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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Chocolate Banana Bread with White Chocolate Chips

We love to make different quick breads and muffins on a Sunday morning.  I was feeling adventurous this morning because my friend Lisa, from, had given my vegan white chocolate chips a few weeks ago.  I am not a huge fan of white chocolate, and so they sat on my counter for those few days.  Just waiting.  Cookies seemed obvious, and I wanted to use then in something a little more out of the box.
Since we were having breakfast and my nephews had spent the night, I thought something seemingly decadent was in order.  They didn't need to know that I made the bread with spelt flour, flax meal and a high fiber blend of oat bran, wheat germ and more flax.  Oh and 3 bananas to boot.  We barely waited for it to was moist and sweet and chocolate-y. The entire loaf was finished in just one sitting!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Use a 9x5 inch loaf pan lined with parchment paper.  Leave an inch on each side of the pan to use as handles to lift the loaf out after it is finished cooking.

In a medium bowl whisk together:
2 1/4 cups spelt flour
1/3 cup pure cocoa
2 tablespoons flax meal
2 tablespoons Bob's Red Mill High Fiber cereal (or just more flax meal)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder (you can use 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla instead, but in the liquids)

In another medium bowl whisk together:
1 cup non-dairy milk (I used oat)
1 tsp  apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup organic sugar
2 tablespoons canola oil
3 ripe bananas mashed very well

Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined.
Add 2 tablespoons of warm water.
2/3 cup white chocolate chips (chocolate chips are fine too!)
Fold until just combined.
Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then lift it out by the parchment paper handles onto a wire rack.  Eat it or cool it!  Yum either way!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Porridge Breakfast Cookies

My very close friend, Lisa, has a wonderful vegan blog called  She writes recipes with the intent to take simple, healthful ingredients and create delicious meals without spending hours in the kitchen.  She recently posted a recipe for breakfast porridge with oats and apples. The porridge was such a yummy, warm way to start the day...I thought, I need to make a breakfast cookie out of that!  Here you get the same satisfying feeling, but in a hand held, on the go, kind of way.  My kids love to eat one walking to the school bus!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Makes 10-12 large cookies.
Begin by toasting the nuts you will be using at the end of this recipe.  I chose almonds and walnuts.  Use what you love!
To toast the nuts, chop them coarsely and sprinkle them on a parchment lined cooking sheet.  Place them in the 350 degree oven for about 5-8 minutes.  Watch them carefully!  When they are fragrant, they are perfectly done.

Whisk together in a bowl:
1 cup of whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder or 1 tsp. pure vanilla

In another medium bowl use a hand or stand mixer to combine:
1/4 cup Earth Balance non-dairy butter
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons oat milk (or non-dairy milk of your choice)

Add the dry ingredients to the wet, stirring to combine completely.
Fold in:
1/2 cup dried apple or fresh, cut into bite size pieces
1/2 cup your toasted nuts.

Use an ice cream scooper or just a tablespoon and roll the dough into a ball shape.  Place the dough on the cookie sheet, 2 inches apart, gently pressing it down into a large round shape. Bake for about 12 minutes until the cookies are a golden brown.  Cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack.
Grab one warm and get going to where you need to be, breakfast in hand!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Vegan Mallomars

Growing up in New York, one of our very favorite treats was Nabisco Mallomars. The yellow wrapped box...the brown cardboard all sings of my childhood.
Mallomars are celebrating their 100th Birthday this year. New Yorkers have had a long love affair with this cookie.  The graham cracker cookie, topped with marshmallow and covered in dark chocolate, are a staple on the shelves of markets here in New York.  Historically, 70 percent of Mallomars purchased were sold to people in right here in The Big Apple.  Sadly, the shelves are only stocked in the cold weather months from Fall to Spring.  These chocolate cookies simply can not stand the heat.  People in the know, stock their freezers with those yellow boxes, quietly covering them with frozen peas so nobody would see them and finish them all.  They are those type of cookies, that delicious....where you might not even want to share....
No need to wait for need to be a carnivore...behold...a Mallomar for everyone, anytime!
Just be sure the next time you are in the health food store, to pick up vegan chocolate and vegan marshmallows.  I like Dandies marshmallows.

