Hard to believe that our little Theo is already two years old! In the past year, he has become my little sous chef, pulling up a chair nearly the moment I go into the kitchen to clean or cook. He helps me stir batter, tries to chop vegetables with a butter knife, hands me food to chop or add to the skillet, sprinkles everything with salt and spices, pushes the buttons on my kitchen appliances, helps roll out cracker dough, and most importantly, taste-tests everything along the way. So far pretty nearly every type of food has with a smile and a comment of “yummy, good… more?” — all except for Brie cheese, which he recently sampled for the first time and had a strong negative near-gagging reaction. He loves chocolate, broccoli, sour cream, kombucha, blueberries, macadamia nuts, salmon, turkey, raw milk, avocados, eggs, dill pickles, and all sorts of legumes, especially beans and peas.
In honor of my little Theo Bean, I made a deep dish chocolate chip cookie pie for his birthday dessert this year. This was an egg-free dessert made with cannellini beans, gluten-free rolled oats and almond butter, chewy and gooey and just sweet enough. Theo climbed right up by the counter to give me a hand with cutting slices and putting them all on his plate, then tucked in with his fork.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie
The original poster of this recipe offers a date-sweetened version as well, which I suspect would be fantastic; unfortunately, Nolan’s gut can’t handle dates right now, so I adapted the original recipe for an unrefined sugar variant.
2 cans cannellini beans or garbanzos (drained and rinsed) (500g total, once drained)
1 C rolled oats
1/4 C unsweetened applesauce
1/4 C coconut oil, butter or ghee
1/4 C almond butter
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 C sucanat
1 C chocolate chips
Blend everything except the chocolate in a food processor; start with the oats by themselves if you want a finer texture. Mix in chips, and pour into 9-inch springform pan. Cook at 350F for around 35-40 minutes; do not overbake! Let stand at least 10 minutes before removing from the pan and serve warm.
Variant: For muffins, beat in 1 egg for each cup of reserved batter. Place by 1/4 portions in silicone muffin liners or ramekins and steam for 10 minutes, until set.
Source: Adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie.
We all thought this was very tasty, and even Nolan had a few slices in addition to the muffin version I made just for him. I think it would have been even better served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, but we weren’t about to venture out in the thundersnow for a pint, and Theo didn’t want to wait longer anyhow.
The cookie pie was all gone by the time Theo’s actual birthday rolled around on Tuesday, so I made another little cake so my mom and I could light candles and sing Happy Birthday on the actual day. This time I chose a chocolate cake made with coconut flour, baked in a square pan. The consistency and depth of the cake reminded me of a New Orleans sheet cake as I pulled it from the oven, so I decided to improvise a fudgy chocolate glaze to underscore the likeness. The result was an almost perfect replica of my very favorite birthday cake recipe, but also grain-free and dairy free, lower in sugar and with a nut-free option (if you leave the walnuts out of the glaze).
We served this cake alongside organic vanilla ice cream and garnished Theo’s slice with two monster candles, which he proceeded to blow out before we got the first line of the birthday song out. He spent the rest of the meal requesting “more candles” — I think we relit them for him half a dozen times, until there wasn’t enough cake left on the plate to stick a candle in!
Theo’s Colorado Springs Sheet Cake
Next time I am going to increase the recipe and bake it in a half-sheet pan like my original New Orleans sheet cake!
2/3 C coconut flour
1/2 C high quality cacao powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp celtic sea salt
1/2 C coconut oil (and/or butter or ghee), melted
1/2 C maple syrup and/or honey
8 drops liquid stevia
1/2 C water
1 tsp espresso powder (optional)
1 T vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
Chocolate Walnut Glaze (see below)
Mix together all ingredients, and pour into a greased 9″ square pan. Bake at 350F for about 40 minutes, until set. Pour the glaze over the cake while still warm and allow to set before eating, if you can stand it.
Source: Slightly adapted from Paleo Spirit.
Chocolate Walnut Glaze
1/4 C coconut oil
1/4 C cocoa powder
1/4 C sucanat
1/4 C coconut milk
1/2 C chopped walnuts (preferably soaked and dehydrated)
Place everything together over low heat in a small pot and stir until well blended and slightly thickened.
Happy second birthday, Theo bean!