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Archive for the ‘cookies’ Category

Cheater gluten-free, soy-free, vegan sugar cookies

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I tried to make some black and white cookies for Sidecar Septemberfest, but my version puffed up like a pregnant Jessica Simpson in the oven, came out more bloated than a body that’s been floating in a river for a few days, and tasted like rank metallic feet.

I’m thinking a combination of me being tired + procrastinating + rushing + a couple of glasses of wine were the culprit here, not the recipe, though I can’t be sure.

Having promised Sidecar a couple dozen cookies, I wasn’t really sure what to do. Fortunately, Madison Market and Cherrybrook Kitchen’s gluten-free sugar cookie mix came through for me. (I’ve been getting some free stuff lately, but I bought this mix.)

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Baked up with rice milk and canola oil and topped with a simple icing and Sprinkelz (which you need to sprinkle on immediately after adding the icing), these cookies are a delicious gluten- and soy-free alternative to wheat-based sugar cookies, and taste roughly the same. I had to push mine down with the bottom of a glass before baking, but otherwise they’re relatively idiot-proof.

While homemade is best, I’d recommend this mix in a pinch, especially if you don’t want to invest in a bunch of GF flours.

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Thanks for saving my pride, Cherrybrook Kitchen.

White chocolate coconut macadamia cookies

You know what’s sweet?

Finding out that someone has veganized something you thought was un-veganizeable.

Like white chocolate chips.

You know what else is sweet?

Cookies!

And what’s the sweetest of them all?

Vegan white chocolate chip coconut macadamia cookies!!

OMG OMG OMG!!!

I got my vegan white chocolate chips at Sidecar for Pigs Peace, but VeganEssentials, Cosmo’s Vegan Shop and Amazon sell them.

White chocolate coconut macadamia cookies

(veganized and adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook)
makes 27-30 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance
  • 1 cup vegan granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup palm sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda.
  • 1 Tbs Ener-G mixed in 1/4 cup warm water (or egg replacer for 2 eggs)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Beat shortening and Earth Balance in a large bowl until combined and creamy.
  3. Add sugars and baking soda, and beat until combined. Add in egg replacer mixture and vanilla.
  4. Stir in the flour — mixture will be quite stiff.
  5. Stir in white chocolate chips, macadamia nuts and coconut.
  6. Form mixture into balls and place a few inches apart on parchment-covered cookie sheet. Bake for 7 minutes.
  7. After 7 minute, check on the cookies. If they are stiff, push them down with the bottom of a glass, and bake for an additional 7 minutes or until lightly browned.
  8. Let cool for a few minutes on the sheet, then remove to a wire rack.

Vegan Magic bars

My college dining hall served some pretty killer dessert options, and these babies were one of my favorites.

In fact, I credit magic bars for ending my first foray into veganism. And also for 7 of the freshman 15.

After going vegetarian my freshman year, I deviated back to pescatarianism during my junior semester abroad in Russia because reliable sources told me I would starve in The Motherland if I did not — I wouldn’t compromise now, but I was young and naive then.

Despite allowing fish into my diet, I still consumed an insane of dairy in Russia. What, no meat? Why, serve her some cheese, comrade!

I ate dairy products I never would have eaten in the US. For example, I remember sitting in a small cabin above the arctic circle two ours outside of Murmansk, eating condensed milk on thick crackers, with a local repeating over and over “sgushonoye malako… sgushonoye malako… gushonoye malako” — condensed milk — before I could finally remember how to say it.

When I returned home, I was so disgusted with dairy — not from any ethical standpoint but just the bloated over-consumption of it — that I gave it up. And eggs, just for good measure. And I ate vegan all summer, aided by muffins and cookies from Nabolom.

But that all ended the day following my return to campus when the dining hall served no other than magic bars, those rich confections of chocolate and coconut atop a crust of buttery graham, bound by a sweet web of… sgushonoye malako. I caved.

I’ve managed to recreate almost everything I enjoyed before going vegan, but condensed milk has been the proverbial thorn in my side, being the one item that I could not find a vegan substitute.

But someone made a vegan condensed milk, and my little vegan world is full of magic (bars) again.

Vegan Magic Bars

Adapted from AllRecipes

makes 9

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup  margarine, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 (330 ounce) can condensed soy milk
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Combine butter and graham cracker crumbs, and press into a greased 9″ x 9″ pyrex dish.
  3. Pour condensed soy milk over crumbs.
  4. Evenly cover with chocolate chips, walnuts and coconut.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until coconut is toasted.
  6. Refrigerate until cool, then cut into squares.

Susan tweeted her pleasure at the number of cats in VeganMoFo posts, but that there could always be more. Zeno crawled into my light box while I was taking photos, and was happy to pose for the camera.

Vegan graham crackers

I’ve never been a huge fan of graham crackers, but I like what you can make with them (posts on that coming later). VeganMoFo is as good of an excuse as any to make sugary treats, right?

Now, most graham crackers are sweetened (at least partially) with honey. Sweet and Sara makes a delightful vegan version, but they’re somewhat expensive for what you get, and hard to find locally.

So, why not bake your own?

Vegan Yum Yum (whose posts I miss!) has a recipe.

You need to bake them until they’re very crunchy — quite brown — particularly if you hope to use them as crust. No one likes a chewy graham cracker, right?

I still prefer Sweet and Sara’s version for s’mores, but these do the trick nicely as the bottom layer of other baked goods.

National Squirrel Appreciation Day

Today (January 21) is National Squirrel Appreciation Day.

Now, it’s no secret that I positively adore squirrels; they’re my favorite non-cat animal. Their bushy tails, their little ears, the extra fluff they put on in the winter, the cute way they hunch to munch a nut — all make me squeal with delight.

Some folks say that they are just rats with furry tails, and to that I say, yeah– so what?

To ensure that everyone I know participates in this special day, I baked squirrel cookies; Jenn of Cookin’ Vegan suggested a sugar cookie topped with some sort of nut frosting.

These are the sugar cookies from the Joy of Vegan Baking topped with the royal icing (which has almond extract) from the same and chopped peanuts.

More squirrely fun:

Oatmeal Jumbles

Magazines that promise “savings worth more than this issue!” don’t often draw me in, but if they’re the only reading material at the gym (old issues of The Economist hardly count as gym-appropriate literature), I’ll flip though the pages.

I wasn’t too impressed by the middle-American-SAHM-oriented content of All You! until I came across a recipe for what promised to be the most delicious oatmeal chocolate chip cookie ever: dried bing cherries, shredded coconut, dark chocolate chunks, and chopped walnuts combined with rich brown sugar and nutty oats. The majority of the magazine stayed at the gym; the recipe came home with me.

Swapping out the butter for non-hydrogenated soy margarine and the eggs for ground flax or egg replacer yields a vegan version of this decadent treat. Allowing the cookies to cool for a few minutes on the tray before removing them to the cooling rack is the trick to crispy, slightly chewy, melt-on-your mouth disks of goodness. (more…)

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