31.8.15

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are the new favorite thing in my household. But there are only so many varieties you can make, or so I thought. Part cake, part cookie, these banana oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are soft on the inside and every-so-crispy on the outside. I wouldn't go so far as to say they are chewy, because, well, they're not.

I ended up making mine far too big, so they were slightly softer than I'd hoped. But make them slightly smaller, and I'm sure they will be just perfect. That's not to say I didn't love them as is, but I think I've realized that I prefer crunchier cookies.

These are perfect dunk-in-milk cookies and will definitely satisfy cravings for a (slightly) sweet afternoon pick-me-up.

Ingredients
Makes 12 medium-sized cookies
1 cup flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
pinch of salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup unrefined sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp coconut oil, softened
1/2 cup whole rolled oats
1 ripe banana, mashed
1 egg
vanilla
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Instructions
Preheat oven to 170 C. Line a cookie sheet with baking paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda and salt.

In a separate, larger bowl, beat together the coconut oil and sugars until creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat again until pale and fluffy.

Stir in the mashed banana. Pour in the flour mixture and mix again. Finally, add in the oats and chocolate chips and fold to incorporate.

The dough may be slightly sticky, but do not worry. Spoon the batter onto the cookie sheet, leaving some space in between the cookies. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve and enjoy!

25.8.15

Apple Cranberry Spice Loaf

Cinnamon sugar goodness. I just realized how autumn-y this loaf is, and I'm really really sorry because trust me, I'm the last person who wants to say goodbye to summer. But you'll thank me, once you make this, because it will blow. your. socks. off.

On that note, it's been raining quite a bit here in London and that does not make me happy. I've even had to whip out a coat once in a while and that is nooo good.
I have just about a month until I head back to university and that means crunch time. I need to get in all the baking I can because I know it will go on hiatus during the two months of university term time. Maybe not completely MIA, but pretty much there.

I told my best friend that I had made an apple cranberry spice loaf and without having seen a picture or tasted a bite, he told me just how amazing it sounded. And well, what can I say? It is! So - get baking!

Ingredients
3/4 cup plain flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1/4 cup soft brown sugar
1/3 cup unrefined sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 heaped tbsp coconut oil
2 eggs
2 apples, roughly chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped into smaller pieces
1 tbsp raw sugar + 1/4 tsp cinnamon, for sprinkling

Instructions
Preheat the oven to 170 C. Line a loaf tin with baking paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.

In a separate bowl, beat together the coconut oil and sugars. Add the eggs and beat again until light and fluffy. Finally, add in the buttermilk and beat again.

Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until just combined.

Fold in the chopped apples and cranberries. Feel free to toss in some chopped nuts here as well!

Pour the batter into the loaf tin and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture.

Bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Slice and serve - warm can't be beat. Enjoy!

23.8.15

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

I'm (coco)nuts for chocolate. I wouldn't say I'm new to this whole coconut chocolate combination, but I am definitely new to toasted coconut in chocolate chip cookies. MIND. BLOWN.I've seriously been hooked on coconut lately -  I've been adding it to oatmeal, granola, cookies, cakes and even dhal (an Indian lentil stew/curry)! But toasting it and adding to cookies, that was a stroke of genius, I must admit. And trust me, even when I was stirring it in, I was not convinced, not in the slightest bit.

But the coconut, when toasted, gets all fragrant, crunchy, golden brown and straight-up delicious! It lends the most nutty, aromatic and wonderfully-textured feel to these cookies. Cookies are secretly my favorite typed of baked good as they're the easiest to sneak a bite of, are completely no-mess (crumbs don't count!) and don't need any bowl or spoon to eat from. 
I'm a die hard dark chocolate fan, so all my cookies tend to use dark chocolate chips. However, I think white chocolate chips, maybe with the addition of chopped macadamia nuts, would be an outstanding substitution. Milk chocolate works too!

Ingredients
Makes 14 medium-sized cookies
3/4 cup desiccated coconut
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
3/4 cup unrefined sugar
1 egg
3 tbsp coconut oil, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4-1/3 cup dark chocolate chips

Instructions
Preheat the oven to 175 C. Line a cookie sheet with baking paper.

Once the oven has heated, spread the desiccated coconut on the cookie sheet and place in the oven for 5-7 minutes, or until toasted and fragrant. Stir once or twice while toasting to ensure even cooking. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In a separate, larger bowl, beat together the coconut oil and sugar until creamy. Add in the egg and beat again until light and fluffy. Then add in the vanilla and beat one last time. Into the same mixture, stir in the cooled toasted coconut.

Add in the dry ingredients into the wet and beat gently. If the dough is too thick to beat at this point, just use a spoon to combine.

Finally, add the chocolate chips and stir one last time.

Time permitting, refrigerate the dough for about an hour. I didn't have the time to do so, so I baked the cookies directly and they still turned out great! Before baking, reduce the oven temperature to 160 C, or turn it on again and preheat to 160 C.

Using a cookie scoop or your hands (I prefer this!) roll the dough into balls of your preferred size and flatten slightly before setting to bake on the cookie sheet. Leave some, not too much, space between the dough to allow for spreading. 

Bake the cookies for 12 minutes, then increase the oven temperature to 200 C and bake for another 2-3 minutes or until the cookies look a gorgeous golden brown. 

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

4.8.15

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

When you take classic (sorta) chocolate chip cookies and replace the traditional butter aspect with peanut butter, what do you get? Peanut butter chocolate chip cookies! Surprising, right?
In all seriousness, these peanut butter chocolate chip cookies are your traditional chocolate chip cookie kicked up a notch (or couple) and made slightly healthier with the addition of whole wheat flour and oats, reduced sugar, and just a small amount of coconut oil in addition to the peanut butter.

I had to convince my family that these were worth baking. We had a few other baked goods lying around (hey - there's only so much four of us can eat!), and we're going on vacation this weekend, so baking really wasn't the most practical idea. But the baking pangs hit, and they hit hard, so there was no stopping me! My family wasn't too disappointed either. These cookies were an absolute hit!

They're ultra crunchy on the outside, but almost soft and crumbly on the inside. The chocolate chips get all melty and delicious, and the oats just add that wonderful extra bite. They're mucho perfecto dunked in a chilled glass of milk, steaming cup of coffee or sneakily pulled out of the cookie jar as a mid-morning (or anytime) treat!

The best thing about cookies is that they last long - not that this should really ever be a problem. These cookies, especially, lend the most amazing aroma when they're baking: warming, sweet and peanut butter-y. Yum.

Ingredients
Makes 12 medium cookies
1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup baby oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup coconut oil, softened but not melted
1/2 cup unrefined sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 tbsp milk
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Instructions
Preheat the oven to 180 C and line a cookie sheet with baking paper. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together the plain flour, whole wheat flour, salt and baking soda. Stir in the baby oats.

In a separate, larger bowl, beat together the peanut butter, coconut oil, sugar and vanilla.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet. The mixture is likely to be extremely thick and dry at this point. Add milk tablespoons at a time until the dough reaches a typical cookie dough consistency (i.e. you could make a ball and roll it up without it falling apart).

Finally, gently stir in the chocolate chips.

Form balls out of the dough, flatten slightly and place on the cookie sheet. Use a fork to create the peanut butter criss cross patter on top (I tried, but pretty much failed at this).

Bake for 15 minutes at 180 C, then increase the temperature to 200 C and bake for another 2-3 minutes, or until a deep golden brown.

Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!