Tag Archives: sunbutter

Gluten-Free Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Sunbutter Mousse Frosting

I am having a hard time listening to my own voice lately.  The words are all the same … “Eat over your plate, please. Do not get in the pool until your sunscreen is on.  Why did you just get in the pool without sunscreen? It’s not too hot. It’s summer.  Don’t come back inside.  You are not bored.  No, we can’t get donuts.  Get along.  I have no idea what we’re having for dinner.  And I don’t know when it will be ready.  Clean up the Playmobil or I’m throwing it away. Hang up your towel.  Hang up your bathing suit.   No, we are not watching TV.  If that little asshole spraying us with the water cannon doesn’t stop, I’m going to lose my shit.”

Well maybe I just *thought* the last one.  OK, I actually said it out loud just yesterday, but it was under my breath.

But I’m doing this all without beer, people.  Because, once again, I am not eating/drinking gluten and wheat (with the exception of a few I couldn’t turn down).  And it’s working — miraculously, or perhaps, predictably — and my sinuses and ears have never felt better.  I won’t bore you with the boring details though.

I haven’t done much gluten-free baking and was a little overwhelmed with the combination of flours and ingredients that one must use in order to approximate wheat flour.  Sorghum, potato, corn, xanthan gum … just not your normal pantry ingredients.  I’m starting to stock up, but I really liked the idea of a one flour, whole grain solution when I saw a chocolate cupcake recipe on the back of the Bob’s Red Mill Quinoa Flour.  I’m sure I’ll get into the science experiments eventually (when I have  a huge pantry), but for now I’m going to try to keep it simple.

Beyond, I’d prefer to take a more whole foods approach to gluten-free.  As much as I like some of the substitute products, some of the ingredient lists are terrifying.   The cookies might be good, but I think we learned our lesson with Snackwells, didn’t we?  These cupcakes utilize only quinoa flour, which is a complete protein and closer to a vegetable than a grain.  I’ve modified the recipe to include chocolate chips and frosted them with a sunbutter mousse frosting.   The texture is great and I think the quinoa flavor (which can be somewhat stronger than normal flour) is tamed by the chocolate.

And I do appreciate the irony of discussing healthy foods as I type up a recipe for cupcakes with chocolate, butter, cream cheese, sunbutter, and sugar.  It’s still not every day food — but it’s an improvement. And forgive me, a girl needs a good chocolate treat when she’s not drinking beer.

Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Sunbutter Mousse Frosting

Cupcake recipe modified from Bob’s Red Mill

Makes one dozen with some leftover frosting

Cupcakes:
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 cups quinoa flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
2 eggs, separated
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
1/4 cup sour cream
1 cup of chocolate chips or mini chocolate chips

Frosting:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1-8 ounce package of light cream cheese (Neufchatel), softened
6 T butter, softened
1/2 cup Sunbutter (or other nut butter of your choice)
1 t vanilla extract

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a muffin or cupcake tin with twelve paper liners (or grease well).

2.  In a medium saucepan, combine the butter and water over medium heat, stirring until melted together.  Remove from heat and whisk in cocoa powder.

3.  In a large bowl, combine the sugar, brown sugar, quinoa flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add in the cocoa mixture along with the two egg yolks, the vanilla, and the sour cream.  Mix batter until combined well.  Stir in chocolate chips.

4.  In a separate medium bowl, beat the two egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.  Fold the beaten egg whites into the cupcake batter with a rubber spatula.  You want it to be well combined, but you don’t want the egg whites to deflate too much.

5.  Pour batter into prepared cupcake liners, making each cupcake about 2/3 full.  Bake for about 15 minutes until nicely puffed and crackly on top.

6.  While cupcakes are baking and/or cooling, make the frosting by creaming together the butter, sunbutter, and cream cheese until well mixed using an electric mixer.  Add in the powdered sugar and mix slowly until incorporated and then turn up to high and mix until very light and fluffy.  Mix in vanilla extract.  Pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes.

