Hot Cocoa Cookie Cups

This is what winning looks like:


Well, not that.

That looks like third place.

And only if I was registered as a walker instead of a runner.

This is what winning really looks like:


Those are hot cocoa cookie cups.

And they are the best.

I have evidence.


Hot Cocoa Cookie Cups are everything you love about Christmas sweets all wrapped up into one little chocolate package.

Hot chocolate cookies.

Vanilla Whipped Buttercream Frosting.

Rich, chocolate ganache.

I shouldn’t even share this recipe because it’s the best damn thing to come out of my kitchen since, well, the last winning recipe.

Peppermint whoopie pies

But in the spirit of the season, I will share the recipe with you because you simply must make them.

Oh, by the way, set aside about, oh,  six hours or so,  because these babies are a little labor intensive.

I started by organizing everything I would need for all three cookie components.


The cookie recipe I used, Mexican Chocolate Snickerdoodles, was lightly adapted from my all-time favorite cookie book.

Vegan cookies invade your cookie jar

To make the

Hot Cocoa Cookies:

1/2 cup canola oil

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup maple syrup

3 tablespoons non-dairy milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetend cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, mix the oil, sugar, syrup, milk, and extracts.


Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.


Mix until a pliable dough forms (add additional flour by the tablespoon, if needed).


Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let chill while you prepare the frosting.

I used a basic buttercream recipe directly from my second favorite book:

Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World

For the

Vanilla Whipped Buttercream Frosting:

1/2 cup non-hydrogenated shortening

1/2 cup non-hydrogenated margarine

3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 cup non-dairy milk

Beat the shortening and margarine together until creamy and fluffily. Add in the powdered sugar about 1/4 cup at a time, alternating with a small amount of milk. Add the vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.


Now, put the frosting in the fridge until ready to use.

Remove the cookie dough from the fridge.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Roll tablespoon amount into balls and place in mini-muffin pan.


Press down with your thumb to create the cookie cup.


Repeat with remaining dough.

Bake for 10-12 minutes.

They will puff up when they bake, but I pressed them back down at about 8 minutes and finished cooking for an additional two minutes.



*Tidbit: It’s better for them to be a touch underdone so the sides do not get too hard. Check them at 8 and 10 minutes.*

Remove from pan and allow to cool.

While they are cooling, prepare your ganache, also taken directly from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.

To make the

Chocolate Ganache:

1/4 cup non-dairy milk (I used dark chocolate almond)

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

In a small saucepan, bring almond milk to a gentle boil. Remove from the heat and add the semi-sweet chocolate and maple syrup. Stir until completely smooth.




To assemble the cookie cups:

Add a small spoonful of the ganache to each cookie up.


Pipe or spoon in buttercream frosting.


Drizzle with additional ganache.


I added a small peppermint stick to half.


I added these cupcake toppers to the other half for the peppermint haters.


Here they are before the competition:



These cookie cups are definitely winners.


I hope you decide to devour some!

In case you’re wondering why I walked my 5k, it’s because there are two people in this photo!


You can learn all about the Peanut Baby I’ve been cooking up at

Happy Cooking!


Christmas Time is Here

“Where do you think you’re going? Nobody’s leaving. Nobody’s walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We’re all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We’re gonna press on, and we’re gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he’s gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse.”

Clark Griswold, Christmas Vacation-

Watching Christmas Vacation in this house pretty much signifies that the holiday season is in full swing.

Christmas Vacation

I set out big pot of white bean and spinach soup, maple cinnamon popcorn, and a couple cherry and pomegranate martinis.

Then we slurped, crunched, and sipped our way through all the  Griswold shenanigans.

In a perfect Christmas world, I would have a cup of old-fashioned egg nog sloshing around a Marty the Moose glass in one hand, and  a big old piece of rich chocolate fudge in the other hand.

Marty the moose mug

Since raw eggs aren’t my thang, I’ve developed quite an affection for Silk Nog.


