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It’s Snowing!!

So, I’m not sure where you are but we here in New England are hunkered down under a snow storm. We had a snow day today and it was EXCELLENT! Know what I did? I did laundry. And I watched A LOT of Food Network. A LOT. I only get like 4 channels on my TV in my apartment so I have to take advantage when I have cable.

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So, clearly, I have to watch a million episodes of Chef’s Wanted (Ugh! I hate Anne Burrell almost as much as Sandra Lee but the show is so addicting! ) and cheesy Rom Com’s on TV (why is it that I would never pay money to see a Matthew Mcconaughey movie but when Failure to Launch or How to Lose a Guy is on, I will watch it…again…for the millionth time?).

And you know what goes really well with a lazy day inside watching Rom Com’s? Chocolate truffles! How cliche right?? But they work really well for Valentine’s Day too! They are super rich so it’s easy to limit yourself to one and it’s a much better quality then anything you would purchase on a whim at CVS or the grocery store. So, treat yourself to something special! Or treat your loved one to something special.

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Dark Chocolate Truffles
from Whole Living

  • 8 oz dark chocolate (70 percent cocoa), chopped (I used Chocolove, which I found at Whole Foods and knew I loved)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder, for rolling
  • Assorted toppings: cocoa powder (for an ombre effect, use a few different brands), finely chopped nuts (pistachios, Marcona almonds, hazelnuts), toasted unsweetened shredded coconut, or confectioner’s sugar

Directions:

  1. Heat chocolate, oil, and 3 Tbsp water in a double boiler, stirring, until just melted. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and sea salt.
  2. Transfer to an 8-inch baking dish and refrigerate until mixture is set but still pliable, about 2 hours.
  3. Using a 1-inch scoop or melon baller, scoop out chocolate mixture and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Coat hands in cocoa and roll chocolate into balls. Refrigerate on parchment-lined baking sheet 10 minutes. You don’t want to eat these right out of the fridge, though. It will be pretty solid. I keep mine at room temp.

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You are really going to want to use a high-quality chocolate for this recipe. This recipe is all about the chocolate so you don’t want to use hershey’s chocolate chips for this. Splurge for the good stuff. As I mentioned above, I used Chocolove. I thought this was appropriate for a Valentine’s Day truffle. Each bar comes with a love poem. Awwww!  Their almond and sea salt dark chocolate bar is A-MAZ-ING. I could eat those things every day. And their dark chocolate bar was no disappointment. Feel free to use your favorite chocolate, though!
 
 
 
Ok, Law and Order: SVU is having a marathon. Clearly, Stabler is calling me!
 
 
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First off, I want to give a shout out to anyone who is making there way here from How Sweet Eats. I’m so glad you came back to check out Wicked Vegan! Even though my recipes don’t contain Jessica’s signatures (bacon, cheese, browned butter…), I promise I still have super yummy recipes!

Anyway! T-minus 5 days until Halloween and I am so excited!

Now, if only I could get anything on my Halloween To-Do list done. Currently, I still have to:

  • Buy boots for my halloween costume
  • Buy supplies to turn said boots into rainbow-striped moonboots
  • Actually get my butt in gear and use said supplies to turn said boots into rainbow-striped moonboots
  • Decorate for party
  • Bake for party
  • make halloween cards

You know, all that super fun stuff I love to do but I just haven’t had the time or energy to actually complete. oi! Why isn’t October/Fall longer?! I need like two more week of fall awesomeness before I’m ready for Halloween.

If I could have no work for those two weeks too that would be perfect! In fact, if we could just freeze time tomorrow at noon until I get all my fun stuff done, that would be perfect!

No big deal, right??

Anyway, here is a recipe for you that would be great for your halloween get together or to help keep your sweet tooth vegan on halloween day.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles
a mash up of Loveandoliveoil.com‘s truffles and How Sweet Eats‘ Pumpkin cookies

1 c. butter (2 sticks)

1/2 c. pumpkin butter (or canned pumpkin puree)

1/2 c. sugar

1 c. brown sugar

2 tsp vanilla

1/3 c. soy milk

2 1/2 c. flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 TBSP pumpkin pie spice

1 bag of mini vegan chocolate chips (or regular chocolate chips)

little bit of vegan shortening

In a small bowl, mix together the flour, salt, baking soda and pumpkin pie spice.

In a large bowl, beat butters and sugars with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 or 3 minutes. Mix in milk and vanilla.  Slowly add in flour mixture and beat on low speed until incorporated. Stir in 1 c. of chocolate chips. Cover and chill dough for 30 minutes or firm enough to handle. If you find that the dough isn’t firming in the fridge, you can put it in the freezer.

Roll dough into 1 inch balls and arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place dough in the freezer for at least 15 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the rest of your chocolate chips and the vegan shortening in a double boiler or the microwave ( I much prefer the double boiler). Dip dough balls in the melted chocolate. Refrigerate in an airtight container. Truffles will keep for about 2 week, if you don’t eat them before then.

These truffles are SUPER delicious but the texture is a little different from the original cookie dough truffles. The pumpkin butter makes the dough very creamy, almost like cheesecake. I liked them best frozen. It keeps them solid. Though, they absolutely do not need to be frozen. If you make them and leave them out at a party, they will be just as delicious.

Now, off to paint some hideously ugly Ugg-like boots into awesome rainbow brite boots!

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Last Saturday I went to Target with the sole purpose of buying 1. toothpaste and 2. halloween-themed tupperware.

Does anyone ever leave Target with only what was on their shopping list? If so, please tell me your secret. My wallet would kiss the ground you walk on.

Anyway, in order to find Halloween tupperware, I had to walk into the Halloween section of Target. This was a problem. I. Wanted. Everything. I haven’t bought anything for Halloween yet because I haven’t had a chance to go through the halloween decorations I do have to see what I need. Plus, I didn’t budget for Halloween shopping! BUT I was convinced that if I waited until Friday aka Payday, everything would be gone.

So there I stood, in the middle of the Target’s Halloween section completely paralyzed and teetering on the edge of a panic attack. I couldn’t stay and buy anything but I couldn’t go and leave all the pretty Halloween stuff behind!

Thankfully, a very cute, bearded sales associate, seeing my wide, panic-strictened eyes, came over to me and asked me if I needed help. When I squeaked out Halloween tupperware, he told me they didn’t have any but he led me out of the decoration section…right into the halloween baking section. Dude, seriously? You just told me you didn’t have what I wanted, thus freeing up money I budgeted elsewhere, and then you proceed to lead me to my most favoritest section ever?

Hence, the numerous halloween themed things from the Monday Things post. SO many cute sprinkles (traditional sprinkles or shapes?)…and liners (monsters or pumpkins?)…and spatulas (how can I choose between a big and a small spatula??).

My wallet wept.

BUT I did manage to resist the urge to buy Reeses peanut butter cup pumpkins. Target- 50, Erin- 1. So what’s a girl with a Reese’s peanut butter craving to do?

Um…obviously use this as an excuse to buy a silcone pumpkin candy mold and make her own! Duh! (I found mine at AC Moore)

Peanut Butter Cup Pumpkins
from my early post, Peanut Butter Cups, which is from The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverson

INGREDIENTS
1⁄2 cup Earth Balance butter
3⁄4 cup your favorite peanut butter (I used Teddy’s smooth PB)
3⁄4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1⁄4 cup maple sugar or other granulated sweetener (I used Palm Sugar)
1 bag of vegan friendly chocolate chips
a tiny bit of vegan shortening

Melt half the bag of chocolate chips with a little bit of vegan shortening. Spoon the mixture into the candy molds. You want just enough to cover the bottom of the molds and to line the sides. (I just used a spoon for this. I found it to be the easiest way. I tried measuring spoons to be more precise and a butter knife but the spoon won me over.)  Once all the molds have chocolate on the bottoms and sides, place in freezer. Let sit for about 20-30 minutes to solidify.

Once the chocolate is solid, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the peanut butter, graham cracker crumbs, and sugar and mix well. Remove the mixture from the heat. Spoon the mixture into the candy molds. Fill almost to the top but leave a little room for the top chocolate layer. Place in the freezer to solidify, again, about 20 minutes.

Once the peanut mixture is hard, melt the rest of the chocolate with a tiny bit more shortening, and fill the rest of the molds with chocolate. Stick in the fridge for at least 2 hours for the chocolate to harden and the rest of the cup to not be so frozen solid.

