Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you’re gluten free, you’ll love this recipe.  Even if you’re not, you will love this recipe! The peanut butter flavor is exploding out of these crumbly, delicate, little cookies.  It’s like eating peanut butter from a jar…well, minus that awkward stuck-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth feeling.  Peanut butter, sugar, and mini chocolate chips.  NO FLOUR! Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookie 2 Are any of you guys angry eaters?

Like, okay, we have all heard of emotional eaters.  But I am not going to call myself an emotional eater because A) that sounds like a horrible condition, and B) I don’t get hungry with every emotion I feel.  If I am sad, I’m sad.  Don’t shove a hot dog in my face–I want a hug, sheesh.  If I am exceptionally happy, I am happy and I want to buzz around and be energetic and productive and maybe even a little annoying. I don’t have time to think about eating.

I do a pretty good job watching what I eat throughout the day.  I have a pretty balanced diet and try to not to overdo it.

Wellllll…make me angry…and that’ll all change reeeaaal quick.Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookie 1

I had a long, crazy day at work and I just wanted to come home and relax for five whole minutes before I had to make dinner.  I walk in the front door, and the first thing I see is my husband and he is up to his elbows in WORK.  He brought work home with him…grrr.  So there’s that.  Then, I realize he has already eaten something for dinner so now I can’t make what I was planning on anymore.  A handful other things bug me on my way to our room; my totally not leak proof water cup tips over as I am carrying it under my arm and water seeps out all over me and I trip on my way into the closet as I am trying to kick off my heels.  Game…OVER. Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookie 3I am ticked.  Hangry at this point.  I don’t want to make anything.  I am scrounging through the cupboards and opening the fridge again and again in my attempt to find a quick fix.  I grab the caramel corn.  I eat a handful of that.  I see the bag of mini marshmallows and shove some of those down, too.  I’m pacing around the kitchen blowing off some steam.  Finally, I walk to our tall cabinet and I just stand there staring into it, processing everything that has just occurred.  Then something catches my eye…it’s Cap’n Crunch.  Crunch Berries, of course.  I ate it.  And, it wasn’t even that good.

FYI: I DO NOT EAT CEREAL.  LIKE, EVER.

What have I become?

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Well, my emotions got the best of me.  I am certainly an angry eater.

I am an angry eater who had nothing but sugar for dinner tonight.

Let’s hope this warm spearmint tea can make me forget.

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Servings: Makes 3 dozen
  • Difficulty: You cannot mess this up
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What you need:

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees (F).
  2. Line ungreased cookie sheet with parchment paper (optional)
  3. Mix all ingredients together in a medium-sized mixing bowl
  4. Form about 1 inch round balls (one tablespoon dough) and place on cookie sheet
  5. Using a fork, press and flatten each ball just slightly
  6. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes.*
  7. Let cookies cool completely before transferring from pan
  8. ENJOY with a glass of cold milk!

 

*Note: the cookies should still look semi-fluffy and on the verge of not being done.  10 minutes is typically the longest I have gone.  Be sure to let them cool, otherwise, they’ll fall apart!  I did try to make them in a mini-muffin tin, but they need to cook a bit longer and cool MUCH longer before you can successfully transfer them from the tin.  Perhaps cook them the day before you transfer them?  Let me know if you get creative with this recipe!

 

Karlie

 

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookie 4

 

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Lucky Charms Crunch Bark

I took one of my beloved childhood favorites and covered it in white chocolate.  Holllllller.  To add a sweet/salty snack element, I added white cheddar popcorn to the recipe and served it in a bowl as a snack mix/bark.  I made one pan with popcorn and one without.  I like the one with popcorn better.  However, both are absolutely, positively, “magically delicious”!IMG_8250We are halfway through March, people!  That means that Spring is finalllllly within reach! Halllllllelujah!  It cannot come soon enough.  We have all “sprung forward”, my mom is already asking about our Easter plans, and people are leaving on trips for Spring Break.  And, speaking of Spring Break trips, Joey and I are leaving for good ol’ Mississippi on Saturday.  It will be my first trip to the South, and I’ve never been more excited for humidity, swampland, and authentic Southern food.  More updates on that in the coming weeks!

