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Mississippi Mud Pies

April 28, 2014 Print this page

When I was younger, my parents and I would often go out to dinner at a restaurant called the Ash Creek Saloon. It was kinda a cheesy place with wood everything and lots of cowboy hats, but as I recall, the food was pretty good.  The restaurant is gone now, but the one thing I still have a concrete memory of was the Mississippi Mud Pie. I only have flashes of Oreo cookie crumbs and sticky chocolate syrup, but I remember that it was really, really good. This is a healthier and more sophisticated version.

Ingredients

Prep Time 15 min
Cooking Time
Total Time 4 hr
Yield 3 good-sized mud pies

FOR THE CRUST:

2 cups of walnuts

1/2 cup of cocoa powder

A pinch of salt

2 tablespoons of maple syrup (or coconut nectar)

FOR THE COFFEE CREAM:

1 cup of cashews, soaked overnight

1/2 cup of strongly-brewed coffee (preferably decaf)

2 tablespoons of maple syrup (or coconut nectar)

2 tablespoons of coconut oil

A pinch of salt

FOR THE CHOCOLATE LAYER:

The coconut cream from 2 cans of coconut milk (put them in the fridge overnight, tip upside down, and pour out the “water” on the bottom)

1/2 cup of cocoa powder

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

2 tablespoons of maple syrup (or coconut nectar)

A pinch of salt

FOR THE CHOCOLATE SHELL:

3 tablespoons of coconut oil

3 tablespoons of cocoa powder

Directions

FOR THE CRUST:

Pour the walnuts, 1/2 cup of cocoa powder, and salt into the bowl of a food processor. Process until the walnuts are finely ground but nowhere near turning buttery, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Add in 2 tablespoons of maple syrup (or coconut nectar, if you prefer) and process for another 30 seconds until everything sticks together in a nice, firm dough.

If you find your crust is too liquid-y, add in more walnuts. If you find it is too dry, add more maple syrup.

Line 3 mini spring-form pans (or ramekins if you don’t have them) with a circle of parchment paper. Using your fingers, squish 1/6 of the crust into each of the pans, using up only half of your total crust. Spread it out so there are no holes and everything is in one uniform layer.

Pop those guys in the freezer while you make the coffee cream layer.

FOR THE COFFEE CREAM:

In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine the cashews with the coffee, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, and a pinch of salt. Blend until homogeneous and creamy, about 1 minute.

Take the spring form pans out of the freezer and evenly divide the cashew mixture among the three of them. Use a spatula or the back of a spoon to smooth them out, then pop them back into the freezer for at least 3 hours to firm up. This is crucial!

After your spring form pans have been in the freezer for 3 hours with the cashew base, take them out and evenly divide the rest of the crust mixture among the pans.

Applying very gentle pressure, spread the crust out so it completely covers the layer of cashew cream. If you press too hard, you’ll have a mess–so be very, very careful.

Pop those bad boys back in the freezer while you make the light, fluffy chocolate layer.

FOR THE CHOCOLATE LAYER:

In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine the coconut cream with 1/2 cup of cocoa powder, vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, and a pinch of salt. Blend just to combine (only about 15-20 seconds), then taste and adjust if necessary.

Take the spring form pans out of the freezer (again) and divide the fluffy chocolate layer evenly among the three pans. Pop in the freezer for at least another hour.

Take the pans out of the freezer after the hour has elapsed. In a small bowl, combine 3 tablespoons of coconut oil with 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder, then pour 1/3 of it over the top of each pie, using a fork or spoon to spread it out.

Put back in the freezer overnight. The next day, de-mold the Mississippi Mud Pies and store in the fridge for a softer dessert or freezer for a firmer sweet treat.

Enjoy!


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Mississippi Mud Pies (gluten-free + vegan)

April 28, 2014 Leave your thoughts Print this page

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For the first photo, I could have picked one of my pictures of the dessert in its whole, unbroken form. I thought that the ones with a bite taken out were prettier, though. They look happier, don’t you think?

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In case you didn’t see the title, I should probably tell you what these are.

They’re MISSISSIPPI MUD PIES.

Oh yeah, baby.

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You see all of those shades of brown in there? That’s because there are FIVE layers of deliciousness: a cookie crust, a coffee cream, another layer of cookie crust, a light, fluffy chocolate mousse, and a chocolate shell on the top.

Did I mention that it’s completely gluten-free, grain-free, and vegan, too?

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I’m salivating just thinking about it.

