Thursday, December 30, 2010

Apple Walnut Donuts

Apple cinnamon, a winning team any day of the week.
If I stand for one thing, it is that apples go with everything. Everything. Everything has the potential to be raised to the apple-th power to be spectacular.  Every fruit, every grain, every vegetable, every spice, every meal, every season. Spring summer fall winter, apples every day is the only way.

Traditionally, autumn gets the bragging rights to the apple, what with all the picking and hayrides and cider and so forth. But don't forget to let winter have its fun too. These baked vegan whole-wheat apple walnut cake donuts go marvelously with a fresh snowfall, a few poinsettias, and a hum to the tune of "Feliz Navidad".
See how great they look with the Christmas mugs?
(An interpretation of these Baked Apple Doughnuts. And did I mention there's no yeast!)

Apple Walnut Donuts

Yields 1 dozen donuts

3 c whole wheat flour
3 1/2 t baking powder
1 c sugar, scant
1 t salt
1 t nutmeg
1 c safflower oil, or any vegetable oil
2/3 c applesauce
1 c grated apples (I used 1 1/2 Romas in a food processor)
1/2 finely chopped walnuts
Cinnamon sugar for topping

Preheat oven to 350F.  Lightly grease 2 donut pans or 1 cupcake pan.

Combine everything up to and including the oil in a large bowl. Crumb ingredients with your hands until well mixed. Add remaining ingredients (besides the topping).

Spoon into pans, 3/4 full. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean and top is golden brown. Let cool completely before removing from pan. One at a time, gently toss donut in a bowl full of the cinnamon sugar to ensure a complete coating.

i can has dohnut plz?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Almond Butter Oatmeal Cookies

Happy Belated Thanksgiving! Truthfully, I was not a fan of this holiday until I went vegan. Now, with the feast of yummy veggie food, I feel like it's my birthday. It really helps that I had 2 other wonderful vegans to celebrate with. The big hit for us was Chef Chloe's Harvest-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms and The BEST Vegan Mac N' Cheese that my sister made. I've tried other vegan mac-no-cheeses before, but this one could seriously fool an omni. I have never felt that way about other recipes. Not to say that the others do not taste amazing, but I'm the first to admit that my cashew and pasta recipe really should not be referred to as "macaroni and cheese."

Another favorite part of Thanksgiving is that I celebrate it all week. First you gotta test the recipes a few days in advance. Then, after their main event, there's the leftovers. And it's all judgement-free: this is THE time for seconds and thirds. These cookies were among the pre-party. That's not to say they didn't pass the first round and get that golden ticket to Thursday; we just had so many other things we wanted to try. Try. I tried to make those Cake Truffles/Balls that seem to be the new "it" dessert. You bake a cake, let it cool, then crumble it, mix in frosting, and cover in chocolate. Going for the Reese's truffle, I used a peanut butter cake, which was much too oily to yield a pretty truffle. The result was a rich, sugary PB-chocolate mush that filled you up before the second bite. Once I perfect the cake truffle, I promise you will be the first to know ;).

These cookies were based off one of Isa's peanut butter oatmeal cookies. They are that level of photogenic that I like to refer to as "editorial". Meaning, this cookie would be on the cover. This is why you bought the magazine.

It's whole wheat, almond, and oats. Dessert ... or sweet breakfast?

Yields 1 dozen monster cookies

2 c whole wheat flour
2 c rolled oats
2 t baking powder
1 t salt
3/4 c safflower oil, or any vegetable oil
3/4 c almond butter
1 3/4 c sugar
1 T maple syrup
1/2 c vanilla almond milk
2 t vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, or lightly grease.

Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix wet ingredients in a separate, larger bowl. Add dry to wet and mix until just combined. Use a 1/3 dry measuring cup to measure each cookie. Pop dough out, form into a ball, and press onto baking sheet until 1/2 inch thick.

Bake until lightly browned, about 12-15 minutes. The cookies will not firm up until they are cooled, so don't be alarmed if you do the toothpick test and it's like popping an air bubble. Be patient and let them cool completely, wait 10 minutes to remove from tray.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Lemon Poppy Scones

I'm shiny and I know it. Don't know why you want to blow it. Need a man who likes it rough, likes it rough. Likes it rough.
- Lady GaGa

These delicious scones are a collaboration between me and They are based on Isa's scone recipe, from Vegan With A Vengeance.  We had a lot of fun kneading these babies, they sure do like it rough. Not too sweet, it satisfied both our sweet tooths and that little voice that makes us eat healthy.

