Tag Archives: ghirardelli

No Bake Ghirardelli Chocolate Chews

No Bake Ghirardelli Chocolate Chews
If you’re in a hurry and don’t feel like pulling out the mixer then you will love these.  Other than the below ingredients, you will only need a pot on a stove.  Easy to make and very delicious.  And you will get plenty of chews.  This recipe makes around 60 chocolate chews.

2 cups organic sugar
1⁄2 cup  Earth Balance vegan buttery sticks or unsalted butter (for non-vegan version)
1⁄2 cup full fat milk such as almond milk, coconut milk, cashew milk
1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey (for non-vegan version)
1 cup Ghirardelli Bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1⁄4 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1⁄2 cup coarsely chopped almonds (walnuts or pecans may also be used)


Mini Chocolate Cinnamon Buns

2-1⁄4 cups Whole Wheat Pastry flour (If you don’t follow a clean/whole foods diet, all purpose flour can be used)
2 tablespoons organic sugar or coconut palm sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1 cup low fat buttermilk
5 tablespoons Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks, melted & divided (Unsalted butter can be substituted)
1 cup Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips, divided in half
1⁄4 cup organic light brown sugar (make your own Organic Brown Sugar)
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 ounces low fat cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons organic confectioners’ sugar (make your own Organic Confectioner’s Sugar)

Follow directions in video above

Turtle Pretzel Candy Clusters

Unlike most of my newer recipes, this one is not clean-eating and I explain why in the video above.  I did swap in some healthier ingredients such as the whole wheat pretzels instead of the processed ones and I used a good quality cane juice sweetened dark chocolate.  But it’s because of the caramels that I couldn’t officially call this clean eating.  There might be a clean eating caramel available in health stores but I’ve never seen it and the one recipe I found to make clean eating caramels was so awful, I threw them out.

Truth be told, I’m not willing to sacrifice the taste of good food just to make them clean eating.  So, for the occasional treat, it’s ok to eat this.  It’s not going to kill you.

Let me tell you all something gang, I know quite a few people in the fitness industry that also cheat from time to time and they’re doing just fine.  And for the trainer at the gym during Christmas, I saw you eating those cookies!

So here is what you’ll need:

1 cup Chocolate (I used bittersweet but you can use semi-sweet or milk chocolate.  PLEASE, don’t use candy melts)
24 bite sized pretzels (square or twist)
12 baking caramels, unwrapped
1 tsp. water
24 whole pecans

Additional chocolate for decoration.  Could be dark, semi-sweet, or white chocolate.

Triple Chocolate Truffle Cake

Try saying that 3 times fast.  I like most of my recipes but this one is top notch!  I used the best quality chocolate I could find.  I wouldn’t exactly call this healthy but I did take some steps to make it less bad.  It’s also flourless so it’s ok for those with gluten sensitivities.

3 cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 cup Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
2 ounces White Chocolate Baking Bar or White Chocolate Chips
2 sticks  Smart Balance spread. (Any brand of real dairy butter or butter substitutes can be used. Using a healthier non-butter substitute just makes the cake less bad for you.)
8 large eggs, cold
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup full fat milk such as coconut milk, almond milk, whole milk, etc (you can even use heavy cream if you have that on hand)

Follow directions in video.
This cake should be kept refrigerated.

NOTE:  It’s called a triple chocolate cake because it has 3 kinds of chocolate in it.  But if you don’t like white chocolate, you can always make this a double chocolate cake and decorate with berries, nuts, or both instead.

Sweet and Salty Peanut Butter Bars

Creamy, chunky, sweet and salty.  These bars are no-bake, clean eating, and I made them vegan.  If you don’t follow a vegan diet, you can use regular butter in place of the vegan sticks.

6 tablespoon Earth Balance Vegan Buttery sticks, melted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 ounces whole wheat pretzels, crushed (about 1 cup of crumbs)
2/3 cup organic creamy peanut butter
1 cup organic confectioners’ sugar, sifted (I made my own.  Here is the recipe)

For chocolate topping:
3/4 cup Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips
1 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
coarsely chopped whole wheat pretzels

Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies – Clean Eating!

