Healthier Valentine’s Day Treats

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and I know you have chocolate on your mind! I do too, in a BIG way! So here are my favorite Healthier Valentine’s Day Treats so you can indulge and enjoy the holiday (whether that means alone with a chick flick or with your sweetie). From breakfast to dessert, I’ve got ya covered! 

 

Dark Chocolate Red Wine Truffles

Dark Chocolate Red Wine Truffles 3

 

Flourless Double Chocolate Chewy Cookies

Flourless Double Chocolate Chewy Cookies / treatswithatwist.com

 

Cocoa Maca Porridge

Cocoa Maca Porridge 2

 

Coconut Hot Chocolate 

Coconut Hot Chocolate (treatswithatwist.com)

 

 

Dark Chocolate Blended Chia Pudding 

Chocolate Blended Chia Pudding // treatswithatwist.com

 

Pistachio Chocolate Chip Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Pistachio Chocolate Chip Coconut Milk Ice Cream 8

 

Decadent Waffles With Strawberries and Mascarpone 

Strawberry Mascarpone Waffles // treatswithatwist.com

I know, whatever you make that day, your sweetheart is going to love it! 

xxoo 

 

Dark Chocolate Red Wine Truffles

Dark Chocolate Red Wine Truffles are an indulgent treat, perfect for a gift or to stock up your fridge with treats for yourself. The rich, almost-bitter chocolate is enhanced with a hint of red wine, making this a truffle you’ll want to enjoy slowly…over and over and over.

*MARCH 3 2015 — THIS RECIPE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION. I APOLOGIZE AND WILL FIX IT ASAP*

  Dark Chocolate Red Wine Truffles // treatswithatwist.com

I’m pretty sure I had just gotten finished with telling my husband that I wasn’t sure how many holidays I’d “celebrate” this year before I launched into making a TON of chocolatey goodness and pulling out my Valentine’s Day tea towels. I take back everything I just said. Holidays are my jam.

I haven’t ever made truffles before, though! And let me tell you, they are so easy you’ll laugh when your friends gush over how amazing you are for making truffles. Or just smile smugly. Can you guess which one I’d do?

Dark Chocolate Red Wine Truffles BW1

Dark Chocolate Red Wine Truffles BW2

Not to sound like Ina [though really, would that be so bad?], but you need to use really good dark chocolate here. If you don’t think you could eat the chocolate straight from the package, there’s no point in making truffles with it. Think Ghirardelli, Valrhona, Guittard…something really yummy. I used Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips. If you’re vegan, choose an amazing vegan dark chocolate.

And, instead of loading them with cream, I opted for coconut milk! That way, you can gift them confidently to a dairy-free friend. Plus, that’s what I had on hand. Just another reason these were so easy.

Dark Chocolate Red Wine Truffles 2

Dark Chocolate Red Wine Truffles 3

Dark Chocolate Red Wine Truffles 5

Dark Chocolate Red Wine Truffles 4

I’ve even included in the instructions the way to do these in the microwave! Yes! No double-boiler nonsense. Unless, of course, you really ARE  Ina and a double-boiler is the only way you’d ever melt chocolate. Totally up to you. I’ll stick with the microwave.

Now, the wine! I used whatever I already had open on my counter. I used a Pinot Noir that I happen to adore. I wouldn’t, however, go any lighter than that. Stick to something full-bodied and nothing too overly sweet or you’ll clash with your dark chocolate. Something rich and something you’d sip slowly on during a romantic dinner. You know the ones: Merlot, Cabernet, Malbec,, Pinot Noir…make it good.

I hope you make these! They’re so simple. And my mom drooled all when I presented them to her. So they’re definitely a hit. 