But for now, back to this chocolate-covered cereal. IMG_8301I figured I had to post something St. Patrick’s Day-ish.  So this is what I came up with.  This crunchy, sugary-sweet bark recipe is stinkin’ addicting.  I made (and documented) the first batch using just Lucky Charms and a package of white almond bark.  You just separate the cereal–marshmallows in one bowl and hard cereal pieces in another–and melt the white chocolate (I used almond bark), combine it, and voila!  It turned out spendidly.  Earlier this week, though, I decided to make another batch for our bible study group.  I just felt like it needed a little more salty-sweet action.  Want to know what I did?  I bought a bag of White Cheddar Smartfood Popcorn and mixed it in!  It was the crown jewel.  My friends could not get enough of it.  (See additional pictures at the bottom of post.) IMG_8033First you separate the hard pieces from the marshmallows (and try not to eat all the marshmallows). If you are adding popcorn like I did, you can layer the popcorn evenly with the cereal pieces at this point. IMG_8071Then you want to melt a pound of white chocolate or almond bark and pour it onto the cereal bits.  You’ll have to mix it together and then spread it out again to make sure it all sticks together in the end. Let’s make it pretty!IMG_8184Add your marshmallows and push down gently so that they stick into the white chocolate.  Let it sit for a few hours and break it all up!  You’ll be in your own Lucky Charms heaven. 

Lucky Charms Crunch Bark

  • Servings: As many or few as you'd like
  • Difficulty: super easy
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What you need:

  • box of Lucky Charms cereal, separated into 2 cups dry cereal and 2 cups marshmallows
  • pound of white almond bark or white chocolate
  • white cheddar popcorn (optional)

What to do:

  1. Get out a baking sheet or jelly-roll pan and line it with parchment paper or foil.
  2. Spread dry cereal pieces onto lined baking sheet. (If you are adding popcorn, do this now.)
  3. Melt your white chocolate according to package instructions- you MUST heat in intervals.
  4. Pour melted chocolate over cereal and mix gently to combine, pat cereal back together to form a layer again.
  5. Before chocolate hardens, top with marshmallows and press down lightly- just enough that you don’t break marshmallows, but hard enough that they stick into the bark.
  6. Let your creation cool and harden.
  7. Break into pieces and serve!
  8. ENJOY!

Notes: If you’re a sweet and salty addict like me, I’d suggest adding the popcorn to the mix.  Check out the photos below:IMG_8444IMG_8446IMG_8497IMG_8508

Mini Pancake and Sausage Breakfast Bites

This is what happens when fluffy pancake blankets get cozy with a few sausage links and they go for a dip in a warm maple syrup bath.  Good things happen, friends, very good things.      IMG_7153First off, let me apologize for not posting a recipe last week!  I am so sorry I’ve been slacking!  Valentine’s Day came and went, (I’m still not engaged FYI) and life is suddenly crazy busy with a bunch of little things!  And I feel like they just keep coming!  The good news is, while I haven’t been blogging, I have been accomplishing things for Karlie and Oats!

One cool thing is that there are officially business cards floating around the Denver Metro area with my name on them!  I’ve been handing those things out like candy.  Another thing I did was filed my taxes!  Why is that significant, you ask?  Well, with my tax refund I plan to revamp the blog!  I’ve got a redesign planned, I’m working on getting a new camera, self-hosting talk is being thrown around…? AH!  I am nervous…but stinkin’ excited, too.  Keep checking back!  BIG THINGS AHEAD!

