Deceptively Delicious

So… I’ve been doing a lot of kitchen experiments lately. Sometimes gluten-free, sometimes dairy-free, sometimes completely unhealthy…my favorite recipes, as of late, involve the immersion blender. These deceptively delicious cookies (see what I did there???)  are no exception.

It looks like completely normal cookie dough...

It looks like completely normal cookie dough…

These little buggers are good! But they’re sneaky. They seem like perfectly normal cookies at first bite…but… totally not.

The secret ingredient? Garbanzo beans. I know, your mind is blown.

Anyway, I’d seen variations of this recipe a couple of times but was hesitant to try it…The other night, I finally caved when I had a serious craving for melted chocolate goodness and–gasp!–no butter.

In all honesty, I didn’t have to tweak this recipe very much…other than using maple syrup instead of honey and a little more peanut butter.  Still good.

You need six ingredients….five if you don’t add salt (I used a no-salt peanut butter so I added smoked sea salt.).

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I brought the first batch (minus the few that I devoured right out of the oven) in for a gluten-free co-worker.

I made another batch (minus the few that I devoured right out of the oven) for the hubby and his co-workers.

I made the last batch for fun.

The original recipe author says that these aren’t good cold…I disagree. But they are better warm.

She also says to use a food processor and not a blender…an immersion blender worked perfectly fine, but ours is pretty powerful… I am kind of lazy when it comes to doing dishes…and I love immersion blending.

So here you go. You’re welcome.

So much melted chocolate goodness....

So much melted chocolate goodness….(This batch, I used a chopped-up brick of chocolate)

Deceptively Delicious Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies (G-F/D-F)

Barely adapted from Texan Erin.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained.
  • 3/4 cup natural peanut butter (I used Once Again’s Old Fashioned Crunchy with no salt…1 ingredient!)
  • A splash of vanilla (or 2 tsp. if you really want to dirty another spoon)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (I used a delicious chipotle infused maple syrup from Vermont)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • a pinch of (smoked) sea salt-optional
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet, but prefer bitter-sweet)

What to do:

Pre-heat oven to 350. Line cookie sheet with wax paper and set aside.

Combine first 5 ingredients in food processor or a large bowl (if using an immersion blender) and blend until smooth. If necessary, scrape the bowl to ensure you get all the tiny bits blended up.

Stir in chocolate chips.

Spoon mixture onto prepared cookie sheet (I use two small spoons, a small ice cream scoop could also work…or just use your hands if you don’t mind getting sticky.)

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until chocolate melts and cookies start to brown.

~makes about 18 cookies

Enjoy!

 


Cinnamon Bun Cake

Oh boy… this cake is sinful. And comforting…can something be sinful and comforting at the same time? If this cake is any indication, then yes….It’s like a warm hug from your great, great aunt…followed by a slap in the face…does that make sense? Or maybe I have that backward…

The cake is fluffy…like a pancake, but the cinnamon swirl adds pretty marbling and buttery goodness…enough buttery goodness to satisfy old school Paula Deen. The frosting is just the right amount of sweet and creamy.

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This is what cake looks like when you frost it before it cools because you’re running late…

Sidenote: This was actually made as a sample dessert…my amazing friends are getting married at the end of the summer and I am lucky enough to be doing their wedding dessert (cake wasn’t the only option).

I followed this recipe… mostly. I didn’t have any cupcake liners, so I used two 8 inch rounds, I also cut the sugar in half, made a couple of ingredient additions and substitutions and used my own frosting recipe (which has drastically less sugar).

The frosting recipe is a little more complicated than a regular frosting, but it is so worth the extra step or two. Trust me.

Also, please see my notes on the frosting regarding quantity and sweetness.

I had to show you another picture of this...

I had to show you another picture of this…

By popular demand, here is my version.

Cinnamon Bun Cake

Adapted from Every Craving, via Tasty Kitchen (see link above)

Ingredients:

FOR THE CUPCAKE:

  • 2-½ cups All-purpose Flour
  • 2-½ teaspoons Baking Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked Salt
  • 1 stick Unsalted Butter, Softened
  • 1 scant cup sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract

FOR THE CINNAMON SWIRL:

  • 1/2 stick Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 1/3 cups Brown Sugar
  • 1-½ teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoons Salt

*NOTE: I followed the original recipe instructions for the swirl, but it made too much… so I am cutting it in half to save your insulin levels.

