Guilt-less Desserts & Treats for your Family
I’ve never really been worried about my age. Having a birthday and getting older has always been a non-event (with the exception of a slight freak out when I turned 25) as I have never felt old. Birthdays have been a celebration of cake rather than a sign of chronological advancement. I think I may have got a bit wiser, definitely more sensible, as I have gotten older but I’ve never felt old… until recently.
I am 36 years of age. 20 years ago ‘Friends’ was on TV, I was podium dancing to ‘The Backstreet Boys’ and the idea of straightening your hair with an iron was laughable. It was a time when only business people carried brick like mobile phones, there was only one phone in the house which was in the most public of places (which made for awkward teenage lusting conversations) and the only ‘social media’ came in the form of meeting your friends at the school gate before the bell rang. It was so long ago yet it feels like only recently in my memory, which is why sometimes I can’t fathom how I can be 36.
I don’t know whether it’s a baby induced lack of sleep, having a million things to do, or just worrying about life in general but I feel like I’m starting to look old. Spots and freckles have started to appear where once there was blemish free smooth skin, eyebrow hairs are sprouting further away from my defined brow line (which could do with a good wax if I could ever find the time) and thin lines and grooves are forming from the corners of my eyes. My eyelids feel saggy and darkened, my hair doesn’t have it normal lustrous glow and my nails are breaking and chipping. I’m not sure when it happened but I look old and tired. I feel old and very tired.
When these thoughts get in your head they can start you on an unforgiving pathway of self-doubt and negativity. You can start to doubt your abilities and the way that others value you. Take this recent photo of Miss L and myself. Instead of seeing a beautiful mother-daughter bond I saw crow’s feet, mouth lines and an awkward hair part. Seeing past your own (perceived) flaws and focusing on what truly matters can be hard when society has indoctrinated us to value superficial beauty. When I look at this photo now I see the happy smiles and the love I have for my baby girl; but I had to get past my own insecurities before I could see that.
Getting old(er) doesn’t mean we can’t regress to our younger selves once in a while. Having a swing on the monkey bars, singing along to ”Informer” or just having a jump on the trampoline can take years off your life and make you feel as though you are a care free child again. Food can also make you feel like a kid again; fairy bread, icy poles and teddy bear biscuits all bring back fond memories.
The other week I shared with you my recipe for Healthy Tiny Teddies; my go to ‘feel young again’ recipe. They were really easy to make and so cute, which is probably why so many of you have made them already. As they have been super popular I decided I’d share with you my Healthy Chocolate Tiny Teddies, because sometimes you just need chocolate and to gnaw the head off bear.
These Healthy Chocolate Tiny Teddies take 5 minutes to make and 10 minutes to bake (allowing for 30 minutes in-between for the dough to rest). The process is the same; blend all the ingredients together, rest then roll and cut. It’s too easy! If you don’t like Teddies then these biscuits can be made any shape (I saw some very cute rabbits that a reader had posted on Instagram). I used my (cleaned) playdoh cutters to make small biscuits but you can make them larger; you may just need to modify your baking times. If you are feeling adventurous, try adding some additive free sprinkles or dairy free chocolate chips or even dipping them in melted chocolate after they’ve been baked. Yeah; that would be great!
Eat these Healthy Chocolate Tiny Teddies and forget about muffin tops, veins, creaky joints and receding hair lines. If you are, as they say, only as old as you feel then eating these Healthy Chocolate Tiny Teddies makes me feel like a happy 8 year old again!
- 1/4 Cup Coconut Oil, slightly softned (not melted)
- 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup (Rice Malt Syrup or Honey can be substituted)
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 Cup minus 1 Tablespoon Arrowroot/Tapioca Flour
- 1/3 Cup Coconut Flour
- 3 Tablespoons Cocoa
- 1/4 teaspoon Bicarb Soda
- Dash Salt
- Choc Chips
- Put all the ingredients (except the optional extras) into a blender/mixer and process until combined. Scrape the edges down to ensure that all the ingredients are incorporated.
- Alternatively use a bowl, a mixing spoon and some arm strength and mix until combined.
- If adding optional extras do so now.
- Wrap the dough in plastic and leave at room temperature for 30 minutes to firm.
- Pre heat the oven to 180C/360F. Line and grease a large baking tray.
- Roll the dough between 2 sheets of lightly greased baking paper. The dough should be 4-6mm in height; not too thin that it's see through and not too thick.
- Using your preferred cookie cutter, cut out shapes and transfer to the prepared tray. Take the left over dough, reroll and cut out more shapes. Repeat until all the dough has been used.
- Place the tray in the oven and bake for 6-8 minutes for tiny teddies, 7-9 minutes for medium teddies and 9-11 minutes for larger teddies. Before removing from the oven check that the bottom of the cookie has firmed and they have turned a golden brown colour. The cookies will firm up upon cooling.
- Store in an air tight container for up to 4 days (good luck with keeping them that long!)