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).


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.


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!

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


-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.

adapted from this recipe by Healthy. Happy. Life.


Mangia! Mangia!