Espresso Chip Banana Bread

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My new favorite way to make banana bread is with instant espresso powder. The subtle coffee flavor pairs nicely with the banana, nut, and chocolate chips. If you aren’t a fan of coffee, this is an easy ingredient to omit. Although, I’ve had a few taste testers with aversions to coffee find the bread delicious so it’s worth giving it a try!

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1-2 Tbls instant espresso powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1/4 c white sugar
  • one flax egg (1 Tbls flax with 3 Tbls water, let it sit for 5 minutes to thicken)
  • 1/3 c butter or coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c walnuts/pecans
  1. Mix the bananas, espresso, sugars, vanilla, flax egg and butter; set aside
  2. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the wet. After a few stirs, add in 1/2 c chocolate chips and 1/2 c chopped walnuts or pecans
  3. Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake at 350F for 40-50 minutes. Let cool before removing from the loaf pan
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Almond Thumbprint Cookies with Dark Chocolate, Sea Salt and Cinnamon

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Food52 has some of the best recipes. When I saw this recipe for Almond Thumbprint Cookies, I immediately bookmarked it. The only issue I had in making this was my own personal error – when thinking I was using bittersweet chocolate for the filling, I was actually using unsweetened. I was able to adjust the sweetness, or lack thereof, by adding more sugar into the filling. Needless to say, I was skeptical how they would turn out…

Fortunately the cookies tasted amazing. My word of advice – try and stick to the original recipe listed below.

I topped the cookies with flaked sea salt, cinnamon, and turbinado sugar!

Ingredients:

  • 1 c flour
  • 3/4 c almond meal (ground almonds is what I used)
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 Tbls butter
  • zest 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate broken into pieces
  • 2 tsp corn syrup
  • Sea salt, cinnamon and sugar to top
  1. Mix the dry ingredients – flour and almond meal, set aside
  2. In a mixer, add the sugar and lemon zest. Next, cream the stick of butter and lemon zested sugar for 3-5 minutes. Once the mixture is whipped, add the vanilla extract
  3. Now, slowly add in the dry mix and mix until just combined
  4. Scoop the cookies onto a lined baking sheet. I used a tablespoon to scoop my dough out. Make a thumbprint in each cookie
  5. Bake the cookies at 350F for 10-12 minutes
  6. While the cookies are baking, make your chocolate toping. In a double boiler, melt 2 Tbls butter, corn syrup, and chocolate. Set aside once melted
  7. Let cookies cool complete, fill with chocolate and top with sea salt, cinnamon and sugar

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

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I made these as a thank you to my neighbor who kindly watched my cat while I scooted down to Florida for a few days. I modified a recipe for a chocolate crinkle, omitted the powdered sugar and added some peanut butter chips. The pb chips make it vegetarian (they contain dairy), feel free to use a vegan friendly chip instead.

Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 c flour
  • 1/2 c cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1/4 c real-deal maple syrup
  • 1/2 c canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3-4 Tbls non-dairy milk
  • 1/2 c peanut butter chips
  1. Whisk the dry ingredients together, set aside
  2. Mix the sugar, syrup, oil, vanilla and milk together, really well, and pour into the dry mix
  3. Stir everything together and add the chips
  4. Bake at 350F for 10 minutes

Chocolate Coconut Almond Crispies

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I’ve been on a crispie bar kick lately. Partly due to the fact that I have a gianormous box of rice crispies to use up.

These Chocolate Coconut Almond Crispies are excellent! The one downside is you should keep them cooled, especially on a warm day. So after they chill and set up, cut them into desired pieces then put them back into the fridge. Silver lining: they aren’t laying on the counter and tempting you every time you walk through your kitchen.

