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Brownies & Bars

  • Brownies & Bars FOOD

    Strawberry Pie Bars (Vegan)

    Strawberry Pie Bars – Gooey, rich strawberry jam filling sandwiched between a crumbly, buttery crust and a coconut streusel on top. Perfect for summer!

    Strawberry Pie Bars (Vegan)

     

    This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I earn a commission if you purchase through those links. These are all products I use daily and highly recommend. Thanks for the support that makes Panthers & Peonies possible!

    Hello friends. I hope you’re all having an incredible holiday week(end?). I know I am.

    It’s cheesy, but I really love the Fourth of July. Not just because I get to eat vegan hot dogs and s’mores to my heart’s desire and drink during the day without judgment, but because it’s one day where everyone comes together and the chaos of the country ceases to exist for a moment.

    Strawberry Pie Bars (Vegan)

    It’s a dumb thing to love, but it’s one day where everyone seems to get along. The Fourth of July provides a moment of peace, and that’s good enough for me. I’m not saying it makes up for all the crap going on the rest of the year, but I try to think positively and see the good where I can.

    Strawberry Pie Bars (Vegan)

    ANYWAYS. I’m totally in love with these pie bars, because they taste exactly like what I want my summer to taste like: fruity, crumbly, chewy, coconut-y. They’re perfect to bring to a family BBQ, and they’re perfect to eat a little bite of before breakfast. It’s a great “anytime snack”, really.

    You start by boiling down fresh strawberries until they’re pretty much the consistency of jam, then pour it over a buttery, flaky crust, and top it with a buttery coconut streusel. They’re so easy to make, and beyond delicious.

    Strawberry Pie Bars (Vegan)

     

    Here’s What I Used:

     

    Strawberry Pie Bars (Vegan)

    Strawberry Pie Bars (Vegan)

    Prep Time10 mins
    Cook Time35 mins
    Total Time45 mins
    Course: Dessert
    Author: Brit Wolfe - Panthers & Peonies

    Ingredients

    Strawberry Filling

    • 2 cups strawberries fresh or frozen
    • 2 tsp. lemon juice
    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 2 tsp. cornstarch

    Crust & Crumble

    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
    • pinch of salt
    • 1/2 Tbsp. flaxseed meal + 1 1/2 Tbsp. water
    • 1/2 cup vegan butter cold
    • 1/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut

    Instructions

    To make the strawberry filling:

    • Add the strawberries, lemon juice, and sugar to a small saucepan. Place over medium heat and cover. Let the strawberries heat and begin to break down, about 7 minutes.
    • Once there's a good amount of liquid in the saucepan from the strawberries, add the cornstarch and mix in well to make sure there are no clumps.
    • Bring to boil, then turn the heat down to medium-low and let heat, covered, until the strawberries are thick and almost jelly-like consistency.
    • Remove from heat and let cool.

    To make the crust:

    • Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
    • Mix together the flax and water and let sit until slightly thickened, about 5-7 minutes.
    • Sift together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt), then add the sugar and mix well.
    • Cut the butter into small cubes and add to the flour, mixing well to incorporate it until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. I always do this step by hand, but you can use a pastry cutter or two forks if you prefer.
    • When the butter is almost fully incorporated, add the flax egg.
    • Press about 2/3 of the mixture into a parchment-lined 8"x8" square baking pan, and press it down firmly into an even layer.
    • Pour the strawberry mixture over top of the crust. It's ok if it's still a little warm!
    • Add the shredded coconut to the remaining crumb mixture, mix well, and sprinkle over the strawberry layer.
    • Bake 30-35 minutes until golden brown along the edges.

    Notes

    Before pouring the strawberry mixture over the crust, I used a fork to mash the strawberries so it more resembled a jelly, but that's totally optional.
    Strawberry Pie Bars (Vegan)

    © PANTHERS & PEONIES. All text, recipes, and photographs on this site are my own. Please do not use my images without permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.

    Strawberry Pie Bars (Vegan)
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  • Brownies & Bars FOOD

    Cinnamon Rice Krispie Treats (Vegan)

    Cinnamon Rice Krispie Treats – crunchy Rice Krispies and cinnamon cereal come together with marshmallow to create this delicious twist on a classic!

    Cinnamon Rice Krispie Treats (Vegan)

    This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I earn a commission if you purchase through those links. These are all products I use daily and highly recommend. Thanks for the support that makes Panthers & Peonies possible!

