Gingerbread Cookies-16


November 29, 2015


Gingerbread Cookies-16


November 29, 2015 | 2 Comments

Every year my friend and I would get together at her grammy’s house to make gingerbread houses. It became a sort of tradition to glue gingerbread brickscookies together while stuffing ourselves with an uncountable amount of candy and covering the floor with little sweet balls. Subsequently, every year, I would ask my mom if I could eat it. The house was a building made out of cookies, glued with icing, and had colorful candy decorations. Um, so what part of it wasn’t edible and delicious?

Undoubtedly, winter break became my favorite time of the year. The cuddling with furry blankets, the drinking of hot chocolate, and the endless singing of random catchy Christmas carols all made it so warm and intimate. There was always snow too. Because I live up north in the US, santa clause would always bring a big bucket of snow to dump on our town during the holidays and my friend and I would have the BEST time jumping in snow piles and attempting to make igloos.

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Consequently, December is just a joyful time and I am super excited with all the cozy recipes I get to make now! Marshmallows, cookies, caramels, truffles, macarons, anything that is cute + giftable will have a 101% chance of showing up in my kitchen starting with these awesomely crispy pepparkakor.

They might not be the traditional Swedish ones (because I’m not swedish + I’ve never been to sweden though it sounds like a sweet place to go someday), but they are dancing with lively spices and the texture is unbelievable. It’s crunchy, but not owithinkibrokeatooth crunchy, they’re more like a melt in your mouth cracker that crinkles as soon as you put a finger on it. So in short, really good.

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-The amounts of each flour may be altered as long as the total amount adds up to 1 1/2 cups. I like using (regular) rice flour to add crispiness, whole wheat for heartiness, and all purpose for strength (so the dough doesn’t crumble as easily), but feel free to adjust the amounts of the three flours.
-Chilling is not absolutely required, but it does make the dough easier to roll out + less likely to crumble apart (especially if you’re not using white flour).

Gingerbread Cookies-15

1/2 cup putter
14 cardamon pods (~1 tsp), crushed + ground
1 tsp cloves
1 1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup rice flour
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour

Mix all the ingredients together and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for 1 hour to overnight.

Roll the dough out evenly and thinly (a little less than 1/4 cm) and cut out little shapes. Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.

Bake in a preheated 375 F oven until brown on the edges, about 9-10 minutes.


Honey Sesame Brioche Challah-17

6 Braid Honey Sesame Brioche Challah + Decapitation of Brioche a Tete

November 22, 2015 | 11 Comments

It’s snowing, it’s snowing! I love the snow so much -I want to jump and make snow angels in the thick white flakes that are floating lightly down to the ground, bound by gravity. They dance like little ballerinas. It’s so beautiful.

But I digress.

Honey Sesame Brioche Challah

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// Doesn’t this look like a little cloud?

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I think one of my favorite things about having a blog is that I can go back and see everything that I wrote about this time last year. Sometimes it’s embarrassing but it’s always funny 😛 My pictures were disgusting, I might need to go back and edit those. But the mood is the same, it’s snowing it’s snowing it’s snowing!!!!!

And I have a chemistry paper due (instead of biology this year).

Oh and we get three days off instead of two.

I am clearly too excited. Is that possible? Maybe it’s all the chocolate I’ve been eating.

Or maybe it’s the omgfinalsarein12schooldayswhattheheck and halfoftheschoolyearisnearlyover symptoms that are arriving. But whatever *casually flicks hair over shoulder*

Anyways, one of the first breads that I’ve ever made (this was a longggg time ago, like 5 years ago long ago…) was challah. I dunno where it came from, only that I loved to braid the strands. My 10 year old self was quite amused by how the adults thought it was “hard” and yeast was “scarryyyy” while I brought out golden loaves. Until I accidentally forgot to set the timer one day but that’s a story for later.

