easy, no cook, chocolate peanut butter pudding

Though I rarely turn down chocolate, if forced to choose, I’d rather have a savory snack.  Yet, somehow I’m always whipping up sweet things in the kitchen.  A husband who’ll remain unnamed may be to blame.  He already requested a peanut butter cheesecake for his upcoming July birthday, but has been asking about mousse for months!  I was feeling particularly lazy today, and constrained my mousse recipe search to those with active times of less than 10 minutes.  The result is closer in texture to pudding, but tastes great, took all of 7 minutes to put together, and used up a brick of tofu that was about to expire.  Me loves it!

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Materials (makes 4 4-ounce servings)

1 package silken tofu
1/3 cup natural (no sugar added) creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup vanilla bean syrup*
1/2 cup cocoa powder
pinch coarse salt
chopped, roasted peanuts for garnish

 

*Any liquid sweetener (honey, agave, simple syrup) will work, but the amount needed depends on what you use.  I make my own vanilla bean syrup, which is really sweet, so 1/4 cup did the job.

 

Protocol
1.  Place all ingredients into a food processor, and blend until smooth and incorporated.
2.  Pour into serving glasses, and refrigerate for about an hour.  Garnish with peanuts before serving.

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chocolate-dipped coconut macaroons

“Yuck, coconut.  I hate coconut!”

“Give it here, Percy.  I don’t mind coconut.”

“You don’t mind nothin’, girl!”

If you’ve seen Corrina, Corrina, you may recognize those quotes from the scene in which the kids are sitting around eating chocolates.  Percy bites into two bon bons and proclaims his hate for cream and coconut, while his chubby cousin quickly accepts the task of getting rid of them for him.  Too cute!  This was the inspiration behind chocolate-dipped coconut macaroons.  That, and my dad’s birthday is coming up and he, unlike Percy, loooves coconut, and chocolate!

These macaroons are super easy to make.  Only six ingredients, two bowls and a little heat.  The result is a chewy center and a crunchier outside that just begs to be bitten.

 

Materials (for approximately 13 macaroons; recipe adapted from the Barefoot Contessa)

7 ounces shredded sweetened coconut (1/2 standard package)
7 ounces sweetened condensed milk (1/2 can)
2 Tbsp vanilla (1 Tbsp is OK, but the extra vanilla gives a more intense aroma)
1 egg white
pinch of Kosher salt
8-10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate or chocolate chips

 

Protocol

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together coconut, condensed milk and vanilla.

3. In another bowl, beat egg white and salt using an electric mixer until stiff peaks appear.

4. Gently fold the whipped egg white into the coconut mixture, and stir well to combine.

5. Use a small ice cream scoop, funnel or tablespoon and portion out about 2-3 Tbsp worth of final coconut mixture.  You can also use a piping bag with a large tip (or a plastic bag with a corner cut off), and pipe directly onto the parchment paper.

6. Bake for 20 minutes or until the macaroons are golden brown.

7. Remove from oven and rest on a cooling rack (a refrigerator works well for faster cooling).

8. In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt chocolate on very low heat until creamy.  Use a whisk to stir.

9. Remove from heat, and dip one side or bottoms of cooled macaroons into the chocolate, or drizzle some on top.

The method doesn’t matter, as long as you are generous.  Place finished macaroons on a plate lined with wax paper (helps with removal) and allow to set for at least 30 minutes.  These sweet babies keep well in the fridge, but prefer to be stored in your belly.

 

peanut butter cup martini

While giving the treadmill some ferocious attention, I watched a Food Network special on Hershey’s Chocolate World.  The host of the show took a tour of the chocolate factory, then stopped off at a bar to have a chocolate peanut butter martini, and finished his day at the Spa at Hotel Hershey, where he took a bath in frothy chocolate milk!  While pondering a career change, I promised my taste buds a treat and took note of the martini recipe.  As the euphoria of my run dissipated, so did my memory, taking the crucial recipe with it.  I attempted to recall, but was forced to improvise, and did quite well.

 

Materials

2 oz. Castrie’s peanut rum creme (Frangelico hazelnut liquor works well, too)
1 oz. Godiva chocolate vodka
1 oz. Godiva chocolate liquor
chocolate syrup
peanut butter cup for garnish

 

Protocol

1. Shake the rum creme, vodka and liquor in a shaker with ice and pour into a glass drizzled with chocolate syrup.

2. Garnish with a peanut butter cup, and indulge!