• Appetizers,  Dairy Free,  Gluten Free,  Recipe,  Snacks,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    The Best Fried Mozzarella Cheese Sticks (Vegan)

    They’re melty, they’re crispy, they’re hot, and oh man are they CHEESY!

     

    Yes, I made some all-time classic snacks to share today, mozzarella sticks, baby!

    Mozzarella sticks are such a major crowd pleaser, it’s ridicuolous. Really, I can never believe how quickly they get devoured by my family, particularly the dudes, but actually everyone loves them. They’re essentially just a different form of pizza, right? Game-changers, that’s what these are. <-True stuff. That’s why I was so surprised the first time I tried making them with a dairy free alternative. I honestly didn’t think that it would work but they went over so well that no one could tell the difference.

    So I thought I could do it but I was wrong. I just simply can’t tell you about these without thinking of my sis. She’d tell you this herself so it’s not like I’m talking behind her back or anything, but when she was pregnant with my nephew she says that she literally ate an entire Costco-sized box of mozza sticks all by herself. Not only that, but they became her go-to morning sickness cure for some reason.  I think the whole thing is super funny.

    Oh, and I’ve already practically sworn to make these for her when she’s going through that again. Although, it’ll probably be something totally different that she craves next time. I remember a friend of my mom’s telling us that she literally craved wall stucco during one of her pregnancies and my mom always craved crushed ice. We used to go to Sonic drive-in for months in a row just to get their specific shape of ice.

    So I feel pretty safe in declaring that these are well worth your time in trying them. There really is no comparing these to the frozen variety. I’m telling you, using the fresh and real mozzarella makes so much difference and then you can also have complete control over the flavor you want to coat them in. I like using Italian seasoning or sometimes I just use plain breadcrumbs. The best way to do them though, is to use some crushed chip crumbs mixed with panko. Whenever we have some mostly empty bags of chips lying around (usually left around the gaming room, messy boy) I save them for precisely this purpose and it is like a secret ingredient that makes them amazing.If you guys try these I’d love to know how you like them and please let me know if you have any questions or feedback in the comments!

    The Best Fried Mozzarella Cheese Sticks (Vegan)

    Is a party even a party without good snacks? These cheese sticks are exactly what your next get together needs.

    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Cook Time 20 minutes
    Total Time 30 minutes

    Ingredients

    • 8 ounces mozzarella style cheese (such as Daiya or Miyoko's)
    • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup unflavored almond milk
    • 1 cup seasoned panko breadcrumbs or you can use chip or cracker crumbs, it's the best! (Use gluten free if needed)
    • salt and pepper to taste

    Optional:

    • pizza sauce or marinara sauce for serving

    Instructions

    1. Cut the cheese into sticks that are about 1/2 inch thick. Pour the milk into a small shallow bowl and dip the sticks first into the milk, then the flour, then the milk again, and then into the breadcrumbs and turn to coat all sides. Place them all on a plate or tray in the fridge to chill a little while you heat the oil. (It's best to keep them as cold as possible so they don't melt too much while frying)
    2. Heat about 1/4 inch of oil in a medium skillet over medium heat (alternatively you can use a deep fryer.) Fry a few sticks at a time for 1 - 2 minutes per side, watching carefully if they start to melt into the oil. then remove to paper towel lined plate. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with warm marinara sauce if desired.

  • Breakfast,  Dairy Free,  Gluten Free,  Recipe,  Snacks,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Cherry Plum Chia Almond Smoothie Bowls

    It’s here! I mean, we’re there! Well however you want to look at it, 2017 you guys, it’s gonna be a good one I can just feel it!

    Now that I’ve had a full week to get over my sadness that the Christmas season has to be over until next year and now that I’ve spent a few very long moments staring at my calendar in an attempt to grasp that time is still moving in spite of my wishful thinking, I think I’m finally getting some fresh inspiration for new beginnings.

    It’s the time of year when we’re all thinking about our goals and making plans for some of the things we’ll be doing this year. I’m guessing that more than a few of us have something on our list regarding health goals for this new year, especially after all the holiday indulgences. What do you say, today let’s be all about trying to get back into a balance, shall we? Have you made any resolutions for this year? Personally I’ve got a lot.

    Okay, I know many of you are shivering underneath piles of snow right now but for us down South things are finally heating up and the produce is coming into full season. Recently there have been some of the most gorgeous cherry varieties, including one that is a favorite of my mom’s; Rainier cherries. They’re my favorite kind too and if you’ve never tried them before than you need to put it on whatever form of list you’ve got for this year, whether it’s goals, resolutions, or must-dos. Since our fridge was overstocked on them last week I realized it was the perfect opportunity to add them to a new recipe -> hello smoothie bowls!

    I think the last time I shared a smoothie bowl I explained my initial aversion to them the first time I heard the idea. The truth is that I thought they were really absurd. I remember thinking something like ‘Eating a smoothie with a spoon and topped with chunks, what’s that about???’ Yeah, I felt that way until I started seeing them all over the place and decided I should at least give them a chance and that’s when I changed my mind, they’re awesome.

    I love this particular smoothie bowl because of all the color and, come on, it’s just really fun to say “chia” and “cherry” in the same title. They were made to go together. Also, these bowls are so fast and easy so you can prep them quickly on busy mornings or even make ahead the night before for a breakfast on the go. Actually, smoothies are something that, in my opinion, are acceptable anytime, anywhere. They’re great late at night to help curb those cravings too.

    So I hope your year is starting off well and I can’t wait to share this year’s recipes with you!

    Cherry Plum Chia Almond Smoothie Bowls

    Start your day with some flavor when you try this vibrantly colored smoothie bowl that you can customize to fit your taste.

    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Servings 2 servings

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup Rainier cherries or preferred type, pitted
    • 1 cup about 4 ripe plums, pitted
    • 1/4 cup raw almonds
    • 1/4 cup chia seeds
    • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 cups almond milk
    • 3 - 4 tablespoons maple syrup or honey or to taste

    Toppings:

    • 1/4 cup Rainier cherries or preferred type, pitted
    • 1/4 cup about 1 ripe plums, pitted
    • 1/4 cup raw almonds
    • 2 tablespoons chia seeds

    Instructions

    1. Combine all the ingredients for the smoothie in a blender and blend until smooth. For a thicker smoothie allow it to sit for at least 30 minutes to allow the chia seeds to thicken.
    2. Pour the smoothie into two bowls and top with the almonds, fruit, and chia seeds and grab a spoon!

     

  • Dairy Free,  Dessert,  Gluten Free,  Holiday,  Recipe,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    “Egg”nog Latte (Vegan Starbucks Copycat)

    Because what better way to start the week, right?

    And especially this time of year. I mean, it’s December, everything’s getting all Christmasy, and Baby, it’s cold outside. I know I’m in the mood for lattes! What about you? Ha, as if!

    Okay I admit it, I’ve slowly been becoming a coffee addict over the past year(ish) and now I think there is a distinct possibility that I’ll end up being one of those people who can’t function without it someday. This is something that would probably bother me more, depress me even, if I wasn’t currently buzzed on the Joe. Instead I’m rationalizing that I’d never want to exist in a world without it anyway so why worry about it? But yeah, I really love the stuff.

    I always feel a little lazy when I’m sharing recipes for lattes and things like this because they’re so fast and simple it hardly counts as a recipe. On the other hand, I used homemade eggnog so that adds a little bit more complexity if you wanna try that too. Otherwise though, these takes about 5 minutes once you’ve made them once or twice, but probably closer to 10 the first time.

    I honestly think even those of you who hate eggnog alone could still fall in love with a steaming hot mug of this ultimately festive morning sip! In the past I wasn’t a fan of actual eggnog myself, solely based on the name sounding gross. That was until I tried an almond milk nog and realized that it was basically nutmeg infused melted ice cream and I was 100% sold from then on. I’ve been making it myself and it’s an amazing thing to use as an ingredient? A fact proven by these pancakes and this cake, and this hot chocolate!

      

    "Egg"nog Latte (Vegan Starbucks Copycat)

    Try drinking this favorite holiday drink in a new way, with your coffee! This latte will have you humming Christmas Carols all day long!

    Prep Time 5 minutes
    Cook Time 5 minutes
    Total Time 10 minutes
    Servings 2 lattes

    Ingredients

    • 1 1/2 cups strong black coffee
    • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon plus more for topping
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg plus more for topping
    • 3 tablespoons granular sugar
    • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
    • 1 1/2 cups dairy free nog I used homemade but there are many varieties available such as almond, soy, and coconut.
    • non-dairy whipped cream for topping optional

    Instructions

    1. Whisk together all the ingredients (minus the whipped cream) in a small saucepan or tea kettle and set over medium high heat until hot and steaming.
    2. Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream and/or a dash of cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg


  • Dairy Free,  Gluten Free,  Holiday,  Recipe,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Warm Sage & Almond Pesto Roasted Potato Salad

    You know what is a pretty broad term? Salad.

    I feel like I’ve said this same thing many times before, actually I know I have, but it’s as true as ever. Where I grew up in the southern part of the States, every gathering with friends or church potluck was proof of this fact. It may even surprise some of you to know that it’s a common thing to make dessert salads in the mid-west. I kid you not, one popular version of that type of salad includes marshmallows, cherries, and whipped cream. My mom used to make it a lot for parties and we loved it.

    warm-sage-almond-pesto-roasted-potato-salad-3

    I’m just saying, a “salad” doesn’t always refer to a boring pile of greens. In this case I’m calling today’s recipe a salad for lack of a better term, but it could also be called a side dish or something similar. Basically it’s a great way to serve potatoes regardless of what name it’s given.

    warm-sage-almond-pesto-roasted-potato-salad-4

    One of my favorite parts of cooking this time of year are all the herbs and spices that go with the Holiday season. Speaking of which, I’m getting overly ecstatic about how close it is now! Okay, but if I go into that right now I won’t be able to control my desire to chatter your ears off about it. I’ll save my excitement for later and continue what I was saying about herbs.

    warm-sage-almond-pesto-roasted-potato-salad-11

    So we’ve got this little sage plant (named Yoda by the way, isn’t that perfect?) that hasn’t been toughing out the last of the cold weather very well and I thought was going to die on me. As it turns out though, he’s been well named and is a little fighter starting to thrive with the coming of Spring. I keep forgetting to use the fresh sage in my recipes, but I’ve really got to stop because using the fresh leaves is so much better than dried.

    warm-sage-almond-pesto-roasted-potato-salad-8

    What I loved about this dish is how it’s great served cold like a typical potato salad but serving it hot is perfect during the Fall and Winter seasons when you’re wanting a cozier touch.

    One last thing, the pesto, omg! There are so many other things that you can do with the pesto besides just putting it with potatoes, but that is definitely a brilliant way to use it if I do say so myself.

     

    Warm Sage & Almond Pesto Roasted Potato Salad

    Ditch the mayo and pickles and heat things up with this comforting version of a potato "salad" . It makes a wonderful side dish for dinner parties and holidays.

    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Cook Time 45 minutes
    Total Time 55 minutes

    Ingredients

    • 4 - 5 large Idaho or russet potatoes peeled and cubed

    Pesto:

    • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 3 tablespoons one small handful fresh sage leaves, washed
    • 1/4 cup raw almonds
    • 3 large cloves garlic

    Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C) and line a baking tray with foil. Combine all the ingredients for the pesto in a food processor or blender and pulse a few times until mostly smooth, with a little texture remaining.
    2. Toss the potato cubes with about 1/2 of the pesto and spread evenly on baking sheet. Roast for 35 - 45 minutes until fork tender and nicely browned, turn halfway through cooking with spatula. Remove and cool for about 5 minutes, then serve hot as a side dish or first course topped with desired amount of the rest of your pesto. Other options; you can add meat to finish the dish and make it a meal. It's also great served cold during warmer seasons.

     

  • Dairy Free,  Dessert,  Recipe,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Pistachio & Almond Baklava (Vegan)

    It’s flaky, it’s crunchy, it’s nutty, and oh my goodness is it buttery…….

    Yes you guys, I’m talking about baklava!!!! So the other day when I shared that recipe for jeweled rice I told you guys how we had a that little Persian inspired dinner over the weekend and how I went way overboard with the desserts, remember? Well, if not that’s totally fine but I’m going to keep on talking anyway as if you know exactly what I mean.

