It’s been a while since I did one of my massive roundups. That epic road trip really knocked my schedule off for a number of reasons. I’ve missed my roundups though. I hope you have, too, because here’s one for you, plus a kickoff of a special event here at gfe over the next several days! This post is a busy one, so skim until you find something of interest, even if it’s only the No-Bake Almond Chocolate Double Coconut Cookies recipe at the end of this post.
As I shared on Facebook, Mr. GFE and I got to dance around a famous elephant recently. My company’s post-holiday party was held at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.
It was a fabulous event. There’s nothing quite like wining, dining, and dancing in that incredible environment … being in the midst of dinosaur skeletons, jewels, rare butterflies, and much more, for an entire evening. Try as I might, I could not get a good photo of said elephant, but I did snap a few others that might be of interest.
Debi (Hunter’s Lyonesse) gave me the Memetastic Award. (You may remember Debi from her personal story shared here in December.) This award is an irreverent, offbeat one. The awardees must tell 5 things about themselves, with 4 out of 5 being outright lies. Okay, it’s not in my nature to lie, but in the spirit of the award here goes. If you are a faithful gfe reader, you’ll probably be able to easily tell which of these are untruths.
Note: To follow the rules and not be “hunted down” by Debi, I’m awarding it to five other bloggers (excluding any that Debi awarded and Debi herself). Unlike Debi, I don’t expect anyone to follow through though. Oh, and Debi explains that the award badge is purposely goofy. Thanks, Debi, for choosing me (I think …)!
- I love fermented foods.
- Nothing pleases me more than spending hours in the kitchen to make a fine meal.
- I’ve never been outside the U.S.
- I’m in a BBC documentary with Michael Palin called Hemingway’s Adventures.
- Motorcycles scare me.
I’m doing a Suite of Sweets for Sweethearts event this week, but obviously starting later and ending later than one would expect for Valentine’s Day, since that’s coming up on Monday. But, you see, I’m on a slightly different timetable because we’re holding our Valentine’s Day Party next weekend.
Our party is an every-other-year bash that we always hold on the weekend of Presidents Day. That way all of our out-of-state guests will have the extra day for traveling home. That extra day also benefits us as we clean up, return furniture to its proper spots (almost all our furniture gets moved to accommodate the band and dancing), and just recover in general.
The truth is I’ve never been too hung up on celebrating on the actual date of a holiday or special day. Can’t get together on my birthday? No problem. Let’s get together a month later and to make up for the delay, we’ll celebrate my birthday for a whole month, okay? 😉
Do you see where I’m going with this? With our Valentine’s Day party next weekend, I’m just kicking into gear for Valentine’s Day and this special celebration here at gfe—the triple S, Suite of Sweets for Sweethearts. I hope you don’t mind the timing as I think you’ll still enjoy the event very much.
Last year, for the SSS event, I shared my gfe recipes. This year, I’m giving you one of my recipes today, but then the rest of the time I’ll be sharing some sweet recipes from some of my favorite web folks/bloggers and their cookbooks.
You know what that means, right? Yep, there will be some giveaways.
Then at the end of the week, everyone who commented throughout the week will be entered into another giveaway of an array of goodies. A little of the giveaway package will be revealed each day, with the complete ending giveaway package revealed at the end and all comments during the event counting as entries. Does that sound good, dear Valentine?
Today’s recipe is a healthier version of those no-bake cookies that you might have made growing up. You know the ones that contained peanut butter, cocoa, oatmeal, butter, milk, and sugar? You boiled some ingredients for a minute, added more, and then dropped the cookies on waxed paper to set up.
Well, today’s version features almond butter, cocoa, coconut, quinoa flakes (or oats if you prefer), coconut oil, almond milk, and palm sugar. That means these cookies are gluten free, dairy free, and refined sugar free and give you a nice protein boost, too.
You can make these cookies and almost be eating one faster than your family members can see that you are cooking something and ask, “hey, what’s cooking, mom?”
No-Bake Almond Chocolate Double Coconut Cookies Recipe
These cookies are my "new and improved" version of the classic no-bake chocolate peanut butter oatmeal cookies from back in the day. I used vanilla almond milk and omitted the vanilla extract. I used sweetened shredded coconut because that is what is available to me. If you use unsweetened coconut, you may want to add slightly more palm sugar. As noted, certified gluten-free purity protocol oats can be substituted for the quinoa flakes. Even after chilling, these cookies remained somewhat soft; I loved that. (Using the original recipe, the cookies often hardened too much.) Mr. GFE said these taste like “chocolate dough balls.” If you’re a cookie dough fan; that’s a high recommendation, but I think that shows that these cookies are soft and delicious.
