I seem to have created a long silence here lately, so it’s probably time for an update. There’s been a lot going on in my kitchen and most of it has been dessert. Thankfully, since we’re headed into holiday eating mode, what I’ve been making has mostly been raw, vegan and sugar free. Sounds like a scam weight loss plan doesn’t it? It’s not.
A few months ago, I started hearing about raw desserts. They’re nothing new to the raw and vegan crowds, but they were new to me and I was skeptical. Tofu pie? Really? Now, I think one of the reasons I’ve been able to get wholeheartedly on board with this breed of sweets is that the regular stuff isn’t terribly appealing to me. Don’t get me wrong, I still love cupcakes and find myself facing some formidable abominations when we go to self-serve frozen yogurt places (how did this 16-ounce container get full so fast?). But I’ve never had an easier time bypassing the Halloween candy aisle than I did this year (not that I totally ignored it). Frankly, a lot of your big name candy bars don’t taste that good to me anymore.
So I think I was primed to make the transition into date- and nut-based desserts. Wait, stop, don’t go! There’s still chocolate. There’s lots of chocolate. For my birthday, my cousin made me this chocolate tofu pie. It was so amazing, and it’s super simple. There is a whole package of chocolate chips involved, but there’s no butter, no refined sugar (aside from what’s in the chips already) and no white flour. Not too shabby for a luxurious dessert. I made this recipe myself a couple of weeks ago and with a food processor, it’s a 20-minute process. The only thing that seems not-quite-right is having a pie without having to turn on the oven.
And there’s more-oh, so much more! This same cousin brought over this cashew “cheesecake”, and holy cow, that didn’t last twelve hours. I won’t apologize for eating it so fast either; I had it for breakfast. Go ahead, try and find a reason why one shouldn’t eat that for breakfast. After that, I was completely sold on the concept of raw desserts. My life-long avoidance of dates (the fruit…) was wiped out by the cheesecake’s crust.
Since then, I’ve bought dates, walnuts and almonds at Costco. I couldn’t find baker’s cocoa at Costco, but if I’d found it, that would have come home with me too. I like the Ghirardelli version; it’s way more chocolately looking than Hershey’s, and I say that because I put both in a recipe last week and saw them side by side. On to what I’ve been making: these truffles (you have to “continue reading”) and these brownies. I’ve made both recipes twice and modified them a bit. For the truffles, I substituted 2 tablespoons of coconut oil for the goat cheese to get rid of the goat-y tanginess. They turned out well; they’re a little dense and now they’re vegan. For the brownies, I just omitted the almonds. They’d be good with some, but I’d use less than the full cup in the recipe. This change made them more fudge-like, and just as sinful tasting.
Now it hasn’t all been “aren’t we so good, we only eat raw desserts” around here. Right around Halloween, I came across this recipe for peanut butter cups. Oh, man are they good. Buying the ingredients to make them the first time was spendy, and since I used little paper cups instead of full muffin sized ones, I ended up making 75 peanut butter cups, using $9 worth of chocolate. That made it possible to share the wealth, and I took little boxes of candy wherever I went for a couple of days and gave them to friends and family. These aren’t terribly difficult, but they are labor-intensive and take a little practice. But I can pretty much tell you they’re the most delicious peanut butter cups you’ve ever had.
And just when I thought I had our sweets-eating down to a science, the woman who brought me the raw brownie comes up with this black bean chocolate chili cherry cookie recipe. Wow, wow and WOW I know what I’m making just as soon as next week’s tryptophan wears off.
A very happy, safe and delicious Thanksgiving to you!