Tag Archives: dessert

Peppermint Patties

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After my friend Alice from smokin’ tofu posted “How to make vegan cream cheese suck less” I began to think how vegan cream cheese could be applied in other ways.  When we were still living together in Norwich, England I once ate 11 chocolate bars at once…somehow I maintained a figured back then! So when looking to incorporate cream cheese I wanted Chocolate to play a huge role.

I must admit I am someone who opens 3,000 tabs at once all related to vegan baking.  I get lost and come out the other end with a million ideas but I always take one and make it.  I was inspired to use cream cheese as a base after reading a post about peppermint patties.  Being vegan can be hard when it comes to sweets, especially those of us who miss peanut butter cups and peppermint patties.  The original recipe called for vegetable shortening which I am assuming is not available in most places as an organic entity. Besides, I would rather use something a bit more natural and less processed so I substituted it with coconut oil. Add a small amount of coconut flakes on top of the patty and we are in business.

Some notes on what I learned doing this the first time:

1.Using a pyrex measuring cup to pour the chocolate works well.

2. Flattening the peppermint filling allows you to use less chocolate and have the filling actually fill the whole patty.

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Peppermint Patties:

Makes 9

For the Peppermint Filling:

1 1/2 T vegan cream cheese such as Tofutti or Vegan Gourmet

1 1/2 tsp coconut oil

1/4 tsp mint extract

splash of vanilla extract

1/8 cup coconut flakes

1 cup powdered sugar

For the Chocolate:

2-  12 oz of your favorite dark chocolate (avoid chips like I used as they have other additives to help them hold their shape in high temperatures)

9 parchment muffin cups

 

1. First mix all the ingredients except the powdered sugar and coconut flakes for the filling in a stand mixer or using a hand mixer.  Once the ingredients are homogenized slowly incorporated the powdered sugar until combined, add the coconut flakes and turn off the mixer.

2. Roll tablespoon sized pieces of filling into balls and flatten.  Place all of these in the freezer, you will have some left over peppermint filling depending on your balls and the size of your muffin liners.

3.  Temper/melt the chocolate over a double broiler.  I rig one by using a stainless steel bowl over a pot filled with an inch of water.  Turn the heat on low and using a rubber spatula fold the chocolate pieces continuously.  When about 2/3rds of the chocolate has melted turn off the heat and take the bowl out from on top of the pot.  Continue to fold until all the chocolate has melted, if you keep the chocolate over the heat you will over temper the chocolate.

4.  Once the chocolate is melted pour a small bit to cover the bottom of your liners (see above photo), it will be a messy process but it just allows you to lick your fingers ;).  After that is complete take the flattened pieces of filling out of the freezer and place one in each of the 9 liners.  Fill the liners up with more chocolate until the filling is completely incased.

Enjoy!

 

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Cinnamon Beignet-Muffin-Doughnut.

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As you know from my previous posts, I LOVE cinnamon.  Cinnamon and sugar are one of the classic food combinations that bring me back over and over again to desserts.  I found a recipe on Food 52, a food community focused on recipe contests and creative food education.  The problem is that even though I get a lot of ideas, most of these recipes are not vegan.  Part of me loves this as it allows me to be creative in the kitchen and create a veganized version of these dairy packed desserts and dishes.

I am not usually one to use commercial egg replacers, but in various recipes I do end up using Energy Egg Replacer.  Most of the recipes I use it in use a strong spice like cinnamon, all-spice, etc.  I also find in various cakes like my cinnamon crumble cake, the commercial egg replacer gives a great crumb and a light airy texture.

These melt in your mouth Cinnamon Beignet-Muffin-Doughnuts are perhaps my new morning coffee ritual.  Make sure to eat these warm fresh out of the oven with your morning tea or coffee, and take care not to eat all twelve…no just eat all twelve I know we did this morning! I mean, come on, who doesn’t love dessert for breakfast? I gave these three names as they are a fusion of these three delicious desserts!