In a medium mixing bowl whisk together:
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Make a well in the center and then stir in:
1/4 cup of canola oil
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla
2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup
1/4 of water
A ball of dough will form, add a tablespoon or two of water as needed to reach a pliable dough consistency.  Knead a few times to be sure all the ingredients are incorporated and the dough is workable.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll it to an 1/8 inch thickness (or so).  You make need to sprinkle a bit of flour on your rolling pin as well.
Using a 1 1/2 inch or 2 inch cookie cutter, cut out circles and place on the parchment lined cookie sheet.
Bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees

Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet while you prepare your other ingredients.
Once cookies seem dry and set,  place a marshmallow to cover the top of the cookie rounds.  Place the cookie sheet back in the oven for a few moments so the marshmallows get melty.  Once that happens, take an offset spatula and smooth the marshmallows into a dome shape.  Do the best you can...this part is tricky and sticky!  Wet fingers will help minimize the stick.  They won't be perfect like store bought mallomars, but let us not forget...these are an amazing homemade creation, not factory made!
I use the microwave in a glass measuring cup to melt:
1 cup of chocolate chips
1/2 to 1 tablespoons of Earth Balance shortening
Stir at 30 second intervals until the chocolate is smooth and shiny.
Use two forks and dip each marshmallow covered cookie completely in the chocolate.  Place the covered cookie on a parchment lined baking sheet.  When you have dipped them all put the whole pan in the fridge to set for at least 30 minutes.
Have a glass of non-dairy milk near by.  You are going to need it!
Any leftovers, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Grandma's Vegan Linzer Cookie

These cookies are one of my Mother's most requested cookies from all of her grandchildren.  They call them Grandma's Linzer Cookies. There is a truth though, which she happily confesses that this recipe is an Ina Garten recipe.
And the next truth?  Ina Garten happily confesses to her recipe coming from Eli Zabar.
And his truth?  It was his Mother's recipe.
Mother's (and in this case, VeganBakingMamas), make the best cookies!
All I had to do was substitute non-dairy butter and say "How easy was that?"

Preheat oven to 325 degrees-Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Makes 12 double sided cookies (24), but you can double the recipe for a crowd.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix together until they are just completely combined:
12 Tablespoons of non-dairy butter (I only use Earth Balance)
1/2 cup organic sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In a medium bowl sift together:

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture.
Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour, or a piece of parchment paper and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
Roll the dough 1/4-inch thick and cut 2 3/4-inch rounds with a plain or fluted cutter. With 1/2 of the rounds, cut a hole from the middle of each round with a heart or other shaped cutter. This make the little window.
Place all the cookies on an baking sheet lined with parchment paper and chill for 15 minutes.
Bake the cookies for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature.
Good Raspberry preserves
on the flat side of each solid cookie. (or whatever flavor you like!)
 Dust the top of the cut-out cookies with:
Organic Confectioners' sugar and press the flat sides together, with the raspberry preserves in the middle and the confectioners' sugar on the top.
Store in an airtight container.  You may find that assembling them and then dusting them with the confectioner's sugar just before serving, gives the prettiest results.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Chocolate Chip Squares

These are what I call lazy cookies.  
They are super easy to make and feed a crowd.  
Plus they are both, super delicious and a wholesome treat!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 10"x 15" jelly roll pan with parchment paper or spray lightly with non-dairy cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl stir together:
2/3 cup canola oil
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp vanilla

In a separate large bowl, whisk:
3 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup organic sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 teaspoons non-aluminum baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt

Combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients mixing until completely incorporated.
Mix in:
1 heaping cup of dairy-free chocolate chips

Spread batter into the prepared jelly roll pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  The top will get golden brown and a toothpick inserted should come out clean.  Allow to cool completely in the pan on a wire cooling rack.  
Cut into bars or squares....Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Apple Crisp Bar

My girls and I went apple picking this early October.  We picked and ate as much as we could carry. As our bag got heavy and full, I encouraged the girls to keep picking and stuff them in their pockets.  I had gone absolutely mad in that orchard, and I make no apologies!
I had a lot of plans for those gorgeous off the tree, Jonah Golds, MacIntosh and Pink Ladies that we had gathered.
One of those plans was an apple crisp cookie. I had envisioned an in hand type of cookie, but truly this is a plate and fork kind of guy.  If you don't mind it a little messy, pick it up and go for it.
But apologies, it is pure Autumn heaven.
Roasting the apples while you prepare the crust and topping, will make the filling extra flavorful, moist and delicious.

