No-Bake Nut Butter Cookies

no-bake nut butter cookies

A perfect treat when you don’t want to turn on your oven, these chocolate-coated nut butter cookies are simple and tasty. I needed something sweet to bring to a picnic, something that adults and kids would enjoy, and these were perfect. Plus I was happy to not heat my home up with the oven. And also perfect, because . . . well, peanut butter and chocolate are a match made in heaven!

The recipe calls for oat flour. I just whizzed some rolled oats in the food processor until they were finely ground.

This recipe makes about 3 dozen tiny cookies. They are quite rich, so I opted to make them really small rather than the two tablespoons that the original recipe calls for. I made my cookies with peanut butter, but you can use the nut butter of your choice.

If you omit the chocolate these would make a great power cookie for hiking or biking. Unless you’re hiking or biking in cool weather, when the chocolate wouldn’t melt.

You can store the cookies in the fridge for about 10 days.

What you need:

  • 3/4 cup (188 mL) nut butter
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) honey
  • 1 teaspoon (5mL) pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (750mL) oat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 cup (188mL) chocolate chips

What you do:

  1. Line a baking pan with parchment paper, or wax paper if that’s all you have.
  2. Heat the nut butter and honey in the microwave or in a pot on the stove. Whisk in the honey.
  3. Add the oat flour and salt, then mix until combined. 
  4. Scoop one tablespoonful of the mixture at a time and use your hands to form each into a ball. Flatten the cookie into a disk and place it on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Use a fork to make the crosshatch pattern typical of a peanut butter cookie.
  5. Refrigerate the cookies while you prepare the chocolate. I used a double boiler, but you can carefully melt it in the microwave if you prefer.
  6. Dip each cookie in chocolate, then place it on the parchment again. Let the cookies sit until the chocolate has set. I did this in the fridge because it was a hot day when I made them, and also I was running late for my picnic!
  7. Enjoy!
pb & chocolate match made in heaven -
“Match Made in Heaven”


Grapefruit Olive Oil Poundcake

photo by justin cathcart
photo by justin cathcart

Aside from chocolate desserts, a lemon cake is one of my favourite treats.  Since it’s also a citrus cake I thought I’d give this grapefruit cake a try, and I like it for the same reasons I like lemon cake – it is tart and sweet at the same time, and it is nicely moist.

This is the first recipe I am trying from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook that my sweetheart gave me.  And everyone who tried the cake liked it!

What you need for the cake:

1 & 1/2 cups flour

2 tablespoons grapefruit zest

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup olive oil

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

1/3 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt (I used yogurt)

What you need for the syrup:

2 tablespoons sugar

1/3 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

What you need for the glaze: (optional)

1 cup icing sugar

2 tablespoons grapefruit juice

pinch of salt

What you do:

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.  Rub butter in a 9×5 inch pan, then coat it with flour.

2. Combine the grapefruit zest and the sugar in a large bowl.  Rub the zest into the sugar using your fingers to release the oils.

3. Whisk the oil into the sugar mixture until smooth.  Whisk in the eggs one at a time.

4. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a measuring cup combine the buttermilk and 2 tablespoons of grapefruit juice.  Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately, beginning and ending with the flour.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top down, and tap the pan on the counter to remove air bubbles.  Bake for 45 minute to 1 hour, testing with a toothpick. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is done.

6. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan.  In the meantime, prepare the syrup.

7. In a small saucepan, combine the 2 tablespoons of sugar with 1/3 cup grapefruit juice.  Cook over low heat until the sugar has dissolved.

8. After the cake has cooled for 10 minutes and you have removed it from the pan, place it on a wire rack to cool.  Poke holes in it with a toothpick or skewer, then brush the syrup on top.

9. To make the glaze (although it would be amazing even without the glaze), combine the icing sugar, grapefruit juice and salt in a bowl and whisk until it is smooth.  Pour the glaze over the cooled cake and allow the glaze to drip down the sides of the cake.

photo by justin cathcart
photo by justin cathcart

Thank you Justin for the amazing photos!

Almond Goji Cacao Chip Cookies

trust in kim - almond goji cacao chip cookies

These are raw, gluten-free, lactose-free, and Awesome! My friend Lance made some for me a while back, and I loved them so much that I had to ask for the recipe.  It’s from a raw foods cookbook by Ani Phyo. They are super easy to make, and will keep in the fridge or freezer for a long time.  They are great for a snack on the road or trail, and my boyfriend likes them crumbled on some yogurt and fruit for breakfast.

What you need:

1/2 cup almond butter

3 tablespoons agave syrup

3 tablespoons vanilla

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 & 1/2 cups ground almonds

1/4 cup cacao nibs

1/4 cup dried goji berries

What you do:

1. Combine the almond butter, agave, vanilla and salt in a large bowl.

2. Stir in the ground almonds, cacao nibs and goji berries.

3. Form into small balls, about 1 tablespoon each, with your hands.  Place them on parchment paper and flatten them a little.

