White Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chips

cookiesYep, that’s right. White chocolate-peanut butter cookies. I have to thank A Wonderful Vegan Life for turning me onto this peanut butter:

DSC08085Yeah, thanks a lot, because now I’m hooked! ;-)

Well, this takes peanut butter cookies to a whole new level . . . and the chocolate chips?! Forgetaboutit  . . .

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 C Earth Balance margarine
1 C brown sugar
1/2 C White Chocolate Wonderful Peanut Butter
Egg replacer for 2 eggs (I used Ener-G Egg Replacer)
1 Tbs oil
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1-1/2 C flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 to 3/4 C chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. Using a mixer, combine the Earth Balance, peanut butter, and sugar. Once blended, add the egg-replacer, oil and extracts; mix well. In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking soda. While the mixer is running, add the dry ingredients a little at time. Incorporate all of the ingredients thoroughly, Next, stir in the chocolate chips using a spoon or spatula.

DSC08086Take small handfuls of dough and roll into a ball—as best you can; it’s not easy with the chocolate chips, then squish them down a little on the baking sheet.

DSC08087Bake for 10-12 minutes and enjoy!

Sugar-Glazed Zucchini Bread

Zucchini bread

Ah . . . Fall, the changing of the leaves, and the smell of baking zucchini bread. Not bad for a Friday afternoon. Then of course, eating the sugar-crusted bread! This is a very easy bread to throw together and great for sharing!

INGREDIENTS:

6 Tbs flax meal
1/2 C warm water
4 C zucchini, grated and squeezed of all liquid (2 to 2-1/2 medium zucchinis)
2 C brown sugar
1/2 C applesauce
1/4 C oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 C almond milk
3 C regular flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 Tbs baking powder
1 Tbs cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt

Glaze:

1 Tbs Earth Balance margarine, melted
1/4 C brown sugar
3 Tbs almond milk

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350.  In a small bowl whisk together the flax meal and warm water; set aside. Using a mixer, combine the brown sugar, applesauce, oil, vanilla, and almond milk. Add the zucchini and flax meal; mix well. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and combine well. Pour the mixture evenly into two lightly greased loaf pans. Bake for 35-45 minutes. Every oven runs differently, so check often. Once they are a bit browned on top and an inserted toothpick or knife comes out clean from the center . . .

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Just before this, of course, whip up the glaze.  Whisk together the ingredients and brush the tops of the bread with it. Bake it again for another 7-10 minutes.

20131011_130949Let them cool for 10-15 minutes before removing from the pans. Slice and enjoy!

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Lemon Monkey Bread

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I was going to post this recipe tomorrow, but after taking a bite, I think you might want to run out and buy the ingredients for tomorrow’s breakfast. So worthy of veganizing! You may have seen the original recipe on Pinterest . . . it’s definitely making the rounds and now I know why! The original recipe was a bit hard to follow because of the way it’s laid out—lots of really closeup pictures with some directions, then at the bottom of the post is the ingredient list and directions. It also wasn’t clear how long it was going to take to let these puppies rise, but luckily, it was only about 45 minutes. These are little pieces of glaze n’ sugar heaven; like a mini glazed doughnut! And the crunchy sugar topping?! Forgetaboutit! Frickin’ amazing and perfect for a brunch get together (that is, if you want to share)!

INGREDIENTS:

12 Rhodes dinner rolls, thawed, but still cold (I took them out of the freezer and stuck them in the fridge the night before)

Zest from one lemon

1/2 C sugar

3 Tbs Earth Balance, melted + some for greasing the pan

1/2 C powdered sugar

1 Tbs lemon juice

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DIRECTIONS:

Grease (very well) the bottom and sides of a 9×13 baking dish. Cut each roll in half . . .

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. . . and place flat-side down into the pan.

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Drizzle with the melted butter . . .

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In a small bowl, combine the sugar and lemon zest. Sprinkle half of the sugar mixture on the top of the rolls.

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Cover and let rise for 45 minutes, or until they have doubled in size. (I turned my oven onto the lowest temp: 190. Placed the covered rolls inside and just cracked the oven door. Works beautifully)!

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Preheat oven to 350. Sprinkle the rest of the sugar on top.

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The original recipe says to bake them for 20-25 minutes, but mine were ready in about 16-17 minutes. Check often as all ovens run differently. And let me tell you, these smelled SO incredible as they baked!

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Remove from the pan onto a plate. In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar and lemon juice. Drizzle on top. Thoroughly enjoy!!

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UPDATE:

I recently made these with cinnamon and sugar . . . YUM!

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Prepare them the same as above, but use 1/3 C sugar (I reduced the amount from 1/2 C), 1 Tbs cinnamon, and zest from one orange. This is a quick and easy alternative to cinnamon rolls, especially if you’re short on time. Enjoy!

Vegan Pumpkin Pie

My mom’s always been in charge of making the pies for holidays and there’s a good reason why. She’s damn good at it. Since I’ve gone vegan, she’s tried to make them vegan whenever she can (thanks, Mom!) She made a vegan pumpkin pie from Vegetarian Times a couple of years ago, but this year, there was an even easier one to try. This one is from Vegan Holiday Kitchen cookbook. Instead of using the recipe’s suggestion of a pastry or graham cracker crust, she made her own pie crust using vegetable shortening. The recipe also makes two pies, so she halved it to make just one.

INGREDIENTS:

2 C pureed pumpkin

1/2 pkg firm silken tofu

1/2 C + 2 Tbs granulated sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice mix

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat to 350. Combine pumpkin in a food processor with next 4 ingredients; process until smooth. Pour into crusts. Bake 40-45 mins, or until set and crust is golden.

Peach N’ Cherry Cobbler with Almond Cream

 

What do you do with 20-lbs of Palisade, CO peaches?! After sharing them with friends and family, of course . . . I’m convinced that the best peaches come from Palisade. Every year, Coloradoans anxiously await these incredible peaches from the western slope of the state. Well, you can’t have that many peaches and not make a cobbler. I didn’t have any ice cream, but I did have some almond yogurt, so I made a sweet cream to top the amazing cobbler. A great way to end the Labor Day weekend!

INGREDIENTS:

6 large peaches, pitted and sliced

5-oz bag dried cherries

1/4 C brown sugar

1/4 C granulated sugar

2 Tbs flour

1/4 C Earth Balance butter, cut into  small chunks

1 C oats

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 C almond milk

Almond Cream:

1-1/2 C almond yogurt

1/4 C granulated sugar

1 tsp lemon juice

2 tsp arrowroot

 

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375. Combine the peaches and cherries in an 8×8 baking dish.

 

In a medium bowl, combine the sugars, flour, oats, cinnamon, butter, and almond milk. Use a fork or pastry blender to mix the butter in. You’ll want little pea-sized pieces of butter.

 

Top the fruit with the oat mixture.

Cover and bake 35-40 minutes.

To make the cream, whisk together all of the cream ingredients. Pour the cream over individual servings and enjoy!

Gluten-Free & Vegan Cupcakes (Vanilla and Chocolate-Almond)!

Last weekend, for the second year in a row, I catered Wine and Words, a fundraising event for the Northern Colorado Writers. (Hence, the Scrabble-like tile cookies on top). I wanted to be able to provide not only vegan food, but lots of gluten-free options as well. I think these cupcakes came out pretty damn good. Granted, they’ve got plenty of sugar, but vegan and gluten-free is certainly on the right track (especially since they have flax in them)! The original recipe is from Living Without magazine, but I altered several ingredients and steps. The baking mix is a great base for GF muffins, cupcakes, and cakes. One batch makes 24 cupcakes. I made two batches: one vanilla, one chocolate.

INGREDIENTS:

Flour mixture: (makes 7.5 cups)

3-3/4 C chickpea a.k.a garbanzo flour

2-1/4 C potato starch

1-1/2 C tapioca flour

The cupcakes:

6 Tbs water

2 Tbs flax meal

1 C almond milk

1 tsp cider vinegar

3-1/2 C of the baking mix (use 3 cups for the chocolate ones)

1 Tbs + 1 tap baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp xanthan gum

1-1/2 C granulated sugar

1/2 C vegetable shortening

2 tsp vanilla (use almond extract for the chocolate ones)

Also, add 1/2 C baking cocoa to the 3 cups of baking mix if making chocolate ones)

Sugar cookie tile:

7/8 C rice flour

1 tsp xantan gum

1/2 C Earth Balance

1/2 C sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla

zest from one lemon

DIRECTIONS:

In a large bowl, whisk together the three flours for the baking mix. Store in an airtight container. Preheat the oven to 350 and line two 12-cup muffin tins. In a small bowl, combine the almond milk and cider vinegar and set aside. In another small bowl, whisk together the water and flax meal; set aside.

In large bowl, combine 3-1/2 cups of the baking mix (again, use 3 cups of flour mix + 1/2 C cocoa for chocolate ones) with the baking powder, baking soda, and xanthan gum.  Using a mixer, beat the shortening and sugar together until well combined and fluffy.

Add the flax mixture and vanilla (again, use almond extract for chocolate cupcakes). Next, alternate adding the dry ingredients with the milk/cider mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.

You will have a very thick, but moist batter. When I fill muffin cups, I tend to hold them in my hand to fill them up—it makes for a cleaner process with less chance of dropping globs of batter everywhere. This batter is pretty thick though, so you’ll have more control with these. Fill the 24 muffin cups evenly; about a 1/4 C in each.

 

Bake for 18-20 minutes.

To make the sugar cookies, combine the sugar and Earth Balance. Add the vanilla and combine well. In a separate bowl, combine the rice flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, and lemon zest. Shape into a ball and chill for at least 2 hours. Using a light rolling pin (not a marble one if you can help it), roll out about half of the dough.

I used a pizza cutter for the “tiles.”

Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

I used a gel frosting for the lettering . . .

I didn’t have the patience to put the number in the corner like an actual Scrabble tile, but you get the idea…

I made some butter frosting for the cupcakes and topped with the letter or some sliced strawberries.

