Cook the Story: Chocolate Muesli Snowballs, A Holiday Cookie for a Cook, not a Baker

by Guest in Featured Articles, Recipes

I’m not a baker. I mean, I can follow a muffin recipe and end up with a tasty result. But, as much as I want to, I can’t seem to jump on the cupcake bandwagon. I don’t experiment with cookie doughs. I’ve never made a layer cake that wasn’t lopsided and I never worry about plonking a carton of store-bought ice cream in front of guests at dessert-time.

Given the choice between a brownie bake-off and a chilli cook-off, I’d choose the chilli every time. And I’d love every single taste test and chilli-perfecting tweak of the process.

All of this must lead you to understand why the holiday season fills me with dread. See, I’m a food blogger. That means that people expect good food when they walk through my door. If they come to my house over the holidays, they not only expect mouth-watering roast beef and cloud-like mashed potatoes floating on a river of rich gravy, they also expect a dazzling tray of cookies that shout “Holiday Cheer” with every bite.

I don’t want to disappoint them but I’d rather spend my precious holiday cooking time making cheesy toppings for canapés than fussing over those little bites of sweet. Over the years I have therefore come up with several recipes for festive and fun holiday cookies that are quick and easy to make. Here’s one of my favorites.

Chocolate Muesli Snowballs

These delicate snowballs are deceptively rich. And yet, they’re probably the healthiest choice on your dainty tray because of the whole grains and fibre in the muesli. Pretty, easy, delicious and healthy. Does a holiday treat get any better than that?

Makes 2 dozen cookies



Line a large baking sheet with aluminium foil. In a medium saucepan combine the sugars, butter, milk and cocoa powder. Warm them together over medium heat stirring continuously until they reach an even boil. Remove the pan from the heat and allow everything to hang out for a minute.

Smooth in the peanut butter. Add the vanilla. Stir. Then add the muesli and stir until everything is evenly slicked with chocolate.

Drop heaping teaspoons of the chocolate muesli onto the foil-lined baking sheet. Use your fingers to smoosh each chocolatey clump together a bit. Put the baking sheet full of cookies into the fridge until they cookies cold, at least 1 hour.

Pour the coconut into a small bowl. Set it aside. In the top of a double-boiler placed over simmering water, melt the white chocolate (no special equipment is required. Find out how to make a double boiler out of a bowl and a saucepan here).

Remove the cookies from the fridge. Holding a cookie top-side down by its edges, give it a shallow dip in the chocolate and them immediately dip the chocolate-coated side lightly in the coconut. Repeat the double-dip with all of the cookies, placing them in a single layer in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Before serving, chill the cookies in the fridge until the chocolate has set, at least 30 minutes. Store the cookies in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 7 days or in the freezer for 3 months.

Happy Holidays!

Now, let’s get back to those canapés….

Christine Pittman is the recipe developer, writer and photographer at Cook the Story, where it’s all about the story (except when it’s about the food!). She’s a Canadian stay-at-home mom who has somehow found herself living in Florida. Her recipes are simple, fresh and from scratch while her writing is simple, fresh and from her funny bone. You don’t want to miss any of her real food, real writing or flavorful pictures so be sure to follow her on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+!


© 2012. Christine Pittman. All Rights Reserved.

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Going Free: Gluten and Dairy Free Eggnog Logs

by Guest in Featured Articles, Gluten Free, Recipes

Each family has their own traditions and in my family eggnog logs was a cookie that was made each Christmas. In the past I have stuck to other people’s recipes when it comes to making cookies but I have started converting recipes on my own. This recipe is one that I am very happy with and when I shared a plate of them with a group at church they loved them. It wasn’t until the plate was almost clean that another group member who knows I am gluten free asked if they were. The group could not believe the cookies were gluten and dairy free!

Eggnog Logs

What you need for the cookie:

What you need for the frosting:

  • ¼ cup Dairy Free Butter Substitute, softened
  • 3 cups Powder Sugar, divided
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Rum Extract
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Cream, off the top of canned coconut milk
  • Ground Nutmeg


In a bowl cream the butter substitute and sugar together. Add the nutmeg, egg, vanilla and rum extract and mix until thoroughly combined. Sift the flours together and add to the egg mixture. Beat until flour is fully combined in the dough. Cover the dough and chill for at least one hour. Roll dough into ½ in round by 3 inches long logs and place onto a parchment paper covered cookie sheet. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until they are lightly brown. They will stay almost white looking and you will question if they are done but they are. Remove the cookies and let cool on wire racks.

To make the frosting, cream the butter substitute until it is light and fluffy. Add in 2 cups of powder sugar and extracts and mix well. Beat in the coconut cream and remaining cup of powder sugar until light and fluffy. Frost cookies and run a fork down the frosting to create the look of a log in the frosting. Sprinkle with ground nutmeg to finish the look of a log. Store in an air tight container.

