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Coconut Nutella Cookies

31 Jul

nutella coconut cookies copy

The past few weeks have included new discoveries-small and big ones! I love to discover new opportunities where I can improve myself whether it’s for food blogging, photography, school work and fitness! For instance, I’m taking up yoga again and I discovered the proper way to do a push-up…you know you’re doing it right when your whole upper body is sore for 2 days! At this point of my life, I am constantly learning something about myself, the baking world, and the people I interact with. I’m always eager to learn something new and relevant in order to grow and keep myself entertained.

nutella

My new discovery in gluten-free baking is coconut flour! This flour is crumbly, yellowish, fine, and smells oh so good! I love coconut flavored food; however,coconut milk does not taste good to me. Coconut flour has a lot of fiber and sucks up a lot of moisture in your mixture. It’s challenging because you have to adjust your liquid ingredient measurements. I noticed it makes my baked goods more dense and slightly dry. Also, I bought my coconut flour in bulk (3lbs or more) cause it’s cheaper than a 16oz bag. It’s not the cheapest flour out there, but this flour definitely changes your gluten-free baking.

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With this new discovery, I’m determined to bake some of my best and delicious recipes. My first recipe with coconut flour is Coconut Nutella filled cookies and what could be better than Nutella filled cookies? If you’re craving Nutella, these cookies offer a sweet surprise inside! I used bananas for the recipe which I love the banana coconut baking combo!

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The Coconut Nutella cookies are:
Soft
Sweetly Nutella
Moist
Banana rich
Gooey
Cake-like texture

nutella filled cookie
If the Nutella filling is too hard for you, you can substitute with chocolate chips. I used bananas which you can substitute with 2 eggs. Final warning about these cookies is that you may have to bake them more than once to get the hang of coconut flour. But that’s why I love baking because of these new discoveries and opportunities to improve. So what kind of new discoveries have you had and how did it make you feel?

While I’m redesigning Bakers Block, feel free to follow me on Instagram @bakers.block or Twitter @bakersblock!

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Ingredients

1 1/2 mash bananas
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line cooking sheet with parchment paper, aluminum foil or silicon mat. I used a silicon mat.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine all wet ingredients- mashed bananas, coconut oil, vanilla, and milk (I used almond milk). Mix on low for 30 seconds.
3. In a separate mixing bowl, sift together dry ingredients- coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon powder. Whisk the ingredients together.
4. Slowly pour and combine dry ingredients with liquid ingredients. Mix on medium speed until the dough starts to form.
5. Chill dough in freezer for 30 minutes or refrigerator for 1 hour.  I like to chill in the freezer because it’s faster.
6. To create the Nutella filling in the cookie, you just need 1/2 teaspoon and jar of Nutella. First, roll your chilled cookie dough into a 1 inch ball and flatten with your palms. Take 1 teaspoon of Nutella and place it in the middle of your flattened dough. Fold the dough like a taco and patch the oozing Nutella with extra dough. Roll it back into a 1 inch ball and place it on your cookie sheet! Repeat with rest of cookie dough. Make sure the Nutella does not ooze out of the dough (see below italicized instructions).
7. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Once baked, let cookies cool on a wire rack or plate. Serve and enjoy with your favorite glass of milk, coffee or tea!

 

 

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Peanut Butter Oat Cookies

23 Feb

peanut butter oat 5

I must warn you that these cookies are very peanut buttery and chewy! So for those peanut butter lovers, you’ll love this and for those with nut allergies, be wary of them.  Nonetheless, I have good news and bad news today. Today I found out my favorite childhood movie, Space Jam will have a sequel-Space Jam 2. Thank you, Twitter for the discovery! I can’t wait until it comes out. Also, who else is excited to see Jimmy Fallon on The Today Show? I love the hashtag videos with Justin Timberlake and Jonah Hill so check them out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kwq_GraOC9E It’s so funny to hear people speak in terms of hashtags. The bad news is that it’s midterm season so it will be hard to bake/blog for the next few weeks. So wish me luck on my upcoming exams and good luck to anyone taking tests of all kinds! Despite my busy schedule, I’ll try to sneak in a recipe or two.

Anyways, these gluten free Peanut Butter Oat cookies are simple to make with oat flour, rolled oats, and peanut butter. If you don’t have oat flour, you can substitute with white flour. Besides using butterscotch or chocolate chips, you can add dried fruit, M&Ms, candy bits, and whatever goes with peanut butter. Hope these cookies can make your Sunday, week or even this month sweeter!

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Yields 15-20 cookies
Ingredients

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup oat flour
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butterscotch or chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup water

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray non stick cooking spray oil onto cookie sheet and set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar and peanut butter. Mix for 1 minute on low speed.
3. Add in vanilla extract and egg. Mix well until combined.
4. Add in dry ingredients- oat flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, & cinnamon. Mix until dry ingredients form crumbly cookie dough. If the cookie dough looks dry, add the water. Mix well until cookie dough is sticky and smooth. Stir in butterscotch or chocolate chips into mixture.
5. Chill dough in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
6. After it’s chilled, roll dough into 1 inch cookie balls onto cookie sheet. Flatten the balls slightly with palms. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-12 minutes.
7. Let cookies cool on wired rack or plate. Serve and Enjoy with milk!

peanut butter oat

Gluten Free Cocoa Cookies & Happy New Year!

30 Dec

2014 is almost here, and I’m so excited to overcome any new challenges & opportunities in this crazy world. I’m more excited to experiment with gluten-free baking during my winter break from college! However, I’m not a big New Year’s resolution fan because I know I can’t stick with the promises I tell myself to do. I hope I’m not the only that feels this way…

cocoa cookie

2013 has definitely been UNBELIEVABLE-mostly good memories and experiences! I’m proud to say I’ve learned more about myself and grown up so much this past year with the following highlights: Visiting Thailand with my Rutgers East Asian House (living learning community w/ about 22 girls) and learning about East Asian social issues/pop culture, being part of the Rutgers Student Volunteer Council (SVC), volunteering with Teach For America in Baltimore, interning at a non-profit called Move For Hunger, interning with my awesome SVC advisor within Rutgers Office of Student Involvement & Comm. Service Initiatives, eating/baking gluten free, and my brother attending college as first year. There’s so much more little memories which have been priceless, but the challenges from these highlights have made me find my purpose and passion. I’m so grateful for all these opportunities and have learned to really enjoy the moment. Also, I’m thankful for all the men and women I’ve been met through these experiences, for each and every person has impacted me in both small & BIG ways. From Thailand to my home state, NJ, I will say each individual I met is so multi-dimensional with their own goals, dreams and challenges. I admire those who have challenged themselves and spoken to me about their small/big dreams. To my close friends and family for supporting me throughout my endeavors, your love, support and positive communication fuel my determination.

Life is really too short to worry about other people’s judgments, unrealistic expectations, and negativity. Overall, community service, taking initiative, baking healthier, and listening other people’s experiences inspire me.  As 2013 comes to a conclusion, I know what makes me happy and drives who I am today.

Here’s one phrase that’ll carry into 2014: “Never give up!”  I’m currently reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen Covey. The 1st habit which is proactivity will actually be my main goal of self development this year. Because I’m in control of my own happiness and others shouldn’t dictate how I feel/think. This is a habit/development I want to exhibit in whatever activity I face. I want to overcome any endeavors I face in 2014 no matter what!

So let’s cheer on for a new year and celebrate with some Gluten Free Cocoa Cookies made with coconut oil & gluten free flour! Happy New Year!
This time I substituted butter w/ coconut oil and used different gluten free flour recipe:
1 1/4 cup sorghum flour
1 cup white rice flour
1 cup potato starch
2 tsp xanthum gum
1 tsp baking soda and baking powder

cocoa cookies 3

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, solid form or unsalted butter
  • 1 cup gluten free flour or see above for mine
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Optional: 1/4 cup Chocolate chips and melted chocolate for drizzle

Directions
1. Preheat oven 350 degree Fahrenheit. Put gluten free flour ingredients in a small mixing bowl and stir together with a spoon.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine coconut oil in solid form and brown sugar. Mix together until smooth/creamy for 3-5 minutes.
3. Add egg and vanilla extract to mixture. Mix well.
4. Add dry ingredients-gluten free flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon to mixture. Mix well until cookie dough forms.
Stir in chocolate chips with rubber spatula.
5. Chill cookie dough in fridge for 30 minutes so cookie dough isn’t too sticky. Then, form 1″ cookie balls onto greased cookie sheet. Flatten cookie balls with palm. Bake for 10-11 minutes.
6. Let cookies cool on wire rack or plate. Melt any chocolate bar or candy melts in microwave for 30 second increments. Dip fork (works best for drizzle) into melted chocolate and drizzle onto cookies.

cocoa cookie 3

Chocolate Drizzled Meringue Cookies

30 Nov

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Hanukkah! I’m relaxing at home before final exams take over my life for the next 3 weeks! This Thanksgiving break, I’m spending time with family and friends, doing online Black Friday shopping, baking, and cleaning of course.  First, I visited my grandparents in Brooklyn for Thanksgiving day, got a new hair-cut, and we actually ordered dim-sum and sushi for Thanksgiving. After we stuffed ourselves with all that yummy Asian cuisine, my mom and sis decided to do sit- ups…apparently they had the energy to do all this! Also, I’m catching up on my fave TV shows like The Mindy Project and The Walking Dead.meringue 7I’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving with more relatives this weekend. Today I baked Chocolate Drizzled Meringue Cookies.  This was my first time making meringue cookies and as always, I tried my best to wing it! Of course my first attempts always come with failed outcomes such as cracked meringue cookies and runny egg mixtures. Nonetheless, baking is all about trial and error and it’s always fun to try different ingredients and techniques! So I baked these cookies in mini egg tart cups instead of spooning them on the cookie sheet! Let’s get fancy with these cookies! 