It’s especially delicious in hot mug of coffee when you can’t get your hands on Marty the Moose.

Christmas Vacation Moose Mug

And you know what makes that hot cup of nog coffee even better?

That’s right.


Vegan Fudge.



It’s a Christmas Miracle!

It’s  a Wonderful Life!

It’s the hap, hap, happiest Christmas discovery since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye.

There are no weird or unusual ingredients in this recipe, which is annoyingly common in vegan fare.

Coconut butter?

Sorry my small town Food Lion just ran out of their last jar.

Usually it’s next to the Kale chips and Spirulina powder but that $20.00 jar of coconut butter seems to be flying off the shelves.

No worries, the only two things you need for classic, no fuss fudge is chocolate frosting and chocolate chips.


That’s it.

In all honesty, I skipped the plastic container of frosting, even though it is often curiously vegan, and made a batch of my own.

I used the recipe found in Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, but your favorite frosting recipe should work.

Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World

I also use Ghiradhelli semi-sweet chocolate chips because they are non-dairy and delicious.

Semi-sweet chipsUse whatever you have and whatever you like.

If you’re so inclined, you could use any combination of frosting and chips.

White Chocolate Cinnamon?

Caramel Butterscotch?

Chocolate Peppermint?

The possibilities are endless.



1 cup of chocolate chips

1 cup of chocolate frosting

Melt chocolate chips over a double boiler or simply microwave in 30 second increments, stirring after each round.

Stir together melted chocolate chips and frosting until smooth.

Spread evenly into 9 x 5 loaf pan, heavily greased or lined with tinfoil

Refrigerate until firm.


Vegan Chocolate Fudge?


Hallelujah! Holy Shit!

Where’s the Tylenol?



We need to talk about something.

It’s very important.

It has nothing to do with the fact that I’ve been AWOL from the blog for five months.

Because I wasn’t AWOL.

I knew exactly where I was.

It just wasn’t here.

But I’m here now and we need to discuss something very important.

It’s a rather urgent matter and needs your utmost attention.


Here goes.

Pie crust is gross.

Stop it.

We don’t judge here.

But I stand by my opinion.

Pie crust is almost always dry, bland, boring, and a complete waste of calories and stomach space.

Salted flour and crisco is just not my idea of a good time.

And I spend an embarrassing amount of  time trying to scrape every last precious molecule of filling out of the crust.

And then because I’m sad that the filling frotterism is over, I begin to pick at the crust in hopes of elongating the experience.

And then I hate myself.

Because I hate pie crust and I just ate the whole damn thing in minuscule forkfuls until it was gone.

So I decided to skip this whole charade and go right for the jugular.

That’s right.

All filling.

 Pumpkin Pie Filling


I guess you could call this pudding, if you must.

But this tastes exactly like pumpkin pie filling and I don’t mean the slop that comes in a can.


It tastes like real pumpkin pie that came out of your very own oven.

Except this requires no cooking and is ready in five minutes.


It does require a high speed blender or food processor, though, so go ahead and put that on Santa’s list if you don’t already own one.

I thought I was the genius that came up with this recipe but it turns out I saw it on another blog a few days prior and the idea must have been floating around in my gray matter for a while.

I found the original recipe HERE and made the following adaptations:



1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree (not pie filling)

1/2 cup pecans

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1/4 teaspoon salt

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.


 Like I said, you can call it pudding.

But I served it with a banana and called it breakfast.

And mixed it into a smoothie and called it lunch.

And ate it by the spoonful for dinner.

And then I slathered it on some pumpkin bread and almost lost my mind.

If you simply must have pie, then I would just dollop this all over a big, fat slice of apple or pecan pie instead of whipped cream.

Just do it.

I’ll look away while you lick the blender blades.

Like I said, we don’t judge here.



Save A Lot

I hate daylight savings time.

That extra hour of sleep for one freakin’ day is just not worth a five o’clock sunset.

It was barely afternoon before the darkness settled in today.


