I haven’t made this recipe for a little over a year. And there is a very good reason…I can’t NOT eat these.
Self-control practically goes out the window when I make these bars and a year ago I was making them WAY too often and enjoying WAY too many. One of the problems is that everyone else around me loved them too so I had no excuse NOT to make them for every and any social function. And even worse I never would give out the recipe because there was that tiny little recipe hoarder voice in my head that said “these are good…like, really, really, REALLY good and one day you may went to sell them in your amazing vegan bakery so do not, I repeat DO NOT give away the recipe”.
I listened to that voice for a long time but over the past year I’ve realized that sharing is caring and who am I kidding, I’m not getting up at 3 in the morning, every morning, for the rest of my life to bake and sell anything!
So, I was really excited to make these again not only to eat but also for the blog! They are so stinking easy because you basically put everything in a high powered blender and blend! And of course they are vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, no oil and no eggs! Does it get much better?! Don’t be put off by the chickpeas–they make these bars SO creamy and moist it’s unbelievable. And they cut way down on the fat and calories while adding a good amount of protein and fiber!
There was no wondering what the theme would be this year for Eli’s 3rd birthday party–CARS! He is obsessed, particularly with the Cars cars…Lightening McQueen, Bobby Swift…the whole gang. But I wasn’t really down with having a Cars birthday party or even Hotwheels–not my style at all. But after a little Pinterest time, I stumbled across the vintage race car theme and LOVED it.
I went simple (at least for me) and did a couple of banners for decor, car cake, chocolate dipped pretzel rods that were “dip sticks” and mini chocolate doughnuts that were our “spare tires”. I actually loved how this one turned out and I’m finding that simple can be a lot better sometimes!
Here are some pics from the day…
Dipsticks! (aka chocolate dipped pretzel rods)
The Vintage Race Car Cake…
Some more of the decor…
And last but not least the birthday boy playing lawn games with his cousins. This must have been a good shot. 😉
Check out the link below for more party inspiration!
We recently celebrated Avery’s 5th birthday party and I wanted to share a few pics of the festivities. I went super simple this year especially where the dessert table was concerned. I ended up doing Sixlets in her party colors, white chocolate unicorn pops and a unicorn cake. Time and budget were limited this year but it forced me to keep things simple which was a GOOD thing. 🙂
Here are a few pics! And if you’re interested in her previous parties, I have links to all of them at the end of the post!
Birthday Girl! 🙂
More table pics.
Unicorns taking a nap?? Or maybe telling secrets… 🙂
Birthday girl focusing hard on coloring her unicorn.
I’ll get right to the point–homemade COCONUT BLACKBERRY POPS. Dairy free. Refined sugar free. Full of cool, creamy, coconutty/blackberry deliciousness. Ridiculously easy, inexpensive and insanely good.
We made them. We ate them. We love them. You will too. PROMISE.
Believe it or not, I have ANOTHER kid…who I’ve never blogged about. 😀 Until now! I’m still in the process of digging up his first birthday pics but in the meantime we’re just gonna skip ahead to his SECOND birthday.
We did an alphabet theme for this one because the child knew his alphabet forwards and backwards way before he turned two. And boy themes are TOUGH…farm animals, cars, jungle, cartoon/tv shows…ugh. Not my style so much but the alphabet theme turned out cute! Here are a few pics from our fun day…
It was a fun party with beautiful weather and awesome friends! And a certain two year old ate WAY too many chocolate letters off of the chocolate chip cookie bars while mom wasn’t looking but hey, it was his birthday and c’mon chocolate is just GOOD. 😉 We love you E!
Since birthday parties are rolling around again, I thought I’d finally get around to posting LAST year’s birthday party pictures. I’m so on top of it! Avery decided on a Kitty Cat theme which was super fun to come up with all the decor and treats for. All the little desserts were made by me except the AWESOME cat cake. Goodies included chocolate cherry mice, feline faces, cat claws, meow mix and hair balls!
It’s fall which of course means pumpkin EVERYTHING. And I love it! Pumpkin has so many great uses in baking, especially when it comes to baking something HEALTHY. Sadly, I don’t have many healthy pumpkin recipes up to this point on my blog, but I do love this Pumpkin Spice Dessert Dip and just made these Fudgy Butternut Squash Brownies with PUMPKIN instead of the butternut squash and they were amazing!
