Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Boy Likes Cookies

My son Connor, like most teenagers, would probably eat a lot of unhealthy foods if he were able. But as we remind him on a daily basis, until he is self-supporting, there are some decisions that are made for him, for instance the kinds of foods that are available to him at home. There is no junk food in the house except on special occasions, and when he wants a snack there are healthy choices. At the same time, when he is outside of the home, at a friend's house, at a restaurant, etc. he is free to eat whatever he chooses. That's when he gets the occasional soda, french fries, and well... junk. To tell him he can never have these foods is in my opinion, unrealistic, and I feel comfortable with the fact that since his regular diet is healthy, junk food every once in a while is not going to kill him.

All of this does not mean there are no treats around. If you have been following this blog, you know that I've developed a passion for making delicious healthier desserts. And Connor has loved every minute of it because he has become my tester. Recently, he tested my dark chocolate almond cookies, and as you can see by his goofy grin above, he loved them. In fact, I had to hide a few for myself because he and his father were eating them fast and furiously.

To invent this recipe, I started with my honey roasted peanut cookie recipe (from a previous blog post) and made some substitutions. The original recipe is listed here and the substitutions follow. The almond cookie recipe calls for almond flour, but if you can't get it, just get blanched almonds and grind them up very finely in a food processor. And if you prefer another nut, just substitute. Delicious treats for my (mostly) healthy kid!

Healthy Honey Roasted Peanut Cookies
½ cup peanut oil
½ cup natural peanut butter
½ cup honey
½ cup natural brown sugar (Turbinado)
1 egg
1 1/3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
¾ tsp. baking soda
½ cup unsalted dry roasted peanuts plus more for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat peanut oil, ½ cup peanut butter, honey, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in egg. On a piece of parchment or wax paper, wisk flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Mix dry ingredients into the honey mixture in thirds. Stir in ½ cup peanuts. Drop by tablespoons onto parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until cookies lightly brown.

Honey Peanut Butter Frosting- Wisk 2/3 cup natural peanut butter with ½ cup honey until smooth. Add hot water a tablespoon at a time if necessary until frosting is spreadable. Spread each cookie with frosting and top with peanuts.

Makes 25-30 cookies

Almond Agave Dark Chocolate Cookies
Follow the recipe above with the following substitutions:
• Use almond butter in place of peanut butter
• Use agave nectar in place of honey
• Use coconut crystals in place of brown sugar (if desired)
• Add ½ tsp. almond extract with the egg
• Add 1/3 cup almond flour with dry ingredients on parchment
• Use sliced almonds in place of peanuts
• Add 1 cup 60% cocao chocolate chips with almonds
• Omit frosting