This way to the Emerald City

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Hello and happy weekend!

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We’ve been having the stormiest weather over here this week and I LOVE it – rain is my favorite!

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Besides which, it’s made everything so GREEN! The hills are absolutely gorgeous.

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C and I went for a saunter up Twin Peaks today and everything was so green and glorious – not to mention the crystal clear air!

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Apparently the theme of today’s post is green…

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This tart is straight up amazing! It’s all kinds of earthy, minty flavor wrapped up in a polenta and almond crust. Matcha and mint are such an easy sell for me, and besides, vanilla bean just makes everything better, instantaneously.

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C and I universally agreed this is one of our top favorites – that’s saying something, since we like most things! He especially loved it – I’m betting it won’t last through the night ;) This is going on the must-repeat list, and SOON.

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It’s light and fresh – we ate it both for dessert with some ice cream (awesome, obviously) but it was equally good alongside a midday meal today (I’d call it breakfast since it was our first meal of the day but we didn’t eat till 1:30 so that seems a bit of a misnomer…)

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Happy three day weekend!

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Matcha Mint & Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta Tart

Full of green tea, minty goodness. This tart is only lightly sweet, earthy from the tea and refreshing from the mint. Vanilla bean just makes everything better. Cornmeal & almond flour round out the crust, making this gluten free, refined sugar free & dairy free. Yield: 1 9″ tart, serves several. A Wait are Those Cookies original.

For the crust:

1.5 c almond flour
1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 c cornmeal
heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
6 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/4 c melted dark chocolate

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, shredded coconut, cornmeal, sea salt, and baking soda. Add in vanilla, maple, and melted coconut oil, and stir until completely combined. The dough will look crumbly, but you’ll be able to press it together with your fingers.
Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease a 9″ tart pan (w/ removable bottom) with coconut oil. Press the crust into the plate and up the sides with a spoon or your fingers, creating a smooth edge (or not, your call!). Poke the bottom with a fork a few times, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool for a few minutes.

With a pastry brush or a spoon, coat the bottom the crust with an even layer of melted chocolate. Refrigerate until chocolate sets, about 10 minutes.

Panna Cotta:
1 package unflavored powdered gelatin
1.75 cup full-fat coconut milk, divided
1.5 tbsp vanilla bean paste
1 tsp peppermint extract
1/4 cup maple
Scant 1/4 tsp sea salt
1.5 tbsp matcha powder
melted coconut butter or more melted chocolate, for drizzling (just a few tbsp needed – use more for serving if desired)

In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/4 cup of the coconut milk. Let stand without stirring until the gelatin is moistened, about 10 minutes.

Pour the remaining 1.5 cups of coconut milk into a small saucepan. Add vanilla, mint extract, maple, salt, and matcha powder into it. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring consistently. Remove from the heat (blend if necessary with an immersion blender if you have a few matcha blobs). Add the gelatin mixture and stir until completely dissolved, about 3 minutes. Cool until lukewarm, about 5 minutes. Pour the panna cotta mixture into the cooled tart shell. Drop melted chocolate or coconut butter onto the surface of the tart and swirl with a knife or a toothpick. Place in the refrigerator until set, approximately 4 hours.

Store in the fridge – keeps well overnight for breakfast the next morning :)

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Panna cotta that is mint to be

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Happy holidays!

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I had a delightful holiday with both my fam and C’s. He and I took a 6ish mile hike yesterday with fam; the weather was just beautiful and it felt great to get outside.

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I’m keeping it short and sweet today – I made this panna cotta tart for xmas dinner with the fave human’s family; it got rave reviews from both kids and adults, which totally makes it a win in my book!

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It’s relatively simple to put together and keeps very well when made ahead – I made it 24 hours before serving, which was just perfect (the panna cotta needs to set up anyway, so that’s ideal).

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I’m currently navigating the last few work days of the year in this weird no-space between Christmas and New Years (grudgingly, mind you), while I wait for a few more days off and some relaxation time. I’m already plotting my NYE dessert, of course.