So, I’m excited to add these Pumpkin and Dark Chocolate Energy Bites to the mix. These little gems are so tasty and so very good for you! I don’t mind giving these to my kids for breakfast one bit. They’ve got fiber, protein, good fats and some great nutrients! Oh and the best part…DARK CHOCOLATE. 😀
They only take a few minutes to whip up–give ’em a try!
In the last week we’ve made not one but TWO trips to the apple orchard because they are just SO good right now and there are new varieties every day! Our first trip we picked tons of Jonathan and Grimes and the second time it was all about the Fujis!
So, needless to say we’ve been eating a LOT of apples. And of course I’ve done a little baking…I gave my mom’s German Apple Cake a healthy makeover and it turned out DELISH. But I think our favorite thing so far has been dehydrating apples and making dried apple slices! The kids can’t get enough. And the Jonathan’s are perfect for dehydrating because they’re actually super sweet with a little tartness. Yum!
So with all the dehydrating, I was super excited to stumble upon this recipe for Cinnamon Apple Pie Energy Bites that utilizes dried apples but I knew immediately I wanted to take the recipe a step further and make them into Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars! And with a little adjusting of ingredients, that’s what I did and the results were DELICIOUS.
All the flavors of apple pie, a touch of salt, tiny chunks of almonds and dried apples, minimal ingredients and no added sugar, make these perfect for snacking or even breakfast! We love them!
1 ½ c. Dried Apples, finely chopped in food processor
1 ½ c. Raw, Toasted Almonds (you don't have to toast the almonds but I prefer the flavor it gives them)
1 ½ c. Medjool Dates, soaked in hot water for at least 30 minutes
5 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
1½ t. Cinnamon
1½ t. Apple Pie Spice
½-¾ t. Sea Salt
Line a 9x9 pan with foil or parchment paper
Blend almonds and dates in a high powered blender or food processor until a thick paste forms. You can get it as smooth as you like..I left a few bits and pieces of almonds in mine because I like the texture.
Transfer the almond/date mixture, along with all other ingredients to an electric mixer. Beat on low speed until everything is well combined and blended. Adjust spices, etc to taste.
Press into your lined pan and place in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to allow mixture to set. Remove from pan and cut.
I’ve been incorporating chickpea (garbanzo) flour into lots of things lately, mainly because it has a fairly neutral flavor once it’s been cooked and adds a good amount of protein and fiber to food. My favorite thing right now is to mix it into my kids oatmeal…they don’t even know it’s there! So when I saw these chia granola bars used it, I HAD to try them.
Aaaaaand…they turned out great! I was expecting a crunchier bar but mine remained soft which is ok because we still loved them. Looking back over the original recipe, I actually missed the step about pressing them down again after they have been baked so that might have been my problem with them not being crunchy!
They are slightly sweet, a tiny bit salty and quite yummy! Love the good fats, protein and fiber from the chickpea flour and chia seeds and the little crunch from the crispy rice cereal is perfect. Great for breakfast or a snack!
⅔ c. Chickpea Flour (also known as garbanzo bean flour)
3 T. Chia Seeds
1 t. Baking Soda
¾ t. Sea Salt
⅔ c. Agave
⅓ c. Melted Coconut Oil
¼ c. Sucanat
1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9x13-inch pan with parchment paper; spray with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk oats, rice cereal, chickpea flour, chia seeds, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together agave, coconut oil, sucanant and vanilla until blended,
Add agave mixture to oat mixture, stirring until completely coated. Transfer mixture to prepared pan. Spray you hands with non-stick spray and press mixture down gently but firmly to compact into pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes (I did 20) or until light golden brown on top. Remove from oven and use the flat bottom of a small pan or dish to press down granola bars again. Cool in pan for 15 minutes, and then use parchment paper sling to carefully lift granola bars out onto a cutting board (you can leave them sitting on top of the parchment paper). Cool for 5 more minutes and then cut into bars. Move to a cooling rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
If you are looking for a super decadent, rich, absolutely DELICIOUS and most importantly HEALTHY chocolate cake–look no further! I can honestly say this is maybe the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had and I can only guess it has something to do with the crazy amount of avocado in it! Yes, avocado!
