Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with Mocha Frosting

As I write this post, I can hear the sounds of spring which get louder and more abundant with each passing day (except for when we get a random snowstorm). Needless to say, I am super happy. Being in university, spring is a bittersweet time because it means finals (aka over 50 pages worth of writing to do in the span of 3 weeks plus regular course work... or for Riley, 5 paintings/art pieces in the same span of time). Anyway, enough with the complaining! These cupcakes help me to enjoy some time away from the books and computer which is much needed and might even become a source of procrastination. Shhh... don't tell!

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with Mocha Frosting

1 cup almond milk (or your favorite non-dairy milk)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract 

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder, Dutch-processed or regular (or a mix of both)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Whisk together the soy milk and vinegar in a large bowl, and set aside for a few minutes to curdle. Add the sugar, oil, vanilla and almond extract and mix well. 

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add in two batches to wet ingredients and beat until no large lumps remain (a few tiny lumps are OK). 

Put liners in cupcake pan. Pour in the batter and bake for 16-18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted through the center comes out clean.

Vegan Mocha Frosting
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder 
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or buttery spread, such as Earth Balance, at room temperature 
1/4 cup hot (120 degrees Farenheit) strongly brewed espresso or coffee
Pinch of salt

In a medium bowl, beat all ingredients except coffee with an electric mixer on low speed until blended. Add coffee gradually until frosting reaches desired consistency. Spread each cupcake with frosting. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Raspberry Walnut Thumbprint Cookies

We're back again with some thumbprint cookies. Except these ones have more sugar ;) 

I'll let you be the judge but I think these might be even tastier. If you are looking for a healthier raspberry thumbprint cookie, check out our earlier post

It's always a challenge to make an indentation within these cookies without having them fall apart but it's a challenge that I will rise to meet when the reward is tasty cookies!

Raspberry Walnut ThumprintsRecipe adpated from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar

1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 non dairy milk
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon maple extract
1 2/3 cups AP flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 cup raspberry jam or preserves

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, beat togetherr the oil, sugar, brown sugar, nondairy milk, and vanilla and maple extracts. Sift in flour, cornstarch, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Stir to form stiff thick dough. If it seems too dry, add a tablespoon for nondairy milk.
3. Pour chopped walnuts into a shallow bowl. Scoop dough with tablespoon and roll into balls, then roll the balls in the chopped walnuts and place on baking sheets 1 inch apart. Make small hole in cookie for jam. Put a generous amount of jam/preserve into the centre of each cookie.
4. Bake for 16-18 minutes until the jam seems mostly dry and the cookies are firm. Allow to cool 5 minutes before moving to cooling racks.
5. Enjoy!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Vegan Vegetable Lasagna

I have a feeling this lasagna is going to be on heavy rotation. It is delicious and surprisingly easy to make considering it's a lasagna and all!

It even has mushrooms in it and I don't mind at all! And I am definitely not president of the mushroom lovers club so that's saying something.

There's lots of veggies therefore lots of nutrition :) but not only that, it's huge on flavour! It gets ya in the jowls, you know what I mean? haha

Definitely try this recipe out!

Vegan Lasagna 

Basil Cashew Cheeze Sauce
¼ cup vegetable broth or water (or more as needed)¼ cup fresh lemon juice½ cup nutritional yeast* (gives the cheese flavor)¾-1 tsp kosher salt (or to taste) + freshly ground black pepper½ tsp onion powder (optional)1 Tbsp Dijon mustard2 garlic cloves, peeled1½ cups fresh basil leaves (lightly packed)1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for 30 mins or overnight

Drain and rinse the soaked cashews. Add all ingredients (in the order listed) to a high-powered blender and blend until smooth. 

Ingredients for Lasagna 

½ Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced
1 sweet onion, chopped
2 zucchini, chopped
8 oz. package of sliced baby bella mushrooms
1 large or 2 small red peppers, chopped
1 large handful of spinach
salt, pepper to taste
1½ jars of pasta sauce (we used the White Linen variety)
1 box of oven-ready lasagna noodles (no boiling required)
Lemon Basil Cheeze Sauce (from above)
1½ cups cheddar Daiya cheese shreds

Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large skillet, add oil, onion and garlic; sauté over low-medium heat for 5 minutes. Add zucchini, mushrooms, peppers; sauté for 10 more minutes. Add spinach; sauté for 5 more minutes.

Pour about a cup or so of pasta sauce into a 9×13 pan and spread it evenly. Add a layer of noodles, then half the Lemon Basil Cheeze Sauce, then half the vegetables.

Repeat layers of pasta sauce, noodles, cheeze sauce, veggies. Add another layer of pasta sauce, then sprinkle Daiya Shreds on top.

Cover with foil and slice a few small vents using a sharp knife. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Remove foil and broil for 5 minutes on medium, watching closely so as not to burn the edges.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Vegan Rocky Road Bars


This is what I have been craving without even knowing it!

Rocky road bars were one of my favourite things as a child but they sort of dropped out of my thoughts for the longest time (we're talking years here!) until Caitlin bought me some Dandies Vegan Marshmallows for Valentine's Day :) - best sister evarr!!

I think the cuteness of these with the sprinkles and the marshmallows peeking out just speaks for itself. Because you know cuteness = yummy ;)

The original recipe didn't have a graham crust but we added one because we wanted a little crunch. So we just layered some crackers in the bottom of the dish before getting everything else together.

You can omit the graham crackers to make these gluten-free.

No Bake Rocky Road Squares 
adapted from The Misfit Baker
6 tbsp Melted Coconut Oil
1/4 tsp Salt (omit if using salted peanut butter)
3 cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips 
1 cup Smooth Natural Peanut Butter 
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
4 cups Crisp rice
3 cups Vegan Marshmallows 
Enough graham crackers to line the bottom of baking pan
Sprinkles (optional but not really...j/k)

Grease a 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Set aside.
In a large pot, stir the salt into the oil. Add the chocolate chips and melt over low heat, stirring constantly. Add peanut butter and stir until smooth and well mixed.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Add cereal and marshmallows and quickly stir in, until completely coated… Avoid over stirring, as your marshmallows may dissolve.
Press chocolate mixture into the prepared pan over top of graham crackers. Garnish with sprinkles.
Refrigerate for 30 – 60 minutes until firm
Slice and serve.
Store in the refrigerator.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Tori's Bakeshop

Here are some delicious treats from Tori's Bakeshop located in the beach area of Toronto. This is a vegan, refined sugar free and organic bakeshop, as it says on the website.

Pictured above we have (from left to right) a pumpkin cupcake, a coconut cupcake, a vanilla doughnut, and a lemon cupcake. Although the treats change everyday there is a good chance you might come across one of these goodies if you were to stop in. I know we've been there quite a few times and there's always been a doughnut for sale, although the sprinkles and icing vary :)

Everything we've ever had from Tori's has been delicious. Out of the cupcakes here my favourite was probably the lemon followed by the pumpkin in close second and then the coconut. None of them were "bad," I just found the coconut cupcake to have the least flavour overall. OMG the doughnut is sooo tasty. It's our favourite by far! And I'm pretty sure it's gluten-free which is so surprising because most things gluten-free taste a little wonky to me, not gonna lie. But this doughnut has a yummy vanilla flavour (that isn't too strong I'll add) and wonderful texture.

If you have the chance you should definitely stop by Tori's Bakeshop - you won't regret it!

Tori's Bakeshop on Urbanspoon
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