mocha oreos

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Lately I’ve been digging allllll sorts of healthy treats, like these chocolate chia balls I made for my last post and these peanut butter protein bites from Ambitious Kitchen. Balls/bites are the bomb and in case you didn’t notice, all of these things include chocolate. I ain’t sorry. This recipe isn’t really THAT healthy, but it does include chocolate. I snuck some spelt flour and coconut sugar in there so you can feel a little bit better about it.

Also, I need to document the fact that Dan legit said he liked the vegan nachos I made for the last Packer game more than the buffalo chicken wings I let him buy at the store. They were that good. We made the vegan nacho cheese from Minimalist Baker’s cookbook and just threw alllllll the toppings on: guac, peppers, black beans, refried beans, red onion and cilantro. It was epic. I ate half the pan and I don’t even care. I documented it here.

If you could care less about nachos then 1) you crazy and 2) get ready because now it’s time to talk about oreos.

If you don’t like nachos or oreos then you should really just leave this page right now. I’m not kidding.

Moving on: if you’re a reader of my blog then you know I’m obsessed with two things:

  1. coffee / caffeine
  2. chocolate

Okay, maybe peanut butter too but you get the picture.  I love all things coffee and all things chocolate and I certainly don’t discriminate. Unless it’s decaf. No one likes that crap.

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After watching the news last week I decided I needed a good stress baking session. Honestly, I’ve been so focused on work recently and haven’t spent enough time doing recipe development that I almost forgot how much I just love to bake for no reason. Cooking dinner is great and all but it can feel more like a chore on occasion. Baking coffee oreos because why the hell not? Definitely not stressful.

And finally I nailed a thick-ass (sorry, Grandma) chocolate frosting recipe that is outtah this world. It’s probably the only one I will ever use again for recipes that require thick, creamy ganache that is also by the way dairy free (huzzzah!).

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What else is new over here? Well for one I finally went to the chiropractor for the first time in about a year. I originally went for my plantar fasciitis because this specific chiropractor does something called Graston where they help break up the scar tissue. FULL DISCLAIMER that I am not a health care professional so don’t get too upset about my rather poor explanation of that. One thing I know for sure, it hurts like a mother effer. He spent the rest of the time doing some soft tissue work and literally laughed at how bad my hip flexor mobility is, laughed you guys. Yeppp, I’m that person who moves like an old person even though they are 24 years old.

I also started a new skin care dealio that I can’t wait to share along with my DIY dry shampoo recipe!

Okay what the heck are you waiting for? Go make these cookies.


mocha oreos

Author: Dana Zychowski, inspired by Molly Yeh’s Lindsay Lohan Sandwich Cookies from MOTR

Active Time:           Total Time: 

1 hour                         2 hours

Servings: 15-16 cookies

Recipe Type: Snack, Dessert

Ingredients:

for the cookies

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup spelt flour *
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 TBSP black cocoa ** 
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup dairy free milk
  • 2 TBSP freshly ground espresso or coffee beans
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

for the filling

  • 2 cups organic powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup dairy free chocolate, chopped or chips
  • 3-4 TBSP non dairy milk

Directions: 

For the cookies, start by preheating the oven to 325 deg F. In a medium sized bowl, combine flour, cocoa, coffee grounds and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside. In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter until it is nice and fluffy. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and mix again for a few extra minutes on high speed. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add milk and mix to combine. Next, add the flour mixture in 1/4 cup increments until combined. Remove the dough from the mixture and use your hands to work in any extra crumbles.

Split dough in half, rolling and cutting out one half at a time. On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll the dough out until it’s about 1/4″ thick. Use circular cookie cutter (or something like a jar lid!) to cut out circles of dough. Gather “scraps”, roll out, cut dough, and repeat until you’ve used up all your dough. Bake cookies for about 16-18, or until the tops aren’t shiny. For a crunchier cookie, bake for up to 20 minutes but I recommend 18 because they are still nice and soft. Allow to cool on the pan for a few minute before transferring to a cooling rack. Repeat with the second half of dough and allow cookies to cool completely before filling.

For the filling, place powdered sugar in a stand mixer bowl with the whisk attachment. Melt 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips (or chunks, or chopped up chocolate bar) in the microwave or using a double boiler. With the mixer on medium speed, add the melted chocolate. Don’t be surprised if it doesn’t mix until you add the milk. Increase the mixer speed to high, and add 2-3 TBSP of non dairy milk. This is where it will start to thicken up. You want it to be thick (and dreamy) but something that is still spreadable. Add the remaining TBSP of milk if needed.

