These aren’t your same ol’ gluten free vegan animal crackers. They are chocolate covered gluten free vegan animal crackers. WAIT. Chocolate covered maple pecan waffle flavored gluten free vegan animal crackers.
It’s Monday! Here’s some chocolate, because I love y’all.
These adorable penguin brookies are gluten free and vegan.
Soft gingerbread cookies stuffed with a dark chocolate fudge. Gluten free and vegan.
aka Study Break Bars. I made these bars over and over when I was studying for my board exam. Super easy and quick, these ideal for dorm-room cooking because they’re made in a microwave.
This simple chocolate peanut butter fudge is ready in minutes. It only dirties one bowl, and you whip it up in your microwave. Vegan.
As it gets warmer out, I can’t help but think of warm weather foods. A mouthful of stinky ramps. Charred corn, hot off the grill. Cold watermelon, perfectly salted. And fudge.
I suppose fudge is technically a beach treat, and not specifically a warm weather treat, but you know….folks generally go to the beach in the summer.
And technically, if you asked me where I wanted to go on vacation right now, I’d tell you the mountains, and not the beach. But fudge can be enjoyed anywhere. Pack these up in a box and tuck them into your cooler for a long drive out to a quiet hammock.
This recipe actually started out as an attempt at chocolate peanut butter, for Jason to dip his pretzels in as an after-school snack. Er….after-work snack? Nah, that sounds wrong. I think we all understand that the idea of after school snacks carry far past our classroom days. Whether you’re removing your dirty soccer cleats or peeling of damn panty hose, it’s still an after-school snack.
Anyways, the pretzel-dip thing didn’t quite work out, but one thing lead to another and I retooled the recipe to become classic chocolate peanut butter fudge.
It makes a small batch, but it can easily be doubled or tripled if you wanted to bring it to a party.
The sprinkles are optional (I only added them for the photo aspect), but if you can put anything you want over top. An extra drizzle of peanut butter, chopped nuts, a sprinkle of big-flake salt, whatever.
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- Place everything in a glass container. Microwave for 1.5-3 minutes, stirring at 30 second intervals, until the chocolate is fully melted. Pour into a parchment-lined loaf pan and cool until hardened. When fully cooled, slice and serve.
I know that it’s too early for Valentine’s Day things (well, Walgreen’s clearly disagrees), but since when are heart-shaped red chocolaty things just for Valentines?
insert a diatribe about cultural food norms. i did this to save you having to read two rants. second rant below.
Okay, well maybe it’s not so much a rant as an observation. I think the whole Valentine’s Day being Singles Awareness day is true. When you’re single and it’s mid February, you are painfully aware of the fact. When you are in a blooming relationship, you freak out that you might become single if you mess this day up by either over celebrating or under celebrating.
But when you’re in a committed relationship, Valentines Day barely registers. You’re aware of the cute fuzzy animals in the store, and you maybe buy discount chocolate the next day, but that’s about it. The year we got married, I got Jason a last-minute pink cake pop and he got me nothing. I would have gotten him nothing too, but I just happened to already be at Starbucks and I know he loves those things.** We made burritos for dinner. Nothing says romance like burrito breath and bean toots.
**And watching a big tall grown man eat a pink cake pop is pretty much the cutest thing ever.
Valentines Day is also for your Nana, but that’s a different kind of love not applicable to this discussion. And maybe Valentine’s Day is also for very strict Catholics who still attend mass on every single Feast day. When I was in high school, my mom would get mad at me when I said I didn’t like 2/14, because I was apparently committing some sort of heresy by denouncing the Feast of Saint Valentine.
So…….I totally get if you don’t like Valentines or whatever, but you can still love chocolaty jam-filled things.
Speaking of love (or not love), here are some reasons to become enamored with — err get excited about — these tarts.
This almond-flour based crust is really easy and you can make in a blender. Cool! You use a banana as the binder, but make sure you use a greenish banana because riper ones will make the crust too wet.
The filling is made with my favorite homemade jam. Just dates and frozen raspberries. I love the pucker you get from raspberries, because it goes so well with the chocolate sweetness. But if you don’t like tart raspberries, I would recommend increasing the amount of dates in the recipe.
These freeze well (as long as you wrap them individually) so if you make them now, you can still have them in February. Make them for yourself, for someone that you love, or for a group of pals.
Oh! I finally made a Facebook for this blogaroo. Check it out here, and do the whole “like” thing. Please? 😀