No Bake Chocolate Coconut Macaroons

No Bake Chocolate Coconut Macaroons are perfect for all of you homemade pantry fanatics who make your own almond or nut milk! Never throw away the pulp again when you could be making cookies out of it. These Macaroons are healthy, lightly sweetened, and keep you from wasting anything from your homemade nut milk. 

No Bake Chocolate Coconut Macaroons // gluten free, vegan // treatswithatwist.com

I’ve been so inspired lately by several cookbooks I ordered not too long ago. I started jarring all of my nuts and grains to ensure their freshness. I ground a fresh batch of cashew butter and coconut butter. And I have made several batches of fresh almond milk too.

Do you make your own nut milk? I have for years, but I also get sucked into the carton variety when I accumulate coupons. But, honestly, nothing beats the homemade.

Sarah Britton’s cookbook, My New Roots, really helped me up my game. I didn’t realize how easy it would be to pop the almonds out of their skins after they had soaked overnight. I had always just went straight from soaking to the blender, but not anymore. I love skinning the almonds, and you end up with such sweeter, purer almond milk in the end. It’s totally worth it.

No Bake Chocolate Coconut Macaroons 4

What do you do with the pulp, though, after you’ve made almond milk, strained it, and really squeezed it all out of the pulp that’s in the cheesecloth? I tend to bag or jar mine and put it in the fridge or freezer…but then I have no clue what to do with it.

I just let it pile up…and although my intentions were to put it in banana bread or muffins, I just never do, and then it goes into the trash. Well, not anymore!

Sarah inspired me because she makes raw macaroons out of her nut pulp! Well, I’m game!

No Bake Chocolate Coconut Macaroons // gluten free, vegan // treatswithatwist.com

No Bake Chocolate Coconut Macaroons 2

I tried her recipe, and although it was good, I decided to up the game. I added chocolate straight to the dough, which allowed me to lower the maple syrup and Lucuma (a natural sweetener) that she uses. I also added more coconut, because that’s the taste I want the most when I bite into a macaroon!

Never throw away your nut pulp again! I promise, you’ll be even more motivated to make your own almond or nut milk after you’ve tasted the yummy cookies you can make with the leftovers!

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No Bake Chocolate Coconut Macaroons
No Bake Chocolate Coconut Macaroons are perfect for all of you homemade pantry fanatics who make your own almond or nut milk! Never throw away the pulp again when you could be making cookies out of it. These Macaroons are healthy, lightly sweetened, and keep you from wasting anything from your homemade nut milk. (makes 18 cookies)
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Ingredients
  1. ½ cup nut pulp (from making nut milk*)
  2. ¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  3. 1 Tbs. Lucuma (or granulated Stevia, or coconut sugar)
  4. pinch sea salt
  5. ½ tsp. vanilla bean paste
  6. 2 Tbs. cashew butter (or coconut butter)
  7. 1 Tbs. pure maple syrup
  8. 3-4 Tbs. melted dark chocolate
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl, working it with a wooden spoon until it comes together (it will resemble a very very thick dough).
  2. Use a tsp. cookie scoop to scoop into even cookies, placing them on a piece of parchment as you scoop. I ended up with 18 macaroons.
  3. Let the macaroons set (I let mine set overnight) on the counter or move them to the fridge for quick setting. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. Macaroons should be kept in an airtight container in the fridge, for up to a week.
  2. *Save nut pulp from making almond or nut milk. After it is squeezed through the cheesecloth, you can save the pulp in the fridge in a jar for up to a week. Use up that pulp by making cookies!
Adapted from Sarah Britton's macaroons
Adapted from Sarah Britton's macaroons
Treats With a Twist http://www.treatswithatwist.com/wp/

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pancakes

My Chocolate Chip Cookie Pancakes are an amazing way to start the day! They’re actually gluten free, happen to be vegan and are really healthy, but these pancakes will let you feel like you’re having a treat in the morning, which you totally deserve! 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pancakes // treatswithatwist.com

So, if you live in the south, you’re probably boiling over by now. I know I am! Turning on the oven is just plain out of the question in my house (at least, the cutoff time is 9am…before we even realize how hot it is that day).

But, chocolate chip cookies always seem like a great idea! In fact, they’re pretty much always on my mind.

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So we’re making Chocolate Chip Cookie Pancakes! Because they’re cooked in a skillet, are still warm and chocolate-studded and soft on the inside while being crisp on the outside.

These pancakes are gluten free (like I note in my “About Me” section, use gluten free oats if you’re severely sensitive to gluten) and made mostly of oats and banana! They’re vegan because they don’t contain the typical egg and milk that pancakes usually call for. They’re actually very healthy. Just look at those ingredients.

