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Really Freakin Awesome Vegan Oatmeal Cookies (aka Vegan Turtle Oatmeal Cookies)

Happy 2014 to everyone! I hope you all had a relaxing holiday season filled with love, food and lots of time with family and friends.
DSD Christmas | doughseedough.net
With the new year comes many resolutions. Usually resolutions revolve around eating better and working out. And they usually end a few weeks into the new year.
I’m hoping that 2014 will be a year of better health for me – less visits to the doctor, less stomach issues, and no more running injuries. I’m not going to deprive myself of foods that I love (cookies!) or force myself to run through an injury. I made many changes in 2013 that I think will lead to a much happier 2014 – I left a stressful job and started a new adventure in a city that I adore. I started doing yoga to reduce running injuries. I went dairy-free to make my body happy.
Really Freakin Awesome Vegan Oatmeal Cookies (aka Vegan Turtle Oatmeal Cookies}  | doughseedough.net
I hope in 2014 I can continue to cultivate my dairy-free cooking skills. I am so thankful for the dairy-free bloggers out there that have provided me with endless recipes to try out and make my transition into the dairy-free world a little bit easier. I’ve added a dozen vegan/dairy-free/special diet blogs to my blog reader and once in a while a stumble across a recipe that really catches me.
This time, it was Angela over at Oh She Glows and her vegan turtle cookies. I saw the cookies on her blog and they were baking away in my oven not 24 hours later.
I am obsessed with them. My family is also obsessed. I honestly cannot get enough of these cookies. I was a bit disappointed at first because they didn’t seem “turtle-y” at all. But I quickly got over that because these cookies are just downright delicious. So I think in this case turtle = really freakin’ awesome. So I guess in my house I’ll call these the “really freakin’ awesome vegan oatmeal cookies”.
Really Freakin Awesome Vegan Oatmeal Cookies (aka Vegan Turtle Oatmeal Cookies}  | doughseedough.net
Vegan Turtle Oatmeal Cookies
yields about 20 cookies
1 3/4 cups pecan halves
2 cups rolled oats, divided
3/4 cup + 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup unpacked dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
3 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons almond milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup pitted dates
1/4 cup vegan mini chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place pecans onto a lined baking sheet and toast for 8 – 10 minutes, or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  2. Place toasted pecans into a food processor with 1 cup of the rolled oats and process until coarsley chopped, being careful not to over process into a fine powder.
  3. Pour the pecan/oat mixture into a large bowl and add in the remaining 1 cup rolled oats, 3/4 cup flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  4. In a separate bowl, stir together maple syrup, melted coconut oil, almond milk, and vanilla extract. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
  5. Place dates onto a cutting board and sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon flour. Dice dates, sprinkling wth more flour as needed to prevent dates from sticking to each other and the knife.
  6. Fold dates and chocolate chips into dough and mix until well distributed.
  7. Roll dough into golf-ball sized balls and press it between the palms of your hands to flatten. Place cookie onto a parchment lined baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough, placing cookies a couple inches apart.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 12 – 15 minutes or until cookies are golden browned on the bottom. Let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before moving to a cooling rack to cool completely.
recipe very slightly adapted from Oh She Glows 
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Dairy-Free German Chocolate Cake Cookies

This past weekend was wonderful. It was a quiet weekend, but it was perfect. Mike got his wisdom teeth out (ouch!) and it snowed all day on Saturday so staying inside and vegging out was just what we needed. I shoveled for the first time in like… 5 years, and it was surprisingly relaxing. I ended up baking two types of cookies, some muffins, and made some soup. So, yeah, I would consider it a pretty successful weekend. To round it all out perfectly, I received a surprise early Christmas gift.

Dairy Free German Chocolate Cake Cookies | doughseedough.net

I grabbed a package off our front stoop thinking they were the boots I had ordered. Then, I realized that the box was far too small to contain boots. And the package was sent from Amazon, not Macy’s. I ran inside and ripped it open. I pulled out a huge bag filled with Enjoy Life’s (dairy-free) mini chocolate chips and chocolate chunks.  Then I pulled out a cookbook I’ve been eyeing for a while – Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the WorldThe entire time, I was babbling “What the…? Who sent this? Oh my goodness, oh my goodness!!” At the bottom of the box were two slips of paper. The first one – blank. The second one had the answer – the gift was from Ashley and Nick, some of our closest friends. It’s amazing how someone can make me so happy from the other side of the world.

dairy free baking | doughseedough.net

After all this, I knew I had to use some of the chocolate chips. I settled on a recipe that had caught my eye last week – German Chocolate Cake Cookies from Food Network. These cookies were rich and chocolatey and captured all the goodness of German chocolate cake without being overly sweet.

Dairy-Free German Chocolate Cake Cookies | doughseedough.net

Dairy Free German Chocolate Cake Cookies
makes 3 dozen cookies

1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup dairy-free butter substitute, softened (I used Smart Balance)
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup stevia
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Special Dark)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup dairy free mini semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut
3/4 cup chopped pecans

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Place coconut oil, butter substitute, brown sugar, and stevia in a large bowl. Beat with a hand mixer on medium speed until well combined. Mix in eggs and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add dry ingredients into butter mixture until well combined.
  4. Stir in mini chocolate chips, coconut, and pecans until evenly distributed.
  5. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until edges are firm. Let cool for 2 minutes on baking sheet before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.


