Disaronno-Spiked Love Potion Cookies











Ahem. I mean…SIGHT.


WARNING: Just one little bite of these cookies may cause feelings of love, lust, and adoration and can bring on an insatiable appetite for heart-shaped food items. Ingesting these cookies may result in revelations of true love, the desire for long walks on the beach, make-out sessions on a bearskin rug, and candlelit dinners for two. Please seek medical attention if you do not enjoy these valentine treats, as this could be the result of a serious health problem.  


Valentine’s Day is tricky– you either have a significant other and you love it, or you’re single and you hate it. I find the same things goes for snow in New England– you absolutely adore it, or you absolutely, positively, 110% DESPISE it.


Now, I’m one of those New Englanders who absolutely, positively 110% loves the snow, so you can imagine my delight when I heard about the crazy blizzard named “Nemo” that was headed for Boston last weekend.


The forecast?



The severe weather risk was bad enough that my office let us out of work at 2:30 on Friday and the entire state of Massachusetts was under order by the Governor to be off the roads by 4:00 pm or risk facing a $500 fine and jail time! That meant the boyfriend and I (and pretty much the rest of the state) were confined to our homes for a couple of days. While some people might have gone stir crazy being stuck inside with nothing to do (I mean, how many reruns of PLL, The Biggest Loser, Grey’s Anatomy and Boy Meets World can you watch without dying of total boredom? Okay never mind. Bad example. You can’t), I found plenty of ways to keep myself occupied– namely because I confined myself to the kitchen for oh… around 48 hours straight. My latest revelation? Natural disasters are a blogger’s dream come true.


All the time in the world to test recipes and blog? YES PLEASE!

I was happier than a kid on a snow day.


Sorry. I just couldn't resist!


Stick me in a kitchen when I have wayyy too much time on my hands and you’re just asking..no…begging for trouble– especially after one (okay,  two or three…) glasses of wine ;) .


Let’s just say I got a littttttle crazy with ingredients…


After all, when you don’t see the light of day for over 24 hours…alcohol consumption is inevitable. In fact, you may even find yourself beginning to think that everything could actually be 100x better with a little bit of booze…

Red wine frosting? Sure why not! A Guinness milkshake? Sign me up! Blue Moon and bran flakes? Lemme at em’!

Yep. Things were on the verge of getting OUT OF CONTROL until I remembered a dear old friend of mine…and with that, I struck gold.


Heart-shaped, frosted, cookie GOLD.





The dear old friend?


The experiment of choice?

Valentine’s Day cookies.


Love Potion Cookies to be exact ;) .


So while you might be one of those people who hates Valentine’s Day and despises the snow…you had better be thanking your lucky stars my dears. If it wasn’t for my weekend of cocktail-induced kitchen craziness (thank you Nemo), these little love magnets may never have had the chance to spice things up just in time for Valentine’s Day.



Disaronno-Spiked Love Potion Cookies




  • 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or spelt flour)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons 100% pure maple syrup
  • 4 teaspoons Disaronno (or another amaretto liquor)
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
  • Stevia (to taste– I used liquid stevia, but if you use powder stevia you should increase the milk by 1-2 teaspoons)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (NOTE: you can increase this by a teaspoon or two if you want a more decadent, melt-in-your-mouth cookie. For a fat -free cookies, you can omit the coconut oil and sub applesauce, but be warned–without a healthy fat, the cookies will come out a bit dry compared to a regular cookie)




  • Mix the first five ingredients in one bowl and mix the remaining ingredients (minus the coconut oil) in another bowl.
  • Combine the contents of both bowls together, and fold in the coconut oil.
  • Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes (I rolled the dough into a “Toll House cookie dough log” shape using wax paper)
  • Once firm, you can slice and bake the dough just like the store-bought cookie dough, or roll out the dough and use cookie cutters to make fun and festive shapes–like these Valentine’s Day shapes :)
  • Pre-heat the oven to 340º and cook for 13-14 minutes (or until the tops start to turn golden brown).
  • Let the cookies cool and decorate with my berry-infused icing and sugar sparkles (This icing is all-natural and doesn’t use any food coloring! See recipe below).


