Raw Chocolate Coconut Slice

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
— Max Ehrmann
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Raw. Vegan. Gluten Free. Chocolate. Slice.

I am like that bad partner who comes and goes as they please, throws a lot of nice stuff your way, then leaves again. I’m hoping that y’all will keep coming back for more, but maybe you won’t. Let’s hope I can shape up and be that girlfriend you love and miss so much!

Okay, now that you know how I’m feeling and that I’m truly working on this relationship, let’s get into it. Happy New Year! 2019! Yeah! Funny thing about me—I have this weird tick when it comes to numbers. Volume on the radio has to be at certain numbers, same with the tv. If I’m running, I can’t just stop my Garmin on any number, there are specific ones I like…so yes, I’ll keep going if I’m not comfortable with the number. Same goes with times of doing things, and here we are at 2019. NINETEEN is not a number I love. Nope, don’t love 1, don’t love 9, certainly am not a fan of 1-9! I like 20, but eh that 19 really is messing with me.

That being said, I think this year is going to be gooooddd. That self care has already started to kick in, mentally and physically I’m stronger, I’m quite a bit less stressed than usual (don’t get me wrong, I am still a stressed out lil lady, but we’re improving!), and I’m even finding my work to be chill sometimes. Like enjoying it. Minus the fact that Atlanta is now cold (eye roll) for the next month, I am oh so content! Did I mention that my rough and tough New England body can’t even handle the chilly mornings that are below 35˚?! I’ve turned soft.

This has turned silly and not even a life update, not even a recipe talk, just a cool ol’ Kitkat ramble!

Okay. This recipe.

I worked on it for a MINUTE. Like, woof, over a month on this bad boy and I love it so much. The whole dairy free life has really sparked creativity in me. Also, just the fact that I now am more in tune with my digestion, I know what to eat and avoid, how to eat certain things to make my tummy less gurgly, too. Listen. To. Your. Body. Yeah, Sarah’s Day reference, get at me!

The base of this raw/vegan/gf slice is dreamy. I would just snack on it alone. OH! Idea! Let’s make it into a granola-type next time. Taking note now.The blend of nuts and seeds with a touch of sweetness from the dates, mmmm yes. And a hint of peppermint, really just calms and soothes you. Oh, and cacao powder. Toasted coconut. Duh. What a lovely match!

Next is the MOOSE. Mousse. You can’t even taste the bananas. Blew my mind when I threw this together! I wanted a creamy, smooth, luxurious mousse, and ya girl has come out on top! It’s so smooth. Like body butter smooth. YUM. And to me, it’s a spoonful of health! Or like…healthier. And sprinkle the top with basically a blizzard of toasted coconut, you got yourself a ZERT!

Here you have it, my first pride and joy of 2019. Tummy ache free, delicious, has the goods, has the seeds, has the cacao, has the oils, has it ALL! It’s also been slowly enjoyed by my roommate and I this week… so I’d say the number 19 isn’t all that bad if it’s going to start like this!

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base ingredients

Almonds—5 oz, or ¾ C

Pepitas—2 TBL

Dates—4

Toasted Coconut—1 oz, or 2/3 C

Chia Seeds—1 TBL

Maca powder—1 tsp

Flax Meal—1 TBL

Vanilla Powder—1 tsp

Pink Sea Salt—1 tsp

Cacao Powder—2 TBL

Coconut Oil—1.5 oz, or 3 TBL

Peppermint Extract—¼ tsp

 

process

Combine all of the ingredients in your blender or food processor and pulse until all ground and combined.

If you are having a tough time, add in a Tablespoon of coconut milk.

Press this into the bottom of a tart pan. You can also use a pie dish, cake pan, whatever you have that works best! The tart pan is nice because you can remove the sides.

Put in the freezer while you prep the mousse.

 

mousse ingredients

Banana—2

Coconut Milk—2 TBL

Coconut Oil—2 TBL

Cacao Powder—1.75 oz, or ½ C

Peppermint Extract—¾ tsp

Dark Chocolate—2 oz

Toasted Coconut—1 oz, or 2/3 C

 

process

In the same blender or food processor (don’t even think to clean it!), combine all of the ingredients except the toasted coconut.

Pulse until nice and smooth. You may add a splash more coconut milk if needed!

Spread this evenly over the base.

Cover with the remainder of the toasted coconut and freeze.

You may also put this in the fridge, but I prefer the ‘icebox’ bar better.

When ready to eat, remove from the freezer, slice a nice thick piece and enjoy!

 

Bon Appétit!

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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!

Crispy Chocolate Molasses Cookie Crust

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HAPPY BEST MONDAY OF THE NEXT 2 MONTHS!!

Why, you ask?—you’re probably thinking that I’m crazy..