Yield: 4 dozen cookies

Rebecca is the single mother to two wonderful boys and author of Going Free: Helping you move to a gluten and dairy free life! She and her two boys live a gluten, dairy and food coloring free life. Rebecca is always looking for easier ways to do things. When she first learned that we had to eliminate these foods, she did some research and cleaned out the cabinets and we hasn’t looked back. Sure there are days that she misses the convince of eating foods full of gluten but knows that in the long run they are all healthier for it. Find more articles and recipes from her at Going Free.

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Meatless Mondays: Millet Sunbutter Breakfast Cookies from Healthy Jasmine

by Guest in Featured Articles, Meatless Mondays, Recipes

For today’s meatless recipe, we thought we’d mix it up a bit with a fun breakfast idea. Of course, by the time you read this, breakfast will likely be a memory. Save it for next Monday or make these for a healthy on-the-go snack. We love the use of whole grain millet to add crunch and nutrition to these treats.

This recipe comes from Jasmine Jafferali, MPH, of Healthy Jasmine. Of herself, Jasmine writes, “I am a Lifestyle and Wellness Consultant specializing in gluten free/allergy free living as well as family and women’s health and fitness. My passion for health and well being stems from my own childhood.  While my love of cooking and baking from scratch came from my mom’s kitchen, I grew up drinking pop and hating veggies.  As a result, I was overweight and led an inactive lifestyle. It was my personal mission until I got involved in high school sports.  It is in my heart to raise my children to be healthy and happy. I want to help you do the same and to empower you to make realistic and healthy choices for you and your families.  You can find me at” 

Millet Sunbutter Breakfast Cookies

  • 1/3 cup Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 cup of Sunbutter
  • 3 Tbsp Date Sugar
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Powder
  • 1-2.5 oz jar of Pureed Prunes (baby food prune puree)

Dry Ingredients:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix and blend the wet ingredients.  Add baking soda and tapioca flour until well blended.  Slowly stir in quinoa flakes, millet and rice cereal with a wooden spoon until combined. Place by tablespoonfuls on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake at 350°F for 15-minutes.

Yields 18 cookies

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Sweet & Easy Vegan: Coconut, Almond and Chocolate Chip Cookies {Giveaway}

by AmandaCarter in Contests, Featured Articles, Recipes

Sweet & Easy Vegan is my kind of cookbook. I’ve been eating a dairy-free, egg-free diet for years, and at the time when I first started out on my vegan adventure, I was sure that cheese would be the thing I missed the most. Not so! As it turned out, I found myself craving traditional desserts more than anything else. Luckily I quickly discovered that vegan treats can be just as delicious— especially homemade vegan treats. I’ve since spent many a day in my kitchen experimenting with making vegan versions of my favorite desserts and baked goods, which can be rewarding when it works (sweet success!), but frustrating when it doesn’t (what a waste of time and ingredients!). That’s why I love Sweet & Easy Veganauthor Robin Asbell has already done that work for you, so you can jump right in and bake delectable vegan treats with confidence. When our friends at Chronicle Books offered us a copy to review, we knew that we just had to do a giveaway so we could share this gem with you.

In the book, Asbell offers over 80 sweet vegan recipes including cookies, cakes, tarts, fruit desserts, muffins and more. The author has also written a thorough introduction that covers the basics of vegan baking, discusses the benefits of whole grain flours and natural sweeteners, and includes a glossary of vegan baking ingredients. Sidebars sprinkled throughout the book give helpful tips on topics such as whole wheat pie crusts, alternative flours, and fair trade chocolate.

All this knowledge makes Sweet & Easy Vegan a great book for someone who is new to vegan cooking, but the appeal isn’t limited to beginners, or even to vegans for that matter. Anyone with a sweet tooth will appreciate the recipes here, which range from classics like yellow cake to more unusual treats like Lemon Pine Nut Cookies, and from decadent desserts like Chocolate Layer Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting to lighter fare like Summer Fruits in Vanilla Syrup. And who wouldn’t love a book with an entire chapter devoted to “Sweet Breakfast Treats”?

We hope you’ll enjoy this cookbook as much as we do. To get your mouth watering, here is a sample recipe from Sweet & Easy Vegan.

Coconut, Almond and Chocolate Chip Cookies

There is something about the texture of coconut in a cookie; the way it stays moist and chewy is irresistible. The addition of chocolate and almonds makes for a triple temptation that will call to you from the cookie jar.

