Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Chocolate Chip Cookies (dairy free!)

I've been making and freezing cookies this week to bring to campus next week for exam week. The latest, Dairy Free Chocolate Chip Cookies, are delicious! I know there are some students with dairy allergies, so I thought I'd cater to them a little!

These are crispy around the edges, and slightly chewy in the middle! The perfect cookie!

I used BetterBody coconut oil (found at Wal-mart, here in WI) and dairy free chocolate chips (from a friend that works at the local chocolate factory). Enjoy Life makes a brand of dairy free chocolate chips, and I've read that some other "normal" brands are also dairy free.

This recipe was adapted from here.

I suggest making sure the coconut oil is quite soft. Mine was barely soft enough to smash into the measuring cup, and I ended up with some lumps, even after mixing quite well. Want to see what lumps of coconut oil look like in baking cookies?

Not pretty. But, it still tasted yummy!! I just had to eat all those ones, of course.

Also, my dough was so crumbly, I thought I'd failed, but, after scooping and pressing into balls, they actually baked nicely!!

Dairy Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup very, very soft coconut oil
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbs vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (or more, it never hurts!)
Preheat oven to 350. 
In medium bowl, mix together softened coconut oil, egg, vanilla and both sugars with electric mixer (or stand mixer)for around 2 minutes on medium speed.
In a separate bowl combine all dry ingredients & then slowly incorporate into the wet mixture.
Mix in chocolate chips by hand.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Use a cookie scoop to make balls, then rolls between hands and flatten slightly.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the outside of the cookies have browned a just a bit. 
Let cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes, them remove to wire racks.
Best eaten when warm from oven, of course!!
These can also be frozen after they are completely cooled in an airtight container!
Makes about 3 dozen

N is always at the oven, watching, tapping, and licking the glass. 


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Spritz Cookies

If you've never made Spritz Cookies, quick, go out and buy a cookie press and make them! I have this cookie press that I got for Christmas last year.

It's so much nicer than the old metal one that I had, where the disk kept popping off. That one is long gone, now! This one comes with a little booklet in it with a few recipes. We followed the Vanilla Spritz recipe, with a few minor changes. I'll post the recipe below, in case you already have a cookie press! I had two good helpers this morning.

N was going to help, 

Then decided to play instead. 

He did sit and watch J stir up the dough, though!

I have the cutest redheads. Seriously.

Isn't it gorgeous?!

Oh, just laying on the countertop watching.

Anyways, the recipe:

1 cup salted butter, room temperature.
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

  • Preheat oven to 375. 
  • Mix butter and sugar together in large bowl until fluffy.
  • Add in egg and vanilla. Mix well.
  • Stir flour in by hand. Dough will seem a bit crumbly.
  • Roll a section of dough into a log and insert into cookie press, fit with desired disk.
  • Press the dough out onto a non-greased cookie sheet. I found it helps a little if you freeze the sheet before pressing cookies onto it.
  • Decorate with colored sugar if you want.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes until very lightly browned around the edges. 
  • Don't let cookies cool on sheets at all, remove while still warm to wire racks to cool.
  • Store in an airtight container for 4 days or freeze and eat later! 
  • Makes about 7 dozen cookies.

Friday, December 5, 2014


I joined Influenster a few months ago, not really knowing what it was. After doing a few surveys and answering some questions, I got an email saying I was receiving a VoxBox. I received a full sized bottle of Vaseline Intensive Care lotion in the mail to test and review!

I have dry skin, and with winter here and the heat on all the time, my skin is even drier! This lotion does not feel greasy or tacky after applying. It goes on every morning, and it moisturizes completely! I have eczema, so I love the fact that it's unscented. It does not irritate my already sensitive skin at all.

Overall, I think I'm going to need a new bottle, because of all the use this gets! 

*This was a complementary product received to test. All opinions are my own.

Cake Balls

I made cake balls for the very first time a couple weeks ago. Oh. My. Not only are they fairly simple to make, but they taste amazing! At my wedding, we had a dessert reception, and one of the ladies at church made these. But, seeing as I was too busy talking to people and walking around, I never actually got to try one. 5 years later, I finally made them and tried them! I had some college girls over to help roll them and dip them. It was a fun, learning experience for all of us.

I don't have step by step pictures, but the instructions are fairly easy!

1. Bake your favorite cake according to the box directions.
2. Let cake cool completely.
3. Crumble cake up and place in mixer bowl (I use my Kitchen Aid mixer for this, it reduces the amount of frosting you have to add, and does all the work for you!).
4. For white cakes, you'll use about 1/2 container of frosting. For chocolate cakes, it's a more like 2/3-1 whole container of frosting. Add frosting to mixing bowl, and, using your paddle attachment, start the mixer on low, and then bump it up to the 2nd or 3rd speed. Continue mixing until frosting is evenly distributed.
5. Place in bowl and cover. Let sit in refrigerator for an hour at least. Longer won't hurt it, if you happen to forget about it. Not that that would ever happen with little ones running around the house...
6. I have this Baker's Secret Cookie Dough Scoop and I use it for everything!! It's the perfect size for cake balls, cookies, to fill up a mini muffin pan, meatballs... The uses are endless! Anyways, scoop your cake mixture into balls and place on a wax paper lined cookie sheet.
7. Melt your chocolate. Now, you can use melting wafers or real chocolate chips. If using melting wafers (this kind), just follow the directions on the back of the package. If using chocolate chips, place 1 cup in microwavable bowl, add 1 teaspoon of coconut oil or shortening, and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Remove, stir until bowl is no longer hot, then microwave again if needed for 10 seconds at a time, stirring completely each time.
8. Place one cake ball in the melted chocolate at a time, and using two plastic forks broken like this:

Roll the cake ball around until completely covered. Let extra chocolate drip off for a few seconds and then place on wax paper. If you want to put sprinkles on top, now is the time before the chocolate hardens back up.
9. Finish remainder of cake balls. You will probably have to put the chocolate back in the microwave once or twice for 10 seconds to warm it back up.
10. Put in cool place to harden completely. You can also place some melted chocolate of a contrasting color in a sandwich baggie, snip the end off, and drizzle it on top of some already hardened cake balls.

These are great for cookie exchanges, neighbors, friends, hiding-in-the-pantry snacks so your little ones don't see. And the combinations are endless! Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting dipped in dark chocolate. White cake with vanilla frosting dipped in milk chocolate. You could even do a spice cake mixed with cream cheese frosting dipped in white chocolate. Yummmmmmy.


Here it goes again...

I've started a blog so many times, then never make any other posts on it. This time, I will... hopefully!! I'm going to try and post couponing deals, my favorite recipes, giveaways, and more! Maybe I'll even get some followers! So, here it goes!!!