The other day I was seduced at Costco by a giant bag of foil-wrapped Easter eggs. Who among us has not been swayed by giant bags of chocolate at Costco? I am not made of stone, people.
I had some buyer's remorse about it when I got it home, however. Although they were hollow eggs, the chocolate was thick enough and the eggs large enough that my braces-wearing son couldn't bite into them. I realize there are ways around this: my mother-in-law, for example, suggested that I melt the chocolate and he could eat it with a spoon. My son thought it was a good idea to smash the wrapped egg on the countertop and then eat the pieces, which resulted in tiny shards of chocolate everywhere. Neither of these ideas appealed to me, not least because I sat in a chair that had the aforementioned shards of chocolate in it, resulting in very dirty jeans.
Well, necessity is the mother of invention and I felt it necessary to not have a giant bag of Easter eggs just hanging around in my pantry. I chopped some up and added them to a cookie recipe I'd adapted from an old church potluck cookbook; the result was delicious. It occurred to me that you could use this recipe for any extra Easter chocolate; I might even try with the giant bag of Mini-Eggs I was also seduced into buying at Costco.
What can I say? When it comes to Easter treats, I'm a soft touch.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Cream together coconut oil and brown sugar. Add vanilla extract and mix well.
Beat in eggs or flax eggs.
Blend in flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Mix in oats and coconut, stirring until combined. Fold in chopped chocolate.
Roll dough into balls 1 inch in diameter and place on the prepared baking sheet. Gently flatten each ball with the heel of your hand.
Bake for 10 minutes.
Yield: 4 dozen delicious cookies
Who among us hasn't snuck a bite of the cookie dough when it is raw? A bite of raw cookie dough is one of the great pleasures of making cookies - but if there are eggs involved, it is also one of the great risks. Wouldn't it be nice to eat raw cookie dough without the fear of salmonella?
I'm glad you agree that it would; enter this recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Drops, made with chickpeas. I normally think of chickpeas as a savoury dish - probably everyone else does, too - but they actually work very well as a base for a sweet treat.
Did you know that if you have a lot of cravings for sweet things, you might be low on protein? This recipe is the best of both worlds - and your kids will never believe that there are chickpeas involved. They are also nut-free, so they are perfect for lunch boxes. Best of all, the fibre and protein in the chickpeas make these a very satisfying snack. Now you can eat cookie dough without the guilt - or the stomachache!
In a food processor, puree chickpeas, tahini, coconut oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla extract together until very smooth.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Transfer mixture into a lidded container and set in the freezer for about 2 hours, or until firm enough to roll into balls.
Roll into 1-inch balls and store in the fridge, separating layers with waxed paper.
This freezes well (and is very tasty that way, too).
Yield: approximately 20 drops
I have recently made a huge parenting leap: I am now the mother of a child with braces.
I knew it would come some day; taking my preteen to the orthodontist feels like a whole new era in parenting. What's next, driver's ed? The thing about having orthodontic work at this age is that the need for soft foods coincides with the preteen "Eat All The Things" growth phase. For the first few days his teeth were sore and chewing was difficult, but he was So Very Hungry All The Time. While I am a bit of a (self-described) Smoothie Queen, after the sixth smoothie in two days, I thought I should switch it up a little.
This chocolate chia pudding is nutritious and delicious; chia is rich in Omega-3s, fibre, potassium, calcium, and iron. Since I can't help myself, I blended spinach leaves into the pudding for a little extra nutrition - and it was completely undetectable! But the very best thing about making chia pudding is that the Chia Pet theme song gets stuck in my head for days after. Oh, wait. That's really more of a downside.
In a blender, blend together spinach, almond or coconut milk, cocoa, honey, cinnamon, and vanilla until smooth. Pour into a medium bowl.
Whisk in chia seeds. Place bowl in the refrigerator to chill, for a minimum of 3 hours.
When the pudding is well-chilled and thickened, whirl it in the blender until smooth.
Serve topped with fruit, chocolate chips, or coconut whipped cream for a special treat!
This keeps in the fridge for up to three days.
Yield: 4 servings