Chocolate Chip Mini Cupcakes

chocolate chip cupcakesIt seems that when I bake cupcakes they are always chocolate. It’s kind of the norm. So when I decided to make cupcakes this week, I went in search of a vanilla cupcake recipe. What I found was a recipe for cupcakes with chocolate chips and knew it would be perfect.

To adapt for high altitude I added milk and a little flour. I then reduced baking powder and oil. They were already vegan so that was simple, but I did add more chocolate chips and a drizzle so they wouldn’t seem too un-chocolatey. They weren’t the usual, but they were pretty good.

Chocolate Chip Mini Cupcakes adapted from Vegan Chocolate
1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup + 2 tsp almond milk
1/2 cup + 1 TBS all purpose flour
1/2 cup + 1 TBS whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup + 1 tsp organic sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 cup less 1 tsp canola oil
1 TBS vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini vegan chocolate chips, divided
melted chocolate for decoration
Position a rack in upper third of oven and preheat to 350F. Line a mini cupcake tin with paper liners. In a small bowl, mix vinegar and milk. Set aside for 10 minutes to clabber. Place a wire mesh strainer over a medium bowl. Add flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to strainer. Stir with a whisk to sift ingredients into bowl. (If any small bits remain in strainer, add them to bowl.) Whisk to aerate the mixture. Whisk oil and vanilla into clabbered milk. Add wet ingredients to dry and whisk until batter is smooth. Stir half the chocolate chips into batter.
Divide batter evenly between cups, filling each halfway full. Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips on top of batter, dividing evenly between cups. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean or with a few crumbs. Cool tin on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Lift cupcakes onto rack to cool completely. Drizzle with melted chocolate. Refrigerate cupcakes in a covered container for up to two days. Makes 28-30 mini cupcakes.

Until next time, happy baking!

Peanut Butter Jam Mookies

peanut butter jam mookiesSometimes when I am searching for a baking recipe, I base it solely on an ingredient in my arsenal. I recently got Coconut Sugar from Navitas Naturals so that became my inspiration for this week. Upon scouring my cookbook collection, I found a cookie recipe that suggested coconut sugar as a swap for dark brown sugar.

The recipe was already vegan so that part was accomplished. For altitude I had but to slightly reduce the amount of sugar and oil. I also chose to add jam on top to complement the peanut butter flavor. What I discovered after they baked was that they rose quite more than expected, especially as they were baked at high altitude. The cookbook describes them as a cookie, but I am inclined to see them as a marriage between a cookie and a muffin. That brings me to my new breakfast creation – the muffin-cookie, or mookie.

Peanut Butter Jam Mookies based on Crunchy Nutty Peanut Butter Hemp Cookies
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
scant 1/3 cup refined coconut oil, softened
1/2 cup Navitas Naturals coconut sugar
1/4 cup organic sugar
1/2 cup almond milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup plain hemp protein powder
3/4 tsp salt
several TBS jam
Preheat oven to 350F and lightly oil a standard muffin tin. In a stand mixer, beat together peanut butter, coconut oil, sugars, milk, and vanilla until smooth. In a bowl, whisk together oats, flours, protein powder, and salt. Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients with a spatula. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Use a spoon to make an indent in the top of each and put jam in the indents. Bake for 14-17 minutes, or until firm. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack in the muffin tin. Store in a loosely covered container. Makes 12 hearty mookies.

Until next time, happy baking!

Strawberry Champagne Celebration Cupcakes

strawberry champagne chocolate cupcakes

strawberry champagne chocolate cupcakes

For my New Year’s Eve Celebration I had to come up with something special. Something chocolate. And champagne. And strawberry. I saw pipette kits for infusing cupcakes with liquid and knew I had my solution. I just had to bring it all together.

My standby chocolate cupcake recipe was the base so I didn’t need to make adjustments there. I added powdered dried strawberries to the frosting to complement the champagne that would be imbued into the cupcakes. I now had a decadent dessert worthy of ringing in the New Year. Happy and Decadent 2017 to all!

Strawberry Champagne Celebration Cupcakes
1 cup almond milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup organic sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup + 1 TBS all-purpose flour
1/3 cup Navitas Naturals cacao powder
generous 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup nonhydrogenated shortening
1/2 cup nonhydrogenated margarine
3 1/2 cups organic powdered sugar, sifted if clumpy
1 TBS powdered freeze dried strawberries (I used Just Strawberries)
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup almond milk
For Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350F and line a 12-cupcake pan with paper liners. Whisk together the milk and vinegar in a large bowl, and set aside for a few minutes to curdle. Add sugar, oil, and vanilla to the milk mixture and beat until foamy.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add in two batches to wet ingredients and beat just until no large lumps remain. Pour evenly into liners, filling three-quarters of the way. Bake 18-19 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.
For Frosting: Beat shortening and margarine together until well combined and fluffy. Add powdered sugar and beat for 3 more minutes. Add dried strawberries, vanilla and milk and beat for another 5-7 minutes until fluffy.
For Decorating: Frost cooled cupcakes. Dip pipettes into champagne and draw some liquid up into the bulbs. Insert pipettes into cupcakes without squeezing; you will squeeze them just before eating.

Until next time, happy baking!

