The original recipe for these coconut cookies was given to me in the mid-1980s by a woman who remains a dear friend. I’ve reworked the recipe a couple times to make it dairy-free and as healthy as any cookie can be. You’ll find the most recent version below. Enjoy!
Coconut Cookies Redo
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Sticks, softened
1/2 cup lard, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups oatmeal
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups unsweetened, shredded coconut
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
Preheat oven to 350°. Toast the pecans in the oven for 5-7 minutes. Remove them from the oven and cool.
Cream sugar, shortening, and eggs until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, flour, soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix well. Add oatmeal, coconut, and nuts. Stir well after each ingredient is added.
Drop dough by rounded spoonfuls onto cookie sheets. Bake for 8 – 12 cookies, depending on how chewy you like them. Makes about 4 – 5 dozen.
My daughter Anne and I developed this variation on monster cookies because her son required a gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free diet as a toddler and pre-schooler. Gluten isn’t an issue in monster cookie recipes since they use use oats, a grain he could tolerate, instead of flour. To make the cookies dairy-free, we substituted lard for the butter called for in the recipe we adapted, replaced the M & M’s with peanuts and dried fruit (raisins or Craisins), and used the Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips. (If soy isn’t an issue at your house, Costco’s Kirkland chocolate chips are also a good dairy-free alternative.) Now, on to the recipe!
Triple Free Monster Cookies
1 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons baking soda
16 oz. jar of natural peanut butter*
1/2 cup lard softened to room tempature
4 1/2 cups rolled, not quick, oats not quick oats!
3/4 cup Enjoy Life or Kirkland chocolate chips
3/4 cups dried fruit (raisins, Craisins, or dried cherries are good)
3/4 cups peanuts
Preheat oven to 350°. Putt baking stones in the oven to heat them.
Cream peanut butter, lard, sugar, and eggs until creamy and fluffy. Add remaining ingredients in order, mixing well after each addition.
Scoop dough with a teaspoon or soup spoon, depending on how big you like your cookies. Shape them into balls and place them on heated baking stones. Press them slightly flat with a fork. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes to desired doneness.
*For best results use natural peanut butter (Skippy or Jiff) that doesn’t need to be stirred after the jar is opened. Otherwise the cookies will not hold together.
Imagine my surprise when, after recording the All About Cookies podcast, I discovered a blog oversight of the first order. No recipe for Gingersnaps (AKA Molasses Crinkles) has been published before on this website. Today’s post rectifies the situation. The original recipe is from a cookies and candy cookbook Jolene received as a wedding shower gift in 1977. We updated it to make it lower in sugar, whole wheat, and dairy free.
1 cup lard at room temperature
1/2 cup Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Sticksat room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cup unbleached flour
4 teaspoons soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
Preheat oven to 375°. Cream together shortening, brown sugar, molasses, and eggs until light and fluffy. Stir together dry ingredients; stir into molasses mixture until well-blended. Form into small balls. Roll in granulated sugar and place 2 inches apart on heated baking stones. Bake for about 10 minutes. Remove from pan immediately. Makes about 8 dozen cookies.
Shepherd’s Pie is on this year’s short list of freezer meals, compliments of Anne. I didn’t eat it growing up or fix it for my kids, but she tasted it somewhere and has been perfecting the recipe ever since. It makes a good, hearty dish with plenty of veggies and makes a complete meal. It’s naturally gluten and dairy-free and can easily be made dairy-free. So Shepherd’s pie for supper means everybody in our family can eat from the same pan. Win-win-win!
1 and a half pound of russet potatoes, peeled and cooked
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons corn starch
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 cup beef or chicken broth
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup uncooked lentils, cooked
whatever herbs float your boat (thyme, sage, and rosemary work well)
1 1/2 pounds frozen mixed vegetables
1/2 cup butter (or butter substitute)
milk (or milk substitute
1 egg, beaten egg
Preheat oven to 400°. Saute onions and garlic in a dutch oven. When they are transparent, add ground beef and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook ground beef until browned. Sprinkle cornstarch over the browned meat and stir until meat is coated. Add tomato paste, broth, Worcestershire sauce, cooked lentils, and whatever herbs you like. Cook mixture until thickened. Add in frozen vegetables and combine thoroughly. Spread mixture into bottom of casserole pan. (If you are making a freezer meal, cover the casserole dish with foil. Label and date the casserole and put in freezer once it’s cooled. Wait to cook the potatoes and mash them until an hour and a half before serving the Shepherd’s Pie.)
