Raspberry Sweetheart Cookies

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Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! 

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Whether you have a honey to celebrate with or not, you need these cookies in your life.

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I consider them one of those special “once a year” treats. 

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Of course, they go well with anything. What cookie doesn’t? After any meal, with a cup of tea or coffee, or as your afternoon treat.

You’re worth it! 

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And as always with my recipes, they are not complicated to make. I like simple, delicious, beautiful food. It should taste as wonderful as it looks and be satisfying all around. 

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You won’t be disappointed. 

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Happy Valentine’s Day! xo

Raspberry Sweetheart Cookies

*Dough will need to be chilled before baking

2/3 Cup Dairy Free Butter ( I use soy free Earth Balance)

2/3 cup Vegetable Shortening ( I use Spectrum)

4 cups of Mama’s Almond Blend All Purpose Gluten Free Flour plus more for rolling (In your local gluten free isle or online. I cannot rave enough about this flour!)

2 Eggs

1 1/2 Cups of Sugar (White or Coconut…coconut will make your cookies brown)

2 Tbsps. of Almond Milk (Could also use rice, coconut, or hemp.)

2 tsp. of Double Acting Baking Powder

1 1/2 tsp. of Xanthan Gum

2 tsp. of Pure Vanilla

1/2 tsp. of Sea Salt

Raspberry Jelly

Powdered Sugar Frosting (Powdered sugar, dairy free butter, pure almond extract, and a tiny bit of water or milk)

Beat butter and shortening in mixer until light and fluffy. Add about half the flour, the eggs, sugar, milk, baking powder, xanthan gum, vanilla, and salt. Beat until thoroughly combined and beat in remaining flour. Divide dough in half and place on plastic wrap. Press into discs, cover completely, and chill for at least 2 hours. This dough will last in the fridge for several days and I also like to wrap it well and freeze it to have on hand. It will last for months in the freezer. 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

After the dough has chilled remove one disc out of the fridge at a time. Flour your surface and roll out. Cut into shapes of your liking and place them on parchment covered baking sheets. Bake for 8-9 minutes or until the edges are just slightly beginning to turn golden. 

Cool completely. Add about 1 teaspoon of jelly to each cookie and top with another cookie. Drizzle with powdered sugar frosting. 

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Double Dipped Coconut Treasures

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Do you have any plans for the big day tomorrow? Or do you dread it and stay home waiting for it to go away? I’d say the like/dislike factor of Valentine’s Day is about 50/50 from the people I’ve talked to.

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I don’t put too much hype around certain holidays. I’d say Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter, are the biggies around here. Birthdays of course, are also very special. Valentine’s Day may or may not involve gifts, and most of the time, we’re just happy to hang out together. We’re typically easy going that way, and that’s how I like it!

I’ve never had a problem with Valentine’s Day, that I can remember. Any holiday that gives me an excuse to celebrate with food and candy can’t be all that bad. Even if you don’t have a significant other at this point in time, surely there’s always some type of love in your life to celebrate even if it’s furry love. And who needs a holiday for an excuse to eat chocolate?

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These Double Dipped Coconut Treasures are a lightly adapted version of Predominantly Paleo’sPaleo Almond Delights’. They are delicious. She’s right, they are better than Almond Joy Bars. I’m willing to bet they’re also better for you because they’re made with real ingredients and no chemicals.

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They’re extremely simple to make with ingredients that most of us have on hand.

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And if you need them quickly for a forgotten gift, a family treat, to say “I Love You”, or just because you’re having a craving, they’re ready to eat in about 30 minutes if you use your freezer to speed things up.

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Had my brain not been so clouded and excited at the prospect of having something resembling a candy bar, I would have done one thing differently.

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I would have wrapped the coconut mixture around the almonds, rather then stacking them when I did the double dipping.

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Either way, it didn’t change the taste, I just think they maybe would have been more aesthetically pleasing and I think I would have liked the almonds dispersed a bit. Maybe even chopped throughout? But that’s really neither here nor there, you can make these a variety of different ways with almost an endless amount of add ins and ingredients. You can also make them any size or shape you like. This will be a great recipe for future experimentation.

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Double Dipped Coconut Treasures

1 Cup of Shredded, Unsulphured Unsweetened Coconut (I used Bob’s Red Mill)

1 Tablespoon of Coconut Flour

3 Tablespoons of Raw Honey

1/4 Cup of Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil

Pinch of Fine Sea Salt

Whole Raw Activated Almonds (About 10)

1 Bag of Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips

1 Tablespoon of Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. Add the Tablespoon of Coconut Oil and the chocolate chips to a glass bowl and place over a small sauce pan filled halfway with water. (Or use a double broiler) Heat the water and melt the oil and chocolate slowly. Don’t over heat.

In a medium bowl combine the shredded coconut, honey, coconut oil, coconut flour and a generous pinch of sea salt. Stir thoroughly until all ingredients are wet.

Using about a Tablespoon or so at a time of the coconut mixture, form miniature candy bars on the baking sheet. Place an almond firmly on the top (or, press in to the middle of the bar and cover). Set sheet in freezer for about 10 minutes to set the filling.

