Grain-Free Snickerdoodles

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I can’t believe it’s the holiday season! This year has been such a whirlwind and full of change, but it’s hard to believe that it’s already almost over. Regardless, I love the holiday season and am happily embracing it. I’m even going home to Michigan for Christmas this year…the first time in five years!

Anyway, since it is the time of year for goodies, I thought I’d try my hand at grain-free snickerdoodles. These did not disappoint and could not be any easier to make. The texture is soft and pillowy with a light crust on the edges. The flavor is slightly sweet, tangy and of course, cinnamon-y. The cream of tartar is actually what gives the cookie its signature tang and reacts with the baking soda to create the crackled appearance. The cream of tartar also accounts for the perfect chewiness.

When first researching snickerdoodle recipes, I was actually kinda thrown off by the cream of tartar. I had to do a little more digging, but soon understood that from a snickerdoodle purist standpoint, it’s a must. Traditionally, it was always used to make snickerdoodles and without it, it’d just be a crunchy cinnamon sugar cookie (it keeps sugar from crystalizing!). It truly is the age-old snickerdoodle secret and enough for me to want to include it in the recipe.

Another thing about a classic snickerdoodle recipe — there is no vanilla extract. This is actually quite rare for a cookie recipe, but from what I learned, vanilla mellows out the tangy flavor from the cream of tartar. Who knew? So, in an effort to keep the cookie more classic, I also opted for no vanilla. And, truthfully, I didn’t miss it.

On another note, I went back on KATU Afternoon Live in November and made my herbed turkey potato stew. Watch the segment HERE. Stay tuned because I’ll also be going back on December 16 to make my no-bake rum balls!

snickerdoodle-bite

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups blanched almond flour (I used this brand)
  • 1 tsp non-irradiated cream of tartar (I used this brand)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted softened butter, preferably grass-fed
  • 3 Tbsp coconut sugar, plus another 3 Tbsp for rolling
  • 1 large egg, preferably pasture-raised
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or use a non-slip baking mat like this one. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the almond flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and sea salt. Set aside.
  3. In another large bowl, cream together the softened butter and 3 Tbsp of coconut sugar. Once light and fluffy, beat in the egg. Then, slowly add the dry mixture until combined.
  4. In a shallow dish, mix together the cinnamon and remaining 3 Tbsp of coconut sugar.
  5. Scoop out 1 Tbsp of dough and roll between hands to form a ball. Then, roll the ball in coconut sugar and cinnamon to coat. Place on prepared baking sheet. Gently flatten dough with palm of your hand.
  6. Bake in the prepared oven for 8-9 minutes or just until edges are barely brown.
  7. Cool on baking sheet for several minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Yields: 20 small cookies

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Simple Supper Friday: Cheater’s Chicken Pot Pie

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Pot pie is the definition of comfort food, and perfect during the fall and winter months. It’s warm, filling and basically chicken soup with less liquid and dough on top. I’ve made pot pie with a full-on, grain-free almond flour crust in the past and it definitely involves a bit more work and planning. It’s the step that I usually want to skip, so this time I decided to come up with a shortcut. What I came up with still offers a buttery, slightly crispy topping, but involves no dough rolling period. Enter the cheater’s chicken pot pie with almond flour crumb topping. It’s a major time saver and nice if you don’t have all the dough ingredients on hand as well. I was very pleased with the result and hope you will be too!

Enjoy and happy Friday!

For the filling:

  • 2 Tbsp grass-fed butter or ghee
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 large stalks of celery, chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1.25 cups butternut squash cubes
  • 1/4 cup chicken bone broth, preferably homemade
  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk (I recommend this brand or this brand)
  • 3 cups leftover shredded boneless skinless chicken breasts and/or thighs
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 cup fresh green beans, cut into 1 or 2-inch pieces

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, carrots and celery, and stir. After a few minutes, add the squash. Stir and continue to cook.
  3. Stir in the chicken and add the broth. After a minute or two, add the sea salt, pepper, turmeric and fresh parsley.
  4. Next, add the coconut milk and green beans, and stir well. Cook 3-4 more minutes and if mixture seems like it needs more liquid, add a bit more broth.
  5. Remove from heat and pour mixture into a 2-quart casserole dish. Sprinkle almond flour topping evenly over the top (recipe below) and place in oven, uncovered. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown on top.

IMG_3870

For the topping:

  • 1 cup blanched almond flour (I used this brand)
  • 3 Tbsp grass-fed butter or ghee
  • Pinch of sea salt

In a small skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the almond flour and a pinch of sea salt. Mix well, until almond flour is coated in the butter (it will be in small clumps). Remove from heat and use atop of the filling, once it’s been poured into the casserole dish.

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Grain-Free Blueberry Cobbler

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Blueberry season and fresh-picked berries call for cobblers and crisps, and my friend recently reminded me of this. I can’t tell you the last time I even made something of the sorts. Overall, I don’t do that much baking, but it is fun to take on a baking project every now and again. Not only that, but baked goods make the house smell so comfy and cozy. Sometimes, I feel like the smells are the best part!

Overall, the cobbler turned out well, but is best eaten day of and shortly after it comes out of the oven. Yes, it still tastes great the next day, but the dough part gets a little soggy from all berry juice. I actually didn’t mind it at all, especially because the flavor is still there and the dough is a little gritty versus totally mushy (since it’s almond flour/meal). You can be the judge though, but know that you’ve been forewarned, especially all you texture peeps out there.

Meanwhile, feel free to add your own flair to the cobbler — different berries and spices, shredded unsweetened coconut, nuts, etc. There’s a lot of room for variety with something like this, so have fun with it!

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For the berries:

  • 2.5 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 Tbsp coconut flour

Pour berries into a 9×9 baking dish. Mix with the coconut flour. Set aside.

For the dough:

  • 1 cup almond flour or meal (I used fresh ground from sprouted almonds)
  • 2 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp raw honey
  • 6 Tbsp cold unsalted grass-fed butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk, plus extra for drizzling, if desired

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine almond flour/meal, coconut flour, sea salt, nutmeg, baking soda, lemon zest, lemon juice vanilla and honey.
  3. Add the butter and blend with your hands or with two knives until course crumbs form. Add the coconut milk and mix until a wet, shaggy dough forms.
  4. Drop mounds of the dough on top of the berries. It doesn’t have to be neat — we’re not going for perfection here. It’s not supposed to be perfect, in fact!
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until dough is brown and berries are bubbly. Let cool about 10 minutes before serving, then serve immediately.
  6. Serve with coconut milk drizzled on top, if desired. Coconut milk whipped cream would also be delicious.

Yields: 4-5 servings

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies with homemade chocolate chips.

First off, to my dear friend who is eliminating all sugar this week (except fruit), you may not want to read or look at this. I’m sorry, I don’t mean to wave temptation in front of you, and it’s total coincidence that I’m posting this the day after your sugar elimination was defined! Just know, this recipe will be here down the road and it’s not going anywhere. There’s plenty of time to try it later on!

Anyway, I realized I hadn’t posted a treat recipe in a while and had actually been hanging on to this one. I’ve tried to cut back on the amount of treats I post because, well, I don’t always like having this stuff around either. It doesn’t matter that it’s paleo-friendly folks…it’s still a treat and still contains sugar (honey, in my case). As my friend, Laura, quoted, “treats are sometimes foods.” Bingo.

The thing that makes these cookies particularly special is the HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE CHIPS! Yes, you read that right…homemade chocolate chips! I don’t eat store-bought chocolate chips, even the Enjoy Life brand, because they contain sugar other than honey. I’ve learned that my system does fine with cocoa powder and unsweetened chocolate in moderation, but I’m not interested in testing other SCD-illegal things, like sugars (honey is the only SCD-legal sweetener). I don’t need or want it, and it probably wouldn’t make me feel very good.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 eggs, preferably pasture-raised
  • 2-3 Tbsp raw honey
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp melted grass-fed butter, ghee or coconut oil
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup homemade chocolate chips (see below)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonslip baking mat.
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients together (except chocolate chips) in a large bowl. Set aside
  3. In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, honey, butter and vanilla. Stir wet ingredients into dry, mixing well.
  4. Add chocolate chips and mix to incorporate into the dough.
  5. Drop dough onto baking sheet with a tablespoon (mine were heaping tablespoon-sized). Space appropriately and if need be, split batter between two baking sheets.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until light brown. Let cool on a wire rack once done.
  7. Enjoy with a glass of almond or coconut milk, if desired.

Yields: ~ 16 cookies

Breaking up the block of chocolate.
Breaking up the block of homemade chocolate.
Mixing the homemade chocolate chips into the batter.
Mixing the homemade chocolate chips into the batter.

For the homemade chocolate chips

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa or cacao powder
  • 2 squares unsweetened baking chocolate (or you can omit and use 1/2 cup cocoa powder)
  • 1.5 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2.5 Tbsp raw honey
  1. Combine all ingredients together in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Mix together with a whisk until the mixture is smooth.
  2. Line an 8×8 pan (or baking sheet) with parchment paper. Pour mixture onto parchment paper and place pan in the freezer to set.
  3. Freeze for 2-3 hours or until completely hard. Once set, break into chunks with a knife. Store chocolate chips in the freezer, until ready to use. These can be used just like regular chocolate chips.
Fresh baked cookies.
Fresh baked cookies.
These cookies are soft and cake-like, and not too sweet.
These cookies are soft and cake-like, and not too sweet.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

Cookie dough fudge.
Cookie dough fudge.

Merry Christmas to all my friends, family and followers that celebrate this holiday! I wish you a very happy holiday and hope you spend it with those near and dear. Cheers!