Lemon Poppy Scones

1 1/4 c almond milk
1 T apple cider vinegar
3 c whole wheat flour, plus extra for kneading
1/3 c sugar
2 T baking powder
1/4 t salt
1/3 c safflower oil, or any vegetable oil
2 T lemon zest
1 t lemon extract
1 T poppy seeds

Heat oven to 400F, lightly grease 2 baking sheets.

Combine wet ingredients into medium bowl. Sift dry ingredients into large bowl, add wet to dry and mix until thickens. Separate into two halves and knead real good, until no longer sticky. This make take a bit, but don't give up! Form into discs and cut each into 6 pieces a la slicing pizza. Bake until bottom is lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Remove from sheet immediately to cool.

1/2 c powdered sugar
1 T safflower oil, or any vegetable oil
1 T lemon juice

Stir in small bowl. Coat completely cooled scones.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Blueberry Cobbler

Most weekends, I find a recipe I want to make, only to come home and find I have none of the ingredients. Never one to deprive myself of dessert, I "made it work"with this amazing blueberry cobbler, a recipe altered and veganized from the Blackberry Cobbler recipe in Mary Engelbreit's Sweet Desserts Cookbook. She actually only does the artwork in the cookbook, so I'm not really sure why her name gets such big letters and not the chef, but whatever. The book is full of simple, too-sugary, buttery desserts. Her intentions are all good, and with some changes the recipes can be adapted for the sweettoothed vegan.

Messy is beautiful, beautiful is messy.
This cobbler is DELICIOUS. Now, I have a real bias toward my beloved blueberry, and other fruits can be used in place, but the blueberries really add a lot. This dessert went unbelievably fast, if I didn't have blueberry staining all over my mouth and hands, I probably would have mistake the whole thing for a wonderful dream.

3/4 c whole wheat flour
1/3 c sugar
1 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
3 T vegetable oil (I used grapeseed)
1/3 c + 1 T almond milk

2 c fresh or frozen blueberries
1/4 c sugar
2 1/4 t whole wheat flour
1/16 t allspice

Heat oven at 375F.

Mix dry topping ingredients in a small bowl. Press in oil and almond milk until mixture has a crumbly texture. Set aside.

Mix filling ingredients together in a medium bowl. Pour into an ungreased pan or pie tin. Drop topping on blueberry filling, in spoonfuls until well covered (it will spread).

Bake for about 20 minutes, until topping is golden brown and filling is bubbling.

Let cool shortly and serve warm or cold.

Friday, September 10, 2010


There are only two things better than chocolate: homemade chocolate and chocolate-dipped fruit.
Because no one should feel guilty about indulgence.
Chocolate-covered strawberries. The perfect combination of fresh, healthy sweetness and the rich pampering of chocolate. This is a more-natural way to do it, a nice alternative to running to the store to purchase vegan chocolate chips and melt them over the stove. And a great way to incorporate coconut oil into your diet. Feel free to up the super-power by using carob powder instead of cocoa.

1/2 c coconut butter/oil
1/3 c plus 1 T cocoa powder (preferably dutch-processed)
2 T agave nectar or maple syrup
1 t mint extract, optional
Strawberries for dipping

Warm the coconut to a liquid by placing the filled measuring cup into a bowl of warm-hot water. Once melted, mix together all ingredients in a new bowl. Immediately dip strawberries into chocolate and place on a plate to set. If you are really impatient, or desire a cooler temperature, pop the plate of strawberries into the freezer for a minute or two.

Don't limit yourself to strawberries! The coconuty-taste really worked well with carrots too. Like a carrot cake with coconut frosting and a chocolate bonus.

For the extra-ambitious: in place of the mint extract, add a pinch of cayenne pepper. Let the chocolate firm up, then break it into pieces over vanilla dairy-free ice cream. This WILL blow your mind.

Under the sea, they'll be no accusations, just friendly crustaceans.
If you just want some good ol' favorites, pretzels, bananas, apple slices, and vegan marshmallows will all work great.

However, less can be more. The chocolate tastes great on its own. It was just my luck that I found this cute, marine-themed candy mold.

 They might be too coconut-y to be spread with peanut butter, but might be worth a shot. Or maybe some vegan cream cheese ... I am going to stop myself here before I get carried away.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Black Bean Brownies

Prior to today, I've never made a successful vegan brownie. They would just sort of boil away in the oven, and come out hard, not very appetizing. They would still smell good, tricking my whole family into thinking they were going to have dessert that night. I have been mean to them long enough, it's time they get what they deserve. Fortunately, today is Labor Day so everyone is home to eat them so I don't have to ration myself some and test my self-control.

