Mocha Bliss Balls

Mocha Bliss Balls

I had a very good and very bad day awhile ago.  I don’t want to get into specifics, but it left me feeling very off.  While when I was a kid I probably would have simply fallen asleep, now I knew this wasn’t going to happen.

I still sleep well most of the time (knock on wood), but when things get on my mind, I am out too late, or consume caffeine or alcohol too late, sleep just doesn’t want to happen.

Mocha Bliss Balls

And I need my sleep.  I need it every night.  Seven or eight hours.  Or you don’t want to be around me.  Really.  Trust me.  Ask Mom.  I need sleep.  On this night in particular, I needed some to reset my mind and body, to give me some peace.

I tossed and turned for a few hours, before giving up and turning on the TV.  I finished Storks which I liked, particularly given the circumstances.  And then I headed to Netflix and Gilmore Girls.

I never watched Gilmore Girls when it originally aired and Mom and I just recently started it and are not quite half way through season 1.

Mocha Bliss Balls

I really like Gilmore Girls.  It’s a good show with relatable characters with normal problems.  It’s both a break from the high tension shows so common these days and a bit boring because of the expectations those shows have created.

I turned it on because I thought it would help me go to sleep.

I promise.  I really like it.

And it did make me go to sleep.

I’ve watched episodes since and haven’t nodded off.  But right then, it was what I needed and solved my problem.

Mocha Bliss Balls

Forget Ambien, I’ll take Gilmore Girls.

And in the morning, I’ll chow down on some of these Mocha Bliss Balls for a healthy jolt of energy and nutrition.  They are easy, and dare I say fun, to make, gluten free, vegan, refined sugar free, and totally addictive with the chew of the dates and the crunch of the chia seeds.  I even think Lorelai and Rory would like them 🙂

Mocha Bliss Balls

Ingredients

½ cup dates, packed
½ cup hot coffee
¾ cup almond meal
¼ cup coconut flour
4 tablespoons carob or cocoa powder
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
2 tablespoons chia seeds
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
Additional hemp and chia seeds and carob or cocoa powder for rolling

Instructions

  1. Soak the dates in the hot coffee.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the almond meal, coconut flour, carob or cocoa powder, hemp and chia seeds, and ground turmeric.
  3. Mash up the dates with your hands and place them into the bowl with the dry ingredients, squeezing out most of the excess liquid. Add the coconut oil and mix with a spoon, or your hands – they are really the best tool. Until a sticky paste forms. If it is not quite coming together, add some of the date soaking liquid. If you don’t use it all, drink it. It’s delicious!
  4. Form the mixture into about golf ball sized balls and roll in your choice of topping. Balls may be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
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Flourless Fudge Brownies #SundaySupper

Flourless Fudge Brownies

It’s the unofficial start of summer and it feels every bit of it with warm temperatures, flowers in bloom, the air conditioner running, and bugs.  Lots and lots of bugs.

The first nice day every year, they emerge.  I’m bug-phobic and run and squeal whenever I see one outside and inside it’s even worse.

Flourless Fudge Brownies

We’re used to spiders.  Every spring or summer, there is one day when we kill ants in the house (lots of ant, double digit numbers of ants), we put cloves around the doors and windows (it works), and then they leave and stay away (knock on wood).  Flies are common.  Too common, swooping and zooming and scaring the life out of me.

Stinging insects are far less common (again, knock on wood), but the other day, it happened.  You guys, it happened.

Flourless Fudge Brownies

Mom had just gotten off the elliptical and I was in the den innocently buying Katy Perry tickets (so excited!), when Mom said, is that a bee?  She didn’t really mean bee and it wasn’t a bee, but all those stinging insects, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, are one in the same in our house.

Sure enough it was a “bee.”  I did what any reasonable person would do.  I shut the door to the den and let Mom deal with it, shouting ideas at her at how to dispose of the insect.

We … well she … ended up using a light bulb changing tool to smash it on the window until it was dead.  And we all lived happily ever after … except the bee.  Him, not so much.

Flourless Fudge Brownies

Other than having a bee free house, Flourless Fudge Brownies are a must.  You’re thinking these don’t taste anything at all like regular brownies since they use almond meal instead of all-purpose flour.

