It’s a good week for treats–easy, no bakin’ ones smothered in homemade raw chocolate while we’re at it. We’re somewhat settled in the house, patches of new green grass are slowly becoming visible, I found a bar of cacao butter in the back corner of a cupboard, and there was sun today! All good things on the up and up. This is the kind of sweet I make most often–wholesome-to-healthy, easy ingredients, mostly mixed by hand, and a reliably delicious flavour combination. A tray of goodies like this offers some nice quiet moments with tea throughout the week. There’s also something really vibrational and connected-seeming about making your own chocolate for the good people in your life.
The idea for these sprang from my pal Emily‘s new book Rawsome Vegan Baking. Her blog is a goldmine of genuinely healthy dessert, raw cuisine and green juice-lovin’ inspiration. She seems so jazzed on life and just offering her creativity to the world. Getting inspired by someone’s passion is always my jam, so when she asked to send a copy of her book, I was all in. I had been meaning to try my hand at some homemade chocolate with legit cacao butter for a while. Emily makes the process seem so approachable (like she does for all of her creations), so I knew that would be my starting point. From there I cobbled together a bunch of strategies from all of the cookie, crust, and bar recipes, and came up with these. It’s a raw peanut butter cookie base with melted cacao butter in the batter to give a white chocolate richness. I freeze little orbs of the dough and then smother them in the raw chocolate and a happy sprinkle of salted chopped peanuts. Simple, yes, but richly satisfying. Mark and I polished most of them off in one night :/ So yeah, Emily rules. And her tahini cups with coffee cream filling are next on my hit list.
A few things to mention before you scramble to the kitchen to make these (you really should):
My friends David + Noelle from The Rose Journals (one of my favourite blogs) worked so hard on a high-vibe treats-focused eBook of their own. It’s called Sacred Cookies and Elixirs and you can purchase it here. The photographs feel warm, the recipes well-tested and loved, and seriously? So. Much. Raw Chocolate. Perfect.
The second recipe for my Spring vegetable correspondence with BuzzFeed is up! It’s a simple greens + beans soup with ginger-y green tea broth. (link)
Sweet and lovely Emma from My Darling Lemon Thyme released her book this week! All you lucky down under dwellers get first grabs at it and I couldn’t be more envious. Emma’s work is so inventive and colourful, truly emblematic of the potential of whole foods. Plenty of information on how to get a copy here.
Lastly, this is kind of crazy and wonderful. Saveur magazine nominated The First Mess in the special diets category of their 2014 Best Food Blog Awards! If you took the time to nominate this space, then I send some really heartfelt thanks (and hugs). I do love sharing wholesome bites to eat, treats to savour, stories and just life with all of you here, so this means a lot. There’s plenty of talented and wonderful people nominated this year, so I’m just glowing at the sheer consideration. If you’ve been enjoying this space, you can vote for me here or by clicking the image above through to April 9th (at the bottom of the page). It requires a minor registration bit, but there’s no spam emails or anything, I swear :)
vegan white + dark chocolate peanut butter cookie dough bonbons recipe
adapted from a bunch of recipes in Emily von Euw’s Rawsome Vegan Baking
serves: makes about 15
notes: You could take these into the effin’ stratosphere by garnishing with some crushed up salty pretzels. Just a thought. Also, DIY ALERT! You can make oat/raw buckwheat flour by grinding oats/buckwheat groats in a food processor, coffee grinder or blender.
peanut butter white chocolate cookie dough:
1 3/4 cups GF oat flour OR raw buckwheat groat flour
1/2 cup almond flour OR finely shredded coconut
pinch of fine sea salt
2 tbsp chopped raw cacao butter
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp peanut butter (or almond, cashew, sunflower seed etc.)
1/4 cp + 1 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
+chopped peanuts for garnish
In a large bowl, combine the oat flour, almond flour/coconut flakes and salt. Lightly stir to combine. In a saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the cacao butter, coconut oil, peanut butter and maple syrup. Stir constantly until you have a smooth, homogenous mix. Take it off the heat and add to the flour mixture. Stir to combine, using your hands if necessary.
Line a sheet with parchment and set aside. Form the peanut butter cookie dough into balls and place them on the sheet. Once you’ve gone through all of the dough, place the sheet pan in the fridge for 20 minutes or so.
Make the raw chocolate. Put an inch or two of water in a medium saucepan and bring it to a faint simmer. Place all of the raw chocolate ingredients in a medium, non-reactive, bowl that will sit over the pot without touching the water. Place it on top of the pot in a bain marie-style situation and stir until you have a smooth liquid chocolate. Remove it from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Set aside.
Remove the white chocolate peanut butter cookie dough bits from the fridge and start dipping them in the chocolate, returning them to the parchment lined sheet once coated. I use two forks to push them around in the chocolate and place them back on the pan. Sprinkle some chopped peanuts on top and repeat with remaining dough. Place the finished bonbons in the fridge to set the chocolate. Once set, keep bonbons in a covered container in the fridge.