Desserts

homemade blueberry cookies

Blueberry Cookies

 

As I’ve mentioned before, we love to eat blueberries in our family and so we try to pick as many as we can in the short summer blueberry season and freeze them to use throughout the year.  We had the chance to stay overnight at my aunt and uncle’s blueberry farm this past weekend and woke up early on Sunday morning to go out and pick some of the last blueberries for the season.  This year, our youngest son switched over from his “I’m going to eat every single blueberry that I pick” mentality to a “look how many blueberries are in my bucket!” mentality.  It was great!  Usually when this happens with the kids, I like to encourage their newfound industrialism by letting them choose what to do with their bounty.  When I asked Matt what he wanted to do with his two pounds of blueberries, he decided they would be best enjoyed in cookies.  And as many times as I tried to convince him that blueberry muffins would be delicious and fun and the best choice for fresh blueberries, his mind was made up.  Okay, blueberry cookies it is then, kiddo.

 

blueberries hand-picked by Matt

Matt’s blueberries!

 

Of course, I have never actually made blueberry cookies before and did not see a recipe for them in any of my seasonal cookbooks.  I found plenty of versions of a blueberry cookie online but I decided it would be more fun to create my own recipe instead.  So I started with an old family favorite – applesauce cookies – and altered the recipe a bit to what you see below.  (I didn’t have any fresh lemons on hand but, if I made this recipe again, I would definitely include some lemon zest because it pairs so well with blueberries.)  I plan to use some of my blueberries to make up a batch of blueberry iced tea to enjoy with the cookies!  Yum!

 

Hope you all enjoy these last weeks of summer with something fun and delicious!

 

Blueberry Cookies
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Ingredients
  1. 1 ½ c wheat flour
  2. ½ tsp baking soda
  3. ¼ tsp salt
  4. ¾ tsp cinnamon
  5. 1 egg, beaten
  6. ¾ c agave
  7. ½ c coconut oil, melted
  8. 1 c applesauce
  9. 1 tsp vanilla
  10. 1 lemon, zested (optional)
  11. 1 ¾ c rolled oats
  12. 1 c fresh or frozen blueberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, agave, coconut oil, applesauce, vanilla, and lemon zest (if using). Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in oats and blueberries. Spoon onto a cookie sheet greased with coconut oil. Bake for 14 minutes, rotating pan halfway if necessary.
Notes
  1. (Makes 3 dozen cookies.)
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Chili Chocolate Bark

Chili Chocolate Bark

I know this is a little late for Easter candy but homemade chocolate desserts really never go out of season, do they?  Not in our house!  I definitely have a sweet tooth and try to have at least one homemade dessert available in our house at all times.  I love the idea of chocolate bark because it can be broken into bite size pieces and you can add lots of yummy – and even healthy – extra ingredients and the result can be a little different each time.  I also like that you can store it in the fridge or freezer which helps to keep it from disappearing as fast as it might if we kept it out on the kitchen counter.  So I’ve tried lots of variations on this recipe but I think this is my favorite basic version to which you can add any sort of dried fruit and nuts or seeds that you have on hand.  [My second favorite is probably chocolate bark without the spices (chili powder, cinnamon and cayenne) and with raisins and sunflower seeds added at the end.  The possibilities are endless!]  Any way that you make it, this recipe is super fast and easy.  Everyone in our family is digging it so I hope you will, too!

 

Chili Chocolate Bark
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Ingredients
  1. (all ORGANIC, if possible)
  2. 12 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
  3. 1 ½ Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  4. 1 Tbsp chili powder
  5. 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  6. ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
Optional
  1. 1 cup chopped dried fruit (cherries, cranberries, goji berries, raisins, apricots)
  2. 1 cup toasted and chopped nuts or seeds (walnuts, cashews, almonds, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds)
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a double boiler (I used a glass bowl over a pot of boiling water) and heat and stir until melted and smooth. If desired, stir in nuts or dried fruit at this point. (I added chopped dried cherries and toasted pumpkin seeds.)
  2. Pour chocolate mixture into a 9x13” baking pan lined with wax paper. Spread evenly with spatula. (At this point, I also sprinkled some Himalayan pink sea salt on top as well as a few extra toasted pumpkin seeds.)
  3. Place in freezer for 5 minutes or until hardened. Break into pieces and serve or store in fridge/freezer in airtight container. Enjoy! 🙂
Notes
  1. [A note about the spiciness of the recipe: I used only 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper because the kids and I prefer a mild version of spiciness – just enough to know it’s there – but you can add up to twice as much if you prefer your spice level closer to hot or extra hot. Or you can leave it out altogether if you don’t like the spiciness…of course, it would no longer be “chili chocolate” but it would still be yummy!]
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