Tag Archives: chocolate

Cookie Party!

Luckily, cookies with faces and appendages are still vegan.  And they apparently have the added bonus of hallucinatory qualities!

Last week, I came down with the “Welcome to New York, Here’s Your Deathly Seasonal Illness.”  It was charming.  And by charming I mean soul-sucking and beastly.  I had no appetite for a good five days, and all I could imagine eating were comforting cookies.  After day four of being sick, I ventured out to the grocery store and managed enough oomph to bake not one but TWO kinds of cookies.  I brought them all in to work (after eating as many as possible) and assured everyone of my adamant hand-washing during the baking process.  So here’s what I managed:

Dreena Burton’s Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookies

(Wheat-Free! – I used spelt flour)

Recipe

Ingredients

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (see note)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄4 cup unrefined sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
1⁄3 cup pure maple syrup
1⁄4 teaspoon blackstrap molasses
1 – 1 1⁄2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1⁄4 cup canola oil (a little generous)
1⁄3 cup non-dairy chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C). In a bowl, sift in the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the sugar and salt, and stir until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine the maple syrup with the molasses and vanilla, then stir in the oil until well combined. Add the wet mixture to the dry, along with the chocolate chips, and stir through until just well combined (do not over-mix). Place large spoonfuls of the batter on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and flatten a little. Bake for 11 minutes, until just golden (if you bake for much longer, they will dry out). Let cool on the sheet for no more than 1 minute (again, to prevent drying), then transfer to a cooling rack.

Note: Unbleached all-purpose flour or spelt flour produces a more classic cookie taste and texture, but you can use whole-wheat pastry flour and still get a delicious cookie. For a wheat-free version, use spelt flour, but add an extra 2-4 tablespoons of the spelt flour to the dry mix (the amount needed varies with brand of spelt flour and whether you are using a refined spelt flour versus a less processed spelt flour).

Note: If, as you are mixing together your batter it appears quite floury and thick, simply mix together a couple of teaspoons more canola and maple syrup and incorporate it into the batter. Sometimes humidity, type of flour used, and other factors can affect the density of the batter and so a touch more liquid may be needed.

Makes 9-12 large to average sized cookies

© Copyright 2005 Dreena Burton

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

I’m normally a chocolate chip cookie gal, but I really loved these.  They are the perfect autumn cookie.  Hands down.

Ingredients
2 cups flour
1 1/3 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons molasses
1 cup canned pumpkin, or cooked pureed pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla
optional: 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds

1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1/2 cup raisins

Directions
Preheat oven to 350. Have ready 2 greased baking sheets.

Mix together flour, oats, baking soda, salt and spices.

In a seperate bowl, mix together sugar, oil, molasses, pumpkin and vanilla (and flax seeds if using) until very well combined. Add dry ingredients to wet in 3 batches, folding to combine. Fold in walnuts and raisins.

Drop by tablespoons onto greased cookie sheets. They don’t spread very much so they can be placed only an inch apart. Flatten the tops of the cookies with a fork or with your fingers, to press into cookie shape. Bake for 16 minutes at 350. If you are using two sheets of cookies on 2 levels of your oven, rotate the sheets halfway through for even baking. You’ll have enough batter for 4 trays.

Remove from oven and get cookies onto a wire rack to cool. These taste best when they’ve had some time to cool and set. They taste even better the next day!

Another Cake, What is Wrong With You!??!!!?

Clearly there is some demon compelling me to turn on the oven in 90 degree weather.  Demon, thy name is birthday month.  Everyone is born in August.  There is some surplus in baby-making that goes on around the holiday season and results in subsequent massive cake consumption in the month of August.

So, what up Chocolate Mocha Cake with Strawberries and Chocolate Buttercream Icing?

Cake Recipe can be found in Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.  Isn’t it about time you own that?  I multiplied the recipe by 1.5 and filled two 8 inch cake pans with the batter.  I also added some instant espresso powder just for kicks.  I’ve heard that espresso gives chocolate a deeper flavor.  Mmm.

Icing

1/2 C vegetable shortening

1/2 C margerine

4 C powdered sugar

1/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder

2 T maple syrup

Directions

  • Mix the shortening and margerine together until combined and creamy.
  • Add in the powdered sugar and whisk until thoroughly incorporated.
  • Add the cocoa powder and mix until color is even throughout.
  • Stir in the maple syrup until thoroughly combined.
  • Chill in the fridge until ready to use.

I added the maple syrup because I felt like the icing needed something to make it richer.  Since the cake wasn’t too sweet, the icing flavor wasn’t cloying.  I thinly sliced up strawberries and added them in with a layer of the buttercream between the two cake layers.  As the cake set up in the fridge, the strawberry juices soaked into the cake and added even more moistness.  Awesome.

We had the cake at a restaurant in Silverlake to celebrate my friend Greg’s birthday.  Our waitress was so nice that we gave her a big piece.  So … the cake was eaten Monday night.  It’s now Friday night and I’m still getting compliments on how good it was.