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I hope you’re happily relaxing with loved ones! I highly recommend to feed them panna cotta tart :)

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Mint and Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta Tart on a Chocolate Crust

Mint and chocolate: a match made in heaven. Only lightly sweet but a big crowd pleaser (this one got rave reviews from both kids and adults!). Infuse the cream the day before you plan to make the tart. Keeps well wrapped in the fridge overnight; I made it 24 hours before serving. Gluten and grain free; refined sugar free. Yield: 1 9″ tart; serves several! A Wait are those Cookies original.

For the crust:

1.75 c almond flour
1/3 c unsweetened cacao powder
1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut
heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
4 tbsp coconut oil, melted
~1/4 c chopped dark chocolate

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, cacao powder, coconut, sea salt, and baking soda. Add in vanilla, maple, and melted coconut oil and stir until completely combined. The dough will look crumbly, but you’ll be able to press it together with your fingers.

Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease a tart pan with coconut oil. Press the crust into the plate and up the sides with a spoon or your fingers, creating a smooth edge (or not, your call!). Poke the bottom with a fork a few times, and bake for 15 minutes.

Let cool for a few. Melt the dark chocolate and pour it into the bottom of the tart shell. Use a spoon or a brush to smooth it out. Let cool completely to set the chocolate.

Infused cream*:

1 c cream
1/4 loosely packed fresh mint leaves

Coarsely chop fresh mint with a very sharp knife, without crushing or bruising them. Stir them into cold cream, cover, and refrigerate 8 to 12 hours.

Strain the cream, pressing on the solids to extract as much cream as possible. Discard the leaves. If you’re not using the cream immediately, cover and refrigerate it until needed.

*the infused cream makes just shy of a cup; you’ll be adding more cream for the rest of the panna cotta (see below) – use all of the infused cream + another 3/4 c for a total of 1.75 c

For the panna cotta:

1 package unflavored powdered gelatin
1.75 cup mint-infused heavy cream, divided*
1.5 tbsp vanilla bean paste
1.5 tsp peppermint extract
1/4 cup maple
Scant 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup plain greek whole-milk yogurt
Pomegranate, coconut and mint for garnish

*See above note; I used 1 c infused cream + 3/4 non-infused cream

In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/4 cup of the cream. Let stand without stirring until the gelatin is moistened, about 10 minutes.

Pour the remaining 1.5 cups of cream into a small saucepan. Add maple, and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring consistently. Remove from the heat, whisk in peppermint extract and vanilla paste. Add the gelatin mixture and stir until completely dissolved, about 3 minutes. Cool until lukewarm, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the yogurt until well blended. Pour the panna cotta mixture into the cooled tart shell. Place in the refrigerator until set, approximately 4 hours.

Store in the fridge – keeps well overnight for breakfast the next morning :)

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A perfect matcha

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Hello!

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I made a green thing! It’s been awhile but I LOVE matcha, so I’m really overdue. This was DELICIOUS – we ate all but 1/4 of it in two sittings, haha! To be fair, we hiked this morning so it was part of a well-earned post-hike brunch. Also eggs. Also kale!! Of course. I know, you’re shocked. It was a beautiful (if a bit hot, and very windy) day – the air was so clear.

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I highly recommend this dessert if you love matcha – it’s very matcha-forward in the best way. I love matcha and chocolate together; they’re a matcha made in heaven! HAHAH see what I did there, I crack myself up. It’s also light, and makes for both a great dessert and awesome breakfast.

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It’s October already! Can someone explain that? Jeez, September went fast. I did go to Disneyland though, that was fun! It’s only been about a decade since I was there last. While there, I had ice cream for lunch (more green things), which was really an inspired lunch choice, I must say.

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Anyway – this matcha panna cotta tart is grain free, gluten free, refined sugar free! It can be dairy free too, if you swap out the greek yogurt for something nondairy. Easy to put together and requires only about 15 minutes of oven time, which is alway a bonus.

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Happy fall!

