Skinny Jean Cookies

So uh… yes. It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything new here due to the precious new little guy that has entered into our family’s life. Valid excuse? I think so. 🙂 It’s been a real joy having a new baby in the home again. What hasn’t been a real joy is trying to lose all the baby weight–again. Especially when I love treats and had developed a habit of indulging in them regularly towards the end of the pregnancy. (You can do that when you’re pregnant.) 🙂 But now I’m just supposed to kick that habit cold turkey?? Help!

Well, thankfully I know a recipe or two for some healthier treats (i.e. the Bean Cookies) and have been able to work on shedding some pounds while still satisfying my sweet tooth. *whew!* I’ve even tweaked the Bean Cookie recipe to make it even more healthy, and now I seriously don’t have an issue with eating these cookies as a snack or just whenever I please. (And the weight still comes off!) 🙂 So here is my new recipe for what I like to call my Skinny Jean Cookies (not that you will EVER see me in skinny jeans) 🙂 …and yes! It’s Food Storage!

Skinny Jean Cookies

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Ingredients:

  • 1 (15 oz) can white beans (I like to use Great Northern or Navy), drained and rinsed
  • 1½ cups sugar (white or brown… your preference)
  • 5 eggs (or 10 Tbsp egg powder and 15-20 Tbsp water)
  • ¼-½ cup applesauce (I just scoop in two big spoonfuls… probably close to 1/3 cup)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4½ cups whole wheat flour (can use half all-purpose if you’re not used to whole wheat)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1¼ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1¼ cups dried cranberries (i.e. Craisins)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. Place your drained and rinsed beans in a large bowl (I use my KitchenAid stand mixer), and using a fork, mash them down till they’re creamy and non-recognizable as a bean. 🙂 Add the sugar and cream them together (you can use your mixer fitted with the paddle attachment now), then add the eggs, applesauce, and vanilla. Mix.
  3. Add the flour (a little at a time to prevent flour flying everywhere), baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix until well blended.
  4. Stir in the chocolate chips and dried cranberries.
  5. Drop the dough by small, rounded spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. (Note: These cookies do not spread when baked, so you can pack them pretty close together on the cookie sheet.)
  6. Bake 10-15 minutes (depending on the size of the cookie), but DO NOT over bake these. They will not turn golden when done, so try testing them with a light touch on the top of the cookie. They should be barely firm to the touch and will set up more as they cool. (My optimal cooking time for me was 11 minutes.)
  7. Remove baked cookies from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Store at room temperature in an airtight container. (Or you can freeze them for later.)
  8. Enjoy your healthy cookies! 😀

Yields 4-5 dozen cookies.


What’s For Dessert? Gorilla Poops!

I’ll bet I lost half of you right there at the title. 😀 Well, for those of you with a strong enough stomach to have made it past that… these little delights are also known as Chocolate Oatmeal No-Bake Cookies. Sounds a little more appetizing that way, but not nearly as entertaining… especially for little kids (which is when I happened to learn how to make these). 😀 The first time I made these was in a church girls activity group (called Valiant Miss– does anyone besides me remember when it used to be called that??) Anyway, our leaders taught us how to make them and told us they were called Gorilla Poops (clearly a result of the way they look) so I went home and told my mom that’s what they were. She thought that was absolutely disgusting and has hated that I call them that ever since. But it’s just so much fun! 😀

Well, regardless of what you call them, these cookies are so delicious, SO easy, and SOOO addicting! (Sounds like a perfect little cookie if you ask me!) 🙂 The recipe I currently use to make these has been slightly adapted over the years as I’ve found other things to add and enhance the cookie, but it’s mostly true to what I started out loving as a youth. However, I’ll go ahead and give you both versions, since the original recipe is super basic, as well as shelf stable. But the second version is my preferred version. 🙂 So go ahead and whip up a fresh batch (haha… doesn’t ‘fresh’ take on a whole new meaning when you think of the title?? Sorry. Overly gross. My bad.) and I dare you to eat just one!

