Sunday, September 30, 2012

Raw Pumpkin Spice Bars



Last Friday at at work in the deli, one of my coworkers was making all sorts of fallish desserts.  Maple pecan scones, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cookies, spice cookies...but of course, the pumpkin sounded the best to me.  After all, it is the time of the year when we all get the pumpkin bug. 



I wasn't planning on making anything pumpkin this weekend, but all the pumpkin stuff at work just smelled so good that I started to consider it.  I was going to make s'mores brownies, but then I thought maybe pumpkin bars would be better.  But I wanted the public to decide so I took a poll on Facebook and the pumpkin bars won.  Guess everyone else is craving pumpkin too.  Maybe because we are deprived of it for half a year or more...and is is just so darn delicious!



At any rate, I went to work creating my raw pumpkin bars that I had been dreaming of at work.  They needed to have plenty of spice, which included fresh ginger and be sweet but not overly so.  They smelled wonderful while dehydrating!  I couldn't wait to try them. 



But first, they needed to have cream cheese frosting.  So I created a raw coconut based cream cheese frosting that was quite addictive.  It was a wonder there was enough left for the bars! 


I haven't had a pumpkin bar in years, but these were more delicious than the ones I remember from the past.  Raw food has a way of doing that!


Raw Pumpkin Spice Bars
Makes 8 large bars

Cake:
1 1/4 cups walnuts, soaked and dried
1 3/4 cups dried shredded unsweetened coconut
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 inch chunk fresh ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 Tbsp agave nectar or honey
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
20 dates, pitted
2 cups finely grated organic squash*

Frosting:
1 1/2 cups raw cashew pieces (preferably soaked overnight)
1 cup coconut water

1 1/2 cups fresh young coconut meat* (or additional soaked cashews if not available)
1/3 cup agave nectar or honey
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract and seeds of a vanilla bean

2 tsp cider vinegar
1/2 cup coconut oil (warmed to liquid)

ground cinnamon for finishing

To prepare the bars, process walnuts, coconut and sea salt in a food processor until the walnuts are fine crumbs, then add the spices, syrup, vanilla and dates and process until well mixed. Add the squash and pulse until blended but not pureed (a few flecks of squash). Place on a dehydrator sheet spread out so that it the bars are about an inch high, and dehydrate for 4-5 hours, then flip over (carefully) and dry for 2 more (or until the outside is dried and the middle is still a little moist. ( or place in the fridge to firm up if you don't have a dehydrator, this works just as well, the bars are just a bit softer). Store in the fridge until ready to frost.
To make frosting, drain cashews and blend all ingredients until smooth in a food processor, and set in the freezer about 30 minutes until a frosting consistency. Place the frosting in a pastry bag and pipe over the bars (or simply spread it if you do not wish to pipe).  Sprinkle a little cinnamon over and serve!

*I use squash instead of pumpkin because it is sweeter, but you can use pumpkin if you like.



Friday, September 28, 2012

Raw Caramel Apples with Hazelnuts



Caramel apples are something that every child should experience at some point.  I can remember, every fall, begging my Mom to buy me some at the store when they became available.  Sadly, half the time I would be a stinker and eat the caramel off and leave the apple. 


Unless of course the apple was really good.  I especially liked the tart ones, and now as an adult, I know honeycrisp apples make the perfect caramel apple.  I no longer eat gooey sugary caramel, but sometimes I still think about it.  Luckilly, I know how to make really good raw caramel from dates!


Last weekend when I had some beautiful Honeycrisp apples, I decided that I needed to make some raw caramel apples.  I normally just make the caramel and dip apple slices into it, but I wanted to be like my childhood self and bite chunks out of the caramel apple!  


The adult in me however wanted there to be crunchy nuts covering the outside.  So, I opened the fridge and instead of just going for the usual pecans, I decided to be different and go for the hazelnuts.  I have to say these were the most heavenly caramel apples I have ever eaten, and the best part was the raw caramel didn't leave me in a sugar coma!


