Tag Archives: dessert

Holiday Gifts Galore

Hey folks.  I been busy.  Busy making these lovely little jars of happy.  And baking.  Right now my house smells like a gigantic carrot bundt cake.  I wish my house WAS a gigantic carrot bundt cake.  Breakfast in bed?  No.  Breakfast IS bed.  Perfect.

So I think this is a really great Christmas/Hanukkah/YaKnow/TheOneWithThePole gift!  Go out and get yourself some mason jars and fill them up with dry goods for your favorite cookie recipe.  Include the recipe with the gift so your gift receivers know what the heck to do with the stuff.  Put some pretty do-dads all over the jar.  SMILE!  Give it to someone!  This is so much fun!  We all really like each other!  Look at all that smiling!

Now ain’t that just a thing of beauty?

Happy Holidays!!!

Next Day Brownies

Ah, the eternal quest for good vegan brownies continues.  JUST KIDDING IT’S OVER THEY’RE RIGHT HERE.

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I can’t understand why I didn’t make these before.  They’re Isa’s recipe from the Post Punk Kitchen, and clearly they are ace.  The perfect balance between fudgy and cakey brownies and a deep chocolate flavor make these epic.  The best part about them is that they get better the longer you let them sit!  Thus, I dub them “Next Day Brownies.”

(recipe courtesy of Isa)

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup cold water
  • 12 oz extra firm silken tofu (the vacuum packed kind, like Mori-Nu)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocloate chips (I use Ghiradelli)
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 3/4 cup good quality unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Droste)
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder

Directions

  • In a blender puree the tofu, flour and water until smooth. Pour it into a sauce pan, and wisk constantly over low heat until it thickens (it should not boil, if it starts to turn the heat down). This takes about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate chips, salt, vanilla and sugar. Stir occasionally until the chocolate is melted. Set the mixture aside to cool completely.
  • Preheat your oven to 350.
  • When mixture is cool enough mix in the oil. (It can take about 20-30 minutes to cool, give it a stir once in awhileand stick it in the fridge to make it cool faster).
  • Sift the 1 1/2 cups of flour, the cocoa and the baking powder together. Fold in the tofu mixture until well combined and smooth.
  • Spread evenly in a greased baking pan for 35-40 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean.


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I had a party and people kind of picked at them as they cooled, but it was the breakfast brownie the next morning that made my eyes roll back in my head.  What’s the deal!?  Something about sitting in the fridge overnight allowed the chocolate chips I added to the batter to harden and the flavors to mingle together in bliss.   I added 1/4 C chocolate chips and 1/4 C walnuts to the recipe for my own preference.  I’m now imagining all the add-ins that could make these even more incredible!   These brownies are bomb.  That’s all I can say.

Kentucky Fried Potluck

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It was a warm Sunday evening, and I had a big mess o’ buddies coming over to celebrate nothing at all.  I wanted to test out some recipes for a” super top secret” project I’m working on, and spend some quality time with good smilin’ people.  I’ll start out with what I made, and move on down the line.  The only thing missing from this potluck was some Ale-8-One!

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A lovely mixed assortment of olives for the first people arriving.  Watch me wrastle with a deep fryer and delight in some salty hors d’oeuvres!

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Speaking of deep frying, feast your eyes on my Kentucky Fried Seitan.  I’ve been messing around with recipes for a couple weeks, and I found my winner.  I made a batch with from-scratch seitan, but I have to say that the kind I made from powdered wheat gluten was MUCH better.  I’ll put up a tutorial on Homemade Seitan 101: What Not To Do. I made this with tofu a few days ago too – it’ good!  Do it!  Fry it!

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Ah, coleslaw.  The friendly heart attack disguised in salad form.  But wait!  Veganaise to the rescue!  Have no fear of clogged arteries – vegan coleslaw keeps you safe and happy with its crunchy superpowers.

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The lovely Audrey made this awesome raw kale salad that went faster than anything else on the table!  The sweet cranberries and crunchy pine nuts went really well with kale, and the dressing was tangy and citrusy.  Perfect for an outdoor/indoor potluck extraveganza!

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Brie brought some garlicky roasted carrots!  This might be my new favorite way to do carrots.  There were whole roasted cloves of garlic snuggling around in there.  Enough said.

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Gabe brought green beans and turnips she found at the Farmer’s Market.  Mmmm.

