Double Chocolate Crispy Treats!

Since it is the weekend, I thought it might be nice to share a yummy recipe for Double Chocolate Crispy Treats! I created these after Tim brought home two bags of Dandies from Portland’s VegFest at the end of September. If you are looking for a switch-up from traditional rice crispy treats, you should make this recipe! They are gluten-free, vegan, chocolatey, and super simple. While these don’t look like they were made with cocoa crispy cereal from the photograph, I can assure you, they are definitely double chocolate!

Double Chocolate Crispy Treats

2 Tablespoons coconut oil, softened
1 10-ounce package vegan marshmallows, such as Dandies
5 cups cocoa crispy cereal (I used Nature’s Path Koala Krisp)
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Lightly grease a 9″ x 12″ baking pan and set aside.
2. In a large pot, melt coconut oil over medium heat.
3. Increase heat to medium-high and add in marshmallows. Stir constantly with a heat-proof spatula until mixture is melted and smooth.
4. Pour in cereal, 1 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition.
5. Stir in chocolate chips. Working quickly, try to evenly distribute them throughout the mixture.
6. Dump the mixture into prepared pan. Press down firmly with a bench scraper or a piece of parchment paper. You want to make the mixture an even thickness. Keep the top smooth. You won’t use the entire pan unless you like very thin treats. I kept mine just over 1″ thick.
7. Allow treats to cool for 10-15 minutes before cutting into squares.

Makes 9 large treats

Enjoy!

Chocovado Chip Cookies

I woke up this morning with a desire to bake cookies and immediately did some inventory control in my kitchen. I didn’t have any Earth Balance. I didn’t have any canola oil. I didn’t have any applesauce. But, I really wanted cookies. So, I did what any swift-minded vegan baker would do, I used an avocado! And guess what? It worked wonderfully. You can’t taste the avocado in the cookies, I promise! Just make sure to use a ripe avocado because an unripe avocado would not taste very good. These cookies remind me of a fudgy brownie. They puff up a bit and have a slightly crunchy exterior with a gooey, chocolatly interior. Perfect for breakfast!

Chocovado Chip Cookies

Makes about 15 cookies (more or less depending on the size of your cookie scoop)

1/2 cup ripe avocado
1/2 cup unrefined granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted if clumpy
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-2 Tablespoons non-dairy milk (I used almond milk)
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 T tapioca starch
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Generous 1/2 cup  chocolate chips (please use organic, fair trade)
Extra granulated sugar for sprinkling, optional

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat liner.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer), beat the avocado until creamy, about 1 minute.
3. Add in the sugars and cream until fluffy.
4. Add in the cocoa powder and beat on low speed until fully incorporated.
5. Add in the vanilla extract and nondairy milk (start with 1 Tablespoon of milk and add more if the dough seems to dry, I used 2 Tablespoons) and beat until everything is well mixed, about a minute. The dough will be a bit stiff, like brownie batter – that’s what you want!
6. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, tapioca starch, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry mixture to the chocolate mixture and beat until mixed.
7. Add the chocolate chips and stir them into the batter with a spoon to evenly distribute them in the cookie dough.
8. Using a cookie scoop, drop  2 rounded Tablespoons of dough per cookie onto your prepared baking sheets. Flatten slightly with damp palms and sprinkle with a bit of granulated sugar. Bake cookies for 8-9 minutes or until puffy. Allow to cool on cookie sheets for several minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

These are best enjoyed warm!

“H” is for Hazelnut Shortbread (Chocolate Dipped!)

Did you know that the hazelnut (also called the filbert) is Oregon’s state nut? It’s true! In fact, Oregon grows 99% of the commercial hazelnut crop produced in the US. Impressive, huh? Hazelnuts are at the top of my “Most Favorite Nuts” list, especially when they are freshly roasted. I figured since I love hazelnuts, cookies, and chocolate I should feature a recipe that uses all three ingredients in my post today. Sound good? Good!

Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies (Chocolate Dipped)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup non-dairy butter (I used Earth Balance buttery sticks)
1/2 cup pulverized unrefined sugar (I dumped a bunch of evaporated cane juice in my spice grinder and pulverized it until it was a fine powder)
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
scant 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup finely chopped, roasted hazelnuts
3 ounces dark chocolate, preferably organic, melted (for dipping cookies)

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, cream non-dairy butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Sift flours into the same bowl and stir well to combine.
3. Add in chopped hazelnuts and stir to evenly incorporate.
4. Roll dough into a log approximately 8″ long by 1 1/2″ in diameter. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm.
5. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat.
6. Remove dough from refrigerator and slice into 1/2″ rounds. Place rounds on prepared cookie sheet and prick with a fork. You can make your cookies thicker or thinner – make sure to adjust your baking time though. Cookies will spread a little as they bake.
7. Bake for 25-28 minutes, or until lightly golden. Cookies will crisp up as they cool.
8. If desired, dip half of each cookie in melted chocolate. You could even sprinkle additional chopped hazelnuts on the chocolate if you are crazy for nuts! Place dipped cookies in the freezer to set the chocolate.

Enjoy with a cold glass of non-dairy milk and you’re good to go!

Demand Chocolate!

A few years ago I wrote a post featuring a raw chocolate agave spread from Love Street Living Foods. Tim and I were immediately smitten with the rich, dark, delicious concoction. After dipping spoons into the jar, we added dollops to a batch of cupcakes. The result was pretty fantastic. Who wouldn’t want a wee chocolatey surprise in the center of their cupcake?

Since that post, I haven’t had the yummy spread. Luckily a representative from Love Street Living Foods contacted me recently and offered to send samples of their products for me to try and review. I’d be silly to say no, so I said yes (and please and thank you)!!!

I received two different spreads from Love Street Living Foods: a raw chocolate spread (the same spread that I mentioned above) and a raw chocolate coconut spread. Needless to say, the spoon dipping started almost as soon as the lids came off the jars. Not only are these spreads raw, but they are 100% organic and gluten-free too!!! The ingredient list is short and clean. Both are thick, smooth, and deeply chocolatey. The spreads are handmade too (in PA, my home state!!!).

Love Street Living Foods also generously sent me some chocolate bars to sample as well:

Oh my goodness, these bars were absolutely amazing!!! Despite their petite 1-ounce size, each bar was perfectly satisfying as an after dinner dessert for two people. They are made to order, so you are guaranteed super fresh, organic chocolate. And, like the spreads, the ingredient lists are short. Tim and I had a difficult time choosing a favorite among the four samples we received. We finally decided that the Coconut Crystal Chocolate bar was tops. The coconut is subtle and the crystals add crunchy bits of texture. The bars are wafer thin, smooth, and don’t have the bitterness present in lots of other dark chocolates. To quote Tim: “They tasted so flippin’ good!!!!”. I agree. Without a doubt, these bars rank high on my list of chocolate favorites. I already want more!!

The super sweet folks at Love Street Living Foods are offering blog readers a deal you shouldn’t pass up:

Receive 10% off your entire order plus 3 free samples at Love Street Living Foods. Make sure to enter this coupon code: TahinitooLoveSt. This deal is valid from Sunday, March 21 – Thursday, March 25.
Please write in the “Order Comments” box during checkout which samples you would like from the list below it. *Please note: this discount is not valid on equipment.

This is a great time to try out some fantastic chocolate (or any of the other yummy products on their website). I am pretty sure I will be placing an order myself because chocolate is integral to my well-being.

Thanks again to Love Street Living Foods (Hi Aparna!!!) for sending me samples!!

Two for Me and None for You.

Hey there! A few weeks ago my dear friend (thank you!) sent me some brownies for my birthday. She ordered them from a lovely little shop on Esty called Sweet Fritsy. The brownies were beautifully packaged and insanely delicious. I ate a bunch even though I promised myself a sugar vacation several days before the brownies arrived in my mailbox. Oh well…

The above two brownies were the last of the batch. Fudgy, melt-in-your-mouth, rich, and dense brownies to make your tummy happy as heck. Why not?! Sweet Fritsy has cookies, brownies, chocolates and other treats available for purchase. You will be so impressed, I promise!!! Go visit her shop and get ready to postpone your sugar vacation.