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Cinnamon Beignet-Muffin-Doughnuts:

Makes 12

1/3 C Vegan Butter (like Earth Balance, the sticks allow for a more precise measurement)

1/2 C granulated sugar

1 1/2 tsp Energy Egg Replacer + 2 Tbsp water mixed well

1 1/2 C  sifted all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground allspice

pinch ground cloves

pinch ground ginger

1 tsp orange zest

1/2 C + 2 Tbsp soy milk at room temp

For the coating/glaze:

6 Tbsp melted vegan butter

1/2 C sugar

1 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Measure out milk and allow to sit out so it will be ready to use.  Grease a muffin tin well for baking, no need to line with parchment or liners.

2. Melt the butter in a small sauce pan on low heat and let it cook until it begins to brown and smell nutty (about 3-5 minutes). Set aside to cool down to room temperature.

3. Meanwhile mix all the dry ingredients together (flour, baking powder, salt, spices).

4.  In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer cream the butter, sugar, and egg replacer together.  Add slowly alternating between the flour mixture and the milk.  Mix until well combined and then evenly distribute into the twelve muffin molds.  I use an ice cream scoop to do this to ensure equal baking.  Bake for 17-20 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean!  These won’t brown so you can also feel to see if the top has a crust!

5. Place the melted butter in a small bowl and mix the sugar and cinnamon in another.  With the tip of the knife pop the muffins out right out of the oven, they should come out very easily.  Roll them in butter and then roll them butter covered into the cinnamon sugar. Serve warm and repeat! 😉

Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I love cookies, my boyfriend will attest to the fact that early on in my vegan baking, I made dozens of kinds of cookies.  I had a cookie obsession for several months, and thank all of those that tested out the various cookies I baked, I know you all put your fitness at jeopardy! After a few months we wondered why we were gaining weight on a vegan diet…duh! I used to love when my mother would make fresh cookies out of the oven, I mean who doesn’t like a homemade chocolate chip cookie?! The good news is that you don’t have to give up any of the delicious flavor from your omnivore life to make a cookie, I would even argue these are better!

IMG_0251Ingredients:

1 cup whole wheat pastry or spelt flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/3 cup scant coconut oil

1/3 cup maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

2/3 cup vegan chocolate chips (look for dark chocolate, and cocoa butter is vegan!)

1/3 cup chopped nuts (I’ve used pecans, walnuts, and pistachios)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 celsius) This is important because the baking powder and soda will leaven the dough right away, if the oven is not preheated the cookies will come out completely different. You want the leavening process to happen IN the oven…so get that oven preheated people!

2. Add you coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and granulated sugar to a small bowl. Mix with a hand mixer or my preference, a good old fork until the sugar becomes integrated. (The sugar is fat soluble, so the coconut oil will break down the granulated sugar!)

3. Sift the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together in a large bowl until well combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until combined. Fold in the nuts and chocolate chips.

Before we continue it is really important to get each cookie to have the same amount of cookie dough, so I use my ice cream scoop to insure they all take the same amount of time to cook!

4. Measure out the dough and add place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet (or invest in a silpat for a perfect bake every time!) Place the cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 9-12 min. After they are done let sit for a minute before transferring them to a metal cooling rack! Don’t forget to enjoy because these cookies go fast!

Cinnamon Crumble Cake

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There is nothing like cinnamon, in pies, cakes, rolls, it has the IT factor.  I recently went to Oaktown Spice Shop in, you guessed it, Oakland! I live just up the road and walk in sometimes just to see what he has mixed recently. I love people watching in this slice of France, and enjoy listening as he asks the guests what they are making for dinner.  One trick I learned by going to the spice shop is that you should always ask what has been freshly ground that week. If it has been ground recently it is immeasurably better than the other herbs and spices, and beyond compare with supermarket, even local! So go out and find that local spice shop, there has to to one near you, and if not, start one!  Cinnamon had just been ground so I splurged for the extra fancy saigon cinnamon, which means it was the first grind, extra dark, and sweet smelling/tasting.  I have been making many things with this cinnamon but most recently I made a cinnamon crumble cake that will please any omnivore. So buckle up and enjoy the ride to fluffy vegan cake land, its time you arrived!