Enjoy!

Avocado Cupcakes

Yes, that’s right. Avocado Cupcakes. I love incorporating avocado into recipes when I can, especially when I can use it to replace the oil in baked goods. The Glazed Chocolate-Avocado Cupcakes proved that avocados belong in cupcakes, so I decided to try making them without the cocoa and made some other minor adjustments. They came out perfect! Soft, moist and green! It’s good to be green.

INGREDIENTS:

Cupcakes:

1-1/2 C flour

1 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt

1 avocado, pitted and peeled

1/2 C Florida Crystals sugar

3/4 C almond milk

1/3 C vanilla soy yogurt

2 tsp vanilla

Frosting:

1/2 C Earth Balance margarine

2-3 C confectioner’s sugar

Almond milk

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 and line a 12-cup muffin with liners. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In the food processor, puree the avocado. Add the almond milk, yogurt, sugar, and vanilla; blend until smooth and creamy.

Combine the avocado mixture with the flour mixture by using a whisk.

Evenly fill the 12 muffin cups.

Bake for 25 minutes.

Let them cool completely before frosting them. To make the frosting, cream the Earth Balance and add some almond milk, then some sugar. I didn’t measure these out, I just added a little at a time to reach a thick consistency. Using a pastry bag, I frosted the tops. You can also spread it on with a knife. I got fancy; as fancy as I can get in the time I had. :-)

Vegan Chocolate Layer Cake

I officially have a teenager. The Seventh Grader turned thirteen yesterday! How did that happen so fast?! Born 6 weeks early, my little guy quickly became a big guy:

10 months

Hard to believe that chubby babe is now five feet tall and 13!!

He wanted a chocolate layer cake for the big day, so I ventured out on Google to find one. Savvy Vegetarian had one that looked pretty good and I liked that it didn’t have any oil. When it comes to cakes, I often find that with the frosting, they are way too sweet, so I messed with the sugar content of this cake a bit. Because frosting is typically pretty sweet, I reduced the amount of sugar in the cake. It came out perfect! It was slightly dense and very moist. Everyone agreed it was fabulous!

INGREDIENTS:

Cake:

2 C flour

1 tsp baking soda

1-1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 C unsweetened baking cocoa

2 Tbs arrowroot

1 C Earth Balance margarine

1 C (I reduced it from 1- 2/3 C) granulated sugar (I used Florida Crystals)

1-1/3 C water

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 C almond milk

2 Tbs lemon juice

Frosting:

2 C (1 bag) Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 C Earth Balance margarine

2 Tbs almond milk

Florida Crystals

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly butter two 9″ cake pans, then dust with flour; set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cocoa, and arrowroot. In a small bowl, combine the almond milk and lemon juice. Using a mixer, cream together the Earth Balance and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the milk mixture, water, and vanilla. Slowly, add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients, combine well. Pour evenly into the two cake pans.


Bake for 25-30 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center of each cake—if it comes out clean, they’re done. Let them cool completely.

Using a sharp knife, go around the edges of the cooled cake. Place a rack or plate over the top of the cake and turn upside down. If they don’t fall out right away, lightly tap the bottom of the pan. It’s always so suspenseful hoping the cake comes out without sticking to the bottom of the pan . . . luckily, it worked out beautifully for me.

To make the frosting, melt the chocolate chips over low heat in a saucepan. Remove from heat and let cool until slightly warm. In the meantime, beat the Earth Balance with a mixer. (What I like about this frosting, is that there is no added sugar in it!) Add the chocolate to the butter mixture and combine well. You’ll need to add up to two tablespoons of almond milk to thin it out a little. It will resemble mud.

Transfer one of the cake layers to a large plate and frost the entire thing.

Place the other layer on top. Came out a bit lopsided . . .

Frost the top layer. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Enjoy!

Plum n’ Pear Cobbler

Admittedly, I’m not  great about eating fruit. Very rarely, I’ll bite into an apple, but give me a luscious bunch of kale and I’m all over it. So I always feel bad when I have to toss squishy apples and pears away because no one has eaten them. But baked fruit, I can do. I’ll take apple pie or a fruit tart over chocolate cake any day, and add some nondairy ice cream and I’m a happy camper. I wasn’t about to let these pears and plums whither away on my counter, so the Seventh Grader and I made this wonderful cobbler!

INGREDIENTS:

4 pears, sliced (leave the skins on)

4-5 plums, slice (with skins)

1/2 C brown sugar

2 Tbs flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 C Earth Balance margarine, cut into chunks

1 C oats

1/4 C almond milk (or other nondairy milk)

Nondairy ice cream (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375. Combine the fruit in a baking dish–an 8×8 would be fine.

In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, butter, oats, and milk. Use a fork or pastry blender to combine everything; making sure the butter turns to small pea-sized pieces. It will be a wet mixture. Top the fruit with the oat mixture.

Bake covered for 20-25 minutes. (It will smell sooooo good baking . . . :) ) Top with some nondairy ice cream and thoroughly enjoy!

Strawberry Cupcakes

I was in a baking mood today, but I couldn’t decide between these, chocolate chip scones, or lemon madeleine cookies. Obviously, I went with these cupcakes from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s The Joy of Vegan Baking. If you love to bake, vegan or not, this is a fabulous cookbook to own. Not only is it filled with easy and delicious recipes, it also is filled with lots of valuable baking tips, especially if you are new to the world of vegan baking. I found that these cupcakes are really more like muffins, but if Ms. Colleen says they’re cupcakes, then I’ll go with it. Cupcakes, muffins, whatevs—you’ll love them!

INGREDIENTS:

1-3/4 C flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 C granulated sugar (I used about 3/4 C)

1/2 C canola oil

1 Tbs white distilled vinegar

1 tsp vanilla extract

8 oz frozen or fresh strawberries, crushed or pureed (I used fresh)

For the frosting, I didn’t go with her Butter Cream Frosting. I used confectioners’ sugar mixed with almond milk.

Strawberries to garnish the tops

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly grease or line a muffin pan with muffin cups. I only had 9 muffin cups, so I greased the last three. Both methods worked fine.I pureed the strawberries in the food processor.

Mix the flour, baking soda, and sugar in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine the oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Stir in the strawberries. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into it.

Stir to combine, but don’t overstir. You’ll be left with a light and fluffy batter:

Evenly fill the muffins cups with the batter.

Bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and place onto a wire rack to cool.

Let them cool completely before icing them. I just mixed a few cups of confectioners’ sugar with just 1-1/2 to 2 tsp of almond milk to reach a very thick consistency. If you’d like, you can add a dash of extract flavoring to it. Drizzle the tops of the cupcakes with the icing and top with a few strawberry slices. Enjoy! Makes 12.

A Look Back

When it’s time to plan meals for the week, I sometimes rely on some old favorites of mine. When looking back on my recipes, I always come across yummy ones I’ve forgotten about. I thought I’d bring these oldies, but goodies to you.

Appetizers

Party Cheese Ball

Stuffed Mushrooms

Mustard Greens and Cheeze Filo Pie

Avocado Bruschetta

.

Breads

Pesto Potato Bread

Blueberry Muffins with Crumb Topping

Home-made Pita Bread

Chive-Flecked Spud Muffins

.

Side Dishes

Israeli Couscous with Pine Nuts & Parsley

Easy, Creamy Pasta Salad

Baked Fries with Sea Salt & Truffle Oil

Easy Cole Slaw

.

Soups

Eggplant Parmagiano Stew

Vegetable-Barley Soup

Vegetable-Barley Chili

.

Lunch

Smoky-Miso Tofu Sandwiches

Garden Wrap

BLTA with Tempeh Bacon

Green Tea Rice with Lemon, Snowpeas & Tofu

.

Breakfast

Quinoa-Couscous Cereal with Dried Fruit

Colorful Kale and Potato Casserole

Hash Brown Casserole

Home-made Granola

.

Dinner

Sweet Chili-Lime Tofu

Breaded Zucchini with Lentils and Rainbow Chard

Angel Hair Pasta with Mushrooms & Ricotta

Spinach & Tofu Calzones

Spinach & Pesto Lasagna

Fresh & Healthy Soft Tacos/Burritos

Pecan-Crusted Seitan

Field Roast with Fresh Blueberry Sauce

.

Desserts

Glazed Chocolate-Avocado Cupcakes

Chai-Spiced Berry-Oatmeal Cookies

Cheeze Danishes

Sunflower-Cherry Oatmeal Bars

Vegan & Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cupcakes

I used the same recipe for these, as the red velvet cake I made a couple of months ago. I wasn’t sure how making the batter into cupcakes would work out, but in the end, they  were delicious!! To begin with, it’s never easy to figure out how full to fill the muffin cups. I went with about 2/3 to 3/4 full, and I got 23 cupcakes. They puffed up a bit, so I recommend filling them halfway which will probably yield more than 24. These are certainly sinful and not something I recommend making on a weekly basis, but rather to enjoy as an occasional treat!

INGREDIENTS:

1 C gluten-free vanilla rice milk

1 tsp cider vinegar

2-1/2 C Betsy’s Baking Mix (recipe below)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp xanthan gum

1-1/2 cups sugar

1/2 C palm oil shortening

2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder

1-oz red food coloring

1/4 C + 3 Tbs unsweetened applesauce

1 tsp vanilla

1 Tbs distilled white vinegar

1 tsp baking soda

1 recipe butter cream frosting (below)

Betsy’s Making Mix: this makes 7-1/2 cups–remember, use just 2-1/2 cups of it.

3-3/4 C garbanzo bean  flour

2-1/4 C potato starch

1-1/2 C tapioca starch/flour

Buttercream Frosting:

1 C Earth Balance margarine

4 to 4-1/2 C confectioner’s sugar

Vanilla rice milk

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. Make your baking mix first: Combine all the flours in a large zip-lock bag. Using a whisk, blend them well. Then seal tightly and shake it vigorously for 1 minute. This mix will stay good for up to 3 months. Place muffin liners into muffin pan and set aside.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the rice milk and cider vinegar to create “buttermilk” and set aside. In a small bowl, use a spoon to combine the cocoa powder and food coloring. (Keep in mind that 1 ounce is a full-sized bottle of food coloring). It will form a paste:

In a large bowl, combine 2-1/2 cups of the baking mix, salt, and xanthan gum. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the sugar and palm oil shortening. Add the applesauce and vanilla and cream everything together until mixture is light and creamy. Add the cocoa paste and mix well.

