Chocolate Roll-Out Sugar Cookies

Chocolate Roll-Out Sugar Cookies

Chocolate Roll-Out Sugar Cookies

This is the time of year for bake sales. Recently, a gluten-free friend asked me to contribute to the bake sale for my local Humane Society. How could I say no? I decided that a cookie would be easiest, and in her honor I tackled a gluten-free version. Admittedly, cookies don’t have to rise much so I figured they would be an easy stab at gluten-free at high altitude. They were. The toughest step was the rolling and cutting, but I worked through that for a good cause.

To combat the dryness at altitude I used extra non-dairy milk. I also strayed from the original recipe by adding a sprinkling of powdered sugar over the top instead of a glaze to make transport easier. In hindsight, the star shape was not the best for traveling with the cookies but that just meant that I had to eat the ones where the points broke off. Oh, darn.

Chocolate Roll-Out Sugar Cookies based on Gluten Free Vegan Halloween Chocolate Sugar Cookies
1.75 cups gluten free flour
1/2 cup dutch processed cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1.5 cups organic powdered sugar, plus extra for dusting
1/3 cup refined coconut oil, softened
1/3 cup + 1 tsp unsweetened non-dairy milk
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
crushed candy canes
In a bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together powdered sugar, coconut oil, milk, and vanilla until creamy. Add flour mixture and mix until combined. Split dough into two discs and wrap each in plastic wrap. Let dough rest in fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
On a flat surface, lay out a large piece of plastic wrap. Place cookie dough in center and top with another piece of plastic wrap. Roll with rolling pin until dough is 1/4″ thick. Cut dough using a cookie cutter. Place cookies on baking sheets. Bake cookies for 9-11 minutes; the centers will still be soft. Remove cookies from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool completely. Once cooled, dust with a mix of powdered sugar and crushed candy canes. Store cookies in an airtight container.

Until next time, happy baking!

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Molasses Spice Pumpkin Bread

molasses spice pumpkin bread

molasses spice pumpkin bread

This time of year we are inundated with so many things flavored with pumpkin spice. It can be a bit much, but when I saw a pumpkin bread recipe with loads of flavor, including the ubiquitous spice blend, I knew I wanted to try it. The depth of the molasses flavor is brightened by the powdered spices and makes a delicious quick bread. This post is just in time for American Thanksgiving so you can share these mini loaves with friends.

This recipe was already vegan so I didn’t have to make ingredient swaps. For altitude I added flour and non-dairy milk while reducing baking powder. The molasses flavor was a tad overwhelming so I reduced it and added more granulated sugar. The mini size is perfect for high altitude – the loaves won’t be quite as tall as sea level bread but they will look great, especially with the topping layer.

Molasses Spice Pumpkin Bread adapted from Silk’s blog
1 1/4 cups + 1 TBS all purpose flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1 TBS pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup + 1 TBS organic sugar
1/4 cup organic light brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup + 1 tsp Almondmilk
1.5 TBS molasses
2 tsp vanilla extract
Topping
2.5 TBS organic sugar
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 400F. Grease and flour three 5″x3″x2″ mini loaf pans. In a large bowl, add flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt, whisking together to combine. In another large bowl, add sugars, pumpkin puree, oil, milk, molasses, and vanilla, whisking until combined. Pour wet mixture over dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Do not overmix. Evenly distribute batter between prepared pans, filling each about 2/3 full.
Make topping by combining sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Evenly sprinkle over each pan and swirl with a knife. Place pans on a baking sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until tops are set and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow bread to cool in pans for 15 minutes before removing and placing on a wire rack to cool completely. Bread will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Until next time, happy baking!

Coffee Ice Cream Pie

coffee ice cream pie

coffee ice cream pie

While writing this post I learned a few things: 1) my husband does not like whipped topping, and 2) you can make a fantastic vegan caramel sauce without coconut (coconut, ewww). I had been determined to find a recipe for a yummy caramel sauce for years. In my search I also ran across many chocolate sauce recipes so I decided to make them both. The question was – what to do with them? I grabbed the Coffee Chocolate Chip Ice Cream I’d made over the summer and combined everything into a frozen pie. That’s where my husband’s lack of desire for whipped topping came to light. So, my pie has no vegan whipped topping, but if you want to garnish your pie with some then you go right ahead.

Let’s start with the sauces …

Caramel Sauce adapted from GoDairyFree.org
3/4 cup plain almond milk
3/4 cup vegan sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 TBS water
1 TBS arrowroot powder
2 TBS vegan margarine
1 tsp vanilla extract
Place milk, sugar and maple syrup in a small saucepan and whisk well to combine. Cook over medium heat, while whisking occasionally, for 3 minutes. In a bowl, whisk together water and arrowroot, and then whisk mixture into pan. Cook mixture, while whisking constantly, an additional 2 to 3 minutes or until it thickens. Remove pan from heat and whisk in margarine and vanilla. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator.