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Salted Fudge Brownies

Holy smokes, I can’t believe it’s August already! Life is a little crazy right now. We have the Big (-ish) Move on Saturday to prepare for and our house is a disaster. I can’t figure out what I want to bring down to Madison and what I want to leave in Appleton. I have a new job starting on Monday. Don’t get me wrong – my life is hectic, but I love it.

After speaking with a friend recently, I realized just how blessed I am. I got into a dietetic internship on my first try. I passed my RD exam the first time I attempted it. I landed a job right away. And now? Now I’m moving on to an even better job. Best of all, I have the most amazing and supportive husband next to me. I have so much to be thankful for.

I haven’t been cooking much because we have very little food in the house and I don’t want to buy more before the move. Stupid me didn’t prepare for this move very well. If I had any sense, I would have stockpiled some posts and scheduled them for the next few weeks. Instead, I have nothing. So DSD might be a little empty for a couple weeks while I rebuild my life in Madison.

That brings me to these brownies. Mike asked if I could make a treat for him to bring in to work. I heard several rave reviews about these salted fudge brownies and I decided that those were definitely the treat I would make. It worked out perfectly because I already had all the ingredients at home. The results are definitely rave-worthy. I’m a little sad that I had to give them away because they were so good. So good that I snagged a piece for Mike and I to share and sent 15 instead of 16 brownies to work. Oops 🙂

I plan on stocking up on more unsweetened chocolate soon because I need to make more of these. I have even heard that these are perfect for freezing individually and then microwaving for 15 seconds later on for a magnificent, fudgy treat.

Salted Fudge Brownies | doughseedough.net

Salted Fudge Brownies
very slightly adapted from Eva Bakes, via Food and Wine

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon Maldon sea salt

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8 metal pan with foil, draping foil over the edges. Generously butter the foil.
  2. In a large saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and unsweetened chocolate, whisking occasionally, until completely melted.
  3. Remove pan from heat and whisk in cocoa powder until smooth. One at a time, whisk in sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, and flour, mixing well after each addition.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle salt on top and gently swirl into batter using a toothpick.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 30 – 35 minutes, or until edges are done but center is still slightly gooey. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out with a little batter.
  6. Let brownies cool for 1 hour at room temperature. Place in refrigerator and chill for 1 more hour.
  7. Life brownies from pan by grasping the foil overhang and place on a cutting board. Cut into 16 squares. Serve at room temperature.


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Healthy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have been craving cookies like crazy lately. On Sunday night the craving was so bad and I (sadly) didn’t have any cookies in the house. Wait, I take that back. I had Girl Scout cookies, but those weren’t going to cut it.

I decided to experiment and whip up some peanut butter cookies. Then I decided to make them better with mini chocolate chips and some chopped peanuts. Mini chips are my newest baking fave. I don’t know why I don’t use them more! They are perfect for cookies because they distribute more evenly in the batter than big chips. You’re pretty much guaranteed chocolate in every nibble!

If you’re a fan of soft, cake-y cookies, these are for you. They are so light in texture and absolutely delish. I was a bit hesitant to use the word “healthy” for this cookie, but this is probably one of the better-for-you cookies that I’ve made. After all, there is not a trace of added oil or butter in this recipe. And no butter or oil means I can eat more cookies, right? Right.

Healthy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies | doughseedough.net

Healthy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup natural creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1/3 cup dry roasted peanuts, chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together peanut butter, applesauce, sugars, vanilla, and eggs until smooth and well combined.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Stir into wet ingredients until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips and peanuts.
  4. Wet hands with water* and roll dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 12 – 14 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned. Let cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes before moving to wire rack to cool completely.

*I had to wet mine with water because this dough is really darn sticky. Alarmingly sticky. But don’t fret. Wet your hands, roll the dough, and the cookies will bake up perfectly!


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Oatmeal Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oatmeal Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies | doughseedough.net

I think I have a problem. I can’t stop eating these cookies. Seriously. They are making their way into my mouth 3 at a time, several times a day. I’m eating so many of them that I haven’t really eaten a proper dinner in a few days because I’m seriously just stuffed full of cookies. The only time that I am sans-cookie is at work. And that’s only because I force myself to walk out the door without a bag full of them. I need to keep a few hours of my life cookie-free, after all.

I have 2 sad cookies left in my cookie jar. The good news is they are super easy to whip together. The bad news is that it’s a million degrees (and humid!) out and the thought of turning on the oven makes me want to cry. I think I’ll have to wait until it cools off so I can bake more of these. And this time I probably won’t share.

Oatmeal Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies | doughseedough.net

Oatmeal Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies
slightly adapted from Cooking Light

1 1/4 cup all-purpose or whole wheat flour
1 cup old fashioned oats
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, gently whisk together flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl with an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat together sugar, brown sugar, and butter until well blended. Mix in vanilla and egg until just blended.
  4. Stir in flour mixture by hand until just combined. Stir in pecans and chocolate chips.
  5. Roll dough into 1″ balls and place 2″ apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until edges of the cookies are lightly browned. Let cool on pan for 2 minutes before placing on a wire rack to cool completely.


