a treatie for my sweetie

Oh boy! Valentine’s Day! Maybe you have plans to go out to celebrate but if you are still stuck on an idea- cook something for the person you love, even if just your pooch. Be cheesy, use heart shaped cookie cutters & cake pans, or just be simple. But do it with all of your heart.

In my quest for finding a chocolate syrup that didn’t have soy lecithin or other weird ingredients, packaged in plastic for who knows how many months- I discovered the best and most simple way to make a raw sauce that doesn’t require heating milk with Hershey’s cocoa powder over the stove. Sorry again, mom. That’s just not my thing.

Simplest Chocolate Sauce

Start with equal parts cocoa powder+ agave (or maple syrup). Say 2 tablespoons of each if you are just making enough for a couple of people. Add no more than 1 tsp at a time to make the deliciousness thicker, or thinner. Use it for topping ice cream, dipping strawberries in or eating by the spoonful! I try to avoid processed cocoa powders, especially for this recipe. Raw cocoa powder is great for you (think Magnesium!) it also has energizing properties so you and your love will be sure to get a little kick to keep ya going…. Enjoy ❤

If you are looking for something a little more challenging- accept this proposition.
Dark Chocolate-Cherry Ganache Bars
An amazing recipe I found in the NY Times. I will be making this allergen friendly and I can’t wait to try! Trader Joe’s actually makes a delicious and affordable organic cherry jam. My (expected) revisions are italicized in parenthesis. I also have to add that I LOVE this recipe is in grams. Another exciting reason to try this recipe- to use my new food scale. Doesn’t take much other than kitchen& baking talk to get Buttercup excited. Love. Yum. Eat it Up!

150 grams all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 cups)
90 grams confectioners’ sugar (about 3/4 cup)
26 grams unsweetened cocoa powder (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (Earth Balance anyone?)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
52 grams cherry jam (about 2 tablespoons)
340 grams bittersweet chocolate, at least 62 percent, chopped (12 ounces)
2/3 cup heavy cream (I’m going to try coconut milk)
3 tablespoons kirsch, rum, brandy or other spirit
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel, for sprinkling

In a food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder and fine sea salt. Pulse in the butter and vanilla until the mixture just comes together into a smooth mass. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment or wax paper. Press the dough into the pan. Prick all over with a fork. Chill for at least 20 minutes and up to 3 days.

Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Bake the shortbread until firm to the touch and just beginning to pull away from the sides, 35 to 40 minutes.

Cool in the pan for 20 minutes on a wire rack. Brush jam over shortbread’s surface and let cool thoroughly.

Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl.

In a saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer. Pour over the chocolate and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the kirsch. Spread over shortbread. Sprinkle fleur de sel on. Cool to room temperature; cover and chill until firm. Slice and serve.

Hope everyone has a delicious & amazing, love-filled day whether you are single or in a relationship. Open your heart, mind, body, soul & tummy to all the love and nourishment around you!

Time is flying by and Buttercup has been scarce. I’ve missed you- have no doubt. The first few weeks of 2012 have been filled with wrapping up my cleanse, getting sick, researching how to become a vendor at local farmers markets, and baking a few things (of course). So stay tuned for upcoming posts on all of my adventures.

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