When my four-year old niece, Katelyn, was about one year old, I gave her a little apron to wear in the kitchen. Picturing her growing up, making countless messes, and wearing that apron tied around her waist.
I still have a photo saved that her mom - my sister - sent me, with Katelyn holding a wooden spoon and ready to bake like Aunt Anna.
When Katelyn was three, we made granola and then that winter, she came over and helped me roll out cookie dough and decorate Christmas cookies.
By now, we mix up pancakes on Sunday mornings when my family is visiting home, and Katelyn will help her mom make almond muffins and roll pizza dough.
Last weekend, for my wedding shower, Katelyn and my sister gave me an apron. The very best gift.
Aprons are with me prepping for every special event, baking on a rainy Sunday and pretty much every holiday. And I'll be wearing that apron for kitchen mishaps and triumphs - it'll be there through it all.
The first thing I baked with my new apron were my cashew butter chocolate chunk cookies. I sent my niece a picture of me wearing the new apron and of course, her first question was - what was I baking? I sent her a picture of these cookies in the oven.
Then, I wrapped a few up to bring with me when I meet my family for brunch in my neighborhood this weekend. For little Katelyn, of course.
What's the point about this rambling post about one simple apron?...
Well, it's that the simplest gift - one that may not seem to mean much - is actually the one that sticks with you forever. I hope years from now, when my niece gets older, I'll still be wearing my apron and know exactly when she gave it to me - and all the treats and cookies I baked along the way.
Gift an apron to your mom, your niece, your friend - and I have a feeling they'll keep it for the long haul. Along with all the memories.
Okay, now about these cookies!! These are so magical, you guys! Seriously. These are the chewiest, yummiest chocolate chunk cookies with no butters, oils or flour! The secret?...
Cashew butter is a very mild nut butter, so when the cookie bakes, you cannot taste the cashew butter at all. It just tastes like the best chocolate chip cookie ever. For real.
You can find a jar of cashew butter at most grocery stores or at Target (Simply Balanced brand). You could make your own by just processing a bunch of cashews until creamy, but I'm keeping it a bit more simple today and only dirtying one bowl.
Cashew Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies
(makes about 2 dozen)
- 1 cup cashew butter
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups chopped dark chocolate
- Preheat oven to 325. In a glass mixing bowl with a wooden spoon, stir the cashew butter and eggs until smooth.
- Add the vanilla, salt and baking soda to the bowl and stir until smooth.
- Add in the brown sugar and mix until combined.
- Stir in the chopped chocolate.
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper and spray nonstick spray on the parchment paper. Using a cookie scoop, scoop balls of dough on to the cookie sheet, leaving room between the dough balls as these cookies will spread a bit while baking. The dough may be a bit sticky, but that's okay!
- Bake for about 9-10 minutes, or until golden brown. Take cookies out of oven and let cool completely on the cookie sheet before removing to a wire rack. If they misshapen during baking, just use your spatula to reshape the cookies into a circle right when you take them out of the oven.
- MY TIP: I'll put the entire cookie sheet in the freezer after the cookies have slightly cooled. This quickly hardens the cookies so they can easily be lifted them from the sheets.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature or freeze.
You ALL must make these cookies!!!...
And if you can't find cashew butter, just use almond butter!