Category: Dessert

I feel like it has been a while since I did some baking and I have been urged by many tasters of this recipe to put it on my blog. So here it goes…

Black Bean Brownies

Sometimes you just have one of those days where you deserve a treat….I have them often.

For those of you that don’t know me, I am a huge klutz. Last week alone I managed to somehow allow my latte to explode  in the microwave (yup, 16oz of latte over the entire microwave). I also, somehow,  plunked the large chunk of daikon I was munching on straight into my roommates glass of orange juice ( I could not have aimed that good if I tried), then I spilled my pricy truffle salt all over my kitchen counter, and topped off the week by tripping over my sweat towel I dropped on the treadmill…while I was running!

So, these delicious fudgy brownies where a much needed treat!

Black Bean Brownies

There is no flour in these brownies (hence they are gluten free), they are purely bean based (almost 1/4 cup per brownie)! But don’t let that discourage you, no one would ever be able to guess it was beans in them. I love bringing these little gems to potlucks and getting people to try and guess the secret ingredient. No one has guessed it yet! I even made these brownies for over 50 kids at camp last summer and they all loved them!

**These brownies are the best eaten straight out of the fridge a day or two after baking, they get nice and fudgy that way (and hold together better). They also freeze really well!**

I made them for my roommate and her boyfriend topped with a dark chocolate, peanut butter, tofu mousse — although I advised my roomie not to tell her boyfriend he was eating a bean brownie topped with tofu ;) — they both LOVED IT!

Gold Star nutrient: Manganese, black beans are a great source of this mineral. Manganese helps our bodies break down carbs and fat and also helps us build strong bones and teeth

Fudgy Black Bean Brownies
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 9
No one will ever guess these brownies are packed with beans!
  • 1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, rinsed & drained (about 1 & ¾ cups)
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons oil (I use canola of olive oil)
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder (Fry's or Hershey's)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoon instant coffee
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8x8 square baking dish.
  2. Combine the black beans, eggs, oil, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla extract, sugar, and instant coffee in a blender; blend until smooth; pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top of the mixture.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until the top is dry and just starting to crack (look close), about 30 minutes. Don't over cook them!



Take these to your next potluck and see if anyone can guess the secret ingredient! Let me know if they guess it right or what you think of these brownies by commenting below! I love to hear from you :)

Happy Family Day everyone!

This brittle is perfect for your New Years Eve party… and will take 9 min from start to finish…more time for New Years fun!

Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.  ~Oprah Winfrey


  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup salted peanuts (although I like a little higher peanut ratio)
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda


  • Butter a cookie sheet. Combine sugar and corn syrup in a glass bowl and microwave on high 4 minutes. Lightly stir in peanuts and microwave on high 3.5 minutes more, then stir in butter and vanilla and microwave for 1.5  minutes.
  • Quickly stir in baking soda until light and foamy, it hardens quickly so be fast! Pour onto cookie sheet and spread thin (small holes will fill in). Cool completely and break into pieces and serve.

Note times may vary depending on the strength of your microwave, for my microwave (1000 watt I think) is was 4, 3 and 1 min. Don’t over cook it!

Stuffed Apple Pie




I was a little intimidated when I first came across this recipe ( I have never been very good at making pastry), but I loved the idea of it so it sat on my “recipes to make” list — I have a list for everything — for months. Then came the holidays and grandma was around to share her special pastry recipe and I thought this would be a great way to try it out!


I thought hollowing out the apples would be difficult, but it was actually really easy with a sharp pairing knife and a grapefruit spoon (make sure you don’t poke through the skin). This recipe is healthier than traditional apple pie (due to the higher apple:pastry ratio, and less sugar) and I think they make a perfect holiday lunch, served warm with Greek yogurt … or lots of vanilla ice cream in my grandpas case.



