Monday, January 30, 2012

Banana Pineapple first gluten free cake!

I have had a couple of gluten free flours in my pantry for a while now, but sadly I had not attempted to bake with them until last weekend.  You see, gluten free baking has intimidated me a bit.  I have heard the stories of overly dense dry gluten free baked goods, and they made me a bit scared.  But for some reason I decided to push the fears aside Saturday and try baking a cake.  I had coconut flour and almond flour and I thought they would be wonderful in a banana cake!  It would be vegan, so I wasn't sure how the flours would act without eggs, but I knew there would be no moisture problem with the banana in the cake batter!  I also wanted to try using coconut sugar as the sweetener for the cake because I had heard good things about it, but wasn't sure how it would affect the cake's texture this was all one big experiment for me!  I had some pineapple so I thought, why not make the cake tropical and top it off with pineapple?!  As I put the cake in the oven and prayed that it would turn out as delicious as I imagined, I looked forward to seeing the result!

It smelled like the most wonderful sweet coconut banana bread as it baked!  When I pulled it out of the oven it appeared to have been a success!  The pineapple and coconut sugar that I topped it with turned into a caramel like layer suspending the fruit! Now the question was would it stay together, would it taste good and would it have good texture...yes to all three! 

It was moist and flavorful with sweet banana and pineapple with a hint of almond and toasted coconut.  There was a caramelly layer of pinapple on the top and it was marvelous!  I served it with a little whipped coconut cream and I was in heaven! 

I should know better than to be intimidated by any type of baking, afterall, experiments keep it fun and I have far more successes than messes.  I will be doing more gluten free experiments in the near future, I have a feeling!  If you would like to try the cake for yourself, here is the recipe!

Banana Pineapple Cake (Gluten Free)
Makes 1 9 inch round cake

3/4 cup coconut flour
3/4 cup almond flour
1 cup coconut sugar, maple sugar, or brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup pureed ripe banana
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup light coconut milk
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 cup diced fresh pineapple
additional coconut sugar for sprinkling

whipped coconut cream for serving (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and position rack in center of oven. Line one  9-inch-diameter cake pan with 2-inch-high sides with parchment paper. Coat parchment paper and pan sides with nonstick spray. Whisk flours, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a large bowl to blend well. Whisk bananas, oil, vanilla extract, and coconut milk together in small bowl to blend well, then whisk into the flour mixture until well blended. Whisk in lemon juice and stir quickly (pale swirls will be in the batter, which is the baking soda reacting with the acid, which allows the cake to rise since there are no eggs) stir in pineapple. Transfer cake batter to prepared pans and bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 50 minutes to one hour depending on your oven. Cool cake in pan on rack, about 1 hour. Cut around sides of pan to loosen. Turn cake out onto platter, and peel off parchment paper. Let cool before serving. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Chocolate Red Velvet Cookies...with a secret ingredient!

I admit it, I am a bit obsessed with beets.  I would go as far as to say I love beets.  I pretty much eat them every day in some form, in a salad at lunch or blended into a berry smoothie.  What's not to love, they are sweet, beautifully colored and packed with nutrition!  I am also aware that some people hate them and refuse to touch them. I find this unfortunate, and so I try and change their minds by creating things which make beets appealing.   One of my favorite ways in which to use beets that is definately delicious is in baked goods.  Whenever I make a red vevet anything you can be pretty sure it contains beets as I am not a fan of using bottles of artificial red food coloring. 

Last week at work when I was prepping beets for a salad at work, I began dreaming of red velvet desserts... oh yes, cake sounded nice but too much work.  But now cookies on the other hand sounded like the level of effort I was willing to put in. 

I have made red velvet cookies in the past, but they were simply mimicking the cake, vanilla frosting atop a red hued soft cookie.  I wanted the ones I made this time to be different, containing chocolate as well! 
But simply adding chocolate to my beet cookie base was not interesting enough for me so I decided to throw in dark chocolate chunks and dried cherries as well.  The dough was so increadibly good, it was a wonder as much of it made it through being chilled over night and into the oven the next day.  Good thing I had the willpower to restrain myself from eating it all.

I wasn't sure how much of the red color would be retained though baking, but actually the baking process made the cookies all the more lovely!  The red intensified into a beautiful deep color instead of a muddy one.  They smelled amazing while baking as well, like the aroma of brownies! 