Hmm, maybe because Thanksgiving is this week?! And that means for the next 5 weeks it’s basically a holiday celebration every. single. day. Y’all know how much I love the holidays, my husband groans when September/October comes around because I’m just going crazy with my urge to start decorating! No, no, I don’t put a tree up that early (although I do beg!), and I don’t put any Christmas lights up until November 1st, no holiday music until the middle of November…I’m not that bad!

What do I do that’s over-the-top? I light every single wintery smelling candle, I put far too many warm spices into our coffee, I break out all of the cozy sweaters and blankets, and I START BAKING ALL THINGS HOLIDAY THEMED!! How much is too much molasses to eat every single day?

So here you go, a little bit of my September-December obsession for you!

It all started when Roberto and I agreed to host Thanksgiving this year in Atlanta. The savory side of the meal doesn’t really stress me out—I can manage some sides, rolls, salad, while I throw all of the other stuff on my husband (…like the 17# turkey…). It’s the desserts that I was obviously pumped about but also got a little bit of the sweats when planning it all out. The Big 3 had to be in there: Apple, Pumpkin and Pecan. But then I’m like HAH I’m not making your typical pies, that’s ridiculous! Sooooo, yes, I have been over planning on pies this year. Ginger and bourbon apple pie—check. Caramel pumpkin pie—absolutely. And, finally, a chocolate ganache pecan pie with a chocolate molasses cookie crust.

I always love to change-up the crusts that I do for my pies, whether it’s your typical pie dough, a sweet dough crust or, like this below, a chocolate gingerbread cookie ground up into crumbs, mixed with melted butter, then pressed into the tart pan! To me, a pecan pie is just a little bit on the sweet side, so I cut the syrupy filling and swapped it with my chocolate ganache tart filling (added toasted pecans, of course!). With this change, naturally, I had to do something a bit more fun for the crust. A gingerbread crust would have been amazing, but then I was like uhhh a gingerbread cocoa crust?  YES PLEASE!

This crust is spiced like a gingerbread cookie would be, not super, super sweet like a you’d think a cookie crust would be, and then it’s got some yummy dark chocolate cocoa powder mixed in—a win in every category if you’re asking holiday-obsessed Katie!

Here you have it, a little game changer in your Thanksgiving (or holiday!) menu! It’ll definitely be something that will wow your guests, especially if you accidentally cook a dry turkey, under salt your mashed potatoes or only set the table for 9 instead of 10! So, as Thanksgiving can be a little hectic, very loud, maybe some people had more than their share of wine, and others just fall asleep before dinner is even served—this pie will always be a win!

Best enjoyed the morning of, the day after, the next 5 weeks of holiday fun, with great company, a nice deep red, and most likely your stretchiest of pants!

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ingredients

Butter—10 oz, or 1¼C

Sugar—7.25 oz, or 1C

Eggs—1

Molasses—2.5 oz, or ¼C

Honey—2 tsp

Flour—9.5 oz, or 2C

Cocoa Powder—1.5 oz, or ½C

Baking Soda—1 tsp

Cinnamon—2 tsp

Cloves—½ tsp

Ginger—1½ tsp

Nutmeg—1 tsp

Turmeric—½ tsp

Salt—1 tsp

 

Butter, melted—2 oz, or 4 TBL

Cookies, ground—6 oz, or 1.5C

Pecans, toasted—4 oz, or 1C

 

process

Sift together all of your dry ingredients—flour, cocoa, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, turmeric and salt.

In the bowl of your mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Once creamed, add in your egg, molasses and vanilla.

When all incorporated, slowly add in your dry ingredients until just combined.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour in the fridge before baking.

When you’re ready to bake the cookies, preheat your oven to 350˚ F.

Roll the cookie dough into balls about 2TBL’s in size—if you’re using them for the crust, this won’t be as important because you’ll be grinding them up!

Bake for about 12-15 minutes, until no longer ‘wet’-looking.

Allow to cool completely before grinding.

Toast your pecans in a 350˚F oven for about 8 minutes, until toasted. Cool.

When you’re ready to make your crust and tart, combine ground cookies with the melted butter.

Press crust into your tart pan, making sure that it’s about ¼” thick and even on the bottom as well as up the sides.

Bake in a 350˚F oven for about 12-15 minutes, until the crust has baked and is set.

Put all of your toasted pecans in the bottom of your cookie crust.

Make your chocolate ganache filling (found here!).

Pour into your crust and place into the refrigerator to set up for at least 6 hours.

 

Bon Appétit! 

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Whole Wheat Cookies Stuffed with Dulce de Leche

Happy New Year!

How were everyone’s holidays?!

I hope that they full of lots of family, friends, love, excitement—now let’s make 2017 even better than last!

