The Goodie Bags

It wasn’t until I was brushing my teeth this morning that I froze and remembered one crucial thing:

I never taste-tested the ginger cookies or the lemon poppyseed cookies.

I’d made them before and knew I liked the recipe – but never even thought to taste test this batch and make sure all was a-ok. My mom, my alternate taste tester, never did either. (we usually split duties because neither of us ever want a whole cookie/bread/what-have-you)


We’re sort of funny that way, I guess. I got an e-mail asking if I ate what I made, too, and if not, how did I exercise such restraint.

I don’t consider it exercising restraint – I’m just not that big of a sweets eater, I suppose? I’m all for making the goodies, and often times will rather clean the cookie dough off the spoon and then share taste-testing responsibilities with my mom. I guess I’m lucky in that I don’t feel like if I bake, I’ll eat everything…a sample is fine, and my sweet tooth is satisfied. Even after  just a couple of samplings on the first day of baking, all I wanted was to sit down with hummus and carrots!


Am I gross for dipping my carrots straight into the hummus tub? Probably. Am I the only one eating hummus in this house? Yes. So I’m not worried. Just don’t eat hummus if you come to my house, I guess.

That said, I still enjoy sampling, and I think my problem is not that I dislike sweets – it’s that most “normal” sweets are just too sweet for my tastebuds.

but that doesn’t mean I can’t recognize a good cookie when I try one. And I have confidence that every single goodie that wound up in my goodie bags fits that bill!


I had planned on sharing the coconut balls recipes with you guys – but instead I’ll give you a quick run-down on everything I made. Hopefully if aybody is looking for a good holiday recipe, this will help!




First up was the Never HomeMaker’s Chocolate Chip Mint Cookies. Peppermint extract was the other extract that found its’ way into my basket after being on sale! I knew mint + chocolate sounded like a perfect combination for Christmas.




The dough proved to be one of the. best. cookie doughs ever. And the smell? I wanted to dive right in. I almost took back every single thing I said about not having a sweet tooth.


The dough also proved to be tricky to work with. It kept crumbling apart, and at one point I thought it was going to be a complete and utter fail. I finally added a bit of almond milk which helped some. I think having the chocolate chips made it more difficult for them to stay together? I can’t figure out what I did wrong, because Ashley’s look really moist ad cake-like. I wouldn’t say mine were dry, but definitely more cookie-like.

Oh, well – they still tasted good, and managed to make it in one piece. Click here for the recipe.




Next up? Eat, Drink and Be Vegan’s Maple Pecan Sticky Blondies.

I made them with walnuts, though, so I called them Maple Walnut Sticky Blondies Winking smile 





Ohhh my lawd – now these. These were my hands-down favorite. Not too sweet, and definitely a dessert that I would enjoy! Unfortunately, there was hardly enough for the five baggies I was putting together, and was left with just a couple of slivers.



The minor amount of molasses in these really comes through in the flavor. It threw my mom for a loop at first, but I think that might be what makes them so exceptional to me. Paired with maple syrup and walnuts? And moist and sticky from the help of coconut milk yogurt? Pour yourself a glass of milk and have a party, you deserve it.




When I was first compiling my “baking list,” I had pretty much all cookies. Then the blondies butted in, and I knew a bread or muffin would tie everything together. Veganomicon’s Cranberry-Orange-Nut bread sounded perfectly seasonal.



These are the instances when I adore these mini loaf pans…even if it meant I totally fudged up the baking time. I should have baked these for a shorter amount of time than instructed, but I totally forgot about that.

As such, they developed a really thick crust, but luckily – remained moist and flavorful on the inside. I cut back a hair on the sugar (I should mention that whether I’m baking for myself or others, I always cut back at least a little bit on the sugar.) ad loved the subtle sweetness. It didn’t overpower the mingling of the cranberry and orange, but didn’t leave you puckering either.

This bread gets the award for “most sampled.” I just couldn’t decide if the thick crust was enough to get it kicked out of the goodie bag, but when my mom’s boyfriend tasted it blindly and said it was delicious, in it went.


The other two cookies were tried and trueVegan with a Vengeance’s Sparkled Ginger Cookies and Eat, Drink & Be Vegan’s Lemon Poppyseed Crinkle Cookies.

Which leaves us with only two things…


Two kinds of balls! Here they are naked.

Which do you prefer – quick breads or cookies?

Are you a cookie monster, or would you rather bake them?


Filed under baking, christmas, cookies, holiday, recipe

26 responses to “The Goodie Bags

  1. kat

    Oh my lanta this is a drool worthy post. I want it all!! I have never had any kind of ginger cookie (not even gingerbread) so I wouldn’t know what to expect of those but everything else looks amazing!!

  2. I’m like you – I love baking, but rarely eat what I b ake. Which is why I have oodles of baggies in the freezer with baked goods. Whoops.

  3. Oooohhh blondies! They’re one of my favorite things to make. Because they’re so easy, and you can customize them a million different ways!

