Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are one of my absolute favorite cookies on the planet. I use my go-to recipe about once a month (sometimes more often) and it always produces a classic, soft and chewy winner.

Today on this rainy, dreary Saturday afternoon, I decided to make another batch. Except that – GASP! – I did two things differently.

The first thing was to add oatmeal to the cookie dough. I like a warm oatmeal raisin cookie now and again, but not enough that I make them a lot at home. Oatmeal and chocolate chips, however? Mind blowing. I used quick cook oats because that’s what I happened to have in the pantry, but if you have traditional oats, that would work fine. Just don’t use instant oatmeal.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

The second thing I did differently was that I used a 50/50 flour blend (50% whole wheat; 50% all-purpose) instead of just all-purpose. The blend happened to be what I had in the pantry, and I was out of the white stuff.

Know what? The addition of whole wheat worked great, and I liked the added “tooth” it gave the cookies without being too rubbery. I think the extra level of flavor from the whole wheat went nicely with the oats too. If you don’t have whole wheat flour, using only all-purpose would totally be fine.

Mmmm…. Time to grab a glass of cold milk and a couple cookies!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
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Ingredients
  • 1 stick salted butter, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1-1/8 cups whole wheat/all-purpose flour blend
  • ½ cup quick cook oats
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 6-ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Using a mixer, cream the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar together in a large bowl until the mixture becomes light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, and continue mixing until they're combined.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the flour, oats, baking soda and salt together. Add the dry mixture to the creamed mixture about ¼ cup at a time (just eyeball it), making sure to incorporate fully before adding more. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Spoon the cookie dough in teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets, leaving about 1-1/2" between cookies. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the edges are golden and tops are no longer shiny.
  5. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and let the cookies cool for 1 minute before transferring them to racks to cool completely. Makes 24-36 cookies depending on how big your teasponfuls are.

Mini Chocolate Frozen Yogurt Pies with #StonyfieldGreek

Disclosure: As a Stonyfield Organic™ ambassador, I am being compensated. All opinions are always my own!

Mini Chocolate Frozen Yogurt Pies

For Christmas this year I had to be creative with a few gifts, specifically those for my grandparents. My dad’s dad and my mom’s mom are both in their 80s, and at this point in their lives they really don’t need or want any sort of gifts at all. Yet it seems wrong not to find something thoughtful to give them anyway.

They both have a ritualistic evening sweet tooth, and it shows itself in the form of ice cream after every night’s dinner. Every night.

So I thought, what about making them a special treat to keep in their freezers?

Chocolate and Key Lime Pie Frozen Yogurt Tarts

Mini Key Lime Pies

My grandfather loves his ice cream and frozen yogurt – and all desserts, really. He begs me to make Homemade Key Lime Pie Recipe for all of our family gatherings. For him, a mini frozen yogurt pie would be greatly appreciated. But, mini key lime pies…. They would be heaven – especially since they taste great frozen, or he could set them out in the fridge to thaw the night before.

Mini Key Lime Pie

My normal Homemade Key Lime Pie Recipe calls for sour cream as a topping, but instead of using that I substituted Stonyfield Organic® Greek plain yogurt, and its tartness was the perfect accompaniment to the sweet and sour key lime filling.

Mini Chocolate Frozen Yogurt Pies

My grandmother has a vanilla ice cream cone every night. For her, I thought mini chocolate frozen yogurt pies would be a simple twist to her evening ritual (or, at least an addition to). These were made with one small container each of Stonyfield Organic® Greek vanilla and chocolate yogurt, organic cream cheese, a little powdered sugar and a sprinkle of chocolate chips.

Mini Chocolate Frozen Yogurt Pies

It doesn’t take much to make a sweet, delectable treat (and to make the grandparents happy)!

Mini Chocolate Frozen Yogurt Pies
 
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Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 package mini graham cracker pie crusts
  • 1 5.3oz container Stonyfield Organic® Greek chocolate yogurt
  • 1 5.3oz container Stonyfield Organic® Greek vanilla yogurt
  • ⅛ cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Bake the pie crusts for 10 minutes at 375°F, then remove them from the oven and let them cool completely.
  2. Add ½ of the vanilla and all of the chocolate Stonyfield Organic® Greek yogurts, cream cheese and powdered sugar to a large bowl and use a hand-held mixer to whisk everything together until it's smooth and creamy.
  3. Fill each pie crust with the mixture, top with the remaining vanilla Stonyfield Organic® Greek yogurt and sprinkle chocolate chips on top.
  4. Freeze the mini chocolate frozen yogurt pies for an hour, and then cover them in plastic wrap and keep them in the freezer until you're ready to eat them!

Disclosure: As a Stonyfield Organic™ ambassador, I am being compensated. All opinions are always my own!

Almond Lime Snowball Cookies

Almond Lime Snowball Cookies

Growing up, the women on my dad’s side always got together to make Christmas cookies. It was a day full of sugar cookies + powdered sugar icing, pinwheels, mini chocolate chip cookies and powdered sugar covered snowball cookies, all beautifully arranged in Christmas themed tin boxes. We made the same four kinds of Christmas cookies every single year, which is exactly what you want with a holiday tradition – especially when you’re a kid!

