Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hella Vanilla Chocolate Chip Cookies

When I was a kid, Christmas was my favorite time of year. Every Christmas eve, I would diligently lay out not only the obligatory milk and cookies for Mr. Claus, but an array of baby carrots and cherry tomatoes that I had stolen from the vegetable plate for his nine reindeer. Now that I'm older, that most coveted of jobs has been passed down to my younger step sisters, and I instead turn to the quest of creating the perfect vegan chocolate chip cookie.

Now, I'm not going to claim to have made the perfect chocolate chip cookies, because I know that depending on what your tastes are, the perfect cookie could be anything. So, while this may not be THE chocolate chip cookie, I'm going to go ahead and say that this is it for me. It's packed with chocolate, with a hint of saltiness to balance it out and steer it away from being cloying. They're soft right out of the oven, but firm up enough to keep them from crumbling to bits when you eat them. Go ahead and eat five or six. I won't tell.

3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup earth balance
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar (or vanilla sugar if you have it)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 vanilla bean
1/4 cup plain unsweetened soy yogurt
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 300, and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Combine the salt and two flours and set aside. Cream the butter and sugars with a fork, then scrape the contents of your vanilla bean, vanilla extract, and soy yogurt into the butter/sugar, and mix until incorporated (save the leathery outside of the vanilla bean to make your own vanilla sugar!). Mix in the flour and chocolate chips. Roll the dough into ping-pong sized balls and bake for 18-20 minutes. Allow to cool on cookie sheet.

This dough can also be rolled and frozen to cut later!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tomato Pesto Tarts

Another super easy recipe for you college students who want to class things up with minimal effort. These "tarts" are super easy and quick to make for a dinner party or gathering, and look like they took a lot more time than they actually did!

Puff pastry
Tomato paste
pesto (I used this recipe)
mixed olives
fresh tomatoes

Thaw the puff pastry, and preheat the oven to 450. Using a cup or a large round cookie cutter, cut the pastry into rounds and set aside on an oiled cookie sheet. (You can roll the extras in cinnamon sugar and bake later for a dessert!)

Spread the tops of the rounds with a thin layer of tomato paste. Put a dollop of pesto in the center, and top with a slice of tomato and bits of chopped olives. Sprinkle freshly cracked pepper over the top.

Bake until the puff pastry has risen and the tomatoes begin to look cooked (It should only take a few minutes). Best served warm!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Protip 1

Protip: bake your bananas in the skin before you put them in your banana bread!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Lemon poppyseed yogurt with raspberries and cream

There are a two things that are on my dietary blacklist: bagels and muffins. They've reached the status of Do Not Eat, ever. EVER!!

These are also two of my favorite things. Funny how that works out, isn't it? Some days I wake up with an insatiable urge to devour everything in sight, and at the top of this list is always one thing: lemon poppy seed muffins.

To overcome these binge eating meltdowns, I've come up with a few recipes that sate my longing for all things carbohydrate, and leaves me feeling happy and full. This is one of those recipes.

Almost painfully easy, inexpensive, and quick: this is the perfect recipe for a girl (or guy) on the go. Throw it together in a cup on the way to work or class, and eat it on the way.

Lemon yogurt
poppy seeds
fresh berries
soy creamer (optional)

In a small bowl or cup, mix the yogurt with poppy seeds to taste. Top with fresh or frozen berries of your choice, and drizzle with soy creamer. Sprinkle poppy seeds for garnish. Enjoy.

That's it. Seriously. I told you it was easy.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Peach vanilla cake

I am still here!! I have been so busy with school and work lately, that I haven't had time to make anything lovely. On top of that, I lost the cord that connects my camera to my computer. This photo was taken with the camera on my phone.

This is a little cake I baked for a dinner party I had on Friday. Recipe to come!!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Spice-kissed turtle shells.

If you want to use this recipe and avoid honey, go ahead and use your favorite sweetener. Agave nectar, pure maple syrup, or brown rice syrup should all work fine. Get creative! Baking, in my humblest of opinions, is not so much a science as everyone else seems to think.

