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Category Archives: Desserts

Chocolate Almond Butter Cups

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I’ve been making these for the past few months or so whenever I get a craving for something sweet but don’t want to whip out the sugar, flour and measuring spoons. I’ll usually make a batch every other week, then store them in tupperware and keep them in the fridge to have as dessert all week. They’re THE easiest things to make, and you only need three or four ingredients. Start to finish, they take about an hour to make. DO IT.

What You Need:

  • Half a bag of semi sweet chocolate chips (non dairy)
  • jar of almond butter on hand (unsalted)
  • sea salt
  • sliced almonds (optional)
  • 12 mini cupcake liners

What You Do:

  • Line 12 cupcake tins with mini cupcake liners
  • Using a double broiler, melt half a bag of chocolate chips over low heat, stirring frequently to make sure the chocolate doesn’t burn
  • Once melted, spoon in a dollop of chocolate into each cupcake liner
  • Shake the cupcake tray so that the chocolate spreads, covering the bottom of each cupcake liner
  • Next – spoon out around half a teaspoon of almond butter into each cupcake liner
  • Top each cup with more melted chocolate, covering the almond butter
  • Give the tray a few good shakes, letting the chocolate and AB even out in the cup
  • Finally, top with a dash of sea salt and sliced almonds (optional)
  • Place the tray in the fridge, wait about an hour for them to harden and then dig in!

You can also make these with peanut butter for a more “Reese’s Pieces” feel, but I prefer the AB myself :)

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Miso Soup with Soba Noodles and Tofu

But not just ANY miso soup. HOMEMADE. As in “I bought Miso paste and didn’t know what to do with it so I added some boiling water to it, and who knew? That’s all you need to create Miso Soup.” So, YEAH, miso soup! To the broth, I added buckwheat soba noodles, tofu, spinach, scallions and red pepper flakes. The result was restaurant quality if not better. No lie.

I can’t wait to make this again. Next time I’m thinking of adding shitaake mushrooms, perhaps even some kombucha squash? The base is great alone, but you can pretty much add any combination of vegetables into this and it’ll come out great.

Another thing to note is that the intensity of the miso soup can be adjusted to your taste/liking. Miso pastes are NOT all created equal, and the saltiness of them varies. I added about 3.5 tablespoons of miso paste into my boiling water, but definitely feel free to add more or less miso paste as you go.

Okay! Onto the recipe:

What You Need – Makes 3 servings

2-4 tablespoons of miso paste

4 cups water

3 ounces soba noodles

2 scallions, sliced thinly

handful of spinach

2 handfuls of firm/extra firm tofu – cubed

few shakes of red pepper flakes

What You Do:

Cook the soba noodles according to package instructions. Rinse with cold water, and set aside.

Next – bring the 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium sized sauce pan. Lower the heat and let the water simmer. Add one tablespoon of miso paste into the pot, and using a fork, mix the paste well in the water, making sure all the clumps are completely dissolved. Add in a second and third tablespoon of paste, dissolving between each addition to the water. Taste. Decide on whether or not you want to add in more miso paste. I ended up adding in a bit more and it was perfect.

Place the spinach, tofu and scallions into bowls (2 or 3), and pour the miso soup over everything. Add the red pepper flakes to taste, and you’re done! Sit back, relax, sip on your soup, and revel in this accomplishment.

Note: do not judge me on the quality of these photos. My regular camera battery died, so you’re looking at iPhone shots. Sowwy!

S’Mores + Brownies = YES.

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Warning: these are bad, bad, BAD (for you, of course.) They are filled with butter, sugar, and eggs. They are not light. They are not even remotely healthy. But, guys, they are SO ridiculously ridiculous. 

A few weeks ago I had a random craving for s’mores. (I swear! Ask any of my co workers. I had chocolate on my MIND.) Summer = s’smores? Or something? Who knows. The point is I had the itch. Normally, I would tend to this craving by making my own s’mores. What’s that you say? S’mores? In your apartment? Yep. It’s called a gas stove, a marshmallow, and a fork. Done and done. But I wanted something MORE. I wanted a baked good with s’mores somehow…in…..it? So I got to browsing and decided on the New York Times Brownie + graham cracker crust + toasted marshmallows on top, from this recipe. The results were incredible. These were definitely best RIGHT out of the oven when the marshmallows were still oozing and burnt, but they were also preeeetty good (albeit messy) the next day.

Not something I’ll make often, but DEFINITELY a keeper!