Ingredients
– 4 c rice crispies
– 1/2 c corn syrup
– 1/2 c maple syrup
– 1/2 c chocolate chips
– 1/2 c almond butter
– 2 Tbls coconut oil
– pinch of salt
– 1 tsp almond or vanilla extract

topping (optional)
– 1/2 c chocolate chips
– 1 Tbls coconut oil
– slivered almonds
– coconut flakes

1. Pour 4 cups of rice crispies into a large bowl
2. In a small pan, add the corn syrup and maple syrup. Bring to a simmer. Let simmer for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and add almond butter, chocolate chips, coconut oil, salt and extract. Stir until everything is combined
3. Add the syrup mixture to the crispies and stir
4. In a 8×8 pan, line with parchment paper and with wet hands, press crispie mixture into the pan
5. Let chill for an hour. If using the topping, melt the chips and oil in a small pan. Once the mixture is smooth, pour over crispies. Top with almonds and coconut
6. Return to the fridge until ready to serve. Enjoy!

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Vegan Peanut Nutter Butter Crispie Bars

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Despite being MIA the past few weeks, I have no doubt been cooking and eating up a storm. I recently visited one of my favorite cities, Madison, WI, where I enjoyed testing out new eateries such as The Spot, Alchemy, and Marigold Cafe. All were pretty good, but the latter two were especially great.

Last night I whipped up a batch of these awesome bars. Yet, I must warn you, these are far from healthy and are quite addicting. With that in mind, these are great for gatherings and are a total hit with non-veg folk. It is reminiscent of a scotcheroo or special-k bar. Definitely worth trying!

Ingredients
– 1 package (16oz) Nutter Butter cookies
– 4 1/2 c puffed brown rice/rice crispies
– 1 c corn/brown rice syrup
– 1 stick butter (Earth Balance)
– 1 c lightly packed brown sugar
– 1/2 c unsalted peanut butter
– 1 tsp vanilla

1. In a food processor, chop the cookies into a crumble
2. Add Nutter Butter cookie crumble with the puffed rice and set aside
3. In a small pan, melt the butter and then add the corn syrup and brown sugar. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add peanut butter and vanilla
4. Once all of the sauce ingredients have blended together, add to the cookie/rice mixture
5. Transfer into a greased 9×14 pan and chill in the freezer. After the bars set you can add the optional topping
6. Topping: Melt 1/2 bag of chocolate chips on the stove. Spread on top of the bars. Let cool and harden before cutting

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Raw Chocolate Cashew Tarts

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Sinful. Delectable. Delicious. Addictive. These four words will likely come to mind when you taste this simple, 5-ingredient, raw dessert. I tried these at room temperature, refrigerated and frozen and I must say they are best frozen. However, feel free to play around with them. I also made these into smaller servings by using a cupcake and mini-cupcake pan. The mini sizes make for perfectly portioned treats. I highly recommend you sharing these at potlucks or get-togethers. Although, you may need to double the recipe size. Below makes 2 tart sized/6 cupcake sized/12 mini-cupcake sized desserts.

Sweet eating!

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1/2 c raw cashews
  • 1/2 c raisins or dates

Filling

  • 1/2 c raw cashews (soaked for 4-6 hours)
  • 1/4 c water
  • 3 Tbls cocoa powder
  • 3 Tbls agave
  • pinch salt
  1. In a food processor, pulse crust ingredients until the form a crumbly consistency. Press into greased pan of choice
  2. Next, blend the filling ingredients
  3. Add filling to the crust. Freeze for an hour or until firm

 

 

(recipe courtesy of the amazing, Raw on $10)

Peanut Butter Double Chocolate Cookies

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I stumbled across this recipe a few weeks ago and have been waiting to eat through my other cookies before making a new batch. I have never baked a flourless cookie before. I was a bit skeptical at first because I couldn’t tell if they were done and at first taste they seemed super doughy. However, after they cooled the texture stabilized quite a bit. These cookies are very rich and flavorful. I’m not sure if it’s my favorite cookie, but they were fun and easy to make.

