Monday, March 31, 2014

The Best Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Ever

That title boasts quite a claim, huh? Fortunately for you though, I'm right. These are so amazing and delicious!! Crunchy on the outside and perfectly chewy on the doesn't get much better than this!

The Best Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Ever

Yields about 24

1 ½ cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1tbsp ground cinnamon
½ cup coconut oil
1 ½ cup sugar
1 tbsp molasses
2 eggs
2 tsps vanilla
1 ½ cup oats 
2 cups raisins

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon until evenly mixed, and set aside.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the coconut oil, sugar, and molasses until combined and fluffy {about 3 minutes if you slightly soften your coconut oil}.

Beat in eggs and vanilla.

Beat in the flour mixture little by little until it becomes too hard to use the electric mixer. Once that happens, you can either start to use a wooden spoon or your hands {I prefer to use my hands}.

Add in the oats and combine {using your hands really comes in handy *pun intended* here}.

Finally, add your raisins!

I'll be honest, I prefer golden raisins to a fault, and the only reason I used regular raisins in these cookies is that i ate all of the golden raisins we had in the house :(.

Roll the dough into medium-sized balls and press lightly onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Even though they won't spread by a huge amount, your cookies still do get a bit larger, so I would recommend leaving 1 to 2 inches of space between your cookie dough balls {especially if you make your cookies big like I did}.

Bake on 350 for 15-20 minutes.

Bake until your cookies are golden brown and starting to get a little darker around the edges. Make sure they don't look too wet in the middle!

Like most any cookie, these are best when eaten warm :).

Enjoy the best oatmeal raisin cookies ever!!!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Pineapple Carrot Cupcakes

Spring is finally here!!! And in my opinion it could not have come soon enough! Don't get me wrong, I love snow, but after a while it just gets to be too much. This week is very special to me, because my mom's birthday is this week. Her favorite cake is carrot cake, so I wrote this recipe for her. She loved it, so i hope you do as well! :)

Pineapple Carrot Cupcakes

Yields 24


1 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 eggs

3/4 cup oil

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup shredded carrots

1/2 cup crushed pineapple (1 drained and pressed 8oz can)


1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

4 ounces cream cheese

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups confectioner's sugar


In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cinnamon and baking soda until combined.

In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the eggs with the vegetable oil. Gradually beat in the sugar until thick, then beat in the vanilla.

Gently beat in the dry ingredients until combined.

Fold in the carrots and pineapple with a spatula. Make sure they are both evenly combined in the batter, so you don't have huge chunks of either in a cupcake.

Fill cupcake cups halfway, and bake on 350 for about 25 minutes.

Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, the cupcakes still may look wet on the top when they are cooked, so check with a toothpick even if they look under-cooked. You don't want to over cook them!

For the frosting, beat the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth {about 5 minutes}. Be sure to have softened the butter slightly before hand so there aren't clumps of butter in your yummy frosting.

Gradually beat in the confectioner's sugar, about a half a cup at a time. I suggest sifting it in so there aren't lumps in it, because like I said before, no one likes lumpy frosting.

Beat for 3 to 5 minutes after everything is combined to get the frosting smooth and fluffy.

Pipe with a circle tip onto the cooled cupcakes and top with golden raisins {because they are way better than regular raisins}.

My mom is the strongest woman I know, and I hope to one day be half of the woman that she is. She's taught me the importance of family and faith and so much more. Her joy and love and perseverance inspires me every day to try to be a better person. God has blessed me with the greatest mother in the whole world {probably because He knew that I would be a handful :P}, and I am eternally grateful for everything she has taught me and everything she has walked me through.

So Happy Birthday, Mom! I love you so much!

"Because he loves me," says the Lord, "I will rescue him, I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation."

Psalm 91:14-16

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

My amazing boyfriend's beautiful mother got me in the "chocolate-peanut butter-y" mood, and this recipe is the result of it. Enjoy! :)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Yields 24+ {about 30}


1 cup butter substitute

4 ounces semi-sweet dairy, soy, nut-free baking chocolate chips

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flower

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

4 eggs

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup almond milk


2 cups confectioners' sugar

1 cup creamy peanut butter

4 tbsp softened coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 tbsp almond milk


Melt the butter substitute and chocolate together in the microwave.

