Tag Archives: chocolate

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}​

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: there are a million way to make a chocolate chip cookie. Soft, chewy, crispy, thin, thick, as a cake, with nuts, whole grain, vegan, gluten-free, or some combination in between—there’s a recipe out there for everyone.

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}​

Today’s recipe, made with an almond flour base, is for the soft & chewy, gluten-free, vegan chocolate chip cookie people. And also, everyone (except the people with nut allergies; sorry y’all).

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}​

These chocolate chip cookies are so delicious, and not in a “delicious for being vegan and gluten-free” sort of way. They’re great, period. They’re pillow-soft, thick & chewy, have a perfect vanilla-brown sugar balance, and are loaded with chocolate chips. In short, they’re magnificent. A triumph, even.

But that’s just the final product—we haven’t even discussed ease of preparation! And I do mean “ease.” Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies are a no-mixer, no-chill recipe, and with the possible exception of almond flour, you likely have all of the ingredients in your kitchen right now!

The dough comes together in just a few minutes, then gets separated into two-tablespoon increments and flattened into disks before baking. Because this dough doesn’t contain gluten or a particularly high volume of sugar, it doesn’t really spread like a traditional chocolate chip cookie, though it does puff in the most satisfying way.

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}​

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies bake up in ten minutes, and then it’s just a matter of what you consider too-hot-to-handle when it comes to dessert. I’m a “room temperature, but the chips are still soft” lady myself, but just as there is a chocolate chip cookie recipe for everyone, I’m sure there’s an ideal temperature, too.

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}​
Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}
makes about 1 dozen cookies

2 cups blanched almond flour
1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
4 tablespoons vegan butter,* melted & cooled slightly
1 tablespoon lukewarm water
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup dairy-free chocolate chips

Set oven racks in central positions. Preheat oven to 350F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together almond flour, brown sugar, confectioner’s sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together melted vegan butter, water and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry, then use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to combine. Mixture may be crumbly but should hold together when pinched. Fold in chocolate chips with the silicone spatula or your hand.

Scoop dough in 2 tablespoons increments, roll into balls, and set 2 1/2-inches apart on prepared pans. Use the heel of your hand to press each ball into a 1/2-inch thick disk. Smooth edges with your fingers as desired.

Bake cookies 10 minutes, until puffed and starting to turn light golden. Let cool on pans for 7-10 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.

Serve cookies. Leftovers will keep covered at room temperature for a few days.

Note:

I use Miyoko’s Cultured Vegan Butter (and occasionally Earth Balance) in vegan baked goods. You may use an equal volume of refined coconut oil in its place, or even regular dairy butter (though your cookies will not be vegan).
Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}​
Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}​
Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}​

Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake

It is far too hot to bake today, but that’s okay because Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake requires no baking at all.

Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake

We’re talking all the rich, creamy, irresistible texture of a classic cheesecake with none of the dairy and exactly zero reasons to crank your oven. Oh, and more deep dark chocolate-hazelnut flavor than you can shake a stick at. (What does that even mean?)

This take on vegan cheesecake is made with toasted hazelnuts for flavor and raw cashews for creamy texture. They’re soaked together overnight for maximum tenderness, then combined in a blender with coconut cream, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract, salt, and—oh yeah—half a pound of melted dark chocolate. Put on the lid and then blitz-blitz-blitz until smooth.

This is the part where I get on my soapbox:

Please get yourself a good blender. You deserve a good blender. Good doesn’t necessarily mean expensive—it means a blender that actually blends things until smooth. Whether that’s a fifty year-old Oster (my parents’ amazing blender) or a Vitamix, a solid blender is crucial to vegan cheesecake success, and a million other things. I have a Ninja that I bought for $100 five years ago and it rules. Get a good blender!!!

*steps off soapbox*

Ahem…the batter is then poured over an Oreo crust—yes, Oreos are vegan!—and chilled until firm. Then it’s released from the springform and finished off with some Homemade Chocolate Shell and easy candied hazelnuts before being sliced and served. You can use a plate and fork if you’re fancy (or taking pictures) or just eat ice cold slices with your fingers like a wild animal, as I did.

Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake

I’m pretty sure that’s what hot girl summer is all about.

Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake
Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake 
makes one 9-inch cheesecake

Filling:
1 cup whole raw hazelnuts
1 cup whole raw cashews
1 14-ounce can coconut cream (not cream of coconut)
4 tablespoons maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
6 tablespoons coconut oil (preferably refined), melted and cooled
8 ounces dark chocolate, melted

Crust:
24 Oreos (or other chocolate sandwich cookies)
5 tablespoons coconut oil or melted vegan butter

Candied Hazelnut Garnish:
1/3 cup whole raw hazelnuts
3 teaspoons granulated sugar
Homemade Chocolate Shell

The night before you want to make the cheesecake, toast and peel the hazelnuts. Place hazelnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat. Stir frequently until fragrant, 7-10 minutes. Immediately transfer hazelnuts to a clean, dry hand towel. Fold towel around the hazelnuts and then rub the towel with the palm of your hand. This will allow the hazelnut skins to loosen. This step does not have to be done perfectly.

