Double Chocolate Pecan Cookies (grain and egg-free)

Double Chocolate Pecan Cookie

These are super easy and delectably delicious treats for both kids and adults alike. Since we’ve continued with our grain free way of life I’ve been proactively looking for some great recipes to experiment with. This one is a complete winner and is well worth sharing with you.

It uses almond and coconut flour, two of my favourite flours to bake delicious treats now. Both can easily be found at health food stores.

I love the texture of these cookies, with their melt in your mouth deliciousness.

Double Chocolate Pecan Cookies (grain and egg-free) 

Makes 20-30 cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup ghee or coconut oil (or butter), melted
  • 1/2 cup coconut nectar or maple syrup (or similar sweetener of choice)
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • Pecan halves (approximately 30 halves)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C
  2. Place the pecan halves on a baking sheet and toast in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes
  3. Combine all the dry ingredients (except chocolate chips) in a large mixing bowl
  4. Combine wet ingredients in a small bowl
  5. Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir in the chocolate chips
  6. Spoon tablespoonfuls of the mixture into balls and place on the lined trays
  7. Place one toasted pecan half on top of the cookie dough ball and press down until it is lightly imbedded in the dough
  8. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes. Let them cool on the tray for a few minutes before removing so they set – otherwise they will be too soft and may fall apart
  9. Place onto a cooling rack after a few minutes, when they’re set… they’re ready to be enjoyed with a hot cuppa or a glass of almond milk 🙂
Advertisements

ANZAC Biscuits

Anzac CookiesOn the eve of Anzac day I couldn’t resist making a batch of my ANZAC biscuits. They’re foolproof and absolutely delicious with a cuppa.

ANZAC day tomorrow is our national day of remembrance in Australia  and New Zealand which is the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.

The claimed history behind Anzac biscuits is that they  were sent by wives to soldiers abroad because the ingredients do not spoil easily and the biscuits kept well during naval transportation.

These biscuits are super easy and quick to make, they only have a few ingredients which would normally be kept in most household pantries.

ANZAC Biscuits

Makes 16 large biscuits

Ingredients

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 125g butter
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tablespoons water

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Sift the flour into a large bowl. Stir in the oats, coconut and brown sugar.
  2. Put the butter, golden syrup and 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan. Stir over a medium heat until melted. Stir in the bicarbonate of soda.
  3. Pour the butter mixture into the flour mixture and stir until combined.
  4. Roll level tablespoons of mixture into balls. Place on the trays, about 5cm apart.
  5. Press with a fork to flatten slightly. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Set aside on the trays for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack so it cools completely.
  7. Enjoy!

Seven Layer Bars (Paleo Friendly)

Seven-Layer Slice

Yes, this slice has 7 layers! Am I crazy? Perhaps, but all I can say is that it is one of the most delicious Paleo gluten-free slices ever!

It was featured in the Paleo Magazine as one of the best treats for 2013!  So I had to give it a go and see whether it justified all the fuss, and I was not disappointed! It definitely deserves the prestigious award. Every crumb was delectably eaten up the first time I made it, and it didn’t last very long…

This slice does take a little work and time to prepare BUT it is worth every second! All I do is put on my favourite jazz tune and start the process.

In a nutshell the layers start with a gluten-free almond and coconut flour crust, topped with a richly delicious dark chocolate ganache, followed by a caramel sauce, then a crunchy layer of walnuts covered with a coconut cream, shredded coconut and finally a fine layer of dark chocolate chips.

I’ve slightly modified the original recipe because I found it was a little too sweet and I prefer to use dark chocolate but you can always find the original recipe here https://againstallgrain.com/2014/02/18/seven-layer-bars/

Seven Layer Bars

Makes 12 slices

Ingredients

Caramel Sauce

  • 1⁄2 cup honey
  • 1 1⁄2 tablespoon ghee or butter
  • 1⁄2 cup coconut milk
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt

Crust

  • 1∕3 cup plus 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 1⁄4 cup almond flour
  • 1⁄4 cup unsweetened applesauce (alternatively make your own, please see notes below)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, softened
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (alternatively omit)
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch sea salt

Ganache

  • 100 grams dark chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon coconut milk

Coconut Cream

  • 3 tablespoons coconut butter
  • 6 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons honey

