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Samoa Cookies

June 17, 2014 Print this page

Gluten-free, grain-free, and vegan SAMOA GIRL SCOUT COOKIES!!! Yum. They’re better than the “real thing.” You could even call them “cookie crack,” haha.

Ingredients

Prep Time 30 min
Cooking Time 10 min
Total Time 1 hr
Yield 16-20 cookies

FOR THE COOKIES:

1/2 cup of coconut flour

1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon of arrowroot powder

1/2 cup of softened coconut oil

5 tablespoons of maple syrup, honey, or coconut nectar

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

A pinch of salt

FOR THE CHOCOLATE SIDE/DRIZZLE:

4-6 ounces of dark chocolate, melted

FOR THE CARAMEL/COCONUT:

1/2 cup of maple syrup, honey, or coconut nectar

1/4  cup of smooth peanut butter or sunflower seed butter

1 1/2 cups of unsweetened shredded coconut

Directions

FOR THE COOKIES:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the coconut flour, arrowroot powder, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and salt. Mix just to combine, about 1 minute, then squish the dough together into a bowl.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, pop it in the fridge for an hour, then take it out and sandwich it between two pieces of wax paper.

Using a rolling pin, roll the dough until it’s about 3/4-inch thick. Take off the top piece of parchment paper and, using a circular cookie cutter, cut out as many circles of dough as you can.

Put the dough back in the fridge for a few minutes–really, I mean only two or three, it chills and can become brittle fairly quickly–then peel away the excess dough from the circles. Carefully transfer the dough to one of the baking sheets and, using an apple corer or other small circular device, cut out a small circle from the center of each cookie.

Put the tray with the cut-out cookies in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. DO NOT TOUCH THE COOKIES. They will be very fragile until they cool.

Meanwhile, squish the remaining dough scraps back together into a ball and sandwich it between the two pieces of wax paper again. Roll it out to the same thickness as you did before and put in the fridge for a few minutes, then repeat the same steps as you did before for cutting and baking.

Let the cookies cool to room temperature before proceeding with the chocolate and caramel.

FOR THE CHOCOLATE SIDE:

In a double boiler or bowl in the microwave, melt 4 ounces of chocolate until completely smooth. Using a brush, “paint” the chocolate on one side of the cookies. If you run out of chocolate, no worries: just melt some more!

Let harden for about half an hour, then flip over each cookie to expose the naked side and get started on the caramel.

FOR THE CARAMEL:

In a small saucepan, combine the maple syrup with 1/4 cup of peanut butter or sunflower seed butter. Whisk over low heat until slightly thickened, adding more peanut butter or sunflower seed butter if necessary. It should be fairly thick and light brown in color.

While you make the caramel, toast the shredded coconut on a small pan in the oven at 350 degrees until golden brown, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir every few minutes to ensure even toasting.

Using a brush, “paint” about 1/3 of the caramel on the side of the cookie that you DIDN’T use for the chocolate. Once all of the cookies have been “painted,” stir the toasted coconut into the remaining caramel.

TO ASSEMBLE:

Using a medium-sized spoon, scoop out about a tablespoon of the coconut-caramel mixture and press it all over each cookie on the caramel side. Once all of the cookies have been covered, pop everybody in the fridge for 30 minutes.

After the half an hour has elapsed, drizzle each cookie with chocolate–either use leftovers from before or melt another 2 ounces of chocolate for topping.

Let chill in the fridge for another 15 minutes before devouring.


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Samoa Cookies (gluten-free, vegan, nut-free)

June 17, 2014 Leave your thoughts Print this page

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Pure genius always comes flowing out of my oven when I’m trying to procrastinate on studying for something.

That is, if you define “pure genius” as homemade Girl Scout cookies.

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Oh yes, you heard right. I have made the first ever Girl Scout cookies to appear on Yes to Yummy–it only took me a year. Or possibly a little longer.

I wish I hadn’t waited so long. As my mom said, “These are cookie crack.”

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The sad thing about real Girl Scout cookies is that they look all friendly and happy, yet they’re filled with some pretty nasty ingredients. You really want to eat ’em and support eight year-old girls across the country, but have you taken a peek at the box? The first ingredient is sugar–meaning it’s the most prevalent ingredient–and the cookies themselves contain partially-hydrogenated oils (READ: TRANS FATS), corn syrup (more sugar), and enriched flour (white flour where all of the nutrients were taken out and man-made vitamins and minerals were added back in). Ouch.

Thankfully, you can make a homemade version relatively easily, and they taste so much better. And–bonus–they’re gluten-free, grain-free, vegan (so no dairy or eggs), nut-free, and paleo-friendly! (Not that cavemen ate cookies; I don’t really think there are any “paleo” desserts, haha.) Pretty much, these cookies are just various forms of coconut, so I do hope you aren’t allergic.

But coconut is good for you, so that must mean these cookies are good for you too…right?!

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So, what actually is a Samoa? I think I’ve only had a “real” one once, maybe twice in my life, but I can still remember that intoxicating combination of shortbread cookie, caramel, toasted coconut, and chocolate. What could be bad?