Remove from the freezer and using kitchen tongs, dip the candy bar into the melted chocolate. Wiggle it around to release any excess chocolate, then place back onto the parchment paper. Add another almond to the top if you’d like. Once they’ve all been dipped and extra almonds added, set the baking sheet back in the freezer for another 5-6 minutes or until the chocolate is set. Cut a fresh piece of parchment, set aside.

Remove the candy bars from the freezer. Remove them on the parchment from the baking sheet. Cover the baking sheet with a fresh piece of parchment and dip the chocolates again. Wiggle off excess chocolate before setting on baking sheet. Place back in the freezer for another 5-6 minutes or until chocolate is set.

Cupid’s Breakfast Salad

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~ Happy Valentine’s Day! ~ 

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This Valentine’s Day we’re thinking outside the chocolate box. Cupid is no dummy when it comes to starting the day off right. He has plenty of opportunities to eat sweets and goodies, but knows he’ll need to stay healthy and full of energy for the task at hand.

After all, being the symbol of love and master of attraction and affection is no easy task.

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Cupid’s Breakfast Salad is balanced beautifully with all kinds of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and healthy fats.

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There’s even a little bacon on top to add a bit of salty, smokey, goodness.

Cupid knows that bacon spells L-O-V-E.

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His dressing is made with tart cherry juice, the deep and romantic color of the heart. Tart cherries reduce inflammation, lower the risk of stroke, fight that tummy jiggle, and are loaded with melatonin to give a peaceful start to the day.

Cupid wants only what’s best for you when it comes to matters of the heart and health.

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“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” ―Virginia Woolf

Cupid’s Breakfast Salad

2 Cups of Packed Organic Spinach, stems removed

1 Organic Red Chard Leaf, stem removed and sliced

1/2 of an Organic Avocado, cubed

1/2 of a Small Organic Apple, cubed

1 Organic Clementine, peeled with a knife, sectioned

4-5 Organic Strawberries, cubed, plus some for garnish

1 Slice of Organic Bacon Cooked Crisp, crumbled

4 Organic Pecans, sliced lengthwise

1 Medjool Date, seed removed and diced

Toss all ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl.

Cupid’s Tart Cherry Dressing

4 teaspoons of Organic Lemon Juice

3 teaspoons of Pure Maple Syrup

2 Tablespoons of Avocado Oil

1/2 Cup of Organic Tart Cherry Juice

2 1/2 Tablespoons of So Delicious Greek Style Raspberry Coconut Milk Yogurt

Grated Rind of 1/2 of a Lemon

Pinch of Sea Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper

Rind of 1 Lemon

Place all ingredients in a jar and screw lid on tightly. Shake until emulsified.

Sugar Cookie Dough

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Frosted sugar cookies are by far my all time favorite cookie. In fact, when I make them they are not allowed to sit on my counter the next day. I just don’t have the willpower to stay away from them. They call to me, and I’m telling you, every single time I eat one, it’s just as delicious as the first. It’s impossible to tire of them. They are a soothing, comforting, happy little food that is so amazingly diverse. You can frost them, sprinkle them with sugar, make them into little pockets filled with preserves, you can sandwich them together with luscious fillings, cut them into a million different shapes and sizes, dip them in chocolate, sprinkle them with toasted coconut, and give them as beautiful gifts. Honestly, the list is endless.

So needless to say, I was overjoyed when I figured out how to tweak an old Betty Crocker recipe and make it gluten-free and dairy free! No more searching through mixes at the grocery store and having grainy, weirdly textured, odd smelling cookies coming out of my oven. I flatten this dough into discs, wrap it in plastic and keep it in my freezer so I have it on hand whenever I need it. It only takes about 30 minutes or so to thaw.

Gluten Free/Dairy Free Sugar Cookie Dough

2/3 cup dairy free butter (I’ve used Soy Free Earth Balance in the tub or Earth Balance Vegan Sticks)

2/3 cup vegetable shortening ( I use Crisco)

4 1/2 cups Mama’s Almond Blend All Purpose Gluten Free Flour plus more for rolling (In your local gluten free isle or online. I cannot rave enough about this flour!)

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 Tbsps. almond milk (Could also use rice, soy, or hemp.)

2 tsp. baking powder

1 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum

2 tsp. pure vanilla

1/2 tsp. sea salt

Beat butter and shortening in mixer on medium to high for 30 seconds until fluffy and combined, scraping down bowl once.

Add about half of the flour, the eggs, sugar, milk, baking powder, xanthan gum, salt, and vanilla. Beat until thoroughly combined. Beat in remaining flour.

Divide in half and flatten to discs, cover with plastic wrap and chill dough overnight before using.  Or freeze for later use.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Flour surface where you’re going to roll the dough out (Mama’s Flour). Let the dough rest on the counter for about 15 minutes if it came out of the fridge, 30 if it came out of the freezer. Roll out half of the dough at a time. Cut into desired shapes and place on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake for 8 minutes and let rest on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack. Decorate as desired when completely cooled.