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Grasshopper Brownie Bars

Grashopper brownie bars 3Whether you are looking for a festive St. Patty’s Day treat, or just in the mood for the delightful combination of chocolate and mint, this allergy friendly grasshopper brownie bar recipe is sure to please.

I love anything made with chocolate and mint but, why do we call it a “grasshopper”? After a quick Google search, I learned that a popular 50’s after dinner drink made with crème de menthe and crème de cacao is the origin. It got its name due to the green tint in the crème de menthe. Mystery solved!

So, with that little tidbit of history, hop into your kitchen and whip up a batch of these tasty treats. You might even want to put on a little Elvis Pressley or Chuck Berry to set the mood.

Happy Baking!

grashopper brownie bars 2.75

GRASSHOPPER BROWNIE BARS

FOR BROWNIE LAYER:

  • 1 box Lillabee Fudgy Brownie Mix plus additional ingredients to prepare batter ( 1/3 cup butter/margarine,  2 tsp vanilla extract, 2 eggs)
  • 2 tsp peppermint extract or 1/8 tsp peppermint oil 

 

FOR MINT FILLING:

  • 1 cup non-hydrogenated shortening or butter (room temp)
  • 3-4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract or 1/8 tsp peppermint oil
  • ¼- ½ cup milk (rice, coconut, cow, etc.)
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 2-6 drops green food coloring (optional)

 

 FOR CHOCOLATE TOP LAYER:

  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 T non-hydrogenated shortening (room temp)

 

STEP 1: PREP

Place rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 350˚ F. Line pan with aluminum foil, leaving 4” or excess foil hanging over the sides. This excess foil will be used as handles to aid in removal from pan once the three layer dessert is complete. Lightly grease 9”x9” square pan.

 Grasshopper Brownie Bars  line pan

STEP 2: MAKE BROWNIES

Mix Lillabee Fudgy Brownie Mix as directed on the back of the box . Add in the peppermint extract / oil along with the vanilla extract. Bake as directed. Let cool completely in pan before layering frosting and chocolate topping.

Grasshopper Brownie Bars  let cool_picnik

STEP 3: MAKE MINT FILLING

Using  paddle attachment on standing mixer blend shortening/butter, salt, vanilla, peppermint extract/oil until smooth. Add 1 cup powdered sugar and mix until incorporated. Alternate a splash of milk with ½ cup powdered sugar until desired sweetness and consistency is achieved. Add one drop of green food coloring at a time until desired color is achieved. (This can be made up to a week in advance and stored in an airtight container or sealed plastic bag. Bring to room temperature when ready to use.)

Grasshopper Brownie Mint Filling 3

STEP 4: ASSEMBLE LAYERS

Assemble grasshopper brownie bars in the pan the brownies were baked in (with foil liner). Top cooled brownies with 1 cup mint filling and spread evenly with offset spatula or rubber spatula. Put in refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.

 Grasshopper Brownie Bars chill

Melt 1 cup of chocolate chips in microwave on 50% power setting in 30 second intervals, stirring frequently. Once chocolate is melted and smooth, stir in 2 Tb shortening until incorporated. Pour over mint filling and spread with offset spatula until mint filling is completely covered. Chill in refrigerator for another 30 min.

 

STEP 5: CUT AND ENJOY!

To remove from pan, use foil overhang as handles and simply lift up and out of pan. Place on a cutting board and cut into squares.

 Grasshopper Brownie cut

NOTE: You will have extra mint filling. Use it to frost cupcakes and cookies or try our Chocolate Mint Cake Truffles recipe. YUM! 

