The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap: Beurre and Sel Jammers

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap: Beurre and Sel Jammers | Once Upon a Recipe

Son of a bee sting, it’s that time of year again!  This year I had the pleasure of participating in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap for the third time. The swap is hosted by two lovely ladies, The Little Kitchen and Love & Olive Oil. If you have no idea what the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap is, allow me bring you up to speed. It’s a worldwide food blogger cookie swap! Basically, you sign up, get matched with three other bloggers, and send each blogger a dozen homemade cookies. Then you must wait patiently to receive three dozen delicious cookies from the bloggers that received your name. The swap also raises money for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer! Sending cookies around the world + supporting a good cause = Christmas magic and lots of fun.

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap: Beurre and Sel Jammers | Once Upon a Recipe

This year I chose to make these Beurre and Sel Jammers from Dorie Greenspan. I actually received these cookies during my first year in the swap and have not been able to get them off my mind since! Imagine a buttery deep dish shortbread cookie topped with tart jam that has been nestled within a ring of buttery streusel. Have I got your attention yet?

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap: Beurre and Sel Jammers | Once Upon a Recipe

These cookies are absolute magic. Sweet, buttery, jammy magic. They do take a bit of work as there are several steps involved, but I promise you they are worth it! I used a tart cherry jam and an apricot jam, and loved both. You can use any jam you like, just make sure it’s a bit thick so that it stays in the centre of the cookie and doesn’t spread out too much. I am officially adding these cookies to my Christmas baking rotation. I’ve already made them twice this month and am tempted to squeeze in a third round! The cookies freeze beautifully, so they are perfect for baking ahead and taking them out when you need them.

Interested in participating in next year’s swap? Check the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap website for more details. Happy holiday baking!

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap: Beurre and Sel Jammers | Once Upon a Recipe

Beurre and Sel Jammers (from Dorie Greenspan)

These beurre and sel jammers are a cookie lover’s dream. They can be made in parts if tackling the whole recipe in one day seems like too much. They freeze very well when stored in an airtight container, so make them ahead of time to have on hand for all your holiday celebrations! Makes about 36 cookies.

For the cookie dough:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted

1/2 tsp. fine sea salt

2 egg yolks, room temperature

2 tsp. vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour

For the topping:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 tsp. fine sea salt

5 1/2 TBSP. unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces

1/4 tsp. vanilla

3/4 cup thick jam

For the cookies: Place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until the butter is smooth and creamy. Add in both sugars and the salt, and beat until well blended, for about a minute. Add the egg yolks and vanilla and beat on low speed until combined. Finally, add the flour and mix on low until just combined. Divide the dough in half. Place each half between two sheets of wax paper and flatten into discs. Roll each disc into 1/4-inch thickness. Place on cookie sheets and freeze between the wax paper until firm, for at least two hours (or overnight). The dough can be kept frozen for up to two days if you’d like to do this part ahead of time.

For the streusel topping: Mix the flour, sugar, and salt together in a bowl. Using your fingers, rub the butter and vanilla into the flour mixture until well combined and no lumps of butter remain. The streusel will be sandy in texture and will hold its shape when pressed between your fingers. Cover and chill.

To assemble the cookies: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the cookie dough from the freezer. Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter (or a tall narrow glass, like me!), cut the dough into rounds and press each round into the bottom of each muffin cup. Gather the scraps and repeat the process until you have used up your dough. Doris’s recipe suggests freezing the dough in the muffin tin for another 30 minutes before baking, but I skipped this step. When mama wants cookies, she wants them now.

Spoon about 1 teaspoon of jam into the center of each round of dough. Using your fingers or a small spoon, sprinkle about a tablespoon of streusel around the edges of each cookie, trying not to get any in the jam. Bake the cookies for about 20-22 minutes, until the tops are golden. Cool in tins for 15 minutes. Run a small knife around edges of each muffin cup and gently remove cookies. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Store the cookies in an airtight container. Freeze if the cookies will not be consumed within a few days.

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap: Beurre and Sel Jammers | Once Upon a Recipe

Looking for more amazing cookie recipes? Check out the lovely cookies I received from Marie at Food Nouveau (Maple Syrup Fudge cookies), Jane at Jane’s Adventures in Dinner (Jammy Pudding cookies), and Sharana at Living the Sweet Life (Cranberry Orange Dark and Stormy cookies). Also be sure to check out the bloggers that I had the pleasure of sending a box of these cookies to: Laurel at Wanna Come With, Claude at a la Claude, and Alicia at Bird House Diaries. xo

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap: Dark Chocolate Almond Florentine Cookies

Dark Chocolate Almond Florentine Cookies | Once Upon a Recipe

Well, hellllllllooo friends!

