Archive of ‘Sweet Things’ category
Have you been enjoying Girl Scout ReDo week?
I sure have enjoyed making and eating them!
The last post in this series takes on BL’s favorite, the Tagalong. Oatmeal and Peanut Butter base with a thick chocolate topping.
Remember, the goal of this week was to take our favorite Girl Scout cookie flavors and make them into something we could actually serve our kids.
I love a hearty granola bar and these definitely fit the bill. If you want more of an even balance between peanut butter and chocolate, spread a little less filling into the pan or use a larger pan.
Either way, you will love them. I’ve been enjoying them for breakfast with a homemade almond milk latte or on-the-go as an afternoon snack.
I hope you have enjoyed our Girl-Scout Re-Do week. Which flavor was your favorite?
What traditional items would you like to see made over next?
Tagalong Girl Scout Granola Bars
2 cups oats
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 cup packed dates
1/2 cup rice crispy cereal
1/4 cup agave syrup (or other sweetener, honey, maple syrup)
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 tsp. neutral oil
chocolate shavings, optional topping.
In a food processor, combine the oats, peanut butter, and dates until a chunky crumb forms. Add the rice crispy cereal and agave. Process until the dough is sticky and able to be pinched between your fingers and hold it’s shape.
Press into a lightly greased 8X8. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Combine 1/2 cup chocolate chips and 1 tsp. neutral oil. Place in the microwave and heat for 1 minute. Remove and stir until creamy.
Pour over the peanut butter bars and spread to all corners. Sprinkle on chopped chocolate.
Place back into fridge to harden, about 30 minutes. Slice into bars.
It’s chocolate time!
Mint chocolate time!
Thin mints, the number 2 favorite of Girl Scout cookies was the next item to tackle on Girl Scout Re-Do week. I did Samoas yesterday.
Here’s an funny story: I was
kicked out asked to not come back to Girl Scouts. Seriously. And it’s not because I didn’t sell enough cookies. (I think I sold 50 boxes to my family alone.)
I’ve always been kind of a smart-mouth. I don’t remember exactly what transpired all those years ago, but I do remember that it involved talking back to my leader one-to-many times. It’s not exactly a proud moment in my life, but something that always pops into my mind the second I hear the word Girl Scouts. Or Thin Mints.
Which is why I affectionately refer to these babies as chocolate mint brownie bites. Raw brownie batter coated in smooth milk chocolate. If you read my rant yesterday, you know that my mission this week is to make healthier versions of that spring time favorite: Girl Scout Cookies.
While these don’t have the same crunch as a Thin Mint, they nail the chocolate and mint pairing perfectly. Keep them in the fridge to much on when you’re craving a sweet treat. Or need to avoid your co-worker begging you to buy more cookies.
A much more acceptable afternoon snack. The perfect pairing with an ice cold glass of almond milk.
Chocolate-Mint Brownie Bites
1/2 cup walnuts
3/4 cup pitted dates, packed
1 tbsp. cocoa powder
1/2 cup chocolate chips, divided
1/4 tsp. mint extract
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
Combine walnuts, dates, cocoa powder, mint and vanilla extracts in the bowl of a food processor. Combine until very crumbly. Add 1/4 cup chocolate chips and a pinch of salt. Pulse together a few times to combine. Taste. You can add more cocoa powder, if desired.
Roll into balls. Set in the fridge until firm, about 30 minutes.
When finished, combine 1/4 cup chocolate chips and 1 tsp. neutral oil in a microwave safe bowl. Heat until melted, about 1 minute. Stir together until creamy.
Lightly dip the top of each ball into chocolate and place onto a piece of wax paper. Place back in the fridge until hard.
Eat! Store leftovers in the fridge!
I’m starting Girl Scout Re-Do week the best way I know how. With Samoas.
Coconut, chocolate, buttery goodness. I swear I could eat a whole box if left to my own devices. In fact, I’m pretty sure I have somewhere around 6th grade when we stored boxes and boxes of cookies in our garage.
It was nothing for me to sneak out, grab a box and quickly split it with my sisters. Or not. They were my absolute favorite treat, something I looked forward to for months and months.
It’s probably the only reason I joined the Girl Scouts in the first place.
As I grew up and learned more about nutrition, I quickly realized that as delicious as these cookies were, they are far from being remotely healthy.
WTF Girl Scouts?
I kinda want to help support your mission. I really don’t want to buy your cookies in order to do so.
