Tag Archives: cinnamon

“Strawberry Shortcakes” with Vegan Scones & Versatile Blogger Award!

As you may have noticed, this vegan baking thing is really getting to me. By that I mean, every time I go to bake something now I try to veganize it…or I look up a vegan version of what I want to make. It’s interesting to me, especially when I let others eat what I’ve made and they can’t believe that all along this word “vegan”, that registered as “tofu” in their brains, actually doesn’t mean tofu. (Ok, nobody has actually said that to me–but you get my drift…) In these pictures, it’s not completely vegan because I’m using homemade whipped cream with…real cream. But, most of the times I’ve made these I have used the frosting from my last post. You know, the one I messed up the and then fixed. It’s still pretty embarrassing that I haven’t made another batch and taken proper pictures..but that frosting has found itself new uses since then. Or, I’ve thought of every way I could make it and eat it again.

So I made these vegan scones that I found on VeganYumYum and I just changed the recipe around a little bit, because I was running low on maple syrup and I didn’t have any lemons. I’ve now made these so many times, I can almost do it with my eyes closed…and that makes me very happy. The fun thing about these is that you can flavor them any way you want and they are practically foolproof. The original recipe calls for brushing the tops with a glaze of soymilk, vanilla extract and powdered sugar and of course I’ve been using unsweetened coconut milk instead (it’s actually called Coconut Drink or Coconut Beverage because it’s not the coconut milk you get in a can. It’s the kind you get in a carton, like almond milk or soymilk, that is enriched with vitamins and minerals.) and I also sprinkle the tops with granulated sugar for some extra crunch and sweetness.

These are not very sweet, though. Just slightly. You can of course add more sugar– I’m not sure how it will affect the texture, but I honestly have not had any disaster with making these and I’ve experimented a lot. One little note though, if you’re going to be experimenting with extracts like me, be careful with how much you put in. I’m sure you know this already and have more common sense than I do, but silly me did use a whole 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract in a half batch of these…and the almond was overwhelming. Now I just use the vanilla. I is scared of zee almond extract. Oh, and I tried lemon extract once too, which came out nice except that I topped it off by knocking over the bottle onto the floor (I am notorious for not screwing on bottle caps or closing the tops to my seasonings) and let’s just say my kitchen smelled fresh and lemony clean…win? Not really.

While the whipped cream is very light and yummy with these, the vegan strawberry frosting just can’t be beat. Here’s what you do: take one and walk out of the kitchen, and put a barricade up so you can’t get back in and eat the rest of them to yourself. Or tell your other half to handcuff you………no, that actually might not be the best idea….moving on….

I want to stop and give a huge thank you to Anne from FromMySweetheart.com, for passing on the Versatile Blogger Award to me. Her blog is just beautiful and she always has the most delicious, mouthwatering recipes up. I don’t think there’s been anything she’s posted that I haven’t wanted to go and bake (or just eat). Check out her site! So here’s the rules with accepting the award…you need to thank the person who passed the award onto you and link back to them, share 7 things about yourself and then pass this award on to 15 other new or newly discovered blogs. So here goes.

1. I learn the most about something when I become completely obsessed with it. Otherwise, it’s almost like I have ADD.

2. When I was a kid (and even as a teenager), I was highly convinced I was supposed to be an actress. My life was like a movie to me, and I was always narrating it in my mind. I told my parents, and thinking they didn’t take me seriously, I once woke them up from sleep, crying my eyes out. My dad looked scared you-know-whatless and kept asking me,”What’s wrong!?” I quickly stopped crying, smiled and said,”I told you I could be an actress.” If I was my parents, I would have been deeply concerned.

3. My cousin and I also used to go around rolling down the windows in the car, after our 2-6am paper route, screaming,”We’re gonna be famous!” Others thought it was cute, we thought it was serious. I’m pretty sure we signed autographs.

