Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are what all cookies strive to be. Chewy, flavourful, with the perfect chocolate chip to cookie ratio.

If you don't like pumpkin in your cookies then maybe you'll have a problem with these but seriously I just love pumpkin chocolate chip cookies! The addition of pumpkin always seems to give chocolate chip cookies that awesome chewy texture. Plus, regular chocolate chip cookies are a bit boring to me, to be honest. These are warm, spicy cookie perfection. 

I wouldn't mind one right now with a nice cold glass of almond milk. It just might take the edge off of this painful sore throat I've got right. Yes, they're that good.

These cookies are a must for your Thanksgiving cookie platter.

Best Ever Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Yammie’s Noshery

½ vegan margarine, like Earth Balance
1 cup brown sugar
¼ cup cane sugar
1 tsp vanilla
5 tbsp pumpkin puree
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 cup AP flour
½ cup soft whole wheat flour
1 cup vegan chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl beat together margarine and sugars with electric mixers or go manual and mix away with your super strength. Add pumpkin and vanilla, mix until smooth.

In a medium bowl whisk together all dry ingredients plus chocolate chips, then add to the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.

We always have this issue with cookies where if we don’t flatten the dough before baking, the cookies won’t end up flattening out into regular cookie form. Sooo, we shaped the dough into cookie form rather than just plopping rounded balls of dough on the baking sheet. But you go with whatever works for you.

Bake for 12-17 mins. Cool before removing from pan.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Vegan Pumpkin Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast

Since Thanksgiving is just a few days away for some folks, this would be the perfect Thanksgiving breakfast. Or birthday breakfast for say someone who's having a birthday the same day as American Thanksgiving *wink wink, nudge nudge*, Caitlin.

We've never made vegan french toast before. I think we thought it was a daunting endeavour and possibly disastrous. But this recipe changed my mind! It was FANTASTIC! It tastes amazing. Better than the french toast I remember! If you want an even faster version, just skip the pumpkin cream cheese stuffing and you'll have perfect original-style french toast.

Like those pumpkins in the background? Caitlin picked those up for me! The pumpkin cream cheese gives a nice tangy contrast to the sweetness in the rest of the dish. Definitely try this french toast. You'll be happy you did.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast
Adapted from Vegan Yack Attack

Loaf of bread, cut into thick slices
2/3 cup ripe banana, mashed
1/3 cup original, unsweetened almond milk
2 tbsp chickpea flour
2 tsp nooch aka nutritional yeast
½ tsp ground cinnamon

¾ cup pumpkin puree
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp pumpkin spice
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch o’ salt
¼ cup vegan cream cheese, like Tofutti
splash of non-dairy milk

Place all the ingredients for the batter in a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour the batter in a shallow dish and set aside to thicken.

Rinse out your food processor, or not. Place all the stuffing ingredients in the food processor and blend until everything is incorporated. The cream cheese might make things a little difficult to blend so make sure to add a splash of non-dairy milk if need be, just not too much that the mixture becomes thin because you’ll be stuffing the toast with it.

Cut a slit along the edge of the slice of bread. It’s a little tricky but stick with it. If it isn’t perfect no problem. I basically ended up smearing the stuffing half on the inside and half on the outside of the toast. So fill each piece of bread with a tbsp of the pumpkin cream cheese.

Heat a non-stick pan or griddle on medium-low and coat with vegan margarine or cooking oil. Coat each side of each slice of bread in the batter. Cook until golden on each side. 

Repeat the process until you’re all done. Serve however you usually like to serve French toast!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


You might be thinking "Hey! Why are you yelling? There's no need for that."
But no my friends the need is great. These doughnuts from Through Being Cool Vegan Baking Co. are totally yell/scream worthy. Just you wait and see (and you will see because there are lots and lots of photos).

Trip #1 to Through Being Cool Vegan Baking Co.

We'd been wanting to go to TBC for quite a while but it seemed like every time we remembered to check it out it was around closing time. So, just the other week or so we worked TBC into our plans and made it there within an hour before closing.

You have no idea how excited we were. I literally jumped for joy before entering the bakery and then shrieked with glee after leaving with these four beauts cradled in our hands.

We got a (going clockwise) Sprinkle, Boston Cream, Mint Chocolate, and Chocolate Glazed.

Just bask in the glory of those doughnuts why don't you?

These are big doughnuts, at times it's a struggle just to take a bite! But I'm not complaining, not at all!
Above we've have interior views of the Boston Cream (left) and the Mint Chocolate (right).

The doughnuts from TBC are dense yet fluffy. I personally don't like those airy, fairy type doughnuts so I'm definitely digging what they're frying up. I will note that while these doughnuts are fried they are in no way greasy - it's amazing! Also, the doughnut itself isn't really sweet so you get a nicely balanced doughnut instead of a sickly sweet one.

Out of this bunch from our first trip my favourite was the Sprinkle, it's both aesthetically and gastronomically pleasing. Ugh, I wish I had one to eat right now. 

Caitlin's favourite was the Boston Cream. She found this particular doughnut to be a little more fluffy than the rest. The chocolate coating was nice and chocolaty; the cream centre was smooth, creamy, and not too sweet.

Trip #2 to Through Being Cool Vegan Baking Co.

I think by our second trip our excitement may have even doubled/tripled/quadrupled. And why wouldn't it?  Look at that booty!