 

Quick African Chicken Stew with Sweet Potatoes and Pumpkin Seeds

For the fifth meal of the Cuizoo Arsenal, I was planning to do a hearty soup.  Because this time of year especially, it is a fantastic one pot meal for cold days.  I thought I’d do something with beans and maybe some sausage, because that is an almost weekly occurrence for us.  But after doing the Black Beans and Rice, I realized you could simply tweak that a bit, add more broth, saute some sausage and you’d be going down a path for a decent bean soup.  I figured maybe I’d branch out and do something a little different and I had a ton of sweet potatoes to use up.  So, I started searching for recipes and the African Peanut Chicken Stew at Simply Recipes caught my attention.  Obviously, I would have to modify it for my daughter’s nut allergies, but it seemed like a flexible recipe that could easily be made into a weeknight meal.

In my version, I used skinless, boneless chicken thighs and skipped the stock making step with the chicken parts.  You could still do this if it is a weekend or you have some extra time.  Because I don’t have stock in the freezer right now and I have decided not to buy the boxed stuff anymore (most are really bad products),  I just made a simple vegetable stock with carrots, onions, celery, turnips, and garlic.  Your own veggie stock is going to taste much better than any store bought stock (chicken or otherwise) — and it is basically free (water and leftover veggies hanging out in your fridge) and has no additives or chemicals.  Quite honestly, even if you don’t have time for that, I think plain water would be as effective as any store bought stock.  The thing that stocks impart (in most cases) is really just salt.  So, in a pinch, just use water and up your seasonings.

I didn’t make it too spicy because of the kids, but that’s easily remedied with a bottle of hot sauce on the table.  My kids were divided — the boy loved it, the girl barely tolerated it (she is picky with soups), but managed to get through her plate because there was dessert on the horizon.  In most cases, I think kids would like it, especially if you focus on the fact that it is “Sunbutter or Peanut Butter Soup.”

And it’s obviously very reasonable to make.  The major ingredient is one package of chicken thighs and the rest you may have in your pantry and fridge already.  Feel free to substitute other nut butters and other seeds or nuts.

As far as flexibility goes, even though it seems very unique, you must think of it as a basic stew.  This one happens to be thickened and flavored with sunbutter/peanut butter and nuts/seeds, but you could just as easily remove the nut butter and thicken with a flour or cornstarch slurry, a roux, beans, heavy cream or simply cooked down white or sweet potatoes.  Other versions of stews that you could make might include a Chicken Corn Stew or Chowder, made instead with white potatoes and corn and thickened with cream or a slurry (and seasoned with Thyme and Sherry); a Thai Chicken Stew, keeping the nut butter, but adding a bit of Thai Red Curry Paste and coconut milk; a Smoky Vegetarian Stew with lots of root vegetables (some mashed to thicken it), Smoked Paprika, with maybe some Corn Bread Dumplings on top; or a Mexican Chicken version with added diced tomatoes, thickened with Masa Harina, and topped with shredded cheese.

I *hope* what you are beginning to see is that you have to look at any recipe as more of a method, where ingredients can be interchanged and experimented with based on what you have or what you like.  While I think you will really like this recipe, I am more interested in you knowing how to look at your refrigerator or pantry and and invent your own versions.  When you get to that point, cooking becomes much more interesting and takeout seems far less attractive.

Quick African Chicken Stew with Sweet Potatoes and Pumpkin Seeds

Serves 6-8

Inspired by Elise at Simply Recipes

1 cup pumpkin seeds (hulled)
3 large sweet potatoes (about 1.5-2 pounds)
2 inch piece of fresh ginger root
5 cloves garlic
2 red peppers
1 large onion
1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken thighs
5 cups of stock (veggie, chicken, or just plain water in a pinch)
1 cup of Sunbutter (or other nut butter of your choice)
1 t coriander
1/8 t cayenne pepper
2 t salt
1 t freshly ground pepper
Fresh Cilantro
White or Brown Rice (if desired)

1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

2.  Peel and chop sweet potatoes into 1 inch cubes.  Peel ginger root piece and finely chop.  Peel and finely chop garlic cloves.  Peel onion, cut in half, and slice.  Stem and core the red peppers and chop into 1/2 inch pieces.