    A lot of people think Rice Krispie treats are boring. And I totally get that, I’m not someone who would choose a Rice Krispie treat over other desserts. But fancy Rice Krispie treats? Those are a whole different story. Add some sprinkles or a drizzle of chocolate and I’m sold.

    Cinnamon Rice Krispie Treats (Vegan)

    The flavors in these Cinnamon Rice Krispie Treats all work so well together: the chewy marshmallow, the crunchy cinnamon cereal, the creamy peanut butter. I used Annie’s CinnaBunnies, which are perfectly crunchy with an extra hit of cinnamon.

    We all know that peanut butter and chocolate are the perfect combination, but I think I might have found peanut butter’s new perfect partners: cinnamon and marshmallow.

     

    Here’s What I Used:

     

    Cinnamon Rice Krispie Treats

    Prep Time10 mins
    Total Time10 mins
    Course: Dessert
    Author: Brit Wolfe - Panthers & Peonies

    Ingredients

    • 6 Tbsp. vegan butter
    • 10 ounces vegan marshmallows I used Trader Joe's
    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 4 cups cinnamon cereal of your choice I used Annie's CinnaBunnies
    • 3 cups Rice Krispies cereal
    • cinnamon for sprinkling
    • peanut butter for drizzling

    Instructions

    • In a large soup pot, melt together the butter and marshmallows.
    • Once the marshmallows are completely melted, remove the pot from the heat and add the vanilla.
    • Pour in the cereals and mix until totally combined.
    • Pour the mixture into a parchment-lined 8" square baking pan and using a sturdy spoon or your hands, press down the mixture firmly into the pan.
    • Let set overnight (or at least 2 hours).
    • Drizzle with melted peanut butter and sprinkle with cinnamon.

    Cinnamon Rice Krispie Treats (Vegan)

    Cinnamon Rice Krispie Treats (Vegan)

    © PANTHERS & PEONIES. All text, recipes, and photographs on this site are my own. Please do not use my images without permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.

    Cinnamon Rice Krispie Treats (Vegan)
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  • Brownies & Bars FOOD

    Kitchen Sink Blondies (Vegan)

    Kitchen Sink Blondies – A chewy brown sugar blondie base packed with rich dark chocolate, coconut shreds, chopped walnuts, and vanilla granola. Totally delicious, and totally customizable!

    Kitchen Sink Blondies (Vegan)
    This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I earn a commission if you purchase through those links. These are all products I use daily and highly recommend. Thanks for the support that makes Panthers & Peonies possible!

    I’ve heard these blondies called a ton of different things: Kitchen Sink Blondies, Everything But the Kitchen Sink Blondies (which is the same, just… longer), Chameleon Blondies (don’t know why, but I like it), Monster Blondies (don’t know why… and I don’t like it). But whatever they’re called, they’re freakin’ delicious.

    Kitchen sink blondies are the perfect dessert to use up those random last little bits of stuff in your pantry. We all have them, why try to hide it? I’m so guilty of leaving like, two walnuts in a bag and throwing it back in the pantry. Why? No idea. But with these blondies, you can throw in those two walnuts, the 1/4 cup of chocolate chips, the stale half-bag of graham crackers, and the granola crumbs and they’ll still taste AWESOME.

    Kitchen Sink Blondies (Vegan)

    You guys know I’m aaaaall about salty-sweet recipes, and this recipe is no exception. Like I said, you can use any type of mix-ins you want, but this recipe really has a good thing going. The sweetness of the chocolate chips, the crunch of the walnuts, the chewiness of the coconut, and the occasional crisp of the granola? It’s honestly perfect.

    Here’s What I Used:

    Kitchen Sink Blondies (Vegan)

    Prep Time10 mins
    Cook Time35 mins
    Total Time45 mins
    Course: Dessert
    Servings: 12
    Author: Brit Wolfe

    Ingredients

    • 8 Tbsp. vegan butter melted
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 1 Tbsp. flaxseed meal + 3 Tbsp. water
    • 3/4 Tbsp. vanilla extract
    • 1/4 tsp. salt
    • heaping 1/4 tsp. baking powder
    • 1 heaping cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
    • 1/2 cup granola
    • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
    • 1/2 cup shredded coconut

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven to 350ºF.
    • Mix together the flax and water and let sit until slightly thickened, about 5-7 minutes.
    • Cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla and flax.
    • Sift together the dry ingredients (flour, salt, and baking powder), then fold into the wet mixture.
    • Fold in the mix-ins.
    • Pour into a parchment-lined 8"x8" pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle with a handful of chocolate chips and a big pinch of salt.
    • Bake 35-45 minutes until golden brown. I like to underbake them a little bit so they have the brownie/underdone cookie texture. Yummm.