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Let’s not even pretend this is a Red Velvet cake.  It’s supposed to be.  Looks more like a Carrot Cake, right?  This wasn’t an epic fail, but it was close to one.  I didn’t coat the pans before baking, probably didn’t use enough leavening agent, and needed more beet juice.  All things considered, it still tasted pretty good but it wasn’t my proudest moment!

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We ended the night with a rousing game of Smart Ass (you should own this) which my dad slayed.  Congrats JW.  There were also Mint Juleps floating around, collards from Lindsey, and cornbread from my friend Ayla (which you can see in the first picture on the red plate).  We listened to Bluegrass music and discussed the many and varied attributes of Dolly Parton.  It was a great little funfriendjollyjoy night.

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Blurry photo of how it went down.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Scones For Your Mom

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Ok, so they’re for my mom.  Your mom can have some too if she’s pleasant.  Moms deserve a little treat every now and then – they’re such sweet ladies.  The mom I have is a health-nut with a dark chocolate addiction (is it ok that I air these things out in public?)  There is a “museum” of dark chocolate in one of the drawers in my parents’ kitchen.  It’s really a stunning display.  AND my mom has this classic Chocolate Chip Scone recipe from an old Mary Englebright magazine that has been a favorite for years.  However, that recipe calls for dreadful items like white flour, eggs, milk, and butter.  Luckily, I managed to save my mom from the blight of unhealthy scones and created a safe haven for those normally-healthy-folk who have a predisposition to chocoholism.  Look at those monster chocolate chips!  They’re taking over the world!

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3/4 C White Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/4 C Oat Bran
  • 1 1/2 t baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon agave nectar
  • 1/4 C chocolate chips
  • 2 T cup margarine, softened
  • 1/2 t apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 C soy milk

Directions

  • Preheat the oven for 400 degrees
  • Measure the soy milk in a measuring cup and add the apple cider vinegar, set aside to let curdle.
  • Sift the dry ingredients (flour, oat bran, baking powder, salt, cinnamon) in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the margarine in small slivers and cut into the dry ingredients using two knives (This is to incorporate the margarine while allowing it to stay in small chunks. You just don’t want it to melt at all – creates little buttery pockets in the scones)
  • Add the agave nectar and soy milk mixture – combine until there are no more dry parts. Be sure not to overmix.
  • Add the chocolate chips and stir until incorporated.
  • Press the dough into a circle about 3/4 in tall, cut into triangle shapes (can make 4 big scones, or 8 small)
  • Arrange scones on greased baking sheet.
  • Brush tops of scones with soy milk and sprinkle with rock salt.
  • Put scones in your preheated oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until a deep golden brown on the edges.

Pretty easy, huh?  You could probably double this recipe pretty easily for a crowd, but I didn’t want too many of these sitting around because there were only three of us to feed.  This is a great (relatively healthy) scone recipe to keep around for tea time or breakfast or a snack or putting on your pants time or stay in bed all morning time or going to a roller derby time or calling up your Aunt Ida or changing the water filters or pre- or post-bike-ride or…

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P.S. Look India!  I updated!

Daring Bakers February: For The Love of Chocolate

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With much thanks to February’s hosts – Wendy of wmpesblog and Dharm of DadBaker – I give you my take on a Flourless Chocolate Cake and vanilla ice cream. The original recipes posted in the DB forum were chock full o’ heavy creams and eggs so I decided to check out what the other alternative (we’re just like the Gin Blossoms) bakers were doing. Shelleyfish brought forth a recipe for a raw chocolate cake and I had to bite. I’m of the brownies-for-breakfast foodie school, so I like to try to work healthy foods into my diet in sneaky ways. I’m like Jessica Seinfeld minus the children. The only one I’m duping is me.

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Recipe (from Jennifer Cornbleet’s Raw Food Made Easy)

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups raw walnuts, unsoaked
dash salt
10 pitted medjool dates, unsoaked
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa or carob powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
2 teaspoons water
1/2 cup fresh raspberries for garnish (optional)

Directions

  • Place walnuts & salt in food processor fitted with S blade and process until finely ground.
  • Add the dates, cocoa powder, and optional vanilla and process until the mixture begins to stick together.
  • Add the water and process briefly.
  • Transfer to a serving plate and form into a 5-inch round cake. Chill for 2 hours.
  • Decorate the cake and plate with fresh raspberries before serving if desired.
  • Covered with plastic wrap this will keep for three days in the fridge, or two weeks in freezer. Bring to room temp. before serving.

To accompany my raw chocolate friend, I called up his pal Raw “Vanilla” Sorbet.

