peanut butter

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Pillows

Ok, it’s time for some cookies up in here.  Honestly, it’s surprising it has taken me four days.  I’ve been eyeing the Peanut Butter Chocolate Pillows from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar since the day I got the book.  For some reason though, I’ve been intimidated by them, and had yet to try them.  Until now.  Why, oh why, did I put these off?

They are a little bit more labor intensive than your typical cookie.  But, they aren’t your typical cookie. They are arguably the best cookie I’ve ever made.  I sent a few with my sister to our hair stylist.  They were immediately requested (read: demanded) to be added to this year’s Christmas cookie basket.

The original version is over on The Post Punk Kitchen blog, but here is my gluten-free version.  They look a bit different, but they are still pb/chocolate perfection.

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Pillows | Veg-am

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Pillows

(makes 2 dozen)

Chocolate dough:

  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 1 cup sugar (I used turbinado, but any sugar should work)
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons almond milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup sorghum flour
  • ½ cup Brown Rice Flour
  • 3 Tbsp Arrowroot
  • 1 Tbsp Tapioca Starch
  • ¾ tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/ cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened dutch processed cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Filling:

  • ¾ cup creamy salted peanut butter (I used the no-stir Skippy Natural)
  • 2/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 3 tablespoons almond milk
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large mixing bowl combine oil, sugar, maple syrup, almond milk and vanilla extract and mix with a fork until smooth, about 2 minutes.  Using a fine mesh sieve, “sift”  in flours, xanthan, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. (don’t use a real sifter – they’re nearly impossible to clean once they’ve had xanthan in them).  Mix to form a moist dough.  As with a lot of gluten free cookie doughs, this will probably be a bit stickier than what you’d expect from a traditional cookie dough.  If you add flour to the expected consistency, you will end up with a dry, crumbly finished product.  To make it easier to work with, refrigerate the chocolate dough while making the filling.

Make the filling: In another mixing bowl beat together peanut butter, confectioner’s sugar, almond milk and vanilla extract to form a moist but firm dough. If peanut butter dough is too dry (as different peanut butters have different moisture content), stir in another tablespoon of almond milk. If dough is too wet knead in a little extra powdered sugar.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking 2 sheets with parchment paper.

Shape the cookies. Create the centers of the cookies by rolling the peanut butter dough into 24 balls. To keep the chocolate dough as cold as possible, only pull out about a quarter of it at a time.  Working on waxed paper,  using a generous tablespoon of chocolate dough, flatten into a disc and place a peanut butter ball in the center. Fold the sides of the chocolate dough up and around the peanut butter center and roll the chocolate ball into an smooth ball between your palms. Place on a sheet of waxed paper and repeat with remaining dough.

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Pillows | Veg-am

Flatten the cookies a little (This was an optional step in the original recipe, but I found that it gave me a better distribution of peanut butter in the gf version. I did try it both ways.)

Place dough balls on lined baking sheets about 2 inches apart, and flatten the cookies a little (this was an optional step in the original recipe, but I found that it gave me a better distribution of peanut butter in the gf version)

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Pillows | Veg-am

Bake for 12 minutes.  Remove sheet from oven and let cookies for 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack to complete cooling. Store cookies in tightly covered container.

I’m not usually a big fan of warm baked goods, but these are super good while still warm.  They are also good at room temperature.  And frozen.

If you like your cookies warm, the original recipe says they’ll heat in the microwave in about 10 seconds.  I haven’t tried it, but it sounds about right.

Warm cookies.  Cold almond milk.  You’re welcome :)


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1 food 5 ways, Sweet Potatoes, Way #1: Sweet Potato-Scallion Rice Paper Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

You may have been observant enough to notice that I skipped over way #5 of navy beans. Have no fear, I will get back it. BUT, as is probably pretty obvious from earlier weeks, Fridays are usually busy days for me. Today is no exception. Tonight is my Sunday School class’s pumpkin carving social. So I decided to skip on to way #1 of my last food for Vegan Month of Food so I could take them as my contribution to the snack table. And the last food for the month is…sweet potatoes! Sweet dishes, savory dishes, I love them pretty much any way you can make them and am looking forward to experimenting in the next couple days and to enjoying this favorite of mine!

These are such a favorite, that ever since I came up with this combo, I haven’t bothered making any other rice paper rolls. I actually usually use the cashew sauce I posted earlier in the month, but my Whole Foods Market has removed its grind-your-own cashew butter machine and I didn’t have time to make it from scratch today. So I just replaced the cashew butter with peanut butter. The lime overpowered the peanut butter a bit, so I added about a Tbsp more of PB, a couple dashes of Coconut Aminos and a little salt. Just adjust ’til it tastes right. That’s a double batch in the picture. Probably more than I’ll need for the rolls, but I don’t mind leftovers 😀

Sweet Potato-Scallion Rice Paper Rolls (makes 14)

Ingredients:

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1-1/2 to 2 lbs of sweet potatoes, cut french fry size
14 – 8″ rice paper wrappers
4 oz rice noodles (Asian style, not spaghetti noodles) cooked according to package directions, drained and rinsed in cold water
1/2 bunch (about 8) scallions/green onions, white bulb removed and the rest sliced

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400. On a rimmed cookie sheet, toss the sweet potatoes in the olive oil until coated. Spread out in a single layer and bake sweet potatoes for 30 minutes, turning them over after 20. Set aside to cool.