4. I get irritable if I don’t get to workout, and I prefer to do a workout I’ve never done before. There’s something so effective and feel-good about not knowing what’s coming next and challenging your body in different ways.

5. I should win a Lifetime Daydreamer Award. (Anyone, anyone?)

6. Some of my biggest pet peeves are wet socks, greasy hair, and dirty sinks. The list goes on and on, but I don’t want to completely ruin your appetite.

7. I had a good few years of my life making a lot of money working from home. While I agree somewhat that,”Money can’t buy happiness“, those few years were the best of my life. Money isn’t everything, but it is something. It doesn’t “buy” you complete happiness–but it enables you to do things you’ve never done, go places you’ve never gone, eat things you’ve never tasted, meet people you would have otherwise not met, and it takes a lot of stress away. I’ve been very lucky in life.

And now 15 wonderful blogs (Ok I miscounted my original list and there’s 16, so that’s the way it is–I’m not removing anyone) I’d like to share with you (no particular order):

Cookbook Archaeology

Bakerita

Toasty Biscuit

Happy When Not Hungry

Fragrant Vanilla Cake

Tarte Du Jour

Flour Dusted

The Sweet Sensations

The Deep Dish

Naked Cupakes

A Cake Bakes In Brooklyn

Someone Who Bakes

Adryon’s Kitchen

Chop, Mix, Bake, Create

The Simple Lens
Keep It Luce

Annnnddd…the recipe:

“Strawberry Shortcakes” Vegan and non-vegan version

Makes 6 scones

Vegan Scones:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance Vegan Margarine, cold
  • 1/4 cup SO Delicious Coconut Milk (I used unsweetened)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly spray with cooking spray.

2. Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, light brown sugar, and granulated sugar together evenly.

3. Using a pastry blender, or your hands, cut the cold Earth Balance into the dry mixture until it’s pretty evenly mixed throughout the dough (like making a pie dough). The butter will be spread throughout like pea sized chunks.

4. Mix in the coconut milk and vanilla extract until thoroughly combined, and gather all of the dough into a ball.

5. On a floured surface, roll out the dough until it’s between 1/2 inch and 3/4 inch thick.
6. Using either a cup or like me, a cookie cutter, cut out even sized scones and place on sprayed baking sheet.

7. Make a mixture of a tiny bit of coconut milk (about 1/2 tsp) with equal amount of powdered sugar and mix together. Brush onto the tops of the scones, and sprinkle with granulated sugar (optional).

8. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned on top. Remove and allow to cool fully. I like to cut mine in half to let them cool faster, and also because I like to stuff mine.

Whipped Cream (for non-vegan version):

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat the ingredients together until soft peaks form. I like doing this by hand, it’s a good workout for the arms and it’s actually not as daunting a task as you might think. Rather than it being about the power you put into it, it’s more about the movement. What I do is focus on incorporating a lot of air by sweeping the whisk under the cream and lifting it over in a brisk (but not necessarily hard) scooping motion. Fast is better, but if your arm gets tired, continue the motion slower. Try using the wrist more when your arm gets tired. Within 5 minutes, you’ll have whipped cream and more muscle. πŸ™‚

Vegan Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting (repeat of last recipe, but worth it)

  • 1 tablespoon pureed strawberries (I just took some slices of strawberries that I used to stuff the scones and mashed them up with a fork)
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance Vegan Margarine, softened
  • 2 tablespoons Tofutti “Cream Cheese”
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • Beat the Earth Balance and Toffuti together until light and fluffy, then add the pureed strawberries and vanilla. Mix in the powdered sugar gradually, and beat until creamy. Super easy and delicious!