Alternately, add the dry ingredients and the “buttermilk” mixture to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Pour the white vinegar into a small cup and sprinkle the baking soda over it. Immediately pour the fizzing combo into the cake batter and thoroughly mix it in.

Fill each muffin cup about halfway with batter. I find that it’s easiest to hold the muffin cup in my hand and use a small spoon to drop filling in the cup. I then place it into the muffin pan. Works great and you can avoid getting batter on the pan.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting cream the Earth Balance until smooth. Little by little, add the confectioner’s sugar. Add the vanilla rice milk 1-2 tablespoons at a time until you reach a thick consistency. I beat this for several minutes to not only cream all the Earth Balance, but to make it good and fluffy.

Layer the tops of the cupcakes with some frosting and enjoy!

Fruit ‘n’ Phyllo Pie

Ok, it may look a little boring, but there’s nothing boring about the taste!  This is also great with some non-dairy ice cream on top. I took a cue from the Mustard Greens & Filo (Phyllo) Pie recipe and used a mixture of different berries. A great summertime dessert!

INGREDIENTS:

16 sheets phyllo dough, thawed

6 large fresh strawberries, sliced

1/2 C fresh raspberries

1/2 C fresh blueberries

4-oz Tofutti cream cheese

1/2 tsp sugar

1 tsp lemon juice

4 Tbs Earth Balance margarine

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375. Melt the Earth Balance in a small saucepan and keep it warm on the stove. Using a food processor, combine the cream cheese, sugar, and lemon juice. In a medium bowl, combine the mixture with the fruit.

Using a pastry brush, brush the bottom and sides of an 8×8 (I used a 6×9, I think) baking dish. You’ll want to work quickly with the phyllo dough, but at least you don’t have to worry about making it look pretty–it won’t matter. Layer a phyllo sheet on the bottom of the pan and then brush the top with butter. Repeat this step with 7 more phyllo sheets. Pour the fruit mixture on top and spread it out evenly.

Do the same process with the remaining 8 sheets of phyllo dough on top, brushing butter onto each layer as you go.

I forgot to do this, but I recommend slicing this before you bake it—the phyllo doesn’t cut very clean after it’s been baked. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the top is a golden brown.

Enjoy!

By the way . . . I’m off to Boulder for the weekend and will bring you reviews of at least two veg-friendly restaurants—both of which I’ve never been to. Looking forward to it! Have a great weekend!

Beautiful Boulder

Vegan & Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cake

Some of you may recall when I made this cake about a year ago, I put in way, way too much of the flour mixture and a friend, who I had served it to, joked that I made him eat a brick. The cake was a disaster and apparently, it took me a year to get over it, but here it is. Wow, what a difference correctly following the recipe makes! ;) This cake is outstanding! You’d never know it was gluten-free AND vegan! The cake was soft, moist, and not too sweet. (The icing will sure make up for that)! This is now going to be the family birthday cake for a while—it’s that good! Plus, I’ve completely redeemed myself and my friend told me he can no longer tease me about serving him a brick!

INGREDIENTS:

1 C gluten-free vanilla rice milk

1 tsp cider vinegar

2-1/2 C Betsy’s Baking Mix (recipe below)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp xanthan gum

1-1/2 cups sugar

1/2 C palm oil shortening

2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder

1 oz red food coloring

1/4 C + 3 Tbs unsweetened applesauce

1 tsp vanilla

1 Tbs distilled white vinegar

1 tsp baking soda

1 recipe butter cream frosting (below)

Betsy’s Making Mix: this makes 7-1/2 cups–remember, use just 2-1/2 cups of it.

3-3/4 C garbanzo bean  flour

2-1/4 C potato starch

1-1/2 C tapioca starch/flour

Buttercream Frosting:

1 C Earth Balance margarine

4 to 4-1/2 C confectioner’s sugar

Vanilla rice milk

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. Make your baking mix first: Combine all the flours in a large zip-lock bag. Using a whisk, blend them well. Then seal tightly and shake it vigorously for 1 minute. This mix will stay good for up to 3 months.

Grease 2 9″ cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment paper, then grease the parchment paper; set aside. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the rice milk and cider vinegar to create “buttermilk” and set aside. In a small bowl, use a spoon to combine the cocoa powder and food coloring. (Keep in mind that 1 ounce is a full-sized bottle of food coloring). It will form a paste:

In a large bowl, combine 2-1/2 cups of the baking mix, salt, and xanthan gum. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the sugar and palm oil shortening. Add the applesauce and vanilla and cream everything together until mixture is light and creamy. Add the cocoa paste and mix well.

Alternately, add the dry ingredients and the “buttermilk” mixture to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Pour the white vinegar into a small cup and sprinkle the baking soda over it. Immediately pour the fizzing combo into the cake batter and thoroughly mix it in. Evenly divide the batter into the two cake pans.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean. Let the cakes cool completely on a rack before turning them out of the pans.

Once cooled, turn over the pans and remove the parchment paper. Take a large plate and place it upside down on the bottom of one of the cakes (that will be upside down on the rack). Flip over so the cake is face up on the plate.

To make the frosting cream the Earth Balance until smooth. Little by little, add the confectioner’s sugar. Add the vanilla rice milk 1-2 tablespoons at a time until you reach a thick consistency.

Frost the top and sides of the cake that is on the plate. Lay it pretty thick, especially on the top. Carefully place the 2nd cake on top and frost that one.

Slice and enjoy! Cover the leftovers and store in the refrigerator.

Recipe source (cake only): Living Without

Apple Coffee Cake for Monet

I want to dedicate this cake to Monet, of Apples and Anecdotes. She is one of those people everyone should know. I’ve never actually met her face-to-face, but I feel as though we could easily just sit down with mugs of tea, eat this delicious cake and never stop talking. Monet always has a kind word (or several, actually) for fellow food bloggers; always making others feel special, despite the hardships she herself faces. Last year, she nearly lost a nephew, Ryan, to drowning and who continues to suffer from the effects the accident caused. Now, she is faced with the possibly of losing her sister and brother-in-law injured in a car crash that killed another nephew of hers. Please visit Monet with your thoughts and kind words, as I know she’ll appreciates them and hopefully, have a brighter day in the wake of this tragedy.

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Apple Coffee Cake

INGREDIENTS:

1-1/2 C flour
1/2 C whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 C walnuts, chopped
1 apple, peeled, cored, and shredded
1/2 C Earth Balance
1 C sugar
3 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer mixed with 4 Tbs water
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 C vanilla almond milk

Crumb topping

1/4 C sugar
1/8 C flour
3/4 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbs Earth Balance

Icing, optional

1/4 C powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla almond milk

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a loaf pan, set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and walnuts.

In another bowl, beat the margarine, sugar, vanilla, and egg-replacer mixture until smooth. Pour the margarine mixture into the dry ingredients and combine well with a spoon. Stir in the apples and almond milk. Scoop the batter into the prepared loaf pan. To make the crumb topping, combine all the ingredients with a fork and sprinkle on top of the batter.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Let it cool for 10-15 minutes before removing from the pan. Mix together the powdered sugar and almond milk to form icing and drizzle over the top. You can wait until it completely cools, or when it’s still warm. Have a seat with someone you love and cherish, and enjoy this cake together.

Chai-Spiced Berry-Oatmeal Cookies = Redemption

I am so relieved and happy that these cookies turned out. I found myself in a funk today. And apparently, it’s catching ’cause Moe looks to have it:

He probably smelled these amazing cookies and knew he couldn’t have any. Sorry, Moe. Anyway, missed my workout this morning and struggled some more with an essay I’ve been trying to write for the last four years. Yes, that’s four years. Then, to add insult to injury, dinner turned out to be a disaster. Awful. By far the worst results of anything I’ve attempted since the ill-fated red velvet cake nearly a year ago. I could have easily called it a night, but instead, I picked myself up by my bra straps and dusted my vegan-self off because I’ll be damned to go nighty-night after today. These are my Redemption Cookies. I swaggered into the kitchen and started pulling stuff out of the pantry, grabbed a bowl and got to work. One bite and not only did I feel the fog lift, I felt redeemed after that horrendous dinner. Talk about cookies for the soul.

INGREDIENTS:

1 C flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1-1/2 C rolled oats

1/2 C Earth Balance margarine

Egg Replacer (and water) for one egg

1/2 C sugar

1/2 C brown sugar

2 Tbs agave

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 C fresh blueberries

1/2 C dried cherries, chopped (I think I’ll call them “cheeries” for this recipe)

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp cardamon

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp cloves

1/2 tsp fennel seeds

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugars. Add the egg-replacer/water mix, agave, and vanilla. In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients.

Little by little, add to the butter/sugar mixture. Fold in the blueberries and cherries.

Drop onto a baking sheet lined with foil. (For the first batch, I lightly sprayed the foil with cooking spray since I wasn’t sure if they’d stick, but just go with the foil).

Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown. Let them cool a few minutes before removing to a cooling rack, then thoroughly enjoy. And feel better. And redeem yourself from any minor infractions you committed during the day. They are guarantee to turn things around for you. :) Makes 32-34 soul-good cookies.

Lemon Almond Cookies

These cookies are pretty darn easy to make, soft, and aren’t overly sweet—my kind of cookie. If you have a bigger sweet tooth, use honey (which isn’t vegan) instead of agave, or these would be ideal to sprinkle with powdered sugar.

