Yes to Yummy

Tag Archive: dessert

Yum-Yum Bars (gluten-free, dairy-free, Paleo, vegan option)

May 12, 2013 Leave your thoughts Print this page

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There’s a reason why obesity is such a problem in this country. It’s because candy bars happen to be so. Freaking. TASTY.

Although I love a good piece of chocolate, my favorite kinds of candy are always the ones that have the perfect mix of sweet, salty, and crunchy. These Yum-Yum bars are kinda a combination of Snickers and Twix bars, with a crisp shortbread base, creamy sunbutter filler, and a drizzle of dark chocolate on top. 

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To ZipList this recipe, click here.

You’ve gotta start from the ground up. Here’s how to make the cookies!

In the bowl of a food processor, combine 1/2 cup of melted refined coconut oil, 1/4 cup of raw honey OR maple syrup, and 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract. Blend just to combine, about 1 to 2 minutes.

To the wet ingredients, add 2 cups of blanched almond flour, 1/2 cup of arrowroot powder, 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda, and a pinch of salt. Process until a sticky, slightly crumbly ball, about 3 minutes longer.

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Gather the dough and squeeze it into a ball. Your hands are going to get REALLY GREASY, so have some soap ready to wash off the excess  coconut oil afterwards.

Wrap the ball tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour, preferably 2.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Unwrap the ball and roll it out until it’s about 1/4-inch thick.

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Cut off the crumbly stuff along the sides to form a perfect rectangle. (You can squish the scraps back together and make more cookies!) Cut it into 7 or 8 pieces, then bake until crisp and golden-brown, about 15 to 17 minutes.

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Once out of the oven, feel free to slice each piece in half or leave them whole. Let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a plate and put in the freezer to chill out for about 15 minutes. DO NOT skip this step: if you do, the filling will melt all over your cookies and not stick at all. 

To make the closest thing you can get to the most awesome peanut butter ever without peanuts, simply combine 1/2 cup of palm shortening and 1/4 cup of sunbutter (sunflower seed butter) in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of raw honey OR maple syrup a generous pinch of salt. Stir to combine and let sit in the fridge until the cookies are cool.

image Once the cookies are frigid to the touch, top each with about 2 teaspoons of the filling. Spread gently with a knife, then pop back in the freezer to firm up for 10 to 15 minutes. 

Meanwhile, melt 3 ounces of dark chocolate in a saucepan over low heat, then cool in the fridge for about 10 minutes until the consistency of soft butter. 

When the Yum-Yum bars are solid, take them out of the freezer and top with a spoonful of the chocolate. Let freeze for another 15 minutes, or eat right away, like I did.

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What’s this magical pile sitting atop some of these Yum-Yum bars? Stay tuned to find out my secret ingredient. 🙂

All I can say is YUM. YUM. 

What candy bar would you like to see recreated? Leave me a comment on Facebook and let me know!


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Chocolate Chip Biscotti with Chocolate Mousse (gluten-free, dairy-free, Paleo)

May 7, 2013 Leave your thoughts Print this page

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Sometimes, you just need dessert. No, not want, NEED.

Pizza? Eh, I can live without it. Chips and Cheetos? No problem. But dessert, especially chocolate…? Uh, I’m not giving either up anytime soon.

The quantity of sugar I used to eat was really what caused my weight to swell. Instead of having a little piece of candy or a bite of someone else’s dessert, I’d eat half a bag of those Dove dark chocolate squares or multiple slices of cake at sleepovers and parties. I craved the sweetness…and bad.

I went many months without eating dessert, saying no to squishy cafeteria cookies and pie at Thanksgiving. Eventually, I weaned myself off of sugar, like the good healthy disciple I am.

But that was no fun. I’d bake cookies or brownies for my parents or friends and never taste a bite! One day, I decided that enough was enough—I wanted dessert again.

Now, however, I consume my sweets healthfully. I bake completely gluten-free and mostly dairy free, sweetening only with small quantities of raw honey or coconut sugar. I have a reasonable portion on Saturdays and Sundays and save really decadent treats for vacation and special occasions. 

I love making my dessert and enjoying it, too. And you know what? So can you! In my opinion, a homemade baked good here and there is an important part of any diet…just in moderation. So, if you’re looking for a tasty weeknight or weekend project, try recreating these two incredible desserts. 

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The biscotti were inspired by Gather, one of my new favorite cookbooks. (Yes, I chased the UPS truck to attain my copy.) If you haven’t already taken a peek, definitely check it out.

