One Bowl Grain-Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars

Many, many years ago I baked some peanut butter cookies for my dad.  My mom would always make chocolate chip cookies; but, I somehow thought peanut butter was more fitting.  Upon eating them he mentions to my mom how peanut butter cookies were his favorite.  Much to my mother's chagrin, as she was always told chocolate chip was his favorite, she replied, "You said chocolate chip was your favorite?!"  

"Well, yes, I like chocolate chip cookies; but, peanut butter cookies are my favorite," my dad replied.  

Come to find out he passed this peanut butter gene onto my brothers, both of whom did not care for chocolate; hence, chocolate chip cookies became a mute point.  I would bake some grain-free peanut butter cookies for my brother and have Ben bring them down to Arizona with him years ago while on a business trip.  

Sidenote on peanut butter cookies and while we're at it, snickerdoodles.  I have never been a huge fan of either for the sheer crunch factor.  I am not a fan of crunchy cookies unless it's sandwich cookie in the form of an Oreo.  Most peanut butter cookies are crunchy and crumbly.  No thank you!  

Fast forward, I made my peanut butter cookies soft for my brother, and then I added chocolate for me.  Oh heavens, it took me back to my junior high days eating peanut butter blossom cookies at Christmas time (you know the peanut butter cookies with a Hershey's Kiss in the center--they're soft).  

Those ones used regular ole Jif peanut butter, which really did enhance the "wow" factor.  However, I buy this relatively cheap organic peanut butter at Costco without any added sugar.  And they taste just as good in my opinion.  This recipe could easily be turned into cookies.  Adjust the baking time to 12-14 minutes and drop tablespoons of dough onto a pan.  Press them down with a fork to make the traditional crisscross design.  

But, since we know I prefer soft cookies, and typically don't have a whole bunch of time, I prefer the bar cookies.  You get the softness factor and the ease factor in one batch.  Adding the chocolate in my mind sends it over the top; because, if you don't see how peanut butter and chocolate marry more than peanut butter and jelly...well, I feel bad for you.  

Grain-free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars (printable recipe)

Ingredients: 

1 cup peanut butter, no sugar added kind

1/2 cup softened unsalted butter

1 1/4 cup coconut sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 1/2 cup blanched almond flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup to 1 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.  

Get an 8x11 pan out and set it aside, no need to grease the pan if using a glass pan.

In a large bowl, add peanut butter, butter, and sugar and mix together until they are fairly combined.  Add the egg & vanilla and mix it throughout, but it doesn't have to be perfectly mixed in.  

Add the almond flour, baking soda, & salt and mix until the dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed into the wet ingredients.  You are trying to achieve the wonderful consistency of playdoh.  Once you have achieved this, put the dough into your 8x11 pan and press it into the pan, corners and sides.  It will look rather shallow in depth; but, it will rise.  

Take your chocolate chips and sprinkle them on top and lightly press them into the dough.  

Bake for 25-28 minutes.  Bake depending on how soft or not you like your bar cookies.  At about 25 minutes you will have nice browned edges with a soft center.  At 28 minutes it will still be soft, just a bit more firm.  

Allow it to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes before slicing into them.  The longer you allow them to cool the better they will taste, which also allows them to firm up without chocolate chips being melted.  

 

Paleo Zucchini Brownie Bread for Willy

This post will be short. 

I made this zucchini brownie bread while I was in Arizona this summer.  It's gluten-free, actually it's grain-free.  In fact, it doesn't rely on nut flours to bake.  I made this and decided the rest should go to my older brother Willy as he couldn't have gluten.  

I have had this recipe sitting in my file to hit publish for a while.  I simply haven't had time, or made time to write and post about it.  

Then, it's way past my bedtime and some how I needed to hit publish just to get it out of my draft box.  I needed to write about missing my older brother.  I want to write about it; but, sometimes it's best to grieve in the way it comes.  


My brother, my only older brother died on August 28th, two weeks ago.  He died horrifically and my heart hurts right now.  I know I'll write more about it; but, for now I offer you this bread.  Zucchini is still prevalent in Bellingham and to bake something simple like this as an expression of love toward someone--do it.  You never know how many days you will get with the ones you love.


Paleo Zucchini Brownie Bread

Ingredients:

1 cup blanched almond butter

1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini

2 eggs, large

1/4 cup raw honey

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup cocoa

1/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

Line a standard loaf baking pan with parchment paper, ensuring it goes into each crevice of the pan.

In a bowl of an electric mixer, combine the almond butter, baking soda, salt and cinnamon till thoroughly mixed.  Add the eggs and mix, scraping down the sides.  Next, add the honey, apple cider vinegar & vanilla and mix for 30 seconds.  Add the cocoa and mix while scraping down the sides.  Next, add the zucchini and mix through out.  If adding chocolate chips, add them now.  

Pour into prepared baking pan and bake for 40-45 minutes.  This will bake much more quickly than your typical loaf bread.  Allow it to cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing from pan.  Remove it from pan with parchment paper still sticking to it's sides and allow to cool on wire rack for an additional 5-7 minutes.

Remove the parchment paper and slice into it.

 

Grain & Dairy Free Peach-Blueberry Cobbler

It's still officially summer here, which means the girls have not returned to school, and we are still enjoying the peak of seasonal bounty in the form of blueberries and peaches.  I have to say when I see others IG accounts boasting of peaches in early July my heart sings a sad song.  That is until August comes here, when it's peaches in smoothies, peaches in pies, and peach juice dribbling down my chin.  

Add to that the ever present tang and sweetness culminated in a perfect, straight from the bush blueberry.  The girls and I went to Ben's work last Friday, where there are blueberry bushes to eat from.  Needless to say, we enjoyed a few ourselves.  

It reminded me how eating fruit should be.  The taste is unadulterated and waiting out in the winter months to eat to my hearts content in the summer months is sure worth it.  

Try this simple grain free, dairy free and refined sugar free cobbler.  It's not overly sweet, and perfect for dessert to a morning treat.  

Grain & Dairy Free Peach-Blueberry Cobbler (printable recipe)

Ingredients:

Filling:

1 pint blueberries

5-6 peaches, peeled and cut into slices

1/3 cup maple syrup

1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

juice from half of a lemon

2 Tb arrowroot powder

Crust:

2 cups blanched almond flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup arrowroot powder

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup coconut sugar

1 egg

Plus another egg for a wash

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375.

In a large bowl, combine blueberries and peaches.  Add maple syrup, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, lemon juice and gently mix.  Sprinkle the arrowroot powder over and gently mix in.  Allow to sit for 10-30 minutes.

In another large bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, and arrowroot powder till it is thoroughly disbursed.  Add the coconut sugar and mix throughout.  With a fork or pastry blender, combine the coconut oil into the dry ingredients.  Once the coconut oil is broken down into small pea size pieces, add the beaten up egg to the crust.  Combine until the dough is wet.  

In a 9x9 pan add the filling.  Set it aside.

With your hands, form the dough into patties or discs.  They should measure roughly 1/8 to 1/4 inch in height.  You should be able to make six discs of dough.  Place each disc on top of the filling so as to cover the entire surface. Try your best to not overlap them.

Take your last egg and lightly beat it.  With a pastry brush, brush the tops of the dough.  Put into the oven to bake for 30 minutes.  

Allow it to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  

***The maple syrup in the filling is adjustable.  For less sweet, only use 1/4 cup.  For more sweet, use 1/2 cup.  

***This pairs lovely with full fat plain yogurt as well.