Tag Archives: holiday

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap

Christmas is just a little over a week away, so obviously we need to talk cookies! This year I participated in the great food blogger cookie swap and not only was it a lot of fun, but by participating you helped raise money for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, which was the main reason I signed up for the swap.

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2014

I’ve done a few cookie swaps already with some of my fellow blogger friends, but for this one we were assigned people based on our dietary needs which was awesome.  Since the bloggers I had couldn’t have nuts, I went with my favorite tried and true recipe: oatmeal chocolate chip cookies adapted from the Tartine cookbook (seriously, if you haven’t made these yet, DO IT).

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies Close UpMy first set of cookies I received came from Heather from Majorly Delicious.  She made salted caramel bars, and as expected, they were amazing.

My husband pretty much devoured two right on the spot, and we ended up freezing a couple to have as a frozen treat when the mood strikes as well.  Heather was also SO great in listing out all the ingredients she used as well as the brand so I could double-check to make sure there weren’t any hidden allergens in there.

Our next batch came from TammyJo from the Chocolate Cult, and they were chocolate banana cookies. Banana and chocolate are pretty much a harmonious combo (as is banana and pb) so these were great.  Loved the tin they came in as well!

Last but certainly not least, Betsy from Java Cupcake sent her easy chocolate chip cookies with holiday sprinkles!  And really, you can’t go wrong when sprinkles are involved.

I loved that the 3 batches of cookies I received were all so different and I felt really reflected each blogger’s personality.  The cookie swap definitely got me in the holiday spirit and I can’t wait to do some more holiday baking this month.

Chocolate Oatmeal Pecan Cookies (adapted from the Tartine Cookbook)

Makes 24 cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup coconut oil, softened
½ cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tbsp almond milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
¼ cup white chocolate chips

1. Pre-heat your oven to 350F. Lightly grease two baking sheets with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
2. In a mixing bowl blend your flour, baking powder, baking soda and oats and set aside.
3. Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer (or you can whisk by hand) beat your coconut oil until creamy and begin to fold in your sugar. 4. Add your eggs one at a time and continue to mix until well blended.
5. Add your milk, vanilla and salt to your wet mixture and then slowly fold in your dry ingredients.
6. Lastly add your pecans and chocolate chips and continue to mix until everything is nicely combined.
7. Scoop spoonfuls of dough onto the baking sheet and flatten. You may need to wet your hands a bit since the dough will be sticky.
8. Place cookies in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the bottoms are lightly browned. Remove cookies from oven and let cool, then enjoy!

Chocolate Oatmeal Pecan CookiesInterested in participating in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap?  Learn more here.

Flourless Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

I’m going to let you in on a little secret:  I don’t really love peppermint.  There, I said it.  I’ll pass on peppermint mochas, I’ll never order mint chip ice cream, and we all know that Samoas rule over Thin Mints.  But when the folks at Peanut Butter & Co. asked us to come up with our favorite #candycanehacks using candy canes and peanut butter, I decided to take the plunge and created flourless chocolate peppermint cookies (P.S.- check the bottom of this post for a fun little giveaway!).

flourless chocolate peppermint cookies

Peppermint and peanut butter? I know, the combo sounded weird to me too, but when you pair peppermint with Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter, it’s actually quite the delicious combo.

Dark Chocolate Dreams happens to be one of my favorite Peanut Butter & Co. flavors, so I knew I wanted to keep these cookies as simple as possible without messing with the integrity of the flavor in Dark Chocolate Dreams (I take my pb pretty seriously).  Just an egg, some cocoa powder, crushed candy canes and peanut butter and you are pretty much set to go!

dark chocolate dreams jar

I based this recipe off my flourless honey peanut butter cookies from last year with just a few additional tweaks for maximum chocolate goodness.  The best part about this recipe is that the cookies cook super fast, so you’ll have a delicious chocolate peppermint treat in no time!

