Category Archives: Desserts

Azuki Bean Brownies, No Flour, No Eggs, No Nuts, No Kidding

Yes. Azuki beans in a brownie.

No. They don’t taste like beans. They taste like dense, chocolatey, delicious brownies.

Brownies!

They don’t have flour in them. They don’t have eggs and they don’t have to have milk either.

My kids are obsessed with them, especially the babies. I have already had twelve people taste them and not one person could guess the secret ingredient.

SONY DSC

I got the idea from Chocolate Covered Katie. She has the most awesome recipes if you are trying to eat healthier desserts.

I used her Black Bean Brownie recipe with a few changes. I used Azuki beans because my nutritionist/naturopath ran some tests on me that revealed that I am slightly lacking in iron.
His first suggestion was to get some Azuki Beans. And of course, my first suggestion was that I make myself BROWNIES.

I used date syrup as the only sweetener in these and I used Kinder chocolate fingers (and just a few) instead of chocolate chips. I also made the same brownies with black beans but I found that the Azuki beans added a slightly better taste, maybe a tad bit sweeter.

This batter is totally fine for kids. No raw eggs or loads of sugar. My one and a half-year old tried it out for you. And yes, he wears his twin sister’s pajamas and his big brother’s shoes backwards. He is obsessed with everyone’s shoes but his own. He won’t keep his own shoes on for more than an hour.

Enjoy the brownies. SONY DSC

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Ice Cream Social

photo credit: Cakespy.com

What are you doing Wednesday? Ice Cream lovers take note! This is the event for you.

ICE CREAM SOCIAL HAPPY HOUR
Date: Wednesday, August 31st
Time: 5:30-7:30
Location: The Palace Ballroom, 2100 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

The Palace Ballroom is hosting this ice cream party! On hand will be delicious cold treats from ice cream superstars like:
Bluebird Homemade Ice Creams
Parfait
Full Tilt
D’Ambrosio Gelateria Arigianale
Old School Frozen Custard
Fainting Goat Gelato
Procopio

The cost of admission gets you a sample from every vendor, entertainment and access to a full bar. They will also have a specialty ice cream cocktail available for purchase for those who want a little bit of booze with their chilly treat (for 21 and over folks only of course)!
Tickets are $15 tax included and can be purchased at Tomdouglas.com

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Passover Nut-Free Chocolate Covered Matzo with Dried Apricots and Alderwood Smoked Salt

Passover is one of those holidays that is all about nuts. Since there are so many things that you can’t have, it seems like nuts are the substitute for it all. And of course, until you have someone with a nut allergy in the family, you really never notice how they pop up everywhere. Our 2 year old has a recently diagnosed tree nut allergy, (I won’t even go into how shocking it is for me to find out about this after 2 years of eating everything and anything.) Basically every cookie or Passover chocolate on the shelves is processed in a place with nuts, and it is an Easter hunt to find a chocolate that isn’t, even just a plain, dark chocolate bar.

Today, we made these little hostess gifts for our friends that we are celebrating Passover with. One thing about the way I plan recipes is that I always look for recipes that I can make with all the things that I have at home. This was a great way to spend time with my little boy and every time I turned my back, there was another chocolate mustache on his face.
You can put these next to your guests plates at your seder as a hostess gift or just offer a dessert to snack on after dinner.

The recipe was inspired by a book that I was looking at this morning called “ Gifts Cooks Love: Recipes for Giving” By Dianne Morgan when it ocurred to me that Passover is a great time to make homemade gifts. The book is beautiful and with creative recipes that you can make and give as gifts. There are fabulous ideas in it.
In the book , she used smoked salt in a chocolate bark recipe which I thought sounded like a great touch so I used this salt in my recipe.

Passover Nut-Free Chocolate Covered Matzo with Dried Apricots and Alderwood Smoked Salt

One Bag of Chocolate Chips (Milk or Dark)
Dried Apricots
A box of Matzo
Alderwood Smoked Salt ( This adds a touch of smoke without the heat. It can be found at spice shops such as World Spice Merchants or Market Spice)

1. Chop up the apricots.
2. Melt the chocolate in batches in the microwave at 30 second intervals. Mix every time, making sure that it doesn’t burn.
3. Brush or use a spatula to spread the melted chocolate on the Matzo.
4. Sprinkle the chopped Apricots on top and then the Smoked Salt.
5. Freeze until hard, break into pieces and wrap in cellophane and some string. You can definitely use pretty string but all I had was kitchen twine and it worked fine.