    Among all the different types of desserts that I tested I made some baklava, because obviously no great Persian dinner should be without it. Before this I’d only made baklava one time and that one wasn’t even traditional, I totally switched things up (Here’s the recipe for that one if you’re interested. Not gonna lie, it’s a little bit amazing!) After trying it that first time though, I knew that I’d have to try the traditional version as soon as possible because I just fell in love with the way the phyllo dough transforms into those irresistible layers of goodness.

    Oooh, I also tried apple baklava along with the traditional kind (in my typical indecisive-about-everything fashion). It was every bit as delicious, if not more, but I thought if I was going to share that one I’d save it for closer to the holidays and maybe share it then when apples are in season for you guys up north.

    I keep saying “traditional” but, just like so many other classic and notorious foods, there are many countries/cities that claim to be the origin place of baklava, and each one of them has small recipe variations that are specific to their area. So when I say “traditional” I’m referring to the version made in and near Iran because I tried to keep it as close to that as I could.

    Well, except for the rosewater because, like I also mentioned the other day, rosewater didn’t win any most popular flavor prizes with my gang the last time I used it. I sort of decided that I’d never use it again, at least not for a long, long, long time, so I left it out. If you are into it though and you want to make this recipe even more authentic, please feel free to add the rosewater. It’s really just a preference thing.

    Regardless of where baklava actually comes from, I think we can all agree that it’s like the greatest idea anyone’s ever had, know what I’m sayin??? Can I get a “heck yes!”? If it happens that you’re grouped in with the poor unfortunate souls of the world who’ve never tasted baklava, then drop whatever you’re doing, that has to be fixed now! At the very least you need to add to the top of you’re bucket list. Basically, you have to experience it for yourself to understand what the hype is about and that’s why I’m telling you guys right now, you’ve really gotta make it. Come on, life is too short not to live a little!

     

    Pistachio & Almond Baklava (Vegan)

    This classic Greek treat is sure to please all your guests. Whatever you do, don't skimp on all the nuts!

    Ingredients

    • 1 16 ounce package phyllo dough
    • 1 cup vegan butter, melted
    • 1 1/2 cups chopped pistachios
    • 1 1/2 cups chopped almonds
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom optional
    • 1/4 teaspoon cloves optional
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt

    Syrup:

    • 2 cups sugar
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
    • 1 large orange
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 3 tablespoons reserved syrup
    • 2 tablespoons chopped pistachios
    • 2 tablespoons chopped almonds

    Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 355 degrees F (180 C) and grease a 9x13 inch pan very well.
    2. Mix the nuts, spices, and salt in a small bowl to combine and set aside, mix well.
    3. Divide the phyllo sheets into 4 parts (You may have to cut them to fit into your pan but this will depend on the brand of phyllo you're using. Most brands should be the perfect fit when cut in half) Once you've sized your sheets and divided them, take one fourth of them and layer them one by one in the pan brushing each piece with a generous amount of butter in between each layer. Fold in any of the overhang from the sheets.
    4. Sprinkle about 1/4 of your nut & spice mixture as evenly as possible over first layer of phyllo.
    5. Repeat last 2 steps twice, layering another 1/4 of the phyllo sheets and brushing with butter between layers and then sprinkling nut mixture, until all the sheets have been added. Use a sharp knife to cut halfway through layers and cut into diamond shaped pieces (or squares if you prefer), but don't cut all the way through or the syrup will ooze down and make the bottom sticky when poured on top. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until the top is nice and golden brown.
    6. While the baklava is baking make your syrup. Grate the orange peel using a vegetable grater to remove as much zest as possible from your orange, stopping at the white part, then slice and squeeze out the juice. Add juice and zest to a medium saucepan along with sugar, water, maple syrup, and salt. Bring mixture to a boil over medium low heat and boil for about 8 - 10 minutes until it's thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. then set aside to cool

    7. Remove baklava from oven and cool for 3 to 4 minutes then pour your warm syrup evenly over top (reserving about 3 tablespoons) and allow it to cool completely, at least 45 minutes.
    8. While the baklava is cooling, add the additional nuts to your reserved syrup and stir to coat. Spoon a little bit onto the center of each piece for garnish.
    9. Cut pieces apart and serve.
  • Bread,  Dairy Free,  Main Course,  Recipe,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Balsamic Roasted Peach, Almond, & Cilantro Pizza (Vegan)

    Welcome to the month of February, where 93% of New Year’s resolutions come to die.

