Peanut Butter “Cookie” Cupcakes

PBcupcakes

Imagine a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie topped with a peanut butter cup with creamy frosting on top of that. Then imagine promising yourself you won’t eat 10 of them!

PS. I created this recipe for an Earthbalance contest, so I featured their products but substitutions work just fine.

Peanut Butter “Cookie” Cupcake Recipe
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COOKIE
3/4 cup almond meal/flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup Earth Balance Coconut and Peanut Spread (or peanut butter plus 1 teaspoon coconut oil)
1/4 cup agave nectar
2 tablespoons buttery spread or butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

TOPPING
1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup Earth Balance Coconut and Peanut Spread or peanut butter

FROSTING
1/4 cup Earth Balance Coconut and Peanut Spread or peanut butter
1/4 cup 100% vegetable shortening
2-3 tablespoons agave nectar

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare mini muffin tins with paper cups (about 24).

In a large mixing bowl combine the almond meal, baking powder, 1/3 cup Coconut and Peanut Spread, 1/4 cup agave, Buttery Spread, and vanilla extract. Stir to combine then mix in 1/4 cup chocolate chips.

Scoop one level tablespoon of cookie dough into each muffin cup. Gently flatten each one with your finger.

Bake for 6-7 minutes. Take them out just as the edges are barely starting to get color. If these over-cook they will be dry. (They will continue to cook in the hot pan after being removed from the oven.)

Place the muffin tins on a cooling rack until fully cooled.

Melt 1/2 cup chocolate chips in a double boiler. Mix in a 1/4 cup Coconut and Peanut Spread. Pour the mixture over each cookie, filling the paper to the top.  Set aside until the chocolate is set (you can speed this up by placing it in the freezer).

In a mixing bowl combine 1/4 cup Coconut and Peanut Spread, shortening, and 2 tablespoons of agave. Whip the frosting with an electric mixer until smooth. Taste and add more agave if desired.

Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes and serve or store covered in the refrigerator.

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I am sharing this recipe on Wellness Weekend, Whole Food Fridays, Allergy Free Wednesdays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays,

Peanut Butter, Caramel, Chocolate Bars

Candy Bar

I love candy bars. I love Snickers Bars. I don’t eat them anymore. But I don’t mind, because I know how to make my own delicious chocolates! I use the chocolate recipe from my cookbook, but you can use melted semi-sweet chocolate. For the caramel, the recipe is also in my cookbook or you can use a different caramel recipe or purchase pre-made caramels. I purchased the chocolate mold at a local craft store- very inexpensive.

Here is a photo in progress to give you a sense of how these are assembled:

Chocolate Bar Recipe
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1/2 cup melted chocolate (approximate amount)
1/3 cup peanut butter (estimate) crunchy, lightly salted, all natural peanut butter
1/4 cup caramel (use the recipe from my cookbook in the Turtle recipe, but cook it for less time so it is looser)
peanuts

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Freeze the chocolate mold.

Pour a bit of chocolate into the mold and place it in the freezer for about 5 minutes to set.

Add about a teaspoon of peanut butter to each section. Press a divot into the peanut butter and fill that with caramel. (More caramel is tasty but messy… I go for maximum caramel personally!)

Place two peanuts on top of each section and place in the freezer for about 10 minutes.

Pour chocolate over everything and once again place it in the freezer to set.

I store these in the refrigerator and try not to eat them all in one day.

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I am sharing this recipe on

Pumpkin Bars

I have eaten pumpkin pie every thanksgiving for my whole life.  I can’t remember my mother ever making it any other time.  She always made the crust with whole wheat flour, the pie from a whole pumpkin, and sweetened with maple syrup.  When I was a kid I added an equal portion of whipped cream (also homemade) on top of my pie- sometimes more half-way through.  This recipe tastes a lot like pumpkin pie. In fact you could make it in a pie dish and call it pie if you want to!

Pumpkin Bar Recipe
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CRUST
1 cup almond meal/flour
1/2 cup quinoa flakes (found in the breakfast aisle)
3 tablespoons buttery spread
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt

FILLING
1/2 cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon arrowroot
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1/2 cup canned coconut milk (full fat)
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

TOPPING
1 cup chopped pecans

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9×13 inch baking dish with parchment paper.

Combine all of the crust ingredients together and press into the bottom of the prepared dish. Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes until the crust starts to turn golden.

Whisk together all of the filling ingredients and scoop on top of the pre-baked crust, smoothing the top. Sprinkle the pecans evenly over the top and bake for about 15-17 minutes until the filling has set.

Cool completely before serving.

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I am sharing this recipe on Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Gluten-Free Weekly Meal Plan, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Whole Food Fridays, Allergy-Free Wednesday

Mango Lassi Ice Cream and Mango Lassie

Mango Lassi Ice Cream

I spent a semester living abroad in Sri Lanka (something like 17-years-ago). The food of Sri Lanka is very similar to Indian food, with lots and lots of coconut in it. Everything was made with coconut. And chilis. Seriously spicy food. At first I had a tough time adjusting to the diet.

Dessert was less common there and often was fruit. So, this ice cream reminds me Sri Lanka. Coconut and mango, with cardamom, only lightly sweetened. If you like more sweet, add more honey (I will give you a range in the recipe). I have made several batches of this ice cream. In the photo above you will see one scoop is more orange than the other. That is the natural variation in mango colors. For the lighter one I used frozen (then thawed) mango chunks. It was not as good. For the more orange version I used two very ripe and juicy mangoes. Delicious.