Mix the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, and baking powder.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla together until smooth.

Add the cooled butter substitute/chocolate and whisk until smooth.

While still whisking, add half of the flour mixture, then half of the almond milk.

Repeat until everything is added. Stir until just combined

Bake on 350 for 18-22 minutes

For the frosting:

Beat the confectioners' sugar, peanut butter, coconut oil, and vanilla until smooth. Be sure there aren't any clumps of coconut oil!

{To prevent the coconut oil from not mixing in completely, soften it in the microwave for about 15 seconds}

Once the ingredients are combined, beat in the almond milk one tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired piping consistency. It may be more or less than 4 tablespoons depending on the type of peanut butter you use. 

Your frosting should look something like this.

See, it's very light and fluffy; not thick at all, but not liquid-y by far.

Using a star tip, pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes.

Top with mini chocolate chips.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Caramel-glazed Chocolate Donuts

If you don't like donuts, I almost don't trust you. How could you not? They're so good! I had been craving a donut all last week but i never got around to buying one. I was very very sad about that, when I realized I could just make them for myself!

And here we find ourselves. 

These donuts were so very yummy and not bad for a first time recipe if I do say so myself. Recipes like this make me feel pretty darn awesome.

Caramel-Glazed Chocolate Donuts

Yields about 30


2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup almond milk
3 tbsp melted coconut oil

Vegetable oil for frying

Caramel Glaze:

1/2 cup butter substitute
1 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup almond milk
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tbsp vanilla
2 cups confectionery sugar

Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk eggs, vanilla, sugar, almond milk, and melted coconut oil. Mix into the dry ingredients until well combined; the dough should be very thick.

Cover and put in the refrigerator for about an hour.

After your hour is up, scrape the dough out of the bowl and onto a heavily floured work surface. Flour your hands, then pinch off a piece of dough, about 1/3 the size of your fist (mine anyway, you might have big hands, who knows). 

Roll the dough into ropes 5 to 8 inches long, and about 1/2 an inch thick, and pinch the ends together to form the donut shape.

*it's very important that they are the same thickness throughout, so that they will cook evenly and won't over or under cook in one spot*

Don't worry if your donuts don't look perfect! Donuts are like people: everyone is differently shaped and sized and imperfect, but Jesus loves them all (I'm just going to go ahead and assume Jesus loves donuts, but we haven't spoken on the matter, so don't quote me on that). 

While you are forming your donuts, you might want to start getting your oil ready. Pour about 2 inches of oil into a medium heavy-bottomed sauce pan. Heat the oil to around 380 degrees, because the donuts need to fry at 375 degrees, and when the donuts initially go into the oil, the temperature will drop about 5 to 10 degrees.

Use a slotted spoon to slide the donuts into the hot oil, and fry on 375 until puffy (about 2 minutes per side).

When the donuts are done frying, transfer them to a wire rack, or a plate with a paper towel on it to absorb any excess oil.

While you continue frying your donuts, you can also start working on your {delicious} caramel glaze.

Oh by the way, I'm a mulitasker if you haven't picked up on that. Just work at whatever pace is most comfortable for you :)

In a large frying pan over medium heat, melt the butter substitute, brown sugar, almond milk, and vanilla.

Once it completely melts, let it sit on the stove for about a minute more until it starts to bubble.

In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with 2 tbsp water until you have a pourable paste-like liquid. 

While still whisking the caramel, pour the cornstarch and water into it. Whisk until it is completely combine, and allow it to stay on the stove for a minute more.

Remove the pan from the heat and chill it for 20 to 30 minutes.

After it has cooled a bit, beat 1/2 cup of powdered sugar in at a time until it is completely combined. Make sure it isn't lumpy!

*I left the caramel in the frying pan while I beat it so it would be easier to glaze the donuts*

Wait until the donuts are cooled, and then dip them into the glaze. Set them to drip back on the wire rack. There should be enough glaze to dip each of the donuts twice. 

Now enjoy as many donuts as you want because you are amazing and you deserve it.