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Friday Feast: Pumpkin Pie Spice Muffin Tops

These were meant to be cookies. I followed the recipe completely! But they’re way too cakey. They don’t look like the picture in the recipe I veganised. I don’t know what happened… maybe it’s cos I made my own pumpkin puree*? Or could it have been the veganisation? I don’t think it was due to my reduction in white chocolate chips or making my own pumpkin pie spice (you can’t buy it in Australia!).

Anyway, regardless of whether or not they turned out how they were supposed to, they taste good. Just call ’em muffin tops and eat ’em all up!

This recipe makes about 36 cookies.

Pumpkin Pie Spice Muffin Tops

three pumpkin pie spice muffin tops

Ingredients:

  • 2-¼ cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsps pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup vegan margarine, softened
  • 1 cup white/raw sugar (we used low GI cane sugar, which is similar to raw sugar)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (I made my own from a grey pumpkin)
  • egg replacer for a whole egg (we used Orgran’s No Egg)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence (imitation is fine)
  • 1 cup vegan white chocolate chips (or chunks, in our case – we cut up some vegan white chocolate)
pumpkin pie spice muffin tops
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
  3. Cream the margarine and sugars.
  4. Add the pumpkin, egg, and vanilla to the wet ingredients and combine thoroughly.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
  6. When all ingredients are combined, stir in the chocolate chips.
  7. Drop small spoonfuls (slightly heaped teaspoonfuls) of dough on a non-stick cookie sheet, then place in the fridge for 5 to 10 mins before baking.
  8. Place in the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
  9. Cool for a couple minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a cooling rack.
pointy pumpkin pie spice muffin top
*To make my own pumpkin puree, I removed the seeds and stringy parts from the centre of half a grey pumpkin. After that, I rubbed it with olive oil and baked it, cut-side down, in a pyrex dish. I took the pumpkin out of the oven when it was really soft, then I removed the skin and pureed it using a stick blender. I put it in a strainer to drain a little, but the puree was too thin and it started to go through the strainer. I did get some excess liquid out, but you’d be better off using cheesecloth if you want to do this. I decided not to bother.
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Friday Feast: Chewy Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

On Halloween night, while Yankee Elv and I were waiting for trick-or-treaters, we decided to make biscuits. I mean, cookies. Since they were American style, they can be cookies just this once.

We made two types: chewy chocolate chip and pumpkin pie spice with white chocolate chips. The latter turned out too cakey. The flavour is great, but the texture is not right. However, if you think of them as something other than cookies (such as muffin tops), then they are super yummy. As for the former – the chocolate chip cookies – well, they’re only the most super awesome vegan cookies I’ve ever tasted.

So, here’s the recipe. We didn’t really change it much; but we did reduce the number of chocolate chips. Admittedly, this was only because we didn’t have enough chocolate chips… We actually changed the method more than the ingredients. Clearly we made smaller cookies, cos we ended up with 48 rather than the 25-30 the recipe said it would make. Also, to get a great texture and shape, Yankee Elv puts the tray full of unbaked cookies in the fridge for 5-10 minutes before placing it in the oven. This really helps for some reason and is not a trick I’ve ever used before. This may be why I’m typically bad at baking cookies. But these ones turned out great (thanks YE).

Chewy Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

chocolate chip cookies on a plate

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of softened vegan margarine
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white/raw sugar (we used low GI cane sugar, which is kinda like raw sugar)
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence (imitation is fine)
  • 2 1/4 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 300g vegan chocolate chips (the original recipe called for 12oz)
Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. In a large bowl, cream the margarine, sugar and brown sugar.
  3. Slowly stir in the non-dairy milk.
  4. Add the vanilla essence.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking soda.
  6. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and stir well.
  7. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  8. Drop small spoonfuls (slightly heaped teaspoonfuls) onto non-stick cookie sheets and refrigerate each tray for 5 to 10 minutes before placing them in the oven.
  9. Bake for 10 minutes.
  10. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly, until you can lift them off the tray with a spatula. Then place them on a cooling rack until they’re cool. Make sure you eat some while they’re warm though!
chocolate chip cookies all in a big stack on top of each other (like a tower)
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Friday Feast: Sweet Potato Pinwheels

Did any of you Americans ever get those Everyday with Rachael Ray magazines? They used to have a reader-submitted section called Take 5. You used five ingredients or less to make some yummy dish.