    Kitchen Sink Blondies (Vegan)

    © PANTHERS & PEONIES. All text, recipes, and photographs on this site are my own. Please do not use my images without permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.

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  • Brownies & Bars FOOD

    Mini Brownie Christmas Trees (Vegan)

    Mini Brownie Christmas Trees – perfect for Christmas! Rich, dark chocolate brownie bites are topped with vanilla frosting and sprinkles in this adorable holiday dessert

    Mini Brownie Christmas Trees (Vegan)
    This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I earn a commission if you purchase through those links. These are all products I use daily and highly recommend. Thanks for the support that makes Panthers & Peonies possible!

    I’m so weird (read: obnoxiously picky) when it comes to “decorated desserts”. I don’t know if it’s from working in professional pastry kitchens for so long, or just my personal style, but I loathe cheesy desserts. Novelty cakes that are supposed to look like a hamburger and fries? I hate it. And those cakes built around a Barbie body that are supposed to look like a dress? Don’t get me started, they literally give me nightmares.

    Mini Brownie Christmas Trees (Vegan)

    But desserts that are kitschy, that’s a different story. Kitschy is good. Kitschy is the right amount of cutesy and tacky without being cheesy. Like anything by Panko Bunny? Adorable. But anything by Yolanda Gampp? No thanks. Ro Pansino falls somewhere in the middle, but she’s done videos with the love of my life Markiplier so she’s on my good side.

    Mini Brownie Christmas Trees (Vegan)

    These little brownie trees? Adorably kitschy. Plus they’re fun and easy to make. And delicious, which is obviously the most important part. This is my favorite brownie recipe. It’s not nearly as sweet as other brownies, which is a good thing. It’s got a much richer, dark chocolate flavor that is amazing on its own, but pairs super well with the sweet vanilla frosting.

    Mini Brownie Christmas Trees (Vegan)

    Side note: I did use candy melts (which aren’t vegan) for the star on top, simply because I made them for my non-vegan family and I knew my nieces and nephews would love the little yellow stars. You can order vegan candy melts or star candies online.

    Mini Brownie Christmas Trees

    Prep Time15 mins
    Cook Time25 mins
    Total Time40 mins
    Servings: 12

    Ingredients

    Dark Chocolate Brownies

    • 1 cup vegan butter melted
    • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
    • scant 2 cups granulated sugar
    • 4 Tbsp. flaxseed meal + 3/4 cup water
    • 4 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 1 1/4 cup AP flour
    • 1 cup cocoa powder
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 2 cups dark chocolate chips or 2 cups chopped dark chocolate

    Vanilla Frosting

    • 3/4 cups vegan butter cold
    • 3 cups powdered sugar
    • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
    • big pinch of salt
    • green food coloring
    • vegan sprinkles for decorating

    Instructions

    For the brownies:

    • Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
    • Mix together the flax and water and let sit until thickened, about 5-7 minutes.
    • Combine melted butter, oil, and sugar and mix until well combined.
    • Add flax and vanilla.
    • Sift together the dry ingredients and fold into the wet ingredients.
    • Fold in chocolate. Pour into a parchment-lined 9"x13" pan. Make sure to lightly spray the parchment, it'll make cutting the brownies much easier!
    • Bake for 20-25 minutes until brownies are set. Let cool completely.

    For the frosting:

    • In the stand of a bowl mixer, cream the cold butter until pale in color and super fluffy, about 7-10 minutes.
    • Add the vanilla, lemon juice, and pinch of salt, then gradually add the powdered sugar. Mix again on high until the frosting is super fluffy.

    To assemble:

    • Add the desired amount of green food coloring to the frosting and mix well.
    • Using 3 different sized circle cutters, cut circles out of the brownie and set aside.
    • Using a piping bag fitted with a star tip, pipe frosting onto each piece of brownie in a circular pattern. Stack from biggest to smallest and top with sprinkles and a small yellow star (I used candy melts and a mold, but you can use anything you want!)