So now that that's out of the way, let's get the party started. Save these muffins for one of those dreary rainy days, or for a day when you're feeling homesick. The warm ginger and peanut butter will make you feel right at home.

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 cups dark brewed tea (I used cinnamon apple spice)

Preheat the oven to 325. Brew the spiced tea of your choice, add 1/2 teaspoon honey and set aside to steep. Mix dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Add peanut butter and mix until crumbly. Take the remaining honey and drizzle it over the mixture. Do not overmix. You want this to be more of a ribbon than anything else. While the tea is still warm (but not boiling), add to the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated. Grease or line a muffin pan and fill to about 2/3 (this is the one situation where you actually WANT a muffin top!).

Because I used a mini-muffin pan, I only baked these for about fifteen minutes. Bake longer if you're using a larger pan. When all else fails, revert to the age old trick of sticking a toothpick in your muffins. When the toothpick is batter-free, you're good to go!

Making the peanut butter glaze is a bit less exact. Warm some peanut butter until it is slightly thicker than a syrup. Add honey, cinnamon and ginger to taste. It should be the consistency of molasses. This is a really essential part of the recipe because without the glaze, the muffins are a bit dry.

To assemble: dip the cooled muffins in the glaze and set aside until the glaze thickens. A carob drizzle adds a nice visual touch, and gives the muffins an extra kick of warmth!

Apples and cinnamon peanut butter really make me think of home. What sorts of things remind you of home?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Petit Fours

I'm coming clean, here. I love tiny desserts. When I go to bakeries, I spent a good ten minutes eying the colorful suckers before I finally settle on a loaf of bread.

So, naturally, when I heard that a friend was having a birthday, I jumped at the chance to make single-serving cakes. I had a box of seedless mandarins sitting around, begging to be used, so I decided to attempt to whip up some sort of spiced orange cake.

What I came up with was this: layers of alternating cakes - one featuring candied mandarins, and one earl gray spiked and syrup soaked. For the filling, I used raspberry preserves and raspberry buttercream frosting.

I decided to attempt to challenge myself, so I bought a candy thermometer and set about making my first batch of poured fondant frosting.

It ended up looking okay, but the taste was cloying and unpleasant and just left something to be desired. After trying it out on one cake, I used a bit as glue for raspberries, tossed the rest of the batch, and left the cakes basically naked and chocolate-drizzled.

I wasn't planning on posting this when I started out, so I eyeballed the whole thing and didn't write down any of the measurements. Next time someone has a party, though, I will definitely be writing this one out for you guys!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Coconut poppyseed pancakes

I don't eat breakfast very often, but when I do, I like to make something decadent. Pancakes and waffles are two of my favorite things, but they can get very boring if you make the same buttermilk pancakes every time.

Luckily, pancakes are also one of the easiest things to make interesting Try this recipe out and see if you still find pancakes boring!

1 1/2 C flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp sugar
a pinch of salt
3 tbsp cold earth balance
1 1/2 C coconut milk
1/2 tbsp poppy seeds

Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium sized bowl, and cut in the cold earth balance until the mixture is crumbly. (I know this sounds strange, but it really makes a difference!) Mix in the coconut milk 1/2 cup at a time, then the poppy seeds. You should have a mixture much thicker than you are used to for pancakes.

Grease a heated pan with earth balance, and scoop some of the batter onto the pan. You should have to push the batter around to get it to spread to the right size. These pancakes will not bubble like regular pancakes!! Keep a close eye on them and flip them at your own discretion.


I topped my pancakes with a bit of leftover lemon frosting and raspberry preserves. Yum! I think they would also be great with currants or something else very tart. What other ideas do you have?

Happy Hour!

These super fun margarita cupcakes are from the Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World cookbook. They're tequila spiked, so they're fun to eat and fun to make.

Check out the cookbook if you haven't already.

I made these for my co-workers a few weeks ago, and they were basically the biggest hit ever. Guys, people love these cupcakes.

Monday, January 19, 2009

New Beginnings.

Welcome to my blog!

I look forward to bringing you recipes and musings, people of the internet!