INGREDIENTS:

1 C Earth Balance margarine

3/4 C agave

1/2 tsp almond extract

3 Tbs fresh lemon juice

Zest from one small lemon

1/2 C ground almonds

1/2 C chopped almonds

1 C whole wheat flour

1 C all-purpose flour

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, cream together margarine and agave. Add the almond extract, lemon juice, lemon zest; combine well. In another bowl, combine the ground and chopped walnuts with the flours and add to the margarine mixture. The batter will be sticky—it’s supposed to be, so don’t add any more flour.

Roll dough into 1 to 1-1/2″ balls and place onto a lightly greased cookie sheet; press down slightly.

Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until the bottom edge of the cookies begin to turn a golden brown.

Enjoy!

Strawberry-Pear Tarts

For about a month, I’ve had some puff pastry in freezer because I accidentally bought it, thinking I was getting phyllo sheets. So, instead of letting it continue to sit and freeze, I decided to make these tarts. Now, even though puff pasty is vegan, it isn’t the healthiest stuff out there and we probably shouldn’t gorge on this stuff on a regular basis—vegan or not. It’s a treat and that’s ok. And these treats you’ll love—not too sweet and done before you know it.

INGREDIENTS:

1 puff pastry sheet, thawed

1 pear, peeled, sliced thin and cored

6 strawberries, sliced

2 Tbs brown sugar

2-1/2 Tbs Earth Balance, melted and divided

1/3 C walnuts, chopped

4-4″ tart pans

DIRECTIONS:

To thaw puff pastry, remove from bag and place on counter. It will thaw in about 40 minutes at room temperature. Preheat oven to 400. Unfold pastry sheet and place the bottoms of the tart pans on it, cutting around the circles.

Place bottom of pan and cut out dough back into the tart shell. In a medium bowl, combine the pears, strawberries, brown sugar, walnuts, and two tablespoons of melted Earth Balance.

Divide the fruit mixture evenly among the 4 tart pans. Roll out the extra dough and using a cookie cutter, cut out a heart or other beautiful shape you wish to make. Place on top of each tart. Brush the cut-out with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of melted Earth Balance.

Bake for 20-22 minutes and enjoy!

Raspberry Cake (and don’t give away your heart . . .pan)!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Yesterday as The Husband and I were moseying through an antique shop, he asked me, “Did you get me anything for Valentine’s Day?” Having not even thought about this (card company) holiday, I truthfully answered, “Uh, no.” He suddenly looked relieved. “Good! I didn’t get you anything!” Frankly, I was relieved, too. I told him I’d bake him something. So when I got to that today I realized I no longer had my red, ceramic, heart-shaped pan anymore. I think I Goodwilled it because I never used it. I was quite disappointed, as it would have been perfect for this cake. Oh well. The sentiment is still there! This recipe is essentially the same as my muffin recipe from a year ago, but I used raspberries instead of blueberries.

INGREDIENTS:

Cake:

1/4 C Earth Balance margarine

1/2 C apple sauce

1/2 tsp salt

1 C sugar

2 C flour

1 Tbs baking powder

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 C almond milk

2 C fresh or frozen raspberries (If using frozen, thaw and drain liquid)

Crumb topping:

1/4 C sugar

1/8 C flour

3/4 tsp cinnamon

2 Tbs Earth Balance butter

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. Using an electric mixer, combine all the muffin ingredients, except the raspberries. Mix well. Fold in the raspberries.

To make the crumb topping, combine all the crumb topping ingredients in a bowl and mix well using a fork.

Lightly grease an 8×8″ baking pan. You can also use a bundt pan, just remember to put the crumb topping on first, before pouring in the batter.

Top with crumb topping and bake for 30-33 minutes.

Let cool 5-10 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!

My First Guest Blogger! Vegan, Wheat-free, and Nearly Sugar-free Blueberry Muffins

I’m very excited to introduce you to my first guest blogger, Kerrie Flanagan, director of The Northern Colorado Writers and freelance writer-extraordinaire. Kerrie has been a great sport when testing out some of my vegan creations. Some have been great, others not so much. She’ll even manage to smile when choking down one of the not-so-much ones. Thanks for being here, Kerrie!

Kerrie and I

I am thrilled to be the guest blogger today for my good friend and roof buddy (long, but fun story) April and take a break from working on my writers conference. When it comes to food, April and I agree on a few things; we both like to cook, we both want to provide healthy meals for our family and we both like to experiment in the kitchen. But when it comes to what we eat, we are on different sides of the fence. I am not a Vegan. I do eat meat (but I buy it from a local rancher and it is all free-range, grass-fed beef) and dairy. But I have the utmost respect for April and other Vegans. I love sampling her amazing food and trying some her recipes on my family.

So why am I here on the Epicurean Vegan? (besides the obvious, that I want to help my friend) it is because of my teenage daughter. Her acupuncturist wanted her to go on an elimination diet. So for 6 weeks, Delaney was to avoid wheat, dairy products and refined sugar. This was not an easy task, but we are on week 6 and she is doing great. One of the biggest things she missed was baked goods. The dairy part was no problem, the wheat; a little more of a challenge, but the sugar free part; nearly impossible. I am happy to say though, I found a recipe for muffins with oat flour and made a few adjustments (with April’s help) to substitute the dairy products. Delaney gave them a thumbs up.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup oat flour

1 cup rolled oats

3 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

3 Tbs honey (or 1/2 cup sugar if you want them sweeter)

2 tsp lemon zest (or 1/2 tsp. lemon juice)

1 tsp egg replacer + 2 Tbl water (whisk together)

1/3 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup Almond milk

1 cup blueberries (thawed frozen, or fresh)

DIRECTIONS:

Combine everything except the blueberries in a large mixing bowl and mix with a whisk. Don’t use a mixer, as it will chop up the rolled oats.

Cover the bowl and set it aside for 10 minutes to allow the batter to thicken. Once complete, fold in the blueberries with a spoon. Grease a muffin pan with baking spray or use paper baking cups and fill 2/3 full with batter.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 15-20 minutes until  golden brown. Makes 12 muffins.
*These were a little crumbly straight out of the oven. Once they cooled they were fine. You might want to try increasing egg replacer a little bit.

Chocolate Avocado Banana Bread

That’s right. Chocolate. Avocado. Banana. I figured since the Glazed Chocolate Avocado Cupcakes worked so well, why not give it a try with other stuff? I had two avocados a banana begging to be baked into something, so there you go. The Sixth Grader loves this bread and I have to make sure he doesn’t make a sandwich using it–he loves it that much. Unlike the cupcakes, you can taste the avocado, but for one, we love this green fruit over here and two, the taste is subtle. The chocolate really balances the flavors nicely. Now if the green color is off-putting, I suppose you can add about a 1/4 C of cocoa, but I kind of like the Grinchy green!

INGREDIENTS:

1 banana

2 avocados

1 C sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 C flour

2 Tbs canola oil

1 tsp lemon juice

1/8 C almond milk

1 C dark chocolate chips (Ghirardelli semi-sweet are vegan)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl, mash the banana and avocado together. It will look like guacamole . . . yet smell like bananas. Stir in the canola oil and lemon juice.

Add the avocado/banana mixture and almond milk to the dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Grease and flour a large loaf pan. You can also use an 8×8″ baking dish or even a bundt pan.

Bake for 40-45 minutes. The top will brown, but insert a knife in the middle to make sure it comes out clean before taking out. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before removing from pan and slicing. Enjoy!

Apple Pastries

Happy Groundhog Day!

It also happens to be another day off from school due to sub-zero temperatures. We’re looking at a high of -1! I’m beginning to get cabin fever. So it was a good thing our delivery from Green Buffalo Food came on Monday since I haven’t ventured to the store. Thanks to them, I was able to throw together a wonderful stir-fry for dinner last night using the green pepper, shallots, and zucchini they provided. And this morning, I used a couple of apples they sent, too. The Sixth Grader and I are enjoying pastries and watching Groundhog Day, of course.

INGREDIENTS:

For 8 pastries:

10 sheets of phyllo dough

2 apples, peeled and diced

1/4 C walnuts, chopped

1 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp nutmeg

4 Tbs Earth Balance margarine, melted

4-oz Tofutti cream cheese

1/2 tsp lemon juice

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375. Combine apples, walnuts, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl. Whip the cream cheese and lemon juice in a food processor; transfer to a small bowl.

Take 5 sheets of the phyllo and cut into fourths. (You’ll do the same with the other 5 sheets).

To make the pastries, brush the top layer with the melted Earth Balance, a large spoonful of cream cheese, then some apple mixture.

Roll into a log and transfer to a baking sheet lined with lightly greased foil; brush with margarine.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the pastries are golden brown. Enjoy!

Glazed Chocolate-Avocado Cupcakes

Avocado and chocolate? Absolutely! You can’t taste the avocado, but it takes the place of eggs, as well as some of the oil. These cupcakes are so rich, moist, fluffy and decadent. Even the Husband said, “Oh man, these are dangerous.”

INGREDIENTS:

Cupcakes:

1-1/2 C flour

3/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt

1 avocado, pitted and peeled

1 C pure maple syrup (I used light pancake syrup)

3/4 C plain soy milk (I used almond milk)

1/3 C canola oil

2 tsp vanilla

Glaze:

1/4 block soft silken tofu (from a 14-oz container), drained and patted dry

3 Tbs pure maple syrup (again, I used light pancake syrup)

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/8 tsp salt

4 oz semisweet chocolate chips, melted

DIRECTIONS:

To make the cupcakes, preheat oven to 350. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Puree the avocado in a food processor until smooth. Add the maple syrup, almond milk, oil, and vanilla; blend until creamy. Whisk into flour mixture.

Spoon the mixture evenly into the muffin cups. I wasn’t sure how much to fill them because you never know with muffins, but as long as you evenly divide the batter among the cups, you’ll be fine.

Bake for 25 minutes.

To make the glaze, blend the tofu, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt in the food processor. Add the melted chocolate and blend thoroughly.

Transfer to a bowl.

Dip the tops of the cupcakes into the glaze, pulling up straight to form peaks. Enjoy!

