Oh, Valentine’s Day. I’m all about an excuse to celebrate love and loved ones but I feel like we should be celebrating love everyday. Why wait until February 14th to buy flowers, to make a special dinner for a friend or partner, or to treat yourself to a massage? Let’s practice channeling love each and every day. And not just when corporate America tells us to 😉
Okay, now that I’m off my little soapbox, I’m really excited for this weekend and what Steve and I have planned. Friday night, we’re going to sip some champagne while we stamp & stuff our save the dates (!!!), Saturday we’re going to a partner yoga workshop, which should be totally fun and get us both out of our comfort zones a bit, and then to really get us out of our comfort zones (well more so Steve’s on this one), we’re going salsa dancing Saturday night! I’ve been asking Steve to go salsa dancing with me since he moved to Boston almost six years ago (I went once in college and it was so much fun) and I think he’s finally caving in :). And then Sunday, we’re going to brunch at this new restaurant in Cambridge that serves a make-your-own-bloody-mary-bar and then to a matinee showing of Pippin, the musical. Fun fact about Kara: she’s a total closet musical theater junkie and in her next life will grace the Broadway stage :).
Such a fun-packed weekend ahead, right?! We’ve also got more wedding planning to do (it seems like my wedding to-do list never ends!) and then hopefully we can just relax, wind down and recharge Sunday night. And you know what goes perfectly with relaxing on V-Day? COOKIES! I love baked goods. Next to bread pudding, my favorite desserts are homemade brownies and cookies. I hadn’t baked in a while so I thought I’d whip up a batch of my favorite cookies for Steve and the love-filled weekend we have ahead. I made these Dark Chocolate Almond Oatmeal Cookies with Sea Salt a couple years ago and they were a BIG hit. So big that they were featured on one of my favorite websites, the Kitchn! But they were made with eggs, so while dairy-free and gluten-free friends could rejoice, my vegan peeps could not.
So I decided to make a couple tweaks to make my beloved cookie recipe vegan, gluten-free, and free of refined sugars. I swapped out the eggs for flax eggs which are easily made by combining one tablespoon ground flaxseed with three tablespoons water for one egg replacement. And I went for the ultimate classic chocolate combo: peanut butter + chocolate.
These cookies are packed with fiber, protein and good-for-you fats and contain zero refined sugars. Lightly sweetened with maple syrup, these cookies are made with oats, peanut butter, dark chocolate, coconut oil, and flax seed. Sounds pretty healthy to me! But don’t be fooled by their nutrition profile, these cookies are delicious. So delicious that I’m not even sure they’ll last us until Sunday. Because you know what fuels save the date stamping? Cookies + champagne.:)
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 cup creamy, unsalted peanut butter
- 3/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 6 tablespoons water
- 3 cups gluten-free rolled oats
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup chopped dark chocolate (vegan)
- Maldon sea salt (or any course sea salt)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, combine flaxseed and water and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk coconut oil, peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla and flax eggs until smooth and creamy.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix oats, chocolate, baking soda and cinnamon until well combined.
- Add wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine until mixture is sticky.
- Using a spoon or ice cream scooper, drop 2-inch rounds of dough onto the baking sheet so cookies are a few inches apart. Sprinkle course sea salt over tops of cookies. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden-brown and somewhat firm to the touch.
- Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for a couple minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Option to sprinkle a few more flakes of sea salt over top. Let cool completely before serving.
Tell me, what sweet treat will you be whipping up for Valentine’s Day?