3.  Spread pumpkin seeds in a thin layer on a baking sheet and place in preheated oven and toast for 8-10 minutes.

4.  Meanwhile, heat a bit of olive oil in a large stock pot or dutch oven.  Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper and brown on both sides over medium heat.  Remove chicken to a plate.

5.  In the same pot, add a bit more olive oil and add chopped ginger, garlic, and sliced onions.  Saute for 3-5 minutes over medium heat until fragrant and slightly softened.

6.  Add the sweet potato chunks, five cups of stock, and the browned chicken thighs.  Mix in the 1 cup of sunbutter (or other nut butter), coriander, cayenne pepper, 2 t salt, and 1 t pepper.  Bring to a boil.  While you are waiting, place toasted pumpkin seeds in a plastic bag and smash them finely (you can use a food processor if you like).  Add 3/4 of a cup of the ground pumpkin seeds to the stew (reserving other 1/4 cup).  When it has come to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes. (If you are cooking rice, you will want to start it during this cooking time.)

7.  After about 30 minutes, add the chopped red peppers and cook for 15 minutes longer.  Remove chicken thighs and let cool slightly.  Mash the sweet potatoes in the soup so they are not large chunks.  Shred or chop chicken thigh meat and return to the pot.  Add about 1/4 chopped cilantro and simmer for 5-10 minutes longer.  Serve as-is or over rice (if desired) with additional chopped fresh cilantro and reserved pumpkin seeds.

Quinoa Sunbutter Cookies with Cocoa Nibs and Pumpkin Seeds

A few months ago, I decided to go off gluten.  While I haven’t been entirely faithful, I am still attempting to avoid it.  And like almost everything else, I am very bad at “all or nothing” eating.  I’m trying to eat less meat, but I don’t think I could ever be a vegetarian because beans have nothing on a seared medallion of filet mignon. I’m trying to eat less dairy, but how the hell is one supposed to give up heirloom tomatoes and fresh mozzarella? And I’m trying to eliminate sugar, but you can’t make caramel without it, so there goes that. And alcohol?  Oh yes, one can give up alcohol and live many more years. But as the old joke goes:  you don’t actually live longer, it just feels like it.

I guess I’m not cut out for strict regimens of anything.  I start feeling sorry for myself.

So I have a pantry and refrigerator full of supplies based on my abandoned “regimens du jour.”  Here’s the brown rice flour.  There’s the coconut milk.  Back there (in the way back) is the goat’s milk yogurt.

Oh, and there’s the quinoa flour!  Aside from being a kick-ass Scrabble word, what might one do with quinoa flour?  I did some reading and found out that it can generally be substituted 1:1 for normal wheat flour in baking (except if you are making a yeast-leavened product, because it has no gluten).  It intrigued me so I decided to figure out a cookie recipe that would utilize all quinoa flour and be very allergy friendly (especially for kids).

As usual, I cut back on the sugar tremendously, so this recipe is not overly sweet.  It is another one of those cookie recipes that is more health food than dessert.  But you could easily add more sugar if you wanted to.  And the end result is pretty darn good — and a great allergy-friendly treat because it contains no wheat, no gluten, no dairy, and no nuts.  It does have eggs, but I bet you could substitute each egg with 2 T water, 1 T oil, and 2 t baking powder (that’s the “egg” combo I used in baking when my daughter was allergic to eggs).  If anyone with egg allergies tries this, let me know how it turns out.  Also, I used cocoa nibs to keep the sugar down even more, but feel free to substitute with chocolate chips if you like.

