Chocolate Peanut Butter Freezer Fudge

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I try to be healthy. I really do. But sometimes, you have a day that begs for chocolate peanut butter fudge, and you just have to go with it.

And why not, when it’s as delicious and easy as this is? No oil, no dairy, only a minor little bit of sugar from the dark chocolate chips. It’s vegan, gluten-free, and even (mostly) Paleo, if you use another nut butter instead of the peanut butter (hazelnut, maybe). Continue reading

Flourless Chocolate Cake

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I had this photo on my phone of a flourless chocolate cake that was haunting me. I knew I’d made it sometime last spring, shortly after the huge annual fundraiser at my last job. But I could not find the recipe for the life of me.

The picture wasn’t even good — the color was off, and it was blurry because I had just gotten my phone and was still figuring out how to work the camera. The cake itself looked great, though, rich and dark and maybe just a little gooey. The only problem was that I had no idea where I had gotten the recipe.

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Best Recipes of 2014

You guys all have a sweet tooth, you know that? I went to look up my Top Ten Recipes of 2014 and was floored by the fact that of the 10 most-viewed recipes, seven were desserts.

Not that I am complaining, by any means. If you are like me, you’re always looking for sweets with less guilt. Without further ado, I bring you — the most-viewed recipes of 2014!

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Grasshopper Bars

These little Paleo beauties combined avocado, coconut and dark chocolate for a festive bar that tastes like spring. They also just so happen to be vegan (if you use maple syrup and not honey).

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Prune Spice Cake

This one stunned me. Prune cake, you guys? But I bet you loved the spicy, dense cake with the date caramel frosting. Paleo, gluten-free and grain-free.

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Greek Zoodle Salad

This one is also Paleo, vegan and gluten-free! Though, um, if you are not Paleo, I suggest putting a little feta on it. I replaced the pasta in Greek pasta salad with zucchini noodles, boosting your veggie quotient. You are welcome

Mulligatawny

Credit for this one goes to Michelle Tam of Nom Nom Paleo. I think it’s delicious, and you guys must have agreed!

Secret Brownies

Gluten-free brownies that are almost Paleo — most of the sugar is replaced with prunes and apple juice. Shhhh.

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Homemade Fig Newtons

Dare I say it? These are almost better than those that come from the store. Paleo, vegan and gluten-free.

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Fig Butter

Inspired by a trip to Trader Joe’s, this fig butter is the reason I made the Fig Newtons in the first place. Yum yum yum.

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Bee Sting Bars

I love these so much, and I’m glad you liked them, too! Honey and almonds spread over a Paleo, gluten-free shortbread.

The Best Gluten-Free Brownies

Oh yeah. My favorite brownie recipe ever, made gluten-free. Enjoy!

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Kale with Balsamic and Bacon

Thank you all for overlooking that terrible, terrible photo and pressing on to enjoy the deliciousness that is kale sauteed with bacon, mushrooms and balsamic vinegar.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Welcome to Comfort Food Week! This week, I have three recipes designed to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, even though it might be cold and sad and disgusting outside. Part one is here; part two is here

Did you ever have one of those days where you have no idea what you want? I had a very scattered day this weekend when I couldn’t decide what kind of cookies I wanted to make. I wanted Snickerdoodles, but also chocolate chip, wait, maybe oatmeal — wait, I didn’t want any cookies, because if I had any cookies in my house, I was going to eat every single one of them by myself. And then probably explode.

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So I compromised. I took my best, most decadent chocolate chip cookie recipe, subbed in gluten-free baking flour, halved the sugar and replaced part of it with maple syrup, added oatmeal (for fiber, I guess) and used a little of the almond flour I had lying around.

I don’t pretend that this process made sense, only that it resulted in a delicious cookie. Crispy from the maple syrup but moist from the almond flour, these little babies will make you so happy that I was so indecisive. Plus, I mean, how guilty can you feel? There’s oatmeal in there.

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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
Author: Kate Wutz
Serves: 16 cookies
Ingredients
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • 12 ounces chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat butter, sugar and syrup in a stand mixer until thoroughly combined and creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. Gently stir in flours, salt, baking powder and baking soda until combined. Fold in oats and chocolate chips.
  4. Scoop dough onto baking sheets with a 1/4 cup (or 2 ounce) scoop or measuring cup. Bake for 18 minutes, or until perfectly golden brown but not cracked on the top. Remove from oven; allow to cool on pan for two minutes. Remove from pan VERY CAREFULLY and transfer to wire rack. Allow to cool completely before storing.
 