Apple Crisp Bar 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. (you will use this for roasting the apples.)
Also line a 9x9 baking square pan with parchment paper so that one inch is hanging off of two sides. (you will use this to  easily lift the entire pan out when finished). Spray or very lightly oil paper and sides of pan.

4-6 apples peeled and cut into inch pieces ( I like a mixture of apples here)
Juice of 2 fresh lemons
1/2 cup agave or maple syrup
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Combine these ingredients in a mixing bowl, tossing well to coat.  Spread onto papered baking sheet and place in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
Once the apples are roasted, I transfer mine to the vita mix and pulse it a bit to combine it but still leave it a little chunky.  I give it a taste may want to add a bit of brown sugar here.  Your choice are the chef!
While the apples are cooling make the crust and topping:

In large mixing bowl, whisk together:
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour, spelt,or all purpose flour
2 cup rolled oats (not instant or quick cooking)
1/4 cup ground flax meal
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar

Then add in:
1 cup of vegan butter (I use earth balance)
Use your hands to mix the ingredients together and make it crumbly and moist.
Press 1/2 of the mixture into the bottom of the pan firmly to form the crust.   
Smooth 2 cups of apple filling on top of the crust 
Sprinkle the remaining topping on top of the apple filling, pressing down lightly.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until lightly browned.
Remove from the oven and place pan on a wire rack allowing to cool. It will remove easier and stay together if you can wait long enough for it to cool completely.  (we of course, could is super yummy warm too!)
Cut into squares and enjoy!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Quinoa Snickerdoodle (gluten-free)

These cookies are a gift.  They are just what I was wanting.  I am so happy with the taste and texture of them that I had to wrap them up in a bow!

Recently, I was visiting a friend in Chicago and we found a terrific vegan restaurant called The Chicago Diner.  We loved everything about this vegan restaurant...the food, the staff and oh....the cookies.  They had a snickerdoodle cookie that was truly addictive.
It was so good, that the very next day we drove 45 minutes out of our way just to share that cookie again.
I haven't stopped thinking about and wishing for it since.  

Now, I have a very delicious snickerdoodle recipe on this blog that I really love, but it is a thin,crispy, chewy snickerdoodle.  And of course, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.  But why stop at one kind of snickerdoodle when there are others to love?
So after tasting the snickerdoodle at The Chicago Diner, I was determined to recreate their version of this cookie.  Their snickerdoodle was what I call chubby.  It was soft and chewy with a really nice thickness to it.  They used a whole wheat flour in their recipe, but I was feeling like quinoa flour would give it that extra special fluffy chub I was going for
Yes, Success!  Delicious and addictive!
As an extra special bonus, this chubby guy is gluten free, high in fiber and protein.
The ingredients in these cookies are:
Organic quinoa flour, earth balance vegan buttery spread, organic evaporated cane juice, organic vanilla, unsweetened applesauce, baking soda, organic cinnamon, cream of tartar and kosher salt.

Contact me if you need a fix!  
VeganBakingMama delivers in NYC or ships anywhere in the continental U.S.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Zucchini Raisin Muffin

A while back I had attempted to bake zucchini muffins. They were a disaster. Truly.  Into the garbage, batch after batch those went.  My big, fat, yucky muffins.  I hate when that happens!

Recently, I was sitting with a friend at a farmers market and we were enjoying a vegan zucchini muffin from a local baker.  It was so delicious, but it brought me back to those loathsome feelings I had from my own failed attempts.  Well, that was it for me.
I headed home with a fresh zucchini under my arm and knew this time it was going to be different.  Set your mind to the muffin and it is, the delicious taste of success.

