Cookie Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Cups – And, They’re No-Bake!

 

Cookie Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Cups Made With Penotti Cookie Notti
Cookie Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Cups Made With Penotti Cookie Notti

I love to bake, a lot, and recently I’ve been experimenting with cookie butter. I discovered cookie butter about a year ago and I’ve been busy developing new ways to bake with it.

Cookie butter is a spread that’s been popular in Europe for many years and is now available and gaining popularity in North America. Made primarily from speculoos cookies, cookie butter looks like and has a similar consistency to peanut butter.

When I did some reading on the origins of cookie butter and speculoos cookies in particular, I realized that I practically grew up on these cookies! Speculoos, or speculaas, cookies are a Belgian spiced shortbread cookie that are popular year round in Europe. You’ve probably seen them in old-fashioned type tins around the holidays and you may have seen them in the cookie section of your grocery store. Speculoos cookies are brown in color, crunchy, and often have a caramel flavor in addition to hints of cinnamon. In Europe and the Middle East, these cookies are served as tea biscuits and used for baking – they’re consumed and enjoyed all year round.

Speculoos Cookies
Speculoos Cookies

Cookie butter is primarily made of crushed up speculoos cookies, with the addition of oil/fat, milk ingredients, sugar, and flour. It’s caramel in color, and is used as a breakfast spread or in recipes. There are many variations of cookie butter: smooth, crunchy, and mixed with hazelnut or other ingredients. It’s very sweet and I’ve been known to eat it straight out of the jar! It smells and tastes delicious.

Penotti Cookie Notti Cookie Butter
Penotti Cookie Notti Cookie Butter

If you have a sweet tooth, you will love cookie butter and you’ll want to find lots of ways to use it. I recently spent time developing a recipe using some of my favorite ingredients, like oatmeal and chocolate. I tested it on my daughter and her friend and they loved these little cookie butter cups.

These cookie butter cups are like a piece of fudge or a truffle. They’re sweet and smooth and, by making them in mini-cupcake liners, they are a small indulgence. Of course, they can be made as drop cookies, or poured in bigger sizes. The key to making these cookie butter chocolate oatmeal cups is to use pure cocoa, with no additions of carbonate. I used Ghirardelli, but you can use any cocoa, as long as you check the label. If you use the cocoa with sodium carbonate, it tends to thicken the mixture and alter the texture.

What I love about these cookie butter chocolate oatmeal cups is that they’re no-bake, nut-free, and use one pot to make. They take about 5-10 minutes to make and can be stored in the fridge or at room temperature.

By the way, I’m using Penotti Cookie Notti cookie butter, made by one of the original manufacturers of spreads in Europe. You can find it next to the peanut butter in most grocery stores.

Cookie Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Cups
Cookie Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Cups Made With Penotti’s Cookie Notti

Here’s my original recipe.

Cookie Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Cups
(
Yields 20 Mini Cups)

Ingredients:
1/4 cup margarine or butter
1/4 cup milk
1 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons cocoa powder (I used Ghirardelli)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup crunchy or plain Penotti Cookie Notti cookie butter
3/4 quick cooking oats (not instant)
Broken pieces of speculoos cookies and sprinkles for decorating (optional)

Method:

  • Line mini cupcake tins with 20 liners
  • Bring the margarine, milk, sugar, and cocoa powder to a boil in a small pot over low heat
  • When the entire surface of the mixture starts to boil, let it boil for one minute
  • Remove from heat
  • Add the vanilla and the cookie butter and stir until smooth
  • Stir in the oatmeal
  • Use a spoon or an ice cream scoop (2-3 tsp) to fill the muffin cups
  • Place a broken piece of speculoos cookie in the center of each muffin cup or add sprinkles on top, if using

Note: you have to work fast once you add the cookie butter. Don’t let the mixture sit or it will thicken and change the consistency of the cups and they will be harder to scoop out and decorate.

Cookie Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Cups
Cookie Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Cups
Cookie Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Cups
Cookie Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Cups
Cookie Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Cups
Cookie Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Cups

I’ve made other recipes using cookie butter but you’ll have to stay tuned for those in future posts! Have you tried cookie butter as a spread or in recipes? I’d love to hear how you enjoy cookie butter!

Cookie Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Cups
Cookie Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Cups
Cookie Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Cups Made With Cookie Notti
Cookie Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Cups Made With Cookie Notti

This post is sponsored by Penotti Canada and I have received compensation for this post. All opinions are my own. Recipe copyright of Mary Ashkar & SweetLifeStyle.ca

Email This Post Email This Post Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagram

3 Things I Know For Sure About My Anxiety Journey

As someone who suffers from anxiety on a regular basis, I’ve noticed there are three things that have been consistently true about this mental illness: each anxiety journey is personal, it changes over time, and talking about it helps.

When I shared my personal anxiety journey with you in a post on Bell Let’s Talk Day, I mentioned that I would post more on living with anxiety. I have a lot to share.

Anxiety is a personal journey

The first point I’ve noticed about anxiety is that it’s a personal journey.

As the stigma around mental illness is slowly being lifted, more and more people are talking about having anxiety, and no two stories are alike. This was a big a-ha moment for me, because when people would open up to me, I wanted to help. I know what it is to suffer, and I want to share my experience. But, you can’t really give advice to someone else because of the nuanced thoughts and behaviors around each person’s experience.

Each anxiety journey is unique. I took two Cognitive Behavior Therapy classes, which worked really well for me, and it was in the second one that the mental health professional would specifically remind us not to say ‘you should do x, y, or z’ to anyone. We had to use words like ‘for me, this worked’ or ‘I found this helpful in this situation’. At first that bothered me because I had to check myself a lot, but I soon understood. Each person’s story was completely different.

Continue reading

Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagram

5 Ways To Make Toronto (Or Any Big City) Feel Smaller

Nathan Philips Square at Toronto City Hall
Nathan Philips Square at Toronto City Hall

Ever feel like Toronto is getting too big, too busy, and too hard to get around? Well, you’re not alone. In 2016, the census metropolitan area of Toronto was almost 6 million and is growing at a faster rate than the national average. In fact, Toronto ranks as North America’s 4th largest city in terms of population, according to the Economic Intelligence Unit, after Mexico City, New York, and Los Angeles.

I love living in a big city. There are always new exhibitions to see, restaurants to try, and quaint neighborhoods to discover. In fact, I often feel there are so many options to choose from, and that I miss out on some fantastic opportunities because I just can’t be in two places at the same time!

One of the things that I’d like to share more with you, the readers of my blog, is how to live slow and intentionally. I didn’t realize there was a term for how I like to live. I’m an emotional person, love connecting with people, and tend to overthink things. But I also appreciate all the things life has to offer, the big and the small, the material and the immaterial. I like being alone as much as I like being with others. And, I like walking outside as much as I can, enjoying nature and just feeling a part of the world. Yes, even in a big city, you can experience much of mother nature. Continue reading

Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagram

How To Make The Best Avocado Greek Salad!

Avocado Greek Salad
Avocado Greek Salad

There’s one salad that my husband and kids can all agree on, and that’s my Avocado Greek Salad! It’s also a hit with guests at our summer barbecues, and all year-round. It’s very easy to make, and with the avocados, feta cheese, and olives, it’s a filling and delicious salad. Most people ask for the recipe after they’ve tasted it.

Greek Salad, like most foods these days, means different things to different people. There are so many variations at restaurants and in homes. Some Greek Salad is made with iceberg lettuce, others with romaine lettuce. The type of feta cheese used (sheep or cow) can make a difference in taste, as can the type of tomato (plum versus hot house versus beef steak or even cherry tomatoes).

