Chocolate Tahini Cookies

We had chocolate. We had tahini. Buckle up for some chocolate tahini cookies, y’all.

Chocolate Tahini Cookies are Very Good

We like to take the opportunity to make food with our kids, especially when it’s fun food. Watson and Vivi love to each get a bowl full of ingredients to mix. They make an ungodly mess, but it’s adorable and who cares? You don’t have to clean the floor.

Watson has been very into Halloween lately, so he wanted to use his ghost cookie cutter to make some ghostly cookies. That didn’t work very well, since these cookies are very crumbly and fall apart pretty easily. They’re really better in a lumpy mound configuration.

Let me go on a short digression about tahini, if you will: tahini is great, you guys. It makes great sauces, it’s great in these cookies, it’s great in hummus, etc. Get some. Use it. Love it.

These are not cookies for folks with an extreme sweet tooth. They’re way more on the savory side. But they’re super tasty, and since they’re pretty crumbly, they offer a lot of delicious crumb-collecting fun once you’re done with all of the bits that hold together.

Chocolate Tahini Cookies

Ingredients:

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup tahini
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1 Tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp vanilla
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup almond meal
1 c flour of choice (we’ve used both spelt and rice flour with success, although the rice flour makes for a crumblier cookie)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425° F. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients. Place tablespoon sized balls of cookie dough on a lined baking sheet, and press them down flat (but not too flat) with the heel of your hand. You can try rolling them out and using cookie cutters, like Watson wanted to do, but these cookies are pretty crumbly. The thinner they are, the more easily they fall apart once they’re baked. Bake each batch for 10 minutes and let cool on a wire rack.

Vegan Cupcakes – Fudge, Beets, and Sprinkles

Vegan cupcakes with beets, you say? Forsooth, you must think us madmen. But no. We are not mad. Nay, the scales have been lifted from our eyes.

Vegan Cupcakes – Nature’s Vegan Cupcakes

We told you on Monday about the beautiful beet cake we made. This time, with the assistance of our son and daughter, we made a tray of delicious vegan cupcakes, again based around beet puree. These ones are gluten-free, and so while they’re a little more crumbly than cupcakes with wheat flour tend to be, they make up for it by being absolutely delicious. And our kids agreed!

Vegan cupcakes with rainbow sprinklesA two year old contemplates the wreckage of her vegan cupcakesVegan cupcakes can still make for messy hands!

Ingredients:

Cake:

1 cup almond meal
1/4 cup rice flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 Tsp baking powder
1/4 Tsp baking soda
1/4 Tsp salt
2/3 cup beet puree*
1/4 cup coconut oil, softened
1 Tbsp flaxseed meal
3 Tbsp water
1 Tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut milk
2 oz chocolate, melted

Frosting:

3/4 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup coconut cream**

*To make beet puree, roast beets wrapped in aluminum foil at 425° F for 60 minutes, and then peeling and pureeing.

**Coconut cream comes from putting a can of coconut milk in the fridge, letting the components separate, and then scooping off the solid part.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350° F. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl until well combined. In another bowl, mix the wet ingredients until well combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together, being careful not to overmix. Distribute into cupcake tins and bake for 30 minutes.

For the frosting, heat the coconut cream in the microwave for 1 minute,\ and pour it over the chocolate chips. Mix until everything is melted. Place in the fridge until cooled, then remove and whip with a hand mixer. The frosting will lighten in color and the consistency will become familiar if you’ve ever had frosting before, which, come on.

Once the cupcakes are cooked, let them cool on a wire rack. Once cooled, frost them. Top them with rainbow sprinkles if you think it might convince your three year old to eat the whole cupcake instead of just licking off the frosting, even if in your heart of hearts you know it will never be.

Vegan Chocolate Passionfruit Macaroons

Have you ever had an actual, real deal passionfruit? They’re weird and shrivelly and full of seeds and goop. Looking at them, it amazes me that anybody ever decided to eat them.

 

But man, I’m super glad they did!

 

That weird seedy goop, it turns out, is absolutely delicious. It’s sweet and tart and just delightful. I only just tried it for the first time a few months ago, and it’s already one of my favorite fruits.

 

Jocelyn was looking for some fun desserts to make when Hungry Harvest* added passionfruit to its list of add-ons, and she leapt at the chance. We’d tried making passionfruit macaroons in the past, but they wound up a total mess (though still somehow delicious), and Jocelyn was eager for redemption.

 

*The link above is an affiliate link, and if you sign up for Hungry Harvest through it, you’ll get a discount and so will we!

 

Boy, did she ever deliver! These chocolate-dipped macaroons were not just delicious, they were beautiful! A perfect couple of indulgent bites meant that eating one didn’t steer our day completely away from healthy. Best of all, they’re vegan and gluten free, so everybody can enjoy them!

 

 

Ingredients:

 

1 1/2 cup shredded coconut

1/4 cup passionfruit goop

1/4 cup brown rice syrup

2 Tbsp coconut oil

3/4 cup chocolate chips

 

Directions:

 

Preheat oven to 350° F. Mix the coconut, passionfruit, brown rice syrup, and coconut oil in the food processor until well combined. Form into small balls (we used a cookie dough scoop, about the size of a rounded tablespoon) and place on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. The tops of the balls should be getting a little brown when you take them out.

 

In a medium bowl, melt the chocolate chips. Carefully dip each macaroon into chocolate and place on parchment paper, chocolate side down. When they are all complete, place in the refrigerator to harden.

 

Eat. Savor. Delight.

Confetti Pancakes

This week was a major milestone for us. We actually persuaded Watson to sleep in his bed instead of in his sleeping bag on the floor for a couple of nights. This was a big win, and so of course we had to celebrate with a special breakfast.

