Friday, June 1, 2012

A Clean Milkless Dessert

As many of you know from my constant complaining about it, I am currently not supposed to be eating any dairy. Not just straight milk and cheese, but any products that have milk in them. This can be a little tricky, because lots of processed products have a little in there somewhere.

For savory foods, this has generally just meant hold the cheese, but for desserts it has posed a bigger problem. It seems the majority of my favorite store bought treats have milk involved. Ice cream is obviously out, along with most brownies, puddings, cakes, etc. I am turning to making stuff from scratch now so that I can switch cows milk for almond milk, but this takes a decent chunk of time and forethought. I can't wait until a craving strikes me at 8:000 or 9:00 to get started.

The last couple of nights I have been thinking of some quick treats I can make last minute by turning to my trusty milk free dark chocolate bar from Trader Joes. One nice thing about Trader Joes products is that they list any common allergens their foods contain so I don't have to search the whole label looking for milk.

A few nights ago, after discovering that their gram crackers are milk free, I melted a little chocolate and spread a thin layer over one side of the gram cracker and then popped them into the freezer for a few minutes to harden up. Nom Nom.

Last night, I decided to get even more creative and made homemade peanut butter cups. Jeff said he thought they'd be better if I added a little powdered sugar to the peanut butter first. While I agree this would make them more like Reese Peanut Butter Cups, I liked that these only had two ingredients, only made a coffee cup and a spoon dirty and I think they qualify under the clean eating guidelines because they are dark chocolate. They are certainly rich enough without the sugar, but its up to you. Here is the "recipe."

Down and Dirty Peanut Butter Cups

10 squares of Trader Joes Pound Plus dark chocolate bar
3-4 Tablespoons all natural salted peanut butter

1) Place the chocolate in a coffee mug and microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring between heatings. It should only take three times to be completely melted.

2) Spread thin circles of chocolate onto a plate or cookie sheet covered in parchment paper. Mine were a bit bigger than 50 cent pieces, but you can make them as big or as small as you want your finished cup to be.

3) Drop a little dollop of peanut butter in the middle of the chocolate circle and then cover with another thin layer of chocolate.

4) Place Peanut Butter Cups in the fridge for about a half an hour to harden up and enjoy!

Keep your chocolate layers thin. By the time you add two layers of chocolate and a layer of peanut butter these things can be a bit much if you make them too thick. More is not always better.

This recipe makes six large peanut butter cups and I could only eat two before I'd had my sweets quota for the day.

You could also make these in a cupcake pan if you wanted a more cup like experience. I was in a hurry and was concerned they'd stick to the cupcake papers and make a mess. If you try it and are successful leave me a comment and let me know.