No-Bake Almond Chocolate Double Coconut Cookies
These cookies are my "new and improved" version of the classic no-bake chocolate peanut butter oatmeal cookies from back in the day.
I used vanilla almond milk and omitted the vanilla extract.
I used sweetened shredded coconut because that is what is available to me. If you use unsweetened coconut, you may want to add slightly more palm sugar.
As noted, certified gluten-free purity protocol oats can be substituted for the quinoa flakes.
Even after chilling, these cookies remained somewhat soft; I loved that. (Using the original recipe, the cookies often hardened too much.)
Mr. GFE said these taste like “chocolate dough balls.” If you’re a cookie dough fan; that’s a high recommendation, but I think that shows that these cookies are soft and delicious.
Wendy @ Celiacs in the House says
Wow. What a great way to catch up on all the gluten-free news. Not only are the Gluten-Free Good Fairy, you have a bit of Lois Lane going on, too.
Thanks, Wendy! This Gluten-Free Good Fairy, aka Lois Lane, clearly needs someone to police her comment replies though. Here it is hours later and in the midst of cleaning and purging, I think, oh, no, I didn’t reply to Wendy’s comment! How could that happen? I don’t know. Sigh. My apologies, dear. You are always one of the best gfe cheerleaders and I do appreciate it!
Hope this has been a weekend where everyone is well in your house! Hugs,
Those cookies look great! Can’t wait to try them. And it looks like the recipe makes a lot if cookies! Is that picture showing just the one batch? Excellent round up too! Thanks, Shirley!
Hey Sharon–Great to see you again! 🙂 Thanks for the feedback on these cookies. Yes, that’s one batch. I added a note to the recipe to indicate that it makes about 30 cookies. If you want small, single-bite sized ones, it would yield even more, of course. 😉 I’m also going to modify my “firmly packed coconut” to “fairly firmly packed coconut” as I didn’t pack it hard like I would say brown sugar. So glad you enjoyed the roundup, too–thank you, dear! 🙂
Ooh waw, Shirley!! What a beautiful post!! thanks for those useful links too!
Those no bake good for you cookies look delightful & ooh so tasty too! Is coconut blossom sugar the same as palm sugar? I love to use the unrefined coconut sugar a lot because of its caramel like taste & it is low GI of 35 too!
Hey sweet Sophie!–You always make my day with your lovely comments and compliments! Everyone should be so lucky as to have you for a reader/commenter! 😉 So glad you enjoyed, all. Coconut sugar/coconut blossom sugar and palm sugar can be used interchangeably. They are not the same thing as one comes from the palmyra palm tree and the other comes from a coconut palm tree, but both come from the sap of the flowery buds of those trees and have the wonderful caramel taste and low GI as you said. You can read more here, if you’d like. 🙂 Like you, I’m a big fan! My iHerb order just came in this week and I’m so happy to have palm sugar for baking and sweetening again! (None of the stores around here carry palm or coconut sugar.)
OMG, Shirley, what an amazing roundup! You’ve covered so much here. . . love the Smithsonian photos (that Hope diamond–whoah. And is that purse yours??). Love the no-bake cookies, too. I can actually have these, I think! And I always thought that palm sugar and coconut sugar were one and the same. Do you know the difference?
Looking forward to all the sweets upcoming! 😀
Ricki, palm sugar is often called coconut sugar, but it comes from the Palmyra palm tree and not a coconut tree. Coconut sugar is tapped from the coconut tree and is a highly sustainable product. It is also not highly processed either. I’ve used it in Shirley’s flourless peanut butter cookies and it yielded great results without giving me a sugar overload. 🙂
Debi–Thanks so much for replying to Ricki and sharing this info! The best explanation I came across was this one. However, I don’t remember the sustainability factor being mentioned; I love that! I have only been able to get palm sugar so far and that only online. As I was telling Ricki, the issue is further confused by both trees having palm in their names … palm sugar from the Palmyra palm and coconut sugar from the coconut palm. I just stocked up on palm sugar and plan on making lots of goodies for my party without that sugar overload. Usually I’m too busy to eat much anyway and I try to focus on protein when I do, but I need to take care of my guests, too. 😉
Hey Ricki–You’re a doll! You know how to make a girl feel good when she needs it. 😉 Yes, that’s my purse! I love it. It’s so busy and colorful that it rarely truly goes with anything I wear out for a special occasion, but I still use it and get lots of compliments on it. 🙂 I actually like the original more “plain Jane” setting of the Hope Diamond better. I’ve heard that it’s kind of nestled in this setting and will be returned to its original state, but I’m not sure. The Hope Diamond is impressive for sure, but you should see all the other jewels that are at the museum. I am not a big jewel gal, but I’m completely dazzled by their exhibits.
