Baking · Dessert · Vegan

Sending Big Waves

Banana Chip Cookies

banana_chip_cookies

Another recipe for using up those bananas that are no longer yellow!  Or those bananas that have just been chilling in the back of your freezer.  It happens to eveyone and can only make banana bread so many times.  I’ve been putting bananas in cookies for a while as  vegan alternative to eggs but with these cookies the bananas are the lead not the support. I also kept it vegan figuring why mess with a good thing?!?

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i’m also proud to say that I made these while babywearing – slowly but surely figuring out this whole “mommy” thing.  While in the mornings she easily goes down for a nap (or two) in the afternoon she greatly prefers to be in her Boba.  Needless to say this makes me VERY thankful for our double oven as I can easily access the top part with little bending.   I don’t see myself wearing her if the baked good needs two hands but luckily cookies don’t fall in that category!

Baking · Dessert · Vegan

Brought to Life

Vegan Sugar Cookies 

vegan_sugar_cookies

Many moons ago, or about 5yrs ago, I found an incredible vegan sugar recipe.  This past year I went to look for it again and could not locate it!  So I decided to come up with my own recipe based on a “normal” sugar cookie recipe and what I know about vegan cookie.  One of the biggest issues I’ve had with vegan baking is the missing butter taste as well as the not always awesome aftertaste some vegan “butters” offer.  With that I decided to add a bit of cinnamon, not enough to cross into snickerdoodles territory but enough to add a bit of something to the recipe.  I also added a touch of cream of tartar in order to counter the melting point of vegan “butter” and keep the cookies from spreading too much – another problem I commonly have.  I wasn’t going for a super fluffy cookie but I didn’t want them to be as crispy as a rolled cookie.

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These cookies were a huge holiday hit!  Husband enjoyed them so much he had a hard time believing they were vegan, which is the ultimate compliment in his case.  For a real treat, form the dough and then freeze in a plastic cookie “tin” and bake when you’re getting a craving for something sweet.

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Haunting as a sigh

I apologize in advance for the lack of picture with this post.  I kept meaning to do it, but some how everytime I went to the table to take a picture I wound up just eating a cookie. Which resulted in a lack of cookies for the photo.  I will make this recipe again, probably in the next week or so but I wanted to go ahead and make it available.  I also promise to have some more savory recipes up later this week, lately I have been a baking machine!
These cookies are inspired by the AMAZING Cranberry Bliss Bars available at Starbucks.  They are by far my favorite food item and I remember looking forward to those rare nights when one would be left over and thus available for mark-out.  Alas, this was a rare event so more often then not I had to buy my pastry like everyone else.  I originally wanted to make the bars but after finding the “official” recipe and the official calorie count I realized nothing good would come from that.  So I decided to experiment in the kitchen and see what I could do.  This is one of those recipes were the dough is not the tastiest but everything works out in the end. 

Ingredients
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup unsalted margarine, softened
1 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup all natural applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup white chocolate chips

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Mix the flour and baking soda together in a small bowl.  Set aside.
3.  Cream the margarine, cream cheese, and sugar together in a large mixing bowl.  Add the applesauce and vanilla extract, then mix well.  Mix in the cranberries and white chocolate chips.
4. Drop the cookies onto a non-stick pan, with spacing, and bake for 10minutes. 

This recipe should result in around 40 delicious bites of yumminess.   

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Peaches and Cream

Cakey Maple Peach Cookies

Two posts in one night?!? Say it is so!

To me there are only a few things that really say SUMMER, and I’m not talking about the heat and the humidity that make you feel as if you just took a shower as soon as you walk outside.  One of those things: Peaches!  Yummy moist juicy sticky peaches.  These peaches are even better than the average because these are fresh from the farm hand-picked peaches.  On Saturday Joe and I got up early, and headed out to Purcellville and the Crooked Run Orchard.  I went here once last year with some friends to pick apples (20lbs!) and couldn’t wait to go back to get some more fresh fruits.  I wound up leaving with 5lbs of peaches and almost 4lbs of blackberries.  While the majority of the peaches are on reserve for the b-day cake I’m making this weekend, the ones left needed a purpose.  So after looking over a new cookie book I decided to try my hand at making some vegan peach cookies, and as an ode to my trip last week I decided to use maple syrup.  The result was an amazingly moist cake-like cookie.

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 sticks of soybutter, softened (Willow Run)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
1 tbsp Maple Syrup
1 large peach, pitted and minced (cut in a bowl in order to save the juice!)

1. Preheat oven to 375
2.  In a small bowl mix the flour and salt.  Set aside.
3. In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar.  Blend in the applesauce and then add the maple syrup, mixing well.  Stir in the peaches adding as much juice as possible.  
4. Spoon out the mixture onto lightly greased cookie sheets or onto sheets covered with parchment paper.  Bake for 13-15 minutes.  Once removed allow to cool on the sheets.  Enjoy!


This was my first attempt at making cookies sans recipe, which is saying something since this time last year my roommate I wasn’t “allowed” to bake cookies.  Something about burning cookies…and flat cookies…and cookie dough caramelizing on a baking stone.    

Maple Peach Cookies on Foodista

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I Get Around

Streusel Coffeecake

I know yesterday’s post said I was getting ready to leave for Lake Placid but in reality….that was a post I had started the day before leaving that wound up being stuck as a draft and not being posted. I also had every intention of blogging while on the trip but I was too distracted by the lakes and the mountains and the pile of books I brought with me. Needless to say all of these recipes are from the week before I left, while I was trying to empty my fridge of anything and everything that I thought could go bad. This however is not one of those recipes, this was my attempt at doing something for breakfast. As a disclaimer, I am NOT a breakfast person. I don’t enjoy cooking or eating in the AM and my idea of a balanced breakfast is an iced caramel latte in one hand and my cell phone in the other. However, Joe is a breakfast person so I’m trying to find a happy place in the middle, something light enough that it doesn’t upset my stomach while being filling enough to get him through the morning. This might not be the healthiest breakfast out there but it smells amazing and is sure to wake up any sleepyhead.

For the Cake
1.5 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup Smart Balance (butter/margarine/etc)
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup apple sauce
2/3 cup milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
For the Streusel Topping
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp Smart Balance
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
2. In a small bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside
3. In a large bowl cream the butter. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add in the applesauce and the milk, fully mixing in.
4. Slowly add the dry ingredients, mixing until just moist. Add the vanilla extract and stir until smooth.
5. In a small bowl add the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cut in the Smart Balance using two knives.
6. Spread the steusel mixture in the bottom of a bundt pan. Pour in the cake batter and place in the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes, use a toothpick to check for doneness.

I have mentioned before how amazing silicon bakeware is and this is another awesome example of that. I just place the pan on a plate and pushed it right on out!  Also I recently noticed that not all Smart Balance spreads are Vegan, I’m not sure why that is but that’s how it is.  I cheat and check for the pareve label on top which indicates that the item is considered neutral and free from all-animal products.