Store in the fridge in an airtight container, or put some in the freezer to keep for longer.

trust in kim - almond goji cacao cookies

My Mennonite Mom’s Authentic English Trifle

trifle- trust in kim

Everyone who tries my mom’s trifle says it’s the best, so naturally when I was looking for a trifle recipe for Christmas Eve dinner, I asked her to share her recipe with me.  She gave me a photocopy of a recipe that looks like it came from a magazine.  It says it is from The Best of Mme Jehane Benoit, who is apparently Canada’s Julia Child.

Rather than using fruit, which my mom says makes the cake layer too soggy, this recipe uses jam.  Of course there’s the sherry, custard, and whipping cream – so good and so bad all at the same time! It’s not very difficult to make, but you do need to make it ahead of the time so the sherry, jam and pudding can soak into the cake. It’s nice to serve this in a glass bowl so you can see the layers.  You could also make it in individual dishes, but I like the way it is beautifully layered andthen becomes a beautiful mess of creamy, jammy goodness when it is served.

Hmmm, I think there’s some leftovers in the fridge…

What you need for the cake: (or just buy a sponge cake)

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

2 cups sifted flour

1 & 1/2 tablespoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup cold water

1 teaspoon almond extract

What you need for the other layers:

4 eggs yolks

2 cups half and half cream

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla

2 cups whipping cream

1/2 cup icing sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup raspberry jam

1/2 cup sherry

toasted almonds to garnish (optional)

What you do:

1. To make the cake, beat the eggs with the sugar for about 5 minutes, until it is very light in colour.

2. Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt, and lightly beat it into the egg mixture.

3. Briefly mix in the water and almond extract.  Pour into a greased 9 by 11 inch pan and bake for 30 minutes.  Allow the cake to cool completely.

4. To make the custard, beat the egg yolks until they are  pale yellow. Heat the half and half cream with the 1/4 cup sugar and vanilla.  Add the egg yolks to the hot cream, beating very hard.  Cook without boiling, stirring continuously, until the custard has thickened a little. It won’t be a thick custard, but this is good because it will soak into the cake easily.  Allow the custard to cool.

5. Whip the cream with the icing sugar.

6. I like to remove the seeds from the jam because I don’t like to bite them or get them stuck in my teeth, but you don’t need to do this step if you don’t mind the seeds.  I just press the jam through a sieve with a spatula.

7. Spread the jam over the cake, then cut it into finger-sized pieces.  Dip each piece in the sherry (or just place it in the sherry bowl and sprinkle sherry over the top.)

8. Make a layer of the jammy sherried cake fingers in the bottom of the bowl, with the jam side facing up. Spread half of the custard over the cake layer, then spread half of the whipping cream over the custard.  Repeat with another layer of cake, custard and cream.

9. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours.  Top with toasted almonds, if you wish, and then indulge in creamy goodness!

German Chocolate Cake

trust in kim - german chocolate cake

I made this beautiful cake for my good friend Angela’s birthday this weekend.  It’s moist and chocolatey, and the topping is nutty and sweet without being too sweet.  It got rave reviews at the party, and several requests for the recipe, so here it is!  Apparently the true name is German’s Chocolate Cake, which comes from the U.S., not Germany.  All  I know is… yum! I just used semi-sweet instead of sweet chocolate.

If you don’t want to make a German Chocolate Cake, you could use the cake recipe and make a different frosting – it’s a good moist cake.

I got this recipe from an amazing cake book  that I’m working my way through, and loving every recipe so far: All Cakes Considered by Melissa Gray.  And my friend Justin Cathcart took the beautiful photo.

What you need:

4 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

1/2 cup boiling water

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups sugar

4 large eggs, separated

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk

For the filling and topping:

1 & 1/3 cups pecans (plus 5-6 nice halves for a garnish)

1 & 3/4 cups coconut, unsweetened

1-14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

1/3 cup water

3 large egg yolks

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

What you do:

1.  Put the chocolate in a bowl, pour in the boiling water and stir until the chocolate has dissolved.

2. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks are formed.

3. Cream the butter, then gradually add the sugar.

4. Add the egg yolks and beat thoroughly.

5.  Beat in the chocolate and vanilla.

6. Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl.  Add half of it to the batter and mix in.  Add half the buttermilk and mix in.  Repeat with the remaining flour and buttermilk.

7.  Fold the beaten egg whites into the batter.

8.  Pour the batter into 8 or 9-inch round pans that have been lined with parchment paper rounds.

9. Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake sit in the pans for 10 minutes before removing.  Then run a knife around the edges and invert onto a rack.  Let them cool before frosting.