When all the components are ready and cool, you can assemble the rolls:

Fill a large pie plate or bowl with very warm water. Place two rice paper wrappers in the water at a time, completely submerged and let sit for about a minute, until they have softened.

Handle each wrapper gently as you place it on your work surface. Place about 3 Tbsp rice noodles in the lower third of the wrapper, leaving about 1-1/2 inches of margin from the far edges on either side (you’ll be folding those in.) Place a layer of sweet potato above the noodles (I probably used 8-10 “fries” for each roll). Add scallions (probably about 2 tsp-1 tbsp). To roll, snugly fold the left and right sides of the wrapper over the filling. Lift the bottom of the wrapper over the filling and tuck it underneath the filling, then roll firmly but gently Place the rolls seam side down on a plate or clean cookie sheet. Cut in half when ready to serve. (I cut them at an angle. They just seem fancier that way)

Notes:
1. I cooked 2 pounds of sweet potatoes, but it was a little too much for 14 rolls. So you can cook less. Or do what I did and mix up a little maple syrup and chipotle tabasco. Dip and eat.
2. My work surface is a piece of wax paper taped to the counter.
3. You’ll get a setup that works for you after you do it a time or two. My water bowl sits on the counter to the side and I have everything else on the island where I’m assembling the stuff. My assembly station looks like this (sorry for the dark pic – it’s raining here today) :

4. Don’t feel the need to be too uptight about what goes in the roll. Some will have more rice noodles, some will have more sweet potato. As long as it’s close, you’re golden. By all means don’t stress yourself out by measuring.
3. If you’re scared of rice paper rolls, don’t be. They are a lot easier than you think!

UPDATE: Harry Potter (kinda) Jack-o-lantern. We had a great time carving, visiting and eating yummies.

1 food 5 ways, Bananas, Way #2: Banana Split Ice Cream

I love ice cream. I especially love ice cream that you need to chew. I like it to be hard and have other stuff in it. When you are a soy free vegan who doesn’t own an ice cream maker, there aren’t a ton of choices out there that fit that description. One of my favorites growing up was a banana split ice cream. Not a real banana split, but the banana flavored ice cream with the fruit and chocolate mixed in. Lucky for me, Dreena Burton made a cashew banana ice cream that I was able to adapt to replace this childhood favorite.

Banana Split “Ice Cream”



“Ice Cream”:
5 very ripe bananas, cut into large chunks and frozen (1.25 lbs after being peeled about 4 cups frozen chunks)
1/2 cup salted all natural peanut butter (the stir-in-the jar kind)*
1/4 cup agave nectar

*If you have unsalted peanut butter add 1/8″ tsp salt

Add-ins
1/2 cup chocolate chips (Enjoy Life brand are vegan, gluten-free, and soy-free)
1/2 cup frozen pineapple, cut in 1/2″ dice
1/2 cup frozen strawberries, cut in 1/2″ dice
1/4 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts

Directions:
Mix the add-ins together in a large mixing bowl. Put bowl in the freezer while you make the ice cream base so you won’t end up with strawberry juice streaks in the “ice cream”.

Put the frozen banana chunks in food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. If you have a small processor, you might want to do that in stages. Even with my large one, it almost tossed the processor around a bit. Add the peanut butter and agave nectar and process until smooth.

Get out the add-in bowl and scrape the “ice cream” on top of the add-ins. Then fold in the add-in ingredients until they are evenly distributed.

Put the entire mixture in a freezer-safe container and freeze ice cream until hard, overnight-12 hours. I put that time on it because at 5 hrs after making it was too soft, when I woke up at the 12 hour mark it was perfect! If it’s too hard to scoop after refreezing, just leave it sitting out for a couple minutes and it should scoop perfectly.

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I kinda hate to admit it, but I ate this for breakfast as soon as it was frozen hard enough. I just couldn’t help myself. Then again, with all that fruit in it, I guess it’s not so bad.
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Liebster Award:

Thanks to Richa from Hobby and More , Mel from Veganise This! and Kelly from Three and a Half Vegans for each awarding me a Liebster. “Liebster” is German and means ‘dearest’ or ‘beloved’ but it can also mean ‘favorite’. The idea behind this award is to bring attention to bloggers who have less than 200 followers and show your support during Vegan Mofo!
The rules of winning this award are as follows:
1. Show your thanks to those who gave you the award by linking back to them.
2. Reveal 5 of your top picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Post the award on your blog.
4. Enjoy the love and support of some wonderful people on the www!
I’d like to award Liebsters to the following:
1. Amanda at In My Vegan Life
2. Celyn at Miso For Breakfast
3. Celeste at Growing Up Veg
4. Cara at Fork And Beans
5. VeggieAmanda at Newman Improved

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