today's a big day in my little family's world. frank and i are celebrating 4 years married. amesy is 10 months old today. and it's been 3 months since we moved to LA! maybe the universe is trying to tell us that 27 is our number, or maybe it's just one big coincidence that the biggest (and best parts) of our life just happened to come on a day with a 2 in front of a 7.
either way, i'm meditating on a swell of emotions today (and everyday for that matter), and i'm not really sure how to make sense of these feelings except for the fact that it's overwhelming in every sense of word. so instead of talking about said festivities we're just going to celebrate them with these sundaes :)
last summer when i was super pregnant with ames, i made this freezer cookie dough for after he was born when i wanted a quick, pull-it-out-of-the-freezer cookie, but didn't have time to pull together a batter, and clean up a mess. they were so easy and good that i kept making different iterations of them: chocolate chip, chocolate-chocolate chip, almond chocolate chip, etc., etc. but just before we loved to LA i bought a bag of cassava flour. and it had been sitting in my pantry until the other week. i've been limiting the amount of grains i eat for a while now (less about a diet and more about stabilizing my blood sugar), so i decided to try out the cassava flour in my freezer cookies. and after a few test batches, they were gold ;)
i'm not really one for over-the-top sweets, but this cosmic occasion called for something special. plus, frank looooves ice cream and cookies together, so i thought i would throw in some caramel sauce while i was at it. i've been using coconut nectar for a while now as my sweetener of choice. it has a low glycemic index (great for peeps who have trouble balancing their blood sugar), and contains a bunch of amino acids, minerals, and vitamins. but it's not a super sweet sweetener, if that makes sense. it's a bit tangy on its own, so i was curious how it would taste in a caramel situation. it turns out, that it works perfectly! it's a beautiful caramel flavor without the sugar crash that comes with the refined sugar versions (or if you're like me, and super sensitive, the crash that comes with maple syrup and/or honey). i hope you give these recipes a go, even if you only make one ;)
sweet summer hugs! xoxo
chocolate freeze 'n' slice cookies & coconut caramel sundaes
| makes roughly 1 1/2 cups |
- 1 13.5ounce can unsweetened coconut milk (preferably non-BPA)
- 1/2 cup coconut nectar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
chocolate hazelnut cookies
| makes roughly 26 cookies |
- 1 cup raw hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
- 1/2 cup cassava flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 cup liquid coconut oil
- 2 large eggs (preferably pasture raised)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate
- 1 pint vegan vanilla ice cream of choice
- cacao nibs, for topping (optional)
- make the caramel. in a small saucepan, whisk together the coconut milk and coconut nectar. bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. once the mixture comes to a boil, turn down the heat and bring it all to a simmer. continue whisking every few minutes, until the mixture has thickened a bit, and has reduced to about half; about 30 minutes. remove the caramel from the stove and whisk in the vanilla and salt. pour the caramel sauce into a lidded jar and let it come to room temperature. then refrigerate until ready to use, or up to 2 weeks.
- make the cookies. place the hazelnuts in a blender and pulse them into a "meal" and dump into a large mixing bowl. to the hazelnut meal, whisk in the cacao powder, cassava flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until completely combined.
- in another large bowl, whisk together the sugar and coconut oil until combined. then add the eggs, and vanilla and whisk until combined. add the flour mix to the wet mix and stir with a rubber spatula until combined. then fold in the chocolate chunks.
- cover the bowl with cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. prepare a large piece of parchment paper, and place it on your counter. transfer the cookie dough onto the parchment and shape it into a long log, roughly 12-14 inches long, and 2 1/2 inches thick. wrap and gently form it into an even shape, then wrap it tightly with cling wrap. freeze the cookie dough for at least 4 hours, or up to 1 month.
- let the cookie dough sit for about 30 minutes before you slice. while you wait, preheat your oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. slice off as many cookies as you would like, and lay them on the cookie sheet. bake for 10 minutes, until slightly puffy.
- let the cookies cool a bit. scoop a serving of ice cream into a cup or dish, crumble the cookies over top, and drizzle with a good bit of caramel sauce. sprinkle with cacao nibs, and serve