Place a plastic bag inside a wide mouthed jar and fold edges over the mouth of the jar. Using a spatula, scoop the frosting into the bag. Remove the bag from the jar and use a scissors to cut a triangle at one end (tada, lazy man’s piping back). You can also use a real piping back if you want. Flip all the cookies onto their tops and pipe half of them with a little mountain of frosting. Quickly place a cookie without frosting on the top and press down gently. Once all the cookies are filled, place them in an air tight container for up to one week. I like to add a piece of bread or marshmallows to keep them soft! If you are freezing these cookies for a future event, freeze only the cookie portion and fill with frosting before serving.

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Side notes:

*if you don’t have spelt flour any you can sub with whole wheat or all purpose flour

**if you don’t have black cocoa then you’re crazy but you can add an extra 1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder

peanut butter date bombs

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HAPPY 2016 2017! For the record, I was definitely the kid that accidentally wrote last year’s date at the top of my papers all the way through mid February.

I know I started the first post of 2016 with some memories and blah blah blah but I decided I’m not going to bore you with that this time around. I’m not one for making resolutions – but like your classic type A engineer, I like to be more “goal oriented” and set “goals”.

Funny story, one time in college I printed like 25 resumes on nice fancy paper for the career fair that said I was a team “orientated” person. Luckily I caught it before I handed them out to people I thought would want to hire me. Never said I could spell, folks.

I would say my one “blog” goal for 2017 is to try and take better food photos for le blog in order to drive more web traffic to Dana’s Edible Affair. ‘Cause if no one sees it, then no ones reading it. Duh. Also I might try to actually mail my Christmas presents in time so they get to my friends like.. before Christmas (or at least in the same year). SORRY GUYS.

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Enough about me, what were some of your resolutions? Maybe you resolved to eat a bit healthier in the new year? Maybe you told yourself you can’t have this and you can’t have that. Well, I’m here to tell you that you can have this and you can have that, just do so in moderation. Depriving yourself of things you want is never good in the long run, and can often lead to over indulgence that leaves you feeling crummy and bad about yourself.

And nobody needs that! I crave chocolate and sweets alllll the time, especially after dinner. Recently I’ve been munching on Larabar bites which are great because they are naturally sweet and although they do come in a package, I consider them minimally processed because I can make something similar in my food processor.

I’m running out of Larabar bites, so I made these peanut butter date bombs and they are AWESOME. For one, they were very easy to make. Second, they took me like 20 minutes to make. Third, they have peanut butter and chocolate in them so what more do you need? You can read more about my chocolate/nut butter obsession here if you’re curious.

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I got the inspiration for these a while back when I saw dates filled with tahini on Minimalist Baker’s Instagram story. I know.. I sound like a mega millennial over here. They looked super simple and super tasty (AKA everything on Minimalist Baker’s blog).

Anyways – I used Trader Joe’s Delget Noor Dates, but you can use any pitted dates for this recipe. Just make sure you save yourself the chore of pitting them yourself because that sounds messy and like more work than it needs to be. If you buy dates that are not pitted then this will take you a lot longer to make and I can’t be blamed for that. Got it?

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Next, grab your favorite peanut butter (or any nut butter). Using a knife, fill the date with about 1/2 tsp of nut butter.. or however much will fit. The reason I liked the Trader Joe’s dates is because all I had to do was smoosh them a little between my thumb and index finger and they spilt open making a PERFECT spot for peanut butter to fit. If that doesn’t work for you, take a sharp knife and cut a slit down one side of the date to help you fill them.

easy-peanut-butter-date-bombs

After that, you just pop these in the freezer for 5-10 minutes while you’re melting some chocolate. You dunk the peanut butter filled dates in the chocolate, pop ’em in the freezer for another 5 minutes to set and that’s it. Feel free to sprinkle them with a little bit of sea salt before placing them in the freezer. I like to store these in the fridge after they have set because sometimes frozen peanut butter doesn’t always work out. The best part is you can make a few for a quick treat or a dozen, and the prep is pretty much the same.

Hope you guys enjoy this recipe!


peanut butter date bombs

Author: Dana Zychowski

Active Time:           Total Time: 

10 minutes                20 minutes

Servings: 18 date bites

Recipe Type: Dessert, Snack

 

Ingredients: 

  • 18 pitted dates
  • 3-4 TBSP peanut butter, or any nut butter of your choosing
  • 2 oz quality dark chocolate chopped into pieces, or about 1/3 cup chocolate chips

Directions: 

Line a cookie sheet with a piece of parchment or wax paper and set aside. Placing a date in between your thumb and index finger, apply slight pressure until it splits open from end to end. If this does not happen, you can use a paring knife to cut a slit lengthwise on the top half of your date. Try to find pitted dates at the store, else you will need to remove all the pits before filling them while also trying to keep some of the dates structural integrity (it’s not easy).