I call this dish a “Mississippi Mud Pie,” but it actually isn’t very much like the original, which is VERY dense, VERY sweet, and VERY chocolaty. I wanted to take my version to the next level, so I lightened up the creamier layers with cashews and coconut milk, significantly decreased the sugar content, and balanced out the chocolate with the wonderful flavor of coffee.

I think it’s way more sophisticated, too.

When I was younger, my parents and I would often go out to dinner at a restaurant called the Ash Creek Saloon. It was kinda a cheesy place with wood everything and lots of cowboy hats, but as I recall, the food was pretty good. There was barbecued chicken, pulled pork, and ribs galore, with cornbread, coleslaw, and very salty fries to go along with them.

The restaurant is gone now, but the one thing I still have a concrete memory of was the Mississippi Mud Pie. I don’t really remember what they put in there or how it was presented–I only have flashes of Oreo cookie crumbs and sticky chocolate syrup–but I remember that it was really, really good.

Years later, I was eating at a much finer dining establishment (namely Brown’s Beach House, which I mentioned in my Hawaii post) and had an incredible Mississippi Mud Pie ice cream cake that I think was about the size of my head. But I still ate the entire thing and licked the plate because, you know, I didn’t want to be rude or anything.

Not. It was super-duper stellarly amazing.

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Anyway, this dessert is a tribute to two Mississippi Mud Pies that have shaped my life, and I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I (and my teachers and friends) did.

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Let’s get started.

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Pour 2 cups of walnuts, 1/2 cup of cocoa powder (the good stuff, please), and a pinch of salt into the bowl of a food processor. Process until the walnuts are finely ground but nowhere near turning buttery, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Add in 2 tablespoons of maple syrup (or coconut nectar, if you prefer) and process for another 30 seconds until everything sticks together in a nice, firm dough. It’ll look like this:

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If you find your crust is too liquid-y, add in more walnuts. If you find it is too dry, add more maple syrup.

Line 3 mini spring-form pans (or ramekins if you don’t have them) with a circle of parchment paper. Using your fingers, squish 1/6 of the crust into each of the pans, using up only half of your total crust. Spread it out so there are no holes and everything is in one uniform layer.

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Pop those guys in the freezer while you make the coffee cream layer.

In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine 1 cup of cashews (SOAKED OVERNIGHT!!!) with 1/2 cup of strongly-brewed coffee (preferably decaf, because me + caffeine = everybody leaves), 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, and a pinch of salt. Blend until homogeneous and creamy, about 1 minute.

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Take the spring form pans out of the freezer and evenly divide the cashew mixture among the three of them. Use a spatula or the back of a spoon to smooth them out…

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…then pop them back into the freezer for at least 3 hours to firm up. This is crucial! You’ll see why in a second.

Remember the second half of the crust you didn’t use earlier? Yeah, now’s the time. After your spring form pans have been in the freezer for 3 hours with the cashew base, take them out and evenly divide the rest of the crust mixture among the pans.

Applying very gentle pressure, spread the crust out so it completely covers the layer of cashew cream. If you press too hard, you’ll have a mess–so be very, very careful.

Pop those bad boys back in the freezer while you make the light, fluffy chocolate layer.

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In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine the coconut cream from 2 cans of coconut milk (put them in the fridge overnight, tip upside down, and pour out the “water” on the bottom) with 1/2 cup of cocoa powder, 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, and a pinch of salt. Blend just to combine (only about 15-20 seconds), then taste and adjust if necessary.

Take the spring form pans out of the freezer (again) and divide the fluffy chocolate layer evenly among the three pans. Pop in the freezer for at least another hour.

Take the pans out of the freezer after the hour has elapsed. In a small bowl, combine 3 tablespoons of coconut oil with 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder, then pour 1/3 of it over the top of each pie, using a fork or spoon to spread it out.

Put back in the freezer overnight. The next day, de-mold the Mississippi Mud Pies and store in the fridge for a softer dessert or freezer for a firmer sweet treat.

Enjoy!

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Are you a chocolate purist, or do you like it with other things? (OR BOTH?!) Leave me a comment here or on Facebook and let me know!


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Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

March 13, 2014 Print this page

A pie celebrating the marriage of two of my favorite ingredients: chocolate and peanut butter. It’s like a party in your mouth, and indulgence was certainly invited.