Makes about 8 big cookies


  • 2 tbsp nondairy milk, plus more as needed
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseeds
  • ½ cup/60 g unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup/65 g whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼  tsp salt
  • ½ cup/120 ml canola oil
  • ½ cup/100 g granular palm sugar, palm sugar paste, or Sucanat
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 1 cup/90 g unsweetened shredded dried coconut
  • ½ cup/55 g sliced almonds
  • ½ cup/85 g vegan chocolate chip


Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C/gas 5.

In a cup or small bowl, whisk the 2 tbsp nondairy milk and the flaxseeds together and let stand for 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine both flours, the nutritional yeast (if using), baking soda, and salt and whisk until well mixed.

In a food processor, combine the canola oil and sugar and process until smooth. Add the almond extract and pulse to combine. Add the flaxseed mixture and process until thoroughly combined. Pour into the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in the coconut, almonds and chocolate chips. If the dough is too crumbly to hold together, knead in up to 2 tbsp more nondairy milk.

Scoop a ¼ cup/60-ml portion of dough (oiling the measuring cup makes it easier to remove the dough) and form it into a ball. Place the balls on an ungreased baking sheet, leaving about 2 in/5 cm of space between them. Using wet palms, flatten slightly to a thickness of just over ½ in/12mm.

Bake for about 16 minutes, until the cookies are quite golden around the edges, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time.

Let cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Stored in an airtight container at room temperature, the cookies will keep for about 1 week.

Would you like to win a copy of Sweet & Easy Vegan? To enter the contest, comment on this post and tell us who you would bake treats for if you win this cookbook. Would you make vegan sweets for your kids, your friends, your sweetheart—or maybe just for yourself? To help you get started with these yummy recipes, we’ll also send the winner a bag of Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat Pastry Flour, a package of Sliced Almonds, and a package of Shredded Coconut.  We’ll pick a winner from those of you who enter by 11:59 pm on 8/23. Good luck!

Robin Asbell, chef and author of Big Vegan and Sweet & Easy Vegan, will be teaching a class next month at the Bob’s Red Mill Cooking School in Milwaukie, Oregon! Get details on the class, “Healthy Baking with Robin Asbell,” and registration information here.

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empire biscuit

Empire Biscuits: Newport Celtic Festival Winner

by Cassidy Stockton in Contests, Featured Articles, Recipes

These biscuits from Julie Wilcke-Pilmer were a prize winner in the Bob’s Red Mill Baking Contest at the Newport Celtic Festival earlier in the month. The picture is kind of hard to make out, but they’re absolutely wonderful! These are not the light and fluffy American-style biscuits, but made in the Celtic tradition and are much closer to cookies. Enjoy!

Empire Biscuits

Cream butter and sugar well.  Add egg and vanilla and beat mixture. Fold in flour and salt.  Knead dough until mixture forms a smooth ball.  Roll dough out and cut with round cookie cutter to about silver dollar size.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet and put trays in the fridge for 15 minutes.  Bake cookies for 10 minutes at 375°F.  Cookie should not be brown.  After cooled, jam one side of each cookie and put another cookie on top.  Make powdered sugar icing by mixing powdered sugar with enough water to make a nice paste.  Frost the top of each cookie and place 1/4 maraschino cherry in the center.  makes approximately 2 dozen cookies.

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Gluten Free Coconut-Lime Shortbread Cookies

by Guest in Featured Articles, Gluten Free, Recipes

This fun recipe from Christen of Life:Styled uses our coconut flour and a hint of lime to make shortbread with a little extra zing! We love how she used natural food dyes to make a rainbow of colors and a simple touch with a toothpick or skewer and a light circle press turned these round shortbread cookies into buttons. Life is never boring with Christen. We’re in love with Life:Styled and hope you’ll fall for her too! Of her blog, Christen writes, “Life:Styled is a place to come for weekly menu and recipe inspiration, kids craft ideas, and tons of free downloads for your parties, life, and home.”

Gluten Free Coconut-Lime Shortbread Cookies

Whisk together the flours and salt in a bowl. With a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar and lime until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture until just combined. Adding color with natural food dyes is a fun way to make these cookies pop, so you can mix some in at this point if desired. Divide dough in half. Shape into a disk; wrap in plastic. Chill until firm, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Let dough soften slightly at room temp. Working with one disk at a time, roll out dough on a lightly floured surface until 1/2 inch thick. Using round cookie cutter cut out your shape and space onto cookie sheet 1 inch apart.

Bake until edges are pale golden, 16 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool. Can be stored in airtight container up to one week.

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White Chocolate Nut-butter Cookies Made with Coconut Flour

by Guest in Featured Articles, Recipes
This recipe comes from Jen of Crazy Cooking Couple and is part of our month-long celebration of coconut flour. Of her blog, Jen says, ” We are foodies who love to explore food both in and out of kitchen. Tasting, eating, baking, broiling, frying and trying not to burn the house down all in the name of good food!” We love that this recipe lets you choose what type of nut butter to use- go classic with peanut butter, mix it up with almond or hazelnut butter, or leave it out altogether. 
White Chocolate Nut-butter Cookies
Makes 1 dozen cookies
  • 1/2 cup Softened Butter
  • 3/4 cup Splenda
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill Coconut Flour
  • 1/3 cup creamy Nut Butter (optional)
  • 6 oz bag White Chocolate Chips
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375°F.
  2. Mix together the butter, spenda/sugar and vanilla until creamy.
  3. Mix in the eggs 1 at a time until well mixed.
  4. Stir in the baking soda and the coconut flour.
  5. Stir in the nut butter until well blended (if desired)
  6. Carefully fold in in the chocolate chips
  7. Bake for about 12 minutes or until cookies are slightly firm.
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Coconut Cookies

by Guest in Featured Articles, Recipes

This cookie recipe comes from Janel Ovrut Funk, of Eat Well with Janel, as part of our month long celebration.  Janel is a Boston-based registered dietitian who loves helping people reach their nutrition goals, one bite at a time. Janel shares her culinary adventures in her blog Eat Well with Janel, Facebook fan page, and loves to tweet @DietitianJanel.

Coconut Cookies

Inspired by Hannah Kaminsky’s Coconut Drop Cookies in VegNews

Makes 10 cookies

What You Need:

  • 1 cup Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
  • 3/4 cup All Purpose Flour
  • ¼ cup Bob’s Red Mill Coconut Flour
  • ½ – 3/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/3 cup Agave Syrup
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Oil

    For the icing:

  • ½ cup Confectioners Sugar
  • 1-2 Tbsp Soymilk or other Non-Dairy Milk


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large, dry skillet over medium heat, add coconut and stir constantly until flakes are golden brown. Immediately place in a large bowl, and allow to cool completely. Once coconut has cooled, whisk in flour, baking powder, and salt.

2. In a medium bowl, combine sugar, agave, and coconut oil. Then add wet mixture into dry mixture and mix until combined. Mixture may feel dry – use your hands to press the mixture so it begins to stick together.

3. Using clean hands, form 10 “patties” of the dough about 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet.

4. Bake for 6-10 minutes, watching closely, until slightly browned along the edges. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.

5. Meanwhile, prepare icing by whisking soymilk into the confectioners sugar until you get a smooth consistency. Using a spoon, scoop icing into plastic sandwich bag. Cut a small hole in the tip of the bag to use as an icing bag and squeeze icing onto the cooled cookies.

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Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

by Meagan Nuchols in Featured Articles, Gluten Free

In honor of National Chocolate Chip Cookie Week, here is a customer favorite at our Whole Grain Store. It’s a simple adaption from our Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix. Enjoy!

Over the past couple of months we have experimented with selling our Wheat Free cookies in six packs. Not only have we been selling out, but customers are asking for recipes! Lucky for you this cookie is simple, quick to make and keeps very well. Following, is our best selling Wheat Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie.

Here are a few tips when making this recipe. First, mix dough until just combined. The cookies tend to flatten out if over-mixed. Next, if your cookies are coming out too dark and doughy in the middle, place another pan underneath. Lastly, to make a regular Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie, omit the peanut butter and water from this recipe. With this variation you may have to increase your baking time. Enjoy!

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a stand mixer, cream together butter and peanut butter. Scrape down sides and add applesauce and water. Mix on medium speed until combined. Add cookie mix and chocolate chips. Mix for no more than a minute, scraping down sides if necessary. Scoop in to 2 ounce balls (about 2 Tbsp of dough), flatten with hand and bake for 14 minutes. When cookies are done they will lose their shine and will be dark around the edges.

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Chia Bites

by Guest in Featured Articles, Recipes

These tasty treats are part of our month-long celebration of everything chia. Courtesy of Natalie Herr from Oven Love, we adore these simple and easy decadent little cookies and cannot get over how down-right healthy they are to-boot.  We know they have a good dose of peanut butter and chocolate chips (two of our favorite things!), but the whole grain goodness of rolled oats and the boost of fiber and Omega-3 from the chia seeds make these more like an energy snack than a cookie.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Chia Bites


Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Let chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or more. Remove them from the fridge, use a small cookie scoop to create uniform portions and roll into balls. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Makes about 4 dozen bites.

At Oven Love, you’ll find recipes made from scratch, with love and a little sass. I enjoy creating food that makes people smile, whether it’s a hearty main dish or the occasional sweet treat. Come by for a visit and see what’s cooking!

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