Peanut Butter Chocolate Pretzel Bites

Peanut Butter Chocolate Pretzel Bites

I love a salty sweet treat. And these peanut butter chocolate pretzel bites are the epitome of a salty, sweet crunchy creamy dream snack.

3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Chocolate Pretzel Bites

Bonus: they couldn’t be similar to make. If you can make cereal, you can probably make these delightful nibbly desserts.

All you need is pretzels, peanut (or your other favorite nut) butter, chocolate chips, and some salt. And the only fancy equipment you need a microwave, microwave-safe bowl, and a refrigerator or freezer. Now let’s get into it.

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Easy Raw Vegan Cheesecake for 2

Easy Raw Vegan Cheesecake for 2

All my life I’ve dreamed of a working blender or food processor. And thanks to Amazon Prime day, my dream has become a reality at last, and I can now part ways with my $12 Food Network brand mini food processor from Kohl’s circa 2009. This major upgrade has helped bring me (and you) this incredibly easy raw vegan cheesecake.

Easy Vegan Raw Lemon Cheesecake

Now. Raw cheesecake is something I’ve wanted to make for…oh I don’t know basically forever. But my old mini food processor was so small, dull, and crappy, that it could barely dice a ripe banana.

I’ve dreamt about making raw cheesecakes and smooth hummus and nut butters for years but never had the right equipment to properly execute these desires.

Easy Raw Lemon Cheesecake for 2

Enter new Ninja blender. Enter happiness. And freedom and inspiration to make ALL OF THE THINGS. Stay tuned!

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Nut Butter-Stuffed Chocolate-Dipped Dates

Nut Butter-Stuffed Chocolate-Dipped Dates

These nut butter-stuffed, chocolate-dipped dates are like a 14/10 on the amazing scale. 5 Ingredients. No fancy equipment or oven required. Insanely delicious sweet treat.

Easy Salty Nut-Butter Stuffed Dates with Chocolate

All you gotta do is crack open some dates, de-pit them, slather their insides with nut butter, squash a whole nut in there (optional, but recommended), dip in some melted chocolate, and finish with sea salt.

Chocolate-Dipped Easy Salty Nut-Butter Stuffed Dates

A short chill sesh in the freezer later, you have a treat that’s chewy, crunchy, creamy, salty, sweet, and chocolatey. It hits every desirable snack element in one swoop.

Scruptious Stuffed Dates with Chocolate and Nut Butter

Honestly, the result is far better than it has any right to be. It tastes like a snickers but without any artificialness or sugar overload. They’re actually kind of like a lazy version of my favorite-ever Sunbutter Caramel Date Truffles with Sea Salt.

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Vegan Peanut Butter Fluff

Vegan Peanut Butter Fluff

You know what I adore? Fruit. And sweet graham cracker munchies. Like Teddie Grahams or Trader Joe’s Cinnamon School Book Cookies. Yum. Give me all the sweet (but not too sweet) carbs. And what better to dip all of these carbs in than Vegan Peanut Butter Fluff? Nada, that’s what.

Eeasy, delicious Vegan peanut butter fluff dip

This super easy Vegan Peanut Butter Fluff dip was inspired by fluffy fruit dips from my childhood. I remember raging on fruit and graham crackers with this mysterious white sweet fluffy dip and wondering what the heck it was.

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Vegan Strawberry Almond Butter Oatmeal Crumb Bars

Vegan Strawberry Almond Butter Oatmeal Crumb Bars

Today I was craving some comfort. The past few weeks I’ve felt uneasy, and I can’ quite figure out why.

Easy Vegan Almond Butter Strawberry Seed Jam Bars with Crumb Topping

Perhaps it’s a combination of stress of an 18-credit graduate school load, figuring out my summer practicum, some pressing family issues, or the mundaneness I sometimes feel after working on something (whether it be school work, work work, projects, or applications for practicums) from morning til evening with little relief.

Once I cross one thing off my list, it seems, 6 more pop up.

VEGAN Strawberry Almond Butter Oatmeal crumb bars

Yesterday I took a break and got brunch at Mathew’s with my good friend Raag. The outing provided not only a delicious meal and good conversation, but a much needed break, some peace of mind, and a fleeting moment or two of comfort.

But today, I was back on the grind. And today, comfort came in the form of Vegan Strawberry Almond Butter Oatmeal Crumb Bars.

Vegan Strawberry Chia Jam

I love a sweet but not-too-sweet breakfasty nibble, filled with oats, nut butters, and sometimes fruit to snack on in the afternoon with tea and to have to pack for snacks during the school week.