Because they serve two people, you’re each basically eating a bowl of oatmeal with banana and some sweet chocolate chips, which we all deserve a little more of! I’ve made the batter only slightly sweetened because I feel like a lot of sweetness comes from the overripe banana. Also, I assume you’re drenching them in maple syrup or honey. Right? I mean, we are friends, right?

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pancakes 2

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pancakes 1

Right! So let’s do this!

Oh, and just to let you know, you don’t need to pass up this recipe if you don’t have someone to share them with. I assure you, they taste amazing reheated the next day [you’ve basically meal-prepped! Go you!] and they also taste pretty darn good cold (like banana bread), so making them just for yourself is more than acceptable!

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Pancakes // treatswithatwist.com

I’ve included some fun topping suggestions in the directions and notes too, so go ahead and give them a try! We all need to start our day with cookies, especially if it’s too hot to bake cookies to end our day. 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pancakes
My Chocolate Chip Cookie Pancakes are an amazing way to start the day! They're actually gluten free, happen to be vegan and are really healthy, but these pancakes will let you feel like you're having a treat in the morning, which you totally deserve! (2 servings)
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup oat flour
  2. 2 Tbs. quick oats
  3. ½ tsp. baking powder
  4. ¼ tsp. baking soda
  5. 1 tsp. maple sugar or coconut sugar
  6. 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  7. 1 overripe banana
  8. 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  9. ½ tsp. apple cider vinegar
  10. 3-4 Tbs. mini chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients and whisk together.
  2. In a separate bowl, mash the banana until finely mashed. Add the vanilla, almond milk and vinegar and stir together.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir until combined. Add the chocolate chips and stir. Set aside the batter while you heat your skillet.
  4. Heat your skillet over medium-low heat (and grease the skillet with butter, coconut oil, or cooking spray). Use ¼ cup measuring cup to spoon the batter onto the hot skillet (I cook 3-4 at a time, depending on the size skillet). Cook for 3 minutes, flip, and cook until golden on the other side (2-3 minutes).
  5. Continue to cook pancakes until the batter is gone.
  6. Enjoy the pancakes still hot from the skillet, stacked up and drizzled with maple syrup or honey! They’re also amazing with a smear of coconut oil, a blob of Greek yogurt, or a mound of whipped cream!
Notes
  1. These pancakes also taste amazing cold (they taste like chocolate chip banana bread when they’re cold)! You can grab and eat your leftover pancakes straight from the fridge, with a smear of yogurt or peanut butter!
Treats With a Twist http://www.treatswithatwist.com/wp/
 Oh hey August! It’s my birthday month! Did you see my Birthday Wish List? It’ll help you find gifts for those fab friends in your life (or give you ideas for your own wish list). 

Raw Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies

Raw Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies are a super-quick and simple, no bake cookie! After only a few minutes of work, you can be enjoying delicious cookies without turning on the oven. 

Raw Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies // treatswithatwist.com

This weekend was really a good one.

My husband suggested that we drive to the outdoor mall in our area (ie an hour away). Shock! He wanted new clothes and shoes for work and I had a Sephora VIB sale coupon burning a hole in my wallet.

I bought twice as much stuff as I went in there looking for, which is so typical. Head slap. And I’m still really torn on one of my purchases and can’t decide if I’ll keep it or exchange it for something comparable. Anyways, you know that means a Spring Beauty Round Up post is in your near future!

I also found out that none of my local grocery stores sell Sour Straws, and that Sour Patch Kids now have a blue kid. Just in case you were curious.

Also, the Lilly Pulitzer line for Target sold out in .0009 seconds and I didn’t get any of it! Totally not cool. 

And I made these cookies! Without turning on the oven! Which is a huge perk right now because some days are 85 degrees and turning on the oven fills our house with more heat and strange odors than I can handle (yeah, nothing is better than freshly baked cookies, but I seriously can’t handle that lingering for 2 days).

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This recipe for Raw Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies is so simple, so use the best ingredients you can get your paws on. If you love the taste of only one particular almond butter, splurge on that one (hello, Justin’s Vanilla!). If you have a thing for sliced almonds glazed in honey sweetness, definitely use those.

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The cookies come together in your food processor in just a matter of seconds. I use my mini food prep and it works perfectly for this recipe.

Then the cookies are scooped out and you can choose how big or small you want them to be. They’ll be pretty rich, so nothing bigger than a Tablespoon is what I recommend.

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Raw Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies // treatswithatwist.com

My Raw Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies are a perfect solution for a hot day when you don’t want to turn on your oven, or for when you need a cookie RIGHT NOW and can’t stand to wait on them. Plus, it’s like eating raw dough, which we all know is the best part. You’re welcome! 