But you are so wrong.  These might be the best brownies I’ve ever had, period.  They have that crackly top crust with a gooey, fudgy, supremely rich interior, and they don’t taste a think like coconut.  These are the ultimate brownies and because they are so easy to make and gluten free, you really need to make them asap.

Flourless Fudge Brownies

Flourless Fudge Brownies #SundaySupper

Yield: 9 brownies

Ingredients

1 cup dark chocolate or carob chips
½ cup coconut oil
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
½ cup carob or cocoa powder
½ cup almond meal
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 inch square pan with coconut oil.
  2. In a medium, microwave safe bowl, place the chip and coconut oil. Microwave on high in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until fully melted. Stir in the sugar and allow to cool for a couple minutes.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each. Stir in the carob or cocoa powder, almond meal, and vanilla until a uniform batter comes together. Pour into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake 35-40 minutes until the top is crackly and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Allow to cool completely in the pan before cutting and serving. Brownies may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or individually frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the microwave 30 second – 1 minute.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Well Floured

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Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!  Thanks to Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures for hosting!

Sunday Supper Easy BBQ Recipes

Best Burgers and Sandwiches

Grill Master Mains

Mop Worthy Sauces

Searing Starters and Sides

Sizzling Sweets

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Flourless Chocolate Torte #SundaySupper

Flourless Chocolate Torte

Though we live in a rather built up and populated area, we are lucky enough to have a lot of wildlife around.

I mean does it get any better than having Target and Costco practically within walking distance, a major highway just a couple miles away, and birds and bunnies and deer and more frolicking in the yard?  I think not.

The majesty of wildlife is really something.

Flourless Chocolate Torte

We’ve had a raccoon visit us right at the kitchen window, which Mom still finds horrifying and I still love.  Raccoons also had a habit of getting into the hummingbird feeders, which is rather strange to me.

There have been deer, from a mom and her baby to majestic visitors, grazing at the bird feeder.

Ducks.  Lots of ducks, sometimes twenty at a time.  The best is when the trail of babies come from half a neighborhood away, waddling through the street like they own the place.  I never get tired of watching them.


More squirrels and those oh-so-adorable but oh-so-destructive red squirrels than we know what to do with and enough chipmunks to keep us entertained at all times.

Birds and hummingbirds fly and sing and eat and fight with each other.

Flourless Chocolate Torte

There have been groundhogs (with babies!) and opossums and wild turkeys, hawks and butterflies and dragonflies.

Recently the bunnies have come back out, just in time for Easter!

This Flourless Chocolate Torte is also just in time for your Easter dinner.  I used carob, you’ll use chocolate, but either way it is out of this world, crazy delicious.  It has almost this pecan pie without the nuts thing going for it with all the butter, eggs, sugar, and bourbon.   Small slice is rich enough to satisfy, making this impressive, yet deceptively easy to make dessert perfect for a crowd.

Flourless Chocolate Torte

The top is crackly and crunchy and the interior is silky smooth and just a little gooey.  Plus, it’s naturally gluten free.  Whether you are gluten free or not, you need this cake in your life!

Happy Easter!

Flourless Chocolate Torte #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients

18 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
9 ounces carob or dark chocolate chips
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
7 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons bourbon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9 inch cake pan, line it with parchment and butter the parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, place the butter and carob or chocolate chips. Melt in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until the butter and chips are completely melted. Stir until well combined.
  3. Stir in the sugar and allow to cool for a couple minutes.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure to stir in each egg completely before adding another. Stir in the vanilla and bourbon and mix until a glossy, uniform mix is formed.
  5. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 30-60 minutes. I know that’s a wide range – the original recipe called for 30 minutes, but mine took about 60. I don’t know if that is just because of the carob, so start checking at 30 minutes, but be prepared to cook it for 60.
  6. The cake is done with the top is crackly but the cake is still rather jiggly, particularly in the center. Serve warm or cool completely in the pan. Cake may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to three months. Thaw at room temperature about 1 hour.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Well Plated

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Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!  Thanks to Cindy from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings for hosting!