{Side note: I’m having computer issues these days and can’t save any PDF files in Word or edit and save my pictures in Photoshop, hence I don’t have any nicely arranged pictures to show you nor a printable version of the recipe for you to download. However I was tired of just waiting to figure out what’s going on and decided to go ahead and post this anyway. But I promise to add the nicer photos and files when my computer is back up to full working status. :)}

Gorilla Poops – a.k.a. Chocolate Oatmeal No-Bake Cookies {Original Recipe}

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup shortening
  • 3 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup milk (reconstituted powdered milk)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 cups rolled oats (quick oats is best, but old fashioned will work fine)

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat and melt together the shortening and cocoa.
  2. Add the sugar, milk, and salt to the saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Once the mixture has come to a rolling boil, start timing for about 1 minute (and continue to stir).
  3. At the end of 1 minute, remove the pan from the heat and add the oats. Mix everything together thoroughly.
  4. Drop large spoonfuls of the mixture onto a wax paper lined cookie sheet and allow to cool and set up for approximately 30 minutes. Eat and enjoy.

Gorilla Poops {Modified/Preferred Recipe}

Ingredients:

  • 1¾ cups white sugar
  • ½ cup milk (reconstituted powdered milk)
  • ½ cup butter (1 stick)
  • 4 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups quick oats

Directions:

  1. Measure and prepare all of your ingredients in advance. Prepare 1-2 cookie sheets lined with wax paper. (This makes the process go so much more smoothly since things will start happening quickly!)
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, milk, butter, and cocoa. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil, stirring frequently. As soon as it reaches a full boil (i.e. the top is all foaming up with bubbles), start timing for 90 seconds while constantly stirring. (Do not overboil the mixture or your cookies will be dry and crumbly. Do not underboil or your cookies may not set.)
  3. Immediately remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the peanut butter until melted. Then add the salt, vanilla, and oats. Mix until fully combined.
  4. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared lined cookie sheets. (I like to use two spoons for this, since the mixture is really hot. Use one spoon to scoop the mixture from the pot, and the other spoon to scoop the mixture off the first spoon and onto the wax paper.)
  5. Let cool until set/hardened (30-40 minutes). Eat and enjoy!

Well, I hope you enjoy your tasty jungle treat! 😀 (I know, I know, Mom… that’s disgusting.)

Christmas Treat: Rocky Road Candy

Yum yum yum! This delicious (and addicting!) recipe is one that I grew up with. My mom makes it every year at Christmas time… several times, in fact… since we all seem to gobble it up quite quickly. 🙂 This is my first year making it on my own and I am so excited to put it in little goodie bags to give to some of our friends and neighbors. It is just so good! We’ve already been through one batch with just our little family, so my girls and I just made up a few more batches today to give away. 🙂 (Oh… and this is an EXCELLENT recipe for letting little kids help with.) It’s super easy and super delicious, so I hope you enjoy it!

Rocky Road Candy

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Ingredients:

  • 1 (12 oz) package milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips (half a 12 oz bag)
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • salted peanuts (roughly ¼ cup)
  • miniature marshmallows (roughly ¼ cup)

Directions:

  1. Line a 7″ x 11″ pan (or you could also use a 8×8 or 9×9 square pan) with wax paper (or just grease it REALLY well).
  2. Sprinkle a layer of peanuts on the bottom of the pan, then add a layer of mini marshmallows. (There should be enough between the two that it basically covers the bottom of the pan. Don’t overdo it, though, or the candy will have a hard time adhering together.)
  3. In a microwave proof bowl, combine the chocolate and butterscotch chips. Microwave for 1 minute, stir, then continue to microwave for another minute. Remove and stir.
  4. Add the peanut butter and mix it in a bit. Then microwave again for another minute. At this point, your mixture should be mostly melted (although you may find that the butterscotch chips have a harder time melting… but that’s okay). If you need another 30 seconds or so, go ahead and microwave again, otherwise stir your mixture to fully combine and then pour it evenly over the nuts and marshmallows. Spread it out with a spoon or spatula, then give the pan a little jiggle, a little shake, and a little tap-tap-tap on the countertop 🙂 to work out any air bubbles. Set it in the fridge to chill for about an hour.
  5. When it’s firmed up, remove the candy from the pan by pulling up on the sides of the wax paper (or if you just greased it, hopefully you can just turn the pan over and have it dump out onto a cutting board), and cut your candy into approximately 1″ squares. Store in the fridge in an airtight container. Enjoy!

