Friday, December 28, 2012

Homemade Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups and Chocolate Speculoos Cups

We hope everyone is enjoying the holidays. Here is a quick and fun recipe (more like how-to) for yummy treats involving peanut butter and chocolate or speculoos and chocolate (!!!). These are great for any entertaining to be had or host/hostess gifts, etc.

We don't have a fancy chocolate mold (skull mold not withstanding) so we used a mini muffin tin with mini muffin liners. We added the little decorative bits on top for fun.

Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter (or Speculoos) Cups
recipe adapted from The Vegan Chickpea

makes about 12
1 cup vegan chocolate chips
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp of your favorite peanut butter (we used natural in some, and PB&Co. White Chocolate Wonderful, and Lotus Speculoos in other) 

Place chocolate chips in microwave safe bowl and melt in 30 second bursts. It only took about 60 seconds total for us. Add in the coconut oil and continue to stir until chocolate is very smooth. 

Spoon enough of the melted chocolate into the candy mold so that the bottom is covered.  Take 1/2 tsp of peanut butter/speculoos and place it in the middle of the chocolate.  Cover the peanut butter with additional chocolate, filling the remainder of the mold.  Repeat until all chocolate has been used.  Refrigerate/place in freezer until candy has hardened.  Pop out of the molds and store in airtight container, preferably in the refrigerator. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

There is no question in my mind about these being the absolute BEST gingerbread cookies, vegan or not. Simply THE best!

Onto the silly gingerbread people we made :) 

Galactic/Hawaiian Gingerbread Peoples

Vegan Gingerbread Cut-Out Cookies
Makes about 16 cookies (depending on the size of your cutters)
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup plain soy milk/almond milk/rice milk, etc.
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour (or a mix of both)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
spice blend:
1/2 teaspoon each ground nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
In a large bowl whisk together oil and sugar for about 3 minutes. Add molasses and soymilk. The molasses and soymilk won’t really blend with the oil but that’s ok.
Sift in all of the other dry ingredients, mixing about half way through. When all of the dry ingredients are added, mix until a stiff dough is formed. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for an hour or up to 3 days in advance. If you chill longer than an hour you may want to let it sit for 10 minutes to warm up a bit before proceeding.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease your cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured surface roll the dough out to a little less than 1/4 inch thick. Cut out your shapes with your cookie cutters and use a thin spatula to gently place on cookie sheets. If you are using them to decorate a tree or something, remember to punch a hole in their heads (!) before baking. Bake for 8 minutes.
Remove from oven and let them cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet then move to a cooling rack. Wait until they are completely cool before icing.

Bonus Christmas Bunny

Friday, December 21, 2012

Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

The holidays are almost here! How the time flies. Here's a quick cookie recipe that tastes exactly like those old school peanut butter chocolate chip cookies from your childhood. No one can resist! 

Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ingredients (48 cookies)

  • 2 1/2 cups ap flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Earth Balance or other (non-dairy) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup peanut butter- natural
  • 1 cup light brown sugar (packed)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons ground flax seeds mixed with 6 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup chocolate chips, whatever kind you have on hand

Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Mix together ground flax seeds and water in a small bowl and set aside to thicken.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the "butter" on medium speed for a minute or two, until smooth and creamy. Add the peanut butter and beat for another minute. Add the sugars and beat for 3 minutes more. Add the flax seed mixture and beat for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and, on low speed, add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they just disappear. Mix in the chocolate chips. You’ll have a soft a pliable dough.
Scoop the dough into balls, using a cookie scooper or tablespoon. Place balls onto a cookie sheets, leaving a few inches of room between each cookie (you should fit about 12 cookies on a sheet).
Pour some sugar into a small bowl. Dip the tines of a fork and press into the ball of dough. Dip the times again, and then press the tines again perpendicular to the first indentation to create a crisscross.
Bake the dough for 12 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and from front to back at the midway point. When done, the cookies will be lightly colored and still be a little soft. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a minute before transferring them to a cooling rack. Cool to room temperature.
Repeat with the remaining dough, making sure to cool the baking sheets between batches.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Vegan Chocolate Chip Shortbread

It isn't the holidays without shortbread. These vegan chocolate chip shortbread cookies are so delicious. The vegan buttery sticks (we used Earth Balance) gives the shortbread a perfectly buttery taste. No one will know!