Dark Chocolate Red Wine Truffles 1

Dark Chocolate Red Wine Truffles // treatswithatwist.com

Dark Chocolate Red Wine Truffles 7

Dark Chocolate Red Wine Truffles
Dark Chocolate Red Wine Truffles are an indulgent treat, perfect for a gift or to stock up your fridge with treats for yourself. The rich, almost-bitter chocolate is enhanced with a hint of red wine, making this a truffle you’ll want to enjoy slowly…over and over and over. (makes 40 truffles)
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Ingredients
  1. 12 ounces dark chocolate (I used Ghirardelli)
  2. ¼ cup + 2 Tbs. coconut milk (full fat, canned)
  3. 3 Tbs. rich red wine (Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet, or Pinot Noir)
  4. Dark or unsweetened cocoa powder
Instructions
  1. In a glass, microwave-safe bowl, start melting the chocolate. Microwave for 1 minute on half-power. Stir, then repeat (on half-power!), stirring [with a fork or whisk] and heating until the chocolate is melted. Stop when you have just tiny bits of chocolate left to melt, and stir vigorously, melting the last of the chocolate and creating a glossy, melty bowl of deliciousness.
  2. Now, add the coconut milk and stir vigorously until completely smooth. Next, add the red wine, and stir again until completely incorporated and smooth. [You may think it looks like its breaking apart or not smooth as soon as you add the coconut milk or wine and start stirring. Trust me, just start whisking away and it’ll all come together.]
  3. Refrigerate the chocolate, covered with plastic wrap, for 2-4 hours, until completely cool and set.
  4. Set up a bowl of cocoa powder and an empty container (or mini cupcake liners) in an assembly line.
  5. Use a teaspoon-sized scoop (teaspoons, melon baller, small cookie scoop) to scoop out the chocolate. Roll it quickly between your palms to smooth into a ball. Drop the ball into the cocoa powder, roll it around until covered, then transfer to a paper liner or a container. Repeat until all of your chocolate is gone (I got around 40 truffles out of the batch!).
  6. Package them for a loved one, share, enjoy!
Notes
  1. Keep truffles in a sealed container on the counter for a week or in the fridge in a sealed container for a few weeks. Just keep them in a cool, dry environment.
Treats With a Twist http://www.treatswithatwist.com/wp/
 

Happy Groundhog’s Day?  

Cranberry Lime and Coconut Jam (no pectin)

Cranberry Lime and Coconut Jam is a super simple way to use up the rest of your fresh cranberries! No pectin needed and minimal sugar. Now you don’t have to stress about those 10 bags of cranberries you’ve been hoarding since Thanksgiving. Plus, it’ll have you dreaming of summertime and sunshine. 

Cranberry Lime Coconut Jam [no pectin!] (treatswithatwist.com)

I hope you had an amazing Christmas! I just wanted to pop in to share this quick recipe with you.

If you’re anything like me, you may have picked up a few extra bags of fresh cranberries while panicking that you wouldn’t see them again until next winter. But, you’re probably slightly sick of all of those Christmas-y spices, right?

Here’s an incredibly quick and easy Cranberry Lime and Coconut Jam that doesn’t need any pectin and is sweet with minimal sugar! Plus, it tastes like summertime, so you’ll probably be dropping tears while dreaming of sunshine and eating this by the spoonful.

You can eat it with mittens on.

I ate mine on top of yogurt…then a few extra spoonfuls just for…quality control. For your sake.

Cranberry Lime Coconut Jam 4

Cranberry Lime Coconut Jam 5

Cranberry Lime Coconut Jam [no pectin!] (treatswithatwist.com)

Cranberry Lime Coconut Jam 1

Cranberry Lime Coconut Jam 2

Cranberry Lime Coconut Jam 6

Now, don’t fret about those extra cranberries. Make some jam. Then get back to fake smiling with all of that family you haven’t seen since last year. 

Cranberry Lime and Coconut Jam (no pectin)
Cranberry Lime and Coconut Jam is a super simple way to use up the rest of your fresh cranberries! No pectin needed and minimal sugar. Now you don't have to stress about those 10 bags of cranberries you've been hoarding since Thanksgiving. Plus, it'll have you dreaming of summertime and sunshine. (makes 2, 1/2-pint jars)
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Ingredients
  1. 12 ounces fresh cranberries (1 bag)
  2. ¾ cup filtered water
  3. 1 lime
  4. ½ cup coconut (unsweetened, small or large flake)
  5. ½ cup raw sugar
Instructions
  1. Combine cranberries and water in a saucepan. Let simmer on medium low, stirring occasionally, until all of the cranberries have popped open. Let simmer and thicken for approximately 20 minutes.
  2. Cut the lime in half and squeeze all of the juice into the pan (careful not to let the seeds drop in). Add the coconut and sugar too. Stir and let simmer (while stirring) for another 10 minutes, until very thick and glossy.
  3. You’ll know it’s done when it is very thick and you can stir the jam with a silicone spatula and it stays where you drag it.
  4. Pour the jam into a blender. With the lid on, pulse the jam a few times until a consistency you like (just a few chunks).
  5. Pour the jam carefully into jars (makes just over 2 half-pint jars) and set the lids on top (don’t synch them down yet). Let the jars cool for an hour or two, then tighten the lids and put in the fridge.
  6. Jam keeps in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. You can freeze a jar if you’d like to save it for another time (just make sure it is 100% cooled before you put it in the freezer). Jam can be enjoyed on toast, in oats or on yogurt!
Treats With a Twist http://www.treatswithatwist.com/wp/

