Tag Archives: peanut butter

Vegan Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls

peanut butter balls

I love peanut butter… I could exist on peanut butter alone… I eat a jar a week (sometimes more, let’s be real).

peanut butter

Around the holidays every year, I love to make chocolate covered peanut butter balls. I posted the secret family recipe last year. However, they contain a fair amount of butter and milk chocolate… so I revamped it and made it vegan! I gave some to Mark and my coworkers… (they didn’t even know they were vegan… win.)

ready for dipping

Vegan Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls

makes 28-30 balls

1/2 cup of Earth Balance buttery spread, or other vegan butter
8 oz or about 2 cups of powdered sugar
1 cups of graham cracker crumbs (gf if need be, Nabisco Original Graham Crackers are Vegan)
6 oz of chunky peanut butter (scant 3/4 cup)
vegan chocolate chips (I used a little less than one 9 oz bag of Sunspire Bittersweet)
1/4 block of paraffin wax (in baking aisle, fret not it’s fine to eat, in small quantities) 

chocolate

Mix the first 3 ingredients together then add in the graham crackers and peanut butter and mix until combined completely. Form into 1 inch balls with your hands. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Take a small sauce pot and fill it with an inch or 2 of water. Bring water to a gentle simmer, not boiling. In a microwave-safe, heat proof bowl, microwave the wax so it melts, add in the chocolate chips. Place the bowl over the simmering pot of water, it should rest on the rim of the pot without touching the water below, otherwise you’ll scald the chocolate. The steam form the water will melt the chocolate without scalding it. Stir the chocolate until it is smooth and melted. Dip each ball in the chocolate, coating it evenly, remove it with a slotted spoon to let the excess chocolate drip off. Place the coated peanut butter ball on the waxed paper. Once all the balls are covered, place in fridge for a couple of hours so the chocolate coating can harden.

waiting for them to dry... so I can eat them

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Szechuan Noodles and Peanut Butter Pie

Yesterday was Mark’s 22nd Birthday. We celebrated by having some friends over on Saturday night. We don’t really entertain much because we live 1 1/2 miles away from our campus, but everyone braved the blizzard and hiked over to enjoy some Naked Dove IPA.

On Sunday, Mark’s actual birthday, we had a peanut butter filled day. Mark had two requests: Szechuan noodles with spicy peanut sauce and peanut butter pie.

The noodles are adapted from Ina Garten and are really easy and tasty. Plus, if you don’t want to spend the extra money on soba noodles, you can just substitute whole wheat thin linguini. Also, pretty much any veggie can be thrown in and there will be plenty of leftovers.

Szechuan Noodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce

1/2 box of soba noodles or thin whole wheat linguini

2 tablespoon oil

1 small onion diced (or1/2 a medium onion)

10-15 baby carrots cut into rounds 1/4 in thick

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

5-10 mushrooms, sliced

1 cup of shredded cabbage

2 cup of broccoli florets, cooked, blanched or microwaved

3/4 cup of peas

dash red pepper flakes

black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 reaspoon dried garlic

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

3/4 cup of peanutbutter

1/4 cup of siracha

1 teaspoon of hoisin

1/4 cup of soy sauce

1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar

1/4-1/2 cup of reserved pasta water

2 tablespoon of thinly sliced scallions (optional)

2 tablespoon peanuts, chopped (optional)

Bring water to a boil for the pasta. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat, add onions and sautee for 2 minutes. Cook the broccoli with your preferred method. Add the carrots to the oil and onion, sautee for 2 minutes. Then add the bell pepper and sautee for 2 minutes. Once the water is boiling add the pasta and cook according to the box directions. Add the cabbage to the veggies and let wilt for 2 minutes. Then add in the cooked broccoli and frozen peas. In a medium size bowl, add the peanut butter, spices, siracha, soy sauce, rice vinegar, hoisin, and a ladle full (or 1/4 cup of pasta water. Mix to combine, if it seems a little thick add in another ladle of pasta water. Drain the pasta once it is done. Add the sauce to the veggies and top with pasta. Toss to coat and top with scallions and chopped peanuts (optional).