And, the original Greek Salad is not likely what you’re having when you go to a Greek restaurant in North America. The traditional Greek Salad, called Horiatiki, is made with tomatoes, green peppers, red onions, and cucumbers – without any lettuce. It’s dressed with sliced feta, kalamata olives, salt, oregano, and the best olive oil and (sometimes) vinegar — this is what you’ll find served in most restaurants in Greece.

Although the traditional Greek Salad is delicious, my family likes it with the addition of romaine lettuce and a whole avocado. Yes, I said avocado! We all know the health benefits of avocados: they’re low in saturated fat, contain zero cholesterol, and are high in potassium. There’s also something about the avocado that lends a creaminess and dimension to the salad. Continue reading

Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagram

7 Reasons I Love Visiting With Family

Broummana, Lebanon
Broummana, Lebanon

7 Reasons I Love Visiting With Family

In the last month, I’ve visited with family in two very different parts of the world, and I wanted to share with you why I loved these two family visits. In early March, I went to Lebanon to visit my parents, brothers, and extended family, and, in late March, we went to the US to visit my husband’s family. Although these trips were in places far apart from each other, the reasons I enjoyed the visits are very similar.

As part of being mindful of how I spend my time, I really paid attention to the visits I had and why they were so important and meaningful. Visiting family seems like something you do because it’s associated with a certain holiday or milestone. Sometimes you feel like you need to make these visits out of obligation or expectations. Sometimes you love making the trips and taking the effort. And, sometimes, you’re just so darn grateful for the opportunities and savor each moment. The latter is how I felt in the last month.

Here are the 7 reasons I loved visiting with family recently. I hope they inspire you to plan more visits!

Reason 1: My family is a part of my history
This sounds so obvious, but it’s really deeper than having people who are related to you. I’m talking about the family resemblance, the common cultural background, a country’s understood traditions, and the feeling of connectedness. When you’re around your immediate and extended family, you see where some of your mannerisms and points of reference come from. For example, in Lebanon, we’re a bit of loud family. We yell from room to room or outside to someone in the garden. The neighbors pretty much know what we’re up to! In my family in particular, we are bitterly honest with each other and we tell it like it is. For spouses and in-laws, this may seem harsh at times, but it’s what we’re used to and how we grew up. It’s done lovingly, really. Engaging in this banter made me understand that growing up like this was normal for me, but that it might not seem so normal to my nuclear family of my husband and two teens, or for my in-laws. Continue reading

Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagram

The Best Banana Oatmeal Muffins I’ve Ever Made

Banana Oat Muffins
Banana Oat Muffins

This Banana Oat Muffins recipe is one of my new favorite recipes and I wanted to share it with you in time for the weekend.

I’ve been obsessed with oatmeal these days: steel cut oats for breakfast, dark chocolate oatmeal cookies, breakfast oatmeal cookies (recipe blogged here), and oatmeal waffles (recipe here)! There’s something filling about oats and the fiber content is a plus. So, I’m always on the lookout for all kinds of ways to enjoy oatmeal.

The other day I googled banana oat muffins and a few recipes came up. I spent time going through the recipe comments because I think that’s one of the best ways to know if the recipe works and how much people like it. Well, the Banana Oat Muffins recipe from Genius Kitchen had so many amazing reviews and comments, I just had to try it!

Banana Oat Muffins
Banana Oat Muffins

The best thing about these muffins is that they use about 5 bananas, or 2 cups.  I always seem to have ripe bananas in the fruit bowl and this recipe put them to great use. Continue reading

Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagram

Strawberry Banana Oatmeal Waffles

Strawberry Banana Oatmeal Waffles
Strawberry Banana Oatmeal Waffles

I’ve been meaning to post this Strawberry Banana Oatmeal Waffle recipe for some time now and, given that it’s National Waffle Day, why not?

Oatmeal is a food and fiber that I’ve always loved, be it in cookies, for breakfast, or in granola bars. Now I’m loving oatmeal in waffles. It also seems like waffles are all the rage these days, so I’ve probably been craving them subliminally. Have you seen the chicken and waffle recipes on Instagram and social media? What about waffle sandwiches at brunch? I admit to partaking in the latter.