Those people aren’t singing “Happy Birthday.”  They are singing “Thank You Sweet Baby Jesus In Diapers For Inventing This Cake” to the tune of the Hallelujah Chorus.  And the birthday boy with his eyes closed?  He’s not laughing – he’s having an out-of-body cakesensory experience the likes of which human minds cannot conceive.

Cakejoy.

Sorry about the blurry nighttime pictures.

Summer Summer Summertime

“Yeah I got on sneaks but I need a new pair
Cause basketball courts in the summer got girls there
The temperatures about 88
Hop in the water plug just for old times sake
Break to ya crib change your clothes once more
Cause youre invited to a barbeque thats starting at 4”

Our barbeque started at 2, but who’s to argue with the Fresh Prince?  We headed to the Hollywood Farmer’s market early Sunday morning to get the supplies necessary to create this dish:

Haricots Verts with Figs and Walnuts

This is a really simple recipe that is inspired by a dish that the boy and I shared at a Silverlake restaurant.  All you do is blanche about a pound of green beans, quarter 10 or so figs, throw in two handfuls of walnuts, and sprinkle with lemon juice and salt to taste.  It’s such a light, refreshing salad but the figs and walnuts make it feel, as one diner put it, “decadent.”    Oooooh.

The other dish I contributed to the barbecue was a menacing counter balance to the healthy glow we all felt after the salad.  Introducing:

Emma’s Oatmeal Chocolate Cherry Cookies

courtesy of the lovely and talented Kittee!

These cookies are out of control.  They were so amazing – I couldn’t stop scooping out the batter and eating it before I could even get them in the oven.  The recipe still yeilded 4 dozen cookies, plus 2 gigantor cookies I have saved in the fridge for my parents when they come into town this weekend.  The texture is perfect – chewy and a little crispy on the edges.  None of that fluff or cakiness I find so abundantly present in a lot of cookie recipes.  At one point during the barbecue, there was a chorus of toddlers chanting “COOKIE COOKIE COOKIE.”  It was a beautiful sight.  Oh, and that four dozen? GONE.  I took home an empty tupperware container at the end of the day.

Nothing like playing with a four year old in a pool for a few hours to work up an appetite.  The lovely Princess Addie, seen here about to chomp down on my foot, is the product of another blogger, Amy Lou and papa Finn.  They were visiting from out of town, and we had an excellent time playing and splashing and Abba-ing.  On one last note, this is why the summer is so great:

Jill’s is Kinda Jacked

It’s a post!  With photos!  Be still my beeting heart!

(Went there.)

I am currently apartment hunting in New York, and last week I decided Brooklyn deserved a little attention.  Specifically, I wanted to check out the Cobble Hill area.  I had the pleasure of visiting some friends of friends who live in an incredible old brownstone there and they pretty much sold me on the neighborhood as soon as they opened the door.  It’s slightly less pricey than my favorite hood, the West Villy, and it’s disarmingly quieter.  After getting used to the sound of the city, it took me a while to adjust to the calm on the other side of the river.  ANYWAY, this blog is about food.

I decided to check out Jill’s after yelping several options.  At first glance, the place reminded me of M Cafe de Chaya in Los Angeles – aka Mecca.  It was clean, bright, modern – all the nice stuff that suckers like me are into.  I walked up to the counter and was floored by the beautiful display of salads and desserts in their glass case.  I decided to order a two side dish of beets and cucumber spaghetti and a slice of the ridiculously good looking (raw!!) chocolate cake.  The first problem arose when I ordered – the woman behind the counter was RUDE.  I get the stereotype of New Yorkers – I get it and I appreciate it.  I like it when people are upfront and honest, but seriously.  If you’re going to be in the service industry (especially in a rather unique specialty restaurant), maybe you should get rid of the perma-tude.  Speaking of attitude, let me complain some more.  I ordered what seemed to me like a pretty small amount of food and when the total came out to $30, I thought about saying ‘forget it’ and leaving.  Since I’m a pushover and severely passive aggressive (blogrevenge), I payed and perched myself on one the uncomfortably small stools the restaurant offers.

All that said, the beets were okay and the cucumber spaghetti was …. ok.  The portions were about the size of my fist – which is very small.  I still didn’t finish any of it.  But the raw chocolate cake.  Oh.

Oh.

Albeit, not worth ten dollars but Oh.

The different colored layers had different textures – the light was more like a mousse and the dark was more brownie like.  The cacao nibs on top added a nice crunch and bitterness aaaaggghsogood.  I walked through the pouring rain, eating it with my hands, and probably looking like a complete whackadoo cracked out on raw chocolate goodness.  I don’t know what the exact ingredients were – something about figs and dates and nuts blah blah blah the cake took over my listening skills when the counter lady read off the ingredient list in a voice that said, “I hate my life.”  I think she has never tasted this cake.

Overall, I understand that raw food will always be a little bit pricier because of the ingredients and freshness but if you’re going to rob me blind, at least smile about it.