Mango Lassie

While planning for this post, I ask my husband, “How can I make Mango Lassi Ice Cream cute?”

He said, “How about a dog”.

“What?”

“You know, Lassie”, said my husband Tim.

Oh, that is it! I have to do that! I was laughing hysterically. (Easily inspired/amused I guess!) So, yes, just for my amusement and out of dedication to the blog I purchased a collie cookie cutter.

I laid the kiwi and grapes out on the plate, then poured vegan jello (coconut water and agar agar) over the top. Let that set while I prepared the flowers, then quickly assembled the whole thing.

Mango Lassi Ice Cream Recipe
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1 13.5 ounce can coconut milk (full fat)
1/3-1/2 cup honey (or agave for vegan)
1/2 cup coconut water or other non-dairy milk
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (cardomom is a strong flavor, you can use less if you prefer)
2 cups mango chunks

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Combine the coconut milk, honey, and coconut water in a large sauce pan. Bring to a boil (whisking occasionally as it heats). Add the cardamom. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3 minutes, whisking frequently. (This heating process is important for the texture of the ice cream.) Set aside to cool in the refrigerator for a few hours.

Combine the chilled ice cream mixture and mangoes in a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour into an ice cream maker and use according to the manufactures instructions.

Enjoy! (If you have left overs in the freezer, just let the ice cream soften a bit before enjoying again.)

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I am sharing this recipe on Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Whole Foods Fridays, Melt in Your Mouth Mondays, Meatless Monday, Mix it Up Monday, Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Wellness Weekend

Carrot Cake Quackers and Vegan Carrot Cookies

Quackers

New book

I love it

great stories

Bento

dairy-free

buy online

Culinary Creativity: Let your restrictions set you free, available on Amazon.

Carrot Cake Muffin Recipe
(see below for cookies)

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1 cup quinoa flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 egg
3 tablespoons oil (most kinds will be fine)
1/3 cup applesauce
1/4 cup honey
1 cup shredded carrots (about 3 large carrots)
1/3 cup raisins

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a muffin tin with papers (makes 6-7 muffins). This recipe might work out fine to oil the muffin tins instead of paper but I didn’t test that.

Combine the dry ingredients.

Combine the wet ingredients.

Mix the wet and dry together and add the carrots and raisins.

Scoop 1/4 cup of batter into each prepared muffin cup.

Bake for about 20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the muffins from the tin to cooling rack immediately so that the papers don’t get soggy.

* We enjoy these as muffins without frosting. I did frost them for the photo shoot and as a special treat, but there is no specific recipe for the frosting.

Carrot Muffin

Vegan Carrot Cookie Recipe
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1 tablespoon flax meal with 2 tablespoons water (or 1 egg for non-vegan)
1/2 cup quinoa flour
1/2 cup quinoa flakes
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 tablespoons oil (most kinds will be fine)
1/4 cup raw agave nectar (or honey for non-vegan)
1/2 cup finely grated carrots (about 2 carrots)
1/3-1/2 cup raisins

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine the flax and water and set aside.

Combine the dry ingredients.

Combine the wet ingredients, including the flax.

Mix the wet and dry together and add the carrots and raisins.

Place spoonful-dolops of cookie batter on the baking sheet. (These don’t spread so you can place them close together.)

Bake for about 12 minutes (keep an eye on them to be sure the bottoms don’t get overcooked).  Set them out on a cooling rack.

Enjoy!

Makes about 16 cookies.

Shared on Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Allergy Free Wednesdays, Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Wellness Weekend

Almond Joy Pie

palm-tree pie

I love coconut, almond, and chocolate. Those ingredients are the foundation of my favorite candy bar. It was always the flavor of ice cream I would order whenever available too. And this is my new favorite dessert. This pie has a nice crunchy, chewy, chocolatey quality.

I attempted to draw a palm tree with coconuts, but drawing with melted chocolate on pie was surprisingly challenging. Close enough! Below the pieces are in squares because I tried making it in a 9×9 inch pan which worked fine, but the crust was a bit thin (8×8 would be better I think.)

Almond Joy Pie

Almond Joy Pie Recipe
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Crust
1/2 cup almond meal/flour, packed
1/4 cup minced almonds
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon buttery spread or butter (coconut oil might work but not tested)
1 tablespoon raw agave syrup or honey

Filling
1 3/4 cups shredded coconut, unsweetened
3 eggs
1/3 cup raw agave syrup or honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup canned coconut milk, full fat

Topping
1/4-1/2 cup melted semi-sweet chocolate

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Preheat the oven to 350.

Prepare a pie pan with parchment paper and oil the sides.

Combine the crust ingredients together and mix thoroughly. Press the crust into the bottom of the prepared pie dish. It will be a thin layer, and should not go up the sides. Bake the crust for 8-12 minutes until the top is light gold. Keep an eye on this as it can burn quickly.

Combine all of the filling ingredients in a food processor. Puree until the coconut pieces are 50% smaller. (About the size of 1/2 a grain of rice.)

Pour the filling into the precooked pie crust. Bake for 25-30 minutes until fully set. There will be no giggle and the top will feel mostly firm.

Cool completely then dizzle chocolate over the top. Let the chocolate set, then serve.

Shared on Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Whole Food Fridays, and Allergy Free Wednesdays

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Vegan Carrot Cookies