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Archive for December, 2009

Ok, so it’s not technically two chocolates in one bark…but here’s a recipe that can be used for both white chocolate and “milk” chocolate almond bark! Dad requested almond bark as a gift for his neighbors – and initially I thought he was wanting Almond Brittle but simply not realizing they were two different things, then realizing he actually knew what he was talking about 😉 hehee…love ya Dad!

Ingredients:

6-8 oz Almonds or Walnuts; whole
10-12 ounces White or Dark chocolate chips (whatever size your bag is – my white chips were 10.5 and my dark chips were 12)

Directions:

Spread nuts in a single layer in shallow pan. Place in cold oven; toast at 350°F 12 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted. Let cool. Melt white chocolate in top of a double boiler over very low heat. Remove from stove, and stir in almonds. Drop by heaping tablespoons onto waxed paper. Refrigerate until cool and hardened. Store in airtight container in refrigerator. Keeps up to 2 weeks.

Happy Candy making!

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I saw a non-vegan recipe for Chocolate Mexican Wedding Cookies recently, and thought, wow, genius!  I figured I would look up the Primate’s Mexican Wedding Cookie recipe and chocolate it up, and I was shocked to discover that we have not posted one!  I am so sorry to have deprived you all of this delicious sugary treat.  For those of you who didn’t grow up in South Texas, Mexican Wedding Cookies are indeed a traditional sweet at Mexican weddings, parties, Quinceaneras, Christmas dinner and other celebrations.  This chocolate version is a great twist on the old favorite, and maybe someday we’ll get our act together and post the traditional recipe.  Although I mention Lake Champlain’s New World Drinking Chocolate as the ground chocolate I used, for some reason I can’t find this on their website.  I bought my jar at my local Whole Foods, but I don’t know if it’s been discontinued or what.  If you can’t find that particular product, any other high cocoa content ground chocolate will do.  I do like Lake Champlain’s hot chocolate offerings, so maybe that would work, too.

Ingredients:

Cookies:

2 sticks Earth Balance Buttery Sticks, softened

1/4 C powdered sugar, sifted

1/2 C >60% ground chocolate, like Lake Champlain’s 70% New World Drinking Chocolate

2 tsp vanilla

1/8 tsp salt

1 3/4 C AP flour

3/4 C pecan pieces

Topping:

1/4 C powdered sugar

1/4 C ground chocolate

Instructions:

1.  Cream Earth Balance and powdered sugar with mixer or by hand, until mixed and fluffy.

2.  Add ground chocolate, salt, and vanilla, and mix in.

3.  Add flour in three or four stages, mixing thoroughly after each addition.

4.  Fold in pecan pieces.

5.  Form dough into a ball and wrap in plastic.  Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

6.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Roll spoonfuls of dough into 1 inch balls.

7.  Bake for 15 minutes, or until the cookies feel firm (though not rock hard) to gentle pressure on top.  Remove from oven and let cool for a minute on the cookie sheet.  Then continue cooling on a wire rack.

8.  In a medium bowl, sift together the powdered sugar and ground chocolate.  When the cookies are cool enough to handle, but still warm, roll them in the sugar/chocolate mixture, and return to the wire rack to finish cooling.

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This cake is perfect if you’re in love with Almonds and Cherries! And who isn’t?!?!?! The glaze gives you just enough sweetness, and the cake is gluten-free to boot! 😀 If you want to be über decadent, serve this à la mode with a scoop of Cherry Amaretto Coconut Bliss…mmmm…. This recipe makes one 10 C bundt.

Ingredients:

For the cake:
4 TBSP flax + 10 TBSP warm water
2 1/2 C buckwheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 C chopped fresh cherries
1 C slivered almonds
2/3 C coconut milk
1 TBSP Amaretto liquor
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 tsp vanilla extract
16 TBSP (2 sticks) Earth Balance vegan butter, plus more for greasing
1 C granulated sugar
2/3 C brown sugar

For the glaze:
1/2 C granulated sugar
3 TBSP So Delicious Coconut Milk beverage
1 TBSP Amaretto
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 10-C bundt pan, set aside. To make the cake: in a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In another small bowl, combine the milk, the almond and vanilla extracts, and the Amaretto; set aside. In a small cup, mix together the flaxseed and warm water; set aside. In another cup, mix together the milk and vinegar, and set aside in the fridge to keep cold.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the Earth Balance vegan butter on medium speed with the sugars until creamy and smooth, about 5 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the flax mixture.
3. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk mixture and beginning and ending with the flour. Beat each addition just until incorporated, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the cherries and almonds into the batter.
4. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the center of the cake springs back when touched and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50-55 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool upright in the pan for 15 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, make the glaze: In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the granulated sugar and water and cook until the sugar dissolves, then boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, stir in the amaretto and let cool for 1 minute.
6. Tap the bundt pan gently on a work surface to loosen the cake. Set the rack over a cooling rack, invert the pan onto the rack and lift off the pan. Using a pastry brush, brush the warm cake with the glaze. Let the cake cool completely before serving. Dust with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.

Happy Baking!

