Vegan and GF Snickerdoodles

You know you are a baker through-and-through when you get up at 6:15 AM on a Saturday morning in order to bake cookies!

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I’ve been vegan for a year and a half, and yet, it has taken me until this very day to make vegan snickerdoodles! I’m so glad I finally did, because these cookies are awesome. I used this recipe by Oh She Glows.

These cookies use a base of oat flour, almond flour, and sorghum flour. However, I replaced the small amount of sorghum flour with brown rice flour (you can only have so many flours in the house at one time… #bakerproblems). Instead of Earth Balance, the cookies call for virgin coconut oil, and the sugar is just some basic cane sugar. It’s a pretty simple recipe, really, and, in my opinion, is a much healthier choice than many other holiday cookies. After all, they have rice, almond, and oat flours instead of AP; a conservative amount of sugar; unrefined coconut oil  instead of Earth Balance; and even a little flax meal.

The texture is great! They have almost-crunchy edges, with chewy middles and a nice coating of cinnamon sugar on the outside. And the flavor is awesome – all sorts of cinnamon-y, sugar-y, maybe a little oat-y flavors going on. You can tell they are made of something other than AP white flour, but in a good way; you can just taste a little more complexity than in your average cookies.

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I found that my cookie dough was just a little too soft, meaning that the baked cookies spread out a little too much for my liking. I think that was 100% my error though, and a touch more flour would have fixed that problem right up! And the cookies are delicious, whether or not they are a little too thin. I’m not that picky.

 

 

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You can see here that the balls of cookie dough had already started to flatten and lose their ball shape before baking.

My favorite thing about this recipe is its simplicity. It’s a no-mixer recipe, with only 13 ingredients total. Basically, you stir your dry ingredients together; you stir your wet ingredients together; you combine the dry and wet ingredients; stir together a little cinnamon and sugar; and roll up your cookie dough balls. Super easy! 🙂

I’d definitely recommend this recipe for your holiday baking. It’s easy, delicious, even a little bit healthy (!), and won’t give you a headache. Sounds good to me.

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Minimalist Baker Blackberry Corn Muffins

I’m so glad that Thanksgiving Break is here for us school-age kids. I always struggle with being unable to bake and blog as much as I would like to during the week, and often, especially these past few weeks, my weekends are packed. For example: last Saturday, I had a performing arts rehearsal at 9:00 AM, then driver’s ed at 10:30, and and a riding lesson (at a barn that is an hour away!) at 2:00. It was a really fun day in a lot of ways, but by the end, there was no way I was going to do any baking! But now that it’s break, I can do a bunch of recipe reviewing and cooking. And watching The Great British Baking Show because that show is awesome. I digress. Let’s talk about muffins!

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The recipe I used here is for Minimalist Baker Blackberry Corn Muffins, which is vegan but not gluten free. They were really quite surprisingly good! They are crumbly but not overly delicate, sweet but not saccharine, and have the most lovely golden tops.

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The recipe uses all-purpose wheat flour and cornmeal for the base, with plenty of applesauce, a conservative amount of vegan butter, and two flax eggs for moisture. They are sweetened with a bit of maple syrup and 1/2 a cup of cane sugar, so they are probably not the corn muffins you want to serve with chili. I think they work best as a snack or breakfast item.

I followed the recipe pretty true to form, except for two things:

  • I used polenta (coarse cornmeal) instead of the fine cornmeal recommended by the recipe
  • I used reconstituted raisins instead of blackberries inside the muffins. I also think I used less than were called for; maybe 3/4 of a cup instead of 1 full cup.

I think these substitutions still maintained the integrity of the recipe very well, so I have no qualms about the accuracy of my review. With that said though, I bet that blackberries would be even better than raisins!

This is not the most intuitive recipe I’ve ever made, but it only uses 1 bowl and no mixers, so I’m good with that. Instead of having a bowl for dry ingredients and a bowl for wet ingredients, you mix together the wet ingredients and sugar in a couple of stages, and then add the dry ingredients. Finally, you fold in the berries/raisins, and you’re ready to put them in the oven.

Here’s the interesting thing, though: the recipe tells you to combine the apple cider vinegar, the baking soda, and the almond milk very early on in the process. You add them all to a measuring cup, stir them together, and let them fizz. I was super skeptical about this; I thought that since the baking soda and ACV were already combined, there would be no leavening-ability left, and the muffins wouldn’t rise. However, I’m very pleased to say that I was completely wrong! The muffins rose perfectly – not just well, but even better than many other muffin recipes I’ve made. I thought that that was super interesting and I’ll be investigating why exactly that method worked so well! #bakingnerd

The yield is ten nice, plump muffins. They have beautiful domes and are good and hearty. I love them! 10/10 for this recipe by Minimalist Baker!