Clockwise: Cinnmon Bun Doughnut, Original Sprinkle, Chocolate Sprinkle, Apple Fritter, Chocolate Espresso, and last but definitely not least (hidden in the corner) the Cinnamon Bun.

This time we got a few more, not just doughnuts but still all sweet treats. We added a cinnamon bun and an apple fritter to the mix. 

TBC sells a variety of baked goods plus savory items and coffee. We've only ever gone at the end of the day so we have yet to try their sandwiches, enchiladas, macaroni etc. that they make.

We were only able to get glamour shots of the two sprinkle doughnuts but it doesn't mean that they're any more special. It's extremely hard to pick a favourite from this round. They were all amazing in their own ways. But if I HAD to choose just one I would say the Cinnamon Bun Doughnut because it was just plain delicious plus you get the added bonus of cinnmon bun pieces on top - INSANE. But they were ALL excellent.

Caitlin says the apple fritter was definitely her favourite (and she says that super emphatically) so if you're an apple fritter lover or know someone who is you know where to head! 

The cinnmon bun is undoubtably phenomenal and we're not the only ones to think so - it's included on blogTO's Best Cinnmon Buns in Toronto.

Now we'll leave you with these sprinkle doughnut pics to drool over.

Check out TBC's website and Facebook page for updates.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Nacho Teese + Helen's Kitchen Veggie Ground Mac and Cheeze

This dish features some fabulous packaged vegan goodies like Teese Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce and Helen's Kitchen Veggie Ground. 

Initially, when we went to make this mac and cheeze we didn't realize that the nacho cheeze was actually a nacho cheeze SAUCE but that was totally fine, it just meant less work for us. We just boiled some water for pasta and heated up the veggie ground put it all in a casserole dish topped with crushed up sweet potato chips and stuck it in the oven.

I was suuuper impressed by the veggie ground from Helen's Kitchen. Talk about flavourful! And it has the appearance of something homemade with the evidence of real veggies! This isn't strictly soy crumbles and I love that.

You can barely notice the cheese sauce on the noodles because the noodles probably were too large. We only had rigatoni on hand so we made do, but a nice fusili or traditional elbow mac would've been best. The nacho sauce is nice and cheesy and it, surprisingly, has a bit of a kick! 

Mmm there's something so great about mac and cheeze. I was really happy with this one, for sure. The crushed sweet potatoes on top were a nice touch.

This is definitely a no-brainer meal but here are some instructions. 

Mac and Teese with Veggie Ground

1 bag of pasta (elbow, fusilli, etc. is best)
1 tube of Teese Nacho Cheese sauce
1 package of Helen’s Kitchen Veggie Ground
¼ to ½ cup crushed sweet potato chips or breadcrumbs
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp salt for pasta water

Boil water for your pasta in a large pot. While that’s going on, heat 1 tsp of oil in a medium-sized skillet. Add veggie ground to skillet and keep stirring until heated through. When the water is boiling, add 1 tsp of salt to water followed by pasta.

Take out a large casserole dish. Strain the pasta and once it's strained, place it back in the pot and add the cheese sauce and veggie ground. Give it a good stir and mix about so that the noodles are all covered with sauce and the veggie ground is well dispersed. Put everything that's in the pot into the casserole dish. Top evenly with crushed sweet potato chips, place in the oven at 350°F for 20 mins.  

Yum yum, dig in!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Cheery Cocount Cupcakes

Yikes! These cupcakes seem totally unseasonal right now but hopefully you're okay with that. I mean we are kinda between holidays right now so these cupcakes should be acceptable! :) Plus, with the chillier weather starting to settle in who can help but think about those warm, summery days that seemed like only yesterday.

These cupcakes were great. The coconut flavour is faint (I'm remembering that it's probably because we didn't put the coconut extract in). I think the coconut oil is want contributes to the awesome texture of these cupcakes; it's like they're fluffy yet dense. I like fluffy cupcakes but I also really dig the fluffy-yet-dense type cupcake, too.

The icing really brought home the coconut flavour as we used coconut oil there too. It was a delicious thick icing that was nice and sweet. I didn't care too much for those flower sprinkles on top other than for the cheeriness they brought to each cupcake, they were a bit too large. 

Coconut Cupcakes
Adapted from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World - Coconut Lime Cupcakes

1/3 cup coconut oil
¾ cup cane sugar
1 cup coconut milk
¼ unsweetened original almond milk, like Silk
2 tsp vanilla extract (or 1 tsp vanilla and 1 tsp coconut)
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
¼ tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake tray with cupcakes liners.

Melt coconut oil in saucepan on low. Once melted, transfer to a mixing bowl and add in the sugar. Mix well then add coconut milk, almond milk, extract(s). Mix it up.

Add flour, baking soda and powder, and salt.  Mix until smooth then add the coconut.

Scoop into cupcake liners and bake for 23-25 mins. Cool completely before icing now that’s an important tip. Our icing ended up dripping not because the cupcakes were warm but because the air. You can't really hep that now can ya?

Coconut Oil Icing
Adapted from Instructables

¼ cup coconut oil, solid
2 cups powdered sugar
4-6 tbsp coconut milk or almond milk
1 tsp vanilla or coconut extract

Beat the coconut oil with electric mixers until broken down. Then add ½ cup of powdered sugar at a time along with a tbsp of milk plus the extract. Mixing after each addition. Ice up your life!

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