Avocado Almond Butter Grapefruit Chocolate Chip Blondies

soft, fudgy, citrusy almond butter blondies…..plus a bonus recipe for peanut butter blondies! 

Avocado Almond Butter Grapefruit Chocolate Chip Blondies vegan blondies gluten free blondies blender blondies chocolate chip blondies easy blondies

I obviously love cooking and baking and experimenting in the kitchen, but I’ve not had much time to do so of late.

This is why one of the reasons these blondies is so darn wonderful. They come together in minutes, and are a one-bowl, low-mess recipe. They’re gluten free and vegan and I bet you already have most of the ingredients in your kitchen right now.

If you don’t have red grapefruits, hurry out and get a bunch before the season ends! They are so wonderful this year. The citrus in these is actually rather mild, despite having a generous pour of grapefruit juice and three tablespoons of zest. Yes, that’s right. I started out with less than half that, but batch after batch of blondies yielded no grapefruit flavor at all.  I’m not sorry, because I got to eat a lot of grapefruit during testing.

Avocado Almond Butter Grapefruit Chocolate Chip Blondies vegan blondies gluten free blondies blender blondies chocolate chip blondies easy blondies

I usually eat way more peanut butter than almond butter, but I’ve been on a big almond butter kick lately, can’t get enough. Mostly because almond butter was on sale for once. I know that a lot goes into making almond butter, which is why it’s priced as such, but I rarely purchase it at regular cost. So when I spotted some on sale, I stocked up. (cue my mother lecturing me on spending more on sale items because I bought a lot of them).

Avocado Almond Butter Grapefruit Chocolate Chip Blondies vegan blondies gluten free blondies blender blondies chocolate chip blondies easy blondies

 

These blondies worked out so well with their almond-butter-avocado base that I decided to try them with peanut butter-banana. This was a good decision. So today, you get two awesome nut butter blondie recipes. Yay!

wait, Annie. You go over a week without posting a recipe, and now you’re including two in the same post? why?

Well, first, the ratios in both recipes are almost the same, give or take a few changes. And the process is the same. That made me feel guilty about making them two separate posts. If I’m going to be flaky about blogging while I wrap up school, I want you to get your money’s worth when I do post. Also, bars themselves look alike, and I didn’t want y’all to be bored looking at similar photos. Here is the only picture of the peanut-butter banana blondies.

bad jason!
bad jason!

Jason chose not to wait for the bars to cool before he dug in.  He did this because he thought it would annoy me.  It half annoyed me, but I mostly thought it was cute. Sorry. Ugh, now I’m the annoying one, thinking that my husband’s dumb habits are cute.

Trust me, if these bars had been complicated at all, I would have been super mad. But a) I was planning on making them again and b) they took less than five minutes to make, so…..whatever. c) There was no sign telling him not to eat them. I have to make signs when I plan to shoot. Because manchild.

err…well, he might have not been the only one who couldn’t wait until the pan was cool. 😇

Avocado Almond Butter Grapefruit Chocolate Chip Blondies vegan blondies gluten free blondies blender blondies chocolate chip blondies easy blondies

Avocado Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 8 bars

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup almond butter
  • 1/3 cup mashed avocado*
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 3 tbsp grapefruit zest
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Line an 8 x 4 loaf pan with parchment or aluminum foil.
  3. Throw all of the ingredients, except for the chocolate chips, in a blender or food processor until fully combined and smooth. Make sure there are no oatmeally lumps
  4. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and swirl in the chips
  5. Bake for 30 minutes, until a tester inserted comes out mostly clean (or with a few wet crumbs)
  6. Allow to cool before cutting. Serve with love.