This year I was invited to a cookie exchange brunch where you bring six dozen of one type of cookie, and then you leave with an assortment of six dozen other cookies. Pretty sweet!

I decided to make the powdered sugar coated snowball cookies, but with a twist: lime and almonds.

Almond Lime Snowball cookies

I bought the cheapest “cut” of almond at the store, and then rough chopped before adding them to the dry ingredients. I used the zest and juice from two limes, and added them right in the dough as well.

Almond Lime Snowball Cookies

The cookie dough was rolled into 1″ balls (give or take), and then instead of using a regular baking sheet, I used my mini muffin tin. It worked perfectly, and I didn’t have to worry about the balls rolling around! Genius.

Once they were done baking, I let the almond lime snowball cookies cool for about 5 minutes in the mini muffin tin. If you try removing them earlier they kind of explode, so even if you’re impatient (like me) just wait. TRUST ME.

After 5 minutes, I rolled them around in powdered sugar before letting the cookies cool completely on a baking rack. Then they got one last dredge in powdered sugar.

Almond Lime Snowball Cookies

Happy holidays!

Almond Lime Snowball Cookies
 
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Ingredients
  • 2 cups salted butter (4 sticks), softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sliced almonds, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 limes, zested and juiced
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. Add all the ingredients (including the lime zest/juice) EXCEPT the powdered sugar to the bowl of a standing mixer fit with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until a soft dough forms.
  3. Form the dough into 1" balls and drop them into the slots of a mini muffin tin. (Placing them on a baking sheet works fine too, if you don't have a mini muffin tin.)
  4. Bake the almond lime snowball cookies for 18-22 minutes, or until they are lightly golden on top. Remove the pans from the oven, and let the cookies cool for 5-10 minutes before you try and take them out.
  5. Coat each almond lime snowball cookie in powdered sugar, and then set them on a baking rack to cool completely. Coat them one last time in powdered sugar.
  6. Store the almond lime snowball cookies in an airtight container or bag. Makes 4 dozen cookies.

 

Diabetic Friendly Pumpkin Pie

pumpkin pie, diabetic friendly recipes, diabetic friendly pumpkin pie

This year I’ve been selected “pie maker” for both families’ Thanksgiving dinners.

The first is on Thanksgiving Day, and we’ll be having our feast at my in-laws’ house mid-day. I’m bringing pumpkin pie and apple pie.

But there’s a trick with making sweets for my in-laws: they’re diabetic.

Unlike my husband who is also diabetic, my in-laws stay away from anything with real sugar in it.

I’ve found that everyone with diabetes has a body that reacts differently to various foods in terms of blood sugar spikes and lows. With my husband, we’ve learned that he can eat things with real sugar, he can eat carbohydrates, and his blood sugar is just fine. What we control is portion and how many carbs he’s eating (which after all this time of watching and measuring, happens to be regular portions).

This has made me VERY happy because I really hate sugar substitutes like sucralose and aspartame. They’re just not good for you – made by or made from chemicals.

On the other hand, sugar substitutes like the stevia plant have become main stream. So when I’m cooking for my in-laws, and I need something to replace cane sugar, stevia’s the route I go now. The ratio is 1:1 in terms of recipes, and while the flavor doesn’t taste exactly the same as cane sugar, it’s okay – and it’s natural.

The pumpkin pie I made is a close take on the Silver Palate Cook Book recipe, with the exception of whole milk instead of half-and-half and cream, and stevia instead of cane sugar. (I’m not against half-and-half and cream, I simply forgot to buy it and didn’t have time to run back out to the store.)

Also, the recipe calls for a little brown sugar, and I happened to have some Splenda brown sugar mix in my pantry, so I used it.

I know, I know. You’re probably thinking, “Liza, you just said you don’t like sucralose. And here you are using Splenda brown sugar mix!” It’s true. The reasons I used it are simple: A) it was in my pantry, B) the recipe only calls for a little, C) my in-laws eat stuff with sucralose and aspartame all the time already.

Once it’s gone, I won’t be replacing it.

And, in hindsight, I could have used molasses as a substitute.

Oh well.

So, PUMPKIN PIE! Doesn’t it look pretty?

diabetic friendly pumpkin pie, diabetic friendly dessert recipes, pumpkin pie recipe

PS: I cheat when it comes to pie crust.

Diabetic Friendly Pumpkin Pie
 
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Serves: 6 to 8
Ingredients
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 28-ounce can of pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup ground stevia
  • ¼ cup Spenda brown sugar mix
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • pecan halves, for garnish
  • 2 refrigerated pie crusts
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 10" pie plate with the pie crusts. Crimp the edges.
  2. Whisk the eggs and the sugars together with a mixer for 1 minute, until it's light and frothy. Add the pumpkin, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and salt, and continue mixing for one more minute. Add the milk and mix it until it's *just* incorporated, about 30 seconds. Pour the mixture into the prepared pie plate.
  3. Bake the pie for 10 minutes at 400°F, then reduce the heat to 325°F and continue baking it for 1 hour (or until the middle is set and just a tiny bit jiggly).
  4. Remove the pie from the oven and garnish the outside of the pie with pecan halves. Create a simple flower in the center with more pecan halves. Cover the whole thing if you want! Goal is to have fun and make something yummy.

 

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