Meanwhile, back to this sticky, syrupy yumminess. IMG_7115 This little breakfast nugget is atop the high dive, suspended above a warm and sticky bowl of syrup.  It looks like he is ready to take the plunge. IMG_6987These little bites are so easy to make.  Get out the sausage links, pull the pancake mix from the pantry, heat up a little oil, and put some syrup in a bowl.  Cut, poke, dip, fry, and DUNK! Then you’re dunzo!IMG_7013

Mini Pancake and Sausage Breakfast Bites

  • Servings: Makes 16 bites
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • box of pancake mix
  • water
  • box of fully cooked sausage links (8 links)
  •  oil (for frying)
  • syrup for dipping
  • skewers or chopsticks

What to do:

  1. Empty about 1 1/2 – 2 cups of dry pancake mix into a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Add small amounts of water to pancake mix and whisk together until mix has no lumps, just enough to thin it out slightly.  Set aside.
  3. Heat oil on stove in deep pan.  (I used a pot and filled it 3 inches or so with oil.)
  4. If sausage links are frozen, place in microwave for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Cut each sausage link in half (you should have 16 halves).
  6. Press chopstick or skewer into one end of sausage link and dip sausage in pancake batter, coating evenly.
  7. Quickly submerge your pancake-batter-covered-sausage-on-a-stick into the hot oil, frying for a minute or two, or until it is browned, and transfer to a paper towel covered plate.  (If the oil is too hot, your outer shell will seem to burn before the inside batter is cooked.)
  8. Repeat process with each little chunk of sausage.
  9. Serve all those mini bites alongside warm maple syrup for dunking.
  10. ENJOY!

Fresh Strawberry Cookies

These bright pink cookies are made with REAL strawberries!  They’re extra fluffy, super moist, and loaded with strawberry flavor.  I don’t know if you noticed but…they’re PINK! These are the perfect treat for any pink occasion! heartcookie So!  Valentine’s Day is on Saturday!  That’s exciting, right?  Anybody else excited?

….?

Okay! Moving right along…

I figured since love is in the air this time of year I would post a recipe for something that you might love.  It is safe to say that I love these cookies, so I hope you do too.  They are bright pink, which is kind of a funny color for a cookie, but they taste really good!  Let me describe how they taste:  let’s say you had a moist, fluffy, frosted strawberry cupcake in your hands.  If you took that cupcake and flattened it in between your hands and shaped it into a round cookie, you would have a….mashed up, sticky, not-so-pretty strawberry cupcake cookie.  However, it would still taste good!  If you love the taste of strawberry cupcakes, but you’d prefer a sophisticated cookie over a messy cupcake, you will love this recipe! IMG_6670I have a confession.  The only reason I’m beyond excited for Valentine’s Day this year is because I’ve convinced myself that my boyfriend is going to propose.  I really shouldn’t get my hopes up, though.  Any time we go out somewhere, I start to think it is going to happen.  So it probably won’t happen.  But I think about it all the time. It’s BAD.

That is all I am going to say about that.

Cookies! heartcookie4 

Fresh Strawberry Cookies

  • Servings: Makes around 4 dozen
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 8 fresh strawberries, stems removed
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)
  • red food coloring

For the frosting:

  • 3 oz box strawberry jello
  • block of cream cheese, softened
  • powdered sugar
  • water

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
  2. Place strawberries in a blender or food processor and pulse until pureed or liquefied. Set aside. (If you don’t have those things, mash strawberries with a fork until they are a pulp.)
  3.  In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy.
  4. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
  5. Add in pureed strawberries and mix until evenly blended.
  6. In a small bowl, mix together flour, salt, and baking soda with a fork.
  7. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture one cup at a time and mix well. (Batter will be thick.)
  8. Stir in pecans and 5-10 drops of red food coloring to the dough if you’d like.
  9. Drop tablespoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets and bake for 12-15 minutes at 350(F) until edges are slightly brown.

**While cookies are cooling, you can make a simple frosting!

  1. In a small bowl, blend together a block of cream cheese and a package of strawberry jello using an electric mixer.
  2. Beat powdered sugar into mixture and add drops of water until you reach desired frosting consistency.
  3. Frost cookies with a spoon, or place frosting in Ziploc bag, cut the corner, and decorate!
  4. ENJOY!

 

NOTES** Frosting these cookies is the key to making them exceptionally moist!  You can create just about any frosting you want.  I frosted mine in several different ways and stored them in a sealed container and they stayed moist until they were all gone!  I also tried rolling some dough up into plastic wrap (like a tube) and threw it into the freezer to bake later.  This works just as well!  It’s kind of like slice and bake cookies from there! If you tend to like a little less sweet, opt for no frosting, but keep these cookies sealed up in storage for moisture!

