Monday, April 29, 2013

Vegan Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies


Whenever we make this soup for dinner (a favourite at our home) we inevitably make these cookies for dessert afterwards with the leftover pumpkin. 


It's so wonderful how one of our favourite meals leads to our favourite dessert!

These cookies are oat-y and slightly chewy with the pumpkin flavour coming through nicely, but not overwhelming so.

I will say I prefer these cookies the next day as it seems to enhance the flavour. 


Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from The Sweet Life
makes 16-18 cookies
1 cup flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup non-hydrogenated vegan butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup + 3 tbsp pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
In a medium bowl combine flour, oats, baking powder and soda, spices, and salt. Mix together and set aside.
In a large bowl, with a handheld mixer or stand up mixer, beat the vegan butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add pumpkin puree and vanilla. Stir to combine.  Slowly add the dry ingredients, mixing together until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Drop cookies onto baking sheet, about 2 tbsp each. Press down lightly and bake for 10-12 minutes, until edges golden.



Can you see the pumpkin? ;)


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Vegan French Toast Bake


We had to wait a while to eat this this morning. I was afraid I would cave and eat something whilst waiting,  spoiling my appetite.

It was well worth the wait I must say!



This recipe comes from The Sweetest Vegan. I believe we found her through Finding Vegan but have since subscribed to her Youtube channel as she uploads a video recipe everyday! It's truly remarkable.

She's funny and energetic and her recipes are great! 



We did replace the pecans with walnuts as we didn't have any pecans on hand. Also we added blueberries on top before baking it all up.

It has just the right amount of sweetness. It isn't quite a breakfast time sugar rush as some breakfast foods can be, which is a good thing.

Vegan Praline French Toast Casserole Recipe
adapted from The Sweetest Vegan

Ingredients:

16 ounce French loaf of bread
1 ripe banana
3 cups almond milk
1/3 cup ground flaxseed
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
pinch of salt

Topping (we halved the topping as we didn't want to overdo the thing)
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup raw sugar
1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons grated nutmeg
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup oatmeal
20 fresh raspberries or blueberries 

Directions:

"Cut the loaf of bread into 1/2 inch slices.

Cut the banana into 1/4 inch slices.

Spray a 10x10x2 inch casserole dish with non-stick baking spray.

Layer in the bread and banana slices.

In a large bowl, whisk together almond milk, flaxseed, agave nectar, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, and grated nutmeg. 

Pour or spoon the custard over the layered bread.

Let the casserole sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

Preheat the oven the 350 degrees F. 

In a medium size bowl, stir together chopped pecans, raw sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and water.

If the mixture is too thin, i.e. not thick and almost syrup like, add in oatmeal.

Evenly distribute the pralines (or walnuts in our case) over the custardy bread.

Bake your Praline French Toast Casserole for 50 minutes to an hour. It may be necessary to place a baking sheet underneath to catch an overflow.

When is done, it will be golden brown, bubbling, and puffed up."

Monday, April 22, 2013

Vegan Peanut Butter Cupcakes with a Cookie Inside!


These cupcakes were kind of an experiment.

I've always thought that these cupcakes looked spectacular so they were the inspiration you could say.


We ended up baking the cookie dough inside the cupcakes though. Raw margarine is never something I relish eating ;)

Somehow I have less of a problem with eating margarine when it's in the form of frosting. Don't try to make sense of it because I'm pretty sure it doesn't :) 

Maybe one day I'll make peace with it and make cupcakes with raw cookie dough.



Peanut Butter Cupcakes 
from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World 

Ingredients
3/4 cup soy milk (we used almond milk)
2 tsp apple cider vinegar 
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup canola oil
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp dark molasses
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp ground flaxseed
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line muffin pan  with cupcake liners or grease with oil like we did.
2. Mix soy milk with vinegar in measuring cup and set aside to curdle.
3. In large mixing bowl, cream the PB, oil, sugar, molasses, vanilla, and ground flaxseed until well combined.
4. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into separate bowl and mix. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until well combined.
5. Fill cupcake liners two-thirds full --> add one third and place cookie dough ball (recipe below) then put more batter on top. Bake for 23-26 mins. Remove from oven and transfer to cooling rack.

Cookie Dough Scoops
from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar

Makes a little over 2 dozen

Ingredients
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 cup non-dairy milk
1/2 cup non-hydrogenated margarine, softened
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups chocolate chips 

1. In large mixing bowl add sugars and milk, use electric beaters to mix until sugars are moistened. Beat in margarine and vanilla, creaming the mixture until combined. Add flour and salt and beat to form a soft, fluffy dough. Use rubber spatula to mix in chocolate chips.
2. Place a sheet of waxed paper onto a baking sheet or cutting board that will fit into your freezer (we used a plastic container). Scoop into balls - whatever size you'd like- and place onto wax paper. We used a teaspoon. Freeze for an hour or until firm. Store extras loosely covered in freezer.


Ganache
from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World

Ingredients
1/4 cup soy milk (we used almond)
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup

Directions
Bring milk to boil in small saucepan. Immediately remove from heat and add chocolate and maple syrup. Use rubber heatproof spatula to mix the chocolate until it is fully heated and smooth. Set aside at room temp until ready to use.