If I were a better photographer I would have taken photos in the bright morning light.

But I was busy with Target practice.

What’s Target practice?

Oh, that’s just when I go to Target and practice enormous amounts of self restraint by not spending over $100.

You should try it.

It’s really a work-out in willpower.

Also a work-out in willpower?

Figuring out what to do with 189 pieces of leftover Halloween candy.

I think it’s cute how people post all these recipes with leftover Reece’s Pieces and Snicker’s bars.

As if there is EVER any leftover chocolate candy.

Anyway, I got most of it taken care of, but I had a bag of cinnamon candies that have been haunting me.


And since it’s already dark outside, why don’t you pop up a bowl of  Candied Corn and settle in for a good movie night?

This makes a small batch because, well, I only had a handful of candy left.

Deal with it.


2 tablespoons popcorn kernels

1/4 cup cinnamon candies

1 teaspoon canola oil

sprinkle salt

Place kernels in a brown lunch bag and fold the top over.

Microwave for 2 minutes or until the popping has slowed.


You can really make air popped popcorn like this!

Pour candies and oil into a small saucepan and cook over low until liquified.

Be careful because the syrup is very, very, hot.

Pour the hot syrup over the popcorn and stir quickly as the candy will begin to harden almost immediately.



Enjoy the darkness.



I’m trying to convince my husband to let me be a stay-at-home wife, but he’s not having it.

The thing is, work is really starting to interfere with my recreational time.

In my fictional life, I spend all my time at home cooking delicious recipes and organizing my home.

In my real life, aint nobody got time for that.

Well, maybe I would have more time if I didn’t spend 7 hours of my Saturday burning caramel popcorn that I was trying to make for a Halloween party.


I barely had time to put on my Halloween costume.

Which is less of a costume and more of a fantasy.

It’s what I really want to be when I grow up.

Liberated women everywhere, be warned.

This will shock and terrify you.

A true Halloween horror to the feminist movement.

I want to be a 50’s housewife.

Halloween 2013

The whole “working outside of the home” thing was way overrated.

I don’t think women in the 70’s considered the consequences of their actions.

In what universe did it seem like a bad idea to let someone else go to work everyday and bring home money for you?

So anyway,  as the bewitching hour neared on Saturday, managing my time got a little tricky,

I had no time to cook up a Halloween treat.

And I burned the shit out of 7 batches of caramel.

I didn’t have any more time to burn.

So I mixed up a no-cook honey caramel concoction.


And added bourbon.


Because bourbon is timeless.


1 cup honey

2 tablespoon non-dairy butter

1 teaspoon bourbon

1/2 teaspoon molasses

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.

DSCN4812 DSCN4813 DSCN4814 DSCN4815 DSCN4817 DSCN4818 DSCN4820


Collect award for best costume.

Halloween Winning

Even though I look like a scary mess in this photo.



Batch 29

This week hit me like a Mac truck.

Maybe it was all the sugar.

Or the long hours at work.

Or the sugar.

Desserts in this house are a recipe for disaster.

They usually require a vacuum.

Because we can Hoover us some cake and cookies.

So when I was thinking of what to make for the husband’s birthday, it seemed like a terrible idea to have an entire cake seducing us with it’s rich, chocolatey aroma.

Cupcakes seemed like a reasonable alternative for their perfect little portion controlled cakelettes, but the idea of 12 cupcakes lingering on my kitchen counter was enough to make my insulin jump just thinking about it.

So I took a little foray into small batch baking.

And came up with a recipe that makes four svelte servings of chocolate brownie cupcakes.

Not wanting to dirty up an entire cupcake pan, I poured the batter right into four ounce mason jars.


And when they emerged from the oven all cupcake and crackely, I heaped on some brandied cherry topping.


Because I can’t pipe frosting to save my life.

And I can’t make frosting if I use all the powdered sugar practicing my skillz.