Notes

*this is about 1 medium avocado, or about 1.5 smaller avocados) **about three grapefruits' worth

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http://kitchenwindowclovers.com/avocado-almond-butter-grapefruit-chocolate-chip-blondies/

 

BONUS recipe, Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Blondies

  • 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup of mashed banana (about 1 medium banana)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup of almond milk
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • a generous sprinkle of coarse-flake kosher salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 and line a 8×4 loaf pan with foil or parchment
  2. Throw all ingredients, minus the chocolate chips and the salt, into a blender. Blend till smooth with no lumps
  3. Pour into prepared pan, swirl in the chocolate chips, and sprinkle the salt on top
  4. Bake for 30 minutes, tester may still have wet crumbs. Allow to cool before cutting. Yields 8 bars

note: the sweet notes in the peanut-butter blondies are light. if you prefer a sweeter blondie, use 1/3 cup of maple.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Christmas Trees (gluten free)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Christmas Trees (gluten free) easy gluten free christmas cookies homemade christmas candy

I’m so excited to share this cheery little forest with you! 🌲 🌲 🌲

But first, how were y’all’s Thanksgivings?

Mine was wonderful. I worked in the morning, where I witnessed so much goodwill that I was literally jumping for joy (traditional sense of literal). It put me in a good mood right then and there.

I thought I was going to be wiped out by the time I got off, but everybody’s kindness must of energized me. I went home and changed and didn’t even need a nap before heading over to dinner.Chocolate Peanut Butter Christmas Trees (gluten free) easy gluten free christmas cookies homemade christmas candy

As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, large gatherings make me nervous. But for some reason, I was fine almost the whole time. I got there late, so everyone had already eaten and where heading out for a walk.  That was really nice, too. I feel like in my family, everyone would have waited for me to get there. Then they would have laid on major guilt about making everyone wait.

Since everyone had eaten, there was no awkward “you go first no you go first” line and I just scooped up leftovers here and there, taking as much as I pleased. Mainly I ate cheesy potatoes and Brussels sprouts. Jason’s aunt makes some really good cheesy potatoes. I might try to steal her recipe, but add jalapenos or something.

It was the most relaxed Thanksgiving I’ve ever been to, and I got to hold a baby in my lap the whole time.*

*this does not mean I’m ready to have one of my own. 

So. I love my family, but Thanksgiving with Jason’s kin pretty much won over every Thanksgiving I had with my own folks.

Also, Jason’s family uses paper plates, which meant FEWER DISHES.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Christmas Trees (gluten free) easy gluten free christmas cookies homemade christmas candy

Okay, okay, enough about the holiday. Let’s talk about the cheery forest. I wanted to call it a magical little forest, that reminds me of bad paperbacks from the discount bin.

But these trees really are magical. Peanut butter with chocolate is enchanting in almost any form, but particularly if said form is a Christmas tree!

They are wonderfully easy to make. Ground up cereal, melted PB, and coconut oil come together to make this nice pliable dough to form the trees with. Then just a dip in melted chocolate and you’re good to go.

Since they include ingredients almost everyone enjoys, they are a great choice to bring to your next Christmas party. I feel like they’re already a classic in our home, and I hope they’ll be a classic in yours too. 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Christmas Trees (gluten free) easy gluten free christmas cookies homemade christmas candy

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chexmas Trees

Ingredients

  • 1 12 oz box of Corn Chex
  • 1 and 1/4 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips
  • holiday sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Use a food processor to grind the Chex to a fine, sandy powder. Mix in the salt.
  2. Use a double boiler to melt the coconut oil peanut butter together. It's melted enough when the peanut butter-coconut oil mixture drizzles in a thin, smooth stream off your spatula
  3. Turn off heat, but do not remove peanut butter from heat source. Mix Chex powder, 1/4 cup at a time, into the peanut butter.
  4. Allow mixture to cool slightly and then shape into a ball.
  5. Place the ball on a pan, then tap the pan against a hard, flat surface several times to allow the ball to flatten into a disk that is approx. 1/3 inch thick, diameter 9—9 1/2 inches.
  6. Cool disk in fridge for 5-8 min.
  7. Cut different size triangles into the disk — 28-30 of them.
  8. Stand the triangles up. For the larger triangles, curl the two bottom edges back slightly. They will resemble a slight c-shape from above. This will allow them to stand up without falling.
  9. Place triangles in freezer for 30-35 minutes.
  10. Melt the chocolate. Holding the trees on one side, use a silicone spatula to "paint" the chocolate onto the front and back of the trees. The larger trees will need to be set in the chocolate while you're doing this.
  11. Add the holiday sprinkles.
  12. Allow chocolate to harden before serving.