I just love avocado. Although you’d NEVER guess it was in this cake. All you’ll taste is chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate! Oh and some strawberry. 😉 Avocado is so great for chocolate desserts, like this Chocolate Avocado Pudding and I’ve also seen chocolate frosting recipes that use it in place of butter although I have yet to try it myself! It really is the ultimate super food!
What makes this cake even better is the fact that it is totally dairy-free, gluten-free and refined sugar-free! Enjoy a big ‘ole slice without any guilt!
½ c. Special Dark Cocoa Powder (or use another ½ cup regular)
½ t. Sea Salt
1 t. Espresso Powder
2 t. Baking Soda
1 c. Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Chunks (optional)
Chocolate Whipped Cream
1, 14.5 oz. Canned Full-Fat Coconut Cream, chilled in fridge (unopened) for at least 5-8 hours or overnight
2-3 T. Refined Coconut Oil, softened
Pinch Sea Salt
2 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
2 t. Cocoa Powder
2 T. Agave
2 Packets Truvia (or use couple teaspoons of powdered stevia, etc)
1 c. Sliced Strawberries
½ c. Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Chunks, melted
For the Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two, round 9x9-inch pans with non-stick spray and line with parchment paper.
In the bowl of an electric mixer on low speed, beat the avocado puree, xylitol, sucanat and agave until smooth. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until fully incorporated.
Beat in remaining ingredients (except chocolate chunks). Stir in dark chocolate chunks.
Divide batter evenly between the two pans--it will be VERY thick. Bake for 22-25 minutes until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
For the Chocolate Whipped Cream
Place the metal bowl and whisk of an electric mixer in the freezer for at least 30 minutes (if you don’t have an electric mixer, a bowl and whisk should work as well).
Place the thick cream part of the chilled coconut milk (you can just discard the liquid if there is any or save for smoothies, etc) into the chilled electric mixer bowl and whisk the coconut milk, coconut oil, salt, vanilla, cocoa powder, agave and truvia on medium/high speed until fully combined and thick. Refrigerate or use immediately on cake.
Remove chilled cakes from pans and peel away parchment paper. Put one cake on a large plate or cake stand. Spread ½ of the whipped on the first cake layer.
Top with the second cake layer and spread with the remaining whipped Cream
Place strawberry slices around the outer edge and drizzle with melted chocolate. Serve immediately or refrigerate covered until ready to serve.
It’s summertime and we’ve been eating lots of ice cream around here! The other day I was craving the Jamoca Almond Fudge ice cream from Baskin Robbins which I haven’t had for YEARS and decided to recreate the coffee and chocolate ice cream concoction. So I whipped up a coffee ice cream and topped it with a hot fudge sauce and some roasted almonds…all dairy and refined sugar FREE, of course.
The coffee ice cream turned out fabulous and I may share that recipe another day but for now I wanted to share this awesome Dark Chocolate Fudge Sauce! The recipe I adapted it from called it a hot fudge sauce but when I warmed it up I got it a little TOO hot and it got too thin for my liking so I did away with the “hot” part and just left it at fudge! If you warm it up just a bit, it maintains a nice, thick, creamy texture and it really is perfect on ice cream or fruit!
Free of all the nasty chemicals, refined sugar, processed oil and whatever else goes into the store-bought kind and this one is spoon-licking good! And yes, it’s totally ok to just eat it straight from the jar. 🙂
Surprise! It’s me. 🙂 Yep, I’m blogging again…a year later! I took a break to do a little something called bhsmealplans.com (ebook coming soon!) and while it was a great year of creating, testing and perfecting recipes, I’m ready to get back to blogging!
I decided to give the ‘ole blog a fresh new look (thanks to my super talented and creative hubby) and even a new direction…HEALTHY desserts! It’s my true passion and pretty much the only type of sweet anything that happens in this house most likely contains chia seeds, some kind of nut butter and agave. 😀 Whereas I used to never run out of butter, refined sugar and all-purpose flour, I don’t even keep those things stocked!