Before the decapitation

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Decapitation of brioche a tete

-one has to admit, brioche a tete looks perfect for beheading…

A = author of how to make challah
M = 10 year old me

A Now don’t worry, making bread is easy
M Yes, you bet it’s easy
A Even though yeast are bacteria…
M hmmm bacteria… I wonder what that is and why they think I would care…
A And you have to make sure you don’t kill these bacteria before you bake the bread
M They must be some yummy little creatures I guess…
A and braiding is very difficult
M Shush… get on to it already…

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So basically, I was very ignorant of what I was actually doing and ignored all their warnings. Which I guess was a wise decision because I ended up with lots of delicious ‘egg bread’. My friend and I also enjoyed copying the precious recipe on cards for safe keeping. What do you know, I lost it.

Anyhow, my birdbrained 10 year old self could do it so I doubt anyone can’t do it. Unless they go with all the ridiculous warnings telling them oh bread is hard, oh yeast is bacteria, oh oh oh, all will turn out just fine.

Honey Sesame Brioche Challah-5

Honey Sesame Brioche Challah

Honey Sesame Brioche Challah

Challah Bread Dough
3/4 cups (167 g) warm milk
1 1/2 tsp yeast
3 tbsp (46 g) honey
2 1/2 c (328 g) bread flour
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup (34 g) sesame
4 tbsp (55 g) butter
Egg wash
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp milk

Dissolve the yeast in the milk and wait for it to foam a bit (about 5 minutes if your kitchen is warm). If it doesn't, it means your yeast is dead and you should use a different package.

Mix in the rest of the dough ingredients and knead until a thin windowpane forms (see pictures in post), about 15 minutes. The dough should be sticky, but it should also stick together in a cohesive mass.

Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

Punch it down and divide into 6 pieces. Roll each into a tapered log (as in the middle is thicker than the ends) and braid like the .gif shows.

Let this rise in a warm place for 30-45 minutes, or until doubled. Meanwhile, beat the egg yolk with the milk. Preheat the oven to 425 F.

Brush the egg mixture onto the loaf when it is done rising.

Bake for 10 minutes, lower the heat to 325 F, and bake for another 15 minutes. It should be golden with a slightly crackly crust and a crumb lined with sesame seeds.



People are cruel…

November 15, 2015 | 4 Comments

Of all the animals, man is the only one that is cruel. He is the only one that inflicts pain for the pleasure of doing it. It is a trait that is not known to the higher animals.

Mark Twain from The Damned Human Race



// Mes pensées aux victimes, aux leurs familles et à leurs proches



Chocolate Mochi Magic Cake-18

Chocolate Mochi Magic Custard Cake {gluten free}

November 8, 2015 | 7 Comments

I’m pretty sure I’ve heard the same lesson on density for over 4 years. It’s always the same thing, mass over volume, mass over volume. The importance is always the same too: so we can identify substances, separate them, yada yada yada… It’s as if the teachers are parrots and we’re their robots. We repeat this, you remember it, you spit it out. Thank you, good school day.

Thus is the problem with school systems. Now, I’m not saying that school isn’t useful and that repetition isn’t useful -they all are. But to repeat density over 4 times without actually showing any practical applications besides oh oil floats on water! ice floats on water! is despicably boring.

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Instead, schools should make magic cake. It’s a perfect example of density, and very practical too. The whisps of whipped egg white float to the top like soft clouds and the flour sinks to the bottom in happiness. There, the flour links hands with itself because there’s strength in numbers, no?, and creates a dense, chewy bottom layer. Let’s not forget the egg yolks now which are stuck in the middle unable to decide, forming a silky custard that is smoother than a nonfrictionless surface. That reminds us, this is still all chemistry/physics kiddos, not a fairy movie

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But in my world, chemistry and physics are a fairy tale.


// I love this cake because of its magical connection to science. The idea of a mochi magic cake has been floating around in my head for ages now because glutinous rice flour acts similarly to regular flour, density wise and structure wise. Guess what? It worked 😀

Chocolate Mochi Magic Custard Cake
3 eggs, separated
3/4 cup powdered sugar
3 tbsp butter, melted
1 cup glutinous rice flour
2 tbsp water
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp granulated sugar

Line a 6 by 8 baking dish with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 320 F.