Recipe: Vegetarian Times

Swirled Mint Cookies

These cookies were always a classic Christmas treat growing up—they seriously date back to 1987. They’re from an old school Better Homes and Gardens cookie cookbook.

I just had to veganize the recipe by using Earth Balance and egg replacer. They remind me of my childhood and are now a fav with the Sixth Grader.

INGREDIENTS:

2 C flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 C Earth Balance margarine
1 C sugar + plus some for sprinkling
1-1/2 tsp Ener-G Egg replacer + 2 Tbs water
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
10 drops red food coloring
10 drops green food coloring

DIRECTIONS:

Whisk together the egg replacer powder and water; set aside. In a large bowl, cream together margarine until softened. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Add “egg,” vanilla, and peppermint extract and beat well. In a medium bowl, combine the flour and baking powder, then mix it into the butter mixture. Divide the dough into thirds. Stir red food coloring into one third, green in another third, and leave the last third.

Cover each and chill about an hour.

Preheat oven to 375. Divide each dough into fourths. Roll out each fourth into a 1/2″ diameter rope. You’ll need just a tad of flour–mostly just for your hands.

Place each one side by side and twist together. Pour some extra sugar into a bowl and set nearby.

Slice into each rope:

You can carefully roll into balls, or just place the cut pieces 2″ apart on a cookie sheet.

Using a flat-bottomed glass dipped in the sugar, flatten the dough to a 1/4″ thickness.

Bake for 7-8 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool. Makes about 72 cookies. Enjoy!

Swedish Tea Cookies

These treats are also called Mexican Wedding Cookies, but growing up, they were known as Christmas cookies around my house. I suppose since I’m also a fraction Swedish, I’ll go with the Scandinavian title. The recipe is my mom’s and all I had to do to veganize them was to use Earth Balance.

INGREDIENTS:

1 C Earth Balance Margarine

2 C Confectioner’s sugar, divided

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp almond extract

2 C flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 C almonds, chopped

DIRECTIONS:

Place the oven rack in the middle—maybe a bit higher, otherwise the bottom of the cookies will get too brown. Preheat oven to 400. Cream together butter, 1 cup of the Confectioner’s sugar, vanilla, and almond extract. In a small bowl, combine flour, salt and nuts; add to the butter mixture. Combine well until the dough holds together.

Form dough into 1″ balls and place on a baking sheet. Once you get down to the last 1/2 dozen, the dough will be crumbly, but just squeeze it together—works great.

Bake 10 minutes.

Once the cookies are cooled, roll them in the remaining cup of Confectioner’s sugar and enjoy!

Makes 3 dozen

Lemon Poppy Seed and Cranberry Bread/Cake

Vegan MoFo, Day 30!!

Well, it’s the final day of Vegan MoFo! I can’t believe I blogged everyday this month except for one stinkin’ day! Oh well—it was definitely a fun challenge, but I’m a little relieved at the same time.

This cakey bread is not overly sweet since I just used agave as a sweetener, so icing it will definitely give it more of a sweet punch. You can also make this in a 9×5 loaf pan, or two smaller loaf pans, making it more of a bread than a cake. I like having options. :)

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 C almond milk

1/3 C poppy seeds

3/4 C agave nectar

3/4 C Earth Balance, softened

3 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer + 4 Tbs water

2 Tbs lemon juice

1-1/2 C flour

1/2 C whole wheat flour

1-1/2 tsp baking powder

1-1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 C dried cranberries

Icing:

About a cup of Confectioners’ sugar

2-3 tsp lemon juice

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 325. Grease a bundt pan. Whisk together egg replacer powder and water; set aside. In a small saucepan, heat the milk. Once it begins to boil, remove from heat and stir in the poppy seeds; set side. In a large bowl, cream together butter and honey until smooth, then add egg replacer. In a small bowl, combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Take half of the flour mixture and add it to the butter mixture and combine well. Add milk mixture, then the rest of dry ingredients. Stir in the cranberries. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes.

Turn oven down to 300 and bake another 7-8 minutes, or until it is golden brown.

Let it cool slightly on a rack, then transfer to a large plate.

To make the icing, combine sugar and lemon juice, add more of either ingredient to reach desired consistency. Once bread is cool, or just slightly warm, drizzle with icing. Enjoy!

Recipe: Adapted from Beyond the Moon Cookbook

 

GORP Cookies

Easy, somewhat healthy and delicious! Need I say more?

INGREDIENTS:

1 C Earth Balance margarine, softened

1 C brown sugar, lightly packed

2 tsp almond milk (or 1 tsp almond milk and 1 tsp vanilla)

1 tsp baking soda

2 C flour (or 1-3/4 C flour and 1/4 C wheat germ)

1 C raisins

1 C peanuts, roasted and unsalted

3/4 C dark chocolate chips (Ghirardelli Semi-sweet chips)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter and brown sugar. Add milk (and/or vanilla) and baking soda. Mix in flour (and/or wheat germ). Stir in peanuts, raisins, and chocolate chips.

Drop a tablespoon of batter onto a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake 10-12 minutes. Cool on baking racks–makes 45-48 cookies.

Almond Sour Cream Coffee Cake

I love almond anything. I even love anything almond-scented. This cake was a breeze to make and has a cake/cookie consistency. In fact, the dough is very cookie dough-like, so don’t be alarmed–it’s supposed to be that way! A slice of this is perfect for dessert or with that morning tea or coffee.

INGREDIENTS:

Cake:

1/2 C  Earth Balance margarine

1 C sugar

3 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer

4 Tbs water

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp  almond extract

1/4 C Tofutti sour cream

2 C flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp soda

1/4 tsp salt

Strudel:

1/2 C brown sugar

1 Tbs flour

2 Tbs butter

Glaze:

1/2 C powdered sugar

1/4 tsp almond extract

2-3 tsp non dairy milk

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg replacer and water; set aside. In a large bowl, cream together margarine and sugar. Add “egg” mixture to butter mixture and combine well. Add vanilla and almond extracts and stir well to combine. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the flour and sour cream to the butter mixture, but do it alternatively; starting and ending with the flour. The mixture will resemble cookie dough.

For the strudel, chop up the butter, add the brown sugar and flour and use a pastry blender to make it crumbly. Grease a bundt pan and sprinkle 1/3 of strudel in the pan. Next, take take 1/2 of the dough and using your hands, spread it somewhat evenly in the pan, on top of the strudel. Add another 1/3 of the strudel, then the other half of the dough. Sprinkle with remaining strudel.

Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Meanwhile, to make the glaze, whisk together powdered sugar, almond extract, and the nondairy milk. Drizzle over warm cake and enjoy!

(It will most-likely look like an over-grown doughnut)!

Recipe: Adapted from cooks.com

Gooey Chai-Spiced Brownies

I can’t remember the last time I made a batch of brownies. I was craving them, however, I didn’t want just any ordinary brownies, so I added some chai spices. With only 5 minutes of prep time and about 25 minutes to cook, they make a quick, go-to dessert for last minute guests.

INGREDIENTS:

1 C flour

1 C granulated sugar

1/4 C cocoa

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 C water

1/4 + 1 Tbs C vegetable oil

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp cardamon

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp cloves

1/2  tsp fennel seed

1 C dark chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamon, ginger, cloves, and fennel (basically all the dry ingredients) in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine the water, oil, and vanilla and add to the dry mixture. Combine well.

Stir in the chocolate chips and pour into a lightly greased 8″ baking pan. It will have a thick pudding-like consistency.

Bake for 25 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack and let cool for 10 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are delicious—just like Mom’s. The recipe is from The Joy of Vegan Baking and doesn’t disappoint! It called for 1 cup of nuts, but I left them out since we’re kind of opposed to nuts in cookies and brownies, with the exception of macadamia nut cookies. . .anyway. . .these are yummy. The recipe calls for brown sugar and I have found that storing it in the freezer is the way to go–it only takes about 20 minutes to thaw and once it does, it’s always soft. Just remember to pull it out of the freezer to thaw before using it.

INGREDIENTS:

4-1/2 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer

6 Tbs water

1 C Earth Balance margarine

3/4 C granulated sugar

3/4 C firmly packed light or dark brown sugar

2 tsp vanilla

2-1/4 C flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1-2 C nondairy semisweet chocolate chips (Ghirardelli is great)

1 C chopped nuts (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375. In a food processor or blender, whip the egg replacer and water together until its thick and creamy. The recipe recommends this for better consistency that what you’d get by doing it by hand. In a large bowl, cream the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. Add the egg replacer mixture to this wet mixture and thoroughly combine. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually beat the flour mixture into the wet mixture until it begins to form a dough. When it is almost thoroughly combined, stir in the chips and nuts, if using.

Scoop out 1-2 tablespoons of batter onto a nonstick baking sheet (or lined with parchment paper) and bake 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. The recipe says it makes 1 dozen, but they must have been BIG cookies because I got 35. Enjoy!

Cinnamon Coffee Cake

So I finally got The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, author of my other favorite cookbook, The Vegan Table, and as you can see . . . I’ve already picked out some recipes to try.

Ideal timing for the coming fall and winter! The 6th Grader was craving coffee cake, so that’s where we started and it didn’t disappoint. The recipe is quite easy and perfect for throwing together for last minute guests.

INGREDIENTS:

Cake:

1 C nondairy milk (I used almond milk)

1/3 C canola oil

1 Tbs white distilled vinegar

1 C unbleached, all purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour (I used all purpose)

1/2 C granulated sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp salt

Crumble:

3/4 C unbleached all purpose flour, or whole wheat pastry flour (again, I used all purpose)

1/4 C granulated or brown sugar (I used brown sugar)

1-2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 C chopped walnuts (I used pecans as I was out of walnuts)

1/3 C canola oil or nondairy butter, melted (I used Earth Balance butter)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9″ square baking dish/cake pan. To make cake, combine milk, oil, and vinegar in a bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Add the milk mixture and stir until just combined. Pour into the prepared baking dish.

To make the crumble, in a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and walnuts. Add the butter or oil and use your hands to thoroughly work it into the dry ingredients. Spoon on top of the batter (I found sprinkling with my hands worked better) and covering the entire area.

Bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let it cool slightly and serve warm or at room temperature. I think this would also be yummy if drizzled with some some icing once it cooled completely. . . Enjoy!

Lemon Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

These are perfect little, squatty, tasty, cute cupcakes. The outside is crispy, slightly sticky with lemon cake goodness on the inside. They are easy to make and once frosted, gone in seconds!

INGREDIENTS:

1 C soft Silken tofu

4 heaping tsp egg replacer powder mixed with 10 Tbs water

3/4 C granulated sugar

2 Tbs lemon juice

Rind of 1 lemon, grated

1/2 C flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Frosting:

1/2 C vegan margarine

2 C confectioners’ sugar

1 Tbs plain or vanilla soy milk

3/4 tsp pure lemon extract, or vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 325. Using a mixer, mix the tofu until smooth. Add sugar, lemon juice, and lemon rind. Mix until thick, about 5 minutes. In a small bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Slowly add to the tofu mixture and mix until smooth and thick.

In the medium bowl with the egg replacer and water, add the cream of tartar and mix for about 5 minutes until it is well combined and a little fluffy. Fold it into the tofu and flour mixture. Grease a muffin tin and fill each one with a 1/4 cup of the mixture. I got 11 cupcakes. . .why not a dozen? I have no idea. Oh well.

Bake for 35-40 minutes–the edges will get a little brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool before removing them from the pan and frosting them.

To make frosting: Let margarine sit out until room temperature. Using a mixer, mix the margarine until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, soy milk and flavoring. Combine thoroughly. You may need to adjust the consistency to how you’d like it by adding more milk or more sugar. Since all I could find was one lonely frosting tip and no pastry bag, I snipped off the corner of a zip lock back as a substitute. It worked lovely. Enjoy!

Vegan Doughnuts

Yes, they’re as yummy as they look. Plus, they were very easy to make. The recipe, from Vegan Yum Yum, says to place plastic wrap over them as they cool in the pan so that they remain soft and fluffy. They will definitely be more cakey and cookie-like otherwise—which is still great. The recipe also says to use an ungreased petite doughnut pan, but let me tell you. . .I found out the hard way that the pan should be greased! Don’t let this happen to your doughnuts. . .only one made it out unscathed from the first batch:

INGREDIENTS:

Petite doughnut pan (I borrowed one—Thanks, Kristin!) I’ll be buying one for sure.

1 C all purpose flour

1/2 C sugar

1-1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 tiny pinch cinnamon (both my non-vegan friend and I who had these, agreed that there should be more–maybe 1/2 a teaspoon)

1/2 C soy milk

1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Egg substitute for 1 egg

4 Tbs Earth Balance margarine

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon with a whisk and mix thoroughly.

Combine soy milk, apple cider vinegar, vanilla, egg substitute, and margarine in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and mix well until margarine is melted. It shouldn’t get too hot, just slightly warm.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined. It should form a very soft dough or thick batter.

Using a tablespoon measure, scoop out the dough into the greased, nonstick mini-doughnut pan Smooth out the top of the doughnuts with your finger, clearing off the post in the middle of each one.

Bake for 12 minutes until the doughnuts are almost browned on top and a toothpick comes out clean. Invert the pan over a cutting board or cooling rack to release the doughnuts. Allow to cool completely before decorating (unless you’re making powdered sugar ones; see below) Makes about 20-22 doughnuts.

(A much better second batch)!

Chocolate-dipped doughnuts (the ones I made): Melt 1 bar of your favorite dark chocolate in the microwave. (I melted some carob chips in a saucepan over low heat and added some soy milk to reach a good consistency). Dip the pretty top side of the doughnut in the chocolate and place on a rack. Top with sprinkles.

Powdered Sugar doughnuts: While doughnuts are still warm from the oven, roll them in a bowl of powdered sugar.

You can also whisk some powdered sugar and soy milk together to reach a desired consistency and glaze the doughnuts. Enjoy!

Lavender Tea Cookies

These are so delicious and have the perfect combination of sweetness and lavender, with a hint of lemon. Being shortbread, they will fall apart easily when taking them off the baking sheet, so be careful. Depending how thick you make them, the recipe makes anywhere from 2-4 dozen. I first made some thin round ones using a 2/3 measuring cup and then some thicker rectangle/square ones using a pizza cutter. Either way, you’ll love them!

INGREDIENTS:

1-1/2 C nondairy butter (3 sticks of Earth Balance), room temperature

2/3 C granulated sugar

1/4 C confectioners’ sugar

3-4 Tbs finely chopped fresh lavender or 2 Tbs dried culinary lavender (I used 3-1/2 Tbs of dried culinary)

2 tsp lemon zest

2-1/2 C all purpose flour

1/2 C cornstarch

1/4 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS:

In a medium-size bowl, cream butter, granulated sugar, and confectioners’ sugar until light and fluffy. Add lavender and lemon zest. Stir to combine. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, and salt. When thoroughly  mixed, add to the wet batter, and stir until well blended. You should have a thick cookie batter.

Divide dough into 2 balls, wrap in plastic wrap, and flatten to about 1 inch. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

When ready to prepare the cookies, preheat oven to 325. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into shapes and place on an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake for 18-20 minutes (less if thinner) or until the cookies begin to brown at the edges. Remove from the oven, cool for a few minutes on baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Recipe Source: The Vegan Table

Balsamic Strawberries

Wow, talk about a smorgasbord of flavors! I was very intrigued when I saw the recipe—balsamic vinegar, sugar and pepper, so I had to try it. These are delicious by themselves, but spooned over some soy vanilla ice cream is absolutely to die for!! Great as a quick summertime dessert.

INGREDIENTS:

16 oz fresh strawberries, halved or quartered lengthwise

2 Tbs balsamic vinegar

1/4 C granulated sugar

1/4 tsp ground black pepper, or to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Place strawberries in a bowl. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with sugar. Stir gently with a rubber spatula to combine. Cover and let sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour, but not more than 4 hours. Just before serving, grind pepper over berries. Enjoy!

Recipe source: The Vegan Table

Coconut-Lemon Bundt Cake

This is incredibly easy to make, but most importantly, it’s moist and delicious!

INGREDIENTS:

1-1/2 C granulated sugar

2/3 C canola oil

1 (14-oz) can coconut milk

1/4 C soy milk

1/4 C lemon juice

3 Tbs lemon zest

2 tsp vanilla extract

3 C flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1-1/2 C shredded unsweetened coconut

A few tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease an 8 or 10″ Bundt pan. In a large mixing bowl, combine the granulated sugar, oil, coconut milk, soy milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla. Stir to combine. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the wet ingredients in batches, mixing well after each addition. Stir to combine, then stir in the coconut. Pour batter into the Bundt pan, Bake 1 hour or until a knife inserted  through the cake comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes, then place a cutting board over the cake pan, gently flip over and release the cake from the pan. Let cool completely. Once cooled, sift a sprinkling of the confectioners’ sugar over the tip. Slice, serve and enjoy!

Recipe source: Veganomicon

Product Review: Barry’s Bakery French Twists

I picked up a box of Barry’s Bakery French Twists on a whim–was looking for a quick little dessert for a get together. For about $3.89 you get roughly 10 twists and can choose from 5 different flavors (I chose Wild Raspberry). They were delicious! They’re made with layers of crispy, cinnamony puff pastry and with about 30 calories per twist (snack-size) they’re Watch Watcher’s approved. Approved or not, I’ll eat ‘em!

They have no eggs, cholesterol, butter, yeast or dairy! However, they do have high gluten flour, so they’re not for everyone. Ingredients: High gluten wheat flour, soy oil, palm oil, beet sugar, cinnamon, salt, and natural raspberry flavor.

If you’re looking for a nice cookie to serve with tea, these are perfect—I’m looking forward to trying their other other varieties. Check out their site for more information.

Red Velvet Cake

Ok, this cake could have been one of the most amazing vegan desserts ever. . . if I hadn’t of screwed it up. Really, it was all my fault. Apparently, I didn’t know the difference between 2-1/2 cups and say. . . 4 cups. Of the dry ingredients. What was I thinking? I wasn’t. Got heavy-handed with the dry baking mix and the cake ended up a bit dense (much like the baker). I thought the flavor was really good and the “buttercream” frosting was delicious! Plus, it’s gluten-free!

So I’ve only posted the winners before, but c’mon—the pictures! I had to post it after all the work and it is my birthday for at least another 45 minutes, after all, so I can do what I want! :) Really, if it hadn’t been for my mistake, I truly think this recipe is a winner. Try it and let me know what you think! If not, enjoy the pictures! (A special thank you to the kind folks who I “tested” this on. . . you’re all good sports)!

INGREDIENTS:

Cake:

1 C gluten-free vanilla rice milk

1 tsp cider vinegar

2-1/2 C Betsy’s Baking Mix (below. . . and this is where I screwed up because the mix makes more than 2-1/2 cups)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp xanthan gum

1-1/2 C granulated sugar

1/2 C organic palm oik shortening

2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder

1 ounce red food coloring

1/4 C +3 Tbs unsweetened applesauce

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 Tbs distilled white vinegar

1 tsp baking soda

Betsy’s Gluten-Free Baking Mix:

3-3/4 C garbanzo flour

2-1/4 C potato starch

1-1/2 C tapioca starch/flour

(Combine all ingredients with a wire whisk. Seal in an airtight container and shake vigorously for 1 minute)

Frosting:

1-1/2 C Earth Balance margarine

4-1/2 C confectioners’ sugar

Vanilla soy/rice/almond milk

2 tsp vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. Grease two 9″ round cake pans. In a small bowl, make “buttermilk” by combining rice milk and cider vinegar. In a large mixing bowl, combine the baking mix (just the 2-1/2 cups) with the salt and xanthan gum. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the sugar and shortening. Meanwhile, in a separate small bowl, mix the cocoa powder and food coloring to form a paste; set side.

