Tuesday, July 29, 2014

S'mores Muddy Buddies

I used to think I loved chocolate covered raisins way too much. That was until I made my own muddy buddies (or puppy chow if you prefer). In continuing with my tradition of always trying new variations I have gone rogue and used honey grahams cereal instead of rice Chex for these s'mores flavored muddy buddies. Summer is s'mores season and I adore s'mores. I do love the crunch of the Chex, but the flavor that honey grahams add is worth the substitute. And of course adding a bit of Nutella makes everything a whole lot better. I love peanut butter, but using Nutella instead is definitely the way to go here. These muddy buddies are amazing.

S'mores Muddy Buddies
How I Did It:

6 cups Honey Grahams
3/4 cup Nutella
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup mini marshmallows
1 cup powdered sugar

1. In a double broiler or medium heat, melt the Nutella and the chocolate chips together, stirring occasionally.

2. While the Nutella/chocolate mixture is melting, lay out a large sheet of parchment paper on a flat work surface and pour the Honey Grahams into a large bowl.

3. Once the Nutella and chocolate chips have melted and are well combined, remove from the heat and stir in 1/2 cup of the mini marshmallows.

4. Pour the chocolate mixture over the cereal and gently stir to coat. Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup of mini marshmallows. Keep mixing until all of the cereal is coated.

5. Slowly, in 3-4 stages, pour the powdered sugar over the chocolate covered cereal and stir to coat. Keep gently mixing until it is evenly coated.

6. Carefully pour the wet muddy buddies onto the parchment paper and spread out so it can dry. Once dry, pour back into a bowl to serve or store in an airtight container for later enjoyment.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Spicy Asian White Bean Dip

This has to be one of the best bean dips I have ever had, and definitely the best I have ever made. Don't let the picture fool you, it really tastes amazing. It's not only easy, but it's really quick and there is a good chance you already have most if not all the ingredients in your kitchen, just waiting for you to throw this together. Keep in mind I enjoy some spice in my food, but this isn't that spicy. You could use more or less of the hot sauce depending on preference. Good as a bread/chip/cracker dip or as a spread...I was even dunking raw carrots in it and love the flavor combination.

Spicy Asian White Bean Dip
How I Did It:

15 oz (1 can) cannellini beans (any white beans would work), drained and rinsed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sriracha hot sauce
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp lime juice

1. Place all ingredients in a food processor. Combine until smooth.

2. Serve as desired and store any leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

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 obvious...you 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.