Place peeled hazelnuts in a 3-4 cup container that has a lid. Add cashews. Cover with water. Refrigerate for 4-12 hours.

Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan with coconut oil.

Make the crust. Place Oreos in a high-powered blender and blitz until they are crumbs. Add coconut oil or melted vegan butter, and pulse until the mixture can be pinched together. Transfer crust mixture to prepared pan, and press it to the edges to form an even layer. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to set.

Very carefully wipe it out the blender with a paper towel.

Make the filling. Drain soaked hazelnuts and cashews and place them in the blender. Add half of the coconut cream (~2/3 cup), maple syrup, vanilla, and salt. Process until the mixture is smooth. Add remaining coconut cream & coconut oil, followed by melted chocolate. Continue processing until everything is fully combined and smooth.

Pour filling mixture over crust and smooth with an offset spatula. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours (or freeze for 1 hour).

Make the candied hazelnut garnish. Line a plate with parchment and set aside. Place hazelnuts in a dry skillet over medium-low heat. Toast for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until fragrant and shiny. Add sugar by the teaspoon, stirring until it dissolves (it may smoke up a bit). When all sugar has dissolved, remove hazelnuts to prepared plate. Let cool completely. Place on a cutting board and give them a rough chop with a large, sharp chef’s knife.

Run a thin, flexible knife around the edge of the pan. Release the cheesecake from the springform pan, and allow it to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Drizzle with chocolate shell, then immediately scatter on the candied hazelnuts. Slice with a large, sharp chef’s knife, wiping the blade clean between cuts. Serve.

Leftovers will keep covered in the refrigerator for a few days. Filling may slump slightly in very hot weather.
Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake
Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake

Neapolitan Bundt Cake

Neapolitan Bundt Cake

Why have one flavor of cake when you can have three?! This Neapolitan Bundt Cake has them all: vanilla, chocolate and strawberry.

Neapolitan Bundt Cake

All the flavors start together with a batch of my favorite go-to bundt base. It’s ridiculously easy: just dump everything in a mixer, then mix on low for 30 seconds before turning the speed to medium for 3 minutes. Easy easy easy.

Once the batter is ready, divide it in thirds. Leave one plain (vanilla), stir cocoa powder and melted chocolate into another (chocolate), and flavor the last with pulverized freeze-dried strawberries (strawberry).

Neapolitan Bundt Cake

I tried a few different methods for the cake assembly, including spooning them all in at random, but my favorite is the one you see here. I spooned one flavor at a time into the pan, then spread it around in a circle. It doesn’t matter if they’re all perfectly even—the layers of batter will produce a stripey marble effect. The imperfections are all part of the fun.

Neapolitan Bundt Cake
Neapolitan Bundt Cake

Neapolitan Bundt Cake takes just over an hour to bake and will need to cool completely before glazing…with three glazes! Gotta have one for each flavor, right? These glazes are all quick and easy to whisk together; the only thing you want to watch for is that they all have similar viscosity. Once mixed, drizzle to your heart’s content.

Neapolitan Bundt Cake

With a tight crumb, tender texture, and three flavors and colors, this Neapolitan Bundt will be a winner with everyone! It’s perfect for any occasion, including the first picnic or cookout back together after so many months apart.

Neapolitan Bundt Cake
Neapolitan Bundt Cake
makes one 10-cup capacity bundt

For the Cake:
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 16 pieces
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teasp Kosher or sea salt
1 cup milk (preferably whole), room temperature

For the Strawberry Batter:
1 1.2 ounce package freeze-dried strawberries, pulverized
red food coloring (I used 1 drop red gel), optional

For the Chocolate Batter:
2 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder
2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

Place an oven rack in the center position. Preheat oven to 325F. Heavily grease a bundt pan with softened butter (or shortening) and dust well with flour. Set aside.

Make the cake. Make the cake. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer to mix on low for 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium and mix for 3 minutes. Batter will be thick.

Make the Strawberry and Chocolate batters. Divide batter into 3 medium bowls, with about 1 2/3 cups batter going in each. Leave one plain. This is the vanilla batter.

To make the strawberry batter, whisk pulverized freeze-dried strawberries and optional food coloring into one of the bowls of batter.

Make the chocolate batter. Whisk cocoa powder into the last bowl of batter. Put chopped dark chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 15 second increments, stirring in between, until melted and smooth. Whisk into batter.

