Perfectly Peanut Buttery Chocolate Chip Cookies With PB2

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While it seems blasphemous to categorize this as a ‘problem’, I feel as though I’ve got to be honest…I afraid I do have a bit of a peanut butter abuse problem lately. When it comes to Reese Pieces, Peanut Butter M&Ms, or any baked good with ‘peanut butter‘ in it’s name or description, I’ve got it bad. Unfortunately for me Peanut Butter is a very caloric food, which is why I went nuts last week when I discovered the best invention of the 20th century: PB2! A low-calorie Peanut Butter alternative, made with real peanuts, PB2 is a powder that you simply mix with water to get seemingly delicious, creamy real peanut butter – but with 85% less calories than real peanut butter. Can you see why I’m swooning?

After finding out about this little culinary gem I immediately got my paws on a jar and started baking. My first endeavor with PB2? These perfectly Peanut Buttery Chocolate Chip Cookies. These treats are not only low-calorie, but also vegan so long as you use vegan chocolate chips. I found that adding a little bit extra salt added to the Peanut Butter authenticity, however if you are interested in cutting back on sodium these would be just as tasty without.

Perfectly Peanut Buttery Chocolate Chip Cookies With PB2
Makes 30 Cookies | 91 Calories Per Cookie

Ingredients:
*2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
*1 Cup Quick Oats
*1 Cup Sugar
*1 Cup Mashed Banana (I always mash mine with a fork)
*1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
*1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
*1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
*1/2 Teaspoon Salt
*3/4 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips
*1 Tablespoon Vanilla
*Egg Replacer Equal to 1 Egg
*8 Tablespoons PB2 + 4 Tablespoons Water

Directions:
*Pre-mix your PB2 in a small bowl, set aside.
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*In a large mixing bowl combine all dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Once mixed add all wet ingredients and mix until it begins to look like thin cookie dough. Add in your PB2, the mixture should be sticky and not too thick.
*Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup or a large mixing spoon, spoon 30 evenly spaced out dollops onto your pre-greased cookie sheet.
*Bake for 22 minutes at 350 degrees.
*Remove from oven and let cool for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. If you enjoy chilled treats as I do, I would recommend chilling in your fridge in tupperware before enjoying, especially in the summer.

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Low-Calorie Vegan Lemon Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies

I can’t believe it’s already June, time flies when you’re having fun am-I-right? Summer in San Francisco can be pretty chilly/windy and all around deceiving as a season, so I always find myself looking for creative ways to trick myself into falling into that summer-y spirit. Along with eating lots of frozen yogurt and frequent weekend getaways to nearby warm locales, one of my favorite trickster tactics to employ is to bake fruity delights in keeping with the season. These Low-Calorie Vegan Lemon Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies that I baked for Father’s Day is one such example.

These cookies were inspired by a freaking amazing cake I tried a few months back when I was visiting my best friend in Los Angeles to celebrate her birthday. The Lemon Early Grey cake was from this stellar local bake shop Valerie Confections which I highly recommend you try if you’re ever in the area. Although these are shortbread cookies, they only clock in at 80 calories per cookie making these vegan treats are light as well as delicious. Happy baking!

Low-Calorie Vegan Lemon Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies
Makes 30 Cookies | 80 Calories Per Cookies

Ingredients:
*2 cups whole-wheat flour
*1/2 teaspoon baking soda
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1/2 cup sugar
*1/3 cup vegetable oil
*egg replacer equal to one egg
*2 tablespoons agave nectar
*3 teaspoons lemon juice
*tea leaves from 2 packets of Tazo Earl Grey Tea

Directions:
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*In a large mixing bowl combine all dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Once mixed add all wet ingredients and mix until you have a thick batter which can be kneaded into cookie sized balls.
*Using your hands create 30 golf ball sized cookie dough balls and space them out evenly on a pre-greased cookie sheet.
*Bake for 5 minutes, remove from oven and use a fork to push down your cookies so they will be more flat.
*Return them to the oven for 5-7 more minutes or until slightly browned on top.
*Remove from oven and let cool for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.
*Optional: You can glaze these with a light vanilla glaze recipe like this one and substitute almond or soy milk and earth balance for butter if you so desire. I ended up using this recipe to glaze half my batch and it complemented the flavors very well.

Let Me Tell You ‘Bout The Bears And The Bee-z…

Most Beautiful Wedding Ever Jen Prather Caleb Ontiveros 2012
Weddings are always the most beautiful events. Ethereal atmosphere’s, lacy dresses, bouquets of flowers and immaculately displayed food, sounds pretty good huh? Not to mention the overlaying Romantic premise…

The tough part is finding that one special someone who you just have to spend the rest of your life with. About 6 years ago, my best friend Jen Prather was fortunate enough to meet her husband to be Caleb Ontiveros, while working at a summer camp in Santa Barbara California. This last month they decided to tie the knot in Santa Maria California.

If most weddings are inspiring to attend, the Prather-Ontiveros wedding was nothing short of Magical. Jen Prather is one of the most amazing artist’s I know, and she employed her creativity when planning her wedding, enabling it to be a truly semi-charmed event. I was lucky enough to be asked to be a bridesmaid in the wedding, and I got to be part of it all first hand. I would like to share some wonderful moments from their special day with you…

Most Beautiful Wedding Ever Jen Prather Caleb Ontiveros 2012

Jen and Caleb tied the knot at a family Ranch in Santa Maria California. A family member erected this amazing raw wood altar for them to stand under while they said their vows.

Most Beautiful Wedding Ever Jen Prather Caleb Ontiveros 2012

Jen thought of all the details, and every last inch of the property was adorned with lace, succulents, and whimsical remnants from the lives of the Bride and Groom.

Most Beautiful Wedding Ever Jen Prather Caleb Ontiveros 2012

Inspired by a display Jen saw in a store window in the Mission District of San Francisco, she made a slew of Gods Eye’s to adorn the Trees of the Ranch.

Most Beautiful Wedding Ever Jen Prather Caleb Ontiveros 2012

The happy couple are avid bikers, and chose to employ bike themed elements in their wedding. The Mother of the bride was inspired, and gave the bride and groom this sexy two seater bicycle as one of their wedding gifts.

Most Beautiful Wedding Ever Jen Prather Caleb Ontiveros 2012

We created a photo booth, where guests could take their photo by stepping on a pedal. Many sweet moments from the night were captured this way…

Most Beautiful Wedding Ever Jen Prather Caleb Ontiveros 2012

And of course there was dancing. Jen reached out to me and asked me to create vinyl decals to adorn the dance floor of her wedding. I based the designs off the imagery in their invitations, the color scheme,  the floral arrangements and my first hand knowledge of the happy couple.

Most Beautiful Wedding Ever Jen Prather Caleb Ontiveros 2012

The food was spectacular Santa Maria BBQ, these hand-made signs were created by drawing in chalk boards with chalk markers!

Most Beautiful Wedding Ever Jen Prather Caleb Ontiveros 2012

And last but certainly not least, there was my favorite part, the wedding cake and dessert…

I hope you found taking a peek at Jen’s wedding as Magical as I found it to attend. Check out the Gallery below to see more snapshots, and keep your eyes peeled for a post about making vinyl decals (for weddings and otherwise) coming soon!

Some of these lovely wedding photos were taken by the Talented Ken Kienow: http://www.kenkienow.com/

Get in touch with Stephanie!