Raw Caramel Apples with Hazelnuts  
Makes 2

Caramel:
10 medjool dates, pitted
1 Tbsp almond butter
2 Tbsp raw agave nectar or raw honey
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp unrefined coconut oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp filtered water

Apples:
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
2 large organic apples

To make caramel, combine all ingredients in a food processor until smooth, then pour into a bowl.  Place the chopped hazelnuts on a plate.  Stick a wooden stick, or a fork, into the top of each apple.  Dip each apple into the caramel, bottom down, rotating so the caramel goes up the sides as well.  Dip into the hazelnuts to coat the bottom and sides.  Serve! 


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Raw Ginger Carrot Ice Cream



I love ice cream.  All year round.  In fact, even in the winter it is a weekly occurrence at my house ever since I bought my ice cream maker a few years back.  I love that the ice cream is like a blank palate for me to play with, creating new flavors.  Some wonderful, and some I won't be making again.  Thankfully, most are wonderful.  


I had leftover carrots and ginger from my carrot cake last week, and so I decided that a raw carrot ginger ice cream would be heavenly!  After all, nothing wrong with getting a serving of vegetables in with your creamy dreamy ice cream right?  


It was amazing, the sweetness of the carrots, a hint of vanilla and cinnamon, then after the rich goodness had melted on my tongue the heat of the ginger!  I love it when something cool combines with something that leaves a little heat on the tongue!  The coconut ice cream base was the perfect palate for it as well!  I am not embarrassed to admit, it was so good I licked my bowl clean.


Raw Ginger Carrot Ice Cream
Makes about 3 cups

1 large organic carrot, peeled and chopped
one thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours and drained
1 cup young coconut meat, chopped
1/2 cup young coconut water
1/4 cup agave nectar or honey
a large pinch of sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
seeds of one vanilla bean
1/4 cup coconut oil, warmed to liquid

In a food processor, combine the carrot, ginger, cashews, coconut, coconut water, agave nectar, sea salt, cinnamon, and vanilla, and process until smooth. With the processor running, pour in the coconut oil and process until well incorporated, about a minute. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and process according to directions. Once processed, pour into a freezer safe container with a lid, and let harden until scoopable consistency, about 4 hours, or overnight.  

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Raw Pumpkin Apple Streusel Coffee Cake



When I was in highschool, my Mom made the most delicious coffeecake.  It was a pumpkin apple streusel coffeecake that she had found a recipe for in the paper and decided to make it her own (maybe that is where my inability to follow a recipe exactly and make it to my liking comes from).  The original recipe had a pumpkin and apple base and a cinnamon sugar topping.  She decided to top hers off with a walnut streusel and swap out the white sugar for brown to create a caramel flavor.  She also added a crunchy middle layer, spiced with cinnamon.  It was amazing, especially warmed and served with ice cream!  Sadly,  I lost the recipe a while back so she hadn't made it in years.  



I decided this weekend it was time to recreate this cake. However my version would be rawified, contain no refined sugars and flours and not need baking.  



I was quite excited about creating this cake, and when I told my Mom what I was doing she was excited to taste it.  She has since stopped eating refined flours and sugars as well, so she was all for the raw version!  



I have to tell you a secret though.  I didn't use pumpkin in this, I used kobocha squash.  I find that the squash is much sweeter than pumpkin and since it was going to be raw it was important that the raw product tasted sweet (raw pumpkin requires a bit of dehydrating to taste palatable).  But shh...don't tell anyone.  I combined the squash with honeycrisp apple, walnuts, coconut and dates in the filling with plenty of spice to create a moist and delicious base.  It was so sweet it needed no liquid sweeteners!  



I popped it into my dehydrator and I have to say, it made my kitchen smell amazing!  While it was "baking" I made a raw caramel to put in between the layers (my own spin on this, and to hold the streusel in place).  



Once baked, I layered the cake with the caramel and some pecan streusel, and voila!  It was lovely!  My Mom's original cake was a rectangular cake as well, so it was important to me that this one was too!  I couldn't help but think this would be the perfect cake for a Thanksgiving spread!  



 I served it with raw vanilla bean ice cream, the way we used to serve the old version of the cake.  My loved the cake!  She told me that it was better than the original, and I would have to agree with her, because she is a wise woman!