This recipe made about 36 pumpkins. Since I only had 1 tray of molds, I just left the extra chocolate and peanut mixtures in their pots and reheated them when it was time for round two. I didn’t have any problems with this.

I’m 100% in love with this recipe. They are cute. They are delicious. They are shaped like pumpkins! And they should help with those candy cravings when all those kids are ringing your doorbell halloween night. You can be all like “sure, here, have a chemically ridden, refined sugar-filled, made-in a factory candy bar. I have homemade peanut butter pumpkins! ‘  So there!

You could also make these for a party, you know, if you want to share…

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It’s Easter in less than a week. Let’s face it, Easter is a sad sort of holiday. The candy isn’t as good as halloween, the food isn’t as good as Thanksgiving and the Easter baskets aren’t as cool as presents under the trees. It’s a sad fourth on the list of major holidays.

This does not mean that it isn’t as big of a consumer holiday though. When I went to Target the other day in search of a cookie cutter, I stumbled into the holiday area and nearly died of shock when I saw how much candy they were selling. There was an entire aisle of jelly beans! Who even likes jelly beans?! I’ve never met a single person that lists jelly beans as their favorite candy. This didn’t stop me from having an urge to buy up every. single. Reeses product under the sun…but I managed to resist!

Anyway, when I left (with no cookie cutter, thanksfornothingtarget), I couldn’t get all that candy out of my head. I wanted chocolate peanut butter in the worst way! So many of the chocolates and candies have milk or gelatin in them, though, that I couldn’t resist the challenge to make my own.

Of course, I had planned to make one and then I looked down and found I was making two recipes at the same time. How did that happpen?!

So here is the first recipe:

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Peanut Butter Cups
from How Sweet Eats 

2 1/2 cups vegan chocolate chips

1/2 cup Earth Balance Butter

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter (I would recommend Earth Balance or Teddy’s)(I used chunky because it’s what I had and it tasted great)

3/4 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (I couldn’t find vegan mini chip so I just ran a knife though some regular chips once and it worked fine)

In a small saucepan, heat butter until melted. Whisk in brown sugar until dissolved, then let it bubble for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in peanut butter. The mixture will be liquidly. Whisk in vanilla. Let sit and cool completely, about 20 minutes but not longer. If it sits too long (like while your making a batch of other candies…it will solidify and you have to start all over)

Line a mini muffin with with liners. Melt 1 1/4 cups of chocolate chips (I do mine in the microwave, heating on full power for 20 seconds, stir, 30 seconds again, and stir until melted). Drop 1/2-1 teaspoon of chocolate into each liner, then use a pastry brush to brush chocolate up the sides of the liner. Place in the freezer for 20 minutes. By this point the butter + sugar mix should be cool. Whisk in powdered sugar, salt and flour, until combine and few lumps remain. Fold in mini chocolate chips (if the dough isn’t completely cool, your chips will melt and you will be left will swirled dough…so don’t do that…). The dough will be wet, but pop it in the fridge for 15 minutes to harden.

Remove muffin tin and cookie dough, then place 1 teaspoon of cookie dough (I somewhat rolled mine) into the chocolate cups. Place back in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. Melt the remaining chocolate chips, then cover each cookie dough top with chocolate, smoothing with a spoon. Freeze again for 15-20 minutes. These are fine out in room temperature for a few hours (they may soften a bit) but I like them best stored in the fridge.

This was the second candy recipe I had no intention of making. I had extra chocolate from my other candies and they were in the freezer chilling. All of a sudden I look down and I’ve lined mini muffin liners with chocolate. What?! well…ok…I might as well continue…

These were great. I love the fillings texture. They are also dangerous in the mini-size so my recommendation is eat like 4 in one night until you feel sick because they are so rich and chocolaty and then you will want to die and will give them all to your roommates…or spouse…or something…I imagine.

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When I was growing up, Reeses were my favorite candy. I was obsessed. At Halloween, I always traded out other candy to get Reeses, Reeses pieces or Reeses Nutrageouses. Then, to eat them, I would push the peanut butter middle out, roll it into a ball, eat the chocolate outside then eat the rolled peanut butter. It was disgusting.

