Chocolate Chunk Nut Butter Blondies (with Teff Flour)

chocolate chunk nut butter blondies with teff flour

Are you enamored with teff flour yet? I am! Teff flour is my new baking darling. Making cookies? Teff flour. Making brownies? Teff flour. Making snack bars? Heck, yes, teff flour!

Even the Globe and Mail is publishing full page articles extolling the virtues of teff, and when the Globe and Mail gets on board, you know teff is making it mainstream. According to the Globe, teff is great for iron, protein, and fibre. Particularly of note, teff’s fibre comprises a lot of resistant starch, a particular kind of starch that resists digestion in your small intestine. This starch makes it into your large intestine and is turned, by the bacteria there, into good stuff for your body (basically it feeds the bacteria and they turn it into short-chain fatty acids). All very positive.

Teff has been called the endurance grain, the stamina grain, the energy grain, and more. Or maybe those are names I’ve made up. Either way, consensus is that teff should be in your diet prontissimo.

chocolate chunk nut butter blondies with teff flour

So let’s talk blondie bars. Also, don’t get too excited, but I’m going to be trying teff BROWNIES soon. Yes and yes.

But back to the blondies. These are another very easy intro recipe for teff. Easy to make gluten-free, simple ingredients, and really pretty forgiving. You can’t go wrong with nut butter and chocolate chunks in anything. You can’t teff this up.

The original recipe is from Vegan Richa; I just upped the teff factor. I took them to the office for a farewell party and my sister called them “the best bars ever”. They would make an awesome lunch snack (we are in the back to school zone) or a tasty and healthy-ish option for a work snack shindig.

Enjoy! Also I promise I’ll stop with the teff play on words very soon. I’ve pretty much run out of ideas anyways.

chocolate chunk nut butter blondies with teff flour

Chocolate Chunk Nut Butter Blondies (with Teff Flour)

  • Author: Original recipe from Vegan Richa; tweaks by Backyard Owl
  • Recipe Notes: vegan, gluten-free, oil-free

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablepoons non-dairy milk
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 tablepoon flax seed meal or ground chia
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3/4 cup almond butter or peanut butter or other smooth nut butter (I used a mix of almond and peanut)
  • 1/2 cup teff flour
  • 1/4 cup  + 2 tablespoons coconut flour (or more teff, if you don’t have coconut flour)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup gluten-free/dairy-free chocolate chunks

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together milk, flax/chia, maple syrup, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
  3. Stir in nut butter until completely combined.
  4. In a separate bowl medium-sized bowl, whisk together teff and coconut flours, cornstarch, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until well-combined (without, you know, stirring the thing to oblivion).
  6. Spread batter into a (very lightly) greased 8×8 pan and bake for 18-25 minutes, depending on your oven’s hotness. They should pull away from the edges of the pan just slightly and look dry on top.

© Backyard Owl


Tender Teff Peanut Butter Shortbread Cookies

tender teff peanut butter cookies

Wow, that title is a mouthful.

But then again, so are these cookies.

In keeping with the theme of using gluten-free flours in recipes that make them shine, these simple cookies take teff flour and let it sing. And they are certainly easy to make, straightforward, and made with simple clean ingredients.

Tender Teff Peanut Butter cookies require just six ingredients (or eight, if you add the raisins and chocolate chips and I definitely recommend that you do), and, while I haven’t tried them this way, I suspect they would be equally delicious with almond butter. Maybe even cashew butter or sunflower seed butter, if you are feeling particularly bold and wild.

tender teff peanut butter cookies

They’re tender, sweet but not too sweet, and just the right amount of crumbly. Gluten-free cookies are great like that. The whole goal of shortbread is to be free of gluten – it’s what gives shortbread that classic sandy texture. Gluten-free and shortbread are like two peas in a pod. And since lots of gluten-free baking turns out a bit crumbly/sandy anyways, why not say it was what you were aiming for in the first place?

Quite frankly, the first time I made these I ate too many of them. Plus, I put chocolate chips in them AND made those little cross hatching marks on them that make peanut butter cookies so much cuter. What’s a gal to do?

tender teff peanut butter cookiestender teff peanut butter cookies

But out of that snacking experience was born the freezer test. I usually bake things, eat a few from the oven, and freeze all the rest. It’s a system that works for me. These cookies freeze really nicely. Keep that in mind if you want to make a larger batch. The recipe is so simple it can be halved, doubled, etc.

So all hail teff flour! And nut butter. And whatever else you want to add. Hey-oh!

For more glorious teff options, try teff banana chocoate chip muffins.

Tender Teff Peanut Butter Shortbread Cookies

  • Author: Backyard Owl tweaks on this original recipe from Bob’s Red Mill
  • Recipe notes: vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, naturally-sweetened

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups teff flour
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon himilayan pink salt or sea salt
  • optional: 1/2 cup chocolate chips and/or 1/2 cup raisins

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a small saucepan and over low heat, whisk together peanut butter, coconut oil, and maple syrup, just until combined.
  3. Stir in vanilla.
  4. Take off heat and let cool for a minute or two
  5. Stir in teff flour and salt and mix until combined.
  6. Stir in raisins and/or chocolate chips, if using.
  7. Scoop by the spoonful and round into balls, before placing on a baking sheet.
  8. Cross hatch and flatten the cookie dough using a fork – this is where we get that classic peanut butter cookie look.
  9. Bake for 13-15 minutes, depending on size, and let cool.
  10. Enjoy!