Almond Cookies with Chocolate Chips

almond cookies with chocolate chips

almond cookies with chocolate chips

These cookies started out as a desire to make gluten-free thumbprint cookies. After looking around I found that almond flour was a popular choice for thumbprint cookies, usually with a jam center. But after checking out a few examples I realized they would probably flatten out at altitude and not look very thumbprint-y. So I morphed a few recipes together, added chocolate chips (of course) and came up with these.

The original recipe that I started with had too much sugar for my liking, and excess sugar is bad at altitude. So, I removed some sugar. I also used less baking powder for high altitude, and added milk to counteract the dryness. The next change was to substitute vegan margarine for the shortening because I prefer the taste. Then I decorated the cookies with chocolate chips because all the best cookies have chocolate in them somewhere.

Almond Cookies with Chocolate Chips loosely adapted from SarahBakesGFFree
1 3/4 cups almond flour
1/4 cup vegan sugar
1/4 cup tapioca starch
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup vegan margarine
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 TBS almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
chocolate chips for decoration
Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a bowl, whisk together almond flour, sugar, tapioca starch, baking powder and salt. Mix vegan margarine, maple syrup, almond milk and vanilla in a stand mixer. Add in flour mixture and mix until combined. Place tablespoon-sized balls of cookie dough onto cookie sheet. Flatten with palm of hand. Top with a few chocolate chips and gently press into cookie dough.
Bake cookies 15 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned. Cool for 5 minutes on cookie sheet sitting on a cooling rack. Remove cookies from pan and place on cooling rack to finish cooling. Store in an airtight container. Makes 24 cookies.

Until next time, happy baking!

Chocolate Haystack Bark

chocolate haystack barkLately I’ve been seeing recipes for chocolate bark everywhere. It’s no surprise because it’s tasty and makes a great gift. But I have also come to realize that bark should use tempered chocolate to have the right snap and be done properly. Not wanting to spend the time required to temper, I looked to haystacks which are treats with melted chocolate gluing them together. In today’s recipe I morphed those two delights to come up with my own version.

Because no baking was involved, these require no altitude changes. And as long as you use dark chocolate with minimum additives, then they are already vegan. The alterations that I made were in the basic recipe. Feel free to do the same by picking and choosing what you coat the chocolate with, such as seeds, dried fruit, dried coconut pieces, and the like. I did find that the small amount of salt on the pretzels rounded out the flavor nicely.

Chocolate Haystack Bark
8 oz dark chocolate, chopped
1 cup whole unsalted almonds, roasted
1/2 cup lightly salted gluten-free pretzels, broken into large pieces
1/2 cup brown rice cereal
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water, heat chopped chocolate, stirring occasionally, until it is just melted. Put almonds, pretzels and cereal into a large bowl. Pour melted chocolate over mixture and stir to combine. Let cool a minute and then pour onto baking sheet. Place sheet in fridge for 30 minutes until bark hardens. Invert bark onto a work surface and break into pieces.

Until next time, happy non-baking!

Holiday Fruited Muffins

holiday fruit muffins’Tis the season for fruitcake, although I’m not a big fan. The jewel-toned rum-soaked fruit frightens me. But in the spirit of dried fruit studded bread, I went searching for an alternative. Thus, I give you my homage to holiday fruitcake, in muffin form.

I found a recipe for a bread that contained both dried and fresh fruit with the idea that the fresh fruit would lighten it. I then changed it up so the fresh to dried ratio was higher. For altitude I added a bit of flour and reduced the leaveners. For dryness at altitude I added more milk. Then, to combat the possibility of collapse, I made them into muffins.

Holiday Fruited Muffins loosely adapted from Peaceful Dumpling
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup + 1 TBS all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
dash salt
3 TBS sucanat
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 small apple, cored and cut into small chunks
4 Medjool dates, pitted and cut into small pieces
1/3 cup dried blueberries
1 cup + 2 TBS non-dairy milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Heat oven to 350F and line a muffin tin with paper liners that have been lightly sprayed with oil. In a bowl, mix together milk and vinegar and let sit. In a large bowl, combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sucanat, and spices. Add apple, dates, and blueberries. Add sour milk to flour bowl and quickly combine. When just combined, transfer to muffin tin. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Makes 1 dozen.

Until next time, happy baking!

Chocolate Chip Shortbread

chocolate chip shortbreadToday, December 4, is National Cookie Day. In honor of that glorious day I had to bake cookies. It’s a busy time of year, so to make things simple I found a cookie that bakes in a pan. This eliminates the need to spoon out dough and keep shoving trays into the oven. So hurrah for Cookie Day and easy cookies.

To make the recipe vegan I used vegan sugar and vegan chocolate chips. To adapt for the dryness at altitude I added some milk. The last change I made was to make the cookies a bit healthier by using half all purpose and half whole wheat flour. The trouble was they were so healthy my husband and I finished off most of the pan in one sitting. Maybe not so healthy after all, but oh so good.

Chocolate Chip Shortbread adapted from Earth Balance’s website
1/2 cup Earth Balance® Original Buttery Spread
1/2 cup vegan sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp non-dairy milk
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup mini vegan chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F. In a stand mixer or with an electric hand mixer beat together the buttery spread and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla and milk. Add in flours and salt. Stir in mini chocolate chips. Press dough into ungreased 9×9” baking pan. Bake for 15-17 minutes until edges are golden brown. Let pan cool. Slide a spatula around the edges and turn cookie out onto a cutting board. Cut cookie into bars or triangles.

Until next time, happy baking!