National Day of Chocolate Covered Nuts – Feb. 19th

Feb. 19th was National Day of Chocolate Covered Nuts.  Here is my recipe.

 

4 ounces non-dairy chocolate

1 cup nuts, roasted & unsalted (I used cashews)

Pinch salt

1/4 teaspoon coconut or Crisco

 

 

Melt  the Crisco or chocolate in a double boiler; stir in salt; remove from heat & stir in nuts.  Stir to coat nuts; pour out onto waxed paper lined pan to cool.  Cool to room temperature, then place into refrigerator for 30 minutes; break into pieces (or you can scoop with a spoon & place on pile on waxed paper).

 

Store in refrigerator.

 

 

 

National Day of Cocoa – Dec. 11

National Day of Cocoa.  So many options are available with cocoa – cakes, cookies, candy, mole, etc.  I’ve decided to keep it simple & short.  Prep/cooking is about 5-7 minutes & cooling is about 30.  I’m sharing one of my brothers’ favorite cookie recipe – Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies.  This is not really a cookie but a soft fudge candy.

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2 cups sugar

1/2 c non-dairy milk

1 stick Earth Balance or 8 tablespoons of your non-dairy “butter” of choice

1/4 cup cocoa

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1 cup creamy peanut butter (some recipes call for crunchy – it would be a personal preference)

1 tablespoon pure vanilla flavoring

large pinch of kosher salt

 

 

Cover baking sheet with wax or parchment paper.

Combine the sugar, milk & “butter” in a saucepan & bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Once boiling (a full rolling boil), boil for 1 minute.

Remove from heat & add remaining ingredients; mix well to combine.

Drop by tablespoons full (or small cookie scoop) onto prepared pans until cool & hard – about 30 minutes.

Store in tightly sealed container for up to 3 days.

 

Prep:

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Cooking & Cooling:

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If you run out of cookie sheets – put parchment on the counter, like above.

Note:  If precipitation in the air (humidity, rain, snow, etc) I recommend allowing to boil 1 minute longer or your cookies will potentially be super soft.

 

 

Enjoy!

 

What is your favorite cookie?  Comment & let me know.

Comparison – Chocolate Chips

This week I’m doing a comparison of non-dairy chocolate chips.  I’ve only used two brands and, I don’t actually know if there are any other brands on the market.  I use both the Enjoy Life & Chocolate Dream.

 

Enjoy Life comes in mini chocolate chips and chocolate chunks and the Chocolate Dream are more like the standard chip size.

 

I really like the mini chips for making homemade hot chocolate – melt in non-dairy milk over a stove & stir until thick.  If you like a richer, thicker hot chocolate, add more chips.  Here is a great recipe for homemade hot chocolate.  Last time I made it I wasn’t paying attention & I used 1 cup chips…oops…it was SO INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS!!  I’m making that mistake on purpose the next time I make the hot chocolate!  I also switch between cashew & coconut milk.  I love them both.  So good.

I use the chunks in cookies – I haven’t used them for any else yet.

I use the standard size chips for cookies and for eating.

 

I really can’t taste any difference between the two brands; I like them both ~ for eating and baking/cooking.

 

Bonus Recipe (Peppermint Bark)

IMG_3893   King David White Chocolate Chips, Enjoy Life Mini Chips & Peppermint candy canes

IMG_3895  IMG_3896 Break peppermint into pieces.

IMG_3899 Melt chocolate chips; pour in parchment-lined pan; cool in fridge until hard.

IMG_3903  Melt white chips & spread carefully over milk chocolate; sprinkle with peppermint pieces & refrigerate until firm.

IMG_3905  Break into pieces & enjoy!

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Do you have a favorite brand?  Why?  Do you know of any other brands available?  Please comment & let me know.

 

 

Hot Cocoa Mix

There is one thing that summer and winter have in common ~ Hot Cocoa.  Convenience has produced a powdered mix that travels easily.  As much as I prefer hot apple cider, I also enjoy hot cocoa & knew that I needed to create a non-dairy powdered version.  After reviewing several other recipes I came up with this version.

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2 cups Confectioners’/Powdered Sugar

2 cups Cocoa Powder (if you want is more chocolaty, add additional cocoa powder)

2 cups Coconut Powdered Milk (I purchased powdered coconut milk, also on Amazon, just do a search)

2 tablespoons vanilla powder (I used Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder, purchased on Amazon)

 

 

Combine powdered sugar, powdered milk & cocoa powder; eliminating any lumps.  Store in a sealed container in the pantry.

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(Powdered Coconut Milk:  removing lumps, this can also be sifted to remove the lumps)

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(Add powdered sugar, eliminating lumps as you go)

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(and same for the cocoa powder)

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(last, add in vanilla powder & mix thoroughly)

 

To use:  to 6-8 hot water, add 2-4 heaping teaspoons or to taste.

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For a deeper chocolate flavor, add some non-dairy chocolate chips & stir until melted.