Birthday Rice Krispie Treats

Sprinkles make me SO happy!  This recipe makes me happy too!  Easiest birthday treats ever! Cake mix + Rice Krispie Treats + SPRINKLES!  birthday2HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR KARLIEEEEEE, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MEEEEE!

Today is indeed my birthday!  Hooray!  I am officially 24 years old. Weird. The big 2-4.  This is the first birthday I’ve had where I feel like I am actually getting older.  23 didn’t seem too bad last year, but 24…not sure how I feel about it.

Birthdays.  Gotta love ’em!  Since it is my birthday, I thought it would be nice to share a fun little birthday treat recipe!  It is pretty darn easy.  If you have ever made Rice Krispie Treats successfully, I will guarantee you can handle this one.  It’s literally the same as making those, but you add one other ingredient to bring out the birthday flavor: cake mix! birthday Tell me this picture doesn’t make you happy?!  They’re chewy, gooey, marshmallow-y, and festive!  Any person at any age will appreciate this fun recipe! These treats are great, too, if you are in a hurry because you can whip them up in like 5 minutes.birthday5 

Birthday Rice Krispie Treats

  • Servings: Makes 12-15 squares
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 (10 oz) bag of large marshmallows (or mini)
  • 2/3 cup of dry yellow or white box cake mix (dry mix straight from the box, not batter)
  • 6 cups Rice Krispie cereal
  • 1/2 – 2/3 cup of sprinkles of your choice

What to do:

  1. Grease a pan of your choice (8″x 8″, 11″x 7″, or 9″x 13″) and set aside.
  2. Over low heat on stove, melt butter in large saucepan.
  3. When butter is melted, add entire bag of marshmallows and stir constantly.
  4. Stir in dry cake mix when marshmallows are completely melted.
  5. Remove from heat and mix in cereal.
  6. When cereal is coated, mix in half of sprinkles. (Don’t mix too much or the sprinkles won’t be as pretty!)
  7. Press into greased pan and top with remaining sprinkles.
  8. For firmer treats, let sit 30 minutes before cutting into squares.
  9. ENJOY!

 

 

 

I got the idea from: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2012/03/25/cake-batter-rice-krispie-treats/

Cheesy Ranch Cauliflower Breadsticks

The recipe for these Cheesy Ranch Cauliflower Breadsticks contains ZERO flour.  They are totally gluten-free and extremely low in carbs! You will want to keep this recipe close!IMG_6332 Holy smokes!  Is it really February already?!  Where does the time go?  In case you didn’t know, today is Groundhog Day.  Good old Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow once again.

So, yes.  It really is February already!  One month has really passed since New Years and I really need to start getting back on track with my low-carb eating habits.  This recipe for Cheesy Ranch Cauliflower Breadsticks is a winner, winner, chicken dinner!  The cauliflower binds with an egg and some parmesan cheese to make a hearty, flavorful crust.  Gluten free friends– this concoction is a terrific alternative to buying a prepackaged GF mix because the main ingredient is a vegetable, hello!? Even if you are not avoiding gluten, it is pretty darn easy to eat vegetables when they don’t taste like vegetables!  Now you can be sneaky with those picky eaters in your life! IMG_6287I used to hate cauliflower as a kid.  It was always cut up raw and served cold next to broccoli on veggie trays…and it was disgusting.  Bleh.  It was powdery, chunky, gritty, and tasteless.  I guess I probably still feel that way.  I can’t eat it raw.  I just can’t.  It’s just not good.  But…if I grind it up, mix it with some cheese, add a little ranch flavor, and top all that with even more cheese, I could eat cauliflower for days.IMG_6174

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Cheesy Ranch Cauliflower Breadsticks

  • Servings: Makes about 12 sticks, depending on how you slice it
  • Difficulty: A little advanced, but YOU CAN DO IT!
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Ingredients:

  • 1 12oz bag of frozen cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1oz dry ranch dressing packet
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup ranch dressing
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees (F). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Empty bag of frozen cauliflower into food processor.  Pulse until finely ground.  Cauliflower should resemble a powdery, rice substance.
  3. Transfer ground cauliflower to microwave-safe bowl and cook in microwave for two minutes; stirring after each minute.  This helps to fluff/steam cauliflower–you want the moisture to be pulled out of it.
  4. If steamed cauliflower is warm, refrigerate until cool.
  5. Add parmesan cheese, egg, ranch packet, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper to cauliflower. Stir until combined. (Mixture will be wet and sticky.)
  6.  Pour mixture onto parchment paper-lined baking sheet and spread/shape into a pizza crust or breadstick shape. Do not spread too thin; should be about 1/4 inch thick.
  7. Bake crust in oven for 15 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
  8. Remove crust from oven and layer with ranch dressing (like pizza sauce) and top generously with shredded mozzarella.
  9. Place pan back into oven for another 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted, bubbly, and golden.
  10. Slice and serve with marinara sauce or a sauce of your choice!

***Notes:  If you do not have a food processor, I would suggest grating the cauliflower with a cheese grater and chopping it as finely as possible.  If you do not have parchment paper, you can still make this!  Just grease the pan extra, extra well.  You can also use raw cauliflower, of course.  You’ll just have to prepare it and steam it and start at step 4.  This recipe is also perfect for pizza crust!  The base is the same.  You can change the seasonings and substitute Italian seasoning or oregano.

 

 

 

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is my favorite recipe for all things Chocolate Chip Cookie.  No doubt about it.  I’ve used the same recipe to make cookies, cookie bars, and even little cookie bowls!  I’ve never had a cookie recipe that is so multipurpose! choc3I don’t know what it is about Chocolate Chip Cookies, but they rule the roost in the dessert world.  If someone asked me what my favorite dessert was, I wouldn’t necessarily say it was Chocolate Chip Cookies.  BUT, for some reason, whenever I make them, the dough tastes so good that I can’t stop eating it.  It’s like the Chocolate Chip Cookies get into my brain!  Wait, here’s another good one: I wake up in the morning and I am feeling extra “good”, so when I make my coffee, I have it with almond milk and a little Stevia instead of loading it with creamer.  Good job, right?  Wrong.  My eyes are immediately drawn to the Chocolate Chip Cookies and I decide I’ll eat two of those for breakfast instead of real food.  WHAT?!  …Like I said, Chocolate Chip Cookies seem to dominate the {dessert} world.

They own me.choc5My Uncle Jim is the one who got me into these Chocolate Chip Cookies.  He lives in a small town in Northern Illinois and people know him as “The Cookie Man”.  I’ll never forget the time I went to his house and he showed me his ways.  Here are three things he taught me that affect how good (or bad, I guess) your cookies will turn out.  You have to have the perfect combination of white and brown sugar.  If you don’t, your cookies will flatten out or burn to a crisp.  Another helpful hint is to use instant vanilla pudding in the recipe.  It adds an all-around better taste than adding vanilla extract to your cookies.  Lastly, you need to beat in your eggs separately.  A lot of people overlook that step.  Don’t forget to mix them in separately!   choc8

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Servings: About 4 dozen
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 3.5oz package instant vanilla pudding
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 12oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
  2. In a large bowl, cream softened butter, brown and white sugars, and vanilla pudding with mixer until smooth.
  3. Beat in one egg. Then, beat in second egg.
  4. In small bowl, measure 2 1/2 cups of flour and 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Mix with fork.
  5. Add flour mixture to butter and sugar mixture slowly and mix until combined.
  6. Mix in bag of chocolate chips by hand.
  7. Drop rounded tablespoonfuls of dough onto ungreased cookie sheets, about 1-2 inches apart.
  8. Bake for 11-13 minutes until just barely golden for chewy cookies. (If you want crunchy cookies, cook until golden.)
  9. Cool for 5 minutes and transfer to plate!
  10. ENJOY!

**Notes: This recipe is extremely versatile.  If you want to whip up a batch of cookies and store the rest in the fridge for later, go for it!  Just keep your dough covered.  The cookies are just as yummy if the dough is chilled.   Also, if you want to make cookie bars instead, just use a 9″x13″ pan and bake them until the tops are golden.  Those are divine.