Eye-level with a cookie is the best place to be!

mmm, chocolate cooookies!

Once again, the weather gods are totally bonkers. I think they just like to mess with tiny humans for sport. Like, I’m sure they find it hilarious when I go trudging through some nasty weather after class, only to walk into my apartment and have it become immediately sunny. The roof is steaming, haha! Snow? Again? Is this really necessary?? And yesterday it was so incredibly windy, I thought if I wore a hat large enough I might lift off the ground like the Flying Nun (except not a nun. More like a flying Pilates-enthusiast in my yoga pants). Gusts up to 50 miles an hour?! Ridiculous. This weather is even more insane than usual, even by Salem standards. Sheesh.

So what do I do? Make cookies! Natch. When the weather gets icky, baking is always a good strategy. Especially when it leaves you with excellent snacking cookies, healthy AND delicious. Come to the Dark Side. I have cookies! Ha. I was getting irritated by the lack of snacks I had around, so these happened. Besides, I need more things to put lemon curd and biscoff spread on, in order to convey them to my mouth so I don’t feel silly eating them out of the jars. Not that I really let that stop me. But life is more fun with a cookie, obviously.

These have all kinds of healthy benefits! Full of fiber and cholesterol-friendly :) (as in, NO cholesterol, and only healthy fats + plant-based saturated fats, which are okay for those watching cholesterol!) They clock in around about 200 calories, making them a great pre (or post. or both) workout snack. The chia seed has made a cookie comeback, after several weeks (gasp!) of disuse… and we already know all about chia’s crazy antioxidant capacities. These cookies also feature healthy coconut and olive oil fats, as well as unsweetened cocoa powder for more antioxidants! Besides all that, apparently cardamom has great nutritional benefits too! I didn’t know this, but it helps digestion, contains lots of vitamins, minerals, and essential oils, and is another source of antioxidants! Those sneaky free radicals don’t stand a chance.

This recipe supposedly made 28 cookies. Psh. I made 11. Mine are perfectly sized ;) I don’t stint when it comes to cookies, especially when they’re good for me!

eye-level with a cookie. (the best place to be)

Chocolate Chia Cookies

Adapted from Vanilla and Spice, here! These cookies are really tasty: a little like gingerbread, as Kira pointed out. We both really liked the cardamom flavor in them, and they’re soft but chewy on the inside. Mmm. Makes somewhere around 11 or 12 2-3″ cookies.

  • 1.5 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cardamom (seems like a lot, but it’s not overwhelming)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 c plus 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 c chia seeds
  • 1/4 c light coconut milk (any milk bev you have on hand I’m sure is fine, I wanted to use up some leftover coconut milk. I am SO GLAD I did)
  • 1/4 c unsweetened applesauce
  • 1.5 tbsp vanilla extract (yes, that is tablespoons)
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1/3 c chocolate chippies
I like to play with my food!

Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease a cookie sheet.

In a large bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom, salt, cocoa powder, and chia seeds. In a smaller bowl, whisk together milk bev, applesauce, and vanilla. Add wet into dry, add oil, and then stir to combine. I found I needed to add a few tablespoons of water to make the dough come together. Fold in chocolate chips as you combine wet and dry.

Form into little balls and place on the cookie sheet—I kind of shaped mine and flattened the tops a bit. This dough is really easy to work with, extra bonus! Bake for 12-13 minutes, or until the tops feel firm when lightly touched. Mine were done at 12!

Apparently it’s decided to be sunny this afternoon… I’ll guess I’ll just have to eat my cookies and enjoy it :)

see? there I go again. Cookie towers are more fun than blocks. You get to eat the pieces that fall off!

Asteroids do not concern me, Admiral. I want those cookies, not excuses.

Come to the Dark Side... I have cookies!

For those who don’t know… or didn’t guess… I’m a nerd! But those of you who know me I’m sure are aware of this…I can’t imagine what clued you in. Can’t be the Star Wars cookie cutters or the perpetual references to Star Trek, nahhh. Must be the large Spock standup I have at home? Ah yes. Clearly that’s it. I fully embrace my nerdness, which is why all of you like to hang out with me… I make you giggle! (And most likely I feed you)

Anyway. Yesterday I was trolling through my piles upon piles of recipes to make… and THEN I remembered that I have wanted to make animal crackers for eons. Because I LOVE animal crackers. I was totally a Barnum’s kid, until one day I ate them and realized they weren’t as good as I remembered them. At that point, I switched over to more natural cookie/crackers to get my fix. But as I was munching through my Barbara’s animal cookies last night, I suddenly was seized by the desire to make my own! Why buy them when I could make them with things I already had on hand?

And so. I had a baketastic Friday and made animal cookies. Except there was one small fly in the ointment… I don’t, in fact, own animal cookie cutters. Oops. Hmm. What to do?!

Oh but wait.

I have something oh, so, SO much better.

Do you sense a disturbance in the Force?

Yes.

I do.

Wait for it…

Disregard the mixed messages... Yes, that is a Star Trek shuttlecraft. I thought it went nicely with the nerdy theme.

I own Star Wars cookie cutters! That’s right. I warned you. Nerdspiration, right there: healthy animal cookies shaped like Star Wars characters?! It doesn’t get much better than that. Kira and I dubbed them Force Cookies. Because… you know, strong in the Force, those who eat them are! (This might perhaps be attributed to the whole grains and flax, but hey, the Force is more fun). Besides, it’s really fun to nibble off Yoda’s ears first, like I always liked to eat the legs that broke off into the bottom of the box. Oh wait. I still do. I have to fight my cat for the bits though, since he likes them too (he’s sort of like a mini-Chewbacca… always thinking with his stomach! But so am I, so who am I to judge)… The Force is strong with these cookies ;)

heeheehee.

Whole Wheat-Flax Force Cookies

If you have animal cookie shapes, that’s fab too… I just needed an excuse to use my Star Wars cookie cutters. Anything on the small side is fine! I’d like to experiment and see if I can’t make a peanut butter version to add a little protein… watch this space for further developments! These cookies are lightly sweet and perfect when you want a bit of sweet but not full on dessert. They make great snacks (especially with Biscoff spread, ahem.. what isn’t?!). I got 22 cookies. Slightly adapted from The Cilantropist, here!

  • 1.25 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 c ground flaxseed (I like Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp Earth Balance (or butter, your call)
  • 1/3 c sugar (I used turbinado)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Darth Vader looks like he's about to inhale a flax seed...

Combine flour, flaxseed, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a mediumish bowl and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until combined. Add in egg and vanilla, and continue mixing. Add in the dry ingredients, hopefully in 2 additions (keep the mixer on low). Once the flour is just incorporated, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and form into a flat disk. Stick into a plastic baggie (or wrap in plastic wrap, if you have it), and toss into the fridge to chill for about 2 hours or overnight. I left mine just about 2 hours.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (or wax paper, which is what I used).

the Galileo is having a bit of a fly 'round my kitchen...

Once chilled, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. I found that mine didn’t crack too much, and was fine with a little flour dusted on top (and on me, naturally… how is it that flour never seems to stay where I put it?!). Roll out to about 1/8 inch thick. Go nuts with your cookie cutters, rinse, repeat, until you’ve used all your dough. Since the dough is rather delicate, I found that using a pastry scraper (or other flat metal surface) to transfer the cookies to the cookie sheet was effective. Pastry scrapers are great since they have a nice sharp edge. Transfer all cookies to the prepped cookie sheet, and chill again in the fridge for half an hour.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350. Bake the cookies for about 7 minutes, until lightly browned and puffyish (bake them longer, if you want crunchy cookies—I took mine out at 7 and they’re a bit softer and chewier: perfect!). Let cool a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Remember, the Force will be with you… always (as long as you eat my cookies) :)

Asteroids do not concern me, Admiral. I want those cookies and not excuses!

 

Potassium deficiency ain’t got nothin’ on us!

cookie cantilevering

Wait.

STOP THE PRESSES!

Kira and I had… wait for it… TWO DEAD BANANAS in the apartment this morning.

This might seem unimpressive, or rather unextraordinary, under normal people’s circumstances, but let me explain. It is ridiculously hard to keep us in bananas. Here’s the deal: we shop for foodstuffs on Sundays… and buy upwards of TEN BANANAS. For two people. And they usually last us until about Saturday… with no dead bananas leftover for baking purposes. Which is sad, as baked banana things are suuuuper tasty. But seriously. The amount of bananas consumed in the Nerdaerie is astounding. Potassium deficiency ain’t got nothin on us!

