A Few Not-So-Showstopping Sweets | VeganMoFo 2017 Day Twenty-Six

VeganMoFo 2017

Week Four: Entertaining
Showstopper dessert: Something that would earn a handshake from Paul Hollywood!

You know, I don’t think I’ve ever made anything truly, showstoppingly, spectacular. (And given my current malaise when it comes to cooking, I’m not about to do so any time soon.) The most visually impressive dessert I’ve ever attempted was a five-layer cake for Steven’s and my five-year anniversary in 2016, but the results were… less than perfect, at least visually speaking.

Our five-layer cake was Neapolitan inspired, with chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry layers sandwiched between vanilla buttercream. It was massive! It was delicious! It was… kinda plain? My cake-decorating skills are not exactly finely honed, so that vanilla frosting quickly became quite crumb-laden. I think I foisted the task onto Steven and refused to take part after I realized it wasn’t going to come out perfectly. (That’s why you can see him in the bottom left photo, earbuds in place, frosting away while I snap pics.) Not the end of the world, but not the visually stunning cake of my dreams. Oh well — looks, as they say, aren’t everything.

Lego cupcakesA slightly more appealing dessert presentation: these Lego cupcakes I made for my dad’s 60th birthday a few years ago. Dad’s Lego-themed party obviously needed appropriately matching sweets, and these did the trick! Simple chocolate and vanilla cupcakes, dressed up with Lego-inspired wrappers, vanilla buttercream, and candy Lego bricks. Not terribly fancy, but perfectly befitting of his Lego theme.

…and that’s it. That is the full extent of my showstopping. Paul Hollywood would definitely NOT give me a handshake for either of these desserts (though I might merit a Fielding fondle).

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Pie Crust Crisps with Pumpkin Mousse and Whipped Cream | Deconstructed Pumpkin Pie | VeganMoFo 2017 Day Twenty

VeganMoFo 2017

Week Three: Ingredient Challenges
Deconstructed dish: Hipster style food. Serving it on a slate is optional.

I was tossing and turning the other night, awoken by a thirsty Moria who’d gotten up for a midnight drink, when the idea came to me: deconstructed pies. Pie crust — turned into individual crisps. Pie filling — turned into dip for said crisps. Whipped cream — because duh. A hands-on eating project where you have completely control over your pie-to-filling ratio.

It was, apparently, a better idea than the one I’d been planning on for this prompt: deconstructed pierogies, basically potato-onion patties, pan-fried and served with caramelized onions, sauerkraut, and cashew sour cream. Those fell squarely into the MoFo fail category; I tried making them in September and they were… not good. Gluey and dense, the patties reminded me more of a make-your-own-paste project than pierogies in any form.

Pie crust crisps with pumpkin mousseHappily, this deconstructed pie idea worked out much better. Although I think apple pie would’ve been lovely here — I’m imagining dipping the crust crisps into gooey apple-y filling — I opted for pumpkin, simply because I had a can on hand and knew I could whip up a mousse-like dip easily. This recipe is more like a template; play with it to create the deconstructed pie of your dreams!

Pie Crust Crisps with Pumpkin Mousse and Whipped Cream

Makes a whole lot

  • 1 recipe your favorite pie crust recipe (I used this one, swapping in 1/4 almond meal for some of the flour and using half coconut oil alongside the shortening.)
  • 1 recipe pumpkin mousse (I used this one, but used just two tablespoons brown sugar and 1/3 cup maple syrup. It’s not super sweet, so adjust accordingly. I also added spices to taste.)
  • 1 recipe aquafaba whipped cream or coconut whipped cream (The former is nice and light, while the latter is richer and creamier.)

First, prepare your pie crust dough according to the recipe’s instructions, including preheating the oven and lining a pan with parchment paper.

Roll the dough to a little less than 1/4″ thick, then cut into triangles. (I cut around a small plate, then sectioned that into eight triangles.) Move the triangles to a baking pan. Optionally, brush with aquafaba and sprinkle with a cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake according to directions — mine took about 17 minutes. Don’t overcook!

While the crisps are baking, prepare the mousse and whipped cream according to your recipes.

