Archive for Recipes: Sweet

No Bake Peanut Butter Bars

Inspiration is a fickle beast. 

I’ve been writing this blog for so long, I don’t actually know how long it’s been, but I’m guessing it’s a decade or so. 

Certainly my participation has waxed and waned. There have been times when I generated 5 blog posts per week (and it nearly killed me), and there have been plenty of times where I took a break and generated nothing at all! 

After doing this for so long, sometimes I feel really stretched for content ideas. Not that, in the world of food, there is ever any lack of subject matter. There’s always another recipe to make. 

No Bake Peanut Butter Bars

The inspiration for this recipe came from salt. I know! It sounds weird… but I got a bag of flavoured salt for Christmas from my friend Vicki and immediately my mind started working out what I could do with it. If it was savoury salt, I would have just thrown it into pasta or whatever, but it’s a salted caramel salt from Vancouver Island, and I knew it needed to go into a dessert. 

I also had a few bits and bobs of things around, but not really enough for a full recipe of one thing, so I combined a few things and voila! Delicious success. 

This is a no-bake bar, perfect for when you’re feeling a bit lazy. It’s also easy to do a vegan or gluten free version of this recipe (or even a vegan gluten free version!). 

It’s a riff on a recipe that has been on of my favourites and that I’ve been making for years, just juzzed up a bit. They kinda taste like a Resses Peanut Butter Cup, but with a crunchier texture. Enjoy. 

Vegan Gluten Free No Bake Peanut Butter Bars

No Bake Peanut Butter Bars

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter (vegan butter alternate)
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter 
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (alternate: vegan gluten free graham crackers, I use Kinnikinnick S’moreables Gluten Free Graham Crackers)
  • 1/2 cup corn flakes 
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar 
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup chocolate (dark vegan chocolate or non vegan chocolate chips)
  • milk (non dairy vegan alternative)
  • finishing salt

Method: 

  1. In a small pot over medium heat, place the butter, and melt it. Then add in the peanut butter and the sugar and stir everything well until it’s all melted together. 
  2. In a large bowl, place your graham cracker crumbs and corn flakes. 
  3. Remove the butter/peanut butter/sugar mixture from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
  4. Pour the entire contents over the graham crackers and corn flakes. Stir well to combine. 
  5. Press the mixture into an 8″x8″ pan, then place in the refrigerator for at least an hour to set. 
  6. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler. Once the chocolate is melted, add a little milk, a few tablespoons at a time, until it gets to a pourable consistency. (this is the tricky part–I can’t give you real measurements here, you have to kinda wing it). Pour the chocolate over the peanut butter base and sprinkle the whole thing with a pinch or two of finishing salt. Place in the fridge to set. 
  7. Cut into 12-16 squares. 
  8. This bar tastes great frozen. Store in the freezer and pull one out 5 minutes before eating. 

Easy Spiced Chocolate Christmas Cookies

Pretty much ever since I can remember, I’ve been making and giving away cookies at Christmas. I like it. I feel like there aren’t a lot of homemade gifts in the world these days, and I also feel like most people (unlike me) don’t have freshly-baked homemade cookies in their house all the time, so why not spread the cookie love? 

Cookies are just good cheer in edible form. I have tons of recipes that I make pretty much every year, but realistically, I like the ones that aren’t super complicated to make, but are still pretty or deliver a punch of flavour. (for more of my favourite Christmas baking and homemade gift ideas, click here)

Shortbreads or sugar cookies are great options because they have an unlimited ability to be flavoured, decorated, etc. And they are simple. This year, I’ve made an earl grey shortbread, and I also made these, which I was quite happy with. 

Spiced Chocolate Christmas Cookies

These are a fairly basic chocolate sugar cookie, but with a twist: the addition of warming Christmas spices. 

You could, of course, roll them out and cut them into pretty shapes, but I’m too lazy for that. I roll mine into a log and then slice them off and bake them in rounds. You can also freeze logs of unbaked dough in your freezer for a cookie emergency, or you could even gift the frozen logs with baking instructions. 

I drizzled mine, when cooled, with melted dark chocolate, but you could also dip them in dark chocolate and then add some sprinkles to make them really festive. 

Either way, one recipe adds up to loads of possibilities, and hopefully happy gift-receivers at the other end. 

Happy Holidays, all! 

chocolate speculaas

Easy Spiced Chocolate Christmas Cookies

(recipe adapted from Lindt Canada)

Ingredients

  • 200 gr 70% dark chocolate 
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg (freshly ground if possible)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Method: 

  1. Melt 100 grams of chocolate over a double boiler. 
  2. Meanwhile, place the butter, sugar and spices in the bowl of your mixer with the paddle attachment and beat well until thoroughly combined. 
  3. Once the chocolate has melted, add it to the butter/sugar/spice mixture. 
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. With the motor on your mixer running at lowest speed, add the flour mixture in, a little at a time. Mix enough to incorporate. 
  5. Divide the dough into two halves. Roll it out into two logs, about 1″-2″ in diameter. Wrap each log in plastic wrap or waxed paper, and place in the fridge to set, about an hour, or overnight. 
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. As the oven is preheating, slice discs of the cookies from the log, and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until a bit crispy on the edges. 
  7. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. 
  8. After the cookies are cooled, place the wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Melt the last 200 grams of chocolate over a double boiler, then, once it’s melted, drizzle it over the cookies. Return them to the fridge to set.  You could also dip the cookies into the chocolate, but if you do that, place them on waxed paper to cool. 
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