12 Days of Recipes {Day 4}

I know I shared photos of my little kitchen helper with you this morning this afternoon (since I forgot to post this morning), but I also owe you a recipe!  Cooper was such a mess this weekend, ALL over the place in the kitchen, that I had to offer him a relaxing afternoon by himself in the comfort of the upstairs bedroom : ) 

 

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Today’s recipe is adapted from an amazing cookie that I first made years ago before I even knew about blogging.  You know…back in the day when all of my recipes were piled together in a binder.  I still have this binder and I was reminded of this cookie while flipping through the recipes trying to figure out my cookie baking list.  These cookies were a HUGE hit the last time I made them!

 

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Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find macadamia nuts at the one store that I went to.  I know this is common and they are expensive, so I figured I would try an alternative using the cashews hanging out in my pantry.

 

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And dried cherries that I picked up in Door County this fall that I subbed in for the cranberries.

 

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I know that these cookies aren’t much for the eyes, but what they lack in visual appeal, they certainly make up for in taste.

 

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These cookies are soft and chewy with a really unique flavor!  Although the macadamia butter cookies are still the BEST, this cashew version has a lot to offer. 

 

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I would definitely think about adding this spin on the classic peanut butter to your holiday baking list or save it for your next cookie swap!

Note:  They freeze well!

 

12 Days of Recipes

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

 

 

 

Cashew Butter Cookies with Cherries

Adapted form Macadamia Butter Cookies with Dried Cranberries

 

Ingredients

2/3 cup cashews

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 cup sweetened dried cherries, chopped

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°.

Place nuts in a food processor; process until smooth (about 2 minutes), scraping sides of bowl once. Combine nut butter, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and brown sugar in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed. Add vanilla and egg; beat well.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and ground nutmeg, stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture; beat at low speed just until combined (mixture will be very thick). Stir in chopped cherries.  Chill 10 minutes.

Divide chilled dough into 30 equal portions; roll each portion into a ball. Place 1 tablespoon granulated sugar in a small bowl. Lightly press each ball into sugar; place each ball, sugar side up, on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper or Silpat.

Gently press the top of each cookie with a fork. Dip the fork in water; gently press the top of each cookie again to form a crisscross pattern. Place 15 cookies on each of 2 baking sheets.

Store in airtight container or freeze in Ziploc bag.

I Baked!!!

You know that used to happen around here, right?

 

It’s been awhile. I could give you a list of excuses, but I thought instead, I’d give you a new Door County inspired Banana Bread Recipe!

 

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I picked up this recipe at one of the olive oil stores on our recent trip.  I also picked up a large packet of dried cherries, which was perfect for this recipe.  Although…I think fresh cherries would be splendid as well.

 

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The BOY and I ate dinner out back last night on our new patio furniture, and I missed the beep of the timer.  The bread hadn’t burned, but I yanked it out quickly.

 

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It still had a doughy look, but was perfectly cooked.

 

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Slightly crispy on the outside and warm and delightful on the inside!

 

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I grabbed one slice as an after dinner snack and saved the rest for breakfast!

 

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I must admit that this isn’t my favorite banana bread recipe***. I much prefer a Classic Banana Bread or this One Bowl Banana Bread recipe.  Which I will happily add cherries and walnuts (and maybe dark chocolate chips) to next time!

 

 

Cherry Banana Bread

From Fat Louie’s Olive Oil Co, Door County, WI

 

Ingredients

1 1/4 cup flour

1 cup sugar

1/2 tsp sat

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup olive oil

2 eggs

3 mashed, overripe bananas

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup dried cherries

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a large loaf pan.

Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Add bananas, eggs, and olive oil, mix until just combined.  Fold in walnuts and cherries.

Pour batter into loaf pan.  Bake in oven for 45-40 minutes or until middle is set.

Remove and cool 5 minutes.  Remove from pan and let cool completely on on wire rack.

 

 

***Note: as I was typing up this recipe, it occurred to me that I may not have added the baking soda.  Ooops!  That explains A LOT about the texture of this bread, and also it’s look.

 

 

Do you ever forget to add ingredients to your recipes?

I once made oatmeal cookies without eggs.  They were still edible!!!

I Heart Frozen Cookies

My freezer is FULL of cookies.  For the most part, I have been good about staying away, but there are a few favorites in there that I have been sneaking some tastes of all week.  What can I say…I heart frozen cookies!  Almost as much as cookie dough : )

 

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It’s not the holidays without ginger cookies.  I found plenty of incredible looking recipes out there in the blogging world.  It was hard to choose which one to make.

 

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I went with these Ginger Molasses Cookies from Mercedes’s website.  Her pictures looked so amazing, I wanted to lick my computer screen.  And this dough didn’t disappoint!

 

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What was really disappointing, though, was dropping a sheet of these cookies onto the bottom of my oven.  Yikes!  It was the first blunder of the day, but my Mom was there with the spatula to save what she could.  These cookie crumbles tasted so good that I just couldn’t toss them.  I had the idea to crunch them up and turn them into some type of bark.  Instead, I snacked on them throughout the day, froze the rest, and have been eating them all week.

 

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They are just THAT good!

 

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I did share the beautiful cookies in my holiday cookie tins.  There is just something about curling up on the couch with a gingerbread cookie (or two) and dunking them into hot chocolate on a cold winter day that is so comforting during this crazy busy season.  Now, that is happiness!  I have more molasses and plan to make more ginger cookies before Christmas! 

Any good recipes that I should try???

 

I had one more cookie mishap this year that I just can’t figure out…Does this ever happen to you?

 

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I tried a new oatmeal cookie recipe.  Everything went well until I pulled them out of the oven and the edges were super thin and crispy while the centers still doughy.