 

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Question of the Day:

What is your favorite way to exercise? Mine is probably doing yoga, but I love to ride horses, and let me tell you – that is a workout!

The Full Helping Pumpkin Gingerbread Spice Muffins

Hey guys! I’m coming at you with another Recipe Review: Vegan and Gluten Free Pumpkin Gingerbread Spice Muffins, by Gena Hamshaw! Gena blogs at The Full Helping, which you may have previously known as Choosing Raw. I’m excited to tell you about these muffins, because I have to say that they are very unique.

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The flavors are great; the muffins are generously endowed with cinnamon, ginger, and cloves, and the batter is laced throughout with molasses. Thanks to those ingredients, the muffins are very autumnal and Thanksgiving-y.

The texture? Well, it’s a little different. The batter calls for a lot of leavening. Like, 2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Those ingredients, when combined with the teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, make the batter practically explode with fluffiness before the muffins even get in the oven. I think that’s pretty evident in the picture below:

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However, even though I was skeptical of how good the muffins would be after seeing the crazy fluffiness of the batter, I have to say that they texture of the baked muffins is really nice! They are super soft and light, almost feeling more like cake than a muffin. They are not as chewy as more traditional muffins, though they might be if you use wheat flour instead of the gluten-free flour the recipe recommends.

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See? Check out that ultra-soft texture! I ended up really enjoying these muffins, as did my family and our church-family 🙂

Question of the Day:

Do you like raisins? I know that’s a bit of a polarizing issue!! I like them a lot, although I like chocolate chips even more in muffins.

Sally’s Baking Addiction Easy Cinnamon Rolls, Veganized!

Guess who just made from-scratch cinnamon rolls for the first time??

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I have been a fan of Sally’s Baking Addiction for a while, but up till now, I had only made one of her recipes. It was before I was vegan, so it’s not like I’m super-familiar with how her recipes actually turned out. Mostly, I am a fan because I love her personality, her photos, and her in-depth discussion of baking science. It’s just such a fun blog to read each day.

Still, I’ve been kind of itching to try to veganize one of her recipes! I decided that her Easy Cinnamon Rolls would be good, because they only call for one egg. I made the following modifications:

  • I substituted one flax egg (1 tablespoon golden flax, 3 tablespoons water) for the chicken egg. That seemed to work pretty well, though I had to add more flour than was called for in order to get the suggested consistency. I think that was probably because the flax egg was still a bit looser than a chicken egg. It could also be that most chicken eggs have less than 3 tablespoons of liquid, but I’m honestly not sure. It’s been a long time since I used chicken’s eggs!
  • I used coconut oil instead of butter. This worked pretty well, but I think if I did it again I would use Earth Balance for the cinnamon/sugar/butter mixture in the center of the rolls instead of coconut oil.

This recipe calls for only one true rise. I followed the instructions for this rise, but when the rolls were done rising, they were extremely fragile and deflated quickly. They also seemed to have smushed together quite a bit.

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I was a little concerned about this, but I put them in the oven anyway, where I baked them for the low end of the recommended time (25 minutes). They didn’t rise as much as some rolls that I’ve seen, but they still baked up fluffy and soft!

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I chose not to cover the whole pan with glaze, but I made some for people to use as they wished. The rolls are delicately sweet and fragrant, and I like them very well without any glaze. Despite seeming to smush together in the pan, each roll still comes out easily.

Overall, I’m reluctant to give this recipe a rating, because I modified it pretty heavily. I will just say that this is a lovely recipe, that it worked quite well to veganize, and that I hope my observations will be helpful for anybody wanting to make some vegan cinnamon rolls! 🙂

Power Hungry Chickpea Flour Mini Quiches

OMG. You guys. These quiches kind of blew my mind. I’ve always thought that there was no way to make a truly “eggy” vegan quiche, but this recipe from Power Hungry has done it!!

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I had never even heard of Power Hungry before finding this recipe on Pinterest (I feel like there is a theme happening here…), but I have to say that I am so impressed by this recipe! Here’s what you need to know about these amazing vegan quiches:

