Category Archives: Desserts

Fudgy Naturally Sweetened Brownies

naturally sweet brownies

I made you brownies for Valentine’s day! Or maybe because I had a chocolate craving….. but let’s just go with the former. ;)

I’m not sure why Valentine’s day isn’t also National Chocolate Day. It may as well be. The real National Chocolate Day is October 28th which is actually pretty smart planning because now we can eat tons of chocolate on Valentine’s day and on October 28th. Genius.

While we’re on the subject of chocolate, let me introduce you to these brownies. These puppies are thick and densely fudgy and I could eat them all day.

naturally sweet brownies

They are sweetened with maple syrup and I promise the maple flavor is not detectable at all. Since maple syrup is liquid, I used cocoa powder to chocolatize (<– let’s get this added to Merriam Webster) these brownies. And because I can’t help myself, I added chocolate chips too.

Fudgy Naturally Sweetened Brownies

  • Servings: 6-9
  • Print

  • 1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 3/4 c. maple syrup (I used grade B.)
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 t. instant espresso or coffee (can omit if you don’t have it)
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 3/4 c. cocoa powder
  • 3/4 c. flour
  • 1/3-1/2 c. chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate.)
  • roughly 1/3 c. chopped hazelnuts, optional

Preheat the oven to 350º. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the melted butter, maple syrup, vanilla, eggs, instant espresso powder, and salt. Next add in the cocoa powder and flour. Whisk the batter or use an electric mixer until the batter is smooth. It’s okay if there are still some small clumps. Line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper or grease with butter, pour in the batter and smooth it evenly in the pan. Top with chopped hazelnuts if using. Bake for 33-36 minutes. (35-36 if using a glass baking dish and 33-34 for a metal, dark-coated baking dish) The brownies are done when you can smell them from the oven, the center is set, and a toothpick poked in the center comes out clean. Let the brownies cool for 10 minutes or completely for clean, square slices.

Leftover brownies (if there are any ;)) are awesome warmed up in the microwave for 20-30 seconds.


Healthy Chocolate Smoothie


Heyoooo. So 2015. Feeling good so far? Are you all rested up and ready with your list of things to conquer this year?

If you’re anything like me, you lose sight of many of your year-long goals by February. Knowing I do this, I scrapped resolutions this year. Threw ’em out the window. Buh-bye. Instead, I’m focusing on quarterly goals. Three months at a time seems more manageable and still enough time to create a new habit or complete a project.

Since one of the most common New Year’s resolutions/goals people make is about eating better, I thought I’d share a healthy smoothie. When I need a chocolate fix but want to stay in the healthy eating groove, this is what I make. It’s naturally sweetened with honey and it has protein powder in it so it would also be a great treat after a workout. The texture is similar to that of a frappuccino.

Healthy Chocolate Smoothie

  • Servings: 1
  • Print

  • 3 T. good quality vanilla protein powder
  • 2 1/2 T. cocoa powder
  • 1 T. honey
  • 3/4 c. almond milk (use any milk you like)
  • handful of ice
  • pinch of instant coffee, optional

In a blender, combine all of the ingredients and blend until there are no longer large ice pieces and the consistency is what you want.



Recipes for the Holidays

Hey there!

Well, here we are at the WEEK OF Christmas. Boy, did that get here fast! Happy eve’s eve of Christmas eve! Wow, that’s a lot of eves. I can see why that hasn’t become a standard holiday greeting. :)

Anyways, I hope all is going well with your holiday plans. If you need some last minute recipe ideas for appetizers, sides, desserts, or even breakfast, I put together a collection of recipes from around my website for a little inspiration. Here you go!

Bacon & Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms

a savory combo of mushroom, spinach, bacon, and thyme topped with cheese


Fiesta Bites

refried beans & green chiles baked in a wonton wrapper topped with fresh salsa & green onion

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 Cornbread with Rosemary & Caramelized Onions

savory cornbread with the flavorful additions of fresh rosemary & caramelized onions


Pear Pastries with Honey Whipped Cream

puff pastry baked with slices of pear topped with peach jam and a honey whipped cream


Spiced Oatmeal Cookies

oatmeal cookies with cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice, and ginger


Flat Apple Cranberry Pie

a single crust pie with apples and cranberries mixed with orange zest, cinnamon and nutmeg


Gingerbread Waffles

festive waffles with cinnamon, ginger, cloves and sweetened with molasses


Chai Spiced Muffins

muffins with all the spices of chai tea drizzled with a vanilla glaze


Flat Apple Cranberry Pie


Happy Friday! And helloooo Flat Apple Cranberry Pie. *licks lips*

My friend, ShaRhonda, asked me to come up with a recipe for her blog series, A Very Pinteresting Christmas, which is a series of festive crafts and yummies. I met her through the Oklahoma Women Bloggers network and she writes about her family on her blog The 4 Crows. I wanted to come up with something extra delicious because ShaRhonda is so sweet and kind. I found out we share a love of apple pie so I know we’re meant to be friends.

applecranberry1This pie is really simple, tastes like Christmas, and has become one of my favorite desserts. You can read more about it and get the recipe over at ShaRhonda’s blog – Click here.

And be sure to check out the other goodies & crafts on her A Very Pinteresting Christmas series on her blog and Pinterest!



Fall Recipe Roundup

Hey! Hope your week is going well!

While I’m still adjusting to my new home, I thought it would be fun to go through my site and find some of my best fall recipes to put together in one post. There are a lot of good recipes that get further and further in the archives. It’s time to bring them back to the spotlight!

Baked Maple Doughnuts


Spiced Oatmeal Cookies — my most viewed recipe of all time!


