Thursday, June 28, 2012

Frozen Peanut Butter Pie with Pretzel Crust

For 3 years of doing the dishes. 
For 3 Years of sweeping up sprinkles and spices and wiping cake batter off of the walls. 
For 3 years of making me laugh when I want to cry... for telling me everything is going to be alright. 
For tolerating 3 years of bad reality TV and 90's pop music. 
For 3 years of letting me be right, even when he knows I'm wrong. 

For 3 years of tech support. 
For 3 years of cuddles. 
For 3 years of living in a girl mess of magazines and cookbooks and scented candles... for constantly having to step over shoes, purses, scarves and nail polish, only to be yelled at when he leaves his hat on the kitchen table. For all that and so much more, this guy deserved dessert.

And not just any dessert... a dessert with peanut butter AND Reese's peanut butter cups. His favorite things.  

I made this treat for my guy on our 3 year anniversary. An attempt to make up for me being a high-strung-high-maintenence-whiney-stress-basket the other 364 days of the year, and because I love him. And seriously? Because I'm beginning to think it's the desserts that keep him hanging around ;)

The original recipe I followed did not involve yogurt, but I had issues when it came to "melting" the peanut butter with the icing sugar... It simply wouldn't happen. The peanut butter stayed firm when heated, and as I added the sugar it only seized up more. I blame it on my all natural peanut butter... Or my all natural incompetence. 

Either way, I had to toss the first batch and start over. I needed to bring the nut butter to a consistency where it could be easily folded in with the whipped cream. My solution came in the form of a tub of Greek yogurt already in my fridge. Thank god for Greek yogurt! Its thick, creamy, tangy, and low in fat (because thats totally what I was going for here.not). The final result was just a dish full of sweet-salty-nutty-chocolatey-amazingness. The boy loved it and so did I. 

Frozen Reese's Peanut Butter Pie with Pretzel Crust 

Adapted from Bakers Royale.

Crust- Ingredients 
4 Cups Pretzels (I used Glutino gluten free pretzel sticks) 
1/2 Cup butter, melted 
1/2 Cup white sugar 

 1. Lightly butter a springform cake pan or tart dish (I used a 9 Inch cake pan), preheat an oven to 350F. Combine sugar and pretzels in a food processor, pulse to combine. With the processor running, stream in melted butter through the opening. The mixture will be the texture of wet sand. 

2. Press the pretzel mixture into the prepared pan with your fingers, use the palm of your hand to firmly press down the bottom crust until it is flat. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown and set. Let cool. 

Filling- Ingredients 
2 Cups whipping cream
1 1/4 Cup icing sugar
1 Cup smooth peanut butter 
3/4 Cup plain Greek yogurt 
1 Cup Reese's minis, roughly chopped 
Reese's cups for topping, halved

1. Whip the whipped cream until peaks form, add 1/4 cup of the powdered sugar and beat briefly just to combine. Set in the fridge to stay cool. 

2. With an electric mixer, cream together the peanut butter and yogurt, add the powdered sugar and mix until all lumps are gone. Fold together with the whipped cream, then fold in the mini Reese's cups (or chocolate chunks, or whatever add-ins you want!). 

3. Pour into the prepared pie crust and top with Reese's halves. Freeze for at least 3 hours before serving. 

This can be made a few days in advance, just be sure to take it out of the freezer at least a 1/2 hour before serving to allow for easier cutting.  Will keep in the freezer... indefinitely? I mean, it's ice cream. Come on. 

P.S. Make this for your Canada day celebrations and everyone will love you. I promise. Have an amazing long weekend friends! Hopefully the weather will stay nice and I will see you all at the beach :)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dark Chocolate Buckwheat Brownies with White Chocolate Chips and Cherries

Hello lovelies! Happy Friday :) Are you ready for the weekend? I know I sure am! But first, I have a great brownie recipe for you here.

My good friend Megan came to visit from Seattle not too long ago. Megan was my roommate back when we were both in school - her for culinary, me for design. Kinda crazy which one of us ended up with a food blog, isn't it?! Needless to say, we are both huge food lovers and whenever we get together it's jam packed with culinary adventures.

In two days we managed to scarf down a whole lotta deliciousness. This included (the BEST EVER) sushi at a little local place called Toshi. I could eat here everyday, its that good. The miso black cod is ridiculous (and I hear the eggplant is pretty good too... if you're into that kinda thing). Then there was this Gelato: Flavours settled on after sampling nearly every one of the 218(!!) on site were grapefruit-champagne and guava-papaya. Holy yuuuum. There was also... poutine, a crepe breakfast, chocolate truffles, spiked raspberry lemonades, many cups of tea, and of course, the brownies!

I think Meg put it best when she said "If we lived any closer, we'd both be a lot fatter". 

A whooooole lot.

Back to the matter at hand, these brownies. They are dark, sweet, gooey and fudgey.  And also gluten free!