Add marshmallows, if desired, or add crushed peppermint for mint chocolate.

 

If you don’t like coconut, you can also try powdered soy or powdered rice milk.

 

Do you like hot cocoa?  Which milk would you choose; do you have a favorite chocolate flavor (coconut, mint, raspberry, etc)?  Comment & let me know.

 

Waffles

This week’s recipe is a versatile recipe.  Waffles.  Most would see waffles only as breakfast food, however there are many possibilities for waffles ~ sweet or savory.  I’m sharing a basic recipe with a few options that I have tried & love.  Another way waffles are versatile is that they can be made ahead of time, frozen & re-heated in the toaster for toaster waffles.  I hope you enjoy!

 

My favorite:  Coconut Chocolate Chip.  Oh My Yum!!

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Basic:

2 cups flour

teaspoon salt

4 teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons sugar

2 eggs (OR 1 cup egg whites, OR 2 tablespoons applesauce OR 2 flax eggs*), beaten

1 1/2 c warm milk (Cashew, Coconut, Almond)

1/3 cup butter, melted (Earth Balance, Coconut Oil)

 

Combine dry ingredients;

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combine wet ingredients (beat well);

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combine the dry with the wet,

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beat until well blended.

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Pour onto pre-heated grill;

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cook until golden & crisp.

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Note:  I use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to pour over.  Test your waffle iron to see how much you’ll need.

For maple-flavored syrup:  click here

 

Options:

Garlic-Dill Savory:

(Picture to follow)

1-2 tablespoons dill weed

1/2 tablespoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

salt and pepper, to taste (just a pinch or so)

Add to dry ingredients.

Recommend:  Cashew or Almond milk (I also used egg whites ~ 1 cup & Earth Balance)

This is delicious with poultry.

 

Coconut OR Coconut Chocolate Chip:

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1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to wet ingredients

 

1/2 to 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips (I use Good Life brand); add into batter just before pouring on griddle.

Recommend:  Coconut milk, using coconut oil & 2 tablespoons applesauce for “eggs” in main recipe (If you don’t like the taste of coconut with chocolate I recommend Cashew milk & Earth Balance in main recipe).

 

Bonus Recipe:  

Coconut Syrup:

1 cup sugar

2/3 cup water

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon coconut extract

 

Dissolve sugar in water over low heat; stir in extracts once dissolved.

 

Serve with toasted coconut & additional mini chocolate chips

 

Pumpkin Pie:

(picture to follow)

Use flax egg

any milk (I used a combination of coconut & cashew to use the end of the milks in my fridge)

To wet:

1/3 cup pumpkin pie mix

tablespoon Earth Balance

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

To Dry:

teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ginger

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon cloves

 

Bonus Recipe:  

Caramel Syrup

1 cup sugar

2/3 cup water

1/2 teaspoon caramel extract

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Dissolve sugar in water over low heat; stir in extracts once dissolved.

 

 

 

*Flax Egg:  1 tablespoon ground flax meal & 3 tablespoons water, combine & let set 10 minutes.

 

If your waffles begin to stick to the iron, brush lightly with earth balance/butter/etc just before adding batter.

 

 

I hope you enjoy!

Do you have a favorite waffle or syrup flavor?  Comment & let me know.

Peanut Butter Cups (and I made it one year!!)

If you didn’t see last weeks post, I told the story of my non-dairy journey (see it here) & in that article I noted that this week is a celebration week ~ I have made it one year without an allergy attack.  In celebration I am sharing this recipe.

Like most of my other recipes I created it because I couldn’t have the “regular” version.  I love peanut butter cups and they were some of the first foods I craved just after I had to go non-dairy…so, I searched out several recipes and read up on the process of how others make their homemade peanut butter cups & came up with this recipe ~ so yummy!!

I dare you to eat just one….

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Peanut Butter Cups

Makes approximately 30 cups (1.25 inch dia. cups)

2 cups of non-dairy chocolate chips (I have used both Chocolate Dream & The Good Life brand; both work great)

2 tablespoons butter flavored Crisco

Pinch (or a grind or two) of salt

1/4 cup Earth Balance (half of a stick)

1/2 cup peanut butter (I use Adams Natural Creamy)

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 – 1 cup powdered sugar

1/4 cup peanuts, ground up (I use a coffee grinder; stop just before you have peanut butter)

 

In the bottom of a double boiler, bring water to a rolling boil; reduce heat to low.

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To the top portion of the double boiler, add chocolate chips & Crisco and stir until smooth; add in salt.  (If your stove runs too hot, offset the double boiler a bit to keep the chocolate from burning).

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add in salt
add in salt

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Offset to keep from burning
Offset to keep from burning

Using mini baking cups (1.25 inch dia.) place about a teaspoon of melted chocolate in the bottom of a cup.  Using the back of a spoon, smooth the chocolate up the sides of the cup, thoroughly coating the sides; make sure the bottom is also covered with chocolate; set aside & repeat with the remaining cups. (Note:  A mini muffin pan works best for this part).  Put chocolate cups in refrigerator until completely hardened, about 30 minutes.  Keep double boiler simmering to keep remaining chocolate smooth (make sure heat is on the lowest setting so chocolate doesn’t burn).

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For the peanut butter middle, combine Earth Balance and peanut butter; cook over medium heat 4-6 minutes, stirring occasionally (until EB is completely melted & mixed in).  Stir in powdered sugar (use about 1/2 cup less for not so sweet, use about 1/2 cup more for a sweeter cup); stirring constantly.  Set aside and cool; once cooled, stir in ground peanuts & place in refrigerator & cool completely – about 30 minutes (this is important so that the peanut butter mixture it doesn’t melt the hardened chocolate cups).

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Once the cups & peanut butter mixture are both cold, place 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of peanut butter mixture into each cup (using small cookie scoop or two spoons ~ both work great).  Once cups are filled with the peanut butter, top with about 1/2 teaspoon of chocolate & smooth to edges of cup; repeat with remaining cups.  Cool again in refrigerator about 30 minutes until completely hardened.  Store in refrigerator.

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Enjoy!!

Notes:

  • substitute out your favorite nut butter & ground nuts

Did you notice that there are two different stoves & the counter tops are different?  If so, you are very observant…I made this recipe twice – once at my home (white stove; multi colored counters; pb paper cups were white) & once at my mom’s house (black stove & green counters with purple pb paper cups) to make sure the recipe was perfect (or maybe I just wanted to eat PB cups!).

Did you try these?  Leave a comment & let me know how you liked the recipe.

Brownies

Picnics, family reunions, summer bbqs, potlucks – what do they all have in common?  Food, lots of food, delicious food, gooey & chewy food and there is a good chance there are brownies there.

These are dense & chewy brownies; better the 2nd day and completely non-dairy.  My taste-testers (including me) loved these.  I hope you do too.

Brownies
Brownies

1/2 cup (one stick) Earth Balance*

1/2 cup butter flavored Crisco*

3/4 cup cocoa powder

2 cups flour

3 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups egg whites (or 4 eggs)

1/4 tsp salt

4 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp coffee extract (optional)

1 package non-dairy chocolate chips

Frosting

1/4 cup butter flavored Crisco or soft Earth Balance

1/2 + 1/4 cup non-dairy milk (I used cashew)

1/4 heaping cup of cocoa powder

3-4 cups powdered sugar

dash salt

2 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 tsp coffee extract (optional)

 

 

Preheat oven to 350*; grease pan; flour greased pan (helps brownies not stick); set aside.  Cream ‘Butter’ & Sugar together; add extracts and cocoa powder to creamed sugar and whisk until smooth.  Whisk in 2 cups flour until smooth.  Add one bag of non-dairy chocolate chips, mix well.  Pour into prepared pan; smooth; bake at 350* for 25-30 minutes; check at 20 minutes and every 5 minutes thereafter until cooked through.

While brownies are cooking, make frosting:  Combine “milk” and “Butter”/Crisco; add cocoa powder and extracts; mix well.  Add powdered sugar and whisk until smooth and no lumps.

Cool brownies completely.  Spread with frosting & let harden; slice & enjoy.

 

Grease pan
Grease pan
Flour greased pan
Flour greased pan
Greased & Floured Pan (helps brownies not stick)
Greased & Floured Pan (helps brownies not stick); set aside
Cream 'Butter' & Sugar together
Cream ‘Butter’ & Sugar together
Add extracts and cocoa powder to creamed sugar;
Add extracts and cocoa powder to creamed sugar;
whisk until smooth.
whisk until smooth.
Whisk in 2 cups flour
Whisk in 2 cups flour
whisk till smooth
whisk till smooth
Add one bag of non-dairy chocolate chips
Add one bag of non-dairy chocolate chips
mix well.
mix well.
Pour into prepared pan.
Pour into prepared pan.
smooth; bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes; check at 20 and every 5 minutes until cooked through
smooth; bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes; check at 20 and every 5 minutes until cooked through
While brownies are cooking, make frosting
While brownies are cooking, make frosting
add cocoa powder and extracts
add cocoa powder and extracts
add powdered sugar
add powdered sugar
Whisk until smooth and no lumps
Whisk until smooth and no lumps
Cool brownies completely.
Cool brownies completely.
Spready with frosting & let harden
Spread with frosting & let harden

Slice & enjoy.

 

* I prefer half Earth Balance and half Crisco – the reason is all Earth Balance makes my baking more rock solid than I like – using half of each of these makes it a texture & density more like butter would.

If you have a go to vegan “egg” substitute you could try it – I don’t know how they would turn out, so if you do make these with an egg substitute, let me know how they turn out.

How do you like your brownies?  Comment & let me know.