    Last but not least, stuff your scones with either the whipped cream of the vegan strawberry frosting and fresh chopped strawberries and enjoy! These also taste yummy if stuffed and refrigerated. I actually like the slight crunch on the outside and then the absorpbtion of some of the whipped cream or frosting and juices from the strawberry on the inside after it gets cold in the refrigerator. πŸ™‚

29 Comments

Filed under Pastries, Vegan

Apple Browned Butter Cheesecake Brunettes

Ok, one: these were not very photogenic. They taste much better than they look. Please believe me. Two: I’m very bad. I’m backed up on recipes and I have so many that I never got around to posting (from the previous 2 months when we had free hotel room stays at Foxwoods MGM Grand 2 days every week–yes, that was probably the most amazing 2 months ever). Which leads me to a confession I want to make: lately, with the weather getting nicer, I’ve been feeling less inspired to be creative with baking. I want simplicity, possibly because I feel like eating “lighter” when the warmer weather comes around, and possibly because it’s less work and I still haven’t done my spring cleaning yet.

These came about one cold night in March when my dad gave me a jar of Apple Butter and said,”Go home and bake something with this.” I love a challenge, especially when I’m hibernating in my kitchen and keeping myself warm near the stove. There’s also something about cheesecake when it’s cold outside that is so perfect to me. I have no idea why? Is there a scientific explanation behind that? Am I the only one?

I could just be tired. At this time yesterday, I wasn’t even asleep yet. Yes, my love for the morning and my love for late at night when this timezone is asleep don’t go well together. Determined to not have that happen again, I tried to go to sleep at around 2am. I don’t know what happened. I got a couple hours of sleep, and finally got out of bed around 6:30, surrendering to my urge to be up in the morning instead of pretending I was still able to sleep. So here I am; my body a bit confused at itself, going back in time to the end of March. When it was still very cold.

Originally, I expected this to be a “blondie”, but with the browned butter, dark brown sugar, and cinnamon, it ended up looking like a brunette. Only made sense. Hey, what do you get when an apple pie walks into a room, meets a cheesecake…..nevermind, I won’t even attempt to be funny right now.

Apple Browned Butter Cheesecake Brunettes

Makes 12 cheesecake “brunettes”

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/8 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 stick unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

For Apple Butter Cheesecake Topping

  • 1 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup apple butter (I used Whole Earth All Natural Tap’nApple Apple Butter Spread)

1. Melt 9 tablespoons of unsalted butter (1 1/4 sticks) into a skillet (not non-stick) over medium heat. Whisk continuously and the butter will begin to bubble within a couple of minutes. When the bubbling slows down and it begins to foam, watch carefully as the butter begins to slowly brown. It will look as though a red powder has formed underneath the melted butter. At this point, you can take it off the heat, and transfer to a large heat safe bowl (or just do the next step directly in the pan and then transfer to a large bowl once it’s cooled a bit)

2. Add the dark brown sugar and granulated sugar directly to the butter and mix.

3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a separate bowl and set aside.

4. Add vanilla and room temperature egg to the butter and sugar mixture, combine thoroughly.

5. Cut softened cream cheese into cubes and place into a bowl with 1 egg yolk and sugar. Mix on medium speed with an electric or handheld mixer until fully combined and creamy. Add the apple butter and mix to fully incorporate.

6. Line a 9″ square pan with aluminum foil and grease with nonstick cooking spray. Allow foil to overhang the sides, so there will be easy removal once brownies are cooked and cooled.

7. In 3 batches, combine flour mixture to the wet mixture until
fully mixed together.

8. Pour batter into lined and greased pan, spread evenly. Top
with cheesecake mixture and also spread that evenly.

9. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven on the middle rack for about 25-30 minutes, or until cheesecake on top is fully set. (Mine needed more time, so I covered the pan with tin foil and placed it on the lower middle rack to finish baking, but check on it at 25 minutes first.)

9. Once done, cool pan on wire rack for 10-15 minutes until set enough to lift out of pan. Grabbing the tin foil overhang, lift out of the pan and allow to fully cool on wire rack. Then cut into squares, and enjoy!