Whew.  To think....I almost got beat by a squash.

Zucchini Raisin Muffins

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly coat a muffin tin with non-dairy cooking spray.

Whisk together in a medium bowl:
2 cups of organic pastry flour
1/4 cup golden ground flax seed
1 teaspoon organic cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon organic nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

In a measuring cup, combine and allow to sit for 5 minutes:
1 cup organic almond milk (rice or soy is fine too)
1 teaspoon organic apple cider vinegar

Then combine milk mixture with:
1/4 cup organic canola oil
1/3 cup organic sugar
1/3 cup organic brown sugar

In the flour mixture toss in:
1/2 cup raisins
Then pour the dry mixture into the wet and stir gently to combine.
Fold in:
1 cup shredded zucchini

Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling each one 3/4 of the way full.  Bake at 350 degrees for 23-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Remove from oven and turn the muffins out on a wire rack to cool.  

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Chocolate Crinkle Cookie

My husband thinks that I could create world peace with this cookie.
He thought is was so undeniably good, that there would be no way two people any where in the world could disagree over the sheer deliciousness of this cookie.
He was very adamant that this could be true.  I started laughing because actually this cookie is traditionally a Christmas cookie.
In fact, when I originally made them, we loved them, but they tasted so much like Christmas, that I didn't feel right about blogging about them in the summer time.
But, everyone kept asking me to make them over and over again.  I decided why wait for December when something is so delicious today.
Peace. Joy. Love.    Yum!

Chocolate Crinkle Cookie

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat.

In a medium bowl whisk together:
1 cup organic pastry flour
1/4 cup ground flax seed
2 tablespoons organic pure cocoa (not the drink mix)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

In another medium bowl mix together:
3/4 cup organic sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1/3 cup organic rice milk
2 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
1/2 cup melted vegan chocolate chips

Combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until fully incorporated and a dough has formed.
Cover the dough tightly so it doesn't dry out, and place it in the fridge to chill for at least 20 minutes.  
While the dough is chilling, prepare your sugars.

For rolling the cookies, place each of these in a bowl or plate:
3/4 cup powdered sugar 
1/4 organic sugar

When dough is chilled, use a tablespoon sized amount of dough and roll into a ball.  Then gently roll the ball first through the granulated sugar and then again through the powdered sugar. 
More is more, so sugar away!

Place balls on the prepared cookie sheet 2 inch apart.  These cookies will spread.  Bake for 10-14 minutes or until they have cracked and puffed a bit.  Remove from the oven and let them rest on the baking sheet 5 minutes.  Move to a wire rack with a spatula to continue to cool.

These cookies taste awesome for days if kept in a covered container BUT due to the powdered sugar, they only look their very merry best on day 1.
Let's give peace a chance.....

Monday, July 4, 2011

Tropical Summer Muffin

We made these muffins this weekend for breakfast and they were perfect.  Moist and not too sweet.  They are filled with toasted coconut, bananas and mangoes. The hot weather of summer definitely helped to make us feel like we were on vacation with these guys!
The mangoes in this particular batch happened to be a little bit tart but it gave the muffin a very fresh taste that everybody loved.

My six year old and I just got back from the market with summer zucchini....we are on a muffin bend.
Check back soon for those!

Tropical Summer Muffin

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly coat a muffin tin with non-dairy spray.

Whisk together in a measuring cup and allow to sit for 5 minutes:
1 cup of almond milk (rice or soy is fine too)
1 teaspoon organic apple cider vinegar

In medium bowl whisk together, including the milk mixture:
1/4 cup organic canola oil
3 teaspoons organic vanilla extract
2/3 cup organic brown sugar

In a medium bowl whisk together:
2 cups of organic whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup golden flax seed meal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Toss into the flour mixture to coat:
1/2 cup toasted coconut (toast the coconut on a baking tray for 4 minutes in the preheated oven)
reserve a little coconut for sprinkling on top 
1 cup diced mango

Combine the dry mixture to the wet ingredients and mix gently.  Then gently fold in:
1 mashed banana

Pour the batter evenly into the muffin tin filling each one 3/4 full.
Sprinkle the top with a pinch of organic sugar (I use turbinado) and a little bit more toasted coconut.
Bake at 350 degrees for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and allow the muffins to rest for 5 minutes in the pan before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool.
Enjoy them fresh but for an anytime vacation....wrap them individually and freeze for up to a month.  Just let them come to room temperature before serving.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Raw Blackberry Pie

I love the heat.
I love summertime, I love the desert and my favorite thing to do, is a hot yoga class in a 105 degree room.