Raw Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies
Raw Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies are a super-quick and simple, no bake cookie! After only a few minutes of work, you can be enjoying delicious cookies without turning on the oven. (makes 8-10 cookies)
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Ingredients
  1. ½ cup almond butter (I used Justin’s Vanilla Almond Butter)
  2. 3 soft Medjool dates
  3. 2 Tbs. pure maple syrup
  4. ½ cup oats
  5. pinch of Kosher salt
  6. 2 Tbs. sliced almonds (I used Trader Joe’s Honey Roasted Almonds)
  7. 2 Tbs. mini chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. In your mini food prep or food processor, combine the almond butter and soft dates (if your dates aren’t super soft, let them soak in warm water for 30 minutes before starting). Blend until almond smooth. Next, add the maple syrup and pulse it in. Then add the oats and pulse those in until they’re pretty well broken up, but still a descent size. Finally, add the salt, almonds and chocolate chips, and pulse a few times until they’re stirred in and only slightly broken up.
  2. Use a small cookie scoop or a spoon to scoop out even portions of the dough. I like to use a Tbs scoop, then roll the ball in my hands a few times to make sure it all sticks together. You can leave the cookies in balls, but I like to flatten them a bit with my palm then use a fork to press in a grid pattern on top.
Notes
  1. Cookies can be kept in the fridge for a couple weeks in a well-sealed container, or in the freezer. But seriously, it’s 8 cookies, they’ll be gone in no time.
  2. To keep the cookies Vegan, use regular sliced almonds instead of honey roasted.
Treats With a Twist http://www.treatswithatwist.com/wp/

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars are a simple, low-sugar and gluten-free indulgent cookie bar, loaded with rich peanut butter and irresistible chocolate chunks. Peanut butter cookie lovers will have a new favorite in these. 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars // treatswithatwist.com

I had an amazing weekend.

The kiddos I nanny turned 4 on Saturday, so my husband and I went to their family birthday party. They were so adorable and thoroughly exhausted from being the only kids in a house full of people, entertaining all of us.

I learned that everyone should go in on ONE gift for a four-year-old, because they’ll unwrap it and immediately want to pull it out of the box and play with it, losing all interest in the room around them. Done. So, one gift. Mental note.

Also, I learned that you need to still bake a small cake for kiddo to blow on and a separate cake to cut and serve. Kids like to stick their hands in cake. And when one adult laughs at them, they do it over and over again to show off. So, by the time you’re cutting the cake and serving it, it’s been played with and touched by kid fingers that were previously doing a number of germy activities. Noted.

My Easter Sunday was spent cleaning bathrooms and speed-walking around my neighborhood, so I’ll spare you the details.

Instead I’ll share with you my Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars!! Hooray!

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I started by wanting to make a flourless peanut butter cookie…but then I remembered that I attempt a flourless peanut butter cookie several times a year, absolutely hate the results, and simultaneously remember that I hate peanut butter cookies. Um, I know.

So, these are sturdier, because I’ve added reinforcing peanut flour and sturdy brown rice flour, but only enough for texture, not to take flavor away from the cookies. And of course these needed chocolate! Pretty sure that’s the only way I like peanut butter cookies. Loaded with chocolate. I chose to use some allergen-free Enjoy Life Foods chocolate chunks, but use whatever you love.

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars 2

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars 1

These cookies are sturdy and toothsome but so tender and moist from the loads of peanut butter and from carefully baking them so they don’t over-bake. Chocolate chunks keep the flavor bright and add another much-needed texture to these delicious cookie bars.

I know you’ll really love these cookie bars. And perhaps you’ll enjoy them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top! Just a helpful suggestion, because we’re best friends. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars are a simple, low-sugar and gluten-free indulgent cookie bar, loaded with rich peanut butter and irresistible chocolate chunks. Peanut butter cookie lovers will have a new favorite in these. (makes an 8" square pan of cookie bars)
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  2. ½ cup raw sugar
  3. ¼ cup brown sugar
  4. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  5. 1 egg
  6. ¼ cup peanut flour (or PB2)
  7. ¼ cup brown rice flour
  8. ½ tsp. baking soda
  9. ½ cup chocolate chunks
Instructions
  1. Line an 8” square baking dish with parchment and spray with nonstick spray. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a mixing bowl, use a wooden spoon to mix together the peanut butter, sugars, vanilla and egg until smooth. Then, add the flours and baking soda and mix until the dough pulls together.
  3. Transfer ¾ of the dough into your dish and use your fingers or a spatula to press into an even base layer (I spray my fingers with nonstick spray to make it easier). Sprinkle the chocolate chunks over the cookie dough layer. Then use the remainder of the dough to crumble over the top and press slightly into the chocolate.
  4. Bake the cookie for 25-28 minutes, until the sides seem to be a darker golden color and pulled away from the edges of the parchment (but be wary of overcooking, so better to be slightly undercooked than over).
  5. Let the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars cool completely before cutting and serving. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. I used Enjoy Life Foods chocolate chunks in this recipe.
  2. I used PB2, which can be found at most stores in some form. I found mine at Walmart.
Treats With a Twist http://www.treatswithatwist.com/wp/

Chocolate Chip Cookie Coffee Creamer (non dairy)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Coffee Creamer! Say that one five times fast! My homemade, almond-based creamer will turn any cup of coffee into a hot or cold treat! 

