Category Archives: CHOCOLATE!

Vegan Dark Chocolate

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This is my initiation post, so I thought it would be fitting to share a couple of things about myself.  First of all, I really like eating healthy.  I love working out and running and eating well because it makes me feel good.  Second, I REALLY love chocolate.  Especially DARK chocolate.  Almost anything with chocolate in it is irresistible to me.  I think most of my teeth are sweet teeth.


You may think these two loves are contradictory.  For a long time, I did too.  But do they have to be???  I’ve recently been learning a lot about nutrition from my boyfriend, Tim.  He’s a personal trainer who is way more committed to eating healthy than any sane person should be. But, he showed me that one of the keys to a healthy diet is making sure you get enough of the “good” fats. WHAAAAAAT??? There are good fats!?!?  Good fats are like a fun little diet cheat code.  There are even some diets that require you to eat a tablespoon of oil twice a day… it’s pretty gross, don’t try it. Anyway, healthy fat is found in things like avocados, coconut oil, olives, and nuts.   I think fat gets a bad rap because of it’s unfortunate name. But, contrary to popular belief, fat doesn’t make you fat!  When used in moderation, it can actually aid in weight loss! Maybe we should rename it “phat” so people will think it’s cool again.  Really the only two things you need to be cautious about is making sure it’s the right kind of fat (not the grease dripping off your pizza, unfortunately), and to regulate the amount (because it is calorie dense, but still crucial to a healthy diet).

So, one day I remembered this recipe from my good friend, Mr. Fleisher. Back when I was in college, he would make me this heavenly freezer chocolate.  The only ingredients are coconut oil, cocoa powder (antioxidants), and a little bit of honey! It occurred to me… that fits my macros!  It’s a great way to get healthy fat in my diet AND curb my abundant chocolate cravings!

It’s a super simple recipe with just 4 ingredients that you probably already have. Plus, it’s easy to adjust amounts because it works off ratios!  People are always saying “try this recipe, it’s THE BEST.”  But they just say that.  THIS ONE REALLY IS THE BEST!  If you like chocolate, you have to try it.  That is all.  If you don’t try it, it really doesn’t affect me.  But I just always have this in my freezer and I think it could easily be a staple for your family too.  🙂

Between my brother and me, chocolate doesn’t last long at our house.

Before I give you the map to paradise (aka, the recipe), just a few things.  You can easily change the sweetness by adjusting the honey.  It won’t effect the chocolate setting up.  If you like it dark, add less honey.  If you don’t like bitter chocolate, add more! — it’s that simple.

I usually make a 1-1-0.25 ratio of coconut oil, cocoa powder, and honey.  That is sweet enough for most dark chocolate lovers.  However, I believe the original recipe was a 1-1-1 ratio (very sweet).  If you aren’t sure where you fall, I would recommend making a smallish amount the first time for a taste test.

The second thing is that you can get creative with the flavorings!  It’s fun to add sliced almonds or chopped pecans, and you don’t have to use boring old vanilla.  If you want to get really crazy, there are a plethora of flavors to choose from!  Orange, Baileys, Jack, caramel… just use your imagination.

Finally, I would LOVE to see someone try this recipe in a cute little mold! Someday I’m going to grow up, get fancy, and invest in some nice molds, but for now I’ll eat chocolate no matter what shape it’s in.  However, if you are one of those “Pinterest Perfect” people that I envy,  PLEASE send a picture or leave a comment of the mold you use!  I know you’ll enjoy this recipe as much as I have!

