Peanut Butter Cups

"Be softer with you. You are a breathing thing, a memory to someone, a home to a life." - Nayyirah Waheed

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Continue reading if healthy dessert to change your life sparks your interest, or your tummy. I mean, that's what's up!

I don't think that I have ever been so patient and thorough with something in my life! I mean, is that so surprising? I'm rather stubborn and impatient with everything I do, because things obviously have to happen now or it's never going to get done! In all of my self love and kindness I've been practicing as of lately, patience is still something I can't seem to get a grasp on. While I'm very aware that most things, recipes included, will take many attempts, trial and errors, test batches, until you're 99% satisfied with it (because, I mean, we can always improve, right?!), I always want the first try to be perfect, no matter what it is!

Take my running for example. When I signed up for my first marathon, I was 100% sure that I could qualify for Boston because I could keep that pace for 10 miles, so why not 26.2? HAH yeah Katie, joke is on you. It's going to take some damn work! Heck, even when I'm doing any type of cross-training work, at the end I'm always like Hey, why don't I have ripped arms and a 6 pack? ... seriously, Katie, patience. The same goes for just about everything with me. You could throw me in a boxing ring, hand me a book in another language, ask me to plant an entire vegetable garden, and I'll almost always feel the urge to get it correct on the first try. What happens when I don't? I give up for a few days, then say some nice things to myself and go back to it, humbled a bit and feeling renewed.

One would think that after doing this on repeat - like Drake's Nice For What has been on for about 5 days - I would finally learn, but hey, go figure that self compassion takes a minute! That is your lesson for the day: be kind to yourself, have a bit of patience, don't be so damn judgmental with every little, or big, thing you do that isn't perfect. If I was perfect all of the time, didn't trip over myself, spill food and drinks constantly, never ever chaffed when I ran, always remembered to put on deodorant... then I think that would be a bit dull! Mistakes are good, they're learning experiences, they help shape you, figure out your strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, make you human! 

SO. After that, what I'm trying to say is that these raw peanut butter cups are my little patience victory! I tested out 4+ recipes, I ate 4+ recipes...that's a lot of nuts in a weeks time! After lots of tiny tweaks, these are near perfect. Honestly, I even count these as a healthy snack. The base is very granola bar-esque: lots of nuts, lots of seeds, spices, a touch of sugar - I'd eat that all on its own! The filling, just nut butter + coconut sugar + coconut water = YES PLEASE! And a drizzle of chocolate on the top. Yum. This satisfies your sweet and salty cravings without a doubt. I like using pink Himalayan salt, the bigger chunks, and just breaking it down slightly in the food processor. This allows for you to get some rather salty bites, but with a sweeter filling, it's exactly what is needed! I love to keep these in the freezer, makes it more dessert-like to me! Also, it's beginning to get hot AF in this beautiful southern part of the country, so I'll take everything on ice!

Two raw desserts in a row? I know, weird, right?! As I'm learning more about my body and the things it just cannot digest anymore I'm slowly starting to learn what actually makes me feel amazing! Sure, a Reese's PB Cup is incredible, having 1, 2, or 8 won't kill me if it's not every day, but how about I recreate it to be nutrient packed, healthy and still have the same flavors? Girl, I do not see ANY harm in this, especially if my husband eats them two at a time!

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base ingredients

Almonds—½ cup

Cashews—¾ cup

Hemp seeds—2 TBL

Chia Seeds—1 TBL

Cinnamon—1 ½ TBL

Coconut Sugar—1 ½ TBL

Maca Powder—½ tsp

Collagen Powder—1 scoop

Pink Sea Salt—½ tsp

 

filling ingredients

Nut Butter—2/3 Cup

Coconut Sugar—1 ½ TBL

Coconut Water—¼ Cup

 

topping ingredients

Chocolate—3 oz, or 1 bar

Coconut Oil—1 tsp

 

process

In your food processor, pulse together all of your base ingredients.

Feel the mixture to make sure that when you press together with your fingers it holds, but that it isn’t so wet that liquid is dripping.

Press into the bottom of a muffin pan, spring-form pan or whatever pan works best for you! I have found the putting these into a muffin pan works best for a little bit of portion control…

Freeze for ~1 hour.

For the filling, again, add all of the filling ingredients into the food processor. Pulse until combined.

Always taste this part before adding on top of your base. If you are using a simple nut butter that has very minimal ingredients, including sugar, you may want to add in a teaspoon+ more of the coconut sugar. Also, depending on how thick your nut butter is when you first start, you might want to add in more coconut water. The goal here is to have the filling be a bit looser/creamier so when you freeze it, it is not difficult to bite into.

Pour on top of your base, spread evenly—if you have used the muffin pan, start with 1½ teaspoons of the filling for each, then distribute whatever is left evenly at the end.

Freeze ~1 hour.

For the topping, melt the chocolate and coconut oil over a double boiler.

Once completely melted and combined, drizzle over your peanut butter cups. If you have made this in a full pan instead of the muffin pan, just pour all of the chocolate over the filling, spread to cover evenly.

Freeze ~1 hour.

Pop out, cut and enjoy!

Yield: 1 dozen

 

Bon Appétit!