All-Natural Berry-Infused Icing




  • 3/4 cup of organic powdered sugar
  • A couple spoonfuls of frozen berries (I used a mix of blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries from Trader Joe’s).
  • 3 teaspoons of ice-cold water



  • Put powdered sugar in a bowl. Set aside.
  • Microwave frozen berries for 45 seconds. DO NOT STIR OR SMUSH BERRIES!
  • Pour a teaspoon of juice and 3 teaspoons of water into the powder sugar. Mix well
  • NOTE: Add more berry juice for a darker icing, more powder sugar for  thicker icing, and add more water for  thinner icing.


And there you have it! Trust me. You will absolutely, positively  fall in LOVE with these cookies. And no. I’m not being dramatic. It’s just the truth!


So make them for your hunni. Make them for your BFF. Make them for your secret crush. Heck, make a batch all for yourself (my valentine gobbled up the whole tray in one sitting!). After all, Valentine’s Day is all about spreading the love and eating it up too ;) .




Cupid who? 



Healthfully Yours,


Ashley Michelle



Hot for Healthworks! (Plus a FREE 5-Day Trial Pass!)



Roses are red,


Violets are blue.


Jewelry is nice…


But Healthworks is too! ;)




Sure Valentine’s Day is all about loving your hunni, but that doesn’t mean all the single ladies have to suffer through this sparkly, chocolate-covered, heart-filled holiday alone. Heck…even us hitched chicks need a place to unwind and relax and get away from the dudes in our lives for a hot second.


Thankfully Healthworks Fitness Center has the Boston girls covered!


First of all, anyone who knows me knows I am absolutely OBSESSED with Healthworks, so please allow me to apologize in advance for this full on love fest that’s about to ensue. You see, Healthworks isn’t just my gym. It’s my sanctuary (I’m not even being dramatic. It’s just THAT amazing). Obviously if it’s that incredible it’d be a crime to keep this jewel of a place all to myself, so when I heard Healthworks was having an Open House week from February 11th- February 17th…I knew I just had to share this little secret with my loyal readers ;) .


It all began when I stumbled into Healthworks for the first time around a year and a half ago. I had been living in the city for about six months when a couple of ladies from the Cambridge location (Danielle and Lisa :) ) popped by my office on a rainy September afternoon to hand out some free-trial passes to our employees. At the time, I was going to a $10-a-month gym right across the street from Healthworks and I was pretty much hating life (sweaty, smelly men and limited and/or broken equipment in a stuffy, steamy  basement-level gym doesn’t exactly sound like fitness bliss to me). I was trying to budget and save money wherever I could, but this whole discount-gym-thing just wasn’t cutting it. I could feel myself getting softer, weaker, and less motivated by the day. Working out at that place just wasn’t giving me that mental and physical boost I needed. Something needed to change…


Enter Healthworks.


















The moment I stepped into this women’s fitness center, I felt like I had entered a dream. The sweet smell of eucalyptus filled the air, a fresh selection of natural granola bars, drinks and other healthy snacks greeted me at the front desk, and a smiling staff member handed me a fluffy towel as I walked into the cozy, clean and inviting locker room– eyes wide, mouth gaping (did I mention classical music was playing? Angels might as freaking well have been singing from the heavens at this point). And by the time I made my way upstairs to the fitness center, I was instantly hooked. The gym had more cardio machines, weights, and fitness equipment than a fitness fanatic like me would even know what to do with (kettlebells, bosu balls, and TRX? Hello?!). But don’t let the huge variety of equipment intimidate you. The incredible team of Healthworks trainers are more than willing you show you the ropes (you even get a free personal training evaluation and a free training session when you sign on to become a member.)


But the real kicker?

I knew I’d never have to wait 30 minutes or more for a darn stair climber, treadmill or elliptical ever again.


There’s plenty of equipment to go around.




Perhaps the only thing better than the copious amount of fitness machines are the wide array of group fitness classes the gym has to offer (have you read about my obsession with Bosu training?) And when I say wide array, I’m talking OVER 100 group fitness classes a week FREE with your membership!