(THE BEST) Blueberry Pie

I will start this post by saying I am NOT a pie person. I’ve never liked pie. I’ve never craved pie. I’ve never looked at a dessert menu at a restaurant and picked pie over anything else. ANYTHING else came before me picking pie, give me chocolate and give me tons of it, thank you very much. SO, you’re just as surprised as I am that I a. decided to make pie b. made it with (what I think) was a great success and c. (and this is the most shocking), REALLY REALLY liked the pie!

Next, I will say that I’ve never MADE pie before, so I was pretty clueless with…uh, what to do. I found a really easy recipe online, picked up fresh blueberries at the Farmer’s Market (this was in July, mind you), and bam. AMAZING blueberry pie.

This is a pretty basic recipe. For the crust, you can either use a premade crust, or use this recipe to make the crust yourself. I was originally going to just pick up a pre made crust at the grocery store, but my mom guilted me into making my own claiming “store bought crust doesn’t make for a REAL blueberry pie!” Thanks, Mom. Once you’ve made/bought the crust the rest is SIMPLE. Fill the pie crust with blueberries, bake. The end!

Word of Advice: Let the pie sit OVERNIGHT before cutting into it. I, of course, did no such thing, and dug into it an hour after it was done thinking “yeah, an hour will be enough for the pie to set, right? right?!” Well, it wasn’t, and my pie was a liquidy, delicious, mess. If you don’t mind things looking a little messy, and you’re going to scoop the pie into a bowl anyway, then don’t bother waiting, but if aesthetics are your thing/you’re planning on serving this at a dinner, etc, then I would say definitely let it sit, on the counter, covered overnight before slicing into it.

MOVING ON! The recipe.

What You Need:

Crust:

  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons milk

Pie Filling:

  • 1 quart fresh blueberries, washed
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Dash ground cinnamon
  • Dash freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons butter

What To Do:

Crust:

In a mixing bowl, mix the flour, sugar, and the salt. In a glass measuring cup, whisk together 1/2 cup  oil and 3 tablespoons milk with a fork. Add the wet into the bowl, and mix with your hands. If the dough feels too dry, add in a splash of milk (or two.) Place the dough into the middle of a 9 inch pie plate and with your fingers spread the dough to cover the bottom of the pan. Continue spreading the dough up the sides of the plan, letting the excess fall over the sides. Tear the excess off, roll into a ball and put it aside (this is what you’ll use for the crumble on top of the pie!)

Berry pie filling:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a bowl, add the washed berries, cornstarch, sugar, cinnamon, and freshly grated nutmeg. Stir gently.

Place the berry mixture in the bottom crust and sprinkle lemon juice over it. Then with an ordinary teaspoon, place little 1/2 teaspoons soft butter evenly over the top of the berry filling.

Crumble the reserved crust on top of the pie.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the pie when the crumbs are golden brown. Note: the pie WILL LOOK undercooked. It WILL look liquidy. Don’t fret. This is why you must let it set (again, overnight if possible.) It magically congeals over night into perfect pie.

Oreo Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I’ve been slacking in the baking department as of late. I blame this almost entirely on my discovery of banana “ice cream”. I have a few flavors sitting in my fridge that have been calling my name post dinners recently so, brownies, cookies and cakes have fallen to the wayside.

A few nights ago, I decided to bring the mixing bowls out for a spin and made Oreo Chocolate Chip Cookies. I KNOW, sound amazing, right? THEY WERE. Thin, gooey and PACKED with chocolate they were easy, SO easy to make — took me about 25 minutes start to finish.I brought these into work the next day and they instantly disappeared. I didn’t even get to have one! BOO.

Note: These cookies tasted the best straight out of the oven. SERIOUSLY, the second they came out, I wolfed down three and was literally sick to my stomach for the rest of the night BUT it was worth it because while they were still great the next day, something about straight out of the oven cookies just can’t be beat.

What You Need: (Recipe from Cupcake Punk)

1 c all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 c Earth Balance, melted
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1/4 c white sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/4 c apple sauce
1 c semisweet chocolate chips
10 oreos, crushed

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and salt.

In a separate bowl mix together the melted Earth Balance and sugars. Add the vanilla and applesauce, and then combine both mixtures. Add in the crumbled Oreos and mix, breaking up the Oreos but not breaking them up TOO much as you want your cookies to have big chunks of Oreos in them. Finally, mix in the chocolate chips.

Scoop out 1 tbsp of dough, roll into a ball, and place it on a greased baking sheet. Continue until all the batter is gone. Place in the oven and bake for 13 minutes, or until the edges are slightly brown. Remove and EAT!

