Category Archives: Dessert

Pumpkin Pie

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I absolutely love pumpkin pie!  Actually pretty much anything with pumpkin. In the fall I made it my mission to make a pumpkin pie completely from scratch, which I had never done before.  This was only my second time making homemade pie crust so it was a good challenge.

The crust tasted good but I didn’t roll it out enough so it was too thick.  Eventually I will make a perfect pie crust!!  But it didn’t matter that the crust wasn’t the best because the inside of this pie was heavenly!  Seriously the best pumpkin pie I have ever had.  And I have eaten a lot of them.  I think roasting my own pumpkin made a huge difference in flavor compared to the canned stuff.  I may never go back!

I looked up a lot of recipes but none of them seemed quite right to me, so I just combined them all and the result was amazing!

Pumpkin Pie

2 cups roasted pumpkin
2 eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 teaspoon fresh ground ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Make or buy pie crust.  I suck at it so can’t give any good directions.  Combine ingredients.  Don’t worry if it is super watery compared to pie from canned puree.  Bake for 50 minutes at 375.  Enjoy!

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Lemon Bars

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I was craving lemon bars the other day and remembered that I have had this post bookmarked for well over a year.  Grain free/sugar free treats usually aren’t quite as good as the originals so I was unsure if I was going to like them.

I really had no reason to be concerned-they were amazing!!  Seriously may have been better than the original recipe I used to make.  The bottom layer is a little more crumbly and a little less like shortbread, but I really liked it.  And the lemon topping was perfectly tart and lemon-ey!

I didn’t change a thing so click here for the recipe!

Coconut Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies

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When I’m stressed I bake.  It’s not because I am a stress eater, but baking is therapeutic to me.  Getting to eat it afterwards is just the icing on the cake.  I know this is a strange coping mechanism, but my friends sure appreciate it!  The past few days have been stressful so I was dying to bake last night.  Joy the Baker’s Brown Butter Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies looked awesome and I actually had a lot of the ingredients. But I wanted to make something healthy enough that I could eat with my afternoon coffee and not feel guilty about so the base was inspired by Elena’s Pecan Shortbread Cookies.

These turned out really good!  They were crispy, buttery, and chocolatey, just what I wanted.  The coconut flavor wasn’t very strong, so add some extra if you are really into coconut.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies

1 and 1/4 C almond flour
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/4 C toasted unsweetened coconut
1/4 C chocolate chips
1/4 C butter
2.5 T honey
1/2 T vanilla

Mix almond flour, sea salt, baking soda, coconut, and chocolate chips.

Dry ingredients mixed

Brown butter on the stove.  Check out Joy’s post if you want details, her explanation is better than any I could give!

Browned Butter

Pour the butter into a small bowl to stop it from cooking and mix in the vanilla and honey.  Let it cool for a minute (so you don’t melt the chocolate chips) and mix it into the dry ingredients.  It should form a crumbly batter.

Finished Batter

Using parchment paper or foil, roll the dough into a large log and freeze for an hour.  Slice and bake for 7-10 minutes at 350.

Finished product!

I thought these cookies tasted better after completely cooling, so with that and the freezing they are not what you want to make if you need instant baking gratification!

chocolate and strawberries: meant for each other

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It’s true.  Strawberries and chocolate are like a pair of star-fated lovers – they just work together oh-so-well.  So when I spotted a pint of half-off (!!!) organic strawberries at Whole Foods this afternoon, I knew what I had to do: paleo strawberry cupcakes with chocolate frosting.

I’ve been itching to bake the last few days (hello, wonky stress-coping mechanism!) while also trying to switch to a Whole30-style diet; this basically means that I contradict myself with what I want to bake versus what I want to eat.  Not awesome!  Since baking Paleo is about as much of a cheat as I’m allowing myself, these were modified to be as Whole30-friendly as I could make them.  And they’re awesome!

I modified the recipe a bit from the original and I’m really happy with how they turned out.  Hipster roommate also approves!

Strawberry Cupcakes:
3/4 cup coconut flour
1.5 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 large eggs
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 pint fresh strawberries (organic is best!)
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (70+% cacao)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Hull and chop your strawberries.  I used a masher to make more of a sauce with my strawberries and ended up with nice chunky blend, like what you’d want as homemade ice cream topping or for strawberry shortcake.

Whisk the first four ingredients (the dry stuff) together in a large bowl.  In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs, honey, and vanilla.  Pour the egg mixture into the dry mix and stir together.  It’s going to be thick and clumpy – that’s okay!  Just keep mixing it up and get rid of as many of the lumps as you can.

Fold the mashed strawberries (juice and all!) into the batter until blended. Your batter should be a nice pretty pink color by now.  Stir in the chocolate chips and divide evenly into 12 lined muffin cups (it’s a little more than 1/4 cup).  They won’t rise much, so don’t panic if they’re REALLY full.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Once the cupcakes are done, get to work on the frosting while they cool!

Chocolate Frosting
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt

In a saucepan on VERY low heat, melt the chocolate and oil together.  Stir so that it’s nice and smooth, then add in the rest of the ingredients.  Mix well, turn off the burner, and stick it in the freezer for about 15 minutes.  You want it to cool and thicken up a bit.  Once 15 minutes have passed, take it out and whisk with either a mixer or hand blender – it will get fluffly and whipped after just a minute or so of mixing.  I used the whisk attachment of my immersion blender for this and it worked perfectly – no bowl transfer needed, I just whipped it right in the pan!  When it’s good and fluffed, spread onto the cupcakes.  I found that the frosting hardened up quickly, so frost all the cupcakes as soon as you’re able.

Chocolate and strawberry: it’s true love.