Okay, and here’s a helpful/important tip: Do not try to microwave your ingredients for just three minutes (or even two minutes!) without stopping to stir. You are bound to find yourself with a kitchen that smells like burnt gym socks. Yes… you will burn your chocolate that way. (Experience talking, perhaps?? :)) Be sure to only microwave in no more than 1-minute increments. Also, if you cook it too long, the chocolate will start getting crumbly instead of melty, so try not cook for more than a combined total of 4 minutes. Even if your butterscotch chips haven’t melted all the way, you can still pour it over your mixture and they’ll still continue to mix and meld as the candy sets up.

And on that note, we’re heading out on our Christmas vacation so I will be signing off for the holidays. We wish you all a very safe and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!!

What’s For Dessert? Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies!

Did everyone have a Happy Halloween??! Are you fully filled with your share of sugar for the year??! Wondering what you’re going to do with that bucket load of candy sitting in your kids room??! I know I sure am! Honestly, it’s so much fun to get the kiddos dressed up and to take them around trick-or-treating, but then I stare at their buckets of candy and think, “There is no way I want them consuming all of this!” So what can we do? Turn that candy into cookies and give them away for someone else to consume! 😀 (Aren’t we so thoughtful?!)

Here’s a recipe to use up all those Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (which, honestly, are one of my favorite treats and therefore one of the hardest to give away… but a waistline has to do what a waistline has to do!). 😉 These cookies are SO SO yummy! Soft, chewy, chocolate, and peanut butter cups. It doesn’t get much better. You’ll definitely want to give these a try!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

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Ingredients:

  • 1 box chocolate cake mix (I think I used a devil’s food mix, but just pick your favorite)
  • 1 large egg (2 Tbsp egg powder + 4 Tbsp water)
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • Peanut Butter Cups, crumbled or cut into chunks (as much as you want!) 🙂

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease 1-2 cookie sheets.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the cake mix, egg, oil, and water. Mix until well blended. (Note in the picture below that this will make a really stiff dough. So when your dough gets really hard to stir, don’t worry… you’re doing it right. :))
  3. Add your peanut butter cup chunks and mix till combined.
  4. Drop by small spoonfuls onto your cookie sheets, approximately 1-2 inches apart.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes. If you are baking two cookie sheets at a time, be sure to rotate them half way through. (Note: I found 11-12 minutes to be plenty of time, but my oven tends to run a little hot. Just keep an eye on them and don’t overbake or you’ll lose the softness of the cookie! *tragic!*)
  6. Remove from oven, allow to cool a few minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack. Enjoy!!

And, of course, there’s no need to stop at just peanut butter cups! Try some Butterfinger or Snickers cut up into chunks instead. They would be awesome! The sky’s the limit. 🙂 Hope you enjoy!!

What’s For Dessert? Peach Cobbler!

Hey y’all! Just thought I’d pop in to say hi and share this devilishly delicious food storage dessert! It’s Peach Cobbler… Paula Deen style! 😀 Yes… that means butter. Lots of it. But not enough to make you feel guilty about eating it! 😉 Anyway, it’s so easy and so so SO delicious. So go whip one up to enjoy for dessert tonight!