Insert apologies about my lack of posts lately. Hoping to change that in the coming weeks!

We have much more important things to talk about right now. Cookies, obvi. This year marked my second time participating in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, hosted by two lovely ladies, The Little Kitchen and Love & Olive Oil. In case you’ve been living under a rock, here’s a quickie on the details: It’s a worldwide food blogger cookie swap! Basically, you sign up, receive the addresses of three other bloggers, and then you send each blogger a dozen homemade cookies. And then you wait to receive three dozen delicious cookies from those that received your name. Oh, and the swap raises money for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer! Sweet treats and supporting a good cause = so many wins.

Dark Chocolate Almond Florentine Cookies | Once Upon a Recipe

My contribution to this year’s swap was the magnificent wafer-thin, chocolate-filled cookies you see above. They taste very similar to Almond Roca with their toffee-like flavour and addictive crunch. Each wafer is incredibly thin and delicate, but once sandwiched together around a layer of dark chocolate, these cookies become a little bit more sturdy (and clearly more delicious). I dare you to make a batch and not eat more than five one.

Dark Chocolate Almond Florentine Cookies | Once Upon a Recipe

Next year, be sure to participate in the swap! Check the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap website for more details. Happy holiday baking! See you again real soon.

Dark Chocolate Almond Florentine Cookies | Once Upon a Recipe

Dark Chocolate Almond Florentine Cookies (recipe from Bakerita)

These cookies are incredibly addictive with their satisfying crunch and chocolate centers. Their flavour is similar to that of almond roca. A batch will make about 36 cookies (18 sandwiches). They take a little time to make, but are completely worth the effort. The cookies keep well in an airtight container in the freezer.

1 1/2 cups sliced almonds
3 TBSP. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 TBSP. heavy cream
2 TBSP. light corn syrup
5 TBSP. unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup dark chocolate, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.

Pulse the almonds in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the almonds into a large bowl with the flour and salt and stir. Combine the sugar, cream, corn syrup and butter in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture comes to a rolling boil and the sugar is dissolved. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Add the saucepan mixture to the almond mixture and stir to combine. Place in the refrigerator to cool, about 30 minutes.

Scoop rounded teaspoons of batter and roll into (tiny!) balls. Place on prepared baking sheet, leaving about 3 to 4 inches between each cookie since they spread a lot. I found it best to only bake six cookies at a time; otherwise they just ran into each other.

Bake 1 pan at a time, until the cookies are thin and an even golden brown colour, about 10-12 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely. One other tip: If your cookies are misshapen when you take them out of the oven, use a metal spatula to gently reshape them (as they will be very malleable when they come out of the oven).

Melt the chocolate in a saucepan over low heat. Pair up cookies of equal size. Spread chocolate onto one cookie (be gentle!) and press carefully together with another cookie. Repeat with remaining cookie pairs. Once completely cool, store in an airtight container.

Dark Chocolate Almond Florentine Cookies | Once Upon a Recipe

Looking for more amazing cookie recipes? Check out the lovely cookies I received from Sarah at Feasts For All Seasons (Chai Tea Shortbread) and Meg at Sweet Twist of Blogging (Mint Oreo Christmas Trees). Also be sure to check out the bloggers that I had the pleasure of sending these cookies to: Kristy at She Eats, Tina at What Taste, and Alicia at Bird House Diaries. xo

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana & Cookie Chunk Ice Cream

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana & Cookie Chunk Ice Cream | Once Upon a Recipe

Friends! Hello! How are you?

Please forgive me for my absence over the past few weeks. Things got a little hectic there for a while, I got a little tired, and this ol’ blog was forced to the back burner for a wee time. But, I spent the weekend in the kitchen and I have a batch of recipes to share with you, so let’s get to it!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana & Cookie Chunk Ice Cream | Once Upon a Recipe

This ice cream. Oh, this ice cream.

I’m no purist when it comes to ice cream. I like my ice cream trashy. Full of different flavors and textures, especially big chunks of chewy cookie. I may or may not dig around in the container in search of the chunky bits. Except that I totally do. This ice cream has a creamy chocolate base that gets all trashed up with swirls of peanut butter and chunks of banana and chocolate cookies. I mean?!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana & Cookie Chunk Ice Cream | Once Upon a Recipe

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana & Cookie Chunk Ice Cream | Once Upon a Recipe

Let’s just say that after having my first taste of this ice cream, I promptly shared it with anyone who was willing to eat it, simply so that I wouldn’t devour the whole thing myself.

Despite the fact that we’re dealing with more cold temperatures and another round of snow, I know that Spring is around the corner somewhere. So I’m just going to keep making ice cream and margaritas and pretend that it’s already here. If we believe it, it will come!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana & Cookie Chunk Ice Cream

Chocolate ice cream base from The Kitchn, which was adapted from Jeni Britton. Makes just over 1 quart.

8 oz. good-quality semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
3 1/2 cups half and half
1 TBSP. plus 1 tsp. cornstarch
2 ounces cream cheese, softened (about 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup sugar
pinch salt

Mix-ins: 1 banana (chopped small), 1/2 cup chocolate cookies* (chopped), and about 1/2 cup peanut butter

*I used these cookies (minus the centers) because I had some left over, but you can use any homemade or storebought chewy chocolate cookies.

In a small bowl, mix 2 TBSP. of the half and half with the cornstarch. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, combine the remaining half and half with the sugar. Bring the milk mixture to a boil and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat, and gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Return to heat, bring to a boil and cook over medium high heat until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 1 minute.

In a separate bowl, combine the chocolate and cream cheese. Pour just enough of the hot milk over the chopped chocolate and cream cheese to cover it. Whisk until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Add the salt. Gradually add the remaining hot milk mixture and whisk well. Cover the mixture and chill completely, preferably overnight.

Pour the ice cream base into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Stir in the banana and cookie chunks. Layer in a container, along with spoonfuls of the peanut butter (I microwaved my peanut butter for about 20 seconds to make it thinner and easier to work with), then swirl with a knife. Freeze for an additional four hours (or more) in an airtight container. Scoop and serve!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana & Cookie Chunk Ice Cream | Once Upon a Recipe

Brown Butter Blondies with Macadamia Nuts, Caramel, and Dark Chocolate

Brown Butter Blondies with Macadamia Nuts, Caramel, and Dark Chocolate | Once Upon a Recipe

Alright alright, so I’ve been real well-behaved over the past month, sharing healthy recipes and all that jazz. But it’s time to get back to the good stuff. The sweet, buttery, chocolate-laden stuff.

And I’m not sure that there are words for these little squares of delight. At least, no words that will do them justice.

Brown Butter Blondies with Macadamia Nuts, Caramel, and Dark Chocolate | Once Upon a Recipe

Every so often, I try to do a clean-out of my cupboard. I always seem to have half-bags of a variety of chocolate, nuts, and other baking mix-ins hanging around. I had leftover dark chocolate and caramel left over from making my salted caramel bark over the holidays. I was very tempted to make another batch of the bark, but the previous batch had been a little too hard to resist, even from the depths of my freezer. I tend to lack willpower around frozen chocolate, what can I say?

Brown Butter Blondies with Macadamia Nuts, Caramel, and Dark Chocolate | Once Upon a Recipe

Therefore, I was on the hunt for a new recipe. When I came across Deb’s recipe for blondies and realized that I’d never made blondies before, it was a no-brainer. The base recipe is great, and provides lots of room for switching up the flavors and mix-ins.

Brown Butter Blondies with Macadamia Nuts, Caramel, and Dark Chocolate | Once Upon a Recipe

Brown Butter Blondies with Macadamia Nuts, Caramel, and Dark Chocolate | Once Upon a Recipe

Friends, I have not been this excited about a cookie in a while. But these little things are AMAZING. First of all, we’ve got brown butter, which just seems to make everything a little bit better. Then we add in some toasted macadamia nuts for a little buttery crunch, chunks of caramel for a little chew, and some dark chocolate, just because. Oh, and then we add a sprinkle of coarse sea salt on top, just because I’m obsessed with that sweet/salty combo. #cantstopwontstop

Brown Butter Blondies with Macadamia Nuts, Caramel, and Dark Chocolate | Once Upon a Recipe

Brown Butter Blondies with Macadamia Nuts, Caramel, and Dark Chocolate | Once Upon a Recipe

It’s true what they say, blondies have more fun! But don’t take my word for it!

Brown Butter Blondies with Macadamia Nuts, Caramel, and Dark Chocolate (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

These blondies are so adaptable to whatever mix-ins you’ve got on hand. Basically, you need one cup of mix-ins, so change it up and try out different combinations. Please note that I’ve also added the metric measurements for some of the ingredients. I have been using my kitchen scale more often in baking, simply because I find that it helps me to produce more consistent results. I recommend using a scale if you have one. 

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter

1 cup (238 grams) dark brown sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp. vanilla

Pinch of sea salt

1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour

1/3 cup toasted macadamia nuts, chopped

1/3 cup caramel pieces (I used 8 Kraft caramels, chopped)

1/3 cup dark chocolate, chopped

Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray an 8 x 8 pan with non-stick spray.

Toast your macadamia nuts – spread the nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F for about 5 minutes. Check frequently to ensure they don’t burn.

Brown your butter! Combine brown butter and brown sugar and beat together. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well. Stir in the sea salt, flour, and mix-ins. Press the cookie dough into the pan. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt (I used about half a teaspoon). Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until the edges are just beginning to brown and the center is set. Do not overbake! Allow the blondies to cool in the pan, then slice into squares. Nosh!

Brown Butter Blondies with Macadamia Nuts, Caramel, and Dark Chocolate | Once Upon a Recipe

And if you want to be downright gluttonous, do what I did, and add a little drizzle of salted caramel. This is living, friends!

Guest Post: Kitchen Sink Breakfast Cookies

Kitchen Sink Breakfast Cookies | Once Upon a Recipe

Kitchen Sink Breakfast Cookies | Once Upon a Recipe   Kitchen Sink Breakfast Cookies | Once Upon a Recipe

Kitchen Sink Breakfast Cookies | Once Upon a Recipe

Kitchen Sink Breakfast Cookies | Once Upon a Recipe   Kitchen Sink Breakfast Cookies | Once Upon a Recipe

T to the G to the I to the F! It’s Friiiiiiiiiiiiday!

And today I’m sharing a recipe for healthy and wholesome breakfast cookies over on my lovely blogging friend Stefanie’s site, Sarcastic Cooking! Stefanie just birthed theeeee cutest little dude, and is adjusting to motherhood. I was so excited when she asked me to do a guest post for her.

Yep, I did say breakfast cookies, meaning they are indeed filled with things that you can feel good about putting into your body before noon! Aside from checking out this particular recipe, be sure to peruse through Stefanie’s other recipes. They will most often leave you with a grumbling stomach and a craving for whatever she’s cooking up. So head on over there and let’s end this week with cookies!

Enjoy your weekend friends!

May it be filled with wonderful things (and hopefully, warmer temperatures if you’ve been hit with cold this past week)!

Ginger Cookie and Salted Caramel Ice Cream Sandwiches

Ginger Cookie and Salted Caramel Ice Cream Sandwiches | Once Upon a Recipe

Oh heyyyyyyyyyy. I’m…sorry.

Yes, consider this your advance apology for the recipe I am about to share with you.

Ginger Cookie and Salted Caramel Ice Cream Sandwiches | Once Upon a Recipe

I’m sorry for ruining your diet. I’m sorry for kiboshing your plans to start eating healthier after a summer full of patio beer-drinking and ice cream-eating. I’m sorry for giving you a cold recipe just when the weather is starting to turn cooler (much cooler, if you live in my part of the world) and you’re craving all things warm and toasty. But mostly, I’m sorry for not appreciating the amazingness that is salted caramel a hell of a lot sooner.

Ginger Cookie and Salted Caramel Ice Cream Sandwiches | Once Upon a Recipe

I realize that salted caramel everything has been rather trendy for the past while, but in all honesty it didn’t really appeal to me. Sure, I like caramel. And yes, I am a big fan of the salty/sweet combination. But as my wise mama said, “if all of your friends jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?” And so while everyone else was choosing salted caramel ice cream, I was sticking to ye old faithful – chocolate chip cookie dough. Or mint chip. I would not be sucked in by this new salted caramel kid on the block.

Ginger Cookie and Salted Caramel Ice Cream Sandwiches | Once Upon a Recipe

But then I came across a recipe for Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream by David Lebovitz. (The word “butter” may or may not have been mostly responsible for capturing my attention). One look at photos of the creamy, deep caramel-colored ice cream dotted with little rivers of gooey caramel was enough to change my tune. It was time to see what all the fuss was about.

And dangggggggg. You trendy foodies know your stuff. (Not that I ever questioned your expertise). I’m tempted to say that this is some of the best ice cream I have ever tasted. Like, ever. My words will not do this ice cream justice. You simply must try it for yourself.