Once they were just cool enough to dive into but while the chocolate was still gooey and liquid, I had to indulge in them.  They were amazing, the soft chocolate base, the warm chocolate pockets throughout the dough and the tart sweet chewy cherries!  Simply heavenly, and they did not taste of the beets, they were just made beautiful by them.  I can guaruntee that if you gave one of these to a non beet lover and told them they were red velvet cookies they would never know they were eating beets.  Only you would know the secret. 

I can guaruntee that if you gave one of these to a non beet lover and told them they were red velvet cookies they would never know they were eating beets.  Only you would know the secret. 
Beet lover or not, here is the recipe if you would like to experience some of the deliciousness for yourself!

Chocolate Red Velvet Cookies
makes about 16 large cookies 

1 cup maple sugar, or granulated organic sugar
3/4 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup cooked red organic beet puree
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
12 oz chopped vegan dark chocolate
1 cup dried cherries

In a large bowl, combine coconut oil with sugar and whisk until well combined. Beat in the beets, vanilla extract, and agave nectar until well combined. In a smaller bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, then add to the large bowl, and mix until well combined, then add chocolate and cherries and mix until well distributed.  Place in the fridge to chill until firm (preferably overnight). To bake, Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll balls into about 3 inch balls, and place on prepared cookie sheets a couple inches apart (refrigerate unused dough while baking the other trays). Bake for about 15-20 minutes, until puffed and just starting to brown slightly (but do not overbake!). Remove from the oven and let cool on the pan a few minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining cookies. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Seeded Maple Granola

There was a time in my life when I made granola just about every week.  Nothing compares to home made granola, and I am a granola snob...refusing to buy it from the store.  I had to have it on hand to snack on, it was so addictive and delicious!  Now, sadly it had been about half a year since I had made any.  So I thought it was about time I did!  I had been looking for something in the fridge earlier this week when I realized that I had an over abundance of seeds of all sorts.  And what better a use for them than in a delicious granola! 

I thought a maple flavored granola sounded wonderful as well, so I used maple syrup as my main sweetener.  I find that it makes the crunchiest most delicious granola.  Along with the seeds, I decided to throw in walnuts for more crunch, and toasted coconut for sweetness as well as some dried fruit. 
Of course the aroma in my house was amazing while this was baking...and sampling it while still warm from the oven was the best part!  It was so addictive I had to keep going back for a spoonful.  Good thing I made a big batch! 

If you are a granola lover yourself, you must try this, and if you have never made home made you are in for a real treat!  Here is the recipe if you would like some!

Seeded Maple Granola
Makes about 14 cups of delicious granola

6 cups old fashioned rolled oats
2 cups walnuts
2 cups sunflower seeds
1 cup sesame seeds
1 cup pumpkin seeds
2 cups large flake coconut
3/4 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup maple syrup
2 Tbsp maple sugar
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp maple extract
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups dried cranberries
2 cups golden raisins

Line a large baking sheet with non-stick foil, and spray with cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 350 and set rack at the medium position. In a large bowl, combine oats, walnuts, seeds, and coconut, and set aside. In another bowl, whisk together oil, maple syrup, maple sugar, sea salt, maple and vanilla extracts until well combined, then pour over oat mixture and toss to coat until completely blended. Pour out onto prepared baking sheet, and spread out evenly. Bake for 35 minutes, stirring about every 10 minutes or so until the granola is evenly browned. Remove from oven and let cool. Stir in cranberries and raisins, and enjoy!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Vanilla Scented Blueberries and Lemon Curd with Coconut Cream

I love lemon curd so much I could simply eat it by the spoonful unadorned.  That silky tart yellow lemony goodness is something I love to make in the winter when there is a lack of sunshine and anything lemon brings me joy.  I sandwich cookies together with it, use it to fill cakes, and my favorite use, serve it with other fresh fruit.  Last weekend I was given a bunch of fresh blueberries, and I thought what better to serve them with than some delicious lemon curd! 