Chocolate Sauce adapted from KitchenTreaty.com
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup vegan sugar
1 cup cold water
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 TBS vanilla extract
In a medium saucepan, whisk together cocoa powder and sugar until blended. Add water and salt, and whisk over medium heat until boiling, stirring constantly. Continue boiling until mixture thickens, for 3-4 minutes. It will still be fairly thin. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Cool. Store in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator. It should keep for at least a month.

Now we put it all together in a chocolate shell …

Coffee Ice Cream Pie
1-1/2 cups vegan chocolate wafer cookie crumbs (can use gluten-free, if desired)
3 tablespoons vegan margarine, melted
4 cups vegan coffee chocolate chip ice cream, softened
1/4 cup caramel sauce (see recipe above)
2 TBS chocolate syrup (see recipe above)
In a small bowl, combine cookie crumbs and margarine. Press into bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 9” pie plate. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Spoon ice cream into crust. Spread caramel sauce over top. Drizzle with chocolate syrup. Freeze until firm. Remove from freezer 10-15 minutes before serving.

Until next time, happy unbaking!

Almond S’mores Bars

Almond S'mores Bars

dig into Almond S’mores Bars

You may be thinking, “What, another s’mores recipe?” Yes, it is, but it’s just in time for American Labor Day picnics. Besides, the combination of chocolate, marshmallow and graham crackers is the quintessential summer treat. So, what better way to say goodbye to summer than with s’mores bars?

The recipe I found was a riff on the typical s’mores, but to make it vegan I needed to make a vegan sweetened condensed milk. It sounds odd, yet it’s very simple to make. Although you will probably want to plan ahead because it takes awhile. My vegan version also used vegan margarine instead of unsalted butter.

It didn’t need a high altitude adjustment, but I did adjust the recipe for what was in my kitchen. I am not a fan of peanut butter chips, so I decided on nut butter. Almond butter was in my cupboard, and so were almonds, so I nixed the overly sweet chips and the cocktail peanuts and used my almond items instead. Say so long to summer with these s’mores.

Almond S’mores Bars based on Peanut S’mores Magic Bars
18 graham crackers, gluten-free if desired
8 TBS vegan margarine, melted
2 cups vegan sweetened condensed milk (recipe below)
1/2 cup almond butter
1 cup roasted almonds, chopped
2 cups vegan chocolate chips
One (10-ounce) bag vegan marshmallows
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350F. Line a 9-by-13-inch broiler-proof baking dish with foil, leaving a 2” overhang on both sides. Grease the foil with margarine. Pulse 14 graham crackers into fine crumbs in a food processor. Combine melted margarine and graham cracker crumbs in a bowl with your hand (mixture should hold together when squeezed). Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish and press into the bottom in an even layer. Combine sweetened condensed milk with almond butter and pour over the crumbs.
Sprinkle almonds then chocolate chips over top. Break remaining 4 graham crackers into chunks and sprinkle evenly over top. Bake until sides are golden brown and begin to pull away from baking dish, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven, and turn broiler on. Scatter marshmallows over top of bars and put dish under broiler until marshmallows are dark golden and toasted, 3 to 4 minutes. Let cool completely then refrigerate to set, about 1 hour. Using foil liner as handles, pull s’mores out of baking dish and remove foil. Cut into bars.
Vegan Sweetened Condensed Milk from The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions
6 cups soymilk
2 cup vegan sugar
Put both in a pot and simmer over low heat until liquid reduces to 2 cups. Strain before serving.

Until next time, happy baking!

Vegan No Bake Mini Blackberry Cheesecakes

no bake mini cheesecakes

no bake mini cheesecakes

The motivation for this post was the August Baking Challenge by Tessa of Handle the Heat. Tessa presented a recipe for bakers to make and share. It wasn’t vegan but that was simple enough to change. And, because there was no baking involved, high altitude adjustments were not necessary.

The vegan substitutions I made were to use vegan margarine in place of unsalted butter, vegan cream cheese for the cream cheese, and soy creamer instead of heavy cream. Another alteration I made was to put the cheesecakes in jars. Vegan dairy substitutes are often runnier than their dairy counterparts and make goopy cheesecake. I created a few in small mason jars where all they would require the eater to have was a spoon. The rest ended up in shot glasses for a fun party treat.

