Almond Pulp Chocolate Chip Bars

As we have embarked on a few new house projects, painting our rooms have been the easiest to tackle first.  Painting has really provided time for me to unwind while listenening to the podcasts that have been building up in my library. The most recent TED talk on the concept of originality really struck a chord.  They pose the question: when is copying flattery, when is it thievery and when is it sheer genius?  Just because we, as humans, tend to borrow, riff or sample ideas from others does not make us unoriginal- it actually makes us innovators.  It’s a novel concept since we (I) have grown up with the belief that the inherent nature of using someone else’s work is morally wrong.

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Cherry Chocolate Almond Bars

Larabars have become my go-to snack bar because they contain only handful of ingredients, all of which are completely pronounceable,whole foods and come in a variety of flavors.  The only thing is they can get a little expensive so my solution is to make them at home!  I’m always on the hunt for a new or better homemade snack bar and while I’ve made a few versions before, none really wowed me with their flavor.  Except for these.  These are a winner because chocolate, cherries and almonds are the three best friends that I ever did see.

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Dark Chocolate Brownies with a Peanut Butter Swirl

 

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I am a self-proclaimed chocoholic. I will routinely purchase the over-priced pieces of dark chocolate at the checkout line because because I have always been a sucker for those little indulgent splurges.  And it is a splurge paying $1 for a quarter-ounce (??) piece of chocolate but since their sign actually says $0.99, clearly it’s high quality and must be a bargain.  At least that’s my thought process.  But really, (dark) chocolate in any form is a vice of mine.

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Mexican Chocolate Truffles {vegan}

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What can I say?  I’m in love with these little chocolate bites.

The unexpected flavor combination of cinnamon and spice is reminiscent of this avocado mousse I made way back in May.  A trend maybe?  Either way these are quick, easy and a perfect dessert.  Or snack.

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White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies with Vanilla Salt

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If you’re looking for a Christmas cookie, this one is it.  Seriously.  Once I discovered this recipe, there was no going back.  Everyone was going to receive this cookie as a gift and they were going to like it.  Which is why I’ve made it my staple cookie once December rolls around.  Just within the past few days, I have made two batches and still have one more to go.  No joke.  Reason being was that we ended up slowly snacking on the first batch, sneaking a cookie (or two) for breakfast until I realized there weren’t enough left to actually give out as gifts. Oops!

So, the cookie itself includes both peppermint and white chocolate (if you couldn’t tell from the title) and are perfect complements to the intense caramel notes the dough develops while resting in your refrigerator overnight.  Just prior to baking, the unbaked cookies are then garnished with vanilla salt which just takes their deliciousness to the next level.  It’s a killer secret ingredient and not one to leave out–I’ve included the how-to at the end of the page.

Pepp White Choc Cookies 4

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