    And um… I love to bake. And then eat baked goods. Which is why I often have to just keep a few and share the rest quickly afterwards… :)

  4. I actually really like baking cookies, cakes, desserts and stuff but the fact that I only want a bite deters me from doing so. I don’t want to toss a whole cake onto my family (they’re trying to eat better), but I only really want a bite or two, or sometimes a small piece of whatever dessert it is that I make. If it weren’t too expensive I’d be glad to give the stuff away every time I wanted a little dessert but some of those ingredients (pure vanilla extract, anyone?) get a little too pricy to be tossing around to random people at my mom’s work. And it depends on the type of cookie – generally I think I’d rather have a moist, dense, thick slice of quick bread with some peanut butter, but if the cookie has something special about it or is just right, I’ll take it over the bread any day. :P

    And I don’t think I’ve ever had a blondie. *Adds another recipe to the “to-do” list*

  5. I will always chose quick bread. I love the moistness of a good loaf of pumpkin or banana bread. Like you, I am completely satisfied with just a small sample of my baked sweets. I can appreciate the richness, but I don’t have a huge sweet tooth (which helps since I bake A LOT!) All of these treats look delicious, but I’m certainly bookmarking those blondies. Yum! Thank you for sharing such great treats with me. I hope your week is full of love, joy and good food!

  6. EVERYTHING you make is so beautifuL!!!!!!!!!!! i am so jealous of those mint morsels too!! i have never seen something like that!

  7. Oh my ! Everything looks so amazing Jess! I like quickbreads as opposed to cookies if I am eating them myself, but if I am baking I much prefer to bake cookies because they are much more fun. Like you, a lot of sweets are a bit ‘too sweet’ for my liking… but that’s not to say I don’t enjoy them now and then. The fudge I made was extremely sweet, but it was one of my favourites ever. I blame it on the holidays!

    I am such a sucker for chocolate and peppermint. It’s intoxicating to me :P

  8. theTreadmilldiaries

    Great pics of the chocolate mint cookies.

  9. Stefanie

    All of your goodies look great. I prefer to bake then to eat the goods but I do sample some of the sweets. When I have a taste for a cookie I just want one and not a whole batch so I don’t bake for myself. My family is happy to eat the left over dessert. I get my dessert fix when I visit them.

  10. Oh my word. Those pecan bars have my name written all over them. :D

  11. Errrr I always dip right in the hummus, and I’m NOT the only person eating it in my house…

    DEFINITELY prefer cookies!! But baking them takes the cake. Then you get to eat the dough as well :)

  12. This post totally just revved up my sweet tooth! But I’m the same way as you – I don’t feel like I have to restrain myself around what I bake. I like cookies and sweets, but I’m happy with just having one.

    Those chocolate mint cookies look to die for though! Chocolate + mint is the best combo ever!

  13. I always cut back the sugar a little bit too – not much of a sweets eater when it comes to super sugary stuff. Give me a hunk of dark chocolate instead. Nice and bittersweet!

  14. You and I are so much alike when it comes to baking. I am not a super sweet eater so I would totally go for the hummus and carrots any day! I am more of a bread person than a cookie girl those. Your treats all look delicious!

  15. It’s hard to decide, but I think I’d go with quickbreads. I love being able to chocolate chips to loaves, and the richness and variety of flavors. They’re also lovely with a scoop of ice cream on top.

    Great photos!

  16. teenagehealthfreak

    oh gosh..those balls look awesome!!! i made some similar today!!!! they were carrot cake. i’m with you, i don’t like sweets. i made myself some pumpkin butter..cause hey it’s pumpkin and i was sure i would like it. nope. ew, WAY to sweet. there are some things i can do and others make me some yogurts- i used to be big on vanilla, still am but i gotta mix it with plain!

  17. Colleen

    Everything looks amazing!!!!!!!!! :) Unfortunately I am a cookie and baked good monster :/

  18. Haha I’m a cookie monster, and proud of it! :D
    Now you’ve made me feel guilty about the humous! I do that, and other people use it too! Ooops! :P

  19. I’m probably more on your end of the spectrum. I enjoy sweets, but I feel pretty terrible if I eat a bunch of sugar. I’d much rather bake for others than have to polish off a plate of cookies on my own! Gingerbread in its many forms is something I really like, though (not too sweet and balanced by the spice + molasses tang, maybe?). I always make gingerbread cookies for family members, and I got seriously tempted to make gingerbread blondies and pfeffernusse this year. I thought that would be too much of a good thing for most people, so I settled on making myself a gingerbread birthday cake (for tomorrow!).

  20. Love your rundown of your goodie bag goodies! I’m definitely like you, I’d rather bake things and taste small samplings of them than eat them all myself!

  21. Annnd how long did it take you to bake all that stuff?? You are a MACHINE!!
    I’m exactly like you with baking – I never feel the need to eat everything, just a lick of the batter and a corner off whatever it is, and I’m happy :) I used to make loooads of quick breads, but I think I’m turning into a cookie-girl now…,ever since I made white chocolate and cranberry cookies, I’ve discovered I CAN do it! Love :)

  22. I am the complete opposite of you! I have to get this stuff out of the house FAST…Because there is no way I’d be able to sit there with carrots and hummus :)

  23. All of that looks so yummy. I am with you, I can bake for hours and not eat any of the cookies. Most of the time I’m not interested in them. Thank goodness for my husband who is the taste tester.

  24. I would VERY much like some of those goodie bags. Please???? lol
    Your baked goods look incredible!

  25. kitchen girl

    Hey there, thanks for linking to my cranberry orange nut bread post (Isa’s recipe)! Your blog is great! Beautiful pictures.

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