Notes

For a more kid-friendly method, melt the pb in the microwave and then put the pb bowl over a bowl of warm water while you mix in the cereal.

http://kitchenwindowclovers.com/chocolate-peanut-butter-christmas-trees-gluten-free/

 

Make Your Own Girl Scout Tagalongs (gluten free!)

not just any ol’ tagalong. PUMPKIN SPICE TAGALONGS.

tagalong1

I love this classic Girl Scout cookie, but I always thought they’d be hard to make. I’m so glad I proved myself wrong. You only need eight ingredients, and you probably have most of them in your cupboards already.

I’d rolled out of bed early on a Sunday, cookies on the brain. I stirred and baked and dipped, and by the time that Jas woke up, he had some sugar waiting for him in the kitchen. He smelled the cookies baking and thought I’d made pancakes.  He wasn’t disappointed at not-pancakes. It’s hard to be disappointed with chocolate and peanut butter and spice.

20150920_174020

 

Fall Spice Tagalongs

Yield: about 3 dozen cookies, or less if you used a bigger cookie cutter

Ingredients

  • Cookie:
  • 1 cup of pumpkin puree (not prepared pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup hard packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 2 cups of old fashioned oats
  • Peanut Butter Filling
  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 3/4 tsp fine sea salt (you can make it a full tsp if you like)
  • Chocolate Coating
  • 1 1/4 cups of chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Grind the oats into a fine, silky flour. I used my Nutribullet to do this. Set aside.
  2. Combine the pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon, and pumpkin spice. Mix well.
  3. Add the oat flour to the pumpkin mix. You can start out with your spoon, and once it starts balling up, use your hands. Roll into a ball and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
  4. Set the bowl in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
  5. Once your dough is firmed up, roll it out to about 1/4 inch thickness.
  6. Preheat your oven to 350.
  7. Using a 2-inch diameter cookie cutter, cut out all your cookies.
  8. Place on a greased cookie sheet. You can crowd them as much as you want because they won't spread.
  9. Bake 15-17 minutes. Halfway through baking, pierce each cookie with a fork to let the steam out. They cook funny otherwise.
  10. Allow cookies to cool before adding peanut butter
  11. Melt the PB for about 20 seconds in the microwave, just enough to soften. This will allow you to mix the salt in easier, and also allow for easier spreading.
  12. Mix the salt into the PB
  13. Spread a heaping teaspoonful of PB over each cookie. I found a butter knife worked best to do this.
  14. Set the cookies in the freezer for about 15 minutes. This will prevent the PB from melting into the chocolate during dipping.
  15. Once the PB is really hard, remove from the freezer`.
  16. Melt or temper your chocolate.
  17. Using your thumb and index finger as tongs, carefully dip each cookie, PB side down, into the chocolate. You don't have to coat the underside of the cookie (the part with no PB).
  18. If your chocolate starts to harden, give it a quick stir or return it to the heat. You probably won't need to do this, because the dipping goes quite fast.
  19. Set aside to allow the chocolate to harden. Or don't. They taste just fine all melty.
  20. Enjoy!
http://kitchenwindowclovers.com/fall-spice-tagalongs/

20150920_174117

P.S. If you use vegan chocolate chips, these can be free of all animal products.