Here’s mine.*

Sweet Potato Pinwheels

uncooked pinwheels.

Ingredients (all measurements are approximate)

  • Small sweet potat0
  • 2 tabs non-dairy milk
  • 2 tsps vegan margarine
  • 2 heaped tabs brown sugar (I used dark brown)
  • 1 sheet vegan puff pastry (Borg’s is vegan, as listed on my Accidentally Vegan page)

sweet potato pinwheel ingredients: nuttelex, cooked sweet potato, brown sugar, soy milk. not shown: puff pastry.

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.

2. Take the pastry sheet out and defrost according to instructions on the packet.

3. While the pastry is defrosting, use a fork to poke holes in the sweet potato and put it on a microwave safe plate. Cook the sweet potato in the microwave for about 6 mins, turning half way through.

4. Scoop the flesh of the sweet potato out into a bowl and mash thoroughly.

5. Add non-dairy milk, margarine and brown sugar. Combine with the sweet potato.

sweet potato, soy milk, margarine and brown sugar in a bowl.

6. Spread the sweet potato mixture evenly over the pastry.

sweet potato mixture spread over puff pastry.

7. Roll the pastry up.

partially rolled pastry with filling.

8. Slice the roll into pieces and place onto a greased baking tray.

slicing up the pinwheels.

9. Bake until the pastry is golden brown.

uncooked pinwheels.

Super tasty and super easy and super quick! Plus it’s vegan. Yum. 🙂

lovely baked pinwheel.

*Not really… I never entered one. But I could enter this one if I wanted to!

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Friday Feast: Cranberry Pecan Bread Pudding

A few weeks ago, I was looking through the cupboard and fridge thinking about what food I needed to use up. I try to avoid wasting food. If you want to know more about why, have a look on the Wasted Food blog, cos Jonathan Bloom lists a bunch of reasons.

Anyway, I found half a stale baguette, some pecans that were on their last legs (or would have been, if pecans had legs), and some apples. The baguette was like a rock – there was no eating that unless it was significantly softened somehow, which prompted me to think of a bread pudding. However, I was never the biggest fan of the kinds of bread puddings I had as a kid. They were made of white sandwich loaf (too soft, which made for a soggy pudding), with milk, eggs, sugar and sultanas. I’m not big on sultanas in sweet food, although I love them in curry. My childhood memory was not what I wanted for a bread pudding. (Sorry Mum and Dad, I know you like it, but it’s not my style.) So I hunted down a new recipe.

My google-fu did not fail me, and I found a recipe for Cranberry Pecan Bread Pudding in the Dairy Free Cooking section of About.com. There seems to be some good stuff there, so it’s worth having a look. I tweaked the recipe quite a bit (halving it, then increasing some ingredients, reducing others, swapping nutmeg for cardamom), but I’m really happy with the end result. It’s American tasting (hello cranberries, apples and pecans), but it’s got a special little something something that makes it unlike the typical American fare (probably the ginger and cardamom). The consistency was soft, but not soggy, and the nuts added a lovely bite.

I actually made it with only a quarter of a chopped apple, but I couldn’t taste it at all, so I’ve increased it to a whole apple in the recipe below. I increased the pecans too – I used only a third of a cup, but Yankee Elv insisted it needed more. Otherwise, she loved this pudding though – and so did I!

Cranberry Pecan Bread Pudding


Ingredients

  • 4.5 cups stale bread, cut into 1.5cm (about half an inch) cubes
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (currants might be a good alternative if you prefer them)
  • 1 apple, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup  pecans, chopped or crumbled
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom (or you could use nutmeg)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups plain non-dairy milk (I used soy)
  • 1 tab vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup liquid sweetener (I used agave nectar)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C (about 350°F).
  2. Lightly oil a medium-sized heatproof dish (such as a pyrex dish) and set it aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the bread cubes, cranberries, apple, pecans, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and salt until well mixed.
  4. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the non-dairy milk, vegetable oil and liquid sweetener until well combined.
  5. Allow the mixture to stand for 10 minutes, so all the bread is soaked. The liquid should be almost gone.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the prepared dish and bake until mostly firm and golden brown, about 35 to 45 minutes.
  7. Serve warm with non-dairy custard (which I make the same way as dairy custard, just with soy milk. Please note: there are no eggs in my custard, ever!)