Peanut Butter Pie

1 prepared “oreo” cookie pie crust

3/4 cup of peanutbutter

3/4 cup of powdered sugar

8 oz of cream cheese, at room temp

1/2 pint of whipping cream

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla

3 oz of chocolate, plus one more for shaving as a garnish

1-2 tablespoon of milk

2 tablespoon of peanuts chopped

Combine the peanut butter, powdered sugar and cream cheese in a large bowl.

In another (largish) bowl whip the cream and vanilla until stiff peaks form. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon gently fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture, try not to let the air out of the whipped cream. I did it a few scoops at a time. Then spoon it into the prepared crust and even it out. Then shave some chocolate and sprinkle it over the top, you can use a vegetable peeler. Place the remaining chocolate in a heat proof bowl and place it on a small pot filled with an inch or 2 of water, over medium heat (a double boiler). Melt the chocolate, stirring it occasionally, once it is all melted add a little bit of milk, stir and see if the the chocolate drizzles off of the spoon in a thin ribbon. If it does not add more milk and try again. Once the right consistency is achieved drizzle it over the pie. Top with the chopped peanuts and cover and let it set up in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Then cut with a sharp knife and enjoy.

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Quinoa Cakes with Eggplant “Ragu”

I had this weird realization today when I wrote the December rent check that we only have 6 months left in our apartment… seriously where has the time gone?  November flew by…  I was going through my camera and realized that I have about 10 different recipes waiting to be blogged. So this is going to be a double whammy, dinner and dessert…. Quinoa Cakes with an Eggplant “Ragu” and peanut butter cookies with Reese’s peanut butter cups.

But first, November in picture form:

For the Eggplant Ragu, I wanted to make something hearty and warm as the nights get darker and colder. I know it’s not a ragu in a traditional sense because it lacks meat but you could add meat if you wish.  I put the ragu over quinoa because it packs a serious protein punch and it chock full of amino acids, vitamin and minerals.

Quinoa Cakes with Eggplant Ragu

1 cup of quinoa

2 cups of water

1 egg

2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon of chives (optional)

2 tablespoons basil, sliced in thin strips

6 tablespoons of olive oil

1/2 large eggplant, cubed

1/2 onion diced

1 clove of garlic

3/4 cup of your favorite tomato sauce… I love Newman’s Own Tomato Basil

Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a small pot over medium heat. Let it simmer for about 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Stir occasionally. One cooked, remove it from heat and let cool. While it is cooling, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan, add in onion and garlic, sauté 2 minutes, then add in eggplant and sauté for 5-8 minutes, or until the eggplant is cooked through. Turn down to low and add in sauce.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in another large frying pan. Then add the cheese, egg, half the basil and chives to the cooled quinoa. Stir together. Form patty shaped cakes with the quinoa mixture and place them in the warm oil. You will probably have to do two batches. Cook about 3-4 minute on each side until golden brown.  Remove from the heat and plate. Once the sauce is warmed through, spoon over the quinoa cakes, top with remaining basil and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

The cookies were a late night creation. They are “healthy” in the sense that they don’t have white flour or butter in the cookie but crumbling up left over Reese’s might have tipped them back towards the not so healthy end of the spectrum… but hey we had to get rid of the Halloween candy somehow.

Peanut Butter Cookies with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

2 cups of unbleached whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda
dash salt (optional)
1 cup of crunchy peanut butter plus a little bit extra
1 cup maple syrup
scant 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

4-6 Reese’s peanut butter cups, crumbled up

Preheat the oven to 350 deg. Mix together baking soda, flour and salt in a small bowl. Warm the peanut butter until slightly melted (you can microwave or use the stove top… we only have a sketchy microwave that the previous people left so I used the stovetop.) Combine the peanut butter, maple syrup and olive oil. Stir in the dry ingredients until just combined. Then stir in the Reese’s. Let it sit for about 3-5 minutes so the baking soda can react. Then drop onto a greased or line baking sheet. Cross hatch with a fork if so desired. Bake for 10-11 minutes or until golden brown

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