>> Monday, March 1, 2010
This weekend I set out on a challenge like no other. I created one of my favorite candy bars, from scratch, and as vegan-ly as possible. In fact, this recipe IS vegan. The only thing I did that wasn't is be lazy. I had a ton of non-vegan semi-sweet chips around my house . . . and made this treat for a non-vegan crowd, but if you choose simply to use the Sunspire Chips I love so much, you -- too -- can enjoy this chocolate peanut butter madness vegan.
This recipe is difficult and very time consuming. Definitely one to save for weekends. And even then, you may want to enlist some help. Many of my directions are foggy. You need to figure out what's best for you . . . because by the end of it, I was covered head to toe in chocolate. There must be an easier, cleaner way :)
However, the end result is undeniably fantastic. And I'd say the bars were a big hit. Without even knowing, people said "Oh, these are these homemade twix?" To me, that meant the cookie was crispy enough, the chocolate coating wasn't too thick or lumpy, and the peanut butter wasn't too bland.
For the crispy chocolate cookie you'll need . . .
- 1-1/4 cup wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup sugar (I used Sugar in the Raw)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (plus 2 tablespoons) Earth Balance (I ended up not having enough, so I used half EB and half coconut oil)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
NOTE: You may want to half this recipe because I ended up using only half of the resulting cookies. The rest we've been eating as wafers, and they're really good. But the peanut butter and chocolate recipes below will only make about 30 homemade twix. You'll have at least 20 extra cookies. But I messed up some of mine, so it was good I had the extra.
Method . . .
- Sift together mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt, and sugar in a medium-sized bowl.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the Earth Balance and applesauce -- until fluffy. Add the dry ingredients and mix until it forms a dry dough (it will not stick together extremely well unless you form it . . . but it shouldn't be too crumbly -- if it is, add -- 1 tablespoon at a time -- canola oil until it comes together easily when formed with your hands).
- Take rounded teaspoons of batter and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet approximately 2 inches apart.
- Form dough into twix-sized pieces. About 4 inches by 1/2 inch (or so).
- Bake for 10 minutes at 375 F (if you have to use a mixture of Earth Balance and coconut oil, lower your oven temp to 350 degrees F and bake for 15 to 20 minutes).
- Set on a rack to cool for 15 minutes. If your cookies are too wide, you can cut them in half length-wise (I ended up doing this when mine came out an inch wide).
- Then return to oven until crispy. Another 10 to 15 minutes or so. Remove from oven and put on cooling rack in your refrigerator until cooled completely.
For the peanut butter filling you'll need . . .
- 1/3 cup crushed graham crackers
- 3/4 cup natural peanut butter
- 3/4 cup confectioners sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
Method . . .
- Mix together all ingredients.
- Set aside until your cookies are cooled.
- All you do is put about a teaspoon to 2 teaspoon amount of peanut butter on each cookie. I found it was easy to just roll it into a snake shape with my hands and place/press on to stick.
For the chocolate coating you'll need . . .
- 1 bag of good quality semi-sweet chocolate chips (to make it vegan, use Sunspire)
- 3 teaspoons agave nectar
Method . . . (and putting it all together)
- Make sure you're doing this step AFTER you've already got your peanut butter on your cookies. The chocolate will cool relatively fast, so you don't want it to get stiff.
- Prepare cookie sheets with some wax paper on 'em. This will help the end result "Twix" from sticking when it's a hot chocolate mess. Yes, that's a Christian Siriano reference.
- In a small microwave safe bowl, put in your chips and agave.
- Microwave on high for 30 seconds, stir, and then another 30 seconds until you can stir the mixture smooth. You may also use a double-boiler for this part. Just melt the chocolate.
- Take one cookie topped with peanut butter and spoon over it a heaping tablespoon of the hot chocolate use your hands (you may want to wear some food-grade rubber gloves) to carefully coat the whole bar in chocolate. This part is difficult, but don't be discouraged. Like with your first kiss, it'll seem intimidating, but you'll know what to do in the moment.
- Put 'em in the refrigerator for an hour or two -- until the chocolate is hard again.
BUT today is Stephen's 26th birthday! In fact, as I type this, Stephen was born 26 years ago (at about ten to 8, he says). So, we'll definitely be cooking up a storm to celebrate. And, of course, even though we don't have TV . . . we'll be anxiously waiting to hear Jake's choice tonight. Tenley or Vienna? I think we already know the answer, and it makes us sad.
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