Archive for the ‘dessert’ Category

Brownie + pumpkin pie = heaven.

The fact that it’s vegan is just an added bonus.

I’ve been meaning to make these ever since I saw them on Oh She Glows.

In a word, they are magical. The brownies are probably some of the best I’ve ever had. They are so moist and cake-like, but so very dense. They are so good.

And topped with pumpkin-pie like filling. Ooooh yes.

Angela is a genius.

Pupmkin Pie Brownie Cupcakes
From Oh She Glows

Pumpkin Brownie Layer:

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup + 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, softened
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1.5 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Pumpkin Pie Layer:

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp almond milk
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or 1 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp nutmeg)


1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. For brownies: In a stand mixer or by hand, mix together the coconut oil, pumpkin, vanilla, and sugar until blended well. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking, soda, sea salt and mix until incorporated. Take about 2 tbsp of the mixture and place in muffin tin. Wet fingers and spread around evenly so it is smooth.

3. For pumpkin layer: In a large bowl mix together the pumpkin, vanilla, and milk. In a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch, sugar, and pumpkin pie spice. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well until all clumps are gone. Now add approx 1.5-2 tbsp of the pumpkin pie mixture on top of each brownie in the pan.

4. Bake for 30 minutes at 350F. Remove from oven and cool for 20-30 minutes and then move to the fridge to chill for 1.5 hours.


I cut the recipe in half and got 6 muffins out of it. Also, Angela suggests greasing the muffin tins, but I didn’t and had no troubles with them sticking.

I am, however, having trouble keeping away from them. They are SO, SO good.


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… or those watching calories.

My aunt has made this cake the last two times I’ve visited. It’s definitely one of those dishes you take to a party so you’re not tempted to just sit down with the pan and a fork.

I’m pretty sure this is a variation of the “better than sex” cake. Not sure it’s quite that, but it is damn good. And ridiculously easy.

1 chocolate cake mix, prepared
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 jar caramel ice cream topping
1 tub cool whip (or whipped cream)
toffee bits for topping

Bake cake according to box directions. When it comes out of oven, let cool for 10 minutes, then poke with holes & pour sweetened condensed milk over top. Then pour over caramel. Refrigerate for a few hours to overnight. When ready to serve, cover with whipped topping & sprinkle with toffee bits.


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These are some hearty cookies. I picked them for that specific reason. See, they were being shipped overseas to a young Marine in Afghanistan. I’m way late mailing this box for Operation Baking Gals, but I’m sure I’ll be forgiven.

What I liked about these was that I was able to make the dough Tuesday when I had a few minutes – they came together really easily – and then chilled the dough overnight so they were ready to bake in the morning. I thought the cinnamon flavor really came through in these – but it may be because I used the kick-ass cinnamon I got from Spices, Inc.

peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters
from Joelen’s Culinary Adventures

3 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup extra chunky peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups store-bought chocolate chips or chunks – I used chocolate/peanut butter swirl chips since that’s what I had on hand.
Whisk together the oats, flour, baking soda, spices and salt.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter, peanut butter, sugar and brown sugar on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition, then beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the dry ingredients, beating only until blended. Mix in the chips. Cover and chill the dough for about 2 hours or for up to one day. (Chilling the dough will give you more evenly shaped cookies…. so I chilled overnight.)

Once dough is chilled, scoop up rounded tablespoons, roll the balls between your palms and place them 2 inches apart on the sheets. Press the chilled balls gently with the heel of your hand until they are about 1/2 inch thick.

Bake at 350 for 13 to 15 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back after 7 minutes. The cookies should be golden and just firm around the edges. Lift the cookies onto cooling racks with a wide metal spatula – they’ll firm as they cool. Repeat with the remaining dough, cooling the baking sheets between.

What are your favorite kind of cookies?

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I so loved reading all about what you love about your pets! I especially loved seeing another black cat owner – that totally made my day! Black cats always get a bad rap, but I swear mine are the BEST.

