carob chip – almond butter – quinoa cookies

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You might be wondering … what the heck is going on?!

Am I on the right blog????

A recipe that doesn’t include butter. or sugar. or flour. or chocolate chips.

Instead these cookies are chock full of quinoa. rolled oats. almond butter. carob chips. maple syrup.

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Oh my goodness … what happened to Lynne?????

Well my friends … I decided to get out of my baking comfort-zone. I saw this recipe on my facebook feed and figured … what do I have to lose?

It turns out I gained a brand new favourite healthy cookie recipe.

Mother of pearl. Who would have thunk it!

I’ve already made this recipe twice. Yep. I liked it enough the first time to make it again … only this time I included a few *twists* to the original recipe. Obviously.

I’m going to start off with the major selling feature for me … these are actually the best mid-afternoon snack. I’m not saying these should be your *treat* for the day … HOWEVER … if you find yourself reaching for something cookie-like at around 2 pm to get you through the rest of your work day … look no further.

These cookies have become my afternoon life savers.

And they only require 5 ingredients … actually more like 7 … I added some additional spices to the original recipe.

Have I sold you on the idea of a healthy cookie yet?

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Tip number 1 … when cooking your quinoa … add a vanilla pod and cinnamon stick to the water and quinoa. Any bit of extra flavour helps … especially when you’re baking healthy.

Tip number 2 … flatten these out a little pre-baking. Otherwise the middles get a tad dry. No butter = no added moisture.

Tip number 3 … the carob chips tend to spread and burn faster than I find chocolate chips would. Just keep an eye on the cookies while they bake. You might be able to take them out of the oven closer to 17 minutes rather than the recommended 20 minutes.

Tip number 4 … these cookies could easily be turned into bars. Simply pat down the dough into a square pan and bake for about 22 to 25 minutes.

Now are you ready to give these a try????

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holiday cookie 3.0

Ginger and maple.  In a cookie.

Perfect for the holidays … right?  Right.

Heck … these are perfect for any ol’ day.  Like today.  They’re perfect for whipping up and enjoying with some eggnog.  Yes.  Pull out that eggnog, grab a few of these cookies … and enjoy.

These cookies will melt in your mouth.  They spread while they bake – so you end up with a thin cookie – nice and chewy without being crispy or hard (even 5 days after you bake them).

Don’t expect these to be similar to what I’ve been baking.  They don’t hit you in the face with a molasses kick.  The dough doesn’t need to be chilled before baking (although I do recommend it).  Plus you get the added surprise of biting into crystallized ginger.  These are good.

Are you sold on making these yet? I bet I convinced you when I mentioned eggnog.

Giver.  Make these cookies … NOW.

I have only one real complaint about this recipe.  Unlike all the other ones, where you end up with dozens of tasty little cookies (remember to be shared AND enjoyed by yourself), this recipe only makes 2.5 dozen cookies.

ginger-maple thins

ingredients:

1 1/2 c. flour, sifted

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 c. butter, softened

1/2 c. packed brown sugar

1 egg

1/4 c. maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla

3 tbsp diced crystallized ginger

1/4 c. raw sugar

Preheat your oven to 350 F.  Line your baking sheets with parchment paper.  Set aside.

Mix together the flour, baking soda, and the ground ginger. Set aside.

In the bowl of your stand-mixer, beat together the butter and brown sugar for a couple of minutes, it’ll lighten up.  You should increase the speed of your mixer to medium – this will allow the batter to get nice and fluffy.

Add the egg, maple syrup and vanilla extract.  Beat until incorporated.

Decrease the speed of the mixer and add the flour and crystallized ginger, until just combined.

This is where I decided to place the cookie dough in the fridge for about 30 minutes – it made it easier to handle.

When you’re ready to bake the cookies, place the raw sugar in a pie plate.

Roll tablespoons of dough into balls, and then roll them in the sugar.  Place them on the prepared cookie sheets – about 2-inches apart (remember, these cookies will spread as they bake).

Now grab a glass.  It’ not eggnog time.  So don’t fill it.

Flatten each ball pressing the base of the glass on each cookie.

