Mini Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

My very first job ever was at The Chocolate Chip Cookie Factory in Collin Creek Mall when I was 14 years old.  One of my favorite things to bake (and eat) when I worked there were the mini varieties of our most popular cookies.  We sold them by the half and bakers dozens and served them in a fun parchment paper cone to eat on the go!  What a treat to recreate this fond memory with much healthier ingredients…I loved cookies then and I love cookies now, especially ones that are gluten, grain and refined sugar-free.

Mini cookies in a paper cone…just like I remember them!

Mini Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

1 1/4 cup blanched almond flour

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup coconut oil or butter, melted

1/4 cup coconut nectar, maple syrup or honey

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup chocolate chips

1/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  In a large mixing bowl sift together almond flour, sea salt and baking soda.  In a smaller bowl whisk together coconut oil, coconut nectar and vanilla.  Combine wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir in chocolate chips and pecans.  Drop by 1/2 Tbsp measure onto parchment and slightly flatten.  Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden.  Remove to a wire rack to cool.  Enjoy!

Makes 24 bite-sized cookies.

This recipe is shared at:

Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays

Fight Back Friday, Fresh Bites Friday

Made From Scratch Monday

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Easy Summer Salads Series…Carnitas Ensalada

I love salads.  Summer is the perfect time of year for them, too.  I live in Colorado and I do not have air conditioner in my home (when we built the house the builders assured us we didn’t need it, they were wrong!!!)  so there are several weeks during the hot months that I just don’t want to turn on the oven… A refreshing summer salad is just the way to go!

Here is the next summer salad I am loving, how can you go wrong with pulled pork (my favorite recipe coming soon!)…

Carnitas Ensalada

This recipe is adapted from Paleo Periodical.

Ingredients for 4 salads:

1 lime, juiced

1/4 cup olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 cup pickled jalapenos, chopped (optional)

salt and pepper, to taste

6-8 ounces mixed green salad

4 ounces red cabbage, finely shredded

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

12-16 ounces shredded pulled pork (3-4 ounces per salad)

2 avocados, sliced

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted

  • In bottom of large salad bowl, whisk together lime juice, olive oil, garlic, jalapenos and S&P. Add lettuce greens, cabbage, and cilantro. Toss to combine.
  • Divide the tossed salad evenly between 4 salad bowls or plates, top with warmed shredded pork, avocado and pumpkin seeds.  Enjoy!

This recipe is shared at:

Fight Back Friday, Summer Salad Sundays

Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Fat Tuesday

Tasty Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays

Almond Butter Brownie Bites

I love chocolate.  My dad loves chocolate.  We both admittedly have a little problem with chocolate portion control…so we love any recipe for a treat that is small and bite-sized (and therefore “naturally” portion controlled) but still packs a satisfying punch!

This year for Father’s Day I made a variation of this recipe from All Day I Dream About Food and it was a huge hit.  It’s rich and chocolatey and one (ok, maybe two) will satisfy even the biggest sweet tooth.  We have had an unusual few weeks here in Colorado Springs with the Waldo Canyon Fire and my parents have been staying with me due to the evacuations…we decided we needed a sweet treat and these babies fit the bill perfectly…we could enjoy without over-indulging!

Now, when I say “naturally” portion-controlled…that statement can only be true if you don’t eat all of them in one sitting…I’m proud to say that I made these on June 30th and we still have four in the fridge!

Almond Butter Brownie Bites (makes 16)

Brownies:

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup almond butter

3 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped

1/4 tsp. liquid stevia

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup coconut flour

2 Tbsp. coconut palm sugar

2 Tbsp. cacao powder

2 eggs

1/2 cup coconut milk

Frosting:

1 oz cream cheese, softened

3 Tbsp. almond butter

2 Tbsp. heavy cream

2 packets stevia (or 2 Tbsp. maple syrup or coconut sugar)

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

For the cakes, preheat the oven to 280F and grease 16 cups of a mini-muffin pan.

In a medium saucepan, melt butter, almond butter and chocolate together over low heat and stir until smooth. Add stevia and vanilla extracts and stir until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together coconut flour, coconut palm sugar and cocoa, breaking up clumps with the back of a fork. Add the chocolate mixture and stir to combine (will be very thick). Stir in eggs, one at a time, and then coconut milk until mixture thins out somewhat and becomes a smooth batter.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins. Because the batter is quite thick, you will need to press the batter into the cups using the back of a spoon. Smooth the tops.

Bake for 20 minutes, until the cakes are just set and the middle is firm to the touch. Allow to cool in the tins.

For the frosting, beat cream cheese, almond butter and cream together until smooth. Stir in vanilla and stevia. Pipe or spread onto brownie bites.

Bet you can’t eat just one…

This recipe is shared at:

Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Fight Back Friday, Fat Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Whole Foods Wednesdays

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