So. Since I discovered this bonanza of potassium-rich goodness sitting in our adorable hanging fruit basket, I decided that cookies needed to happen! Natch. Besides, cookies are more fun than thesising on a Saturday morning. (Even when the bunnies are helping out on the thesising front, cookies still win by a long shot…besides, then when I actually do buckle down and work, I have cookies to put in my thesis cup! ha.)

the bunnies are helping me thesis!

These cookies are, like a lot of my cookies, good for you! I love having snacky-type cookies around, so I feel like I’m getting nutritional benefits out of my dessert. Enter the banana cookie! Bananas: excellent source of potassium, fiber, and prebiotics for calcium absorption. Raw almond butter: mufas! (monounsaturated fatty acids: healthy fats), and cholesterol-lowering properties. Oats: whole grains! Cinnamon: helps control blood sugar spikes. Coconut: all kinds of good things, including good fats. PLUS, these cookies have no added sugar, are vegan (with vegan chocolate), and are friendly for those of my peeps dealing with genetically high cholesterol (which really doesn’t seem fair).  These cookies have no cholesterol, so feel free to indulge :)

And besides all that goodness, these cookies are fab. Soft, and like Kira said, almost like a macaroon. Tasty, just like a Saturday morning should be! I may have start buying an extra bunch of bananas, just to let them spottify on me for baking purposes… too bad Kira and I would have to hide them from each other to keep them around longer than a few days!

natural light, look at that!

Banana, Almond Butter and Oat Cookies

Adapted from A Full Measure of Happiness, here! I got 14 cookies. Of course, I put a Hayley-type spin on these…I’ll give you one guess. Yep. CHIA SEEDS! How did you know?!

Rustle up:

  • 2 dead bananas (mine were spotty brown)
  • 1/2 c nut butter (I used crunchy raw almond butter for these)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • very scant 1/4 c canola oil
  • 1 heaping spoonful of unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 c rolled oats
  • 1/3 c shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • scant 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon (I think I would add more next time)
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/3 c chocolate chips
mmm, oaties.

Preheat the oven to 350! Line a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper.

In a largeish bowl, mash up your banana, and then mix in nut butter, vanilla, and oil until thoroughly combined. In a smaller bowl, stir together oats, coconut, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and chia seeds. Mix dry into wet, and stir in chocolate chips (these are some low-maintenance cookies). Drop by the spoonful onto your cookie sheet: I crammed all of them onto one, since they don’t spread, and was able to fit 14. Bake for 12-14 minutes (I took mine out at 14ish), until lightly browned on the edges.

Eat. Feel virtuous :)

bunniesss! hehe.

Cookies:1, Empty Tupperware: ZERO!

mmm, cooookies!

Shazaaam! Two cookie posts in a row! Are you feeling loved? You should  be… I have only your best interests at heart :)

I promise I haven’t fallen off the blogging wagon! I’ve been SO BUSY with recruitment, but my normal schedule is returning to me on Monday, so we’ll have lots of tasty eats coming. Hooray! I’ve been getting antsy: there is decidedly NOT enough time to cook when you are expected to eat dinner at 3:45 in order to have time to recruit new sisters. A fun activity, to be sure, but definitely not friendly to kitchen experiments. It’s a bit more conducive to eating a sandwich for dinner. Yes. I did that yesterday.

BUT.

I made up for it with spontaneous cookies made during my lunch break between class and work! Time management, for the win! Hayley:1, crazy schedule: ZERO. Take that, empty Tupperware. Rejoice, in your fullness! You are empty no longer.  And I am satisfied. For the moment, anyway. I’m sure the combined efforts of Kira and I will make short work of this current batch, like the last *cough* two. Oops. What can I say, a girl’s gotta have cookies! It’s in the blog title, after all.

the not-so-leaning tower of cookies!

Besides, these are healthy(er) cookies—not your average white flour/sugar laden/yucky additive cookies. I like to make cookies that are bursting with nutritional value (or at least have some redeeming qualities!), so that I can eat them for a snack, in a pinch. And when I eat them for dessert, they’re much more satisfying. This particular incarnation is full of healthy things: they’re vegan (if you use vegan chocolate chips, which I didn’t), which means less saturated fat. They have oats and whole wheat flour, which means whole grains and soluble fiber! AND they have chia seeds (antioxidants galore and mega omega-3s) and coconut (healthy fats and anti-inflammatory properties!). And chocolate. Because what is life without chocolate? For cookie, these are pretty spectacular little guys. Oh yeah. Did I mention they are DELICIOUS?! Because they totally are. So seize your next awkward block of time (hellooo, lunch break!) and bake yourself some indulgently healthy sweets. You’re worth it!

