Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Peanut Butter, Honey and Coconut Cookies

I am not usually one to shove a bunch of ingredients into a recipe. As I have mentioned before, I like to take a simpler approach when it comes to cooking and baking, but I am guessing you want to call me a hypocrite after reading that title (and another loaded cookie recipe that I want to share soon). Three distinct flavors jammed into one cookie seems a little over the top for my taste, but I saw the recipe on Pinterest and decided to go a little outside my comfort zone and try a jacked up recipe! To be honest, even posting this recipe has me a little mad at myself because of all the flavors, but here goes.

 These cookies have no butter and no sugar and they are even gluten free (if you use gluten free oat flour), which means you can eat the whole batch, not like I ate half the batch as I was baking them or anything.

Peanut Butter, Honey and Coconut Cookies
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup oat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut

1.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats.
2.     In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together peanut butter, honey, and vanilla on medium until smooth and well combined, about 30-45 seconds. Add oat flour and baking soda, mixing on low until combined.
3.     Using a small cookie dough scoop, scoop dough, roll into balls and then roll in coconut. Place cookies on baking sheets, use fork to make crisscross if desired. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool for 3 minutes on baking sheet and then transfer to wire rack to continue cooling. Makes about 24 cookies.

Recipe From My HappyPlace 
Print Recipe Here

Monday, February 24, 2014

Must Have Moisturizers For Your Scaly, Winter Dragon Skin

Organix Intensive Moisture Mask
Uh oh, I said it, I said the word moist, well I technically I said moisturizer. Either way, I don't think moist or moisturizer are the most beautiful words. Whatever your feelings on the word moist, today we are talking about moisturizers because the Polar Vortex is once again sweeping the United States and with it comes dreaded scaly winter skin. I have to slather my hands in lotion every night just to keep my hands somewhat moisturized. So, I thought I would share some winter skin fixes that I have picked up along the way! I've got fixes from head to toe, literally!

Let's start with hair. Between hats, drying heat, and static, winter takes it toll on your hair. My hair is beginning to resemble straw. If this is also the case for you I would recommend the hair mask pictured above! It only takes 5 minutes, and makes my hair feel so soft after using it! It also makes my hair noticeably "lusher". Simply, wash your hair with shampoo, and then slather some of the mask on your hair, comb it through your hair, leave in for 5 minutes and then rinse out. If your hair is extremely dry you can slather it on, cover your head with a shower cap and leave the mask on for 30 minutes, and then rinse out.

Josie Maran Argan Oil
The first Josie Maran product I used was her daily facial moisturizer, it was fantastic, but they stopped making it! I then decided to try the argan oil by the same brand. I began with the light argan oil to get my skin adjusted then I switched to the regular. I usually use this product each night before bed. Sometimes I use it in the morning too, it gives a really nice dewy finish to my skin when used under my powdered make-up! I know you may be thinking OIL ON YOUR FACE?! Yeah, yeah, it sounds crazy, but the logic behind it makes sense. Instead of stripping away the natural oils of your face, causing your face to produce more oil, you dissolve the oil on your face using oil. It took my skin about a week and a half to get used to the oil. 

California Baby Calming Shampoo and Body Wash
Now this isn't a moisturizer, but it makes for a very gentle facial cleanser! I tried another brand, but I prefer this one! Because it is so gentle, it won't strip away moisture from your skin! The calming lavender is an excellent choice for red, wind burned skin.

St. Ives Daily Hydrating Vitamin E Body Lotion
Of the dozens of hand lotions I have tried, this is by far my favorite! It is on the thicker side, but this winter I have so needed it. Every night I have to slather this on to keep ahead of scaly hands. This also makes for a great body lotion, and it is only a couple bucks, what is better than that?

Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Ultra-Hydrating Body Butter in Vanilla Apricot
Now this body butter is more than a couple bucks. This body butter is ridiculously expensive and the only way I decided to try it, was by buying a sample pack and splitting it up for Christmas gifts! The vanilla apricot scent is divine, it smells like PEACHES! I love it and it makes me want summer so badly! This body butter is luxurious to say the least, put it on just after hopping out of the shower and your skin will feel wonderful all day. 

