Treat Yourself: Spicy Chocolate “Cookies”

I have a massive sweet tooth. Unfortunately, I can’t be trusted around a lot of sugar, so in an effort to eat somewhat healthy, we don’t keep a ton of sweets around our apartment.  I love it when my husband brings home a treat though!

The other day, he surprised me with a package of Emmy’s Choco Chili Macaroons. I’ll admit that I was a little skeptical at first (raw and vegan do not always equal super yummy), but the macaroons were really delicious, and the ingredients were pretty healthy, too. If you see them anywhere, definitely pick up a package.

Anyway, my mind immediately started spinning, and I set about recreating the macaroons.  Here is my version – I’m calling mine cookies. Give them a try. You’ll love these lightly sweet treats. They make a great, healthy snack (as long as you don’t eat the whole batch in one sitting).

Spicy Chocolate Cookies

Spicy Chocolate CookiesMakes 18

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • pinch salt
  • cayenne
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted, if solid)
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla

Combine almond meal, shredded coconut, cocoa powder, and salt in a small bowl. Add a few dashes of cayenne, to taste (I added 7).  Mix well.

Add the coconut oil, honey, and vanilla. Stir until combined. It will have a slightly crumbly texture, but shouldn’t be totally dry or too soft.

Mixing Spicy Chocolate Cookie IngredientsRefrigerate for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, remove the mixture from the refrigerator and form your cookies. Take about a tablespoon of the “dough,” and press it firmly together and gently form it into a small cookie, smoothing out any jagged edges. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Shape Spicy Chocolate Cookie Dough into Cookies

Spicy Chocolate CookiesThat’s it – enjoy! Store the cookies in the refrigerator to keep them nice and firm.

Notes: If your mixture is too dry and won’t hold together even after you refrigerate it, add a little extra coconut oil.

Almond meal is made from almonds that are ground into a fine, floury texture. You can purchase almond meal (or flour) at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods or the natural foods section of many other grocery stores. If you can’t find it anywhere, make your own by grinding blanched almonds in a food processor until very fine.

Spicy Chocolate CookiesDo you have a favorite healthy snack?

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Individual Red, White, and Blue Trifles

To me, the 4th of July equals cookouts. And my favorite part of any barbecue is the dessert. I have a major sweet tooth, so a table filled with pies, cupcakes, ice cream, and other treats makes me really happy. Please tell me I’m not the only one!

If you are still looking for the perfect dessert for the 4th of July, this is it!

Individual Red, White, and Blue Trifles

These trifles are super easy to put together, and most important, really delicious. Each bite is filled with fresh fruit, creamy “custard,” and delicious cake. And of course, you have your red, white, and blue!

Individual Red, White, and Blue Trifles

Individual Red, White, and Blue Trifles

Makes 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 8 oz. package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • Dash vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 oz. package ladyfingers, or prepared yellow or white cake, broken into small pieces
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 4 – 6 small, clear cups

Individual Red, White, and Blue Trifles

Place strawberries and granulated sugar in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside for about 10 minutes to allow the sugar to dissolve.

Combine cream cheese and powdered sugar and beat until smooth. I used a stand mixer, but you can use a hand-held mixer or even a whisk, if you don’t mind the arm workout. Add the milk and a dash of vanilla extract to the cream cheese; mix well.

Individual Red, White, and Blue Trifles

Grab a cup and add a layer of ladyfingers, followed by a dollop of cream cheese. Cover cream cheese with a layer of strawberries. Add another layer of ladyfingers and then another spoonful of cream cheese. Top with blueberries.

Repeat with remaining cups. The size of your cups will determine how many trifles you end up with.

Refrigerate the trifles for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Enjoy!

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Salted Caramelized Bananas with Ice Cream

I have a major sweet tooth, but I don’t like to keep a lot of treats around my apartment due to my poor impulse control because I like to eat healthy. But sometimes, I just have to have something sweet now. Do you know what I mean?

This recipe for caramelized bananas is the perfect way to conquer any sugar craving. It’s quick, easy, and I usually have all of the ingredients on hand. Plus, it’s got that whole salty-sweet thing going on – yum!

Salted Caramelized Bananas with Ice Cream

Salted caramelized bananas with ice cream.

Serve 2

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 bananas, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Coarse sea salt

Salted Caramelized Bananas with Ice Cream

Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add bananas and brown sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until butter and sugar are well combined and a sauce has formed. The bananas should have softened slightly and will be coated with caramel.

Serve bananas over ice cream and top with a pinch of salt. Eat quickly before the ice cream melts!

Salted Caramelized Bananas with Ice Cream

Notes: this recipe is easily scaled up or down, so make it for yourself or a crowd. I like to use Maldon Sea Salt Flakes, however you can use any coarse salt you like – just don’t use table salt.

What is your favorite way to conquer a sugar craving?

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