(super healthy) Peanut Butter Cups

You don’t have to wait until cheat day for these sweet treats! They are vegan, raw, organic, gluten free, refined sugar free peanut butter cups! Completely from scratch, but so simple to make! Let me know what you think of them!

PEANUT BUTTER CREAM FILLING:

  • 3 tablespoons peanut BUTTER (raw and unsalted)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut BUTTER (I use Nutiva – can usually be found in the peanut butter aisle at any health food store)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (I use Nutiva – should be room temperature, not liquid)
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey (the creamy spun kind)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 soft pitted dates
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder (ground vanilla bean – also found at any health food store)

Blitz all ingredients in a food processor until completely incorporated. You may need to scrape down the sides of your food processor a few times. Store in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes – the longer they are refrigerated, the easier to handle.

CHOCOLATE:

  • 1/2 cup vegan/refined sugar free chocolate cacao chips (I use allergen fee Pascha – the higher the percentage of cacao, the better)
  • If you are using 70 to 100% cacao, you can sweeten with 1 or 2 tablespoons raw honey until desired sweetness. Semi sweet cacao chips will not need to be sweetened.

Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second intervals until melted, or in a stovetop double broiler. Once melted, add in the honey and stir until incorporated.

(If you are following a fully raw diet – you can also mix 1/2 cup of melted coconut oil with 2 tablespoons of cacao powder and 2 tablespoons of honey and stir)

Fill a candy/silicone mold with half of the chocolate mixture (only fill each HALFWAY).

Take the peanut butter cream mixture out of the refrigerator, roll dime sized amounts into balls, then flatten the balls with the palm of your hands. Drop into each half-filled mold. Continue filling each mold with the rest of the melted chocolate until level with the top of the mold. Refrigerate for approx 2 hours or until solidified.

tip: if you added honey to your chocolate chips or use coconut oil and cocao powder, the chocolate will melt pretty quickly and best served right out of the fridge.

 

photo by http://www.kyleespeletaphotography.com/

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Apple “Persinnamon” Holiday Sangria

Apple “Persinnamon” Holiday Sangria…my favorite thing to bring to holiday parties, and takes 10 minutes to make.

  • 2 bottles of dry red wine (I like a good quality French pinot noir)
  • 1 bottle of sparkling apple cider
  • 1 cup of club soda or sparkling water
  • 1 apple sliced
  • 1 persimmon sliced
  • 1 orange sliced
  • 1/4 cup of whole cranberries
  • 1 cup of whole cherries (stems and pits removed)
  • 3 cinnamon sticks

Pour the wine, cider and club soda into a large pitcher. Crush the cranberries and cherries with your hands and add to the pitcher. Then add the cinnamon sticks and sliced fruit (you want to keep the rind on the fruit – don’t peel).

Best when made the night before serving, so the wine can soak up all the juices!

Serve cold.

 

Photo as always by http://www.kyleespeletaphotography.com

Glitter Champagne Bottles

For the ladies (or men) who love glitter!!! Shimmer up your favorite drinks to make them shine 🙂

I did these champagne bottles for a bachelorette weekend for a girlfriend who loves champagne and glitter. You can also use the same process to glitter candles or vases.

Tip: I would not recommend doing this with drinking glasses that will be used. The glitter stays on the glass pretty well, but there is a bit of residual glitter left on your hands when holding.

Here’s what you need:

  • Glass bottle or candle of your choice (I did empty mason jars to hold flowers, and full champagne bottles with matching foil – no need to remove any labels, just use as they are)!
  • Spray adhesive glue that dries CLEAR (I used the nontoxic kind from E6000)
  • Loose glitter of your choice
  • Ribbon (optional)
  • Box or newspaper to cover the floor

*This has to be done outside (preferably on a non-windy day), it can be a little messy but you also need to make sure you have lots of ventilation when you’re using the glue.

Cover the ground or table with newspaper or get a large box to place under the bottles while glittering them.

Spray the bottle with the glue one area a time. Roll the bottle in the glitter, or you can also pour the glitter over the bottle (pour it back in the bottle to reuse!). Make sure to tap the bottle to get rid of any loose glitter. Continue this spray and glitter process until the bottle is covered. Repeat in any sparse areas.

When done – spray the bottle again with the glue to help keep the glitter from being brushed off the bottle.

Finish with a ribbon of your choice! (I use a glue gun to secure the ribbon – just a dab in the front and back is all you need)

Tip: when transferring these from your house to the party, use a paper bag and fold over at the top so the glitter doesn’t get everywhere on the way. You want to place these at the party and not move them around too much to avoid them glittering your party guests 🙂

Bachelorette weekend vanilla cupcakes with tinsel toppers!

Bachelorette tinsel cakes. Very easy way to impress your friends. 🙂 These are always a big hit at any party, baby or bridal shower.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING RECIPE:

Make the frosting first, to allow it to firm up while your cupcakes are baking.

  • 8 oz of cream cheese – room temperature (I only use the Philadelphia full fat original cream cheese that comes in a box)
  • 5 1/2 tablespoons of unsalted butter (I only use Kerrygold)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar

Blend the cream cheese, butter and vanilla on high until smooth and creamy – about 5 minutes (preferably in a stand up mixer). Add in the powder sugar while continuing to mix. If using a stand up mixer, I like to leave this mixing on high for 5 minutes (this helps make it super creamy!).

Insert a large round tip into a piping bag. Fold the tip so the frosting doesn’t come out of the bag (tip should be facing up), place the bag into a mug, and fill with frosting. Twist the top of the bag and store in the fridge to chill while you’re making the cupcakes. Keeping the bag in the mug will help the frosting easily firm up so it’s ready to go when the cupcakes are done!

VANILLA CUPCAKE RECIPE:

I used my favorite vanilla cake recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction found here: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/04/20/very-vanilla-cupcakes/

  • 1 and 2/3 cup (210g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 cup vanilla greek yogurt (or plain; or regular yogurt; or even sour cream)
  • 3/4 cup vanilla almond milk (I like Califia’s unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • seeds scraped from 1/2 split vanilla bean
  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt butter in the microwave. Whisk in sugar – mixture will be gritty. Whisk in egg whites, yogurt, milk, and vanilla extract until combined. Split 1 vanilla bean down the middle lengthwise. Scrape seeds from half of the vanilla bean into batter. Reserve other half for next time.
  3. Slowly mix dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until no lumps remain. Batter will be thick.
  4. Divide batter among 12 cupcake liners (or 24 mini) and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Bake for 8-9 minutes if making mini cupcakes. Allow to cool.
  5. Store cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days and in the refrigerator up to 7 days.

Note: I did use gluten free Bob’s Redmill all purpose flour for these, but they didn’t come out as fluffy and caking as I’d hoped. They are still delicious, but with more of a muffin texture. Next time I’ll try adding a little xanthan gum for more airiness. So if your diet allows, I would recommend sticking to the gluteny variety unfortunately 😦

After piping the frosting onto your cakes, I top with a strawberry, blueberry, or any piece of sliced fruit that matches your color scheme!!

TINSEL CUPCAKE TOPPERS:
The decor for these are super simple! Here’s what you need:
  • 1 strand of tinsel (or steel some from your Christmas tree supply 🙂 )
  • Toothpicks
  • Sticker paper or cutout of your choice

For these, I created a logo and date (I did this with Word – no special programs needed!). I printed them out onto a full sheet of sticker paper (easily found at any office supply store). Cut them out of the paper using a paper punch, or just a pair of scissors. Place a toothpick between two cut out stickers (pointy side of the toothpick down). Cut a small piece of tinsel and secure onto the back of each with a glue gun.