Cookies & Cream Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting

Cookies & Cream Cupcakes w textValentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. I adore cutting out paper valentines, hand making red and pink decorations for our home and I especially love baking up sweet treats for the ones I love. The inspiration for this year’s Lillabee Valentine’s Day treat was my 32 year old brother, Austin. Austin has Down’s Syndrome and LOVES Denver Broncos, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the color orange, his 3 year old niece and possibly above all chocolate sandwich cookies. He is also the most genuine and unconditionally loving person I have ever know. So this year for Valentine’s Day, I dedicate this recipe to my little brother with love. I hope you enjoy this classic combination of cookies and cream cupcakes with vanilla bean frosting as much as he does. Be sure to share them with someone you love. 

Happy Valentine’s Day and Happy Baking! 

xoxo

Cookies & Cream Cupcakes 4 w text

COOKIES & CREAM CUPCAKES:

 

  • One box of Lillabee Classic Yellow Cake Mix
  • (¾ cup of milk (cow, rice, almond, etc)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • ¼ cup butter or non-dairy butter substitute
  • 2 large eggs
  • 8-10 chocolate sandwich cookies (reserve and finely chop 2 chocolate wafers to use a garnish)

 

Preheat oven to 350◦. Line 12 muffin tins with paper cupcake liners. Disassemble one chocolate sandwich cookie and chop 2 chocolate wafers into fine crumbs. Set aside to garnish. Chop remaining chocolate sandwich cookies into small pieces. Prepare one box of Lillabee Classic Yellow Cake Mix as directed on the box. Stir in small pieces of sandwich cookies. Pour batter into lined muffin tins and bake 25-35 min, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.

 

VANILLA BEAN FROSTING: Allergy Friendly

This simple and sensational frosting comes together quick as a flash and is a complete show stopper! The secret ingredient is vanilla bean paste. I always use the Nielson-Massey brand, as it is certified gluten free and allergy free. You can find it at most fine baking supply stores and here online. I’m completely addicted to this product! I use it in everything from french toast to baked goods to popcorn. It is divine!! 

 Cookies & Cream Cupcakes 2 w text

 

Vanilla Bean Frosting Recipe:

  • 1 c. non-hydrogenated shortening or butter (room temp)
  • 3-4 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 Tb vanilla bean paste (or 2 t. vanilla extract)
  • ¼- ½ cup milk (rice, coconut, cow, etc.)
  • ½ tsp sea salt

 

Using paddle attachment on standing mixer, beat shortening/butter with salt and vanilla bean paste until smooth. Add 1 c. powdered sugar and mix until incorporated. Alternate a splash of milk with ½ cup powdered sugar until desired sweetness and consistency is achieved. Whip on medium high speed for 2-3 min.

 

To assemble: Frost cupcakes with a spatula or pastry bag and tip. Sprinkle tops with ½ tsp finely chopped chocolate wafer. Here’s a little video tutorial I found on you tube that will show you how to decorate them like the pros! (I used a 1A tip like the one used in this video) Enjoy!

 

Oatmeal Macadamia Nut Pancakes

Oatmeal macadamia nut pancakesConsidering it is Sunday, it’s probably not surprising that I’ve posted a pancake recipe today.   I love pancakes, but during the week I don’t always have time to make them.  With this being said, Sundays are my pancake days.  Sometimes I make extras and freeze them for later in the week or even save them for a snack later on in the day. 

I recently met a man in Whole Foods Colfax while sampling some of our tasty Lillabee treats.  He was from Aspen and also loves pancakes.  I began telling him about our wonderful and nutritious pancake mix, but he was not sold on the product.  He told me that the only pancakes he eats are from a cafe in the heart of Aspen called Poppycock’s.  He orders the same pancake every time he goes, which is quite frequent, and never tires of them.  I asked him what flavor they were and why they were so great.  The way he described the hot cakes literally tempted me enough to drive to Aspen just to try the Oatmeal Macadamia Nut Pancakes.  The pancakes were delicious and entirely worth the drive, as they melted in my mouth.

