Healthier Jam Thumbprint Cookies
This month has been INSANE. We've all seen the memes - January felt like it lasted 2018287324 days and let me be the first to say THANK GOD it's over. I feel like it was one things after another - things going wrong at work, won't weather, days just not being long enough to get everything - or seemingly anything - done. Luckily, amongst the chaos, I had a little bit of a plan: #BeYourBestBabe2019! I loved creating this challenge with Nathalie, my partner on the Real Good Podcast, and I loved participating in it even more! The challenge was broken down into 4 weeks, each week with a different focus, and each filled with simple and fun daily challenges designed to help the crazy month be as productive as possible. It was fun, and even though the month flew by, I feel like I can actually look back and realize I had a pretty successful month!
One thing I did several times this month, no checklist reminders needed? Made batches of homemade cookies! It's one of my favorite ways to decompress and satisfy a sweet tooth. And this past month? I made some REALLY great batches of cookies. And after posting about them on my IG, I got tons of requests for recipes! I'm still working on my super duper chocolate chunkers but I've damn near perfected these Healthier Jam Thumbprint Cookies and it was time to share. They're buttery, soft, and full of flavor, and then topped with your favorite jam! Even better? I made them nearly entirely sugar-free! You can always add more sweetness if you like, but I'm all about adding less sugar so I can eat more cookies - ya know what I mean?! Recipe below, babes!
2 1/4 cups AP flour
2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter (vegan or regular, unsalted), softened to room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener (or you can always just use stevia or brown sugar here, instead! You've got options. 😊)
1 large egg yolk (or 2 tablespoons mashed banana, to keep 'em vegan)
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup jam or preserves of your choice (I like raspberry but could only find seedless for this batch)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch and salt.
In a larger mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until creamy. Add in the egg yolk or banana and vanilla, and beat until well combined. Begin to pour the dry ingredients into the larger, wet ingredient mixing bowl about a cup at a time, mixing consistently until a uniform dough forms. Chill dough for 20-30 minutes.
Scoop 1 inch balls of dough two-inches apart onto your cookie sheet and gently press your thumb into the center to make a small indent for the jam to sit comfortably inside of. Once your cookies have all been pressed, scoop your 1/3 cup of jam into a small bowl and microwave for about 20 seconds to soften. Mix the jam after warming and gently scoop hefty teaspoon-sized amounts into the thumbprint in each cookie, filling to the brim.
Place the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 10-11 minutes, or until bottoms and edges are beginning to turn golden brown in color. Remove the cookies from the oven and place them onto a cooking rack. Once completely cooled, enjoy immediately or wrap and save for up to three days!
This recipe has quickly become a favorite in our house - which is funny, because jam-filled cookies were literally my least favorite for YEARS! I don't know if I'd just had too many fig newtons forced on me as a kid or if the jam my cookies were being topped with just wasn't as up to par, but I never liked them until now! These ones are soft, buttery, and topped with the perfect amount of sweet jam on top. I am super guilty of eating a half-batch in a day. Thank goodness they're HEALTHIER!
If you're interested in following along with the #BeYourBestBabe2019 challenge, head here and print out the challenge calendars. You can do them week by week or all at once - just enjoy the extra productivity and see if it makes you feel like you're being YOUR best babe this month!
Organic Funfetti Cookies for my 28th Birthday!
I have always been the kind of person who LOVED birthdays. I would celebrate as long as possible - the whole month if you'd let me! If you listened to the latest episode of my podcast, you know that I'm a total PITTA and that fire in my belly keeps me craving attention, so it makes sense that I would love a day centered around celebrating ME! I've had a pretty great last few birthdays, but this year totally snuck up on me. I have been so insanely busy between the blog, podcast, and new promotion at the yoga studio (studio assistant what whatttt) that I literally didn't realize until just a few days ago when my husband reminded me that we needed to figure out how we were going to celebrate. YIKES! (I must be getting old guys - I'm already forgetting my OWN birthday! 🙈)
It's the Thursday before my Saturday birthday and I still don't know how I want to celebrate (taking suggestions!) but I DID know what I wanted to eat on my birthday. I love sweets but I'm all about that low-sugar life, so I created the birthday cookie cookie of my dreams - an Organic Funfetti Sugar Cookie that hold its shape when it bakes, so you can cookie cut them into whatever cute shapes you like! They're light, sweet, and the PERFECT cookie to splurge on for your birthday - because you can eat as many as you want without having to worry about your sugar intake! Also it's your damn birthday and SOMEONE better make you cake, so let these be your at home treat. I had 6 yesterday. No regrets - bring on 28!
