Sugar Cookies & Salted Vanilla Icing

Sugar Cookies & Salted Vanilla Icing
makes about 3 dozen cookies

cookie dough -1 cup cashew meal
-1/2 cup coconut flour
-1/4 teaspoon baking soda
-1/4 teaspoon sea salt
-1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
-1/4 cup maple syrup
-2 teaspoons pure vanilla

-1 Tablespoon coconut oil, melted
-1 Tablespoon coconut milk
-1 teaspoon pure vanilla
-1/4 teaspoon sea salt
-1/2 cup powdered sugar

for cookie dough 1. Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients well. Add wet mixture to dry mixture and stir well until dough forms.
2. Roll cookie dough between two sheets of parchment paper to about 1/8-1/4" thick. Freeze 20-30 minutes. While it's freezing, preheat oven to 350F and line baking sheet(s) with parchment paper or non-stick liner.
3. Remove from freezer and peel off top layer of parchment paper. Cut out using cookie cutter. Gently transfer shapes to prepared baking sheet.
4. Bake in preheated oven 5-8 minutes, or until edges begin turning golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool at least 30 minutes before icing.
for icing
1. Combine all ingredients until thoroughly incorporated. To thicken, add more powdered sugar one tablespoon at a time; to thin, add more milk one teaspoon at a time.
to frost
1. Once cookies are completely cooled, frost with icing.

adapted from this recipe by Fit Foodie Finds
optional substitutions...
-cashew meal: almond meal
-maple syrup: coconut nectar, honey
-coconut milk: milk of choice

Mangia! Mangia!

Chocolate Mint Fudge

My sister's wedding is going down next year. It's going to be quite the bash.
Anyhow, I spent the weekend by her side for a day trip down to the fabric district in LA to meet up with an old friend she went to school with, and to bring home our weight in fabric. From waking up in the wee hours of the morning to catch a plane, to catching up with an old friend, to negotiating with one too many stubborn and passionate salesmen, and to our late night reflection on the priceless day with one of the greatest flight attendants I have ever had the pleasure of being hosted by, the day was certainly one for the books.

The following day, we visited the city by the bay to pick up her wedding band-a custom designed piece created by an ethically responsible company. On our way out, we did a bit more Christmas shopping before heading home to a warm fire and hot soup.

Along with raging fireplaces on chilly days, warm spices, and fresh baked goods, mint is one of my favorite flavors this time of year.
One of my favorite desserts used to be a mint chocolate fudge that my mom would make during the holidays. After a few years without it, I sprung a craving for the flavor and found this quick and easy recipe for a healthier version of the dessert. Needless to say, it did the trick.

Chocolate Mint Fudge
makes one 8x8" pan

-1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
-1/3 cup coconut oil
-1/3 cup cocoa or cacao powder
-1/4 cup pure maple syrup
-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
-1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
-pinch sea salt

1. Line 8x8" pan with parchment paper or lightly grease.
2. Process all ingredients in food processor until smooth.
3. Pour into prepared pan and chill in refrigerator at least a couple of hours.

store in refrigerator
adapted from this recipe by Oatmeal with a Fork
optional substitutions...
-maple syrup: sweetener of choice

Mangia! Mangia!