Use a knife to fill the date with about 1/2 tsp of peanut butter, or however much will fit. Close the date up and place on your baking sheet. You can remove some of the excess peanut butter that spills out with the side of your knife or your finger. If there is some left over on the outside, don’t worry about it as it will harden in the freezer before you coat it with chocolate. Once you’ve filled all your dates, place them in the freezer for about 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt 2 oz quality dark chocolate in the microwave or using a double boiler. I like to heat the chocolate in 30 second increments, stirring to combine each time. Once the chocolate is about 75% melted, I will stir the mixture until it melts entirely. This technique helps to prevent the chocolate from overheating and potentially blooming or scorching.

Remove your dates from the freezer. At this point you can either dunk the dates about half way in the chocolate, or use a fork to coat them in the melted chocolate. I did both methods and enjoyed the bites that were entirely covered in chocolate. I did not find it to be overly sweet for either method. Let any excess chocolate drip for a moment from the date and then place back on the cookie sheet. If you would like, add a small sprinkle of sea salt before placing the dates in the freezer for an additional 5 minutes to help them set.

Store dates in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks or freezer for up to two months. Place a piece of parchment paper in between layers to keep the chocolate from sticking and allow to thaw slightly before eating if you store them in the freezer. Enjoy!

classic gingerbread

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Well, it’s effing freezing outside. Apparently the polar vortex is back, just hoping it doesn’t stay all winter like .. 2013? I’m trying to remember what year every conversation with my dad was about how many days they had below “XX degree” weather. I can’t handle another winter where all we talk about is how cold it is.

I will say that Snapchat’s “Polar Vortex” story is pretty hilarious. Meanwhile, my friends in California are complaining that it’s 40 degrees. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE.  Continue reading

holiday cookie guide

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Remember last year when I posted that holiday cookie guide with a peanut butter recipe? No? Well now that I look back I’m like wtf was I thinking? Peanut butter and cookies are not the same thing. Wanna read about it? Well, you can go here and here (for part two) but I’m also gonna recap (and repeat) some of the things I’ve learned but also think are super important for cranking out the most cookies for your cookie tins in the least amount of time.

Sound efficient? I’m an engineer.  Continue reading

cinnamon rolls

frostedrolls

Yep.

I went there. Did I manage to eat 1/3 of this pan over the course of the last three days? Also yep.

Ooey, gooey, classic cinnamon rolls just in time for all your holiday gatherings. Or you know, for you and your couch on a snowy weekend with Netflix and cozy socks. If you’re enjoying them with your family over the holidays, then maybe add some boozy coffee or hot chocolate to help you get through it. As my little sister says, “Just gonna cut the edge with some of this sparkling apple juice.” She’s fourteen.

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I had every intention of making these quick rise cinnamon rolls that you could whip up in an hour on Christmas morning. That intention was also quickly diverted by the fact that I did not have any instant yeast packets in my pantry. Thus, I bring you classic cinnamon rolls. Ta-dah.  Continue reading

bourbon banana cake with vanilla buttercream

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Creme de la creme.

Don’t ask me why but the other night I said that and started singing the TI song. You know, this one. While that’s pretty embarrassing, you can just listen to like the first 5 seconds and then close the tab.

I finally got The Vanilla Bean Baking Book in the mail and have spent a lot of time just paging through the book and scrolling through Sarah’s blog. There’s something about it that forces you to admire the craftsmanship that goes into a baked good. I’m not talking quick bread or like.. a cookie here. I’m talking about pastry baking. I mean – I can’t even get my pie crust to look nice (which is why I’m #teamcake) so I’m amazed at some of the “simple” things that she makes so beautiful. While I was scrolling through her blog, I came across this banana layer cake and was inspired to whip something similar up last weekend. By “inspired” I really mean that we have like 10 frozen bananas in our freezer and I have to stop hoarding them. Continue reading

coconut sugar cupcakes with caramel buttercream frosting

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I’m not going to lie, that it feels a little silly to be posting about cupcakes and frosting in lieu of this year’s election. Today I’m sharing my post in order to #bakeamericacakeagain along with Sarah Kieffer from The Vanilla Bean Blog. Head on over to order her cookbook that comes out this week!

What I will say, is that this year – your vote is more important than ever. So if you’re reading this post and it is still November 8th, 2016 and you HAVEN’T voted yet, then you should slam your laptop shut and head over to your voting location ASAP and VOTE.  Continue reading

easy fall muesli

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I only recently started eating muesli after our family trip to Europe this summer. I’m not really surprised that I liked it based on my previous college obsession with overnight oats. If you don’t know what muesli is, it’s essentially a mix of rolled oats, dried fruit, nuts, and a bit of spice that you mix with milk or yogurt for an easy, delicious, and stress free breakfast.

Are you sold yet? Continue reading