But I couldn’t stop there. Chewy ginger cookies are one of my favorites in the Fall and Winter months due to their spicy flavor profile. I had the sense that ginger cookies with a scoop of salted caramel ice cream smashed between them would be rather epic and I was right. But again, don’t take my word for it.

Ginger Cookie and Salted Caramel Ice Cream Sandwiches | Once Upon a Recipe

A couple of notes about these two recipes: First of all, be warned – the ice cream recipe is a bit involved and will take you some time. However, I can promise you that it is worth the effort. Please be careful though, as the salted caramel is as hot as Hades and will hurt (a lot) if you splatter yourself with it. I have a rather sizable war wound from a stray droplet that found its way onto my hand while I was scraping the caramel praline mixture onto the cookie sheet. Ouch! Secondly, both the ice cream and the cookies are lovely on their own. The ice cream tastes magnificent scooped into a sugar cone or a plain ol’ bowl, and the cookies are wonderful with a cup of coffee or tea. In fact, this is my new favorite ginger cookie recipe – the raw cane sugar adds an incredible texture and crunch to the outside of the chewy cookie. So if making the ice cream sandwiches seems like too much all at once, pick one part and have fun with it!

Ginger Cookie and Salted Caramel Ice Cream Sandwiches 

For the Salted Caramel Ice Cream (from David Lebovitz)

Makes 1 generous quart.

For the caramel praline (mix-in):

½ cup sugar

¾ tsp. good quality sea salt, such as fleur de sel

For the ice cream:

2 cups whole milk, divided

1½ cups sugar

4 TBSP. salted butter

½ tsp. sea salt

1 cup heavy cream

5 large egg yolks

¾ tsp. vanilla

To make the caramel praline, spread the ½ cup of sugar in an even layer in a medium-sized heavy duty saucepan. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or brush it sparingly with unflavored oil. Heat the sugar over medium heat until the edges begin to melt. Use a heatproof utensil to gently stir the liquefied sugar from the bottom and edges towards the center, until all the sugar is dissolved. Continue to cook, stirring infrequently until the caramel starts smoking and begins to smell like it’s just about to burn (this doesn’t take long). Working quickly, sprinkle in the ¾ teaspoon of salt without stirring, then pour the caramel onto the prepared baking sheet and lift up the baking sheet immediately, tilting and swirling it almost vertically to encourage the caramel to form as thin a layer as possible. Set aside to harden and cool.

To make the ice cream, prepare an ice bath (fill a large bowl about a third full with ice cubes and add a cup or so of water to cause the ice cubes to float). Nest a smaller metal bowl (at least 2 quarts) over the ice, pour 1 cup of the milk into the inner bowl, and rest a mesh strainer on top of it. Spread 1½ cups sugar in the saucepan in an even layer. Cook over moderate heat, until caramelized, using the same method described for the caramel praline. Once caramelized, remove from heat and stir in the butter and salt, until butter is melted, then gradually whisk in the cream, stirring as you go. The caramel may harden and seize, but return it to the heat and continue to stir over low heat until any hard caramel is melted. This happened to me, but be patient! It will become smooth with time. Stir in the second cup of milk.

Whisk the yolks in a small bowl and gradually pour some of the warm caramel mixture over the yolks, stirring constantly. Scrape the warmed yolks back into the saucepan and stir constantly to cook the custard (scraping the bottom as you stir) until the mixture thickens. If using an instant-read thermometer, it should read 160-170°F.

Pour the custard through the strainer into the milk set over the ice bath, add the vanilla, then stir frequently until the mixture is cooled down. Cover and refrigerate the mixture overnight. Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. While the ice cream is churning, crumble the hardened caramel praline into small pieces. Once your caramel ice cream is churned, quickly stir in the crushed caramel, then spread into a container to chill in the freezer until firm. Cover with plastic wrap and allow the plastic wrap to touch the surface of the ice cream to prevent ice crystals from forming.

For the Ginger Cookies (adapted from A Couple Cooks)

Makes about 24 cookies.

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ginger

1 tsp. allspice

1/2 tsp. ground cloves

1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 cup unsalted butter

3/4 cup raw cane sugar (plus extra, for rolling)

1 egg

1/2 cup molasses

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour through to salt) and mix well. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and 3/4 cup raw cane sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and molasses and mix well. Stir in the dry ingredients. Refrigerate the cookie dough for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Roll the dough into small balls (about  1 1/2-inch), then roll the balls in the raw cane sugar to coat. Arrange on a prepared baking sheet (with a Silpat or parchment paper). Bake until set and crinkled on top, about 10-12 minutes. Do not overbake. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
To assemble the ice cream sandwiches: Place a small scoop of ice cream between two cookies and press together gently. Carefully wrap each sandwich in plastic wrap and place in freezer for a couple of hours.