One VERY interesting side note, however:  I stored these cookies in our cookie jar and when I got some out for the kids today, the interiors of the cookies were green!  I have seen pumpkin seeds create a green tinge in certain things, but this was really green.  I am wondering if it was a reaction with the quinoa or the cocoa nibs.  Green food coloring without the chemicals, perhaps!  The ones stored in the freezer were fine, so if you don’t want greenish cookies, try that.  The kids thought the green color was pretty funky, however.   Any food scientists out there who could explain this one to me?

Quinoa Sunbutter Cookies with Cocoa Nibs and Pumpkin Seeds

Makes 18-24 cookies

1 cup sunbutter (I used crunchy — and any other nut/soy nut butter would work)
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs
1 t vanilla extract
1 cup quinoa flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds (or other nuts/seeds)
1/3 cup cocoa nibs (or chocolate chips)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Mix sunbutter with honey in a large bowl.  Whisk in eggs and vanilla extract.

2.  Combine salt, baking soda, and quinoa flour.  Stir into sunbutter mixture until just combined.

3.  Stir pumpkin seeds and cocoa nibs into dough.

4.  Drop teaspoonfuls of dough onto parchment lined baking sheets.  Flatten slightly with a fork if you like.  Bake for 7-8 minutes until just done.

Gluten-Free Chewy Granola Bars

So, I guess I could really title these as gluten-free, wheat-free, nut-free, egg-free, and potentially dairy-free chewy granola bars.  But that seemed a little long.  I could also add that they are quite low in sugar and could potentially be made with no added sugar at all.

Can you tell I have made some New Years resolutions?

If I could advertise that these granola bars were alcohol-free too, trust me, I’d do it.  Because it’s been that kind of a holiday.  Which is to say that it was a great holiday.  One filled with at least twelve pounds of butter (and I’m not exaggerating), two Christmas celebrations which I hosted — first for my wonderful 20 person strong family and then my husband’s much smaller crew, my daughter’s Christmas birthday celebration, a New Years Eve party, lots of little dinner parties in between, and more filled recycling bins than I would ever confess to.

I seriously should have given the recycling crew a Christmas present.  They go around our little circle and spend about 30 seconds at each house taking their two milk containers, nicely bundled newspapers, and a few cans of Diet Coke.  They get to my house and they need to call in freaking reinforcements from neighboring counties. As much as it’s cool that my three year old gets to have his own, feature-length recycling truck show, I start self-flagellating just a tad.   Which is to say I berate myself without hauling out the ropes and switches.

So, yes, I have made some resolutions.  Getting back to normal eating and drinking habits is at the top of the list.  But, I’ve also made the decision to eliminate gluten from my diet for a bit.  There are a variety of reasons, but I have a hunch it is causing me issues — so I am going to get rid of it for at least a month and see how I feel.  I did this once before and I only lasted about four days — and when I lapsed (I baked chocolate chip cookies for the kids and sampled one), I felt lousy, got a headache, and wanted to take a nap.  Back in the old days of low carb diets, I always wondered why they made me feel so fantastic (full of energy, less stressed, more rested, with far fewer upset stomachs).  Maybe the lack of gluten was the reason.  So I am going to do a little experiment and see what happens.

I created these granola bars to have around for a quick breakfast or snack that the kids would enjoy.  You could easily remove the butter and substitute with all coconut oil (or dairy-free margarine) if you wanted them to be dairy-free.  And if you want to cut all the added sugar out, you could eliminate the honey and use only agave nectar.   Feel free to subsitute nuts/seeds/fruit/etc.

And I am going to consider it a little moral victory that there is no booze in this recipe.  Much unlike everything else I have made or consumed in the last month.  (BTW, Recycling Dudes, I owe you big time.)

