Thursday, December 18, 2014

Ginger Cookies with Chocolate Chunks

Christmas is coming, Christmas is coming! Finals are done. I finished all my Christmas shopping. My sister's boyfriend graduated from college. Last weekend, I saw the Broadway show Newsies in Chicago with my sisters and mom. Now, my entire family is together (for the first time ever with all 9 of us) in Arizona. It's a busy time of year for me and basically every other person. Despite all the busyness, I love Christmas season: the snow, the beautiful lights and, of course, the baking!

My problem is always that I can't eat any normal Christmas cookies. Stupid dairy. So what do I do? Remake my favorites without the dairy! These cookies are a great combination of the classic gingerbread taste, with gooey dark chocolate. They are definitely different than your classic gingerbread Christmas cookie, but I like it. My mom has dubbed these one of her new favorite Christmas cookies, and I would place them on that list as well.

These cookies, definitely bring out the zingy ginger-taste. As of this summer, ginger has become one of my favorite flavors, especially ginger candy. The bonus of ginger is that it is great for stomach aches and indigestions too! Starting during my freshman year of college, I have had stomach problems more than a normal 20-something year-old should ( I blame the food at my school). This year, ginger has become my natural remedy for my upset stomach.

On that note, if you are not a huge fan of ginger, I would cut it back a little in this recipe. The dark chocolate helps to soften the flavor and cut the ginger-taste, but they are still very gingery!

Enjoy these cookies, the Christmas season, and all the family, friends, and delicious food that come with it!

Adapted from 101 Cookbooks
Makes about 4 dozen cookies


2/3 cup coconut sugar
150 grams bitter sweet dairy free chocolate, chopped (I used 88% cacao)
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
4 1/2 teaspoons ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup molasses
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh grated ginger, peeled
1 egg, beaten


1. Preheat oven to 350 F and line baking sheets with parchments paper.
2. Finely chop the chocolate bar into 1/8 inch pieces, or smaller
3. In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, ground ginger, and salt together
4. Grate ginger. Heat coconut oil until just melted (I used the microwave). Stir in applesauce, molasses, sugar, and fresh grated ginger. Add the egg to the mixture, making sure the mixture is only warm, not hot. Finish mixing then add wet mixture to flour mixture and stir until combined. Stir in the chocolate.
5. Roll dough between palms into 1-inch balls then place a few inches apart on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 7-9 minutes until cookies puff up and tops darken and begin to crack.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Pumpkin Muffins with Chocolate Chips

As previously, mentioned: I love fall. If you care to know the reasons why, look at my recipe for Apple Bread. If you care to eat amazing pumpkin muffins, keep reading here. This muffin is yet another great fall recipe. Technically, I should be posting Christmas recipes right now. It is the second week of December after all, and Christmas is coming oh-so-soon. Here in Indiana though, it's still feeling rather fall-ish. There's no snow on the ground, rather it has been 40 degrees and rainy this past week. Only one more week here though, then I am on my way to the motherland(!!!) AKA Minnesota....minus a stop to Chicago and Arizona on the way (or not so on the way). 

Anyways, back to the muffins. These muffins are sweet enough to eat as dessert, yet light enough to eat for breakfast. The recipe pairs the favorite fall pumpkin flavor with every women's year-round favorite: chocolate. When warm, the chocolate chips melt in your mouth for some great chocolatey goodness. These muffins are gluten-free and dairy-free as well as refined-sugar-free and oil-free. They are not flavor-free though, so no worries there. OH! They also pair great with coffee, which is important since we know I love foods that pair well with coffee.

Enjoy these muffins next time you want a great breakfast, snack, or dessert- because they're that good and that versatile. 

Adapted from Running with Spoons
Makes 8 muffins


¼ cup almond butter
¾ cup canned pumpkin
1 egg
6 Tbsp. honey
½ cup rolled oats
2 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
½ tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ cup mini dairy-free chocolate chips, plus more for sprinkling


1. Preheat oven to 375F and prepare a muffin pan by lining 8 cavities with muffin liners
2. Add all ingredients except chocolate chips to a blender and blend on high until batter is smooth and creamy.
3. Pour batter into bowl and stir in chocolate chips by hand
3. Scoop batter into prepared muffin pan, filling each cavity until it is about ¾ full
4. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the tops of muffins are set and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Check muffins at 10 minutes and sprinkle with extra chocolate chips. When done, allow muffins to cool in pan for about 10 minutes before inverting onto cooling rack. 
5. Muffins can be stored in an air-tight container for up to a week