Tag Archives: dessert

Peanut Butter Goji Berry Brownies

**giveaway is officially closed.  thanks to all for entering!**

Imagine rich cocoa powder + Peanut Butter and Co.’s Dark Chocolate Dreams baked into gooey perfection and topped with dried goji berries.  It may sound like a strange combo, but believe me, it works.  The Yum Squad was tasked to participate in a #mysteryingredient challenge in honor of National Peanut Month, and so Peanut Butter Goji Berry Brownies were born.

YumSquad-Banner-MysteryIngredient-Goji-SquareWhen I found out the dried goji berries were my mystery ingredient, I was beyond excited.  I happen to LOVE goji berries and use them in smoothies, granola, healthy cookies and even just eat them out of the bag as a snack.  I knew I wanted to do something sweet with the goji berries since they are on the tart side, and decided peanut butter brownies was the way to go.

goji berry brownies PINI made these peanut butter goji berry brownies for our family’s annual Academy Awards viewing party and they were a huge hit!  Even with my grandmother, who asked what “those red things were.”  The key to this recipe is to add the goji berries when the brownies are practically done baking and on the gooey side, otherwise they will turn brown and don’t look nearly as appetizing.

peanut butter and co and goji berriesI used Dark Chocolate Dreams as my base peanut butter for these brownies, but you could also use Smooth Operator, White Chocolate Wonderful, The Bee’s Knees or even Crunch Time for some added texture.  The possibilities are endless.

Peanut Butter Goji Berry Brownies (adapted from Martha Stewart)


  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, chopped into pieces
  • 2 additional tablespoons of butter (to be used for the filling)
  • 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Guittard)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate dreams peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup goji berries


Preheat your oven to 350F.  Line an 8 inch square baking pan with either parchment paper or grease with butter.

Take your 2 tablespoons of butter, chocolate chips and peanut butter and melt in a saucepan over low heat.  Once the mixture has melted, set aside to cool

In a large mixing bowl whisk your flour, salt, baking powder, unsweetened cocoa powder and sugar together.  Add your eggs and vanilla and continue to whisk until the batter is well blended.

In a separate saucepan, melt your 8 tablespoons of butter and pour into the dry mixture.  Gently fold in your peanut butter mixture and continue to mix until the batter is nice and thick.

goji berry brownie mixPour your batter into your baking dish and place in the oven for 40 minutes.  At the 40 minute mark, sprinkle your goji berries on top and continue to bake for another 5 minutes, or until the brownies are nice and gooey in the center.

Remove from the oven and let cool before slicing into squares.  Eat and enjoy!

peanut butter goji berry brownies closeOk now onto the fun stuff.  One lucky winner will win their own Peanut Butter and Co. Prize Pack to create their own delicious pb creation!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 *Open to U.S. residents only.  Contest ends 3/22/15 at 12:00 AM PT.

Thanks to the team at Peanut Butter and Co. for sponsoring this giveaway!

Frozen Pumpkin Bites

A few weeks ago when we had our big heat wave, I was in the mood for something with pumpkin but didn’t feel like turning the oven on.  Since all I wanted to do was eat ice cream to help beat the heat, I decided that making some healthy frozen pumpkin bites would be a nice way to get a cool treat without a lot of sugar.

Frozen Pumpkin Bites

These frozen pumpkin bites are made with canned pumpkin, chia seeds, a variety of nuts and cinnamon.  That’s it.  They definitely aren’t sweet at all, but I think adding a tbsp of maple syrup or honey would give them some nice flavor.

The great thing about these bites is that they are so versatile!  You can swap in nuts and seeds of your choice, and even add some chocolate chips if you are feeling extra fancy (which I plan on doing for my next batch).

Frozen Pumpkin Bites bowlWhether you are in a heat wave or not, you’ll definitely want to add these frozen pumpkin bites to your snack rotation.

Frozen Pumpkin Bites (makes 8 balls)


1/2 cup canned pumpkin

1/4 cup shelled pistachios

1/4 cup silvered almonds

1/4 cup pepitas

2 tbsp chia seeds

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp ginger

1/2 cup water

pinch of salt


Place all of your ingredients in a food processor.  Pulse until the nuts and seeds are chopped.  If you don’t have a food processor you can chop the ingredients by hand as well.

Roll your mixture into balls and place on a baking tray lined with parchment.  Place in the freezer for 1-2 hours, or until the balls are nice and firm.  You can also place the balls in the fridge, just let them chill longer.

Frozen Pumpkin Bites close up

Eat and enjoy!  The perfect frozen pumpkin snack.

Ginger Tea Cake

A couple of years ago when I first began my foray into grain-free baking, I made this ginger cake.  And it was good.  Since the Englishman and I have a tradition of making cakes for each other on our birthdays, I decided to make it again.  But then I read Molly Wizenberg’s ginger cake recipe with caramelized pears in her book, A Homemade Life, and decided to create my own version of a ginger tea cake with pears. If you are not really into baking, you can go to your favorite bakery and get it customized, get started now!

