Happy Valentine’s Day!

Looking for a little love this Valentine’s Day? How about some cookie love? I have two ideas for you. The first one is compliments of Jackie Conn, the general manager of WW (Weight Watchers) of Maine.

What better way to show love and admiration than (no) cooking for your sweetheart? Even better is whipping up a delicious treat that’s good for the love of your life. These no-bake cookies fit the bill. What are the surprise healthy ingredients? Chickpeas and peanut butter rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids. To step up the presentation you could buy paper fluted candy liners.

Peanut butter balls/Adobe stock

No-cook Peanut Buttery Cookie Dough Bites

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup rinsed and drained canned drained chickpeas
  • 3 TBSP creamy peanut butter with omega-3
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp reduced-fat whipped cream cheese spread
  • tsp vanilla extract
  • tsp table salt
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 2 TBSP all-purpose flour
  • 2 TBSP peanut butter chips
  • 2 TBSP powdered sugar
  • 2 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder

Instructions

1. Combine chickpeas, peanut butter, brown sugar, cream
cheese, vanilla extract, salt and baking soda in a food processor; process
until completely smooth. Add flour and peanut butter chips; pulse until just
combined. Refrigerate until mixture is chilled, at least 1 hour.

2. Using a melon baller, scoop cookie dough mixture into 36
small balls; gently place in a mixing bowl.

3. In a small bowl, sift together powdered sugar and cocoa
powder; remove 2 tablespoons of sugar mixture and gently toss with chilled
cookie dough bites (reserve remaining sugar mixture).

4. Arrange coated bites on a serving platter and keep
chilled until ready to serve; dust with remaining sugar mixture just before
serving. Yields 1 cookie per serving.

Pureed chickpeas add protein and fiber to these cookies. Try them in blondies, date-nut bread or chocolate chip cookies.

My Nana bag

Cookies for my granddaughter

The other idea is sugar cookies with a couple of different twists. I’ll be visiting my daughter and her family for several days and I’m bringing along my brand new “Nana bag” filled with sugar cookie ingredients. I thought it would be fun for my granddaughter to rifle through the bag and discover what’s packed inside.

Later, we can make the cookies together — roll out the dough and cut out heart shapes and slather them with frosting. She’s at a perfect age, nearly three and eager to participate. Her attention span is fairly short, but there should be enough steps to keep her interested. I’ll take pictures for another blog post.

So … baking with my granddaughter is one twist and the other is that they’ll be vegan cookies. By the way, if you noticed the beet root powder in the picture, its to color the frosting. An experiment — hope it works!

I’m using a recipe from Minimalist Baker. Here it is if you’d like to make some, too: One-Bowl Vegan Sugar Cookies.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Diane Atwood

About Diane Atwood

For more than 20 years, Diane was the health reporter on WCSH 6. Before that, a radiation therapist at Maine Medical Center and after, Manager of Marketing/PR at Mercy Hospital. She now hosts and produces the Catching Health podcast and writes the award-winning blog Catching Health with Diane Atwood.