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Matcha Panna Cotta Tart

For those who love matcha! This is not for the faint of matcha hearted – we both loved it. The earthiness of the matcha plays really well against the cacao crust. Grain and gluten free, refined sugar free. Dairy free option – swap out the greek yogurt for something nondairy (coconut greek would work well here). Yield: 1 9″ tart, serves 2 very hungry humans over two sittings or 6-8 normal humans ;)

For the crust:

1 c almond flour
3/4 finely ground walnuts (blitz them in the food processor)
1/3 c unsweetened cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut
heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
4 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/4 c dark chocolate, melted

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, walnut meal, cacao powder, coconut, sea salt, and baking soda. Add in vanilla, maple, and melted coconut oil and stir until completely combined. The dough will look crumbly, but you’ll be able to press it together with your fingers.

Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease a pie plate with coconut oil. Press the crust into the plate and up the sides with a spoon or your fingers, creating a smooth edge (or not, your call!). Poke the bottom with a fork a few times, and bake for 15 minutes.
Remove and let cool completely.

With a pastry brush or a spoon, coat the bottom the crust with an even layer of melted chocolate. Refrigerate until chocolate sets, about 10 minutes.

Panna Cotta:
1 package unflavored powdered gelatin
1.5 cup full-fat coconut milk, divided
1 tbsp vanilla
1/4 cup maple
Scant 1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp matcha powder
1/2 cup plain greek whole-milk yogurt
more melted chocolate, for drizzling (just a few tbsp needed – use more for serving if desired)

In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/4 cup of the coconut milk. Let stand without stirring until the gelatin is moistened, about 10 minutes.

Pour the remaining 1.25 cups of coconut milk into a small saucepan. Add vanilla, maple, salt, and matcha powder into it. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring consistently. Remove from the heat. Add the gelatin mixture and stir until completely dissolved, about 3 minutes. Cool until lukewarm, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the yogurt until well blended. Pour the panna cotta mixture into the cooled tart shell. Drop melted chocolate onto the surface of the tart and swirl with a knife or a toothpick. Place in the refrigerator until set, approximately 4 hours.

Store in the fridge – keeps well overnight for breakfast the next morning :)

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Birthdays are the best excuse for dessert

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Omg. This is GOOD.

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I know in polite society you’re not really supposed to say the stuff you made is really bomb but…. I’m going to break that rule.

Because – this tart. is. so. DELICIOUS!

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We both loved it – I made it for C’s birthday after he requested something with chocolate and berries and cream. Fave human’s birthday = great excuse to bake! Not as if I ever need one…

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Cream and chocolate complement each other so nicely – the filling of this one is light but rich, and the crust is chewy with a slight hint of salt (gotta love salted chocolate!). Add in whatever summer fruit you have on hand – for me, it was raspberries, blueberries and cherries – and you’re set for a perfect summer dessert.

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It makes amazing dessert and of course, breakfast. We did eat it with a bit of vanilla ice cream last night – no complaints there, and it made an awesome addition to breakfast this morning (by now this really shouldn’t surprise you!) post Twin Peaks 4.5 mile hike (1000′ elevation gain, not too shabby)!

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It really comes together quickly too – the crust is an easy press-in; no rolling required! This is a perfect dessert for the hot days we’re having too, since the crust only bakes for about 15 minutes, and the filling just sets up in the refrigerator. I made the crust the night before, while my apartment was cool, and then put the filling together early the next morning so it could chill all day.

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I definitely will make this again. I make a practice of not posting anything we don’t like, so of course I’d make the others on here too…. but… this one…. I want to make it again SOON! I leave for camp on Friday though so I suspect there will be no baking again until after I come back – stay tuned for cherries! I have a bunch frozen after I saw them on sale in the market a few times.

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Happy baking! See ya on the flip side when I get back from my mountainous camp sojourn in mid-July!

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Yogurt Panna Cotta Cream Tart with Summer Fruit on a Chocolate Almond Crust

A Wait are Those Cookies original! I riffed on this one and this one and came up with this. Refined sugar free, gluten free and grain free. Yield: 1 9″ tart.

For the crust:

1.75 c almond flour
1/3 c unsweetened cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut
heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
4 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/4 c dark chocolate, melted

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, cacao powder, coconut, sea salt, and baking soda. Add in vanilla, maple, and melted coconut oil and stir until completely combined. The dough will look crumbly, but you’ll be able to press it together with your fingers.

Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease a pie plate with coconut oil. Press the crust into the plate and up the sides with a spoon or your fingers, creating a smooth edge (or not, your call!). Poke the bottom with a fork a few times, and bake for 15 minutes.

With a pastry brush, coat the bottom the crust with an even layer of melted chocolate. Refrigerate until chocolate sets, about 10 minutes.

Panna Cotta:
1 package unflavored powdered gelatin
1.5 cup heavy cream, divided
1 tbsp vanilla
Scant 1/4 cup maple
Scant 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup plain greek whole-milk yogurt
more melted chocolate, for drizzling (just a few tbsp needed – use more for serving if desired)

In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/4 cup of the cream. Let stand without stirring until the gelatin is moistened, about 10 minutes.

Pour the remaining 1.25 cups of cream into a small saucepan. Add vanilla, maple and salt into the cream. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring consistently. Remove from the heat. Add the gelatin mixture and stir until completely dissolved, about 3 minutes. Cool until lukewarm, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the yogurt until well blended. Pour the panna cotta mixture into the cooled tart shell. Place in the refrigerator until set, approximately 4 hours.

Decorate with berries and drizzle with melted chocolate (I just melt chips in the microwave) and top with berries for serving! Store in the fridge – keeps well overnight for breakfast the next morning :)

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Nature’s ombré: blood oranges!

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Happy spring! I really can’t believe it’s almost April.

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Aside from my car blowing a tire on the bridge in the pouring rain (why is it that car trouble always comes in multiples?), things are pretty spring-like over here, especially today – the weather is cool, sunny and beautiful.

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We got in a great ridge hike yesterday, despite some really aggressive ridge top wind; the clouds were beautiful and we only got hit with a bit of light drizzle. The colors of everything were so gorgeous – not sure my photos do it justice!

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What a great weekend – quality time with fave human, hiking & healthy dessert! And pizza. Because, well, because pizza! Ha. Everything in moderation, including moderation.

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In other news, the skies have been beautiful lately.

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I have a very spring-y dessert for you today – our consensus was that this is a light, spring-like, mellow-in-a-good-way dessert – it certainly disappeared quickly over here!

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The panna cotta is very lightly citrusy, which plays nicely against the cornmeal & meyer lemon crust. Cornmeal is an easy sell with both of us, so no complaints there (except for some extra flossing). We ended up serving this with extra sliced citrus – both of us are really into tart things, but it’s also great on its own. I’d say that I like it with ice cream (because we know I love ice cream in general), but it’s not absolutely necessary, and could easily overwhelm the delicate panna cotta – in which case I’d say to skip it, just this once.

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This is a dessert that sounds complicated but comes together super quickly and requires minimal baking time. The only consideration is allowing enough time to let the gelatin set, but that’s just a small bit of planning ahead – I like to make this the night before and let it set overnight.

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Happy spring baking! Get on those blood oranges before they disappear!

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Citrus Panna Cotta Tart on a Cornmeal Lemon Coconut Crust

Gluten free and refined sugar free. Definitely could be done with coconut milk and dairy free yogurt for a df version! To me, this has the flavor essence of a creamsicle or a 50/50 bar, only lightyears better and not full of processed nastiness. Despite sounding complicated, this comes together quickly & easily, and can be made the night before. Yield: 1 9″ tart, serves several! A Wait are those Cookies original.

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For the crust:

1.5 c almond flour
1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 c cornmeal
heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
6 tbsp coconut oil, melted
zest of 2 small meyer lemons (or 1 large)

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, shredded coconut, cornmeal, sea salt, and baking soda. Add in vanilla, maple, melted coconut oil, and lemon zest, and stir until completely combined. The dough will look crumbly, but you’ll be able to press it together with your fingers.
Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease a pie plate with coconut oil. Press the crust into the plate and up the sides with a spoon or your fingers, creating a smooth edge (or not, your call!). Poke the bottom with a fork a few times, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool for a few minutes.

Panna Cotta:
1 package unflavored powdered gelatin
3/4 cups whole milk, divided
2 tsp vanilla
Scant 1/4 cup maple
zest of two oranges
zest of 1 meyer lemon
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt

In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/4 cup of the milk. Let stand without stirring until the gelatin is moistened, about 10 minutes.