I’m super excited about the new direction for Desserted Planet and started to think about what recipe I’d debut my new-ish blog with but instead of agonizing FOREVER about the recipe I wanted to use, I decided to just do one that I make ALOT around here and my kids LOVE–Chocolate Hummus!
It’s super easy, great for dessert OR breakfast (yes we totally eat it for breakfast) and just good. Really, really good! So here you go, hope you try it and find it as incredibly yummy as we do!
Doesn’t the title of that cake just sound divine? I have always loved sweetened condensed milk and quite truthfully could eat it by the spoonful and have. Healthy, I know. So what is a sweetened condensed milk cake like? It’s…different. But in a good way!
This recipe is by one of my favorite foodie personalities, Claire Thomas, of The Kitchy Kitchen and I think she describes the cake perfectly when she says it has a sweet, eggy flavor and is like a less buttery, denser brioche. So almost like a very dense sweet bread. I did a dusting of powdered sugar and lemon zest but I think next time I’ll do a little orange zest in the batter and orange marmalade with homemade whipped cream to top it off. Or do a lemon curd with it! It’s so different and so good and just a beautiful, simple cake. Perfect Easter Sunday dessert!
Homemade Orange Marmalade (or lemon curd) (see link above)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-inch bundt pan.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs. Pour in the sweetened condensed milk and beat until pale yellow and smooth, then pour in the melted butter, salt and vanilla and beat until blended. Whisk together the flour and baking powder and with the mixer on low, add a little at a time until just incorporated. Pour into the greased bundt pan and bake for 60-75 minutes ( mine took 60) until cake is slightly browned and a tester comes out clean. Let cool completely and remove from pan. Top with powdered sugar and citrus zest and serve with lemon/orange curd and homemade whipped cream.
This recipe was inspired my two things: 1. The abundance of strawberries AND strawberry recipes right now and 2. my brand spankin’ new cupcake carrier! That’s right, I FINALLY am the proud owner of a collapsible cupcake carrier (yes, I had to improvise for quite awhile to transport them!) all thanks to my boss. A couple of weeks ago it was Administrative Assistant’s Day and my boss was out of town so obviously I knew I wouldn’t get anything and it wasn’t a big deal to me. But he got back the Friday of that week and when I came back from lunch, this beauty was sitting on my desk. Ain’t she purty? And can I just say this thing ROCKS?? It’s both a cake and a cupcake carrier. I was a little skeptical it would work, but it totally does and I highly recommend getting one if you don’t have one yet!
As for the recipe, do you know how hard it is to find a strawberry cake recipe that doesn’t call for strawberry Jello and a white cake mix? It’s dang near impossible! But a couple of years ago and did manage to find one and for the life of me I can’t remember the website I got the recipe from but all I know is it’s titled Katie’s Strawberry Cake, so whoever Katie is, thank you!! I was so happy when I found the recipe that I made it three times within two weeks…yes, it’s that good.
The method of this cake is a little different because you beat the butter into the dry ingredients and then add the liquid but have no doubt, it totally works. I absolutely loved these cupcakes…there were small pieces of fresh strawberry in every other bite and the chocolate cream cheese frosting was to-die-for. The only thing I’d do different is maybe just leave the chocolate out of the frosting next time and do a plain, vanilla cream cheese frosting, as the strawberry cake is such a delicate flavor it almost overpowers it. But it’s still delicious.
If you are looking for a true “from scratch” strawberry cake, look no further! This one definitely fits the bill.
Simple Strawberry Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
1 c. Strawberry Puree, room temperature (see below for recipe)
¼ c. Whole Milk, room temperature
6 Large Egg Whites, room temperature
1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
2¼ c. Cake Flour
1¾ c. Granulated Sugar
4 t. Baking Powder
1 t. Salt
12 T. (1½ sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened and cut into 1" chunks
2 c. Sliced Strawberries
2 T. Granulated Sugar
Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
1 Stick Unsalted Butter, softened
1, 8 oz. Cream Cheese, cold
¼ c. Crisco
¼ t. Salt
3 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
5 c. Powdered Sugar
4 oz. Unsweetened Chocolate, melted
For the Strawberry Puree
Place strawberries and sugar in food processor or blender and puree.
