Small batch no-bake chocolate tahini truffles

There are days when I have restless energy and really want to bake. If I could bake every day, I would but there’s the problem of having to wash dishes after as well as having other responsibilities and things to do in the day.

Soon after I woke up, I was thinking about trying to make shortbread cookies with Maggie. It’s not easy baking with a 1-year-old who also has a lot of restless energy. I have tried it. She tries to open all the drawers and cabinets in the kitchen, most of which I have yet to baby proof. Well, I tried that too but the ones I bought didn’t wok for our drawers.

I want to make sense of the world. I want to create order out of this unnatural state we’re in with Covid-19. I think that’s what I’m looking for in baking these days. Does that sounds super weird? Well, my desire to make sense of the world has led to research.

What’s the difference between a Maria’s Cookie and a British digestive cookie? Are those more similar to Nilla wafers, shortbread, or graham crackers? Can you make a stamp cookie out of shortbread or do you need to use a sugar cookie dough? These are the questions that have been on my mind lately, besides “what new development will unfold in this pandemic” and “how do I keep my 1-year-old occupied.”

I had settled on making digestive cookies following this King Arthur Flour recipe, but then it was just way too hot. I don’t like to turn on the oven during the day when it’s above 80. Today’s high was 90. So, I turned to no-bake cookies, which ended up being more like truffles. Maggie watched and tried a tiny bit but I didn’t have her help because there wasn’t much she could help with. At least it kept me occupied and didn’t take too long.

If you like this no-bake chocolate cookie recipe, you may like these other recipes: 1) Grandma’s recipe: Gold nuggets and 2) Chocolate peanut butter hearts.

 

These small batch no-bake chocolate tahini truffles are inspired by my grandma’s no-bake chocolate cookies. The truffles have minimal ingredients, are easy to make, and you should have everything in your pantry now. Imagine chocolate fudge, but with oats thrown in for the illusion of health.

I went about it a bit differently and made about 1/3 the amount as her recipe. I’m calling them truffles after all, instead of cookies. They’re like those no-bake energy balls that were all over the Internet a few years ago, except they’re not packed with superfoods. If I had made these flat instead of in a ball shape, would I be more likely to see them as cookies? Clearly, I’m back to categorizing things as a calming ritual.

Small batch no-bake chocolate tahini truffles

Makes 10 1-inch round balls

125 g or 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup tahini
1 cup quick-cooking oats

Combine chocolate, honey, butter and vanilla in a small saucepan or skillet on medium heat. Do not boil. Stir until everything is melted. Remove from heat. Stir in tahini and oats. Form into balls and place on waxed paper or a silicone baking mat. Work quickly.

Notes: The recipe is written exactly as I made it. You can use dark or milk chocolate but then you may want to use more or less sweetener. You can use sugar or some other sweetener instead of honey. Oil should be fine instead of butter. You should be able to use peanut butter fine but it might have a different level of sugar and oil than tahini. I used tahini because I am very low on peanut butter. Oats are a non-negotiable.

If it’s a hot day, as it was for me, put these in the fridge immediately after forming into balls or they will start to melt. If it’s mild, you may let them harden on the counter. If it’s cold, the chocolate will harden faster and you need to form the balls very quickly. Chocolate is temperamental.

Molasses chocolate chip cookies

Today is National Chocolate Chip Cookie day. I have had this chocolate chip cookie recipe in drafts for a few months, so when I saw that it was a National day to celebrate them, I thought how would be the perfect time to post.

Time to write again. You see, that’s the part I have been putting off. I had my recipe and photos done, but no intro. No update on my life or anything like that. Maybe you don’t care to read that anyway. So for today, it’s JUST the recipe. Some other day soon, I’ll write down some pleasantries and a clever note on life or an interesting anecdote.

Molasses pecan chocolate chip cookies

Based off Katie Clova’s Muscaovado Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe and Sally’s Baking Addiction Chewy Molasses Cookie recipe.

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 large egg, room temperature
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl stir together then butter, sugars, molasses and vanilla. Once combined, stir in the egg. Add the flour, powder, soda, and salt and stir until almost combined. Be careful not to overmix! Gently fold in the pecans and chocolate.

Be sure your melted butter and egg are room temperature. You don’t want to accidentally cook your cold egg in hot butter.

Scoop 1-1/2 tablespoon-sized rounds of dough 2” apart on a cookie sheet prepared with a sheet of parchment. Freeze for a couple of minutes until the dough is no longer warm but is cool to the touch, then bake in the preheated oven for 12 minutes or until the edges are golden and set. I was tempted to keep them in longer but keep in mind that they will harden while cooling. Allow to cool briefly before consuming.

Notes
You can decrease the salt mixed into the dough to 1/2 teaspoon and finish the baked cookies with sprinkles of fleur de sel if desired.

Boise, ID: City Guide

Lately I have been feeling the urge to travel, or at least plan some trips for later in the year. I plan on going to Sacramento area in September for a friend’s wedding, but I’m not sure where else the family and I will be able to go this year.

One of my favorite places to go is Boise, Idaho. I have been to Boise three times and every time I leave I can’t wait to go back again some day. What really made it special for me every time was the people.

Continue reading

5 ways to save money at Sprouts Farmers Market

The other day when I was at Sprouts, I heard a middle-aged woman say something like, “It goes as low as $2.99 so I’ll wait until the price drops.” I thought that was so interesting and it made me wonder how she keeps track of prices. I’m not sure what item she was referring to, but I have to assume it’s something she has bought often enough to remember the sale price of. That’s smart shopping!

Today, I’m sharing some of my tips and tricks for saving as much as possible at Sprouts Farmers Market.

Continue reading

What my toddler eats in a day

What my baby eats in a day5
Now that Maggie is a toddler, she’s starting to eat like a regular person, or as we tend to say, like a big kid. She has three servings of milk a day, three meals, a day, and usually one snack a day but sometimes two. She also drinks water and sometimes diluted juice.

I am still figuring out how to keep up with her appetite but I thought it might be helpful to share what she typically eats, along with some questions that have come up with friends.

Continue reading

Maggie turns 1

IMG_2079.jpg

I have been meaning to write a blog post commemorating Maggie surpassing the one year mark for more than a month now. She turned one year old in the middle of December and now here we are in the middle of January. It is funny to think that I am now the mom of a one year old. It is honestly hard to write about because it is a little hard to think about. My baby is growing up. It’s happening so slowly and quickly at the same time. Continue reading

10 favorite winter dinners

IMG_4583

Do you have recipes or dishes that you come back to again and again when cold weather hits? Do you think there is a difference between warm weather food and cold weather food?

I was watching a Giant Bomb video podcast a while ago with Paul, and the guys were talking about whether there is a difference between summer food and winter food. They seemed to agree that they eat more salad in summer and more soup in winter. I would definitely say that’s true for me.

I love the opportunity to make soups and stews in the fall and winter months. In the California heat of summer, I try not to turn on the oven or use the crockpot much, as that quickly raises temperature of our already hot home. Even using the stove can be tough when it’s already sweltering. Once it gets cold, I am so happy to use my oven and crockpot. They can make for more hands-off cooking.

Continue reading