The gluten free-ness here is hardly noticeable, as there is so little flour in the recipe to begin with. But you can easily swap it out for regular flour if thats what you have. Make sure to use a reeeeally good dark chocolate for this recipe though. The sweet white chocolate and tart cherries are amazing with the ultra-chocolatey-not-too-sweet-brownie batter. LOVE.

Dark Chocolate Buckwheat Brownies with White Chocolate Chips and Cherries

If gluten is your friend, simply swap the gluten free flour for all purpose flour and omit the xanthan gum 

6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 Cup butter
2 Large eggs
1 Cup dark brown sugar
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 Cup gluten free all purpose flour (I used Bob's red mill)
1/4 Cup buckwheat flour
1/4 Teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1/4 Teaspoon baking soda
1/2 Cup white chocolate chips
1/2 Cup dried sour cherries

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter an 8X8 Inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper, so that the edges hang over 2 sides of the pan.

2. Melt the chocolate with the butter in a double boiler (or the microwave!), set aside to cool.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flours, xanthan gum, salt, and baking soda.

4. Add the sugar to the chocolate mixture and beat well. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition, followed by the vanilla. Combine the dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture until just combined, try not to over mix. Fold in the chocolate chips and cherries. 

5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the sides begin to firm up. The centre will still be quite soft, and may seem underdone. But be careful not to over bake them.

Let cool before slicing into squares… if you have the will power. Clearly, we did not.

Love ya Meg! Can't wait for the next time we get to visit. We still need to get our glitter on!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Spicy Edamame Hummus

Good morning! I made a snack...

Who doesn’t love snacktime? I mean really, it’s just another excuse to eat, and who doesn't love that? Keep in mind this is coming from someone who’s life revolves around finding more opportunities to cram delicious-calorie-filled-treats into her face.

Snack time makes me think of recess. I really miss recess... Ritz crackers and spreadable orange cheese. Animal crackers. Oreos. Pop Tarts. Capri sun. Those were the days.

Really though? I was never the kid with the capri-sun. I was sooooooo envious of the kid with the capri-sun! Instead, I got stuck with the hippie kids juice box – a recycled glass bottle, with the label torn off but that layer of sticky goo left behind, and filled up with apple juice. Not even the clear kind! The gross muddy brown kind. I don’t think I ever took this incriminating item out of my lunch bag around my classmates, that’s how embarassed I was. My friends were the ones with mini bags of doritos or dunkaroos (omg remember DUNKAROOS???), while I always felt so uncool with my juice and granola bar.

The most ironic part? I think Mom was on to something. Fast forward to 2012 and reusable glass bottles are all the rage. I don’t hang out at school playgrounds much these days (cus how creepy would that be?), but I’ll bet all the cool kids are sporting eco-friendly glass bottles and toting snacks of homemade sugarfree-chia-hempseed-applesauce-cookies.

Hmm...I just made that up, but it sounds like it could be kind of good. Maybe?

My snacktime nowadays isn't limited to a 30 minute period mid-morning. It extends thoughout the day and involves lots of fruits and veggies, nuts, trail mix, cheese and crackers, and chips with hummus. A lot of hummus.  Garlic and roasted red pepper are old favourites, but this one is stellar too.

It has edamame, sesame oil and a spicy wasabi kick. You can totally leave out the wasabi if you're not a fan, the boy for one detests wasabi, so I left a portion plain for him. But I loved the flavour and spice it brought to the party. With a pile of pita or corn chips this is so totally addicting, and a great change if you are bored of regular old hummus.

Edamame Hummus

If you prefer to leave out the wasabi, try adding a touch of chili paste or Sriracha. I think a bit of spice really takes this to the next level.

Also, both the chickpeas and edamame beans have a kind of "skin" on them. Although the hummus has a smoother texture if they are removed, the process is time consuming and not absolutely necessary. This time I did a kind of once over on them, removing any skins that were easy to slip off. This didn't take too long and worked for me.


1 Can chickpeas
1 16oz bag (1 pound) frozen shelled edamame, defrosted
2 Cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 Cup tahini
Juice of 2 lemons (about 2/3 cup)
1/4 Cup olive oil
1/4 Cup toasted sesame oil
4-6 Tablespoons water
1 Teaspoon salt
1-2 Teaspoon(s) wasabi paste, to taste
Toasted sesame seeds, optional

1. Remove the edamame from shells (pods)  if needed, the ones I bought were already shelled so I skipped this step. Peel skins from the edamame. Drain and rinse chickpeas and remove the skins from them as well.

2. Combine the chickpeas, edamame beans, garlic, tahini, and lemon juice in a food processor. Blend until combined and then, with the processor on low, slowly add the 2 oils. Drizzle in water 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dip reaches a smooth consistancy, for me this was about 4 Tablespoons.

3. Add the salt and wasabi paste and blend to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Top with a generous drizzle of sesame oil and some toasted sesame seeds. Serve with pita or corn chips for dipping.

I think offices need to bring back recess in a big way. Also? Naptime. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m heading the the supermarket to see if they still make dunkaroos.