Since I had an over abundance of lemons on my counter as well, it was a marvelous idea!  So I made a batch of vegan lemon curd laced with vanilla and was about to toss the berries into a bowl when I know what would be even better?  Whipped cream!  But not dairy whipped cream, coconut whipped cream.  Vanilla scented coconut whipped cream, all light and fluffy with a flavor sweeter than dairy whipped cream.  I layered the berries, curd, and cream into a bowl and it was beautiful but it needed some crunch so I added some toasted large flake coconut to put it over the top! 

It was rather simple but so good!  Sweet blueberries, tart silky lemon curd, and smooth fluffy fragrant coconut cream and crunchy coconut flakes on top!  Sometimes simplest is best in my mind. 
If you would like to enjoy the deliciousness for yourself, here is the recipe I created.

Vanilla Scented Blueberries and Lemon Curd with Coconut Cream
Serves 3

1 Tbsp organic lemon zest
1/4 cup agave nectar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1Tbsp full fat coconut milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp coconut oil

2 cups fresh blueberries
1 1/2 Tbsp agave nectar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
seeds of half a vanilla bean (reserve the rest for the whipped cream)

Coconut whipped cream:
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk, chilled (from the top of the can, the thick part)
seeds of half a vanilla bean (reserved from berries
2 tsp agave nectar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

To make the curd, combine zest, agave nectar, cornstarch, and sea salt in a medium pot, and whisk until combined and smooth. Whisk in lemon juice, and heat over medium high heat whisking constantly until thickened to a curd or pudding like consistency, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in coconut milk, coconut oil, and vanilla. Pour into a bowl, and let chill in the fridge until cool.
For the blueberries, combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss to combine, set aside in the fridge. 
To make coconut whipped cream, chill a medium bowl and beaters in the freezer until very cold.  Add coconut milk to the bowl, and whip to soft peaks, then add agave nectar vanilla beans and vanilla and continue to beat to stiff peaks. 
To assemble, put a half of the blueberries into the bottom of 3 bowls, then top with half of the curd, then half of the cream.  Repeat with the blueberries, curd and cream.  Doesn't have to be fancy, just make sure there is an equal amount of each in each bowl.  Top off with toasted coconut and enjoy!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Almond Joy Hot Chocolate

Ok, so I admit it...I haven't had real hot chocolate in years!  It is a tradgedy I know.  No, I don't mean the cocoa that comes in the packets, as I refuse to drink that stuff which is mostly just sugar and little chocolate.  I mean the rich melt real chocolate in your milk type. 

For some reason I was really in the mood for it this weekend so I had to make it no question!  I used to make a version with good quality dark chocolate and milk infused with vanilla beans that I loved, so I used that as a starting point. 

However, I no longer keep milk in the house, just soy, almond and coconut so it was to be vegan.  I decided on the coconut milk, because if you are going to have dessert, then have dessert!  It is the silkiest and richest of the three and I just love it in drinks. 

I didn't want just plain hot chocolate however, I wanted something I came up with a coconut almond variation (as the coconut would already be there) with the flavors of an Almond Joy but much better. 
I flavored my coconut milk base with real vanilla bean, then melted good quality dark chocolate into it as well as added some almond extract for a sweet almond flavor.  It was divine, and super rich...but it needed something to top it off and make it pretty. 

I am in love with whipped coconut cream as of lately, and I happened to have some in my fridge from a dessert I made the night before, so I used it to top off my hot chocolate!  It was amazing, the intense dark chocolate with the hint of coconut and almond...the coconut whipped cream slowly melting into it.  Quite beautiful actually if you can call a cup of hot chocolate that!  I enjoyed it far more than if it had been made with whole milk and heavy whipping cream because the coconut milk gave it such a lovely flavor. 
I will not let it be years before I enjoy hot chocolate again as this was so delicious!  Here is the recipe if you would like to experience it for yourself!