My Favorite Winter Treats

December seems to be flashing before my eyes! So, to keep you filled in on the amazing treats that flashed by in November and December, I’m going to share with you My Favorite Winter Treats. Hopefully this helps you figure out a few breakfasts, snacks, desserts and gifts! 

 

My Honey Apple Cake with Salted Vanilla Bean Cashew Frosting is a real showstopper! You’d never guess how simple it is! 

Honey Apple Cake (treatswithatwist.com)

 

 

Pumpkin Rosemary Spoon Bread is like grits souffle! This is a simple, throw-together side dish for your dinner table. 

Pumpkin Rosemary Spoon Bread 2

 

 

Pie but WAY easier! Apple Galette with a buckwheat crust is a sweet and beautiful gluten free treat!

Apple Galette (treatswithatwist.com) #glutenfree #apple

 

Hot Honey Vanilla Bourbon Peanut Butter Nightcap! This drink will totally blow your love of hot cocoa out of the water. Maybe it’s the bourbon… 

Hot Honey Vanilla PB Bourbon Nightcap (treatswithatwist.com) If you need more drinks (who doesn’t?!) then I have a roundup of the internet’s best hot drinks too. 

Pecan Pie Banana Bread is like when pecan pie and grandma’s banana bread collide! So crazy good. 

Pecan Pie Banana Bread 1

 

 

 

Need some pancakes? Just for you? Persimmon Pancakes for one are the solution! Cardamom and vanilla highlight that beautiful slice of persimmon cooked right into the pancake. 

Persimmon Pancakes 4

 

I made you LOADS of oatmeal cookies! With a joke built into the name. Because I’m funny. Kinda. It’s my “Today Is…” Cookie, and it’s loaded with currants, dates (get it?) and peanut butter chips! 

Today Is... Cookie (treatswithatwist.com) #glutenfree #holidaybaking

 

 

I die for pie! My Maple and Spice Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crust is super simple (I’m pie inept, trust me), thick, sweet and so perfect for your holiday table! 

Maple and Spice Pumpkin Pie 2

 

 

Then I made you these Ultimate Peppermint Bark Cookies because I love you. Remember? Good. They’re loaded with peppermint bark AND those gluten-free Peppermint Joe Joe’s you tend to shovel down around this time of year. Oh, and sea salt. You’re welcome.  Ultimate Peppermint Bark Cookies 2

 

I hope this helps! I’ve loved making these wintery treats and I can’t stand that Christmastime is already almost over. I can’t wait to share with you all of the thoughts I’ve been having about 2015. No, not resolutions. Those suck. Just you wait. 

Need another super simple gift idea? Check this out. High fives for that. 

What is your FAVORITE treat to eat this time of year? Which of these would you like to try the most?! May I suggest: the Persimmon Pancakes for breakfast (greedily, while your hubby sleeps…), then snack on the Pecan Pie Banana Bread, then my Today Is Cookie for a dose of fiber around snack time, and then Ultimate Peppermint Bark Cookies for dessert while you’re baking your Maple and Spice Pumpkin Pie. There. Best day ever. 

 

Pumpkin Rosemary Spoon Bread

Pumpkin Rosemary Spoon Bread is a twist on the upscale Southern side you never knew you needed on your Thanksgiving table! Rich with flavors of rosemary, pumpkin and cornmeal, Spoon Bread is like fluffy baked grits soufflé. I’ve made it a healthier side, using almond milk, a fraction of the butter and by adding a slightly tangy taste with yogurt. You’ll love it so much it’ll be a new holiday tradition! 

Pumpkin Rosemary Spoon Bread 2

This has been such an amazing weekend.

My dear friend of 25 years (I can’t believe I’m lucky enough to be able to say that), flew out to stay with me for the weekend. After showing her Memphis and then taking her to our neck of the woods in Mississippi, we basically just drank our weight in Starbucks and ate in every ethnic restaurant we could find, only breaking to patrol Home Goods and chat until my jaw was swollen shut. AHmazing. 

I was a prize emotional wreck (gold star for me), but I really needed her and she came at just the right time. Plus, she took many pairs of designer jeans off my hands that had been haunting me for the last few months from the back of my closet, taunting me with their smallness. If I’m ever blessed with that body again, she’ll send them back, but that’s not bloody likely, so I told her they’re hers to enjoy until I have a child that turns into a teenage girl who is asking her mom for “vintage” jeans from my youth. I guess that’s the only time I’ll need those back. 

Pumpkin Rosemary Spoon Bread 1

Pumpkin Rosemary Spoon Bread 2

Pumpkin Rosemary Spoon Bread 3

I also decided to make Spoon Bread! Rachel told me her parents love it, and we both said we’d never had it but I could point out at least 3 different magazines on my coffee table that had a recipe for it for Thanksgiving, so I knew I needed to make it. Here’s what I found (please excuse me if you happen to eat it all the time and its a staple at your holiday table): it’s basically baked soufflé meets grits. And some recipes have way more eggs and butter than others. Some are plain, some have sour cream or creme fraiche, and all of them sound like they’d be amazing to have on your plate with a hunk of turkey and gravy on top (perhaps replacing the mashed potatoes or rolls on your plate?). 

So, for my version, I decided to make it lower in butter and use almond milk instead of whole milk, but keep all of the amazing, silky rich flavors intact with pumpkin, yogurt and rosemary! I seriously couldn’t be more impressed with the results. It’s so fluffy and light, subtle and yet definitely has a presence on the plate, and the rosemary combined with the pumpkin is such a perfect holiday flavor combination. You get a slight tang at the end from the yogurt, but it’s nothing you can place your finger on. I think it’s perfect (and I ate it for dinner with sautéed shrimp on top too). 

This will add a new holiday dish to your table, or replace one of the tired old ones you never loved making anyways. 

Pumpkin Rosemary Spoon Bread
Pumpkin Rosemary Spoon Bread is a twist on the upscale Southern side you never knew you needed on your Thanksgiving table! Rich with flavors of rosemary, pumpkin and cornmeal, Spoon Bread is like fluffy baked grits soufflé. I've made it a healthier side, using almond milk, a fraction of the butter and by adding a slightly tangy taste with yogurt. You'll love it so much it'll be a new holiday tradition! (makes 6-8 servings)
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Ingredients
  1. 2 ½ cups unsweetened almond milk
  2. ¼ cup unsalted butter
  3. 1 tsp. sea salt
  4. 1/3 cup puree pumpkin (canned or fresh)
  5. 1 cup finely ground cornmeal
  6. ½ cup Greek or Icelandic style yogurt (I used a Pumpkin Spice Siggi’s)
  7. 3 eggs, separated
  8. 1 Tbs. fresh minced rosemary (can substitute ½ Tbs. dried minced rosemary)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a large 9” loaf pan or 9” cake tin with nonstick spray.
  2. In a large pot on the stovetop, over medium low heat, combine the milk, butter, salt and pumpkin. Whisk until the butter is melted. Then, add the cornmeal and whisk until thick (1 min). Turn off the heat, whisk in the yogurt.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Add a spoonful of the hot cornmeal mixture and whisk, then add another spoonful and whisk (you’re tempering here so you don’t scramble the yolks). Then slowly pour the yolks into the pot of cornmeal while whisking until completely mixed in.
  4. In a clean bowl, combine all of the egg whites. Whisk (or use an electric hand-mixer) until they hold soft peaks.
  5. Scoop some of the egg whites into the pot of cornmeal, and stir carefully to break it up. Then add the rest of the egg whites and fold in until just combined.
  6. Pour the mixture into your prepared baking pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until the top is golden and the sides are pulling away from the pan. Let sit on a cooling rack for 10 minutes to cool slightly then serve while still hot/warm! Enjoy!
Notes
  1. Keep spoon bread in the fridge, covered, for 4-7 days. Spoon bread is like savory-sweet grits, so serve it with your roasted holiday turkey or even some sautéed shrimp. Of course, with leftover cranberry sauce and turkey it’d make an amazing breakfast too.
Treats With a Twist http://www.treatswithatwist.com/wp/
My husband is watching Home Alone right now, by the way. Had to mention it!