    I mean, can you honestly admit to not having fallen off the wagon all year? If so then I’m super happy for you, you’re an incredible individual with astonishing willpower. For those of us living in a more realistic world though, this is where the line between strictly healthy food and cravings for chocolate starts to get a little bit blurred.

    As far as pizzas are conscerned though, this one isn’t too bad. It’s got some pretty undeniably healthy toppings. It’s where the cheese and yeasty bread crust come in that we start approaching that tipping point. But like I said, it’s February dudes, that fact negates these little nuances.

    I feel like this is the first Monday in months that I can sit back and say that I had a relatively uneventful weekend. My food making mode was on overdrive for so many days all week that by the time it got to Friday I was starting to get backed up on food. In a house with as many people as mine, that doesn’t happen easily, let me tell you. I was even able to do all the prep for our typical pizza night the day before so that on Saturday I just had to assemble them and bake. It was a gloriously easy meal and to top it off, most of the gang went out for the day so I had the whole kitchen to myself. It was a lovely thing. 

    You see, usually pizza night gets really crazy with people coming in and out for hot pieces and seconds and I’m shuffling to try to find clean counter space to work. This time it was quiet and peaceful so I took advantage of this fact and made a new flavor to share. We’ve got so many varieties of fresh fruits in season right now that it would seem crazy for it not to be ending up on pizzas. My crazy brothers have also been loving the fact that I have to keep making smoothies daily to prevent it all from spoiling. They can drink smoothies as faster than I can make them so that’s always a great way to use up the extras.

    So this isn’t you’re typical pizza (obviously), but I was really happy with how it turned out. I debated for a while between whether to go with creamy or basic red sauce, but then I realized that I hardly ever do red so it seemed like a good choice. The step of roasting the peaches and onions with balsamic before putting it on the pizza, may seem like a pain if you’re in a hurry, but it gives the best flavor ever! I also have this thing for adding crunchy nuts to pizza, it’s so good! My instinct would usually have been to reach for some fresh basil to top this off, but since I was out of basil I went with my second choice of fresh cilantro. I’m thinking that I’m kind of glad I did because it gave the pizza a unique finishing touch and added that fresh summery punch of flavor needed to push this pizza to double yumness!

    This would be a perfect Valentine’s Day dinner to surprise you’re sweetheart with and it would also be a great addition to your Super Bowl party. Or, you could simply make it because it’s a really great pizza flavor to switch up from the usual.

    Balsamic Roasted Peach, Almond, & Cilantro Pizza (Vegan)

    There are more topping possibilities for pizza than you may have thought and this pizza's here to prove it.

    Prep Time 1 hour
    Cook Time 30 minutes
    Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
    Servings 1 pizza (6-8 servings)

    Ingredients

    Crust:

    • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
    • 2 talespoons sugar
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 cups whole wheat flour
    • 1 1/2 - 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • corn flour for pan optional

    Toppings:

    • 2 medium peaches peeled if desired and sliced (seeds removed)
    • 1 small onion thinly sliced into rings
    • 1/3 cup raw almonds
    • 3 - 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar divided
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • sea salt and cracked black pepper
    • 1 cup marinara or your favorite pizza sauce
    • 4 ounces about 1 cup shredded vegan cheese optional
    • 1 large handful of fresh cilantro leaves

    Instructions

    1. Stir water, sugar, and yeast together until yeast is dissolved and allow to sit for about 5 minutes. Pour into a large mixing bowl and whisk in salt and oil until combined. Add whole wheat flour + 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour and mix until dough comes together. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead for a few minutes, adding a bit more flour until the dough pulls away from the surface. It should be smooth and resilient. Place in oiled bowl and cover, then place in warm place to rise until doubled in size.
    2. While dough is rising, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200C). Line a baking pan with foil (or simply grease if preferred) and spread peach slices, onions, and almonds out evenly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil and about 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar. Roast in oven for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring halfway, until the peaches and onions start to darken and smell amazing. Remove from oven and let pan cool for a few moments while you prep your crust. Roll the pizza dough out into a circle that's roughly 1/4 inch thick and dust a pizza pan with flour or corn flour and place crust on pan. Spread marinara sauce and sprinkle cheese an an even layer. Top cheese with your roasted peaches, onions, and almonds. Sprinkle with a bit more balsamic, salt, pepper, and about half of the cilantro.
    3. Bake pizza for 20 to 25 minutes until edges are golden and cheese is well melted and browning on top. Remove from oven and top with remaining fresh cilantro. Cool for about 5 minutes before cutting, then slice and serve hot!
  • Dairy Free,  Dessert,  Recipe,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Mocha Almond Fudge Chess Squares (Vegan)