Ginger Cookie and Salted Caramel Ice Cream Sandwiches | Once Upon a Recipe

Enjoy the rest of your week, friends!

I Like Cookies | Chewy Almond Butter Oatmeal & Dark Chocolate Cookies

Almond Butter Oatmeal and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies | Once Upon a Recipe

I’m a bit of a cookie snob. I mean, not all cookies are created equal. You know?

For me, a good cookie has three requirements. First of all, and most importantly, a good cookie has to be chewy. Not hard, not cake-y, not crispy, but chewy. Secondly, I like cookies that have some heft. Don’t get me wrong, a good buttery chocolate chip cookie can easily win my heart. But most often, I love a cookie that’s got substance – oatmeal, coconut, raisins, chocolate – you know, good mix-ins! And finally, I really prefer cookies that are thick as opposed to thin. Thickness matters.

Almond Butter Oatmeal and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies | Once Upon a Recipe

We’re still talking about cookies. Don’t get distracted!

And if the cookies can maybe possibly be considered healthy…even better. Now, I’m going to use the term “healthy” quite loosely here. These cookies do have plenty of sugar. BUT! They are filled with many good-for-you ingredients like oats, flax, almond butter, coconut oil, and dark chocolate. If you use gluten-free oats, you can call these gluten-free. And if you use vegan chocolate (most good-quality dark chocolate is considered vegan), then they become vegan too. Which means we can share these cookies with all of our gluten-free and vegan friends! Bonus!

Almond Butter Oatmeal and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies | Once Upon a Recipe

This is really good news for me because when I make a batch of cookies this good, I need to get them out of my house, like, immediately. Otherwise I will eat more than the daily recommended intake of cookies. Unless that number is somewhere in the double digits. In that case, I’m doing fine.

Almond Butter Oatmeal and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies | Once Upon a Recipe

These cookies are so darn chewy and so freaking good. Seriously. But please don’t take my word for it. Mix up a batch for yourself and then invite me over to help you eat them. I’m real considerate like that.

Almond Butter Oatmeal and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies | Once Upon a Recipe

Chewy Almond Butter Oatmeal & Dark Chocolate Cookies (adapted from Eat Live Run)

You have the option of making these cookies gluten-free, if desired. Just use gluten-free oats! If you want to make them vegan-friendly, just be sure to use vegan chocolate. Makes about 30 cookies. 

1/4 cup coconut oil, room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 1/4 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

3/4 tsp. salt

3 1/2 cups regular oats (or gluten-free, if desired)

1 cup dark chocolate chips (or chopped dark chocolate)

1 cup almond butter

2 TBSP. ground flax mixed with 6 TBSP. warm water (aka. a flax “egg”)

2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare your cookie sheet(s) by lining them with a Silpat or parchment paper.

Cream together the coconut oil, almond butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until well blended. Add the vanilla and ground flax + water mixture. Mix well.

In a separate bowl, combine the oats, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add to the wet ingredients along with the dark chocolate chips. Mix until just combined.

Roll the dough into small balls (golf ball size) and place three inches apart on the cookie sheets (12 per sheet). Do not flatten the dough balls. Bake for 10-12 minutes until puffy and just barely beginning to brown around the edges. Let cool for 5-10 minutes (or until set) on the cookie sheet before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container with wax paper between each layer. I imagine these would freeze well too, but they were eaten too quickly for me to need to do such a thing!

Almond Butter Oatmeal and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies | Once Upon a Recipe

Have a great weekend friends!

Well Paired | Rosemary-Lemon Sandwich Cookies

Rosemary-Lemon Sandwich Cookies | Once Upon a Recipe













Well, I hate to point out the obvious, but…we survived. The world goes on.

Hopefully, you’re prepared for Christmas because it’s coming in just three more days and now you really have no excuse for not being ready. However, whether you’ve accidentally left everything to the last minute (or not), I’m here to help.

Rosemary-Lemon Sandwich Cookies













First of all, you must go make some lemon butter. It’s quick! It’s easy! It’s delicious! It makes a wonderful gift! Aside from its extremely high deliciousness factor, it’s darn cute!