Meanwhile, if you still need a holiday dessert recipe, give this cookie dough fudge a try. I made some yesterday for Christmas Eve, and it’s a total hit. It is so indulgent and delicious, and like eating chocolate covered raw cookie dough. The recipe is courtesy of TGIPaleo. Seriously, mad props to her for creating such a tasty treat! I didn’t modify anything in the recipe and it turned out perfect. Jesse agreed that this dessert is awesome. Now, you can be the judge.

Making the fudge.
Making the fudge.
Fudge mixture below, and cookie dough mixture above.
Fudge mixture below, and cookie dough mixture above.

For the cookie dough:

  • 1 c Almond flour
  • 3 T Raw honey
  • 1/4 t Sea salt
  • 1/2 t Pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 T Coconut butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 T Coconut oil, melted

For the fudge:

  • 1/2 c Raw almond or cashew butter (I used almond, but it wasn’t raw)
  • 1/2 c Coconut butter, softened
  • 1/4 c Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 t Pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 t Sea salt
  • 2 T Raw honey
I love licking the spatula and bowl clean! It's one of the best parts. I know, it's a silly self-portrait, but whatever.
I love licking the spatula and bowl clean! It’s one of the best parts. I know, it’s a silly self-portrait, but whatever.

Directions:

  1. Mix the ingredients for the cookie dough together, then set aside.
  2. Do the same for the fudge.
  3. In an 8×8 pan lined with parchment paper, carefully spread half of the fudge mixture into the bottom. Press all of the cookie dough on top (it doesn’t have to be pretty). Then spread on the last half of the fudge.
  4. Refrigerate for a couple hours or until firm. Cut into square size of choice.
Dessert anyone?
Dessert anyone?
Look at that cookie dough layer!
Look at that cookie dough layer!

Almond Flour Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon rolls

Oh no I didn’t … oh yes, I did! I made grain-free cinnamon rolls and seriously, these will rock your socks off. I actually made these once before this past Easter and have been dying to make them again, but held off. Finally, I caved the other morning and decided it was happening. I follow a recipe that I originally found via Pinterest, but modify it slightly to my liking. Additionally, I only make a half batch and cut the pieces smaller to make mini cinnamon rolls. Now, these are quite different than your standard cinnamon roll — they’re more biscuit-like, but still nice and soft with layers that can be pulled apart (that’s my favorite way to eat ’em). Check out the link below to view the recipe.

The Best Almond Flour (biscuit style) Cinnamon Rolls by The Urban Poser

I made the following changes to the recipe:

  • Take out the raisins, since I don’t usually have them on hand
  • Add two tablespoons of melted ghee or butter to the honey/nut/cinnamon filling mixture (note, this needs to be 4 Tbsp if making the full recipe)
  • Drizzle with melted coconut butter only, no honey
  • Also know, I follow the recipe using the lesser amount of honey for the filling – it truly doesn’t need more than that

If you make these, be very careful when rolling up the dough and when rolling with the rolling pin. It’s fragile, so go slowly! It’s well worth it to slow down, even though you’re excited to get these little suckers in the oven, so you can have a taste sooner than later. Be patient and I promise it will pay off!

Rolling the dough

Spreading on the filling

Cinnamon rolls going in oven

Cinnamon roll closeup

Cinnamon roll layers

Leftover Saute Turned Pot Pie

 

Turkey pot pieThe other night, I felt totally uninspired with what to make for dinner. I put off cooking and did some work, but finally realized it was getting late and I needed to just make something … anything! I asked Jesse earlier what he wanted for dinner, but all he suggested was asparagus and carrots. Needless to say, it was a pull stuff out of the fridge and wing it kind of night. I ended up making a sauté of onion, garlic, broccoli, asparagus, carrots, ground turkey, sea salt, pepper, ghee, vegetable broth and fresh parsley. Luckily, it yielded a lot and we were stuck with some good leftovers.

Tonight, I sautéed some extra broccoli in ghee and then added the leftovers to it. I mixed in more vegetable broth, a little bit of coconut milk and one tablespoon of coconut flour. I also added about 1/4 cup of frozen peas. I poured the mixture into a small, greased Pyrex pan and topped it with pie dough to create turkey pot pie. Gotta love revamping leftovers! I used the recipe below for the pie dough (note: you would need to double the recipe if making a regular-sized pot pie, as this recipe is only for a 2-3 serving pot pie).

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 C almond flour
  • 1 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter or ghee
  • 1 egg

Directions:

  1. Combine dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients.
  2. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix well.
  3. Roll dough out between two pieces of parchment paper and then place on top of meat/veggie mixture. Alternatively, flatten out pieces of dough with your hands and then carefully place on top (this is what I did). The dough is fragile, so be gentle!

Once assembled, I baked the pot pie at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes. It came out golden brown and perfect. It made our taste buds and bellies happy, and left our bodies satisfied.

Turkey and vegetable mixture

Pot pie