Make Ahead Sunday Supper Brunch Recipes

Breakfast Pastries

Eggs

Sides and Veggies

Sweets

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Paleo Frozen Banana Bites

Paleo Frozen Banana Bites

I’m not much of a lunch person.  Bring on breakfast and dinner, but as for snack and lunch, I’d rather pass.

However, I typically need a little something midday to keep me going and power me through workouts, writing, baking, and blogging.  It’s just, I’m not sitting down to a giant salad with chicken and quinoa without feeling like I ate a house and wanting to skip dinner.

Paleo Frozen Banana Bites

Before you say how unhealthy this is, fasting is actually very good for your body.  There’s all this science behind it on how it helps give your system a break and reset you.  Sounds good to me.

I typically only fast all the way from breakfast to dinner a couple days a week, sometimes with a coffee in the middle because coffee is my new thing.

On the days I don’t, I reach for a healthy, satisfying “lunch.”  Usually fruit, vegetables, or a Larabar.  Just enough to keep me going until dinner, my favorite meal.

Paleo Frozen Banana Bites

One of my favorite lunches is these Frozen Paleo Banana Bites.  They are easy to make, full of great nutrition, and super satisfying.  Kind of like eating dessert without … you know … eating dessert.

With bananas full of potassium and resistant starch, coconut oil with healthy fats, and powerhouse toppings, these vegan, gluten free, Whole30 bites are sure to become your go to snack, lunch, or dessert.

The snap of the coating is so satisfying and reminiscent of a candy bar.  The toppings add crunch and even Mom admitted the creamy banana was pretty awesome.  With these for lunch, I am more than ready to tackle everything life throws my way.

Paleo Frozen Banana Bites

Paleo Frozen Banana Bites

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 2-4 servings

Ingredients

2 bananas, cut into 1 inch slices and frozen
¼ cup coconut oil
3 tablespoons carob or cocoa powder
Toppings like chia seeds, hemp seeds, and nuts

Instructions

  1. Melt the coconut oil in the microwave until liquified. Stir in the carob or cocoa powder. Dip a banana slice and dip it immediately into the toppings of your choice. Place on a plate to set. Repeat until all the bananas are dipped.
  2. Serve immediately or store in the freezer in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
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Hemp and Chia Bliss Balls

Hemp and Chia Bliss Balls

My Whole30 is over, but not really.  I never thought I’d say this, but I think it changed my life.

I was hesitant about this whole Whole30 fad.  All those restrictions.  Life is too short.  But in a push to take back control of my life and my body, I gave it a go and fell in love.

Yes, it’s restrictive, but it also opened me up to new meals, ideas, and foods I used to love but thought weren’t healthy.  It showed me how important protein is and how fun it is to cook new and exciting meals.

Hemp and Chia Bliss Balls

I didn’t get bored, well, except now, as I take reintroduction very slowly and am nearing a Whole60.  With Thrive Market and Barefoot Provisions having tons of Whole30 approved products, my pantry is stocked, and that is the only way to survive on this program.  By the way that isn’t a paid advertisement, but I totally wish it was.

I feel better.  So does Mom.  I actually think Mom got even more out of this than me.  And she was way more hesitant than me.

Hemp and Chia Bliss Balls

When it came to reintroduction, legumes and dairy couldn’t have gone better, but things were more problematic with grains of all kinds.

Mom had been struggling with debilitating back pain that just went away during the Whole30 without either of us really noticing.  A few rice cakes for breakfast and it was back with a vengeance.  Gluten bothered her stomach and all the grains left both of us feeling bloated and not our Whole30 best.

Because flukes happen, we’re going to give it another go after having been back on the full plan for almost a week.

People don’t realize how powerful food is.  It heals and hurts so much more than we know and by doing a Whole30 it shines a light on that.  I don’t think I’ll ever go back to eating how I was before and that’s okay with me.

Hemp and Chia Bliss Balls

Partly because real food is tasty.  Just look at these Hemp and Chia Bliss Balls.  Bob’s Red Mill sent me some Hemp Hearts awhile back and though I was suspicious at first, I have really grown to love them.