Toppings

  • 1⁄2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1⁄4 cup finely dessicated coconut
  • 1⁄4 cup dark chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. The Caramel Sauce: Add the honey to a small saucepan and bring to a low boil over medium-high heat. Simmer on medium heat for 5 minutes, stir the pan occasionally. Remove from heat and carefully whisk in the ghee (or butter), coconut milk, and salt. Return to the heat and continue cooking for 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
  2. The Crust: Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place all the crust ingredients in a medium bowl and mix until a dough forms. Press the dough into an 8-by-8-inch ovenproof dish. Bake for 10 minutes. remove and cool for 15 minutes.
  3. The Ganache: Melt the chocolate slowly in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water, stir in the coconut milk then quickly spread the chocolate mixture over the crust (2nd layer done!)
  4. Pour cooled caramel sauce over the chocolate layer.
  5. Sprinkle chopped walnuts over the chocolate layer.
  6. The Coconut Cream: Place the coconut cream ingredients in a small bowl, whisk, and then drizzle over the walnuts.
  7. Sprinkle the dessicated coconut over the cream layer.
  8. Finish with a layer of chocolate chips.
  9. Place the bars in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then refrigerate for 1 hour to set. cut into 12 even bars.
  10. Enjoy!!!

Notes:

To make Apple Sauce: Use one medium green apple, peeled and cut into small cubes, bring to the boil in a small saucepan with 5 tablespoons of water for about 15 minutes until the apple softens. You can add cinnamon for a little taste, but not really required. Then simply transfer the mixture to a food processor and puree until smooth. It’s now ready to be added to the crust!! I prefer to make my own!!

Paleo Double Choc Nut Espresso Bars

Paleo Double Chocolate Nut Espresso Bar

We’ve found some brilliant paleo recipes, and this one is one of them! This is recipe is egg, dairy, gluten and grain free! Yes!

These bars have a crunchy crust made of chopped pecans and almonds. Topping this delicious crust, is a silky smooth layer of dark chocolate with a mild coffee flavour and is topped off with mini dark chocolate chips. We make coffee the real Italian way of brewing coffee in an espresso pot, but you can use good instant coffee if you don’t have one.

These are a great arvo pick me up minus the nastiness of the usual chocolate bars and sugary sweets, plus you can make a batch and share the love with your colleagues at work….they’ll love you for it! Otherwise, you can keep it for yourself….they really are that good!

Paleo Double Choc Nut Espresso Bars

Makes approximately 16 squares

Preparation time: Approximately 30 minutes

Ingredients

Crust:
  • ½ cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 4 tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 5 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
Chocolate Layer
  • 1 400ml can coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chips, plus more for topping
  • ½ teaspoon ground coffee
  • pinch of salt

Method

Crust:
  1. Line an 20x20cm pan with baking paper covering all four sides
  2. Mix all ingredients for the crust and evenly distribute across the bottom of the pan
  3. Bake at 180°C for 10 minutes
Chocolate Layer:
  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the coconut milk and honey to a light boil, then simmer, stirring occasionally. Do not cover the pan. You will know you cooked it long enough when the coconut milk is reduced to half and has a thicker consistency and darker color, similar to sweetened condensed milk
  2. Melt the chocolate chips
  3. Add ¾ cup of the cooked coconut milk to the melted chocolate along with the ground coffee and salt, then stir to combine
  4. Pour mixture over the crust and bake for 20 minutes at 180°C
  5. Remove from oven and set over a wire rack to cool slightly, then sprinkle top with chocolate chips
  6. Cut into squares and share or refrigerate

Please note: Time is needed to make this recipe as it takes a bit of time to simmer the coconut milk to a thick consistency.

Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gluten free Dark Chocolate Cookies

Yes, these taste as good as they look!

My partner and I have decided to try a gluten free diet, which has lead to following a paleo diet, and it has been a brilliant decision! If you’re not sure on what the paleo way of eating is please follow the link – What is Paleo?

I’m finding the switch one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, the food is delicious and absolutely healthy. I’ll be posting a few fantastic finds and experiments I’ve been trying.

These cookies are scrumptiously delicious and light 🙂

Makes 15-20 cookies, prep time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Almond flour
  • 5 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC
  2. Line a baking tray with baking paper
  3. In a small mixing bowl combine dry ingredients, set aside
  4. In a large mixing bowl beat the eggs, vanilla extract and honey with an electric hand mixer
  5. Combine wet ingredients with dry ingredients and mix thoroughly
  6. Add the coconut oil and mix through, then add chocolate chips
  7. Spoon tablespoonfuls of the mixture into balls and place on the lined trays, press down slightly
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until light golden and cooked, transfer to a wire rack to cool. Enjoy!

 

Easy No-Bake Choc Protein Bar

Protein muesli slice

Welcome to the first post of 2014! The past few weeks have been relaxing and full of good things and life should be that way. I hope each of you reading this post have had a great start to the new year, I hope that it only gets better.

This weeks post is a simple yet tasty snack or even a quick breakfast that will keep you going on the go. These Easy No-Bake Protein Bars are a great alternative to store-bought protein bars which are great but can be costly over a long period of time. These are tasty, simple and brilliant protein snacks.

