Tag Archives: peanut butter

sprouted cookies = win!

24 Jan

Okay, so technically quick bread was the winner of my sprouted wheat poll, but after considering it I thought I’d take cookies for a spin with this first batch. I really wanted something that would bake for a shorter amount of time to really showcase the flavor of the flour. The fresh flour has a sweet grassy fragrance that I was worried would bake out of it.

Plus, I now have an excuse to sprout more flour and give it a go with bread. 🙂

Giddy-Up Janes

These cookies can easily be made with white whole wheat or an all-purpose flour rather than the sprouted wheat. They are a sweet oatmeal cookie with a kiss of peanut butter. Plus chocolate, they are nomtastic!

1 1/4 cup sprouted wheat flour (or white whole wheat or all-purpose)
1/2 teas. baking soda
1/4 teas. cinnamon
1/4 teas. salt
1/2 cup margarine, room temperature
1 cup organic granulated sugar
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 teas. vanilla
1 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In a large bowl cream together the margarine and sugar. Add the peanut butter and vanilla mix well. Add the flour mixture to the margarine mixture and mix until incorporated. Add the oatmeal in two batches, adding the chocolate chips with the second batch. The dough might be loose, but should be moist.

For dough into tablespoon sized balls and place on 2 inches apart on baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, until cookies puff up a bit and look golden. Let cool on cooling rack for 5 minutes before moving from baking sheet to finish cooling on rack.

Yields: 2 dozen cookies


dark magic… and chocolate

22 Oct

Okay, HP fans! Here is another Harry Potter themed treat that Potterheads and Potterhaters alike will love to eat.

Before I get going, I wanted to draw some attention to this awesome vegan Harry Potter blog: Dumbledore’s Vegan Army. Fun stuff!

So, first, I wanted to work with that Trader Joe’s peanut flour again, in a more conventional setting. Since posting those gluten-free cookies, I have been getting a lot of blog traffic from people who are looking for things to use it in. I’m guessing that for most of those people, vegan, gluten-free cookies aren’t exactly what they’re looking for. 🙂

Second… I wanted to make Horcrux Cakes, another brilliant title suggested by Alec, my littlest brother. For those of you who don’t know what a horcrux is, it’s a regular object that has a fragment of a witch or wizard’s soul in it, in effect giving them immortality, so long as the object exists. The more horcruxes you have, the better chance you have of existing for all eternity. But being that Voldemort is the last person we’d want living forever, I had to ask myself, what or who would I want to live forever?

Chocolate. Duh.

Hence, my banana/peanut butter/chocolate Horcrux Cakes. Fluffy, moist little cakes encasing a creamy chocolate, black magic soul. Tom Riddle approved.

Horcrux Cakes

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup peanut flour (can use all-purpose flour)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teas. baking powder
1/2 teas baking soda
1/8 teas. salt
1/2 cup + 3 tbsp. mashed banana
3 tbsp. peanut butter
1/4 cup oil
2/3 cup milk of choice
1/4 cup chopped chocolate

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease ad flour a standard muffin tin.

In a small bowl, combine the flour(s), sugar, baking powder and soda and salt. In a large bowl, combine 1/2 cup of the banana, peanut butter and oil. Whisk the wet ingredients until well mixed then add the milk and whisk to combine.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining 3 tbsp of banana and the chopped chocolate and combine. Set aside.

Add the dry ingredients to the banana/pb mixture in two batches, until just combined. Scoop a heaping tablespoon of the batter into the bottom of each cup and put a small scoop of the banana/chocolate mixture in the center of each cup.

Top each cup with the remaining batter, being mindful to seal in the center. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until the tops are lightly golden (toothpick test won’t work, obviously). Let cakes cool on rack for 15 minutes before loosening and removing from the tins.

Top cooled cakes with peanut butter icing or melted chocolate (or both!). To make PB icing, combine 1 tbsp. peanut butter, 1 teas. milk and 1/2 cup powdered sugar and blend until smooth. Scoop into the corner of a sandwich bag, twist and snip of a tinny bit of the corner to pipe onto cakes. Do the same with melted chocolate, if you want.

Makes 12 Horcrux Cakes

peanut… flour?

21 Sep

One of the many reasons that I love Trader Joe’s is because aside from the everyday staples (like flour and soy milk), you discover these random treasures. They vary by region (I still miss the vegan grape juice sweetened cinnamon rolls they sell in Phoenix) and you never know how long you have before they mysteriously disappear, just as quickly as they came. A recent trip uncovered a new friend, lurking in the shadows. Who knows how much time we’ll have together?

Vacuum-sealed like a little bundle of love, peanut flour! While almond and hazelnut meal are essentially just finely chopped nuts, peanuts are too oily and would just make peanut butter so the peanut flour is partially defatted to make it light and powdery.

So what do I do? I make cookies, of course! And after all these years of baking, I’m happy to post my first (and definitely not last) gluten-free recipe!