Ginger Tea Cake Slices Can we talk about Molly Wizenberg for a second?  I read her second book, Delancey, on our flight home from Hawaii and as soon as I finished I turned to my husband and declared that I wanted to eat pizza, move to Seattle, and open our own pizzeria.  His reaction was a bit of shock and amusement and agreed to the eat pizza part, but wasn’t too sold on opening our own pizzeria.  In all seriousness, if you haven’t read Molly’s books yet just do it.  They are full of great recipes and will leave you hungry and wanting more.  And now I’ll stop fangirling about Molly Wizenberg.

So back to the ginger tea cake.  I call it a tea cake because it’s a bit lighter and isn’t overly sweet and would be the perfect thing to enjoy with an afternoon cup of tea.  And since I am married to someone who is English, I knew he would appreciate the tea cake gesture.

Ginger Tea Cake Candied GingerThis cake is sweetened with some candied ginger I got in the bulk bins at Sprouts and a couple of tablespoons of honey.  The Englishman is a huge molasses fan, so the molasses gives this cake its rich dark color.

Instead of using all-purpose flour I used spelt because I love the nutty taste spelt adds to baked goods.  If you haven’t baked with spelt yet I highly recommend it!

For the pears, I poached them instead of caramelizing them in a small sauce pan with whiskey, butter, cinnamon and a touch of sugar and they were still delicious.  I think next time I will try the caramelized version Molly has on her blog.

Ginger Tea Cake Poached PearsThis is by no means a “traditional birthday cake,” but the Englishman still loved it and so will you!

Ginger Tea Cake (adapted from Orangette)

Ingredients for the Cake:

1 cup spelt flour

1 egg

4 tbsp melted butter

2 tbsp honey

1/4 cup candied ginger, chopped (fresh ginger would work too!)

1/4 cup molasses

2 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 tsp ginger powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

For the Pears:

1/4 cup dry Irish Whiskey (I used Red Breast)

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp butter

1 tbsp granulated sugar

2 tbsp water


Preheat your oven to 350F.  Line a cake pan with parchment paper.

Chop your candied ginger into small pieces and set aside.

Ginger Tea Cake Chopped GingerIn a small mixing bowl, add your spelt flour, ginger powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda.  Mix well and set aside.

Melt your butter and add to a larger mixing bowl.  Add your molasses, egg, honey, almond milk and vanilla and mix well.  Gently fold in your dry ingredients and continue to mix.  I used my Kitchen Aid mixer for this, but a little elbow grease and a wooden spoon will also do the trick.

Add your chopped ginger and continue to mix until the ginger pieces are well combined.  Pour your cake batter into your pan and place in the oven.  Bake for 17-20 minutes or until the cake is firm in the center.

While your cake is baking, cut your pears into thin slices and add to a saucepan along with your whiskey, cinnamon, butter, water and sugar.  Place over low heat and let the pears simmer until they are nice and soft.

Remove your cake from the oven and cut into slices.  Add your poached pears on top.

Ginger Tea Cake with Poached PearsThe pears complemented the cake perfectly and the ginger flavor was spot on.  Of course this cake tastes just as good without the pears, and really is the perfect ginger tea cake.

Ginger Tea Cake SlicesThanks to Molly for bringing this lovely recipe into my life.  I’m thinking that ginger tea cake is going to be a regular thing in my house from now on.

Chocolate Pumpkin Chia Pudding

Can we talk about chia pudding for a second?  Apparently it’s been all the rage for quite some time now and I have yet to try it.  I don’t know why because I love chia seeds in bar form and in oatmeal, but for whatever reason I never made pudding even though it is ridiculously easy.  After realizing I had a large bag of chia seeds in my pantry that were dying to be used, I decided to make pumpkin chocolate chia pudding, because it’s been too long since I have made anything with pumpkin.

chocolate pumpkin chia puddingThis pudding is only sweetened with honey.  That’s it.  With the holidays coming up and the abundance of desserts that are bound to come my way, I’m trying to keep the sugar intake in check until Thanksgiving, and then all bets are off.

But it turns out that this pudding was so good I just may need to make it again amongst all the holiday treats.  Maybe add some peppermint to it as well.  ‘Tis the season!

Chocolate Pumpkin Chia Pudding pin

Chocolate Pumpkin Chia Pudding (adapted from this recipe, gf/vegan/paleo)

*Makes 2 servings


1/4 cup chia seeds

1 1/4 cup almond milk

1 tbsp cocoa powder

2 tbsp pumpkin

2 tbsp honey


In a large mixing bowl combine all of your ingredients until well blended.  Place bowl in the fridge and cover for a couple of hours so the pudding has time to solidify.

Chocolate Pumpkin Chia Pudding closeupSpoon pudding into bowls and enjoy!  If you want to add a little decadence to your pudding add some chocolate chips, whipped cream, or even some candy cane bits.  Like I said, ’tis the season!

Chocolate Pumpkin Chia Pudding overhead

What kind of pudding is your favorite?  Growing up, I loved rice and tapioca pudding.