10. For the topping grind the pecans and coconut in a food processor until it is moderately chopped.

11. Put the condensed milk, water, and egg yolks in a double boiler.  Stir until it thickens.  When it has thickened, add the butter and vanilla, continuing to stir.  Remove from the heat and stir in the nuts. (I didn’t let mine thicken enough, so I put it in the fridge to thicken before I used it.

12. When the cake is cooled place one layer on a plate and spread half the topping over the top.  Put the other layer on, and spread the rest of the topping onto that.  Garnish with some pecan pieces.

You could also add a chocolate frosting around the sides of the cake it you want to sweeten it up a bit or make it fancier.

Cranberry Coffee Cake with Walnut Crumble

This is one of my all-time favourite cakes.  It is easy to make, and people love it.  The tartness of the cranberries balances out the sweetness of the walnut topping.  I sometimes make it in a big 9×11 pan, but often in two round or square pans so I can freeze one or give it to someone.  I also make this as a rhubarb cake, but only in the summer when I’ve got rhubarb coming up in my garden.  I often make this to bring to someone’s house when I don’t know what else to bring, because so far everyone who has tried it has loved it.  You can’t go wrong!

What you need:

1/2 cup butter

1 & 1/2 cups brown sugar

1 egg

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup plain yogurt (not no-fat)

1 & 1/2 cups cranberries, frozen or fresh

For the topping:

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup white sugar

2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cardamom

What you do:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 F.

2.  Cream butter and brown sugar, then blend in egg.

3.  Sift together flour, baking soda and salt.

4.  Mix one-third of the flour mixture into the butter mixture with a wooden spoon.

5.  Add half the yogurt and mix until just incorporated.

6.  Mix in one-third more of the flour, then the rest of the yogurt, then the rest of the flour.  Mix until just combined or it will make a tough cake!

7.  Add cranberries, then pour into a buttered 9 x 13 inch pan (or two round or square 9-inch pans), smoothing the top a little.

8.  To make the topping, melt the butter, then stir in the rest of the ingredients.  Spread if over top of the batter.

9.  Bake for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.

Chocolate Rum Cake

I was invited to a birthday party for a one-year-old, and I wanted to make something for the adults to enjoy.  Loving the combination of chocolate and rum, I found this recipe for a moist cake, and so full of chocolate and rum.  There’s 1 & 3/4 cups of rum in the recipe, and 1/2 cup of it is not baked or boiled, so it ends up having a nice boozy punch to it.

I found the recipe on Food in my Beard.

What you need:

6oz semisweet chocolate

1/2 cup butter

1 cup dark rum

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

4 eggs

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup cocoa

1/2 teaspoon salt

For the glaze:

1/4 cup rum

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup white sugar

1/2 cup more rum!

What you do:

1. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler with the rum and butter. Whisk in the sugars, then the eggs, one by one.

2. Sift the dry ingredients, then mix half of it to the liquids, and then the other half.

3. Pour the batter into a buttered and floured loaf pan that is 5 & 1/2 by 10 inches.  Bake at 350F for about an hour, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

4.  Just before the baking is complete, combine the butter, sugar and rum for the glaze in a pot, reserving the 1/2 cup of rum.  Bring to a boil, then boil, stirring for a few minutes.  Remove from the heat and add the remaining rum.

5.  When the loaf is baked, remove it from the oven and poke holes in the top.  Pour the glaze over top; it should soak right into the cake.

6. Put another loaf pan on top of the cake, and put a weight on top, like a bottle of rum, so the cake is squished. This will make the cake into a rectangular shape.

7. When the cake is fully cooled, invert it onto a cutting board and slice it thinly.

I served mine with whipping cream, but next time I would find some sour cherries to make a sweet cherry topping, maybe with a little bit of rum in it.

You can also make this into two loaves, and freeze one of them.  Just adjust the baking time accordingly.

Bienenstich or Bee Sting Cake


When I was growing up I attended a lot of Mennonite weddings and funerals, and this cake was always present, and always my favourite food.  There are three parts to this cake – light vanilla cake, a coconutty-buttery-almondy-sugary baked topping, and a whipped cream filling . . . decadent!  It’s a bit of work, but so worth it.  I made it for a party recently (not just for weddings and funerals!) and everyone raved about it.  I sure hope there’s Bienenstich at my funeral!

I found this version on the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog.

What you need for the cake:

1/2 cup milk, scalded

1 tablespoon butter

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

What you need for the topping:

1/4 cup melted chocolate

2/3 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons cream

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1/2 cup slivered almonds

What you need for the cream filling:

1 cup whipping cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup icing sugar

2 tablespoons instant vanilla pudding mix, like Oetkers’s

What you do for the cake and topping:

1. Line an 8 inch square pan with parchment paper.  Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. Beat the eggs and gradually add the sugar, beating until it is thick and light in colour.  Mix in the vanilla.

