The Best Sugar Cookies

A mom-approved, favorite recipe! Perfect for any occasion (or every occasion!)

Yield 18-20 cookies

Ingredients

For the Cookies:

2/3 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

4 teaspoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

2 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

 

For the Frosting:

4 Tablespoons butter, softened

2 cups powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon almond extract (the secret ingredient!)

1-2 teaspoons milk

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl (or a stand mixer), cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the egg, milk and extracts. Blend in the flour, baking powder and salt, mixing until well combined.
  3. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/8 of an inch thick. Use cookie cutters to cut dough into shapes. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes.
  5. Cool cookies completely before frosting.
  6. For the frosting: Cream all ingredients together until smooth.
  7. Use a butter knife or tilted spatula to frost cookies and decorate to your liking!

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 10-12 cookies

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

1 egg

4 tablespoons maple syrup (sub: honey, agave)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups almond flour

1/2 cup chocolate chips

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, mix the coconut oil, egg, maple syrup, vanilla and salt until well combined.
  3. Add in the baking soda and almond flour and mix until a dough forms.
  4. Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Scoop onto a cookie tray (I used a decent sized ice cream scoop) about 1 inch apart and bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.
  6. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!

The cookies should still be a little gooey when coming out of the oven. If you are using a smaller 1 tablespoon cookie scoop, bake for 7-9 minutes instead.

 

Peanut Butter Crispy Treats

Yield- 18-20 squares

 

Ingredients

3/4 cup honey

3/4 cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy) – can also sub almond, cashew or sunflower seed butter

4 cups puffed rice cereal

1/3 cup dark chocolate chips, melted

 

Directions

  1. In a large pot heat the honey on medium heat, stirring constantly.
  2. Boil the honey for 2-3 minutes, then add the peanut butter and mix to combine.
  3. Turn off heat and add the puffed rice. Carefully mix to coat evenly.
  4. Pour into a 9×13 pan and press into an even layer.
  5. Drizzle the bars with the melted chocolate and cool for 10-15 minutes before cutting into squares.

No-Bake Oatmeal Cookie Bars

This Valentine’s Day, give the one you love something made with love! These bars are so simple and delicious, bae will be wanting them year-round.

For a more elegant look, roll 1 Tablespoon of dough into a ball, dip in melted chocolate and top with sprinkles!

 

Yield: 12-14 bars

Ingredients:

1/2 cup ground flaxseed

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup peanut butter (sub: almond butter, cashew butter, sunflower seed butter)

1/2 cup maple syrup (sub: honey or agave)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 cups oats

1/2 cup coconut flakes, unsweetened

1/3 cup chocolate chips (I like dark chocolate)

Sprinkles!! (optional, but so cute)

 

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix ground flaxseed and water. This should resemble an egg-like consistency.
  2. Mix in peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon until fully combined. If this mix is very thick, thin with 1-2 Tablespoons of water.
  3. Sprinkle in the oats and coconut and carefully mix until a dough forms.
  4. Press the dough evenly into an 8×8 pan and freeze for 15 minutes.
  5. While the bars solidify, melt the chocolate chips.
  6. Once the bars are done, spread the chocolate over the bars and top with sprinkles!
  7. Freeze for 15 minutes before cutting into squares!

 

Store bars in the fridge/ freezer.

Banana Bread x 2

I’m a chocolate chip banana bread girl through & through, but when I mentioned blueberries and walnuts my mom went crazy… hence the x 2 for this recipe. The base of the banana bread is delicious on its own or feel free to mix in your favorite extras.

Some mix-in ideas: chocolate chips, fresh blueberries + walnuts, frozen cherries + pistachios, almonds, nutella, peanut butter (I could go on forever, I mean was doesn’t go well with banana bread??).

Base Banana Bread Recipe (adapted from Giada De Laurentiis Banana Bread Recipe)

Yield: 1 loaf

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup olive oil

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 ripe bananas, mashed

Add-ins : 1 cup each (for blueberry walnut- 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen), 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped)

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray a loaf pan with non-stick spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla and bananas.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just combined (do not over mix).
  5. Fold in extras until evenly incorporated into the batter.
  6. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 1 hour or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  7. Cool for 1 hour before slicing!

Orange Pistachio Cinnamon Rolls

While this recipe may not seem “healthbyhayl approved,” I’m making an exception because these babies are DELICIOUS and life is all about balance. These sweet rolls are filled with warm cinnamon, brown sugar and butta so they are sure to please your sweet tooth (and they’re made with whole wheat flour so they’re kinda healthyish).

If you aren’t a fan of the orange glaze or pistachios, feel free to add whatever flavor combo you like! Go classic or add almonds, lemon zest, and even raisins.

Here’s what I did:

Adapted from Ambitious Kitchen

Yield: about 12-14 rolls

Ingredients:

For the dough:

3/4 cup milk (heated to 110-115 degrees F)

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (or one packet)

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/4 butter, melted

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

 

For the filling:

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup pistachios, chopped

 

For the icing:

1 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon orange zest

2 Tablespoons orange juice

 

Directions:

  1. Add the warm milk to the bowl of an electric mixer and sprinkle the yeast over the top.
  2. Let sit for 5 minutes or until yeast is foamy.
  3. Add in sugar, eggs, and butter, mixing to combine.
  4. Next, stir in flours and salt, mixing on low until a dough begins to form.
  5. Knead dough with dough hook attachment for 8-10 minutes or until the ball of dough comes away from the bowl.
  6. Cover the dough and let it rise for 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.
  7. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and roll into a large rectangle.
  8. In a small bowl, mix the filling ingredients until well combined.
  9. Spread the mixture evenly over the dough.
  10. Tightly roll the dough up until a long log forms.
  11. Cut into 1 inch pieces and place into a sprayed pie dish. Cover these babies in a towel and let them rise for 30 minutes.
  12. Bake at 350 F for 25-30 minutes or until the edges are slightly golden.
  13. To make the frosting: mix all ingredients in a small bowl until smooth. If too thick, add more orange juice and if too thin, add more powdered sugar.
  14. Pour the glaze over the buns and top with extra chopped pistachios!

Vegan Spiced Apple Cheesecake Bars

These vegan, gluten-free and refined sugar free bars are a process, but well worth it! Sweetened with maple syrup these are a healthier alternative to regular cheesecake. Ingredients like cashews and almond butter give these bars their rich consistency without the guilt!

Yield: 9 (2″ X 2″) bars

Ingredients:

Crust-

½ cup dates, pitted and chopped

1 cup oats

¼ cup ground flaxseed

1 Tablespoon coconut oil

1 Tablespoon maple syrup

½ teaspoon cinnamon

Sprinkle of salt

 

Filling-

1 ½ cup raw cashews, soaked overnight in water (then drain)

2 scoops collagen peptides (optional)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 Tablespoons coconut oil

¼ cup maple syrup

¼ cup almond butter

Sprinkle of salt

 

Topping-

1 teaspoon butter

1 apple (any kind), diced

¼ cup apple cider

 

Directions:

  1. Line an 8 in X 8 in square baking pan with parchment paper or foil.

Crust-

  • Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until a dough begins to form.
  • Once combined, evenly press the mixture into the baking pan and set aside.

Filling-

  • Place all ingredients in a blender and blend for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Once the mixture is smooth, evenly spread over the crust.

Topping-

  • In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  • Add the apples and cider and cook for 5-10 minutes on medium-low heat until apples are softened and start to caramelize.
  • Leave the apples to cool for 10 minutes before evenly pouring over the filling.

Freeze the bars for 1 hour before cutting!