Remove crisps from oven when just barely golden. Let cool before serving.

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Pie crust crisps with pumpkin mousse // govegga.com

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Vegan Doughnuts Forever! | VeganMoFo 2017 Day Two

VeganMoFo 2017

Week One: Changing Vegan Perspectives
Junk food forever! It’s not all kale chips and chia seeds being a vegan – show us your fave vegan junk food.

Let it be known: I am a vegan — first and foremost, forever and always — for the animals. The environmental benefits come second, followed by human rights. A distant last? Health.

Look, I don’t doubt that a plant-based diet is heaps healthier than the so-called Standard American Diet. Anyone switching from consuming lots meat and dairy will probably experience health benefits. But do I believe that veganism will cure cancer/solve the alleged obesity epidemic (ugh)/guard its adherents against every disease? Hell no. Overblown health claims are, frankly, detrimental to the movement. If you promise a would-be vegan a life of perfect health and the reality doesn’t match up to that promise, how likely is she to stay vegan? Not very. Touting overblown health benefits is not an effective long-term strategy.

Plus, my veganism isn’t a diet; it’s a lifestyle that aims to reduce suffering. So, all this is to say that I love vegan junk food. Unashamedly. Do I indulge in it every day? No. My own body feels best and most in balance when I eat mostly whole foods, with lots of fruit and veggies. But that doesn’t mean I will not scarf down a bowl of ice cream or half a pan of apple crisp or yes, a large portion of a bag of Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos on a Friday night. (Yes, the latter is vegan. I know.) I might eat two or even all three of those.

However, I definitely do play favorites when it comes to vegan junk food. And my ultimate favorite will-drive-many-miles-to-obtain snack? Doughnuts. Delicious doughnuts. I used to think of them as the final frontier in vegan dessert, and craved them with a sugar-desiring hunger. (See this four-year-old post for proof of my obsession! And during VeganMoFo 2011, I talked about missing them. Ha!)  Nowadays, I am #blessed to have two vegan doughnut producers in somewhat-easy reach, and I indulge whenever possible. And I have changed my mind about the final frontier: It’s angel food cake. Sigh. I miss that stuff.

Three doughnutsSo, doughnuts. My all-time favorite doughnut-slinging establishment is Glory Doughnuts, which I mentioned here. Not only does this all-vegan joint bake up dozens of creative doughnuts (those are maple bourbon, the coconutty Chewbacca, and key lime pie in the photo), but they also serve savory breakfasts that just scream “Sunday brunch!” Think tofu fried egg sandwiches, fried cookie butter-filled French toast, PBR-infused Belgian waffles… ugh. Plus, it’s a woman-owned business, which makes me love it even harder. If this place were closer to me (it’s about 25 minutes away, in historic Frederic, Maryland), I would be sorely tempted to eat there all too frequently.

Donut Alliance treatsNow, a newcomer to the Maryland vegan doughnut scene:  Donut Alliance, previously mentioned here. I’ve only had their offerings once, but I was impressed. Clockwise from top left, that’s strawberry margarita, birthday cake, Samoa, and maple bacon. YUM. I really loved these light, fluffy doughnuts! Unfortunately for me, Donut Alliance doesn’t have a storefront and only sells their goods at Baltimore businesses. Baltimore is about an hour away, so my chances to indulge in these fried treats are few and far between. But I’ll take all the opportunities I can get!

Vegan Treats doughnutFinally, my #1 choice for cake-y doughnuts: the inimitable Vegan Treats. Is there anything this mecca for sweet-toothed vegans can’t do?! VT is about a three-hour drive away, and I’ve only been there once (for my birthday!) BUT, our local Loving Hut (which is about 45 minutes away, in Falls Church), frequently has VT desserts on offer. That’s where I picked up the doughnut pictured above (and discussed, in great detail, here.) I used to brave the massively long Vegan Treats line at D.C. VegFest to get my fix, but now I’d rather just get some pho at Loving Hut and wrap it up with a VT dessert. ;)

Alas for me, I’ve never been to Dunwell or Voodoo or any of the other big-name vegan doughnuteries. One day. In the meantime, I’ll stick to my local faves. I also just became the proud owner of six individual doughnut ring pans and so far have made one baked chocolate doughnut recipe. It was… just OK. I think, at the end of the day, I’d prefer a deep-fried, totally unhealthy, professionally made doughnut. But if you’re open to homemade goodness, here are some recipes that look pretty good to me:

So. What’s your favorite vegan indulgence? And what’s the best purveyor of vegan doughnuts near you?

