3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheerio Bars

Hello! It me. I bring to you another dessert recipe from Wisconsin since my flight to NYC was canceled this morning due to the wind! Blah. I suppose this means even more time to experiment with dessert recipes since I will no longer have the opportunity to stuff myself with Van Leeuwen vegan ice cream this weekend (my absolute fav).easy-vegan-3-ingredient-peanut-butter-chocolate-cheerio-bars

Now I will preface this recipe by acknowledging that I’m aware I did not break any culinary boundaries in creating these. And that’s fine. But these bars are beauties because they’re super duper easy and super duper delicious. They’re also vegan and gluten-free, if you’re into that kinda thing.

They’re also highly addictive. My mom ate like 3/4th of the tray in one sitting. We are definitely related. Chocolate is a food group, according to us. vegan-3-ingredient-peanut-butter-chocolate-cheerio-bars

So a lil history on these bars: they came about because as a constantly-on-a-budget TJs fanatic, I am always looking up ways to create cheap after-dinner sweet snacks. In grad school I starting buying bags of chocolate chips for $1.99 (yup, TJ’s chocolate chips are vegan) and boxes of TJ’s Joe’s O’s (which are the Trader Joe’s equivalent of Cheerios) also for $1.99. I would mix chocolate chips and Joe’s Os in a wee little bowl and nibble on the mixture while studying.

The mix is a bit sweet, a bit carby, chocolatey, and crunchy. It’s highly satisfying, easy-to-prepare, and cheap as can be! It really stretches out a bag of chocolate chips, and has the added bonus that Joe’s O’s are decently not-too-shabby-for-you, making it a snack that’s easy to eat every night without feeling icky.

Then one day last month, I  was making puppy chow for my sister when she was in town, and I ventured to the grocery store to get a box of Chex. And then I got home and saw my Cheerios and I was like…I wonder if….!

And so this month, I tried it. I basically used the puppy chow idea (melted chocolate + pb) with Cheerios in place of Chex, but pressed them into a pan instead of coating them with powdered sugar.vegan-gluten-free-3-ingredient-peanut-butter-chocolate-cheerio-bars

The result is a crunchy, easy peasy snack that satisfies any crunchy chocolate peanut butter craving. They’re just damn good and damn delicious.

Anyways, without further audieu, I present to you…

3-Ingredient Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheerio Bars [Vegan & Gluten-Free]vegan-3-ingredient-peanut-butter-chocolate-cheerio-bars-gf

Prep Time:  10 mins
Cook Time:0 mins, but require at least 20 minutes refrigeration
Total Time: ~30 minutes
Servings: 12 bars

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups plain Cherrios or Joe’s O’s
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • sea salt (optional)

Method:

  1. Grease a 12″x12″ inch pan.
  2. In a large microwave safe bowl, heat chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second increments until almost melted (roughly 90 seconds – 3minutes). When chips are almost melted, add peanut butter and microwave an additional 30-60 seconds, until chips are fully melted and peanut butter is melty.
  3. Stir chocolate peanut butter mixture. Add cereal. Toss to coat cereal in chocolate mixture.
  4. Press into prepared pan.
  5. Place bars into the refrigerator or freezer until set, at least 20-30 minutes.
  6. Slice and enjoy.

Single Serve Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hello again friends.baker_katherine_chocolate_chip_single_serve_vegan-1

I know, I know. I disappeared again. And I’m not going to make any excuses. I was busy doing what you do in your 20s: making mistakes, enduring set-backs, moving multiple times, and coming out stronger and more certain of who I am and who I want to be.

I also spent time writing a bunch more for Spoon University (check it out here), but after some soul searching and debating and squandering self-doubt, have decided to make my way back to blogging.

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And after decided to come back to blogging, I spent a considerable amount of time debating starting a new blog or re-starting kbaked for like the 4th time. I ultimately decided on the later, but am planning to give it a serious lift in style, layout, and quality.

All while eating cookies, of course.

I love chocolate chip (oatmeal) cookies. I mean, do you know someone who doesn’t? If you do please let me know; I’d legitimately be interested in interviewing them. Send me their contact info ASAP.

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Back to cookies: one of my favorite things to make because 1) They don’t take very long, and 2) Holy moly, delicious!