That would be fantastic if you could enjoy these cookies, Ricki! I’m glad Debi stepped in to talk about the differences between coconut sugar and palm sugar. As she stated, they are often used interchangeably, but are not exactly the same. Here’s the explanation that I just shared with Sophie. To further confuse things, one is from a Palmyra palm as Debi said and the other is from a coconut palm. Both come from the sap of the flowery buds of these trees and are low glycemic and taste the same per my understanding. I’ve not tasted coconut sugar yet myself.
Hope that helps, and thanks a million for being such a positive spirit in the interwebs and especially here at gfe!
Thanks to both of you for the explanations, and thanks, Shirley, for your sweet comment! I forgot to say “thank you” yesterday for the award, so thank you now! 😀 (I was just so overwhelmed by your purse and those cookies, I think). 😉 I can’t promise *when* I’ll do it, but will get to it!
You’re welcome, Ricki! Btw, I prefer the coconut sugar. For me, it’s easier to use than palm sugar and tastes less sweet to me. 🙂
Debi–Where do you get your coconut sugar? I’d love to try that and see the difference. 🙂
Hey Ricki–Oh, no biggie re: the award … just something fun and a way to find out who really reads your blog! Or a way to introduce completely new material. 😉 And, like I said, no expectations on anyone doing it at all. Last, haha on being overwhelmed by the cookies and purse, but I’ve been mesmerized by less from time to time. LOL
Shirley, you and Brittany are killing me with chocolate. Okay, not quite “killing”. But, between the two of you, I’ve got 4 chocolate based recipes to try now. 😀
Hey Debi–As I always so, if I have to go, please dear God let it be a death by chocolate! LOL Hence all the decadent chocolate desserts here at gfe. 😉 Of course, only 2 tbsp of cocoa does the job in this recipe so not the usual “over the top” chocolate recipe. Now those Flourless Sparkling Chocolate Cookies we were bantering about on Facebook, those have sufficient chocolate and an intense chocolate flavor. 🙂
Death by chocolate is how I would like to go, too! 😉 And the amount doesn’t matter to me. Just a hint will satisfy me. Intense chocolate never hurt either. lol
Heidi @adventuresofaglutenfreemom.com says
What a wonderful roundup Shirley and I just LOVE the pictures from the museum…the Hope Diamond is gorgeous and I swear I’ve been attacked by one of those moths before, LOL!
I definitely think your purse should be on display too, I love it!
Heidi–I was JUST thinking of YOU! Was I thinking of you because you were reading and commenting? Or did you think of me and read and comment because I was thinking of you? LOL No matter. 😉 Thanks for the sweet comments! I know you’d love the museum and all it has to offer. Chuckling over the moth … watch out we’re a moth-loving family here! Ha ha. Oh, to have my purse on display … maybe I should start slowly replacing the little baubles on it with real jewels. Hmmm. I could start by taking apart that tennis bracelet that hubby gave me that I never wear.
Hope all is going well on your trip! I’m thinking of you! xoxo,
nicola @ gfreemom says
Shirley – I envy you the trip to the Smithsonian. That is definitely on my ‘to do in life’ list. The orchids are beautiful!
The cookies look great. I’m all about coconut sugar at the moment…
I’ve missed your round ups too. Sat here sipping tea while the kids are being collected from a sleep-over. A small glimpse of Sunday morning peacefulness. Off to check out the latest episode of gluten-free tv.
Hi Nicola–After years of not making it to the Smithsonian, I’ve been making it up at least once a year the last few. I highly recommend planning a trip to DC, staying nearby, and visiting the museums, zoo, etc. when your schedule allows. There are so many amazing things to see and to be looking at the Capitol, etc. as you go from one building to the next is something, too. This time all was snow covered so the Capitol and other buildings seemed even more impressive and “moving.”
Glad you enjoyed everything else in this post, too … we have similar “likes.” 😉 And, Sunday morning peacefulness is a very good thing. 🙂
Alisa Fleming says
What an amazing event Shirley!
Those cookie look divine, and just may be my next cookie project!
Hey Alisa–Thanks! I think you’ll enjoy this event as it all unfolds. 🙂
Do try these cookies! They’re the kind that you think hmmm, these are really good. Then you absentmindedly (guilty) eat one later and are surprised again how good they are. And, if I recall correctly, you are a cookie lover, aren’t you? 😉
Alena Mack says
Thanks for sharing this recipe. Those crazy nasty no-bake cookies have always been my favorite, but I try not to make them, cause I could eat every single one in one sitting. Thanks for a slightly healthier version!
Hi Alena–So happy to share this new version with you! 🙂 Still, I admit, I sent the last of these with Mr. GFE to his mom today for Valentine’s Day. It made a nice gift and protected me from myself. It was nice to eat a couple without that usual sugar rush and overindulgence feeling that comes with the original version though. 😉
Carol, Simply...Gluten-free says
Wow, I love how I can come here and catch up! Fabulous post. Now I need to take the time to do a little blog hopping.