Heavenly Peach Cobbler

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Ingredients:

  • 1 large can (29 oz) sliced peaches (preferably in juice instead of syrup), drained*
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • ¼ cup water
  • 4 Tbsp butter (½ stick)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup self-rising flour (not all-purpose)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. Combine the peaches, ½ cup of the sugar, and the water in a saucepan. Mix well. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Put the butter in the bottom of an 8×8 square pan (or equal sized baking dish) and place it in the oven to melt.
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, mix the remaining ½ cup sugar, flour, and slowly add the milk to prevent clumping. Pour the mixture over the melted butter in the baking dish. DO NOT STIR.
  5. Spoon the fruit mixture on top, gently, pouring in the syrup. (If this looks upside down to you, don’t worry. The batter will rise to the top during the baking process and soak in all the yummy juices… which is why we use the self-rising flour.)
  6. Bake 30-45 minutes, until golden brown on top.
  7. To serve, scoop into a bowl and serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream on top. ENJOY!

*Tip: If you are trying to conserve water and energy (like you would be in an emergency), you can keep the peaches in their syrup instead of draining them and skip the ½ cup sugar and ¼ cup water mixture as listed in Step 2. Instead, just add the can of peaches (with the syrup) into the baking dish as listed in Step 5. (If the peaches are in juice instead of syrup, you will want to still add about ¼ cup sugar to the peaches and juice in a saucepan and simmer that for about 5 minutes.)

Recipe adapted from Paula Deen’s Peach Cobbler
Note: This recipe is for ‘With Electricity’ due to the butter, unless you have butter powder, or canned butter or something equal to it.

What’s For Dessert? Italian Lemon Drop Cookies!

These are a nice, refreshingly light little cookie that is just perfect for Spring. Hope you enjoy!

Italian Lemon Drop Cookies

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • ¼ cup shortening
  • ½ cup milk (reconstituted powdered milk)
  • 1 large egg, beaten (2 Tbsp egg powder + 4 Tbsp water)
  • 2 tsp lemon extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Cut in the shortening. Stir in the milk, egg, and lemon extract. Mix until well blended.
  3. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls with floured hands. Place the cookies on a lightly greased cookie sheet, about 1 inch apart.
  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or just until golden brown. Place the cookie sheet on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
  5. While the cookies are cooling, prepare the frosting.

Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup warm milk (reconstituted powdered milk)
  • 1 tsp lemon extract

Directions:

  1. Combine the shortening and sugar in a medium bowl using a pastry blender.
  2. Stir in the warm milk, a little at a time, until the shortening is a good consistency to spread. Stir in the lemon extract.
  3. Spread a thin layer of frosting on the cooled cookies, or I actually like to dip the top of the cookie into the bowl of frosting to get a nice smooth top. 🙂
  4. Enjoy!


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What’s For Dessert? Almond Cookies!

Fair Warning: If you make these, you will eat them like a bad habit! (Don’t say I didn’t warn you!)

These cookies are absolutely delicious. They’re subtly sweet, light, and very addicting! You’ll want to snatch one every time you pass the cookie jar. 🙂 They’re completely shelf stable and you’ve likely got everything you need to make them sitting in your pantry right now! So go whip up a batch and enjoy!

Amazing Almond Cookies

Download Printable Version
Ingredients:

  • 1 cup, plus 3 Tbsp vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg (2 Tbsp egg powder + 4 Tbsp water)
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • almonds (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. With a mixer, cream together the shortening and sugar in a large bowl. Beat in the egg and almond extract.
  3. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and stir with a spoon until mostly incorporated. Once it is mostly combined, you can use the mixer to finish mixing it.
  4. Scoop a spoonful of dough and form into a walnut-sized ball. (Note: the dough may be fairly crumbly, but if you press it together firmly in your hand it will come together and allow you to shape it.) Place the ball onto an ungreased cookie sheet and press slightly with your thumb to create a flat spot on top. (You can add an almond on top here if you’d like… I didn’t want to.)
  5. Bake for 14-17 minutes, or until the cookies have barely started to turn golden. Remove and allow to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a wire cooling rack. (If you try to remove them from the cookie sheet too early, they will crumble and fall apart on you.) Enjoy!!

Adapted from AllRecipes.com
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