chocolate almond crunch bites + how to eat a cookie well

These puppies are pretty amazing. Every texture you could imagine is packed into this salty sweet and crunchy treat. It combines my absolute favorite peanut butter cookie recipe with a beautiful coconut chocolate coating and salty oven-roasted almonds. No one told me until much too late in my life that roasting nuts for a couple of minutes in the oven make them taste 500% better! I also use raw sugar and coarse sea salt to coat the cookies giving them a really wonderful crunchiness. The cookies are under-baked slightly so they and super soft and creamy in the middle.  I will not allow you to eat these with any guilt, just pure joy. 

how to eat a treat = stop feeling guilty 

Let's face it, eating sweet treats is both wonderful and can bring up a lot of mixed emotions. In addition to excitement and joy you might feel: guilt, anxiety about gaining weight, shame , the works! My opinion is that chocolates, cakes, cookies, fruits are the essence of celebration and its a huge shame that we (especially Americans) tend to wast the experience with all this baggage!

The secret  I've found is that if you learn to eat mindfully, slow down and bring your full awareness to eating sweets, with no judgment, you tend to be satisfied with less. And you are much less likely to over-do it or binge. Here are my quick tips for eating a cookie well:

  • Leave room! Really things taste so much better when you are actually still hungry
  • Wait before you eat! This is so hard with a tempting cookie in front of you. But taking a couple of deep breathes will help you center and keep your attention on the goods!
  • Take small bites, usually foods like these are so rich, that every tiny bite has an amazing amount of flavor. The bonus here is that your cookie will last so much longer = your pleasure it eating it will too! 

1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temp)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar (in the raw is best!)
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Coating
8 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
1/2 cup almonds (oven roasted for about 5 mins and chopped finely)
Extra raw sugar + a rough sea salt for coating

Preheat the over to 375F. Cream the butter and sugar together, add the egg and vanilla, add the peanut butter. Combine all the dry ingredients separately, then combine them with the butter/sugar mix. Before baking your cookies coat with a healthy dose of the raw sugar/sea salt mix. This adds so much texture! Drop even spoonfuls of dough onto a baking sheet (that have been lightly greased or use parchment paper)  Use a fork to lightly flatten the balls and bake for about 10 mins ( don't over cook these guys!)

Combine your chocolate and coconut oil and microwave unit just soft. Make sure the cookies completely cool. Dip each one into the chocolate coating and then sprinkle the almonds on top. I also added a little sea salt to the almond mix it brings out the flavor of the chocolate. I recommend using parchment paper here for ease of cleaning up!

banana ice cream w/ blackberry + coconut and cinnamon

If you've been living under a rock, let me catch you up: banana 'nice cream' is all the rage. This is a super simple recipe, ready for it: Blend. Frozen, Bananas. That is it! There are a lot of beautiful creations out there by nice cream masters. I have to admit when I first discovered this instagram black hole of beautiful 'nice cream' pictures, I was worried I might end up a pintrest fail. I am pleasantly surprised to report that it went really well, and I would highly recommend you try it in your kitchen. I put my special touch on this by mixing in a little cinnamon and blackberry to really make this creamy treat sing. Enjoy! 

blackberry nice cream

Other nice cream creators might say you have to own an amazing blender to pull this off, and while I do agree equipment is important here, but my nutribullet could handle it fairly easily. 

Ingredients
2 ripe bananas that have been frozen for 4+ hours
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup frozen blackberries

Instructions
Use very ripe bananas, this will make the treat sweeter. Peel and cut the bananas into small pieces and put into a tupperware, wrap in parchment paper or a ziplock bag. Freeze for at least four hours. After freezing, separate the pieces as much as you can before blending, if the blender stalls, add a little water or milk, or let the bananas thaw slightly. Then add your blackberries and cinnamon (or get creative). You can enjoy right away, or stick into the freezer for scoping an even firmer treat latter on.