Cook this: super simple 6 ingredient cookies (gluten, lactose, egg free)

I used to hate Fridays. Back when I was working in gyms and in retail travel. I bloody hated Fridays. Because when everyone else was winding down from the week and ready to enjoy their weekend, I was just gearing up. Friday was like a Tuesday or Wednesday for me. For the first decade of my working life, I worked almost every weekend. And it sucked.

But now that I’m doing the corporate thing for work, and not stressing about whether or not I’ll actually get paid because I no longer get paid per personal training session or on commission per holiday sold, weekends are a thing of beauty. Friday is a happy day. I get to wear my jeans to work and be all “casual.” I get to visit my beloved Preston Market after work and do my groceries with the Euro-nannas. I get to take said groceries home and bake something! That’s where it can get a little tricky – Friday nights are when you want something nice to nibble on, but can’t actually be bothered putting in much of an effort, because, ya know, it’s Friday.

Enter these guys. Cookies from the heavens.
6 ingredients.
1 bowl.
1 spoon.
Highly customizable.
Gluten free.
Lactose free.
Egg free.

This is Friday night baking at its best. Now, throw these together when you get home this afternoon and prepare a glass of wine to go with that shitty movie you’re planning to unwind with after another long week at work.

Unless you work in the gym or retail sector, in which case prepare a double batch and a bottle of wine, and good luck for the weekend!!

(Based loosely on the cookie layer recipe from Eating Bird Food’s Twix Bars)

Ingredients:
– 1 cup almond meal
– ⅛ tsp sea salt
– ⅛ tsp baking soda
– 2 tbsp maple syrup
– 1.5 tbsp vegetable oil
– 1.5 tsp vanilla extract

That’s the base 6 ingredients you need, but then you can top the cookies with whatever you want. I used chocolate chips, but anything goes!

1. Throw everything into a bowl and mix it together – when it becomes too crumbly, use your hands to smoosh it all together.

2. Line an oven tray with baking paper, and take tablespoon (or teaspoon, depending on what you’re after) sized chunks of dough, roll into balls and flatten slightly, placing them on the baking tray as you go. If you want to add a little something on top, like my chocolate chips, do that now.

3. Sit the tray in the freezer for 15 minutes, and while they’re resting, preheat the oven to 160°C.

4. Take the cookies out of the freezer and into the oven for 15 minutes; once they’re baked (they won’t brown up much, and that’s ok – they’re not meant to!), take them out of the oven and let them cool on the tray to room temperature.

5. Eat all of the cookies while watching the latest episodes of The Vampire Diaries and America’s Next Top Model. Yes they are my guilty pleasures, judge away, I don’t even care. Except that tonight I won’t be in my PJs by 7pm, because I’ll be out at the first Christmas party of the season… I hope they have cookies…

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Cook this: hands down best ever chocolate mug cake (no, really!)

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Sometimes, desperate times call for desperate measures. Tuesday night was one of those times. It was one of those “F-the-world-and-give-me-chocolate” nights. Only problem was that all I had to work with was cocoa powder and some cacao nibs. Couldn’t even make a cake, because I had no damn eggs in the house. Dire straits. Then I remembered, Google can usually solve all of life’s problems, so I Googled “egg free chocolate mug cake” and praise the chocolate gods, I found this recipe on Table for Two’s blog. I kinda scoffed at the claim of the most moist and magnificent mug cake ever, but HOLY WOW!! It actually, genuinely, dead set is! This is absolutely incredible!!! I’ll no longer be making my mug cakes with eggs! In the name of quality control, I also made it again last night, with a few changes. The result was probably the only chocolate cake I’ll ever make again.

To make yourself a little cup of heaven, you’re going to need:

  • ¼ cup plain flour
  • 1 heaped tbsp cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • small pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup + 1 tbsp. milk (I like almond milk for this one)
  • a few drops of vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil

This next bit is pretty easy…
1. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large mug.
2. Stir in the milk, vanilla and vegetable oil to make a batter.

Because that wasn’t quite enough for me, I then took a large Caramello Koala, broke it up into pieces, and stirred that in, too. If I’d had any peanut butter, I’d have used that instead, and in fact plan to try that out over the weekend. Nutella will work too, I’d assume. Or a combination of all.

I microwaved mine for a minute and a half, this will probably depend on your microwave. I took mine out when it looked like this (and then sprinkled some cacao nibs on top for good measure):
The result was sheer chocolate cake perfection. It is a surprisingly light and fluffy and moist cake, where as most mug cakes I’ve tried have been fairly dry and almost a little rubbery. This was soft and airy and full of happiness. Now get off your computer and make one.

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