Low-fat, gluten-free, no white sugar =
nothing to stop me from having another ... and another.

I knew had to try these Low Fat Vegan Black Bean Brownies when I read that they were "dense, fudgey, and ultra-healthy", because I'm a firm believer that cake brownies are oxymoronic and have no place in my kitchen. And recipes with black beans always get my vote.

I'm not going to lie, they do taste like black beans. But it makes it even more delicious. Don't take my word for it, do yourself a favor and head over to Happy Herbivore to get the recipe.

First, a warning: this are really fudgey! If you want a bit more floury, add more instant oats as noted. I did not use the optional sugar, and for the first time, I followed a recipe exactly instead of personalizing it (which may or may not be why my past attempts at brownies were flops), so follow the link for the recipe. Next time I think I'll fold in some walnuts for that nutty-fudgey love.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Whole Wheat Pancakes

Pancakes for one are always depressing, because having breakfast with you was such fun.
- Of Montreal

Too pretty to eat? Try too pretty not to eat.
There were no bananas left (well, no good ones) for the morning smoothie. And it's kind of dreary out for an August morning. Time to cheer myself with vegan pancakes! But don't despair, it didn't end up being pancakes for one, Sufjan was quite curious what smelled so good. 

hay this r not tuna pancakez wtf
1 1/4 c whole wheat flour
2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
as much cinnamon as your heart desires
1 1/8 c almond milk (at least)
1/4 c applesauce
1 T maple syrup
safflower oil (or any vegetable oil) for greasing griddle

Heat pancake griddle on high and lightly grease with oil.
Sift dry ingredients in a large bowl, then add in wet ingredients. Mix until no clumps remain, adding more almond milk if necessary. When griddle is ready, pour 1/4 c of batter into neat circles, flipping over when bubbles dry in surface of cake. Serve with maple syrup.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Black and White Cookie

"Oh look Elaine, the black and white cookie. I love the black and white. Two races of flavor living side by side. It's a wonderful thing isn't it? ... The thing about eating the Black and White cookie, Elaine, is you want to get some black and some white in each bite. Nothing mixes better than vanilla and chocolate. And yet somehow racial harmony eludes us. If people would only look to the cookie all our problems would be solved." -Jerry Seinfeld

Look to the cookies! 
For those who are not familiar with this New York classic, the black and white cookie is a cakey, lemony bakery favorite. My friend known as Jersey and I are big Seinfeld (and NYC) fanatics and decided that it was time we paid homage to the show's wisdom by baking our own black and white cookie. We try to do what we can to add more harmony to this world.

We veganized and halved the recipe from these Black and White Cookies. The result tasted like a store-bought, no-one-will-guess-these-cookies-are-vegan cookies. Make these for your favorite NY vegans and they just might worship you.

Yields 2 dozen cookies

3/4 c plus 2 T sugar
1/2 c safflower oil, or any vegetable oil
2 Ener-G egg replacements (or you could try 1/2 c applesauce)
1/2 c almond milk
1/4 t vanilla extract
1/4 t lemon extract (scant)
2 1/3 c flour (we used 2 c all purpose and 1/3 c whole wheat flour)
2 T plus 1 1/2 t cornstarch
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt

Heat oven to 375F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper, or lightly grease with vegetable oil.

Mix the sugar and oil in a large bowl. Mix in the egg replacement, and then the rest of the wet ingredients.

Sift together the dry ingredients into a medium bowl. Add the dry ingredients into the wet, and mix until smooth. Dough will seem too wet to form cookies, but I promise it works!

Drop big spoonfuls of the dough onto the cookie sheets, about 2" apart. Bake until edges begin to brown, about 25 minutes. Wait until completely cool until applying icing.


2 c powdered sugar
less than 1/4 c boiling water
2 T vegan chocolate chips (or half an ounce of any vegan chocolate)

Add sugar to small bowl. Stir in enough boiled water until sugar-paste is thick but spreadable. Add half of icing into a saucepan over low heat with the chocolate. Mix until chocolate is melted and remove from heat. Using a spreading knife, ice half of each cookie in the chocolate and half in the white sugar icing. Let icing completely set on cookies.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Macaroni Un-Cheese

No yeast, no problem.
It's difficult to find an amazing vegan mac and cheese recipe that does not use nutritional yeast. What gives this dish its cheesy flavor and creamy texture are the cashews and Tofutti "Better Than Sour Cream" Sour Supreme. Originally I had been using Tofutti cream cheese, which worked well, but one day I was out of it and found some Sour Supreme (I swear I didn't buy it!) in the fridge. I have never eaten sour cream ever in my life (dairy or not) and was kind of terrified, but it said Tofutti on it so I figured it will have to do, and it was perfect!

