Tag Archives: dessert

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I’ve been sitting on this recipe for awhile now. It came about early on in my pregnancy when Jon and I had two different family get togethers back to back. We are pretty big home bodies. We are both introverts and usually need a day to relax and calm down from family get togethers. This was going to be a VERY busy weekend. It would involve me running to our CSA, quickly go grocery shopping, and then cooking something for party number one.

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But being pregnant I kind-of wanted a dessert. But I didn’t have much time to prep anything. I remember loving the No-Bake Dark Chocolate Chickpea Pie with Pretzel Crust from Pickles and Honey, but had a craving for oreos cream filled chocolate cookie sandwiches. I also didn’t have some of the ingredients on the list and didn’t have the time to go to Whole Foods to get them (read: cocoa butter and coconut sugar.)

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So I decided to make two pies, which worked out wonderfully. Everyone loved the pie, and I got so many people asking what made it vegan. Chickpeas! Funny thing is that I have no idea how to make these type of no bake pies without vegan ingredients (pudding mixes?) It has always been beans and tofu for me. No one could even taste a hint of bean-y-ness to the pie. The big kicker? All the “tweens” went to town on the pie since they never heard me utter the word chickpeas in their presence. Most came out to the adults to say how much they loved that pie.

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So how did I make two pies on such a tight schedule? Well, there was a lot of cutting corners. One is that I bought pre-made pie shells. I picked up the Nabisco Oreo brand pie crusts because it was the only vegan chocolate pie crust option at my local grocery store. You can make your own pie crust just by googling oreo pie crust or just making a chocolate cookie crumb crust. What I do like about the ready made pie crusts (other than saving time) is that you have a plastic dome that you can use to cover the top of the pie for traveling.

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I also cut time down by using cocowhip. Make sure you plan ahead so you can thaw the whipped cream. One container makes the perfect amount for two pies, but below I will give the amount to use for only one pie (because you rarely need TWO pies.) You can double recipe if you like a lot of whipped cream on your pies if you want. But the whipped cream topping is where most of the “cookies & cream” flavor is coming from since you beat the sandwich cookies into the whipped cream. And naturally you could always make your own rad whip or coconut whipped cream.

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The last reason this pie is so quick to make is because you just need to blend all the ingredients in the filling, and that’s it. I strongly suggest that you use a blender not a food processor since a blender will get smoother results. I recommend putting all the ingredients into the blender as I have them listed since I had the best blending results (aka less times I need to stop and scrap things around.) The recipe is largely similar to chocolate chickpea filling on Pickles and Honey, so I recommend checking that recipe out if you want something less sweet.

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The pie can be eaten right away, but I suggest letting it sit in the refrigerator overnight. The chickpea filling naturally thickens up a little so you get cleaner cuts. I didn’t wait long enough for the photo (oops!) and got a more squished slice. Yikes! But since it is so easy to make, you can easily impress family members with your crumb decorating. I know I had a few family members saying “You made this?” with an air of surprise. Not sure why… maybe it didn’t seem like something I would make? 

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Papa Ganache

106 Main St, Matawan, NJ 07747
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It is weird that I get so excited about vegan bakeries but always get reminded that I don’t actually liked them much? I think it has to do with the fact I grew up with home baked goods. I never really got the prepackaged cupcakes or cookies, so maybe I lust after bakeries since it was something my friends always did. Or maybe it is because I grew up in a very heavy Italian area and just never liked those cookies? Or that I am super specific about what I want from a baked good? Who knows, but what I do know is that we need someone else to bake a cake for special occasions from time to time. When I had my wedding, I remember trying to find a place to bake our cake, I wanted to go with a vegan only bakery. There wasn’t anything nearby so we went with a regular bakery that was happy to make a vegan cake, and it was awesome. But if this place was open at the time, I would of been super happy to have the cake made by them.

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Papa Ganache is located in Matawan New Jersey near one of Alexa’s favorite bars, so you could always plan a dinner of cupcakes and grab some beers afterwards. The store participated in Cupcake Wars, and have won! It is the People’s Choice Awards episode, if you are wondering. The bakery does catered events, special orders, and sells wholesale baked goods as well. They also make some gluten free goods, though they are not an exclusively gluten-free kitchen. Not into baked goods? There is a small selection of savory foods you can pick up at the store. There are some soups that you grab and go, and their website lists other meal options. We personally didn’t see many options but we came later in the day, so you might have to get there closer to lunch time or special order them.

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They have a huge selection of different baked goods to choose from, including an apple pie pizza. But seeing how they won cupcake wars we figured we should stick to their classics. They have a massive amount of cupcakes to choose from but we narrowed it down to two- the creme brulee and s’mores. The frosting was super whipped and kept it’s structure. We were pretty excited and ate the cupcakes fast, but if you are eating there, I would recommend letting your cupcakes sit for a little bit so the frosting softens up. 

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I personally liked the creme brulee cupcake the best. I like the frosting to cake ratio. They also put a small layer of sugar on top and melted it, so you get a delicious burnt sugar topping. Alexa was a little bit bias with the s’mores cupcake since it is her favorite flavor for everything. We both thought there was a little too much frosting on top, but still super yummy. We also got a sandwich cookie for Alexa’s mother, which she seemed to enjoy a lot. 

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And if all these baked goods didn’t put you in a sugar coma, they offer lots of vegan candies. Getting a stomachache yet? I actually liked this idea because they carried Premium Chocolatiers, an all vegan candy shop based in New Jersey. They are very allergy friendly, having nut and gluten free factory. You might of seen some of their candy from Vegan Cuts but if you want to buy it person, this is a place to go. I personally find their chocolate too sweet, but are great for little kids. 

Overall, I don’t see myself going to this bakery often since I am not a sweets sort of girl. But they do know what they are doing and have classic all American baked goods. I always love the idea that bakeries give a person the option of just buying one cupcake instead of making a batch of 12. I also know where to go for my next cake for a special event.


Irish Potatoes are a weird snack. Being from North Jersey, I never heard of them. You wouldn’t think driving an hour and half south would make such a cultural difference. Apparently, I was the only person in Philadelphia who didn’t know what an Irish Potato was. It’s such a big treat that there is a local factory that makes pre-made Irish Potatoes for the yearly demand during Saint Patrick’s Day. And I see them in every single supermarket.

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My roommates insisted to break my “Irish Potato” cherry and make some. To my surprise, there wasn’t anything Irish about it, nor was there any potatoes in there. The recipe was pretty simple, crisco (or butter if you are fancy), cream cheese, and coconut. Roll it in cinnamon. Bam! Done. If I remember correctly not liking them much, but I couldn’t help but grab more.

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But I am a sucker for local traditions. And seeing the popularity of cake pops and oreo truffles, I feel like it time for Irish Potatoes to shine. But I think they could be more creative, and more flavorful. I cut down on the fats, and added some leftover mashed potatoes. Sounds crazy, but this idea isn’t new. It is the basis for the Needham candies that are made in Maine.

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The result? I told my husband to take to candies to work and give them out. Nobody knew. Everyone commented on how they were some of the best Irish Potatoes, so as far as I can tell I improved on the recipe. One person said that they could taste a little bit of the potato once I revealed my recipe, and I agree. But I think it add a nice velvety layer to it, and makes them a little less rich (which means you can eat more right?)

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I love ice cream. I love fruit pops. I love sorbet, ice cream sandwiches, basically anything that is cold, sweet and creamy. Of coarse that creates issue when you are trying not to eat dairy. Soy, rice, and coconut milk based ice creams pack a lot of sugar and raids your wallet.

Although I own an ice cream maker, I found that making ice cream pops is a quick solution to an ice cream craving. I’ve been trying to also make some raw alternatives, with some awesome results. This week I made some Mexican Avocado Fudgsicles.

The trouble with frozen desserts is that as thing become colder, the flavor isn’t as strong. Which is why so much sugar is added to ice cream, and fruit pops. To sweeten, I used a mix of various sugars; some dried dates, agave syrup, and stevia; in hopes of balancing out flavors. The chipotle powder gives a nice kick, and matches well with the avocados.

I made the mix very thick, to give the pops an ice cream like consistency. This way you can bite into the pop and have it melt in your mouth. If you are too frustrated with your blender, feel free to water down your pops. Just be aware you will dull down the flavors, and taste to before pouring.

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