These pancakes were a ton of fun to make with our oldest. He loved mixing all of the ingredients together, and the chocolaty smiles all over his and his sister’s faces are testament to how tasty these were. They’re not as healthy as a lot of our normal fare, but they’re vegan and gluten free, and sometimes it’s fun and necessary to let loose a little. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 cups almond milk
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cup almond meal
1 cup spelt flour
2 Tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 Tbsp grapeseed oil
1 package almond paste, grated
Chocolate chips (as many as you feel appropriate)
Rainbow sprinkles (likewise)

Directions:

First mix the lemon juice and almond milk to make “buttermilk.” Set aside. In a large bowl, mix the almond meal, spelt flour, baking powder, and salt until well combined. Stir in the buttermilk and grape seed oil. Add the almond paste, chocolate chips, and rainbow sprinkles, and cook on a griddle as you would any old pancakes, so long as you keep in mind that these are decidedly not any old pancakes.

Proletariat Shortbread

Once upon a time there was a dessert called Millionaire Shortbread. We wanted to make a version that was healthy and vegan and gluten free, but it felt wrong to give such a hippie dessert a name glorifying the most rapacious abusers of capitalism, especially on Labor Day, of all days. We workshopped the name. The People’s Shortbread? From Each According to His Abilities, to Each According to His Needs Shortbread? Ultimately we settled on the unglamorous, functional Proletariat Shortbread. It’s not fancy, but it gets the job done, just like the workers of the world. And I don’t know how successful we were on the healthy front, but this was certainly delicious.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup almond meal
1/4 cup spelt flour
2 Tbsp + 1 Tsp coconut oil
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup brown rice syrup
1/2 cup coconut milk
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

Mix together almond meal, spelt flour, 2 Tbsp coconut oil, and maple syrup. Press into the bottom of a small oven safe baking dish. Bake at 350° F for 15 minutes.

Mix peanut butter, brown rice syrup, and remaining 1 Tsp coconut oil in food processor until smooth. Spread over cooled crust.

Heat coconut milk in the microwave for a minute. Pour over the chocolate chips in a medium bowl, wait a minute, and then stir up. Pour over caramel and cool in the fridge. Top with berries or whatever you need to make this feel healthier.

Peanut Butter Brownie Energy Balls

The diet that we’ve been on is fairly restrictive, so we like to look for ways that we can still find room for healthy vegan treats. The humble energy ball is often the answer. These are little, dense, date-based balls of goodness. They’re full of protein from the cashews and peanut butter, so they help stave off hunger. They’re easy to make and keep well, so you can make a whole bunch of them at once and eat them later. Last but not least, they’re super delicious.


Ingredients:

1 c dates
1/2 c cashews
1/2 c peanut butter
1/4 c cocoa powder
1/4 c cacao nibs

Directions:

Put all ingredients in the food processor. Process. Form into balls. Refrigerate until ready to eat. Enjoy.

Vegan Donuts with Bananas and Chocolate

Every once in a while we think our kids are going to be into bananas again. Inevitably, a week after we think that, we’ve got several soft, brown bananas left, and we have to figure out something to do with them.

This week we made banana walnut vegan donuts, garnished with chocolate and walnuts, and HOLY MOLY. There’s a common conception that vegan, gluten free food isn’t any good. That healthy food has to taste bad. And I’m not saying that chocolate covered donuts are the most healthy thing you could eat, but these are vegan donuts, they’re gluten free, and they’re gobsmackingly delicious.

A delicious plate of vegan donuts

Ingredients:

1 banana
1/2 cup maple syrup
3/4 Tsp baking powder
1/4 Tsp salt
1/4 cup almond meal
1/2 cup spelt flour
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
Nuts of your choice (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375° F. Mash that banana up right good. When it’s good and mashed, add in the maple syrup. Add the rest of the ingredients in turn, up to the water, stirring well as you go. Divide into six portions in a greased donut pan, and bake for about 12 minutes. Let donuts cool on a wire rack.

If you’re going to put chocolate on them, here’s what we did: melt some chocolate chips and put that melted chocolate on the donuts. Couldn’t be simpler. If you like, pop some nuts on top. We used walnuts for a couple of ours.

Makes 6 donuts, which are a welcome distraction when you’re up at 5:30 on a Saturday because your kids don’t understand weekends. Watch your kids lick the chocolate off and leave the donuts.

Cookie Jamboree – Vegan, Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Over the weekend we decided to do some testing with three different vegan, gluten free peanut butter chocolate chip cookie recipes, and we let Watson help. The first was more coconut based, the third was fit-based, and the second is below. It’s hard to argue that chocolate chip cookies are healthy, per se, but these ones are certainly more healthy than standard recipes!

When everything had baked and cooled, and the kids had had ample opportunity to taste plenty of cookie dough (parenting win!), we had a completely unscientific taste test and determined which of the three was the best, and we bring it to you now!

Ingredients:

1/2 c maple syrup
1/2 c peanut butter
1/4 c applesauce
1/4 c coconut oil
1 tbls flaxseed plus 3 tbls water
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 c almond meal
1 c spelt flour
1 c gluten free mini pretzels chopped up pretty fine (We used a food processor)
As many chocolate chips as feels right

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350° F. First combine the flaxseed and water in a small bowl and let them gel. In a medium bowl, mix the maple syrup, peanut butter, applesauce, coconut oil, and vanilla. In another medium bowl, combine the baking powder, baking soda, salt, almond meal, spelt flour, and pretzels. Finally, combine the wet and dry ingredients with the flaxseeds and chocolate chips in a large bowl and stir until incorporated.

Put tablespoon size balls on a lined baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack until ready to put in a jar or serve to hungry kids eager to taste test.