While peppermint still may not be #1 on my list, I’ll definitely be making these cookies again.

Flourless Chocolate Peppermint Cookies (makes a dozen cookies)


1 cup Dark Chocolate Dreams Peanut Butter

1 tsp sea salt

2 tbsp cocoa powder

1/4 cup crushed candy cane pieces

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg


Preheat your oven to 350F.  Line a baking sheet with cooking spray or parchment paper so your cookies don’t stick!

Unwrap your candy canes and place in a plastic bag.  Cover the bag with a towel and use a hammer or mallet to crush them (not the most graceful way I know, but it gets the job done).  Pour your candy cane pieces into a bowl and set aside.

flourless chocolate peppermint cookies

In a large mixing bowl add your peanut butter, sea salt, egg, cocoa powder, baking soda and vanilla and mix well.  The mixture will be quite sticky so make sure it is all well blended.

Gently fold your candy cane pieces into your cookie batter and continue to mix.

Place spoonfuls of batter onto your cooking sheet and flatten into a cookie shape (or keep as a cookie ball if you want!).

flourless peppermint chocolate cookies tray

Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until the bottoms are lightly brown.  The inside of the cookie will be deliciously gooey from the peanut butter.

Serve with milk or just on their own.  Pro tip: these cookies taste great frozen as well!

flourless chocolate peppermint cookies

Thanks for Peanut Butter & Co. for sending me the pb + the candy canes!  I’m so excited to have a new cookie recipe for the holidays!

Peanut Butter & Co. wants to share the holiday spirit by offering a discount to Sweet Potato Bites readers!  Simply enter code YUMSQUADLOVE at checkout for 25% off! (offer good through the month of December)

AND of course it wouldn’t be a Peanut Butter & Co. post without a little giveaway fun!  One lucky winner will receive a jar of Dark Chocolate Dreams and Old Fashioned Crunchy (my personal favorites), which is perfect for all of your holiday baking!  Enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Giveaway open to U.S. residents only and closes on 12/17/14 at midnight.

Renegade Racing Santa Run

After blogging about it for a few weeks now, this past weekend I finally ran the Renegade Racing Santa Run.  While this wasn’t a race to get a PR time, I definitely got a PR in FUN.

This was the first race that the Englishman and I ran with a group of friends, and definitely something I want to do again in the future.  My friend from San Francisco flew down for the occasion and Karla from Foodologie joined us with her boyfriend and a couple of their friends.  Since we had a decent sized group, we decided to get into the holiday spirit by wearing antlers and becoming a “reindeer crew.”

Renegade Racing Santa RunAnd just for the record, running with antlers makes any race 10x more fun, even if the antlers kept falling off because of the wind.

As for the actual race itself, it was great seeing people dress up and get into the holiday spirit. My only complaint about the race would be that the 5K and 10K racers start at the same time and are running together until about 1.5 miles in so it got pretty congested at the beginning.  I think it would’ve been better to have the 10K group start a bit ahead of the 5K group so people weren’t trampling all over each other.

The course itself is a basic out and back through some paved/dirt trails in Irvine with a few small inclines scattered throughout.  There were some points on the trail that it felt a bit congested, but it thinned out pretty quick.

Santa Run MedalOverall this is a great race to run with friends and to help you get into the holiday spirit!  Every finisher got a Renegade Racing Santa Run medal too which I thought was awesome.

Even though my 10K training is done (for the moment), I’m going to keep posting running/race recaps as well as training updates as I figure out my next race.

Here’s this week’s update:

Monday:  6 mile run @ 9:17 pace

Tuesday: At Home WOD (100 pushups, 150 sit ups, 200 squats, 3 mile run) @8:47 pace

Wednesday: 3.45 mile run @ 9:08 pace

Thursday: Crossfit

Friday: Crossfit

Saturday: Santa Run! @10:45 pace

Sunday: Spinning

I need a new goal race for 2014.  Any suggestions?