What makes a cookie clean eating?  The ingredients must be unprocessed.  If you would like to know more about clean eating, check out the link in the menu above.  As I’ve said numerous times, clean eating is NOT a low cal , low sugar, or low fat diet.  It’s a healthier way of eating.  With that said, these cookies are so good and perfect as long as they are consumed in moderation and as part of a healthy diet.

1 cup Earth Balance Vegan Buttery sticks, softened (any brand of your choice can be used, I just like this brand)
3/4 cup organic brown sugar
 (Make your own by combining 1 cup or organic cane juice sugar with 1-3 teaspoon organic blackstrap molasses)
1/2 cup organic cane juice sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
 (If you want to make this vegan, try using Ener-G Egg Replacer.  I’ve used it and it works well)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3⁄4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
 (I use Bob’s Red Mill brand)
2 cups  Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate (should be at least 50% cacao)
1 teaspoon  avocado oil or oil of your choice

Directions in video above

UPDATE:  Hey guys!  Check this out.  I found an app called Yoshirt that makes apparel from photos.  This is my Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookie tank top.FullSizeRender 3

Why I Don’t Like Candy Melts

As you read through this article you’ll be able to see why I don’t really like using compound chocolates, also known as candy melts and candy coating.  I consider them to be a necessary evil and usually try to avoid using them when I can.  Before I explain the advantages to using real chocolate for cake pops, dipping, or molding candy let’s take a look at the ingredients of both.

Make ‘n Mold brand Candy Wafers – Sugar, partially hydrogenated palm kernel oil, whole milk solids, reduced mineral whey powder, nonfat dry milk solids, artificial color, soya lecithin, salt, and artificial flavor.

(Some brands will have cocoa in them but it’s usually buried in the ingredients list halfway down, so there really isn’t that much in it.)

Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate – Unsweetened Chocolate, Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Milk Fat, Soy Lecithin, Vanilla.

Which one sounds more appetizing to you?

As a  home baking hobbyist, I got to know quite a few professional bakers, cake pop makers, and cookie decorators.  Many of them proudly use candy melts (also known as candy wafers, almond bark, etc) to make cake pops over real chocolate.  There are several reasons as to why.

For one, candy melts were made for the inexperienced confectionist.  Chocolate is one of the fussiest ingredients to work with.  It must be tempered which is a process of heating and cooling the chocolate to a certain temperature.  If not tempered correctly, white dots or streaks will form.  This is known as “bloom” and is perfectly safe to consume and still tastes great but not very pretty to look at.  Candy melts are mostly made of hydrogenated fat and doesn’t have to be tempered.  They are easy to melt in the microwave and even though it can still burn if heated too much, working with them is almost fool-proof.  For bakers who have dozens of orders for chocolate dipped items, using candy melts can also be a time saver.

Candy melts come in different colors whereas real chocolate only comes in shades of dark chocolate, milk chocolate or white chocolate.  So when making a rose cake pop you might want to make it red.  Even though there are some candy color gels on the market to tint white chocolate, they don’t seem to have the same vibrant shade and it’s time consuming.   Only oil based color gels specifically labeled for chocolate would be a safe bet as regular food color will ruin the chocolate.

Cost cutting is another factor.  A 4-ounce bar of Ghirardelli 60% Cacao averages $3.00.  A 14 ounce bag of Make ‘n Mold Candy Wafers cost $2.00 on sale at AC Moore.  High end confectioners and bakers use real chocolate for dipping and charge more for it.  Bottom line: You get what you pay for.

When dipping, molding or making anything with dark/milk/white chocolate, I always recommend using a good quality real chocolate.  Preferably a dark chocolate with a high percentage of cacao.  For any other color, I will reluctantly use candy melts.

Look at the above ingredients again.  Which one looks healthier?  Let’s face it, you won’t find cake and candy on the food pyramid anytime soon.  However, dark chocolate has anti-oxidants and heart healthy qualities.  When dipping those cake pops, why make them even more unhealthy by using the product with hydrogenated fats?   Additionally, real chocolate tastes much better.

To make your own healthier, clean eating candy melts go to my post Healthy Homemade Chocolate