But when you live alone, sometimes you just want one or two. Because if you have a dozen, you most likely eat a dozen. And then you feel icky and out of balance. At least, if you’re me.baker_katherine_chocolate_chip_single_serve_vegan_air_2

That’s why single serve cookie recipes are important to keep in your arsenal. The oatmeal is  hypothetically optional, but highly preferable, in my opinion.

I hope you enjoy this recipe, and my promise to blog more frequently in the coming months. It’s my goal to improve my content, layout, and start blogging about more than just recipes, but also nutrition, health, and life.

I hope you enjoy!

Single Serve Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookiesbaker_katherine_chocolate_chip_single_serve_vegan-1

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 15 mins
Servings: 1

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon non-dairy butter or coconut oil or nut butter or neutral oil like canola
  • 2 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract optional
  • 1/3 cup all purpose whole wheat oat flour or any combination thereof
  • 2 tablespoon rolled oats optional or substitute addition flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon chia seeds optional
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon water or milk add more if dough appears too dry
  • Dash salt
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and mix until just combined.
  3. Roll dough into two medium or one large cookie dough ball and place on an ungreased baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 8-12 minutes until the edges begin to turn golden brown and cookie becomes fragrant.

Recipe also shared on Spoon University

Check out some more noms on a link share on runningwithspoons.com!

Salted Caramel Date Truffles (from my ebook!)

Hi everyone! If anyone is out there still.

I must apologize for my disappearance! I had a major cross country move, and then I started grad school for human nutrition at Columbia! I’m also working some and interning a bit with Spoon University. I’ve never been so busy in my whole life! But that said, I’ve really been missing blogging and am going to try my best to get back to it! Winter break will CERTAINLY be full of blogposts!

But I thought I’d share this Salted Caramel Date Truffle Recipe that’s from my ebook, (which you can buy here), and also featured on Spoon University, here.

These are honestly amazeballs. Like, way better than they have the right to be. With the salty crunch on the somehow seemingly sinful date filling, combined with the creamy nut butter, they blow the senses a bit, and create a cravable, not-actually-unhealthy treat.

You can use any nut butter you want, but for these, sunbutter is ma fav 😀

Enjoy! Ps I used Iron Salt on these babies (that’s the pretty pink stuff on top).
PPS – WordPress is being a pooper and I’m having mega-trouble uploading photos, so for now, I only have these two on here. Will add more laters!

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 12
Level: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 8-oz. dried, pitted dates or date pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup sunfloweer seed butter (can substitute almond butter or peanut butter)
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (optional)

Directions:

  1. Soak dates in warm water until softened, at least 15 minutes.
  2. Drain dates. In a food processor or blender, process dates and vanilla until a smooth paste forms. Add sunflower seed butter and ¼ teaspoon sea salt and continue to blend until well combined.
  3. Roll mixture into small balls, about 1-inch in diameter. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and place into the freezer until set, about 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate in 30 second increments, stirring after each increment, until melted (about 60-90 seconds total). Stir in coconut oil.
  5. Remove truffles from the freezer. Dip each truffle in melted chocolate and return to baking sheet.
  6. Sprinkle with remaining sea salt and return to the freezer until set, another 15-20 minutes.
  7. Enjoy! Store in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Chocolate Covered Plantain Chips

You know what the best section is at Trader Joe’s?

Chocolate Covered Plantain Chips Vegan 3 Ingredients !

Okay that’s a faulty question. Because there is way too much good stuff at Trader Joe’s to pick a favorite product, let alone a favorite section. One time my manager asked me what my favorite products were “right now,”, which I thought was a better question than asking me what my “favorite products” were because that list would be overwhelming.  Right now in this 30 second increment of my life I can say that my favorite section is the candy section. In particular, anything that starts with the three magic words, “Dark Chocolate Covered…”

Vegan Chocolate Covered Plantain Chips Vegan

Yes, all those magical tiny rectangular boxes are full of the bestest things covered in the bestest chocolate. When I’m not eating Gone Bananas by the box, I also love the Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds with Sea Salt and Turbinado Sugar (which inspired this recipe), and the Dark Chocolate Lover’s Bar. Holy balls is their chocolate good.

Chocolate Covered Plantain Chips. Vegan & So Easy!

Another recent favorite Trader Joe’s combination of mine is the epic duo of the Spicy Chunky Guacamole with the Roasted Plantain Chips. A co-worker (hi, SG!) informed me of this dynamic marriage of salty/sweet/crunchy/smooth/spicy and I have been hooked since the first bite. It is love.

Chocolate Covered Plantain Chips  Vegan

I went a little overboard last time I purchased Plantain Chips and bought three bags forgetting that I had two at home. Which left me with five bags of plantain chips. So what’s a girl to do? Dip ’em in Dark Chocolate, of course, and combine my love of Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate with by dipping their other products in the stuff and calling it bliss.

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So that’s just what I did. I dipped me some crunchy, salty, carby plantain chips in dark chocolate. It’s kind of like chocolate covered banana chips, but better in my humble opinion, because you also get the salty element from the roasted plantain chip. And you know I’m utterly in love with anything salty/sweet.

Chocolate Covered Plantain Chips. Vegan & So Easy !

These are very simple to make and require only a few minutes and 2-3 ingredients depending on your level of fussiness when it comes to them staying not-melty at room temperature (a tablespoon of coconut oil should help you avoid any melty chocolate!) but they work perfectly without it.

Chocolate Covered Plantain Chips. Vegan : So Easy!

I urge you to make these and please know that summer is coming as is a bit less stress and more sanity which means lots more tasty treats and a really exciting baby project coming to your internet waves soon. Until then, please view Millie with an emoji banana.

Millie & Banana Emoji

Yes, I thought this SnapChat was so funny I sent it to myself so I could open it later and lol at my own terrible humor. Yes I do that and yes I’m aware that’s perhaps not normal. But like this guy says, stay weird stay different. (Also yes, I am stalking Columbia’s instagram lately…and yes there might be a very exciting reason !) #staytuned #stayclassy #eatchocolatecoveredplantainchips [side note, you can totally tell which photos have “wet” chocolate, pre-setting, and which ones have “set” chocolate. total color change. goooooey] Prep Time: 5 minutes Cooling Time: 20 minutes Level: Easy Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup plantain chips (I used Trader Joe’s)
  • 3/4 cup chopped dark chocolate or dark chocolate chips (I used Trader Joe’s 72% Dark Chocolate Pound Plus bar)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (optional, but will help prevent meltiness if left out at room temperature)

Directions: 1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a microwave safe bowl, warm chocolate until melted. Use 30 second microwave increments, and stir after each increment until chocolate has melted. This should take about 60-90 seconds total. Stir in coconut oil until smooth and melted into chocolate. 2. Dip each plantain chip on each side into melted chocolate. Place each on parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with chips until you run out of chocolate. 3. Place baking sheet full of plantain chips in the freezer  to set, at least 20 minutes. Store in an airtight container (preferably in the refrigerator) for up to two weeks. Enjoy 🙂

Vegan Triple Coconut Cookies with Chocolate Chunks

I feel as if kbaked has had a bit of a cookie lag recently. Like, I haven’t posted a cookie recipe since nearly two months ago when I made these Easy Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. Da fucks is up with the lack of cookies, amiright?

Triple Coconut Chocolate Chunk Cookies Vegan  Gluten-free Kbaked

For some reason, I’ve been on a kick of putting up more “real food” on my blog. You know, like this Simple Lemon Pasta, Hummus Barley Bowl with Sweet Potatoes, Kale & Chickpeas, this DANK Black Bean Black Rice Beet Burger, or this Broccoli Parmesan Pasta, etc etc. Just more lunch and dinner stuff. This has been fun and awesome and I really enjoy doing this posts, as they show a snapshot of things I like to eat and realistically make on a daily basis. I hope you’ve enjoyed them as much as my tummy has! #nomnom

Triple Coconut Chocolate Chunk Cookies Vegan Gluten-free Kbaked

So that’s part of the reason for the cookie lag. I suppose the other part is that I have been insanely busy the last like, 7 weeks or so. Between starting a new job at Trader Joe’s (which I <3), volunteering, writing for Spoon, doing some freelance work, and grad school applications and admissions tests, I have not been baking up as many cookies!

Triple Coconut Chocolate Chunk Cookies Vegan Gluten-free Kbaked yum

I decided that had to change. The idea of Triple Coconut Cookies has been floating around in my head for a few days. How are these “triple” you ask? Coconut oil, coconut chips, and coconut flour. If you use coconut milk as your non-diary milk of choice, I suppose you could even consider then Quadruple Coconut Cookies. What a mouthful. Of yum.

Triple Coconut Chocolate Chunk Cookies Vegan Gluten-free Kbaked #cookies !

I added chocolate to this conception of Triple Coconut because in my humble opinion chocolate makes almost everything better. And also tastes #awesome with coconut. These cookies are loosely based off an ANCIENT post of mine, these Almond Joy Cookies I made way back when kbaked.com was in its wee infant stage.

Triple Coconut Chocolate Chunk Cookies Vegan Gluten-free Kbaked

It’s always fun for me to look back at how much my blog and I have changed since we started off. Young adulthood or adolescent-hood or w/e has been a journey inside the kitchen and out, and it’s been oh-so-fun to document tidbits of my life on my blog.

Vegan Triple Coconut Cookies Chocolate Chunks

These cookies are a thank you from me to you for staying tuned. They are full of coconut flavor, and have an interesting, heartier texture from the coconut flour than your average cookie. If you want ’em a lil lighter and fluffier, sub a bit of the coconut flour for more oat. And don’t be afraid to add more coconut chips or shreds and/or chocolate if you desire. I encourage this, because I think there’s always more room for texture/crunch/chocolate/coconut in cookies and/or on top of ice cream.

Triple Coconut Chocolate Chunk Cookies Vegan Gluten-free Kbaked 2

Enjoy des babies. Eat as many as you like and share with all your friends, because they are vegan, gluten-free, and tree-nut free. HooRay! Cookies for all. Go coconutZ. #terriblepunintended

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 15 minutes
Level: easy

makes about 18 cookies
Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup almond milk or coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds or chia seeds
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1 1/2 cup oat flour (can sub whole-wheat pastry flour, and/or regular flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup coconut chips or shredded coconut (I used Trader Joe’s Coconut Chips)
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chunks or chips

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, melt coconut oil until it just turns to liquid; this usually takes about 30-60 seconds in the microwave.

Vegan Triple Coconut Cookies Chocolate Chunks ingredients

2. Add sugar to coconut oil and mix. In a separate bowl or cup, combine almond/coconut milk and flax/chia and allow to sit.

Vegan Triple Coconut Cookies Chocolate Chunks 2

3. In a medium bowl, combine flours, baking soda and salt. Mix well.

4. Add flour mixture to coconut oil mixture. Mix gently until just combined. Add almond/coconut milk and mix again. If the dough feels loose and runny, place in the fridge to allow to set and harden a bit for about 5 minutes.

Vegan Triple Coconut Cookies Chocolate Chunks 3

5. Roll cookie dough into 1-inch balls and place on an ungreased baking sheet, spacing about 1-2 inches apart. Place in the oven until lightly browned and puffed, about 12-15 minutes. Enjoy~!

Triple Coconut Chocolate Chunk Cookies Vegan  Gluten-free Kbaked

Chocolate Nut Clusters with Sea Salt & Raw Sugar

Chocolate with nuts is my absolute favorite chocolate combination EVER. As both a chocolate addict and a nut lover, when they collide, I am euphoric. You may as well call me powerless before a bag of dark chocolate covered almonds. Specifically the ones from Trader Joe’s.

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And as far as sweet treats go, chocolate and nuts aren’t such a bad thing. Nuts are full of healthy fats essential for brain function and dark chocolate has all sorts of antioxidants, as well as more fiber, protein and iron than you’d expect, which is why I feel no remorse enjoying a daily cup of hot cocoa.

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That’s why when the Recipe Redux challenge for February was to share a recipe involving your favorite chocolate pairing, while I could think of a million chocolate combinations I enjoy, none could trump chocolate and nuts.

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Take that a step further with chocolate covered nuts with salt. That extra punch brings out the best of both worlds, and you can bet your bottom dollar I will buy anything with the words “chocolate” “nuts” and “salt” in the title. Done. Sold. Gimme.

Here I add another element of crunch and intrigue with some raw sugar. It has the same gritty yet pleasant textural appeal as salt, but adds another depth of flavor to the treat.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped dark chocolate or dark chocolate chips (I used Trader Joe’s 72% Pound Plus chopped)
  • 1 1/2 cup nuts of choice (I used a mix of equal parts pecan and walnut)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (can also use butter)
  • 2  tablespoon maple syrup or honey
  • 1/4 cup raw sugar (like Sugar in the Raw)
  • 1 tablespoon fine sea salt

Directions:

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Chop nuts and place in a large bowl. In a small bowl, microwave coconut oil until melted. Add maple syrup and sti. Pour onto nuts and mix until nuts are evenly coated. Sprinkle raw sugar and mix again. Allow to sit until coconut oil has cooled and sugar is sticking to nuts, about 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, microwave chocolate in a small microwave safe bowl in 30 second increments, stirring after each increment, until melted. Allow to cool slightly, about 3-4 minutes. Pour chocolate over nut mixture and mix well until nuts are covered with chocolate.

3. Using two spoons or a small ice cream scooper, transfer small amounts of nut mixture onto baking sheets in clusters of desired size. Before chocolate has set, sprinkle more raw sugar and raw sea salt over the top of the clusters.

4. Place clusters in the fridge and allow chocolate to set, at least 15-20 minutes. Remove from fridge and enjoy!

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For more Chocolate Goodness from other members of the Recipe Redux, click around below!

Puppy Chow Granola

Wednesday was not my day this week. Someone hit me while driving, then drove away quickly before I could get any of their information. Yay nice humans! This occurred on my way to a doctor’s appointment where I found I have something quite creepy that I think most people would have no appetite after reading about, so I might refrain from details. Let’s just say, I’ve been eating for many…your dog may have had the same thing. They’re common in dogs. Which makes the title of this post a lil bit ironic. Moving on.

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After my appointment, I went to the police station and filed a report about the hit’n’run. Then I went to Walgreens and tried to get my prescription but my insurance card wasn’t working and then I learned the prescription I needed was $3800 without insurance. Basically pocket change. Anyways, I was *done* with the day before 9am.

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Then I worked all day. And it was -34 with windchill. And then my mom’s car died so I had to go pick her up. By the time I ate dinner around 8, I was so wound up by the day that I wasn’t tired.

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So I decided to use my energy and soothe my grumpy pants by making cookies. And then I messed up the cookies. Ugh. Not what I needed.

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Luckily, ruining the cookies ended up being the best part of my day, because through this experience, I ended up trying to morph what I was using for said cookies into something edible. And then one thing lead to another, and suddenly I had created Puppy Chow Granola. This was certainly the highlight of my day.

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I ate the Puppy Chow Granola. For a moment, the world felt safe. I shared with my mom. She totally dug it, and she’s not very into peanut butter. We agreed that the stuff is INCREDIBLY addicting. And thus, I made another batch the very next day.

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So here is the result of my poopy humpday this week. It is peanut buttery and chocolately and sweet and oath and crunchy yet slightly chewy in all the right ways. It also has the word “Puppy” in the title, which is an automatic win.

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Make this stuff. Eat it. Try to practice self-control. Fail, eat it all, and make another batch. No one is judging you. Let it make you happy no matter what you find out is living in your intestines. Enjoy!

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Bake Time: 20-30 minutes

Level: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter or other nut butter
  • 3/4-1 cup  (depending on how chocolatey you like it) dark chocolate chips or approximately 6 ounces Baker’s or other dark chocolate
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey (optional, but helps to the granola form clusters & clumps)
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanuts (optional, I left em out, but they would be a nice crunchy addition)

Directions:

1.Preheat oven to 325 degrees Farenheit.

2. In a large microwave safe bowl, combine peanut butter and chocolate. Melt in the microwave using 30 second intervals, stirring between each.

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3. Pour rolled oats into bowl with chocolate/peanut butter mixture. Add syrup or honey. Mix (a wooden spoon works well for this)until oats are evenly coated with chocolate/peanut butter.

4. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet. Place in oven for 20-25 minutes, until slightly hardened. If desired, turn granola with a spoon halfway through bake time.

5. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes. Transfer back to bowl and add powdered sugar. Mix well until all granola is coated lightly with powdered sugar. EAT!

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