I wanted something with a soft bottom, a yummy fruity center, and a scrumptious oatmeal crumb topping. Crumb toppings are one life’s finest pleasures, as far as I’m concerned.

Almond Butter Strawberry Chia Seed Jam Bars Spread 2

I was trying to decide what to bake when I remembered the clearance frozen strawberries I purchased at the store yesterday, and the idea for a Vegan Strawberry Almond Butter Bar with an oatmeal crumb topping came to me. And just like that, I knew I had to make some.

Easy Cegan Almond Butter Strawberry Seed Jam Bars + Crumb Topping

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Easy Chocolate Hazelnut Bark with Sea Salt

Easy Chocolate Hazelnut Bark with Sea Salt

Last night I was cleaning out the fridge/freezer/pantry (party) and started making a bunch of random things to use up odds and ends to help the organization process along.

Easy Salted Chocolate Hazelnut Bark

I whipped up some dark chocolate hazelnut bark with sea salt and was SUPER thrilled with the result. Chocolate + nuts + salt = my favorite. So obviously, I was into this.

Easy Salted Chocolate Hazelnut Bark

It was a spontaneous creation, but so good, and so simple, I decided to snap some phone pics today to put it on the blog in case anyone needs some #inspo for an easy yet impressive homemade chocolate treat.Easy Salted Chocolate Hazelnut Bark

This is basically a no-recipe recipe. You can use whatever nuts you fancy. Or you can add in some chopped figs/dates if you like. You really can’t mess it up.Easy Salted Chocolate Hazelnut Bark

No matter what you add, you’ll end up with delicious, rich, chocolate bark. It’s impressive to put on a plate at gatherings (so long as you keep it elevated if you have doggos) and/or bring to a party or dinner. It also takes minimal effort and is perfect for using up odds and ends in your baking pantry.

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I hope you make this bark and I hope you love it. Let me know if you do! Tag or DM me on Insta (@katherinebaker4) or leave a comment below.img_0427

Peace, love, and salty nutty chocolate!

Easy Salted Chocolate Hazelnut Barki

Easy Chocolate Hazelnut Bark with Sea Salt

Prep Time:  10 minutes
Freezer Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 1-4, depending on how much you like chocolate

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chopped dark chocolate (or one bag dark chocolate chips) – I used Dark Chocolate Lover’s bar from Trader Joe’s
  • 1 1/2 cups toasted or raw (based on your flavor preference, I used raw) whole or chopped hazelnuts, plus additional handful chopped for topping (about 1 3/4 cup total)
  • 1-2 tablespoon flakey sea salt

Method:

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat.
  2. Melt dark chocolate in a microwave safe bowl using medium-high heat in 30 second increments, stirring after each increment until melted. This will take about 90-180 seconds, depending on your microwave.
  3. Stir in 1 1/2 cup hazelnuts. Chop additional handful for garnish and set aside.
  4. Spread mixture over prepared baking pan.
  5. Sprinkle chopped hazelnuts and sea salt over the top of the hazelnut bark.
  6. Place bark in freezer for at least 20 minutes or refrigerator for 60 minutes to set.
  7. Break bark into rough pieces with hands.
  8. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Vegan Hazelnut Cake with Chocolate Buttercream

Vegan Hazelnut Cake with Chocolate Buttercream

For Christmas this year, I really wanted to make a special kind of cake. Something that screamed celebration or occasion. I went back and forth over what to make. A Bouche de Noel? A fruit torte? An apple cinnamon spice cake with cream cheese icing? So many options, so few people (at least, at our holiday gathering) to feed.

delicious vegan hazelnut cake chocolate buttercream

Eventually, I settled upon the idea of a nut cake. I love a hearty, dense, nut-meal cake. It reminds me of holidays. Growing up I used to always go to my friend Michelle’s house and her mom would always have these delicious walnut cookies covered in powdered sugar and I could.not.get.enough. of them. I LOVE anything made with ground nuts.

Vegan Gluten-free Hazelnut cake with chocolate buttercream

I set out of to make a hazelnut cake with a the very clear idea in my mind that it would be a nut-meal cake. And to my surprise, recipes were hard to come by. I did some extensive googling and found many ‘hazelnut cakes’ made with hazelnut liqueur…not ground hazelnuts. Or regular cakes that had hazelnuts on top…or hazelnut liqueur in the frosting.

Easy Vegan Hazelnut Cake with Chocolate buttercream

Those might be all fine and well and good but those were not what I had in mind for my holiday hazelnut cake. I very specifically wanted a cake that contained quite a bit of ground hazelnuts.

Vegan Hazelnut Cake - Gluten-free, Chocolate frosting

My mom also speaks highly and frequently of a hazelnut-meal cake her Italian great aunt used to make, the dense cake made from hazelnuts all grated by hand. That’s what I wanted. No regular cake with liqueur for this gal (also, I hate liqueur).

Vegan Hazelnut Cake - Gluten-free

Lucky for me, hotforfood had a recipe that was sort of what I was looking for. I based the base of the cake loosely off her recipe, tweaking it to my liking and going a different direction with the frosting. Also lucky for me, food processors now exist and I didn’t have to grind hazelnuts by hand.

Gluten-free Vegan Hazelnut Cake

This cake turned out delicious. Rich, light, and dense, fluffy, sweet and nutty, all at once. The frosting pairs oh-so-perfectly with the cake.

Gluten-Free-Vegan-Hazelnut-Cake-.jpg

This is not the fastest easiest cake you will ever make. It requires prep work and planning ahead, but I assure you it is worth it. The nutty hazelnut cake offers a rich hazelnut flavor, the dense texture of the nut meal lightened by the oat flour. The ultra-rich deeply chocolatey buttercream elevates the cake from special to spectacular, the flavors reminiscent of Nutella, with far more finesse.

Vegan Chocolate Hazelnutcake_With_Chocolate_Buttercream

This is most definitely a special occasion cake. It feels festive and delicious. The recipe below with give you two layers, and enough buttercream to cover them both. The photos you see are of a cake that only had one layer, made into two, due to a dropped cake incident and making do with what was available. Didn’t matter tho, still tasted delicious!

Vegan Hazelnut cake with chocolate buttercream

I hope you make this and I hope you love it. If you do give the recipe a whirl, be sure to take me on Insta (@katherinebaker4). I love seeing what y’all make!

Happy 2018 everyone!

Vegan Hazelnut Cake with Chocolate Buttercream

Prep Time:  1 hour
Bake Time: 20-30 minutes
Servings: 6-8 people

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 2 cups hazelnuts
  • 2 cups oat flour (or sub all-purpose)
  • 3 tablespoons flax
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • aquafaba (liquid) from one can of chickpeas
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract (sub additional vanilla if you don’t have it)

Chocolate Buttercream:

  • 1 cup vegan butter, softened (I like Earth Balance baking sticks for frosting)
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 cups powder sugar, more as needed
  • 2-3 tablespoons non-dairy milk, as needed

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. If aquafaba is not cold, place in the fridge to chill.
  2. Spread hazelnuts on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a Silpat. Toast for 8-10 minutes until lightly toasted brown. Remove from oven and rub hazelnuts with a paper towel or clean towel to remove skins. If you can’t remove them all, that’s okay. Just do your best.
  3. Allow hazelnuts to cool completely. Meanwhile, lower oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans generously with oil or melted vegan butter.
  4. Combine oat flour, flax, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Once hazelnuts have cooled, pulse in a food processor until a flour/fine-ish meal forms. Some chunks are okay. It adds texture.
  5. Add hazelnut meal to dry mixture. Whisk well.
  6. Whip aquafaba with an electric mixture until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, non-dairy milk, sugar, vanilla, and almond extract. Stir into dry ingredients until just combined.
  8. Fold aquafaba into mix until just combined. Pour batter into prepared pans. Place in the oven for 20-22 minutes until lightly golden browned and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean upon insertion and removal. Once baked, allow to cool completely.
  9. Meanwhile, prepare frosting: combine softened vegan butter with cocoa powder and powder sugar. Use an electric hand or stand mixer to beat until light and fluffy. Add non-dairy milk if a thinner texture is desired. Add more cocoa powder and/or powder sugar (up to 1 additional cup) if thicker texture is desired. Personally, I added no non-dairy milk because I wanted a super rich thick and fudgy icing. But if you want something a bit thinner and fluffier, add non-dairy milk, one tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is achieved.
  10. Frost cooled cake, top with hazelnuts, and serve!

Easy Vegan Gingerbread People

Easy Vegan Gingerbread People

Happiest of holidays to you! Are you ready for some easy vegan gingerbread cookies and/or dog pics? Great! Keep reading.easy vegan gingerbread cookies kbaked

Finals are over which means it is BAKING SEASON (cue creepy Pillsbury dough-boy laugh). If I am ignoring your calls and texts and have seemingly disappeared into the abyss, assume it is because my hands are covered in (vegan) butter and cookie crumbs until further notice.

delicious easy vegan gingerbread

As much of a pessimistic Pauly as I can be, I really love the holidays. And the excuse to bake in excess is among the many reasons I relish this season (I also love being cozy, drinking copious amounts of hot chocolate, spending time with fam, and watching The Santa Claus and Home Alone 2).

Presently I’m watching Relationsheep (#Bravofan5ever) as I quickly type up this post. Then it’s back to cleaning, gift wrapping, and doing a bunch of work (non-school related) that I pushed onto the back burner until finals had ended.

delicious vegan gingerbread cookies

But I thought I’d take a pause from my grind to share these easy vegan gingerbread people. These literally took about 10 minutes to throw together, and an additional 8-10 to bake. They were almost too easy making them the perfect cookie to whip up last minute for a gathering, and/or the perfect treat to satisfy a random gingerbread craving (which, personally, I have on occasion).

gingerbread people easy vegan

If you’d like to dress them up with some icing, by all means do your thing. I’m currently digging them plain, paired with a wicked cup of cocoa or a alongside a cold brew iced coffee. Mmmm.

super simple vegan gingerbread

If you don’t want the fuss of rolling out cookie dough, you can certainly bake these in dough balls with a dusting of raw sugar. This is a delicious option and gives the cookies a yummy chewy tummy middle.

easy vegan gingerbread people

I hope you give these cookies a whirl and love them as much as I do! If you make them, tag me on Insta (@katherinebaker4). I’d love to see them IRL!

EASY Vegan gingerbread_

Many more posts coming your way this weekend/upcoming week! In the meantime, please enjoy this photo of my dog in a Mrs. Claus outfit her grandma bought her from Walgreens. Happiest of holidays to you!

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Easy Vegan Gingerbread People

Prep Time:  10 minutes
Cook Time: 8-10 minutes
Servings: 8-10 people, depending on the size of your cookie cuter

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup softened vegan butter (I like Earth Balance baking sticks)
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax + 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup + 1 additional tablespoon molasses (note: these are molasse-y cookies, since I love the taste of molasses. If you want them a little less molasses-heavy, sub the additional tablespoon for water)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat baking flour (can sub additional all-purpose, if desired)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place flax and water in a small bowl and allow to thicken, at least 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cream together softened butter and brown sugar using an electric mixer or stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add molasses and flax egg and mix again.
  4. Combine flours, baking soda, spices, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk together.
  5. Fold dry ingredients into wet until just combined. Form dough into a ball and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes for ease of rolling (optional, but highly recommended; you can also pop it in the freezer for 5-10 minutes if you’re short on time).
  6. Roll out dough and cut with cookie cutters as desired. Place shapes on a lined baking sheet. For non-shaped cookies, you can also roll dough into balls, sprinkle with raw sugar, and place onto a lined baking sheet.
  7. Bake 8-10 minutes until just golden. Allow to cool before eating or icing.
  8. Enjoy!

PS – If you want more gingerbread goodness, try this yummy Nutty Gingerbread Granola!

Salted Peanut Butter Cup Brownies (Brownie Mix Shortcut)

Salted Peanut Butter Cup Brownies (Brownie Mix Shortcut)

The same says it all: salty sweet rich and decadent brownies swirled with luscious peanut butter and topped with peanut butter cups and crunchy sea salt. These salted peanut butter cup brownie mix brownies are tastebud heaven.

I made these a few weeks ago for Vegan Bites (which airs Thursday evenings on @spoonuniveristy Instagram stories) and wasn’t planning to put them on the blog, but the response to the episode was so positive I decided despite only having mediocre phone pics they deserved a place on kbaked.com.

You’ve probably noticed based on the title of the post that these brownies are made with a box mix. Now you may be saying “that’s cheating” or that “true bakers never use mixes.” To which I say your opinion is fair, however, I’ve come to find times and places for box mixes and like to keep them on hand for such occasions. They’re especially nice when you need to whip something up and find your baking pantry bare.

Making a cake for a special occasion is not, in my opinion, the place for a mix, but these brownies definitely are. All you have to do to make these is grab a box of brownie mix, some peanut butter cups, sea salt, oil/vegan butter, and an egg substitute, and you’re on your way to peanut butter cup brownie mix magic in a matter of minutes.

Now let’s talk brownie mix. Some are better than others. Look for an ingredient list that contains things you’d add at home and doesn’t contain too many things you wouldn’t (like DATEM and mono- and do-triglycerides, etc). I like Trader Joe’s, Annie’s, and Cherrybrook Kitchen mixes. Also check the ingredient list for animal ingredients. You’ll find many are accidentally vegan, making your life a wee bit easier.

You’re going to cook the brownie mix according to the package with a few modifications, swapping animal products for non-animal products. While many mixes call for oil, should yours call for butter, simply swap in vegan butter (like Earthbalance).

