Recipe: Dairy-free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Happy Monday!

I hope everyone had a great weekend – did anyone watch the Super Bowl? Even though I have a few very good friends that LOVE their Panthers, I just couldn’t cheer for them (Sorry, Bob & Amber!). They’re one of the Saints’ divisional opponents and one of our biggest rivals, so I wasn’t too upset to see them lose.

Sadly, Jason and I weren’t feeling SO great this weekend, so I didn’t have the productive days I was hoping to enjoy – we do have Tuesday off, though, for Mardi Gras, so I’m hoping to get some cleaning and project-ing done then.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been really trying to eliminate dairy from my diet. I definitely feel better and, so far, it hasn’t been TOO tough. Just takes a little planning. Knowing that I would need a mid-afternoon sweet snack at work, I tried out this chocolate chip cookie recipe from I Bake, He Shoots and it was a winner! I even shared some of the cookies with my co-workers and they said they would have had no clue they were labeled as vegan if I hadn’t told them. HUGE win! It’s a super easy recipe – enjoy!

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Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from I Bake, He Shoots

Makes 20-22 cookies

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Ingredients:

1 1/8 cup all-purpose flour (unbleached for vegan)

1/2 tsp Clabber Girl Baking Soda

1/4 tsp salt (I used fine sea salt)

1/4 cup +2 tbsp non-hydrogenated shortening (I used Spectrum from Whole Foods)

2 tbsp. vegetable oil (Like I Bake, He Shoots, I used canola)

1/4 cup +2 tbsp granulated sugar (organic)

1/4 cup +2 tbsp light brown sugar (packed)

1 1/2 tbsp non-dairy milk (I used almond milk from Whole Foods)

3/4  tsp vanilla (I ALWAYS use Mexican vanilla for baking; you can buy it at most grocery stores–the brands vary–or on Amazon. I usually beg any friends who go to Mexico to bring some back for me – I tip! Ha ha!)

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I got my dairy-free chocolate chips from Whole Foods; it’s the first time I’ve tried them and they were great!)

Directions:

1-Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit.

2-In a small bowl, combine flour, Clabber Girl Baking Soda, and salt. Set aside.

3-Place shortening, canola oil and sugar in a mixer and combine until creamy, about 3 minutes.

4-Mix in non-dairy milk and vanilla.

5-Slowly add flour mixture until fully combined.

6-Fold in chocolate chips by hand.

7-Scoop rounded tablespoons on parchment paper and bake for 9 to 11 minutes (My baking time ended up being around 10 minutes).

 

So easy – and they were really delicious – I was skeptical, too, but loved them!

Hope everyone enjoyed this recipe & has a great day!

-Lindsey

 

 

For the Dogs: Homemade Peanut Butter Treats

Happy Tuesday!

Anyone else feeling like this?

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We were so lazy during this three-day weekend, it’s going to be a challenge getting going this morning!

Today’s post is all about the pooches. When I have time, I love making homemade snacks for Jersey and JoJo. I like knowing exactly what ingredients are in them and it also makes me feel like I’m doing something extra special for them, even if they have no idea!

The recipe I’m sharing today is what I used to make one of the two homemade treats that Jersey and JoJo gave to their doggy friends for Christmas. I even included a shot of the gifts all packaged up — they were fun to put together.

This recipe, and the second that I’ll share on a different day, were like doggy crack. Jersey would go outside to “do her business” like 10 times a day, which is unusual. Well, it didn’t take too long to figure out she just wanted to “earn” a treat. Such a stinker!

Homemade peanut butter treats with oats

Recipe from A Cozy Kitchen

Ingredients

-1/2 cup of peanut butter (I used the creamy kind)

-1/4 cup honey

-1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil (or olive oil) I really wanted to find a recipe that included coconut oil since it’s good for dogs… and humans!

-1 cup chicken broth

-1 cup rolled oats

-1 cup whole wheat flour

-1 cup all-purpose flour

Directions

1-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2-Whisk together peanut butter, honey, oil and chicken broth.

3-In a separate bowl, combine flours and oatmeal.

4-Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients.