My final product with slowly evolved from this Delightful Mac and Cheese recipe.

Feel free to up the wholesomeness by adding real onion and garlic instead of their powders.
I was out of almond milk so I substituted in So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk.
Any flour can be used, but the garbanzo gives a bit of cheesy-ness.

Serves 3

1/2 package of 13.25 oz of whole wheat macaroni (I used rotini) (bit more than 2.5 cups)
1 c raw cashews
1 1/2 t garlic powder
1 t onion powder
1 t red wine vinegar
1 t soy sauce (or Bragg's Liquid Aminos)
1 T Tofutti vegan sour cream
3/4 c almond milk
3 T garbanzo bean flour
2 T extra virgin olive oil

Prepare macaroni as instructed. While macaroni is boiling, grind up cashews into a fine powder with a food processor. Transfer cashew powder to blender, add in the garlic powder, onion powder, red wine vinegar, soy sauce, sour cream, and almond milk. Blend until smooth.

Mix flour and oil in a medium saucepan over low heat. Once no lumps remain, turn off heat and pour in cashew cheese sauce, stirring until well-mixed.

Drain macaroni when cooked to your liking, and return to pot. Add cashew cheese sauce little by little and stir until macaroni is evenly coated. You may have left over cheese, which can be added anyway for extra cheesiness, or used as a cheesy dip for breadsticks or sliced veggies. I'm saving mine for tomorrow's pizza :).

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cranberry-Orange Scones

Getting colder and colder, the leaves are turning over

My sister woke up at 1pm today wanting a bagel with tofu cream cheese. I don't know how to bake either of those items so I made scones instead.
It's really 80 degrees outside but I can dream.
I add a bunch of dried cranberries to Isa Chandra Moskowitz's recipe from Vegan With a Vengeance. I made her orange glaze for the topping, and out came a seriously autumn scone. I'm noticing that my baked goods are often quite season-confused. Perhaps I will expand on this theme.
Better than a few, a whole big plate.
This was my first time with scones and I feel this is the start of a lovely friendship.

Yields 12 scones

1.5 c white flour
1.5 whole wheat flour
2 T baking powder
1/4 c sugar
1/4 t salt
1/3 safflower oil (or any vegetable oil)
1 1/4 c almond milk
2 t apple cider vinegar
About 2/3 c dried cranberries
2 T orange zest (I skipped this part, but recommend it)

Heat oven at 350F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper, or lightly with oil.

In large bowl, sift the 5 dry ingredients. Add remaining, mix until just combined. Dough should be clumpy, not sticky (although mine came out a bit sticky).

Split dough into 2 halves. Knead one half a little bit, form into a 6" disk. Using a pizza cutter, make 6 slices, transfer to cookie sheet. Repeat with other half of dough. Bakes about 15 minutes, until bottom is slightly browned and top is firm.

I transferred them immediately to the wire rack, although Isa calls to let them cool completely or near completely.

Orange Glaze

1 c powdered sugar
2 T Earth Balance, melted
2 T orange juice
1 t orange zest

Sift sugar into small bowl, mix in remaining ingredients.

Dip cooled scones into glaze and let set.

The Best Chocolate Cupcakes

Hot like Mexico, rejoice!

"Baby, let's make a run for the border,
I've got a hunger only tacos can stop."
I lied. These really aren't Mexican hot chocolate cupcakes. But they could be. The decorations are misleading. The red sugar screams "fun and full of surprises" but they are just normal chocolate flavor. These really should have cinnamon and cayenne in them. It's such a shame.

I made these for my cousin's graduation party. Nobody thought they were Mexican hot chocolate cupcakes. But they did love them anyway. I don't believe my extend family has met the Mexican hot chocolate cupcake. Next time they are in for a spicy surprise.

This is my absolute favorite chocolate cake recipe. Perfect amount of sweetness, lovely brown color, and did I mention how moist they are? They just might ruin all over chocolate cakes for you, but they are worth it. Seriously, I refuse to follow any other recipe. I can't take credit for them, you can click the link below to see their origin and rave reviews.