 

 

 


Bananas Foster Ice Cream Pies with Chocolate & Peanut Butter Crusts

Bananas Foster Ice Cream Pies with Chocolate & Peanut Butter Crusts

I had a pretty wonderful weekend. It was rather busy, but a lot of wedding things that are finished, so I felt rather relaxed.  I worked a lot and ran a lot and didn’t think about the wedding at all. I’m mad for March Madness, so while BGE and I were living it up watching basketball, I made these pies. I have hard time just sitting and watching sports, but I enjoy watching sports while doing other things.

Let me tell you about these little guys. First, they’re vegan and gluten free. Second, they have booze in them – hurray! And best of all, they’re double crusted, which delights me. I’m such a chocolate girl, but I have to say that the real star here is the bottom peanut butter crust.  It’s salty and crunchy and I could eat just this crust and still be happy. In fact, after I made these, a made a few crusts so I could eat them bare.

I’ve always had an issue with banana-based ice cream, because I feel that no matter what you do to it, it still tastes like bananas. That’s not a problem in this dessert, because it’s supposed to taste like bananas. Slightly boozy bananas. And yes, I checked to make sure the rum I used was vegan.

The only hard part was, I made these on Saturday night, and it rained all day Sunday, so I couldn’t eat the pies because I wasn’t able to photograph them until today. I work weekends, so I usually have Mondays off (yes, that’s as good as it sounds). It was so nice and sunny for pictures, I only wish I could have done these pies justice. I’m still working on making food look as good as it tastes.

Bananas Foster Ice Cream Pies with Chocolate & Peanut Butter Crusts

 

Life is good.

 

Bananas Foster Ice Cream Pies with Chocolate & Peanut Butter Crusts

Yield: 2 4-inch pies

Ingredients

    for the bottom crust:
  • 3 cups of corn Chex, divided
  • 6 tbsp creamy peanut butter, divided
  • salt
  • for the middle ice cream layer:
  • 4 bananas
  • 1/4 cup of rum
  • 10 dates, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup salted peanuts
  • for the top crust
  • 3/4 cup corn chex
  • 5 oz. dark chocolate
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter for drizzle, optional

Instructions

    for the bottom crust:
  1. Use a blender to crush 1 1/2 cups of the corn Chex.
  2. Melt 3 tbsp of the peanut butter.Combine peanut butter, crushed cereal, and a dash of salt. Mix it will with your hands and then press into a 4-inch biscuit cutter.
  3. Repeat steps 1 & 2 for second pie, using the remaining cereal and peanut butter. I guess you can do it all in one fell swoop, but I wanted to ensure that both crusts were the same thickness. As it was, they still came out a little uneven. If you don't have a biscuit cutter, you can use a large can with both ends cut off, or even make this into one larger 8-inch pie.
  4. Put crusts in the freezer to set.
  5. for the ice cream
  6. Put the dates in a microwave-safe dish and add water to cover. Microwave 1 - 2 minutes until soft, then drain the water.
  7. Combine bananas, rum, dates, vanilla, and cinnamon in a blender until smooth.
  8. Place mix in freezer till somewhat hardened, then swirl in the salted peanuts. For a smoother consistency, pour banana mixture into an ice cream maker and process. That's what I did, but I can understand not wanting to get your ice cream maker out or just not having one.
  9. Once ice cream reaches a consistency that is just a little harder than soft serve, spoon it onto the crusts. Place back in freezer.
  10. for the top crust:
  11. Melt the chocolate and dip the Chex in, one by one. Place on a parchment- or freezer covered tray. Let them sit for about 8-10 minutes until they are tacky but not completely hardened.
  12. Using your thumb and forefinger, carefully pile chocolate-covered Chex on top of ice cream and return to freezer.
  13. Once chocolate and ice cream are both set, drizzle with additional melted peanut butter.

Notes

For best taste and texture, let these warm up a little bit after you take them out of the freezer. What's five more minutes?

http://kitchenwindowclovers.com/bananas-foster-ice-cream-pies-with-chocolate-peanut-butter-crusts/