Today, I am sharing a recipe that recreates these tasty buttermilk pancakes without the gluten or dairy. I used gluten free oats and a touch of vinegar to give it that true buttermilk flavor.  I liked these Oatmeal Macadamia Nut Pancakes so much that after I finished eating them, I made another batch and froze them for this coming week!  I hope I run into the gentleman who told me about these pancakes in the future so I can share with him the Lillabee version of his favorite hot cake.  Happy Sunday and Happy Baking!

  • 1 Cup Lillabee Perfect Pancake/Waffle Mix
  • 1 Tbls Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Gluten Free Oats
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1  Cup Milk (Rice, Almond, Cow)
  • 2 tsp White Wine or Apple Cider Vinegar (adds buttermilk flavor)
  • 1 Tbls Canola Oil
  • 1 Egg (simply omit egg to make vegan)
  • 1/3 Cup Chopped Macadamia Nuts + more to top the pancakes

Prep:

Heat a large pancake skillet over medium heat and brush or spray it with oil.

Make:

In a large bowl, mix together the pancake mix, sugar and oats.  In a separate bowl, combine the milk with the vinegar to make a “buttermilk.” Once the milk has thickened, put it in a large mixing bowl and add the egg, vanilla and oil and whisk to combine.  Slowly add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and whisk to combine.  The batter should be smooth after mixing.  Fold the macadamia nuts into the batter with a spatula.  Let the pancake batter rest for about 5 minutes to thicken. 

Once the batter has thickened, form each pancake by dropping 1/3 cup of batter onto the prepared skillet.  Cook until the edges begin to brown and small bubbles appear throughout the pancake.  Flip the pancake, and continue to cook for a few more minutes on the other side.  Repeat with the remaining batter.  This recipe should make between 4 and 6 medium pancakes.

Top the pancakes with additional macadamia nuts and syrup!  Enjoy!

Pumpkin Cake Pops

pumpkin cake pops coverCake Pops are so fun!  Kids love them, adults crave them and they are totally cute!  I love bringing Cake Pops to parties because everyone is always so impressed with my baking abilities.  Don’t tell anyone, but Cake Pops are really quite simple to prepare.   Also, guests always seem to enjoy them because they are not too big, so it is a great dessert after a big dinner.   As most of you may know, I love Fall and I bake as much as I can during the season.  I love baking with Fall flavors… pumpkin, apple, cinnamon, nutmeg, sweet potato…. my list goes on and on.

I wanted to create a recipe today that is unique and fun for this Fall season.   After a quick thought, I came up with Pumpkin Cake Pops!  I hope you enjoy these tasty treats.  They are fun to make and you are guaranteed to impress your friends and family with these Pops. 

Pumpkin Cake

  • 1 box Lillabee Yellow Cake Mix
  • 1/4 Cup + 2 Tbls softened Margarine (butter)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 3/4 Cup Milk (cow, rice, almond etc.)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 tsp Vinegar — any type will do
  • 3/4 Cup Pumpkin Puree

Prep:  

Prepare a cake pan or muffin tins by spraying with oil, or greasing with butter/margarine.  Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Make:

Mix the spices with the Lillabee flour mixture from the cake mix in a bowl and set aside.  Combine the milk, vanilla and vinegar in a separate bowl and set aside.  Cream margarine and the white sugar from the Lillabee cake mix on medium speed for about 2 minutes until smooth.  Scrape down the edges with a spatula and then add the eggs and mix until fully incorporated.  Add the pumpkin puree and continue mixing.  Slowly add the flour/spice mixture and mix on medium-low speed until smooth.  Scrape down the edges of the bowl with a spatula when necessary.  Add the milk mixture and continue to mix the batter on medium speed. 

Once the batter is smooth, scoop spoonfuls of batter into the prepared muffin tins or pour into a cake pan.  It will not make a difference what type of pan you use;  I always use muffin tins when making cake pops because muffins bake quicker than a full cake, but it is your choice.  

Bake:

Bake the Pumpkin Cake at 325 degrees F for 18-22 minutes (45-50 minutes if using a cake pan), or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle. 