Almond Joy Hot Chocolate
Serves 3-4

4 cups lite coconut milk
1 vanilla bean, slit lengthwise and seeds scraped out (some seeds reserved for topping)
4 oz good quality vegan dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao), chopped
2 tsp pure almond extract

1/3 cup full fat coconut milk, chilled (from the top of the can, the thick part)
1 tsp agave nectar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup toasted large flake coconut
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
dark chocolate shavings

Before you begin, chill a medium bowl and beaters in the freezer (for topping). 
To make hot chocolate, in a medium saucepan, bring coconut milk to a simmer with the vanilla bean and 3/4 of its seeds (reserving the rest for the topping).  Add chopped chocolate and whisk to melt until a uniform color.  Add almond extract, remove from heat and keep warm while you prepare topping. 
To make coconut whipped cream topping, remove bowl and beaters from freezer.  Add coconut milk to the bowl, and whip to soft peaks, then add agave nectar vanilla beans and vanilla and continue to beat to stiff peaks. 
To serve, pour chocolate into mugs, and top with a bit of vanilla whipped coconut cream, some toasted almonds, and some toasted coconut as well as a little chocolate shavings.  Enjoy!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream with Sesame Peanut Brittle

There are some things in life that leave you wanting more, and some that leave you dissapointed and wishing you hadn't wasted your money or time on them... like food you expect to be good in a restaurant and it is taste less and gross.  Or shoes you order online then they don't fit and you can't return them.  Or a bad date you thought might go well.  For some reason or other me and my coworkers were discussing bad dates today, ones where you wonder what the guy was thinking asking you out in the first place.  Now, I think that if a guy asks you out he should at least offer to pay at the end of the date (you can decline it if you want, but at least he offered) as it is the gentlemanly thing to do.  Afterall he asked you out not the other way around.  So earlier this year I went on a coffee date with a guy and he did not offer to pay for my coffee and talked about himself the whole time. Needless to say there was not a second date and I definately did not call him.  I mean, a few dollars for a cup of coffee wouldn't have killed just gives the impression that he is cheap or really doesn't care that much.  Don't worry, I have been on a lot better dates since then.  Also, thank goodness for all you guys out there who know how to treat a lady, you are appriciated even if we don't always tell you so!  Which brings me to the things you want more of in life, and guys who know how to treat a lady are definately on that list!  Delicious desserts are another thing, and a an important thing as far as I am concerned!  Like ice cream.  I cannot get enough of it!

It was -12F outside when I woke up yesterday morning, so cold that I ran on my treadmill not wanting to venture out, and yet I am still hungry for ice cream.  Crazy, yes, but I make crazy good ice cream!

My latest, using things that I had on hand in my kitchen was peanut butter banana ice cream with some sesame peanut was so addictive, and I definately wanted more, and wil make it again soon! 

The base was my vegan coconut milk ice cream with sweet ripe bananas and creamy peanut butter... so increadibly silky and smooth with a hint of banana and a richness from the peanut butter.  It was not something that you have a scoop of and put it down.  You think you are going to then you go back for a large bowl is more like it!  The brittle garnish was delicious as well with the toasty sesame seeds and crunchy peanuts, perfect in contrast to the smooth ice cream, but I should warn, addictive as well! 

I have included the recipe if you would like some!  I am all for forgetting about the things in life that weren't everything I had hoped, but this ice cream was all I could have hoped for and more!  Happy Friday everyone!

Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream with Sesame Peanut Brittle
Makes about 4+ cups

3 cups organic full fat coconut milk, chilled
1 cup peanut butter
2 very ripe bananas
3/4 cup agave nectar
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp sea salt
sesame peanut brittle to serve (recipe follows)
Combine all ingredients in a blender and combine with all ingredients except brittle, and process until well blended.  Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and process according to package directions (mine takes about an hour, and is still a little soupy like the consistency of a malt, but firms up in the freezer later). Once processed, pour into a freezable container with a lid and place in the freezer for at least a few hours, or overnight to firm up for best results.  Serve with sesame peanut brittle
Sesame Peanut Brittle:
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cups roasted peanuts
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
Lay out a piece of foil and spray with non-stick spray.  Heat sugar over high heat in a non-stick skillet with sea salt, until sugar begins to melt.  Stir with a rubber spatula to evenly melt sugar and add almonds and seeds.  Stir to coat, and pour onto foil, spreading into a thin layer.  Let cool completely.  Break into pieces (about a cup broken into very small pieces to be stirred into ice cream), you will have extra for serving and snacking.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sparkling Garnet Martini

Recently at one of my favorite restaurants, Sapor Cafe in Minneapolis, I had ordered a drink that the server described as an "adult" Shirly Temple called the "Lovely Lady".  I am sure most of you know what a shirly temple is, but in case you don't it is a drink children often order with sprite and grenadine with a marschino cherry.  I often ordered them as a kid, and find them way too sweet as an adult, but I was intrigued by the idea of an upscale adult version.  Theirs had Gin with a house made hibiscus grenadine, citrus and Griottine cherry.  It was a beautiful pink color, and it was way better than a Shirly temple, balanced and not too sweet. 

