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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Dark Chocolate Macadamia Cookies

Who doesn't love a big pile of cookies?

Dark Chocolate Macadamia Cookies (makes 24 cookies)

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

6 Tbsp. coconut nectar

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups almond flour

1 cup shredded coconut

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 cup macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.  In a large bowl combine almond flour, coconut, sea salt and baking soda.  In a separate bowl whisk together coconut oil, coconut nectar and vanilla.  Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients until thoroughly combined, stir in chopped macadamia nuts and dark chocolate chips.  Drop by rounded tablespoons onto prepared cookie sheets about 2″ apart.  The dough may seem slightly crumbly, just press it together and flatten it once on the cookie sheet, they will hold together once baked.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are slightly brown on top.  Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.  Although these cookies are excellent warm they really are best after they are completely cooled and in my opinion even better on day two!  Store in an air tight container.

This recipe is shared at:

Fight Back Friday, Allergy Friendly Lunchbox Love, Wellness Weekend, Make Ahead Monday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays

Magic Coconut Bars

 Everyone remembers the old-fashioned Magic Cookie Bars made with a graham cracker crust, butter, chocolate chips, pecans, flaked coconut and sweetened condensed milk…heavenly, caramelly, chocolatey yummi-ness…with a nice side of gluten gut bomb, a sugar rush and then the inevitable crash!

I occasionally make treats that are fruit-sweetened or completely unsweetened that I can enjoy as part of my grain-free “paleo-primal” lifestyle but every once in a while I like to make a full-on DESSERT.  Make no mistake here…this is a special occasion treat, great to make for a party or a crowd, definitely not one to make on a Saturday night when you are alone at home!  All in all as far as desserts go it’s really not too terrible, the entire thing only has 3 tablespoons of sweetener for sixteen servings (just about 1/2 teaspoon per serving)…again not bad if you are feeding a crowd, disastrous if you eat the entire thing by yourself.  It’s a bit labor intensive but SO worth it!

Magic Coconut Bars

Crust:

3/4 cup blanched almond flour

3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon coconut nectar, honey or maple syrup (optional)

1/4 cup coconut oil or butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8 metal or glass dish with parchment paper so that it hangs over the sides for easy removal.  Combine all ingredients for the crust in a large bowl and press firmly into the prepared pan.  Bake for 12 – 15 minutes until golden brown.  Remove from oven and cool on wire rack while preparing the filling.

Magic Filling:

1 can full fat coconut milk (I use Native Forest)

2 Tablespoons coconut nectar, honey or maple syrup

1 Tablespoon vanilla

3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

3/4 cup chopped pecans

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

In a saucepan over medium heat bring coconut milk, sweetener and vanilla to a low boil, reduce heat and simmer for approximately 45 minutes, stirring frequently until it’s reduced by half.  The coconut milk mixture should be very thick, you should have about 3/4 cup once reduced, remove from heat and cool slightly.  Pour 1/2 of the condensed coconut milk over the crust and spread to the edges. Layer half of the shredded coconut, half of the chocolate chips and half of the pecans on top of the coconut milk and lightly press down on the toppings.  Add a second layer with the remaining shredded coconut, chocolate chips and pecans.  Pour remaining 1/2 of condensed coconut milk over the top of the layers.  Top with flaked coconut.

Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool for one hour (I KNOW!) on a cooling rack.  Next, place the pan in the refrigerator and cool for 2 hours (I KNOW, I KNOW!) or in a pinch cool in the freezer for 1 hour.  Gently lift the parchment out of the pan and place bars on a cutting board or other flat surface.  Using a large knife cut into 16 squares.

Magic...

This is a lovely treat to make for Valentine’s Day!

This recipe is shared at:

Fight Back FridayFresh Bites Friday, Wellness Weekend, Allergy Friendly Lunchbox Love, Make Ahead Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Fat Tuesday

Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread

Cinnamon Swirly Goodness

When I was growing up my parents were somewhat “hippy-ish” which meant there were a lot of bran muffins and carob in our fridge.  My elementary school best friend (Regina) had parents that were from the country (East Texas) which meant biscuits, gravy and Wonder Bread cinnamon toast!  I’m thankful for my hippy parents because they taught me the importance of living healthy and eating clean…although we have come a long way from those bran muffin days into grain-free lifestyles!  I am equally thankful for all those wonderful memories of eating country meals at my friend’s house.  Regina’s mom sang in the choir at the First Baptist Church and Sunday mornings were usually pretty busy so it was always the morning for a quick breakfast of oven-toast.  Cheese or Cinnamon-Sugar were our choices.  I usually had one of each, the cheese toast was a slice of white bread with a square of American cheese toasted under the broiler until it was bubbly and crispy on top…the cinnamon-sugar was the same white bread buttered and sprinkled with a mixture of cinnamon and white sugar also broiled until toasty.  Both were pleasantly crispy on the top while the bottom was still that white bread soft doughy texture since they didn’t get flipped in the oven…it kind of makes my throat close up with the thought of it now but I do remember it tasting and smelling so yummy.  There is just something so comforting about the smell of cinnamon swirling through the house…especially when it’s coming from the oven!   Now, I don’t eat sweets all that often anymore but for some reason I had a hankering for cinnamon toast…I had a freshly baked loaf of Elana’s Pantry Paleo Bread in the freezer that I could have easily doctored up to make cinnamon toast but I was in the mood to experiment so I decided to try to make some Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread.  Well, it was a success, the bread has a nice texture warm out of the oven and in my opinion, even better toasted under the broiler and topped with a pat of pastured butter!  I started with a base of Elana’s Pantry Paleo Bread with a few modifications and then added the swirl of cinnamon, coconut nectar and raisins.  As you can see from the photo the raisins kind of sank to the bottom of the loaf in places, next time I will toss them in a bit of coconut flour before mixing them in so they don’t sink.

Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread

(yields 12-16 slices)

Base Bread Dough:

1 cup blanched almond flour

1/2 cup pecan meal

2 Tablespoons coconut flour

1/4 cup flax meal

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

5 eggs, room temperature

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Cinnamon Swirl:

1/4 cup honey, maple syrup or coconut nectar

1/2 cup raisins, lightly coated in coconut flour

1 Tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon coconut oil, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a small loaf pan (I use a Magic Line 7.5 x 3.5 Loaf Pan) with coconut oil and set aside.  Place almond flour, pecan meal, coconut flour, flax meal and baking soda in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine.  Add eggs, coconut oil and apple cider vinegar and pulse until well combined scraping down sides once or twice.  In a large bowl mix together sweetener, cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of coconut oil until smooth, add raisins.  Gently fold in bread dough until just combined but also still a little swirled together.  Scoop mixture into prepared loaf pan and smooth the top with the back of spoon.  Place in middle of oven and bake for 30 minutes.  At the 30 minute mark check the loaf…sometimes this bread has a tendency to rise and separate on one side…if this happens I use a hot pad to press the top down evenly so it is flat.  Bake for 10 – 15 additional minutes.  Remove from the oven, run a butter knife around the edges of the loaf pan then cool in the pan for 10 minutes.  Remove from pan and finish cooling on a wire rack.  Slice and serve or wrap in parchment paper and store in an air tight container or gallon size zip top bag.

This recipe is shared at:

Fight Back Friday

Make Ahead Monday

Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday

Gluten Free Wednesday, Allergy-Free Wednesdays

Almond Coconut Delight Cookies

Today I was in the mood for something sweet, chewy and warm…only a cookie was going to satisfy my craving. I didn’t want anything too rich or chocolately but more along the oatmeal raisin type of cookie…I don’t eat oats anymore so that chewy texture is sometimes a challenge to achieve in a cookie but this recipe does the trick perfectly!

These cookies are so easy to make and you can adapt them to your liking very easily.  I used coconut oil and coconut nectar but you could use any oil (or even butter) for the fat and agave, honey or yacon syrup could be used for the sweetener.  Walnuts and raisins are always my choice for nuts and dried fruit but again you can substitute your favorites without any problems…

Almond Coconut Delight Cookies

Coconut Delight Cookies

Makes about 16 cookies

Ingredients:

1/4 cup coconut oil (or oil of your choice)

1/4 cup coconut nectar (or agave, honey, palm sugar or yacon)

1 tsp. vanilla

1 1/4 cup almond flour

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts)

1/2 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened

1/4 cup dried fruit (raisins or cranberries) or dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F.  In a large bowl combine oil, sweetener and vanilla, set aside.  In a medium bowl combine almond flour, salt, baking soda, nuts, coconut and dried fruit or chocolate chips.  Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix throughly.  Drop by rounded tablespoon onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and slightly flatten.  Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.  Cool on a wire rack and serve.

Try to eat just one...

This recipe is shared at:

Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays & Tasty Tuesday

Gluten-Free Wednesdays

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