Delicious Grain-Free Carrot Cake

There is no better way to celebrate Spring than with a light, fresh Carrot Cake! 

This dessert always makes an appearance at my family’s Easter celebration in one form or another…cupcakes, mini-bundt cakes, 6-layered round cake and this year…a sheet cake.  No matter what size or shape it takes it never disappoints!!!

I am really into sheet cakes right now…no particular reason why, but they are functional, casual and great for serving a crowd.  I also love bar recipes for the exact same reasons.  This cake recipe works for both but I do prefer the different frosting variations since the whipped frosting is a bit thinner and seems to drizzle better over the individual bars which are a little thicker than the sheet cake.

Carrot Cake Bars

Carrot Cake Bars or Sheet Cake

1 ½ cups blanched almond flour
½ tsp. sea salt
½ tsp. baking soda
½ Tbsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
3 eggs
2 Tbsp. coconut oil or butter, melted
¼ cup maple syrup
1 ½ cups carrots, grated
½ cup walnuts plus 2 Tbsp., chopped
½ cup raisins

Preheat oven to 325° F
Grease a 8×8 baking pan for bars or a 9×12 quarter sheet pan for cake and line with parchment paper
In a large bowl, combine almond flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg
In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, oil and maple syrup
Stir carrots, walnuts and raisins into wet ingredients
Stir wet ingredients into dry
Spread batter into prepared 8×8 baking pan or 9×12 sheet pan
Bake at 325° for 22 to 25 minutes
For Bars: Cool to room temperature and then turn cake out onto cutting board
Using a sharp knife, cut into 9 bars
Top cooled bars with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting and sprinkle with 2 Tbsp chopped walnuts

For Sheet Cake: Cool to room temperature and then turn cake out onto cutting board, remove parchment paper
Wipe out the sheet pan and return the cake to the clean pan
Spread Classic Cream Cheese Frosting over the top of the cooled cake, sprinkle with chopped walnuts
Serve and Enjoy!

Frosted Sheet Cake

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting (For Bars)

¾ cup heavy cream
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
¼ cup maple syrup
1 Tbsp. vanilla

Whip heavy cream until stiff
In a separate larger bowl, whip cream cheese until smooth, then blend in maple syrup and vanilla
With a rubber spatula, gently blend whip cream into cream cheese mixture
Store leftover frosting in an airtight jar in the refrigerator

Classic Cream Cheese Frosting (For Sheet Cake)

1 stick butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
¼ cup maple syrup
½ Tbsp. vanilla

In a large bowl, whip cream cheese and butter with a hand mixer until smooth, then blend in maple syrup and vanilla
Store frosting in an airtight jar in the refrigerator until ready to use

These are great un-frosted too!

This recipe is shared at:

Wednesday Extravaganza, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Whole Foods Wednesdays, Fight Back Friday, Wheat-Free Wednesday, Gluten-Free Fridays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Made From Scratch Monday,

Coffee Almond Stracciatella (Dairy-Free)

Dairy free coffee ice cream loaded with toasted almonds and Italian style chocolate chips

I know it’s the middle of winter but I’m one of those crazy people who thinks Ice Cream is a food group and should be enjoyed regularly in any season!  My fondest memories of traveling to Paris to visit my son in college are the ridiculous amount of trips we made all over town seeking out the best gelato…I tried the Stracciatella, Amorena and Pistache at each shop we visited, those are my three favorites.  This is my best attempt thus far at recreating Stracciatella.  You can easily add the Stracciatella to any flavor of ice cream you choose to make, it also goes beautifully in a cherry almond ice cream!