We mainly used the cute circular rippled edge cutter but threw in some reindeer for fun! Enjoy!

Vegan Chocolate Chip Shortbread

8 oz. (2 sticks) vegan buttery spread, room temperature
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup mini vegan chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. With an electric hand mixer, beat the butter and confectioners' sugar on medium for about 3 minutes, or
until smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract.
3. With the mixer on low, beat the flour in until it just disappears into the butter mixture. Do not overmix.
4. Fold in the mini chocolate chips.

5. Transfer the dough into a gallon sized freezer bag or place between 2 large sheets of parchment paper. On a flat surface, use a rolling pin to roll the dough out about 1/4 inch thick. Chill the dough in refrigerator until firm (about 2 hours).

6. When the dough is ready, take it out of the fridge, cut the plastic bag or peel away parchment paper and remove the dough. Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes, or use a knife to cut shapes.
7. Bake the cookies for about 18-20 minutes, or until the edges just begin to brown, rotating the pans
halfway through the baking time. These cookies taste better when they are still slightly pale, so
watch them carefully near the end to ensure that they don't get too brown. Cool completely.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Vegan Peanut Butter Pretzel Caramel Chocolate Truffles: A No Bake Christmas Treat

Nothing says the holidays more than no bake chocolate truffles. Some variation on this recipe has been a Christmas tradition in our family for forever.

 This peanut butter + peanuts + pretzels + caramel sauce might be the best variation yet.

This recipe is totally vegan as well, and if you substitute gluten free pretzels then it can be GF as well.

Pretzel Peanut Caramel Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Chocolate Truffles 

Recipe by Averie Cooks

Makes 1 dozen truffles 
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
1 tablespoon caramel sauce (we cooked down some full-fat coconut milk and brown sugar in a pan)
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup pretzels, crushed
1/4 cup peanuts, crushed
Pinch salt, optional to taste
3/4 cup dairy free chocolate chips, melted for dipping

Combine peanut butter, caramel sauce, and sugars in a small bowl and stir until combined.  Add the crushed pretzels and peanuts.  Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and fold to combine.
Roll the dough into small balls, no larger than 1/2 inch in diameter, and place them on a parchment-lined or wax-paper lined flat surface. Roll smaller than you think and if the dough is difficult to work with, chilling it in the freezer for 15 minutes may be help.
Place the rolled cookie dough balls in the freezer for at least a half hour; the colder the better for the next step: dipping.
Melt chocolate chips in a small microwave-safe bowl, heating the chocolate in 20-30 second bursts, removing from the microwave and stirring after each 20-30 second interval to encourage melting.
After the chocolate has melted, removed the chilled cookie dough balls from the freezer and place one ball into the bowl and toss it lightly with two forks in the chocolate bath.  Carefully remove the coated ball and set it down on wax or parchment paper. Repeat this process. 
You may need to reheat your chocolate mixture after a few balls, as it will cool down and become more difficult to work with.  Reheat in the microwave in 20 to 30 second bursts as needed.   Place the finished truffles in the freezer to fully set up for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Store extras in the refrigerator or freezer.


Monday, December 3, 2012

Chunky Monkey Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies (Vegan)

Bananas + peanut butter + chocolate = greatest combination of all time! These cookies have it all and you'll be so satisfied you won't know what to do with yourself. 

The raw batter is also dangerously good and the fact that there are no raw eggs makes it really hard to not eat it all before baking!

Vegan Chunky Monkey Cookies

Recipe by Namely Marly

¼ cup vegan buttermilk, (soy milk with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar)
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup margarine, softened
½ cup peanut butter
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas, mashed
2 bags Dairy free chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts, chopped

Heat your oven to 375°.

