Zucchini Brownies

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Who doesn’t love a way of eating chocolate that can be labeled as “healthy”?

These zucchini brownies are a healthier way, (no eggs and no butter) of indulging in dessert. Even though they still contain sugar, you also reap the benefits of eating zucchini, hidden within all that chocolate goodness.

One benefit of country living is scoring produce for super cheap. Last weekend I procured two monster zucchini. They were the largest zucchini I ever saw. They were each about the length of my forearm and the width of my calf. Actually that sounds a bit awkward. Anyways, they were huge.

I decided to experiment with one of the zucchini and make a chocolate version of zucchini bread, realizing that they are actually zucchini brownies. They turned out moist, delicious, and not tasting of zucchini at all. 

Here is the easy recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1/4 cut coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • dash of salt
  • handful of chocolate chips

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Chop of the raw zucchini into small pieces
3. In a food processor, puree zucchini
4. After awhile add the coconut oil, sugar, yogurt, and vanilla extract to the food processor. Continue to puree until well mixed. It will be a very fluid like.
5. In a separate large bowl mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
6. Add the zucchini mixture and then add chocolate chips. 
7. Pour into greased 9×13 baking pan.
8. Bake for 25 minutes.
9. Enjoy!
 

What other healthier dessert options do you like?

 

No Bake Cake Batter Truffles

no bake cake batter truffles

Happy Friday! What better way to celebrate than with cake batter truffles! And sprinkles!

There are lots of variations of these truffles across the internet but this is my version. I was looking for something easy and fun to bake for a girls weekend. Truffles pack the equal amount of yummyness and classiness. (yes, I just called truffles classy).

I know that I usually post semi healthy options when it comes to recipes. Please note that these are not healthy in the least,  but at least these bite size treats are so sweet and rich that it is easy enough to have one and walk away.

My cake batter truffles were a big hit with my girlfriends and also make great gifts/treats to wrap up in cute boxes to give to people or to serve at your Oscar Party. Let’s get started!

Ingredients

For the truffles:
    • 1 ½ cups flour
    • 1 cup yellow cake mix (I used extra moist)
    • 3/8 cup unsalted butter
    • ½ cup white sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • 61/4 cup of skim milk
    • 2 Tablespoons sprinkles
Truffle Coating:
  • 16 ounces of white chocolate
  • 5 Tablespoons yellow cake mix
  • sprinkles or other chocolate for decorating

Directions:

  1. Beat together butter and sugar using an electric mixer. Add cake mix, flour, salt, and vanilla and mix together.. Add milk to make a dough consistency. Mix in sprinkles by hand.
  2. Roll dough into one inch balls and place on a parchment or wax paper lined cookie sheet. Chill balls freezer for about 30 minutes.
  3. While dough balls are chilling in the freezer, melt white chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals until melted. Stir between intervals. Once melted, stir in cake mix instantly until incorporated completely.You have to stir in the cake mix very quickly.
  4. Dip each truffles into the melted chocolate and shake off excess. Place truffle back on the cookie sheet and top with sprinkles instantly (the chocolate dries very quickly.)
  5. Chill truffles in the refrigerator until serving. Makes around 32-36 truffles.
These are easy due to the fact that there is absolutely no baking involved, but I still have problems with dipping the truffles in the chocolate and creating a perfectly coated ball. As you can see, mine look a little messy. Thank goodness for sprinkles! Also, taste buds are blind. Enjoy!
P.S. – Time for some shameless self promotion: Will you vote for me? 
I made it into the top 3 of “Most Inspirational Post” for my Stop Apologizing article in My So-Called Chaos Best of Awards. This news warms my heart because posts self growth and acceptance and finding a place to shine in the world are my favorite pieces to write. Please help me out and go vote for me and I’ll love you forever.
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Red Velvet Cookie Cakes

Red Velvet Cookie Cakes Recipe

These little cookie cakes are heavenly. I call them cookie cakes because although they look like mini cup cakes they are most definitely rich cookies. They are simple and fast to make and are fun for a Valentine’s Day treat or any other occasion for a lover of red velvet cake in you life!