Yeah, yeah, I know the moderation speech. A dream defense for every food company.
I don’t care that there’s sugar and fat in them, they are cookies and I expect that. My cookies have a little bit of sugar and fat in them and I occasionally eat those if I want a sweet treat.
I’m more upset by the quality of ingredients. Partially hydrogenated oils, hydrogenated oils, palm oil, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial flavors. With more than 20% daily value for saturated fat, you’re going to have to do better than moderation to convince me to indulge in these.
Because let’s be real. It won’t be one cookie. It will be 4. And then 8. And then I will need a new soap box ; )
Blah. No need. Instead, I topped my favorite coconut-date bars with melted chocolate and toasted coconut. Now we’re talking. I used butterscotch chips for a cookie flavor but brown sugar will work just as well.
Unprocessed, coconut, chocolate goodness. Call me Girl Scouts, I’ll put my cookies against yours any day.
Chewy Samoa Bars
½ cup pitted and chopped dates
1/3 cup raw cashews
¼ cup raw almonds
3 tbsp shredded, unsweetened coconut
3 tbsp. butterscotch chips (can sub brown sugar)
1/4 cup toasted coconut (see below)
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1 tsp. neutral oil
Place dates, cashews, 3 tbsp. coconut, almonds, and butterscotch chips (or brown sugar) in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Process together until very crumbly. It should stick together if you press it between your fingers. Be careful not to over process that it doesn’t turn into butter.
Press into a brownie pan for desired thickness of your bars. It won’t take up an entire 8X8 pan. Place in the fridge until firm, about 30 minutes.
Toast coconut (from Bon Appetit) Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spread unsweetened coconut shavings, or sweetened shredded or flaked coconut on a rimmed baking sheet and bake, stirring once or twice, until golden, about 5 to 10 minutes. If toasting sweetened coconut, check and stir more frequently because the added sugar causes irregular browning
Combine chocolate chips and neutral oil in a microwave safe bowl. Heat for 1 minute. Remove and stir until creamy.
Drizzle or spread onto date-coconut bars. Top with toasted coconut. Refrigerate until firm.
Do you love chocolate?
Pretty cupcakes that make you smile when you eat them?
Then these cupcakes are for you!
Anyone who knows me understands how much I love strawberries.
No, I mean, really love strawberries! I plan a trip every year to the U-pick strawberry farm to do nothing but sit and eat for hours.
In fact, I used to tell my parents that my thumb tasted like strawberry, my excuse for years on why I continued to suck my thumb.
Oh yeah, strawberries and I go way back.
But, then I grew up and met chocolate. And the love affair began.
Some girls love chocolate and peanut butter. I respect that.
But, it doesn’t quite match the chocolate and strawberry combination.
And so, I present to you my most favorite, Valentine’s Day appropriate but perfectly acceptable any other time of the year, Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcake.
(adapted from VCTOTW)
1 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons strawberry extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder, Dutch-processed or regular
1/4 cup powdered freeze-dried strawberries (see below)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350°F and line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners. Whisk together the soy milk and vinegar in a large bowl, and set aside for a few minutes to curdle. Add the sugar, oil, and strawberry extract to the soy milk mixture and beat until foamy. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, freeze dried strawberry powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add in two batches to wet ingredients and beat until no large lumps remain (a few tiny lumps are OK). Pour into liners, filling 3/4 of the way. Bake 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely. Top with Strawberry Buttercream frosting, recipe below.
1/2 cup nonhydrogenated shortening
1/2 cup nonhydrogenated margarine, like Earth Balance brand
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons strawberry extract
1/4 cup plain soy milk
Red food coloring, optional
Beat the shortening and margarine together until well combined and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat for about 3 more minutes. Add the vanilla and soy milk, and beat for another 5 to 7 minutes until fluffy. Add red food coloring and stir for desired color.
Freeze Dried Strawberries: You’ve seen these in the store, right? They add a subtle strawberry flavor, along with the extract. Plus, they don’t add extra moisture like fresh strawberries- not ideal when making fluffy cupcakes.
Place freeze dried strawberries into a high powered blender or food processor. Chop until desired texture forms. I keep a few chunks visible.
Want a variety of chocolate and strawberry? Make vanilla-strawberry cupcakes: Increase flour to 1 1/4 cups and omit the cocoa powder. Decrease strawberry extract to 1 tsp. and add 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract.