Vegan Salted Caramel Date Truffles

Hey there! I’m really excited to share with you my first attempt ever at a hands-only video. I decided to revamp/revisit one of my old favorite recipes from my ebook, with a slightly modified recipe, new photos (the old ones were meh), and a brand new video!

Now I should disclaimer this by saying I KNOW I’m new to video and that I have improvements to make. But, I thought I’d give it a whirl. Only up from here, right?

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These are easy to prepare, no-bake, and free of all major allergens. And they got that delicious salty/sweet thang going on that I so enjoy. I hope you make them and enjoy them too! I am ob.sessed.

Vegan Salted Caramel Truffles with SUnbutter

Vegan Salted Caramel Date Truffles

Prep Time:  30 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes, but need at least 1 hour to freeze
Servings: 6-8 truffles

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces pitted dried dates
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seed butter, plus an additional 3-4 tablespoons (divided)
  • 1 cup dark chocolate or dairy-free chocolate chips
  • sea salt
  • hot water

Method:

  1. Soak dried pitted dates in hot water for at least 10 minutes, until softened.
  2. Drain dates. Transfer to a food processor. Add vanilla. Process until smooth.
  3. Transfer date mixture to a bowl. Add 1/4 cup sunflower seed butter. Mix well.
  4. Roll dough into balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  5. Freeze for 20 minutes.
  6. Add an additional dollop of sunflower seed butter.
  7. Freeze for 20 minutes.
  8. Melt chocolate in 30-60 second increments in the microwave until melted. This should take about 90 seconds total.
  9. Dip each dough ball into melted chocolate and return to baking sheet. You may also use a spoon to cover the ball.
  10. Freeze for 20 minutes.
  11. Enjoy. Store in the refrigerator or freezer in an airtight container or bag.

Vegan Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies

I did the damn thing! I made a vegan Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookie! Yippee!

Vegan Cookie Levain Bakery Style Chocolate Chip Yum

I have spent time living on the Upper West Side of New York City, and UWSers and tourists alike are all familiar with the famous Levain Bakery.

Vegan Cookies Delicious Dough Levain Style

They have these ginormous, cookies that are unbelievable delicious, with a perfectly crisp exterior, and a gooey almost underbaked center.

Vegan Cookie Levain Bakery Style Chocolate Chip

I remember my first Levain Bakery experience. My mom was visiting me while I was at NYU and I had heard of this place called Peacefood on the Upper West Side (yup, before they had a downtown location!) that I really wanted to try. So I dragged her from the East Village to the Upper West and we had a delightful lunch at Peacefood. I got the Asian Greens salad and Chickpea fries (still two of my favs on the menu). And then I said, “hey, since we’re over here, we should go to this famous cookie bakery.” And she agreed.

Vegan Cookie Dough Scoop

We got one chocolate chip walnut, and one double chocolate. The OG stood out to me. It was almost like the double chocolate was so chocolately it didn’t let the other elements of the cookie shine. Anyways, I digress, that cookie stayed in my mind for a very long time.

Cookie Dough Vegan

Back in my NYU days, I rarely trekked up to the UWS, but during my MS at Columbia, I ended up reluctantly relocating there. And I ended up loving it. To this day, it is still one of my favorite neighborhoods in NYC.

Cookies Vegan Levain Bakery

But since my NYU days, I have gone vegan. Which means my options at Levain bakery include their whole wheat raisin walnut rolls (which TBH ARE SO GOOD), and a few other bread products.

Delicious Vegan Levain Style Bakery Cookies

So here we are. I veganized the Levain Bakery Cookie. And I’m pumped about it.

Vegan Levain Style Bakery Cookies Delicious

These vegan Levain Bakery style chocolate chip cookies are delicious. Full of chocolate chips and whole chunks of walnuts, they are a texture junkie’s dream. They also have that gooey middle thing going on in the best way possible. Paired with a glass of almond milk these are utter perfection. Now let’s get on to how I did the damn thing.

Vegan Levain Bakery Cookies

After doing some research online, I decided to play around and give them a whirl. A common characteristic I noticed in copycat Levain recipes was the use of cold butter. If you’re a baker, you know that typically cookies are made with room temperature butter. Yet all Levain cookies had this in common, so I went with it.

Vegan Cookie Dough Scoop on Baking SHeet

I also used half cake flour and half all-purpose. You can use all AP if you want. I also tried half bread flour with a pretty good result. Do you, honey. Use what ya got (with varied results).

Vegan LEvain Bakery Style Cookies

I highly reccomend chilling the dough before baking. I think it helps them maintain that gooey middle quite a bit. If you’re low on time, pop them in the freezer for a bit.

