Shortbread Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies – Food Blogger Cookie Swap!

Yay! It’s the Food Blogger Cookie Swap recipe day! I love being a part of this every year. It’s so fun for me to bake for other people, and it’s fun to receive cookies, too! It’s always a pleasure to help support Cookies for Kids Cancer, and Oxo and Dixie Crystals always treat us bloggers so well! This year Oxo sent this great nesting measuring cup set, and Dixie Crystals sent a Silpat sheet for baking. Awesome! These definitely make my cookie baking more fun. 🙂
Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2015

This year was a bit crazy with shipping – sometimes it’s tough to be at the mercy of the USPS! The cookies I sent out were picked up on a Monday and then sat in a local facility for 3 days. Even though I’d paid for priority 2-day shipping! But they finally all made them to their intended recipients, so that’s always a good thing! My cookies were staggered out a bit, which was great, but one got stuck at the post office and I had to go and pick it up. Doesn’t USPS know how important cookies are?! 😉

The first cookies we received were from Kristen at Dinner for Two Blog. She made Chai Snickerdoodle cookies. They made it without much breakage, and they were crisp and you could really taste the chai in them! These would be great with coffee or tea – but we didn’t make it that far, haha!
Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2015

The second batch was from Kristina from Cucina Kristina. She had made Lemon Lavender Shortbread Cookies. The post office was not so nice to these, as they didn’t all arrive in once piece, but I was able to save a few to nibble on! They were crisp, buttery, and you could really taste the lavender!
Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2015

The batch I picked up at the post office were from Abby at The Frosted Vegan. She sent Maple Ginger Cookies with Dark Chocolate. These were still nice and soft, and had a great dark chocolate flavor with a good hit of ginger.
Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2015

It’s funny how my recipe came about. I wanted to make a vegan recipe gluten-free, and when I was testing the recipe, I swapped out the flours with no problem, but apparently forgot to add the brown sugar (although I didn’t know it at the time), so the cookies were buttery and crisper than usual. Not hard and crispy, mind you, just a more shortbread-like texture. The cookies were tested on vegans, non-vegans, and those were both gluten-free and not gluten-free. They were enjoyed by all, so I knew that they were a winner. When I went back to the recipe to bake the cookies for the swap, that was when I realized that I had forgotten the brown sugar the first time, but I missed it the second time, too! I even typed it in the recipe I sent to my cookie matches, so I guess now they’ll know that they can make these cookies TWO ways! How I missed it twice is beyond me, but the result was still a delicious and tasty cookie! And really? How can anything with Justin’s peanut butter cups be bad?!

Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2015

Shortbread Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
(recipe adapted from Sticky Fingers’ Sweets by Doron Petersan)

3/4 cup earth balance buttery sticks, softened
1 cup + 1 1/2 T (7.68 oz) evaporated cane juice
*(1 cup (7.7 oz) lightly packed brown sugar)*
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk (from the carton, not the can)
1/3 cup refined coconut oil, melted and cooled
3 1/4 cups + 2 1/2 T (1 pound, 1.25 oz) gluten-free all-purpose flour (I used Namaste brand, but Bob’s Red Mill 1-for-1 Baking Flour would be a great choice, too)
1/3 cup (1.9 oz) brown rice flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup vegan mini chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life brand)
1 bag (4.7 oz) Justin’s dark chocolate mini peanut butter cups, chopped

Preheat oven to 350.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper (or silpat mats) and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine earth balance, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides as needed.
In a glass measuring cup, whisk together coconut milk and coconut oil. Slowly add mixture to the sugar mixture and mix to combine.
In a large bowl, sift together flours, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt. Add to the sugar mixture and mix until a dough forms. If the dough seems too dry, add 1 T of coconut milk at a time until the dough is your desired consistency. Add chocolate chips and chopped peanut butter cups, and mix to combine.
Using a cookie scoop, scoop onto prepared baking sheets. Leave about 2 to 3 inches between each cookie and gently flatten with your fingertips.
Bake for 9 minutes, or until the edges just start to brown. (these will be pale cookies, so be careful not to overbake!) Let cool on baking sheets about 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Enjoy!

Makes 3 1/2 dozen small cookies. Store in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days. These freeze very well, too!
*add brown sugar and try a new recipe, ha!

Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2015

I love being a part of the cookie swap every year. It has it’s challenges, as everything does, but it’s always so fun to share cookies and a love for baking. Happy Cookie Swap!

Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Oat Cookies (vegan & gluten free) – The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap!

It’s the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap day! I’m so excited to finally share this recipe with you! I look forward to the cookie swap every year (this our third year to participate). I had fun working with this recipe to get it just the way I liked it. I tested them on vegans, celiacs, and non-vegans and everyone gave them two thumbs up. I’ll take that as a good sign!! The recipe calls for sweet potato puree because they are in season and they lend a nice flavor to the cookie. But if you can’t find any, or don’t want to make any yourselves like we did, feel free to substitute pumpkin. It works just as well! These are soft, chewy and delicious. And if you have anyone in your life that’s afraid of vegan and gluten free foods, try these cookie out on them. They might surprise themselves!

Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Cookies (v/gf) #fbcookieswap

First, let me share with you the cookies that we received!

The first cookies we enjoyed were Chocolate Biscotti Cookie Bars from Shannon. They were super peanut-y and chewy. YUM! We had to stop ourselves from eating the whole package!
Chocolate Biscotti Cookies #fbcookieswap

We then got two packages in the same day. YUM! Cookie overload. 😉

Chai Cookies from Emilie. Mmmmm. The chai flavor was subtle, yet super delicious. The chocolate was an added bonus!
Chai Cookies #fbcookieswap

And last, but not least, Cardamom Snickerdoodles from Beth. We are huge fans of snickerdoodles around here (especially Nick), so these were a huge hit! (and vacuum-sealing her cookies? brilliant!)
Cardamom Snickerdoodles #fbcookieswap

Now onto the cookies WE sent out this year!
Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Cookies (v/gf) #fbcookieswap

Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Oat Cookies
2 1/2 cups gluten free all-purpose flour (I used Namaste)
1 1/2 cups gluten free quick oats
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 cup earth balance buttery sticks, softened
1 1/3 cups packed light-brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 flax “egg” (1 T ground flax + 2 T warm water)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sweet potato puree
1 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together flour, oats, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger and set aside. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together earth balance, brown sugar and granulated sugar until creamy. Blend in flax “egg”, vanilla extract and sweet potato puree. Slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until combined. Mix in chocolate chips. Let batter rest 5 – 10 minutes (this just gives the oats some time to absorb the liquids so the cookies don’t spread too much).

Using a 1 1/2-inch cookie scoop drop onto parchment paper lined baking sheets, spacing cookies 2-inches apart.

Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Cookies (v/gf) #fbcookieswap

Bake in preheated oven 10-12 minutes, or until edges are slightly brown and cookies are set. Allow to cool on baking sheet several minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container. These also freeze extremely well!

Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Cookies (v/gf) #fbcookieswap

Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cookies (vegan & easily gluten free)

I never used to like zucchini. I didn’t like it’s texture or it’s taste. It was one of those vegetables that I thought was super boring. However, this year, I’ve discovered several new recipes that makes me hope and pray we keep getting it every week in our CSA! These cookies have been my favorite (so far) and they are seriously addicting, so be warned!

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies

They are soft, chewy and just the right amount of chocolate-y. The zucchini is visible, but virtually undetectable by flavor, so in case you’re a bit of a zucchini hater, you don’t have to worry! Give all that zucchini new life by making these cookies. You won’t be disappointed!

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cookies
(adapted from Cooking Classy)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour (sub gluten free, if desired)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup earth balance
1/2 cup evaporated cane juice
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 flax egg (1 T ground flax + 2 T warm water)
3 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 medium zucchini, shredded and squeezed to remove excess water
1 cup quick cook oats (sub gluten free, if desired)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment or silpat and set aside. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt and set aside. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together earth balance, evaporated cane juice and brown sugar until smooth & creamy. Mix in the flax “egg” and vanilla extract. Add zucchini and mix to combine. With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in flour mixture. Stir in oats, walnuts and chocolate chips. Using a cookie scoop, place dough onto your prepared baking sheet, spacing cookies 2 inches apart. Bake 12 minutes until edges are lightly golden. Cool on baking sheet for at least 2 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies

Enjoy with a cold glass of your favorite non-dairy milk! Yum!

Chocolate Cake Batter Cookies (vegan & soy free)

Oh, cookies. They make me so happy. But I’m also pretty particular about my cookies. They have to be a certain texture or I’m over it. I stumbled across a non-vegan recipe recently that used cake mix for part of the flour. I thought that sounded pretty good, so I took the recipe and veganized it. They were delicious! I had a few snafus (as usual when changing a recipe – at least for me!), but they were awesome. So, of course, I wanted to take something great and make it even better.

And I think I did! These cookies are not only the perfect amount of chocolate-ly goodness, but they’re soy free as well! How awesome is that? I know that’s an issue for a lot of people, so I’m always trying to push myself into trying different ways of making a recipe.

Chocolate cake batter cookies (vegan & soy free)

Instead of using traditional chocolate chips, I took a couple of Enjoy Life’s Ricemilk Crunch Bars and chopped them up. WHOA, mama. Delicious! I love them on their own anyway – and they also make an awesome s’more! – and so why not add them to a cookie? The result is delicious. The cookies are perfectly crisp on the outside and nice and chewy on the inside. The best part is that the dough freezes well and so you can keep some for a cookie emergency! Oh, you don’t do that? Well, you should. I’ve got two kinds in my freezer right now! You never know when you might have a cookie craving!! 😉

Chocolate Cake Batter Cookies
1 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/4 cups chocolate cake mix (I used this one)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) soy free earth balance buttery sticks, at room temperature
1/2 cup natural cane sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1 flax “egg” (I used 1 T golden flax + 3 T warm water, whisked together)
3 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 Enjoy Life Ricemilk Crunch Bars, chopped

Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment an set aside. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cake mix, baking soda and salt. (This will ensure there aren’t any cake batter lumps in your cookies!) Using a mixed fitted with the paddle attachment cream together the soy free buttery sticks and sugars together until well combined. Add in flax “egg” and vanilla. Mix to combine. Slowly add the dry mixture, making sure to mix well before each addition. Once all the dry mixture is incorporated added, mix in the chopped chocolate. Scoop cookies onto prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.

Chocolate cake batter cookies (vegan & soy free)

Transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.

Chocolate cake batter cookies (vegan & soy free)

Eat and enjoy!
Chocolate cake batter cookies (vegan & soy free)