Roasted Poblano & Corn Chowder


Baked Pumpkin French Toast with Pecan Streusel Topping

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Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage & Goat Cheese


Pumpkin Bars with Gingersnap Crust

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Pear Pastries with Honey Whipped Cream & a GIVEAWAY!!!


Celebrations call for dessert! We’re celebrating with these pear pastries with honey whipped cream. Rich, creamy, and slightly sweet… and SUPER easy. Get the recipe at the end of the post!

What are we celebrating?

Recipe or Not is officially two years old! That’s right, I’ve been creating, photographing, and sharing recipes with you for TWO YEARS. I really can’t believe it.

This little corner of the internet has given me so much joy (and dirty dishes :)). Thank you for reading, commenting, and trying my recipes. It always makes my day when I know someone has enjoyed one of my recipes. :)

To thank you, I’m hosting a giveaway! 


You have the chance to win a wooden cutting board (complete with non-slip grippy things), a nifty julienne peeler so you can eat all the zucchini noodles your heart desires, and, because I just love them so much, a super duper cute apron so you can look good while whipping up some yummy meals. Produce not included. ;) (These are a bundle prize. One person wins it all!)

How can you win all of these kitchen goodies?

STEP 1. (REQUIRED) Subscribe to Recipe or Not by clicking ‘Get recipes!’ at the top of the side bar, enter your email address, and confirm your subscription in the email that will come to your inbox. This is FREE and I will only use your email address to send you weekly recipes. Already a subscriber? Awesome! You’re the best and you can skip this step. ;)

STEP 2. Get an additional entry to the giveaway by leaving a comment letting me know what you’re going to cook first in your fun, new apron.

STEP 3. For up to 3 more additional entries to the giveaway, you can share this blog post/giveaway on Facebook, Twitter (Tweet it now!), or Pinterest.

STEP 4. (REQUIRED)  Once you’ve subscribed, commented, and shared, complete your entry by clicking here: Submit My Entry, fill out the information (SUPER short) and click ‘Done’. This is totally on the honor system and I know you’re a wonderful, honest person. :) You will NOT be entered in the giveaway if you skip this step.

********THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED.**********

Congratulations to Veronica B. for winning the giveaway!

THANK YOU so much to ALL that participated!


Pear Pastries with Honey Whipped Cream; Recipe or Not

serves 8

  • 1 puff pastry (find it in the freezer section, follow the instructions for thawing)
  • 2-3 pears, cut into thin slices
  • 3/4 c. heavy whipping cream
  • 2 T. honey
  • 1/4 c. peach preserves or jam
  • 1/2 c. sliced  almonds

For the whipped cream: In a medium bowl or stand mixer, add the heavy whipping cream and honey. Beat with a hand mixer or stand mixer, starting at low, for a minute or two. Increasing speed as the cream gets thicker. Once stiff peaks start to form, refrigerate until needed.

For the pear pastries: Preheat oven to 400°. On a floured surface, spread out the puff pastry and lightly sprinkle the top with flour. Cut the pastry into eight equal pieces. Place the pastries on a baking sheet and top each one with 4-6 pear slices, leaving 1/2 inch border around the pears. On a separate baking sheet, spread out the sliced almonds. Bake the almonds for 10-11 minutes and bake the pastries for 20-22 minutes until the pastry has puffed and is starting to brown. While the pastries are still hot, carefully brush on 1/2 T. of peach preserves over each pastry. When ready to serve, top each pastry with a dollop of the honey whipped cream and a sprinkle of toasted almonds.

Note: The pastries do not keep very well and are best the day they are made.

Peanut Butter Oat Chocolate Balls


I’ll never forget the first time I shook my husband’s hand when we met.

It was a brief meeting but my subconscious stored it away as if it knew that moment was important before I did.

Fast forward four years and here we are, married for over two years.

One thing I love most about him is his sense of humor. He has the goofiness of Andy Dwyer from Parks and Recreation, the quirkiness of Jim Carrey, and he can do a spot-on Nacho Libre impression. He’s always making me laugh.

He also has more patience than a snail herder and I’m a very lucky gal to go through life with him.

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Yesterday was his birthday so I thought I’d share one of his all-time favorite foods.

He’d been requesting that I make a peanut butter ball recipe for awhile. Patiently (see snail herder reference above) waiting for that glorious day when they would become reality.

And now they are!


This is an incredibly simple recipe. If you use dark chocolate with a high cacao content, I would dare call these a healthy dessert.

Peanut Butter Oat Chocolate Balls; Recipe or Not

makes 10-12 1″ balls

  • 3/4 c. creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 c. rolled oats
  • 3 T. honey
  • 1/2 c. dark chocolate chips or broken up chocolate bar* (health bonus points for chocolate with at least 70% cacao)
  • 1/2 T. coconut oil  (use canola oil if you don’t have coconut oil)

 The prep: In a small bowl, combine the peanut butter, oats, and honey. Form 1″ balls and place them on a wax paper covered baking sheet that will fit in your freezer. Put the baking sheet in the freezer for at least 10 minutes. Next, melt the chocolate over a double boiler, adding in the coconut oil. Once the chocolate is completely melted and smooth, dunk each peanut butter ball in the chocolate, making sure the whole surface is covered. Lift the ball out of the chocolate with a fork and let the excess drip off, then place the ball back onto the baking sheet. Once all the peanut butter balls are covered, place them in the freezer for at least 10 minutes (if you can wait that long) then transfer to the fridge. Store them in the fridge until you serve them.

*We’re dark chocolate people so I haven’t tried milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate. It couldn’t possibly be bad though. ;) End disclaimer.