Add the applesauce and vanilla to creamed shortening and sugar blend until the mixture is light and creamy. Add the cocoa powder paste and mix well. Alternately add the dry ingredients and the “buttermilk” mixture to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Pour the white vinegar into a small cup and sprinkle the baking soda over it. Immediately pour the fizzing combo into the cake batter and thoroughly combine the two mixtures.

(That’s some thick batter)!

Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake the cakes for 30-35 minutes. Let cakes cool completely in their pans on a cooling rack. Turn cakes out of their pans.

To make frosting: With a mixer, cream the butter until fluffy. Alternately, add the confectioners’ sugar and enough soy milk to reach desired consistency. Add the vanilla extract and mix well.

Frost the top of each cake layer. Transfer 1 layer to a serving plate and set the other layer on top. Frost the sides of the cake. Store the frosted cake, covered and refrigerate, for up to 3 days.

I think a scoop of soy ice cream on top would have been perfect — and possibly would have even saved me, but of course, I didn’t have any!

Recipe source (cake only): Living Without

Chai Spice Cookies with Lemon “Buttercream” Frosting

Yum. Yep, these are delicious! Both the cookie and the frosting recipe is from 1000 Vegan Recipes, and I decided to combine the two. This is a crispy cookie, so my suggestion is to make them really thin if making a sandwich–otherwise, it’s a lot of cookie (which is what I learned). Or you can just ice the top of the cookie–it’s a wonderful combination of flavors. You can also use vanilla extract in place of the lemon, if you prefer. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

INGREDIENTS:

Cookies:

2 C all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1-1/2 tsp ground cardamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp ground fennel seed

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 C vegan margarine (Earth Balance)

3/4 C sugar

2 Tbs plain or vanilla soy milk

2 Tbs agave nectar

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Frosting:

1/2 C vegan margarine

2 C confectioners’ sugar

1 Tbs plain or vanilla soy milk

3/4 tsp pure lemon extract, or vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

Cookies: Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamon, ginger, cloves, fennel seed, and salt. Mix to combine well. In a large bowl, beat together the margarine, sugar, soy milk, agave nectar, and vanilla until well combined. Add the flour mixture, stirring well to form a smooth, stiff dough. Pinch off small pieces of dough and roll them between your hands into balls. Place dough balls onto an ungreased baking sheet and use a metal spatula to flatten the cookies to about 1/4″ thick.

Bake until lightly browned at the edges, about 15 minutes. Cool on a baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Frosting: In a large bowl, cream the margarine with an electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy. Add the sugar, soy milk, and vanilla and mix until thoroughly combined. Continue mixing for about 2 minutes, until the frosting is smooth and stiff. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Enjoy!

Maple-Pecan Shortbread

I love thy neighbor… And I really love that we’re both foodies. I’ll bring over some vegan concoction (they’re so great to be my guinea pigs for some of my recipes) and she’ll return the dishes full of a different vegan concoction–even though she’s not a vegan!  How cool is that?! So this afternoon, she returned two dishes I had given her–minus the hummus I sent in them–and filled with other vegan goodness. These cookies are one of them. She said they were pretty easy to make–I obviously don’t have pictures of the process–just the end result, but I’ll assure you–they’re worth any time they may have taken.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup pecans

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup unbleached flour

1/4 cup maple sugar crystals or unbleached cane sugar (or white sugar from sugar beets)

1/2 t. baking powder

1/2 t. salt

1/4 t. cinnamon

1/3 cup vegan margarine

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 t. vanilla

1/2 t. almond extract

safflower oil, for oiling cookie sheets

DIRECTIONS:

In a blender or food processor, place the pecans, and pulse a few times to roughly chop. Transfer 1/3 cup of the chopped pecans to a small bowl and set aside. Add the oats to the remaining pecans in the blender and process for 30-60 seconds to finely grind them together. Add the flour, maple sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon, pulse a few times to combine, and set aside. In a medium bowl, place the margarine, maple syrup, vanilla, and almond extract, and stir the mixture until smooth. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir well to combine. Add the reserved chopped pecans and fold gently to incorporate them. Cover the bowl of dough, place it in the refrigerator, and chill the dough for 30 minutes or more.

Using a little safflower oil, lightly oil (or mist with oil) two non-stick cookie sheets and set aside. Transfer the chilled dough to a lightly floured work surface. Roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thickness and cut into 2-inch squares or diamonds or into desired shapes with small cookie cutters. Using a fork, gently poke the surface of each cut cookie a few times. Working in batches, carefully transfer the cut cookies to the prepared cookie sheets. Bake at 325 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom. Allow the shortbread to cool on the cookie sheets for 3 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely. Repeat the baking procedure for the remaining cut cookies. Store the cookies in an airtight container.

Yield: 4 Dozen

Recipe source: VeganChef

Product Review: Tofutti Cuties–Cookies ‘N Cream

Delicious. That’s about it.

Ok, so here’s the low-down: 1 cutie is 130 calories with 6 grams of fat. So not the healthiest, but c’mon, it’s fake ice cream! And when you’re a vegan, tasty fake ice cream is like striking gold.

Completely dairy-free, these ice cream sandwiches come in several flavors: Cookies ‘N Cream, Vanilla, Mint Chocolate Chip, Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Key Lime, Wild Berry, Coffee Break, Strawberry Wave, and Very Vanilla (I guess the other vanilla is just sort of vanilla).

Here’s a list of ingredients: water, sugar, corn syrup solids, contains one or more of the following oils: (Corn, soy, coconut, and palm), soy protein, tofu, cocoa butter, vanilla, crunch (unbleached wheat flour, cocoa sugar), soy lecithin, guar seed gum, carrageenan, carob bean gum, salt.

Wafer ingredients: unbleached wheat flour, sugar, caramel color, soybean oil, yellow corn flour, cocoa processed with alkali, modified corn starch, salt, baking soda, vegetable mono and diglycerides, soy lecithin.

They are the perfect sized dessert–at least for me (and kids)–and taste sweet, but not overly sweet. Compared to the ice cream sandwiches I had as a kid, these taste identical, if not better!

Check out Tofutti’s site for more info.

Quick Apple Crisp

Just like grandma’s…ok, maybe not, but damn close! Great with a scoop of soy ice cream. Prep time was only about 15-20 mins–even with peeling the apples.

INGREDIENTS:

5 Grannie Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4″ slices

1/2 C maple syrup

1 Tbs lemon juice

1 tsp ground cinnamon, divided

1/2 C all-purpose flour

1/2 C old-fashioned oats

1/2 C finely chopped walnuts

2/3 C light brown sugar

1/2 C vegan margarine, softened

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly oil a 9″ square baking pan. Place the apples in the prepared pan. Drizzle with maple syrup and lemon juice over the apples and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp of cinnamon. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, oats, walnuts, sugar and the remaining 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Use a pastry blender to  cut in the margarine until the mixture resembles course chunks.

Spread the topping over the apples and bake until bubbly and lightly browned on top, about 45 mins (55 mins was perfect). Serve warm and enjoy!

Recipe source: 1000 Vegan Recipes

Cranberry Muffin-Bundt

The original recipe is called Low-Fat Vegan Coffee Cake but it really has more of a muffin-like texture, consistency and taste. “Coffeecake” just doesn’t seem to fit. It’s not to say it’s not delicious because it’s extremely tasty and moist. Plus…prep time was about 10 minutes and only required one medium sauce pan! How easy is that?! This would be great for dessert, brunch (Easter is coming up…) or just good ‘ol teatime.

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 cup vegan margarine

2 cups applesauce

1 cup flour

1-1/2 cups wheat bran flakes or oat bran (I used the flakes and broke them up just a little bit)

1 cup sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp cloves

1 cup raisins (I used dried cranberries)

1 cup chopped nuts (optional-but I used walnuts)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9″ square baking pan. I obviously used a bundt pan–I think it makes a much prettier presentation. In a medium-large saucepan, combine the margarine and applesauce over medium heat and heat until margarine is melted. Remove from heat.

Add the remaining ingredients, combine well and pour into prepared baking pan. I had to shake the pan to even out the batter. It should resemble oatmeal.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, however, I ended up baking mine for 45 mins before an inserted knife came out clean. All ovens run differently, so just keep an eye on it. Leave in the pan and place on a rack to cool before removing from the pan.

Top with confectioners’ sugar, of desired. (I say yes–it’ll look pretty) Enjoy!

Enjoy!

User Reviews Write Review

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 4 out of 5
tasty, easy and moist!, March 15, 2009
Guest erineedwards
“I thought this cake was very simple to prepare and my family loved it, including our picky toddler!

I reduced the sugar by half, only using 1/2 cup and found it was still very sweet. I also subbed oatmeal and oat flour for the recommended oats or wheat germ or whatever it called for, I don’t recall. I did add raisins and walnuts.

I baked it as suggested but found in my 8 inch round glass dish I needed to cook it about 20 minutes longer than suggested!”

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.

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Processor “Cheese” Danish Pastry

Impress your neighbors and wow the in-laws with your pastry chef-like skills by making this surprisingly easy danish. The original recipe is from Nigella Lawson‘s How To Be A Domestic Goddess cookbook and so for some time, I’ve been dying to veganize this recipe. I made several alterations, but I am so impressed with how flaky and delicious they came out. Don’t freak out by all the directions–it was actually quite simple. Plus, you don’t actually need to use a food processor–a mixer will work just fine.