Levain Bakery Style Vegan Cookies

Anyways, these are wonderful plant-based nuggets of joy and I really hope you make these vegan Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies! If you do, please let me know! Gimme an @ on InstaGimme an @ on Insta or comment on this post. I love to see when people make my recipes!

Vegan Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep Time:  10 minutes
Cook Time: 10-12 minutes
Servings: 10 giant cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cold vegan butter (I used Earth Balance baking sticks)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour (can sub additional all-purpose)
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax
  • 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup water or unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 2 cups semisweet non-dairy chocolate chips (I used Trader Joe’s)
  • 2 cups whole untoasted walnuts

Method:

  1. Cube butter and place in a bowl. Add sugars and beat using an electric mixer on low speed for about 3-4 minutes until creamy.
  2. Meanwhile, combine all dry ingredients in a separate bowl and whisk together well.
  3. Add half of flour mixture and water or non-dairy milk to butter and mix by hand with a spatula or wooden spoon. Mix until just barely combined.
  4. Add remaining flour mixture and water and repeat.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts.
  6. Using an ice-cream scooper, scoop dough onto a silicone mat or parchment paper-lined baking sheet, with a generous amount of space between each.
  7. Place cookies in the refrigerator for 40 minutes to an hour until dough is chilled. This will help the cookies maintain their shape in the oven, and give you that gooey gooey middle. If you’re short on time, pop in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  9. Remove cookie dough balls from the refrigerator/freezer and place directly in hot oven.
  10. Bake for 10-12 minutes until just brown on the outside, but still gooey on the inside.
  11. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for at least 15 minutes. This is essential! They must have time to firm up before transferring to a cooling rack.
  12. Enjoy with almond milk. 🙂

Easy Vegan Puppy Chow

Puppy chow!! Aka muddy buddies (apparently). Aka the best darn sweet crunchy snack of all times ever period!I remember puppy chow sales being a thing when I was little. Were they a thing where you grew up? Because when I went to college I realized they aren’t a thing everywhere. In fact all 3 of my freshman year suite-mates hadn’t heard of puppy chow. How sad, I know. MuddyBuddys_Katherine_baker

I think Puppy Chow is a Midwest thing. I could be wrong. All I know is that everyone I know from the Midwest knows what it is, and I’ve met lots of coasties who do not. But that could be an anomaly.

Baker_Katherine_puppy_chow_mix

If you look on the back of a Chex box for a puppy chow recipe, you may notice that that recipe contains butter and vanilla. I find these additions to be unessential. Like, when you’re eating puppy chow, I feel like they don’t add much. IMG_5461

At least to me. I just use peanut butter, chocolate, powdered sugar, and cereal, and I don’t miss anything. So I reason I’ll save vanilla and butter for instances where it really does add shine. Gotta save those valuable baking resources, amiright?

PuppyChow_KatherineBaker

So here is my coincidentally, stripped-down, bare-bones, completely delicious vegan puppy chow recipe. If you’ve never had it, make it right the fuck now. Trust me. KatherineBaker_Chocolate_peanutbutter

This is another adapted recipe I posted on Spoon University, but here you’ll find it completely unabashedly dairy-free and with slightly different photos. Enjoy!

-Kbakes

PS: If you want more p chow in your life, check out this Puppy Chow Granola post!

PuppyChow_KatherineBaker_

Easy Vegan Puppy Chow

  • Prep Time: 15-20 mins
  • Cook Time: nada
  • Servings: varies on how much you can eat at once (I can eat a lot of this at once)

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups Chex or other plain cereal
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter or other nut butter (almond or sunflower seed butter would also be yummy)
  • 1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips (I use Trader Joe’s) or chopped dark chocoalte
  • 1/2-3/4 cup powdered sugar, depending on if you’re one of those people who likes a little or a lot of powdered sugar on your chow

Method:

  1. Melt the chocolate in a large microwave safe bowl by heating in 30-second increments in your microwave for 1-2 minutes, stirring between each until chocolate is almost (but not completely) melted. Add peanut butter to the bowl and return to the microwave and heat for an additional 30-60 seconds, until peanut butter is also melty.
  2. Mix those two together. Enjoy the views and the smells.
  3. Add cereal to bowl and mix gently. You want to coat the cereal with the chocolate/peanut butter mixture, but also want to be careful as to not crush the cereal.
  4. Transfer to a large zip-lock, add powdered sugar, and shake it up until cereal is coated with powdered sugar.
  5. Eat the shit out of that delicious puppy chow.

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…

vegan-3-ingredient-peanut-butter-chocolate-cheerio-bars-gf

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.

baker_katherine_chocolate_chip_single_serve_vegan_dip_vertical

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.

baker_katherine_chocolate_chip_single_serve_vegan_air

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 🙂