Thursday, May 29, 2014

Flourless, Butterless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Peanut butter and chocolate. A tried and true combination. I have made many peanut butter cookies and they have all been tasty, but I always seem to wish they were more chewy and gooey. This cookie achieves that by being primarily made out of peanut butter and sugar - I just added some oats for texture, but they probably weren't even needed. If you love the taste of brown sugar and peanut butter together then you will love these cookies. I used milk chocolate chips this time since I think they work better in this cookie, but any type of chocolate would work.

Flourless, Butterless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
How I Did It:

1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Combine all ingredients (except the chocolate chips) and beat until well combined.

3. Stir in chocolate chips.

4. Place on a parchment or Silpat lined cookie sheet (a couple inches apart as they will spread) and bake for 7 - 10 minutes, making sure not to over-bake.

5. Let cookies rest on the cookie sheet for a minute or two before transferring to a cooling rack.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The New York Times Chocolate Chips Cookies (by Jacques Torres)

I have made these before and they have been great every time....I love the texture and the amazing flavor. It's the chocolate chip cookie you know and love....but better. I know people have different chocolate chip cookie texture/thickness preferences, but these really are worth all the hype. If you are a chocolate chip cookie lover (and really, who isn't?), then you need to try these at least once. One of the great things about a big cookie (besides the get to eat a more cookie) is that it allows for crisp edges and a chewy, gooey center. Perfect!

This recipe does produce a lot of cookies, but you could easily cut the recipe down. This time I just left the batter in the fridge for a day, but last time I left it for nearly three days and  I think they were even better like that.

Jacques Torres Chocolate Chip Cookies
How I Did It:

Adapted from the famous Jacques Torres recipe

2 cups minus 2 tbsp cake flour
1 2/3 cups bread flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tbsps granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 lbs bittersweet chocolate chips/discs

1. Whisk together flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.

2. With an electric beater, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes).

3. Beat in one egg at a time, followed by the vanilla.

4. Beat in dry ingredients until just combined.

5. Stir in chocolate pieces, distributing evenly.

6. Form into a ball and wrap tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 24-72 hours.

7. Before baking, preheat oven to 350. Scoop golf-ball sized pieces of dough onto a prepared cookie sheet (I use a Silpat), keeping each at least two each apart. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt.

8. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the edges are set and the center almost set. Let sit for 1-2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. As with any chocolate chip cookie, they taste best fresh, but can be stored in an airtight container.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Special Blueberry Banana Bread

This banana bread was one of the two desserts I made for Mother's Day. I found it at Gluten Free Vegan Girl. My mom loved it and my sister and I agreed that it would be great for breakfast. Of course, the only one I shared the secret ingredient with was my mom. I have used tofu in vegan frosting before and it really does make for a nice texture (you can't taste it - promise). This bread is vegan, gluten-free and has no added sugar - the sweetness comes from the bananas and blueberries, but it's only mildly sweet. I doubled recipe (per below) and I think that was the perfect amount for a loaf pan and it still cut and served easily.

Special Blueberry Banana Bread
How I Did It:

4 ripe bananas
300 grams silken tofu
2 cups of rolled oats
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a bread pan with canola oil.

2. With a potato masher, mash together the bananas and tofu in a bowl.

3. In a food processor, grind the oats into oat flour. Pour into the banana/tofu mix along with the baking powder. Stir to combine.

4. Pour into prepared bread pan and spread out evenly. One at a time, push blueberries into the batter.

5. Bake for about an hour or until it doesn't jiggle when you shake the pan and it is cooked through (will remain very moist).

6. Store covered and refrigerated. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Chewy Vegan Oatmeal Cookies

These cookies are so moist that they will crumble and fall apart if you're not careful, but once you take a bite, you'll realize it's worth it. So chewy and flavorful you won't even have to tell people there isn't any butter, white flour, or eggs! They made me remember that oatmeal cookies can be so good you don't even miss the chocolate.

Chewy Vegan Oatmeal Cookies
How I Did It:

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp raisins

1. Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.

2. In a larger bowl, mix together the sugars, maple syrup, applesauce, oil, and vanilla until well combined.

3. Add in the dry mixture and stir until just combined. Stir in the oats and raisins, making sure they are evenly distributed.

4. Place in the refrigerator to rest for about 15 minutes and preheat the oven to 350

5. Drop dough by heaping teaspoonfuls onto a prepared (Silpat) cookie sheet. Bake for about 10-15 minutes or until the edges are set, but the center looks slightly undone.

6. Let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack. Store in an airtight container.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Navy Bean Peanut Butter Bars

All that tempting gooey chocolate and peanut butter.

Sometimes you want a warm and gooey dessert that won't make you feel gross after though, right?

Okay, desserts don't usually make me feel gross regardless, but it's still nice to have healthier options. These bars are really tasty, but have no flour, refined sugar, oil/butter, or eggs! Plus, look at all that protein and fiber! They are good warm or cold. To make them vegan, just use all maple syrup.

Peanut Butter Bars 
How I Did It:

1 can Navy Beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup peanut butter 1 tbsp + 2 tsp honey
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease an 8x8" baking pan.

2. Add all ingredients (except the chocolate chips)to a food processor and process until combined and smooth.

3. Pour into a bowl and mix in chocolate chips.

4. Pour into prepared baking pan and spread out evenly. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the edges start to firm up and the center looks just set. It's better to slightly under cook than to over cook.

5. Let cool completely before cutting into squares. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Coconut Delight Bars

If you like coconut, you will love these coconut bars. I found them at Chocolate Covered Katie awhile back and I recently made them to the delight of my family. I don't really like the taste of agave on its own, but it works well in here. I think anything else would be too sweet and noticeable. The other good thing about using agave is that it makes these bars friendly to some people who can't handle most other sweeteners (sugar, honey, maple syrup). So easy to make and so easy to eat! If you want, after freezing them, you could dunk them in melted dark chocolate and then freeze them again. I say that because I always have chocolate on the brain, but to be honest, these really don't need it. They are perfect as is.

Coconut Delight Bars
How I Did It:

1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup agave
2 tbsp coconut oil
3/4 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt

1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until well-combined. This will only take ten seconds or so.

2. Pour into the bottom on a loaf pan and press down evenly.

3. Cover and place in the freezer for 20 minutes before cutting into squares. Store in an airtight container in the freezer.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Nutella Swirl Blondies

Even without the Nutella I think these were the best blondies that I have ever made. Bold, I know. They have great flavor and such perfect gooey and chewy texture. And then you add the Nutella....oh my.

Nutella Swirl Blondies
How I Did It:

3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 8x8 pan and set aside.

2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once melted stir in sugars until combined and sugars are somewhat melted. Remove from heat, but do not let cool completely or it will harden.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

4. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla. Slowly pour in the butter/sugar mixture and whisk until combined.

5. Add in flour and whisk until just incorporated.

6. Pour into prepared baking pan. Using a teaspoon, drop Nutella around the top (about 10 - 12 spoonfuls) and then using the back of a spoon swirl the Nutella to spread around and make an repeated "S" shape.

7. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the edges start to crack and bit and the center is firm to the touch. Let cool fully before cutting into squares.