Burt's Bees Coconut Foot Crème
I think feet are weird. I never thought I would be talking about feet on my blog, but alas here we are. Feet kind of give me the heebee geebees, and in the winter we hide our feet away in wooly socks and clunky boots. Winter can wreck havoc on our feet, leaving them dry and scaly. So, what can remedy your dragon feet? This coconut foot creme sure can! For a brief moment the scent transports you to a beach of a tropical paradise! Smells so good! Coat your feet, slip on some socks and off to bed! In the morning your feet won't be so dragon-y!

Stay warm! Hope these suggestions help keep your skin soft and moisturized!

Not sponsored, none of these companies know who I am. They are just some favorites of mine that I have discovered through research, and trial and error. Contains affiliate links, got to pay the bills somehow. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Maple Banana Bread

Have you been watching the Olympics?! I have watched them almost everyday! My nights are going to be so anticlimactic when they are over. What else is supposed to get me through the homework? I don't know about you, but whenever the Olympics come around, I get kind of jealous of the athletes, especially the teenagers! They must have superhuman abilities because when I was their age, I couldn't even walk down a hallway without falling down...I still can't.

Aside from the Olympics making me wish I was more coordinated and athletic, they also make me want to get out, exercise and eat healthier. This motivation will probably last until closing ceremonies on Sunday and then I will be back to my lazy old self. If you're like me in this regard, then do I have a "healthy" recipe for you! This banana bread has no sugar and no butter! There is a bit of whole wheat flour to get your whole grains in! Now this banana bread is super soft thanks to a technique I discovered in this recipe, the bananas are pureed in the food processor instead of mashing by hand. I then continued to make the recipe in the food processor to limit the number of dishes and I could not have been happier with the result!

Maple Banana Bread
1 and ¼ cups whole wheat pastry flour
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 and ½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 and ¼ cup pureed bananas (about 2 and 2/3 bananas)
2 eggs
½ cup canola oil
½ cup maple syrup

1.     Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray standard loaf pan with non-stick spray.
2.     In a medium bowl, stir together whole wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon, set aside.
3.     In the bowl of a large food processor, combine pureed bananas and eggs, processing until just combined. Scrap down bowl as needed. With the food processor running, slowly stream in oil through chute. Do the same with the maple syrup.
4.     Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, folding to combine. Stir vigorously for 20 seconds to combine. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes then reduce temperature to 350 degrees F, baking for another 20- 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 20 minutes in pan on wire rack, then remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

Recipe Adapted From Coconut Oil and Honey Pumpkin Bread, Which Was Adapted From The Flour Sack 

Friday, February 14, 2014

'Lava You' Cookies

I don't know how my friend came to say 'lava you', but, alas, she somehow did. The original name for these cookies was just lava cookies, but I thought since today is Valentine's Day and they have chocolate truffle centers, which brings Valentine's day to my mind, that I would name them 'Lava You' cookies and spread the edible love!

Cheese fest, right? I know, but I tend to be the ring master for all things cheesy, both the dairy kind and the cliche/tacky variety! I have a pretty pathetic sense of humor, I laugh at the cheesiest things, and then I usually laugh way longer than necessary, while everyone else has moved on. Then my laughter continues because I am the only one laughing, so I laugh at myself and the cycle continues. How on earth did I go from my friend saying 'lava you' to my cheesy sense of humor? (Totally, just typed chessy instead of cheesy right there.) Let's get back to the cookies. Happy Valentine's Day and I 'lava' you all! 

‘Lava’ You Cookies
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
½ cup confectionary sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 and 1/3 cups flour
1-2 teaspoon milk (if dough is crumbly, otherwise unnecessary)
5-6 chocolate truffles cut in half

1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
2.    In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together butter, sugar, salt and vanilla with a paddle attachment until smooth. On low, beat in flour, increasing the speed to medium until completely combined. If necessary, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of milk if the dough is too crumbly.
3.    Scoop the dough using a small cookie dough scoop, roll the dough into balls and place on prepared baking sheet. Using a ½ teaspoon measuring spoon make a slight indentation in each dough ball.
4.    Bake cookies for 10 minutes, remake indentation with measuring spoon. Return to cookies to oven and continue to bake 7 to 9 more minutes, until the edges are just barely browned.
5.    Turn off the oven, leaving it open slightly. Place half of a truffle in each indentation. Return cookies on baking sheet to the oven, leaving the oven door slightly ajar with an oven mitt, for a minute or so until melty. I recommend keeping the oven light onto keep an eye on the truffles. Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Doughvelopment Recipe Adapted from Yes, I Want Cake
Print Recipe Here

Friday, February 7, 2014

The Scoop #24

Sunny citrus. 
This scoop is a double scoop because I haven't done one in a while! YAY! Some recipes are not quite so new because I wrote half of this last week, but never got around to posting! 