Pour the remaining 1/2 cup milk into a small saucepan. Add vanilla, maple & zest into the milk. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring consistently. Remove from the heat. Add the gelatin mixture and stir until completely dissolved, about 3 minutes. Strain into a large bowl to remove the citrus zest and cool until lukewarm, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the yogurt until well blended. Pour the panna cotta mixture into the cooled tart shell. Place in the refrigerator until set, approximately 4 hours or, better yet, overnight.

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Master Status.

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oh hey! I DID IT! I’m actually DONE!

A masters degree in 10 months? Not too shabby.

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Somehow, that isn’t computing in my brain… I still feel like I need to be doing something. I’m sure you know the feeling? But… I don’t! I’m taking a mini break from adulting, so the biggest decisions I have to currently make are a) am I going to go work out (answer: pretty much always yes) and b) what will I eat afterward?

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My presentation went well, and it felt really good to end on a high note! I’m officially a master? Or something. Ha.

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But! I now have more time and mental energy to blog and make interesting things, which is just lovely. I got a notification today that my bloglet is 5 years old today! I can’t believe it. It’s growing up so fast!! *sniff* … or maybe that means I’m just getting old; that’s probably more likely.

SO! For mutti’s (rather belated) birthday dessert, I got fancy. Coconut milk panna cotta (dairy free, paleo, vegan, refined sugar free) with date caramel and walnut cookie crumble. So good! And actually fairly simple, when it comes down to it — there are just a lot of parts, but they come together with a minimum of fuss.

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Coconut Panna Cotta with Date Caramel and Walnut Cookie Crumble

Dairy free, paleo, vegan, refined sugar free, gluten free — everything EXCEPT taste free. Because these are delicious! And they really don’t heat up the house much if you’re making them on a day that it’s stupid hot outside (not like I did that or anything). Yield: 3 panna cotta servings (I chilled mine in small coffee cups; about the size of normal ramekins only deeper) + extra caramel and crumble left over after serving. Recipe lightly adapted from Kiss my Bowl, here!

For the panna cotta:

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk, well shaken
  • 1/3 c pure maple syrup
  • 2 tsp agar flakes*

*agar powder is no doubt better, but all my Whole Foods carried was the flakes, and they worked fine

For the date caramel:

  • 1 c pitted medjool dates, soaked
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 heaping spoonful of almond butter**

**mine is salted; I like the salty-sweet combo so you may want to add a pinch of salt if yours isn’t

For the walnut cookie crumble:

  • 1/2 c raw walnuts
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder / cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • splash of maple syrup
  • pinch of salt

In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the coconut milk until it steams. Whisk in the maple syrup and bring just barely to a boil. Whisk in the agar flakes and let cook for just about 5 minutes, still barely boiling/high simmering. Remove from heat and let stand in the pan, whisking occasionally, for another 5 minutes. Once cooled slightly, pour into molds of choice (I used small coffee mugs that are deeper and slightly less wide than a standard ramekin; ramekins are just fine if you have them!). Let cool on the counter until your fridge can handle it, then let them set up in the fridge for at least an hour.

While the panna cottas are chilling, use a food processor or a vitamix to make the date caramel. Pour the dates and a few tablespoons of their soaking water into the implement of choice, add vanilla and almond butter, and blend till smooth (or chunky. you do you!). Store in a jar in the fridge until needed.

I made the cookie crumble in the same vitamix as the date caramel without cleaning it overmuch, which worked totally fine. Add walnuts, cocoa powder, vanilla, maple, and salt and whiz away until it’s crumbly. Store in a jar in the fridge until needed!

The panna cottas should be firm to the touch on top and have lost most of their jiggle by the time they’re ready. Run a knife around the edge of the ramekin or coffee cup, and they should flip right out onto a plate. Top with excessive amounts of date caramel and cookie crumble for maximum effect, and indulge accordingly!

Any leftover date caramel (who are you?!) and cookie crumble keeps well in the fridge for at least a week (but I dare you to make it last that long).

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