Easy No-Bake Choc Protein Bars

Makes approximately 12 bars

Ingredients

Protein Bar

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • 3 scoops of chocolate protein powder

Dark Chocolate topping (optional)

  • 3 squares of good quality dark chocolate
  • a few drops of coconut oil

Method

  1. Line a 20x30cm pan/dish with baking paper.
  2. Combine the protein bar ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
  3. Transfer the mix into the prepared lined pan or dish, flattening it nicely. Place the dish into the fridge and refrigerate for a few hours.
  4. Once the mixture has solidified, the topping can then be made by melting the chocolate and coconut oil together in a small pot over low heat.
  5. Drizzle and then place the mixture into the fridge again for a few hours.
  6. Cut as desired and store in a cool place. Enjoy 🙂

Energy Cacao Amazeballs

Energy Cacao Amazcubes

These scrumptious little pieces of energy are inspired by a store bought cacao coconut ball. They were so delicious and a nice alternate from the Heavenly Protein Energy Balls that these have now become one of our favourite on the go snacks.

Like the Heavenly Protein Energy Balls I previously mentioned, these little gems mainly consist of dates which are rich in several vitamins, minerals and fiber too. These delicious little pieces of fruit contain oil, calcium, sulfur, iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, copper and magnesium which are all beneficial for health.

Also included in these little nuggets is raw cacao powder, which is known as a superfood; full of flavonoids, which act as natural antioxidants. It is rich in magnesium, an energy mineral and vital electrolyte. This superfood is  also a good source of sulphur which is associated with strong nails, shiny hair and a healthy liver and pancreas. It also contains phenylethylamine (PEA), which is a mood enhancer. While this super-molecule exists naturally in the brain, the only other food that contains PEA is blue-green algae.

Also included in this super easy recipe is coconut oil, we have recently switched to using coconut oil for our cooking which has several brilliant advantages to health which include:

  • Boosting of metabolism which aids with weight loss
  • Improves heart health & reduces health risks associated with diabetes
  • Coconut oil is made up of healthy fats lauric acid, caprylic acid and capric acid which contain antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral prosperities to boost the immune system
  • Improves digestion & nutrient absorption

The list goes on and on, its easy to cook with and there are different types that don’t have a strong coconut taste if you’re not too keen. I’ve found the health food types the least potent in coconut taste thus far, though even major supermarkets these days stock it in the health section. It will come in a solid form but it has a low melting point so cooking is a breeze.

I love the fact that adding coconut oil to our diet has added lots of health benefits, and its not a heavy oil like other types of cooking oils that leave you with a greasy aftertaste.

I encourage you to give it a go if you haven’t already, it’s a small but great change with long term health results 🙂

I hope you enjoy these new found snacks as much as we do!

Energy Cacao Amazeballs

Makes 12 small balls

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of dates (presoaked in boiling water for 20mins)
  • 1/2 cup of dessicated coconut
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
  • 5 tbsps coconut oil

Method

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor until well blended
  2. Shape into small balls or cubes, they are tasty and packed with nutrients, so small is a good size
  3. These delicious treats are ready to enjoy!

Heavenly Protein Energy Balls

Energy balls

These bursts of energy are jam packed with goodness; a fantastic alternative to store bought energy balls and protein bars.

I discovered this recipe last year and every time it’s been made, it doesn’t take very long till it completely disappears! I took a few batches for some wonderful work colleagues and they vanished within seconds. I was quite overwhelmed by the requests to make more…yes they’re that good!! So, when I make this recipe I always make a minimum of 2 batches at a time.

I have no doubt that there will be lots of very happy people with the sharing of this recipe. These are a brilliant snack for a pre or post workout, or if your going on a nice long bike ride a few can be taken as snacks.

What I love is that they’re easy to make and nutritious, the dates are full of natural fibre, magnesium, iron and potassium. The almond butter is high in protein (excellent for muscle recovery after a workout) and also keeps you fuller for longer. Add a scoop of protein powder if you’re in training mode. The more raw, unprocessed and organic the ingredients, the better.

Heavenly Protein Energy Balls

Makes 8

Prep time: 10 minutes

TIP: Soak dates in boiling water for approximately 20 minutes before preparing the recipe (this will ensure mixture is nice and smooth).

  • 10 whole pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsps raw cacao
  • 2 tbsps almond flakes
  • 1 scoop protein powder (optional)
  • Shredded coconut, chia seeds, cacao for rolling
  1. Place the softened dates, almond butter, cacao and honey in a food processor and blend until smooth. (If mixture is a little dry, add a few drops of date soaked water.
  2. Place the mixture in a medium sized bowl and mix in almond flakes by hand.
  3. Roll into small balls (about the size of a golf ball).
  4. Then roll balls into coconut or other yummy ingredient as you wish…then refrigerate. Too easy!