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Do not use tinfoil, or else you will have crunchy silvery bits in your cookies.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat 1 egg, 1/3 cup of raw honey, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract on medium (for me, about setting 4) until homogeneous, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine 2 cups of blanched almond flour, 1/3 cup of arrowroot flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, and a pinch of salt in a large mixing bowl. Break up any clumps with your hands.

Using a scoop or measuring cup, add about 1 cup of the dry ingredients at a time to the wet ingredients and mix until well-incorporated, about 3 minutes. Then, with a spatula, fold in an additional 1 tablespoon of arrowroot powder and 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips. (I used Enjoy Life, but you can also use 3 ounces of chopped dark chocolate.) 

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Dump all of the batter onto the prepared baking sheet and with your hands, flatten it into a 1-inch thick circle-ish-rectangle-thing. It doesn’t have to be perfect!

Bake until golden brown on top but not solid as a rock, about 20 minutes.

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Allow the circle-ish-rectangle-thing to cool for at least 15 minutes, then slice it into eighths. Flip the cookies on their sides so the inside is facing up, and bake for another 15 minutes.

Once beginning to brown on the insides, decrease the oven temperature to 250 degrees. Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, depending on how crunchy you want your biscotti.

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Immediately upon exiting the oven, drizzle the cookies with some melted dark chocolate (I only needed about an ounce to give them a proper coating.) Don’t be stingy…be like Jackson Pollock!

You could always eat these biscotti with a strong espresso and call it a day, but I don’t recommend eating one without this chocolate mousse. It’s insanely easy to make; just do it!

In the bowl of a food processor, blend 4 eggs until airy and pale yellow, about 3 to 4 minutes. Because you’ll be eating the eggs raw, buy the freshest product possible, even if it costs a little extra.

While the eggs blend, melt 4 ounces of dark chocolate in a small saucepan or in the microwave with 30-second intervals. I used Alter Eco Blackout Chocolate, which is gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free.

To the eggs, pour in the melted chocolate, 2 tablespoons of strong decaf coffee (not caffeinated, or you’ll be bouncing off the walls), and 1/3 cup of palm shortening. Blend until the consistency of a thick sauce, about 3 minutes, then drizzle in 2 teaspoons of raw honey. Mix for 1 minute more before evenly dividing it between 4 6-ounce ramekins.

Let chill for at least 2 hours (preferably longer) before serving. Top with a dollop of coconut cream and/or fresh fruit to serve.

What dessert is your weakness? Leave me a comment on Facebook and let me know!


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Fudgy Chocolate Banana Brownies (gluten-free, dairy-free, Paleo)

April 28, 2013 Leave your thoughts Print this page

Hi everyone! Wondering why nothing’s been posted in the past few days?

Well, I was on a trip with my school’s music ensembles to Six Flags. Fun? Yes. I went on the ride pictured below, Batwing, with my friends—it was pretty awesome. I think I screamed the entire time.

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So was healthy food available? Unless you consider a double bacon cheeseburger and fries nutritious, uh, no. I am unbelievably happy to be in contact with real food again.

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OK, I know what you’re thinking: that’s not real food! I wish. Although I don’t recommend eating brownies every day, these are about as close to nutritionally sound as you can get. Save a little room after dinner and allow yourself a moist, fudgy treat.

To ZipList this recipe, click here.

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line an 8 x 8 baking sheet with parchment paper, then grease with coconut oil. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. I have made brownies too many times to count, and I’ve learned the hard way that if you don’t effectively prepare the pan, you’re going to get a big crumbly mess. Please spare yourself from the extra cleanup. 

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In a small saucepan, melt 4 ounces of dark chocolate over low heat. I used about 3.5 ounces (one bar) of Green’s Organics 85% Dark Chocolate and .5 ounces (one square) of Ghiradelli 100% Baking Chocolate, but feel free to use any chocolate between the 70% and 100% cacao mass range.

While the chocolate melts, puree 2 ripe bananas in the food processor until smooth and the consistency of pancake batter, about 3 minutes. Set aside for later use.

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In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat 3 eggs on medium (for me, about setting 6) until light and airy, about 4 minutes. Then, gently pour in 1/4 cup of palm shortening (I buy Spectrum—you can get it at Whole Foods), 1/4 cup of refined coconut oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of raw honey. Mix until combined, about 3 minutes. It may seem a little clumpy, but fear not!

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Scoop in the melted chocolate with a spatula, and mix for 1 or 2 minutes longer. Once combined, add in 1 cup of blanched almond flour, 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda, and a pinch of salt. Mix until thick and homogeneous, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Pour your batter into the readied pan and smooth with a spatula to evenly distribute. Top with the pureed bananas and swirl with a toothpick, if you like.