    I know what you’re thinking, these look like brownies.

    Okay, yes they look like brownie, they smell like brownies, and they may even have a lot of similarities to a brownie, but they are not brownies. These are chess squares people. No, they are not your typical chess squares. For one thing they’re chocolate, with the added flavors of almond and mocha, and they’re also thicker than any chess squares you’ve ever had, but they are in fact chess squares even though, fine, they look exactly like fudgy brownies.

    For those of you unfamiliar with what a chess square is, let me fill you in. They are basically a base layer of something that is between brownie and cake, topped with a extra sweet cheesecake-like layer.  Kind of like cookie bars with baked on frosting that candies on the top when you bake them. Can you spell YUM! They are usually plain vanilla and always super delicious but, come on, that’s a little boring. I wanted to try to make them a bit more interesting. I hope you guys are okay with that. As if!

    So now that that’s settled, and speaking of mocha, I’ve got a confession to make. I am becoming a coffee addict……..

    When I was younger I used to think that would never happen to me, that I would become a coffee drinker like my parents (heaven forbid!), because I couldn’t stand the bitter taste and I didn’t understand why they liked it. We always think that we won’t end up like our parents when we’re growing up and yet we always do. One of life’s annoying little inevetabilities. It’s like I woke up one morning and suddenly all I wanted to do was chug a mug of jo. Go figure.

    I just really love coffee! Now my only thing against drinking way more coffee than I need, is that I hate the idea of becoming too dependent on it. I know it might seem dumb, but there will always be times in life when you can’t have your morning cup of coffee and I want to know that I can function without it, does that make sense? I don’t want to be one of those people that flip out when they don’t get their caffeine fix.

    Anyway, yes I love coffee. I think you can expect to keep seeing it in things on the blog because I just can’t help myself, I always want to put it in everything

    Mocha Almond Fudge Chess Squares (Vegan)

    Chess bars are a classic treat but every good classic can use a little upgrade from time to time.
    Prep Time 15 minutes
    Cook Time 45 minutes
    Total Time 1 hour
    Servings 16 bars

    Ingredients

    Bottom Layer:

    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1/4 cup organic vegetable oil
    • 2/3 strong black coffee
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
    • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

    Top Layer:

    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
    • 1/4 cup natural almond butter
    • 1/4 cup coconut cream warmed *see note
    • 1/4 cup strong black coffee
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 teaspoon almond extract
    • 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch or cornstarch

    Instructions

    Bottom Layer:

    1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C) and grease and flour a 18x8 inch baking dish or pan. (Be sure to flour well)

    2. Whisk oil with sugar in medium mixing bowl. Add coffee, vanilla, salt, and baking powder; mix well. Stir in cocoa powder, flour, add the chocolate chunks.
    3. Scrape batter into pan with a rubber spatula and spread into a smooth layer. Bake for about 18-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out of center clean. (Stick a toothpick in a few different spots because you will most likely find some of the melty chocolate chunks.) Remove from oven and cool for about 5 minutes.

    Top Layer:

    1. Stir together the almond butter, coconut cream, coffee, extracts, and cocoa powder. Add the sugar and starch and stir until smooth. Pour the mixture over the brownie layer as evenly as possible and place the pan back in the oven to bake for 15 - 20 minutes until the tops starts to look slightly crinkled then remove from oven and cool for at least 15 minutes. If you want them to cut as cleanly as possible it's best to chill them for at least an hour. Cut into bars and serve.

    Recipe Notes

    If you have trouble finding coconut cream at your local grocery store it's completely fine to use full-fat coconut milk and scrape the cream off of the top. Just be sure that it's cold enough to separate.