Ohh 2016, you were quite a sassy little thing weren’t you, so moody, yet so wonderful. While there were many ups and downs, full of pounds of butter and sugar and chocolate chips, some loss, lots of growth and gain, quite a few running blisters, a wedding, a move, a new puppy, some really tough moments, followed by many unbelievably beautiful ones…I’d say 2016 is a year that will never be forgotten.

But the obvious question here: are y’all big New Year Resolution people?!

I used to be, always the normal “go to the gym more often,” “eat more whole foods,” “be more positive.” But I’ve slowly strayed away from that and moved more into the self-love: respecting yourself and your body, finding happiness, etc. One huge thing that I learned over the last year was that you can’t always control what happens, but you can control how your react to it, which is how I try and stay most centered.

So there. Voilà. My updated life outlook!

Along with that, baking will always be my most relaxing activity…I mean unless you want to include cuddling on the couch the pup and Roberto an activity…

I want this year to include a lot more wild experiments in the kitchen, whether it’s testing a recipe 500 times, or seeing how huge I can make a cookie and what silly thing I can stuff it with next, or how tall I can stack a cake, who knows—there will be no fear this year!

The first recipe of 2017 is a more simple one, slightly healthy (what’s up, whole wheat flour?!), but also packed full of homemade dulce de leche and dipped in chocolate…so nevermind with the H word.

As you know, I get random cravings, then I need to get into the kitchen and just bake until they are satisfied! Remember the caramel corn? All started with my need to go to an amusement park…sometimes I even surprise myself… Anyways! This recipe was exactly that: I wanted something salty dipped in chocolate, and a pretzel or a chip just wouldn’t do! Then it was something like oh, a cookie? But hmm, I bet it would be great stuffed with caramel, so let’s make dulce de leche! But still, hello, where’s the covered-in-chocolate part?! Right, a cookie, with all sorts of chocolate chips, a gooey inside, dipped in milk chocolate, sprinkled with salt, AND SPRINKLES!

Oh. Whole wheat flour for a slightly different taste, texture and maybe added nutrients?! It is the New Year isn’t it?           

It’s always fun to read my ridiculous thoughts, isn’t it? I did happen to bring a test batch of these cookies (that’s 30 of them…) to a relatively intimate NYE party, and they were all eaten! So, if that’s not proof that these are addicting and delicious, go grab a bottle of Champagne, then you’ll definitely be convinced!

 

ingredients

Butter (room temperature)—12 oz, or 3 sticks

Brown Sugar—12 oz, or 1 ½ C

White Sugar—4 oz, or ½ C

Eggs—3

Vanilla—2 tsp

Baking Soda—1 tsp

Salt—2 tsp

Whole Wheat Flour—17.5 oz, or 3 C

AP Flour—10.25 oz, or 2 C

Chocolate Chips—14 oz, or 2 C

Dulce de Leche—recipe here

Milk Chocolate Chips (melted)—2 cups

 

process

In the bowl of your mixer, cream together the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy.

Scrape down the sides of your bowl.

Add in the eggs and vanilla, mix until combined.

In a separate bowl, sift the flours, baking soda and salt.

With the mixer on low, slowly add in the dry ingredients.

Add in your chocolate chips.

Mix until all is combined.

Wrap the cookie dough in plastic wrap and allow to chill for at least an hour or two, until it has firmed up a bit.

While the dough is chilling, you can make your dulce de leche sauce—found here! This will take between 2-3 hours, so it’s a great time to get it done!

 

When you are ready to bake your cookies, preheat your oven to 350˚F.

By this time, your dough should have firmed up, and your dulce de leche should be finished and cooled.

Make dough balls that are about 1 oz, which is around a tablespoon—this can be eyeballed!

Flatten them out and make them into little “bowls” so that the filling will have a nice place to sit.

Put about a ½ tsp of dulce de leche in the middle.

Take another ball that is the same size, flatten and make another bowl out of it, this will be the top to your filled bottom cookie bowls.

Cover the filling with this second flattened piece, press the edges so that it seals in the dulce de leche, and then gently roll it in your hands so it makes a completely closed cookie dough ball.

This is one!

Do this with the remainder of your cookie dough and filling.

Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through.

It will be hard to tell when they are finished baking due to the color of the whole wheat flour, but they should be completely set on the edges and just slightly underbaked in the centers.

Allow to cool completely before dipping them in chocolate!

 

To make the chocolate for dipping, make a double boiler and melt about 2 cups of chocolate chips.

When the chocolate is completely melted and smooth, remove from the heat (make sure to wipe the bottom of the bowl to remove any of the warm water!), and dip each cooled cookie about halfway with chocolate.

Before the chocolate sets, sprinkle with just a little bit of salt and some sprinkles for extra color, crunch and excitement!

Whether or not you allow to chocolate to cool and set entirely…

 

Bon Appétit!