I’m not usually big on posting recipes that have exotic ingredients which aren’t widely available… to make up for it, I’m going to do a giveaway! Sorry folks, but US residents only. Leave a comment and I will draw a random winner on Friday and will send them a bag of peanut flour!

Gluten-free* PB Cookies

1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup sorghum or amaranth flour
1/4 cup peanut flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp. tapioca starch
1 teas. guar or xanthan gum
1/2 teas. baking powder
1/4 teas. baking soda
sprinkle salt
1/4 cup agave
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tbsp. peanut butter
2 tbsp. milk of choice
1/2 teas. vanilla
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients, through the salt. Mix well to break up any clumps. In a larger bowl, whisk together the agave, oil, peanut butter, milk and vanilla. Incorporate the dry into the wet until just mixed than add the chocolate chips.

Scoop out in even sized scoops onto cookie sheet and flatten each cookie slightly. Bake for 8-10 minutes until they are slightly golden and the edges are set.

Makes 1 dozen cookies

*If you don’t want to make them gluten free, omit the brown rice flour, sorghum flour, tapioca flour and gum and replace with 3/4 cup all-purpose flour.

cupcake win(s)!

6 Jun

What happens when you are a procrastinator of epic proportions (I have two “important” things I am supposed to be working on but don’t feel particularly invested in) and you are childless and asked to make cupcakes for a 3-year-old’s birthday party? You go a little crazy.

Strawberry cream-filled vanilla cupcakes with strawberry buttercream frosting.

I didn’t get quite as much strawberry cream filling inside of them as I thought I did. Note to self- muscle the pastry bag more next time!

Basic chocolate cupcakes with a vanilla buttercream icing, and a decorative chocolate drizzle and cherry. I think I blew the mind of a 6-year-old who said that she liked vanilla better than chocolate when I informed her there was vanilla in chocolate cake she was eating, but she just couldn’t see it. She was quite occupied working that over for awhile.

And now the serious winners of the party:

For those who love peanut butter and chocolate- brace yourselves. I saw the inspiration for these some time ago on this blog, but was awaiting the ideal opportunity to tweak them and unleash them on the world.

I’m officially calling them The Home Run. A chocolate cupcake, filled with a peanut butter custard, topped with a layer of ganache, a peanut butter cookie and topped with a hand-rolled peanut butter chocolate truffle. Oh yeah, baby.

I will post a whole recipe for them soon. Needless to say they are a bit involved, but totally worth it. I got rave reviews from folks who were self-proclaimed PB and chocolate haters (although I firmly believe such a group of people doesn’t exist). If you just want wait to give them a try, I used the chocolate cake recipe from my Darkest Forest Cake recipe and the PB Cookies recipe from my cookbook for those components.

I know the whole cupcake craze is starting to wane a bit (what do you think will take their place?) but I don’t think we’ll ever quite recover from how fun they are! Cupcakes aren’t just cake… they are a way of life!

the land of chocolate…

8 Sep

*Reminder- my book signing is this Saturday, Portland peeps! Come out and claim what is rightfully yours- a cupcake tattoo in an unmentionable place… or whatever. 🙂 *

It was Jim’s birthday last week and I knew I needed to do something good.

Something big.

Something delicious.

My birthday is this week. With our birthday’s being so close together our gifts tend to arrive at the same time… and my willpower tends to get the best of me, with this year being no exception. I say this with no shame or concern. I will admit that I’m a grown woman who cannot stand the secret of an unknown package. I’m the same way as a gift giver- it’s so hard for me to contain myself! Anyhow, I was going to be good this year and hold out, but I saw the return address on one box and I had to open it. I simply needed what was inside for Jim’s birthday treat. It was pure selflessness, I swear.


The holy grail of brownie pans. The Baker’s Edge. This fine specimen of a pan had been on my Amazon wishlist for a couple of years. I manage to justify a lot of things to myself, but I only make brownies probably 3-4 times a year. Did I really need an exclusive brownie pan? No. Did I want it anyway? Yes. The channels in the pan allow for a consistently chewy edge through out the whole pan of brownies. It’s pure genius!

So now you must understand why I couldn’t wait for this week. Jim needed to have birthday brownies. What kind of wife would I be to deny him of his favorite treat?

In addition to the pan arriving, so did my cookbook! Several boxes, in fact. I got to use a fresh, new copy of the book in my cookbook holder to try my Ultimate Brownie recipe in the new pan.



I didn’t really take my own advice and read through the recipe well before starting… I kind of forgot that the recipe is for an 8 x 8 pan while the Baker’s Edge is a 9 x 12. Oops. Thankfully, the channels are forgiving.


I topped the brownies with a peanut butter stripe mixture. The mixture is as follows: 1/2 cup peanut butter, 2 tbsp. sugar, 1 tbsp. flour, 1 tbsp. soy milk. Combine and mix in a food processor until smooth and creamy. I used a pastry bag to pipe it on.