Turning 28 isn't a huge milestone, but 27 was a pretty great year for me. I had a lot of great experiences, made new forever friends, found some workouts that have kept me sane + feeling confident about my health and my body, and did some serious traveling. I made so many great memories and proved to myself how much growth I could experience in a year. 26 was hard, 27 was great, and I expect 28 to be filled with even more opportunities and positive memories! These cookies totally fit for who I am now - obsessed with eating as many cookies as possible as healthfully as possible! A few years ago I would've made a huge, triple layer cake or fudge-filled brownies but these days I'm all about indulging in a guilt-free way - and these cookies rival any cookie with 3x the sugar, guaranteed. I didn't write any long words of wisdom about this birthday, but a few years ago I did come up with 25 Things I'd Learned at 25 and they still stand pretty true. Maybe I'll make another list at 30. For now - let's bake, babes!
2 1/4 cup organic all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup non-dairy butter
1 cup monk fruit sweetener (I used this brand, but you can always use sugar or your fave sub instead. If you choose to use stevia, I would recommend only subbing half the amount for taste.)
1 egg (or vegan egg substitute - a chia egg works great here!)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sprinkles
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium sized mixing bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a separate, larger mixing bowl beat the butter and sugar (or sweetener) together until fluffy. Add in the egg and the vanilla and beat until the mixture becomes fluffy again. Pour in the dry ingredient mixture, continuously mixing until a dough forms.
Pour in the sprinkles and use your hands to mix them evenly into the dough. Refrigerate the dough, covered, for 20-30 minutes. While the dough chills, lay out some parchment paper and grab a rolling pin. When your dough is ready, roll it out to about 1/4 inch thickness and use a cookie cutter to cut out your favorite shapes.
Place cut cookies onto a lined baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool before enjoying. Leftovers save well in a sealed container for up to a week - if they last that long!
Lemon Sugar Cookie Cake
My favorite way to celebrate any holiday is with FOOD, and this 4th of July I wanted to crack into some of that summer nostalgia from when I was a kid with one of my favorite summertime treats! I finally called Mom to get the recipe she always used to make for us when we were kids; She would always make a giant cookie layer base, slather it in frosting and cover it in fresh fruit. Usually a summertime snack for it's portability and use of that fresh, seasonal fruit I’ve been craving this Lemon Sugar Cookie Cake ever since I made it a few weeks ago! I simplified and slightly health-ified her original recipe and got something I think is even better. Sorry Mom!
I shared the simplified recipe on IG when I made it, but wanted to share an easier-to-read, printable version for all my regular readers here, too. It really is the perfect, easy, crowd pleasing summer dessert! Would love to hear your thoughts if you try it - and my Mama would, too! Scroll on down for the recipe and some notes before you bake, too. Enjoy, babes!
COOKIE BASE RECIPE
2 1/4 cups AP flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (non-dairy) butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup monk fruit sweetener*
1 egg (vegan if you prefer)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
Strawberries, blueberries + raspberries for topping
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
8 oz. plain, non-dairy cream cheese
2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
Zest of half a lemon
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Maple syrup and/or monkfruit sweetener to taste
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line a round pan (or baking sheet) with parchment paper.
In a large sized bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. In a smaller, separate bowl combine the sugars, egg, vanilla, lemon juice + lemon zest.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry, mixing completely. Once the dough has formed, roll it evenly into a round shape on the pan, about 1/4-1/2 inch thick.
Bake for 10 minutes or until edges begin to brown, then let cool completely. While the cookie layer cools, mix the frosting and chop up the fruit. Once cool, frost the cookie like a pizza and top with fruit. Enjoy babes!
You can use real butter, eggs and milk here if you prefer. I adapted this recipe from my Mom's original which did in fact use the original versions with great success.
Leftovers last up to 2 days on the counter and up to 4 days in the fridge, but - like most things in life - is best enjoyed fresh.
*You can also sub the monk fruit sweetener for stevia or more real sugar.
Nearly Sugar-Free Muddy Buddies
The Holidays are in full swing and I've been feeling ALL the stress! Between present buying, prepping for the New Year - and my Husband's 30th birthday immediately after, writing my 2nd cookbook manuscript and preparing for yoga auditions at my favorite studio just after the New Year - I've been busy! But we all are this time of year. Wrapping up everything in 2017 up nicely before tearing into the giant gift that is 2018!
Because I'm a totally stress eater, I try to help myself out during this crazy time of year by NOT having tons of sweet treats around to pick at. It's only trouble if I do! That said, it just isn't the Holidays if there isn't some type of snackable chocolate something on the counter! This year I decided to reform my normal chocolate Muddy Buddies recipe and make them something I could snack on - guilt and nearly sugar-free - through Christmas. So I subbed out the powdered sugar for a homemade, sugar-free, monkfruit version, instead! Muddy Buddies are a totally Holiday classic in this house and one of my Husband's favorite things to snack on while watching Christmas movies. The only sugar in these babies are the trace amounts in the cereal and dark chocolate chunks we melted down for coating! We used EnjoyLife's Mega Chocolate Chunks for this recipe since they're allergen-free (and I have all the allergies), but you can use whatever chocolate makes your heart happy. Let's make some muddy buddies!