3. Mix in the dry ingredients only until they are incorporated.

4. To scald the milk, first rinse your pot with a little cold water.  This should help avoid scorching the milk.  Then put the milk in, place on medium heat, and stir until the milk has almost boiled.  Add the butter to the scalded milk and stir until it melts.

5.  Slowly add the milk to the cake batter, and mix until incorporated.

6. Pour the batter into the lined pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, inserting a toothpick when you think it’s done to see if the toothpick comes out clean.

7.  Just before the cake comes out of the oven, melt the butter and mix together all of the topping ingredients.  Spread the topping over the cake, all the way to the edges.  Broil, watching very very carefully so it doesn’t burn! until the topping is bubbling.

8.  Let the cake cool, then remove it from the pan and put it in the freezer for an hour or so.  This will make it much easier to cut the top off to make room for the cream filling.

What to do for the filling:

1.  Add the sugar, vanilla and vanilla pudding mix to the whipping cream.  Beat it until it forms firm peaks

2.  Remove the cake from the freezer, then cut it horizontally.

3.  Spread the whipping cream onto the bottom layer, then place the top on the cream.

4.  Freeze the cake until you are going to serve it.  If you slice it while it is frozen it won’t squish all the cream out.  Then just let it sit for about half an hour before serving.  Of course, lots of people love eating it while it’s still frozen – they can’t wait for it to thaw, so yummy!

French Rhubarb Cake

Last year I planted rhubarb in my garden, so this spring I harvested the first stalks.  For Mother’s Day I made this cake, and my mom really liked it-she even asked for the recipe!  She likes a simple cake that’s not too gooey or sweet.  Perfect fit for her!

This recipe comes from the website My Kitchen in the Rockies.  There are helpful tips on this site for high altitude baking.

What you need:

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

1 & 1/4 cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 eggs, room temperature

1 & 2/3 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

4-5 cups rhubarb, chopped into 1cm chunks

1/2 cup slivered almonds

What you do:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.  Grease a 10 inch springform pan.

2.  Beat the butter and sugar for a few minutes, then add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until fluffy.  Beat in the vanilla.

3.  Stir in the dry ingredients until just incorporated.

4.  Fold in the rhubarb, making sure you don’t mix it too much.

5.  Pour the batter into the springform pan and smooth the top.  Sprinkle the almonds on top.

6.  Bake for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let it cool on a wire rack.

Rustic Apple Nectarine Galette

Wanting to use up some extra apples I had in my fruit bowl, I pulled out my friend Maureen’s pie pastry recipe and went to work on creating this galette.  It’s simple, and I added a little ground almond just to try something new.  Maureen’s pie pastry recipe is guaranteed to be flaky and tasty!

What you need for the crust: (enough for 2 galettes – you can keep half in the freezer)

2 & 1/2 cups flour

1 cup cold lard

1 &1/2 teaspoons brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg, slightly beaten

1 & 1/2 teaspoons vinegar

9o mL ice-cold water

What you need for the filling:

2 apples

1 nectarine – unripe is fine

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon flour

1/2 teaspoon chopped rosemary plus a sprig for the top

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons ground almonds

2 teaspoons sugar

What you do for the crust:

1.  Cut the lard into the dry ingredients(flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt).  I get in there with my hands, working the lard in until it is in pea-sized pieces.

2.  Beat the egg, then pour about half of it into another small bowl – this will be reserved for brushing on top of the pastry.  Add the 1/2 egg, vinegar and some of the cold water.  Mix with a wooden spoon until there are no more crumbly bits.  You can turn it out onto the counter the work the flour in a bit.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour.  You can keep it in the fridge for a few days, or in the freezer for a few weeks.  Just make sure it comes out early enough to be workable.

What you do for the filling:

1  Peel the fruit, then slice it thinly.  Combine in a bowl with the flour, brown sugar and rosemary.  Add the vanilla extract and mix it in.

2.  Take the dough out of the fridge about 10 minutes before you need to roll it.  Sprinkle some flour on the counter before placing the dough on the counter.  Roll it out into a rough circle until it is about 1 cm thick, working the edges with your fingers if they become jagged.  Transfer the dough round to a baking pan.

3.  Sprinkle the crust with the almond and sugar.  You don’t need to sprinkle near the edges, as these will be folded up.

4.  Arrange the fruit on top of the crust, then fold the edges over the top.  Brush the crust with the reserved egg. Place a sprig of rosemary on top.

5.  Bake at 450F for 40-45 minutes.  Check in half was through to see if it is browning too fast.  If so, just throw a piece of foil over the top.

I served mine with a little vanilla-caramel ice cream, but whipping cream would be great too, or just on its own.