Healthy Nutty Brownie

Image 1

Another week has flown by and I feel as if my to do list continues to build and the counter to try and get things done is getting shorter and shorter. 14 days left of school. 21 calendar days left before school is out, but we all know it is really only 2 days until Memorial Day weekend and isn’t that the starting point of summer.

Summer is the time at which motherhood becomes more enjoyable, at least for a few days. No early morning alarm wake ups, no lunches have to be packed unless they are for everyone to enjoy by the pool. However it also means a period of twelve weeks when a lot less gets done outside the necessary – laundry, cleaning, cooking because it is exhausting and time consuming watching the kids splash with their friends in the pool. Right?

Wow swim team practice began this week and the pools are open. Let me just say I am glad it is the kids and not me. The temperatures have been volatile this spring. No gradual warm up just big jumps and dips from winter rain to summer heat and the last few nights we have had lows in the 50’s. To some that may make for refreshing water. To me I have another term for it…COLD.

I find in the summer the children tend to get hungry from all that swimming.  It is so easy to toss a bag of chips or pretzels in the pool bag, but is that really the greatest snack?  Fruit is always a good choice, but depending on whether you take a cooler or not it can get warm and mushy.  Everyone loves chocolate especially kids, but granola bars or any mixture or anything with chocolate tends not to hold up in the summer heat.  So when I came across this recipe, I thought I would give it a try.

Who would not feel good about feeding their family a brownie that has five ingredients and provides protein, fiber, and some Omega 3’s.

This recipe was adapted from  5 minute espresso walnut brownies 

Healthy Nutty Brownie

1 1/2 cups raw walnuts, divided
1 cup raw unsalted almonds, roughly chopped
2 – 2 1/2 cups Medjool or Deglet Nour dates, pitted
3/4 cup cocoa powder OR raw cacao if you have it
1 tsp. instant espresso

Place 1 cup walnuts and 1 cup almonds in food processor and process until finely ground.
Add the cocoa powder or cacao, instant espresso  and pulse to combine and then transfer to bowl and set aside.
Add the dates to the food processor and process until small bits remain. Remove from bowl and set aside.
Add nut and cocoa mixture back into food processor and while processing, drop small handfuls of the date pieces down into the food processor spout. Process until a dough consistency is achieved, adding more dates if the mixture does not hold together when squeezed in your hand.
Add the brownie mixture to a small parchment lined cake pan or loaf pan and add remaining 1/2 cup roughly roughly chopped walnuts. Toss to combine and evenly distribute, and then press down with you hands until it is flat and firm.
Place in freezer or fridge to chill before cutting. Store in an airtight container to keep fresh. Will keep in the fridge for at least 2 weeks and in the freezer for at least 2 months.

IMG_2774

While I found the flavor a little too strong initially after sitting in the refrigerator for 24 hours they were better.  Unfortunately Little Miss Mixture was not a big fan and the consistency was too crumbly to make a good take along snack.  However if you are looking for a nice little bit (1×2 square) the Healthy Nutty Brownie is great for curbing hungry while satisfying your sweet tooth as well.

Image 2

 

 

Advertisements

Rum Balls

Every now and then you need a grown up type of dessert.  Just a bite of something that mixes sweet and saucy.  Rum balls are that for me.  They are that one bite wonder that you can never eat just one of.  I am not someone who drinks rum, or at least very often.  There may be a couple of drinks I enjoy most likely with a little umbrella in them while I relax on the beach or poolside, but I am not likely to mix something up. However each time I have a rum ball or a rum cordial there is a taste or that little burn that I enjoy.  Maybe if there was a chocolate rum drink I would take the time to make it.

This recipe could not be easier and it is great for parties and get togethers.

All you need is stale brownies.  WHAT! I know what you are thinking who has stale brownies.  No one in their right mind, but the key is make a double batch of brownies.  That way you can enjoy some and have ample to make your rum balls ahead of time.

DSC_9952

Rum Balls

Ingredients

8oz stale brownies, crumbled

3oz. dark rum

4oz. dark chocolate, chopped

Directions

  1. In a medium size mixing bowl, pour rum over the crumbled brownies and allow to soak for 2 minutes.
  2. Scoop mixture with a teaspoon onto a wax paper lined baking sheet or plate. Place in the freezer for about 20 minutes to firm up.
  3. Remove from freezer and roll into smooth balls approximately 1 inch in size.
  4. Return to freezer to set.
  5. Melt 4oz chocolate in a double boiler or using the microwave method. Remove brownie balls from freezer and gently roll them around in the melted chocolate to coat completely. As you roll each one place it on a baking sheet or plate with a clean piece of wax paper or parchment paper.
  6. The chocolate will firm up on its own but you can place the baking sheet or plate in the refrigerator to set more quickly.
  7. When ready to serve set out and dust the tops with cooca powder or powder sugar for a pretty display.

These are a great make ahead as you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3- 5 days or freezer for up to 3 months.

Adapted from a recipe found on allrecipes.com

DSC_9948

Oh how we LOVE Truffles!

 

What is not to love?  Isn’t she cute?

In all seriousness we do love truffles, the little chocolate ones, at least myself and Little Miss Mixture.  In fact I have created a very bad habit at a young age as Little Miss Mixture has a taste for good chocolate.  I truly think if you are going to indulge it should be worth it and in my opinion there is a difference in chocolates.  There are a number of good chocolates to be found and I am a dark chocolate person, and luckily there are a variety of price points that can satisfy this craving.

I enjoy semi sweet chocolate chips and a handful can brighten the day or simply satisfy that sweet craving at times.  Other times a more decadent form of dark chocolate is necessary.

I enjoy baking though I often have to find people to give the sweets to or have a reason to bake because I cannot just have them sitting around.  I have a hard time wasting food, so rather than waste I allow my waist to be impacted.

Friday is National Truffles Day and this week is Teacher Appreciation week at Little Miss Mixtures school.  Who does not enjoy homemade baked goods?  I decided to make this easy recipe to send to some of the teachers, assistant teachers, and administration.  I know at least a couple of them have a sweet tooth like myself.

Chocolate Truffles

12 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips

3/4 cup whipping cream

1 tsp  extract of your choice (orange, raspberry, peppermint, rum)*

Cocoa for dusting

In a glass bowl melt chocolate (you may use double boiler method or microwave).  I use the microwave for this recipe. Melt on high for 1 minute and stir.  Continue to microwave at 30 second intervals until almost melted then stir until smooth.  Gradually add the whipping cream stirring in well.  Whipping cream does not need to be cold as it will mix better if allowed to sit out for a few minutes.  Once mixed add extract of choice and continue to stir to ensure evenly distributed flavor and chocolate is smooth.  Place in refrigerator to firm up for about 20 -30 minutes.

Line a cookie sheet or container with parchment or wax paper.  Scoop chocolate and roll into small balls approximately 1 inch in diameter.  At this point I place the truffles in the freezer for about 15-30 minutes to firm back up.  Roll in cocoa to dust and serve immediately, store in airtight container lined with parchment or wax paper, or package as gifts.   Yields about 2 -2 1/2 dozen.

* I have used orange and peppermint                                                              *recipe adapted from Taste of Home

IMG_2561
Ready for the teachers

 

Just one more because we do love her!Truf.JPG