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I tried some Jalapeno and Parsley Hummus from a San Diego farmer’s market last weekend (I’m so jealous at how long their growing season is) and it was so good!  This is my take on the idea, and I substituted cilantro for the parsley.  If you love hummus (and who doesn’t?), this zingy version can bring some variety to your plate.

Ingredients:

2 C cooked and drained chickpeas

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 jalapeno

1/4 C olive oil

1/4 C lemon or lime juice

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 C loosely chopped cilantro

Instructions:

1.  Put chickpeas, garlic, jalapeno, salt, olive oil and lemon (or lime) juice in food processor and blend until very smooth (1-2 minutes).

2.  Add cilantro and pulse the food processor a few times, until cilantro is mixed in.

3.  Remove from food processor and serve, or store in refrigerator for up to a couple of days.

On this day in History: Festivus Menu! And just for you…a donation has been made in your name to The Human Fund 😉

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I veganized this recipe from Kelly over at Evil Shenanigans – a fellow Foodbuzz foodie friend – and it is simply delicious! Jo gave us her classic blondies a few posts back, but this is for the peanut butter lovers in the casa! It has a very butterscotch loveliness about it, and you can’t beat that! I did make some minor changes to the original recipe, aside from the obvious veganizations – increasing the cinnamon, using brown rice syrup in place of golden/corn syrup, and using a blend of sugars in place of all brown. So here it is! Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Ingredients:

For the blondies:
1 C plus 2 TBSP all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 C packed brown sugar
1/2 C granulated sugar
1/3 C Earth Balance vegan butter, softened if mixing by hand
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 C canola oil/So Delicious coconut milk beverage (50:50 ratio)
1/2 C creamy peanut butter
1 TBSP brown rice syrup

For the frosting:
2 TBSP Earth Balance vegan butter, softened if mixing by hand
2 TBSP creamy peanut butter
1 C powdered sugar
1-2 TBSP So Delicious Coconut milk beverage

Directions:

1. Heat the oven to 350°F and line an 8×8 square cake pan with parchment.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, cream together the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, peanut butter, and brown rice syrup.  Add the canola/milk mixture and beat until well combined.

3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Add to the creamed butter mixture, and beat until blended. The batter will be VERY thick – a spreadable consistency more than pourable.
4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and puffed.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

5. For the frosting, add all ingredients to the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until combined and fluffy-delicious. Spread onto cooled blondies. Cut, serve, and enjoy!

Happy Baking!

On Yesterday In History: Cranberry Sauce with dried cherries – perfect for the upcoming feasting 🙂

 

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Here’s a soup that will warm you from your head to your tootsies on these cold winter nights! A spicy soup, reminiscent of my velvety tomato soup..but with a wonderful flavor addition of roasted red bell peppers! This recipes makes about 4-6 servings. It would be supreme topped with some homemade croutons!

Ingredients:

1 TBSP (or so) canola or olive oil
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
2 medium golden potatoes, small diced
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 jar (454g) roasted red bell pepper, roughly chopped
4 C vegetable broth
2 tsp salt
1 tsp dried garden sage
1 tsp dried garden oregano
1/4-1/2 tsp fresh ground coriander
1 TBSP garlic powder
1 TBSP minced ginger
1 tsp cayenne *if you’re opposed to too much spice, start with 1/2 tsp and work up from there

Directions:

1. Warm oil over medium heat in a large stockpot. Dice onion and potato. Add to warmed oil. Let saute a few minutes, then add the canned diced tomatoes.
2. Roughly chop the red bell and mince the ginger. Add to pot.
3. Add in herbs and spices, stir to combine. Let saute a few minutes, maybe 2 or 3, then add the broth.
4. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer approximately 30 minutes. Puree with a stick blender, or transfer to a regular blender to puree until smooth. Top with croutons or serve with a slice of Earth Balance buttered toast, and enjoy!

Happy Cooking!

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Puppy Chow

No…this isn’t the horrible kibble that you shouldn’t be feeding your dog, it’s the delicious treat you used to eat as a kid – or in my case, on bus rides to out-of-town High School football games with the dance team! Oh, how this stuff takes me back! This is great to hand out to friends for holiday snack-gifts, and it also travels well on a plane for those long lines and uncomfortable plane rides during the Festivus holiday festivities

Ingredients:

1/2 C Peanut Butter
1/4 C Earth Balance Vegan Butter
1 C Chocolate Chips
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
9 C Crispix or Oaty Bites cereal (basically a whole box)
1.5 C Powdered Sugar

Directions:

1. Combine peanut butter, butter and chocolate chips in a large bowl and microwave until melted, stirring every 30 seconds.

2. Once it all comes together. Add vanilla and stir well.
3. Place the cereal in a very large bowl.
4. Pour the peanut butter-chocolate mixture over the cereal and toss evenly, making sure all the cereal gets a good covering.

5. Coat with powdered sugar, sprinkling evenly over the cereal and tossing as you sprinkle to cover each piece well. Store in small plastic baggies or glass storage container, give out as gifts or nosh all on your own – Just keep this Puppy Chow away from the pooch 🙂


Happy Cooking!

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