Ingredients

Prep Time 15 min
Cooking Time
Total Time 6 hr 15 min
Yield 1 9-inch pie (about 10-12 servings)

FOR THE CRUST:

1 1/2 cups of gluten-free rolled oats (substitute almonds/walnuts/buckwheat for grain-free)

1 1/2 cups of pitted dates

1/4 cup of smooth peanut butter (substitute sunflower seed butter for paleo)

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

A pinch of salt

FOR THE FILLING:

2 cups of whole, raw cashews

1/4 cup of smooth peanut butter (substitute sunflower seed butter for paleo)

1/4 cup of coconut oil

1/2 of a large avocado

2 cups of soft pitted dates

1 tablespoon of maple syrup

1/3 cup of water, plus more if needed

1/2 cup of good-quality cacao powder

FOR THE DRIZZLE:

1 tablespoon of coconut oil, melted

2 teaspoons of smooth peanut butter (substitute sunflower seed butter for paleo)

Cacao nibs or dark chocolate curls, to garnish

Directions

Soak the cashews with enough warm water to cover them completely for at least 3 hours and up to 6. If you soak the cashews for too long, they’ll be slimy and gross; if you don’t soak them for long enough, your blender or food processor will make so much noise your cats will run for cover. Moral of the story: soak wisely.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the oats, dates, smooth peanut butter, cinnamon, and salt until the texture of coarse sand. The ingredients should hold together very easily when touched, and no crumbs should flake off; when in doubt, add another date or two or another tablespoon of peanut butter.

Press into the bottom of a spring form pan and refrigerate for an hour.

Drain the cashews and discard the soaking water. Give them a gentle rinse over, and throw into the blender or food processor with the peanut butter, coconut oil, avocado, dates, maple syrup, and water. Process or blend until smooth.

Pour in the cacao powder and process or blend until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the blender or food processor bowl if necessary.

Now, it’s time to examine the texture. If it’s like a thick pudding, you’re good to go. If it’s more like raw cookie dough, keep adding water–a little bit at a time–to get it smoother and creamier. If it’s too liquid-y, add more peanut butter or dates.

Once your desired texture has been reached, take the crust out of the fridge and pour the filling on top, taking care to scrape the bowl’s sides. Put back in the fridge overnight, or freeze for at least four hours.

When ready to serve, combine the coconut oil with the peanut butter, and stir to combine. Using the stirring spoon, drizzle the peanut butter-and-oil mixture all over the top of the pie. Because the pie will be cold, the drizzle will solidify almost immediately, creating a cool pattern.

To enhance the prettiness factor, sprinkle the top with cacao nibs or dark chocolate curls, if you’re feeling fancy. Serve cold.


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Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie (gluten-free, vegan)

March 13, 2014 1 Comment Print this page

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When normal high schoolers play hooky, they go hide under bridges or eat greasy pizza or whatever.

Not this girl. I made chocolate peanut butter pie, inspired by Rawsome Vegan Baking, a cookbook I have been eyeing for months. And, technically, I wasn’t playing hooky. I just didn’t feel like spending a majority of my day being bored.

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As we all know, I am not a raw vegan, nor am I a vegan, nor am I even a vegetarian. I am a girl that likes to eat, and likes to eat a wide variety of things, including meat, dairy, seafood, and other animal products. That said, I do love raw vegan desserts, particularly for their creativity. I mean, it’s pretty amazing that you can use infinite combinations of nuts, fruit, coconut oil, and raw chocolate to create everything from cakes to cookies to ice cream. They’re also almost idiot-proof: you throw a bunch of ingredients in the food processor, squish them into a pan, and refrigerate or freeze. Easy-peasy!

In this recipe, I have used gluten-free oats and peanut butter, two ingredients that aren’t featured on Yes to Yummy very often. These were matters of personal preference: I felt that oats provided a lighter, crunchier texture for the crust, and peanut butter is just awesome. Sorry, sunflower seed butter, but peanut butter takes the cake (or pie, shall I say). While I prefer to soak and sprout my grains and legumes, I’ve found that I digest oats and peanuts pretty easily, regardless of preparation method. Also, soaked and sprouted peanut butter is…uh…not tasty. Like at all. (Trust me, I’ve tried. Just no.)

If you’d rather use a grain-free alternative, I’d suggest substituting blanched almonds, walnuts, or buckwheat groats (buckwheat is a grass, FYI) for the oats. If you don’t want to venture into legume land (though paleo people have recently shifted a bit) or are allergic to peanuts, use sunflower seed butter instead of the peanut butter. Really, this recipe is very easily adaptable for any eating style, which makes it perfect for feeding a crowd of picky eaters–or just eaters, for that matter.

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Ready to make this delicious 9-inch circle of heaven? Good. Let’s go.

