Cinnamon Coffee Cake





This is from Vegan Brunch and it's delicious! The crumble was way too floury and not sweet enough the first time that I made it, so I doubled the sugar in the recipe. Only, I forgot to cut the flour down and ended up with a fat stack of crumble (see photo of 5" crumble stack). So, next time, double the sugar, half the flour.

The cake is very moist and not at all sweet on it's own, so once the crumble is ironed out, it will be the perfect coffee cake to enjoy with my Alterra Burly Blend :)

Holiday Cookies!






Whew! Davey and I had a bake-a-thon that went from Friday night through Saturday night. We were going to a Christmas party,and I wanted to bring some cookies. We also, being away from family this year, were looking for the traditional messy kitchen cookie decorating bonanza to get us into the holiday spirit. Because I tend to overdo things a tad... I picked out three recipes. I wanted to do more than one, and two varieties seems silly, so three seems to make sense. It was fun, but I was SO ready to get out of the kitchen by Saturday night. Also, in addition to all of the baking, I made tacos for lunch, Creamed Lentils for dinner and Tempeh Bacon Guac for the party. It was a ton of work, but I can't help but realize how amazingly lucky we are to have all of this delicious food around.

As for the cookies, two of the recipes are online and one is from Vegan With a Vengenance. That one is "Sparkled Ginger Cookies" (the brown ones w/ the colored sugar), p 192. These are delicious and perfect for this time of year. They're sweet and spicy, mildly crunchy but also chewy. They're spiced with ground clove, ground ginger and cinnamon- and coupled with the molasses, it makes for a hearty, spicy, comfort cookie that's great with a hot tea. The recipe calls for Turbinado sugar for the top, but we used colored because... then it's a party. Talking of party- these were very popular with many non-vegans (the true test of a good vegan cookie).

The sugar cookies were the most amazingly pleasant surprise. I just googled "vegan sugar cookies" and trolled around until I found something that looked appealing. These are SO good! They are exactly like the big, crazy neon colored varieties that you get at coffee shops and bakeries. The cookies alone sort of hold back some sweet to allow for the redonkulously sweet icing. As a combo, it's sugar for sure, but not too overpoweringly or sickeningly sweet as some of the iced cookies can be. We got our cookie cutters from Sur La Table and threw in a Triceratops for a new holiday tradition. These are also a huge hit with friends of all dietary persuasions. You can find the recipe HERE.

To save the most decadent for last- I present the vegan magic bar! These are insane. They taste exactly like my mom's dairy version, in fact, I think that they're far gooier. There was a guy at the party who came up to Davey, grasped his shoulder with a fiercely intense death grip and said, "These. Are. The. Best. Thing. EVER!" Of course, after being told that they were vegan and being shocked, he vowed to eat a few pieces of bacon to compensate, but still- it was a nice compliment. They would be easy to prepare too- if not for the vegan condesed milk that you have to make. It needs to reduce for about 30 minutes (my heat was too low in fear of burning it, so mine took about 45 minutes). Also, I think the graham/ margarine combo was too wet, I would increase grahams or decrease the margarine. It may have been that my milk was too hot and saturated the crust too much- but they ended up extremely moist and almost greasy on the bottom. I compensated by putting them on a bed of dry graham crumbs when it was all done, but I would tweak that in the future. But, on the whole, if you're looking for something that will make everyone's eyes roll into the back of their head- this is it. And, it's another awesome recipe from Ellen's chef Roberto that's on their site (love that- this is the man who gave us the Pot Pie and Tamale recipes!) The recipe is HERE.

Happy holidays!

Dooooouuuuugggghhhhnnnnuuuuutttttssss!






So, these aren't the fried, greasy, artery clogging (delicious) doughnuts that we all know and love from grammas house, but these are delicious in their own right. For one, they have a bit more of a cake-y texture. They're sweet, but not overpoweringly so- excellent with coffee, and you can eat 3 or 4 and be all like, "wha? they're not fried or anything". I got the recipe from Vegan Yum Yum who went further than I have and made a chocolate glaze for the top as well.

The pan is from Sur La Table and is here. It's well worth the monies, even though it's such a specialty pan and I have a redonkulously tiny kitchen. I also gave some away as hostess gifts to family that I stayed with who have kids, and they were a hit. Who doesn't love doughnuts? Even knock-off healthy ones!

Scones (best scones we've ever tried!)



These are from Vegan Brunch p.180 and are hands down the best scones that I've ever tried (including pre-vegan ones). They're a lot more moist than your average scone. Also, I tried a tip that I read in one of these books about muffins. I made these for our Disneyland trip that we'd be taking the next day. There was to be a car load of peoples, and I wasn't sure what variety of scone to make (we had blueberries, chocolate chips and cinnamon sugar in the house). So- I made all 3. Nothing was folded into the batter, I just divided the batter into 3 and then had 3 varieties of scones to bake. Our favorites in order were; blueberry, cinnamon, and choc chip (I really only made those b/c I heard that other peoples like them).

Excellent recipe. If you get Vegan Brunch, I highly recommend you start here!

Banana Bread



This is from the Compassionate Cook p. 94. Anyone who thinks vegan bakery is dry or dense or otherwise sub-par has not been around the block and tried recipes like this one. It is uber moist, very flavorful and highly addictive (it takes the two of us under 24 hours to finish a loaf of this).

As a side note, I got a great tip from La Dolce Vegan by Sarah Kramer about egg replacing in vegan baked goods. Mash up 1/2 of a ripe banana in a bowl and add it to anything that you won't mind the slight addition of banana flavor to (I use it in the Pumpkin Spice bread mix from Trader Joe's). It makes things SO moist and I didn't taste the banana at all. Maybe that's why vegan banana bread with 2 mashed nana's in it is so good.

Perfect Pancakes




These are the "Perfect Pancakes" from page 87 of Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra- the recipe is also on page 31 of Vegan With a Vengeance (same author). They're a bit indulgent as there's maple syrup IN the batter- but the name doesn't lie. They are perfection. The darker color comes from the cinnamon in the batter (yup, that's in there too!). The recipe lists it as optional, but I have never omitted it. It's too dang good to leave out.

This is one that involves mixing the wet and dry separate and adding wet to dry. I mix the wet together with a wisk b/c of the oil and water factor. I have no idea if this helps, but I'm always thinking that if the wet goes into the dry one at a time- things won't mix properly.

Anyway- they're delicious and super sweet and totally worth buying either book for. I like to couple it with soy sausage or something savory to balance the sweetness. Also, if you make more than you can eat at one sitting, just undercook the last batch or two and make them small enough to fit into the toaster. Let cool and freeze them. They toast up uber yummy later on.