Recipe

Ingredients

5 bananas – peeled, sliced, and frozen

1/3 C coconut cream (refrigerate coconut milk and scrape off the solids)

1/3 C coconut milk (the remaining liquids in the can)

4 T agave nectar

1 t vanilla

Directions

  • Place all your ingredients in a blender (preferably Vita-Mix because it owns) and blend until creamy.
  • Freeze again to let it set up, or just scoop it out with a spoon because you won’t be able to resist.

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My sorbet looks a bit mushy because I was trying to rush to get this post up today and trying to take my photos before the natural light went away! So there was no time to freeze it before taking the picture. Boo. It tasted wonderful though! Neither the banana flavor or the coconut was too strong – it didn’t taste anything like a pina colada so I was happy. I pressed my cake into cookie cutter molds in honor of Valentine’s Days past. The cake itself is delicious – you only need a couple bites because it is so dense and rich. The thing I love the most about raw desserts is the fact that you’re really just eating fruit and nuts. So you can indulge without the sugar rush and feel like you’re building muscles so you can be big and strong. Ya know.

Teany

Forgive the cell phone photographs, but I have to review Teany.  There are prettier pictures on their website.  It’s my favorite go-to spot for a rainy day and we’ve been having quite a few of those recently.  On my last trip, I tried their vegan quiche:

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It came with a really good vodka sauce on the side and a green salad that I had with their tahini dressing.  The quiche was WONDERFUL.  It had a very soft crust and a nice quichey(quiche-esque? quiche-ish? the word ‘quiche’ looks like it’s not real now that I’ve typed it so many times) texture and the flavor was perfect.  The sauce on the side was also really good – some nice mushrooms hanging out in there.  I sat around working and grazing for about an hour before I started wondering if it was time for dessert. It’s always time for dessert.  I ordered the Chocolate Macaroon Cake:

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Ridiculously good.  This shouldn’t be allowed to exist.  It was chocolate cake with chocolate coconut buttercream.  Enough said.  I am in love with Teany and its preciousness.  I didn’t have any tea this time (coffee addiction is too strong) but the Green Cherry Blossom tea is beautiful. Of course there’s the whole Moby connection – which is very cool.  Check out his blog! Go eat their Chicken Salad Salad!

Brownies For the Win AKA Stop It With the Chocolate Already

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These bad boys are adapted from Have Cake, Will Travel’s Butterscotch Chocolate Fudge Brownies.  Thanks for sharing!!

Original Recipe

Butterscotch Chocolate Fudge Brownies

preheat oven to 350F. prepare an 8×8 pan with non-stick cooking spray.

in a microwave-safe bowl (or in a double boiler), melt:

1 1/2 cup mix of vegan butterscotch chips and semisweet chocolate chips (if you cannot find butterscotch chips, go for all chocolate)

set aside to let cool.

place melted chocolate in a large bowl and whisk in:

1 cup sweet potato purée
2 T mild-tasting oil (vegetable, canola…)
1 t pure vanilla extract
2 T soy creamer (or milk alternative)

in a separate bowl, sift together:

1/4 cup organic powdered/icing sugar
1/2 cup light spelt flour
2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch fine sea salt
1/4 t baking powder

combine sweet potato & flour preparations, fold in:

1/2 cup mix of vegan butterscotch & semisweet chocolate chips

mix until combined. pour batter into prepared pan, bake for 28 minutes. let cool on a rack, place in fridge (still in pan) once cool enough or even in the freezer for more ease of slicing. I love to eat these when they’re really cold!

My adjustments

I didn’t have access to sweet potato puree (really I’m just to lazy to puree potatoes) so I used a canned butternut squash puree.  I also can’t find vegan butterscotch chips in this neck of the woods (which is kind of unbelievable considering the monstrosity of this city).  I doubled the recipe because I’m a nut (and I wanted to share these beauties with everyone).  That last fact turned out to be a bad idea because I polished most of them off by myself.  I had a few days when I ate these for breakfast and felt heart paliptations for hours.  Wheeee!  I also used almond milk because … I had some.

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When I first tried one of these, I wasn’t really sure how I felt about them.  However, after chilling them in the fridge they took on this moist, chewy texture that is amazing.  They’re very dense, which is the way I like a brownie to be.  They’re still not quite what I’m looking for as far as replacing egg/milk laden brownies, but they are definitely a giant leap in the right direction!  I think I’ll try adding flax and Earth Balance on the next trial – which will be a while from now.  I’m still recovering.

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