 Abby Hughes

Vegan Dark Chocolate
 
Prep time
Total time
 
A delightful not-too-sweet treat to always keep on hand.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert, Snack
Serves: 15 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 TB vanilla
Instructions
  1. Line two sheet pans with wax paper or parchment.
  2. Melt the coconut oil over low heat just until almost melted.
  3. Whisk the honey into the coconut oil for about a minute until the honey is warm and all the coconut oil is melted and well mixed. Take off heat [if it gets too hot it will get grainy (seize)].
  4. Whisk in the cocoa powder and vanilla.
  5. Pour chocolate onto the prepared sheet to evenly distribute into a thin sheet.
  6. Freeze on a level shelf until the chocolate is set. Break into pieces and store in a sealed container in the freezer.
  7. Enjoy!
Notes
Also works well in cute little molds, but I really like the texture and melt-in-your-mouth effect of the thin chips.

 

 

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies

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No bake cookies platedAm I the only baker on the planet who has never made these awesome chocolate and peanut butter no bake cookies?  A few weeks ago my sous-chef dishwashing mom and I delivered a panful of PW cinnamon rolls to our friend Julie.  Julie had given us fresh

PW Cinnamon Rolls

garden tomatoes the day before and we needed to return her basket.  In keeping with true southern tradition (never return a plate, or garden box, empty) we included some fresh-out-of-the-oven cinnamon rolls with our return.


When Julie returned our cinnamon roll pan she included No Bake Cookies!  (Aren’t we lucky?!)
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White Chocolate Cheese Ball

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White Chocolate Cheese Ball
White Chocolate Cheese Ball

My sous-chef dish-washing mom came home from Community Bible Study all excited with a recipe in hand!  “You’ve just got to make this” she said.

Our friend Barbara made this dessert cheese ball for a fellowship lunch.  Everyone went wild over the surprised rich white chocolate liberally mixed together with a fine vanilla extract.  Cream cheese and butter are the base for the ball and then finely chopped pecans round it all out.

belvita
Barbara served this delectable dessert on graham crackers and mom said it was great.  We decided to serve them on belVita crackers and I highly recommend it.  Wow, what a lovely dessert.   Add a little fruit on the side and this is a home run!


The cream cheese could easily be colored green for St. Patrick’s Day, red for Valentine’s Day or Christmas and  even blue for the 4th of July!

white chocolate cheese ball and crackersI’ve been totally out of touch with my blog lately while giving daily attention to this one.  This recipe is just too good not to send out to you!

Happy Spring!  Enjoy the cheese ball!
Blessings, Catherine

White Chocolate Cheese Ball
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Sweet surprises wait inside this wonderful dessert cheese ball!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 1 cheese ball
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup butter, softened, (not margarine)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup confectioner sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips, chopped fine
  • ¾ cup finely chopped pecans
  • Graham crackers of belVita crackers
Instructions
  1. Beat softened cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until fluffy.
  2. Gradually add sugar until well combined.
  3. Add in chocolate chips.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  5. Place cream cheese mixture on a large piece of plastic wrap. Shape into a ball and wrap completely in the plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or longer.
  6. Remove from refrigerator and roll in crushed pecans.
  7. This makes one large ball and can be divided into two smaller ones.
  8. Serve with graham crackers or a favorite sweet cracker.
Notes
<span></span>This cheese ball mixes in a couple of minutes in a food processor!

Adding food color to the mixture will add a festive touch for St. Patrick's Day (green), red dye for Valentine's or Christmas or even blue dye for the 4th of July!

I like to serve with brown sugar and cinnamon belVita crackers. Just delicious!

 

 

Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies

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mocha chocolate chip down

Thank you to all of my readers who have sent emails, left comments, and have taken the time to share words of encouragement for my nephew, Richard.  In case you missed it you might want to read “You Really Aren’t Going To Believe This”.

I decided it is time I get back to some sweet blogging.  2016 seems to be running at Mach speed in my life and this weekend I intend to slow it down a notch! So, let’s make cookies!


TWD Cookie Tower
Last fall I wanted to take cookies to a friend who was under the weather.  I remembered a particularly delicious cookie recipe that comes from Dorie Greenspan’s book Baking With Julia.

Alice Mocha Choclate Chip Cookies

I asked my sous-chef dishwashing mom if she would mind making the cookies.  She quickly said YES and away she went with the project.
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