Here the hemp hearts partner with chia seeds, warm spices, sweet dates, rich carob powder, and the new love of my life: coconut oil for a decadent treat that is packed with nutrition.  These Bliss Balls are healthy, gluten free, and vegan.  Forget brownies (well, maybe not forever) and pass the Bliss Balls.

Hemp and Chia Bliss Balls

Hemp and Chia Bliss Balls

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 12 balls

Ingredients

¾ cup almond meal
¼ cup coconut flour
½ cup dates, softened in hot water
2 tablespoons carob powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons hemp hearts
2 tablespoons chia seeds
3-5 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
Additional cinnamon, carob, hemp hearts, and chia seeds for rolling

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the almond, meal, coconut flour, carob powder, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, hemp hearts, and chia seeds. Stir to combine. Add the dates, draining off most of the water, and 3 tablespoons of coconut oil.
  2. Combine the mixture, using your hands to break down the dates and form everything into a Play-Doh like concoction. If the mixture is too dry, add more coconut oil until it comes together.
  3. Form the mixture into about ping pong sized balls. Roll each ball in your desired toppings. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. These are amazing cold!
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Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars

Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars

Storytime!

I sometimes shout that when I or Mom or Dad have something to share.  It’s a fun exclamation to express my interest in sharing or hearing, which is almost always high.

I love talking and listening, connecting with people I love by sharing about our days and ourselves.  Plus, life is sometimes isolating and boring sitting at a computer and typing away all day, so storytime is something special.  Something to be savored.

Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars

But I can’t take credit for the exclamation.

In my freshman year of high school, we were all required to take health.  The teacher was a down to earth woman who tried to relate to us as equals more than treat us as inferiors.  She was a pretty decent teacher, but the school didn’t appreciate her and let her go after that year, as opposed to some of the other teachers, like the old lady who never moved from her desk and formed coherent sentences only some of the time.  But I digress.

Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars

Health wasn’t a super difficult, heavy class like many of the others.  It was a fun, interactive way for us to learn about ourselves and how to make life the best it could be.  So she wanted to make it fun as much of the time as possible.

She would tell the class stories, to which the girls, most of whom were very popular and didn’t much care for me, would exclaim “storytime!”

In the moment, I probably found it annoying and rolled my eyes, just waiting for the day to be over.  But all these years later, more than I care to think about, I like it.  It brings me joy, as it did them then.

Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars

Storytime is always a good thing.  So are any desserts with melty marshmallows.  Like these Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars.  These take smores to a whole new level with an oatmeal cookie base that is soft and chewy.  In the middle are tons of peppermint marshmallows that add a fun, subtle flavor, though vanilla will work just fine, and carob in my case, or dark chocolate, in your case, chips.

Serve these warm out of the oven or heat them in the microwave for a few seconds to enhance the smores experience.  Gather the family, have smores bars, and storytime.

Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars

Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars

Oatmeal Peppermint Smores Bars

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 9 large bars

Ingredients

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups quick cooking oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 heaping cups mini peppermint marshmallows
1 ½ cups carob or dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, leaving overhang for easy removal later.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. I did this by hand but a hand or stand mixer will work as well. Beat in the eggs one at a time followed by the vanilla.
  3. Add the flour, oats, baking soda, and salt. Stir until a soft dough is formed. Press about half the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan. Top with the marshmallows and chips. Spread clumps of the remaining dough on top, covering as much of the filling as possible.
  4. Bake for about 30 minutes, until golden brown on top and bubbling. Cool in pan at least 30 minutes before serving. Bars may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Reheat or thaw in the microwave 30 – 60 seconds.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Spoon Fork Bacon

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Coconut Oatmeal Chip Cookies

Coconut Oatmeal Chip Cookies

You can tell what day of the week it is by looking in our refrigerator.

We stock up on food one day of the week, typically Saturday or Sunday, unless we’re feeling wild and crazy and head to the grocery store on Tuesday or Wednesday.  I know, we’re major risk takers.

After that grocery store trip, okay, sometimes multiple grocery stores, the refrigerator is basically overflowing.  I try to organize it, but that’s hard when there is so much stuff.

