Tag Archives: Coconut oil

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookies

PeanutButterChocChipBreakfastCookies@NancyCreative.com Cookies for breakfast? That sounds like a great idea to me! I’ve been wanting to make some breakfast cookies, so I was happy to find a recipe for them in my review copy of Bob’s Red Mill Everyday Gluten-Free Cookbook by Unknownfood and fitness expert Camilla V. Saulsbury (Robert Rose, softcover). This cookbook is filled with 281 wholesome whole-grain recipes using naturally gluten-free grains and grain flours like amaranth, sorghum, teff, chia, buckwheat, and millet. There are recipes for breakfast dishes; soups, stews, and chilis; salads and sides; meatless main dishes; seafood, poultry, and meat main dishes; breads, muffins, and snacks; and desserts. Some of the yummy-sounding recipes in this book include Salted Caramel Banana Waffles, Lemony Brussels Sprouts and Quinoa Soup, Rainbow Chard, Chia, and Apricot Salad, Ancient Grain, Avocado and Mango Tacos, Fresh and Juicy Beef and Amaranth Burgers, and Flourless Fudge Brownies. And several breakfast cookie recipes caught my eye–I decided to try these Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookies–I just love the chocolate and peanut butter combination! These yummy cookies are thick, chewy, oaty, and chocolatey with a light peanut butter taste. They’re smaller cookies, so you’ll probably want a couple of them for breakfast or a snack. They’re very easy to make and have healthy ingredients like honey and coconut oil, so you can feel good about eating them. I substituted some non-gluten-free ingredients since I don’t have to eat gluten-free, and I thought they turned out great with the substitutions (see my notes in the recipe below). So whether you make them gluten-free or non-gluten-free, they’re a yummy treat for breakfast or snacktime!

PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE CHIP BREAKFAST COOKIES from Bob’s Red Mill Everyday Gluten-Free Cookbook  Makes 30 gluten-free cookies (I’ve included notes for non-gluten-free cookies, too) 

  • 1 1/2 cups certified GF quick-cooking rolled oats (for non-gluten-free, use regular quick-cooking rolled oats)
  • 1 cup amaranth flour (for non-gluten-free, use all-purpose unbleached flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon GF baking powder (for non-gluten-free, use regular baking powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened peanut butter (for non-gluten-free, use your favorite peanut butter)
  • 1/4 cup liquid honey, pure maple syrup, or brown rice syrup
  • 3 Tablespoons melted virgin coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon GF vanilla extract (for non-gluten-free, use regular pure vanilla extract)
  • 2/3 cup GF semi-sweet chocolate chips (for non-gluten-free, use regular semi-sweet chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line large baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in eggs, peanut butter, honey, coconut oil and vanilla until just blended. Gently fold in chocolate chips. Drop batter by 2 Tbsp. onto prepared baking sheets, spacing cookies 2 inches apart. With a metal spatula, flatten each mound to 1/2-inch thickness. Bake, one sheet at a time, in preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until just set at the center. Let cool on pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then transfer to the rack to cool completely. Store the cooled cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Do you make gluten-free recipes, and have you tried making any breakfast cookies? Linked to Inspire Me Monday, Sunday Showcase, Full Plate Thursday, Let’s Get Real Friday.

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Orange Vanilla Coconut Scrub

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I love orangey-scented things, so I thought I’d try making a scrub with epsom salt. Not long ago, I did a post on Peppermint Tea Tree Bath Salts and mentioned some of the health benefits of epsom salt. I thought they would be great to use in a body scrub, too. This scrub is thick, like a paste, and is scented with orange essential oil and pure vanilla extract. It smells so good and makes your skin really nice and soft!

ORANGE VANILLA COCONUT SCRUB by NancyCreative

  • 1 cup Epsom Salt
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 8 to 10 drops Orange essential oil
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a small or medium-size bowl or other clean container, combine Epsom Salts with coconut oil using a spoon or spatula (Note: If the coconut oil gets much above 76˚ it can turn into liquid form–so if yours is liquidy, refrigerate your coconut oil until it solidifies). Add orange essential oil a few drops at a time, stirring after each addition. Add the vanilla extract last and blend everything well. Store in a shallow jar or container with a tight-fitting lid. You don’t need to refrigerate this scrub unless the temperature in your home gets much higher than 76˚ (or when you notice the coconut oil turning to liquid form), because then the mixture will be more runny. You can use this scrub 1 to 2  times a week to keep extra dry or rough skin areas smooth and soft.

When using, wet your skin all over in the shower and massage the scrub into your skin. You don’t need to use a lot–just pinch up about 1/2 teaspoon at a time from your jar or container–a little goes a long way! This is great for rough skin areas like knees and elbows. Don’t use on face or other sensitive areas. Also, be careful when using, because the oil from the scrub can make your shower or tub a little slippery. If you want to use this on your feet as a foot scrub, it would probably be safest to give your feet a separate foot scrub/bath while you’re sitting down using a small plastic tub; that way, you don’t have to worry about slipping in your bathroom tub or shower.

It’s fun making your own bath and skin care products, and so much cheaper, too! I think they work just as well as any you can buy. Have you tried making any for yourself?

