This summer, my vegan & paleo strawberry ice cream was a runner-up in Rodelle Vanilla‘s Great American Ice Cream Contest, and the prize was a basket of Rodelle Baking Goodies. I asked the wonderful folks at Rodelle if they would include a few extra goodies for you all, and they said yes! I picked up a couple of other treats over at Taza Chocolate yesterday, and am beyond excited to bring you a vanilla and chocolate giveaway.
One winner will receive a prize basket including:
- Two whole Madagascar Vanilla Beans from Rodelle
- A 6-ounce bottle of Rodelle Pure Madagascar Vanilla Extract
- A 2-ounce bottle of Rodelle Organic Chocolate Extract
- A 2-ounce bottle of Rodelle Anise Extract
- Two discs of Taza Chocolate’s Organic Fire Puncher 70% Dark Chocolate Mexicano (2.7 ounces)
- A bag of Taza’s Organic 55% Dark Chocolate Covered Cacao Nibs (2 ounces)
- A recipe card for Molten Spiced Chocolate cake and a Direct Trade pamphlet from Taza
In case you missed it, you can make brownies (or blondies) from almond butter! It’s amazing–with just almond butter, honey, eggs, baking powder, and a few flavorings, you get a batter that actually bakes up into classic, fudgy, and delicious brownies. I have Elana at Elana’s Pantry to thank for that genius discovery.
And, as you may already know, every dessert gets better when you add salted caramel. I’ve already made several salted caramel treats (the sauce, cupcakes, skillet brownies, and peach bars), and thought it was time for a gluten-free salted caramel brownie. If you’d like to make this recipe paleo, you can make it with salted maple caramel instead of the regular salted caramel sauce. Either way, these brownies will be amazing.
We had friends over for dinner last night, and used these brownies as a base for brownie sundaes (the ultimate dessert, in my opinion). We started with the brownies, followed by a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a generous drizzle of warm salted caramel sauce, whipped cream, and a sprinkling of chocolate chips. The sundaes were so distractingly good that no pictures were taken, so you’ll just have to trust me and make some yourself!
Treat yourself to small batch of paleo-friendly, grain-free vanilla bean cupcakes with mocha buttercream! They’re made with coconut flour, so they’re also nut free.
It’s strange not to be getting a classroom set up this time of year. To get my classroom layout fix, I went to help my friend set up her room. She’ll be teaching kindergarten, and her space is amazing! Her classroom has its own coatroom with a full length cubby for each kid, plus a bathroom. The room has lots of windows on two sides, tons of built-in storage, and TWO sinks at the back–one kid height and one regular. On top of all that, the building is air conditioned! In six years of teaching, I definitely never had it that good.
These are so good! Elana of Elana’s Pantry is a total genius, because she figured out that almond butter, eggs, and honey will magically bake up into BLONDIES. Yes! Fudgy, delicious blondies. When you read the recipe, you’ll think there must be a mistake. I am here to tell you there isn’t! Almonds prove themselves here once again as a miracle food. I promise you will love these. You don’t even have to add cherries; you can just make them without for regular blondies. And don’t worry about the almond extract. I was trying to play up the almond flavor a little, but it didn’t really come through. So you could leave it out, leave it in, or even try a full teaspoon if you want that little hint of marzipan flavor.
Yesterday I wanted brownies, but the thought of waiting for them to bake and then cool was disagreeable. I thought about making brownie batter truffles instead. Since there’s no egg in this recipe, you can taste as you’re making it and adjust the sweetness as desired. If you’re in a really big hurry, you can skip melting the chocolate and roll these in cocoa powder or shredded coconut. You can get your brownie fix on pretty fast.
I am SO excited about this post. This ice cream is ridiculously good, ridiculously healthy, and ridiculously simple, and I have made it three times since I invented it two days ago. There are five ingredients, and you don’t need an ice cream maker. There are also NO sweeteners. This is the stuff dreams are made of. Well, my kind-of cheating whole30 dreams, at least.
Ingredients (makes about 15 truffles):
For the cheesecake filling:
8 ounces cream cheese
Pinch of salt
1 cup powdered sugar
A few drops of vanilla
For the topping:
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
For the chocolate coating:
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
A few drops of vanilla
Zest the lemon. Set aside half the zest and toss it to coat with the granulated sugar to make the topping. Spread the lemon sugar out on a plate in a thin layer so it can dry out a little. You definitely don’t want to skip this part, because the crunchy, zesty sugar is going to take these truffles from delicious to ridiculous.
Place the other half of the zest in a medium bowl with the cream cheese, salt, sugar, and vanilla. Juice the lemon to obtain three tablespoons of juice, and add them to the bowl, making sure to strain out any seeds. Use a fork to cream this mixture until well combined. Cover the mixture and place it in the freezer for half an hour or so to firm up.
Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Use a spoon and your fingers to form rounded teaspoon-sized balls of cheesecake mixture and place them on the parchment-lined cookie sheet. Don’t worry if the balls aren’t perfect, because you will have a chance to smooth them out later. Freeze the balls for at least two hours so they’re totally firm.
When your truffles are almost frozen, it’s time to melt the chocolate. Place the chopped chocolate, oil, and vanilla in a microwaveable bowl. The oil is just there to help make the chocolate coating a little bit shiny. Microwave the bowl in thirty-second intervals, stirring in between, until almost melted. Stir until the chocolate is completely smooth. Set the chocolate aside to cool for a few minutes before you dip your truffles.
Line another baking sheet with parchment or wax paper so you’ll have a spot for your dipped truffles. Take the truffles out of the freezer. Working with one ball at a time, roll it quickly between your palms to round it out, then drop it in the chocolate, turning it a little to fully coat it. Use a fork to carefully fish the truffle out of the chocolate. Let the excess chocolate drip off, then carefully transfer the truffle to the parchment paper. Sprinkle the top of the truffle with a little lemon sugar right away. You don’t want to wait until you’ve dipped all the truffles because once the chocolate is hardened the lemon sugar won’t stick.
Once you’ve dipped all the truffles, place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for about half an hour so the chocolate can set. When the truffles are set, they are ready to eat. If you won’t be enjoying them right away, store the truffles in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
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