Chocolate covered cherries may be a favorite Valentine’s treat for some of you, and if so, you will love these. You don’t have to like chocolate covered cherries to like these blondies! Blondies, what the heck is that really? Basically they are brownies without the cocoa. According to wikipedia:
A blondie (also known as a “blond[e] brownie” or “blondie bar”) is a rich, sweet dessert bar. It is made fromflour, brown sugar, butter, eggs, baking powder and vanilla and may also contain walnuts or pecans Chocolate chip blondies may contain white or dark chocolate chips. A blondie may have a taste reminiscent of butterscotch.
Blondies resemble the traditional chocolate brownie, but are based on brown sugar instead of cocoa; they are sometimes referred to as blonde brownies. They are baked in a pan in the oven similar to how traditional brownies are baked, then cut into rectangular shapes for serving.
Like brownies, blondies may include chocolate chips. They may also contain coconut, nuts, toffee, or any other chunky candy for added texture. Blondies aren’t usually frosted; the brown sugar flavor tends to be sweet enough.
Technically I think these could be called Chocolate Cherry Cookie Bars as well, but I like blondie for this recipe. Since brown sugar is an ingredient in blondies, I had to come up with an alternative. I chose to add a bit of coconut palm sugar to give it that caramel, molasses taste. Another option would be to add a bit of molasses to granulated sugar since that’s basically what brown sugar is. I used Swerve for my sweetener to keep these low sugar and added just a bit of coconut palm sugar. They turned out perfect, moist but with a crisp crackly top!
Recipe: Chocolate Cherry Blondies
- Place the softened butter/oil and sugar in a mixing bowl and cream with a hand mixer or in a stand up mixer until fluffy
- Add the egg and vanilla and continue to blend
- In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, soda and salt
- Slowly add the flour mixture as you continue to beat until well combined
- Fold in the chocolate chips and lastly, fold in the cherries
- Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes until slightly brown
- Let cool for 30 minutes before cutting into them (I prefer these out of the refrigerator cold)
*If you want to order Swerve, they have given my readers an extra 10% off your online order with code KATE10.
**It is almost impossible to find fresh cherries this time of year, so frozen is what you will use. They tend to be very dark in color and that is why this looks like a blueberry blondie. It is best to keep them frozen until you have added the chocolate chips so they do not melt and bleed into the dough.
As Wikipedia says above, any nut or candy can be used in blondie recipes. Use this as a base and add what ever nuts, fruits, chocolates you would like!
Tiss the season for lots of cinnamon…and pumpkin spices! Here is another easy recipe for a quick sweet treat similar to my Coconut Vanilla Bean Dough Bites Recipe and the Coconut Brownie Bites Recipe. I used a dehydrator, but it’s not necessary. If you have been thinking of buying one though, I’d bite the bullet and do it, so worth it!!
Cinnamon has some amazing health benefits so why not incorporate it into your day! A few of those benefits include: regulates blood sugar, reduces LDL cholesterol levels, has natural anti-infectious compounds, reduces pain linked to arthritis, may reduce the proliferation of cancer cells, serves as a natural food preservative, contains fiber, calcium, iron, and manganese, can be effective for menstrual pain and infertility. Wow, I might have to make more of these bites or another batch of my Apple Cinnamon Upside Down Cakes!
Recipe: Cinnamon Maple Coconut Bites
- 1 1//2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup vanilla protein powder (I used Jay Robb’s Vanilla Egg White Protein), sub for almond flour if you prefer
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 3-4 tbsp maple syrup*
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp lucuma powder (optional)
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- dash of sea salt
- Pour the coconut into a food processor and blend until small pieces are produced
- Add all of the remaining ingredients and blend well.
- Using a small cookie scoop, place each bite onto dehydrator sheets
- Dehydrate at 125 for 2-4 hours depending on how soft you want them
- Oven option: Set temp to lowest possible setting or use dehydrator setting. Bake for 1-2 hours depending on heat setting
*I used Xylitol Maple Syrup as a reduced sugar option.
*For more information on Lucuma, read this post
I like to reheat mine each time I treat myself to one or two or maybe three!! Store in an airtight container.
In case you haven’t noticed, I like making sweet treats!! I was recently told I should open a gluten free bakery…and the idea keeps crossing my mind!! I love the creative side of making treats and have always enjoyed baking, even as a kid. Once you have to eliminate gluten in your diet, traditional baked goods are not an option. That’s a good thing in the sense that it makes you eliminate processed junk and goodies with added sugar, but it’s a bad thing when you have a sweet tooth!