"letting them cool". ha. as if.

Chocolate chip, Coconut and Chia Cookies

Adapted from (Neverhome)Maker, here!

These cookies are soft but a bit crumbly, with oaty-coconuty goodness. If you like a slightly denser cookie with nut butter, or want another chia recipe, check these! Both recipes produce cookies that are lightly sweet, but satisfying. I got about 11 good-sized (like 3″) cookies from the full recipe.

Whatcha need!

  • 1/2 c Earth Balance spread
  • scant 1/4 c brown sugar
  • scant 1/4 c turbinado sugar
  • 1/4 c unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/3 c unsweetened shredded coconut (or flakes. I used shredded)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 c instant oats (make sure you use instant, I think rolled would be too flaky/crumbly)
  • 1/3-1/2 c chocolate chippies, depending on your preference
  • 1.5 tbsp chia seeds
  • *If you want to throw in other add ins, feel free! I might try wheat germ next time…
they're saying: make meee!!

Preheat the oven to 350.

With an electric mixer, cream together Earth Balance and sugars until creamy. Add applesauce and vanilla, and beat to combine. In a smallish bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: flour, coconut, salt, baking soda and powder. Add dry ingredients to your butter/sugar bowl, and combine (I used the mixer again for this, and it was fine…just be careful wher you’re flingin’ that stuff!). Stir in the oats, chocolate chippies, and chia seeds by hand.

Drop/roll into little balls and flatten slightly, making sure not to lose any of those precious choc chippies! Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Mine were done at about 11.

Go eat your cookies outside, in the warm (!!) Oregon sun, like a somnolent kitty in front of your apartment door. Thank you, Oregon, for this gloriously sunny day in January!

 

Channeling my inner Aztec Warrior

Wait... are those...?

Rainy weather needs cookies.

Besides, there was an appalling lack of dessert around here, and I was in need of something to satisfy my sweet tooth (healthfully, if you please). So. I decided to make healthy(ish) cookies! Who doesn’t love cookies? And besides, these are good for you. You want to know why these are good for you? Suuuure you do! Alrighty, here’s the dealio: These cookies have not only oats (a whole grain), and peanut butter (healthy fats), but they also have CHIA SEEDS!

Pause for effect.

chia! I didn't take this photo, though :) credit: http://www.buybigorganic.co.uk

You know, like those little things that you grow chia pets with?  Apparently they’re useful for something beyond growing funny green “hair” on a statue (who knew?!).

I have been putting these on oatmeal since freshman year of college (and, in fact, asked for them instead of candy one year for Christmas), but I’ve never really baked with them until this year! It’s fun, you should try it :)

These tiny little seeds date back to the time when the Aztecs were using them for sustained energy, as the main ration for their warriors (eating them makes me feel fierce). A higher source of omega-3 fatty acids than flax seed, these little babies are a superfood! They’re incredibly high in antioxidants, provide fiber, and are also a good source of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc. Woah. That’s a mouthful for a tiny little seed! And they are seriously tiny. But they can be added to all kinds of things, with no taste addition (at least, not that I notice). Apparently there’s also been research that suggests chia seeds slow the breakdown of carbohydrates, which in turn slows their conversion into sugar. They also have anti-inflammatory properties, and provide quality protein. All pluses, in my book. But enough with the nutrition lesson! I just needed to give you even more of a reason to make and eat these cookies.

I’ve just been validated by my lovely roomie as well: as I sit here writing this, I can hear Kira “mmm yumm-ing” from the other room over their deliciousness! These cookies were a big hit with both of us, hooray!

COOKIES!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Cookies

Adapted from Yummy Mummy, here! I got 13 decently sized cookies.

  • 1.5 c rolled oats
  • 1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1.5 tbsp chia seeds!
  • 1/4 c (half a stick) butter, room temp or softened in the microwave if you’re lazy like me
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 3/4 c natural peanut butter (just peanuts and salt, please! Mine was chunky, which is extra delicious)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • a good handful of chocolate chips (extra points for heart healthy dark chocolate)…mine was about 1/3 c
playing with my food again?! nahhh...

