Peanut Butter Blondies Two Ways

Like I tend to do, I made these Peanut Butter Blondies the first time deviating from the recipe a tad. I’d put our brown sugar in the freezer (I don’t know why!) and I was unwilling to defrost it. Instead I used raw sugar with a little molasses, and it was awesome.

Exhibit A. Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar Version of the Peanut Butter Blondie

The only problem? It was sorta greasy. And by sorta, I mean, really, really, really greasy. It could be from the 3/4 cup of peanut butter. Or the 1/3 cup of oil. Or the fact that I used raw sugar instead of brown. Regardless, greasy. But soooo tasty.

Solution?

Exhibit B. Homemade, lower fat Peanut Butter Blondie

Was it better? Hmm. It was less greasy, which is good, but it was lacking in the complete deliciousness package. I’m going to track the changes I made, and see what I could do to make it a little better.

  • Swapped out 1/2 cup of peanut butter for reconstituted powdered peanut butter (5 T+3 T of water)
  • Dropped the oil down to 1/4 cup
  • Upped the almond milk to 1/3 cup
  • Added 2 T extra flour

Here’s what I think needs to happen: put raw sugar back in. I’m going to use 1/2 cup of raw sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar, and see if that helps get it back on track. I think that it added a little caramel crunchiness to this that was really needed. Otherwise, I’m at a loss. Maybe only use 1/4 cup powdered peanut butter? We’ll see. It’s a delicious experiment waiting to happen!

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Pad Thai…Sigh

That sigh? Contentment. Not only is this Cheater Pad Thai from the Happy Herbivore totally delicious, it is unbelievably easy to make. On a scale of 1 to 10 in dinner easiness (with 10 being homemade vegan lemon merangue pie), this is a 1. A ONE.

I can’t believe how easy it was–I didn’t have to cut anything but the lime! That’s it! And Pad Thai noodles (while strangely hard to find) are the easiest noodle in the world to cook. So, stir, saute a bag of frozen veggies, boil some water. Bam! You’re done! And unlike other sauces that don’t coat well, this coated the veggies and noodles like magic.

I’m going to make this constantly. I love love love Pad Thai, and this was absolutely perfect. I haven’t made anything from this cookbook that was less than astounding. I don’t know how she does it!

 

Brownie Madness

The brownie you see before you is so delicious, it’s possible that if you licked your screen, you’d get a taste of it.

This brownie is courtesy of Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. I believe it’s the deluxe cocoa version, and it is truly magical. Not one to skimp on the awesome, I put both walnuts AND chocolate chunks in it. Oh, baby.

This second brownie is of my own design. Feast your eyes on it!
Using the the same deluxe recipe, I added peanuts (1/4 cup) and a peanut buttery spread on the top. To make the peanut liquid gold, just take 1/4 cup of smooth peanut butter, 2 T of maple syrup, and 1 T of unmilk. Mix together until smooth and creamy. If the peanut butter seems REALLY firm when you scoop it out of the jar, try microwaving to loosen it up. Since I keep mine in the fridge, I have to do that all the time. Before baking, pour on the spread and marble it into the top of the brownie.

When the voting was all said and done, my husband liked the first brownie the best, and I liked them both the same. I don’t know if this is common for all tofu brownies, but I think these taste better after being in the fridge overnight. It really condenses them into uber-fudgies. You can’t go wrong with that!

Peanut Butter Cookies

While trying to kick the sugar habit (and failing, p.s.) a couple of years ago, I stumbled across this recipe for Peanut Butter Cookies. It was vegan, which I was skeptical of, but I went ahead and made them. Can we all just say now that olive oil and cookies should never meet? I couldn’t handle the flavor. Since then, with a few tweaks, this recipe has become my stand-by for really great peanut butter cookies. You’ll notice the yield on this is kinda small, because I don’t like to make dozens and dozens of cookies at one time–because I will eat them all.

Peanut Butteries (makes 1 dozen little cookies):

  • 1/2 cup flour (I usually use a mix of unbleached white & wheat)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (I usually use smooth, but it would be much better with chunky)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tsp apple sauce
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Now, you’re going to mix all the dry ingredients, and then in a separate bowl, mix the wet. I usually put the peanut butter in a glass pyrex, and microwave it for a few seconds until it’s soft. Then I mix in the maple syrup, apple sauce, oil and vanilla together until they are smooth. Pour into the flour mixture and gently fold until everything is mostly wet. It should look a little floury, but with no flour actually left pooling in the bowl. Now, let it rest for five minutes, just like in the original recipe.

I like to make little tiny cookies, since the applesauce can make for some cake-y chewiness in larger sizes. So,  spoon in teaspoonfulls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake tiny cookies for about 6 minutes–they should just be golden on the top.

Did you love the vegan peanut butter cookies they used to sell at Whole Foods? Me, too. These taste very similar to their recipe, so you don’t have to be sad anymore. Hooray!