© Backyard Owl


Cookie Dough Protein Bars with Cashews and Dark Chocolate (v, gf)

cookie dough protein bars with cashews and dark chocolate

I was at my local natural foods store a few weeks back and they were sampling some delicious cookie dough protein bites. The recipe had all features I enjoy in a homemade protein bar – nut-based, naturally-sweetened, quality vegan protein, and dark chocolate – but I wanted to make my own version, because, well, that’s what we recipe testers do. We tinker. We tweak. We tamper.

I also wanted to mix up the flavours just a little bit more. I find commercial vegan protein powders, while awesome, are often too sweet, especially when the sweetener is stevia. To balance out the sweetness, I’ve added beautiful himalayan pink salt to my recipe, which gives the bars a more sweet/savoury balance (and adds a few additional trace minerals to the mix, which is never a bad thing).

Now, I’m not going to lie: photographing brown dough bars is no easy feat. But don’t judge these bars by their subdued appearance. They are delicious. They are so good that I daresay you could roll them in cocoa powder and call them truffles and serve them for dessert, and nobody would bat an eye.

cookie dough protein bars with cashews and dark chocolate

I made my bars using a mini-loaf silicone pan – just put about 1/4 cup dough in the pan and flatten and squish until bar-shaped, and then turn out onto a cookie sheet and chill in the fridge. But, you could also make these as little discs in a muffin tin, or as little round balls (is there any way to say that without it sounding inappropriate?).

If you wanted to get entrepreneurial, you could also add shredded coconut to these bars, or perhaps diced dried cranberries or apricots. Try varying the nut butters, or make with an almond or pecan base instead of cashews.

These cookie dough protein bars work beautifully as a healthy yet rich dessert, or, as a snack with some pumpkin seeds and fruit at work. And as a bonus, when someone asks you the question dreaded by all vegans – “where do you get your protein?” – you can say, well, lots of places, but most deliciously from these bars.

cookie dough protein bars with cashews and dark chocolateBackyard Owl’s Cookie Dough Protein Bars with Cashews and Dark Chocolate

  • Author: Backyard Owl
  • Recipe Notes: gluten-free, vegan, naturally-sweetened, protein-filled

 Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 10 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 1/2 scoops of your favourite chocolate protein powder (I used Genuine Health Vegan Protein in chocolate) – should be about 1/2 to 2/3 cup protein powder
  • 1/4 cup nut butter (I used peanut butter)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp himalayan pink salt or sea salt
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. Over low heat, warm nut butter and coconut oil until coconut oil is completely melted and everything is nice and liquidy.
  2. Whirl together cashews in a food processor until finely ground.
  3. Add dates a few at a time and blend until dates are fully processed (i.e no large bits remain) and dough is starting to look moist and soft.
  4. Scoop date/cashew mix into a large bowl, and stir in protein powder and sea salt.
  5. Pour coconut oil/nut butter mix over, and stir until well-combined. Dough at this point should be very soft and squishy, and very moldable.
  6. Stir in chocolate chips and give a quick taste test. Depending on your protein powder, you might wish to either add more salt, or alternatively, a bit more protein powder.
  7. Mold dough into preferred shape (individual bars, truffle size bites, etc) or press into a pan (to be later cut into squares).
  8. Chill in the fridge until firm, about 25 minutes.
  9. Bars keep in a tupperware in the fridge for at least a week.

Enjoy!

© 2014 Backyard Owl

 


Chickpea Blondies with Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate (v, gf)

chickpea blondes with peanut butter and dark chocolate

As someone who has greatly extolled the virtues and deliciousness of the black bean brownie, I’m sorry to report that I had to read it in a magazine before making the connection that if black beans made brownies, chickpeas could make blondies.

Once that lightbulb went on, I felt rather foolish for not having thought of it before. The world of baking with beans, strange as it sounds, is actually really full of options – when I saw the recipe for Peanutty Blondie Bars in Alive Magazine, I knew I had to make them.

The blondies are vegan, gluten-free, totally free of flour, contain dark chocolate, and are naturally-sweetened. Check, check, and check. And check and check. I mean, what more can you ask for in a snack recipe?

chickpea blondies with peanut butter and dark chocolate

I’ve chosen to make my blondies in a muffin tin because I think it makes for a neater dessert in the end, and it makes the blondies look like cute, short cupcakes, and quite frankly, everybody loves things shaped like cupcakes. Having also made the recipe as squares, I found they held together better when made in the muffin tin, which is kind of important if you want to pack these in a kid’s lunch or for that matter, in your own lunch.

So there you have it – tender, moist, tasty, and packed with peanut butter, dark chocolate, and shredded coconut. And made of chickpeas.

Enjoy while mumbling to yourself, ‘I can’t believe these are made of beans.’ Feed them to your friends and watch them do the same. All hail the garbanzo.

chickpea blondies with peanut butter and dark chocolate

Chickpea Blondies with Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate

  • Author: Alive Magazine (view original recipe for Peanutty Blondie Bars here)
  • Recipe Notes: vegan, gluten-free, naturally-sweetened, high in fibre, high in protein
  • Yield: 12 blondies

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups (cooked) chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup vegan dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Whirl chickpeas, maple syrup, and vanilla in a food processor until very smooth.
  3. Scoop into a large bowl, and stir in peanut butter, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt.
  4. When well-mixed, stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Divide batter between 12 muffin cups (ungreased, unless your muffin tin is a known ‘sticking’ offender).
  6. Sprinkle with shredded coconut.
  7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until blondies are firm and coconut is lightly browned.
  8. Let cool, then remove from muffin tins and store in an airtight container, either in the fridge or freezer.

© 2014 Backyard Owl