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Truffles

Happy New Year, my friends!

I hope that everyone’s end of the year was as spectacular and restful as mine. A two-week break from work, spending some much needed time with my family in Maine, snuggling my two dogs, and ringing in the New Year with my fiancé, I couldn’t have asked for a more wonderful vacation! Another plus? It snowed a lot while I was home! Well, one day and one blizzard, but enough for us to be stuck in the house for most of it! The dogs absolutely loved it (see Instagram) and it gave us all an excuse to lounge around for the day.

So, while Christmastime is by far one of my favorite times of the year, cue Michael Bublé and Elf and Gingerbread houses, I am pretty excited for 2016! I mean, I’m getting MARRIED this year!

What?!!?

Yes. Eight and a half months away!! You could say that I’m kinda sorta super duper excited about it!—even had my first dress fitting and met with our wedding cake maker over the holidays…which included over an hour of stuffing my face with multiple kinds of cake/buttercream/filling combos…

So 2016 is going to be amazing with just the wedding alone! What else is new about this year? Oh, well I started a KBB Dessert of the Month Club! (Inquire if interested!) Each month I’ll be sending out a lovely package full of homemade baked goodies, my own recipes, and many not posted to the website (just yet), but some will be—including the recipe below!

How did I decide to start the DOTM Club? While I believe that anyone can truly bake anything, posted on my site and others, sometimes you really just 1. Don’t have time, 2. Just aren’t too into baking, but love to eat desserts, or 3. Love to get yummy, homemade goodies sent to you! And so was born this fabulous little club.            (For January, I am sending out some to die for coconut macaroons as well as these simply delectable Oatmeal Raisin Truffles! )

To me, January is all about two things: getting back into your healthy habits (aka less gingerbread, more kale) and staying cozy while the temperature drops to -10˚F. The Oatmeal Raisin Truffles are more on the guilt free end of the spectrum of many of my desserts. They are bite size (so try and restrain yourself from eating the entire 4 dozen batch) and they are relatively low in the fat and sugar department, because, to bind properly, I’ve loaded them with a LOT of oats and a TON of raisins! And to finish, coating them in a dark chocolate is optional!

Yes, it’s cookie dough, yes it’s a dessert, but you really only need to eat 1, maybe 2, to feel satisfied! While this recipe may not be a beet-kale protein smoothie, it is a spice-packed, fiber-filled oatmeal raisin cookie truffle that’ll satisfy the start to your amazing 2016!


ingredients

Butter, room temperature—4 oz, or ½ C

Brown Sugar—5.25 oz, or ¾ C

Vanilla Extract—0.2 oz, or 1 tsp

Milk—2 oz, or ¼ C

Flour—4.25 oz, or 2/3 C

Salt—0.1 oz, or ½ tsp

Cinnamon—0.1 oz, or 1 tsp

Nutmeg—¼ tsp

Oats—6 oz, or 2 C

Raisins—4 oz, or ¾ C

Chocolate—8 oz

Butter—1 TBL

Sprinkles—optional


process

Cream together the butter and brown sugar.

Add the milk and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, oats and raisins.

Slowly add into your creamed mixture.

Once you have combined all of the ingredients, and a dough has formed, scoop out into whatever size truffle that you’d like.

You may either use a small scoop or a scale, like I prefer to do. I weigh each ball into 0.5 ounces, just the right size to pop into your mouth!

Place all of your scooped dough onto a sheet tray lined with parchment or a Silpat and put into the refrigerator to firm up, for about an hour.

When you’re ready to dip your truffles, make a double boiler using a medium sized pot filled with about an inch of water, and then a heat safe bowl on top. Make sure that the water is not directly touching the bottom of the bowl; you do not want to scorch your chocolate!

Turn the burner onto medium-low heat.

In the bowl, place your chocolate and butter, making sure to stir every few minutes so that the chocolate melts evenly.

Once melted, begin to dip your chilled cookie dough truffles.

You may either dip the entire ball, or just half, whatever you’d like!

I then put a little bit of sprinkles on top of each truffle before the chocolate sets, because, well, why not!

Allow the chocolate to firm up, and enjoy!


Bon Appétit!

Peanut Butter Marshmallow Candy

Merry Christmas! Too soon? It is December, so, for me, it’s Christmas all month long!

I wanted to kick off this holiday baking month with some “candy” that my mom makes each year for Christmas. Traditionally, my mom makes these with a thick peanut butter crust and a layer of chocolate on top. I added some homemade marshmallows between those two layers to kick it up a notch, to turn my moms PB Candy into PB Fluff Candy! Or could we call it S’mores Candy?

Let’s stick with PB Fluff—bring back some of those happy childhood times when you would open your lunchbox up to a peanut butter and fluff sandwich!

Anyways, let’s stop being sidetracked by childhood nostalgic moments...

Each year for Christmas, my mom will make at least two pans of this incredible candy. Usually, it will go out as gifts with some other homemade breads and cookies, wrapped in adorable tins with snowmen on them, spreading endless cheer. Other times, my brothers and I will eat so much that we get stomachaches, but it’s worth it.