I am a person of balance and if I want something sweet, I will eat something sweet. It’s when we tell ourselves we can’t have something that that something becomes our battle constantly and something we tend to over eat. I allow myself a Double Chocolate Gooey Brownie, a Grain Free Cinnamon Roll or a Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Ball when I feel like it and will have no regret! So I will continue to create sweet treats that are far better for you than just about anything you can buy off a store shelf. I try to always include a healthy fat or protein source in my sweet recipes to make any sugar/insulin response that much less. Many times I also suggest safe alternative sweeteners to decrease the sugar content in a recipe. You can read more about those on my Ingredients Page or shop for them in the Amazon store link.
With that said, here is a yummy treat if you are a coconut fan!! This raw coconut cookie recipe is sweetened with fruit only, packed with healthy fats and gives an option to add extra protein to them.
Recipe: Raw Coconut Cookie Bites
- Once the dates have soaked for a couple hours, add them to a food processor along with the coconut creme/butter and coconut oil (add protein at this time)
- Process until mixture is well combined and creme and oil are fully melted
- Add in the coconut and blend until consistency is doughy and moldable
- Add the almonds at this time and blend until almonds are well incorporated
- Pack the dough into balls, you may need to press firmly
- I prefer to store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. The coconut creme and oil will harden when cooled and allow for a harder ball
*You can find Medjool Dates in the produce section of most grocery stores or the bulk section of Whole Foods. Don’t forget to de-pit them!!
*You can find Coconut Butter at most Whole Foods or Vitamin Cottage or Coconut Creme online at Tropical Traditions
*Make sure to use Virgin Coconut Oil, not Refined or Expeller Pressed, you want the coconut flavor!
It’s warming up again and I have been busy experimenting with the ice cream maker!! I love my Cuisinart, it’s so easy! We had one as a kid that was this huge, noisy wooden thing. I have seen similar versions today that you have to put ice all around it and rock salt and whatever else it entails…too much trouble! Now I know why it was only used for special occasions, like twice a year. The Cuisinart is small, quick and inexpensive for a delicious easy treat. It’s something you could easily get in the habit of pulling out every night during the summer. Good thing all my recipes are lower in sugar and dairy free (except when dark chocolate is added)!
The first round of this sorbet made us all pucker up a little too much! I added more strawberries and took down the lime juice and it seems to be perfect…in our opinion. Feel free to add more strawberries or simply leave out the lime but we think the tart compliments the berries well. This is very refreshing and reminds me of a daiquiri, I think it would be excellent with a little rum stirred in and umbrella on top!
Recipe: Strawberry Lime Sorbet
- 4 cups frozen strawberries
- 1/4-1/3 cup lime juice
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 tbsp lime zest
- 1/8-1/4 cup honey*
- Throw everything into a high powered blender (I used a Vitamix) and blend until smooth
- The consistency may be perfect as is to serve or for a more frozen treat, run it through an ice cream maker
- Store in an airtight container in the freezer and let it sit our for about 15 minutes before serving
It could reach 90 degrees tomorrow in Denver and it’s still April! When it’s that hot, ice cream is on the menu around here!!! Its only going to get warmer, so there will be plenty of cold treat recipes coming your way!!
I have so many ice cream ideas and wasn’t sure what to try first! The challenge is that to make it dairy free, the main ingredient is full fat coconut milk. Coconut milk tends to have a coconut taste to it and I want to hide that in most of the flavors. It’s a hard thing to do and most of you will still taste a bit of it.
This Dairy Free Cherry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream recipe was VERY well received by my mom’s husband…who I would consider an ice cream addict! He said he could easily eat it in place of the real deal. It’s not as creamy, but don’t you worry, I have plans to make some of the other flavors a bit creamier tasting. Besides, once you add all the goodies, like the chocolate chips, nuts, nut butters or fruit, you have forgotten it’s dairy free and realize how good it really is!!
I bought an ice cream maker last year and love it!! I have the Cuisinart ICE-21 that can be used for ice cream, sorbet, and frozen yogurt. It’s so easy and quick to use! It can be found online or at Bed, Bath and Beyond for a very reasonable price, plus you can use a 20% off coupon on it! It’s worth it! I used it for this recipe but I think you can just freeze this in a bowl and have a similar experience!
Recipe: Dairy Free Cherry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- 1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla coconut or almond milk from carton
- 10 oz bag frozen cherries
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 tsp vanilla beans
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips or broken chocolate bar pieces or Enjoy Life Dairy Free Chips for complete dairy free option
- Combine all of the ingredients except chocolate in a Vitamix or high powered blender
- Blend until completely smooth
- Transfer mixture to ice cream maker and follow the machines instructions. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, pour into an airtight container
- Add in the chocolate pieces when there’s about 5 minutes left in the process or stir into mixture before freezing if you do not have an ice cream maker
Ice cream will be like soft serve from the ice cream maker. If you want it harder, place in the freezer until desired consistency is reached. Store in an airtight container and let it sit out for about 15 minutes before serving.