Oh hey October 21st, it's almost Halloween!! Am I the only one who finds it insanely crazy how the days sneak past so quickly and before you know it another holiday has arrived?! It's almost Halloween, folks!! So to celebrate, I just HAD to bake up a tasty jack-o-lantern-inspired treat, because who doesn't love adorable pumpkin-carved faces!!
When I first started planning this recipe, I knew I wanted to use a natural dye to create an orange icing. So I went straight to The Google, herself! She's one smart lady! I found out that carrot juice is one of THE best orange food dyes. So it was decided. It's pretty easy to find 100% carrot juice at the store. I used Bolthouse Farms 100% carrot juice. As you can see, it lived up to all of the hype and created a beautiful orange icing that I was thrilled with!
I have not listed an icing recipe below, because I'm still working on that. If you're interested in a healthier-alternative icing recipe, let me know. When using carrot juice to dye your icing, start out with 1 tablespoon of carrot juice and continue to add one tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired color. Keep in mind, you want your icing to be fairly thick before adding the carrot juice, because if not you're going to end up with runny icing. Not very aesthetically pleasing! ;)
If you're looking for a gluten-free cookie cake, this one is THE BOMB! We're using fresh-ground oat flour. I couldn't stop eating the cookie dough. I nearly gave myself a belly ache! I must work on my self-control around sugar. It's seriously becoming a problem.
As for the jack-o-lantern face, we're using our nutty and sweet Goin' Nuts granola. It's perfect! It adds such a sweet, delicious flavor to your bite of cookie cake! It also makes a super fun recipe to bake up and decorate with your little ones!
Now before we get started, let me make this clear - this may not be the healthiest cookie cake on the planet. Yes, there are two sticks of butter. But don't go hating on butter -- choose real butter over margarine which is a hydrogenated oil. My focus is on creating delicious, nutrition-filled recipes that you can feel great about eating. Life is about balance, though. I encourage finding that balance in your life and loving on yourself rather than berating yourself. So if you splurge and make this delicious cookie cake for your Halloween party this year, don't fret! Just have a small slice. :) Life is sweet. It's OK to enjoy that sweetness every once in awhile!
Jack-o-lantern Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
(16 servings - makes 15" cookie cake)
4 ½ cups oats
2 sticks butter (1 cup)
3/4 cup organic brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tsp organic vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
4 cups oats (ground into an oat flour using your food processor)
1 cup extra dark chocolate chips
1 cup Goin' Nuts granola
Mix it. Bake it. Ice it. Decorate it!
1. Using a mixer, mix butter and sugars until combined (may be slightly crumbly).
2. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth.
3. Grind oats in a food processor until they're the consistency of a flour.
4. In a separate bowl, combine the baking soda, salt, and oat flour. Add to the wet ingredients. Mix until combined.
5. Add chocolate chips. Yes!!
6. This is the fun part - time to get your hands dirty! Spread the dough onto a 15 inch pizza stone (or a lightly greased round pan). Your cookie WILL spread so leave 2-3 inches around the sides and form cookie cake so that the center of the cake is thicker than the edges so that once it spreads it's even.
7. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
8. Let cool. Then top with icing. I left about 1 inch around the edges for a nice cookie "crust" to hold when eating!
9. Decide on a funny jack-o-lantern face and start decorating with your granola!
*I used a 15inch round pizza stone and had a little cookie dough drip over the edges during the baking. So I seriously recommend leaving several inches around the stone for your cookie to spread. I also recommend making your cookie cake much thicker in the center so it spreads across the enter cookie cake and not from your edges onto the bottom of your oven! :)
*Buy icing or make your own and use 100% carrot juice as a natural dye! Don't worry about flavor - you can't tell there is carrot juice in there!
You can buy our fresh + healthy, organic-based granola here!
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