Beat the egg yolks with the powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the butter, rice flour, water, cocoa powder, and milk. Mix until fully combined.

Whip the egg whites in a large bowl, gradually adding in the granulated sugar until stiff peaks form. Pour in the yolk mixture and gently mix together. It will look slightly curdled and appear as a failure at this stage.

Pour this mixture into the prepared baking dish and bake for 1 hour. It will still be slightly jiggly. Cool, serve with powdered sugar.


Single Lady Snickerdoodle-11

Single Lady Snickerdoodle {vegan}

November 1, 2015 | 18 Comments

Dear Thesaurus,

I love you. I truly adore you. But do you know what would make me adore you even more? If you didn’t say bad is a synonym for good, and break down is a synonym for breaking down.
In case you were wondering, the first pair is something called an antynom okay? The latter is called different verb tenses.
We didn’t learn that stuff in English class by the way. So you can’t use I never took english class as an excuse.


Single Lady Snickerdoodle

Dear Blog Readers,

Thanks for sticking around + commenting even though I spend 50.9999999% of the time complaining about how much stuff I have to do.


Single Lady Snickerdoodle-2

Dear Anne,

Take break a little more seriously, please. Fall break has the word break in it for goodness sakes! All you’ve been doing the past 3 days of this so called break is homework. Please, no excuses. This happened last year too.


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Dear Friend that I take for granted,

Do you remember all the Halloween nights that we ran outside in the bitter cold to knock on strangers doors to beg for candy? We would trick or treat then trade candy. I remember you never liked the bounty’s -a good thing too for they were one of my favorites. You always recieved my hard candy because there, we’re opposites too.

As I sit here typing this, I am reminded of those snickerdoodles that we would always make for basically everything. Every time we baked together it would be the same snickerdoodles for so long. Maybe that’s why I never baked them on my own for 4 some years -because I knew they wouldn’t taste the same.
Guess what? I baked them again and I was right. They didn’t taste the same.
Ours were always soft because you insisted on taking them out early. They were puffy, doughy, and perfect. They had little cinnamon swirls. Mine are crispy and brown.
I couldn’t help it -I tried again. This time, it was a cookie for one, in a deep dish. It wasn’t the same. Goewy, sprinkled with lots of cinnamon, but still not the same. I think it’s because you always held me back from making irrational changes to recipes. Getting rid of half of the sugar, adding too much flour, that was all me. I’m sorry okay? I’m terrible at making cookies.


Single Lady Snickerdoodle-7


// You can sub coconut oil for the butter to make this vegan.
// Don’t over bake this or else you’ll have a sandy cookie.

Single Lady Snickerdoodle
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp brown sugar
3-4 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp sugar
pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

In a small baking dish, place the butter and brown sugar together. Place it in the oven until the butter is melted. Take the dish out and mix in the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and half of the cinnamon.

Using your fingers, press the dough down into a smooth layer on the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle on the rest of the cinnamon, the sugar, and the salt.

Bake for 10-14 minutes until puffy, soft, and slightly golden.


Pumpkin Cinnamon Swirl Babka-13

Pumpkin Cinnamon Babka

October 25, 2015 | 18 Comments

I wish to fly like a bird in the wind.
// to fly among the celestial stars, wild and undisciplined
// to fly against the fiery trees, with a bee’s trajectories
// to fly with the billowing breeze, anywhere I please

// to fly with no sense of ticking clocks
… for nothing slays time as fast
// to fly without the hurrying flocks
… as a reminder of all that passed

– me

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Heheheee okay, that was my little attempt at a pensive poem and I really hope that you enjoyed it, but now onto the important business.


This pumpkin cinnamon babka is filled with swirls of cinnamon and topped with a smattering of maple streusel. It has a lighter than air, brioche-like interior that is warmly spiced and more golden than the morning sun and certainly more delicious. Some bits of the cinnamon mixture and streusel have the tendency to slip down to the bottom and caramelize. In short, this pumpkin cinnamon babka is utterly delicious.

