The BEST lactation cookies

Lactation cookies: a reason to eat cookies? Yes, please!

As a breastfeeding working mom I had a little help in keeping my supply up: COOKIES!

When I was pregnant with Michael my love of chocolate chip cookies greatly intensified and I had at least one a day. My obsession didn’t end with pregnancy and my sweet craving — especially for chocolate chip cookies — has stuck with me ever since.

When Michael was still nursing, I tried a million recipes for lactation cookies — cookies with a purpose! An excuse to eat even more! — and my favorite one came from Milkin’ Mamas, but the link doesn’t work anymore, so I’m re-typing it here.

You know a recipe is legit if it’s posted in the lactation room at work and dated almost two years prior! Enjoy!

The BEST lactation cookies (Makes a lot of cookies! Bake extras to share with your lactation room friends! Freeze what you don’t want to bake now!)

  • 2 T flax seed meal
  • 4 T water
  • 1 c butter, soften to room temperature
  • 1.5 c firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, room teperature
  • 1 t vanilla (I usually use don’t measure and just add a steady pour…)
  • 2 c flour
  • 3-4 T brewer’s yeast
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t salt
  • 3 c rolled oats
  • 1 c chocolate chip (I prefer milk chocolate!)

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the flax seed meal and water. Let stand for 5 minutes. (This simulates an egg in texture for baking.)
  3. In a large bowl or mixer, beat butter and brown sugar.
  4. Add eggs and beat well.
  5. Add flax seed mixture and vanilla, beat well.
  6. Add dry ingredients: flour, brewer’s yeast, baking soda, and salt.
  7. Stir in oats and chocolate chips.
  8. Scoop rounded tablespoons onto baking tray.
  9. Bake 12 minutes.
  10. Cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooking rack.

Some notes: 

  • Use whole oats, not quick oats. Extra thick oats are even better.
  • Do not substitute the brewer’s yeast with regular yeast. These are not the same thing. Brewer’s yeast is available on Amazon, as well as at natural food stores.
  • Flax seed meal is available at Trader Joe’s and natural food stores.

I would make a large batch of cookie dough, bake the cookies I needed for the week and then freeze the extras, so I could bake them whenever I needed cookies.

Need other ideas for keeping your supply high? Read this post!

 

{2015} S’more Day

Guess what today is? NATIONAL S’MORE DAY!

Mallow Bits

Mallow Bits

This kid has given me an incredible sweet tooth and that sweet tooth has a sweet spot for s’mores. I’ve always been interested in the combination of marshmallow, chocolate and graham cracker but it’s been kicked up a notch the past few months.

If the weather cooperates, I’ll be making {another} batch of s’more chocolate chip cookies. Perhaps you’ll join me?

It’s quite easy: take your favorite chocolate chip cookie –or any cookie really — recipe (some suggestions here), add some of mini marshmallows or these “Mallow Bits” I found at Target, some crumbled graham crackers, and voila! S’MORE COOKIES.

The s'more cookies I made for a potluck last week.

The s’more cookies I made for a potluck last week.

Here are some other ways you can celebrate:

Want to celebrate with others? 
Celebrate S’Mores Day at Theo Chocolate, taking place on August 10 and 11 from noon to 5 p.m. at their factory in Fremont. Delicious homemade marshmallows and graham crackers combined with tasty Theo Chocolate makes for a very special treat.

Best part? $1 of every s’more goes to Food Lifeline and stopping hunger in Western Washington.

S'mores for TWO days at Theo!

S’mores for TWO days at Theo!

Want to celebrate with yourself? I have some ideas for you:
S’more bark
A triple chocolate s'more bark, perhaps?  

A triple chocolate s’more bark, perhaps?

S’more pizza

I love pizza. S'more + pizza = Sounds amazing!  

I love pizza. S’more + pizza = Sounds amazing!

S’more lasagna 

S'more lasagna? Yes, please.

S’more lasagna? Yes, please.

And some recipes for the full year? Thanks, Country Living! 

S'more recipes for the whole year... 

S’more recipes for the whole year…

I hope you have a very enjoyable s’more day! I know I will!

Nutella Chocolate Chip cookies

Nutella chocolate chip cookies

Nutella chocolate chip cookies

Normally, I’m all about the savory treats since Brandon has a big enough sweet tooth for the two of us combined. However, this little guy inside of me has an even bigger sweet tooth than Brandon does and suddenly now I do too.

