Ya know what made my week? Arriving home from work on a rainy day to see a little package addressed in familiar handwriting from a certain amazing friend of mine of the most awesomest box of ornaments, drawings, rocks among other things from her 2 kids. This made me laugh out loud and made my heart melt. It was a gift of everything that the kids made and it was so touching. Personal gifts always are.
A few years back my mom gave me one of the most thoughtful gifts I ever received. She had been asking a lot of questions about food that my brother and I liked so I assumed she had something up her sleeve, but thought it was for my recently married brother. Christmas morning she presented my brother, sister-in-law and I with a recipe book filled with our favorite recipes from our childhood. With each recipe were pictures of us with different family members from different parts of our lives. I absolutely adore this book.
My mom is a master in the kitchen and making Christmas cookies is something I remember doing every year with her and my brother when he came home from college. One of her cookies that I thought was often overshadowed by her famous butterhorn was her oatmeal hazelnut macaroons. Hazelnuts?! Coconut?! There’s not much to dislike about these cookies. In fact, there is nothing to dislike. They have such a great combination of flavors, and are seriously addictive. I broke out my mom’s recipe book and decided to take on this recipe with a healthy vegan and gluten-free twist as my Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap cookie. So in the holiday spirit, here’s to my mom for always getting me to try new things and for passing down her love for food.
Not only did I get experimental with the recipe I started to play a bit with the photography, going for light and dark photos and switching around the props. Above I went for a very light and cheery Christmas-esque photo and below I went for the darker, mysterious that I am constantly drawn to on Pinterest. So thanks for bearing with me while I post a million pictures of several batches of the same cookie. I can’t tell which style I like more for these. The bright and sunny fun ones or the darker photos. Which do you think?
salted chocolate chip oatmeal hazelnut macaroons
1 c. oat flour
1 c. rolled oats
3/4 c. hazelnut meal (I grind up my own hazelnuts for this)
1/2 c. unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. mini chocolate chips (I prefer Enjoy Life or homemade) or cacao nibs
1/2 c. almond milk (or other non dairy milk)
2 eggs or chia or flax egg (1 tbsp. chia/flax seeds + 3 tbsp. warm water)
3 tbsp. melted coconut oil
3 tbsp. honey (sub maple syrup for vegan)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Additional add-ins (optional): 2 tbsp.(or more) shredded coconut, 1/4 c. roughly chopped hazelnuts
Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Lightlhy grease a cookie sheet with coconut oil.
In a medium bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients excluding the chocolate chips and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine all of the wet ingredients and beat until smooth. Add the dry ingredient mixture to the wet ingredients, beating until well incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips and any add-ins until evenly distributed throughout the cookie dough.
Drop cookies by the spoonful (apprx. 1 tbsp. or less) on a cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes before removing from cookie sheet.
Store in an airtight container or in your belly.
After I baked up these family childhood favorites, I boxed them up using mini loaf pans and gave ’em my stamp o’ approval to ship them out to my cookie exchange buddies. I hope they enjoy them as much as we do in my home.
This cookie exchange got me looking at new food blogs that I never would have discovered otherwise. Kinsey at Kinsey Cooks not only makes amazing cookies and has an impressive cookie index, but she keeps up her blog while attending her first year at university and actually uses her dorm kitchen! I never ever ventured there. I don’t even think we had one. I was not into healthy eating at all as a Freshman. Or a Senior. Her awesome salted peanut butter caramel cookies were delicious and the perfect texture!
I also received delicious pecan chocolate chip cookies from The Michigan Mom. She is so dedicated to being a mother and giving time saving tips and ways to make your life a bit easier.
I chowed down on these awesome healthy peppermint chia cookies from HappyFoodHealthyLife. Holly is an inspiration on changing her lifestyle to being a healthy and happy human! She is dedicated to healthy recipes to allow us all to enjoy the sweeter things in life, without compromising our bodies.
I encourage your to check out each of these lovely ladies’ blogs to see what they are all about and get inspired for a healthy and delicious holiday season!