Don't judge the ganache by our photos. It only look crusty her because this cupcake was a few days old by the time we photographed it :P

Monday, April 15, 2013

Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes



We really have been cupcake fiends lately ever since we got this cookbook.  



We had never made red velvet cupcakes before, vegan or otherwise, so we thought it was right about time we gave them a go.

If you've never had them either, they're basically chocolate cupcake (light on the cocoa) with red food dye.


What makes these really special is the frosting. It is seriously velvety soft! It's like a delicate doily that's edible! I don't know how that analogy came to mind but there you have it.

Crimson Velveteen Cupcakes and Old Fashioned Velvet Icing 
Makes 12 cupcakes

Ingredients
1 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder, Dutch processed or regular
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons red food coloring
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon chocolate extract
(Chocolate extract is worth the trouble to find, but if you can't, use 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract)


Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin/cupcake pans with cupcake liners.
2. Whisk together the soy milk and vinegar and set aside to curdle.
3. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl and mix.
4. Add the oil, food coloring, chocolate extract, and almond extract to the curdled soy milk. Whisk well to combine. Gently fold wet ingredients into dry, mixing until large lumps disappear. Do not over mix, otherwise your cupcakes will turn out gummy! Small lumps are okay.
5. Fill cupcake liners about two-thirds of the way full as these cupcakes will rise fairly high. I recommend using non-stick metal pans as opposed to those silicon pans, so the cupcakes will rise properly and not come out lopsided.
6. Place in hot oven and bake 18-20 minutes until done.

Icing Ingredients
2 Tbs all-purpose flour
1/2 cup soy milk
1/4 non-hydrogenated shortening
1/4 margarine
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup superfine or castor sugar (we just put regular sugar in the food processor until it looked (damn) fine)

Directions
In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together flour and soy milk. Stir constantly 'til mixture starts to thicken and has pudding-like consistency, about 3-4 mins. Remove from heat and allow to cool 2 mins. Transfer to large bowl and cover with plastic wrap, make sure to touch the plastic wrap to the top of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Allow to cool completely before next step.
Cream together shortening, margarine, vanilla and sugar then beat in cold custard. Beat with electric mixer for 4-6 mins; frosting should become lighter in colour and have creamy texture. Frost once cupcakes have cooled completely.







Thursday, April 11, 2013

Vegan Cowboy Cookies


I have to say I am definitely a cookie lady. Don't get me wrong, I love ALL dessert (well mostly) but nothing consistently satisfies my sweet tooth like a cookie. 

Maybe it's the wide variety that exists or the possibility for a wide selection of mix-ins. I think there's a cookie for every person.

For instance, this recipe calls for pecans but we didn't have any on hand so we substituted them with some walnuts. Likewise, if you prefer white chocolate chips or butterscotch chips you can do that. You have the power to make a cookie uniquely yours!


Well to get back to the heart of the matter...

these cookies are delicious, especially when they're still warm from the oven and you can tear off a piece of soft, oat-y goodness with the chocolate chips melting onto your hand.

It's divine.

Also I don't know what it is about these cookies but they just have that classic cookie smell that gets your mouth-watering. I know all cookies smell like cookies but there's something really great about their scent.


This recipe makes a heck of a lot of cookies so it's perfect if you're feeding a large crowd or have a major cookie craving however, we halved the recipe and it turned out fine.

Cowboy Cookies
from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar

Makes 2 dozen large cookies

2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup canola oil
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup nondairy milk 
1 tbsp ground flax seeds
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped toasted pecan pieces ( we used walnuts)

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a medium-size bowl, stir together oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, beat together oil, sugar, brown sugar, nondairy milk, flax seeds, and vanilla. Fold in half of the flour mixture to moisten, then fold in the remaining half. Just before the mixture is completely combined, fold in the coconut, chocolate chips, and pecans.

4. For each cookie, drop 1/4 cup of dough (about the size of a golf ball) onto cookie sheets. The dough will be sticky and thick. Leave about 2 inches of space between each cookie. Flatten slightly with moistened fingers or the moistened back of a measuring cup; repeat dipping in water for each cookie. Bake for 14-16 minutes until edges start to brown. Let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to wire racks to complete cooling.



Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting



I think very few things beat chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting. So rich and decadent, they're truly the perfect indulgence. 

These cupcakes look like they're ready to party! 

Maybe they're in celebration mode since I've just finished my winter semester and Caitlin's almost there.

Whether you're looking for a dessert worthy of a celebration or just want to celebrate delicious food these cupcakes are a great way to do so!


For the cake we used this recipe and just add 1 cup of coarsely chopped Oreos or Newman O's to the batter.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting 

Ingredients
1/4 cup margarine, softened
1/4 shortening
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
21/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
3 Tbs soymilk
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions
Cream margarine and shortening together. Mix in cocoa powder. Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time with a tablespoon of soymilk after each 1/2 is added. When everything is combined, add vanilla and beat until fluffy. 



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