Gluten-Free Chewy Granola Bars

Makes about 24 (a 9×13 pan)

2 cups old fashioned oats (make sure they are gluten-free if you are watching)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds, roughly chopped
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, roughly chopped
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/4 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
3/4 t sea salt
1/2 cup sunbutter (or other nut butter or soy butter)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup agave nectar
3 T butter (replace with either coconut oil or dairy free margarine to make dairy free)
3 T coconut oil
2 t vanilla extract
1 cup dried sour cherries, roughly chopped

1.  Preheat oven to 350 F.  Lightly grease a 9 inch by 13 inch glass baking pan. Mix together oats, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseed, coconut, and salt.  Spread onto a sheet pan and bake for 14-15 minutes (stirring every five minutes or so) until the mixture is just golden.

2.  Meanwhile, in a saucepan over medium heat, combine sunbutter, honey, agave nectar, butter, coconut oil, and vanilla extract.  Whisk together until everything is fully melted, combined, and just beginning to bubble a bit. (about 3 minutes).  Remove from heat and stir in dried cherries.  Set aside.

3.  When oat mixture is golden, remove from oven and pour it into a large mixing bowl.  Stir in warm sunbutter mixture and thoroughly combine.  Pour into greased pan and pat down completely.  Let cool and cut into bars.

Whole Grain Whirligig Cookies

When my grandmother died, I was lucky enough to receive a few of her hand written recipe cards.  They were divided up among the family and I got a handful that included many cookie recipes.  Of course, there are about five different ones for sugar cookies and I still don’t think I have her exact recipe.  I have never successfully recreated hers — which are drop sugar cookies and cakey rather than chewy.  And even if she had written it down, it probably would have said something to the effect of “Cream some butter with sugar and eggs.  Add a few handfuls of flour, a spoonful of baking powder and a pinch of salt. Bake in a medium hot oven for as long as it takes.”  Exact recipes were not her thing.

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While I was figuring out which Christmas cookies to bake, one recipe that caught my eye was called “Whirligig Cookies.”  At first, I thought the name indicated that these were pantry cleaning cookies — because in my family, the corner lazy susan cabinets were always called “whirligigs.”  And of course, that’s where all the baking supplies were usually kept in the days before giant walk in pantries.  But who knows — they are a pinwheel/jelly roll style cookie, so maybe that’s how they got their name.

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In the end, I don’t really even remember her making these, but they sounded interesting so I gave it a try.  I substituted sunflower seed butter for peanut butter (b/c of our peanut allergies), white whole wheat flour for the all purpose, and cut the sugar in half.  You could obviously use regular peanut butter and regular flour if you like — and feel free to up the sugar to 1 cup of each brown and white sugars.  It’s Christmas time baby.

Whole Grain Whirligig Cookies

Makes about three dozen large cookies

1 cup of butter, softened (two sticks)
1/2 cup sugar (can use up to one cup)
1/2 cup brown sugar (can use up to one cup)
1 cup of sunflower seed butter (or other nut butter of your choice)
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
10 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped

1.  In a large bowl, cream butter, sugars, and sunflower seed butter together with an electric mixer for about two minutes until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at at time, and beat until incorporated.

2.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

3.  In about 2-3 additions, add flour mixture to butter mixture — mixing only until just incorporated.  Finish mixing with a spatula or wooden spoon. Put finished cookie dough in the fridge for a few minutes.

4. Meanwhile, over low heat or in a double boiler, melt chocolate.  Let cool slightly.

5.  Remove dough from fridge and place on a large sheet of parchment paper.  Using either a rolling pin (it helped to oil my rolling pin a bit) or just patting it with your hands, flatten into a 12×14 inch rectangle, about 1/4 inch thick.  This is cookie dough, so be a little gentle with it because it is very tender.

6.   Pour most of melted chocolate on top of dough rectangle and spread evenly over entire surface.  Use more if needed (it will depend on the size of your final rectangle).