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// Make sure your milk isn’t too hot or else you risk killing the yeast.
// At the end of kneading, you should be able to streach the dough into a veryyyy thin windowpane. Example above, picture #3.
// Using grams when given will produce the best result.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Babka
For the dough
1/3 cup (60 g) warm milk
1 ½ tsp yeast
2 tbsp (30 g) maple syrup
2 c (275 g) bread flour
½ c (90g) pumpkin puree
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 egg
1 egg white
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3 tbsp butter, cubed
For the filling
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp cinnamon
To top
1/2 - 3/4 cup flour
1 tbsp butter, melted
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp milk
1 egg yolk

Dissolve the yeast in the milk in a stand mixer mixing bowl. Add in the rest of the dough ingredients except for the butter. Using the dough hook attatchment, knead for a total of 15-20 minutes. Throw in the butter, chunk by chunk within the first 5 minutes of mixing. At the end of kneading, the dough should be slightly sticky but it should for a thin window pane.

Let the dough rise for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in size.

Meanwhile, combine the filling ingredients.

Place the risen dough onto a floured surface and roll it into a thin rectangular sheet, about 1/8-1/4 inch thick and as wide as your bread pan. Spread on the filling and roll into a log that's as long as your bread pan.

Slice the log in half length-wise (so that it looks like your bread is about to fall apart), and twist those into one strand. Place it into your bread pan. Let it rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

Meanwhile, mix the flour, butter, sugar, and maple syrup together for the streusel. It should be crumbly.

Mix the milk and yolk together. Brush the mixture on the risen loaf. Lightly sprinkle on the streusel topping.

Bake in a 425 F oven for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350 F and bake for 15-20 minutes.


Maple Pumpkin Granola

Stovetop Maple Pumpkin Granola {vegan, gluten free}

October 18, 2015 | 13 Comments

holy crap I had a lot to do this weekend.

Somehow, I still managed to make granola. Food trumps everything, just saying. Except sleep. Geez I wish I could get some sleep…

All things considered, this week has been pretty enjoyable even though I spent over 12 hours on a bus (not all in a row, gosh would that be horrible), and seen infinitely miles of brown corn fields. Oh yeah, I saw the sun once. But seriously, this week has been one of the best of this school year. It’s been so full of exciting events that I’ve barely had time to sit down or sleep.

Pumpkin Maple Granola

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Ug sleep. It’s the stuff of my dreams now.

But I digress from my boring life to this 5 minute granola recipe. Fine, it takes 10 minutes. Whatever.

Let’s be honest. I’m not gonna get up at 8 in the morning, mix ingredients, patiently spoon little circles onto a hot pan, flip them, and repeat for who knows how long on a weekend. As great as having pancakes for breakfast sound, it’s just not gonna happen with my amount of homework. Oh other reason? I’m not getting up at 8 am. Forget it.

So you know what, I’ll stir stuff over the stove, pour some maple syrup over that, and cook it for 5 minutes. Breakfast? Solved.

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Conclusion: This maple pumpkin oatmeal most certainly wins. It’s lightly sweetened with maple syrup and chunks of pumpkin + smatterings of seeds/nuts throughout. The spice gives this an autumny feel that makes me want to jump in leaves. Oh only if I had the time.


// You can make your own pumpkin spice mix by mixing together various spices. Recipes are available by googling 😛

Stovetop Maple Pumpkin Granola
1/3 cup pepitas
1/3 cup almonds
3/4 cup oats
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/8 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
pinch of salt

Toast the pepitas, almonds, and oats separately over medium heat until nutty, In the same pan, mix the pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, maple syrup, coconut oil, pumpkin puree, and salt. Add the toasted ingredients.

Cook over medium heat until dry and crunchy, about 5-10 minutes.




October 11, 2015 | 4 Comments

This is for anyone who needs to laugh. Or at least, I hope it makes you laugh and not doubt humanity.

This week, not only have I been busy, but I’ve failed multiple times in my quest to develop a recipe, and even failed at following a recipe. Now, you might be thinking How in the world does anyone fail at following a recipe? but I’ve got an excuse. In fact, I’ll offer three excuses.