Preheat the oven to 350, and line a cookie sheet with parchment or wax paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: oats, flour, baking powder, and chia seeds. Using an electric mixer, cream butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add in peanut butter, eggs, and vanilla, and beat to combine. Stir in dry ingredients, as well as chocolate chips. This dough is flaky, so I just got messy and used my hands to shape little cookie balls. They don’t spread, so feel free to cram them all on one cookie sheet (instant gratification, yesss). I flattened the tops a bit, and stuck on the chocolate chips that insisted on falling out. (Why do chocolate chips never want to stick to dough with peanut butter in it?!)

Bake them for 10 minutes, until lightly golden! Devour. Channel your inner Aztec warrior.

oops. it fell down!

Cookies are not structurally-sound building materials (sadly)…

mmm...

Wait… are those…?!

COOKIESSSS!!!

I dare you to NOT drool over these.

Even after the glut of holiday treats, why not have oneeee teensy cookie more? (Meeester Creeasote?! hehehee) It’s still New Year’s Day, after all, and as the Rose Parade isn’t until tomorrow, that kind of makes tomorrow New Year’s too. Ish. Enough that I can say it is, and eat holiday cookies. And really, chocolate chip cookies are my ideal way to ring in the new year. They go with champagne, right?! And if I eat them for New Year’s, along with my black-eyed peas and cabbage, doesn’t that mean I’ll have lots of chippies in the coming year? I hope so.

Besides, if I can drool over these, so can you. We know I’m the ludicrously picky chippy cookie-snob, the one who will only eat chocolate chip cookies that conform to my exacting specifications. Which is why I usually end up at my favorite bakery, rather than making my own (instant gratification has nothing to do with it, oh no, of course not). But THESE.

coooookies

These actually are deeeelicious. Not exactly to my bakery specifications, but delicious enough that I inhaled two fresh off the cooling rack (cooling? psh. Cookies don’t need to cool. Cooling racks are more like the cookie-waiting-to-be-eaten holding area). I would definitely make these again, which is saying quite a bit coming from me. They are perfectly crispy on the edges, with a chewy, vanilla-y middle. They do have a really pronounced vanilla flavor, which I (and Vacuum Vati) love. The only way they could be more perfect is if they were a bit fatter… they flattened out just a bit as they cooled. Not that this stopped me from eating them, clearly. Don’t let it deter you…

these are about to get up close and personal with my tummy gremlins

Crispy-Chewy Chocolate Chippies

Adapted from Full Circle Foodie, here!

I probably got about 30 cookies, most a few inches across, and several that were *ahem* larger (I may have eaten those myself. Shhh, don’t tell. Another picky specification: cookies are supposed to be BIG).

Rummage in your pantry for the following:

  • 2 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 tsp  baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 c unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 c brown sugar, packed*
  • 1/2 c white sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 c chocolate chippies!**

*I left the sugar content as is in these, since brown sugar is what makes them chewy. However… for a second batch, I think I would play with reducing sugar, like in  my other recipes. Though I like deadly sweet (occasionally), I’ve come to prefer less sweet versions. Likely the sugar could be cut by about 1/4 without effect. Oops, oh well, I guess I have an excuse to make another batch…

**I also prefer a higher cookie to chocolate ratio in my cookies, so I cut the chocolate by half. Up to you, whatever floats your cookie boat!

This is like the Isengard of cookies (only not evil)

Preheat the oven to 325, and line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Sift flour, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. In a mediumish bowl, whisk together melted butter and sugars until fluffy (no stand mixers allowed for this recipe! Use it as a bicep workout). Add in whole egg, yolk, and vanilla, and whisk until your arm falls off. Fold into dry ingredients, as well as choc chippies. Drop by one-inch ish scoop for smallish cookies, or fatty scoops like mine for bigger ones. Or a combo. Like I said, whatever makes your cookie float! (in milk, ha)

Bake for about 14 to 16 minutes. Mine were about 14 for the smaller ones, 16 for the larger ones. Let cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheets, and then transfer to the cookie holding area (as in, those waiting to be discreetly scarfed on the way through the kitchen).

Eat, and relish the fact that not only will you have good luck in the New Year (thanks to my Southern roots: black-eyed peas and cabbage), but that my future will be rife with cookies. Can’t ask for a better 2012 than that. Wait… are those…?! :]

playing with my food?! nahhhh...
heheh whoops... Isengard was apparently not seismically sound...