Biscotti have been on my baking list for a long time, but I am always put off by the double bake, BUT I need to get over my eternal laziness and just make these chocolate almond cherry biscotti.

You probably know I go cuckoo for donuts, thus raspberry cake donuts are sure to be included in this scoop!

Not looking forward to Valentine's day this year? Don't get me started... well, we can stuff our bitter faces with these candy hurts!

If you are looking forward to Valentine's day, then I might suggest this Valentine Italian almond cake!

I think this marshmallow hot fudge sauce really needs no explanation.

Not a hot fudge sauce person? Maybe this almond milk caramel sauce is more your style.

Cherry vanilla is one of my favorite ice cream flavors, so how could I not be drawn to this cherry vanilla hot chocolate?

These oatmeal peanut butter cookie bars sound like the perfect anytime snack!

Brownies are a favorite of mine and these look much more promising than the ones I attempted than the ones I attempted(YIKES)!

Looking to spice things up? Look no further that this raspberry lime chili sea salt!

Margaritas are usually tasty, but what about beautiful? I want to dive into these bright pictures!

I have been working on few muffin recipes, might need to add this lemon, blueberry and cinnamon crumble variation to the repertoire!

I think breakfast foods are my favorite "genre" (type? variety? variation?) of food, thus...chocolate. chunk. toasted. coconut. scones.

Only one total stick of butter between the cake AND frosting in these vanilla party cupcakes! I am so down with that!

These flourless chocolate almond cakes may say they're for two, but I could probably eat all of them myself!

I want to pop a dozen of these lemon basil popovers in my mouth!

Mini chocolate pastry donuts? Basically baked cronuts at home!

Looking for more? Check out my Pinterest...I pin way too much. 
What links are you loving lately? Please share! 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Heart Sandwich Cookies Filled With Strawberry Buttercream

So, Valentine's day is coming. Yay...for you if you're in a relationship. Well, I guess I am in a relationship of sorts, with food that is. Therefore, I am not really sure why I got all excited to make heart shaped cookies with pink frosting. I should really be making something super chocolatey and indulgent in order to drown my singledom sorrows. I still have time before Valentine's day to do that....

Anyways, instead of making something to drown away sorrows I get suckered into buying all these cutsie pink and heart shaped sprinkles. Seriously, last year I bought 3 containers of these teeny tiny heart sprinkles, thinking they were uber adorable. Have I used them? NOPE, I still have them sitting there eagerly waiting to be used. I'll just be here eating these cookies, thinking about guys ahem I mean overly indulgent desserts to shove into my face.

Heart Sandwich Cookies Filled With Strawberry Buttercream
Cookie Ingredients:
1 ¼ cup flour
¾ cup cocoa powder
½ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sugar
½ (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Strawberry Buttercream Ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 lb powdered sugar
½ cup chopped strawberries (about 4 tablespoons pureed)
pinch of salt

1.     Begin by preparing cookies. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder and salt, set aside.
2.     In the bowl of a stand mixer cream together butter and sugar, until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla.
3.     Add flour mixture in 3 additions, mixing on low until just combined. Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes, preferably 1 hour.
4.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats. Roll cookie dough out on a lightly floured surface (I rolled mine to a little less than ¼ inch). Cut dough with cookie cutters. Transfer shapes to prepared baking sheets. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes. Cool cookies on baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
5.     To prepare frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer combine butter, powdered sugar, pureed strawberries and salt, until thoroughly mixed. Do not frost cookies until cookies have cooled completely. Store frosted cookies in the refrigerator and unfrosted cookies at room temperature.

Recipe by and for Doughvelopment