To assemble the cake, spoon half the vanilla batter into the pan and spread around in a circle. Top with half the strawberry batter, and spread around in a circle. Top with chocolate batter, and spread in a circle. Add remaining vanilla, strawberry and chocolate batters one-by-one, spreading in circles before adding the next. It’s okay if this isn’t perfect—it will look great when sliced, I promise!

When all batters are in the prepared pan, smooth the top with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon. Tap full pan on the counter five times to release any large air bubbles. Bake 65-75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in several places comes out clean.

Let cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Run a thin, flexible knife around all exposed edges. Invert cake onto a cooling rack and let cake cool completely. Cake may be made up to a day in advance; it will keep double-wrapped in plastic wrap until you are ready to glaze.

Vanilla Glaze:
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons whole milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Strawberry Glaze:
1 tablespoon pulverized freeze-dried strawberries (from about 1/4 cup pieces)
1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons whole milk

Chocolate Glaze:
1 tablespoon natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
pinch of salt
2-3 teaspoons whole milk

Make your glazes. For the vanilla, combine confectioner’s sugar, salt, milk and vanilla in a small bowl. Use a fork to whisk ingredients together until very thick, but pourable. If it’s too thick, add more milk by the 1/2 teaspoon up to 1 teaspoons (1 tablespoon); if it’s too thin, add more confectioners sugar in 1 tablespoon increments.

For the strawberry, combine freeze-dried strawberries, confectioner’s sugar, salt, and milk in a small bowl. Use a fork to whisk ingredients together until very thick, but pourable. If it’s too thick, add more milk by the 1/2 teaspoon up to 1 teaspoons (1 tablespoon); if it’s too thin, add more confectioners sugar in 1 tablespoon increments.

For the chocolate, combine cocoa powder, confectioner’s sugar, salt, and milk in a small bowl. Use a fork to whisk ingredients together until very thick, but pourable. If it’s too thick, add more milk by the 1/2 teaspoon up to 1 teaspoons (1 tablespoon); if it’s too thin, add more confectioners sugar in 1 tablespoon increments.

Pour or drizzle glazes over cake. Let sit for 20 minutes to set. Move cake to a serving plate before slicing and serving.

Leftover cake will keep covered at room temperature for up to two days or in the refrigerator for up to five.

Note:

This recipe may be halved and baked in a parchment-lined 9x5-inch loaf pan. Start checking the cake for doneness at the 55 minute mark.
Neapolitan Bundt Cake
Neapolitan Bundt Cake
Neapolitan Bundt Cake

Crispy, Crunchy Double Chocolate Cookies

Crispy, Crunchy Double Chocolate Cookies​

I’ve been a chewy cookie devotee for pretty much my whole life, but I might be coming around to the other side. I mean, I’m not going to swear off soft cookies forever or anything, but let’s just say I get where the crunchy cookie people are coming from.

Crispy, Crunchy Double Chocolate Cookies​

Think about it. We don’t eschew crunchy vanilla wafers or snappy shortbread. Lord knows we love Oreos. But for some reason we all rush to vilify pretty much any other cookie with that texture. And why? What’s so wrong with a light, crispy cookie with a good crunch all the way through?

Nothing. That’s what. Especially when they’re double chocolate and can be yours in less than an hour’s time.

As with other crispy, crunchy cookies I’ve made, these Double Chocolate Cookies are top notch. They’re not a second best, or an “if you don’t have eggs and brown sugar” cookie. They’re their own thing—a double chocolate cookie for the crunchy cookie people. They’re light, crackly-topped, and chocolaty as all get out. If that isn’t enough, you likely have all the ingredients in your kitchen right now.

Crispy, Crunchy Double Chocolate Cookies​

Who knows, with a little elbow grease and working oven, you could become a crunchy cookie person any day now. Welcome to the club.

Crispy, Crunchy Double Chocolate Cookies​
Crispy, Crunchy Double Chocolate Cookies
makes about 2 dozen cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 tablespoons light corn syrup (or golden syrup or mild honey)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips + more for topping

Arrange oven racks in central positions. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Cut softened butter into 8 pieces and add them to the mixing bowl. Starting at low speed and increasing as ingredients become incorporated, use an electric mixer to mix the butter into the flour/sugar mixture until powdery and wet-sandy. You may need to stop a time or two to break up larger pieces of butter.

Add corn syrup and vanilla and mix to combine. Dough will look crumbly, but should hold together well when pinched.

Add the chocolate chips to the dough and mix/knead them in with a clean hand (or a silicone spatula or wooden spoon) until evenly distributed and the dough is a cohesive unit.

Scoop the dough by the tablespoon, roll into balls and place them 2-3 inches apart on prepared pans (I fit 12 on each half-sheet pan). Bake for 9 minutes, then rotate the pans top-to-bottom and front-to-back. Bake another 8-9 minutes, until a bit puffy and cracked on top.

