Welcome to cookie week Day #4! Today, I’ve got a fun little story to share.
When I was seven years old, I tiptoed into the living room on the night before Christmas. Everyone was sleeping, but I was SURE I heard Santa. I peeked my head around the corner to see if he was unloading presents under the Christmas tree but my eyes took me to the fireplace where I legitimately thought I saw Santa’s foot coming down in the chimney. After a good five to ten minutes of staring at this ‘foot in the chimney’, I thought that Santa might be stuck because well, he was a plump, jolly man.
Or so I was told.
I decided it would be best to leave Santa a few of my favorite fudge striped cookies and a GIANT glass of my brother’s milk. Actually, I think I may have poured two glasses just to spite my brother because you see, no one drank regular milk in the house except him (my mom was lactose intolerant) so I knew he’d be upset if I gave it away to Santa.
Definitely wasn’t the best little sister out there.
The next morning I woke up and found crumbs on the cookie plate and all of the milk gone. I boasted to my mom that Santa must have really loved my favorite cookies, while my brother sat on the couch with a sly grin on his face. Years later, it became apparent to me who ate the cookies and drank all the milk.
Just don’t ask about the foot in the chimney though — ha!
Today’s post, in partnership with ALDI, is all about enjoying cookies with milk, just like we used to do so often when we were younger. I know so many families out there struggle with dairy and/or gluten free allergies, so this year, I wanted to create a simple, yet super cute dairy free & gluten free cookie (or brownie bite) recipe with you that can be served to nearly anyone during the holiday season! They’re adorable, resemble Santa hats and are perfect served with Aldi Friendly Farms Original Coconut Milk or Organic Almond Milk (to keep it all dairy free)!
I MEAN COME ON, COULD THESE GET ANY CUTER?
Let’s talk ingredients in these grain free santa hat brownie cookie cups:
This recipe is made with very simple ingredients: almond butter, coconut oil, maple syrup, coconut sugar (or brown sugar), vanilla, eggs, cocoa powder, coconut flour, baking soda and salt. Mix together and then bake in cute little mini muffin pans, top with a simple vanilla frosting, then put a cute strawberry ‘hat’ on top. I got most of these ingredients from my local ALDI store, which just got an amazing makeover to make shopping easier than ever.
And here’s more great news: ALDI has an incredible selection of gluten free and dairy free products for your family. If you haven’t been to an ALDI lately, you should definitely take a trip soon! Find a store near you by using their store locator here.
I highly recommend making these Santa Hat Brownie Cookie Cups soon. They’re festive and absolutely adorable. If you make these, be sure to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. You can also use the hashtag #ambitiouskitchen on Instagram so I can see your creations. xo!
More cookie recipes you’ll love:
Grain Free Santa Hat Brownie Cookie Cups
- 1 cup Simply Nature Creamy Almond Butter
- 1/2 tablespoon melted and cooled Simply Nature Organic Coconut Oil
- ⅓ cup Specially Selected 100% Pure Maple Syrup
- ¼ cup coconut sugar (or can use brown sugar)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tablespoon coconut flour (regular flour or GF flour will also work)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup mini chocolate chips, dairy free if desired
- For the frosting:
- ¼ cup softened butter or vegan butter
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-4 teaspoons Friendly Farms Organic Almond Milk or Friendly Farms Original Coconut Milk (any milk will work)
- For the topping
- 22 strawberries, stems cut off
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a mini muffin pan with 22 mini muffin liners. Spray the inside of the liners with nonstick cooking spray to prevent sticking.
In a large bowl, combine the almond butter, coconut oil, maple syrup, coconut sugar, vanilla extract and eggs until smooth and well combined. Gently fold in cocoa powder, coconut flour, baking soda and salt until batter is smooth. Fold in 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips into the batter. This batter should be rather thick.
Fill each muffin liner ¾ of the way full with batter. Tap the bottom of the pan on a hard surface just a few times to even out the batter. Bake for 13-18 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Don't overbake!
After brownies have cooled, make the frosting: add the softened butter, powdered sugar, 2 teaspoons milk and vanilla to a large bowl of an electric mixer. Beat for 1-2 minutes until fluffy, adding a teaspoon or two of milk if necessary.
Place frosting in a ziplock bag and snip off the corner end. Swirl the frosting on top of the brownie and place strawberry on top. Place a little dot of frosting on top of the santa hat to complete.
Makes approximately 22 santa hat brownie bites. Store in the fridge after topping with a strawberry, or leave off the strawberries until ready to serve (I recommend the latter). You can also skip the strawberries and use fun holiday sprinkles instead. Enjoy!
This post is in partnership with ALDI. All recipes, text and opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting AK and the brands that help make this site possible.
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen Photography by: Yoga of Cooking