To prepare the potatoes, add egg and butter to cooked potatoes and mash well. Add milk a quarter cup at a time until the potatoes are the consistency you like. Spread on top of casserole. Bake in oven on 400 for 20 to 30 minutes.
These dairy-free lasagna rolls made the Home Again Podcast short list of sanity-saving freezer meals. Anne created this recipe, and the non-dairy ricotta cheese substitute has the creamy texture that makes lasagna lasagna. If your family can eat dairy, just use ricotta in place of the almond/lemon juice/salt substitute. The ricotta freezes well, so no worries about making a double batch so one can go in the deep freeze.
Dairy-Free Lasagna Rolls
1 lb almonds
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt to taste
Soak almonds overnight and slip them all out of their skins. Puree with just enough water to keep your blender blending. (A Vitamix blender works best.) Once nuts are pureed to a smooth consistency, add lemon juice and salt until it tastes like ricotta cheese. Set aside.
2 butternut squash
8 ounces fresh spinach, chopped
9 cloves garlic, crushed
3 eggs, beaten
2 pounds cooked lasagna noodles
3 28 ounce cans of marinara sauce
Preheat oven to 350°. Cut squash in half the long way and scoop out seeds. Place squash halves, skins sides down on large cookie sheets. Bake in the oven until soft. Scoop out flesh, mash well, and combine with cheese substitute. Add the spinach, garlic, and eggs to the cheese substitute/squash mix. Add salt to taste.
Set out 3 9 x 13 (or smaller) casserole dishes. Spread cheese mix on cooked lasagna noodles and roll them up. Put 8 or 9 lasagna rolls in each casserole dish. Spread a can of marinara sauce over each pan of lasagna rolls. Bake 1 pan at 375° for about 30 minutes. Cover the other pans with foil after labeling the foil with a Sharpie marker.
These rolls are very filling. One pan feeds a family of five with no left overs. Add a green salad, and you have a complete meal!
Yes, that slice of cranberry-apple pie looks delicious. And as everyone in the Home Again gang can testify, it tasted even better than it looks. Anne and I mentioned this pie in our live Facebook video that showed how to make Grandma Conrad’s Never Fail Pie Crust.
I promised to publish this recipe more than a month ago. But between my broken foot recovery, the men racing to complete a basement remodel project before the baby arrives, Anne’s contractions coming and going for at least a month (and still 3 weeks until her due date), and Tad being 2-and-a-half, our three generation household has been a three ring circus. So Anne and I would like to apologize for the lack of a new podcast episode for the second week of January 2018 and for not completing the promised pie making video on our Patreon page. To be honest, the video probably won’t happen for quite a while and new podcast episodes will be scarce until Anne and the new baby, once she’s born, get into a manageable groove.
However, as we mentioned during our first Facebook live video of 2018, I am walking again. So at least I can share the promised recipe for cranberry-apple pie. We created it after we discovered the pie apples we froze last fall make a rather bland pie. Because we had purchased and frozen extra cranberries when they were on sale at Thanksgiving, we searched the internet for cranberry-apple recipes. But we wanted a simple recipe, and the ones on the internet required oodles of spices, orange zest and more. Once again, I pulled out the 1977 Betty Crocker Cookbook, which was a wedding present from my grandmother and found the simple recipe we wanted. As usual, we used much less sugar since Hiram tries to watch his sugar intake. We replaced the flour in the filling with minute tapioca because we like it better. We also used Earth Balance Buttery Vegan Sticks instead of butter since 3/5 of our household can’t do dairy.
3 cups peeled, sliced pie apples
2 cups whole cranberries, washed
1/2–3/4 cup sugar, depending on taste
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup minute tapioca
2 tablespoons Earth Balance Buttery Vegan Sticks
Cinnamon sugar in a shaker
Preheat oven to 425°. In a bowl combine apples, cranberries, sugar, cinnamon, and minute tapioca. Mix thoroughly until fruit is coated. Turn into a 9 inch pastry-lined pie pan. Dot fruit with Earth Balance. Carefully cover with top crust and crimp edges to seal. With a knife trim off any excess pie crust. Cut small air vents in the top crust. Spritz top crust lightly with water and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
Bake pie at 425° for 15 minutes. Turn oven down to 375° and bake for 45 minutes longer or until the center filling bubbles. If top crust begins to brown early, lightly cover with a sheet of aluminum foil. Take out of oven and place on a wire rack to cool.