Some days just call for comfort food. (For example, every single day of 2020.) Sometimes that means diving a fork into something savory, like homemade lasagna or a bowl of chili. Other times it means something sweet, like a slice of pie or piece of chocolaty cake. But something virtually everyone can agree on is that the best comfort food is homemade.
“Comfort food is where my heart is, always,” Kristin Cavallari says. “It’s anything that reminds me of my childhood or that puts a smile on my face.” It’s also the theme of her new, aptly named cookbook, True Comfort ($20). In it are over 100 recipes that provide pleasure and nourishment across a whole spectrum of flavor profiles—including, yes, lasagna, chili, fudge, and pie. All are delicious, and are gluten- and dairy-free.
“There’s been this stigma that comfort food is not good for you,” Cavallari says. She says she firmly disagrees (and so do we at Well+Good). But for folks who can’t eat gluten or dairy, lots of comfort food classics (like the above-mentioned lasagna or cake) might seem less accessible. So Cavallari did the hard work herself, using her own home as a personal test kitchen for experimenting. What ended up in the book are only what truly delivered on the taste.
One of the absolute stand-outs is a low-sugar skillet cookie recipe. “Dessert is very much a part of my life. I have a massive sweet tooth,” Cavallari says. Instead of traditional white sugar, she says she opts for sugar substitutes that have trace vitamins and minerals instead, like honey and maple syrup.
“The skillet cookie reminds me of one I used to get in high school,” she says of the ooey, gooey dessert recipe. “That’s why I love comfort food—it brings us back to certain memories. And with it being baked in a skillet, it’s less clean up.” (Nothing kills a comfort food buzz quite like having to wash a sink full of dishes.)
Mouth watering yet? Keep reading to snag the cookie recipe, along with Cavallari’s homemade dairy-free vanilla ice cream to serve with it. You’re welcome in advance.
Kristin Cavallari’s skillet cookie and homemade dairy-free vanilla ice cream
For the skillet cookie
1/2 cup virgin coconut oil, plus more for the skillet, at room temperature
2/3 cup coconut sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups almond flour
1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup dark chocolate chips
For the skillet cookie:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 12-inch cast-iron skillet with coconut oil.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the coconut oil and sugar together until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each one, then add the vanilla. Next, add the flour, salt, and baking soda. Fold in the chocolate chips.
3. Spread the batter evenly in the cast-iron skillet and bake the cookie for 30 minutes, until golden brown.
For the vanilla ice cream:
1. In a high-powered blender, combine the coconut milk, coconut cream, maple syrup, salt, and vanilla. Blend until smooth and creamy, one minute.
2. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream mixer and mix according to the manufacturer’s directions, until it’s cold and creamy and no more liquid is present.
3. While the skillet cookie is still warm, scoop servings of the cookie from the skillet into bowls and enjoy it right away, with vanilla coconut ice cream on top. The leftover ice cream can store in the freezer for up to two weeks.
Recipe courtesy of True Comfort: More Than 100 Cozy Recipes Free of Gluten and Refined Sugar. Copyright © 2020 by Kristin Cavallari. Published by Rodale Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
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