At Friendlys, the only sundae I ever order is the Reeses peanut butter cup sundae, no hot fudge, extra peanut butter. Since I was like…10 or something. Even my mom’s friends know this is my order.

Guess what? Much like my favorite beer, Shipyard, Reeses aren’t vegan. Obviously. So when I need a fix of my favorite treat, I turn to this recipe. It’s delicious! I like to make a batch and then keep them in the freezer so if I have an urge for a vegan friendly reeses sundae (So Delicious Vanilla Icecream, melted Earth Balance Peanut butter with a little earth balance butter in it, topped with one of these…mmmm…..), I have  stash ready available. Or, if I want to use them for baking, like chocolate cookies with crushed up peanut butter cups, I don’t have to make these first and wait until they’re chilled.

Or, you can just make a whole batch, sit in front of the TV with them watching The Notebook and switch between blowing your nose from your uncontrollable sobbing and absently shoveling one of these in your mouth.

Whatever floats your boat, I won’t judge. But you should definitely make these!

I know this looks like an ad for Earth Balance but, unfortunately, they didn’t pay me to give them props.

Peanut Butter Cups
from Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone (It’s also on the back of every carton of Earth Balance Soy Milk)
Makes 12 in a regular cupcake tin, or 24 mini cupcakes. (I like the mini cupcakes because I feel less guilty when I walk past the freezer 8 times and steal one…8 times…)

INGREDIENTS
1⁄2 cup Earth Balance butter
3⁄4 cup crunchy peanut butter
(preferably unsweetened and unsalted)
3⁄4 cup graham cracker crumbs or 10 graham cracker squares
1⁄4 cup maple sugar or other granulated sweetener*
1 cup grain-sweetened, nondairy chocolate or carob chips
1⁄4 cup soy, rice, or nut milk
1⁄4 cup chopped pecans, almonds, or peanuts

*you will see in the picture above Maple Syrup instead of Maple Sugar. yeah…I read that wrong the first time and made it with maple syrup. It was actually declicious, just a little softer. You would definitely have to keep them in the fridge or freezer if you want to go that route.

Line a 12-cup muffin tin (or a mini muffin time) with paper liners.*Set aside.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
Stir in the peanut butter, graham cracker crumbs, and maple sugar and mix well. Remove the mixture from the heat.
Evenly divide the mixture, approximately 2 tablespoons per cup (a little less then 1 TBS when going the mini muffin tin route. I felt 1 TBS didn’t allow enough room for the chocolate), among the muffin cups.
Combine the chocolate and milk in another pan.
Stir over medium heat until the chocolate has melted.
Spoon the chocolate evenly over the peanut butter mixture.
Top with chopped nuts.
Place in the refrigerator to set for at least 2 hours before serving.

*I would recommend the aluminum foil liners as opposed to paper. You are dealing with melted butter, melted peanut butter and melted chocolate. They hold up better!

These would be great as christmas gifts. You could make them in the mini muffin pan with cute paper and then package them nicely in themed boxes from Michaels. No one would even know they’re vegan.

So now that you hate me for filling your head with the idea of a Friendlys Reeses Sundae on a Monday when  you are stuck at work, I’ll help distract you.

LOOK AT MY CHRISTMAS TREE!!!

I know, you are all like ‘You showed us a christmas tree last week’. That was my apartments christmas tree, which has appropiate christmas lights and ornaments. This is my christmas tree, which has purple lights, a purple sparkly star on top, a teal tree skirt and teal star garland, and ornaments like Jack Skellington and Rainbow Brite! I took 4 hours out of my Saturday evening to clean my room and set this up. My weekend was awful so I needed the distraction. Isn’t it super awesome?!

We’re going to pretend this tree isn’t completely flat on one side because I set it up at 1 am and I didn’t care that the branches were perfect…thank you…

Jack, Cupcakes and Rainbow Brite! I have the coolest ornaments. My Grandma gets me one every year and I thinks its the best tradition ever!

I also have purple lights for my bed and around my closet. I’m so weird…

My adorable new friend. Isn’t he cute??

Ok…I’m done wasting your time. Weds we’ll resume our regularly scheduled programming and I won’t bombard you with my holiday pictures. Happy Monday!

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