It made me want to create my own!  I didn't have the recipe of course, but I did manage to create my own delicious variation of it.  First off, I made a hibiscus agave syrup, using dried hibiscus flowers that I happened to have on hand.  I prefer agave to a sugar syrup any day, as I try to stay away from lots of refined white sugars.  It was the most beautiful intense pink color once the flowers had infused. 

I combined the syrup with gin, some fresh lemon juice to balance the sweetness of the drink, and lastly, once the martini had been mixed I topped it off with a sparkling cherry juice (all fruit sweetened).  It needed the cherry to garnish as well, and I did not have Griottine cherries.  But I did have dried cherries, so I soaked a few ahead of time in some of the same gin I would be using in the drink. Theirs was served in a tall glass, but since I feel like a martini glass makes a drink sexy, like a drink in stilettos... I served mine in my prettiest martini glass. 

The drink was so beautiful, the most radiant intense red color like that of a garnet.  Appropriate also because it was created in January and the January birthstone is a garnet.  But just as important as beauty is how it tasted.  It was delicious!  Slightly sweet cherry with a hint of the herbal gin, a brightness of citrus and a foral note from the hibiscus syrup.  It was not the same as the drink at Sapor, but it was amazing!  I love it when I can get a $12 martini for free with ingredients I have on hand at home!  Here is the recipe if you would like one for yourself... no need to share!

"Sparkling Garnet"
(Cherry Hibiscus Gin Martini with Citrus)
Makes 1
6 large ice cubes
4 oz gin
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 oz hibiscus syrup*
sparkling cherry juice
gin soaked cherries*
To make drink, in a martini shaker add the ice, gin, hibiscus syrup, lemon juice, and place top on shaker. Shake until well blended. Pour the drink through a strainer into a the prepared martini glass, top it off with the sparking cherry juice garnish with gin soaked cherries and serve!
*Hibiscus syrup
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup filtered water
2 Tbsp dried hibiscus flowers
Combine all ingredients in a jar, put the lid on and shake to dissolve agave nectar.  Let sit at least a day to infuse, then strain to remove flowers.  Store in the fridge for up to a month. 
*Gin soaked cherries
Place 1 cup dried organic cherries in a clean jar, and cover with just enough gin to submerge.  Let sit a few days before using.  (the leftover cherry infused gin is delicious in drinks!)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles with Fleur de Sel

I don't know about all of you, but I enjoy eating cookie dough just as much as baked cookies.  I always ignored the warnings about raw eggs, as I secretly swiped spoonfulls of dough from my Grandmother's cookie dough bowl when her back was turned as a child in her kitchen.  Good thing I never got sick, and I admit that I haven't made a batch of cookies myself as an adult without "sampling", ok more like indulging in the dough.  Good thing pretty much the majority of the cookie dough that I make in recent years is vegan, or contains no eggs, and therefore no risk of contamination. 

As I was enjoying some cookie dough last weekend for a batch of cookies, I was thinking how wonderful it would be if I made some just for enjoying in that form.  However, dough balls themselves are a bit messy, and would stick together once I thought dipping them in chocolate and having them be "truffle" style would be perfect!

Now, I know these probably don't qualify as truffles but who says I can't call them that on my own recipe. I was just about drooling at the thought of them.  But, what would make them even better in my mind was a little fleur de sel.  Salty and sweet is just an irrisistable combination to me especially with dark chocolate! 

So I made my recipe for vegan chocolate chip cookie dough, omiting the rising ingredients, since they wouldn't be needed and went to work! 

I will admit I ate quite a few of the dough balls before they were dipped in the chocolate because I just couldn't wait, and of course I needed to be sure they were up to my standards! 

Once finished they were even better though, with the extra chocolate shell, and sea salt on top!  Who knew cookie dough could be even better than it already was.

If you are like me and you cannot resist cookie dough, you must try this, so I have included the recipe.  Happy Monday and don't deprive yourself of good cookie dough, enjoy!

