Tag Archives: cookie

Flourless Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

29 Oct

I had an intense chocolate craving. With the fall season quickly approaching here in Korea, all I’ve been wanting to do is bake!!! The cold weather gets me down, and I am missing home this autumn season. This is my fourth fall in South Korea. Suddenly, the thought of another holiday season here, the lack of Halloween candy in the stores, the absence of the excitement at the beginning of the holiday season…it’s all just kind of gotten to me more this year. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older?! Maybe it’s part of the post-competition blues (still)?! Whatever it is, I know one thing for sure: my toaster oven is quickly (and dangerously) becoming my best friend.

While Googling gluten-free cookie recipes, I stumbled across one that used all of the “natural” ingredients I’ve been wanting to incorporate: PB2 (my powdered natural peanut butter), Nestle’s unsweetened cocoa powder, agave nectar, and chocolate chips. I found great new blog (!) called loveveggiesandyoga.com. It was originally dedicated to vegan food and yoga, but now Averie, the author, has shifted the focus to desserts. Its name officially now is “Averie Cooks”. Here’s the link: http://www.loveveggiesandyoga.com/. Thanks to Averie for sharing the original recipe. I used her recipe, substituting agave for both the white and brown sugars. I wasn’t sure how the recipe would turn out, so I made half batch (about 10 small cookies). For a full batch, just double the recipe. Here it is:

Half Batch

– 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

– 1/2 cup natural peanut butter (I used PB2, but Averie used Natural JIF in hers–something I can’t get in Korea)

– less than 1/2 cup agave sweetener

– 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

– 1/4 to 1/3 cup of dark chocolate chocolate chips

– 1 egg white

1) I first had to “make” the peanut butter, which consists of combining PB2 natural peanut butter powder with water. It took about 6-7 tablespoons to make 1/2 cup. Put the peanut butter, cocoa powder, agave, and vanilla into the bowl. Use the egg white of one regular-size egg by separating it. Mix all ingredients together.

2) After all ingredients are mixed well, add in your chocolate chips and stir.

*Averie suggested putting the dough into the freezer to make a thicker, fluffier cookie. I wasn’t sure if my dough would work properly with the substitutions. It looked a bit runny, so I stuck it in the refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes while I baked a “test cookie”. It worked!

3) Drop cookies by the spoonful or roll into 1-inch balls and place them onto the cookie sheet. I greased mine with grapeseed oil. I made these cookies bite-sized, but you can make them bigger if desired.

4) Bake at 350 Fahrenheit (I put mine at just above 200 Celsius) for 10-12 minutes. I found 10 minutes was the perfect amount of time. As Averie suggests, watch the cookies carefully! Because they are dark chocolate, it is hard to tell when they are done versus when they are burnt!

These cookies were rich and delicious. I was happy that they turned out well with all of my substitutions. I recommend them for anyone who is craving chocolate. The bite-size portions were perfect as well. I’m curious to hear how other people’s experiences are. The original recipe can be found here: http://www.loveveggiesandyoga.com/2011/08/flourless-chocolate-peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-cookies.html.

Healthy Gluten-Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

27 Sep

During my figure competition diet, all I could think about was how I couldn’t wait to go back to gluten-free baking. I really don’t eat that poorly in the “off season”–being gluten-free keeps me in check. I do, however, looooove gluten-free brownies and cookies. I always keep my favorite Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix on hand for baking emergencies. Because of the competition diet, I’d consumed zero processed or refined sugar for 12 weeks. During the last two weeks before competition, I even cut out fruit because of its high sugar and carbohydrate content to lean up. Coming off of an extremely restrictive diet, I wanted to use as close to natural sugar as possible to not shock my body.

Oatmeal was one of the three main sources of carbohydrates in my diet. One might think I wouldn’t want to eat oatmeal after the diet, but all I could think of was how delicious oatmeal raisin cookies would be after the competition! So, here it is, the week after the competition, and I found a great recipe from a fellow English teacher in Korea that cooks wonderful vegan and gluten-free foods. The site is great–it’s called “Wayfaring Teacher”. I encourage you to check it out for some great recipes, or just a bit of insight of what it is like for those with food restrictions living in Korea. I adapted that recipe to what I had in my cupboard. Here’s what I used:

1 3/4 cup quick-cooking old-fashioned oats (I used the Quaker ones because I’m not super sensitive to oats; if you are, I would Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free quick-cooking or rolled oats)

1 cup Pamela’s Baking & Pancake mix (*original recipe calls for 1/2 cup oatmeal ground into flour plus 1/2 cup almond flour, which I didn’t have)

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup raisins

1 banana

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp honey (*optional – or substitute your choice of sweetener)

1/4 cup nonfat milk

2 tsp cinnamon

1. Mix oatmeal, Pamela’s, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon in a bowl.

2. Mash the banana, then add vanilla.

3. Combine wet ingredients to dry mixture.

4. Start mixing, then add in honey. Use more or less, depending on personal preference.

5. Pour in raisins.

6. Add milk to get a lighter, thinner consistency.

As the original post says, add more milk if the mixture is too dry; if it is too wet, adjust with oats.

Bake at 350 degrees (about 175 Celsius in my lil’ Korean toaster oven) for 12-15 minutes. When mixing the cookie batter, I used my hands. Depending on how many oats you use, the batter can be a bit crumbly. I wanted “mini-bites”, so I rolled the cookies into small balls and flattened them down a bit. Cookies were ready when the edges started to brown.

I ate them without taking a picture. No worries; I’ll make them again and post. This was my first time using honey in place of sugar. These cookies didn’t need any additional sweetener, but I had to satiate my craving, and honey did the trick! I personally love extra raisins and cinnamon in mine, but this recipe can be easily tweaked.

Happy Baking!