This rendition of crumble cake is a correct application of commercial egg replacer, as it creates a great texture that holds together, and doesn’t end with an unpleasant finish (thank you cinnamon).  This recipe is adapted from Sweet Vegan.

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Ingredients:

Crumble Topping

130g unbleached all-purpose flour

100g light brown sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

70g Earth Balance

Cake

225g earth balance at room temperature

255g sugar (I used evaporated cane juice as its vegan)

2 tsp vanilla extract

390g unbleached all-purpose flour

4 tsp baking powder (yes 4, we need this girl to rise)

2 Tbsp ground cinnamon

6 tsp egg replacer whisked in 8 Tbsp warm water

240g milk alternative (I used almond, soy is good too)

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

powdered sugar for sprinkling

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and  flour a 9×13 in pan (23x33cm).

2. To make the crumble topping to this delicious fluffy cake first combine the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a stand or hand held mixer on medium speed. While mixing add the butter substitute a bit at a time mixing until the crumble looks like that last time you go home from a beach day. Set aside for later sprinkling

3. Next beat the butter substitute, sugar, and vanilla extract until combined. Scrape down the bowl and beat the mixture for two minutes until it fluffs up.

4. In a smaller bowl mix together the flour (don’t forget to sift), baking powder, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl combine the wet ingredients, the egg replacer, milk alternative, and vinegar. Alternate adding the wet and dry ingredients to the mixer bowl and after each addition beat for 10 seconds or so. Don’t forget to continually scrape down the sides of the bowl so everything gets mixed well. After all ingredients are added beat for 30 more seconds.

5. Spread the cake mixture into the prepared baking tin and sprinkle on the crumble topping evenly. Bake the cake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean. Sprinkle with the icing sugar and invite over guests, you shouldn’t eat this whole tray alone!

Kitchen Cabinet and Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares

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Today was a whirlwind, and it started with Brunch in Berkeley at Rick and Anne’s.  I got the tofu curry scramble vegan style, and it was perfect greasy brunch food.

We then went down to the apple store to get Brendon’s fixed mac mini he has been waiting to repair for a long time.  We ended up in a Crate and Barrel Outlet store where we came across this in the clearance section:

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We left the store without purchasing this perfect cabinet over $400 off. We are both regretting this decision now and are waiting for tomorrow to hustle back and hope it is still there. The kitchen has almost no storage and my kitchen things as of right now are in droves on the floor.

Even with no space and my hard to find spices, flours, etc I still managed to make some peanut butter squares. One of the easiest recipes, especially if you have a stand mixer! I adapted this recipe from The Conscious Cook, and it is very delicious indeed. The recipe also makes a berry sorbet for pairing…but I barely have enough room/ time to make the squares! ENJOY

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake (Vegan)

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cup all purpose unbleached flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup all-natural chunky peanut butter
1/2 cup Earth Balance
pinch of salt
2 tbsp ground flax seeds
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup almond milk (or soy/ other nut milks- not rice)
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup non-dairy chocolate chips (I use Guittard)

Pre heat oven to 350 F and grease a 9×9 (or 10×10) cake pan and set aside. In a bowl combine the flour, sugar, peanut butter, Earth Balance and salt. Work the mixture with your figures until it is fluffy crumbs. Don’t over work. Set aside, removing 1/4 of the mixture in another bowl reserved for topping the cake. In another bowl whisk the flax seeds with water until frothy, then add soy milk, vanilla extract, baking powder, and baking soda. Add this mixture to the flour mixture and fold until combined, not over working. Add half the chocolate chips and combine. Top the cake with the reserve crumble and the remaining chocolate chips. Bake for 30 min.

ENJOY!

More to Come.