When I was looking around for an oatmeal waffle recipe, I came across lots of them: gluten free, vegan, sugar-free. I tried many versions and tweaked the sugar levels. Interestingly, many used maple syrup, but I just stuck to regular sugar, to keep the batter thick. I played around with the fruit ingredients, sometimes using applesauce from a jar and sometimes increasing the fresh fruit content to where I didn’t include any applesauce.

The thing about this strawberry banana oatmeal waffle recipe is that it’s pretty forgiving. As long as it’s not too runny or too thick, a waffle iron can handle it! I also make it in a big glass measuring cup, which makes pouring it onto the waffle iron very easy. Continue reading

Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagram

Apple Crumble Cups – So Tasty and Presentable!

Apple Crumble CupsIf you like crumbles, or anything with oatmeal, sugar, and butter in it, then you’re going to love these Apple Crumble Cups that are easy and oh-so-presentable!

I’ve written two posts on crumbles (peach/strawberry and peach) in the past. If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between a crisp, a crumble, and a cobbler, it’s that crumbles contain oatmeal. This recipe is from allrecipes.com and is originally called a crisp, but it’s technically a crumble!

The reason I wanted to share this recipe is because I’ve been searching for one that makes mini crumbles. I was served something like this at a friend’s house, and I loved how cute and compact it is. Yesterday I was talking to my mom about a recipe she had seen on TV, and it reminded me of all the uneaten apples sitting in our fruit basket. I had to make some type of crumble!

Apple Crumble CupsHere’s the recipe, as taken from Allrecipes, attributed to Debbie Eckstein. I’ve changed the name to call it ‘Apple Crumble Cups’ instead of ‘Apple Crisp Cups’. At the end, I’ve given tips on how I made my cups. Continue reading

Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagram

Sharing the ‘Little Things’ That Made Me Happy In A 24 Hour Period!

Enjoying the little things in life

When you enjoy the little things in life, you feel happier. It sounds simple, and it is. You know what I’m talking about: the little things like appreciating a blue sky after a few days of rain, walking around comfortably in above zero temperatures after weeks of freezing weather, and engaging in a pleasant 15 minute conversation with your teen.

In today’s busy world, I feel like I’m always on the go and that I don’t have a second to myself. Well, in the last few days, I’ve enjoyed a lot of little things that have made me happy, despite running around and overscheduling my time. Perhaps inspired by the little notebook I picked up from the dollar store recently or perhaps inspired by mindfully appreciating every moment I have with friends and family, I thought I would share the simple things that brought me joy over a 24 hour period.

Here are the little things that made me happy over the course of a day: Continue reading

Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagram

Chocolate Candy Box Cake – Sooo Easy To Make!

Chocolate Candy Box Cake Made With Kit Kat Border
Chocolate Candy Box Cake

Every once in a while, you come across the easiest wow-factor cake and you wonder why you’ve never tried to make it before! That’s how I felt about the chocolate candy box cake that I’d been seeing on Instagram for a while now.

I’ve heard this cake called: ‘chocolate candy box cake’, ‘candy box cake’, or ‘Kit Kat cake’ – the latter because of the border around it. It’s basically a chocolate cake that has a bunch of candy on top. It has a border made of Kit Kat or other chocolate finger treats or pirouline wafers. You can make it in the shape of a circle or a rectangle and you can put only chocolate on it or a mix of candy and chocolate. Once you’re done, wrap a ribbon around the cake, and you’re done.

I did some online searches and watched a few YouTube videos for tips on how to make the cake. There’s lots of inspiration out there, so have a look.

Here are the 5 easy steps I took for making my daughter a chocolate candy box cake for her 18th birthday. You can also read my last post on throwing a surprise 18th birthday party, where we served this cake. Continue reading

Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagram