Petitchef

Vegan Creme de Menthe Bars-No Bake/Gluten & Soy-Free

How was your Thanksgiving Weekend if you celebrated it?  Mine was great!  I filled my plate with great vegan fare, filled my heart with Scott & Skylar's company, and filled my body with plenty of ashtanga yoga.  It was a great weekend for me, and can't wait to hear about what you did and how things were for you.  How was the food?  Did you shop?  Any family drama stories? Fill me in!

Thanks for the compliments on my Highlights of the Week Post yesterday.  I am glad the recaps help you feel up to speed on everything I made, with recipes & links included, all in one recap post.

There was everything from the Raw Vegan Almond Butter Cookies

To My Holiday Orange Spice Vinaigrette Recipe


 
To the Roasted Sweet Potato Fries that accompanied our Thanksgiving Feast

To the Raw Vegan Apple Crumble we ate for Dessert.  Lots of good eats last week, for sure!

Oh and of course, my infamous Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

 
But, now that fall has passed us by, nothing screams Winter Holidays to me like Peppermint or Minty Flavored Desserts.  And there's no better way to enjoy mint than with chocolate.  You agree, right? 

Growing up I loved my moms' Creme de Menthe Bars but since I am a gluten & soy-free vegan, and the traditional recipe is very heavy on dairy, eggs, and crumb-cookie crusts, I had some major tweaking to do.  But I succeed and present you with:

Averie's Vegan Creme de Menthe Bars-No Bake/Gluten & Soy-Free
This is a 3 Layered Bar: The Chocolate Base/Crust, the White Minty Buttercream-Inspired Middle Layer, and the Chocolate Mint Top Layer.
It is definitely like Thin Mints meets Buttercream Frosting meets Dipped in a Minty Chocolate Bath.  And the whole thing is done in less than 20 minutes.


Base/Crust
1/4 c Earth Balance-Soy Free Buttery Spread (or your preferred butter/margarine).  Melt the Butter.


Then add:
1/4 c cocoa powder
1/4 c almond meal
1/4 c ground oats/oat flour (note: you can just use 1/2 c almond meal OR whatever combo & type of flour you prefer, i.e. cashew, oat, rice, almond, wheat, etc.)
1/4 c powdered sugar
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
Optional: 2 Tbsp Agave

Stir everything together.  Pour into your container & flatten.

You may have some leftover crust mixture, about 1/4 c worth.  Or just make a thicker crust.  Yummy stuff.  

Set in the freezer while you make the middle layer.

Middle Layer
1/4 c of Buttery Spread.   Melt it.

Then add:
1.5 c powdered sugar (I said it's vegan, not low cal)
Scant 1/4 c Creme de Menthe (If you don't have access to Creme de Menthe, use Peppermint Extract and start with 1 Tbsp, adding slowly and carefully until just slightly minty or to taste)
Optional: Green Food coloring to make it look minty.  Or a shot of green juice.






Whip Until Blended, Creamy, & Fluffy.  (This is basically Buttercream Frosting.  Tip of the Day: Vegan Buttercream frosting is 1 part buttery spread to 3 parts powdered sugar, dash of vanilla extract, blend, devour.)



Pour this mixture over the crust forming the middle layer.



Put in fridge/freezer while you make the Top Layer

Side View of Crust + Middle


Top Layer
1/4 c Buttery Spread.  Melt it.

Add 1/2 c Chocolate Chips (I used the Chocolate and Mint Holiday Edition chips, not technically vegan.  But you could use Baker's Chocolate, or Cocoa Powder, Agave, Coconut Oil, with an optional Peppermint Extract to keep the top layer truly vegan)
1/4 c powdered sugar
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

Add all the ingredients to the melted buttery spread and whisk until combined



Retrieve Crust + Middle Layer from Freezer, and Pour the Chocolate Top Layer over it


Place back into Freezer to Cool & Set Up


Can anyone say Crust + Middle + Top = Vegan Oreo Mint Cookie Adaptation?

After the Creme de Menthe Bars have set up, retrieve them from the freezer and Devour with Wild Abandon.  


These are the adult-themed version of Girl Scout Cookie Thin Mints meet Minty Buttercream Frosting meet Chocolate Decadence.  

You've got a crunchy chocolaty minty base layer, with a fluffy minty frosting-like center, with Chocolate on the Top.  


They are soooo good.  Sooo rich.

You really only need a tiny piece to feel satisfied...

....Or a big square to feel stuffed.

I included lots of photos for a step-by-step Creme de Menthe making tutorial and it looks like alot, but the whole recipe only takes about 20 minutes of active kitchen time and the rest if just waiting for set-up in the freezer.

Enjoy!!!!!!

If anyone cares about a few of the other things we ate 'round here...besides all that Thanksgiving Food...
There was a bowl of apple-cinnamon-raisin-brown sugar oats.


And I made a Salad Medley with greens, Brussels's, cukes & zukes, tomatoes, orange & yellow peppers and dressed it with my Holiday Orange-Spice Vinaigrette (which takes 2 minutes with a whisk, super easy!)


And no day would be complete without another pile of rabbit food: Cauli, asparagus, tomaotoes, cukes, yellow peppers and I dressed this one with my Homemade Vegan Slaw Dressing.

I finally got my hands of some of the Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride Tea that all the cool kids have been drinking for a month now.  I guess my grocery store is just figuring out a month late that the holidays are upon us.  Good thing, because the tea is really tasty...

...Especially as it's washing down a Vegan Creme de Menthe Bar for dessert.


Yoga Today is Tolasana (Scale Pose)

Tip of the Day:  Moderation during the Holiday Season.  I am frequently asked how I stay slim with all the (raw, vegan) desserts I make?  First, I don't eat everything I make.  I share it with Scott, Skylar, and friends.

Secondly, I employ the There Will Always Be More Strategy.  I'll explain...
I would say 99% of us who read food blogs have the resources to always have food on our table and that we are not going to go hungry.   There will always be another meal.  There will always be more, we don't have to devour desserts or any food like we'll never see it again.  There will always be another cookie, cake, kale chip, salted nut, piece of Aunt Betty's fruit cake, Uncle Mike's 3 cheese macaroni, insert seasonal, but likely less-than-optimally-healthy-food-here.   Whatever it is you want, if all you're craving is that one taste, then have that one taste.  Or one piece, and be done.  If you want two pieces, then do that.  But as you're eating remember to stay mindful, present and honor your body!!  More than likely, if you are eating consciously and mindfully and really listening to your body's cues, it will be easy for you to know when to say when. 

What's your strategy for holiday parties, seasonal cookies, cakes, hor d'ourves, festive drinks, delicious flavored coffees, nut mixes, gift or mail order food that you receive because we all know that it all tastes good.  It's just not good for you.  What do you do to feel balanced, but not deprived, but also not fall off your own path that you've worked so hard to stay on?

Stay Tuned For Product Reviews & A Tweak on a Fave Dessert Recipe...










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