First, I recommend to my fellow readers/bakers that they should read this post about making meringue-http://whatscookingamerica.net/Eggs/perfectmeringue.htm Recipe was modified from Baker’s Royale Chocolate Meringue Cookies, but her instructions should be explicit on how to whip the eggs and how they should look. These cookies taste like marshmallows, crispy on outside and light. PLUS they are gluten free!
Warning: These cookies are very delicate and may crack after baking it. When you melt chocolate in microwave, do it in 30 sec. intervals.  Please follow my instructions carefully, step by step.  

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Yields 25-30 cookies

Ingredients

  • 4 oz egg whites or 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 TBsp powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp distilled white vinegar
  • 2 oz  melted chocolate (milk, white or dark)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and line cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil
2. If you are using eggs, separate the egg whites by cracking the egg and hold shell halves over a glass mixing bowl. Transfer the yolk back and forth between the halves; let egg whites drop into bowl. Make sure NO egg yolk drops into bowl! Save the yolk for your meals or other baked good.
3. In a glass mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites on medium speed with mixer until soft peaks form and eggs look smooth/foamy.
4. When the egg whites form peaks, gradually pour in both sugars, vinegar, vanilla, and cream of tartar while whisking. (Don’t do this step until egg whites form peaks!)
5. If egg whites are runny, either add another 1/2 tsp of cream of tartar and whisk more OR crack and separate another egg. Whisk the new egg whites until soft peaks form and add in spoonfuls of runny mixture while whisking.
6. Once the egg mixture is no longer grainy from the sugar, melt a chocolate bar or chocolate chips of choice in microwavable bowl. Heat it up in a microwave in 30 second intervals and stir the chocolate for each interval until all chocolate is melted.
7. Drizzle the melted chocolate onto egg mixture (Don’t whisk or mix with spoon!)
8. Spoon and drop mixture onto cookie sheet. Bake at 325 degree Fahrenheit for 25 minutes or until meringue is golden brown on edges. (I baked my mixture in egg tart cups as seen in the photos)
9. Let meringue cookies cool off on plate or wired rack! Enjoy with milk or more melted chocolate!meringue 9meringue 10

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies-Finally!

18 Nov

gluten free choco chip 6

After trial and error, a lot of experimentation, and trying over 10 recipes for gluten free flour and cookies, I successfully baked my first batch of gluten free cookies! I’m so proud of myself! You can’t even tell that these cookies are gluten free. They are slightly crisp on the edges and soft in the middle. My past attempts resulted in cookie blobs (seen in the previous post), too crumbly/moist cookies, and really flat cookies. Next time I’ll cut them out into shapes for the holiday season!

My experience with a gluten free diet has been hard because there are so many processed foods that contain gluten. Since I’m not much of a cook, I’ve tried to find gluten free alternatives such as bread, potato chips and etc. I’ve been researching a lot of gluten free cookie, cake, brownie and even pie recipes!  However, in order to completely avoid gluten, I’m eating more fruits, vegetables, and avoiding any type of frozen dinners and such.  It’s definitely a work in progress for me!

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The gluten free flour recipe I modified from was Land O’Lakes star cut-out cookies which I cut the recipe in half, added few more dry ingredients, 1 whole egg, and chocolate chips/M&Ms. Here is how I made my gluten free flour blend which is 70% protein flour and 30% starch flour.

  • 1/4 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 3/4 cup sweet white rice flour aka glutinous rice flour
  • 1 tsp xanthum gum
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Then, whisk these ingredients together in a small mixing bowl and store in airtight container. 

Here are some gluten free flour resources I used which helped me get started: All purpose flour infographic and Guide to working with Gluten Free flour

Yields 15-16 cookies

Ingredients:
1 stick of unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup of light brown sugar or white sugar
1 egg
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup of gluten free flour (see above for gluten free ingredients)
dash of cinnamon
Optional: 1/4 cup of chocolate chips and M&Ms

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to  350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. In a mixing bowl, mix stick of butter and sugar, for 3-5 minutes until it is smooth and creamy.
3. Add egg and vanilla extract into mixture. Blend well on medium speed.
4. Add gluten free flour blend, salt, baking soda, cinnamon until smooth and cookie dough forms. If mixture looks crumbly, add 1-2 tablespoons of water. Mix well on medium speed.
5. Stir in chocolate chips and M&Ms.
6. On baking sheet sprayed with oil, scoop 1 inch cookie dough balls and flatten slightly with palms. Bake for 10-11 minutes.
7. Once the cookies are golden brown, let the cookies cool on a wire rack or plate. EAT, INDULGE, and ENJOY!

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