Rainbow (Unrainbow) Cookies

vegan rainbow cookies

Okay, so I don’t really know where to begin with this post because there is so much going on in this recipe. Besides the fact that I’ve wanted to create something like this since December 2013 (reasons why I will get to), this multifaceted dessert has layers (literally) of recipes, all of which I’ve intended to blog about before this deliciousness…is it a cookie? a bar? could it be made into a tart? Yes. Yes. And yes.

vegan rainbow cookiesAh, ok so let me try to begin from, well, the beginning. It was December, 2013. Justin, Roscoe, and I decided to drive down to Florida to visit my mom during our holiday break (we were both teachers and yes, Roscoe had a say in the decision too). This was the month when I started this blog but hadn’t posted anything yet nor had many recipe ideas either, just a passion I suppose. It was also the onset of many attempts at black bean brownies (a dessert I’ve mastered and am thinking about reposting the recipe, stay tuned!). Well…I was making a “blondie” version but accidentally used almond extract instead of vanilla (anyone else ever do this?). I’m pretty sure I realized the mistake right away, because almond extract is quite potent, so it’s pretty hard not to pick up on its fragrance. I must’ve liked the batter well enough because I wound up baking them and bringing them with us on our trip down south. I kept asking, What does this taste like? This tastes like something, right? And finally, smarty pants Justin said, It tastes like a rainbow cookie! Ah ha. And there ya have it kiddies, a vegan blondie chocolate chip brownie that tasted like a rainbow cookie.

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I haven’t attempted to make that since…until now. The blondie was delicious, but certainly not ready for me to declare it similar to a rainbow cookie. It needed some more balanced bella tweaking, which is what brings me to my next story…

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Chocolate. A couple of years ago I created a recipe for chocolate sauce in this Chocolate Almond Cheesecake post, and it has been my go-to for every icing recipe since – peanut butter cups, raw Snickers, you get the point. I love that recipe and I will continue using it; however, I wanted to find something new for a few reasons. One, that sauce has a coconut flavor to it which not everyone loves; two, it needs to stay in the refrigerator/freezer because it will quickly melt in your hands; and 3, it’s difficult to work with because the coconut oil makes this mixture harden quickly. Don’t start hating on this fudgy icing though, and don’t let me steer you away from it. It has many good qualities and tastes amazingly, but sometimes a girl needs to distance herself from the coconut oil; that’s all I’m sayin’…

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And so my research began. I started teaching myself how to temper chocolate. I started becoming familiar with the term “blooming.” I did my research on semi- and bittersweet chocolate chips that were free of dairy. But ya know what? All that flew out the window when I found the ONE. And that my friends is a little something I like to call cacao butter.

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Oh my goodness, cacao butter! I apologize to those who are thinking to themselves, Obviously, Jaime. I’m sorry. I didn’t know. Cacao butter. The beautiful fatty substance found in the cacao bean that is extracted during production. Little tidbit: The main difference between cacao and cocoa is the way they are processed. Both come from the same bean; however, cocoa butter and cocoa powder are produced by heating the cacao bean at a high temperature. Cocoa still contains a lot of nutrients, but because it’s extracted at such a high heat, some nutrients are lost, making it not as desired by the health gurus (and also not as expensive). Cacao, on the other hand is extracted with minimal heat making it super nutrient dense and is considered to contain the most antioxidants of any food. Pretty impressive. There is good reason why this bean is desired by health foodies world wide. I could list all the amazing goodness that is packed into these beans, but you can just google that! I will say though, that it is super dense in magnesium.

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Magnesium is highly underrated in my opinion and many many people are deficient in it. After reading a lot about this mineral, the thing that struck me the most is that a common symptom of magnesium deficiency is anxiety. Since I’ve been using cacao butter in nearly all my new recipes over the last month, I swear I sleep better and worry less. And I’m usually a worry wart. (I thought my anxiety came with motherhood, but according to Justin, I’ve been like this for years!). Ever notice that many de-stress lotions and potions contain cocoa butter? Interesting.

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So after finding this gem, I ordered it (on where else but amazon, link here) and made so many recipes. All of which I have failed to post, but I promise, they will be coming in the next week or so. So I present to you, the best rainbow cookie that you will ever eat. Oh, and it is not rainbow, nor is it a cookie. Mind. Blown.

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Ingredients:

Bottom Layer

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 can Cannellini beans
  • 1 cup maple syrup or agave
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (4 Tbsp)
  • 2 tsps almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Top Layer

  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup apricot preserves, depending on your preference
  • 1/2 cup cacao butter, grated
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Add the oats to a high speed blender and blend until powdery. Add the rest of the bottom layer ingredients and blend until creamy. (If you can still see pieces of oats in your batter, don’t worry. That’s totally normal.) Add to a greased 8 x 8 pan. (If using a larger pan, decrease the baking time; if using a smaller pan like a loaf pan, increase the time.) Bake for 30 minutes.
  3. While that is baking, grate the cacao butter. It should basically look very similar to grated parmesan cheese.
  4. Remove the cake from the oven. Let sit for a few minutes before removing from the pan onto a cooling rack/plate.
  5. While that is cooling, create a double boiler by adding 1-2 inches of water to a large pan on high heat. Once that is boiling, lower the heat to medium. Put the grated cacao butter in a small glass or ceramic bowl and place the small bowl in the large pan, making sure the water never touches the actual cacao butter. Once melted, usually about 3-4 minutes, remove the small bowl from the heat. Add the maple syrup, vanilla extract, salt, and cacao powder and mix. Use a metal whisk or utensil; do not use a wooden spoon because that will create moisture.
  6. Spread the apricot preserves onto the cake and then put the chocolate sauce over it. Place in the refrigerator/freezer for about 1 hour, or until chocolate is hard. When cutting, heat the knife by placing it over the stove on low heat. This will help to cut through the chocolate layer without cracking it.

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Author: Balanced Bella

Hi, I'm Jaime and I am the recipe tester, photographer, and writer at balanced bella! All my recipes are vegan, gluten free, and 100% delicious!

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