Friday, May 30, 2014

Mint Cream Brownies!

If you love chocolate, mint, and creamy deliciousness then you have  to try this recipe!  I put it together because I was looking to satisfy my sweet tooth craving for those Andes mints they give you at restaurants. Mission accomplished!  I hope you enjoy. 

Mint Brownies

    1 ½ Cups Flour                                         4 Eggs

    1 tsp Baking Powder                                2 Cups Sugar

    1 ½ tsp Salt                                             1 tsp Vanilla Extract

   2/3 Cup Butter                                         1 tsp Peppermint Extract

    ¼ Cup Vegetable Oil                                 ½ Cup White Chocolate Chips

      ¾ Cup Cocoa                                            ½ Cup Dark Chocolate Chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease a 13x9 pan and set aside.
In a mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside until you’re ready for it.
 In a sauce pan over medium heat melt butter.

Once the butter is melted, turn heat to low and stir in cocoa and oil until your mixture is smooth and all the cocoa is dissolved. 

 Pour this mixture into a medium/large sized mixing bowl then slowly mix in sugar.  Blend in eggs one at a time stirring thoroughly between each egg.  Add in vanilla and peppermint.

  Gradually add in the prepared flour mixture, stirring well to make sure the flour and cocoa mixtures are fully combined.



Fold in the white and dark chocolate chips and pour into prepared 13x9 pan.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Allow to cool fully before spreading on the mint cream!

                   Mint Buttercream Filling             
4 oz Neufchatel Cheese                         3 Tbsp Butter
3 Cups Powdered Sugar                         1 Tbsp Heavy Whipping Cream
2 tsp Salt                                              1 tsp Peppermint Extract
  So this mint cream filling turned out to be an amazing happy accident.  I had intended to use regular cream cheese but when I went to the fridge to grab my cream cheese, I only found Neufchatel.  Apparently I had forgotten that I had used up all my cream cheese on my last naughty treat!  But you're not reading this to hear about my grocery woes, you’re reading this blog to find out how you can make this delicious treat so here we go...
  In a medium bowl whip together Neufchatel cheese and butter until it’s light and fluffy.  Add in powdered sugar one cup at a time, being sure to whip between each cup until you reach a stiff consistency.  Add in cream, salt, and peppermint extract then continue whipping until all of the ingredients are fully incorporated.

 Now you’re ready to spread this creamy yumminess on top of the fully cooled brownies.
But we're not done yet.  After all, this is the naughty treat, right?  So let's indulge and take this to the next level of deliciousness.

 Chocolate Topping

2 Cups Dark Chocolate Chips
2 tbsp Butter
1 tbsp half and half
In a saucepan over medium-low heat, combine all three ingredients stirring constantly until the combination is fully melted.  Remove from heat and then pour the  chocolate on top of the mint cream topping.
  Chill to allow chocolate topping to harden, then serve and ENJOY!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Worlds BEST Can Opener!

If you’re reading this blog it must mean you have some interest in being in the kitchen or at the very least you are attempting to venture into the kitchen realm.  I know this can be a scary place for first-timers!  So that is why I will be sharing some tips and tricks along the way to help make the journey into the kitchen easier and a whole lot more fun!   
        Whether you’re a newbie or a veteran of the kitchen, today’s post is still a must read!  It’s short and sweet.
        Today I’m introducing you to the...Kuhn Rikon Can Opener! 