(Makes 4 cupcakes)


For the cherry topping:


1  (12 oz.) bag of frozen cherries

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons arrowroot starch

1-2 teaspoons brandy

For the cupcakes:


Want a more traditional cupcake? Omit the baking chocolate in the batter.

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

pinch salt

1 oz. baking chocolate, chopped

1 tablespoon canola oil

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup non-dairy milk, warmed

To make the topping: 


Cook cherries and sugar over medium heat until heated through.

Add arrowroot starch and boil for one minute.

Remove from heat and stir in brandy.

Transfer to a container and refrigerate until ready to use.

To make the cupcakes:


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.


Stir in the chopped chocolate.


Make sure to give the chocolate a good chop. This will make it easier for it to melt into the batter when you add the warm milk.

Add oil, vanilla, and cider vinegar.


Slowly pour in the warm milk.


Stir until batter is smooth.


Distribute batter evenly into four, greased (4 oz) mason jars.


Place jars on a cookie sheet before placing in the oven.

Bake for 12-14 minutes or until top springs back when touched.


Top with cherry topping and additional chocolate shavings.


The best thing about these cupcakes?


They’re portable!



Hope your first 29th birthday is the best!


I know my second one is going to be epic.


There hasn’t been much cookery around these parts lately.


The extent of meal preparation has involved making banana berry smoothies,  a loaf of peanut butter and jelly’s and eating frozen edamame straight from the bag.

Its been delicious.

But then fall came and smacked me in the face.

And suddenly freezing all of my super ripe bananas for smoothies and banana ice cream seemed irrelevant.


Pumpkin isn’t allowed in any form until at least September.

A strict rule that I never adhere to.

But now I at least feel less awkward about drinking pumpkin lattes by the half gallon.

Get ready for four months of pumpkin madness.

Starting with butter.

Banana Maple Pumpkin Butter



2 very ripe bananas

1   (15 oz.)  can pumpkin puree

1/4 cup maple syrup

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food process and puree until smooth.

DSCN4144 DSCN4146 DSCN4148

Pour into a small pot over medium-low heat and cook for about 30 minutes or until thick.

DSCN4150 DSCN4151

Fall is here.  



Blue Up

If your belly doesn’t hurt after a day of blueberry picking, you’re doing it wrong.


It took about an hour to pick six pounds of berries.

It took about 20 minutes until I felt like my stomach was going to explode.

I don’t want to see a blueberry until, well, tomorrow morning when the bloating has gone down and I do it all over again.

The best part of blueberry picking is listening to all of the conversations happening around me.


Like the young mother taking the opportunity to turn sweet fruit into an even sweeter lesson about primary colors.

“The blue ones! I said the blue ones! Not the purple ones! Put the green ones back. I said put it back!”

Or the girl who found a bush with a “million” berries.

You would have thought she struck gold the way she was gushing.

Or the little lad who squealed excitedly when he “caught” a blueberry.


Its a quaint little memory that I’ll pack away until February when the only produce in sight is a russet potato.

But for now, I don’t want to see, smell, or even think about fruit, berries, and anything even remotely close to the color blue.

Because once again I’ve Violet Beuregarded myself on blueberries.


I’ll never learn.

And based on the girth of my stomach following dinner, I have the same problem with peas.

Especially when they’re fresh from the farm and coated in a tangy miso dressing.


Mayonaise based pea salads are so 1986.

Miso is so summer of 2013.


You might know miso in it’s more traditional soup form served at Asian restaurants.

But it makes a really great dressing for salads when combined with lemon juice and a little olive oil.

And little else.

What is miso?


Fermented awesomeness, that’s what.

It’s good for your gut and tastes good too.

Pass the peas, please.

Pea Salad with White Miso Dressing


1/2 pound shelled, fresh peas

3 tablespoons white miso paste

1/2 lemon, juiced

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 tablespoons of water

1/2 cup chopped herbs (a combination of parsley and dill would be nice)

pepper, to taste

Steam peas until tender but crisp.