18 Comments

Filed under Bars, Cheese

Vegan Oatmeal Cookies

I’ve made these 3 times (or was it 4?…) in the past week. Even though I’ve had a hard time chewing things, these have been soft enough for me to chew. I made a mini batch last night for a family get together and instead of a tablespoon measuring spoon baking at 8 minutes, I did a teaspoon worth of dough for each cookie and they took only 4 1/2-5 minutes to bake. Not only were they adorable, but everyone literally ate them up. Since it was up against the key lime pie with chocolate graham cracker crust (I’ve made the key lime pie more than 4 times now from Bobby Flay’s Throwdown recipe, but I only had chocolate grahams this time) and pecan bars that are the best recipe for those who think,”I love pecan pie, but I don’t want to make a pie crust“, like myself (recipe will be up eventually!), these were a success to say the least.

My family kept taking another vegan oatmeal cookie and saying,”Mmmm” and “I heard ‘vegan’ and thought it would be gross, but they’re delicious.” I guess I’m going to be making them again for tomorrow night. Although, the key lime pie and pecan bars did not go unnoticed. My boyfriend continued eating some that I left at home for us until 2am, and he was blaming me for his addiction. He said something along the ridiculous lines of,”I have pecan bar obsessive compulsive disorder.” I don’t remember exactly how he worded it (I was tired), but it’s too bad because I’m pretty sure it was direct quote-worthy.

These are soft and chewy cookies, the way I like them. My boyfriend prefers crunchy, so you could add a couple of minutes to the baking time, if that’s your preference too. They are so easy, and they are definitely a way of introducing people to a vegan recipe for those who don’t know what vegan is, would never think to try anything vegan, or just to make a healthier cookie. There’s no eggs and no butter, that is not a bad thing! I’ve done some thinking about the whole vegan diet. I picture myself walking by a bakery and saying,”Oh darn, guess I can’t have a cannoli or a piece of cheesecake.” –or being in the presence of my mom’s famous cucumber and dill bread bowl (which is going down tomorrow night) or her also very famous taco dip and stare at it and say,”Sorry mom, it’s too bad that has cream cheese and sour cream in it.” I love being able to eat ice cream, or chocolate cake, or whipped cream. I know there’s vegan ice cream and vegan chocolate cake, but I’m struggling between wanting to do something that I feel like is the right thing on one hand and being intimidated by the changes I’d have to make (which does mean spending more money) and what I want to eat on the other. I believe a vegan diet is healthier than what I’m eating now, but I have many conflicting thoughts on it at the moment. I actually wrote an entire post during the day that this was on my mind the most, and have it saved in my drafts. Since my last post was my first non-recipe post, I didn’t want to bore everyone with more rambling (which is what I’m doing now).

So, maybe in the future I will post it. For now, here’s the vegan oatmeal cookies. P.S. You don’t have to be vegan to make vegan cookies, and you don’t have to avoid vegan recipes just because you’re not planning on going vegan. I think we all hear these names like,”vegetarian” and “vegan” and we think,”Nah, I’m not going to be vegan, why would I make anything vegan?” Well, it just may be yummy! In my opinion, these are pretty darn yummy. People have told me they like them better than regular oatmeal cookies! Also, it doesn’t have to be made with tofu to be vegan (to all you tofu dislikers). Try these and enjoy!

Vegan Oatmeal Cookies – adapted from Alicia Silverstone’s ‘The Kind Diet‘ (I found the recipe at ParisPastry)
The recipe says it makes 10-12 cookies for regular size, but I made a half batch once of tablespoon sized dough and got about that many. Also, the mini batch made over 40 cookies for me.

    Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • β…“ cup maple sugar (you could also use dark brown sugar, but then I don’t think it’s technically vegan)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ΒΌ teaspoon salt
  • β…“ cup pure maple syrup
  • Β½ cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ΒΌ cup raisins, chopped walnuts, or chocolate chips (optional, and the chocolate chips I have aren’t vegan)

Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

2. Combine the oats, flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the syrup, oil and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir to combine. Fold in the raisins, nuts, or chocolate chips, if you’re using them.

