The first are the BEST COOKIES I have ever had. Introducing:
Sunflower Seed Cookies
1 c. butter, at room temperature
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. white sugar
1 Tbs. vanilla + 3" scraping of Vanilla Bean (this can be omitted if you can't find vanilla bean, but it is SO MUCH BETTER if you keep it in!)
1 1/2 c. flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
3 c. quick oats
1 c. salted sunflower seeds (this does make a difference!), toasted
1 c. nuts (pecans or walnuts are best), chopped
1 1/2 c. dried cherries (you can use dried cranberries, but the cherries are extra-good)
1. Cream together the butter and both sugars.
2. Add the eggs, one at a time, and vanilla and vanilla bean
3. Add the flour, salt, baking soda and quick oats. At this point, the dough will be fairly dry.
4. Fold in the nuts, fruit and seeds.
5. Form in rolls or drop by the Tablespoon on a heavily buttered cookie sheet. Alternately, you can use a well-seasoned pizza-type stone (I have Pampered Chef stones, but others that might also work if they're well seasoned.) Bake at 350 degrees for 10 - 12 minutes. Watch the cookies carefully to remove them before they're brittle. If they're too brittle to get them off the pan, you can put them back in the oven for just a minute to soften them back up.) Remove them from the pan onto cooling racks.
The second recipe is for you chocolate lovers - super simple, super tasty, and just a small bite will do ya'!
Fruity-Yummy Chocolate Bars
One package dark chocolate chips (Hershey's Special Dark works well for me)
1 - 1 1/2 c. salted pretzels, broken up
2 - 3 c. dried fruit, such as cherries, cranberries, blueberries, or chopped up apricots
1 - 1 1/2 c. salted sunflower seeds
*Optional Ingredients* 1/2 c. chopped up nuts
1 c. coconut
Dash of chili powder
1. Prepare ahead by laying out a sheet of wax paper on a cutting board. This is a quick recipe so try to have all the ingredients ready at hand before starting.
2. Melt the chocolate over low heat, stirring continually to keep it from scorching. The chocolate will not really get hot enough to burn at any point if the heat is low enough. It won't take long. Remove the chocolate from the heat.
3. Mix in the other ingredients.
4. Using a rubber spatula, spread the warm mixture out on the wax paper. Put the mix into the fridge overnight or the freezer for about 2 to 3 hours.
5. Remove from the freezer/fridge and cut into bars. If frozen you may have to let it sit out for 20 minutes to soften enough to cut. Store in a baggie or container in the fridge - the more pure the chocolate, the faster it will melt. The Hershey's SD melts rather quickly in your fingers so have wipes or a sink on hand when you eat them! A small piece is perfect for dessert!
I've done each of the optional ingredients, one at a time, in this recipe to great success. Just be careful with that chili powder, too much can ruin the whole thing!
Looking forward to hearing your reviews!