Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Gluten Free Almond Butter and Chocolate Cookies

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Just a few weeks back I made some gluten free peanut butter chocolate chip cookies,  Whew, that's a mouthful!  Well, they were delicious, and when I posted the recipe, a friend said she was going to make them with almond butter.  Hmmm.  Me too!  The consistency was much different than with peanut butter, a little heavy, so I added 1/4 cup of coconut oil to make it a little creamier.  I also scaled back the amount of chocolate.  The original cookies had..too much.  I know, hard to believe.  But these are really more like a cookie, less like a bunch of chips!  Here's how they went.

1 cup creamy almond butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup old fashioned oats
dark chocolate chips (not a whole bag)

Cream the almond butter sugar, vanilla and coconut oil.  When mixed, add dry ingredients and stir well. The batter is really sticky (and pretty tasty), and I made smaller cookies this time, baking on a Silpat.  350º, for 10-15 minutes.

These were a little fluffier than the peanut butter version, and honestly, I think I like them better.  Almond butter is not a flavor that is in your face like peanut butter, so the subtlety is perfect for me.  The recipe will make about 4 dozen smaller, perfect size cookies.  So, what are you waiting for?  Get in there and bake!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Tailgating Crafter

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I knew that'd get your attention.  Years ago when Lori and I did the craft/sewing show circuit for our very cool sewing DVDs, we would often hang out with Donna.  At one particular show, she and her hubby had a cooler in tow.  Being the Southern girl I am, I dubbed them the tailgating crafters.  They were actually very smart.  Fruit, yummy sandwiches, water...not really the type of food you would find at these venues, and a vast improvement over the Pronto Pups, the tankards of soda, and fresh fried churro.  So when Donna said her mom was turning 70, I was happy to pitch in on the celebration!  We happily outwitted the US Post Office as the cookies arrived unscathed!

I made these cookies in all the electric colors by Americolor, and knew I was going to do a little brush embroidery.  After returning from Cookie Con, you kind of get all these techniques in the front of your brain.  However, as I was planning the same look as I did here, I realized it needed a little (a lot) of improvement!)  I actually have the very first brush embroidery cookies I did at Spring Fling....way back in 2012, certainly not edible, actually a little petrified!  But I love the technique, and as I was reading my blog list I hit Glorious Treats.  I love this gal, Glory has been at every cookie convention.  She is a real person, wife, mother, blogger.  Now a published author, and still as nice as always.  Well she put up some brush embroidery.  No leaves, but big flowers, colorful cookies, and I totally copied her.  Really, is there a better form of flattery?  I think my favorite thing about Glory is that she knows how to edit, keeps it clean and simple, and honestly, most cookie people I know should follow suit, myself included!  I like her soft pastel backgrounds better, but mine went with the other big flowers and polka dots I made.  So, Happy Birthday Judy! (And thanks Glory!  and I love, love, love my book!)

I also baked up some doctor cookies for my adorable, and very accomplished niece who just had Match Day, so now knows where she will do her pediatric residency.  Her beau is doing his urology residency in the same city.... and these were a vast improvement over my last doctor cookies.  I am not an artist, I just give it the old college try, and certainly practice makes me much better!  I love the little aspirin, and I made hers orange...but yes, I know, kids shouldn't take aspirin!

Finally, I helped out a school class who wanted to have a baby shower for a teacher.  So a platter of rattles and onesies were in order!  It's a girl!  And don't you love the old saying...Sugar and Spice and Everything nice, that's what little girls are made of.  So sweet and old fashioned.  I am certain someone will have to explain that cookie to the kids, or maybe someone will Google it!

see my pearl chevrons???  oh stencils are where it's at!

More fun cookies in the works, all that Cookie Con inspiration!  And...I bought an airbrush.  So lots of practice cookies for some lucky friends!  What are you waiting for?  Get in there and bake!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Meringue Cookies

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Light as a feather with chocolate chunks!
 Sometimes I surprise myself.  Like today, I was scrolling through my recipe index and was kind of shocked by what wasn't there.  Recipes that I love, that haven't made it up on the blog.  Sometimes it's just that I do it by rote, and then afterwards think, dang, I should have shot a photo or 2!  Plus, I am not a big garnish type, or precise at my outcome, so many aren't worthy of a photo or post.  But I will get on these favorite recipes with camera in hand.  Today, meringue cookies.  And a note here, do NOT, under any circumstance, make these on a rainy day!  Disastrous! 

The original recipe is handwritten in my grade school handwriting, with big open dots on the I.  What you can't see on this card, is to fold in the chips and drop onto parchment paper lined cookie sheets.  I bake them for about an hour at 250º.  I let them cool in a turned off oven, and they need to be stored airtight!

I had these cookies at my childhood friend's home.  She lived on a farm, and I am so certain I have written this all before, but I can't find it!  She lived with her parents, and her grandparents lived in a house on the other side of the garden.  The men all farmed and in the middle of the day would come in for dinner.  They had a huge table in their kitchen and I loved spending the night there and being part of this enormous family.  We would get to feed the calves with a giant baby bottle, and to this day I can conjure up the smell of the powdered calf formula we gave them.  We would go to the hayloft and jump on bales of hay, and the old chicken house was a place to play.  Her family would host fall bonfires and hayrides for our class.  True American childhood right there.

I have posted before my love of meringue.  Most precisely, raw meringue.  I can eat it right out of the bowl.  Of course I love to baked cookies as well.  Thankfully no one in my family is as enamored with these as I am, so I make them sort of big, and enjoy each and every one.  I am not much of a sharer with Chocolate Dotted Peppermint Kisses!

Add the sugar slowly for best results!