Holiday Peanut Butter Chocolate Meltaways

ncPBmeltaways2nm If you are looking for quick and easy recipes for holiday sweets, this is one you’ll want to try out! There are  just 4 simple ingredients: white chocolate (or vanilla) baking chips, dark chocolate (or semi-sweet chocolate) chips, creamy peanut butter, and coconut oil (or shortening). I like using coconut oil instead of shortening myself. ncPBmeltaways4nm Now I’m not much of a candy-maker, but these are so easy, anyone can make them! You don’t even have to decorate them–you can just pour the melted candy mixture into the mini baking cups and be done with it. But I decided to decorate mine and bought these Wilton supplies in the baking department of my local craft store. ncPBMeltaways5nm You can probably find these items or similar items in a store near you. Or, you can make your own icing and decorate with that–I bought my icing to save a little time. The important thing to remember with these is to keep them refrigerated until you’re ready to serve them…if they sit at room temperature for a length of time, they soften and are hard to eat! I’ll give you the Peanut Butter Chocolate Meltaway recipe first and then tell you a little more about how I decorated them…

HOLIDAY PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE MELTAWAYS by NancyCreative, adapted from Taste of Home

Makes about 4 dozen

  • 1 (12-ounce) package white chocolate (or vanilla) baking chips
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) dark chocolate chips (or you can substitute semi-sweet)
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil (or you can use shortening)
  • 4 to 5 dozen miniature baking liners or candy cups (it doesn’t hurt to have a little extra!)
  • assorted decorations, frosting, icing, etc. (optional)

Combine first four ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave on HIGH for 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from microwave and stir. Then return to microwave and cook an additional 30 seconds on high; remove and stir until mixture is smooth.

Separate and arrange empty mini baking liners or candy cups on a clean 10×15″ jelly roll pan. Pour melted chocolate mixture into the mini liners, filling until almost full (if you have a microwaveable mixing bowl with a narrow lip or spout, you can pour the mixture right from that. I didn’t have a lip on my bowl, so I poured the melted chocolate mixture into my liquid glass measuring cup and then poured the mixture into the mini baking liners with that, refilling my measuring cup several times).

Place the sheet of filled mini liners into your refrigerator and chill until set. After they’re set (I let mine chill for about an hour), you can decorate them if you want. If you’re not eating these right away, keep stored in refrigerator until ready to serve.

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TO DECORATE: You can make little star shapes with a tube of Wilton Decorating Icing, which is very quick and easy to do (make sure you get those plastic tips–sometimes they’re sold separately). Or do the same thing with your own frosting and decorating tools. You can also use small pre-made cookie decorations (I chose some candy canes)–just put some purchased or homemade icing on the back of the decorations (using purchased cookie icing makes this easy because the container has a small tip), then turn the little shape over and place on top of your Peanut Butter Meltaway (the icing works as a “glue” to stick the little shapes onto your candies).

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So easy, cute, and festive! Do you have a favorite candy recipe you like to make at the holidays?

Dark Chocolate Granola Bars

I’m a big fan of dark chocolate and granola bars. So I decided to combine these in a really yummy granola bar recipe! My recipe was inspired by one I saw at Another Lunch, with a few changes. Instead of using chocolate chips, I used a 4-ounce Ghirardelli 60% cacao dark chocolate bar, chopping it up coarsely. I used coconut oil instead of canola oil, using a few teaspoons more than the original recipe did. And I used puffed brown rice cereal instead of crisp rice cereal.

I love the way they tasted! The only downside is that, after the granola is done baking, it needs to sit overnight to fully set before cutting into bars. If you cut them sooner, they’ll fall apart. They were still slightly crumbly in some places when I cut mine the next morning, but not too bad. I found that when I refrigerated them they held together better, too.

These are great for a quick breakfast (chocolate for breakfast–YES!) or an afternoon snack. They’re easy to take to work or pack in a school lunch if you wrap each bar individually in wax paper after cutting them. Next time I make these, I may add some chopped almonds, too.

This recipe makes 10 to 12 yummy granola bars!

DARK CHOCOLATE GRANOLA BARS by NancyCreative, adapted from Another Lunch

Makes 10 to 12 bars in an 8×8″ pan

  • 2 1/2 cups quick oats (regular oats don’t hold together as well in this)
  • 1/2 cup puffed brown rice or crisp rice cereal
  • 1 1/2 to 2 Tablespoons  ground flaxseed or wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, well-packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 to 2 teaspoons coconut oil (or substitute canola oil)
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 to 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (4-ounce) dark chocolate bar, coarsely chopped  (I used a Ghirardelli 60% cacao bar)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8″ square pan with parchment paper; set aside.

Mix oats, rice cereal, flaxseed or wheat germ, brown sugar, and salt, blending so ingredients are evenly distributed. Add in the oil, honey, and vanilla, and slowly blend ingredients well, taking your time, so the wet ingredients can “soak” into the dry ingredients and hold together better (you can use a big spoon or even your hands to mix the ingredients). Then stir in the coarsely chopped bar of chocolate, blending so chocolate is evenly distributed. Firmly press mixture into your parchment-lined 8×8″ pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 18-22 minutes or until top is golden (I baked mine 22 minutes).

Let granola cool completely and set overnight in pan (if you don’t let it set long enough, the granola will fall apart when cutting).

The next morning, lift the granola out of the pan with the edges of the parchment paper.

Using a long, sharp knife, cut into bars…you’ll get 10 to 12, depending on how wide you cut them. I cut mine into 10 bars. The granola was still a little crumbly in some places when I was cutting…these bars are definitely more delicate than the store-bought kind (but I think they taste so much better!).

If you’re not eating the granola bars right away, wrap them up individually in wax paper or a waxy type of sandwich wrap (I got mine at Sam’s Club). You can store them, wrapped, in an airtight container, but I like storing them in the refrigerator better–after mine were in the fridge a bit, they held together better.

Then enjoy your granola bars whenever you’re ready for a great snack!

Do you make your own granola bars? What ingredients do you like putting in yours?