You can use any dried fruit or even chopped candy instead.

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NY Times Chocolate Chip Recipe


Have you heard of the New York Times best chocolate chip cookie recipe?

Last night I was talking to a friend who said she hadn’t heard of it. I wasn’t going to share this experience until I realized that there were still some people missing out on the big secret.
Have they found the secret to a perfect cookie? Last Friday I made the dough. I baked some on Saturday, I baked some on Sunday and the bittersweet part is that they still taste amazing nearly a week later. Bittersweet because I can’t stop breaking off little bites and I am not too sure my body needs it.

I had to make changes to the recipe, because of convenience. I notice that I am not the only one who is using chocolate chips and not chocolate discs, Orangette blogged about her experience.
I also used regular flour in recipe and not bread flour with cake flour.

So the thing about these cookies that was interesting to me…………

1) Sea salt is added on top. This brings out the sweetness in the cookie.
2) The fact that the batter has to sit in fridge for a very long time. This really develops the flavor.

I always read recipes until the end but this time I missed something and baked them 12 hours later instead of 24 hours later. Then I made a dozen the next day and a dozen two days later.

Batch number 1 (12 hours later)
The first batch I sprinkled with sea salt and brought some cookies to a chef friend to try.
They’re good, they’re brown, they’re moist but I think you should add coarse sea salt.
Batch number 2 ( 24 hours later)
I added the coarse sea salt on top and brought them to a few of my friends. They loved them.
The cookies really tasted better after 24 hours of mingling in the fridge. I could imagine how the chocolate chips felt. They were squished between the thighs of the heaps of dough. The chocolate chips needed to be hugged in this chilly weather.

Another thing I have to add is the baking time, 18- 20 minutes is a long time. Next time I will try to bake them a little less. I was doing a million things at the same time so my timer was the indication that the cookies wanted out. Everyone loved them but I would have wanted a softer cookie.

Try them and you will be hooked. Please let me know what you think.

Note: I have a little thing I do when I make cookies. I save some of the chocolate chips on the side. This way I put some chocolate chips on top, right before they go into the oven. This makes sure that the chocolate chips are on the top of the cookie.

The recipe

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Easy, Quick Peach Cake


This is such an easy cake. I make this when unexpected guests drop in. It literally takes just a few minutes to put together and the smell is so inviting. It’s one of those dry cakes that has just a touch of fruit.

Peach mixture:

6-8 peaches

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 tablespoon of sugar

Flour mixture:

1 and 1/2 cups of flour

2 teaspoons of baking soda

1/4 of a teaspoon of salt

1 cup of sugar

3 eggs

1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon

2/3 cup of oil

On top (makes a sugary crust)

1 tablespoon of sugar

a handful of pecans

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Chop the peaches into squares (size doesn’t matter)
2. Put in bowl with 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, eggs, oil and 1/4 of a teaspoon of cinnamon
4. Oil a round baking pan and places peaches on bottom.
5. Pour the flour mixture on top.
6. Sprinkle pecans on top. Sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar evenly on cake.
7. Bake for 40 minutes or until ready.

Note: I forgot the oil but I have added it.

This is such an easy cake. I make this when unexpected guests drop in. It literally takes just a few minutes to put together and the smell is so inviting. It’s one of those dry cakes that has just a touch of fruit.

Peach mixture:

6-8 peaches

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 tablespoon of sugar

Flour mixture:

1 and 1/2 cups of flour

2 teaspoons of baking soda

1/4 of a teaspoon of salt

1 cup of sugar

3 eggs

1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon

2/3 cup of oil

On top (makes a sugary crust)

1 tablespoon of sugar

a handful of pecans

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Chop the peaches into squares (size doesn’t matter)
2. Put in bowl with 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, eggs, oil and 1/4 of a teaspoon of cinnamon
4. Oil a round baking pan and places peaches on bottom.
5. Pour the flour mixture on top.
6. Sprinkle pecans on top. Sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar evenly on cake.
7. Bake for 40 minutes or until ready.

Note: I forgot the oil but I have added it.

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