  • The base is made with lots of chickpea flour. However, they do not taste at all like chickpeas.
  • You can use any vegetable add-ins you want! I chose to use 1 cup of steamed cauliflower florets and 3/4 cup of steamed spinach, which was slightly more than the recommended amount of 1 & 1/2 cups of (lightly-cooked) vegetables.
  • In the original recipe, there are no specific spices recommended, though they are suggested. I used the optional clove of garlic, 1/2 tsp dried thyme, and 1/2 tsp dried rosemary. I am very pleased with how those spices worked out and would definitely recommend those amounts!
  • For real though; these quiches taste nearly identical to the non-vegan quiches I remember having a few years ago. The texture and taste are spot-on. This is a dish to serve to skeptics of vegan food!
  • The recipe makes twelve nearly-overflowing mini quiches, made in a traditional muffin tin.
  • When you mix up the ingredients, the batter is very thin. In fact, I almost thought that I made a mistake because I didn’t believe it could be so thin and still bake up well! However, the finished mini quiches set up very well to be firm, sturdy, and tender.
  • For an added touch, I think that Minimalist Baker’s Vegan Parmesan Cheese would be amazing sprinkled on top of the quiches before baking. I used plain old nutritional yeast to sprinkle on top, which was very nice, but I think the vegan parmesan would be even better!
  • There are full nutrition stats posted on the recipe’s page ❤
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the very thin batter
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ready for baking, with nutritional yeast on top
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fresh out of the oven
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can you believe that texture??

Overall, I am so pleased with this recipe. 5/5 stars, for sure! ❤

Question of the Day:

Do you prefer sweet or savory breakfast foods? I always eat sweet breakfasts because I have some favorites that I know I like. If you have any favorite savory breakfast foods, though, please let me know… I’m open to ideas!

FMITK’s Mini Apple Rose Pies, Veganized!

I have been waiting to make this recipe and post about it on The Kale Storm for, like, a million years!

Or a few weeks. I’m a teenager, I can get away with hyperboles 😉

I found this recipe for Mini Apple Rose Pies, off of From My Impossibly Tiny Kitchen, on Pinterest (obviously…) and I decided to veganize it!

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Here’s what you should know about this recipe:

  • It is easy to veganize! I just substituted vegan shortening for the pie crust sugar/butter wash, and a little coconut oil and coconut butter in the lemon juice mixture for microwaving the apples.
  • It takes a while, especially on your first try, so give yourself a good long time to work with! This is a great weekend morning project.
  • Don’t worry if your roses aren’t perfect. Mine definitely weren’t, but I still think they look pretty darn good.
  • No mandolin required so long as you have a good sharp knife!
  • If you use small apples like me, you’ll probably need three.
  • Check after one minute of microwaving your apples, and if they aren’t flexible enough to roll up, it’s perfectly fine to microwave them longer. That’s what I did.
  • The recipe says to roll your dough out to 1/4 inch, but I found that to be far too thick  to make nine mini pies. I ended up rolling my dough out to 1/8 inch, and I still only had enough for eight pies.
  • The finished product tastes so good that the strawberry jelly glaze is optional! I left mine off because I wanted the apple flavor to really shine.
  • The finished product is not only cute, but delicious! They are real-deal apple pies, just even prettier.

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cutting apples
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going into the oven
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the finished product. ❤ so cute ❤

I’m really glad I went ahead and made these pies. It was  a super-satisfying way to spend a Saturday morning. Also, my first #pinterestsuccess feels pretty good ! 😉

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Question of the Day:

What’s your favorite way to spend a Saturday morning? My two favorites are baking and horse-back riding, and today, I got to do both!

Veganosity Lavender and Vanilla Bean Shortbread Cookies

I’m back with another Recipe Review post- and oh my goodness, these cookies are amazing!

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As you can see in the title, I made the Lavender and Vanilla Bean Shortbread Cookies from veganosity.com . I had never even seen this blog before, but today, when I wanted to make cookies for The Kale Storm and just knew that they NEEDED to be lavender cookies, I happened upon it.

I could definitely see returning to this blog, because the writing of the post that I read was so appealing and sweet! And obviously, the cookies were amazing. So let’s talk details!

I made the recipe almost exactly as written; my only substitutions were using about 1/3 cup Earth Balance and 2/3 cup unrefined coconut oil for the fat instead of only Earth Balance (I ran out of Earth Balance), and using ground dried lavender instead of the whole seeds. I used the same amount of lavender, though. Also, the recipe calls for edible pansies + olive oil as a decoration on top of the cookies, and since I don’t have edible pansies, I used a generous sprinkle of cane sugar on top of each cookie for a decoration and for added sweetness.

I cut out my cookies with a mason jar, so they are slightly bigger than the size recommended by the recipe. That is why I got 21 cookies as opposed to 26-32.

Side note- we need to talk about whole vanilla beans. Today was my first time using them in a recipe and I love it! They are so fun to cut open- I love finding the seeds there, black and almost glittering inside the bean. Am I the only one who finds things like opening vanilla beans fun?

Overall, I love this recipe. The cookies are just so lovely and elegant. The lavender and vanilla flavors come out beautifully but are not overpowering, and the texture is perfect for a tea cookie- delicate, crumbly, and melt-in-your-mouth. I give this recipe a big 5/5 stars!

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Question of the Day: Are you in school of any kind? I’m a junior in high school, and today was a teacher work day. That’s why I was able to make these cookies this morning! 🙂