Valentine’s Day is almost upon us! For us, this means Mommy buys/makes each child a special treat to remind them how much they are loved. (One of my love languages is gifts.) This year I bought them each a book at Chapters; Paw Patrol for the little guy and Star Wars for my daughter. I will also bake more heart shaped cookies for them and make heart shaped pancakes for breakfast. For my hubby, I have planned a special date night, a bit early, this Sunday. I can’t let the details out yet, as he often reads my blog. Often my hubby brings me flowers, because he knows I like them and usually there is a card, chocolate and/or coffee involved (are those considered love languages too?) This year, as we work on our health, I have attuned my taste buds to enjoy 70% dark chocolate (anything higher than that tastes like bitter wax in my opinion.) There are refined sugar free chocolate options at a price premium, but for now, I have decided that chocolate, for all its health and emotional benefits, is the one exception to every rule.
My hubby and I were originally married in December, but we were remarried on Valentine’s Day; no divorce. The reason was, at the time we lived in the States, but were married in Canada. Canada was undergoing a government level strike and was under a massive back log issuing marriage licenses. So, in order to process my American immigration paperwork, it made the most sense to get married again in the USA and have access to the paperwork almost immediately. (In case you are wondering, you can get married, legally, in as many countries as you like, as long as it is to the same spouse.) It was a very unromantic second wedding, in my hubby’s grandfather’s living room. Witnessed by his brothers and parents wearing jean shorts, and officiated by our pastor. The only reason we were even dressed up, was because we were the speakers at our church’s youth group Valentine’s banquet that evening. I chose to do it on Valentine’s Day so we would already have a reason to celebrate that day and it wouldn’t be another date for us to remember. I was trying to be considerate. It has served us well. If you follow the Holderness family on Facebook or YouTube, they put out a new Valentine’s Day song that is hilariously true for our marriage. https://youtu.be/O2LSSMKNMTY
So, without further ado, I leave you with a Valentine’s treat idea that my family enjoyed for dessert last night. It is Paleo approved, gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar free and still yummy! The cookies are firm and hold the ice cream well. They can be enjoyed alone, but are much better with ice cream! And yes, I am aware it is still February in Canada and we are covered in ice, but these cookies remind me of our second wedding on a sweltering day in southern Alabama.
Chocolate Cookie Recipe
Recipe slightly adapted from ambitiouskitchen.com. Makes about 2 dozen cookies, depending on how thick you make them and how big your cutouts are.
1/3 cup of coconut sugar
1/3 cup melted coconut oil (not too hot or it will cook the egg)
2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups almond flour
3 Tbsp coconut flour
1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Beat egg, coconut sugar, honey and coconut oil in your stand mixer until well combined.
Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix until a consistent dough is formed.
Prepare a large cookie tray with parchment paper and cut two extra large pieces of parchment paper.
Pace the dough between the two extra sheets of parchment and roll with a rolling pin until dough is about 1/4 inch thick.
Cut out shapes and using place them on your baking sheet.
Bake for about 8-9 minutes. They will look done at 6, but will crumble if not fully set. You need them firmer to hold the ice cream.
They should easily pop off the parchment paper when cooked enough, then cool on a baking rack until nice and firm (at least an hour).
Store in fridge.
Strawberry Ice Cream
Makes 6-8 servings.
2 cups frozen strawberries
1 can coconut milk (full fat)
2 medium ripe bananas, peeled
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
Blend all ingredients together in a blender or food processor.
Turn on your ice cream maker and pour ‘batter’ in as it is running.
Let churn for about 20 minutes.
Place in the freezer in a freezer safe container until firm enough to cut into shapes.
Use the same cookie cutter for your ice cream that you did your cookies to make neat sammies.