The other morning though, I was really melting during one of my beloved yoga classes and I started dreaming of these cold little guys.
They are raw blackberry sorbet pies.  Aren't they cute?
Here is an all natural, raw treat that really cools you down.  Perfect for summer, because you don't ever even have to turn on the oven They are made in a high powered blender, and then frozen to set.  Then they get defrosted in the refrigerator so they are still served very cool and a little bit soft.

My husband likes to eat them straight out of the freezer for dessert.  Me...I pop one in the fridge before my yoga class, and then run home to dig right in! They make a really terrific breakfast.

Raw Blackberry Pie
I make these in a cupcake tin.  You can also use an 8 inch round pie pan or a spring form pan and then cut them into pie slices.

For the crust:
Soak  2 cups raw cashews in a bowl of water that covers them for 1-3 hours.
Drain and blend in a high power mixer with:  (I love my vita-mix!)
1 cup of pitted medjool dates
1/8 teaspoon of sea salt

Blend together until the mixture is smooth.
Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of organic raw coconut into the bottom of the cupcake tin
Press 1-2 tablespoons of the crust mixture into the bottom of the cupcake tin pressing firmly and evenly.
Place the tin in the freezer while you prepare the filling.

For the filling:
Blend in a high powered mixer until smooth and creamy:
3 cups of organic blackberries
1/3 cup agave nectar
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup pure coconut oil melted
Pinch of sea salt

Pour the Blackberry filling onto the prepared crust.  Tap the tin on the counter a few times to get out the air bubbles.  Garnish with some fresh berries and then place it back in the freezer to set completely and freeze.  

Move them to the fridge about an hour before planning to serve to defrost, otherwise, keep it covered in the freezer where it will stay fresh for up to a month.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Maple Pecan Chip Breakfast Cookie

I made these cookies with my friend's twin sons in mind.  They love everything sweet and especially at breakfast time.
One of them recently wished aloud that he could eat cookies for breakfast.  To that, I say,
"Your wish is my baking dream."
Nothing makes me happier than having a couple of 8 year olds eat what they call a cookie, simply because it has some vegan chocolate chips in it, when in fact it is a perfectly healthful breakfast.
This cookie is very low fat with only ONE tablespoon of organic canola oil in the entire recipe of 20 plus cookies.  It is high in fiber and protein from the oats, spelt and quinoa in it.
Yeah, some brown sugar and chocolate chips are in there as well, but really...lets have health and some fun too!
Some people due to allergies or plain dislike, can absolutely leave out the nuts.
And raisins, cranberries or any dried fruit would be an equally delicious substitution for the chips, if chocolate is not your morning thing.  Bake it how you dream it!

Maple Pecan Chip Breakfast Cookie

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat.
Makes 20-24 cookies

In a medium bowl whisk together:
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cup organic spelt flour
1/2 cup organic quinoa flakes
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

In another medium bowl, whisk together:
1 cup organic brown sugar
1 tablespoon organic canola oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
1 teaspoon organic maple extract
2 tablespoons of hot water

Mix the dry ingredients into the wet and stir until fully incorporated.  You may need to add another tablespoon of hot water to get a thick cohesive type of batter.
Fold in:
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup mini vegan chips 
or other options like raisins,dried cherries, apricots

Use a cookie scoop or a tablespoon and drop the cookies onto the tray about 2 inches apart.  These cookies do not really spread, so using damp fingers, gently press the dough into flatter disks.
Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.  You can tell the cookies are done because the house gets filled with this outrageously great smell of maple.
Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to sit on the sheet for 5 minutes.  Remove to a wire rack to continue to cool.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Double Chocolate Cherry Quinoa Cookies (Gluten- Free)

I really love to bake with quinoa flour.  It is such a delicious, high protein, fiber rich flour that gives baked goods a yummy nutty flavor.  Nuts and chocolate is always such a good combination, that I knew the rich cocoa flavors of this cookie would work perfectly with the quinoa. Throw in some tart dried cherries and we have a winner!  

