Strawberry Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

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Guys, t’s almost Valentine’s Day. And you know what that means: the only thing you see in grocery stores are either red, white, or pink!IMG_2745

Wow. I just noticed I’ve been making these cookies every year for the past 3 years. Woah. This recipe is originally from Sinfully Spicy‘s Strawberry Nutella Thumbprint Cookies, but I changed it up a bit.
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As most cookies, these are best served warm, straight from the oven or kept overnight and microwaved, if that’s your thang. I love when these cookies are melted so the chocolate gets all… melty and it gets all over your hands, fingers, and various parts of your face. Once these are kind of cooled, these cookies are amazingly chewy in the middle and crispy on the edges. IMG_2738These cookies are completely versatile, you can fill them up with whatever you want! I usually make them with Hershey’s Kisses, but I didn’t have any on hand so I used Chocolove’s Almonds & Sea Salt Dark Chocolate. Some fun fillings are Nutella, peanut butter, strawberry jam, fudge! Oh the options!

Strawberry Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups flour (I used baking flour, but all-purpose, whole wheat, and oat flour* will work as well)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp vegan butter (I used Smart Balance Omega-3) or coconut oil, melted (I have not tried any other oils so I cannot vouch for results)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • about 1/4 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
  • filling: chocolate chips, peanut butter, Kisses, nutella, broken pieces of a chocolate bar**

Sift the flour, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl. Then sift in the sugar. Melt the strawberries in the microwave or stove and mash with a fork or blender. Mix in the strawberries, vanilla, and butter with a fork until your form a dough. Cover with a plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for an hour or until the dough is firm.

Preheat the oven to 350.

Using a tbsp or cookie scoop form the dough into balls and place about an inch apart on a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper. The dough may be a bit sticky, just wet your hands every now and then to roll smoother balls.

Now press your thumb or a teaspoon into each cookie dough ball. If the dough is too sticky, lightly coat your thumb or teaspoon with flour and keep pressing.

Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the edges start to brown.

*I like using oat flour because it lends a more cake like and fudgy texture to the cookies, but if you’re more of a crispy-cookie person then use normal all-purpose.

**If you use chocolate bars or solid chocolates, immediately press the chocolate into the hole of the cookies right after taking them out from the oven.

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Butternut Squash & Lentil Soup

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It’s still a bit chilly out here in LA, so I have no idea how the east coast is handling their weather! So what’s the best way to warm up? Soup, of course! And what better winter-y soup than butternut squash?
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This soup is more like an every-vegetable-in-your-fridge type soup. This soup is fortified with a billion other vegetables but shh… no one has to know that. It is incredibly rich, buttery (without butter), and it is uber filling.
IMG_2625Oh my goodness. Yum.
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Butternut Squash & Lentil Soup

  • 1/2 of a large butternut squash, peeled and chopped into cubes
  • about 1 cup lentils
  • a little more than 1 cup water
  • 1/2 a red onion
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1-2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1/2 a beet, sliced
  • 1-2 tbsp oil or vegan butter
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic, or 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2-3 tbsp Thai red curry paste or powder, or to taste
  • about 1 inch ginger, chopped
  • 2 tbsp lime or lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup, agave, or honey
  • 1 15-oz can coconut milk

To make the lentils, boil water in a large pot and then add the lentils. Cover. Stir very occasionally.

In a nonstick pan, heat the butter or oil and add the onions and garlic. Once browned and soft, add the ginger, carrots, celery, beets, and the butternut squash. Fry for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are soft and a little mash-able.  Then mix in the red curry paste or powder and fry for about five more minutes. Add the lime or lemon juice, sweetener, and coconut milk and let boil. Boil for 5-10 minutes or until everything is soft.

Mash the lentils a little to make a sort of thick paste.

Now let the soup cool for a few minutes then blend with a blender or immersion blender. Now add the lentils, you can blend it up some more for a smoother soup or leave as is for a soup with some texture. Serve and enjoy!

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Vegan Pumpkin Fudge

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First off I’d like to apologize for not posting any new recipes recently. So Merry (late!) Christmas and Happy (late!) New Year’s! So starting off the new year, I have a bunch of rich decadent recipes heading your way 😀

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Today I am sharing with you Vegan. Pumpkin. Fudge. And it’s insanely rich and delicious you won’t even know it’s healthy!
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Made with bananas and pumpkin butter, this is chock full of the healthy stuff.
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Look at that. So rich. So fudgey. So chocolatey.

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Vegan Pumpkin Fudge Recipe

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin caramel butter, store-bought or the recipe I used here*
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • pinch salt, optional
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, optional
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted, optional**

Mash the banana very well with a fork. You can alternatively blend all the ingredients up in a blender or food processor. Then mix in the pumpkin butter. Lastly mix in the cocoa powder. Pour into a container and leave in the fridge overnight or freeze for a few hours. I like to use a plastic container because it’s easy to pop out.

*I didn’t exactly follow the recipe exactly. I first mixed 1 cup of pumpkin puree with 2 cups water in a small pot, and let that simmer for about 30 minutes, then whisked in the spices. Then I added in a tin of coconut cream and whisked it very well. Then transferred the mixture to a skillet and let that simmer for about an hour on low, stirring every ten minutes to prevent burning.

**I didn’t add this but the coconut oil will help firm the fudge a little because mine got pretty mushed when it thawed.

You can melt this a little to make a nice sauce for ice cream (recipe coming next time!) or even let it thaw more, without melting it, and using it as a spread or dip for fruits.

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Mini Peach Pie Cups

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Hey everyone! How’s your week going? I know I know, it’s fall! Why do I have peach pies on my blog??? Well. During the summer, my mom’s peach tree grew about a billion peaches in about a week. (Note: Complete exaggeration.) So what to do with a full box of peaches? Make some jam! And luckily, jam stays good forever and I finally came around to use it.
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Homemade Caramel Sauce [2 Versions]

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Hey guys! So this recipe is derived from last week’s post. When I realized that I basically made caramel from the “binding glue” thing, my mind was blown. I made two versions of caramel. The brown sugar version tastes more like caramel (obviously) but the honey version tastes like burnt honey caramel, it still has that caramel-y taste but is honey-y….

ANYWAYS, these recipes are actually pretty easy, no thermometer or fancy pots (is that a thing) needed, just one of your small pots and attention to the caramel. IMG_1397 Continue Reading…

Pumpkin Pie Spice Pumpkin Seed Clusters

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Yep, it’s pumpkin season. I’m pretty sure I’m a little late, aren’t I? Oh well, these little clusters take the cake! Pumpkin Pie Spice and pumpkin seeds, whaaa? These clusters are super easy to make, just takes ten minutes of your sweet time. You can make your own pumpkin pie spice (with the recipe below) or use a store-brought brand, both will work perfectly well. IMG_2075
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