Coconut Oatmeal Chip Cookies

There are the basics: water, milk, almond milk, cheese, cottage cheese, cream cheese, sliced cheese, eggs, egg beaters, butter, coffee drinks.  From there we move to coconut, chia seeds, and almond meal and onto washed fruit and vegetables.

Then there is the mess of produce bags with too much air because my dad and I haven’t learned the skills of tying the bags without adding enough air to fill five balloons.  The bags are stuffed into the crispers, the shelves, and even the doors when necessary.  Add to this maze of puffy bags the meat and fish and giant containers of lettuce and spinach, and immediately following the grocery store trips, the refrigerator is a take your life in your own hands adventure of finding that one thing you are looking for that inevitably is lurking in the very back, buried under and behind bag after bag after bag.

Coconut Oatmeal Chip Cookies

As the week wears on, the contents dwindle.  Since we eat the vast majority of our meals at home, food goes rather quickly.  By the end of the week, a slam of the refrigerator door reverberates a hollow noise as I know it is time to stock up once again.

Though I try to run a tight ship in the refrigerator, sometimes things get away from me.  I realized my bag of coconut was about to expire and I couldn’t live with that, so I made cookies.  Obviously.

Coconut Oatmeal Chip Cookies

These Coconut Oatmeal Chip Cookies are sooooo easy to make and have such a great texture.  All the oatmeal and big coconut flakes make these cookies super interesting.  But then there are the melty chips and gooey undercooked center that add that decadence we all love about cookies.

The coconut oil may be my favorite thing about these cookies.  It’s not something I bake with a lot, but I should totally start.  The cookies aren’t super coconutty but have a rich flavor and texture that I don’t think butter brings to cookies.

My freezer is stocked up with of goodies like these cookies, and yours should be too!

Coconut Oatmeal Chip Cookies

Coconut Oatmeal Chip Cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 12 cookies

Ingredients

1 ¼ cup quick oats
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup melted coconut oil (be sure to measure it once it is melted – it’s about 1 cup solid)
¾ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1 cup carob or dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together oil, sugar, egg, and vanilla until well combined. Add oats, flour, baking soda, and salt, mixing until just combined.
  3. Mix in the coconut and chips until well distributed. You may need to us your hands as the dough is very thick.
  4. Divide the dough into golf ball sized portions. Roll into balls and place on the baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes, until golden brown and beginning to set. Serve warm or cool completely on the tray. Cookies may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag. Thaw at room temperature about 1 hour or in the microwave about 1 minute.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Ambitious Kitchen

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Homemade Twix Bars #SundaySupper

Homemade Twix Bars

Lots of people have Thanksgiving traditions and many of them are the same.  Travel.  Family.  Cooking.  Baking.  Turkey.  Pie.  Football.  Leftovers.  Shopping.  More leftovers.  More shopping.  More travel.  Lots of crowds.

And I think all those traditions and whatever others you may have are great.

Homemade Twix Bars

But I bet you aren’t surprised to know those aren’t my traditions for the most part.  My Thanksgivings are quiet days, just Mom and Dad and me.  We actually have started this new tradition where we go shopping the day before Thanksgiving.  It’s my favorite!

There aren’t any crowds and a lot of the sales have already begun.  This year I picked up an awesome dress at Saks I can’t wait to show all of you!!  It’s fun, low key, and this year was a great way to get out on a rainy, yucky day.

Homemade Twix Bars

On Thanksgiving, the only traditional food we have is cranberry sauce (not out of the can).  Otherwise we have steaks or tacos and it’s just the three of us.  No pressure.  Not too much work.  No drama.  There aren’t many leftovers and save for a little shopping by Dad on Black Friday, we leave the crowds to everyone else.

That’s my Thanksgiving and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  For me it is perfect.  For you something else may be and I hope that is exactly what you had over the holidays 🙂

Homemade Twix Bars

For dessert, we skipped pies and pumpkin and all that and had homemade Twix Bars.  These are everything I remember a Twix to before my allergy and oh so much more.

The shortbread base is the star here.  It is thick and crumbly and practically melts in your mouth.  Then there is the gooey caramel that stretches when you bite into the bar.  It all finishes with the slightly bitter carob (in my case) or chocolate coating, snapping as you take a bite.  Make sure these are a part of your holiday season!

