Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Vegan Gluten Free Double Chocolate Chip Cookies with Fleur de Sel

A few months ago, I posted a recipe for gluten free chocolate chip cookies with sea salt and I thought that it would be a good recipe to try vegan. We recently had some of our good friends over, Rich, Stacy and their adorable kids. Stacy is vegan so I experimented with the recipe and they came out great. The texture was good and they were full of flavor. I was thrilled with the results. It makes me so happy when I can make something where everyone can eat together- in fact, this is a main reason why I started this blog! Consequently, Stacy has inspired me to try to eat at least one vegan meal a day. It is slightly challenging but I am creating some good recipes. Please try this one! The cookies are rich and chocolaty and the touch of sea salt really enhances the chocolate taste - these cookies rock! Enjoy:)

La Recette:

2 sticks Earth Balance vegan buttery sticks (love these), room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup applesauce, room temperature
2 1/4 cups gluten free baking mix - I make my own but until mine is for sale, I recommend Bisquick :)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Fleur de Sel plus more for sprinkling on top
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups dark chocolate chips

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • With a handheld mixer or a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until soft and creamy - about a minute
  • Slowly add in the sugar and beat until smooth and incorporated, about 2 minutes
  • Add in the applesauce and the vanilla. Mix until everything is smooth. Scrape down the sides and the bottom with a spatula halfway through.
  • In the meantime, combine the gluten free baking mix, baking soda, fleur de sel, and cinnamon. Mix a few times to combine.
  • Next, toss in the chocolate chips. Mix sure the chips are coated in flour mixture. This will help to hold their place in the dough.
  • With the mixer running, gradually add in the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
  • Mix the dough a few times with a spatula or wooden spoon to make sure that everything is combined on the bottom.
  • Using a tablespoon, drop 12 cookie balls onto a standard sized lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle a few granules of sea salt on the top. I use less sea salt on top than in the other recipe with the milk chocolate chips. Because dark chocolate has a more bitter taste than milk chocolate, the flavor is better if you use just a touch of fleur de sel on top.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes and let them cool completely on the baking sheet. I like to keep an eye on these in the oven just to make sure that they don't get too brown. Then transfer to an airtight storage container.

*I find that they are best within three days of making them. If you don't eat them all within three days, freeze them.

*Fleur de Sel is a hand harvested sea salt. It's a little pricey but totally worth it. Speciality foods stores like Williams Sonoma will carry it as well as Whole Foods.

*On a side note, my cousin Allison had a fabulous baking blog,

Please check it out when you have a chance. She is adorable. I think it's so great when a love of cooking and baking is developed at a young age.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

After School Snack

I know, I know...whose kids eat radishes? And honestly, I can't answer that question. Mine don't - yet, but I'm hopeful that they will! If I put it in front of them enough, they will. That's my theory and I am sticking to it. So when we get home from school, I munch on the peppery radishes with sea salt and they love the creamy, lemony herbed butter and warm baguette. This is a recipe adapted from the fabulous Barefoot Contessa - Ina Garten. She is amazing and my kids love this recipe. It's the perfect snack to hold them over until dinner. Enjoy!

La Recette:

1 bunch radish, washed and trimmed
1 gluten free baguette - I like Schär
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon fresh thyme - chopped
2 teaspoons fresh dill - chopped
2 teaspoons Italian parsley - chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Sea salt or kosher salt for dipping the radishes

Combine the butter, zest, lemon juice, thyme, dill, parsley, 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, and pepper together in a medium bowl and mix until everything is incorporated. I like to warm the baguette in the oven for about 5 minutes at 400 degrees and then thinly slice. I also sprinkle about one tablespoon of sea salt on the plate to dip the radishes.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Quick Kitchen Tip

This is a fantastic tip. Whipped cream is a great topping on so many desserts and it's much cheaper and tastier if you make your own.

 You can use an electric or stand mixer, but I think it comes out better if you whip it by hand. Here is the good part - you can drastically cut down your whipping time by putting the bowl and whisk in the freezer about 15 -20 minutes before you want to use it.

 Add a little sugar, and you have a fluffy, sweet addition to your dessert that only takes about 5-7 minutes. It's also a great arm workout :) I usually use a cup of cream and 2 tablespoons of sugar. I gently fold the sugar in at the end.

 Definitely use the heavy whipping cream because the reduced fat products don't whip very well. The best part is, you only need a little dollop and if someone has a dairy allergy, you just leave it off. It keeps in the refrigerator for about 3 days.


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