Vegan No Bake Mini Blackberry Cheesecakes adapted from Handle the Heat
For the crust:
1 sleeve (9 crackers) graham crackers (gluten-free, if desired)
4 TBS vegan margarine, melted
For the cheesecake:
12 ounces vegan cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup vegan sugar
3/4 cup soy creamer
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup seedless blackberry preserves
For the topping:
1 cup blackberries
1 TBS vegan sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
Blackberries, for garnish
For the crust: Place graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add in melted margarine and pulse until moistened. Divide mixture among jars or glasses. Firmly press into the bottom of each cavity.
For the cheesecake: In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until creamy and well combined. Add in creamer, lemon juice, and preserves and continue beating for 2 to 3 minutes, until well combined and thickened. Pour mixture over crusts and cover with plastic wrap. Chill until firm, at least 4 hours or overnight.
For the topping: Combine berries, sugar, and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until pureed. Top each cheesecake with a dollop of sauce. Garnish with whole fresh blackberries.

Until next time, happy non-baking!

Coffee Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches

 

coffee chocolate chip ice cream sandwich

coffee chocolate chip ice cream sandwich

World Plant Milk Day is coming up on August 22. In its honor, and because I’d received recipes from Vegan Dairy Fair, I wanted to make vegan Ice Cream. But, you might think, does ice cream have anything to do with a baking blog? It doesn’t, until you put it between sandwich cookies. Now I had an excuse to buy another specialty baking pan.

The cookie recipe I found was made specifically for ice cream sandwiches, reminiscent of that dense chocolate goodness. The altitude changes were to use less baking soda and add liquid. For veganizing, I opted for vegan margarine and soymilk. The ice cream recipe was from The Vegan Scoop, with the addition of chocolate chips. I also added Vapor Distillery’s Arrosta Coffee liquor. It not only added a depth of taste, but alcohol helps to keep non-dairy ice cream from getting icy. So go ahead and celebrate – World Plant Milk Day or just a hot summer’s day.

Coffee Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
1 cup soymilk, divided
2 TBS arrowroot powder
2 cups soy creamer
3/4 cup fresh, strong coffee
3/4 cup vegan sugar
1 TBS vanilla extract
2 TBS Arrosta coffee liquor
2/3 cup mini vegan chocolate chips
In a small bowl. combine 1/4 cup soymilk with arrowroot. Set aside. Mix soy creamer, remaining 3/4 cup soy milk, coffee and sugar in a saucepan and cook over low heat. Once mixture begins to boil, remove from heat and add arrowroot cream to thicken the mixture in the pan. Add vanilla extract. Refrigerate mixture until chilled, about 2-3 hours. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. In the last few minutes of churning, add coffee liquor and chocolate chips. Store in freezer.

Chocolate Sandwich Cookies adapted from the blog at King Arthur Flour
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup dutch-process cocoa powder
scant 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
6 TBS vegan margarine, softened
1/2 cup vegan sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup soymilk
Preheat oven to 350F, with a rack in the center. Lightly oil an ice cream sandwich pan. In a bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, place margarine, sugars, and vanilla. Beat at high speed until well combined. The batter will be thick and sticky. On low speed, add half the flour/cocoa, then the milk, then remaining flour/cocoa, scraping bowl between additions.
Dollop batter into prepared pan using spatula to smooth out. Bake for 10-12 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove pan from oven, let cool for 5 minutes, then remove cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. When cooled, place one cookie on a plate. Spread with ice cream. Top with a second cookie, top side up. Wrap and store in freezer.

Until next time, happy baking and churning!

Mini Chocolate Chip Bundts

Mini Chocolate Chip Bundts

Mini Chocolate Chip Bundts

Specialized baking pans fascinate me. I sit in the store, staring, and wonder what I will create in them. My mini bundt pans have been calling to me since I bought them a few months ago. They came to mind when I decided I needed a treat that would bake in far less time then a full sized cake. A quick bread recipe seemed perfect to adapt to the mini bundts.

To veganize the recipe, I used the vegan equivalents of butter, eggs, and yogurt. For high altitude I added non-dairy milk for a bit of moisture. To make the recipe healthier I used mostly whole wheat flour. To then make the recipe tastier I added chocolate chips because chocolate is always welcome in my baked goods. The mini bundts turned out adorable, but if you don’t collect pans (as I do) you can make standard-sized muffins and bake them at 350F for 26 to 30 minutes.

Mini Chocolate Chip Bundts adapted from Mini Yogurt Tea Breads
2 TBS flaxseeds
6 TBS water
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup + 1 TBS all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
4 TBS vegan margarine, melted
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup vegan sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 TBS non-dairy milk
1 1/4 cup plain non-dairy yogurt
2/3 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325F. Spray mini bundt pan with cooking spray. Whisk together flaxseeds and water and put aside to gel. Sift together flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together melted margarine, oil, sugar, vanilla and milk for 30 seconds. Whisk in flaxseed slurry. Whisk in yogurt in 3 additions, alternating with additions of flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips.
Divide batter in prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, 14 to 16 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove mini cakes from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

Until next time, happy baking!