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles with Fleur De Sel
Makes about 28

1 cup maple sugar, or granulated organic sugar
2/3 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup pureed silken tofu
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup agave nectar
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp fleur de sel sea salt
1 12 oz bag vegan chocolate chips
10 oz vegan chocolate, chopped
fleur de sel

In a large bowl, combine coconut oil with sugar and beat until fluffy and well combined. Beat in the tofu, vanilla extract and agave nectar until well combined. In a smaller bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, then add to the large bowl, and mix until well combined. Mix in the chocolate chips, and place in the fridge to chill until firm. Once firm, roll into small 1 1/2 inch balls, and place in the freezer for about 1/2 an hour.  Meanwhile, melt the 10 oz chopped chocolate in 30 second intervals in the microwave until smooth, stirring between each heating.  Lay out a piece of non-stick foil.  Dip dough balls one by one into the melted chocolate letting the excess drain off and place on the foil.  Sprinkle with a litttle fleur de sel and repeat with remaining dough balls. Place in the fridge to set chocolate and enjoy!  Refrigerate truffles for up to a week (that is if they last that long).

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Chipotle Cookies

I don't know if any of you have heard, but there is supposedly a peanut shortage this year...meaning less peanut butter and less peanutty goodness for us all.  What a tradgedy, as a peanut butter loving girl, hearing the news last week brought sadness to my heart!  What am I to do when I want some sticky creamy goodness on a piece of toast?  Or what about PB & J sammies?  Ok, so I am being a bit dramatic, and there is always almond butter, but since I have been alive I cannot remember ever having such a problem as no peanut butter.  Afterall, it is a staple in my cupboard.  I will admit, after hearing the news I stocked up on it so I will at least have some for a while.  Then I decided that I needed to make something with peanuts and peanut butter because all of the thinking about the peanut butter made me crave some.  Cookies were sounding really good, especially having been at work all day with a coworker who was baking delicious smelling cookies while I worked on my savory foods for the deli.  The chocolate ones especially so, which is why I decided that chocolate peanut cookies would be perfect! 

But they needed something a little different, my own twist on the classic pairing.  You see, I love chipotle with peanut butter, something my Mother taught me a while back when she first told me to sprinkle my peanut butter toast with a little ground chipotle powder.  The combination is amazing and she was onto something. 

Since chocolate and chipotle also are a match made in heaven, it was perfect!  Chocolate peanut chipotle cookies!  So I mixed together one of my vegan chocolate doughs, laced it with peanut butter and chipotle, and stirred in some salted roasted peanuts and plenty of chocoate chips. 

The dough was amazing...seriously, I am sure I ate a few cookies worth of it because it was very addictive and afterall, no risk of egg contamination with vegan dough! 

The cookies smelled wonderful as they baked as well, like brownies with a little something extra.  No use waiting until they were cooled to have a sample, warm cookies are one of the joys of life!  They were  scrumptious with the dark chocolate base with a slight kick of chipotle and the richness of peanut butter and the crunchy salty peanuts and gooey still melted chocolate chips!  I was quite pleased, and I almost forgot about the sadness of the peanut shortage!

Maybe you should stock up on peanut butter as well, and if you do, you should make these cookies, you will be happy you did!

Vegan Chocolate Peanut Chipotle Cookies
makes 1 1/2 dozen

1 cup maple sugar, or granulated organic sugar
2/3 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup well mashed very ripe organic bananas
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup agave nectar
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp ground chipotle powder (or another 1/2 tsp if you love it like me)
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 12 oz bag vegan chocolate chips
3 cups roasted salted peanuts
In a large bowl, combine buttery spread and coconut oil with sugar and beat until fluffy and well combined. Beat in the bananas, vanilla extract, almond extract, banana extract and agave nectar until well combined. In a smaller bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, then add to the large bowl, and mix until well combined. Mix in the chocolate, brittle and pecans, and place in the fridge to chill until firm. To bake, Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll balls into about 2 inch balls, and place on prepared cookie sheets a couple inches apart (refrigerate unused dough while baking the other trays). Bake for about 15-20 minutes, until puffed and just starting to brown slightly. Remove from the oven and let cool on the pan a few minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining cookies.