Stuffed Apple Pie

Adapted from Chronicles of a Domestic Dilettante


  • 5-6 Firm Granny Smith Apples (4 for base, 1-2 for filling)
  • ¼ cup White Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • few pinches of cloves, and allspice
  • Pie Crust (home-made or store bought)


1. Cut off the top of 4 apples off and discard. Remove the inside of each apple with a spoon, grapefruit spoon or melon baller, reserve bits without apple core. I found that scoring the apple (like the picture below) with a sharp pairing knife worked the best.

2. Mix the apple flesh with lemon juice, sugars and spices in a bowl. Adding in more chopped, peeled apple as needed. Fill each hollowed out apple with the filling.

3.Roll out pie crust and slice into 1/4 inch strips. Create a lattice like pattern. Little dabs of water where you want pastry to stick together helps.

4. Place apples in an 8×8 pan.  Add just enough water to the cover the bottom of the pan. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes at 375 F.

5. Remove foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Broil for a few minutes if necessary.

These cookies are perfect for the holiday season! You could bring them to your next Christmas party and no one would even know they are healthy (I like to call it stealth health)! These cookies are packed with healthy fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals…what a deceptive little cookie ;) To make them even more exciting they take less than 10 min to make and will store for weeks!

I highly recommend these for chocolate mint fanatics, like myself. Just make sure to spread out the extract well, if it doesn’t get totally mixed throughout the other ingredients it can be really strong tasting. If you’re not a big mint fan just skip the mint extract or replace it with a different flavored extract instead.I bet coconut or orange would be good!



Raw Dark Chocolate (Mint) Cookies

Makes 12 cookies
Slightly modified from Radiant Health
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup raw almonds
  • ¼ cup raw cashews
  • 3 tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • 1 heaping tablespoon liquid honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon mint extract (replace with a different flavored extract if preferred, or omit)
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • shredded coconut

Blend all of the ingredients, except the coconut, in a food processor until the mixture is in fine crumbs (it will start to clump) and is very sticky. Remove heaping 1-tablespoon bits of the mixture, form into balls and roll in the coconut.

Store in the refrigerated in an airtight container. They will keep for several weeks…but be gobbled up before then!

February 19th may just be a better day for chocolate than February 14th….The US National Confectioners Association has declared February 19 to be Chocolate Mint Day! This flavor combo happens to be one of my all-time favorites (salted caramel chocolate is a close runner up!)

There has been a lot of talk about how chocolate has health benefits lately, which may be true if you are eating minimally processed dark ( >70%) chocolate, making sure cocoa mass/solids is the 1st ingredient (not sugar). This way you are getting the most flavonoids (an antioxidant). Also, if you like cocoa powder as much as I do (I add a teaspoon to my coffee, some teas, plain yogurt, oatmeal etc) make sure you don’t use dutch processed cocoa as this alkalinization process markedly reduces the antioxidant content. With that in mind, I don’t usually eat chocolate for the antioxidants (which I can get in many other foods) I eat it for pleasure! And that is exactly what this post is about.. because this recipe is by no means healthy…so eat lots of vegetables at dinner! ;)

These brownies are very easy to make and only require 1 bowl to lick to wash when you’re done! They are fudgy, chewy, minty, chocolatey goodness…pretty much just the best things ever!

chocolate mint brownies

Mint-Stuffed Dark Chocolate Brownies

Makes 12 (if you resist the urge to eat batter…I usually end up with 11 slightly bigger ones)


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into pieces
  • 8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet dark chocolate, chopped (or use dark chocolate chips)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 12 (1 1/2 inch) chocolate covered peppermint patties (such as york patties)


Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.

Place chocolate and butter in a large microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring between, until just melted and smooth.

Whisk in sugar and salt until smooth. Whisk in eggs. Gently whisk in flour and cocoa until just smooth (do not over mix).

Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon of batter into each lined cup. Press 1 peppermint patty on top of batter. Top with 2 more tablespoons of batter, covering peppermint patty completely. Bake, rotating tin halfway through, until a cake tester inserted halfway into the centers comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, about 25 to 30 minutes (I like mine slightly under done, usually 25 min)

Transfer tin to a wire rack and cool completely before removing cupcakes. Eat immediately, with vanilla ice cream.

