Thursday, March 7, 2013

Paleo Brownies

These brownies actually taste like brownies -- chocolaty, cakey, fudgy goodness. Don't let the sweet potato fool you. I believe the sweet potato to be a mystical root vegetable. Though, I can't take credit for basing my recipe off them: I first saw a sweet potato brownie recipe over at PaleoOMG when my friend Bess posted it on facebook a couple months ago. It's an awesome site, so definitely check it out if you haven't yet.

Immediately, the idea of a sweet potato in brownies made perfect sense, but I knew I was going to want a significantly higher amount of cocoa and a bit more honey. I've made a few variations of this recipe, and I've been pleased with them all. The following recipe uses both coconut flour and blanched almond flour, but feel free to omit either. If you omit one or the other, the result will simply be fudgier. My husband prefers the fudgier variety, my kids can't tell the difference, and I prefer the one that combines both flours.

1 large sweet potato (baked in the oven at 425 for 50 minutes -- I like it to become complete mush.)
1/4 cup coconut oil
3 large eggs
1/2 cup raw honey
3 tablespoons coconut flour
1/2 cup blanched almond flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9x13in pan with coconut oil.
In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment cream baked sweet potato and coconut oil (doing this while the sweet potato is still warm will melt the coconut oil). Add remaining ingredients, except for chocolate chips, and beat until well mixed. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter into pan. Bake for approximately 25 minutes.

As you can see, it's a thicker batter, but the brownies still come out nice and moist.
This is a picture of the brownies with only coconut flour. This batter is thinner and the brownies have a more even surface.
Either way, the flavor is phenomenal.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Chocolate-dipped, Almond-topped Bacon Hearts

'Heart attack' may be your first thought as you lay eyes upon these slightly extravagant professions of bacon love. They are a bit over the top. Oddly enough, if you're a Paleo or Primal person, these porkers are an acceptable treat.

I can't take credit for this idea at all. Chocolate-dipped bacon has become a bit of a pop glutton-goody, and bacon hearts are a pintastic success. I do, however, think I can add a few little  tips to the execution of this sweet and savory treat which may assist in a successful presentation.

To begin, I suggest you use thick-cut bacon. Also, skip cutting the bacon (as performed by The Paper Mama)  -- just fold it like a heart. I read on one blog that cutting the bacon makes it more susceptible to falling apart, which will make it more difficult to glaze.

6 or 7 slices thick-cut bacon
1 cup 60% cocoa chocolate chips
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Shape and arrange bacon on a rimmed cookie sheet lined with foil. Bake for approximately 18 minutes. Once the bacon has cooked, move the bacon to a plate lined with paper towel to absorb the excess grease and cool. In a small pan, toast almond slivers on medium heat. Meanwhile, melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler. Dip bacon hearts in the melted chocolate. A spatula will help coat the bacon more gently. Once the bacon in thoroughly coated with chocolate, place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper and top with toasted almonds. Keep these hearts from melting by storing them in the refrigerator.

Feel the love?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Chocolate Banana Coconut Flour Muffins

These banana-based, cake-like muffins are sweet, moist, and a great way to put ripe bananas to use. The addition of chocolate chips on top provides a touch of decadence. Putting some cherry-juice infused craisins or nuts in the batter would also be a nice way to create different flavor and texture dimensions.

3 ripe bananas (mashed)
3 eggs
3 tablespoons coconut flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup honey
Approximately 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with liners. Combine all ingredients (except for the chocolate chips) in a mixing bowl. Mix until well combined. Fill liners with batter about 2/3 of the way full. Top with chocolate chips. Bake for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Cool. Consume.
(Note: Makes about 10 muffins.)

(Depending on how much I fill the liners, and the size of the bananas, I can get as few as 9 muffins, or as many as 11.)