Tag Archives: chocolate

The amazing chocolate peanut butter cup cookies, plus a Twitter tip

21 Feb

Nomnomnom.

Only the best cookies ever.

Beware, folks. These cookies may be vegan, but they sure aren’t diet food.

If you ever spent a candy-full holiday hoarding Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, these rich little gems are going to rock your sweet tooth hard.

The recipe comes from the cookbook Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, with slight alterations, and is so fantastically simple and fast (especially with the aid of a food processor) you might find yourself making more batches than your waistline cares for. Just hide the scale now, that’s all I’m saying.

Makes 24 life-changing cookies

Chocolate Dough Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 Tbsps non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Peanut Butter Filling Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup crunchy or creamy natural salted peanut butter (or you can use unsalted and throw a pinch of sea salt into the batter)
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp non-dairy milk
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract

C is for Cooookies!

  1. Place the oil, sugar, maple syrup, milk, and vanilla in a food processor and process until smooth (or mix the ingredients in a large bowl).
  2. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt, and gradually add the mix to the processor (or bowl), until a moist lump of dough forms.
  3. Dump the chocolate dough out onto a cutting board, bowl or clean counter and set aside.
  4. To make the peanut butter filling, process the peanut butter, powdered sugar, 2 Tbsps of milk, and vanilla until a moist, firm dough forms (if you are food-processor-less, use a hand mixer in a large mixing bowl). If your dough is dry and crumbly, add in the remaining tablespoon of milk. If it’s too wet, add in a bit more powdered sugar.
  5. By now your work space should smell amazing. Stop and appreciate that, then preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Create the peanut-buttery soul of the cookies by rolling the peanut butter dough into twenty-four equal-sized balls. Tip: divide the dough in half, then divide each part in half again. Use those four chunks to make six balls each.
  7. To form your cookies, flatten about a tablespoon of the chocolate dough on your palm, and place a peanut butter ball in the center.
  8. Gently wrap the chocolate dough around the peanut butter center and roll it between your palms, smoothing any cracks, until you have a smooth ball of yumyum.
  9. Place all 24 dough balls about two inches apart on your lined baking pans, and pop them in the oven (one sheet at a time) for 10 minutes.
  10. Let the cookies stand for five minutes before scarfing them down…or moving them to wire racks or a plate to cool off.
  11. If you can somehow resist eating them all in one sitting, make sure you store these guys in an airtight container or plastic bag so they don’t dry out. Because that would be a damn tragedy.

Bon appetit!

Next week, I promise you some tasty tacos. You can thank my wonderful friend Maggie for requsting that recipe.

Until then, I leave you with this Twitter tip: If you are a Seinfeld fan, you must immediately follow Modern Seinfeld @SeinfeldToday. It’s a series of episode descriptions as if the show were still in production. Just imagine the shenanigans the gang could get into with iPhones, planking, hipster culture, etc. Enjoy!

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Avocadopalooza: Creamy Pasta and Chocolate Pudding

30 Jan

Avocadomania: Creamy avocado pasta and chocolate pudding.

No butter. No milk. No cream. No kidding.

Avocados are not just for face masks and guacamole, people. In fact, this smoothtastic and B-vitamin-filled Mexican berry (true story, look it up) was the foundation of my delicious dinner and dessert last night: creamy avocado pasta and chocolate pudding. I also had a salad, so you can stop judging my fatty ways right now, judgy.

Cos approved.

Mr. Cosby may or may not be eating my pudding in this picture.

Before you get all freaked out and walk away from this blog while shaking your head, know that you can’t taste avocado in the pudding. Not at all. It tastes just like chocolate pudding should taste: glorious. Trust me, Mr. Cosby would approve.

You should also know that the best thing about both of these dishes, outside of the fact that they taste crazy good, is that you can throw them together super-fast and they don’t require much effort beyond turning on a food processor.*

And now…to the deets!

Creamy Avocado Pasta
Serves 2

I adapted this recipe, with only slight changes, from the fabulous Angela of Oh She Glows blog fame. My most serious recommendation: stick to one or two cloves of garlic. The original recipe calls for three cloves but, while I loves me some garlic, three left me with vampire-repelling breath. What if Edward had come calling?!

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted and diced
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil (or a few shakes of dried basil, in my case)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 6 oz of pasta (I used whole wheat linguini)
  • Ground black pepper, to taste

Pasta it UP

  1. Cook your pasta according to the box instructions.
  2. While your pasta is cooking, blend the garlic, lemon juice and olive oil in a food processor until you get a smooth mixture (and you don’t see any garlic bits).
  3. Add the avocado, basil, and salt to the mix and blend until it’s all one creamy dream.
  4. Drain your cooked pasta and transfer it to a large bowl before pouring on the sauce and tossing until it’s fully combined.**
  5. Grind some black pepper onto your creation.
  6. Devour.

**Angela notes that the avocado causes this dish to not reheat well. But because leftovers are a very important part of my very unimpressive life, I had to develop a fix: set aside some of the sauce and some of the cooked noodles in separate containers and refrigerate both. When you want to nosh on your second helping, heat up the noodles by adding a little water (not too much or your final product will be soupy) to the container and pop it in the microwave for a minute or so, and then toss the pasta with the sauce. Voila!

Pudding ingredients

All you need for puddin’.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding
Serves 2 (yeah, right)

This miracle of a recipe comes from the awesome team at The Centered Chef in Chicago, where I took a deliciously informative (and BYOB!) Vegan 101 cooking class last week. If you live in the area, I highly recommend signing up for a session. They also offer a vegan baking class that I’m game to try whenever the funds magically appear in my bank account.

More recipes from that experience are on the way. Scout’s Brownie’s honor.

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted and diced
  • ¼ cup agave nectar
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • ½ Tbsp lemon juice (or to taste)

Pudding Time

  1. Dump your avocado bits, agave nectar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract and sea salt (yep, all of it) in a blender or food processor and blend away.
  2. Gradually add water until your pudding looks like, well, pudding.
  3. Stop the processor and make sure all of the cocoa powder is scraped off the sides and into the mix, and keep mixing until all the avocado bits are broken up.
  4. Scrape up every last bit of that chocolatey goodness, and set in the refrigerator for about an hour to chill.
  5. Do your best not to eat all of it in one sitting. Good luck!

Bon appetit!

* On a final note, it has come to my attention that I require a new food processor. Mine was a hand-me-down from my grandmother and, while it has lived a fine life, it’s now older than I am and not quite up to snuff. Any recommendations from the peanut gallery on a new appliance that won’t put me in the poor house would be greatly appreciated.

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