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I had a lot of options rolling around my mind when I wanted to make a dairy-free coffee creamer.

I wanted you to like it, first of all. I couldn’t decide: almond or coconut based?

I chose almond. Because every time I go to the store, almond milk brands are rolling out cool creamer versions. And I love that. But they have a ton of sugar in them. I still buy them…but I always wish I didn’t feel a need to use a steady hand when adding it to my coffee.

And then flavor. Holy moly, how do you choose?

I was leaning towards salted caramel…and then I thought mint because of St. Patrick’s Day being this week…but then I couldn’t get one thing out of my head:

That damn Chocolate Chip Cookie Coffee Creamer I bought from the store a few months ago and wanted to CHUG. It was incredible. I never ever buy creamers that are dairy-based, but this one caught my eye and I just had to test it. A million cups of hot chocolate chip cookie coffee and iced coffee lattes later…

Yeah, just had to recreate that one.

I loved that it wasn’t overly sweet, didn’t taste like fakey vanilla, and had a very subtle chocolate flavor running through it (it was a very light brown shade from cocoa being added). It was perfect!

So, my coffee creamer flavor was decided just like that.

I used dates to sweeten mine. I love that you’re not adding any sugars or even stevia. I love that the dates add a caramely sweetness to it, which helps a lot with the cookie flavor.

I use the same method as making almond milk, but less milk for a thicker result, more dates for more sweetness and thickness, and more extracts for the exact flavor I desired. I also would recommend you strain it as many times as you can tolerate. You can never have your creamer be silky enough, in my book.

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Choc Chip Cookie Creamer 2

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Splash this stuff in hot or cold coffee. It’ll certainly brighten your morning…or afternoon…or evening… 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Coffee Creamer (non diary)
Chocolate Chip Cookie Coffee Creamer is a dairy free, almond based creamer that tastes just like cookies! Sweetened with dates, this creamer is totally a guilt-free way to turn your coffee into a treat. (makes 2 cups)
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup raw almonds
  2. 4 large Medjool dates
  3. 2 cups filtered water
  4. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  5. 2 drops* “butter” extract
  6. Pinch of sea salt
  7. 2 tsp. cocoa powder
Instructions
  1. PREP: In a bowl, combine the almonds and dates. Fill with water. Let soak in the fridge overnight.
  2. Strain the almonds and dates from the soaking water. Remove the pits of the dates (they’ll be very soft so the pits should be easy to just squeeze out). Place the almonds, dates, and 2 cups of filtered water in a high-powered blender. Blend until your can tell that the almonds are quite small (this is pretty quick).
  3. Line a mesh strainer propped over a large bowl with cheesecloth. Pour the mixture through, using a spatula to help squeeze all of the liquid through into the bowl.
  4. Rinse your blender. Pour the almond milk back into the blender. Add the vanilla, sea salt, butter extract and cocoa powder. Blend on high speed for 30 sec to a minute, ensuring it is well mixed and any grains are pulverized.
  5. Strain again.
  6. Taste and adjust to your liking (Like a bit more bite? Add a pinch more salt. Like more savory? Add a few more drops of butter extract. Like more sweetness? Add some stevia or maple syrup.). Pour the creamer in a jar or container for the fridge. Add Chocolate Chip Cookie Coffee Creamer to hot or iced coffee drinks!
Notes
  1. *I pour butter extract into the extract lid then carefully let a couple drops fall into the creamer. Butter extract can taste too strong if you add too much, and I just like that hint of butter, since that’s what makes cookies so yummy.
  2. NOTE: Coffee creamer can be kept in the fridge for up to a week.
Treats With a Twist http://www.treatswithatwist.com/wp/
 As far as “high powered blenders” goes, I own a Vitamix and a Blendtec at the moment. If you have any questions about either, shoot them my way, I’ll be happy to talk about them! I’m a Blendtec affiliate, and if you click on the pretty ad on the right, and you purchase, you’ll get free shipping! 

I was so excited to get to go to the zoo this weekend with my parents and my husband! There was a penguin exhibit open that we attended last year, and you get to be THIS close to the penguins and puffins! Thought I’d share a snapshot with you!

Penguin