Excuse 1: Following recipes is hard.
Excuse 2: Ideas pop into my head. A lot of ideas pop into my head.
Excuse 3: I have better things to do.


Allow me to elaborate. Following recipes is really really really really really x100000002 hard. It’s become a habit to change recipes. Even perfectly perfectly perfectly good ones like Izy’s Swedish Chocolate Cake. You see, a whole chocolate cake lying in my fridge for the whole week is not a good idea. Every study break will become a Let’s eat cake! break. So I decided to make it smaller. Let’s just leave it as it didn’t work

Next: A lot of ideas pop into my head. Can we just say a lot? I was going to make a version of pumpkin bread, but we didn’t have pumpkin. Mistake numero deux: I decided to make pumpkin spice macarons. Lesson 1: Don’t make macarons if you don’t have time to make it again, especially if you’re using up the last of your pumpkin spice.

Excuse 3: I have better things to do. This goes back to excuse 1. I kinda did the one thing that was forbidden for that cake I overbaked it i.e. it ended up chocolaty, but still a fail :(


So please do excuse the absense of a recipe this time around. Life is getting fast. A blink, a day. A nap, a week. I would put some links on here, but I’ve seen so many great recipes + photos + posts this week that I can’t find them all for a stupid fear of missing someone.

Hopefully, this post was slightly amusing -I mean, what’s not funny about watching a high schooler slowly fail at mixing random things together?

I think I need to put a grape in the microwave now. (for those of you that haven’t ever heard of that {where have you been?}, putting a grape in the microwave creates a plasma, i.e. very bright light. although, I dunno if it’ll work :|)




Pumpkin Mochi-14

Pumpkin Mochi {vegan, gluten free}

October 4, 2015 | 14 Comments

This weekend shall be remembered with a sarcastic laugh as I try to balance this blog and 5 projects/labs all due next week. I’m not even exaggerating -not a bit. A few girls on the bus said sophomore year should be the easiest year in high school. I guess I took the wrong classes?

And also, dear flash drives, corrupting all my files does not make me any happier.

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Sooo that happened. 3 hours of work just disappeared under a cold, invisible wall. Now I’m back to google drive who thinks that formatting is a joke. Can I just tell you that formatting is not a joke?

As of right now, my life is miserable like a sinking stone {don’t ask how I know what a sinking rock feels like -I don’t, but use your imagination} and I spend more time with my eyes glued to a word document or a powerpoint presentation than conversing with actual people right now. My face has become a book, a computer, a paper or whatever else I need to get done. and wordreference have become my new best friends, and realization that I’m a sophomore is hitting, strong and fast.

I really shouldn’t complain so much -my classes are all wonderful and my teachers are all so supportive. But this is sophomore year, I’m not taking any AP classes (don’t even ask how many I’m planning on taking next year), SAT’s aren’t happening yet, I’m not working on college aps, I’m just a high school sophmore.


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Oh what will it be like next year? I’m scared goes and hides under a blanket

But anyhow, you want to know what this has to do with pumpkin mochi right? Um, you could say I first saw them last year when I was a freshman, when my life was easy, and when my soul hadn’t been taken away by multiple papers. That would be theoretically correct (although, theoretically, can souls be taken away?). I dunnoooooo but what I do know is that you should make these adorable little pumpkins.

Anyhowwww, these little pumpkin mochi (shaped like adorable pumpkins!) have been in my dreams for a while now. I guess you could say they still are because I we ate them in about 5 minutes. Oh and it was last weekend when I wasn’t buried under an avalanche of projects.

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These little pumpkin mochi are adorabley tiny, chewy, pumpkiny, and sticky. Oh and there’s a little top stem made from matcha (or you can use green food coloring if you prefer), and a surprise inside of red bean paste. It’s so perfect for fall!


// Some of mine are speckled with green because I wanted to try them savory-sweet with green onions. They were okay… I wouldn’t make them again though.
// Pumpkin pie spice can be made at home by combining a number of spices, but it’s easier just to buy the premixed stuff from the store. You can however, make it at home by searching up a recipe / proportions.
// I steamed mine on bamboo leaves because we had two left at my house and I wanted to use them up. They do impart a certain flavor + aroma on the mochi which makes it all the better, but do feel free not to use it.

Pumpkin Mochi

Pumpkin Mochi

1/3 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp brown sugar
2/3 - 1 cup glutenous rice flour
1/4 tsp matcha
1 tsp water
red bean paste

Stir pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, brown sugar, and glutenous rice flour until a dough forms. Add more glutenous rice flour if dough is too wet and add in more pumpkin if dough is too dry

Prepare another dough by mixing the matcha with water and adding enough glutenous rice flour until a dough is formed.

Take about 1 tbsp of the pumpkin dough and squish it flat into a circle. Place about 1/2 tsp red bean paste onto the dough and pinch the edges closed. Roll into a ball and score about 7-9 marks straight down with the back of a knife. Roll a little piece of the matcha dough and place it on top where the marks intercept.

Prepare a steamer (I put a little tray thingy on top of some boiling water) and place the mochi on top. Steam for 10 - 15 minutes or until cooked through.


Pecan Pie Cups --caramel, pecan-11

Chocolate Pecan Pie Cups w/ Date Caramel + Pecan Butter {vegan, gluten free}

September 27, 2015 | 21 Comments

Yayyyyy autumn is here! The leaves are turning gorgeous shades of a bright sunset against a blue sky filled with soft picturesque clouds. This also means I can eat copious amounts of pie without feeling bad about it. However, then the problem becomes the fact that we never have pie at my house.

It’s annoying to say the least.

Pecan Pie Cups --caramel, pecan

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I’ve always felt that a full sized pie is a finicky little thing. My crust always ends up falling apart, the filling always tends to be too tart, and don’t even get me started on how the innocent crispy apples turn stupidly mushy. Sure this can all be solved by making cute little hand pies without apples, but please. Also the main problem (besides my own impending laziness for assembling 3 parts and baking it), is the fact that there’s only 4 people in my household. Sure, we eat a slice there, a slice here, but there’s no way in the whole wide world that we end up consuming one entire pie.

Alas, my pie baking addiction has to wait until holidays where people need pies, where there’s a whole crowd of people, and where I can show off my lack of full sized pie baking skills.

Pecan Pie Cups --caramel, pecan-3
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The only good side effect of this are these adorable pecan pie cups. They’re pretty healthy {dark chocolate + date caramel with only dates + pecan butter of only pecans}. The simple three ingredients that they have makes them taste like the best pecan pie in the world -pinky swear. Also, they won’t make you die of a sugar high (or your siblings bounce off the walls like balls), but are nutty, lightly sweetened, with a touch of bitterness.


// You don’t have to toast the pecans if you don’t want to, but I enjoy their extra nuttiness.
// If you wish / add too much water, you may cook the date caramel over the stove to caramelize it a bit, but I found it unnecessary.
// I like using dark chocolate, but you can basically use any kind you want. If the chocolate isn’t smooth enough to spread, stir in a bit of coconut oil to thin it out.
// I used cupcake liners because I didn’t feel like ordering real candy liners online, but you can buy those off of of an online store like amazon and use them instead.

Chocolate Pecan Pie Cups w/ Date Caramel + Pecan Butter {vegan, gluten free}
1/2 cup chocolate
1/3 cup dates, pitted
1/2 cup pecans

Line a mini cupcake pan with liners.

Melt the chocolates and spread it over the mini cupcake liners. Place it in the refrigerator.

Meanwhile, roast the pecans and place them in a food processor. Chop them until they become a paste. Scoop that into another bowl, wash the food processor bowl, and place in the dates. Pulse until that becomes a smooth paste -you might have to add in a few tablespoons of water.

Take the chocolate out (make sure it's solidified) and spread in about 1/4 tsp of the date caramel. Add on top about 1/4 - 1/2 tsp of the pecan butter. Top with melted chocolate (so that none of the pecan butter is showing through) and refrigerate until the chocolate is solidified.