Add miso to a small bowl.


Add lemon juice, olive oil, and water.


Whisk to combine.

Pour over peas.


Add 1/2 cup chopped herbs


Toss to combine.


Add pepper, to taste.

Serve chilled.




While I was at dinner last night, I heard the lad at the next table screaming to his dinner guest that he “wanted to go vegetarian but didn’t want to be an inconvenience.”

I wanted to spit my Blueberry Belch Beer in his face.

Your food choices, sir, are not inconvenient.

Your choice to yell them across the bar, however, is.

I think it’s a myth that its difficult to eat a vegetarian, vegan, or plant based diet.

It takes some time, some adjusting, and some pre-planning, but once you’ve set your mind to it, its not difficult to learn to love fruits, vegetables, beans, and grains.

Those are all healthy, veg-friendly foods.

Which leads to the next myth.

The myth that if something is vegan, it’s healthy.

With an ever expanding niche food market, there are plenty of vegan junk foods and many convenience foods that are “accidentally vegan.”

Here’s just a few:


Makes you wonder what is exactly in the cream filling, eh?



This is a surprise because most breads these days contain milk. Check your labels carefully.



I can make vegan frosting and yet somehow it surprised me that you could buy  vegan frosting from a major food company. It shouldn’t be surprising ,though, considering its much cheaper and more shelf stable to use hydrogenated shortening instead of butter.

Duncan Hines Frosting


Apparently “Cream Style” has nothing to do with real cream!

Cream Style Corn


My step-dad eats a steady diet of these peanut butter cookies. He’s half-way to being vegan and didn’t even know it!

Nutter Butter


A lot of candy has gelatin which is not veg-friendly. Licorice does not contain gelatin. Score for the vegans  horse hooves.



It’s not shocking that a potato chip is vegan. It doesn’t mean it’s healthy though.

potato chips


No “kreme” here!

krispy kreme fruit pie


“Big and Buttery” is plastered across the package and yet, no actual butter in sight!



Non-dairy ice Cream is one of the foods that people want to believe is healthier if it’s vegan. Its still fat and sugar, people. Eat it but be mindful that 1/2 cup can contain 250 calories and 18 grams of fat which is the equivalent of premium dairy based ice creams.

coconut ice cream


Become a label reader. Some sweetened non-dairy milks contain anywhere from 12-20 grams of sugar. There are 16 grams of sugar in a full tablespoon. It’s something to think about if you’re pouring it over a bowl of frosted flakes (which also happen to be vegan!) every morning.


The good news is that if you’re stuck in a gas station in Kentucky, you can probably find some vegan fare to tide you over. The bad news is that if you choose these foods on a regular basis, you’ll fare no better than your standard junk food junkie.

Choose wisely.

But don’t feel the need to scream your choices across a busy bar.

Nothing ruins a meal quite like the diner who preaches the evils of meat eating over a plate of pot roast.

Save it for the dessert course.

You know, the row of Oreos and Chocolate Soy Milk that you’ll be shoving in your face.

If you do get stuck in a gas station in Kentucky, check out PETA’s full list of “Accidentally Vegan” foods:

Hot Dog

I feel like summer came and just smacked me in the face.

Suddenly I want to do all the summer things.

Ride bikes.

Drink iced coffee from mason jars.

Go treasure hunting at the local flea market

Drink beer from mason jars.

Eat hot dogs.

Teach the (real) dog how to typewriter some corn.




Nothing goes better with grilled corn than some veggie hot dogs and all the fixin’s.

When we were treasure hunting, we stumbled on some locally made hot and sweet pickles.


Half the jar immediately made it  into my mouth.

The other half made it into a homemade relish.



1 cup fresh pineapple

1 cup “hot and sweet” pickles + juice

1 bunch green onion, chopped

Add pineapple, pickles, and green onion to food processor.





Pulse until all ingredients are chopped very fine. 


Makes about 1 cup. 


Here’s to summer and all its