Now on to the milk. Should your box’s recipe call for milk, simply add your favorite unsweetened non-dairy milk. I would go for the unsweetened, since box mixes tend to be far sweet enough already.

Lastly, the egg. This is the trickiest to swap but you can handle it. For quick breads, cookies, and muffins, swapping each egg with 1/4 cup applesauce or a flax or chia egg works fabulously. If you don’t mind a subtle banana taste, 1/2 a small ripe mashed banana will also work. For brownies, replacing an egg with a chia or flax eggs or 1/4 cup puréed silken tofu or canned pumpkin will do the trick. Cakes are a bit trickier and sometimes with delicate crumb, aquafaba is best, but know that chia and flax eggs will do just fine.

To make a chia or flax egg, simply combine 1 tablespoon flax or chia seeds + 3 tablespoons water in a small bowl and allow to thicken for at least 10 minutes. Fabulous.

Now back to brownies: despite this long and winding post these truly couldn’t be easier. Make the brownies according to the mix instructions with swaps mentioned above, swirl in 1/4 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter, and bake according to time listed on the package.

When there’s a minute or two left in the bake time, chop up vegan peanut butter cups (like Justin’s dark chocolate) and when you pull the brownies out of the oven to cool, sprinkle the cups over the top of the hot brownies. You’ll notice the cups will start to melt slightly; this is perfect. Sprinkle with flakey sea salt to finish, allow to cool, and enjoy, preferably crumbled atop your favorite non-dairy ice cream (I’m partial to Van Leeuwen or So Delicious Cashew Milk – particularly their Caramel Cashew Cluster ice cream myself).

I hope you make these or that this recipe has inspired you to use that box of brownie mix in your pantry that has been sitting there lonely for months.

Salted Peanut Butter Cup Brownies (Brownie Mix Shortcut)

Level: Easy
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Bake Time: 20-30 minutes
serves 12

Ingredients:

  • 1 box egg and dairy free brownie mix (just check labels, many brands are vegan)
  • oil / water that the mix calls for -1/4 cup apple sauce, silken tofu, mashed sweet potato or 1 tablespoon chia + 2 tablespoons water per egg called for on box.
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (optional)
  • 10-12 nondairy peanut butter cups (optional, I like Justin’s dark chocolate)
  • 1-2 tablespoons flakey sea salt

Method:

  1. Preheat oven and prepare mix per box instructions, subbing your egg replacement for eggs.
  2. Pour into well-greased pan.
  3. Swirl in peanut butter evenly throughout batter.
  4. Bake per time called for on box.
  5. Remove from oven. Immediately too with sea salt + chopped pb cups.
  6. Enjoy! 🤗

Quick and Easy Vegan Fruit Crisp

Quick and Easy Vegan Fruit Crisp

Yummy yummy yummy I have Fruit Crisp in my tummy!


….apparently I’m 5 years old. Anyways I thought I’d share the recipe for this easy vegan Fruit Crisp that I made on Vegan Bites this week, because it’s so incredibly simple. I usually eyeball these crisps because I’m lazy and because they are quite forgiving, but below you’ll find a general guideline for making your very own Fruit Crisp.

peach
This recipe serves 2. You can easily double, triple, or quadrupole it, depending on how many people you’re feeding or how hungry you are.

I used peaches, but you can use whatever tickles your pickle or whatever fruit happens to be spoiling around your house. Frozen fruit works well, too.

I suggest using almond or oat flour. This makes it gluten-free if you care and delicious regardless of if you care. If you don’t have these flours, you can use all purpose.

This tastes amaze with non-dairy or ice cream or whipped cream. DO IT.

Enjoy!

Easy Vegan Fruit Crisp

Prep Time:  10 minutes
Cook Time: 30-40 minutes, but need at least 1 hour to freeze
Servings: 2, easily doubled

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fruit (I used peaches today, frozen berries are also fab)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar -1/2 tablespoon lemon juice -3/4 cup oats -1/4 cup flour (I recommend almond or oat, AP is fine too)
  • 1/4 cup brown or coconut sugar (regular will also be okay)
  • 1/4 cup softened non-dairy butter
  • cinnamon
  • dash salt

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Chop fruit into even pieces, add lemon juice, sugar, and toss. Place in well-greased baking pan.
  3. Combine oats, flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. Mix. Cube softened butter and mix in.
  4. Cover fruit with oat mixture and bake for 30-45 minutes until fruit is tender and top is crispy.
  5. Serve with non-dairy ice cream or coconut whipped cream!