Before I reveal this recipe, I feel the need to confess.

I always feel a little like a fraud with my recipe post.

Three years ago the most cooking I ever did was fajitas, brownies, or spaghetti. My kitchen cabinets were empty and I had to borrow most cooking supplies from my mother. It was not a priority and it was not fun.

Flash forward. Now I have a hungry man to feed (seriously, how do they eat so much?) and a tighter budget and I’m finding that I love spending time cooking.

My meals are still a far cry from gourmet. Yet, they are  but they are far closer than my grilled chicken, canned green beans, and peanut butter and pretzels menu pre marriage. I still have a hard time making a recipe with more than 10 ingredients or any that takes longer than 45 minutes.

It’s funny though, how when something became a priority, I found that I actually enjoy it. I find solace in cutting and chopping and a great peace when you have a finished product that is rewarding not only for you but for those you share it with. I still get majorly frustrated when things don’t go rights. For instance, the first batch of these cakes got a little burnt. I blame our ancient oven in our rental with a broken top heating unit. As Ryan said yesterday, “Katie, you can get a little nasty when you’re baking”. I still find baking the hardest of cooking. There’s such a small unit of time between “lightly crisped” and “extremely burnt”.

But after some practice I feel like I can now call myself a good cook and baker – and actually look forward to meal planning and discovering and creating new recipes.

For example – these cookie cakes! Yum!

Red Velvet Cookie Cakes

Ingredients:

1 box Red Velvet Cake Mix

2 Eggs

1/4 Cup Canola Oil

1/3 cup Powdered Sugar

1 bag of Cookies and Cream Hershey Kisses

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to  350 degrees

2. Mix together the cake mix, eggs, and canola oil. Blend in mixer for about two minutes.

3. Roll small balls of the dough and place in a sprayed mini muffin tray. The balls should fill the muffin tins 2/3 of the way.

red velvet cookie cakes

4. Bake for 10 minutes (I found this to be the magic number after burning the first batch)

5. While the cookies are baking, unwrap your Hershey kisses.

red velvet cookie cakes cookies and cream hershey kisses

6. Let the cookies sit for 2 minutes and then remove from tin and place on a cooling rack.

7. Sift powdered sugar on top of the cookies and then place a Hershey Kiss in the center of each cookie.

Makes 3 dozen cookies.

red velvet cookie cakes

red velvet cookie cakes

xoxo Katie

Snow Day Snack – Peanut Butter and Nutella Puppy Chow

There is nothing like a snow day!

Yesterday we woke up to a blanket of snow with the promise that it would keep falling until mid day. Ryan and I were both lucky enough to be able to stay home. We bundled up and I worked in my PJ’s on the couch with Christmas movies playing in the background. It was so perfect.

The snow was the heavy but fluffy kind and was truly beautiful. By noon we had about 6 inches of snow! On my “lunch break” we ventured outside with Maggie.

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Snow days always make me feel like a kid. There is also something so cozy and romantic about being snowed in. When I was younger snow days were like mini holidays. And since my mom was a teacher, she was always able to stay home with us  to play games, watch movies, and bake.  After a hard day sledding and trekking through the snow, my brother and I would come in starving. We’d bake some fresh cookies or stuff ourselves with some other tasty snack.

Yesterday, I decided to make Puppy Chow with a twist! I added Nutella and it was delicious! You can’t beat this 15 minute recipe!

(Some people call this snack Muddy Buddies, I prefer Puppy Chow because duh, I love puppies!)

Perfect for when your snowed in:

nutellaandpbpuppychow

Ingredients

9 cups Corn Chex, Rice Chex, Wheat Chex or Chocolate Chex cereal (or combination)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup Nutella
1/4 cup margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
puppychow2

Directions:

1. Microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter, Nutella,  and butter uncovered on High 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Stir in vanilla.

2. Measure out 9 cups of your desired Chex cereal in a very large bowl.

3. Pour chocolate, peanut butter, and Nutella mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated.

4. Pour into 2-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag and add the powdered sugar.

5. Shake until all the pieces are coated in sugar.6. Snack your little heart out!

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xoxo katie