Muddy Buddy Cookies {"Puppy Chow" Cookies}

Muddy Buddies (or "Puppy Chow") have been a favorite in our family for as long as I can remember. Those delicious chocolate peanut butter covered cereal pieces were probably one of the first recipes I made by myself, back in the day...
Anyhow, there are many variations of a hybrid Muddy Buddy/Cookie roaming the Internet this holiday season. After deciding it was worth the time, resources and calories, I used our favorite peanut butter cookie recipe with an easy chocolate coating and some simple powdered sugar to create what very well may be the newest and most quickly devoured holiday favorite in our house.
This recipe yields a supremely rich lovechild of the luscious peanut butter cup and much-loved Muddy Buddies.
When you're ready to embrace such a feat, gather your materials and continue reading...






Muddy Buddy Cookies {"Puppy Chow" Cookies}

makes about 2 dozen cookies


Peanut Butter Cookies

-one batch soft peanut butter cookies or gluten free peanut butter cookies

Chocolate Coating

-1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
-1/2 cup peanut butter
-2 Tablespoons vegan buttery spread
-2 Tablespoons coconut oil

Snow Dust

-about 1 cup powdered sugar, for dusting

To Prepare Cookies:

1. Follow regular directions for soft peanut butter cookies, allow to cool completely.

To Prepare Chocolate Coating:

1. Melt all ingredients in a double-broiler on the stove or in the microwave. (If you don't have a double-broiler, you can use an oven-safe glass bowl over a saucepan with an inch or two of boiling water in the bottom).

To Assemble:

1. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or non stick baking mat. Sprinkle entire sheet with sifted powdered sugar.
2. Dip cooled cookies in bowl of chocolate coating. Completely cover the top and bottom, then remove coated cookie using a fork, draining excess chocolate before placing on powdered sugar-sprinkled baking sheet.
3. Immediately sift powdered sugar over cookies to cover.
4. Refrigerate cookies, once coated and sprinkled, until hardened (or until they mostly make it from hand to mouth).
Enjoy.

notes:

optional substitutions...
-peanut butter: any other nut or seed butter
-vegan buttery spread: coconut oil
-coconut oil: vegan buttery spread












Mangia! Mangia!

Gluten-Free Chocolate Fudge Black Bean Cookies


These black bean based cookies are incredibly fudgy-textured and decadently chocolate-flavored. They are fantastic fuel, full of nutrients, and phenomenally tasty.


Other healthier versions of delicious desserts:
Flourless Chocolate Chip Chickpea Blondies
Flourless Fudgy Chocolate Black Bean Brownies
Flourless Chocolate Chip Chickpea Cookies


 


Gluten-Free Black Bean Fudge Cookies

makes about 1 1/2 dozen cookies

-1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed well and drained

-1/2 cup pure maple syrup
-2 Tablespoons coconut oil
-2 Tablespoons natural peanut butter
-1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
-1 Tablespoon milk of choice
-2 teaspoons vanilla
-3 Tablespoons arrowroot starch
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 375F and line baking sheet with parchment paper or non stick baking mat.

2. Combine all ingredients (except chocolate chips) in food processor. Process until smooth and combined. 
3. Place by 1 to 1 1/2 Tablespoonful on lined baking sheet. Garnish each cookie with a few chocolate chips, if desired.
4. Bake in preheated oven about 10 minutes.
Enjoy.

notes:

Adapted from this recipe by A Couple Cooks
 This is a rather flexible recipe that can be customized many different ways (as healthy as you choose) all yielding a deliciously tasty cookie!
 optional Substitutions...
-black beans: any other dark beans
-maple syrup: honey, coconut sugar, white sugar
    if using dry sugar, be sure to add a touch more milk
-coconut oil: non-dairy butter, avocado oil, olive oil, or other fat of choice
-peanut butter: any nut or seed butter
-arrowroot starch: any other starch or flour 















Mangia! Mangia!

Vegan Caramel Apple Pie & Caramel Sauce





 


Vegan Caramel Apple Pie {with caramel sauce}


Caramel Apple Sauce
-1/2 cup apple cider

-1 Tablespoon arrowroot powder
-1/2 cup vegan buttery spread
-3/4 - 1 cup sugar (for a hint of maple, substitute up to 1/4 cup dry maple sugar)
-dash ginger powder
-dash cinnamon
-pinch pink Himalayan sea salt
-1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
*as you can see, the sugar/fat ingredients are slightly modifiable based on your sweetness/richness preferences.

