Dark Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookies

Picnic season is here! One of my very favorite things to enjoy with my family is a relaxing, delicious picnic. A successful picnic includes finger foods that are easy to eat and not too messy. Cookies are the perfect dessert to bring on a picnic because they transport well, are easy to eat and everyone loves a good cookie!

My boys are in love with Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams  spread! If you haven’t tried this delicious stuff, you need to. Think Nutella, only no dairy and made with peanuts – I literally have to stop myself from eating spoonful after spoonful! I decided to incorporate this chocolate spread into a cookie and the result was super yummy! I actually downed EIGHT cookies right in a row…I have a bit of a cookie eating problem, but I’ve embraced it. The Dark Chocolate Dreams is SO GOOD in a cookie! And the hazelnut meal adds a delicious nuttiness to the chocolate. These cookies are being packed for a picnic…if there are any left!

1 tablespoon flaxseed meal

3 tablespoons water

1/4 cup hazelnut meal/flour

1 cup gluten-free flour

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup Dark Chocolate Dreams

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla

1/2 cup Enjoy Life mini-chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine flaxseed meal and water in a small bowl and set aside to thicken. In a medium bowl, whisk together hazelnut meal, coconut sugar, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, mix together Dark Chocolate Dreams, applesauce, vanilla and flax “egg”. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Using a 1 1/2 tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop dough on the prepared baking sheet leaving 1-2 inches between each cookie. Bake until set, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then move to a rack and cool completely. Makes about 20 cookies.


Baked Chocolate Coconut Donuts

I have made these donuts several times over the past few months and they never disappoint! I actually crave these babies! I made these for a friend’s birthday gathering and she said these were the best donuts she had ever tasted…WOW! That is saying something because these are gluten-free, dairy-free, plant-based, baked goodness!

I LoVe using aquafaba in baked goods. As you whip this bean liquid, it takes on the consistency of egg whites and adds just the right texture in these donuts. More recipes to come using this amazing liquid…in meantime, enjoy these donuts!


1/4 cup aquafaba (the liquid in a can of chickpeas) + dash of cream of tartar

1/2 cup coconut milk (warmed in the microwave or on stovetop)

1/4 cup melted coconut oil

1/3 cup coconut sugar

1/4 cup agave nectar

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 cup cocao powder

3/4 cup hazelnut flour

1 cup + 2 Tbsp gluten-free flour blend

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly grease two donut pans.

To a small mixing bowl, add aquafaba + dash of cream of tartar and use a mixer to vigorously blend until soft peaks form – about 1-2 minutes. Set aside.

Warm coconut milk in the microwave. This way, it doesn’t harden the coconut oil. Set aside.

To a large mixing bowl, add the melted coconut oil. Then add the coconut sugar, agave nectar, vanilla extract, and sea salt and whisk vigorously to combine – about 45 seconds. Then add applesauce and warmed coconut milk and whisk once more to combine.

Add baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, hazelnut flour, and gluten-free flour and whisk to combine.

Lastly, add the whipped aquafaba and gently stir/whisk in, trying to be as gentle as possible. If the batter appears too thin at this point, add 1 Tbsp each hazelnut flour or gluten-free flour at a time until it thickens up. It should be semi-thick and more scoopable than pourable.

Divide batter evenly between donut tins, filling all the way full. There should be 11-12 donuts.

Bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the top appears dry and fluffy. Time will vary if you sub ingredients.

Remove donuts from oven and let cool for 1-2 minutes. Then grab the tins with a towel and tap on the counter 2 times to loosen. Then gently invert onto a cooling rack. Let cool for 5 minutes (the longer they cool, the more they’ll firm up).

Drizzle with glaze. Then top with desired toppings, such as sprinkles, coconut flakes, or cacao nibs!

Best when fresh. Store cooled leftovers covered at room temperature up to 3 days or in the freezer up to 1 month (best if stored unglazed). (Adapted slightly from Recipe Source: Minimalist Baker)

Chocolate Glaze

1/4 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips (I like Enjoy Life Brand)

Place chocolate chips in a small bowl. Heat coconut milk. Pour coconut milk over chocolate chips and let sit for a minute. Slowly stir chocolate until a nice glaze forms. You want the consistency to be thin enough to drizzle over the donuts.


Sweet Curry

Do you ever want curry in a hurry? I am a HUGE curry fan! Some of my favorite curry eating experiences have been in Thai restaurants. I love yellow curry, so I came up with my own version here. Needless to say, I could eat the whole pot of this sweet curry! It is really delicious. Turmeric, which is found in curry spices, is an anti-inflammatory agent – a good reason to eat more curry…like everyday!

The sweet potato and apple really add the perfect sweetness to this curry and balance out the kick of the curry powder, but your palate still gets hit with a nice heat at the end of each savory bite. I like to eat my curry like a soup sometimes or serve my curry with a side of basmati rice or over some buckwheat ramen. No matter how you serve this, it is purely satisfying. Enjoy!

1/2 onion, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
1 medium sweet potato, diced
3 carrots, sliced
1 cup fresh green beans (or frozen)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups vegetable broth
1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 apple, peeled and diced
1/3 cup full-fat, canned coconut milk

Heat a large pot over medium heat. Drizzle a bit of grape seed oil in the bottom of the pot and add the onions, celery, and carrots. Cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, salt, curry powder, pepper, sweet potato, green beans, and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add garbanzo beans and apple. Simmer for another 10 minutes. Stir in coconut milk and taste for seasonings. Serve.