crunchy oatmeal and dark chocolate chip cookies

I saw these Cookies the other day on A Bountiful Kitchen’s Instagram feed.  I was intrigued, probably because I had some leftover corn flakes from a Christmas recipe I made a few weeks ago.  These cookies are basically a twist on oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.  The addition of corn flakes and coconut gives them a little crunch that really elevates these cookies into something special.  I knew I could make a few changes to the original recipe to make them a teeny bit lighter.  I decreased the amount of sugar by 1/2 cup (and they were still very sweet), swapped out all purpose flour for whole wheat pastry flour, and used dark chocolate chips.  I also made 32 cookies instead of 22 and they were still a very good size cookie.  Now, I know they aren’t good for you and are still a treat but I always like making little changes when I can to decrease the amount of sugar and increase the amount of fiber in our foods.  It’s those small changes over time that have helped change our palate in a positive way.

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Peppermint and Dark Chocolate dipped pretzel sticks

I love to cook but that love does not extend to baking. I know many people look forward to the holidays because of all the yummy baking they get to do.  I am definitely not one of those people  Maybe it’s because after I bake I spend the next several days trying NOT to eat what I baked.  🙂  I much prefer to make simple sweets that don’t involve a lot of actual work.

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dark chocolate peanut clusters

Several weeks ago the boys noticed a picture of peanut clusters on Pinterest and they declared that we needed to make them for an after dinner treat.  (Yes, we do scroll through pictures of food on Pinterest together.  :-))  You may have noticed that I have a special affinity for dark chocolate and nuts so of course I was completely on board with their request.  The recipe they saw was actually made in the crockpot and used milk chocolate.  But I knew I could make it without having to pull down our crockpot and I could use dark chocolate, which would make it a teeny bit more healthy.  This may be the simplest recipe I have ever shared.  And it’s delicious too!

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pumpkin ice cream2

If I’m in charge of deciding what’s for dessert I will almost always pick ice cream.  I love just about any type and if it has a topping or something mixed in, even better!  Since I also love making foods at home I decided to ask for an ice cream maker for my birthday a few years ago.  It has been one of my favorite gifts.  We’ve tried out all sorts of recipes and every one of them has been delicious.  Recently I decided to attempt homemade pumpkin ice cream.  I love pumpkin baked goods and desserts so it seemed like the natural flavor to create.  It turned out just as good as I thought it would and the whole family agreed.

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dark chocolate granola cups2

My husband and kids were out of town for a few days last week so naturally I needed to make myself some sort of treat to enjoy all to myself.  I normally have to sneak my little treats if I don’t want to share but when they are gone I get to eat them out in the open with no one stealing bites.  🙂  I pretty much never make a treat that doesn’t involve dark chocolate and something crunchy.  Usually it’s nuts but this time I decided to use granola.  I’ve dropped some chocolate chips into my granola before so I knew it would make a good combination.  I also added in a little coconut because coconut added to melted chocolate always tastes great!

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PB Chocolate Chip Fudge Bites

I have a minor addiction to chocolate and peanut butter.  Add coconut and/or coconut oil and I’m there!  These little fudge bites are so good.  They are a perfect snack or “healthy” dessert.  You can make them healthier by using a natural peanut butter with nothing added, just peanuts.  I had to ration them so I wouldn’t eat them all in one sitting!  If you don’t have chocolate don’t let that stop you from making them.  I made some without the chocolate and they were still delicious – just smooth and creamy peanut buttery goodness.  I think the combination of peanut butter (or other nut butter) and coconut oil is such a great mix for a little treat because it provides you with protein, fiber and healthy fat, a perfect combo for a filling and satisfying snack.

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If you are looking for a healthy treat look no further!  These chocolate crunch cups are full of healthy fats and protein and if you chop the nuts finely enough they taste like a healthy version of a Nestle crunch bar.

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Ingredients:

1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup natural nut butter (I used half peanut butter and half almond butter)
2 oz of a dark chocolate bar (or 1/3 cup chocolate chips)
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups raw nuts and/or seeds (I used macadamia nuts, cashews, and walnuts because that’s what I had on hand)
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut

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