FOR THE FROSTING*:

  • 8 oz (I think) Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 8 oz. Mascarpone, room temperature
  • 8 ounces Cream Cheese, Softened
  • 3/4 cups Confectioners Sugar**
  • A splash Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Tbsp. Maple Syrup (please use the real stuff to avoid breaking my heart!)
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

*Note: This makes more frosting than you’ll need. I would suggest dividing your frosting into two dishes then adding the maple syrup and cinnamon to one, saving the other half for a different dessert (mixed with crushed up Newman O’s, or on red velvet cake? Anyone?)… OR you can just half this recipe…I know mascarpone is a bit fancy for a regular old cake, but trust me, it’s worth it.

**Second Note: You’ve probably figured out that I am not a huge super sweet frosting fan..so adjust to your taste.

What to do:

Pre-heat oven to 350. Grease two 8 in round cake pans and set aside.

Make the Cinnamon Swirl

  • Melt butter in a small-medium sized bowl over double-boiler. Once melted, remove from heat.
  •  Stir in cinnamon, sugar and salt until smooth. Set aside.

Make the cake

  • Combine dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.
  • Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl (I use my trusty pastry blender for this…you can also use a mixer).
  • Beat in eggs, one at a time (If using the pastry blender, switch to a solid serving spoon or rubber spatula for beating).
  • Stir in vanilla and sour cream.
  • Beat in milk and flour mixture, adding a little of each at a time until all ingredients are well incorporated.
  • This is going to make a pretty thick batter. That’s okay, don’t panic.
  • Divide half of the batter into each of the prepared pans.
  • Give the cinnamon swirl a quick stir and lightly drizzle 1/3 of it over batter.
  • Divide the rest of the batter into each pan and, using a rubber spatula, spread evenly. Drizzle 1/3 of the cinnamon swirl over the top.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean. Remove them from the oven and let them cool completely before frosting.

Make the Frosting

  • Whip cream to soft peaks, place in refrigerator/set aside.
  • Place mascarpone and cream cheese in stand mixer with whisk attachment and beat on medium speed until combined and smooth.
  • Beat in vanilla and add in powdered sugar, a little at a time, until completely incorporated.
  • Fold in whipped cream by hand (I use a rubber spatula)
  • *Refrigerate until ready to use. *See note above.
  • Right before frosting, add in remaining ingredients.
  • Frost your cake, top with remaining cinnamon swirl.

Happy Wednesday!

PS. How to use up the leftover frosting, two ways:

Crushed up oreo and creamy dreamy goodness... sigh...

Crushed up Oreo and creamy dreamy goodness… sigh…

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Fruit, cookie and whipped frosting parfait


Whipped. Chocolate. What?!

Two weekends ago, Farmer Ben and I went for our semi-regular Saturday morning coffee date, followed by the farmers’ market.

I ordered my usual-unsweetened iced coffee with cream…Ben went for a froo-froo drink.

Actually, allow me to clarify; I contemplated getting a kicked-up, flavored, slushy, coffee drink, but changed my mind, partially because I got the judging eyes from Ben. Then I ordered my iced coffee and he ordered the drink I had decided against. 

My jaw dropped and I let him know how shocked I was… and then, something amazing happened.  Our barista gave me a brilliant idea.

“You know,” she said,  “Chocolate whipped cream on your iced coffee would make it so much better!”

I had never thought of that! 

“I’ll allow it,”  I replied. 

It was delicious.

I’ve been thinking about chocolate whipped cream ever since. It’s the perfect combination, light and fluffy but with just enough give. Not too sweet, yet full of flavor.  So simple…yet, just the right amount of … extra.

I’ve felt a need to whip some up and last night was the perfect chance. The hubs and I both had the night off so I volunteered to make dinner.

