Sincerely Carolina

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Build Me Up Peanut Butter Cup, Baby

by caroline

Sometimes when I am taking pictures of my latest recipes, I can’t help but take a few nibbles. Today was one of those days …

O.M.G. These things are out of this world!

As you know, yesterday was a long day of traveling, so I had plenty of time on the way home to research a quick recipe I could whip up for Day Six of the Gluten-Free with Rachael Ray Challenge. About halfway between lasagna and waffle sandwiches I fell upon these Peanut-Butter Stuffed Milk Chocolate Cookies. All I can say is I didn’t care if they were quick or easy or if they left me baking until 3 a.m. — I had to have them ASAP.

So, when we arrived home and settled in, I set to work on making this recipe gluten-free and vegan. Here’s what I came up with:

RR’s Ingredients The G-Spot Used
  • 2 1/2 cups (15 ounces) milk chocolate chips
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted btter, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons safflower oil
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
  • _____________
  • 6 Tablespoons of unsweetened, all-natural applesauce
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a medium, microwavable bowl, melt together 2 cups chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons safflower oil on medium power until almost melted, about 1 1/2 minutes; stir just until smooth. (TIP: You can also warm the chocolate and oil in a small pot, on low heat; it is important that you continuously stir.)
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Using an electric mixer, beat together the flaxseed meal, applesauce, granulated sugar and vanilla at high speed until thickened and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in the melted chocolate at medium speed; whisk in the flour mixture. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Refrigerate the dough until firm enough to scoop, but still soft, 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Onto each prepared pan, drop 12 rounded tablespoons of dough 2 inches apart. Bake, switching and rotating the pans halfway through baking, until the cookies appear bubbly and still soft, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely.
  4. In a medium bowl, beat together the remaining 2 tablespoons safflower oil and the peanut butter. Sift in the confectioners’ sugar and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt; beat until fluffy. On the flat side of each of 12 cookies, spread about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the peanut butter mixture; sandwich with the remaining cookies.

Note: This is a gluten-free, vegan recipe. (If you have allergies or food sensitivities, always check specific manufacturer’s products for allergens and/or cross-contamination issues.)

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Today I have the wonderful opportunity to test out my snazzy, new running shoes. I love getting new shoes (it often makes you realize just how worn your old ones are), but sometimes breaking them in can leave your feet feeling a little sore the next day. But I just consider those aches friendly reminders that I really needed new shoes! It’s going to be a beautiful afternoon, so it should make for a nice run.

I am especially looking forward to getting my shoes primed for my 10-K training that I am kicking off at the start of next week. My lovely sister, Amanda, convinced me this weekend that I should run the Pittsburgh Marathon Relay with her and I just couldn’t say no to that cute little face. We also coaxed my dad and brother, Luke, — we’re still looking for our fifth leg (ahem … Mom) — into doing it with us, so it should be a fun family event. I’m running the fourth leg of the race which is 6.2 miles, therefore, leading to my 10K training.

Here goes nothing! :D

How about you? Anyone have a race event coming up? What’s one of your favorite training secrets?