White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookie Bars
I love cookies of all shapes and sizes - I'm not one to discriminate. That being said, there just aren't enough vegan white chocolate macadamia nut cookies around. At least not ready available for purchase...so I came up with my own recipe so I could have them whenever I got a craving. Instead of using a store-bought vegan white chocolate (which is REALLY hard to find. I have found it online, though) in these, I used chopped cacao butter. Cacao butter is the edible vegetable fat extracted from the cocoa bean and it both smells and tastes like chocolate. It's the perfect substitute and is PACKED with antioxidants to help give you healthy hair and skin - so they're basically a health food...right?! 😝
I used maple syrup instead of sugar in this recipe because I prefer the flavor of maple syrup, but substitution info is listed below if you're interested. These cookie bars are thin, a bit crispy on the edges, and packed with yummy, crunchy macadamia nuts. They're SO GOOD and make a taste pretty damn dipped in tall glass of almond milk. So what're you waiting for?! We've got cookies to eat!
1 cup vegan butter OR vegetable shortening
2/3 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup vegan white chocolate or cacao butter, roughly chopped
1/2 cup macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 350°.
Using a hand held or stand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, vanilla and salt until light and fluffy. Add in the flour. When it's fully incorporated, stir in the white chocolate chunks and macadamia nuts.
Pour the cookie dough into a greased 9 X 13 inch baking dish. Press dough very firmly with plastic wrap or a spatula until the top is silky smooth and free of cracks or bubbles.
Bake for 23-28 minutes until slightly golden + crisp on the edges. An inserted toothpick should come out clean. Cool completely, then cut into triangles (or squares!) with a sharp knife. Scoop out the bars and enjoy!
Makes about 16 bars.
You can also sub 1 cup organic sugar for the maple syrup here. The cookie bars will be crispier if you do this.
For thicker bars you can also try baking in an 8x8 inch pan, but the cooking time may need to be adjusted.
Leftovers last in the fridge for about a week!
Triple Chocolate Pumpkin Swirl Brownies
Fall is here! If you couldn't tell by the pop-up Costume Stores and the crazy amounts of fake fall leaves in store windows, I'm sure you could tell as soon as you logged on. Because today, we're talking about fall heaven. We're talking about the reason I pull myself out of the warm layers of comforter to make the chilly late night walk to the fridge: we're talking about fudgy, triple chocolate, pumpkin swirl brownies.
They make me think of words like rich, ooey-gooey, and decadent.
And those are words I love.
I also love chocolate, which is why we used bars of dark chocolate, cacao chunks, and rich cacao butter to make these brownies a trifecta of chocolatey heaven.
You're gonna love 'em.
The pumpkin was a brilliant addition. I mean it!
It adds a soft, gooey pumpkin layer to an already sweet, fudgy bottom layer.
The combination creates an almost cheesecake-like brownie that will make an appearance at Halloween, Thanksgiving, and daylight savings day too.
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup cacao nibs*
1/3 cup dark chocolate bar, broken into small pieces*
1/3 cup cacao butter*
6 tablespoons vegan butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons flax, 6 tablespoons water)**
pumpkin swirl topping ingredients:
1 15 ounce can of pumpkin puree***
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 1/2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
*As you may have noticed, three 1/3 cup measurements makes for 1 cup of chocolate in this recipe. If you don't have cacao nibs or butter and want to use only dark chocolate, please do. If you want to sub it all out for cacao nibs, you may also do that. I just loved the three chocolatey flavors all together, and highly recommend it!
**To make a flax 'egg', mix 2 tablespoons ground flax with 6 tablespoons water in a small bowl. Let sit for about 5 minutes, until the mixture turns slightly gelatinous. This recipe calls for two flax eggs, so simply double the original mixture.
***Just make sure you're buying 100% pumpkin puree. Pumpkin pie mix is a very different product and while it would probably be delicious, we won't be using it here.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 9x7 inch pan.
In a medium sized bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, and salt.
Set it aside.
Using the double boiler method, melt cacao nibs, cacao butter, dark chocolate, butter, and vanilla until they become the consistency of warm chocolate fudge sauce, sort of like chocolate gravy...yum!
Once the chocolate mixture is melted and well combined, add it to the dry ingredients, stirring to combine. Add flax eggs and stir again. Pour the resulting brownie batter into the 9x7 inch pan.
In a bowl, whisk together the can of pumpkin, unsweetened applesauce, and pumpkin pie spice. Pour it evenly over the brownie batter, using a butter knife or toothpick to gently swirl some of the pumpkin topping into the chocolate batter.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, until the pumpkin is slightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean.
Let brownies cool for 20-30 minutes before enjoying them so the chocolate and pumpkin layers can set.
When they are cool, try them with a giant scoop of coconut ice cream...or with two forks on the couch while you watch parks and recreation.