So our winner is – Kira at Cook, Love, Pray! (Sorry I don’t have photo of the random generator – I accidentally closed the screen when I was trying to figure out how to do a screen capture. #bloggerfail.) Kira, send your address to blackcatkitchen at gmail and I’ll get your goodies out to you right away! 🙂


Who says you need a special occasion to make a cake? Not me! I made this vegan chocolate cake in June for my birthday. My mom and dad both politely ate it and said it was good. But, of course, not as good as mom’s original chocolate cake. I’ll give them that. But, for a cake free of milk, eggs and butter, this is damn good. Plus, I love that it makes just a LITTLE cake (or 3-4 individual cakes) so I don’t end up with lots of leftovers. Oh, and, it’s ridiculously easy.

vegan chocolaty goodness

Vegan chocolate fudge cake
from Chef in You

  • 1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup cold water

Sift together dry ingredients. In separate bowl, mix together wet ingredients. Add to dry ingredients and mix slowly until smooth.

Grease & flour 7″ round pan (or 3-4 individual ramikens). Pour batter into pan and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Cool, then remove from pan and top with vegan chocolate frosting or powdered sugar if desired.

Vegan chocolate frosting
From Chef in You

  • 1 cup icing/powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • About 1/3 cup warm water (this will make it little thin. Add tbsp at a time until you reach your desired consistency)

What’s something that you’d like to make ‘just because?’

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I think I became the most popular person at work with these. I cannot say enough good things about these bars. Not only were they super easy to whip up, but they were also phenomenal. As in: Oh-my-god-I-just-ate-8-of-these-and-will-eat-the-whole-pan-if-I-don’t-take-them-to-work-but-I-don’t-want-to-share good.
Well, I did take them to work, and its a good thing, cause I would have polished off the whole pan. I must have gotten complimented by every single person who ate one. And I don’t think I’ve ever gotten so many compliments on anything I’ve brought into the office.
My only change – Next time, I’m making 1/2 a batch so I don’t HAVE to share! (And take better photos)

Smitten Kitchen's blueberry bars

Smitten Kitchen’s Blueberry crumb bars

1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cold unsalted butter (2 sticks or 8 ounces)
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest and juice of one lemon (I actually used Limoncello that I had in the refrigerator)
4 cups fresh blueberries (I used frozen, unthawed, and they worked great!)
1/2 cup white sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9Ă—13 inch pan.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup sugar, 3 cups flour, and baking powder. Mix in salt and lemon zest. Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the butter and egg. Dough will be crumbly. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.

3. In another bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Gently mix in the blueberries. Sprinkle the blueberry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

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My first two CSA boxes included a bunch of fresh mint. The only thing I could think about was ice cream. I’m a sucker for mint chocolate chip, and I fell in love with Purely Decadent’s coconut milk mint chip ice cream recently. So, I scoured the web for a homemade version and found this one that uses an avocado to get that nice green hue.

Oh.My.God. Make this now. Even if you skip the avocado, this stuff is ah-mazing. It’s got a distinct fresh mint flavor – no fake chemical-y taste – and is smooth as silk. This is my new go-to for mint chip ice cream.

Make sure you plan ahead – I chilled this overnight in the fridge.

vegan mint chip ice cream

Fresh mint chip ice cream
from Aprovchar

2 c. mint leaves and stems
3 cans coconut milk, preferably Thai Kitchen brand
1 c. agave syrup
1 avocado (adds color and fat–will not noticeably affect the flavor of the final product)
1/2 c. chocolate chips or cocoa nibs or other desired add-in (optional)

Wash mint leaves and stems thoroughly.

Heat 3 cans of coconut milk and agave syrup on medium heat until the mixture gives off plenty of steam but before it reaches the boiling point.  Add the mint leaves/stems, cover, and turn heat to low.  After 10 minutes, turn off the heat, and allow the mint leaves to steep an additional 50 minutes, covered, at room temperature.

Strain out the mint leaves by pouring the mixture through a mesh strainer, pressing the leaves against the strainer to extract all of the mint flavor you can from the leaves.  Discard the leaves and stems.

Refrigerate the mixture until it is very cold.

Once the mint mixture is ready to use, prepare the ice cream maker of your choice for use according to its directions.

Pour half of mint mixture into food processor with meat from 1/2 an avocado. Blend well & repeat with other half. Pour into ice cream maker & make ice cream! Add chocolate chips a few minutes before end of churning. Freeze according to ice cream maker directions or eat from chur for soft-serve consistency.

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