First off, who doesn’t love peanut butter?!(—another nut butter can be substituted!) But peanut butter. You can eat it by the spoonful, you can put it on toast, you can eat it by the spoonful, you can cover fruit in it. Yeah, endless possibilities, and you can turn it into a thick, wonderfully sinful crust that you will eat 10 pieces too many of. Sounds magical, huh?

Want some homemade marshmallows on top? This recipe from over the summer is OH so simple, and makes this candy that much more fabulous. Final piece of this delicious puzzle? A melted butter and chocolate glaze—as you know peanut butter and chocolate ARE a match made in dessert heaven!

While this may not be coated in candy canes or be a cute little gingerbread man that you can decorate with icing and sprinkles, this is such a fabulously tasty peanut butter fluff candy that can be given as gifts, enjoyed at holiday parties, or just quietly eaten in the corner with a fork…

I would say go ahead, make a batch, but I think that saying make three batches is going to be your safest bet—you will not want to run out of this candy at any point during this absolutely magical month of December!

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ingredients

Butter (melted)—12 oz, or 1 ½ C

Peanut Butter—17.5 oz, or 2 C

Confectioner’s Sugar—22.5 oz, or 4 ½ C

Graham Cracker Crumbs—1.5 oz, or ½ C

Oats—4.5 oz, or 1 ¼ C

Marshmallows—Recipe found here, or 1 bag (fluff can be used, too!)

Butter—4 oz, or ½ C

Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips—12 oz, or 2 C


process

In a large bowl, combine the 12 oz of melted butter, peanut butter, confectioner’s sugar, graham cracker crumbs and oats.

Mix until a dough forms.

Press into the bottom of a 9” x 13” pan.

Next, whether you have decided to just use store bought marshmallows, or my homemade marshmallow recipe (super simple!), layer this on top next.

This homemade marshmallow recipe will take only about 20-25 minutes to make. It’s so quick and easy, and who won’t be impressed by them??!

In a heatproof bowl, melt together the 4 oz or butter and chocolate chips either in your microwave or over a double boiler.

Once melted and mixed, pour over your marshmallows.

Allow to set and cool.

Cut and enjoy!


Bon Appétit!

Sweet and Salty Buttercrunch

As Halloween is quickly approaching and I have stuffed my face with enough candy corn, M&M’s and Reese’s Cups for at least a large family, I decided that enough is enough—I must make my own Halloween candy!

For some reason, holiday candy seems to taste that much better to me than if I was to buy the same exact thing at any other time during the year. Something about the packaging, how the stores are decorated, the bite sized candies, really gets me! Since moving into our new apartment that is actually in a neighborhood with potential trick-or-treaters, I figured that there was the possibility of having kids stop by (but who am I kidding, children won’t come into our apartment building…). With the disappointment of not being able to have a creepy candy bowl filled with all sorts of goodies—tootsie rolls were always my weakness—I thought why not have a jar filled with some homemade buttercrunch toffee to munch on well before and after this costume filled evening.

This candy is oh so simple and about 100x more delicious. Butter, sugar, water and a little bit of vanilla (substitute in some bourbon for an adult appropriate Halloween treat) are what make up this sweet and crunchy bite. What else is so great about this homemade candy? You can top it with whatever you choose! Whether leaving it au natural or dressing it up, your taste buds will thank you. To be honest, it is Halloween, where dressing up is pretty magical (minus ages 18-22), so why not give your buttercrunch some flair as well! Covered with melted chocolate, sprinkled with cinnamon, salt and toasted pepitas, your candy has a pretty tasty costume!

While the days of being part of Josie and the Pussycats, a gypsy or Baby Spice are long gone, I would say my adult celebration of homemade candy, a Punkin Ale and a thriller with my fiancé is a pretty great trade!

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ingredients

Butter—4 oz, or 1 stick

Sugar—4 oz, or ½ C

Water—0.75 oz, or 2 TBL

Salt—pinch

Vanilla Extract—0.15 oz, or 1 tsp

 

Chocolate, 70%—2 oz

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds—½ C

Salt—1 TBL

 

process

In a small saucepan, melt the butter.

Add in the sugar, water and salt; stir.

At medium heat and while constantly stirring, cook your toffee until it reaches 295˚ F.

Remove from the heat and add in your vanilla.

*To make this toffee a little unique, replace the vanilla with an equal amount of bourbon!*

Pour onto a sheet pan that has been lined with parchment or a silpat.

Spread quickly with a spatula and allow to set.

Once the candy has set, blot with a towel to pick up any oil that has come to the surface.

Make a double boiler using a small saucepan filled with water and a heat proof bowl.

Place your chocolate in the bowl and, over low heat, melt the chocolate.

I like to use a dark chocolate between 70%-80% to cover this candy. The toffee is so wonderfully sweet, that a darker chocolate gives balance to the end result.

Once the chocolate has melted, pour over your toffee and spread with an offset spatula.

Sprinkle with salt and toasted pumpkin seeds! (To toast the seeds, spread on a sheet pan and put in an oven set at 300˚ F for about 8-10 minutes.)

Once the chocolate has set, break apart the toffee in large or small random sized pieces and enjoy!

 

Bon Appétit!