Coffee Almond Stracciatella

Ice cream base:

2 cans full fat coconut milk

1/2 cup coconut palm sugar (or equivalent sweetener of choice)

2 Tbsp. instant coffee (I used 2 packets of Starbucks Via)

4 egg yolks

1/4 tsp liquid stevia

2 Tbsp. dark rum (optional)

Mix-Ins:

3/4 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted

4 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped and melted

Heat the coconut milk, sugar and instant coffee in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Stir until the sugar and coffee are dissolved and the mixture reaches 170 degrees.  In a separate bowl whisk together egg yolks, stevia and rum until smooth.  Temper the egg yolks by slowly adding 1 cup of the hot coconut milk mixture to the bowl while whisking continuously.  Slowly add the tempered yolks back into the remaining coconut milk mixture, stirring or whisking constantly.  Continue to heat the coconut milk mixture until it reaches 180 degrees, it will be steaming but not quite boiling.  Pour the mixture though a mesh strainer into a bowl set over ice water and cool for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from ice bath, cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.  Pour chilled mixture into ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturers directions.

During the last few minutes of churning add the sliced almonds and then the dark chocolate (stracciatella).

Stracciatella – melt dark chocolate over low heat or in the microwave until smooth.  Drizzle a very thin stream of the warm chocolate into the ice cream during the last few minutes of churning.  If the chocolate is clinging too much to the dasher you can drizzle the chocolate over the ice cream as you layer it into the storage container, stirring it slightly while you are pouring.

When the ice cream is finished churning and mix-ins have been added transfer to a chilled air tight container and place in the freezer until firm (about 2 hours), recipe makes about 1 quart.

Scooped right from the freezer…

Grain-Free, Vegan PB&J Bars

Happy National Peanut Butter Day!

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In honor of National Peanut Butter Day I modified one of my favorite dessert bar recipes from Elana Amsterdam’s Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook.  The Raspberry Bar recipe is simply scrumptious as is but today I thought I’d add a little oomph to it…and nothing goes better with jelly (for me, anyways!) than peanut butter!  The original recipe of course calls for Raspberry fruit spread but my favorite is Black Currant so that’s what I used, you can substitute your favorite flavor and any nut butter would work in place of the peanut butter. I replaced the egg in the recipe with a flax egg to make this a vegan-friendly treat as well.  These are great for an on-the-go snack too…I cut them up, wrap them in plastic wrap and freeze them, EASY!

PB&J Bars

Crust:

3 cups almond flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

Blend the almond flour, salt, coconut oil and vanilla in a food processor or high-speed blender until a smooth dough forms.  Press the dough into a greased 9×13 baking dish.  Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes, until lightly golden.  Prepare the topping and measure out the filling while the crust is baking.

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Filling:

1/2 cup peanut butter, room temperature or slightly warmed

1 cup fruit spread

Spread the peanut butter in a thin layer over the hot crust.  Top the peanut butter layer with your favorite fruit spread flavor, spreading evenly.

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Topping:

1 3/4 cups almond flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

2 Tbsp. coconut nectar

1 flax egg (1 Tbsp. flax meal mixed with 2 Tbsp. warm water…allow to thicken)

1 cup sliced almonds

Combine the almond flour, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl.  Stir in the coconut oil, coconut nectar and flax egg.  Gently fold in the almond slices.  Distribute the topping evenly over the fruit spread layer, pressing it down slightly with the back of a spoon.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until the topping its lightly golden brown.  Let cool on a wire rack for 1 hour and then refrigerate.  Cut into bars and serve.  Makes 18-24 servings.

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This recipe is shared at:

Fight Back Fridays, Gluten-Free Fridays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Fat Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Allergy-Free Wednesdays ,Wheat Free Wednesdays

The BEST Monster Cookie You Will EVER Eat!!!

Everyone knows who Cookie Monster is but what about a Monster Cookie?  Well, let me just tell ya…it’s the best cookie you will ever eat.  It’s chewy, chocolatey, peanut buttery bliss…all wrapped up in a big giant cookie!  Paula Deen has a recipe for a Monster Cookie that is full of store-bought candies, brown and white sugars, oats, eggs and of course tons of BUTTER and The Pioneer Woman’s recipe has white flour, rice crispy cereal AND two and a half sticks of butter for 18 cookies!  I stopped eating that kind of cookie years ago…but I came across a Monster Cookie at Whole Foods Market that I thought might be a better alternative…Ha, I was lucky enough to be able to get a peek at the recipe and decided DEFINITELY not a better option.  I actually calculated out the approximate calorie count for the cookie and it was well over 500 calories…per cookie!  Better ingredients don’t always make a healthier choice.  I have tried and tried to replicate the recipe using different ingredient options here and there and could never quite get it right…until today.  Now, let’s be clear…cookies are a treat and no matter what kind they are and how “healthy” the ingredients may be they still should be enjoyed on special occasions (yeah, yeah, yeah…I know, whatever!).  Anyway, cookies are my treat of choice so this recipe is a complete and total victory for me!

Bliss.

Monster Cookies

Ingredients

1/2 cup quinoa flour

2/3 cup quinoa flakes

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. celtic sea salt (omit if your peanut butter is salted)

1/4 cup butter, melted (or coconut oil for vegan option)

1/4 cup peanut butter (or roasted almond butter)

6 Tbsp. coconut palm sugar

1 Tbsp. maple syrup

1/2 tsp. vanilla

2 Tbsp. water, if needed

1/4 cup walnuts, chopped

1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl combine the quinoa flour, quinoa flakes, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt.   Stir to blend well. In a large bowl combine the sugar, peanut butter, melted butter (or oil), syrup and vanilla; whisk to blend. Using a flexible rubber spatula, gradually stir the dry ingredients into the peanut butter mixture, if the mixture is too dry and not holding together add the water by tablespoon until it’s combined. Stir in the walnuts and chocolate chips.

For each cookie, drop 2 generous tablespoons of batter onto the prepared sheet, spacing the mounds about 2 inches apart. (Or use an ice cream scoop.) Using moistened fingertips, flatten each to a 3-inch-diameter round.

Bake the cookies until brown and a bit firm to the touch, 17 to 20 minutes. Using a metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a rack and cool completely.

Makes 8 GIANT Cookies!

Cookies and Ice Cream…Does dessert get any better than a Cookie Sundae? I think not.

This recipe is shared at:

Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesday, Allergy-Free Wednesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Gluten-Free Friday, Fight Back Friday, Fill Those Jars Friday, Made From Scratch Monday

Pumpkin Spice Cakes with Pecan Praline Sauce

Pumpkin Cake with Maple-Vanilla Ice Cream and Pecan Praline Sauce

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Maple-Vanilla Ice Cream and Pecan Praline Sauce

Anyone that knows me knows that I love dessert AND that dessert really isn’t dessert for me unless it has some sort of ice cream in it or on it!  This recipe for Pumpkin Cakes with Pecan Praline Sauce was featured in the Paleo Magazine last year but didn’t list the recipe creator so I don’t have a link to the original recipe for credit, the only thing I changed was adding pumpkin pie spice rather than cinnamon and nutmeg.  I took the liberty of adding a nice healthy scoop of Homemade Maple-Vanilla Ice Cream to the top of this delightful holiday treat to help usher it into the “perfect dessert” category, the addition of the Pecan Praline topping is just enough to put it over the top!!!  These are equally good without the ice cream and even without the topping…but it’s dessert after all…just go for it!  You could even skip the cakes and just have the Maple-Vanilla Ice Cream drizzled with the Pecan Praline Topping!

Pumpkin Spice Cakes

  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut flour
  • 1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup organic pumpkin puree
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil or butter, melted
  • 3 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Lightly grease 6 ramekins and set on a baking sheet.  In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.  With a hand mixer blend eggs, oil or butter, maple syrup, pumpkin and vanilla until well combined.  Add in dry ingredients and mix well.  Divide batter among the prepared ramekins and smooth the tops with the back of a spoon.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the center is set and springs back when lightly pressed.  Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Carefully remove the cakes from the ramekins and cool completely.

Pecan Praline Topping

  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 Tbsp. butter

In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients.  Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the mixture thickens and reduces a bit, about 10 minutes or so.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.  Serve while still warm or refrigerate in a glass container for up to 10 days.  If storing in the refrigerator, warm the topping in the microwave or on the stove before serving.

No ice cream necessary...

No ice cream necessary…

This recipe is shared at:

 Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Allergy-Free Wednesday, Fight Back Friday, Gluten-Free Fridays

The Easiest, Tastiest, Prettiest Homemade Christmas Treat, Perfect for Giving!

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Chocolate Drizzled Popcorn with M&M’s

I love making homemade Christmas treats for all of my friends and family.  For many years when my daughter was still home we spent a fun-filled day making all of our favorite Christmas cookie recipes and then packaged them up on beautiful plates with ribbons and bows for all of our friends…but for the last two years she has been in college and doesn’t get home for the holidays until a few days before Christmas…way too late for a timely delivery!  So, I have gone back to a tried and true Holiday favorite that I made for years when the kiddos were small and able to help with this simple yet beautiful and tasty treat.  It’s a much more manageable task to take on solo too!  You can customize this treat with anything your budget or dietary needs call for…homemade popped popcorn or simplify it with microwave popcorn, use gourmet white and dark chocolate or vanilla and chocolate CandiQuik and then top with healthy nuts and raisins or fun colorful toppings like M&M’s or chopped peppermint candies.  The beauty is in the creation, no matter what ingredients you choose!  The recipe is pretty vague due to the individuality of the treat…it’s really impossible to mess up.  If you need more popcorn on the pan, add more.  If you need more chocolate, add it.  Dump as many (or few) toppings on as you like…

I will include a more accurate (sort of, anyways!) recipe using microwave popcorn, CandiQuik and M&M’s for toppings as this was my original recipe from many years ago…I will have to say it has evolved, but the original is quick, easy and well…pretty hard to beat!

Chocolate Drizzzled Popcorn with Peppermints

Chocolate Drizzled Popcorn with Peppermints

Chocolate Drizzled Popcorn

12″ disposable foil pizza pan

6 cups of popped popcorn, buttered and salted

white chocolate, melted

dark chocolate, melted

festive toppings of your choice

  • Spread the popped popcorn on the pizza pan evenly taking care to not get any unpopped kernels in the mix!
  • Melt the white chocolate on the stove on low heat or in the microwave, drizzle heavily over the popcorn to hold it all together.
  • Melt the dark chocolate on the stove over low heat or in the microwave, drizzle lightly in a circular motion over the white chocolate.
  • While the dark chocolate is still melted, sprinkle your festive toppings over the top.
  • Place in the refrigerator or freezer for about 10-15 minutes to harden the chocolate.
  • Cover with plastic or cling wrap, add a bow and gift tag.
Ready for delivery!

Ready for delivery!

My Original Christmas Popcorn Recipe

3 – 12″ disposable foil pizza pans

3 – bags of microwave butter popcorn, popped

1 – 16 ounce package chocolate CandiQuik

2 – 16 ounce packages vanilla CandiQuik

1 – 16 ounce package Christmas (green and red) plain M&M’s

Pop all of the popcorn and spread evenly on the pizza pans, again taking care to not get any unpopped kernels on the pans.  Melt the vanilla CandiQuik according to package directions and drizzle heavily over each pan of popcorn to hold all the popcorn together…you will use almost all of both packages but not quite.  Allow the vanilla coating to slightly harden.  Melt the chocolate CandiQuik according to package directions and drizzle lightly in a circular (or fancy) pattern over the vanilla CandiQuik, you will have quite a bit left over..  While the chocolate drizzle is still melted, sprinkle the Christmas M&M’s over the top.  Allow the chocolate to harden either on the counter-top or in the refrigerator.  Wrap with plastic or cling wrap, add a bow and gift tag.  Deliver to all your friends and family!

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This recipe is shared at:

Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesday, Wednesday Extravaganza, Whole Foods Wednesday, Allergy-Free Wednesday, Fill Those Jars Friday, All Gluten Free Desserts, Fight Back Friday, Gluten-Free Fridays, Made From Scratch Monday

Spiced Pumpkin-Raisin Cookies

Did I mention that Fall is my favorite season?

Pumpkins, pumpkin pie spice, raisins, mulling spices, chilly evenings, falling leaves…oh, I could go on forever.  This is a wonderful recipe that will definitely be a part of my holiday baking for years to come.  The spices are just right, the texture is perfectly chewy like an old-fashioned oatmeal raisin cookie and it’s gluten-free and vegan!  It is also very easy to throw together, you won’t even need your mixer!  I adapted this recipe from Giada De Laurentiis.

There is nothing better than a warm holiday cookie…well, except maybe a whole plate full of them!

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa flour

1 1⁄3 cup quinoa flakes

1 1⁄2 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp. baking soda

1⁄2 tsp. celtic sea salt

3⁄4 cup coconut palm sugar

1⁄2 cup pumpkin puree

6 Tbsp. butter, melted (or coconut oil for vegan option)

1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1⁄2 cup raisins (or you could be naughty and substitute dark chocolate chips here! ;))

Directions

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line 2 heavy large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl combine the quinoa flour, quinoa flakes, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt.   Stir to blend well. In a large bowl combine the sugar, pumpkin puree, butter (or oil), syrup and vanilla; whisk to blend. Using a flexible rubber spatula, gradually stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture. Stir in raisins (or chocolate chips!).

For each cookie, drop 1 generous tablespoon batter onto the prepared sheet, spacing the mounds about 1 inch apart. (Or use a mini ice cream scoop.) Using moistened fingertips, flatten each to a 2-inch-diameter round.

Bake the cookies until brown and a bit firm to the touch, 17 to 20 minutes. Using a metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a rack and cool completely.

Makes 2 dozen cookies.

Did I do that????

Yes, actually I DID do that…I had some leftover Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting in the fridge so I mixed some up with 1⁄2 a tsp. of pumpkin pie spice, dipped one half of the cookie and placed them on parchment paper in the freezer to firm up the frosting…oh my.  This was decadent…and the cookies stayed soft and moist right out of the freezer too!

This recipe is shared at:

Gluten-Free Monday, Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Allergy Free Wednesday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Gluten Free Fridays, Fight Back Friday, Fill Those Jars Fridays

Cream Cheese Frosting

If I’m going to use frosting on a dessert I generally use a cream cheese based recipe, these are two of my favorites!  I like to use maple syrup as my sweetener but you substitute any liquid sweetener of your choice, if you are using a granulated sugar it’s best to use a powdered version.

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

¾ cup heavy cream
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
¼ cup maple syrup (or your preferred sweetener)
1 Tbsp. vanilla

Whip heavy cream until stiff
In a separate larger bowl, whip cream cheese until smooth, then blend in maple syrup and vanilla
With a rubber spatula, gently blend whip cream into cream cheese mixture
Store frosting in an airtight jar in the refrigerator until ready to use

Classic Cream Cheese Frosting

1 stick butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
¼ cup maple syrup (or your preferred sweetener)
1 Tbsp. vanilla

In a large bowl, whip cream cheese and butter with a hand mixer until smooth, then blend in maple syrup and vanilla
Store frosting in an airtight jar in the refrigerator until ready to use

Frosted Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Is a frosted muffin really just a cupcake?

Autumn.

My absolute favorite time of year…I love the colors, the smells and the weather.  I love that it is Pumpkin Spice Latte season at Starbucks, although I’ve never had one, I love the way they smell.  I love the way my house looks with all my fall decorations up.  I love that all the stores are loaded with pumpkins and squash galore.  And best of all I LOVE that it’s time to dress everything up in Pumpkin Pie Spice!  This is my favorite muffin recipe, it’s only fruit sweetened so it’s not overly sweet which makes a dollop of cream cheese frosting just perfect to turn it into a weekend breakfast treat or light dessert!

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

(yields 18 muffins)

2 large ripe bananas

1/2 cup medjool dates, pitted and soaked (about 6-8 dates)

5 eggs, room temperature

1/2 cup pumpkin puree (canned or fresh roasted)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup coconut oil or butter, melted

1 /2 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup ground flax seeds

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice

1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional as a mix in, can use for garnish instead)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line muffin tins with paper or silicone liners or grease well with coconut oil.
  3. Place pitted dates in a bowl, cover with very hot water and soak for about 10 minutes, drain well after soaking.
  4. To a blender add bananas, pumpkin, dates, vanilla, eggs, and melted coconut oil or butter.  Puree until smooth.
  5. Sift all dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.
  6. Add wet ingredients to the dry and stir until there are no lumps.
  7. Stir in chopped pecans.
  8. Divide evenly between the muffin cups (I use an ice cream scoop which is about 1/4 cup of batter)
  9.  Bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Let cool completely on rack before frosting.
  11. Frost tops of muffins and sprinkle with additional chopped pecans and lightly dust with pumpkin pie spice.

Whipped Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

¾ cup heavy cream
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
¼ cup maple syrup
1 Tbsp. vanilla

  1. Whip heavy cream until stiff
  2. In a separate larger bowl, whip cream cheese until smooth, then blend in maple syrup and vanilla
  3. With a rubber spatula, gently blend whip cream into cream cheese mixture
  4. Store leftover frosting in an airtight jar in the refrigerator

This recipe is shared at:

Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Fill Those Jars Fridays, Allergy Free Wednesday, Wednesday Extravaganza, French Cuisine Fridays, Fight Back Friday, Gluten-Free MondayGluten-Free Wednesdays , Gluten Free Fridays

Gooey Sunbutter Brownies

I love to get my Clean Eating Magazine in the mailbox every month…I am totally guilty of immediately opening the magazine to the last page (seriously, every time.) which is cleverly titled “happy ending”…where there is always a “clean” dessert recipe.  Clean Eating Magazine has beautiful recipes that are easily adaptable to most styles of eating be it gluten, grain, dairy or refined sugar-free.  The “happy ending” in this issue uses spelt flour, peanut butter and organic evaporated cane juice which I substituted coconut flour, Sunbutter and a combination of coconut nectar and palm sugar to make it grain, legume and refined sugar-free.

Grain free, refined sugar-free brownies…sounds less than decadent, right?  Not so with this recipe that I adapted from the Peanut Butter Brownie recipe featured in this months (October 2012) Clean Eating Magazine.  These brownies have a “gooey” texture…not too dense,  eggy or cake-like.  The generous swirl of sunflower seed butter adds an extra layer of decadence to these “clean” dark chocolate brownies. Enjoy!

A decadent and guilt-free happy ending to any meal!

Sunflower Seed Butter Brownies

Ingredients:

4 oz dark chocolate (70% or greater)

4 Tbsp. butter or coconut oil

3 large eggs, room temperature

1/4 cup coconut nectar

1 Tbsp. coconut palm sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 cup coconut flour, sifted

2 Tbsp. cacao powder

3 Tbsp. smooth sunflower seed butter, room temperature

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking dish with coconut oil and line with parchment paper leaving 2 inches hanging over 2 opposing sides.

In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate and butter.  Microwave on 50% power for 30 seconds.  Stir and cook 30 more seconds; repeat until chocolate and butter melt, being careful not to overcook. (Alternatively, bring a pot of water to a very gentle simmer; place a stainless steel bowl over pot and add chocolate and butter to bowl.  Cook, stirring until melted, 2 to 3 minutes.)

Stir in eggs, coconut nectar, palm sugar and vanilla until combined.  Add flour and cacao powder and stir until just incorporated and no white streaks remain; do not over-mix.

Pour into baking dish, spreading evenly with a rubber spatula.  Working in small dollops (about 1/2 Tbsp. each), dot the surface of batter with Sunbutter.  With a butter knife or spatula, swirl Sunbutter through batter.

Bake until toothpick comes out with only a few crumbs when inserted in center, 15 to 18 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely, about 20 minutes.  Remove brownies from dish by lifting parchment paper.  Slice into 12 pieces.

Recipe Variations:

  • Substitute your favorite nut butter for the Sunbutter
  • Substitute honey, maple syrup or agave for the coconut nectar
  • Add chocolate chips
  • Add chopped nuts or seeds that complement your favorite nut/seed butter
  • If you are not grain free, omit one egg and sub 1/3 cup quinoa flour for the coconut flour
  • Make in a 12 cup muffin pan, be sure to use paper liners.

This recipe is shared at:

Made From Scratch Mondays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Fill Those Jars Fridays, Allergy Free Wednesday, Fight Back Friday, Gluten-Free MondayGluten-Free Wednesdays

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