As the weather has been especially hot as of late, I opted for something simple. Lentil patties over a salad with yogurt sauce…and raspberry sorbet for dessert.

Don’t get me wrong, I love raspberry sorbet as is… but last night, I needed that something extra.

So I made chocolate whipped cream. Then I chopped up a dark chocolate espresso bar that had been hanging out in our cupboard and sprinkled some over the top. Suddenly, a simple dessert was taken to the next level of delish.

I apologize for the photo quality but I couldn’t stand it any longer-I had to wolf this down!

And now, without further ado, here’s the recipe! Per my usual M.O., I didn’t really measure, so the best way to make this is to taste. Enjoy!

Chocolate Whipped Cream:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup  (1/2 pint) Heavy Cream
  • 2-4 tbsp. Powdered Sugar- do this to taste… I prefer a creamy flavor rather than a super sweet, using less sugar.
  • 1-2 tbsp. Cocoa Powder- again, to taste. I didn’t really measure but 1 or 2 tbsp. is a good amount.
  • A Splash of Vanilla (1-2 tsp.)

Process:

Pour heavy whipping cream into a bowl and beat using an electric mixer.

When soft peaks begin to form, slowly add in powdered sugar and cocoa powder to taste, continue to beat.

Add in splash of vanilla. 

Beat just until stiff peaks form.

If not using right away, cover and refrigerate. Makes about 2 cups.

Serve over ice cream, fruit, cake or with your favorite coffee. It’s a great life decision.


Delicious and Dirty (Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies)

This week I felt the ill effects of over-indulgence.

Last week, Ben and I pigged out. I’m talking cheeseburgers, french fries, beer, potatoes, kielbasa,  barbecue, cheese and wine-lots of it.

Monday morning I woke up feeling a hangover of sorts from all of the ridiculous things I had consumed in the days before. I exhibited all of the following symptoms: bloating, pimples, big hair, dry mouth, big sunglasses and headaches. I felt like I was 15 again. Not pretty.

There was one thing I was craving: salad. Lots of glorious greens. I didn’t need it fancy, I just wanted vinegar and lettuce. Something to get my digestive system back on track.

It’s now Friday and I’ve eaten salad every day this week. It feels good. Wednesday was my favorite:  it was a salad of beet greens, red leaf and butter lettuce, scallions, parsley, beets and local goat cheese, topped with a mustard vinaigrette. My hubs is totally boss.

But after all that green stuff,  I needed something naughty. And I had an excuse; it was my turn to bring snack for my small group.

So I made cookies. Delicious dirty cookies.  I found some all natural dark chocolate peanut butter the other night and was dying to try it out. I’m so glad I did.

These cookies are just right. They are chewy, light and full of air-They are gluten-free. They are full of big flavors without imposing on your belly in giant cookie form. Do it to it. You’ll be the biggest hit of the party.

You’re jaw is going to hit the floor when you see the list of ingredients. Easy peasy.

I’ll have to make these again to update with photos-I was in a hurry and didn’t think about snapping a quick picture… my apologies!

(Chocolate) Peanut Butter Cookies

barely adapted from Joy the Baker

What you’ll need:

  • 1-1/4  cup Peanut Butter  (I used 1/2 cup creamy all- natural, 3/4 cup Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter)-if you are using regular peanut butter-use 1 cup, add some cocoa powder or some semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted with a splash of vanilla.
  • 1 not-quite-cup brown sugar-the darker the better!
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 scant teaspoon smoked salt (you can find this at any specialty food store or co-op-Amazing find.) OR, use some regular sea salt.
  • Bittersweet chocolate chips-a few handfuls

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Combine peanut butter and sugar (if you’re using the cocoa/baking chocolate, add this in now as well). You can use your KitchenAid or mixer, but  I just used a pastry blender.

Add baking soda and egg. Mix until well blended.

If you’re using chocolate chips and smoked salt, throw those in the bowl and mix until incorporated into the dough.

Roll into walnut sized balls (they don’t have to be perfect, perfect is boring!)  and transfer to baking sheet.

Bake for 8-10 minutes until lightly browned and cookies feel firm.  Makes about 30 cookies.

Enjoy!