Chocolate Cupcakes

Yields 12 cupcakes

1 1/2 c white flour
1 c sugar
1/4 c cocoa powder (preferably dutch)
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/3 c safflower oil, or any vegetable oil
1 t vanilla extract
1 t distilled white vinegar
1 c water

Heat oven to 350F. Line cupcake tin with paper liners

Sift together the dry ingredients, add the wet, mix until smooth (without overmixing).

Pour into liners (about 2/3 full), bake for about 10 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out dry.

Let cool a minute, transfer to wire rack. Wait until completely cool before icing.

Vanilla Icing

1/4 c safflower oil, or any vegetable oil
1/4 c Earth Balance
1 1/2 powdered sugar
1/4 c granulated sugar
1 t vanilla extract
1/8 c almond milk

Beat oil and margarine until smooth, beat in sugars, then the liquids.

Snip tip of plastic sandwich bag and spoon in some icing. Apply even pressure to bag with spiraling around the cupcake, working from the center out. Immediately sprinkle with red crystals. Alternate between clockwise and counter for each cupcake to further ensue fun.

Vanilla July 4th Cupcakes

Ready for those flashing lights

If you didn't already know, you would have found out soon enough, but I am a little monster. I literally only wear make-up when in costume, so I enlisted the help of my amazing friend Cristina to glam my face up for the Monster Ball. I have more in the kitchen than in the bank, so I paid her with these July 4th cupcakes.
It's so delicious, that's money honey.
Yes, those are Christmas tree sprinkles on the middle cupcake. It happened and I went with it, I think those Hot Bread donuts are to blame.

The rest were donated to my family. I don't have a car, so I constantly feel the need to pay them in baked goods for all the places they drive me. Mostly the A&P.
The big ones can be dollars and the itty ones, cents.

Now, I'm not one for dyes and such, but I do like using up all the unhealthy decorations that are taking up precious shelf space.

The cupcakes are a plain white cake, taken from Vegan Lunch Box by Jennifer McCann.

Fluffy White Cupcakes

Yields 22 cupcakes

2 1/8 c white flour
1 1/8 c sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 c safflower oil, or any vegetable oil

1 T apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 scant c almond milk

1 1/4 t vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350F. Line cupcake tins with paper liners.

Large bowl, mix together the five dry ingredients. In separate bowl, mix together wet ingredients. Add wet to dry and beat until smooth.

Fill liners about 2/3 full with batter. Bake 15-20 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out dry.

Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer cakes to wire rack. Let cool completely before icing.


1/4 c safflower oil, or any vegetable oil
1/4 c Earth Balance
1 1/2 c powdered sugar
3/4 t vanilla extract
1/8 c almond milk

Beat oil and margarine together until smooth, then beat in sugar, then remaining ingredients. If you desire color, split icing into as many bowls as colors to be used. Mix in a few drops of food coloring to each bowl, stir. Spoon icing onto cakes and spread with back of spoon.

Feel Good Donuts: Chocolate & Cinnamon

What we're gonna do right here is go back

My chocolate baked donuts are my pride and joy. Here they are from a mini-cupcake pan with a light glaze.

The first chocolate baked munchkins
When I was eight, I cut an ad out of the Sunday paper for a baked donut pan. I didn't know how to order things, but it stayed taped on the kitchen wall for a year or two. Twelve years later I finally got one from Amazon and felt complete.

I baked a bunch of chocolate and cinnamon donuts, and brought them to nearby bakeries to sell. Unfortunately, I probably couldn't have picked a worse time to go (5pm Friday?) and no managers were in all 3 or so that I visited. I dropped off a bag of donuts at Hot Breads, an Indian bakery chain that specializes in eggless cakes, but shamefully carries donuts that are egg-full. The manager called me up very impressed, and wanted to start off with a "small order" of 50 for Tuesday morning.

Only having 2 half-dozen trays and a small oven, it took me about three hours that morning, after preparing all the dough the night before. Thankfully I did not have to glaze or finish them, just come in with a whole lotta naked donuts. Unfortunately, I don't think the icing Hot Breads used was vegan, as they really were just into the whole eggless thing, so I didn't try their final result, but my family swore they were as good as they looked.

So beautiful, I might cry.

Normally I toss my "plain" (nutmeg) cake donut in cinnamon and it's wonderful. I think it's odd to ice it, but if they want to pay me I can't complain.

Christmas? In June? Fine by me.
Sadly, I could not mass produce these babies for the small cents like they wanted, and told me they would call again in the future, after really promoting their new product. I wouldn't have been able to keep up with them anyway, if they ever needed more than a small order of 50. But, thanks to this experience, I can refer to myself as a professional baker without having to cross my fingers behind my back, and that is worth a lot to me.