Raw Pumpkin Apple Streusel Coffee Cake
Serves 4

Cake:
2 cups walnuts
1 3/4 cups dried shredded unsweetened coconut
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 1/2  inch chunk fresh ginger 
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
12 medjool dates, pitted
2 cups cubed raw organic squash 
1 medium sweet tart organic apple, diced 

Streusel:
3/4 cup dried shredded unsweetened coconut
3/4 cup pecans
8 medjool dates, pitted 
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup coconut
1/4 cup chopped pecans

Caramel:
10 medjool dates, pitted
1 Tbsp almond butter
2 Tbsp agave nectar or honey
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp water


To make the cake, combine coconut and pecans in the food processor and process until finely ground.  Add the sea salt, ginger, spices, vanilla, and dates and process until well blended and starting to hold together.  Remove from processor and transfer to a large bowl.  Place the apple and squash in the food processor and process until very finely chopped.  Add to bowl with pecan mixture and mix well with hands.  Place the mixture onto a teflex lined dehydrator sheet, and shape into a square, about 2 inches thick.  Dehydrate for 6 hours, then flip over and let dehydrate another 4.  Remove from the dehydrator and place in the fridge while you prepare the streusel and caramel.  
To make the streusel, combine 3/4 cup coconut and 3/4 cup pecans in the food processor and process until finely ground.  Add the dates and sea salt and process until starting to hold together.   Pour into a bowl, and mix in the remaining coconut and chopped pecans.  Set aside in the fridge.  
To make the caramel, combine all ingredients in the food processor and process until smooth.  
To assemble the cake, cut off the ragged edges so you have a nice square, then cut in half.  Spread half the caramel over one half, then sprinkle with half the streusel.  Top with the other half of the cake, spread with remaining caramel and sprinkle with the remaining streusel.  Serve!  


Friday, September 21, 2012

Raw Ginger Carrot Layer Cake


What to do with a bunch of carrots in my fridge?  I had bought a large amount for another recipe last week and they were begging to be used in something delicious.  Something dessert like sounded better than savory.  I decided to go with a classic this time, carrot cake!  


Not one that had to be baked however, raw carrot cake!  With lots of fresh ginger and plenty of spice, as that is what is sounding good to me as the cool autumn air is quickly creeping in.  I used coconut in the base, as well as pecans along with the carrots, because to me carrot cake has to have coconut and walnuts.  My Mother made the most amazing carrot cake when I was little and it always had both of those things!



I wanted the cake to have 3 layers instead of just one or two, because I love the look of a proper 3 layer cake, it is so much more elegant, even if it is just for me to enjoy.  The cake part was delicious, but I had to make a creamy luscious frosting to top it off!  A young coconut based creamy frosting did the trick, and I wasn't missing the classic cream cheese that normally tops off a carrot cake.  



I had to share some with my Mother, since she was the one who introduced me to delicious home made carrot cake, and she enjoyed it as well.  She even told me that it was hard to tell it was raw!  We both had seconds, and that tells me this one was a win.  Nothing like a carrot cake that you don't feel guilty going back for seconds on!




Raw Ginger Carrot Layer Cake
Makes one 4 inch 3 layer cake

Cake:
1 1/4 cups pecans
1 3/4 cups dried shredded unsweetened coconut
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 1/2  inch chunk fresh ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 Tbsp agave nectar or honey
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
16 dates, pitted
2 cups grated organic carrots
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup chopped pecans

Frosting:
1 1/2 cups raw cashew pieces (preferably soaked overnight)
1 cup coconut water

1 1/2 cups fresh young coconut meat* (or additional soaked cashews if not available)
1/3 cup agave nectar or honey
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract and seeds of a vanilla bean

1/2 cup coconut oil (warmed to liquid)