While the Pumpkin Cake is baking, prepare the Spiced Butter-Cream Frosting.  When the Pumpkin Cake is done baking, set it on cooling racks until room temperature.

Spiced Butter-Cream Frosting

  • 1/2 Cup Margarine/Butter at room temperature
  • 3 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1-3 Tbls Milk (cow, rice, almond etc.)
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • dash of Vanilla Extract

Using a hand-held mixer or standing mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the butter or margarine on medium speed until smooth.  Add the Vanilla Extract and Spices and continue to mix.  Slowly add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, and mix until smooth.  Add milk if necessary to make the frosting creamy and smooth.  If the frosting is too soft, add more powdered sugar, until the texture is just right. 

Assembling the Cake Pops:

Once the Pumpkin Cake has cooled completely, put it in a bowl and mash it up!  This is my favorite part of making Cake Pops because you can get your hands dirty.  Plus you have a reason to destroy a cake.  Once the cake or muffins have been broken apart, use a hand-held mixer and mix the already-baked cake even more.  Continue mixing until the entire cake is broken apart and resembles a thick, sand texture.  Add 1 cup of the Spiced Butter-Cream Frosting to the mixture and continue mixing.  Add more frosting if necessary to achieve a thick, sticky consistency. 

Use a small ice cream scoop or a spoon to create small 1 inch balls of cake.  Place the balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and put them in the freezer to chill for at least 30 minutes.  Once the cake balls have chilled, bring them out of the freezer and prepare the frosting.  Right before you dunk the cake pops into the frosting, add a dash of milk to the frosting and microwave it for about 10-15 seconds.  Mix the frosting for 30 seconds with a whisk until smooth right after it comes out of the microwave.  Place a cake ball on a fork and dunk into the frosting.  Scrape off any frosting stuck to the fork and place the iced Cake Pop on another baking pan lined with parchment paper.  Top the Cake Pop with chopped pecans or cinnamon and stick a lollipop stick in the middle.  Continue dunking pops and decorating until all have been made.  If you are planning on topping the Cake Pops with nuts or cinnamon, do so right after they are dunked into the frosting.  Put the pops back in the freezer for another 30 minutes to set-up.  Once they chill, you can go ahead and serve them! 

 Enjoy and Happy Baking!

Sweet Potato Spice Waffles

sweet potato spice waffles coverFall is my favorite time of the year and one of the reasons I like the season so much is because of all the delicious foods.  Pumpkin is typically my go-to fall flavor, however, this year I am a little obsessed with sweet potato.  Pumpkin pancakes have been my favorite breakfast treat for quite some time now, but after this morning’s Sweet Potato Spice Waffles, it may be tough for me to decide between the two recipes.  I made the Sweet Potato Spice Waffles completely vegan today and also added lots of cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin pie spice to boost the nutrition.  These waffles are thick and delicious, and are the perfect meal to wake up to on a Fall day.  Please try out this recipe and let me know which you like best–the Pumpkin Pancakes or Sweet Potato Spice Waffles… take my word, it is a tough decision.  Happy Fall and Happy Baking!

  • 2/3 cup Milk (rice, almond, cow etc.)
  • 1 Tbls Canola Oil
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 cup Sweet Potato Puree
  • 1 Tbls Sugar
  • 1 Cup Perfect Waffle Mix
  • 3/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1/8 tsp Nutmeg

Prep:

Plug in your waffle iron and let it pre-heat.

Make:

In a bowl, whisk together the milk, oil, vanilla and sweet potato puree.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the waffle mix, sugar and spices.  Slowly add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and whisk to combine.  Let the batter stand for 2-5 minutes.

Bake:

Pour about 1/2 cup of the batter onto the hot waffle iron.  You may need more or less batter depending upon the size of your waffle maker.  The waffles are done when the edges turn golden brown, however consult your waffle iron for best results.

Serve with granola, pecans, butter and/or agave nectar.  Enjoy!