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Soak 2 cups of whole raw cashews with enough warm water to cover them completely for at least 3 hours and up to 6. If you soak the cashews for too long, they’ll be slimy and gross; if you don’t soak them for long enough, your blender or food processor will make so much noise your cats will run for cover. Moral of the story: soak wisely.

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In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together 1 1/2 cups of oats (or preferred substitute, see above), 1 1/2 cups of dates, 1/4 cup of smooth peanut butter, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, and a pinch of salt until the texture of coarse sand. The ingredients should hold together very easily when touched, and no crumbs should flake off; when in doubt, add another date or two or another tablespoon of peanut butter.

Press into the bottom of a spring form pan and refrigerate for an hour.

Drain the cashews and discard the soaking water. Give them a gentle rinse over, and throw into the blender or food processor with 1/4 cup of smooth peanut butter, 1/4 cup of coconut oil, 1/2 of a large avocado, 2 cups of soft pitted dates, 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, and 1/3 cup of water. Process or blend until smooth.

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It will look disgusting. Do not be afraid. You shall soon be saved by the power of…chocolate.

Pour in 1/2 cup of good-quality cacao powder and process or blend until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the blender or food processor bowl if necessary.

Now, it’s time to examine the texture. If it’s like a thick pudding, you’re good to go. If it’s more like raw cookie dough, keep adding water–a little bit at a time–to get it smoother and creamier. If it’s too liquid-y, add more peanut butter or dates.

Once your desired texture has been reached, take the crust out of the fridge and pour the filling on top, taking care to scrape the bowl’s sides. Put back in the fridge overnight, or freeze for at least four hours.

When ready to serve, combine 1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil with 2 teaspoons of peanut butter, and stir to combine. Using the stirring spoon, drizzle the peanut butter-and-oil mixture all over the top of the pie. Because the pie will be cold, the drizzle will solidify almost immediately, creating a cool pattern.

To enhance the prettiness factor, sprinkle the top with cacao nibs or dark chocolate curls, if you’re feeling fancy. Serve cold.

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Ohhhhhhhhhhh yesssssssssss.

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What is your favorite kind of nut (or legume) butter? Leave me a comment here or on Facebook and let me know!


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Chocolate Mousse Pie

October 27, 2013 Print this page

This pie is super allergy-friendly, and because of the avocados, it’s vegan, too. WHAT?! Avocados, I said?! Trust me, they work fantastically.

Ingredients

Prep Time 2 hr 13 min
Cooking Time 17 min
Total Time 2 hr 30 min
Yield 1 pie (8 large servings)

FOR THE CRUST:

5-6 small dates

1/2 cup of water

1 cup of almond flour

1/2 cup of almond slivers

2 heaping tablespoons of cocoa powder

1/4 cup of coconut oil, melted, plus more for greasing the pan

A pinch of salt

FOR THE MOUSSE:

4 ounces of dark chocolate

4 very ripe avocados

1/2 cup of good quality cocoa powder

1/3 cup of raw coconut nectar (can be substituted with honey or maple syrup)

A few drops of liquid stevia (optional)

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

1-2 tablespoons of coconut milk (optional)

Directions

FOR THE CRUST:

A few hours before you want to bake the crust, soak the dates in the water to soften them.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a spring-form pan with coconut oil.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the almond flour, almond slivers,cocoa powder, melted coconut oil, the dates, and salt until no clumps remain, about 2 minutes. Scoop everything out, form it into a ball, and press it to the bottom of the spring-form pan, using your hands to flatten it and spread it to the corners.

Bake until fragrant and beginning to darken in color, about 17 minutes.

Let the crust chill in the freezer while you make the chocolate mousse. It shouldn’t take very long; but don’t exceed more than 30 minutes in the freezer. 

FOR THE MOUSSE:

In a small saucepan or in the microwave with 30 second intervals, melt the dark chocolate.

In the bowl of a food processor or blender, process the avocados until smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes.

To the blended avocados, add the good-quality cocoa powder, raw coconut nectar, stevia (if you want it sweeter), vanilla extract, and the melted chocolate. Blend until no green remains in the bowl, about 4 minutes. Add the coconut milk if it’s too thick for your taste.

Take the crust out of the freezer and pour the mousse on top of it. Smooth it evenly on top of the crust with a spatula, and let sit in the fridge until set, at least 2 hours and preferably 4 or 5.

When you’re ready to eat, take the mousse pie out of the fridge and carefully separate the pan’s bottom from the sides. Transfer to a cutting board, slice, and serve.


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