Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Magical Minty Cacao Cookies

After posting my Berry Bliss Philosopops, I was excited to see Sophie Jaffe of Philosophie retweeting the pops and posting them to her Instagram page. I told her that the recipe also works well with her other flavors, Green Dream and Cacao Magic.

Since I'm out of my last batch of Berry Bliss Philosopops, I opted to demonstrate some Cacao Magic ones on the blog today, although in a slightly different form. With the addition of mint and a change of shape, the chocolate pops magically become a gluten-free "unbaked" version of the classic Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies.

As you may recall, I posted raw vegan versions of all the classic Girl Scout cookies a number of years ago (a few on We Like It Raw and a couple more my blog). Today's recipe is slightly different than the old one, but I think I like it even more.

These days I don't stress as much about being completely raw, as I don't always eat that way anyway. Therefore, I have no issue with taking a shortcut by melting dairy-free chocolate chips, instead of making my own raw chocolate (although you are welcome to do so).

But enough rambling; here's how to make them:

First, I added 1 cup almond flour, 1/2 cup Philosophie Cacao Magic Vegan Protein and Superfood Powder, 2 Tbsp. Philosophie Cacao Magic Coconut Butter, 2 Tbsp. Philosophie Cacao Bee Honey, 1 Tbsp. almond butter, and sea salt, vanilla and peppermint extract, to taste, to my mini food processor.

I processed all the ingredients into a sticky crumb.

Using my hands, I molded the crumbs into a dough and pressed it out onto a piece of parchment. When I was happy with the thickness, my 5-year-old daughter (that's her hand in the pic below; she has blue marker on it from coloring earlier in the day) and I cut out 18 cookies with a circle cookie cutter.

We piled all the cookies onto a plate and put the plate in the freezer while we melted the chocolate.

We melted a bag of dairy-free chocolate chips in a double boiler, as shown.

Then, one by one, we dipped the chilled cookies into the melted chocolate ...

... and set them onto some parchment.

Lastly, we put them in the fridge to chill/set. The results were delicious (especially with a tall glass of almond milk)!

*Just so you know, I purchased all the ingredients myself. I'm just a fan of the Philosophie brand.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Berry Bliss Philosopops

After polishing off the last of those yummy Golden Globe "Cake" Pops, I've been craving something similar, but with a berry flavor. I guess I'm inspired by the fact that Valentine's Day is coming up soon, because it usually has me thinking of chocolate-covered strawberries (although I love those year-round).

Anyway, my latest Philosophie order arrived just in time to make it into this scrumptious treat (yes, I purchased these products myself). I'm calling them Berry Bliss Philosopops, since they contain all three Philosophie Berry Bliss products (Berry Bliss Vegan Protein & Superfood Powder, Berry Bliss Coconut Butter and Berry Bee Honey).

They are quite simple to make. I just added 1 cup almond flour, 1/4 cup Philosophie Berry Bliss Superfood Powder, 1/4 cup freeze-dried strawberries ground into a powder, 2 Tbsp. Philosophie Berry Bliss Coconut Butter, 2 Tbsp. Philosophie Berry Bee Honey, 1 Tbsp. almond butter, and sea salt and vanilla to taste (vanilla always makes me think of baked goods), to my mini food processor. Then, I processed my ingredients into a sticky crumb.

I formed the batter into about 10 balls. I inserted a lollipop stick into each one and allowed them to set in the freezer while I melted some dairy-free chocolate chips in a double boiler. Then, I removed the sticks from the philosopop balls, dipped the sticks in the chocolate and put them back into the philosopops. The pops were placed back in the freezer while I prepped the topping.

For the topping, I mixed together some coconut sugar, almond flour, freeze-dried strawberries ground into a powder and sea salt.

Once the topping was prepped, I removed the pops from the freezer and dipped them in the melted chocolate.

Then, I dipped them in the topping and put them in the fridge to set.

The finished pops are quite tasty, as you can see here. I recommend you give them a try.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Golden Globe "Cake" Pops & a Celebrity Salad

As you know, my family loves to celebrate award shows by dressing up, casting our ballots and eating foods fit for the occasion. Tonight is the Golden Globes, so I spent the day prepping salad plates, similar to those the celebrities will be dining on tonight, as well as some Golden Globe "Cake" Pops (Jennifer Aniston is nominated for her performance in "Cake," so cake and or cake pops have been recommended as a dessert option).

The official Golden Globe salad is rumored to be a modern take on a Waldorf salad with Romaine leaves, julienne apple, celery and grapes in a lemon dressing (although I made a basic Waldorf salad dressing with a cashew base). It may contain croutons, possibly in a the form of a thin crostini, so I used some gluten-free crackers in a pinch. I also tossed in some traditional walnuts, as I didn't have any walnut oil in the pantry at the moment (from what I understand, the official menu salad has a drizzle of walnut oil on top).

As for the cake pops, I whipped up a batch of Vega's raw vegan turtle base with the addition of a little more almond flour and some soaked dates. I formed the batter into balls and placed them in the freezer to set. Then, I melted some dark chocolate, dipped lollipop sticks into the chocolate and inserted them into the "cake" batter balls.

After allowing the naked "cake" pops to chill some more in the freezer, I dipped them into more melted chocolate and sprinkled the top with a combination of coconut sugar, almond flour and sea salt. It gave them a golden sparkle on top, perfect for the Globes.

