19 December 2012

Baking Bender With Some Recipes!

I have been on somewhat of a "baking bender" as of late, which is to account for my somewhat MIA status.  I've had custom orders, an exciting new prospect, special requests for the desk and miscellaneous christmas plates/gifts to assemble.  I am loving it though!  

Orange creamsicle cookie sandwiches, requested by my friend, Courtney.

I created custom baskets earlier in the holiday season and this past Sunday I attended a special yoga event where I donated a vegan treat of my choice and was commissioned to do 16 vegan/gluten-free "Butterfinger" favors (recipe adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie).  The item I chose to donate was my "Reindeer Food."  It's both vegan and gluten-free, packed with protein and super, super yummy :)  I must have popped, like, three in my mouth after they came out of the oven but then I said to myself, Hey!  These aren't for you!  Stop eating them or there won't be any left to bring in!!  So I listened...to myself...and stopped.

In my excitement baking I TOTALLY forgot to take a picture of the "Reindeer Food" so, fellow readers, you will have to use your imaginations.  Here is the recipe:

Reindeer Food

- 1/2 c. all-natural peanut butter - 1 c. gluten-free oats- 1/4 c. agave- 1/4 c. peanuts
- 3 T. coconut
- 3 T. vegan chocolate chips or sweetened cacao nibs
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 4 T. almond milk
1.  Preheat oven to 350' F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
2.  Mix all ingredients together and drop by spoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets.
3.  Bake for 13-15 minutes, rotating halfway through.  Let cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to finish cooling.

Another custom order I received was from my dear, dear mama!  She requested 13 bags of my brownie cookies to pass out to her coworkers.  With eight cookies/bag (this is in addition to the other baking I've been doing), that was a lot of cookie-making!  I finished them today, though, and am very happy with how they turned out :)

Jill, a massage therapist where I work, also placed an order for six bags of vegan goodies to pass out to her clients.  She gave me full reign, allowing me to make whatever I wanted!  I chose to try out a new recipe I've been working with, 
Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles, and I'm very pleased with how the recipe came out.  I did run my choice by her, though, just to get her go-ahead, which I promptly received ;)
So here it is!  Another recipe!  This can easily be made gluten-free by using gluten-free pretzels :)
Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles


- 1 c. all-natural chunky peanut butter (if you have only creamy peanut butter, you may choose to add in 1/4 - 1/3 c. crushed peanuts)
- 1/2 heaping c. organic powdered sugar
- 2 T. Earth Balance, softened
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 2 c. crushed pretzels (do not crush so much that you get a pretzel "powder"--let the pieces still be somewhat large)
- 8 oz. chocolate chips + 1 T. non-hydrogenated shortening, for dipping 
1.  Combine peanut butter, powdered sugar, Earth Balance and sea salt.  Add in crushed pretzels and peanuts, if using.  Cover and let mixture chill in refrigerator for at least an hour.
2.  Use a teaspoon to scoop heaping spoonfuls onto baking sheets, lined with either parchment or wax paper.  Roll into balls and place soon-to-be truffles into freezer for at least 30 minutes.
3.  While truffles are in freezer, melt chocolate chips and shortening in a double boiler on the stove.
4.  Line an additional platter/plate/tray of some kind with wax paper and set aside.  Remove just a few truffles from the freezer at a time (3-5) and immerse, one by one, into melted chocolate.  Remove truffle by scooping with a fork or slotted spoon and scrape off excess chocolate on the rim of the double broiler.  Drop on wax paper.  Continue with remaining truffles, removing them from freezer as you go.
5.  Place completed truffles in refrigerator for a half an hour or so to set.  Wrap with wax paper, as you would a caramel, or place in decorative mini muffin liners!  Give as gifts or enjoy yourselves!!

I also received an order for my Pumpkin Dream Brownies (for December 23rd) and a two-for order of gluten-free raspberry-filled lemon scones and brownie cookies (for December 29th).  Yay!
Now, for my exciting "prospect."  The lady who did my nails last week offered to feature my goodies at her nail studio!  We are going to "test the waters" this, her busiest, week, to see how they do and if her clients are receptive!  She (Jenny) said I could make whatever I want so I chose my Iced Pumpkin Chai Latte Cookies.  Jenny said she would keep me posted throughout the week and already three have sold :)

I will end this post with a picture of one of the Christmas plates I gave away.  The lucky recipient was the family who ordered the custom holiday baskets :)
Clockwise, from left: Brownie cookies, walnut fudge, pumpkin roll, "Speculoos" cookies, peanut butter pretzel truffles and macaroons.

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