But if you want to go the extra mile, make some rosemary lemon shortbread-esque cookies, and then sandwich them together with a creamy mixture of lemon butter and mascarpone cheese. Umm, yeah…you’re going to want to do this, if not for others then for yourself. And don’t fret! If you just don’t have the time or energy to make your own lemon butter, you could certainly substitute store bought lemon curd or even lemon pie filling for the lemon butter. Although I highly recommend going the extra mile and making your own lemon butter. Just sayin’. And please, don’t be afraid of the rosemary in this recipe. It adds a very subtle flavor that complements the lemon beautifully. This ain’t no one-dimensional cookie. This is a multidimensional cookie!

Rosemary-Lemon Sandwich Cookies | Once Upon a Recipe













Rosemary-Lemon Sandwich Cookies | Once Upon a Recipe













Thank you to my lovely coworker, Jenn for sharing this recipe with me. It comes from the latest issue of Better Homes and Gardens. And let me tell you, it’s decadent. I encourage you to double the recipe as one batch only makes about 18 sandwiches. But then again, you will most certainly be tempted to eat these little creatures, so if you don’t plan on getting them out of your house immediately, this may be a case where less is more. Consider yourself warned.

Rosemary-Lemon Sandwich Cookies | Once Upon a Recipe













Make these friends. Share them with some special people. And get back to the celebrations of the season. Much love (and cookies) to you all.

Rosemary-Lemon Sandwich Cookies | Once Upon a Recipe













Rosemary-Lemon Sandwich Cookies (barely adapted from Better Homes and Gardens, Dec. 2012)

Makes about 18 sandwich cookies.

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar + extra for dipping

2 tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped

2 tsp. lemon zest (about 2 lemons)

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup lemon butter

1/2 cup mascarpone cheese

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Prepare your cookie sheets with parchment paper or a silpat. In a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Add the sugar, rosemary, lemon zest, baking powder, and salt, and beat until combined. Scrape the bowl to ensure everything is well incorporated. Beat in the vanilla, and then add the flour.

Shape the dough into 1-inch balls, and place on the cookie sheets. With the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar, flatten each ball to 1/2-inch thickness. Bake for about 8 minutes or until the bottoms are lightly browned. Cool completely.

In a small bowl, combine the lemon butter and mascarpone cheese. Spread  on the bottom sides of half of the cookies, and top with the remaining cookies to make sandwiches. Layer sandwich cookies between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator or freeze.

Rosemary-Lemon Sandwich Cookies | Once Upon a Recipe

Things Are Working Out | Lemon Coconut Cookies

Hello friends. My mind is full and cluttered today, so rather than fill your screens with my typical mutterings, I thought I would share a passage from a book I’ve been enjoying lately. If you’ve never heard of Melody Beattie’s Journey to the Heart, you should check it out. Journey to the Heart is a book of daily meditations – lovely and inspirational words to guide you on the path towards spiritual growth. If you just rolled your eyes, and spiritual growth isn’t your thang, keep scrolling for a wicked recipe. If you’re intrigued, keep on reading.

Many of my yoga instructors routinely read passages from this book, and during one particular class I connected so strongly to the passage that was shared that I approached the instructor afterwards to ask her what she was reading from. I picked up a copy of the book not long after that, and I’ve been slowly working my way through it. If you like what you hear, you might wish to get your hands on a copy too.

Things Are Working Out (Journey to the Heart: Daily Meditations on the Path to Freeing Your Soul, HarperCollins, 1996, p. 255-256):

Right now, this moment, things are working out. We natter away, trying to control, shape, and form. Trying to figure things out. We back off, then come closer. We worry and wonder. But things are working out. Things are working out as beautifully and Divinely as possible. The dance of life is taking place in sync with the rhythm of the universe.

Everything is working out, moving forward, evolving. There is a rhythm, an energy, a life force that continues, that shapes, that grows. You do not have to fight, resist, control, or even understand it. All you need to do is be – be present for your life, your love, yourself.

Your soul will lead you on. Your inner voice, your heart, is leading you on. Quiet your mind and trust that where you are and where you’re being led is perfect.

You don’t have to try to get it all together. You don’t have to strive to “have it all.” You already do have all that you need.

How many times have you been through an experience, fretting and fearful about the shape things were taking, only later to exclaim, Oh, I see now. Things were working out all along! Learn to say and believe that now.

Let your mind see what your soul already knows: things are working out perfectly. 