I've already packed up the pops for the party, but Hayden made sure to sample one in advance. Here's a peek at the center. She said they're Hayden approved.

Is anyone else watching the Golden Globes tonight? Do you do anything special for it?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

What I'm loving Wednesday

Happy New Year everyone! I know we are already a week into the new year, but I still wanted to wish you a happy one.

I finally got to taste the delicious Strawberry Caramel Buddha that was free with my latest Coracao Confections order (yes, I am a bit addicted to their yummy truffles). A limited quantity were sent out with orders placed the last week of 2014 to see if customers would ask for more. I think this flavor should be added for sale on the site. The filling is "berry" sweet and reminds me of Coracao's superfruit bar that was only available for a short time (I wish they'd sell that bar in truffle size). Gotta love it!

I'm also loving my latest red lipstick, 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Pomegranate Oil Anti-Aging Lipstick in Poppy. It actually keeps my lips hydrated in this harsh winter weather, and it lasts all day. It looks great with the company's Pretty Naked Palette (unfortunately, I can't find it on the site anymore, but it contains a luminescent powder, pretty naked powder blush and eyeshadow in flaxseed, toffee and chestnut), which is perfect for creating a subtle eye in contrast to a bright red lip.

Lastly, my household is loving our first snow for the year, although the kids still had school (don't worry; I took them sledding later in the day). I got to test out my new boots as we trekked to the bus stop and back.

What are you loving lately?  

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Hayden's painted pottery tea set

When I was little, I used to beg and plead to play with my mom's tiny ceramic tea set she had gotten as a child. At first, she wouldn't let me anywhere near it, but eventually gave in, allowing me to have tea parties with it.

Recently, I started going to a pottery painting place near my house, mainly to visit with my sister-in-law while we painted gifts for those we love. I even brought my kids to paint their own projects. While there, Hayden was drawn to this adorable tea set (perfect for Santa's little helpers to go along with their cookies from yesterday's post), which was only a blank bisque at the time.

Now, some may say I'm crazy for painting this fragile set for my 5-year-old, but remembering back to how I felt about my mom's tea set at that age, I understood how much it meant to her. She asked about it weekly and picked out the exact colors (seriously, she had her heart set on specific paint colors) and design elements she wanted me to use (it had to have hearts, dots, her initial, a wave pattern and a mermaid, of course). Naturally, I did my best to fulfill her request, and this is the result.

When all the pieces are stacked up on the plate, you can't see the mermaid, but here's a better view. Thank goodness my daughter loved it, too.

Yes, I gave it to her last night, instead of on Christmas. I just couldn't wait to see her smiling face. If only Santa could have gotten a glimpse of her reaction, as it was so much better than how she reacted to him (poor thing; I thought she'd gotten over her fear).

I also can't wait to see the smile this other gift puts on someone's face when I give it to her. I painted this yarn bowl for someone else mentioned in this post. I wonder who it can be :-)


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Cookies for Santa's little helpers

In the past, I've done posts about "unbaked" (my term for raw vegan "baked" goods) cookies for Santa (I've always liked this plate of cookies for Santa and this recipe was quite memorable, as well), but this year, I decided to do something smaller for his little helpers. Since we've been watching "Prep and Landing" these last so many years, it got my household thinking about the elves who prep the scene before Santa arrives.

I kept this small task simple, using the base dough from the happy holiday turtle recipe from the other day (I found it on the Vega website, so I cannot take credit for that). It's amazing what you can make with this versatile dough.

First, I rolled some of the dough into little balls, which I pressed a chocolate chip into the center to create mini "kiss" cookies. Then, I  formed more dough into tiny cookies and decorated them with cacao nibs.

Sticking with the chocolate theme, I actually mixed some of the dough with cocoa powder to make a chocolate dough. I alternated both the basic dough and the chocolate dough to make mini striped cookies, yet another holiday classic.

Speaking of holiday classics, I made a quick raspberry jam out of mashed raspberries and chia seeds to use in the thumbprint cookies. I rolled the dough in little balls, and in this case, used my pinkie finger to press a well into the center of the cookie. I filled the center of the cookie with the jam.

I also used the jam to decorate a basic roll-out cookie. I rolled out some of the dough, cut it into candy cane shapes and painted stripes on them with the jam and some powdered spirulina. You could also add a bit of mint to make them taste more like a candy cane.

Lastly, I rolled some of the leftover dough into balls and covered them in finely ground coconut flakes, so they looked like snowballs. It couldn't be any easier.

So that's our plate for the elves. Will you be feeding Santa's little helpers this year?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Happy holiday turtles

After a long break from both blogging and Twitter, I've suddenly found myself involved again in social media. While tweeting the other day, I came across the cutest vegan turtle recipe posted by Vega. The sweet treats kinda looked like adorable turtles, so I just knew the kids and I should make them.

They were so simple to recreate. The recipe is posted here on the Vega website, but I'll give you a quick photo breakdown of how it's done.

First, we made a raw almond meal cookie base in the food processor, as shown.

Then, we pressed the base into silicone cupcake liners (the recipe said it would make a dozen, but we ended up with 10 larger turtles).

The base chilled in the freezer, while we whipped up some raw vegan date caramel. The caramel was dolloped on top of the cookie base and returned to the freezer.

Once set, the caramel-topped cookies were removed from the liners, covered in chocolate and decorated with pecan "turtle legs."

Lastly, we added "happy turtle faces" with chocolate chips and piped chocolate eyes and smiles.

Happy holidays!