FOOD fit for a Rockstar

Deena Kamm's recipe book and always evolving food philosophy

Chocolate Sesame Cookies for my girls (all three of you)

April28

My amazing friend Ellen has just requested this recipe, but I know Erin and Madey have also asked for it – and since you are my girls, I am posting it before all the other stuff I have drafts of….. These cookies are crazy good. I have done them both vegan and non vegan… Here’s how:

8oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips (this is one time I make a sugar exception, but London doesn’t like these so it’s fine)
2 Tbsp. Earth Balance
3 Tbsp. Tahini (Organic only if possible!!! Seeds are very heavily sprayed)
2/3 Cup All-Purpose Flour (I have also used Spelt and Quinoa mixed)
1/2 Tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1/2 Cup Applesauce (*or 2 eggs – more on this later)
3/4 Cup Coconut Palm Sugar
1 Tsp. Vanilla
1/2 Cup Toasted Sesame Seeds

Melt the chocolate chips and butter in a saucepan over low heat stirring frequently. Remove from heat RIGHT after it is all evenly melted (if you wait it starts to harden/thicken) and add in the Tahini. Set aside.
Combine flour(s) baking powder and salt in a small bowl – set aside.
in a large mixing bowl or Mixer beat together applesauce, sugar, vanilla, then add chocolate mixture. Beat in flour mixture until just combined.
Cover and chill in Fridge until the dough hardens up… anywhere between 1/2 hour to an hour.
Preheat oven to 350°. Toast Sesame seeds in a flat iron skillet or frying pan until slightly brown and they start to pop out of the pan.  Let the seeds cool off a bit.  Roll dough into small balls (I use a small ice cream scooper when I am NOT using eggs, but with eggs you can make them bigger balls) Roll the ball in the sesame seeds to coat. Place them on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for around 10-15 minutes. If using applesauce you may need to bake them for up to 20 minutes.  You will know they are done when they bounce back slightly when touched OR when they just don’t depress when touched and don’t look wet anywhere.
Transfer to wire rack to cool.

*Note about the eggs – the first time I made this I used eggs because I had them in the house from a friends Chickens down the street (I don’t usually purchase eggs. Terribly cruel industry – I can’t support it) SO they remained balls and came out almost like a brownie ball. I also made them much bigger – about 2 inches in diameter. They were admittedly amazing. However when I made them without eggs and used applesauce instead, they came out like flat, thin, chocolate brownie cookie crisps and they were also amazing. So I think both are great, but I prefer not buying, eating, or using eggs, so I opt for the vegan version. The applesauce version also took longer to cook which surprised me. Just go with the flow and let the cookies tell YOU what to do. Don’t be afraid. Even if you screw it up, it’s still gonna taste good and then you can change it next time. Baking is not THAT much of a science (like I was raised to believe.) Experiment and enjoy eating the fruits of your brave labor!

Let me know how they work for YOU!

D-

Husband Rating 4 star:gold-stargold-stargold-star gold-star“Open your mouth Sesame – cuz these are delicious.”
Kid Rating 2 smiley faces “Mommy – I don’t like those seeds on there.”

Vegan Thumbprint Cookies

January8

I used to buy these cookies every single time I went to Whole Foods.  They charge a very unreasonable amount of $1.25 per cookie and they are individually wrapped in saran (which I am NOT a fan of – that stuff is omitting god knows what kind of pvc chemicals right onto our food!!  Here’s a link to some basic info on that, if you’re interested) AND they are not organic!!!  What!!  Why am I paying for these??  But I was lazy and didn’t want to add something else to my list of things to do in the day so I kept buying them.  Until… one day Zeke asked the nice people at WF’s if he could buy some unbaked dough so we could make them fresh (because they always seemed too hard) and that’s when we found out that they are baked, frozen, shipped and then thawed and put on the shelf.  No wonder they are hard as a rock!  Why are we still buying these???