Hey Carol–Thanks, my dear! 🙂 I hope you get a few minutes to do some fun blog hopping … I know you have “lots of irons in the fire.” 😉
Thanks a lot, Shirley for your useful info!!
Kisses to you!!! xxx
Hey there, Sophie!–Glad you found some good stuff in my roundup. 🙂
xo across the pond … happy Valentine’s Day, too!
Shirley, thanks for all the updates, pictures, and links. Your cookies look good, and I’m off to check out a couple of the other chocolate treat links. And that BBC documentary is definitely an interesting fact.
Hi Linda–You’re very welcome. Hope you found some chocolate treats that appealed in this grouping. 🙂 Ah ha, you figured out my truth! Nothing like going to a dude ranch with the family and ending up in a documentary with the wacky guy from Monty Python and A Fish Called Wanda. It was a brief, but fun experience. So we’re all in the documentary and in the book that was also done later.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
there is so much good info there, and I’m delighted that you focused on the certified GF issue. And of course, nothing like dancing around a famous elephant!
Hi Cheryl–Thanks! The gluten-free certification issue needs much more attention. It is especially critical with the grain-based products, like cereals, protein bars, flours, and baking mixes IMHO.
The party was an incredible event! 🙂
These look yummy, but… I can get 2 types of palm sugar here, the softer stickier dark one and the hard golden tablet-like one. Which is the type you would use?
Hi InTolerant Chef–Wow, I had no idea there were two kinds and one that comes in tablet form. The one I used was the granulated, softer, stickier version. How would you use that tablet version? Grind it before using?
Wow those photos are great. Looks like you had fun. No bake recipe sounds good to me too. Oh and thank you for the award. That will be fun. I like the 5 you picked and yep I know which one is actually true. Hope you get back out on the road soon on those two wheels.
Hi Diane–Thank you! 🙂 Hard to have a bad time in that environment although one of my co-workers did take an inebriated tumble and hit his head. As far as I know, he’s okay … thank goodness.
Have fun with the 5 things if/when you get to do it! See … you know me so well … you figured it out. 😉 Yep, two wheeled-trip this summer for sure!
Kim - Cook It Allergy Free says
As usual, your round-ups are what often keeps me up with everything going on around the gluten free blogasphere!! What a fabulous post, Shirley!! And I love love this healthier version of those no-bake cookies of our youth. I want some of these right now.
Thank you so much for including my Chocolate pretzel bites. And also thank you so much for including me in the Memetastic Award! Too fun!! I will have fun thinking up my fact and non-facts! LOL
And I, like Diane, think I am pretty certain of the true fact. Not sure you want me giving it away here.
Hey Kim–The cookies were very good … I liked the softness and no sugar buzz afterwards. 😉
Those chocolate pretzel bites are soooo appealing! The Memetastic Award could be fun. I’ll look forward to reading the posts/listings from the folks who decide to share their “facts.”
I’m not worried about folks figuring out the truth … or hearing it from others! 🙂
Oh, and it wasn’t me that created the award and is hunting people down. I have more important things to do with my time than hunt people down over an irreverent award. lol It’s Jill from Yeah. Good Times. She’s one of the bloggers my best friend became friends with in the ASD parent blogger circles. They both share their love of cursing and alcohol like we share our love of seafood and chocolate. lol
Hey Debi–Yes, I know you weren’t the originator. It’s neat to find out about more folks in the blogging world and hear about treasured connections. I’ll forego the cursing since this is a family friendly blog and that’s not my nature often, but let’s add alcohol to the seafood and chocolate, okay? 😉
Heather @CeliacFamily says
Phew! That’s a lot of fun and useful information. Can’t wait to read what’s in store for your Valentine party and your Suite of Sweets for Sweethearts.
Hi Heather–Belated, but thanks! I’m in Valentine’s Day party now with lots to do. Not sure if I’ll be sharing anything more on the party until after the event. 😉
Love these and so will others. Thank you for sharing them on Real Food Weekly.
Sweets by Vicky says
I love your super long and crazily informative posts! And I believe that Harry Winston is as delicious as the chocolate dessert no? 🙂
Can’t wait to try out those no-bake cookies, especially when it’s shaping up to be a very warm week ahead here!
Hi Vicky!–You made me laugh … yep super long and crazily informative post creator, that’s me. 😉 LOL on Harry Winston … I’m sure many would say that chocolate doesn’t compare to Harry Winston, but I think there should be room for both.
Hope you enjoy the cookies, dear! Oh, and speaking of chocolate, I’m still remember that amazing chocolate cake you just shared. 🙂