January 12, 2013

Baking Frenzy

Boy do I love Saturdays...everything about them makes me happy.  I think what I love most is that the city sleeps for so much longer on the weekends, making everything much more relaxing and just plain wonderful :)

I woke up this morning around 8 am so that I could enjoy a nice, nourishing breakfast before I headed out for my Saturday run!  Since I haven't posted in quite some time, I guess I should tell you all that I am training for another half marathon at the end of March!  Britta  recently moved back to Victoria (eff yes) so we decided to train for the race together!!! EEeeee so excited to have her here!

We are literally doing EVERY.SINGLE.RUN together and I couldn't be happier.  It is so nice to motivate and push each other, especially for the super early days!  I will be posting our weekly workouts and how things are going on my running page, so make sure you check that out!

Today we met a bit later than normal (around 10 am) for a nice, easy, 5.6 km run along the water! It was an absolutely amazing day...not a cloud in the sky! Her brother, Max (who hasn't run in 7 years) joined us for a run and a wonderful americano from Cafe Fantastico.  After our run we took our coffees on a nice, cool down/stroll along the water back to the car.  Man, I am absolutely in love with Victoria and so beyond lucky to live in such a beautiful city!

After our run Britta and I parted ways to get showered up and ready for our baking frenzy! After a quick shower, clean up and salad, Britta and I made our grocery lists and headed out to Lifestyle Market to pick up our supplies and a delicious green juice to give us an energy boost!

As soon as we got back to my apartment, we unpacked the goods and got right down to it.  We started our baking date by making our Hint of Mint Bars (no bake).

Hint of Mint Bars
adapted from Oh She Glows No Bake Peppermint Patty Bars

4 cups rolled oats, processed into a flour (or 2 cups oat flour)
1 cup almonds
1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp fine salt or to taste
1/2 tsp - 1 tbsp peppermint extract
4 tbsp packed brown sugar
4 tbsp almond milk
10 tbsp pure agave syrup
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
150 grams mint chocolate chips
2 tsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
shredded coconut, to garnish
1. Line an 9 by 13 lasagna pan with one large piece of parchment paper. Set aside.
2.  Add 2 cups rolled oats into a high speed blender. Blend on high until a flour forms.  We used a magic bullet and did 1 cup at a time and found it worked quite well. 

3. In a food processor process almonds and walnuts until a very fine crumble is formed. Add oat flour, cocoa powder (1/4 cup - will use other 1/4 cup later) salt, and brown sugar. Process until combined.  You may have to scrape down the sides as it combines together.

4. Add in the agave syrup and almond milk. Process until a ball forms. Add another tablespoon of cocoa powder if you like that sort of thing ;) 

 Process in the 1/2 cup rolled oats and chocolate chips until combined.

5. Take the mixture and put in the prepared pan.  Flatten the mixture with your hands and a spoon, unless you are a super chef and have a pastry roller to smooth it all out.  Once smooth, place bars in the freezer while you make the delicious topping.

6. Add mint chocolate chips and coconut oil to a small pot. Melt on low until most of the chocolate has melted and remove from heat. Stir. Remove the pan from freezer and pour melted chocolate on top. Smooth out with the back of a spoon and sprinkle on coconut.  Place in the freezer for 10-15 minutes, or until set. 

This should make 24 small or 12 large bars. Store in the freezer and enjoy the minty goodness!

After we made these bars we were onto the next thing on our list: Vegan Fudge Brownies from the Rebar cookbook...or...Almost Vegan Brownies.

Almost Vegan Brownies
makes ~12 servings



1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup cocoa

1 1/2 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt (we forgot this little tid bit)

3/4 cup coffee

3/4 cup almond milk

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup walnuts, roasted and chopped

1/2 cup chocolate chips


7 oz dark chocolate

5 oz vegan margarine


1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Prepare a 9 by 13 pan by greasing and then covering it in parchment paper.

2. Sift together the flour, cocoa, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  

In a separate bowl, stir together coffee, almond milk and vegetable oil.

3. Combine the wet and dry in a large bowl or stand mixer.  Stir in walnuts and chocolate chips into the batter.  

4.  Pour into prepared pan...

...and bake for 20-25 mins (until the toothpick comes out clean).

5. When the cake is cool, prepare the glaze.  In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and vegan margarine.  Whisk together until smooth and silky.  Pour the warm glaze over the cake, smoothing it out over the cake.  Place in the fridge until cool.

After our baking frenzy we obviously had to blog together...just so happened that we were dressed the same...and have the same computers.  Promise we didn't plan it that way...or maybe we did? ;)

Tonight calls for ordering in, enjoying each other's company and maybe a little brownie for dessert...I mean...what's a girl to do?

So happy to be back in the blogging world and hope that you all keep reading.  As long as you keep reading I will keep on posting!

Enjoy your weekend!


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