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Sweet and Salty Peanut Butter Brownies [recipe]

I won't sugar coat this...I have a huge sweet tooth. Once upon a time I decided I was going to give up sugar and I'm seriously trying, but sometimes I just can't stop myself. Today was one of those days. I went for it and these "white trash brownies" were the result. They're delicious..I dare you to not eat the whole pan..
Vegan Brownies + Peanut Butter Ganache + White Chocolate Covered Pretzels

You Will Need:

For the chocolate covered pretzels:
  • half a bag of white chocolate chips
  • two handfuls of gluten free pretzels (Glutino is my fave!)

1. Melt chocolate.
2. Mix in pretzels.
3. Spread on a sheet of parchment paper and put into refrigerator. Don't worry! These don't have to be perfect or pretty--they're just going to get smashed up.

**Preheat the oven to 350 degrees now :)

  1. 1. Place the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to aerate and combine.
  2. Place the applesauce, maple syrup, soy or nondairy milk, measured oil, and vanilla in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add the flour mixture and fold with a rubber spatula until just combined (do not overmix). Fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts (if using). Scrape the batter into the prepared baking dish and smooth out the top.

For the vegan brownies (I modified Minimalist Baker's recipe--no flax eggs here!):
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (I swear by Cup4Cup)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup soy milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus more for coating the pan
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Place the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
2.  Mix the applesauce, maple syrup, soy milk, oil and vanilla in a large bowl and whisk to combine. 3. Add the flour mixture and fold with a rubber spatula until just combined.
4. Don't mix it too much! Put into a greased 8x8 pan and bake for 25 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean. So scientific, I know.

While the brownies are baking, make your PB mix!
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1.5 cups powdered sugar
  • dash of vanilla
  • 1/2 stick melted butter
 1. Mix it all together with an electric mixer and set aside.

**Once the brownies are done, remove them from the oven and let them cool COMPLETELY! This part is always hard for me because I want to finish the recipe, but it's important to make sure the brownies are cool.**

1. Once the brownies have cooled, spread peanut butter mix on top.
2. Remove your pretzels from the refrigerator and crush into tiny pieces.
3. Pour the pretzels on top of the peanut butter and gently press down so they stick.

I know it seems like a lot of steps but OH GOD, THESE ARE SO GOOD. You're going to have to trust me on this one--MAKE THEM.

oil changed my life

Let's start at Friday, because I always love talking about days that make me happy...and of course Friday made me happy, because HELLO! END OF THE WORST WEEK EVER!

And now we're back to Monday, which I can totally deal with because Wednesday marks just one month until our wedding. I have a new attitude on this, more on that later this week...

Friday, Dane and I enjoyed our first date night in a really long time. We went to two of our favorite places--Opal Thai and the bar at the Marriott. Fried Tofu squares with basil, pad thai and a POG mojito?! I want to live that life every day.
Saturday I woke up with the headache from hell. It was like Judy herself was clawing the insides of my brain and ripping it out my ears. Flashback to a couple weeks ago when I was telling my neighbor about my migraines. She asked me if I had ever tried oils instead of medicine. Believe me, I thought this sounded just as crazy as you do right now. I took the peppermint oil and frankincense she gave me to try and put it in a drawer when I got home. Well, Saturday when I was in the seventh circle of hell, I remembered this oil. I slathered that oil on the top of my mouth. And let me tell you something--it tasted like shit, BUT MY HEADACHE WENT AWAY. I was half annoyed, because I had basically laughed at the idea weeks earlier. Lesson learned. Score 1 for essential oils.

We also gave our house a nice little deep cleaning, which it totally needed. Some people clean when they're stressed out--I am not one of them, so our house looked a little post-tornado-esque. Saturday night we went to a wedding right on the beach in Haleiwa. It made Dane and I question our traditional church vows a little bit--it was absolutely beautiful! And then it began to rain and the bride jumped in the water....I was immediately reminded of my need to be indoors.

Sunday was full of #JudyHanson time. We felt awful, because she had been a bit neglected this week, so after Skyping with Sarah about her potential Hawaii visit (squeal!), we were off on a dog beach adventure. I'm confident this is Judy's most favorite place in the world.

How was your weekend? And have you ever tried oils instead of traditional medicine? If yes, I NEED to hear about it!

real talk from a stressed out wedding planner via sex and the city

...and no, I'm not an official wedding planner--just a planner of my own wedding. call for a psych-eval if I ever claim I'm going to go into the wedding planning business. Maybe that wouldn't be so bad because it wouldn't be my own? But my paycheck would be dependent upon my success, so I don't really know...?

And if that little ramble wasn't an indication that this week can go straight to hell and never come back, I don't know what is.

Currently, I am on my third bag of PopCorners and on my second day of not even thinking about working out. Every time I eat food, I feel sick, my anxiety is at a constant 25 and the only real thing I want to do is read Carry On, Warrior and drink wine.

My words of advice for anyone newly engaged: Don't plan a wedding from 5,500 miles away. Or more bluntly--just don't plan a wedding. Hire someone or elope and have a big party afterwards.
I know...

Yes, this is coming from the same girl who was like: OMG! I'M ENGAGED! I CAN TOTALLY DO THIS!


The only thing that comes to my mind now is..

Thankfully in just a little over a month, there will be a whole lot more of this.
And a whole lot less of this.

Cheers to the freakin' weekend, everyone!