Sometimes it’s easy to worry and over think where we are at in our lives – are we doing enough? Are we doing too little? Relax. Breathe. Everything is working out, let’s enjoy the journey.

Be present. 

And now, a delicious, sweet, tart, chewy cookie for you to enjoy on this spectacular, overwhelming, complicated journey that is life. Lemon and coconut lovers, this one’s for you. As well as those who are curious about what would happen if a macaroon and lemon cookie had a lovechild.

Lemon Coconut Cookies (from Hershey’s Kitchens)

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

Zest from 2 lemons (about 2 tsp.)

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1 cup shredded coconut

Powdered sugar, for rolling

Preheat your oven to 300°F. Beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the eggs and lemon zest, and beat until well mixed. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in the coconut. Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least an hour (or overnight), until the dough is firm enough to handle.

Roll the dough into 1.5-inch balls, roll in the powdered sugar, and place two inches apart on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 16-18 minutes until the edges are set. Move the cookies to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

The last two photos in this post were taken with Instagram, an iPhone app. If you are an IG user and want to follow my daily foodie (etc.) life, you can find me at @onceuponarecipe. 
Now go make these cookies!

What The What? | Lentil and Oat Cookies

What the what?!

There are moments in life that prompt this question. Consider it the G-rated cousin to the more popular phrase: “What the f&@#”?!

What the what?! popped into my head a several times over this past week. Let me explain.

1.On the weekend I was standing in line at the grocery store. Sundays afternoons are a busy time at the grocery store, and nearly every Sunday I ask myself why I choose to come at this time. The place is crowded, lines are long, and people are just…weird. More than normal. I was two people back in an obnoxiously long line at the check-out when I witnessed the guy who was about to pay for his groceries say to the cashier “Hold on, I just have to run to the bathroom.” Umm…what the what?! Dude, do you really think that this is the most opportune time to go and relieve yourself?! Apparently so. Three minutes later, he returned and paid for his groceries and left, whistling on his way out.

2.I share laundry facilities with the people that live in the basement suite below me. Sharing laundry facilities with strangers is not recommended. I’ve been trying to determine why these people are always using the washer and dryer (seriously, at least 6 out of 7 days per week). Either they’re hiding a family of 8 down there or they each own approximately one pair of socks and underwear, one shirt, and one pair of pants. Those are the only explanations I can think of for why 2 twenty-somethings would need to be doing laundry so often. As a result, I find myself doing laundry marathons on the rare occasions that I find the washer and dryer free. Good times. But not really.

3.Children are strange creatures. I took my little sister swimming recently to the local YMCA. I was floating on a floaty-raft-thing, minding my own business, when a wee little 7-ish year old boy backed into me (read: his fault). He turned around, scowled (viciously) at me, shook my floaty-raft-thing violently for about 5 seconds, then shoved it as hard as he could before turning around and carrying on. What the what?!

4.It is still snowing here. Apparently Mother Nature isn’t aware that it’s SUPPOSED TO BE SPRING TIME. Pay attention for crying out loud.

5.Yesterday, the girl next to me in my yoga class farted during Warrior 2. She acted like nothing happened. This has always puzzled me, because if I ever farted in yoga class I’d t0tally start laughing. Maybe even sum up the courage to say excuse me. I realize that it would be totally embarrassing, but just ignoring it when everyone knows exactly where that sound came from just seems worse. In fact, I almost started laughing. I’m incredibly mature.

6.I saw this recipe for lentil oat cookies a few weeks ago on the Food Network. And I thought “Lentils in cookies?! What the what?!” But let me tell you, it totally works. These taste like an oatmeal cookie with an extra oomph of health. Very hearty and satisfying. And a great way to use up leftover lentils!

Lentil and Oat Cookies (adapted from Bal Arneson, Spice Goddess)

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1 cup lentils, cooked and crushed with a fork

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup large flake oats

1 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup slivered almonds

1/2 cup coconut

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Prepare your cookie sheets by lining them with parchment paper, a Silpat, or spraying with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl, cream the lentils, butter, and brown sugar together and then add the egg and mix well. Add the flour, baking soda, and vanilla. Stir in the oats, almonds, pumpkin seeds, coconut, raisins, and chocolate chips and mix well. Feel free to choose mix-ins that suit your tastes (ie. different nuts, dried cranberries, etc.).

Drop cookies by the spoonful onto the prepared baking sheet and flatten. Bake the cookies for 13 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned, and allow to cool on a baking rack. This recipe makes a large amount of cookies, but leftovers do freeze well!













Hope you’re having a great week friends!

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