Cookie Sunday

Why is it that Sundays are just perfect for being lazy?  Why is it that Sundays are just perfect for baking?  Sunday got the best of me this time.  Jason and I were having such a wonderful morning, and all I could think about were cookies.  Yes, yes, yes, we ate cookies.  Paleo-approved cookies, of course, but cookies nonetheless.  I know what you’re thinking — if you have followed my posts at all.  We are supposed to be eating very strictly for a straight 6-week period.  Well, haha doesn’t look like 6 weeks is going to happen now!  It’s not that we didn’t try, and I am not ashamed…we are human.  Sometimes you have to pick your battles…if it’s something that you really want, just do it and pick up where you left off.  One day of cookie baking isn’t going to hurt us, and it made us very happy so it’s all good!  I made two batches — both were recipes from some regular blogs that I visit.  When it comes to cooking there is a lot of room for substitution and experimentation, but with baking…that’s a different story.  Baking is a very precise discipline in the kitchen, and I must admit it’s not something that I typically do without a recipe.  My two favorite blogs to get treat ideas from are The Food Lover’s Kitchen and Elana’s Pantry.  Both bloggers also have very successful books and their recipes will never fail you.

Part of what makes baking or cooking so much fun, for me personally, is not just the eating but the photography!  It really is art in a way, and I get excited when my creations look as fantastic as they taste.  I would love to actually know how to take great food pics; I am learning.  I guess if you look at the pictures of these cookies and instantly want to eat them, then I am doing a decent job.

The first batch of cookies I made were one of my dad’s favorites.  I sent him a batch of these for Christmas, little did he know they were Paleo-approved cookies!  When I say Paleo-approved, if you are new to this lifestyle, I simply mean that they are made with either a nut flour or coconut flour in place of regular white/wheat flour.  Paleo-approved baked goods also require using sugars that are considered low glycemic or are in their raw and natural state (raw honey or Grade B maple syrup).  A lot of times I use coconut sap or coconut sugar which is made from the natural sap produced from coconut trees.  I read an article recently stating that when a coconut tree is used for harvesting its sugar instead of coconuts it stops producing coconuts.  This is not a good thing!  If our coconut tree owners/farmers transition into this industry (producing sap and sugar) we could in time lose all of the other great things that coconuts provide (coconut flesh, flakes, oil, butter).  That would be horrible!  For me, a life without coconut oil or butter would be a sad one.  Coconut sap/sugar is an amazing thing…I typically chose it over honey and maple syrup for my treats, but if such article contains any truth that might change things.  The article comes from Tropical Traditions which is a very safe and recognized brand for coconut oil and other products.  I guess for now the best thing to do is use the sap and sugar very sparingly — which is what we should be doing anyway!  These gingersnaps, from Elana’s Pantry, call for coconut sugar — and let me tell you they are outstanding.

Ingredients for Gingersnaps

  • 2 c. almond meal
  • 2 tbsp. arrowroot powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp. palm shortening (I use Spectrum’s)
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla (check your label here)
  • 1/2 c. coconut palm sugar (I use Sweet Tree’s)

Process

  1. Combine almond meal, arrowroot, salt, baking soda, ginger, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a smaller bowl, whisk together shortening, honey, and vanilla.
  3. Stir wet ingredients into dry – mix until well blended and smooth.
  4. Scoop dough into small balls – about 1 tbsp. size.
  5. Briefly drop balls in a dish of water and then roll wet balls in coconut sugar.
  6. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Flatten balls with the palm of your hand.
  7. Bake at 350 for 7-8 minutes.

stacked gingersnaps

These are a great cookie to eat for a treat because they really don’t call for too much sweetener.  Some recipes you find for treats call for an entire cup of honey!  I try to stay away from those.  The above recipe only has 2 tbsp. of honey which is more of what I look for, and then of course the coconut sugar coating which again, is a very low glycemic option.

The next recipe; however, is a little bit of a different story.  The Food Lover’s treats are amazing.  I will warn you, if you start making any of their treats, expect to never want to stop.  Their baked goods are legit.  They have obviously spent hours on end experimenting with nut flours and paleo-friendly options in order to make their treats true substitutions for the real thing.  I have made several of their desserts, but I typically put less than the recipe calls for.  On occasion I will use as much as the recipe specifies, but I never want treats to be so sweet that I get crazy lol.

Ingredients for Double Dark Chocolate Cookies with Chopped Walnuts

  • 1/2 c. honey (I used 1/4 c. of coconut sap instead)
  • 1/2 coconut oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 c. coconut flour, sifted
  • 1/2 c. chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 c. chocolate chips (I used 72% dark)

Process

  1. Heat coconut oil and honey (or sap) in a small saucepan over low heat.
  2. Beat eggs, vanilla, salt, and oil/sap mixture in a large bowl with a handheld mixer.
  3. Once well blended, add your cocoa powder and blend again.
  4. Include your sifted coconut flour, and blend again until well combined – batter will be fairly thick.
  5. Fold in walnut and chocolate chips.
  6. Scoop tbsp. size balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Flatten balls with the palm of your hand.
  7. Bake at 325 for 13-15 minutes.

stacked chocolate chunk cookies

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