Dark Chocolate Peppermint Macaroons

Will and I just got back from a lovely wedding weekend in Memphis for our friends Alex and Johnathan.  Our flight back to Chicago this morning was early so we had most of the day off today to catch up on grocery shopping, weekend food prep, and of course an annual tradition – watching Elf! I was in the mood to do a little bit of baking so I whipped up a batch of these macaroons. Macaroons are so easy to make and are absolutely delicious. I put a different spin on these by adding some peppermint extract and drizzling in dark chocolate. Macaroons are a great little treat for those working to stay healthy over the holidays. They are a lot lower in calories than other cookies, plus you have the added benefit of some fiber from the flaked coconut. Macaroons are also a great DIY gift for family and friends – even those with food allergies since they are gluten-free!

Peppermint Macaroons 2

Peppermint Macaroons 3

Peppermint Macaroons

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Macaroons 

(Makes 12-15; Gluten-Free, Low Fat)

Ingredients:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Dash of salt
  • 1-2 ounces melted dark chocolate

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place egg whites in bowl and whip until they form soft peaks.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients except for chocolate to the whipped eggs. Stir gently until well mixed.
  4. Drop coconut mixture by teaspoons onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Bake for 15 minutes or until cookies begin to brown around the edges. Set on the counter to cool.
  5. Melt chocolate over the stove. Drizzle onto macaroons. Let cool and serve!
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Tasty Travel Treats

It has been a long time since I’ve whipped up a batch of cookies. I was so excited when this month’s Recipe Redux theme for road trip friendly snacks was announced. I knew I wanted to recreate these 3 ingredient banana oat cookies I’ve been seeing around the internet. I boosted the “healthiness” of these by tossing in some almonds, dark chocolate, and chia seeds! Although they are still a cookie, here are some of the great nutrients you are getting from each of the healthy ingredients!

  • Banana: Loaded with potassium which helps regulate blood pressure
  • Oats: Chock full of insoluble fiber which can help lower cholesterol
  • Almonds: Great source of fiber, protein, and vitamin E
  • Chia: One of the few foods that have Omega 3 fatty acids a heart healthy fat as well as lots of phosphorus and calcium for stronger bones
  • Dark Chocolate: Offers lots of antioxidants, a cancer fighting substance, without a bunch of sugar if you get the super dark version like I do!

It can be difficult to stay on track with your healthy eating on the road. I usually try to pack a few snacks with me like some fresh fruit, nuts, and some kind of muffin, granola bar or cookie like these. When you already have snacks along, you are less like to be tempted by Hostess cakes or Doritos at each pit stop. 🙂
Now, enough talk about these cookies, here is the recipe!
chocolate chia cookies
Chocolate Chia Oat Cookies
(Recipe loosely based on this one)
Makes 16 Cookies
Ingredients:

  • 2 very ripe bananas (think banana bread ones!)
  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 3/4 cup chopped dark chocolate pieces or chips
  • 1/3 cup chopped almonds
  • 1 cup oats

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mash banana well with a fork until there are no large chunks.
  3. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. Stir until mixed together well.
  4. Spoon dough onto a lightly oiled or parchment covered cookie sheet.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned and firm.

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10 Things Tuesday: Cookies, Abs, and Vegetarian Eats!

Strawberries
1. If you haven’t tried browning butter to use when baking, you have got to try it. After making Joy the Baker’s browned butter blueberry muffins once, I was totally sold! When you use browned butter, I think whatever you are baking gets a delicious caramel-like undertone to it. Yum! Now I need to try the browned butter chocolate chip cookie recipe she just posted!
2. Speaking of chocolate chip cookies, I just bookmarked Pinch of Yum’s guide to the perfect chocolate chip cookie. She offers a lot of great tips I never would have thought of before!
3. It seems like every time summer rolls around, everyone starts talking about their magic diet or exercise tips for obtaining rock solid, bikini ready abs. Although I don’t believe I’ll ever be able to obtain that 6-pack you see in the magazines (can anyone do that?!), I will be trying out this summer ab series from Fit Souffle for the fun of it!
4. I can’t wait to get some replacement pieces for the outdoor fire/grill pit at our apartment so we can start grilling up some great food – like these grilled peaches with strawberry basil sauce.
5. This lentil, sweet potato and spinach stew from Nutritionella has all of my favorite things in it!
6. I totally need to make this kale, black bean, and avocado burrito bowl from Cookie + Kate. I love simple, yet wholesome meals like this! (If only I could make mine as pretty as her is… sigh).
7. With only 6 ingredients, these chocolate peanut butter balls from Eat Yourself Skinny look like such a fun, easy snack!
8. Almost every time Will and I go out and order a salad it usually has arugula in it. At that point, I remember just how tasty it is when mixed with the right ingredients. It hasn’t shown up at the farmer’s market yet, so I might have to grab some at the store so I can make this yummy butternut squash and arugula salad from Eating Bird Food.
9. I always enjoy the recipes from Real Food, Real Deals because she not only makes healthy dishes, but she gives you an idea of how much they would cost to prepare. Her collection of thrifty vegetarian dinners this week is definitely worth checking out!
10. I secretly wish I could do this to one of the doorways of our apartment 🙂