7.  Using the parchment paper to help, carefully roll up the dough rectangle jelly roll style in order to make one large “log.”  (Warning:  this will be messy and chocolate will probably ooze out.  Just be gentle while you are rolling it up and attempt to wrap it with the seam side down.)  Wrap parchment around it and place in fridge for 45 minutes to an hour, until dough and chocolate have hardened.

8.  Preheat oven to 375 F.  Remove dough from fridge and, using a very sharp knife, cut into 1/3 inch slices (or as thick as you want them).  Line a baking sheet with parchment and lay the slices on it cut side up.  Bake for 12-13 minutes until just barely golden.  Do not overbake or they will dry out.

(Alternatively, you can cut your large rectangle of dough into two skinny rectangles if you want smaller cookies.  As is, these cookies turn out rather large (about 3 inches across).

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Mama Pick-Me-Up Cookies

One afternoon last week, I was putting something away in my baking cabinet and I spied a bag of chocolate-covered espresso beans that I had forgotten about.  The evil wheels in my brain started turning and I instantly thought about cookies.  And given the caffeinated nature of espresso beans (have you ever seen a two year old try to climb the walls of a bath tub?), I started thinking “what if I could come up with an easy, super nutritious cookie for moms only?”  OK, so maybe dads could have it, too.  And I started with the goal of lots of whole grain, chocolate, and espresso beans — and done in a no-bake method to keep it quick and easy (remember those no-bake cookies we all ate growing up?)  

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These fit the bill in many ways — whole oats, ground flax, no added sugar (other than the chocolate), some sunbutter and pumpkin seeds for protein, the espresso beans to get you through three different soccer practices on three different sides of town, and a sprinkling of sea salt to cover the salty and sweet craving.  Hell, these are almost nutritious enough to call granola bars.  Your choice of whether you eat them for breakfast or dessert.   The only thing I couldn’t squeeze in here was a glass of red wine — I’ll try to do better next time.

(And BTW, any reference to a particular cookie made by the Chef on South Park is purely unintentional.  Yet, still funny.)

Mama Pick-Me-Up Cookies

Makes about 2 1/2 dozen

1/2 cup of butter (1 stick)
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup of ground flax
1/4 t salt
1/2 cup of sunbutter (or other nut butter of your choice)
1/2 cup of salted pumpkin seeds (or other nut/seed of your choice)
3/4 cup of chocolate-covered espresso beans 
Sea Salt to sprinkle on top (optional) 

1.  Melt butter and chocolate in a medium saucepan over low heat until completely smooth.  

2.  Add in sunbutter and salt and stir until incorporated.  

3.  Remove from heat and add in oats and flax and stir well.

4.  Chill for 20 minutes (use the freezer to speed it up) and when cool, stir in chocolate-covered espresso beans and pumpkin seeds. (If you are particularly concerned about each cookie getting a similar number of espresso beans, you can put  a few in by hand during the next step.)

5.  Line a baking sheet with parchment and take one heaping tablespoon full of cookie mixture and form it into a ball and drop onto parchment (if mixture isn’t cool enough, it will be harder to form into nice little balls — but neatness is overrated).  Sprinkle each cookie with a bit of sea salt (if you like…)

6.  Chill for another 20-30 minutes until firm.  Store in the refrigerator or freezer.   Eat over the sink while no one is watching (they’re crumbly).

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Chocolate Easter Eggs: Two Ways

When I think of my grandmothers, I can’t help but think of food.  I think of my Mother’s mother (Nana) as the one who makes amazing soups, egg rolls and stir fries (how cool is that?), meringue cookies, mint jelly, and yorkshire pudding.  I am so fortunate to have her in my life and be able to share her with her great grandchildren.

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I remember my Dad’s mother (Grammy) as the one who made beautiful, cakey sugar cookies, fresh baked bread with butter and homemade raspberry jam, creamed corn, peanut brittle, and chocolate Easter Eggs.  When she died, I was able to look through her recipes and see her handwriting — what an amazing gift that is.  I instantly saw the connection between our roles as mothers, regardless of how different our lives were.  In the end, I think that our goals are/were the same:  to love our families fiercely and to create a wonderful backdrop for our children’s memories.   

