Tuesday, June 25, 2013

No Flour Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

I am in the midst of a crazy, crazy week so this week's Try Something New Tuesday is going to be short, sweet and to the point. I'd been eyeing this recipe on Pinterest for awhile and decided to give it a try. I've used chickpeas before in cookies and really liked the way they turned out, so I thought these sounded promising.

Here's the cast.

First, rinse your chickpeas.

Then pat all those little chickpeas dry.

Dump all the ingredients except the chocolate chips into a food processor.

Then process the heck out of it until you get a nice, smooth batter. I stopped the processor and scraped the sides a couple of times to make sure I got everything well blended. 

Then add the chocolate chips. I mixed these in a separate bowl. My dough was a little warm after all that processing. I should have put it in the fridge for a few minutes first to let it cool down, but I was anxious to try these so I went ahead and added the chocolate. My dough turned a little chocolatey when I mixed in the chips because they did melt slightly.

Next, wet your hands and roll the dough into 1-1/2" balls and place them on a lined cookie sheet. I got 14 cookies.

Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes.

Oh be still my heart. Cookies that I can totally justify as healthy? Yes, please!

The kids loved them too.

These are best served warm out of the oven. They also reheat beautifully. I found that 8 seconds in the microwave is just about perfect. However, 15 seconds in the microwave + lack of patience when it comes to waiting for chocolate = a burned tongue.

I did not calculate the nutrition on these myself, but I did read that it was somewhere around 120 calories per cookie.

No Flour Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites
  • 1-1/4 cups canned chickpeas, well rinsed and patted dry (this was slightly less than 1 can)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter or almond butter (don't use regular peanut butter; the cookies will be too oily)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • a pinch of salt if your peanut butter doesn't have salt in it
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
1. Preheat your oven to 350. Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips in a food processor and process until very smooth. 

2. Put in the chocolate chips and stir. The mixture will be thick and sticky.

3. With wet hands, form into 1-1/2" balls. Place onto lined cookie sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes.


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Father's Day Festivities and T25 Challenge Group

We celebrated Father's Day last Sunday with my wonderful husband. At our house, special occasions generally translate to some sort of delicious food. We kicked things off right with some Special Occasion Cinnamon Rolls.

The kids and I baked them on Saturday while Jeff was at work. The cinnamon rolls reheat beautifully, so we had them ready to eat in just a few seconds. The eldest made chocolate milk to go with the cinnamon rolls. Because if there's anything a boatload of sugar needs, it's more sugar. Then, we delivered breakfast in bed!

The kids made Jeff several cards, and we presented him with our gift.

The gift came with an obligation on Jeff's part to take an online chainsaw safety course. Because we've got 4 kids. And I need him to stick around. With all his limbs intact. He can come cut your tree down as soon as he finishes that course.

After breakfast we headed to church. I took pictures of all my sweet Sunday school babies to make a present for their daddies. Here is baby girl's photo.

We headed home and feasted on Jeff's favorite: spaghetti. My guy is pretty easy to please.

After lunch, we enjoyed a Sunday afternoon nap. Then we made our poor man's water slide in the front yard. One tarp + a little baby shampoo = TONS of fun!!! The kids had a blast.

I will refrain from posting my pictures on the slide. Some beauty should only be imagined and not displayed on the Internet for all the world to see.

On a side note, I am super excited about the new Beachbody workout that is coming out this Monday!!! It is from the Insanity creator, Shaun T, and the workouts are all only 25 minutes!!! It's called Focus T25, and it is for everyone from beginners on up. If you're interested in this program, I am starting an accountability group on July 8th. We will divide into teams and post about our workouts for points. The winning team will receive a prize! You can join the group here. And you can learn more about Focus T25 in the video below.

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Special Occasion Cinnamon Rolls

Sometimes I like to remind my readers why I love working out at home. So today I let my husband photograph a bit of my workout. It was P90X Back & Biceps. Behold the beauty.

I know. I am awesome.

Speaking of awesome, a few years ago I decided I was going to learn to make cinnamon rolls from scratch. I searched high and low for the perfect recipe. And then I found this one. I made a few modifications. And I added an icing. Because serving cinnamon rolls without icing is blasphemy as far as I'm concerned. 

This recipe is a favorite at our house. It is in no way healthy. Seriously. Not one iota of healthiness exists inside these little gems. Which is why I reserve them for special occasions. And so should you. It's all about moderation, people.

Here's the cast.

First, you're going to heat your milk over the stove in a small saucepan until it just starts to bubble.

Next, remove the milk from the heat and add 1/2 stick of softened butter.

Set aside the milk mixture.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix 2-1/4 cups of the flour, along with the white sugar, yeast and salt. Add 1/4 cup water, 1 egg, and the milk mixture.

Mix that all together.

Then add another cup of flour, 1/2 cup at a time. You'll want to stir it well after each addition. When the dough just pulls together, dump it out on a lightly floured surface.

Knead the dough until it's smooth and soft like a baby's bottom.

Place the dough back in the bowl and cover it with a damp cloth. Let it rest for 10 minutes. Yeast doughs are kind of high maintenance.

Meanwhile, soften a whole stick of butter. I like to nuke mine in the microwave a few seconds if I haven't planned ahead.

Add the cinnamon and brown sugar, and mix it well.

Now plop your baby's-bottom-soft dough back onto your lightly floured surface and roll it into about a 12x9" rectangle.

Spread your butter/sugar/cinnamon mixture over the dough.

Then roll the dough up. I like to start at the back.

Once it's all rolled up, pinch the seams to seal all that buttery, sugary goodness inside.

Once it's all rolled up it should look something like this.

Slice your large roll into 12 equal-sized rolls.

Place the rolls into a greased 9x13" pan.

Cover the rolls and let them rise for about 30 minutes or until doubled. Don't stress over this part. Mine don't always double, and I sometimes put them in the oven after only 20 minutes (gasp!), but they have never failed to finish rising in the oven. Here's what mine looked like after 30 minutes.

Bake them at 375 for 20 minutes. And here they are fresh out of the oven.

Shortly before they come out of the oven you can mix up your icing. It is so simple! Just put the sugar, butter, vanilla and milk into a bowl.

Mix well, and voila! Cinnamon roll icing!

Spread the icing on the warm rolls.

Wow your family and friends!

These are a little labor intensive. They take about 90 minutes to prepare from start to finish. But they are spectacular.

Special Occasion Cinnamon Rolls
  • 3/4 c. milk
  • 1/4 c. (1/2 stick) butter, softened
  • 3-1/4 c. all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 (.25 oz.) pkg. yeast
  • 1/4 c. white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c. brown sugar, packed
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1. Heat milk in small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Mix in 1/4 cup butter; stir until melted. Let it cool until lukewarm.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine 2-1/4 cup flour, yeast, sugar and salt; mix well. Add water, egg and the milk mixture; beat well. Add remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has just pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.

3. Cover dough with a damp cloth and let rest for 10 min. Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl mix together brown sugar, cinnamon and 1/2 cup butter.

4. Roll dough into 12x9" rectangle. Spread dough with butter/sugar mixture. Roll up dough and pinch seams to seal. Cut into 12 equal size rolls and place cut side up in lightly greased 9x13" pan. Cover and let rise until doubled (about 30 minutes). Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

5. Bake rolls for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Serve warm.

Cinnamon Roll Icing
  • 1-1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. butter, softened
  • 3/4 tsp. vanilla
  • 2-1/4 tsp. milk
~Stir ingredients together. Spread over warm rolls.

Question of the Day:

Does your family have a favorite special-occasion-only food?