Combine soy milk with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and set aside. Next, combine dry ingredients (flour, baking soda and salt) in small bowl. Beat margarine, peanut butter sugars, and vanilla in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add bananas and beat well. Gradually beat in flour mixture and then soy buttermilk mixture. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto silpat or parchment lined baking sheet.

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake

Mmm... I just love incorporating pumpkin in to all kinds of baked goodies and desserts.

And I especially loooove a good graham cracker crust!

This is a perfectly seasonal cheesecake but it doesn't have an overpowering pumpkin taste, for those who aren't such great fans of pumpkin.

The perfect dessert option for those vegan dinner guests around the Thanksgiving table next week!

There is a great consistency to this cheesecake and the delicious sugary nut topping really finishes it off nicely!

Pumpkin Cheesecake
 from the ppk 

1 1/4 cups of finely ground graham crackers or gingersnaps
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons melted non-hydrogenated margarine, melted coconut oil, or canola oil
1 tablespoon plain soy or almond milk.

1/2 cup whole unroasted cashews soaked in water for 2 to 8 hours or until very soft
1/4 cup mashed banana (about half of 1 medium-sized banana)
1 12 to 14 oz package silken tofu, drained
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons coconut oil, at room temperature
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 3/4 cups canned pumpkin puree
3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon nonhydrogenated margarine *or* coconut oil
Pinch of salt
1 cup pecans, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 350F and lightly spray a 9 inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a mixing bowl, combine the crumbs and sugar. Drizzle in the oil or melted margarine.
Use a spoon to blend the mixture thoroughly to moisten the crumbs, then drizzle in the soy milk and stir again to form a crumbly dough.
Pour the crumbs into the pan. Press firmly into the bottom. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes until firm. Let the crust cool a bit before filling. Keep oven on 350 to bake the cheesecake.

In a mixing bowl use a fork to mash together brown sugar, margarine, and salt until crumbly, then fold in the chopped nuts and stir to coat the mixture. Set aside until ready to use.

Drain the cashews and place in a blender with the banana, tofu, sugar, brown sugar, coconut oil, cornstarch, lemon juice, vanilla, orange zest, and sea salt. Blend until completely smooth and no bits of cashew remain, a food processor or strong blender should be able to get the job done.

Set aside 1/2 cup of batter. To the remaining batter, add the pumpkin puree, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg and blend until smooth, then pour it into the crust. Randomly spoon dollops of the reserved batter onto the cheesecake. Poke the end of a chopstick into a batter blob and gently swirl to create a marble pattern; repeat with the remaining dollops.

Bake the cheesecake for 45 to 50 minutes. Remove cheesecake halfway through baking and sprinkle on the topping. Return to oven to continue baking. Cheesecake will be done when the top is lightly puffed and the edges of the cake are golden. Remove it from the oven and let cool on a rack for about 20 minutes, then transfer to the refrigerator to complete cooling, at least 3 hours or even better if overnight. To serve, slice the cake using a thin, sharp knife dipped in cold water.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate

Peanut butter is one of those amazing combinations. So amazing in fact that you don't have to do anything more than slap the two together!

Here's to the simplest treat ever!

We hope you enjoy :)

We used Ikea Dark Chocolate and some natural PB - delish!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween Inspired Nails

I know it's a little late but I could have sworn I scheduled this post for yesterday. Must of been a poltergeist playing a trick on me!  Oh well, you can still enjoy these I hope!

I hope everyone had a safe and happy Halloween!

I vant to suck your blood!

Do feel like you're being watched? Reminds me of Labryinth.

Candy-coloured tips!

Inspiration for the top two designs came from here. The above came from here.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween to everyone! Don't eat too many sweets. 

Thank you to our lovely cousin Tanya for the Halloween cards! 
xo Caitlin and Riley 

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