9 cups Rice Chex (they're vegan - but you can use whatever kind or brand you prefer!)
2 cups powdered monkfruit sweetener OR 1 cup regular monkfruit sweetener (we used Lakanto - but you can also use powdered stevia or even regular powdered sugar here if you prefer)
1 cup vegan chocolate chunks (we used this brand)
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup vegan butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a large bowl, measure and set aside the cereal.
If you're using prepared powdered sugar, go on to the next step. If you've got regular monkfruit sweetener and need to make it in into powdered 'sugar', simply place 1 cup of sweetener into a blender or food processor and process for 1-2 minutes, until the sugar has pulverized into a finer, powered sugar. It should double in size using this method. Set aside.
Using the double boiler method (or a microwave!), melt together the chocolate chips, peanut butter, vegan butter and vanilla until creamy, stirring consistently. Pour the melted chocolate mixture over the cereal and use a wooden spoon to gently toss and stir until the cereal is evenly coated. Pour the powdered sugar evenly over the mixture and continue to use the wooden spoon to toss and stir the mixture until the chocolate-coated chex are all evenly covered in a fine layer of powdered sugar. Enjoy or save in air-tight container on the counter or in the fridge for up to a week. Enjoy!
If you prefer regular sugar here, go ahead and use it.
If you find another sugar substitute you prefer, use that instead. I can't guarantee the quantity exchange will be 1:1, but a little taste test should help guide you if you're unsure.
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble
Guys! We're back up and running. ICYMI, the site was down for a couple of day because we're working on a transitioning the blog to a new name. You may've already seen the sneak peek on instagram, but if you haven't, we'll be soon be ditching the name Fettle Vegan and calling the blog Good Saint. More on that in my next post! If you're not already subscribed to our weekly newsletter, now might be a great time - so you don't miss a thing when we switch over! For now, I'm bringing you a sweet, seasonal treat: Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble. This crumble is the BEST. Is it yummy, it is sugar-free, and it is so simple it'll blow your mind. Oh, and did I mention gluten-free? And soy-free? It ticks those boxes too, babes. It's a baked good you can feel good about eating and will feel good about eating because it tastes damn delicious. I did good, guys. And I think you're gonna be really proud of me.
I needed a sweet, simple dessert. I've been BUSY lately! With the site changes and the wedding - posts on THAT coming soon, too! - plus the honeymoon, and now my 200-hour yoga teacher training at CorePower, I've been exhausted lately and playing constant catch-up. I just don't have time for 15-ingredient layer cakes these days! Just 10 ingredient crumbles. 😉 I worked hard to keep the ingredients simple and whole, because I'm all about eating real, wholesome foods these days. Nothing processed, no preservatives, no extra sweeteners. It's summer - you don't need that shit. Whether you pick your own sweet strawberries (I MISS doing that in Maine every year!) or just buy 'em on sale at the grocery store, the secret here is really the rhubarb. It gives such a great tart balance to this easy dish. I highly recommend adding a dollop of coconut whip before serving - it's the perfect topping. Recipe linked below - so let's get cooking!
2 cups fresh rhubarb, sliced
4 heaping cups fresh strawberries, chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 cup almond flour
2 cups GF oats
1/4 cup monk fruit sweetener (or sweetener of your choice - sugar works if you're into it, and the ratio is 1:1!)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup softened coconut oil
2- 15 oz. cans whole fat coconut milk
1-3 tablespoons non-dairy milk
1-3 tablespoons monk fruit sweetener (again, use your fave sweetener here if you prefer!)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9x13 inch glass baking dish and set it aside.
In a large mixing bowl, toss your strawberries and rhubarb in the lemon juiced chia seeds until evenly coated. In a separate mixing bowl combine the almond flour, GF oats, flour, monk fruit sweetener, baking powder and salt. Add in the softened coconut oil and stir until crumbs begin to form.
Pour the strawberry rhubarb mixture evenly into the greased glass baking dish. Top with the oat + almond flour crumble mixture, distributing evenly. Put the crumble into the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes, until crumble topping becomes golden and berry mixture bubbles. Remove from oven and let cool completely before serving. Or eat it straight from the pan while you watch the Bachelorette. I'm not here to judge!
To prepare the coconut whip, simply scoop the firm solids from the cans of coconut milk into a large mixing bowl and toss in the sweetener, milk, and vanilla and whip with beaters until fluffy. Scoop onto your crumble and enjoy!
Leftovers - both the crumble and the ship - stay well, wrapped separately, in the fridge for up to a week.
To reheat, cover with foil and reheat at 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes, or until warm in the middle.