      Ooh, it’s so shiny!
         I have to say even though I have been cooking for the majority of my life, one of my biggest fears (which was instilled in me thanks to my you mom) was slicing my hand open with a can lid after opening it.  Even after my confidence grew in the kitchen and some of my apprehension subsided, I still hated the jagged, poky edges left by a standard can opener.    
     Well, a wonderful family friend introduced me to this can opener and it has been one of the best additions I’ve made to my kitchen in a long time!    
   Not only is it a great tool for cooks of every skill level, it’s almost a must-have for families who want to encourage their youngsters to jump in and safely help out in the kitchen.  Below is the link if you’re interested in adding one of these handy little gadgets into your kitchen arsenal.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Paleo Mint Brownies

Mint Paleo Brownies
I’ve made several kinds of black bean brownies but never have I attempted to combine black beans, chocolate, mint, and coffee all into one recipe.  Well, by popular demand it has now been done and by reviews it’s a keeper!  Please let me know how they turn out for you in the comments below.  You’ll need the following items:
                  1 Can Black Beans                              1 Egg
                  ¼  Cup Egg Whites                            1/3 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce
               ½  Cup Natural Cacao Powder           ¼  tsp Sea Salt
               ¼  Cup Pure Coconut Sugar               2 tbsp Maple Syrup
                  2 tsp Instant Espresso                      1 tsp Baking Powder
               ¼ Cup Cacao Nibs                             1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
This is a super easy and fast recipe to make.  Just blend all ingredients in a blender or food processer (I used a Vitamix and mine turned out great!).  


Keep blending until smooth then pour the mixture into a greased  8×8 baking pan.  Set pan aside.
Mint Cream Swirl

1/3 Cup Coconut Butter/Manna                       1 tbsp Honey

1 tsp Peppermint Extract                               Pinch of Himalayan Salt

In a small saucepan, melt all ingredients together.  Scoop the coconut butter mixture with a spoon onto the brownie batter, spacing evenly around the brownie top.  Use a butter knife through the batter to swirl the mixtures together.
Bake for 30-35 minutes in the preheated oven.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before adding mint cream topping. 
Coconut Mint Cream
                 ½ Cup Coconut Butter/Manna                 1 tsp Peppermint Extract
                 2 tbsp Honey
In a small bowl mix together the coconut butter/manna, peppermint extract, and honey.  (This recipe makes just enough to cover the brownies, so If you’d like a thicker cream topping double the ingredients.)
Once you have a thick and creamy consistency you're ready to spread it on top of the cooled brownies. I've found with the thicker sticky consistency of this cream that it works better to spread it out on the brownies by using your (clean) hand and pressing it evenly across the top.

Once you have covered the brownies with the cream, place them in the fridge until the topping hardens and becomes solid.  
After it has fully set up it’s time to cut, serve, and ENJOY!

 Leave a comment and let us know how they turn out for you…


Monday, May 19, 2014

About me

I still remember the first time I made a dessert.  I was about ten years old and I made no-bake cookies, which turned out to be such a hit that I made them again and again.  Once I became confident enough to try to make something else, I became addicted to the process of creating things people liked to eat!  Until a few years ago I didn’t give much thought to whether something was healthy or was all about how good the food tasted.  That all changed when I began to work at a local health food store and saw how many health issues people were dealing with as a result of too many unhealthy foods.  There  were also those who had dairy intolerance, gluten and wheat allergies, and of course a concern I heard all too often was from those who were trying to reduce, substitute, or eliminate sugar from their diets.

       At the same time, the other complaint I commonly heard was that healthy desserts could never taste as good as all the naughty foods they were used to eating.  That’s when it occurred to me...why should healthy foods have to taste, well, healthy?  Inspired by that thought, I found a new challenge.  I didn't want to just be creative with making desserts that people would enjoy, I also wanted to make healthier options that could convince even the most skeptical critics how delicious healthy food could be.

       What I hope you’ll find here is a fun, interactive blog that can assist you in looking for healthy tips and tricks, deliciously decadent recipes, and also alternatives to those recipes to help those who have allergies, health concerns, or who are just looking for a healthier option to a sweet treat!   

       I’m ALL about the 90% healthy, 10% bad concept! So every Monday you will find a healthy recipe  that can start your week off on the right note.  But once Friday finally rolls around?  There will be a NAUGHTY treat waiting for you every week.  

       Enjoy and spread the delicious goodness on to others!