Double Chocolate Cherry Quinoa Cookies 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat.
Makes about 24 cookies

With an electric mixer beat together until fluffy:
2/3 cup Earth Balance buttery spread
1 cup organic brown sugar
1/4 cup organic sugar
Then add in and continue to beat for 1-2 minutes:
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon organic vanilla

Then in another medium bowl, whisk together:
1 1/4 cup quinoa flour
1/2 cup organic cocoa (not cocoa mix)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Add the dry ingredients into the sugar mixture and mix until just incorporated completely.
Fold in:
1/2 cup dried cherries
3/4 cup vegan chocolate chips

Scoop batter with a cookie scooper, or drop by tablespoon onto the prepared baking sheet.  Gently press the cookie dough a little bit to help it spread.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.  The chocolate makes it hard to tell by sight if they are done, so use your other senses instead!  They will smell nice and chocolatey and feel dry on top when they are done.  Remove them from the oven and allow them to sit on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes.  Then move them to a wire rack to continue to cool.  They are yummy warm, but the texture changes as they cool to a delicious, chewy cookie.  Enjoy~

Friday, June 3, 2011

Raw "Cheese"cake it's not exactly baking.
And really, my passion is vegan baking... you know with heat... in an oven.
But this raw treat is so delicious, natural, beautiful and healthy....I had to put it on my baking blog.

This is an early foray for me into raw desserts.  My sister in law eats a raw diet and is always touting its health benefits.  She tells me how it makes her feel so great, and with my own eyes, I have seen how beautiful it makes her look.
The power of natural food.  Sign me up.

A very close friend of mine who is health conscious, but neither vegan or raw, is obsessed with a raw cheesecake that she buys at our local health food store.
She loves it so much, she has been known to eat a slice for dinner.

She has asked me several times to recreate it, and with her in mind, here is the first of many raw desserts to come. 
For those who are not familiar with raw eating, it is simply, as the name implies, food in their natural state, uncooked.  Cheesecake is a tongue in cheek name, because of course there is no cheese.  It is a rich, cool cream that is made "cheesy" by blending raw nuts with a few other ingredients. Please note though, that the nuts need to soak for 1 to 4 hours, so plan ahead for this.  Otherwise, the dessert assembles in no time, and then just needs some freezer time to set.
Make some and your friends will be wildly impressed.   I promise, it is amazing!
Raw is a wonderful thing.

Raw "Cheese"cake

I chose to make these in individual cupcake tins to form "mini" cakes.  It is also perfect to use a pie tin or a 9 inch spring form pan.  Your choice.

Sprinkle a little bit of unsweetened shredded coconut into the bottom of whichever pan you choose to use.  It adds another delicious flavor but also stops the crust from sticking to the bottom.

For the crust:
In a food processor or high speed blender combine:
2 cups raw almonds
3/4 cup pitted dates (I like medjool)
1 teaspoon agave 

Blend together until a thick paste like consistency forms and the nuts are ground.
Press this mixture firmly into the bottom of your pan and place in the freezer while you assemble the filling.

The filling:
In a food processor or high speed blender combine:
3 cups of raw cashews soaked for 1-4 hours and then drained
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup of water
1/2 - 3/4 cup agave
3/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon organic vanilla

Process the ingredients until smooth, creamy and fluffy.
Pour the ingredients over the prepared crust and give the pan a few gentle taps to get the air bubbles out.  Place the cake in the freezer and allow to set.
When you are ready to serve it, plate it and then move it to the refrigerator and allow it to defrost. Garnish with some fresh berries of your choice.  
Serve... and let the praise wash over you.  Yum!