Apple Pie Filling
-4-5 large tart apples, sliced extra thin
-1 teaspoon cinnamon
-1 teaspoon ginger

-1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
-pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt
-1 1/2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
-1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
-1/4 cup arrowroot powder
-2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup (or dry maple sugar)
-3 Tablespoons caramel apple sauce (recipe above)

for dotting: 1-2 Tablespoons vegan buttery spread


-vegan pie crusts (frozen or homemade)


 

1. Preheat oven to 425F.
2. If you haven't already, slice your apples very thin (1/8"-1/4" thick). 
3. Start your caramel sauce...In a small sauce pan, dissolve the arrowroot starch into the cider.
4. Add the remaining caramel ingredients to the saucepan.
5. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. 
6. When the bubbling becomes intense, reduce to medium heat and continue stirring until the mixture thickens a bit. It will fully thicken as it cools in the fridge. 
7. Remove from heat. Pour 3 Tablespoons of the caramel sauce over the resting apples - fold well. 
8. Pour the remaining sauce into a bowl and chill in the fridge.
9. Work with your pie crusts however you prefer - I did a lattice top - but you can do a closed top or even folded over high rimmed sides like a tart. 

10. Bake bottom layer crust 5 minutes before adding filling and top pie crust, if using. 
11. Spritz oil or milk on the top layer of crust and sprinkle some sugar as well. 
12. Dot apples with vegan buttery spread before closing with top layer crust. 
 If you are not doing lattice design, be sure to add holes to the top of your pie crust to properly vent - allows moisture to escape so your pie doesn't get soggy. 
13. Bake pie in oven at 425F for 15 minutes.
14. Reduce to 350F and bake for 20-25 minutes longer.
15. Baking time for a pie can be a matter of preference - I don't like well-done crusts and prefer them to be tender rather than too crisp. If you want your top a bit more brown, leave in for an extra 5 minutes at 350. 

Cool pie for at least an hour.

Serve warm or stick in the fridge if serving at a later time.
Don't forget to drizzle warmed caramel sauce over top the entire pie - or each pie slice!

notes:
adapted from this recipe by Healthy Happy Life




















Mangia! Mangia!

Perfect Flaky Homemade Vegan Pie Crust

Just in time for the holidays: Rich, flaky, tender pie crust for all your homemade filling needs. Use for fruit pies, custard pies, pot pies, or anything else you wish to fill a tasty crust like this with! Outrageously tastier than store-bought, beautifully golden, and super simple to make, this pie crust has won over the hearts of family and friends and has quickly become a favorite in our home!
This time I filled the beautiful golden crust with warm Caramel Apple Pie filling. Yum.




Perfect Flaky Homemade Vegan Pie Crust
makes 2 balls of dough = 2 crusts (or a top/bottom crust)

-1 cup vegan buttery spread, cubed
-dash pink Himalayan sea salt
-2 1/4 cups white pastry flour, chilled
-1/4-1/2 cups water, chilled
-2-3 Tablespoons sugar (can be omitted if making a savory pie)

-extra flour for rolling out dough

tools:

-rolling pin
-surface for rolling (I roll dough between two sheets of parchment paper)
-pie pans

1. Start your crust process either the night before or at least 2 hours before you will need it to make your pie.

2. Stick your cubed vegan buttery spread in the freezer for at least a half hour to chill before using. You can also chill your flour.
3. Combine flour, salt and sugar using pastry blender or large fork.
4. Cut in the vegan buttery sticks with pastry blender until mixture turns into a clumpy dry mixture. 
5. You want all the butter to combine with the flour and become dry little beads.
6. Next, add in your chilled water a little bit at a time (you can also add in a splash of vanilla extract if you'd like). I usually use 1/3 - 1/2 cup ice water.
7. When your dough is now 'wet' you can transfer it onto a floured surface. It's okay if it feels 'sticky' at this point.

8. Add more flour to properly work with the dough. 
9. Also, if there are a few clumps of buttery spread, that's OK too. The vegan butter clumps will melt nicely in the baking process anyways.
10. Separate your dough into two rounds. They will be incredibly soft and delicate right now. Satiny and fluffy.

11. Wrap them in plastic wrap and place them in the freezer. Freeze these balls for at least an hour before working with the dough. You can freeze overnight if needed.
12. Pull your dough from the freezer - allow to soften slightly if too hard to roll out. 

13. Roll out dough and transfer into a pie tin. The crust doesn't have to be perfect when you transfer. You can always mold the dough in the tin with your fingers. Press it out through the sides as you like.
14. Bake the crust at 425 for about 5-7 minutes. 
15. Pour in pie filling and add the top layer of crust.
16. Spritz or brush with oil or milk, sprinkle with sugar and bake 15 minutes at 400-425 degrees, then an additional 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees. 

Perfect, buttery, classic, rich vegan pie crust. Yum.

notes:
adapted from this recipe by Healthy. Happy. Life.

 













Mangia! Mangia!

Fudgy Chocolatey Flourless Vegan Brownies

A quick break from pumpkin and Fall spices, I shifted gears and set my sights toward discovering a rich, fudgy, chocolaty recipe. I've made many chewy, luscious, melt-in-your mouth brownies bursting full of fat and sugar and yumminess, and I was ready to find a recipe offering some level of health benefit to the consumer(s). Success. This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, and loaded with fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and a plethora of truffly, rich, fudgy textures and flavors. Sink your teeth into one of these chocolaty delights and you may have a chocolate-craving-extinguisher for life.






