Andddd just like that, six months have passed.
Is this how it’s gonna be, you guys? Days, weeks, months fly by without even realizing it?! In case you haven’t noticed (I’m sure you haven’t), it’s been like six months since I’ve posted anything in this little corner of mine on the interwebs.
IS THIS WHAT GETTING OLD FEELS LIKE?!?
Yea? Well…. okay.
Now that we’ve gotten that cleared up, let’s talk food. To be honest, I’ve been in sort of a food rut lately. I mean, it hasn’t gotten bad enough that Peter has had to make himself eggs + avocado every night for dinner — buuuut I’m fairly confident that I’ve made tacos at least once a week since Cinco de Mayo. and not like a diverse selection of creative and mouthwatering-ly delicious taco variations – I’m talking plain ol’ boring beef tacos. It’s Taco Tuesday in the Barbano household… every Tuesday. Yea, it’s that bad.
On top of that, any new recipes I’ve tried have just…. well… failed. Miserably, at that. For instance, the other night I decided to try out Minimalist Baker’s recipe for Crispy Hash Brown Haystacks. They look delicious – and easy! I mean, seven ingredients can’t be too hard, right?
True to form, I failed to follow directions exactly as written. To start, I opted for sweet potatoes instead of russet. No big deal, you say – that can’t possibly have ruined the haystacks, right?! Well no, but I decided to shred instead of grate them and then didn’t completely melt the butter before mixing everything together… so long story short, only like four haystacks remained intact. and barely, at that! I ended up with a large tupperware of shredded sweet potatoes, corn and spices… sooo I guess we’re having hash with breakfast for the next three days.
anddd this has basically been the trend all summer. Which is why I’ve been turning to my go-to meals & baked goods anytime we have friends over for dinner or are asked to bring food to a bbq – orrrrr just when making dinner on a Thursday. I’m hoping that the new crop of fall fruits & veggies — which are legit right. around. the. corner. — will bring with them some creativity to my weekly rotation. Along with the cooking skills I’ve clearly misplaced.
In the meantime, I’m going to share with you an easy and QUICK recipe for chocolate chip cookies. They’re made with… wait for it… cashew butter!
AND they’re flourless.
AND can easily be made dairy-free (more on that shortly).
Yup, this is real life. As you may remember, I’m alllllll about getting creative and solving food puzzles for friends and family with special dietary needs – you know, like cooking up a dairy-free cheese pizza or figuring out how to bake a delicious gluten-free chocolate chip banana bread. Well, this is another one of those brilliant recipes – and though it’s totally not something I personally developed, the original recipe is really too good to alter.
These chocolate chip cookies are soft and chewy and…. that m-word-which-shall-not-be-named. They are deliciously nutty and a little granular (which sounds weird, but is actually delightful, I promise) – definitely not your average chocolate chip cookie! They might be – dare I say it – better?!
Okay, okay – not quite. But they are awfully addicting (which I miiiight know from personal experience). Bet you can’t have just one.
So if you’ve never bought cashew butter before, it’s important to understand that its consistency has a huge impact on how your cookies will turn out. The more oil you find when you first open the container, the more likely your dough will be a little wet and the cookies slightly oily after baking. On the other end of the spectrum, Whole Foods has a brand of cashew butter (Woodstock, maybe?) that is incredibly nutty and delicious – but doesn’t have a ton of natural oil. As a result, the cookies don’t spread as much and turn out a lot smaller & denser than the ones in these photos. Neither cashew butter is ‘wrong’ or any less delicious than the other – it’s just something to keep in mind when baking!
I personally LOVE the Trader Joe’s brand – which isn’t surprising, since I’m basically #obsessed with all things Trader Joe’s. Irregardless, their cashew butter (pictured in a photo above) provides the perfect amount of oil, so the cookies spread just enough and have only a tiny bit of oil to the touch. My suggestion is try the recipe a few times with different cashew butters and decide for yourself what you like best about each :)
Also, as I mentioned earlier, these cookies can easily be made dairy-free! I normally use either semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips – but you may have noticed that the chocolate isn’t very ‘chip-like’ in these photos. I happened to be making this batch for a friend of my mom’s who is currently following a dairy-free diet, and so I had to make a substitution. You can find dairy-free chocolate chips in the natural & organic section of your local grocery store, but I prefer locally-made Taza Chocolate (based in Somerville!), which is an unrefined, stone ground chocolate. They take organic cacao beans and grind them using traditional Mexican stone mills. Their chocolate is minimally processed and – bonus! – naturally gluten and dairy-free. Not to mention, it’s unbelievably flavorful and delicious! If you haven’t already been to their factory for a tour – YOU. MUST. GO.
Two words: chocolate samples.
(I promise this post isn’t being sponsored by Taza Chocolate OR Trader Joe’s – I just really, really, reallyyy love their products!)
- 1 cup cashew butter
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F; line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Add all ingredients - except chocolate chips - to a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips by hand, with a spatula or wooden spoon.
- Roll into 1-inch balls and place roughly 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake 9-10 minutes, until cookies appear to be browning at the edges - they may seem a little soft in the middle, but that is okay!
- Cool 5-10 minutes then transfer to wire rack.
Recipe From: Whole and Heavenly Oven | Flourless Cashew Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Oh, and if you guys happen to come across my cooking skillz in your travels, do you mind sending ’em back this way? The struggle is oh-so-real over here.