Homemade Twix Bars

Homemade Twix Bars #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: About 24 bars

Ingredients

1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
1 large egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons finely ground cornmeal
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 batch homemade caramel or store bought
18 ounces carob or dark or milk chocolate chips
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening

Instructions

  1. Make the shortbread. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, leaving overhang for easy removal later.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla bean paste until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Add the flour, cornmeal, and salt and mix until a stiff dough is formed. Spread into the bottom of the prepared pan in an even layer.
  3. Bake shortbread 20-25 minutes, until golden brown around the edges and mostly set.
  4. While the shortbread bakes, make the caramel or warm the store-bought caramel. Pour the hot caramel over the slightly cooled shortbread. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to overnight until completely chilled.
  5. Once the caramel and shortbread are chilled, cut into long, thin bars. Melt the carob or chocolate with the shortening in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until fully melted. I recommend doing this in two batches.
  6. Carefully dip each of the bars in the chocolate and use a spoon or your fingers to coat completely. Set on a parchment lined baking sheet to set. Once all bars are set, serve or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Notes

Shortbread base adapted from Ashley Rodriguez via Craftsy

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Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!  Thanks to Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures for hosting!

Baked Goods

Candy

Chocolate

Jams, Syrups, Drinks

Mixes and Spices

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Black Forest Sheet Cake

Black Forest Sheet Cake

Do you have a hidden talent?  Mom and I have debated this quite a bit lately having watched America’s Got Talent and the hidden talent competition on the Today show.  And it was decided that we do not have hidden talents.

But as suggested to me by Kim The Ninja Baker I do have a hidden talent.  And my friends that talent is pitting cherries.

Black Forest Sheet Cake

I pit cherries.  Lots of them.  Cherries for smoothies, cherries for pies and cakes and sauces on top of ice cream.  Cherries in kale salads and paired with cottage cheese.  Probably over a hundred, maybe two hundred, cups every summer.

I did have a stainless steel cherry pitter that I was using, but I used it so much that I broke it.  That’s right, I snapped the metal cherry pitter right in half.  So now I just do it by hand.  Split open the cherry and pull the pit out.

This is easy to do with sour cherries in particular because they are soft, but once you get in the groove with any kind of cherry, it’s not so bad.  I told you how I pitted nine cups of cherries for the popsicles last Sunday in twenty minutes.  This is my summer routine.

Black Forest Sheet Cake

And I never mind doing it.  Not only because cherries are so delicious in so many different things, but because it is a relaxing, mindless activity that washes stress away and makes me feel better as I get in the rhythm.  Just make sure you double check cherries if they are going into the blender.  Better safe than sorry when it comes to wayward pits being blended into oblivion.

I pitted more cherries for this Black Forest Sheet Cake.  After seeing all the black forest masterpieces on the Great British Baking Show, I was inspired.  I took a classic chocolate cake and made it with carob of course, but cocoa powder will work just fine.

Black Forest Sheet Cake

Then I topped it with a thick and jammy cherry compote and a rich chocolate/carob glaze.  The end result is a rich, messy cake that is totally irresistible.  The cake is deep and dark and packed with that classic chocolate flavor, intensified with coffee.  The cherries are sweet, the perfect foil, and the drippy glaze rounds the whole thing out.

Do yourself a favor and pit some cherries and make this sheet cake.  Your next summer get together will be even better with it for dessert.

Black Forest Sheet Cake

Black Forest Sheet Cake

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 18 servings

Ingredients

Cake

2 cups granulated sugar

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

¾ cup carob or cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 large eggs

1 cup milk (I used almond, use what you love)

1 cup brewed coffee, cooled

½ cup olive oil

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Cherry Compote

4 cups Bing cherries, pitted

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

½ cup granulated sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

Glaze

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons milk (I used almond, use what you love)

1/3 cup carob or cocoa powder

1 stick unsalted butter

1 box confectioners’ sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 9 by 13-inch baking pan and lightly flour it.

In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, carob or cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, coffee, oil, and vanilla. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir until a thin batter is formed. Pour into the prepared pan and bake 30 -35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.