5-Place dough on flour dusted surface. Roll or press dough out to about 1/4” inch thick.

6-Use a small bone cookie cutter to cut out cookies. On A Cozy Kitchen, she used larger cookie cutters for larger dogs (5″ dog-bone shaped); I used 1″ little hearts so they were pretty small.

7-Put cut-out cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet.

8-Bake for 14-16 minutes.

9-Transfer to a cooling rack.

10-Give a sample to your favorite taste-testers!

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Don’t they look delicious? Ha ha! A few of the dogs we gave them to (I’m talking to you, sweet Mackie!) were a little picky and all the dogs LOVED them!

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Oh, and isn’t my sous chef just the cutest?

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Hope your furbabies or favorite doggy friends enjoy them!

Have a great day and thanks for reading!

-Lindsey

 

MIA + Recipe: Candy Cane Cupcakes

Happy Monday, everyone!

My sincerest apologies for being MIA for the last week and a half. I knew the week leading in my my trip to Chicago would be busy, but it was more of a bear than I thought. On top of that, with the weather fluctuating so much, I caught a cold that only worsened during my trip.

Upon arriving home, I spent as much time as I could resting up and finally went to the doctor on Friday morning after about 10 (!!!) days of coughing and feeling crappy. I knew I wasn’t to the point where it could be pneumonia yet, but I was scared it would head that direction as I started noticing that I was out of breath. The doctor said it was viral, but gave me a steroid shot (never had one…they are AMAZING!), antibiotics, a course of steroids and an inhaler. I’m finally feeling better and have a voice back (mostly). It just started out as the typical reaction to the temperatues drastically changing so much, but I’m glad they gave me something to keep it from progressing.

I’ll do a separate post later, but the trip to Chicago was AMAZING! It wasn’t the sites or the activities, but the quality time with some of my favorite friends over a five-day period were absolutely perfect. It makes me so happy to see them so happy!

So, now that you’re caught up, we’re FOUR days from Christmas. EEK! Definitely not prepared, but we’re getting there…minus the fact that we don’t have a tree. At this point, I’m just saying screw it, but it definitely doesn’t feel like Christmas without it — and usually, we are such Christmas people. Jason’s just been working so much and has now caught a cold, so he’s just not into it. All that matters is my mom will be here, the puppies will be spoiled and we’ll hopefully have a great group for dinner on Christmas day!

On to the cupcakes!

A few years ago, for my work gift, I made everyone little boxes with four cupcakes. It was a TON of work, but one of my favorite gifts I’ve done. With the numbers now, it would sadly be too difficult to do, but I have hung on to this recipe and use it almost every year. Such a great holiday cupcake!

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Candy Cane Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

From Baking Bites, makes 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:

2 large eggs

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup milk (low fat is fine)

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/4 tsp peppermint extract

1 cup all purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp red food coloring

Directions:

1-Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.

2-In a large bowl, mix together eggs and sugar until mixture is light and creamy and the sugar has mostly been dissolved.

3-Stir in milk, vegetable oil, vanilla and peppermint extracts. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

4-Pour into wet ingredients and whisk just until batter is smooth.

5- Measure out one cup of batter and place it back in the medium bowl. Add red food coloring to this bowl and whisk to incorporate.

6-Put a spoonful (approx 2-3 tsp) of the white batter into the center each cupcake paper and let it spread slightly on its own.

7-Put a spoonful of red batter in the center of the white. It will push out the other batter and, as it sits for a moment, will also spread itself.

8-Alternating spoonfuls of the two batters and trying to keep the amounts as even as possible (after the first layer, I used smaller amounts of red and white with each spoonful), repeat the technique until all the batter has been used up.

9-Bake for about 15 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center of each cupcake comes out clean and the top springs back when lightly pressed.

10-Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

 Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

4-oz cream cheese, room temperature

1/4 cup butter, room temperature

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp milk

2-3 cups confectioners’ sugar

green food coloring (optional, but recommended for the holidays)

Directions:

1-In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese and butter.

2-Beat until smooth, then mix in vanilla extract, milk and 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar.

3-Beat until very smooth, then gradually blend in additional sugar until frosting is fluffy, thick and easy to spread.

4-Beat in up to 1/2 tsp green food coloring to dye the frosting, if you wish.

Note: Frosting can be spread onto the cupcakes or piped on using a piping bag.

Sorry, again, for the absense! Looking forward to a week of holiday-related posts!

Have a great day!

-Lindsey

 

 

 

Recipe: Chocolate Mint Cupcakes with Mint Buttercream

Today, I’m excited to share one of my favorite holiday cupcake recipes. I LOVE baking all year round, but especially during the holiday season — peppermint is one of my favorite flavors and these chocolate mint cupcakes are amazing!

Side note: One year, I couldn’t find peppermint extract ANYWHERE on Christmas Eve (I know, I know… waited until the very last minute). Best place to look — stores that carry groceries, but aren’t grocery stores. Target and Walmart were the only places I had any luck that year!

I found these receipes a few years ago and modified them a bit. I wish I could share a link to the original, but it’s been so long since I found it!

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Chocolate Mint Cupcakes

(Makes about 18 cupcakes)

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

3/4 cup buttermilk

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

3/4 cup warm water

1 teaspoon pure peppermint extract

 

Instructions:

1-Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.

2-Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

3-Add eggs, buttermilk, oil, water, and peppermint extract, and beat with a mixer on low speed until smooth.

4-Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full.

5-Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

6-Let cupcakes cool in tins on wire racks for 10 minutes.

Note: Undecorated cupcakes will keep, covered, for 1 day, or frozen for up to 2 months.

Mint Buttercream Frosting (Simply Recipes)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 tbsp milk

1/4 – 1/2 tsp peppermint extract

2 cups powdered sugar

 

Instructions:

1-Beat the butter at medium speed until creamy.

2-Beat in milk and mint extract.

3-Slowly add in the powdered sugar on low speed, stopping every once in a while to scrape down the sides of the bowl, until light and fluffy.

4-Taste and add more mint extract if it isn’t minty enough.

5-Also add more powdered sugar if it isn’t sweet enough for your taste.

Note: I usually put a little more than 1/4 tsp of the mint extract and exactly 2 cups of sugar.

Easy peasy and so delicious!

Have a great day!

-Lindsey

Wish List Wednesday

Since October (okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit), my mom has been asking me what I wanted for Christmas. I guess today’s Wish List Wednesday is the ‘Lindsey Gift Guide’…ahem, hubby and Mom, you’re welcome! Ha ha!

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1 I 2 I 3 I 4 I 5 I 6 I 7 I 8 I 9 I 10

 I’ve been coveting this i smell great perfume for a while. I tried out the sample pack and Wild Honey was my favorite. It lasts all day and smells so good!

As I become more and more obsessed with hiking (it’s not doing me much good down here in Louisiana!), I’d love a great pair of trail shoes and this pair of Saucony shoes got rave reviews.

LOVE this bracelet – so pretty and can be dressed up and down!

Reese Witherspoon was brilliant in the move, Wild, but I really want to read the book. I bought it for my brother-in-law a few years ago and wish I would have grabbed an extra copy.

If I had to sum up my hopes and dreams in 10 words, I think this shirt is pretty much on point. Coffee could be replaced with wine, too – I think I love them equally!

At this point in my life, I’ve baked thousands of cupcakes and I STILL cannot make a full batch that are consistency the same size. This little cupcake scoop would be a HUGE help!

The Big Cats Initiative collaboration with TOMS and National Geographic has been included in several gift guides and it’s making another appearance. I usually don’t invest too much in sunglasses, but I’m loving these – and the fact that profits benefit big cat conservation – purrrrrrrfection!

Anyone that knows me knows how obsessed I am with Ellen. This water bottle would be great for work – I’m REALLY trying to drink more water!

We have a few Pure Barre locations in NOLA and I’d love to try some classes—I’ve only heard amazing things and it’d be fun to try a new workout.

Board games are a blast – would love to add Cards Against Humanity to my collection.

Hope everyone is having a great week!

Have a great day!

-Lindsey