From cycling, yoga, and pilates to tabata, cardio strike, and boxing…there’s truly something for everyone no matter what your age. And after a grueling workout or a killer class, what better way to relax than by treating yourself to an assortment of spa-like amenities.



You read that right.





Healthworks offers a selection of spa services including massages (Lymph detox and hot stone treatments? Yes please!), acupuncture (stress relief? Okay!), a eucalyptus steam room (cold? What cold?), a whirlpool (sore muscles? Not here!), and a sauna (rough day? Sweat it out!). Oh yea. You also get a complimentary 25-minute massage when you sign up. BAM.


And last but not least, the most refreshing part of all?

The staff at Healthworks are FABULOUS.


Every single time I walk into that club, I’m greeted with a smiley “Hey Ash!” and sent off with a cheery “See ya tomorrow!” Whether a staff member is working at the front desk, training a client, or teaching a group fitness class, they truly make you feel more like their “BFF” rather than “just another client at the gym.” I can tell you…after a long day at work this simple kindness is much appreciated :) .


So, clearly you know how I feel about Healthworks Fitness Center for Women, but don’t just take my word for it… test it out for yourself!  I promise– after just one visit to this fitness paradise, you’ll be hooked. It won’t be long before you start to get excited to go to the gym and  you start to look forward to your next workout (you can call me crazy now…but just you wait!). When your gym is pleasant and fun and you’re surrounded by motivating people who push your limits and believe in you… that’s when fitness becomes FUN. And when fitness is fun, healthy changes set in and that’s when true miracles happen.














And isn’t that what we all want in the end?

Positive, healthy, growth and change?

I sure think so!


The Healthworks Mission:

“At Healthworks Fitness Centers for Women we empower women to be strong, both physically and mentally. Our mission is to be the leader in women’s health and wellness by providing exceptional experiences through fitness, service and support throughout our clubs and the community.”


What Sets Healthworks Apart:

  • More than a 100 Group Fitness Classes a Week
  • Rated “Best Personal Trainers” by the Boston A List
  • Spacious cardiovascular area featuring televisions and movies
  • Free weight & stretching area
  • Group exercise studio
  • Exclusive Cycling studio
  • Complimentary fitness & equipment orientations
  • Spa-like locker rooms with full service vanities
  • Childcare
  • Massage
  • Complimentary towel service


What YOU Get:

  • Initial evaluation with a Personal Trainer and one Personal Training session
  • A free Small Group Training session of your choice, including BURN, drop10, various bootcamps, and more!
  • A relaxing 25-minute massage
  • Full access to all group fitness classes
  • Complimentary strength, cardio and stretching orientations
  • Use of wet areas, including eucalyptus steam room and dry sauna, to relax and rejuvenate
  • Complimentary gym and bath towel service
  • Access to spa-esque locker rooms, equipped with amenities to make getting ready a breeze
  • AND, if you desire, we also offer childcare, personal training, massage, skin care, acupuncture, health coaching and nutrition consulting.



So are you DYING to try Healthworks yet?


Well, you’re in luck!


In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, Healthworks is spreading the love and holding an Open House all this week from February 11th- February 17th. Each of the four Healthworks locations (Back Bay, Cambridge, Chestnut Hill, and Coolidge Corner) will offer specialty Group Fitness Classes, complimentary Small Group Training for you and a friend, complimentary acupuncture, shopping, pampering, food, and live music all week-long. Click here to get access to a 5-day guest pass and click here to check out the schedules for each fitness center.
Already a member?  No sweat! Your friend can also use the complimentary guest pass (above) during Open House week or for any 5-day duration in February, and if they join during Open House week, they’ll receive a $0 enrollment fee and you’ll get a referral ($5 off your monthly membership dues!). Sounds like a win/win, huh?


So… what are you waiting for?


Go ahead.


Treat yourself something extra sweet this Valentine’s Day


(Or convince your special someone that a gym membership will get them wayyy more brownie points than a box of chocolates!)


After all, loving yourself is the sweetest kind of love of all :)



Healthfully Yours,

Ashley Michelle



Photo credits: Healthworks Fitness Center