I went a little crazy on Friday. Dessert crazy, that is. I made 8 different dessert items. But the last one was my hands-down, all-time favorite. And I can’t believe it’s my own recipe! Well, with a little inspiration ;-)
I started my day by trying to make my own coconut butter. I’ve never had coconut butter, or even seen it, so I’m not sure what it was supposed to look like, but I don’t think it was supposed to look like mine! I’d show you a picture, but I didn’t take one. I didn’t take one of the two different types of freezer fudge I tried to make from the failed (I think) coconut butter either. I’m new at photographing my food for future blog use. Sorry for my lack of blogginess – ha.
I used CCK’s recipe for the Coconut Butter, and I tried to make her Naughty Girl Fudge and Good Girl Fudge. I added raspberries to the NGF and lots of cinnamon to the GGF, but they just didn’t taste right. I ended up giving them away (no waste!), and my friend loved the chocolate and raspberry flavor! It’s her favorite flavor combo. Who knew? (Not me. I’m a great friend, apparently.)
After I almost blew up my food processor making my failed CNB (and Magic Bullet, and immersion blender, and…), I made HH’s Black Bean Brownies. As I’ve posted before, I don’t care for the flavor of banana in things, so these weren’t my favorite taste wise. They were deliciously fudgey, though. Mmmm!
While they were in the oven, I made DDD’s Chocolate Bean Spread. This, my friends, was todiefor! I did have to use a little extra sugar (I don’t have any stevia – yet!), and I think the next time I make it (because there will definitely be a next time!), I’m going to try it with black beans. I found the white beans a bit strong in flavor. Strange, hu? You’d think the black beans would have a stronger flavor. Maybe it’s just me. That could definitely be the case.
I used most of the Chocolate Bean Spread to top the Black Bean Brownies. What a double bean delight!
I saved the tiny bit I had left over for a tasty toast topper the next morning. (OK, I ate it with my fingers before the toast was ready, but I intended to eat it on my toast.)
After the brownies came out of the oven, I slid my next treat in there – CCK’s Blondies - peanut butter flavor. These also used beans as their fudgey, gooey base.
I used Better’n Butter for the peanut butter flavoring. It’s not my favorite, but I’ve had an open jar in the fridge for a while, and I’m trying to use it up.
The blondies were very, very good. Especially after I topped them with the next thing I made – chocolate g’nosh.
8 oz Baker’s Semi Sweet Chocolate (or other vegan chocolate)
1 TBSP coconut oil
Add both ingredients to a microwave safe bowl. Heat on high in 30 second intervals, stirring between cycles, until melty. Mine took three rounds, or 90 seconds.
This amount makes a double batch (or one, big batch for a chocolate indulgence dessert).
I used about half of the g’nosh to pour over the peanut butter blondies, and I used the other half to make the most incredible dessert I’ve ever made – and the first time I’ve tried imitating a candy flavor from my not-so-distant past. Here it comes…wait for it…wait for it…I made vegan pecan candies! Or, more commonly known as turtle-style candies. O, the memories. Turtles were my grandpa’s favorite treat. And, since he was my best childhood buddy, they were mine too! Every time I eat a Turtle or even see them in the store (the old-school big pack with the gold and orange stripes), I think about my grandpa.
My candies were inspired by Averie’s Raw Vegan Caramel. I’ve really, really missed caramel (insert drooling Veggie V face here).
1/2 c dates, soaked
1/2 c pecans, chopped
1 tsp vanilla (or more!)
Using a food processor or a high-powered blender (I used my Magic Bullet), blend the dates until they start to get creamy. Add the chopped pecans. (I chopped my pecans in the food processor, then added my blended dates.) Pulse to combine, then blend to combine further. A ball of “dough” may begin to form. Stop blending if it does. If it doesn’t, process for a minute or so, then check the mixture. If it is significantly blended together and easily forms a ball in your fingers, it’s ready to go. If not, pulse for a few more seconds, checking texture often. (Don’t forget to scrape down the sides of the bowl. The mixture tends to fly up the sides and onto the top.)
Spread mixture onto parchment paper. Freeze for at least 20-30 minutes, or until firm instead of gooey.
When the mixture is firm, roll pieces (about 2 inches by 2 inches) into balls. Mine made 12 three-bite-sized balls.
Roll balls in left over g’nosh, coating evenly. Return balls to parchment paper and return to freezer. Freeze until chocolate has set – about 30 minutes.
I swear to you, if you close your eyes, your taste buds will think you’re eating a turtle style candy. Even my omni taste testers thought so!
This batch of vegan caramel pecan bars had about 170 calories per ball, which I thought was a little high for a three bite treat, but they’re WAY more nutritious than the original version – and vegan, too. And who doesn’t need a little indulgence once in a while?
Speaking of indulging, I’m submitting this recipe to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free. Check out some of the other delicious recipes while you’re there. (Side note - Some of the submissions aren’t vegan, which isn’t one of the submission requirements.)