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Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting  | doughseedough.net

My last post was a week and a half ago. I got back from vacation last Tuesday and meant to post a vacation recap (aka photo-dump a select few of the thousands of pictures we took) and a recipe later last week. Obviously, that didn’t happen. Life got a little… crazy.

Let me back up to a month ago. I applied to a really awesome nutrition program consultant job. I didn’t think I would get a call back from them. Fast forward about a week: I get a call for an interview. I go to the interview, it goes fine, and I don’t think much more of it. Fast forward again to last Wednesday.

I got a job offer. I cried, called Mike, and didn’t sleep for the next two days. They needed an answer by Friday, and I hadn’t had time to fully process everything yet. Taking this job would mean moving back to Madison, our college town. Mike’s business is in Appleton. Our families are in Appleton. We have a house in Appleton.

After several long discussions and a total of 6 hours of sleep in two nights, I called them back and accepted. We’re moving back to Madison! Kind of. I’m estimating that I will be spending 1/3 of my time in Madison at the office, 1/3 of my time traveling to my sites,a nd 1/3 of my time in Appleton. I still can’t believe that all this is happening. Needless to say, I have a lot to prepare in the next month for the big transition. It looks like the travel yoga mat I bought for vacation is actually going to get put to some good use!

Anyway, I will spare you the photos from my vacation (for now) and instead share with you these cupcakes that I made for Mike’s birthday over the weekend. My handsome hubby turned the big 2-5! Mike gave me the go-ahead to make whatever birthday treat I wanted. Perfect.

These cupcakes were to die for. Seriously. Make these now. Everything from the cake (moist, fluffy, and chocolatey with a hint of stout) to the frosting (creamy, caramely deliciousness) is perfect. In fact, I ate all the extra frosting with pretzels and ate the rest of the caramel with a spoon. Don’t judge, because when you go finish reading this post, you will go and make these cupcakes. And you will eat all the leftover frosting and caramel, too.

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting  | doughseedough.net

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting
makes 24 cupcakes

for the cupcakes:
3/4 cup Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa
2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-12 ounce bottle Guinness Extra Stout (or other stout beer), room temperature
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
3/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt

for the salted caramel:
1/2 granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

for the salted caramel frosting:
1 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
mini pretzel twists  to garnish, optional
sea salt to garnish, optional

  1. To make the cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 24 muffin tins or line with cupcake liners.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together cocoa powder, sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the stout, butter, vanilla and eggs. Beat together until combined. Mix in Greek yogurt until smooth and well combined. Carefully stir in dry ingredients 1/2 cup at a time.
  4. Fill muffin tins 3/4 full and bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, rotating halfway through, until cupcakes are domed in the center and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes in pan before place removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  5. To make the salted caramel: place sugar and water in a 3 quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir carefully until sugar is dissolved, being careful not to touch the sides of the pan. Bring mixture to a boil and stop stirring. Continue to cook over medium-high heat until mixture turns a deep amber brown color, about 10 minutes. Remove mixture from heat and carefully stir in whipping cream and vanilla extract. Let cool for 1 hour.
  6. To make the frosting: In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and salt until light and fluffy. Beat in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until well combined. Add in 1/2 cup of caramel and mix until fluffy.
  7. Frost cooled cupcakes with salted caramel frosting and drizzle remaining caramel on top. Garnish with a mini pretzel twist and a tiny sprinkle of sea salt, if desired.

cupcake recipe barely adapted from Food Network and frosting recipe adapted from Carla’s Confections


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Banana Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins

Lightened Up Banana Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins | doughseedough.net

I’m a cookbook junkie. I have shelves and shelves of cookbooks of all different types. I seriously love them. I honestly love just having them – I don’t cook a lot from them. In fact, most of my cookbooks get looked at once, maybe twice a year. As always, there are exceptions. Baked: New Frontiers in Baking is my most recent purchase and I’m obsessed with it. Every single dish I’ve made from it has been amazing. If you don’t own this book, I beg you – BUY IT!

Now, these muffins… so so good. In fact, I made these about 2 months ago for some friends. They were gobbled up before I even got a chance to take a photo for the blog. Thankfully, these muffins are also very easy to make and really tasty so I didn’t mind having to make these again! In fact, I whipped these up before heading to work on Friday. It only took about 20 minutes of prep time and another 20 for baking. I  made a few adjustments so they would be a bit healthier and I loved how they turned out!

Lightened Up Banana Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins | doughseedough.net

Banana Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins
very slightly adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking

3 cups mashed, very ripe bananas (6 – 7 medium – large bananas)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup skim milk
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
3 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2-12 cup muffin pans with liners or grease with nonstick spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together bananas, sugar, brown sugar, butter, applesauce,  milk, and eggs.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, instant coffee, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and slowly pour in wet ingredients. Stir until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Fill prepared muffin cups with batter, filling each one 3/4 full.
  5. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing the muffins and placing on a cooling rack to cool completely.