrown Smoker is the vegan BBQ foodcart that opened a couple of months ago. They used to be 4 blocks down the street from their new location at 27th and Alberta. The new location seems better equipped for Portland weather and even has a heated eating tent. Excellent.

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There is food that is good and then there is food laced with addictive flavors and textures and plain old comforting goodness. This falls into the latter category. There are four different protein choices including chorizo, tofu steaks, tempeh ribs and soy curls. In this platter most people pick two small portions of two different proteins, but I went with all soy curls. If we all have a predestined fate in life, being smoked and slathered with BBQ sauce is the destiny of a soy curl. In this form it is truly at it’s full potential. Oh momma, these things are amazing! On the side, maple BBQ beans and mac no cheese. The beans are good, reliably tasty beans. The mac no cheese isn’t like gourmet mac ‘n cheese, but there’s just something good and noochy about it. Must. Eat. More.

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You’d think I haven’t been food blogging for 4 years. I didn’t turn the cornbread around so you could see the inside of it! Darn, now I’ll have to go back. The sacrifices I make for this blog… Seriously, though, this is a gluten-free cornbread that has pretty flecks of flax in it. That’s fun to say, flex of flax. Now, I haven’t had much Southern cooking in my life and am very much naive to the art of cornbread, but this cornbread rocks. The texture, moisture, flavor, it’s all there. I never even thought I cared much about cornbread, until I started craving theirs. Add the sweet mint tea on the side… serious food heaven.

After you’ve stuffed yourself with smoked goodness, a mere four blocks away is Back to Eden, the new vegan bakery in town. A four block walk is exercise, right? That means it’s time for dessert.

Back to Eden is about as pretty a place as it gets. Decorated in 1930s farm house chic, the colors are warm and inviting, the decor is sharp with attention to detail and aside from the bakery items, they have all sorts of goodies to buy. Locally made jams, aprons, cards, a section of vegan cookbooks, and fun baking supplies, like fancy sprinkles fill the shelves. Plus they have, you know, the baked goods. They also have soft serve in TWO different flavors, which means… wait for it…. TWIST ice cream!

shown here with caramel sauce

shown here with caramel sauce

They carry Temptation soft serve, which you can get with a variety of topping/sauce combos or as a milkshake! And there are a variety of baked goods available each day, from breakfasty scones to decadent cakes and tarts. They have lots of gluten-free options, too.

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A strawberry filled chocolate cupcake. When I read the sign for it, I thought it said “strawberry fields cupcake” and I got all sorts of Beatles-excited… I was wrong, but I still needed the cupcake to calm me down. Even the frosting had a pronounced strawberry flavor that was amazing.

eden1

A pumpkin whoopie pie. Soft, moist cookie outer and spiced creamy inner filling… Devilishly good. So devilish, in fact, that an evil kitteh couldn’t keep her mouth off of the pumpkin cookie part.

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Who knew bad kittehs liked pumpkin?

So this is my ode to Alberta Street, with new attractions motivating me to leave the SE bubble for things other than concerts.