these salted peanut butter cups are where it’s at

it’s not all kale and cucumbers around here my friends, these *vegan* peanut butter cups have also become a staple in this house. they win every contest my mouth has ever held, hands down. sweet, salty, peanut butter & chocolately goodness, a batch of these cures my sweet tooth for weeks days. the recipe was adapted from one in alicia silverstone’s book the kind diet. i’m on a dessert kick my friends, let’s enjoy it! i’ll be back with some meals to balance these out with soon, i promise.

the what:

1/2 cup earth balance vegan butter

3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter (organic, unsalted, no added sugar)

3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (i found an organic, naturally sweetened kind at whole foods that did the trick)

1/4 cup turbinado raw sugar or other granulated sweetener

1 cup vegan chocolate chips (preferably the kind that are naturally sweetened)

1/4 cup rice, soy or nut milk

sea salt to sprinkle on top

the how:

– line a  muffin tin with papers. i used a mini-muffin tin and filled it up twice- 24 cups of heaven!

-melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat and then stir in the peanut butter, graham cracker crumbs and sugar.  when it’s melted/mixed, spoon the mixture into the muffin tins. you can play around with the peanut butter to chocolate ratio. i prefer more peanut butter with a thin layer of chocolate, and lou prefers them to be equally peanut butter and chocolate.  we’re so complex.

-in a separate pan combine the chocolate and milk. stir over medium heat until the chocolate has melted.

-spoon the chocolate over the peanut butter, filling the papers almost to the top.

-sprinkle with sea salt and then refrigerate *if you are using the mini muffin tin, i recommend sticking the first batch into the freezer for 10 minutes or so to get them to harden up so that you can remove them and make another batch. i also melted a little more chocolate/milk to satisfy lou’s ratio preference. ok, i doubled the chocolate. he made me.

-there are two schools of thought on how these are best eaten: 1. taken from the refrigerator one at a time, thawed and savored- a classy approach 2. eaten straight from the freezer by the handful, with the occassional bit of wrapper stuck to the cup {mine}.

bon appetit my friends!

a fancy treat: blood oranges with rosemary infused honey

some winter days i just need a taste of summer, you know? this is the lightest, most simple and yummiest treat for those days when summer feels oh so far. you’ll forget for just a second that it’s cold outside. or serve it for dessert at your next dinner party, your friends will be impressed, it’s one of those dishes that tastes so sophisticated even though it’s incredibly simple.

the what:

{makes 4 servings}

6 blood oranges  

1/2 cup honey

3 tablespoons of water

3-4 rosemary sprigs plus extra for garnish

the how:

-use a small sharp knife to cut both ends off one orange. stand on board and run the knife from top to botton, cutting away the peel until just the juicy fruit is showing. place orange on side and slice into rounds. remove seeds and arrange oranges into little stacks, adding rosemary for garnish.

– pound rosemary with a rolling pin or the side of a large knife until the rosemary is bruised and extra aroma and flavor has been released

-combine water, honey and rosemary in a pot and heat on very low setting (avoid boiling).  let mixture cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. 

-remove honey mixture from heat and let sit for 10 minutes

-remove rosemary from honey mixture and drizzle onto orange stacks.

eat up!  or, you can refridgerate the orange stack sand set the honey drizzle aside, and bust it them out to impress your guests later

*recipe interpreted from My Favorite Ingredients by Sky Gyngell