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Friday Feast: Coconut Chocolate Pudding

This is the best vegan pudding I’ve made. Ever. It is so awesomely good. It has the perfect texture and is just brilliant!

I got the recipe from the Livejournal community vegan_cooking (where I habitually go to find recipes and ask questions about cooking). The original recipe is so good I hardly had to change it. This is very unlike me – I am a chronic recipe tweaker. The only thing I did to this, however, was reduce the sugar.

This pudding is super easy to make. Basically, you put everything in a bowl and cook it in the microwave for 4 minutes. (Yes, a little more finesse is preferrable – read the recipe!)

This recipe makes four servings and the pudding tastes great warm or cold. If you are putting it in the fridge, you’ll need to cover it unless you are ok with it developing a skin on the top. The skin tastes fine though, it’s just got a bit of a weird texture. You also don’t get as strong a coconut taste as I’d expected. I even tried to increase it using coconut essence (but it didn’t taste as good, so don’t go there). I haven’t tried making it with other non-dairy milks, but the original recipe suggests that it would work fine if you did.

I think this would also make a great vegan substitute for a ganache!

Chocolate Coconut Pudding


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sugar (I use low GI cane sugar)
  • 3 tabs cornstarch (I use custard powder)
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 400mL (14oz) coconut milk (or 2 cups of the milk of your choice – soy, almond, oat, etc)
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Pour sugar into a microwave safe bowl.
  2. Sift in the cornstarch and cocoa powder and gently combine. Make sure there are no lumps.
  3. Gradually whisk in the coconut milk until combined. (I use a fork because I don’t have a whisk. It works.)
  4. Cook in the microwave for 3 minutes on full power.
  5. Stir, then cook in the microwave on full power for one more minute before stirring again. (If it doesn’t look shiny and thick, try 30 to 60 seconds more, but keep an eye on it so it doesn’t boil over!).
  6. Stir in the vanilla extract and spoon into dessert bowls/containers/glasses.
  7. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.

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Friday Feast: Vegan Apple Crumble

Lately, I’ve been on a bit of a muffin kick. This isn’t a muffin recipe though – I’m still working on those. Don’t get all impatient-like, the recipes will come. But right now, this is an apple crumble recipe. It’s good stuff. I tweaked an apple crumble recipe I’ve been making since I was 13, took some inspiration from a berry cobbler that Yankee Elv makes, and ta-da! Vegan dessert-y goodness. I first made this about a month ago.

I made up some soy custard to go with it. I just followed the instructions on my Poppy custard powder box, but added extra custard powder as soy custard seems to thicken up a bit less than dairy custard. It turned out beautifully. For those of you who can’t find custard powder, you could probably just use cornstarch (cornflour) with some vanilla flavouring and yellow colouring. The only other ingredients are non-dairy milk and a spoonful of sugar.

Yankee Elv asked me to make this again the next week. She’s a bit obsessed with it now. But it really does taste so good…

Apple Crumble

Apple cumble

Apple crumble with home-made soy custard. It's a dreadful photo, sorry - it was night time so I had to use flash and it's very glary.

Ingredients

**filling**

  • 800g tin pie apples (or equivalent fresh apples – I work full time, so I’ve no time to stew apples. I have to make do with recycling the tin)
  • 2 tabs white sugar (I use low GI cane sugar)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

**topping**

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • Heaped 1/4 cup vegan margarine, softened and in small pieces
  • 1 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. Combine filling ingredients in a pie dish.
  3. Combine topping ingredients, except margarine, in a bowl.
  4. Rub in margarine until combined.
  5. Cover filling with topping.
  6. Bake for approx. 30 mins, or until topping is starting to brown and get crunchy.

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