Fudgy Chocolatey Vegan Brownies {minus the flour}

Makes about 12 muffin-sized brownies

-1 can black beans, well rinsed and drained (~1 3/4 cups) 

-2 flax eggs (I used 3 Tablespoons ground flaxseed + 6 Tablespoons water) or other egg equivalent
-1/4 cup coconut oil (or sub other oil of choice)
-2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
-1/2 cup coconut sugar
-3/4 teaspoon instant coffee granules
-3/4 cup cocoa powder
-1/4 teaspoon pink Himalayan sea salt
-1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
-1/3 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
Optional toppings: crush walnuts, pecans or coconut flakes

1. Preheat oven to 350F and spray or line muffin tin. 
2. Combine flax and water in food processor, pulse a few times and let sit a couple of minutes.
3. Add black beans and process until smooth. Add remaining ingredients except toppings and process until smooth and combined (about 3 minutes) scraping down sides, as needed.
4. If the batter appears too thick, add a Tablespoon or two of water and pulse again. It should be slightly less thick than chocolate frosting but nowhere close to runny.
5. Stir in the chocolate chips.
6. Evenly distribute the batter into the muffin tin and smooth the tops with a spatula, spoon, or your finger.
7. Sprinkle toppings now, if desired.
8. Place in preheated oven and bake 20-26 minutes, until tops are dry and edges pull away from sides.
9. Remove from oven and allow to cool 30 minutes before removing from pan. They will be tender, so remove gently with a fork. 
10. The insides are meant to be very fudgy, so don’t be concerned if they seem too moist – that’s the point. Plus, they’re vegan so it doesn’t really matter.
11. If any remain, store in an airtight container for up to a few days. Refrigerate to keep longer. 
Enjoy! 

notes:
adapted from this recipe by Minimalist Baker
additional legume-based desserts... Chocolate Chip Chickpea Blondies, Fudgy Chocolate Black Bean Cookies,
Chocolate Chip Chickpea Cookies 
optional substitutions...
-black beans: any other dark beans
-flax eggs: chia seed egg, vegan egg replacer
-coconut oil: vegan buttery spread
-coconut sugar: organic white sugar











Mangia! Mangia!

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies

An urge for Fall-themed snickerdoodle cookies came about when I was craving those creamy cinnamon cookies and wanted to put some of my 16+ cups of fresh pumpkin puree to use [before my mom sends me home with more than can fit in our freezer]. This year we had 12 pumpkins to carve on Halloween, which equaled two full days of chopping, baking and pureeing between my mom and me during the days after the festivities. I had a blister from all the chopping. It was so worth it. Usually we have far fewer pumpkins, and usually that lasts us a full year of baking and cooking with pumpkin between the two of us. That means I have been blessed with more than a years worth of pumpkin baked goods to make in the next year until we begin again next Halloween. 

Anyhow, I wanted to either replace the refined sugars or replace the gluten-forming wheat flour in the cookies. Oh, and make them vegan. After endless research for the perfect recipe, I realized there was no perfect recipe that fit my requirements, and could be made using wheat flour, if desired, so I made one. With a few gluten-free flours, a mixture of half Earth Balance and half notoriously healthy coconut oil, and, of course, delectable fresh pumpkin puree, these cookies bake up beautifully. And deliciously. These soft cookies fill your home with warm Fall notes of cinnamon and nutmeg, they yield a moist center and pumpkin flavor with soft coconut undertones. They are scrumptious.





 

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies
makes about one and a half dozen cookies


-1/4 cup coconut oil
-1/4 cup vegan buttery spread
-1/3 cup coconut sugar
-1/4 cup brown sugar
-1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons pumpkin puree 
-1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
-3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-1/8 teaspoon baking powder
-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
-1/8 teaspoon ginger
-1/8 teaspoon pink Himalayan sea salt

-1/3 cup coconut flour
-1/3 cup sorghum flour
-1/3 cup sweet white rice flour
-1/4 cup tapioca flour or starch


Sugar Mixture

-2 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
-1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
-1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1. Combine sugar mixture and set aside.

2. Cream together fats and sugars until fluffy.
3. Add pumpkin puree and vanilla, beat until combined.
4. Add all remaining ingredients except flours, combine.
5. Add flours and combine.
6. Refrigerate dough for at least half an hour.
7. Preheat oven to 375F and line baking sheet with parchment paper or non stick baking mat.
8. Scoop by Tablespoonful, roll in sugar mixture, and place on lined baking sheet and bake 8-10 minutes in preheated oven.
9. Remove from oven and allow to cool on baking sheet 5 minutes.
Enjoy. 

notes:
optional substitutions...
-coconut oil: vegan buttery spread
-vegan buttery spread: coconut oil
-coconut sugar: organic white sugar
-flours: any combination of gluten free flours or gluten free flour mix totaling 1 1/4 cups
*Can be made using wheat flour instead, use 1 1/4-1 1/2 cups depending on consistency of dough












Mangia! Mangia!