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Easy Vegan Apple Crisp

VeganMoFo 2016 graphic

Week Four: Memories and Traditions

It was perhaps inevitable that apple crisp would make an appearance during this tradition-based week. I’ve reminisced about the spicy, buttery dessert before, I’ve got a recipe for a quick unbaked version, and I’ve made the classic recipe countless times — including a few nights ago.

Easy vegan apple crisp // govegga.com

Truth be told, I just follow the Betty Crocker recipe, subbing Earth Balance for butter. So simple. Don’t get cute like I did and increase the number of apples without also increasing the pan size and the topping amount, or you’ll end up with a sub-optimal apple-to-topping ratio. You want a thin layer of apple slices so they cook through and absorb all that buttery, sugary goodness, resulting in a gooey, pie-like filling. Bake it longer than you think you need to, till your apples are on the verge of disintegrating into a mushy mess. Don’t worry about appearances — this dish is all about taste.

What’s your favorite apple crisp recipe?

Vegan Brownies Galore!

VeganMoFo 2016 graphic

Week Three: Rainbow Week

Today’s prompt is “Goth Day – Blues, purples, blacks? Let your dark side shine.” So because it’s the weekend and I had to get up at 5 am to pick up Steven from the airport and I’m sleepy, I’m going to share a simple roundup of brownie recipes. Brownies: dark and delicious. (Plus, many of these are from MoFos past — it’s like a trip down memory lane!)

Fudgy Black Bean Brownies

First up, these black bean brownies I developed a few years back, when I was sharing nutrient-rich recipes for Vegan MoFo 2014. Although I still think putting beans in dessert is a bit of a precious foodie trend, these were surprisingly fudgy and tasty. Plus, you get 7 grams of protein in each square. Win!

Next, how about the brownie recipe showdown from Vegan Mofo 2011? Yeesh, that was five years ago. The world of vegan baking has evolved pretty substantially since then, with the introduction of new commercial egg substitutes, lots of new plant milks, and the discovery of aquafaba (praise be unto you, bean juice!).

In fact, my current favorite brownie recipe takes advantage of black bean aquafaba and is incredibly rich and delicious — you can find it here. I’ve subbed out other neutral oils in place of the coconut oil to no ill effect. This recipe is particularly great if you want a crackly top. Mmm.

Close-up of a blue plate piled high with three thick, fudgy brownies. They have noticeable bits of raspberry, and there are a few raspberries surrounding them on the plate.

Undeniably fudgy.

Or perhaps you want something with a little fruit. How about Isa Chandra’s raspberry truffle brownies? Somewhere between fudgy and cake-y, these brownies are oil-free as written… but I cheated and used an oil/applesauce blend when I blogged about them during Vegan MoFo 2012.

So… what’s your favorite brownie recipe?

 

Sweet Potato Pie in a Pecan-Date Crust (Vegan and Gluten-Free)

VeganMoFo 2016 graphic

Week Three: Rainbow Week

A few years back, the phrase “sweet potato pie” would’ve made me pull a face and retch theatrically. I became a sweet potato fan in my early to mid twenties, after side-eying them dubiously for much of my life. (That ol’ sweet-when-it-should-be-savory distaste again.) But after going vegan and encouraging myself to try foods I thought I didn’t care for, I found that with the proper preparation, even previously off-limits ingredients like squash and sweet potatoes could be quite enjoyable.

So today I’m bringing a beautiful toasty orange color into rainbow week with a creamy sweet potato pie ensconced in a nutty pecan crust. Sweetened by dates and maple syrup, this pie elevates the humble sweet potato to Thanksgiving dessert status. If time isn’t on your side or you’ve got someone with a nut allergy at the table, feel free to substitute your favorite regular ol’ pie crust. (And pardon my cake tin in the photos below — I don’t have a “real” pie pan!)