We aren’t… anymore.  Because I straight up stole the recipe and figured out my own better, healthier version, amounts, and bake time.  They are THE easiest dessert I make now and I can give them to London guilt free and even sometimes for Breakfast in a pinch because they are pretty healthy.  So here’s how I do it:

Preheat the oven to 350°. Mix the following ingredients together in a mixer or bowl:

3/4 Cup – Maple Syrup
1 1/2 Cup – Almond Meal
1 Cup – Oat Flour
1/2 cup – Rolled Oats
1/4 Cup – Safflower Oil (or Sunflower, or Walnut,… – just stay away from Canola as it is highly processed and hard on your blood)
1/2 Cup – Finely Chopped Walnuts (you can/should use a food processor for this, if you have one.)
1/4 Cup – Quinoa Flour (Grind whole Quinoa in a [coffee] grinder for this if you can’t find Quinoa Flour or don’t want to spend the money.  Or you can also use Barley flour, but Quinoa is so much healthier and tastes identical in this recipe.)
1/2 Tsp – Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp – Nutmeg (ground)
1/4 Tsp – Sea Salt
One or more Jam, Jelly, Fruit Spread of your choice (I only use Jams that contain NOTHING but fruit. Trader Joe’s carries several great organic fruit jams, as well as Whole Foods. You just have to read the ingredients before you buy!! BUT, we love the Fiordifrutta brand and order many of the varieties by the case. They only use apple juice to sweeten so it is lower fructose.)

Using a regular size ice cream scooper, scoop out a ball of dough, round it out with your hand, flatten it half way on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (if you don’t have paper, just do without it. No big deal) take a small spoon, like a demitasse spoon, or your thumb (thus the name) and create an indent in the middle that you will later fill with jam.
Bake unfilled cookies for 5 minutes, remove from oven and fill with Fruit Spreads, continue baking for another 12 minutes. Let cool on cookie sheet for about 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack until completely cooled.
Make approximately a dozen cookies.

This is the above recipe DOUBLED.

This is my nutty son eating his second cookie right off the rack.

What a face! Crumbs and all.

 

Husband Rating (a very dramatic) 10 star:gold-stargold-stargold-stargold-stargold-stargold-stargold-stargold-stargold-stargold-star “ Thumb-prints? Print out this recipe because these are the best cookies ever!”
Kid Rating 5 smiley faces “Mommy – I only like the strawberry but I want one of the lemon because it’s reeeeeally good.”

Thanks to Whole Foods for listing the ingredients and giving me a huge head start on this one!
Enjoy!
D-

Peanut Butter Cookies for Katie

September8

Okay Katie! Here you go… (sorry it took me so long to get this to you.)  Let me know if you have any problems (you won’t).  It’s a pretty small recipe – I usually double it.  This recipe will make about 12 small cookies.  It’s really easy and really fast to make.  I sometimes have the cookies ready to go before the oven is even preheated.

1/2 cup Peanut Butter (I have used both TJ’s with or without nuts – organic.)
1/2 cup Earth Balance softened
1/4 cup Agave
1/4 cup Maple Syrup
2tsp. Ener-G Egg Replacer – dry, or 1 eggs (I have never used eggs so I don’t know how much it will change it) I have tons of this if you want to use it without buying some.
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1 1/4 cups All Purpose Flour

Beat the Peanut Butter and Earth Balance together in a mixer until smooth.
Add Agave, Maple and Vanilla. If you’re going to use eggs then throw those babies in now and mix them too!
(by the way – I’m not suggesting that they are literally babies. I’m pretty sure not all eggs hatch into chickens.)
Mix all the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl (including the egg replacer if you’re going to use it) and gradually add the dry ingredients into the mixer (low speed speed works well)

I use a small scooper to get a pretty consistent size going otherwise some will be too dry. I have made them where I leave them in a ball and cook them like that (they won’t flatten) and I also make them where I flatten the ball slightly with my hand on the cookie sheet and then use a fork to do the traditional crisscross thing.  Nothing fancy or perfect, I do it really sloppy actually.

Bake in a preheated oven at 325° for 15-20 min. I have cooked them at 375° for about 10 minutes but they came out a little dry. I think you can get away with that though if you are going to use eggs. Either way they should be slightly golden brown, not too much. They end up a little dry if they are overcooked (I think because of the lack of sugar)
Anyway – tell me what you did, what you used and how they came out! If they aren’t good I’ll make some and bring them over ASAP.
As for the rest of you – ENJOY these!! They are the most requested family favorites.

D-

Husband Rating 5 star:gold-stargold-stargold-stargold-stargold-star “These cookies make me wish there was a sixth star.”
Kid Rating 4 smiley faces “I want to eat one for breakfast.”