Ingredients
– 1/2 c cocoa powder
– 2 tsp baking powder
– 2 Tbls flax plus 6 Tbls water, whisked and set aside for several minutes
– 2 c peanut butter (I used natural pb from the co-op)
– 2/3 c agave
– 1/2 c chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 375F
2. Mix flax mixture, set aside
3. Whisk the dry ingredients together and add into the wet ingredients, including flax mixture. Blend everything with a hand blender
4. Once the mixture has come together, stir in the chocolate chips
5. Scoop onto cookie sheets and flatten out. Bake for about 10 minutes

Double Mocha Cookies

I am a caffeine phene. I was in seventh heaven when I worked as a barista a few years back. It’s not uncommon for me to pop a few roasted beans in my mouth before heading out the door. I seriously enjoy coffee.

So it’s no surprise that this new recipe has perhaps become my most esteemed cookie. I’m calling it double mocha because, well, it reminds me of a double shot mocha. I would guess that one cookie is close to the equivalent of one cup of coffee.

Ingredients

  • 2 c all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 c cocoa powder
  • 3/4 c chocolate chips
  • 1/4 c freshly ground espresso beans
  • 1/4 c brewed coffee, plus 1/4 c cold water
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 c canola oil
  • 1/2 c dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  1. First, combine all of the dry ingredients, then set aside
  2. In a smaller bowl, combine the wet ingredients
  3. Add the wet into the dry

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4. Stir until everything is well mixed. Drop heaping tablespoons onto parchment lined cookie sheets

5. Bake at 350F for about 12 minutes. Let cool then transfer to a cooling rack

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Looks like I’ve been on a chocolate and peanut butter kick lately. There are a ton of easy recipes out there with those two delectable ingredients. Then again, I’ll have peanut butter on just about anything. Pizza? Yes. Pickles? Yes. Don’t judge… These cups are pretty easy and would go great at potlucks or informal gatherings. Just be prepared to be hounded for the recipe. Also, think about making a double batch. Most won’t be able to stop at one cup. Now, get baking!

Ingredients (modified from The Kind Diet)

  • 1/2 c Earth Balance (vegan) butter
  • 3/4 c crunchy peanut butter
  • 3/4 c graham cracker crumbs (I used 9 crackers and processed them to pieces)
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1 c chocolate chips
  • 1/4 c soy milk
  • 1/4 c chopped nuts
  1. Line a cupcake pan with liners (this batch makes 12)
  2. Melt the butter in a small pan, then add the peanut butter, graham crumbs and sugar
  3. In a separate pan melt the chocolate chips and soy milk
  4. Add the peanut butter mixture to the liners (about 2 Tbls)

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      5.  Use a teaspoon to coat the peanut butter with chocolate. Top with peanuts. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie

I’ve been on a Kind Diet kick lately and decided to play around with the Peanut Butter Chocolate pie recipe. The pie is incredibly rich, but so delicious. I don’t know how anyone would be able to tell it’s vegan.

Ingredients

  • Ready made pie crust (I used a whole wheat crust from Wholly Wholesome)
  • 10-12 oz vegan chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c soy milk
  • 1 c peanut butter
  • 1 box silken firm tofu
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 c maple syrup
  1. I baked my frozen pie crust for a few minutes, according to package instructions. After baking I put it in the fridge to cool while I made the chocolate layer
  2. For the base chocolate layer, use a double boiler to melt chips. When chips are melted, slowly whisk in soy milk. Reserve 1/4 c of the chocolate and pour the rest into the cooled pie crust. Place in the fridge for at least an hour

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        3.  Once the chocolate layer has fully cooled, create the peanut butter layer by processing peanut butter, tofu, vanilla and maple syrup. Pour on top of chocolate layer. Return to the fridge for a few hours

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       4.  Prior to serving, melt the reserve chocolate (I just microwaved mine for 15 seconds). Drizzle over pie. Place in fridge so chocolate sets…or serve right away

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