Let cookies cool for 7 minutes on the pans. Remove to a rack to cool completely. Serve.

Leftover cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.
Crispy, Crunchy Double Chocolate Cookies​
Crispy, Crunchy Double Chocolate Cookies​

Double Chocolate Berry Shortcakes

Double Chocolate Berry Shortcakes​

I’m generally not a fruit and chocolate gal, but I’ll make an exception for these Double Chocolate Berry Shortcakes. Made with dark chocolate biscuits, chocolate whipped cream and fresh berries, this spin on the classic dessert has “delicious” written all over it!

Getting deep chocolate flavor into these biscuits was more challenging than just adding some cocoa powder. My starting point was my five ingredient cream biscuit base, but you’ll see that I deviated pretty significantly. I added cocoa, of course, but also chopped dark chocolate, granulated espresso and brown sugar for a good bittersweet flavor. Butter and heavy cream provide just enough moisture to bind the dough. Baking powder and baking soda leaven everything and produce good crackly tops, which are made all the better with crunchy coarse sugar.

I would normally encourage you to bake your biscuits close together so that they rise up instead of out, but I prefer to bake them separately here. Because cocoa powder doesn’t play by the rules of gluten, these will expand pretty dramatically. The results have distinct, crisp exteriors and tender interiors, perfect for splitting and layering with berries and cream. I tested this recipe seventeen times, and while these are not the tallest chocolate biscuits I made, they are by far the most delicious. I don’t know about your kitchen, but in mine, delicious beats aesthetic perfection every time. Craggy tops and soft centers for the win!

Double Chocolate Berry Shortcakes​

As far as assembly goes, this is a pretty run-of-the-mill shortcake operation. I like to use a fork to gently split the cooled biscuits into two thin layers, then sandwich them with chocolate whipped cream, berries and chopped dark chocolate. I add an extra flourish on top because I think it’s pretty, but feel free to leave your shortcakes unadorned if that’s more your style.

Double Chocolate Berry Shortcakes​

You’ll notice that I didn’t specify any particular berry for these shortcakes. Why limit yourself, you know? I used a mix of strawberries and raspberries because that’s what sounded good at the time. Feel free to use any berry (or other fruit) you like. We’re already twisting a classic—might as well do away with all the rules.

Double Chocolate Berry Shortcakes​
Double Chocolate Berry Shortcakes​
Double Chocolate Berry Shortcakes
makes about 12 shortcakes

1 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated espresso (optional)
6 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar, packed
2 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold
2.5 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream + more for brushing, very cold
1 tablespoon coarse sugar

Berries:
20-24 ounces fresh berries (about 4-5 cups)
1/4 cup granulated sugar

For assembly:
Chocolate Whipped Cream (recipe below)
2 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 425F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment.

In a medium mixing bowl, stir together flour, cocoa powder, espresso granules, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using your fingertips (not your palms!) or a pastry blender, cut cold butter into flour mixture until it is roughly the size of peas. Stir in chopped dark chocolate.

Pour in heavy cream. Stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms. You may need to knead it in the bowl a couple of times. If it seems too dry (“dusty”), add more cream by the tablespoon.

Turn dough out onto a floured (or cocoa powdered) surface. Give it 1-2 kneads before patting into a 1-inch thick rectangle. Flour a large, sharp chef’s knife before slicing the rectangle into 12 biscuits. Be sure to slice directly down—do not saw.

Evenly space biscuits on prepared pan, leaving 2.5 inches between each. Brush the tops with more heavy cream and sprinkle each with coarse sugar. Bake for 14-15 minutes, or tops are craggy and they have spread somewhat dramatically. Let biscuits cool completely the pan.

While the biscuits are cooling, fold berries and sugar together in a medium mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit (macerate) at room temperature for up to an hour.

When the biscuits are cool and the berries are ready, make the chocolate whipped cream (recipe below).

Assemble shortcakes. Use a fork to gently split biscuits in half equatorial (it’s okay if they’re not perfect). Gently move the bottom half of a biscuit to a plate. Top with chocolate whipped cream and berries. Place the top half of the biscuit over the top. Garnish with more chocolate whipped cream and berries, if desired. Serve immediately.

Leftovers are best eaten within a day or so.

Chocolate Whipped Cream
makes ~1 1/2 cups (enough for 6-8 desserts)

2 cups heavy cream, very cold
4 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar, depending on preference

In a medium-large mixing bowl, combine heavy cream, cocoa powder and confectioner’s sugar. Use an electric mixer to whip cream until stiff peaks form. Do not over whip (but if you do, just add a little more cream).

Load whipped cream into a piping bag fitted with a tip or scoop with a spoon and use as desired.
Double Chocolate Berry Shortcakes​
Double Chocolate Berry Shortcakes​