The City Stole My Blog

Sorry to all for the abrupt halt in my blogging – this job and this city take up a lot more time than I expected! I haven’t had my camera on me to take pictures of meals at restaurants out of vanity’s sake. I feel like lugging around my huge camera will be quickly followed by large maps, shorts with socks and sneakers, and a nice hot pink fanny pack. I have, however, been making my rounds on the vegan spectrum of New York City. I’ve been to Sacred Chow, Gobo, and Caravan of Dreams. Also, the Whole Foods near me has a (really really exciting) shelf of vegan desserts that change every day. Please behold my favorite breakfast since I’ve been in the city – Sweet & Sara Peanut Butter Smore.

Nothing like some real power fuel for a run through Central Park.  It was wonderful!!  As a kid, I was really gross and would make s’mores in the microwave.  That’s right.  So I clearly have some kind of addiction to the chocolate, marshmallow, graham cracker combination.  Add peanut butter into the mix and you have me, face down on the floor, in a foodjoy coma.  Sweet & Sara slammed me down on first bite.  The chocolate coating was thick and had a great bite to it.  The graham cracker was pretty crumbly, but the gooey marshmallow held on to all the crumbs.  If anything, I would ask for more (moremoremore!) peanut butter, but the thin layer inside added a decadence to the whole shebang.  Sure, it was a pricey endeavor (almost 5 dolla bills y’all), but it was worth every swoon bite.

Early Morning Simian Craving

Friday morning I woke up with a need for something involving chocolate and bananas – and I had 2 hours to get to a meeting on time. It was one of those weeks. Yeah. So, my mission was clear: The World’s Fastest Banana Bread. I ‘used’ the Lower Fat Banana Bread recipe from Veganomicon, but it would be a shame to credit this loaf to Isa and Terry because I didn’t have any time for measurements. Only time for eatin’. So this bread didn’t turn out quite how I’d hoped – a little uncooked in the middle and brown on the bottom. I think I had a manic attack of the stirring-arm so the bread was also a bit gummy due to overmixing. Too much apple sauce too. But you know what? Whatever. Whatever! Chocolate chip banana bread is what I wanted and it’s what I gots. It’s actually pretty great after hanging out in the freezer and getting toasty in the toasty toaster oven. Besides, I got to prove to myself yet again that my measurement-eyeballing skills are not quite honed. And that, my friends, is a good lesson to learn.

Ladies Tea Party in the Park

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The other day, I recieved a package in the mail from my mom full of chocolate and pens topped with bunnies and plastic eggs. I scratched my head, wondering what game we were playing that involved mailing one another sweets and baby animals and went out to find a raccoon to FedEx back to her. After disguising myself under piles of garbage and hiding in a dumpster for an hour or five, I decided the lasting stench wasn’t worth it and carried myself home in the early morning light. Much to my surprise, when I arrived back at my apartment, there were hoards of small people rifling through my yard. I don’t like when neighbors trample our roses, so I ran screaming into the yard – flinging banana peels and cereal boxes along the way. How dare someone enter my private property to loot flowers – and on a Sunday morning! It was then, with the dozen or so sobbing tots dispersing in a mass flee and the hoard of angry looking adults encroaching on my personal space, that I remembered what holiday it was. And I thought Easter was in April?

What better way to recover from such a jarring realization than to hold a fancy ladies’ tea party in the park!? OK, the truth is I DID forget it was Easter and planned a tea party on Saturday without that knowledge – but it became an Easter-themed party anyway!

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The whole shabang complete with Green Jasmine and Peach teas.

I made currant scones from The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. This was my first time using this cookbook, and I was not disappointed! The scones I made are really small -roughly the size of a golf ball – and the tiny currants and cinnamon made them a perfect companion to afternoon tea.

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I also made my first pie from scratch! This is a Blueberry Lemon Pie based on Veganyumyum’s Cherry Lime Pie. The Sound of Music was on television, so I whipped out my apron and felt like a serious domestic goddess rolling out chilled pie dough and prancing around my kitchen table with Julie Andrews.

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The only thing I changed about the pie was, well … guess. I think next time I will half the sugar, only because after eating the pie I was able to run my PR time on a 5K distance. Guess we know what I’ll be eating next time a race comes around! Just call me shakey!

Finally, I made some *presh* chocolate birds nests with marzipan eggs. These were so cutesy I nearly shed a tear. I basically melted a chocolate bar and mixed in some crumbled Weetabix, formed them into nests in a mini-muffin pan and let them chill out. I made the marzipan eggs using food coloring and marzipan. Eeeeasy, bro.

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Ain’t no robins in here!

I put out some real food too, including carrots with hummus and crackers spread with Tofutti cream cheese and an olive tapenade – only to pretend that I’m an adult who doesn’t eat pie and chocolate for every meal (What, mom? I swear I don’t).

It was such a gorgeous day that we decided to document it. We have made plans to turn this into an official ladies’ club and do lovely feminine things all the time now. And some not so feminine – midnight bike rides anyone?

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Tree climbing commenced shortly after tea. I’m in the hat. Jay-Z told me hats are so necessary.

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More beautiful tea party ladies!