    Notes

    You may get more or less brownies depending on the size cutter you use. I used a 2" round cutter for the bottom layer and went smaller from there.
    Brownies should be kept refrigerated until served to keep the frosting from becoming too soft. Brownies will keep in fridge for up to 3 days, or wrapped tightly in freezer for up to 10 days.

    Mini Brownie Christmas Trees (Vegan)

    © PANTHERS & PEONIES. All text, recipes, and photographs on this site are my own. Please do not use my images without permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.

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  • Brownies & Bars FOOD

    Peanut Butter Cup Blondies (Vegan)

    Peanut Butter Cup Blondies – Peanut butter cookie base topped with chocolate chips and peanut butter cups, a dessert for all my fellow peanut butter lovers!

    Peanut Butter Cup Blondies (Vegan)
    This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I earn a commission if you purchase through those links. These are all products I use daily and highly recommend. Thanks for the support that makes Panthers & Peonies possible!

    I love peanut butter. Mix it with chocolate, put it on toast, just give me a spoon and I’ll go to town on a peanut butter jar. It’s protein! It’s good for me! (This is me lying to myself.)

    Peanut Butter Cup Blondies (Vegan)
    Here’s a fun fact! On multiple occasions, I’ve made myself sick from eating too much peanut butter. This is because I don’t have any sort of self-control. My boyfriend likes to say I have a ‘too-much gene’, which basically means that everything I do is over the top, past the realm of what other people would consider normal. For example, I have too many tattoos and listen to too much music. And I put too much peanut butter on things.

    These Peanut Butter Cup Blondies are proof of me letting my ‘too-much gene’ run wild and honestly? I’m ok with that. It’s what my whole blog is about.

    Peanut Butter Cup Blondies (Vegan)    Peanut Butter Cup Blondies (Vegan)

    How to Make Peanut Butter Cup Blondies:

    These Peanut Butter Cup Blondies start with a peanut butter cookie base. And if you’re not a blondie lover? You should be. Blondies always taste like big slabs of cookie, and there’s NOTHING wrong with that.
    Then you fold in dark chocolate chips and dark chocolate mini peanut butter cups. Bake it until it’s golden brown, then drizzle it with melted peanut butter. As a result, you get this messy masterpiece of peanut butter and melty chocolate.



    Peanut Butter Cup Blondies (Vegan)

    And if after all this you still have a peanut butter-chocolate sweet tooth, check out some more peanut butter & chocolate recipes:

    Here’s What I Used:

    Peanut Butter Cup Blondies

    Prep Time10 mins
    Cook Time20 mins
    Total Time30 mins
    Course: Dessert
    Servings: 12
    Author: Brit Wolfe

    Ingredients

    • 6 Tbsp. vegan butter melted
    • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter divided
    • 1 Tbsp. flaxseed meal + 3 Tbsp. water
    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 heaping tsp. baking soda
    • 2 tsp. cornstarch
    • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips
    • 1 cup chopped mini peanut butter cups I used Justin's!

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven to 350℉.
    • Mix flax and water and let sit 5-7 minutes until thickened.
    • Mix together the melted butter and 1/2 cup of the peanut butter.
    • Add the sugars and beat about 5 minutes until smooth and creamy.
    • Add the vanilla and the flaxseed.
    • Sift together the flour, baking soda, and cornstarch.
    • Add the sifted dry ingredients to the bowl and mix until just combined.
    • Carefully fold in half of the chocolate chips and chopped peanut butter cups.
    • Pour the mixture into a parchment-lined 8" square pan. Press the mixture lightly into the pan (it'll be very crumbly!).
    • Pour the remaining chocolate chips and peanut butter cups over the top and gently press into the dough.
    • Bake for 20-25 minutes until the edges are golden brown. It's done when it's just slightly undercooked, like a brownie. It'll continue to cook a small amount once removed from the oven. If you stick a toothpick in the center and wet crumbs stick to the toothpick, it's perfect!
    • Let cool for 10 minutes.
    • Add the remaining 1/4 cup peanut butter to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave about 15 seconds. You want the peanut butter slightly runny, but not melted.
    • Drizzle the warm peanut butter over the bars.
    • Devour.

    Peanut Butter Cup Blondies (Vegan)

    © PANTHERS & PEONIES. All text, recipes, and photographs on this site are my own. Please do not use my images without permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.

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