Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Hidden Veggies: Black Bean Brownies

These brownies are a "Healthier" alternative. I say that with great caution as they pack a whopping 8 WW points. But they also pack at least a serving a fruits and veggies, as they are filled with black beans and bananas.....No, I haven't been brain washed, but these are Gluten Free Vegan Brownies.

They were way better than I thought they'd be but I'm going to have to play around to get the consistency right. They are thick and fudgey. So thick and fudgy that they need to be eaten with a fork. No pretty brownie squares for me. Granted I made a few substitutions, regardless in the future I think I will try a recipe that uses flour, to make a more cake like brownie. I served the brownie as a little lump of chocolate, covered in strawberries and a tbl of coolwhip (1 Tbl) - and it was delicious!



  • 1 (15 ounce) cans black beans
  • 3 eggs [used 2 1/2 bananas instead + 1/2tsp baking soda]
  • 3 tablespoons oil [used 3tbl apple sauce instead]
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease 8x8 square baking dish.
  3. Combine the black beans, eggs, oil, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, vanilla, and sugar in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the mixture or mix into the batter.
  4. Bake in a preheated oven until the top is dry and edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 30 minutes.
I was worried about the flavor, and thought that it may need some more chocolate. I used the chocolate ganache from the almond joy cupcakes. [I think they'd be good without it, and it'd knock off 2 WW points]. 

Must Love Peanutbutter

{Another forgotten Christmas Time Post}

The Busy Budgeting Mama


  • About 40 (13-oz. pkg.) REESE'S Peanut Butter Cups Miniatures
  • or 12 (0.8 oz. each) REESE'S Peanut Butter Cups, quartered
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup REESE'S Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Remove wrappers from candies.Line small muffin cups (1-3/4 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups.
  2. Beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, peanut butter, egg and vanilla until light and fluffy in large bowl. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; add to butter mixture, beating until well blended. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; place one in each prepared muffin cup. Do not flatten.
  3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until puffed and lightly browned; remove from oven. Immediately press peanut butter cup or piece onto each cookie.
  4. Cool completely in muffin pan. About 3-1/2 dozen cookies.

Pumpkin Blondies

{Note: this Post was un-posted in the chaos, It's from prior to Christmas}. 

I have a love affair with pumpkin. I just cannot get enough. Come the fall holidays - I stock up. I wish it was easily available all year. These blondies were moist and a delicious. I packed a few into everyone's Christmas goody basket......and second batch for myself. I'm going to have to come up with a healthier version, because I just couldn't get enough. 

Annie’s Eats

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice (I doubled this)
1 tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. salt
16 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1¼ cups granulated sugar (or brown sugar)
1 large egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup white chocolate chips
½ cup chopped, toasted nuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with foil. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt. Stir together and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla until well combined. Mix in the pumpkin puree. With the mixer on low speed add the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Fold in the white chocolate chips (and nuts, if using) with a rubber spatula.

Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake until the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs, about 35-40 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely before cutting.

To serve, lift the cake from the pan using the foil and transfer to a cutting board. Peel off foil and using a sharp knife, cut into 24 squares.

Unfortunate Banana Bread

It's been over 2 1/2 months since I last updated. During that time, I've moved states, started a new job, and celebrated a wedding anniversary. It's been nuts. On top of that I'm on a healthy war path - I've got some poundage to loose.

I love banana bread. My favorite recipe comes from my grandmother, and Hominy Grill. In all the hustle and bustle of moving, I've lost my grandmother's recipe. My family has copies, but I've yet to get it from them. Unfortunately Hominy Grill stopped giving away their recipe for free and I've yet to purchase a book..... Long story short, I had mushy bananas and was craving some Banana Bread and so I googled.

This Banana Bread recipe is highly rated on food.com. It was pretty good. However, I think this is because I used gluten free flour. Unfortunately shortly after I made the bread, I got sick, and stayed sick for about a week...and the lonely banana bread sat in the fridge. When I was finally well I was craving something good - and I got a brilliant idea - Bread Pudding!!

. I used the bread to make Bourbon Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce. (I used this recipe for the Caramel Sauce, as I had none on hand). I know I know - I'm supposed to be eating healthy....but after a week of not eating, I was pretty much starved but It was simply delicious. Definitely hit the spot.

Monday, December 27, 2010

M&M Cookies


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, light or dark, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 tablespoons milk, optional
  • 2 cups Holiday M&M’s


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets, or line with parchment. 
  2. Beat together the butter, sugars, salt, vanilla, baking soda, and baking powder until well combined. Add the egg, beating until smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl, and beat again until smooth.
  3. Add the flour, mixing it in completely. Stir in the milk, then carefully stir in the M&M’s.
  4. Drop the cookies by rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 2″ apart. A cookie scoop works well here.
  5. Bake the cookies for 14 to 16 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown, and a bit darker around the edges.
  6. Remove them from the oven, and cool right on the baking sheets.

{More Pictures after the Break}

Friday, December 24, 2010

Puppy Chow

Holiday Puppy Chow Recipe

  • 9 cups Combination of Corn, Rice, and Wheat Cereal squares (Chex) *For gluten-free, omit the wheat chex.
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla *make sure to check vanilla for gluten-free
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 1-gallon ziplock bags

Place cereal in a large bowl and set aside. In a medium microwavable bowl, add chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter. Microwave on High for 1 minute and stir. Microwave 30 seconds longer and stir mixture until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Pour sauce over cereal and stir until evenly coated. Spoon half of the mixture in each 1-gallon resealable ziplock bag. Add 3/4 cup powdered sugar to each bag, and seal. Shake the bag until everything is coated. Spread on waxed/parchment paper to cool. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

**DISCLAIMER** Although this recipe is called “Puppy Chow” it’s not for canine consumption!!!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Baking Frenzy