Edit your life frequently and ruthlessly. It's your masterpiece after all.
So first things first, I'm a little (WAY) overdue for posting a sweet treat. I'm going to be honest here: I'm tremendously boring when it comes to making desserts - it's almost sad really. This is not because we don't enjoy desserts in this house, but rather due to a combination of my personal preference for cooking with the bright colours and vibrant nature of fresh vegetables - and also due to the fact all of us here in this house are pretty darned satisfied with a plain old piece of quality chocolate at the end of our evening meals. In fact, I'm so veggie centric that you'll be hard pressed to find many recipes utilizing even cooked fruit around here, as I prefer it raw and unaltered - in smoothies or straight up as it is. Warning: if you get invited to dinner at my house and ask what to bring, well, I've an easy answer always, and plenty of previous guests to testify this as truth - bring dessert.
This recipe is one I knew I would make a year ago, after our family trip to LA allowed a wonderful real life meet-up with two of my oldest blogging friends (I love saying that, since it's amazing we've all been at this long enough now to feel we are 'old' friends). Meeting up with Kristy & Cara for lunch was definitely a high point of my trip, and walking away with of the gift Cara's first cookbook left me with a lovely tickle of gratitude and dreams of these epic bars. Yes, for a whole year.
I made a few modifications based on what I had, and the result was as good as I could have imagined: outrageous. These babies are rich, so a little goes a long way - but the bonus here is they keep forever in the fridge and require no baking. In full disclosure, these are a sugary treat! I'm sure you coul experiment with sugar that is less, well, sugary ;) Regardless, they easy to make and guaranteed to please with just a few ingredients and a little patience are needed while the bars set (that's the hardest part for sure!). I highly recommend both Kristy and Cara's blogs for inspiring vegan fare, and fail proof gluten-free baking (respectively) - both are created and written by amazing women, both of whom continue to inspire me with their work - and who I am lucky to know ;)
In other news, I'm heading into September with a streamlined approach to eating as I need to be mindful of certain food sensitivities developing into full blown intolerances. I've always been sensitive to onions and garlic, and a recent bout of exposure left me feeling less than ideal (far less than ideal). Through the years I've dealt with various sensitivities, and in an effort to stay balanced and reasonable, I try to approach these things carefully - believing always that moderation is key to enjoying all things - especially foods that may trigger certain things in the body.
So, a little re-set is required here and I can't think of a better time than now, as I head into my 39th year in less than 10 days. I promised myself that 38 & 39 would be the best years of my thirties - a vow I intend to keep! Follow me on Instagram to see what clean eating meals I come up with, and if you have any thoughts on this, feel free to chime in!
Cara's Outrageous Peanut Butter Bars:
- adapted slightly from Decadent Gluten Free Baking
- 1.5 cups crunchy all natural peanut butter
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups powdered icing sugar
- 2 cups smashed cornflakes
- 1.5 cups melted chocolate chips (you can use dark or any kind you like!)
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 cup cocoa nibs (optional)
Mix the peanut butter, coconut oil, vanilla, sugar, and cornflakes together. Press into a parchment lined 8 or 9 inch square baking pan. Put into the refrigerator or freezer to set for 20-30 minutes while you melt the chocolate topping (this will help it spread better).
Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler* with the tbsp of coconut oil (the oil will help it spread). Spread over the peanut butter layer as evenly as you can. Sprinkle the chocolate with the optional cocoa nibs. Out in the fridge to set for 4-6 hours, then remove from the pan a slice into bars. Keep in the fridge in a sealed container and enjoy ;)
*A medium pot with a stainless bowl to hold the chocolate is my double boiler. Just boil up some water under the stainless bowl and melt your chocolate.