My pregnancy has been relatively craving-free EXCEPT for my new cookie-a-day habit. Chocolate chip cookies have always been my favorite, and we recently discovered a recipe for cookies that is my new favorite: Nutella chocolate chip cookies.

I found these on Pinterest (of course) while researching a dish to bring my friend Stephanie after she delivered her son. On a whim I made a double batch.  We’ve enjoyed our portion so much that I’ve made them three times since!

I hope that you enjoy these as mush as I do!

Ooey, gooey dough!

Ooey, gooey dough!

Soft & Chewy Nutella White Chocolate Chip Cookies from Averie Cooks

YIELD: 11 large cookies

PREP TIME: 15 minutes

COOK TIME: about 13 minutes

TOTAL TIME: about 3 hours, for dough chilling

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (1 stick)
  • heaping 1/3 cup Nutella (stir well before adding)
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 bag white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS: (My version. Her version is here.)

  1. Mix the ingredients up until flour until creamed and well combined.
  2. Add flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Blend until mixed.
  3. Add chocolate chips and still until combined.
  4. Scoop your cookies and strategically place a few chocolate chips right on top of each mound of dough by taking chips from the underside and adding them on top.
  5. Chill the dough for at least 2 hours, up to 5 days. (I’m often tempted to not chill the dough because when I want cookies, I want them right then! I’ll try making these without chilling sometime soon and report back!)
  6. Preheat oven to 350F and bake for about 11 minutes, or until edges have set and tops are just set, even if slightly undercooked and glossy in the center; don’t overbake. Cookies firm up as they cool.
  7. Cookies will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 6 months. We really enjoy making a large batch of cookie dough and freezing them, so we can make just a few at a time.
Delicious Nutella cookies!

Delicious Nutella cookies!

Poop emoji meringue cookies

Poop emojiYou’re familiar with the poop emoji, right? It’s everywhere. I don’t think it’s possible to not know what it is. (In case you don’t know, that’s it over there on the right!)

Over the holidays I made a lot of meringue Christmas trees.

Meringue Christmas trees

Meringue Christmas trees

As I was making them, over and over again, the swirling really resonated and a genius idea came to me: these could look like piles of poop. Add a couple of sugar eyes and voila! The poop emoji.

So, I went about trying to make them. All meringue recipes are very similar: egg whites, sugar, vanilla, cream of tarter and color or flavoring. I followed this recipe for my poop emoji meringues. As opposed to coloring them brown, I used cocoa powder, so while they look like poop, they don’t taste like it.

I used a standard pastry bag and a #12 tip from Wilton for my emoji cookies. (I used a mid-sized star tip for the Christmas trees.) The raw meringue ‘dough’ is VERY sticky and you want to work fast, because once it warms up it falls flat. Carefully spoon the meringue into the bag and start swirling!

Swirl, swirl, swirl!

Swirl, swirl, swirl!

The base of the cookies are a little larger than a quarter. This is important to note, as this is where I my first batch of Christmas tree cookies faltered. If you want to do larger cookies, you’ll need a larger pastry tip.

More poop emoji cookies

More poop emoji cookies

Pipe the dough while swirling in a circle, on top of itself, leaving a little point at the top. There were a couple of cookies that weren’t perfect, but with the look I was going for, imperfect was perfect. The recipe makes about four dozen cookies, so if there are a couple of mess ups, it’s no big deal. Plus no matter how they look, they all taste the same, which is lightweight and delicious.

Poop emoji cookies

Poop emoji cookies

I added Wilton’s sugar eyes on about half of my meringues and that went over only so-so. The meringues cook for a long time at a low temperature. The sugar eyes aren’t supposed to be cooked at all, so they get a little wonky. If you want the perfect look, I would recommend adding the eyes after the meringues are cooked. I bought a white Wilton Sugar Sheet to use for the mouth, but my cookies were too small, as the eyes collapsed the base a bit during baking.

More cookies!

More cookies!

Adding the eyes makes them look a lot like emojis!

Adding the eyes makes them look a lot like emojis!

Big eyes for these little poops

Big eyes for these little poops

I hope this inspires you to make your own meringue emoji poop cookies. Once you do, share your experience here in comments!

