Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies – No Butter & No Flour! What?!!

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Like many of my girlfriends, I have a weakness for peanut butter.  Combine that with chocolate and you’ve got a match made in heaven.  Last week, my peanut butter and chocolate cravings were getting a little out of control.  I bought a bag of six from Whole Foods and wolfed them all down within two days.  Now I know I’m pregnant and I did pass my glucose test but I felt like I needed to make a healthier option.  I came across this recipe as I was browsing online.  I was skeptical as to how they would taste seeing that it was flourless and made without butter.  I gave it a go anyways and I’m so glad I did.  It was one of the most delicious and satisfying peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies I have ever had!  Not only were these a ‘healthier’ option, but they seriously took little to no time to bake!  That’s a huge bonus for me as patience is not exactly my best virtue. Since these were such a huge hit when I shared it with family and friends, I figured I’d share the recipe here on the blog as well. =)  Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!  nom nom nom!!!

Ingredients
  • 1 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter (not natural)
  • 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats (gluten-free if desired)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In small bowl mix together the oats and baking soda; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl beat peanut butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth, about 3 minutes. Mix in dry ingredients with a wooden spoon, then gently fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Roll cookies into 2 inch dough balls and place onto cookie sheet 2 inches apart, then BARELY flatten the top of the cookie with your hand. The dough should be pretty sticky so if you find this method annoying, simply use a cookie scoop to drop the cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheet. The cookies may not be as round in shape and perhaps a bit thicker, but that’s okay, they will still be delicious.
  5. Bake cookies for 9-11 minutes and remove when edges barely begin to turn a golden brown. The cookies may look a little underdone, but they will continue to cook once you remove them from the oven. Cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining cookie dough. Makes 16-20 cookies.

Chocolate Truffles

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I was running dangerously low on my chocolate stash that I brought back from Belgium so I did the next best thing – I made chocolate truffles!  It really isn’t as hard to make as long as you keep everything nice and organized in the kitchen.   I followed this chocolate truffle recipe which yielded about 50.  Trust me, that isn’t nearly enough to supply my chocoholic friends and family, let alone myself – so feel free to double up the recipe on my behalf.   Enjoy!

Chocolate Truffles

Ingredients:

1 cup (237 ml) heavy cream
2 tsp (25 g) granulated sugar (light corn syrup is even better because the truffles keep better. Use it if you have it.)
12 oz (336 g) dark chocolate, I used Callebaut
1 T (14 g) butter

cocoa powder, for coating
finely chopped almonds, for rolling (or any other nuts)

1. Chop that block o’ chocolate fine! I like to shave it into small pieces with a serrated knife. If your pieces are too big, they may not melt. Once chopped, put the chocolate in a dry bowl.

2. Pour the cream, sugar and butter into a pot and bring to a boil over high heat.

3. Once boiled, remove from the heat and pour it all at once over the chocolate. If some pieces of chocolate aren’t submerged, push them under with a spoon.

4. Let this sit on the counter for a minute.  The heat from the cream will penetrate the chocolate and melt it.

5. Now start whisking. To get the best texture, it’s important to create a good emulsion. The better the emulsion, the smoother the texture of the truffle will be. Start from the center and whisk fast in small, concentric circles. You can see how the center is getting shiny, and that’s a telltale sign that things are going well.

6. Scrape it into another clean bowl, and refrigerate it for a couple of hours, just so the ganache has a chance to harden.

7. When you come back to it a couple of hours later, the surface will have dulled over and that’s ok. The texture should be firm but scoopable.

8. Dig the mellon baller into the chocolate and twist, all in one motion. No hesitation.

9. Give the melon baller a good wack or two against the side of a parchment covered sheet pan and the chocolate should pop right out. You can get your bearings with a few practice balls. If they’re stubborn, give them a little nudge with a spoon. If some of them look all crazy, you can always roll them between the palms of your hands. But I like them imperfect.

10. Prepare two bowls, one filled with cocoa powder and one with finely chopped nuts for rolling. I used almonds.

11. Roll some of the balls in cocoa powder, and some in the nuts.

12. Enjoy!

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Unusual Chocolates

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I finally opened up the box of chocolates I purchased from a store in Bruges called The Chocolate Line.  They had the most unusual and unique kinds of chocolates!  I made sure I snapped a few shots of the really unique ones before my hubby and I went to town on them all.  What an epicurious adventure!  I gotta say, I really liked the bacon chocolate.  It had crispy little bacon bits in it – savoury yet sweet.  I know, its really hard to imagine it would taste good but I was surprised myself.  My second favourite was the cola one (unfortunately I ate it before I took a photo of it).  It literally fizzes in your mouth like you’re drinking pop.  Loved it!  The chocolate that came in third place was the apple.  It had caramel with apple balsamic vinegar and a praline with granny smith green apple.  I know it sounds like a mouth full but something about the tartness from the granny smith apple really balanced the sweetness of the caramel.  By the way, the last picture is to show you what a wonderful hubby I have.  He insisted that I should have the first bite to all the chocolates.  Wait a minute….or was that his way of avoiding a yucky tasting one? Hmmm….