Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Free Nights Stay and Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

My husband is the best. Why? Well, for many reasons, but also because he always manages to work out free deals for us. Last night we got to enjoy a free night stay at a nice hotel on Daytona Beach. We stayed in a beautiful room with a full kitchen, family room and a balcony that overlooked the ocean. All you could see was water for miles.

It was cloudy and raining yesterday morning so we took our time waking up and packing for the our night away. We stopped at a friends house before beginning the hour drive to Daytona. Usually I'm not a big fan of cloudy days, especially when we're trying to spend time on the beach, but I was loving it. I just wanted to snuggle up on the couch, read and look out the window to the ocean. And that's just what I did. It was wonderful.

We got to see a double rainbow and the sunrise!
Is anyone else out there a morning person and as excited about 
daylight savings as I am?

The past couple of times we've gone to the beach I've ended up being the only girl with a bunch of guys. I always have a great time, but man, boys sure can eat! Especially when they've been surfing and throwing footballs around all day. Brett, knowing I'll never turn down a baking opportunity, always requests some baked goods to take with us for the guys to eat after surfing. Even though it was just me and Brett this weekend, the request still remained. As did my excitement to bake.

During our time in Dallas last week I was able to stop at a Trader Joe's and pick up some almond butter - I had just run out of my homemade almond butter - and coconut oil. I wanted to find a recipe in which I could use both ingredients. I found a simple chocolate chip cookie bar recipe, adapted it a little and was very pleased with the result. They were a bit crumbly when I first cut and ate one, but after resting overnight they were perfectly solidified, moist and held together great.

The next time I make these bars I'm going to try using 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1 cup of another flour. I also think turning the 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed into a "flax egg" will help hold the bars together when they first come out of the oven.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
(Makes 16 servings)


· 1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
· 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
· 1 cup rolled oats
· 1/2 cup natural cane sugar (or other dry sweetener)
· 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
· 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
· 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
· 1/2 teaspoon salt
· 1/4 cup coconut oil
· 1/4 cup almond butter
· 1/3 cup almond milk
· 1/2 cup agave nectar
· 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
· 1/2 cup non-dairy chocolate chips


1.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 8x8 baking dish.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, oats, sugar, flaxseed, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
3. Add in the coconut oil and almond butter and use a pastry cutter (or your hands if you don’t have one) to mix in the oil and almond butter until a crumbly mixture forms.
4. Pour in the rest of the ingredients except the chocolate chips and stir until combined.
5. Fold in the chocolate chips.
6. Pour the batter into your prepared baking dish and level it out by pushing down with your hands until firm.
7. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before cutting into 16 squares.
 Notes: Adapted from Good Clean Food.

I've never baked (or cooked) with coconut oil before and after making these bars I'm sold. First of all, it made my kitchen smell amazing. Secondly, it made these bars so amazingly moist and gave them a texture that's subtly different than when you bake with butter or other types of oil. 

Eat Consciously,

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