 To prepare the carrot cake, process pecans, coconut and sea salt in a food processor until the pecans are fine crumbs, then add the spices, syrup, vanilla and dates and process until well mixed.  Add the carrots and process until blended but not pureed (a few carrot flecks). Mix in the raisins and pecans.  Divide the mixture into 3 parts, and use a 4 inch pan lined with plastic wrap to mold the 3 parts into 3 cake layers.  Place on a dehydrator sheet and dehydrate for4-5 hours, then flip over and dry for 2 more (or until the outside is dried and the middle is still a little moist.  ( or place in the fridge to firm up if you don't have a dehydrator, this works just as well, the cake is just a bit softer).  Store in the fridge until ready to frost. 
To make frosting, drain cashews and blend all ingredients until smooth in a food processor, and set in the freezer about 30 minutes until a frosting consistency.
To frost cake, place one layer on a plate and top with about 2 Tbsp frosting.  Top with another cake layer then another 2 Tbsp frosting.  Then the remaining cake layer.  Spread frosting on the top and sides of the cake.  Place remaining frosting in a pastry bag and pipe decoratively around the bottom and on the top of the cake.  Place in the fridge to set for a few hours before serving. 

Mini Raw Snickerdoodle Sandwich Cookies




Snickerdoodles were not something that was made in my family when I was growing up.  My Grandma always made plain sugar cookies, but never the cinnamon topped aromatic variety.  So my first experience with snickerdoodles was in high school!  I was at a ski chalet coffee shop with one of my best friends and she convinced me to buy one and split it with her.  It was heavenly!  The scent of cinnamon tickled my nose as I bit into the sweet, slightly chewy in the middle, but crunchy at the edges cookie.  I wondered why I had never enjoyed one before that moment.




I have since made some of my own versions, my favorite of which, I called spicedoodles, adding cardamom and nutmeg in addition to the cinnamon.


http://fragrantvanillacake.blogspot.com/2010/12/sugar-and-spice-and-everything-nice.html

They were even better than I the coffee shop ones.  But now that I have eliminated refined sugars and flours from my diet, and am eating mostly raw food, I haven't had one in ages!



I was craving the flavors of the snickerdoodle, something vanilla and cinnamon scented.  So, I decided to make some raw snickerdoodles!  But not to be boring, I thought they needed to have a creamy cinnamon laced filling too.  I am a sucker for sandwich cookies.  I also wanted them to be bite sized, something cute that I could savor in one mouthful, so I opted for mini.  Obviously I am obsessed with mini desserts too.  I think this comes from not having tea parties as a child.



They were wonderful.  I made the base from sweet coconut and almonds, and the creamy filling from young coconut meat, all cinnamon and vanilla scented of course!  I may have just enjoyed these more than regular snickerdoodles!




Mini Raw Snickerdoodle Sandwich Cookies

Makes 8

Cookies:

1 1/2 cups shredded dried coconut
2 cups almond meal*
1/4 cup raw agave nectar or honey
2 tsp pure vanilla extract or seeds of one vanilla bean
1 tsp cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling
1/4 tsp sea salt

Cinnamon Cream:

3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours and drained
3/4 cup young coconut meat
1/2 cup coconut water
2 Tbsp agave nectar or honey
seeds of one vanilla bean or 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
a pinch of sea salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup coconut oil, warmed to liquid


To make cookies, place coconut and almond meal in the food processor and process until finely ground like flour.  Add agave nectar, vanilla, cinnamon and sea salt and process until it is well incorporated and starting to hold together.  Shape the dough into 16 balls, and flatten to form small cookies.  Sprinkle with a little cinnamon and place on dehydrator sheets.  Allow to dehydrate for 8-10 hours, or until dry but still a little soft in the middle.

To make cream, combine the cashews, coconut, coconut water, agave nectar, vanilla, and sea salt in a food processor and process until smooth.  With the motor running, add the coconut oil until well blended.     Place in the fridge to firm up to frosting consistency, about 2 hours.  Or if you place it in the freezer, 30 minutes.  
When the cream is chilled, place in a pastry bag and pipe frosting (about 1 Tbsp each) onto half the cookies on the bottom side.  Top each with the remaining cookies and enjoy! 

