White Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chips

White Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate ChipsYep, that’s right. White chocolate-peanut butter cookies. I have to thank A Wonderful Vegan Life for turning me onto this peanut butter:

White Chocolate WonderfulYeah, 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!

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

Lemon Almond Cookies -- Epicurean VeganThese 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.

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

Lemon Almond Cookies -- Epicurean Vegan

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

Lemon Almond Cookies -- Epicurean Vegan

Enjoy!

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

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.

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!

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

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.

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!