While the cake bakes, make the compote. In a small saucepan combine the cherries, lemon juice, sugar, and cornstarch over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until it comes to a boil. Continue to boil, still stirring frequently, for 3 or 4 minutes, until the mixture has thickened significantly. Set aside.

Make the glaze. In a medium bowl, stir together the milk and carob or cocoa powder. Add the butter and microwave for 1 minute. If the butter is not melted, microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until fully melted. Add the vanilla and slowly stir in the sugar until a thick yet spreadable glaze is formed.

Spoon the cherry compote over the baked, but still hot cake. Spread it into an even layer. Spread the glaze evenly over the cake. Serve warm or cool completely in pan. Cake may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or frozen, wrapped in pieces in parchment and foil and placed in zipper bags for up to 3 months. Thaw in the microwave for 1 minute.

Notes

Recipe adapted from My Baking Addiction

http://piesandplots.net/black-forest-sheet-cake/

Mexican Chocolate Pudding #SundaySupper

Mexican Chocolate Pudding

A few weeks ago we had a Sunday Supper celebrating Greek cuisine.  I already ate all the leftovers of the walnut cake in the freezer.  So good!

We were talking about the new movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, and I mentioned that I saw the first movie in the theater years ago and wasn’t the biggest fan.

Mexican Chocolate Pudding

However, all the talk about the movie made me want to revisit it.  I wanted to see what made it the highest grossing romantic comedy of all time.  So I recorded it on my TiVo (yes I still have a TiVo and love it) and Mom and I watched it over a couple evenings.

I have to say I really enjoyed it.  I’m so glad I gave it another try and with fifteen or so years of perspective, I really got and appreciated it.  I may also have related just a little too much to Toula.

The story was funny, touching, and for the most part not too over the top like I thought it would be and remembered.  It is really a simple love story that lacks a lot of the glitz, glamour, and cheesiness of a lot of the rom coms out there.  Not that I don’t like a great rom com sometimes.

It just goes to show that sometimes things are worth revisiting with an open mind.  Like the combination of sweet and spicy.  I’ve tried it before and it’s not really my thing, but with this Sunday Supper’s theme of Spice is Nice and Some Like it Hot, I knew I had to give that whole sweet and spicy thing another go.

Mexican Chocolate Pudding

So I made Mexican Chocolate Pudding.  Pudding is such a great thing to make – it’s easy, gluten free, and relatively healthy.  And I loved this.

Well … I loved it cold when the chili powder mellowed.  Warm the chili powder was the predominant flavor and overpowered everything else.  But after being chilled, I kind of wanted to eat the entire batch of pudding.  Seriously … all of it.

The chocolate (or in my case carob) shines through in the silky smooth pudding with a hint of cinnamon and chili powder.  I loved the cinnamon on top too.  Today we should all revisit something maybe we didn’t give enough of a chance in the past.

Mexican Chocolate Pudding

Mexican Chocolate Pudding #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 12 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

½ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup cocoa or carob powder

2 tablespoons cornstarch

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ - ½ teaspoon chili powder

1 large egg

¼ cup carob or dark chocolate chips

2 cups milk (I used skim – use what you love)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cubed

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Cinnamon, for garnish

Instructions

In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, cocoa or carob powder, cornstarch, cinnamon, chili powder, egg, and carob or chocolate chips.

Place the pan over medium heat and whisk in the milk. Continue whisking until the mixture comes to a boil. Allow to boil for 1-2 minutes, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens significantly.

Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla. Continue whisking until the butter is completely melted.

Pour into serving vessels and place into the refrigerator until chilled, at least 4 hours. You may cover it with plastic wrap if you wish to prevent a skin from forming. Garnish with additional cinnamon or chili powder if you’re adventurous and serve. Pudding may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Notes

Additional chilling time is necessary Recipe adapted from The Kitchen Paper

http://piesandplots.net/mexican-chocolate-pudding-sundaysupper/

Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!

Aromatic Appetizers

Distinctive Drinks

Daring Desserts

Masterful Mains

Seasoned Sides

Plus Homemade Ginger Ale and Spice is Nice Recipes from Sunday Supper Movement

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

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