Brownies can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days… if they last that long.

Peanut Butter Cup Stuffed Version

  • Replace mint patties with mini peanut butter cups (I added 1.5 per cupcake)
  • Ice cupcakes when cooled with a peanut butter icing (googled a recipe)
  • Top with half a PB cup



These cookies are my long-standing favourite. I can always find an excuse to make them. They are so flavorful and chocolatey, with a spicy, gingery kick — amazing! I first heard of these fabulous cookies from a friend that was raving about one she had tried from the Tacofino food truck in Vancouver, BC and then I happened to see them on Eat St. on the Food Network. I took that as a clear sign that I had to make them (I didn’t need much convincing) and I have been in love with them ever since!

To add more color and flavor (not that they need it) I sometimes top the cookies with sucanat (pronounced soo-ka-nat – fun to say!). It is essentially pure dried sugar cane juice, that retains all the yummy molasses flavors. These cookies are super easy to make (no creaming of butter and sugar required). They also happen to look very impressive and are topped with rock salt, giving them a salty crunch! Enjoy :)

Chocolate Diablo Cookies

Recipe from: Eat St. Yield: 12 big cookies

Preheat oven to 375 ºF.

Set aside:

Rock salt
Rock sugar

Mix the dry ingredients:

1.5 cups sifted all purpose flour
1 cup sifted cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 cup (heaping) chocolate chips or chunks

In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients:

1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons fresh squeezed ginger juice or fresh grated ginger root

Mix wet + dry ingredients well.

On a greased cookie sheet flatten small-fist size cookie dough balls out a bit and sprinkle with rock salt and rock sugar. Bake at 375 ºF for approximately 10-11 minutes or until the cookies start to crack. They should be nice and fudgy in the middle! Don’t over cook them.

Pumpkin Brûlée



I love fall, and all it brings with it. The smell in the air on those crisp mornings, the beautiful autumn colors, the new fall collection of Davids Tea … and pumpkins! This amazingly versatile squash-like fruit is normally reserved for making pies and getting Cinderella to parties, but it has so much more potential! Pumpkin can be used in muffins, breads, biscuits, pancakes, dips, soups− you name it! But my favorite pumpkin recipe yet is Pumpkin Brûlée. It has all the warm fall flavors I love, it’s a healthy treat packed full of vitamin A and protein and it is so easy to make. You can even make it a day or two before hand if you need to prepare for a party…or want to eat it for breakfast. What more could you ask for?


Pumpkin Brûlée

Serves 4

-3/4 cup evaporated skim milk
-1/2 cup canned pure pumpkin
-1/4 cup pure maple syrup
-2 tbsp dark brown sugar (optional)
-1 tsp ground cinnamon
-1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
-Pinch of cloves
-1/4 tsp vanilla extract
-2 eggs
-Scant 1/4 tsp salt (optional)


– Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor.
– Pour into 4−6oz ramekins, let sit for about 5 min to settle any bubbles and put in a metal baking dish. Fill dish half way with boiling water and bake at 350° F for 35-40 mins or until set and refrigerate overnight (or for an hour or so), and top with whip cream.

Want another reason to love this recipe? You can personalize it! I love to play around with the flavors (adding more cloves, pumpkin pie spice, ginger, molasses or extra vanilla) or replacing the pumpkin with pureed butternut squash or yam. You can also experiment with the topping. Top with crystallized ginger or chopped toasted walnuts or pecans. You can even top the custard with a layer of sugar and broil for 5-6 min (watching it carefully) until nicely browned on top.

Without the topping these delicious little treats come in at under 160 calories and over 8g of protein.

So clear your schedule (for about 10 minutes) and give this recipe a try, you’ll be hooked!

Friends at the pumpkin patch :)

pumpkin patch


- Formerly known as Apron Strings and Healthy Things -

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