 

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Hmmm! I’m not sure if it is the recipe (I don’t usually make cookie recipes from SELF magazine and these certainly don’t look like the picture) or something gone wrong with my butter (although it felt the right amount of soft).

 

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Any ideas?  They are not supposed to be lace cookies, but they sure look like it.

 

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Not too worry, these oatmeal cookies taste fantastic.  I think it’s the combination of dried cherries, walnuts, and chocolate.  Most of them turned out okay and the few that broke apart got added to the broken cookie pile in the freezer that I have been loving all week (and weekend).

 

These are definitely two of my favorite cookies from this holiday season!

Here are a few other great cookie recipes to try…

 

Chocolate-Mint Thins

Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies

Kahlua Balls

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Double Chip Peanut Butter Cookies with Pretzels

 

 

 

Ginger Molasses Cookies

From Satisfy My Sweet Tooth

 

Ingredients (20 cookies)

12 Tbsp (6 oz.) unsalted butter

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup molasses

1 egg

1 3/4 cup flour

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp soda

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line baking sheets with tin foil and grease foil with butter or nonstick cooking spray.

In a small, microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter then add the melted butter to a large bowl.

Combine all dry ingredients (except sugar) in medium bowl and set aside.

Add the sugar and molasses to the butter and beat with an electric mixer until well-blended. Add egg and mix.

Add dry ingredients to butter mixture and mix to incorporate. Batter will be wet.

Drop batter onto cookies sheet using a cookies scoop or large spoon. Leave 2-3 inches in between as cookies will spread.

Bake 8-10 minutes and cool completely on foil-lined cookie sheets.

 

 

Chocolate Chip-Walnut Cookies

From Self Magazine

Ingredients

1/2 cup whole-wheat flour

1/4 cup rolled oats

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (I used more!)

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

6 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

1/4 cup dried cherries

 

Directions

Heat oven to 375°. In a bowl, combine flour, oats, baking soda and cinnamon. In another bowl, cream butter and sugars until fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add egg and vanilla; beat until smooth. Blend flour mixture into butter mixture. Stir in chocolate chips, walnuts and cherries. Drop 20 dough balls (1 tbsp each) onto 2 ungreased cookie sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake until golden brown, 9 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool on sheets 3 minutes, then transfer to foil to cool fully.

 

*I’m going to make these again and see if I can figure out the problem.  They are definitely worth trying!

Homemade PURE Bars

What is your favorite store bought bar???

 

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I used to eat a lot more power bars, but a few years ago, I cut WAY back.  I now stick with bars that have only a few ingredients that I can actually pronounce.  Two of my favorites are KIND bars and PURE bars.  Although I love the convenience of these ‘on the go’ energizing snacks (especially around 5:00pm at work when I know I have 3 more hours until dinner), I’m not a huge fan of the cost.  So I was inspired by this readable ingredients list on the Cherry Cashew Bar (and my new Door County dried cherries) to try making my own PURE bars.

 

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And they turned out fantastic!  I made the base using dried dates, cashews, a drizzle of oil, and dried cherries.

 

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I pressed the mixture into my pan and then topped it with extra dried cherries and walnuts before putting it into the fridge.

 

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I did take a quick taste test before cooling off the bars.  I just had to see how they turned out!

 

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You can make these into balls, bars, or use cookie cutters for fun shapes.  Either way, they are a winner!

 

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One thing is for sure…if I’m going to continue to work the long days that I am, I will need a healthy pre-dinner snack.  And one as tasty and filling as these will be prefect!

 

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I was so excited about my bars (and leftover dates) that I dove right into another RAW recipe.  This one from Katie.  I had to modify the recipe some based on what was available in my pantry.

 

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And all I can say is WOW…these guys are good!

 

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The mixture of chocolate and coconut make these guys actually taste like a German Chocolate Cake…maybe even better!

 

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These are rich and tasty and would squash any chocolate craving!  I even fed one to the BOY for dessert without explaining what it was (I just called them German Chocolate Balls).  He LOVED it!

 

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The moral of today’s post…go buy yourself a LARGE container of dates (I think Costco has them) and get experimenting with these simple recipes!  You don’t have to tell anyone that they are healthy and trust me, they won’t even know!

 

Looking for more recipes?  Try these favorites…

 

Coconut Energy Date Bars

Almond Butter Cacao Balls

Coconut and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

Vegan Cookie Dough Balls

Date and Almond Truffles

 

 

Date, Cherry, Walnut PURE Bars

Recipe inspired by my favorite Fig, Date, Nut Energy Bars

 

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup dried dates, chopped

1 cup cashews

1 tsp safflower oil

1/2 cup dried cherries

1 tsp agave

Dried cherries and walnuts

Coconut, optional

 

Directions

Combine dates and cashews in food processor.  Stream in oil until well blended.

Add dried cherries.  Process again while streaming in agave until a large ball forms.

Press mixture into 8×8 pan sprayed with oil or covered with wax paper.

Press remaining, cherries, walnuts, and coconut (if desired) into bars using hands.

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  Cut and serve.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

 

 

German-Chocolate Fudge Bites

Adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie (based on what I had in the house)

***Katie says these should make 10 balls, so hers must have been MUCH smaller than mine

 

Ingredients

3/4 cup pitted dates

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/16 tsp salt

2 tbsp cacao powder

2 tbsp shredded coconut

1/2 cup raw cashews

1-2 tsp of agave

 

Directions

Blend all ingredients together in a food processor until dough forms into a ball. 

Using your hands, form into balls. Refrigerate until set.

 

Note: The recipe calls for pecans, but I didn’t have any, so I subbed in the cashews.  I added the agave to help everything stick together.  Katie even recommends using this as a pie crust.  YUMMY!