Gwyneth Paltrow’s Lalo’s Famous Cookies (aka be careful before baking something made up by a gizillionaire…)

lalo cookie

In a quest to eat healthy and yummy food, I decided to make these cookies from Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook, Notes from my Kitchen Table. The ‘Lalo’ in the name is what her children call her mother, and these are great cookies to give young ones as they are very healthy. However, in order to make them according to the recipe you really do need to have the bank account of an Oscar-winning actress/wife of giant rock star! I reckon the recipe in the book will leave you with little change from £15, so I’ll include her recipe and my own adaptations. I think this still came close to £10, which is not something I can justify very often, but they are lovely.

450 g barley flour (I didn’t have barley flour in the cupboard, so used half plain flour and half spelt flour)

450 g unblanched whole almonds, crushed in a food processor (I don’t think I crushed mine enough, which is fine from a taste perspective but which means they didn’t hold together as well as they might. I also wonder if it would be cheaper to use ground almonds with a handful of crushed whole almonds to give them crunch. This is over £5 worth of almonds after all!)

1 tsp fine salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

250 ml rapeseed oil (I only had sunflower oil in the house but rapeseed oil is better for you overall. On my shopping list for next time.)

250 ml real Vermont maple syrup (This is the real killer, cost-wise, at least in the UK. A 250ml bottle of maple syrup set me back over £6! What I did was use half maple syrup and half Sweet Freedom. Still expensive but a savings, without resorting to sugar.)

Your favourite jam (I used cherry, but also experimented with Nutella and peanut butter. All very yummy!)

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Combine all the ingredients except for the jam together in a large bowl with a wooden spoon. Form tablespoons into balls and space them evenly on baking sheets. Using your index finger, make an indent in each cookie. Fill each indent with a small spoonful of jam. Bake until cookies are evenly browned, about 20 minutes. Let cool before eating.

These aren’t low-calorie, and my adaptations still left this at 5 ProPoints, if you’re using Weight Watchers (which I am). However, it goes to show that while healthy may not always equal low-cal, it’s still very yummy, very filling and good for the soul, if not for the wallet.

There are some great looking recipes on her website, including these granola bars which I might make this week.

Summer baking

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The weather has been truly diabolical today, not fit for man nor beast, but especially not flip flops. To make up for it, we had the oven on all afternoon. My contribution were these delectable chocolate snickerdoodles. I exchanged some of the butter for crunchy peanut butter, which gives them an additional richness, without a huge shift in calories. They’re particularly good if you replace some of the plain flour with spelt flour (say, a quarter), but I’m all out. Still, they help to ease the pain of a truly dreadful summer.

Cinnamon Donut Muffins

Even though the sun was shining hot this afternoon, I decided to try out this recipe that I got from a friend who found it on the Doodle Bug Kitchen blog.  We had the in-laws over this afternoon, and I think that having something fresh always makes them feel welcome. The kids gobbled them up, and hubby had three. I feel like there’s maybe a bit too much baking soda in them, so would probably replace it with a bit of baking powder possibly. I also only buttered them on top, as the recipe calls for, but my friend did the whole muffin in butter, cinnamon and sugar, and they did look truly decadent. I paired them with fresh watermelon, to cut through some of the indulgence and to make me feel less guilty about giving the kids muffins for supper!