This cookie is built off of the same flavor profiles, but I gave them a bit of a healthy update. I made the shortbread from coconut flour and coconut oil for healthy fats and some fiber, then used a combination of maple syrup (sugar, but more nutrients than white sugar) and peanut butter (you could also use sunflower seed butter) for a sweet, rich caramel, then topped it off with dark chocolate for a more adult taste. Yummy!

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Another thing I love about this recipe is that it makes a lot of cookies, which means I got to share them with more of my friends! If you live under a rock in the middle of nowhere and don’t have anyone to give these to, I recommend freezing them and defrosting whenever you want a little treat. I know they’re addicting, but don’t eat them all at once. That would be bad. Very bad.

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Are you ready to make these tasty little guys? I am! Let’s get started.

Recipe adapted from this one and this one.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

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In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 1/2 cup of coconut flour, 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon of arrowroot powder, 5 tablespoons of maple syrup, 1/2 cup of softened coconut oil, 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Mix just to combine, about 1 minute, then squish the dough together into a bowl.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, pop it in the fridge for an hour, then take it out and sandwich it between two pieces of wax paper.

Using a rolling pin, roll the dough until it’s about 3/4-inch thick. Take off the top piece of parchment paper and, using a circular cookie cutter, cut out as many circles of dough as you can.

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Put the dough back in the fridge for a few minutes–really, I mean only two or three, it chills and can become brittle fairly quickly–then peel away the excess dough from the circles. Carefully transfer the dough to one of the baking sheets and, using an apple corer or other small circular device, cut out a small circle from the center of each cookie.

Put the tray with the cut-out cookies in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. DO NOT TOUCH THE COOKIES. They will be very fragile until they cool.

Meanwhile, squish the remaining dough scraps back together into a ball and sandwich it between the two pieces of wax paper again. Roll it out to the same thickness as you did before and put in the fridge for a few minutes, then repeat the same steps as you did before for cutting and baking.

Let the cookies cool to room temperature before proceeding with the chocolate and caramel.

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In a double boiler or bowl in the microwave, melt 4 ounces of chocolate until completely smooth. Using a brush, “paint” the chocolate on one side of the cookies. If you run out of chocolate, no worries: just melt some more!

Let harden for about half an hour, then flip over each cookie to expose the naked side and get started on the caramel.

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In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup of maple syrup with 1/4 cup of peanut butter or sunflower seed butter. Whisk over low heat until slightly thickened, adding more peanut butter or sunflower seed butter if necessary. It should be fairly thick and light brown in color.

While you make the caramel, toast 1 1/2 cups of unsweetened shredded coconut on a small pan in the oven at 350 degrees until golden brown, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir every few minutes to ensure even toasting.

Using a brush, “paint” about 1/3 of the caramel on the side of the cookie that you DIDN’T use for the chocolate. Once all of the cookies have been “painted,” stir the toasted coconut into the remaining caramel.

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Using a medium-sized spoon, scoop out about a tablespoon of the coconut-caramel mixture and press it all over each cookie on the caramel side. Once all of the cookies have been covered, pop everybody in the fridge for 30 minutes.

After the half an hour has elapsed, drizzle each cookie with chocolate–either use leftovers from before or melt another 2 ounces of chocolate for topping.

Let chill in the fridge for another 15 minutes before devouring.

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What is your favorite Girl Scout Cookie? Leave me a comment here or on Facebook and let me know!


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Toasted Coconut + Mango Waffles

May 17, 2014 Print this page

If you’re in need of a vacation, just take a bite of these waffles, and images of palm trees and hula dancers will drift into your mind… 

Ingredients

Prep Time 10 min
Cooking Time 10 min
Total Time 20 min
Yield 10-12 waffles

3/4 cup of unsweetened coconut

1 large, ripe mango

1/2 cup of coconut oil, melted (extra-virgin for coconutty flavor), plus more for greasing

1/2 cup of coconut milk

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

3 tablespoons of coconut nectar (or maple syrup/honey, if you prefer)

4 eggs

1/2 cup of tapioca flour

1/2 cup of coconut flour

1 teaspoon of baking powder

A generous pinch of salt

Directions

First, toast up the unsweetened shredded coconut in a small skillet or in the oven at 350. Stir it often and remove it from the heat as soon as it begins to turn brown. Set aside. 

Cut up the mango into about 1/2-inch chunks. Set that aside, too, and try not to eat half of the mango while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

In a large bowl, whisk together the melted coconut oil, coconut milk, vanilla extract, coconut nectar, and eggs.

In a small bowl, whisk together the tapioca flour, coconut flour, baking powder, and salt. Break up any remaining clumps of flour with your hands, then pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix to combine completely. 

Now, add in all of the mango you chopped up earlier and 1/2 cup of the toasted coconut. Fold it in with a whisk or a spatula.

Cover the waffle batter with a kitchen towel and let it sit out while you heat up your waffle iron or, in my case, a panini press outfitted with waffle grates.

Grease the iron/grates lightly with coconut oil once it heats up, then pour about a third of the batter onto the cooking surface, using more or less depending on your machine.

Close the lid and let cook until golden-brown on top, about 5-7 minutes for me. A toothpick should come out cleanly in the center of the waffles, too.