And these Easter Eggs are permanently etched in my memory.  This is the wonder of real food — it forms the bonds of friends and family.  It is the most important reason that I cook — I sincerely believe there is no better way to enhance our relationships and create rich, lifelong memories.      

Happy Easter to all.

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Chocolate Easter Eggs with Sunbutter (Makes about 32)

(I should note that I have taken some liberties with the recipes to decrease the amount of sugar — feel free to change those things up if you like.  I have also obviously changed the first recipe because my daughter is severely nut allergic.  Peanut butter is the typical ingredient.)

16 oz. container Crunchy Sunflower Seed Butter (about 2 cups, or any other nut butter of your choice)
1 cup of unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
1-2 cups of confectioners sugar (I used 1 cup which left them not overly sweet, but sweeten to taste)
Pinch of salt
1 t vanilla
2 cups brown rice krispies (or regular if you can’t find brown)
12 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped

1.   Cream sunbutter (or other nut butter) with softened butter using an electric mixer.  Add in salt, confectioners sugar, and vanilla and beat until well mixed and fluffy.  (Add more confectioners sugar if you like).  

2.  Using a wooden spoon, stir in rice krispies by hand until incorporated.  

3.  Put mixture in the fridge for about an hour to firm up.

4.  When firm, line a large sheet pan with parchment paper.  Using about one heaping tablespoon of sunbutter mixture for each egg, roll them in your hands into an egg-like shape.  Place on parchment lined sheet.  

5.  Put sunbutter eggs in freezer for at least 30 minutes, until they are very firm.  

6.  Melt chocolate in a double boiler or gently in the microwave until completely melted and smooth.

7.  Using two forks, take one sunbutter egg and roll in melted chocolate until completely covered.(You may want to have two sheets of parchment and leave some of the sunbutter eggs in the freezer while you do this, so they don’t warm up too much.) Allow chocolate covered egg to remain on one fork while you use the other fork to tap the excess chocolate off the egg (tapping the handle of the fork that is holding the egg — if you don’t get enough of the excess chocolate off, you won’t have enough to dip them all).  Place chocolate covered egg on baking sheet lined with parchment.  Repeat with all eggs.  

8.  Refrigerate all eggs until hardened.  Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.  

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Chocolate Easter Eggs with Coconut (Makes about 15)

1/2 cup of coconut oil
1/4 cup of coconut milk
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup of confectioners sugar (or more to taste)
2 cups of unsweetened coconut, toasted
6 oz. semisweet chocolate 

1.  In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt coconut oil with coconut milk and pinch of salt.  

2.  Stir in confectioners sugar until incorporated.

3.  Stir in toasted coconut.   

4.  Put in refrigerator for about an hour until firm.

5.  When firm, line a large sheet pan with parchment paper.  Using about one heaping tablespoon of coconut mixture for each egg, roll them in your hands into an egg-like shape.  Place on parchment lined sheet.

6.  Put coconut eggs in freezer for at least 30 minutes, until they are very firm.

7.  Melt chocolate in a double boiler or gently in the microwave until completely melted and smooth.

8.  Using two forks, take one coconut egg and roll in melted chocolate until completely covered.(You may want to have two sheets of parchment and leave some of the coconut eggs in the freezer while you do this, so they don’t warm up too much.) Allow chocolate covered egg to remain on one fork while you use the other fork to tap the excess chocolate off the egg (tapping the handle of the fork that is holding the egg — if you don’t get enough of the excess chocolate off, you won’t have enough to dip them all).  Place chocolate covered egg on baking sheet lined with parchment.  Repeat with all eggs.  

(*You may want to sprinkle a few extra shreds of toasted coconut on these eggs right after you dip them so you can tell the difference between the two kinds if you are making both.)

7.  Refrigerate all eggs until hardened.  Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

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