Cowboy Cookies

These cookies have a little bit of everything… kind of like a chocolate chip cookie on steroids.

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Their name is a mystery, but they are certainly chock full of everything you want… all packed into one amazing cookie! They have crunch from the corn flakes, chewiness from the oats, sweetness from the dried fruit, and obviously plenty of chocolate.

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My dad originally saw this recipe on our local PBS station cooking show with Chris Fennimore.  His methodology for these cookies was to use ingredients based on what you have on hand that day.  So we added in our favorites and the results were delicious! Feel free to substitute any other dried fruit or cereals you have laying around the kitchen. You can’t go wrong with these cowboy cookies.

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Cowboy Cookies

2 sticks of butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons brandy
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups oats
3 cups corn flakes
4 oz (1/2 cup) dates, chopped
1 cup raisins
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350F. Cream butter with both sugars until smooth and creamy.

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Add eggs, vanilla, and brandy and mix till smooth.

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Add flour, baking powder, and baking soda and mix. It is going to get thick, so you will want to stir in the oatmeal, corn flakes, dates, raisins and chocolate chips.

Form into 1 1/2 inch balls and bake on a cookie sheet for 10 minutes at 350F.

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Almond Butter Trail Mix Cookies (Gluten free)

After a few adaptations and some serious taste testing with friends, I’m pretty sure this is the perfect healthy, gluten free cookie.

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Oat flour is such a wonderful substitute for wheat flour, so you won’t miss it at all. These guys have received the seal of approval from gluten and non-gluten eaters alike.

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I’ve made them 3 times in the past two weeks for one of my dearest friends who happens to be gluten intolerant. As soon as we’ve demolished every single cookie, it’s only right that I go back to the kitchen and whip up another batch. They’re really that good.Sarahs almond butter trail 0006

Wonderful at any time of the day, you can crumble some onto yogurt or into almond milk for breakfast or enjoy as a little snack or dessert.

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They are busting open with hearty oats, healthy fats from nuts, and a little bit of chocolate to keep us all happy. I hope you enjoy:)

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Almond butter trail mix cookies
recipe inspired by OhLadycakes

1/2 cup almond butter
2 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted
6 Tablespoons honey (agave or maple syrup would also work)
1/3 cup almond milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups oat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup oats
2 Tablespoons cacao nibs
1/2 cup nuts (pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, etc.)
1/4 cup dried cranberries/cherries
1/4 cup chopped dark chocolate

In a large bowl, whisk together the almond butter, coconut oil, honey, and almond milk. Once combined, add the oat flour, baking soda, and salt until a thick dough forms. Now, add in your extras – oats, cocoa nibs, nuts, dried fruit, and chopped dark chocolate – and mix until evenly distributed. Wrap the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate your dough for at least an hour.

Drop the dough onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 325F for 15-18 minutes. I usually yield about 12 cookies. Once they are lightly browned but still a little soft on the inside, remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Store cookies in an airtight container. They keep even longer in the fridge!

Texas Sheet Cake

I don’t know where my mom acquired this recipe, but it is definitely a family favorite. The sheet cake is not as dense as a brownie but when combined with the decadent chocolate glaze, it delivers a solid chocolate hit. Plus, no mixer or bowls required. All you need is a 3 quart pot and a jelly roll pan to create this fast, simple, and delectable dessert!

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8 oz (2 sticks) butter
1 cup water
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoons salt
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sour cream

Preheat your oven to 375F. Combine the butter, water, and cocoa in a 3 quart sauce pan and bring to a boil.

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Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients.

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Pour the batter into a 11″ x 17″ jelly roll pan.  You’ll bake the cake at 375 F for 22 minutes, but start making the glaze when there are about 5-10 minutes left on the timer. We want to pour our icing on a HOT cake:)

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After 22 minutes, the cake should be finished baking. To make sure it’s done, press gently on the surface, and it should easily bounce back.

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4 oz (1 stick) cup butter
6 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup cocoa powder
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Combine the butter, milk, and cocoa in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients. (I don’t always use nuts because of friends/family nut allergies, but they do add a little crunch to the icing.)

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The cake should now be out of the oven. Pour the glaze on the cake while both the cake and glaze are hot. Spread the glaze quickly and evenly. Let it cool.

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You can cut the Texas sheet cake into bars about 1.5″ by 2.5″. Sometimes I will use a pizza cutter- put a little butter on the wheel and cut away to make swift and smooth cuts. Enjoy!

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Nona’s Chocolate Cake

Birthday cakes are really important to us. They might even be the most important birthday decision, and they are definitely the most delicious present. In our family, my Nona’s chocolate cake is often the birthday treat of choice. Boston Cream Pie or berry trifle sometimes make an appearance, but this cake celebrates birthdays with us at least a couple of times a year. We don’t know exactly where the recipe came from, but my Nona (grandmother) used to make it for me all of the time when I helped out at her house as a kid.

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While it may look like your average chocolate cake, this recipe is truly the ultimate. The cake is incredibly moist, perfectly chocolately, and destined to be paired with delectable cream cheese frosting. We have tired to make it in different types of pans, but the tube pan is the only one that does justice to our favorite chocolate cake. Continue reading Nona’s Chocolate Cake