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Bake until a toothpick comes out clean in the center, about 20 minutes. If you’re like me and you like crunchy corners and tops, broil on low for an additional 3 to 4 minutes. Don’t go overboard, or you will have desert-dry brownies.

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Immediately upon removing from the oven, dust the tops with about a tablespoon of raw cacao powder. Allow to rest in the pan for 30 minutes before flipping onto a cutting board, slicing, and serving.

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YUM. Nothing like a brownie, eh? 

What dessert should I try next? Leave me a comment on Facebook and let me know!


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Guest Post: Strawberry-Almond Cupcakes (gluten-free, Paleo)

April 24, 2013 Leave your thoughts Print this page

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Here’s the link!

Cupcakes are a great way to enjoy a treat in a pint-sized portion. Unfortunately, many gluten-free cupcakes are dense, flavorless, and/or filled with “fake” ingredients. Who wants to eat that?

These, however, are fluffy, pleasantly sweet, and made with only the best; perfect for a spring or summer party. No fancy Honeywell almond flour? No problem! These only use coconut flour, which I’ve found at a variety of supermarkets, including Stop and Shop, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s.

To see these fabulous cupcakes, head on over to Living Healthy With Chocolate, one of my favorite food sites. Adriana, the confectionery genius behind the blog, makes mouth-watering Paleo desserts that are super easy to make. Paleo Marble Cake? Coconut Cream Pie? Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies? Yes, please! 


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Gooey Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Paleo)

April 16, 2013 Leave your thoughts Print this page

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I made a list once of a bunch of the things I wanted to do in life. What was #1?

Visit the Nutella factory in Alba, Italy. Yes, it exists, and it’s apparently very hard to get into.

This chocolate-hazelnut spread is pretty awesome, but it’s also loaded with garbage. A two tablespoon serving has 21 grams of sugar, and chances are, you’re gonna want to eat way more than that. (My friends and I could easily polish off an entire jar in one sitting.)

These cookies, on the other hand, are baked with real, wholesome ingredients while capturing the Nutella-essence everyone loves. But be warned, though—they’re addictive, and you may want to eat the whole batch. Instead, share them with someone you love!

You can ZipList the recipe here.

A special thanks to Tammy Credicott and Adriana Harlan for the recipe inspiration!

To make these little guys, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

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In a small bowl, combine 1 cup of hazelnut meal flour, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, and a pinch of salt. Sift in 1/2 cup of coconut flour and 1/4 cup of raw cacao powder, then stir to incorporate.

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In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat 1 egg, 3 tablespoons of melted refined coconut oil, 2-3 tablespoons of raw honey (depending on how sweet you want it), 1 tablespoon of coconut sugar, 2 tablespoons of water, and 1/2 teaspoon of unfiltered apple cider vinegar on low for 2 to 3 minutes.

Pour in half of the hazelnut flour mixture and mix on low until combined. When no more clumps of flour remain, add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix for an additional 2 to 3 minutes on low. The dough should be mainly dry while remaining a little sticky.

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Scoop up about a tablespoon of the batter and, with your hands, gently squeeze it until it holds together and has a spherical shape. Place on the parchment paper and lightly press down in the center with your thumb. Repeat with the remaining dough. You should have between 10 and 15 cookies total.

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Bake in the oven until the tops begin to turn brown and the cookie is firm to the touch, about 13 to 15 minutes. Allow to cool on the parchment for at least half an hour before frosting. Do not add the filling right away, or your cookie will literally crumble.

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Speaking of the filling, you should make it while the cookies cool. In a food processor, crush 1/2 cup of hazelnuts until a paste forms, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and add 1 tablespoon of refined coconut oil, then process for an additional minute or two.

Scoop the hazelnut “butter” into a microwave-safe bowl and add 2 tablespoons of refined coconut oil and 2.5 ounces of dark chocolate. Microwave in 30-second intervals until melted, about 1 minute and 30 seconds total.

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Let the filling cool in the fridge until the consistency of butter, about 45 minutes. If it hardens too much, simply allow it to come to room temperature and stir every few minutes to soften.

Once the cookies and the filling are at ideal temperatures, fill the center of each cookie with an ample amount of chocolate-hazelnut goodness. 

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When filled, let the cookies sit out for at least an hour so the gooey center hardens a bit, then serve alongside a glass of coconut milk, nut milk, or raw grass-fed cow milk. These will keep in a cool, dry place for a couple of days or in the freezer for three months.

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…but no way will they last that long.

What is your favorite chocolate dessert? Leave me a comment on Facebook and let me know!


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