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 C warm water

1/2 C soy milk

1 large egg (1 Tbs ground flax seed mixed with 3 Tbs water)

2-1/4 C all-purpose flour

1 pkg (1/4 oz) rapid-rise yeast

1 tsp salt

1 Tbs sugar

1 C unsalted butter, cut into thin slices (Earth Balance sticks)

Filling:

Pinch of salt

1 C ricotta cheese (Tofutti cream cheese)

1 Tbs lemon zest (I used a lime)

1 large egg, beaten (again, 1 Tbs ground flax seed + 3 Tbs water)

3 Tbs unsalted butter, melted and cooled (Earth Balance)

Glaze:

1/3 C sugar

1/4 C water

DIRECTIONS:

Pour the water and milk into a measuring cup and add the flax seed mixture, beating with a fork to mix. Put to one side for a moment. Get out a large bowl, then put the flour, yeast, salt and sugar in the processor, and give one quick whirl just to mix. Add the cold slices of Earth Balance and process briefly so that the butter is cut up a little, though you still want visible chunks of at least 1/2″. Empty the contents of the processor into the large bowl and quickly add the wet ingredients. Use your hands or a rubber spatula to fold the ingredients together, but don’t overdo it: expect to have a gooey mess with some butter lumps pebbling it. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, put in the refrigerator, and leave overnight or up to 4 days.

To turn it into pastry, take it out of the refrigerator, let it get to room temperature, and roll it out to a 20″ square. (This was fairly easy–it rolls out very nicely). Fold the dough square into thirds, like a business letter, turning it afterward so that the closed fold is on your left, like the spine of a book.

Roll out again to a 20″ square, repeating the steps above 3 times. Cut in half, wrap both pieces and put each in the refrigerator for 30 mins. (Just gently fold and wrap with plastic wrap–worked great).

So for the filling:
Combine the cheese, sugar, salt, lemon zest, egg-replacer, and Earth Balance. (I used the food processor)

Then you’re ready!

First of all…the recipe is intended to make 6 large danishes. For the first batch I made 3 large ones and decided on the second batch to make smaller ones, which I personally thought worked much better.

Roll out one of the pastry dough halves into a big rectangle (recipe doesn’t specify exactly how big…) Divide into thirds and place a tablespoon of cheese filling on each piece of dough. Fold the opposite corners up together and seal with a pinch.

Place on baking sheets prepared with waxed paper and brush with the sugar/water glaze. The recipe then calls for them to rise for about 1-1/2 hours. Yeah, that didn’t happen for me, but apparently that was no big whoop because they came out great. Preheat oven to 350 and bake 15 mins or until puffy and golden brown.

I then made a lime icing (since I used lime zest) by combining about a cup of powdered sugar and then drizzled in lime juice, stirring and adding more juice to get the consistency I wanted. I then drizzled the danishes with the icing…

For the second batch, I made smaller ones and spread out the filling more. I brushed them with the glaze and this time, they baked about 20 mins.

These really came out amazing and I will make these again and again! Enjoy!

Chocolate Truffles

Oh my…these will be the perfect ending to your Valentine’s Day dinner!

INGREDIENTS:

1-1/2 C Vegan chocolate chips, such as SunSpire brand

8 oz Tofutti cream cheese

3 C Confectioners’ sugar

1-1/2 tsp Vanilla

Stuff to roll them in: sweetened cocoa, sprinkles, confectioners’ sugar, toasted coconut, finely chopped nuts, or cinnamon and sugar.

DIRECTIONS:

In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate chips. In a food processor, cream the cream cheese, about 1 min. Add the confectioners’ sugar, about a cup at a time. Combine until smooth.

Add the melted chocolate and vanilla to the food processor and blend until well combined.

Transfer to a bowl and chill for 1 hour.

When ready to make, shape into 1″ balls and roll in your favorite yummies, such as sprinkles or nuts. Chill for another hour before devouring!

Another suggestion would be using just a cup of chocolate chips and adding 1/2 C of peanut butter and melt together. Enjoy!

Recipe source: veganchef.com

Iced Oatmeal Cookies

Yum! This recipe comes from Vegetarian Times (February 2010 issue) and they are quite delicious and easy to make. The recipe calls for a 1/4 C of applesauce and of course, I didn’t have any. We’re not big applesauce eaters here and I knew that any leftovers would turn different shades of green and white, so I opted to make my own. I just chopped up 1/2 a Grannie Smith–skins and all–and threw it into the food processor with a 1/4 cup of water and a tsp of sugar. Worked beautifully! The lemon-flavored icing is the perfect accompaniment to these cookies!

INGREDIENTS:

2 Tbs flaxseed meal

1 C oat flour (I ground 1-1/2 C of oats to reach a cup of oat flour)

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 Tbs margarine (I used Earth Balance)

1/2 C light brown sugar

1/4 C sugar

1/4 C applesauce (or they recommend prune puree)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1-1/2 C old-fashioned oats

1/2 C raisins or dried cranberries (I used 1/4 C golden raisins and 1/4 C of orange-flavored craisins)

Icing:

3/4 C confectioners’ sugar

2 Tbs lemon juice

DIRECTIONS:

Stir together flax meal and water in a small bowl; set side. Whisk together oat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl; set aside. Beat margarine, brown sugar and sugar with an electric mixer, 1-2 mins, or until light and fluffy. Add applesauce, vanilla and flax meal mixture and beat until smooth. Stir in oat flour mixture with a spatula or wooden spoon. Add oats and raisins/craisins, stir to combine. Cover and chill 2 hours or overnight. (I went with the 2 hours)

Preheat oven to 350. Line baking pans with parchment paper or coat with cooking spray. (I like to use the parchment or waxed paper). Roll cookie dough into golf ball-sized rounds, and place them 1-1/2″ apart on baking sheets. Flatten each cookie to 1/4″ thickness with the bottom of a drinking glass dipped in water.

Bake 10-12 mins or until cookies look dry on top and are just starting to brown.

Meanwhile, to make icing: Whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl until smooth. Icing should be thick, but spreadable. Gently brush icing on hot cookies with a pastry brush. (On the second batch, I waited until the cookies cooled to ice them and I liked that better–the icing didn’t “melt” into the cookies). Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes about 24 cookies. Store cookies in an airtight container. Enjoy!

Sunflower Cherry Oatmeal Bars

These are delicious! And simple to make-taking only about 10 mins to prepare. These would be great with a scoop of soy ice cream or a dallop of vanilla soy yogurt on top. These also taste great after being the fridge for a while–they’re a tasty snack that will keep you going when you’re on the run.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup rolled oats, either quick cooking or old fashioned
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup packed natural brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup expeller pressed canola oil
5 tablespoons orange juice, divided
1/2 cup fruit sweetened black cherry preserves

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 325°F. Combine oats, flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, sunflower seeds and cherries in a large bowl. Add oil and 3 tablespoons orange juice, mixing well until all ingredients are fully combined. Reserve a half cup and press the rest into a lightly oiled 8-by-8-inch baking pan.

Mix the remaining 2 tablespoons orange juice with the cherry preserves and spread evenly over the oat mixture in the pan.

Sprinkle reserved oat mixture over the top and press down lightly with fingers.

Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Cool in the pan on a wire rack then cut into bars or squares. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

Recipe source: Whole Foods

Christmas Bourbon Balls

Who said Christmas cookies had to be sweet and innocent? And…who said you just had to make these at Christmas? Well…I just tend to make them that time of year. Keep them away from the kiddies though, but chances are, they won’t like the flavor of them as much as us adults! They’re also non bake, so they’re pretty easy.

INGREDIENTS:
1 C finely crushed vanilla wafers, about 26
1 C plus 1/2 C powdered sugar
2/3 C walnuts, chopped
1/2 C candied cherries, chopped
2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
5 Tbs Bourbon
1 Tbs water
1 1/2 tsp light corn syrup

DIRECTIONS:

In a mixing bowl combine crushed vanilla wafers, the 1 cup powdered sugar, walnuts, candied cherries and cocoa powder. Stir in bourbon, water and light corn syrup until well mixed. Chill the mixture about 30-60 minutes. Shape the mixture into 1″ balls. Place in an airtight container; let balls stand (ripen) for 2-3 days. Before serving, roll them in the additional 1/2 C powdered sugar. Makes about 24 balls.

Ginger-Molasses Bread

Mmmm…this tasted like it came from my Grandmother’s kitchen! And it smelled wonderful, too! Plus, it was a breeze to make–ten minutes of prep work and it was in the oven!

INGREDIENTS:

1 C warm soy milk
1 Tbs cider vinegar
2 C all-purpose flour
1/2 C yellow cornmeal
1/3 C sugar
1 Tbs ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 dark molasses
1/2 C fresh or dried blueberries (I used dried)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly oil a 9″ loaf pan and set aside. In a small bowl, combine the warm soy milk and vinegar and set aside. In a large bowl combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, ginger, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix well. Add the molasses and soy milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir until the batter is just mixed. Fold in the blueberries and transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake until firm and a toothpick (or knife) inserted in the middle comes out clean, about an 1 hour. (I found that it came out perfect in 53 minutes). Let cool slightly on a wire rack, then remove from pan and slice. Enjoy!

Recipe source: 1000 Vegan Recipes

Snickerdoodles

These cookies are not flat and crispy like your typical snickerdoodle, but more like scrumptious little bites–definitely something I love! These were a cinch to make and the aroma of these baking was divine!

INGREDIENTS:

1 2/3 C all purpose flour
1/2 tsp nutmeg
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C butter, at room temp (I used Earth Balance sticks)
1/3 C plus 2 Tbs sugar
Ener-G egg replacer for 1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbs cinnamon
Baking sheet lined with parchment, waxed paper or greased (waxed paper worked lovely)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat over to 350. Combine flour, nutmeg, baking powder and salt and set aside. In a large bowl, cream the butter with 1/3 of the sugar until light in texture and pale in color, then beat in egg and vanilla.

Stir in the dry ingredients until blended smooth.

(Well, I couldn’t get mine smooth, and I was a bit worried, but it worked out just great)…
Spoon out rest of sugar and the cinnamon onto a plate and combine. Then, with your fingers, squeeze out pieces of dough and roll between the palms of your hands into walnut-sized balls. (Shaping with my fingers worked best–didn’t crack). Roll each ball in the sugar mixture and arranged on prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 15 mins (13 1/2 mins was perfect for mine), by which time they will begin to brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Makes 32-34. Enjoy!
For a variation, replace 2 Tbs of the flour with cocoa to make chocodoodles. I haven’t tried this, but next time I certainly will!

Recipe source: Nigella Lawson