I also sprinkled a light dusting of flaked salt on top, to give it a noticeable trace of saltiness, a trait in sweet treats that both Jim and I appreciate.

The brownies were good… but I could do better. And thanks to the heavenly Celine, I knew just what to add.

This chocolate peanut butter syrup by Celine is truly heaven in your mouth. If you are a chocolate and PB fanatic (like we are in my house) than this syrup is a MUST. The recipe is so simple and the results will have your licking everything your food processor/blender/pots and pans/spatula comes in contact with. Kind of obscene, really. But if you know Celine, well, that’s her style. 🙂


I filled one half-pint jar for a friend and then almost filled a pint jar for us… so it makes plenty. As the syrup cools (especially after refrigeration) it thickens into a nice saucy consistency. All hail Celine!

If your husband/partner/brother/mother/whoever loves chocolate and PB, then their birthday would probably be best topped off with this as well:


Happy Birthday, indeed!


21 Apr

Hello! I know I haven’t been posting very much this month, but I promise that it’s for good reason and you’ll soon know why.

My friend, Ximena, had a birthday on Saturday and I had an appointment at her shop on Sunday. She is the vegetarian tattoo artist and shop owner (vegan tattoos!) who also made the nom! buttons, and she is a serious cat lover. I used recipes from Damn Tasty! to make her a kitty birthday cake, fit for the feline-friendly.


The chocolate cake recipe from the Black Forest Cake, covered with Peanut Butter Frosting and I did some detailing with melted chocolate. Everyone wins when you make a cake where you need to cut out elements of it- they get the cake and you get to eat the scraps. The result was this cute, playful cake that was a cinch to make. Yum!

I presented it to her at my appointment to get some long-awaited tattoos. These have been several years in the making: my bees!

On my left shoulder:


And on my right:


These pictures were taken less than 24 hours after, so I’m still a little pink and swollen. Don’t them look great?! They turned out even better than I expected, Ximena just rocks.

Why the bees? Well, there are a couple of reasons. One, I just like bees. I think they are beautiful and their complex language is so fascinating. An important thing about bees is their contribution to agriculture around the world. Bees are responsible for much of the pollination needed for our crops to grow, but the bees are dying. This is a real concern because it is affecting food crops worldwide and no one can figure out why the colonies are dying off. Everything from watermelon, broccoli, to my furry friend the kiwi, they all rely on bees to grow, so this decline has far-reaching effects. In the past few years this problem has been attracting more attention, but the mystery is still there. Bees are just as important as the water, sun and soil used to grow crops. So, with that in mind, I pay homage to these amazing little creatures, so essential to our world.

Thanks to the bees, I was able to make this delicious salad:


Mixed baby greens, spinach, cucumber, baby heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers and some sliced up carrots, the perfect spring time lunch salad!

I hope spring is in the air for you all. I can see some bees buzzing around the blooming tree outside my window right now.

i spoke too soon

6 Apr

Apparently my friend Joe heard that I had fallen off of the chocolate wagon and came to my rescue.

I swear, Trader Joe’s just keeps rolling out more vegan goodness. It’s like a new, animal-free surprise every time I shop. The treat this week, dark chocolate mint “UFOs”.


They are basically hugely oversized chocolate chips. I am at a loss as to what to do with them, so for now I’ll keep eating them by the palmful. I was very pleasantly surprised with the quality of the chocolate and of course I love all things chocolate and mint.

Last week was a really stressful week for me at work and Jim continued taking the reign of dinner preparation. Keeping it healthy, our dinner on Friday was a millet pilaf with sauteed onions and garlic, pinto beans and sweet corn, served over kale.


Even though it appears to be a big ol’ pile of beige, it was remarkably tasty and will probably enter into regular rotation. The only change I’d make is to add more pintos. My tequila sunrise is on the horizon, much needed after a too-long week.

On Sunday I REALLY wanted brunch, but really didn’t want to cook. After whining for about 30 minutes and then imagining the 1 hour wait at Jam on Hawthorne (our favorite breakfast place) I caved and started making brunch. Jim is happy with toast and coffee, but I just can’t live like that on Sunday, it’s uncivilized.


I made the apple peanut butter pancakes from Peanut Butter Planet with white whole wheat flour and subbing water with some agave for the apple juice called for. I appropriately served these up with some applesauce and what Jim deemed my “best tofu scramble ever” with dried basil, artichokes, kalamata olives, shallots, sundried tomatoes and fresh spinach. On the side, some kiwi.

Now, am I alone here, because I always eat the skin on my kiwis. I never knew that other people didn’t until I moved to Minnesota in middle school and kids started picking on me. Minnesotans not eating kiwi skin didn’t strike me as odd because these were the same people who were wearing toe-socks and sandals to school in January. But I have since been looked at with disgust for eating something “furry” while living in other parts of the country. Half of the flavor is in the skin! Can I get a witness?