For the Strawberry Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin tins with 24 cupcake liners.
In a small bowl, combine the strawberry puree, milk, egg, vanilla and whisk well. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and whisk thoroughly. Beat the butter into the dry ingredients on low speed and mix until combined and resembling moist crumbs.
Add liquids to the butter/flour mixture and beat a medium speed for about one minutes or until evenly combined. Stop mixer, scrape down sides of bowl and beat for 30 more seconds. Place three tablespoons of batter into each muffin tin.
Bake cupcakes for 18-20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool for a few minutes and then remove from pans and let cool completely.
For the Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
Cream the butter, shortening, cream cheese, salt and extracts on medium speed until combined. Beat in the powdered sugar and then the melted chocolate and beat until combined (do NOT overbeat or the cream cheese will break down). Frost cupcakes with chocolate cream cheese frosting.
Ok who hasn’t at least once dipped their fries from their favorite fast food joint into some soft-serve ice cream?? That’s right, no one! My favorite part about going to Wendy’s when I was a kid was dipping those hot, salty, crisp french fries into a cold, chocolate Frosty…no wonder I was a fat kid! I also loved dipping my chicken nuggets from McDonald’s into honey–it’s good people, trust me! Needless to say I got a total kick out of this food writer’s experimentation with some shall we say, unique dessert creations at McDonald’s. Click here to see a slideshow with all six sweet monstrosities from the home of the golden arches.
What is YOUR favorite dessert mash-up from a fast food joint??
Sometimes I make the mistake of doing, ahem, research for my blog when I’m hungry. And it never ends well. After looking at numerous varieties of desserts for this post, it was all I could do to not go into my kitchen, get a huge bowl of peanut butter, sprinkle it with dark chocolate chips and crushed graham crackers and call it dinner. But I didn’t! Instead, I had a sensible meal of garden lasagna (delicious!) and refrained from eating every bit of sugar in my house. Just a word of caution!
Any of these desserts would be GREAT for a Superbowl party. I tried to choose things that were fairly simply and not too labor intensive. After all, you’ve barely recovered from Christmas baking! I really don’t think you can go wrong with whatever recipe you choose–they’re all delicious. And next week I’ll have football themed desserts if you’re feeling a little more crafty with your baking…football shaped sweets are just too darn cute!
Looking back on the world of pastry in 2011, it was a pretty good year. But there was some not-so-good mixed in according to a few food critics. What made the list of good and bad?? Find out now!
Up first…cake pops! While cupcakes are the number one sugary obsession with just about every living, breathing human being, cake pops came in a close second during the past year. People call these things crack on a stick and eat them like they truly are!! Personally, I prefer my cake and frosting separate and in layers. But that’s just me. Read more about the “worst” food trends (including cake pops) here.
Also noted in the aforementioned article, savory sweets. Cheese and bacon cupcakes?? Salami flavored marshmallows?! Umm, no thanks! While there is a place for a touch of savory at times (think bacon maple cupcakes or beer infused baked goods), there’s a fine line between good and gross.
Speaking of beer, it became very trendy to use it in baking as noted by Serious Eats. From beer brittle to these beer and pretzel caramels, it looks like it will be making more appearances in baked goods in the future. And I have nothing against that.
Serious Eats also noted the macaron trend, perhaps my most favorite of all cookie sandwiches. This is a trend that I hope continues to grow.
Finally, a trend in Miami that some there wish would disappear…mini cupcakes. They don’t like them. Not one bit.
So what do you think about these trends?? Do you agree with the critics? I think overall 2011 was a pretty good year for desserts and I definitely can’t wait to see what 2012 has in store!
I am so in love with this pretty, pastel vintage Christmas dessert table. If only I had time to squeeze in another Christmas party before this weekend, I’d so do this. For now I’ll just have to be happy with looking at these pictures…over and over and over again.
If you’d like to see more of the photos, you can check them out here. Hope everyone is having a great week so far! Only a couple days until Christmas!
Amy Atlas has featured several baseball themed dessert tables on her blog the last few days. Seeing as how we are so close in proximity to St. Louis and (naturally) cheering on the Cardinals, I thought it’d be fun to share a few of the photos on here. Too see more, click on the link above each picture.