 

 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

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I don’t know who came up with pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, but that person was a genius. Sweet, rich chocolate with the nutritional benefits of pumpkin? Yes, please. 

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These delicious muffins are the best of both worlds. Yeah, they’re vegan and gluten-free (though not Paleo). Yes, they involve flax seed and vitamin-rich pumpkin and applesauce. Yes, they rely on maple syrup and the applesauce for sweetness, meaning they are also mostly free of refined sugar (except the little bit in the dark chocolate). 

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But they are also muffins that are more like cupcakes than anything else. Chocolate chips stud these babies and, if you eat them warm out of the oven or warm them up before serving, melt all over the place into little bomb of goodness. Totally dessert-worthy but healthy enough that you can enjoy them for breakfast or an afternoon snack. Awesome. 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
 
Author: Kate Wutz
Serves: 12
Vegan and gluten-free pumpkin chocolate chip muffins — healthy enough for breakfast, delicious enough for dessert.
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp ground flax seed
  • 6 Tbsp of water
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pie mix)
  • 1/2 cup applesauce (homemade or unsweetened from the store)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 2/3 cups gluten-free flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Whisk together ground flax seed and water, then place in the fridge for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and either line a muffin tin or grease the cups. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, applesauce, and maple syrup. Add flax mixture, and whisk well to combine.
  3. Gently stir in flour, baking soda, and baking powder until just incorporated. Gently stir in chocolate.
  4. Distribute batter among muffin cups, using about 1/4 cup of batter for each. Sprinkle with extra chocolate chips, if desired.
  5. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each muffin comes out clean (with maybe some melted chocolate on it). Let cool on wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
 

 

Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Snack Cake

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Claims that you can get a semi-healthy chocolate fix should always be met with skepticism, especially when they come in TV commercial form.

The ad for supposedly healthy chocolate cereal always makes me mad, even as the woman seems to be enjoying it sooooo much. First, that cereal has so many additives it’s actually amazing there’s anything recognizable on the ingredients list at all. Second, there is definitely not enough chocolate in there to satisfy anyone’s cravings.

This snacking cake, however, delivers on the promise of a dessert fix that’s not awful for you and that has a rich, dense, chocolate flavor that will kill any sweet tooth cravings you might have. Plus, it has hidden vegetables! So you can totally have your cake and eat it. A lot of it. Stuff your face with it.

And don’t feel guilty about it. The cake is so moist and dense because of the applesauce that stands in for oil and some sugar and the zucchini that I desperately needed to use up. The cake is also full of flax, with a minimal amount of sugar and with absolutely no gluten, eggs, soy, or dairy. It’s not Paleo, though. Sorry, Paleo people.

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If you like, bake this in an 8×8 pan and slather it with vegan frosting for a festive celebratory cake. Or just bake it in a loaf pan, like I did, and keep sneaking back for slivers every hour. You know, to even it out.

Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Snack Cake
 
Author: Kate Wutz
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp ground flax seed
  • 6 Tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (or coconut, or whatever you want–you can even use 1/4 cup honey)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup gluten free baking flour (such as Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1/3 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips (compliant, such as Guittard’s)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine flax with water in a large bowl. Whisk, then refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  3. When flax has gelled, whisk in applesauce, sugar, vanilla, zucchini, and cocoa powder.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine gluten-free flour, almond flour, salt, and baking powder. Stir into cocoa batter just until combined, Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Bake in 350 degree oven for 50 to 65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (though maybe with a little melted chocolate on it from the chips). Cool in pan for a few moments, then cool on a wire rack until completely room temperature. Serve, or store wrapped in plastic cling wrap in fridge for up to four days.
 

 

Peanut Butter Cup Vegan Cheesecake


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Typically, I’m pretty skeptical of vegan cheesecakes. “Cheese” is right in the name — isn’t it fooling with the order of nature to try to make it vegan? I have the same feelings about vegan mac and cheese. Doesn’t “creamy butternut squash pasta,” a more accurate name, sound better?

But I digress. And when a friend sent out a Facebook message asking someone to try a vegan peanut butter cheesecake recipe, I couldn’t back down from a challenge. It seems she wanted someone to work out the kinks for her before she attempted it — which was a good instinct, as I found out. The original version had huge problems ranging from a flawed crust to an overly-complicated topping and a huge reliance on dates, to the detriment of the flavor.

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