Creamy Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Yields: 24 bars

Crust:
2 c graham cracker crumbs
1/2 c sweet ground chocolate and cocoa
1/2 c butter, melted
2 TBS sugar

Topping:
16 oz. cream cheese
1 c sugar
1/2 c creamy peanut butter
3 TBS flour
4 eggs
1/2 c milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 bar (2 oz.) milk chocolate baking bar, broken into 1″ pieces
1/2 tsp vegetable shortening

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Crust:
1. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, ground chocolate, butter, and sugar in a large mixing bowl until well blended.
2. Press the mixture onto the bottom of an ungreased 9″ x 13″ baking pan.
3. Bake 8 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

Topping:
1. In large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, peanut butter, and flour until well blended.
2. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixture well after each addition.
3. Blend in the milk and the vanilla extract.
4. Pour the topping into the crust and bake 40 minutes.
5. Let cool completely in pan on wire rack.
6. Melt the chocolate pieces and vegetable shortening in a double boiler over hot, but not boiling, water.
7. Stir occasionally until smooth.
8. Spread the melted chocolate evenly over the cooled bars.
9. Chill approximately 10 minutes, just until the chocolate layer is partially set.
10. Score the chocolate layer with a sharp knife, forming squares, and return the pan to the refrigerator.
11. Chill 30 minutes, or until firm. Ct through the bars and serve. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Yield: 1 loaf

1 1/4 c sugar
1 c vegetable oil
1/2 c water
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 c flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 c shredded zucchini
2 bars (8 0z.) milk chocolate baking bar, broken into 1/4″ pieces

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Grease a 9″x5″ pan.
3. In a large bowl, mix the sugar, oil, water, eggs, and vanilla extract until blended.
4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients gradually, stirring until moistened.
6. Stir in the zucchini and chocolate pieces.
7. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly.
8. Bake 1 hour 20 minutes or until a tester comes out clean when inserted into the center of the loaf.
9. Cool the bread in pan for 15 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
10. To store, wrap tightly in aluminum foil and keep at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze.

Eggless Chocolate Banana Cake

DRY INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1 and 1/3 cup Granulated Sugar (See My Notes #2)
  • 2/3 cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
WET INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 and 1/2 cups Hot Water
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup Mashed or Pureed Bananas
PROCEDURE:
  1. Preheat the oven at 350F/180C for 15 minutes. Spray a bundt pan with non stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients and keep it aside.
  3. I pureed 2 small size bananas with little water to measure 1 cup of puree.
  4. To the flour mixture add the canola oil, hot water and vanilla extract; mix well.
  5. Now add the pureed bananas and blend thoroughly.
  6. The cake batter is quite “water-y”. Pour the batter in the prepared pan and bake for approximately from 45-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. The original recipe mentions 55-60 minutes, but mine was done after 45 minutes itself.
  7. At this stage I did see some cracks on the cake. Move the bundt pan to a cooling rack and let it cool for 10-20 minutes. Place a baking sheet on the pan and slowly invert the pan holding the sides of the sheet to remove the cake from the pan. Then carefully transfer the cake to the wiring rack and let it cool completely before you frost. I didn’t frost mine.
MY NOTES:
  1. The original recipe used all purpose flour but we did not realize that the cake was made with whole wheat pastry flour. The cake had a wonderful texture; moist but not sticky and not gritty. This can very well be a birthday cake; but I would use butter in that case.
  2. You could also increase the quantity of sugar to 1 and 1/2 cups if you are not frosting thischocolate banana cake. You could also sprinkle some chocolate chips instead. Since I wanted to make a vegan cake I did not add any. I prefer mild sweetness so the 1 and 1/3 cup was perfect.
  3. The cake was surely moist but I felt that it did not taste rich. The original recipe uses 1/2 cup of melted butter for the fat which I replaced with 1/4 cup canola oil and some mashed bananas. So I think we could use 1/4 cup of melted butter or margarine instead to give that richness. If you want to use entire 1/2 cup butter, you can reduce the quantity of mashed bananas to 3/4th cup.
  4. Update:I did try this recipe once again with all purpose flour and melted butter and it was definitely rich and good enough to qualify for a birthday cake.
  5. The next time I try this recipe I’m going to use cooked beet puree instead of mashed bananas. I’m pretty sure that its going to be so good.

Read More:http://www.egglesscooking.com/vegan-chocolate-banana-cake/

Chocolate Chunk Blondie

Ingredients
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
1 1/4 pounds semisweet chocolate chunks, such as Nestle’s

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8 x 12 x 2 inch baking pan.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on high speed for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add the vanilla, then the eggs, one at a time, and mix well, scraping down the bowl. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt and with the mixer still on low, slowly add flour mixture to the butter mixture. Fold the walnuts and chocolate chunks in with a rubber spatula.
Spread the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 30 minutes exactly. Don’t overbake! A toothpick may not come out clean. Cool completely in the pan and cut into bars.
2011, Ina Garten, All Rights Reserved

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/chocolate-chunk-blondies-recipe.html?oc=linkback

Almond Butter Cookies

Ingredients:
3/4 c sliced almonds
3/4 c sugar
3/4 c unsalted butter, sliced and softened
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp almond extract
1 2/3 c wheat flour
1/2 tsp fine salt
1 c confectioner’s sugar

Directions:
1. Pulse the almonds and sugar in a food processor until very finely ground. Add the butter and process until smooth. Add the vanilla and almond extracts. Pulse. Add flour and salt. Pulse to create dough. Turn the dough out onto a large piece of waxed paper and roll into a log about 15 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide. Wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 325 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment.
3. Cut the chilled dough into 1/2 inch pieces and roll by hand into balls. Space the cookies evenly on the prepared baking sheets and bake until slightly golden, rotating the sheets once, 15 to 20 minutes.
4. Briefly cool the cookies on a rack, then gently toss in the confectioner’s sugar until evenly coated.

Best Ever Pumpkin Muffins

from: http://lovelylittlekitchen.com/best-ever-pumpkin-muffins/

Serves: 12

Ingredients:
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 15 ounce can pure pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and place 12 paper liners into each well of your standard size muffin baking pan.
  2. Measure out the flour, sugars, baking soda, salt and spices in a medium bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin puree, coconut oil and vanilla extract.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir together. Do not over mix, just stir until everything is incorporated into the batter.
  5. It is helpful to use a large scoop (like an ice cream scoop) to evenly distribute the batter into each well. They will be nearly full. This will help give your muffins a nice puffy dome.
  6. Bake your muffins for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
Notes:
Recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

If your coconut oil is solid, warm it up a bit so that it is in liquid form.

Wacky (Chocolate Vegan) Cake

– The cake relies on the last-minute combination of vinegar and baking soda for leavening. The reaction between the two causes the batter to bubble vigorously, and thus, rise.
– The cake has to be prepared in its baking pan; otherwise it doesn’t rise nearly as well. Make wells in the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients — oil, vinegar, and vanilla — to the wells, and then add water and stir quickly (but not too much) to blend the batter just moments before you put it into the oven. Streaks of flour should remain.

Serves 6 to 8

INGREDIENTS:
1 1/2 C all purpose flour
3/4 C sugar
1/4 C natural cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
5 TBSP vegetable oil
1 TBSP distilled white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 C water
confectioners’ sugar

DIRECTIONS:
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 8-inch-square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Whisk flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt together in pan. Make one large and two small craters in dry ingredients. Add oil to large crater and vinegar and vanilla separately to remaining small craters. Pour water into pan and mix until just a few streaks of flour remain. Immediately put pan in oven.
3. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out with a few most crumbs attached, about 30 minutes. Cool in pan, then dust with confectioners’ sugar. (If tightly wrapped, cake will keep for 3 days at room temperature.)