Cashew Butter and Jelly Brownies

These summer weekends just keep getting more and more relaxing.

Well, for me at least.

My dad had 95% blockage in his nose so he elected to get nose surgery last Thursday.

I’m pretty sure he thought that he was going to be up the next day running in tip-top shape, mowing the lawn, and building a fence in the back yard.

Ummmm…WRONG!

I am not sure why people choose to go under the knife for aesthetic reasons and go through all that pain when my poor dad did just so he could breathe!

I don’t think I have ever seen him hurt this bad.

Although, he did have a bout of food poisoning one time that I swear was worse than his motor cycle accident.

Let’s talk about food, shall we?

I was so excited for this month’s Secret Recipe Club when I learned that Mary Anne and Mariel, the awesome mother-daughter duo behind the blog, Feast on the Cheap, were my secret recipe friends. Mary Anne has worked for 20+ years in the catering industry and Mariel is a fledging foodie who learned about all things cooking and baking for the best of the best, her mother.

As I was perusing through their extensive recipe list, I found what my heart desired, Peanut Butter and Jelly Brownies. 

Y’all…chocolate.

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Mhhhhhhm. I did a little switcheroo and substituted the peanut butter for cashew butter. You can totally go the pb route b/c we all know that peanut butter love is strong on this blog. It just so happens that I eat so much of it…I was out.

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Just imagine an ooey, gooey, chocolate brownie swirled with slightly salty cashew butter and

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sweet berry preserves.

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I mean, these flavors are genius.

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Definitely an appropriate dessert to bring to a backyard summer barbecue.

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Or ya know, if you need to drown your sorrows because some stupid guy broke your heart, you failed a test, or your boss is a major biotch…

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these brownies are your go to pick me up.

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Plus, they are paleo, gluten-free, grain-free, and just all around freaking delicious.

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🙂

Cashew Butter and Jelly Brownies
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert, Brownies
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Soft, chewy dark chocolate brownies, topped with swirls of creamy cashew butter and sweet berry jam. Gluten-free, paleo, grain-free.
Ingredients
  • 3 T. coconut butter, slightly melted
  • 3 T. unsweetened applesauce
  • 6 oz. dark chocolate chips, melted
  • 1 c. coconut sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 t. pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ c. coconut flour
  • ¼ t. baking powder
  • ¼ t. salt
  • ½ c. cashew butter
  • ½ c. jam or fruit preserves
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8 in square baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the coconut butter, applesauce, melted chocolate, coconut sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth.
  3. Stir in the cocoa powder, coconut flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  5. Use a spoon to ladle dollops of peanut butter on top of the brownie batter, spacing evenly.
  6. Then ladle dollops of jam right next to the peanut butter.
  7. Use the tip of a knife to marbleize and spread the peanut butter & jam – you can create a pretty pattern or just smear it across the top, it’s up to you. Just make sure to distribute relatively evenly so you get a taste of PB&J in every bite.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out clean.
  9. Let cool slightly, slice into squares and serve.

MANGIA!!!

Strawberry Jam Swirled Banana Muffins

Finally, a little relief from all of these hot temps!

We have 55 degrees, people!

That is rare in April in Texas.

Don’t worry, the weather will get us back.

It’s sneaky and evil most of the time.

In fact, this is just a teaser. The weather is actually mocking us.

It says, “Ha! These cool temps are nice, aren’t they? Wait til I show up next week with high 90’s!”

So unpredictable!

I will tell you what I never get sick of.

Bananas.

More specifically, Bananas in bread, muffins, scones, any carb vehicle, etc.

Today, it’s muffins.

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They are getting some love from cashew butter.

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Oh, and some strawberry jam.

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I love me some strawberry jam.

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These muffins are super fluffy, slightly sweet, with a tangy/sweet strawberry swirl.

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Plus, this is practically breakfast food.

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Yep.

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All you need is coffee and butter.

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🙂

Strawberry Jam Swirled Banana Muffins
Author: 
Recipe type: Muffins, Snack, Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Fluffy, sweet banana muffins with a strawberry jam swirl. Gluten-free, paleo, refined sugar-free.
Ingredients
  • 6 Medjool dates, pitted, soaked in water overnight
  • 2 large, ripe bananas, mashed
  • ¼ c. cashew butter (or other nut/seed butter)
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ c. granulated stevia
  • 1 t. pure vanilla extract
  • ½ c. coconut flour
  • ½ t. baking soda
  • ¼ t. salt
  • ¼ c. homemade strawberry jam (or store bought, no added sugar)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a muffin cup pan with cooking spray.
  2. Place the dates and their soaking water in a large blender or food processor and process until a smooth puree has formed.
  3. Place the date puree in a large mixing bowl along with the mashed bananas, cashew butter, eggs, stevia, and vanilla and mix until smooth.
  4. Stir in the coconut flour, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Drop the batter by rounded tablespoons into each muffin cup.
  6. Place ½ teaspoon of strawberry jam on top of each muffin and use a toothpick or knife to swirl the jam throughout the muffin.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Let cool slightly and enjoy!

MANGIA!!!

Chocolate Cashew Butter Sandwich Cookies

Happy Monday!

Anyone ready for summer?

Raises hand.

I’m loving the heat.

I’m sure I’ll be sick of it by June and want to think of nothing but Christmas trees and hot chocolate.

That’s what happens when you live in Texas.

It’s Secret Recipe Club time.

This months recipe comes from Jane, the fabulous, avid cook/baker, and passionate foodie behind The Heritage Cook.

Jane has a ton of delicious recipes, many of them gluten-free!

Oh, oh…and a ton of them are chocolate recipes. So naturally, I just had to pick a recipe with chocolate.

Jane’s  Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies spoke to me.

I love that Jane uses gluten-free flour but I wanted to challenge myself and make these paleo friendly.

So, I shut one eye and used coconut flour.

I also substituted coconut sugar for brown sugar.

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This was one of those times where things comes out perfect on the first try.

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The cookies are super chewy with a whole lot of cocoa flavor.

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I replaced the butter in the recipe with my homemade cashew butter and oh mah…

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the angels sang.

Oh and that up there is a paleo substitute for peanut butter.

You know I love my peanut butter, but I’m trying to branch out.

Enter a cashew butter date spread.

If you have time to make date puree just to get one tablespoon for the spread, be my guest.

Otherwise, it works just fine with maple syrup 🙂

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This is sandwich cookie heaven.

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It’s a little bit salty,

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a little bit sweet,

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and a whole lot of goodness!

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Thanks Jane! Can’t wait to try more recipes from your site 🙂

5.0 from 2 reviews
Chocolate Cashew Butter Sandwich Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Soft, chewy, cocoa cookies sandwiched together with a creamy cashew butter filling. Paleo, gluten-free.
Ingredients
  • For the cookies:
  • ¼ c. cashew butter (or nut/seed butter of your choice)
  • ¾ c. coconut sugar
  • 1 t. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 T. coconut flour
  • ⅓ c. unsweetened, cocoa powder
  • ½ t. baking soda
  • ¼ t. salt
  • For the filling:
  • ½ c. cashew butter
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 2 T. pure maple syrup
Instructions
  1. For the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cashew butter, sugar, vanilla and egg until smooth.
  3. Stir in the coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Drop the batter by rounded tablespoons onto the cookie sheet and slightly flatten the cookie dough.
  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until firm and slightly browned.
  6. For the filling, combine all of the filling ingredients until smooth.
  7. When the cookies are cooled, place a bit of filling on the underside of one cookie and sandwich with another cookie.
  8. Enjoy!

MANGIA!!!

Frosted Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies

If you’ve been to your local convenience/grocery store or live anywhere near a Target…you know that Saturday is Valentine’s Day.

I mean, how could you not with aisles overflowing with chocolate candy wrapped in pink and red alongside giant stuffed teddy bears?

I don’t think I’ve ever had a valentine.

Truth.

Well, I have if my mom counts as a valentine.

She always comes through.

Go mom.

I loved writing valentine’s cards as a child for all of my classmates, and saving those special cards for my secret crush.

Ha!

Now I’m just like give me a box of Reese’s PB Cup hearts and every romantic movie in the book and I’m good.

But Valentine’s Day is all about the dessert.

There really is no love.

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That’s why we make cookies.

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Ummmm…then we cover em’ in cute pink/red & white frosting.

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Did you know Valentine’s Day was started in the time of the Roman empire?

It makes sense that us Italians (the people who invented love..duh) would invent a day for love!

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Bellisima!

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So, mi amor’s whatever your plans are this valentine’s day…

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include dessert.

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Because hello…..Valentine’s Day.

Frosted Valentine's Day Sugar Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
 
Crispy on the edges, chewy in the center coconut sugar cookies topped with a sweet, naturally dyed, coconut butter frosting. Paleo, gluten-free, nut-free option.
Ingredients
  • For the cookies:
  • 1 c. cashew butter (you could also use almond butter, or if you want a nut-free version, coconut butter, slightly melted)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 c. coconut sugar (made superfine by processing on high in the food processor)
  • 6 Tbs. coconut flour
  • For the frosting:
  • ½ c. coconut butter, melted
  • ¼ c. honey
  • couple of drops of natural-colored red food dye( you can usually find this at your local health food store, if not just use regular)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cashew butter, egg, and coconut sugar until smooth.
  4. Stir in the coconut flour until a thick, firm dough forms.
  5. Use a rolling pin, dusted with extra coconut flour, to roll the dough out onto a flat surface. Cookies should be ½ in. thick each, not too thin or they will burn during baking.
  6. Use a small heart shaped cookie cutter to cut out individual cookies.
  7. Place each cookie on the prepared baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes or until slightly golden. Let cool completely.
  9. In a small mixing bowl, combine all of the frosting ingredients until smooth.
  10. Spread the frosting evenly onto the top of each cookie.
  11. Let the frosting dry and devour!

MANGIA!!!

Flu Fighting Tips and Cinnamon Swirl Cashew Date Mug Muffin

Is it me, or does everyone have the flu?

I feel as though the entire population of my face book friends has the flu, oh, and if they have kids, they have it too.

What gives?

I guess it’s flu “season.”

I’m not surprised given the bouts of cold weather that decided to show up round these here parts…post Christmas.

The 20-30 degree range is considered arctic temps for Texas.

I haven’t really been sick in the past couple of years.

I’m pretty sure I can’t even remember the last time it was that I had the flu.

I’m more likely to get food poisoning.

I owe my clean bill of health to my diet and exercise…it’s really not a special secret.

How we take care of ourselves truly governs our health.

Here are a few of my tips and tricks to keep the flu at bay 🙂

1. Drink Tea: 1 cup of tea/day keeps the Dr. away is my motto 🙂 Tea is packed with immunity-boosting antioxidants, which helps your cells fight off the germs which are making you sick. My favorite tea is Yogi Ginger Tea, which I have been drinking for years! It helps keep my acid-reflux at bay, aids with digestion, and helps fight off the flu. It’s a triple threat! I drink mine w/ a packet of granulated stevia and a bit of coconut milk.

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2. Spice is Nice: especially Cinnamon. Cinnamon is not only my favorite spice, but it helps with aching muscles and congestion. Because it is slightly spicy, it works wonders for a stuffy nose. Other great spices are tumeric, cloves, and ginger. Stir any of these into your oatmeal, sprinkle a dash onto your morning coffee, or stir into a cup of tea.

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3. Exercise: I mean, who would have thought…fitness is a flu-fighting remedy! I workout every single day. Now, if I worked my body to exhaustion every single day, I would probably make myself sick. However, I have a method. I usually run about 3-4 days/week and alternate with weight training and pilates, which I do on my “active rest” days. I joined the Tone It Up Community last year and loooooove their workouts. The Tone It Up girls, Karena & Katrina are absolutely amazing role models and have developed a community where women can feel comfortable sharing their struggles with body image, while workout out together. I usually do a variety of routines from their dvd’s or website, alternating strength training and HIIT workouts. I also just got the opportunity to try Class Pass and cannot wait…I love to try new fitness studios that offer something outside of my normal routine.

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4. Eat Clean: I know…pretty simple, right. Eating a variety of healthy foods gives your body the energy it needs to fight off illness. Now, when I say “eat clean,” I don’t mean depriving yourself of any and all sweets, but making healthy choices. I have no idea when the last time was that I had soda, or ate something out of a package with ingredients that I can’t pronounce. Basically, I eliminated all processed foods from my diet, and I cannot tell you how much better I feel. Salty snacks & packaged foods always made me feel bloated. I would eat 1 package of kale chips for lunch and would feel energy drained by 3 o’clock. Now, I eat fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and incorporate my own recipes for paleo breads and snacks into my diet. Baking and cooking my own foods allows me to really get the proper balance of carbs, fat, protein, and sugar that I need to fuel my day. While my blog is predominantly paleo, I am not on a strict paleo diet. I have to have beans, and I would practically die without Greek yogurt in my life. Nobody is perfect. There is not one way to eat, it’s all about what is best for you! For some amazing superfood recipes to keep you in top flu fighting shape, check out Aloha!  Their recipes are not only good for you, but their photos are gorgeous! Check em’ out! Aloha also offers an amazing superfood green powder that you can add to any smoothie or recipe.

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Below is the perfect flu fighting recipe with a combination of super foods to keep you healthy and energized.

Creamy cashew butter

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does a little smash bang with protein powder & date puree.

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Then, the whole thing gets a swirl of cinnamon.

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Top it with coconut butter and you are good to go!

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Oh, and this is a single serving mug muffin.

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Oh, oh, and the best part…it takes less than 3 minutes to make.

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Mhhhhhm.

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It also looks like a giant cinnamon roll.

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Flu-fighting foods for the win! 🙂

Cinnamon Swirl Cashew Date Mug Muffin
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast, Snack, Muffin
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
A fluffy muffin made w/ creamy cashew butter, sweetened with dates, and swirled with cinnamon for a heart-warming breakfast treat that you can feel good about. Gluten-free, paleo, refined sugar-free.
Ingredients
  • ¼ c. Medjool dates, pitted, soaked in water overnight
  • 2 T. cashew butter
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ t. pure vanilla extract
  • 1.5 T. unsweetened, vanilla protein powder (I used hemp seed protein)
  • ½ t. baking powder
  • ¼ t. ground cinnamon
  • melted coconut butter, for topping, optional
Instructions
  1. Grease a coffee mug with cooking spray.
  2. Drain the dates and place them in a food processor.
  3. Puree the dates until a thick, smooth paste forms.
  4. In a small mixing bowl, combine the cashew butter, 2 tablespoons of the date puree, egg, and vanilla until smooth.
  5. Stir in the protein powder and baking powder.
  6. Pour the batter into the coffee mug.
  7. Place the ground cinnamon on top of the batter and use a fork or toothpick to make a "swirl" pattern throughout the batter.
  8. Microwave for 2-3 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean.
  9. Let the muffin cool slightly, turn out of the coffee mug using a knife, and drizzle with coconut butter.

MANGIA!!!