3. Scoop out a tablespoon size amount of dough (use a measuring spoon to be exact) if you want regular size cookies, or a teaspoon size for mini cookies (the dough will look like it won’t even become a cookie, but it will!) Using your hands, roll the dough into balls and place on the baking sheet. Press down slightly to flatten the tops. For tablespoon size cookies, bake for about 8-10 minutes or until very lightly browned. For teaspoon sized mini cookies, bake for about 5 minutes. Tip: Allow to cool for a couple of minutes on the baking sheet before moving to a wire rack, because they will be so soft and fragile, they won’t hold their shape.

4. Allow to fully cool, and then eat & enjoy!

19 Comments

Filed under Cookies, Vegan

Spiced Carrot Bread with Coconut and Browned Butter

When I started baking, my dad’s first request was carrot cake. I couldn’t fondly recall any carrot cakes that I really liked, so I assumed I didn’t like carrot cake at all. Long story short–I was wrong. Even if you aren’t crazy about carrots, does not mean you won’t like carrot cake. To say that carrot cake tastes like the name makes it sound, is like saying that chocolate cake tastes like cocoa powder. Obviously that’s not all there is to chocolate cake, and carrots is not all there is to carrot cake, or carrot bread for that matter. The difference between this carrot bread and a favorite carrot cake recipe I have made (and will eventually share with you) actually isn’t much if anything. So technically this could be a cake, but I made it in a loaf pan. What can I say? I was in the mood for a quick “bread”. To spice it up, I used a little bit of browned butter in combination with vegetable oil (ok I’m on a browned butter binge right now), dark brown sugar, a tiny bit of Irish Whiskey, plain yogurt, and shredded sweet coconut. I love the texture that shredded coconut gives to cakes and quick breads.

This ended up tasting better than I thought, and it is full of flavor. It goes perfectly with a cream cheese icing (I actually used leftover Neufchatel icing from some delicious Guava and Cream Cheese Puff Pastries I made *and am going to share the recipes with you very soon, of course*..but you can use cream cheese and it will taste even better).

Spiced Carrot Bread with Coconut and Browned Butter

Makes one 9×5 inch loaf

  • 1/4 cup (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Jameson whiskey (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1 cup grated carrots (about 2 large)
  • 1/2 cup lightly toasted shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×5 loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.

    2. On a baking sheet, spread 1/2 cup of shredded sweetened coconut and toast for 5-7 minutes until lightly toasted.

    3. In a skillet (not non-stick) lightly brown 1/4 cup (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter on medium heat. Whisk constantly, for a few minutes, until the bubbling has slowed down and it begins to foam and darken in color. Remove from heat.

    4. In a heat safe bowl, combine the browned butter, vegetable oil, granulated sugar, dark brown sugar, vanilla extract, and Jameson whiskey. Allow to cool a bit, and then add the yogurt and 2 eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly.

    5. Allow toasted coconut to cool, while you mix together the dry ingredients: flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Fold in the grated carrots and the coconut. Stir flour mixture with the wet mixture until just combined. Don’t overmix.

    6. Pour batter into loaf pan and bake on middle rack for about 40 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Allow pan to cool on wire rack for about 15 minutes, and then invert the carrot bread onto wire rack to cool completely before serving.

    *Note*: You could omit the browned butter and replace with equal amounts vegetable oil. The flavor and texture will come out differently than my recipe, however.

    For Cream Cheese (or Neufchatel) Icing (optional)

    • 2 ounces of cream cheese (1/4th of an 8 oz package), softened
    • 1 tablespoon milk
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 2/3 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar (so that there are no lumps)
    • Mix ingredients together with an electric or handheld mixer until fully blended and creamy. You may want to double on this if you like a lot of cream cheese icing, but this was enough for me.

7 Comments

Filed under Bread, Muffins, Quick Bread