 

 

{Wine Wednesday} Christmas cookie & wine pairing

‘Tis the night before Christmas and I’m excited! We’ve been celebrating the holidays all month (sorry for my lack of posting!) and the next few days promise to be full of great company, food, and wine!

We’re celebrating Christmas with my family this evening and I’ve been assigned dessert for our feast. Here’s a sneak peek of some of the goodies we’re bringing:

White Reese's peanut butter cup polar bears

White Reese’s peanut butter cup polar bears

Meringue Christmas trees

Meringue Christmas trees

Leave it to VinePair to read my mind and send this “favorite Christmas cookie and wine pairings” infographic. Sadly none of the cookies we’re bringing are on this list. But, I’m sharing it with you in hopes that you’ll be able to better pair your cookies and wine. 

Have a wonderful Christmas eve and check back tomorrow for our magical 2014 family Christmas photo!

14-christmas-cookies-wine-pairings

 

 

{Gone Pinning} Snacks for finals

GonePinning

School is not in my recent past or immediate future, but school is challenging for Brandon this quarter. Thankfully, he’s just finishing up the last week of the quarter and next week is FINALS week.

How can I help? With finals snacks! Where do I go to find some delicious, nutritious snacks for Brandon and his cohort? PINTEREST! In case you’re also supplying study treats over the next week, I’ve scoured the internet for some great ideas. Don’t worry, these are great for non-finals times too.

Snack combos

Snack combos

Chickpeas

Chickpeas

No bake energy bites

No bake energy bites

Chocolate raspberries

Chocolate raspberries

Power snacks

Power snacks

And maybe some not-so-healthy options…(via my “Sweets for my sweets” board)

Funfetti cookies

Funfetti cookies

S'more krispie treats

S’more krispie treats

Happy snacking! And good luck on finals!

{Wine Wednesday} Girl Scout cookie + wine pairings

WineWednesday

Yes, you read that right: Girl Scout cookie and wine pairings! A few of my favorite things coming together. 

I found this gem on Pinterest with a blog post with some great pairings:

Girl Scout Cookie and wine parings

From JDomb’s Travels:

Thin Mints

Ah, Thin Mints. I think those are just about everyone’s favorite. What’s not to love? Dark chocolate enveloping a mint flavored cookie. The great news is that wine and chocolate is a kick-ass pairing! Because of the mocha flavors and complex layers of spice in Syrah, it was made for pairing with dark chocolate.

Try 2009 Fable BOBBEJAAN Syrah $48 per bottle.

Samoas

Sweet and little bit salty, samoas are so addictive with the gooey caramel, toasted coconut, and of course chocolate. The slightly carbonated and lightly sweet Lambrusco compliments the rich Samoa very nicely. With earthy notes and flavors of red and black fruits, the mix of sweet and bubbly brings out the salinity of the Samoas.

Most Lambruscos cost less than $20. The best come from the Emilia Romagna region of Italy.

Trefoils

Not everyone’s favorite, but I love the buttery shortbread Trefoils. And a serving size is five cookies compared to just two Samoas for about the same amount of calories. Just saying… Sparkling wines and champagne cuts through the rich buttery flavor of the cookie. True champagnes can be expensive, but a fizzy Italian Prosecco is a match made in heaven with the Trefoil.

Try Ca’ Salina Rivete Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Brut $12 per bottle.

Tagalongs

Tagalongs, or Peanut Butter Patties, are the Girl Scouts’ version of the Reese Peanut Butter Cup. Like Samoas, they are a sweet and salty flavor combination. But is there a wine with a taste complexity that can handle peanut butter? A port from Portugal is the perfect pairing with peanut butter. Say that five times fast!

Try a 10-year old Tawny Port from Portugal’s Duoro Valley. You’ll find them for around $20 per bottle.

#WinewednesdayIn case you haven’t bought your cookies yet, you can find them in front of pretty much any grocery store, or you can visit the “find cookies” site or download the app. (My favorites are thin mints and tagalongs.)

You can also cook with Girl Scout cookies. Don’t believe it? Check out these posts from 2012, when “Girl Scout cookies” were an ingredient of the week:

Happy eating… and drinking! And most of all, happy Wine Wednesday!