Bake until golden, about 6 minutes.

Cool for 5 minutes on the rack, then transfer to a wire rack, allowing them to cool completely.

Done.

buttermilk pie. oh my.

This pie is … divine.  That’s right.  DIVINE.  Its deliciousness is simply gobsmackingly ridiculous.  Nice sentence eh?

And so … I heart this pie something fierce … the reasons being:

1.  It’s from baked explorations (Eric, my favourite cheftestant from Top Chef Just Desserts, works in the Brooklyn bakery)

2.  I read the little blurb author Matt Lewis wrote – it included a visit to Québec City (one of my favourite cities) and his discovery of sugar pie (one of my first loves)

3.  I wrote Matt Lewis and told him (a) how excited I was that he loves sugar pie, (b) that I simply can not wait to try his version of it, and finally (c) how much I love his cookbooks (the root beer cake I make is originally from his first book, baked)

4.  He responded to my email.  AMAZING (he thanked me for my enthusiasm… and wished me luck in my future baking adventures!)

5.  This pie is the answer to all those sugar pie haters out there … you know who you are … you think the pie is too sickly sweet and not worth the bother.  This pie is worth the bother.  This pie is simply outstanding.

Good reasons eh?  I think so.  And that’s how I ended up baking this pie for an evening gathering @ Edgar. 

Rachelle (rachelle eats food), Asha (beFOODled) and I suprised Marysol (she eats bears) and Simon one Friday evening – Asha brought along a delicious shrimp appetizer, Rachelle treated us to a charcuterie plate – cheese, salumi, cretons, baguette (all amazing), and I brought along the dessert.  THIS dessert.

We heated it up as we helped Marysol and Simon prep for the following morning, and then sat down with a glass of milk to enjoy our just rewards.

I can say … we went back for second pieces.  It was a success.  And I discovered a new favourite.

I did twist this recipe – but really only slightly.  I used a shortbread crust rather than a classic pie dough, and baked it in a tart pan.  It turned out beautifully…

The baked note that accompanies this recipe is “…if you aren’t desperate to impress with a visual smorgasbord, this homey little pie packs a lot of unexpected taste and texture.  It is sweet and custardy and captivating.  Think of it as the dessert equivalent of frogs legs – ugly, but addictive.” 

I don’t necessarily agree – I think it’s a pretty pie: pretty in its simplicity and that it just tastes great.  No bells and whistles – but sometimes, you really just want a piece of pie.  Plain and simple.

buttermilk pie

ingredients:

1 shortbread crust dough

4 eggs

2 tbsp + 1 tsp flour

3/4 c. sugar

1/4 c. firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 c. butter, melted and cooled

1 c. buttermilk

1/4 c. pure 100% canadian maple syrup

Press the shortbread crust dough into a 9-inch pie plate – carefully working the dough into the bottom and up the sides.  Wrap and freeze the crust until firm, about 30 minutes (or if you’re like me, leave it wrapped in the tart pan for a couple of days in the freezer).

Preheat your oven to 325 F.

No stand-mixers required.

Grab a large bowl and lightly beat the eggs.  Whisk in 2 tbsp of flour (the batter might look somewhat curdled – that’s ok). 

Add both the sugars – whisking everything until the ingredients are well combined. 

 Pour in the cooled butter, buttermilk, and maple syrup, whisking the entire time.

 Sprinkle 1/2 tsp of the remaining flour over the unbaked shortbread crust. 

Pour the batter into the shell, and then sprinkle the remaining flour over the top.  Bake for about 1 hour – the custard will get fluffy and airy – but you’ll know it’s ready because it is set.

Allow it to cool completely on a wire rack.  It’s recommended to serve it at room temperature … however we ate it warmed up.  It was better.  So re-heat it, just slightly. 

And if you are a true lover of the sugar pie … maybe you’ll want to drizzle just a hint of maple syrup on your warmed piece … I bet that would be good.  Real good :0)

Any leftover pie can be refrigerated (tightly covered), for up to 2 days.

Thank you Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito for bringing the beauty of a buttermilk pie to my life.