Enjoy!

Banana + PeanutButter + Chocolate “Ice Cream”

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**First, I will preface this post by saying I can’t believe no one told me about this stuff sooner. Where has it been all my life!? This is a major post, and I urge you to MAKE THIS. Make it make it make it. Okay, on to my normal ramblings…**

WORLD! I am back! Apologies for my prolonged absence. I wish I had an original excuse as to why I’ve been MIA for the past week (sailing, bungee jumping, on a safari), but the truth is I haven’t gone to the grocery store in over two weeks and I have NOTHING, I repeat NOTHING, edible in my fridge. This, of course, has meant a lot of eating out, no cooking, and therefore no blogging. BOO!

BUT, I’ll be soon forgiven because I am about to change your lives with this post. Meh, okay, that may have been a sliiight exaggeration — this might not change your lives, exactly, but dessert will be forever changed.

Blame it on the past few really, really hot weeks we’ve been having in NYC, but banana ice cream/soft serve has been popping up all over the blogosphere! Everywhere I look, someone else is blogging about their adventures with frozen bananas and the delicious concoctions they come up with. WELL. Not being one to miss out on the party (especially when this party involves DESSERT), I finally gave this a shot a few nights ago and OH MAH GAWD, guys. This stuff is CRAZY GOOD. It’s SO easy to make, and it’s one of those things that when you make, you will be literally blown away at the flavor AND the texture. This is as close to ice cream as you can possibly get.

I’ve already made a few iterations of this, but here is my absolute favorite version so far. Three simple ingredients: frozen bananas, peanut butter, chocolate chips. Whip it together, and what have you got it? (Bippidy, boppidy boo?) Nope – banana ice cream.

What You Need (2 servings)

2 frozen, over ripe bananas, sliced

2 tbsps unsalted, all natural, peanut butter

handful of vegan chocolate chips

food processor

What You Do:

First, I peel the un frozen bananas and slice them up into chunks (probably 6 per banana), then place them in a zip lock bag and freeze them overnight.

There! You’ve successfully completed the hardest part of this recipe. The rest is easy. Place the frozen bananas into the food processor and process away until you have a crumbly consistency. Next, add in the PB and Chocolate Chips and continue to process — you’ll see everything coming together like magic. You’ll know its done when it looks like the picture below.

If you’re in the mood for something more classic, just use bananas. I promise you will be amazed that this stuff ACTUALLY is like ice cream. This is no lie! You can also get creative and add any of the following:

  • Oreos
  • Graham Crackers
  • Nuts: macadamia, almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts
  • Strawberries
  • Cocoa Powder

The options are limitless. I’ve been making this every other night for the past week…it’s perfect after dinner, especially in my hot, sticky apartment. If I have some leftover (and rarely I do) I put it in tupperware, throw it in the freezer, and eat it the next night.

If you make ONE thing I blog about, please…MAKE IT THIS! Let me know what you think!

Enjoy!

Note: Sometimes, when I make this on a really hot night and my kitchen is exceptionally sweltering (see: most nights), the ice cream is a little too melty post processing — almost frozen yogurt like. If you’re a fan of more “ice cream” like consistency, put it in tupperware, and let it sit in the freezer for an hour to harden up. If you’re okay with it being softer, dig in!

Dinner of Champions: Babycakes

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So okay, tonight was laziness at its finest. I had a work event tonight on the LES that went longer than I had expected. When I finally left, it was late, and although I had consumed a fair share of the passed snacks (veggie spring rolls for me!), I hadn’t eaten dinner. Even weirder than me missing a meal (that NEVER happens), is that I wasn’t even all that hungry! Strange indeed.  I walked out of the event to hail a cab (thanks, work!) and suddenly a light bulb went off in my head. What’s right around the corner?! Babycakes. Huh-freaking-zah.

On any normal day, I probably wouldn’t stop by the bakery….it’s far from where I live and quite out of the way from my normal every day activities, but I figured tonight since I was close, I might as well stop in. I grabbed two cupcakes: a vanilla spelt and a vanilla gluten free (for no other reason than to see what the difference was between the two, side by side). On the cab ride home, I wolfed one of them down and called it evens: there, that was dinner.

Note: I NEVER DO THIS! I’m uber good about having several balanced meals throughout the day, fruits and veggies galore, but it was so close, I was so tired, and I was so not hungry for leftovers…it would have been downright disrespectful to the Vegan gods above for me to pass this up. I came home, finished the crumbs with a glass of vanilla soymilk, and now I’m pooped.

Bed time!