*grind soaked and dried almonds to a pulp if you do not have almond meal on hand. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Raw Fig and Raspberry Crumble Pie




Crunch, crunch, crunch...the leaves are talking to me as I run through the path in the woods.  If you were looking through a window at the scene before me, yellow leaves on the ground and falling from the trees, the green of summer departing, you would swear that it was autumn.  And yet, as I breathe in the 90 degree air, and sweat rolls down my face, I am reminded that it is not yet here.  It seems that the seasons are confused, or summer doesn't quite want to let go and hand off the seasonal baton to autumn.  I know it is not technically autumn according to the calender, but September is normally cooler.  Since it is still summer, it is alright to still make a late summer dessert or two, although apples and pumpkins will not be far behind. 



A raw crumble hazelnut topped pie with gooey fig and raspberry filling and cool creamy ice cream on the side.  This is perfect for a day late in the summer.  When raspberries are at the end of their season and figs are just perfect. 



I made the crust and topping from sweet coconut, hazelnuts and dates and it was simple and perfect with the gooey filling.     Upon sampling it, I discovered that it would be a delicious snack on its own but it had another plan to become pie crust so I figured I had better restrain myself.  



For the filling I used both fresh figs and dried, figuring the dried would make it more jammy and pie like without baking.  Fresh raspberries were involved as well as orange zest and juice for a heavenly combination.  



I like a creamy element to all of my fruit pies and desserts, so this time it was to be in the form of two heavenly ice creams, raspberry and fig almond. The pie loved them, and so did I.  As I sat enjoying every last crumb and drop of ice cream on my plate, I knew I would miss these elements of summer.



Raw Fig and Raspberry Crumble Pie with raspberry and fig almond ice creams

For the Pie:

makes one 6 inch pie

6 inch spring form pan or pie plate

Crust:

1 1/2 cups hazelnuts
2 1/2 cups dried coconut
1/2 tsp sea salt
12 medjool dates

Topping:

reserved 1/2 crust
1 Tbsp agave nectar or honey
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
Filling:
12 oz organic raspberries, divided
2 Tbsp agave nectar or honey
1 cup organic dried figs, soaked for at least an hour, and drained
juice and zest of one large orange
a pinch sea salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup fresh organic figs, quartered

To make the crust, combine the hazelnuts, coconut, dates, and sea salt in a food processor and process until well combined and holds together when squeezed. Press half of this mixture into a 6 inch spring form pan, half way up the edges and place in the fridge. To the remaining half of the mixture add the agave nectar, and chopped hazelnuts for the topping. Set aside in the fridge.

To make filling, combine 1/2 the raspberries, agave nectar, dried figs, orange juice and zest, sea salt and vanilla and process until smooth and well blended about 1 minute. Combine with the rest of the raspberries and figs and mix well. Pour over the pie crust. Top with the reserved crumble mixture, and place in the fridge to set for a few hours before serving.

Raw Raspberry Ice Cream
Makes 4 cups ice cream

1 cup raw cashews, (soaked for 2 hours at least, then drained)
1 cup young coconut meat
1/2 cup coconut water
1/4 cup agave nectar or honey depending on how sweet you like it
1/4 cup coconut oil, liquified
seeds of one vanilla bean or 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp sea salt
1 cup fresh organic raspberries

To make the ice cream, place all the ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Press the mixture through a fine meshed strainer to remove chunks if desired. Pour the strained base into an ice cream maker, and process according to directions. Pour into a freezer safe container and place in the freezer.
To serve, spoon the sauce over the ice cream and enjoy!


Raw Fig Almond Ice Cream:
http://fragrantvanillacake.blogspot.com/2012/09/raw-fig-almond-ice-cream.html

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Raw Carrot Falafel


I have been eating tomatoes and cucumbers every day as of lately, and a days ago, I was thinking some falafel would go perfectly with them!  However, I was not going to break out the fryer (which I do not own) or cook up some chickpeas.  I decided to create a raw version to satisfy my craving for the delicious crunchy treat. 

I had a bunch of carrots, and since I feel that they pair well with Middle Eastern food, I thought they would be a wonderful base for the falafel.  I added sunflower seeds, walnuts, almonds, sesame seeds nutritional yeast and of course the usual suspects for falafel, cumin and garlic to create an aromatic batter. 
All I needed to do was roll them in a crunchy coating and let them have a rest in the dehydrator overnight for a delicious dinner the next day!  I served them with a creamy lemon tahini sauce, and a simple salad with cucumbers and tomatoes.  They may not have been traditional,  but wow...I had to go back for seconds.



Raw Carrot Falafel with Creamy Lemon Tahini Sauce
Serves 4-6

Falafel:
4 medium organic carrots
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds, soaked and dried

1/4 cup raw walnuts, soaked and dried
1/4 cup sesame seeds

3 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp tahini
1 Tbsp ground cumin seeds
juice of one lemon
1/4 tsp chipotle
1 1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste
1 cup raw almond flour (or more if needed)

Coating:
1 cups raw walnuts soaked and dried
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup sesame seeds

Tahini Sauce:
1/2 cup tahini
1/3 cup filtered water or as needed
juice of two lemons
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp ground cumin seed
a large pinch of ground chipotle

To make falafel, place carrots in the food processor and process until finely chopped.  Add the yeast, sunflower seeds, walnuts, sesame seeds, garlic, tahini, cumin, lemon juice, chipotle, sea salt, and process until smooth.  Add the almond flour and process until well combined.  Remove from the food processor and if it seems too soft, add a little more almond flour (it should be the consistency of very soft soft cookie dough).  Refrigerate the mixture for about an hour to make rolling easier.  Roll the mixture into 2 inch balls, and place on a plate.  In a food processor, combine the walnuts, yeast, sea salt and sesame seeds for the coating and process until finely ground.  Pour into a bowl, and roll each of the falafel balls in it.  Place the balls on a lined dehydrator sheet and dehydrate for about 16-18 hours, or until the outside is crunchy and they are firm, but not dried out in the center.
Meanwhile, to make the tahini sauce, whisk together all ingredients until smooth.  If too thick add a little more water until the consistency of dressing.

Serve with a salad on the side and the tahini sauce!


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Raw Raspberry Bismarks



Every so often, when I was young enough to think doughnuts were the perfect food, my Mother would take me to a local bakery as a treat.   I would stand in front of the glass case, peering inside and taking in the scent of freshly baked doughnuts.  The smell of cake was in the air...vanilla, my favorite.  Butter cream frosting also was tempting me with its rich scent as I tried to decide which doughnut I wanted the girl working behind the counter to get for me.  I usually decided on a raspberry bismark, a delightful sweet raspberry filled vanilla doughnut with vanilla frosting.  My Mother may have had some influence on me, because she told me they were her favorite when she was little.  



It has been over 10 years since I have sunk my teeth into a raspberry bismark, but I can still remember how delicious they were.  Sweet, soft vanilla scented cake, gooey, jammy raspberries that oozed out when you bit into it and a rich, melt in your mouth butter cream on top!  



I decided that I needed to have a bismark last weekend.  No, I did not drive to a bakery.  I decided to create a raw version of a bismark, since my tastes have changed and I am not so into refined sugars and flours.  It was going to be delicious, I just knew it.  I used a my vanilla cake base of coconut and almonds.  It is always so melt in my mouth delicate, I knew it would be perfect for the bismarks!  I filled them with fresh raspberries, and topped them off with some silky coconut vanilla bean frosting.  



They were more beautiful than the bismarks I had enjoyed as a kid, but would they meet my standards of approval?  Yes!  They were amazing...the cake was so delicate and buttery tasting, they smelled of heavenly vanilla and the sweet tart raspberry filling still oozed out.  Let's not forget the smooth, creamy frosting, which was the perfect thing to top them, and so good that I licked my fingers clean of it after the bismark was gone.  I think if I were to eat a regular old bismark now, I would be rather disappointed as these were so heavenly.


Raw Raspberry Bismarks
Makes 4

For the doughnut dough:
1 1/2 cups almond meal*
1 1/4 cups dried shredded unsweetened coconut
1/4 tsp sea salt
3 Tbsp agave nectar or honey
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Filling:
1/4 cup fresh organic raspberries
1 tsp agave nectar or honey

Frosting:
3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours and drained
3/4 cup young coconut meat
1/2 cup coconut water
2 Tbsp agave nectar or honey
seeds of one vanilla bean or 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
a pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup coconut oil, warmed to liquid

To make doughnuts, combine the almonds, coconut and sea salt in a food processor and process until finely ground. Add the agave nectar, vanilla and process until holding together. Divide dough into 4 pieces.  
Mash together the raspberries and agave nectar until the consistency of jam, for the filling.  
Take a piece of the dough, and roll 2/3 of it into a ball.  indent the middle with your finger and press it down slightly.  Spoon about 1 Tbsp (but do not overfill) of the raspberry mixture into the hole.  Take the remaining 1/3 of the dough and flatten it into a circle large enough to cover the raspberry filling.  Place over the filling and smooth the sides down carefully as these are delicate.  Repeat with remaining 3 dough balls and filling and place in the fridge while you prepare the frosting.  
To make the frosting, combine the cashews, coconut, coconut water, agave nectar, vanilla, and sea salt in a food processor and process until smooth.  With the motor running, add the coconut oil until well blended.  
Pour into a bowl, and refrigerate until the consistency of frosting, about 2 hours (if you put it in the freezer, it will be quicker, like 45 minutes).  
Place the frosting in a pastry bag with a large decorative tip, and pipe all over the tops of the bismarks.  Serve!

*For the almond meal, soak raw almonds for a couple hours, then peel off the skins and dehydrate until dried.  Grind to a meal in the food processor.  

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Raw Peanut Butter Brownie Cakes



"You put the special ingredient in there didn't you?"  One of my good friends said to me as I handed her one of my brownies I had just made.  Puzzled, I gave her a funny look and said "Huh?"  Because I do not make "special" brownies AKA laced brownies...I am a good girl and don't ingest that stuff.  She replied, "You know...Love!" Made sense now. "Of course I did!  I always put a little love in my food!" If you are  going to take the time to make something for someone or yourself you better go into it with a loving attitude or it will not taste as good.  At least, that is my belief! 


I made these brownies actually, because my Mother was complaining that she had no chocolate to indulge in.  Luckilly, I had all the ingredients on hand to create some delicious raw peanut butter brownies! Now, I suppose I could have just whipped up a batch, and served them all flat and unadorned, but I thought why not make them special!


So, I turned them into little brownie cakes adorned with chocolate peanut butter and crunchy peanuts!  You could have called them PB crave brownies, because they were seriously so good and something you were bound to crave again once you finished one! My Mother approved, and said they were more delicious than regular brownies, and I had to agree.  We are both fans of super fudgy brownies, and fudgy these were! Now, this was the type of dessert that you could give to someone and they would know they contained love!


Raw Peanut Butter Brownie Cakes
Makes 4

Brownies:
2 cups raw peanuts
2 cups dried shredded coconut
1/2 cup raw cocoa powder
2/3 cup raw agave nectar or honey
1/4 tsp sea salt

Filling and Frosting:
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter*
1/2 cup chopped raw peanuts

To make brownies, combine all ingredients in the food processor and process until finely ground and starting to hold together.  Press mixture into a square, and place in the fridge until firm (about 2 hours).  Cut into 8 squares.  On four of the squares, spread about 1 1/2 Tbsp of the chocolate peanut butter, then sprinkle with a bit of the chopped peanuts.  Top each with another square.  Spread about 1 1/2 Tbsp of the peanut butter on top of each, and top with more peanuts.  Serve!

*Dark Chocolate Peanut ButterMakes about 3+ cups
2 cups raw peanuts
2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup agave nectar or honey, or to taste
3 Tbsp raw cocoa powder
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
About 1 cup raw almond milk

In a food processor, blend peanuts until very smooth. Add sea salt, agave nectar (more if you like it sweeter), cocoa powder, and vanilla. Process to blend until combined, then with the motor running, add enough almond milk to make it smooth like frosting consistency, and blend until well combined. Enjoy!  Store in the fridge in a jar with a lid.