Remove from the waffle iron/grates and repeat with the remaining batter. I made 10 waffles and, of course, you will get more or less depending on how generous you are with the batter and how big your device is.

Garnish with the remaining toasted coconut and eat immediately. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for a few days and toasted up for breakfast, but they’re really best the first day they’re made.


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Toasted Coconut + Mango Waffles (gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free)

May 17, 2014 Leave your thoughts Print this page

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WAAAAAAAAAAAFFFFFFFFFFFFLESSSSSSSSS!

Waffle is a wonderful word; in fact, it is one of my favorites in the English language. It has a wonderful ring to it, don’t you think?

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You see those golden-brown flecks of deliciousness on the top? That’s toasted coconut.

Those little spots of yellow hidden away inside the nooks and crannies? That’s chunks of mango. It’s like a tropical waffle party in your mouth, if such a thing exists.

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While I know that a combination of protein and fat in the morning set the stage for an energetic, successful day, I’m really not a fan of savory things for breakfast. Sure, I’ll eat eggs and avocado a couple times a week, and on occasion, I’ll have leftovers, but when I first wake up in the morning, I’m craving peanut butter and banana, not bacon and sauteed vegetables. I’ve been that way since I was younger, too. I’m better than I used to be–I no longer eat white flour rolls and Fudge Graham bars in the morning–but I still like something sweet and carb-y. Sigh.

These waffles are a special treat, however–I’m not one to eat breakfast goodies every day, even if they are healthy. But these waffles, oh boy, they really taste like the real deal: chewy on the inside, crispy on the outside. My dad, who woke up to me screaming, “I’M GOING TO MAKE TOASTED COCONUT MANGO WAFFLES!!!” quite enjoyed them.

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Best of all, these waffles come together in a snap. (Notice this is a common trend with my breakfast recipes. It’s because I’m usually hungry and I want to eat as soon as humanly possible.) All you need are two bowls and a waffle iron; heck, if you don’t have a waffle iron, you can use a griddle or non-stick skillet and still make awesome pancakes. If you’re in need of a vacation, just take a bite, and images of palm trees and hula dancers will drift into your mind…

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Are ya READY?! Let’s get waffling. Haha. Look at all of the vocabulary years of honors English taught me…

First, toast up 3/4 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut in a small skillet or in the oven at 350. Stir it often and remove it from the heat as soon as it begins to turn brown. Set aside.

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Cut up 1 large, ripe mango into about 1/2-inch chunks. I am not good at cutting up mangoes or explaining it, so to see a pro do it, click here. Set that aside, too, and try not to eat half of the mango while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

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In a large bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of coconut oil, melted (the extra-virgin stuff for a distinctly coconutty flavor), 1/2 cup of coconut milk, 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, 3 tablespoons of coconut nectar (or maple syrup/honey, if you prefer), and 4 eggs.

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In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of tapioca flour, 1/2 cup of coconut flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, and a generous pinch of salt. Break up any remaining clumps of flour with your hands, then pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix to combine completely.

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Now, add in all of the mango you chopped up earlier and 1/2 cup of the toasted coconut. Fold it in with a whisk or a spatula.

Cover the waffle batter with a kitchen towel and let it sit out while you heat up your waffle iron or, in my case, a panini press outfitted with waffle grates.

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Grease the iron/grates lightly with coconut oil once it heats up, then pour about a third of the batter onto the cooking surface, using more or less depending on your machine.

Close the lid and let cook until golden-brown on top, about 5-7 minutes for me. A toothpick should come out cleanly in the center of the waffles, too.

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Remove from the waffle iron/grates and repeat with the remaining batter. I made 10 waffles and, of course, you will get more or less depending on how generous you are with the batter and how big your device is.

Garnish with the remaining toasted coconut and eat immediately. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for a few days and toasted up for breakfast, but they’re really best the first day they’re made.

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Nom-tastic awesomeness. Neither of those words are actually words, but there are truly no words to describe these waffles.

What are your favorite pancake/waffle mix-ins? Leave me a comment here or on Facebook and let me know!


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Coconut Frosting

December 31, 2013 Print this page

Light, creamy, and just a little sweet, this delicate frosting perfectly compliments more decadent flavors like chocolate and coffee. I used this on top of Paleo Mocha Coconut Frappuccino Cupcakes!

Ingredients

Prep Time 5 min
Cooking Time
Total Time 5 min
Yield Enough frosting for 15-20 cupcakes

3/4 cup of palm shortening

1/3 cup of coconut nectar (can be substituted with honey or maple syrup)

2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder

2 tablespoons of coconut flour

2 tablespoons of full-fat coconut milk

1 teaspoon of coconut extract

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

A generous pinch of salt

Directions

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the palm shortening, coconut nectar, arrowroot powder, and coconut flour on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes.

To the frosting, add in the full-fat coconut milk, coconut extract, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt. Keep beating on high for a minute or two more, then taste and adjust the flavor.

Scoop the frosting into a pastry bag or a large ziploc bag with a corner snipped off. Secure the bag, push the frosting to the bottom, and twist the top.


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