almost vegan homemade peanut butter cups

2014-01-21 14.24.20 I'll always be grateful to blogger + yogini Katie Levans of Honeystuck for posting her Vegan Reese's Peanut Butter Egg recipe. I first attempted it last year and after a few tweaks of my own, it's one of my good-to desserts. Again, like I've said before, I can't bake...I've kinda stopped trying. So if I'm going to try my hand at making homemade dessert, it has to be something like this.

While Katie's original recipe works great, I've made a couple small changes. I'm not vegan, but make a lot of vegan recipes. I use no milk, butter, or cream, so I think calling things "almost vegan" might become a trend on this here blog. I've got a lot of recipes in my "almost vegan" arsenal that I hope to share with you.

Warning: making these peanut butter cups is kinda messy and takes a little bit of practice. Patience might be needed...but they are worth it! They are also very rich, which is great because one can be your whole dessert for the night!

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Almost Vegan Peanut Butter Cups adapted from Katie Levans

Ingredients (all according to taste + texture...feel free to play with measurements)

1 cup dark chocolate chips 1/2 - 3/4 cup natural, unsweetened peanut butter 1-2 tbsp coconut oil 1/4 cup nondairy milk (I always use almond) 2 tbsp coconut flour 1-2 tbsp Nutella 1 tbsp agave nectar a sprinkling of kosher salt

In an electric mixer, beat peanut butter with Nutella, coconut flour + agave nectar. 2014-01-21 12.37.37

This mixture will be very thick and should resemble a tough dough.

Take it out and place between two pieces of parchment paper. Roll out to 1/4 inch thick..look, Nutella swirls! 2014-01-21 12.43.29 Sprinkle kosher salt very lightly over top of dough, replace top layer of parchment and roll over it one last time. 2014-01-21 12.46.46 Freeze dough in this thin layer for about an hour.

After dough is cold, put chocolate chips in a medium bowl with coconut oil + nondairy milk 2014-01-21 13.15.55 Melt in the microwave and whisk until smooth 2014-01-21 13.22.40

Get dough out of freezer and begin to cut your circles. I use a shot glass and it works like a charm. You get perfect, muffin tin sized disks! 2014-01-21 13.27.31 Using cupcake liners, fill up a 4 x 3 muffin pan.

Place a small spoonful of chocolate mixture in the bottom of each liner. Keeping the pan on a counter or table, strongly shake back and forth until chocolate evenly spreads and covers the bottom of each cupcake liner. You might need to get in there and help a little with a spatula. No big, just shake again if you want to even things out. 2014-01-21 13.26.32 Place one peanut butter disk in each liner. Top with another spoonful of chocolate mixture. Repeat shaking process. Use a spatula to cover any visible peanut butter. Place entire muffin tin in the freezer for a few hours. If you have leftover peanut butter dough, wrap up in parchment then plastic wrap and freeze for later use.

After a couple of hours, you can remove them from muffin tin and store in a freezer bag (in the freezer). Because of the coconut oil, when these guys are below a certain temperature, they hold their shape brilliantly. However, the chocolate is not at all hard, but amazingly soft like a ganache. So good. Enjoy!

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happy snow day friday

Wishing everyone a happy Friday a little late due to a lost internet connection at home. However, we did get about two inches of snow (and ICE) and I didn't have to work today. Unexpected three day weekend?!?! Yay?!

Over at Mom and Dad's writing this...we've been enjoying the snowy day with coffee, dance parties, and a cookie bake off: chocolate chip, snickerdoodle, sugar, and turtle. Whoa. You can see exactly what's going on here.

What do you think of Vine?! I pretty much agree with these ladies. I'm half-heartedly participating, but pretty much think it stinks.

Vegan Banana and Toasted Coconut Muffins

I made these last week and they were (surprisingly) so good! After reviewing my resolutions, I am back on the baking train. I started off with this recipe, but made so many changes that I consider these muffins an original creation.

I have been experimenting with vegan baking for a couple of years and concluded that there is one secret weapon to success:

Everything is better with a little coconut oil, but mostly it adds a richness that is woooonderful.

The other secret to these muffins is toasting your coconut:

Recipe:

  • 2 cups whole wheat white flour (I'm assuming that these could easily be gluten free as well if you substituted coconut flour for the whole wheat)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  •  1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
  •  1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup toasted unsweetened coconut 
First, toast your coconut in a skillet over medium high heat. Watch it carefully, it can burn in two seconds!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray muffin tin with cooking spray
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, & cinnamon in a large bowl.
Combine mashed banana, oil, sugar, vanilla, & almond milk in a medium bowl. Add to dry mixture.
Fold in toasted coconut.
Spoon into muffin tin, filling them up about three quarters.
Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes (another secret: NOT overcooking these)
Enjoy!

Halfway there...

Wow! Halfway done with 2012 already! Time to look and check on my New Year's resolutions...

Looks like I'm doing pretty well!

1. Finish yoga teacher training  I can definitely check this off--I graduate next Wednesday!

2. Be a better baker Yeah...this is definitely still a work in progress...Especially since I stopped buying a few things...

3. Read 30 books I'm right on track with this one. I just looked at my list of books read so far this year...13 with two in progress! Here's what I've read so far:

4. Keep blogging Yay!

5. Try to be more patient in daily life. Doubt I'll ever be able to cross this one off the list...

 

 

Weekend was amazing because...

wow, this weekend was the best in a long while. the weather was BEAUTIFUL and we didn't do much of anything.

it was an amazing weekend because I...

attended a bookclub meeting full of excellent food, lovely ladies, & great discussion made cupcakes for a work event tomorrow...dropped an egg...was so pretty though!

had the windows open throughout the house while blasting Lykke Li

yoga'd for almost four hours

made kale pesto (over half of which I had to throw out...turns out there is such a thing as waaaay too much garlic)

got to break out some Chaco's

had Sunday birthday brunch with Andrew's family.

ate some excellent white lasagna, courtesy of @leahslag

updated to IOS 5.1...they say that the Instagram Android app is "coming soon" !!!! Does that mean I can stop taking terrible Instagram photos on my iPad...please???

Back to work tomorrow...

BUT

only a 3 day work week for this gal...heading to Asheville, NC for the weekend! Woop!

long weekend in photos

Back to the grind today. Great long weekend full of food, laundry, awards shows, pageants, meditating, organizing, and baking. Here are some photos:

We had to take Mr. Forrest to the vet, he has had a pretty bad limp. Turns out he has a little carpal tunnel in his front legs! Freshly mopped floors + a pup who has trouble walking = cuddle session in the kitchen. Luckily he seems to be much better today. 

Happy Friday Y'all! ::: 01-06-2012

Holy mackerel, it's Friday again!

This weekend is going to be pretty fabulous for a few reasons:

:::spin class::: :::back to my baking resolution w/ these muffins from Smitten Kitchen::: :::get started gigantic magnetic photo project...more on this later::: :::get this dang book finished::: :::Downton Abbey season two premiere:::

What's on your agenda?

p.s. while I am still remaining off of Facebook personally, you can now "like" this blog on Facebook. I am experimenting with this...we'll see how it goes.