Gluten-Free Vegan Sweet Potato Pie with a Pecan-Date Crust // govegga.com

This pie comes together surprisingly easily after you’ve measured out the ingredients and pitted the dates. You actually won’t need any mixing bowls: the crust ingredients are whizzed up in the food processor, while the pie filling gets combined right in your blender. The hardest part is probably waiting for it to cool! But make sure you do; you want it to solidify so it cuts well and doesn’t melt onto your plate.

Bonus: Assuming your oats and cornstarch are certified gluten-free, you’re on your way towards making a beautiful vegan, gluten-free sweet potato pie sure to please everyone.

Serve with your favorite vegan whipped cream (coconut, aquafaba, Soyatoo) for a decadent treat. <3

Sweet Potato Pie in a Pecan-Date Crust

For the crust
  • 1 cup pitted medjool dates (about 16 dates)
  • 2/4 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 T coconut oil (solid)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
For the pie
  • 2 cups sweet potato, baked and mashed (measure after baking)
  • 1/3 cup aquafaba
  • 4 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 T coconut oil
  • 2 T cornstarch
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 – 1 tsp ginger (depending on how much of a kick you like)
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Dash cloves

Method

Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

First, make the crust. Add all ingredients to a food processor and process until crumbly. The mixture should hold together if you scoop it into a ball and press it between your hands. Prepare a pie pan by spraying liberally with oil, then use your hands to press the crust into the pan, pushing it up the sides by 1/2″ to 3/4″.

Next, prepare the filling by blending all ingredients in a high-speed blender. (A regular one will likely work, but I’d recommend soaking the dates first.) Pour into the crust and use a spatula to spread evenly, then bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is set. Chill for at least three hours before serving.

Notes

  • If maple syrup breaks the budget, feel free to substitute agave nectar instead. Brown sugar would also likely work, though I haven’t tried it.
  • I recommend baking the potatoes a day in advance to save time. Just put them in the oven alongside anything else you’re cooking, then on the day you make the pie, they’ll be cool and easy to pop out of the skins.
  • I got the idea to use aquafaba from another blogger who made a pumpkin pie using it, but I can’t recall who it is. Thanks for the tip!

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Gluten-Free Vegan Sweet Potato Pie with a Pecan-Date Crust // govegga.com

Note: This post contains an affiliate link. If you purchase something through my link, it costs nothing extra for you, but I get a few pennies. I’m not looking to make a fortune, just to cover hosting costs. :)

Welsh Cakes — Vegan Welsh Griddle Cakes

VeganMoFo 2016 graphic

Week Two: International Week

After featuring an Irish recipe on Monday and an English recipe on Tuesday, I figured it was incumbent upon me to hit all the nations of the British Isles. Today we go to Wales for a disarmingly simple treat: Welsh cakes. Traditionally baked on a cast-iron griddle over a fire, these subtly sweet biscuits typically feature currants. Given my lack of an open flame (well, other than my living room fireplace!) and dislike for raisins, I opted for dried apricot-filled cakes baked on the stove in a cast-iron pan. Close enough? Close enough.

Vegan Traditional Welsh Cakes // govegga.com

Many traditional recipes also use a smidge of mixed spice, a spice blend not too common in the United States. Since the amount of spice in these recipes is so small (1/4 – 1/2 tsp), I opted instead to use a dash of a few spices. If you’re the type of person who panics when you see “a dash” or “a pinch” in a recipe, use a 1/8 teaspoon and fill it about halfway. If you don’t have all of these spices, again, no worries. Just use what you’ve got.

I’m ashamed to say I’ve never been to Wales — it’s my last UK nation to visit, and trust me, it’s on my list! (Hello, have you seen how beautiful this country is?!) I’ll have to find some vegan Welsh cakes once I get there. In the meantime, here’s how to make vegan Welsh cakes at home.

Vegan Welsh Cakes

Makes 14-16 cakes

  • 1 2/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (measured loosely)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Scant 1/4 tsp salt
  • Pinch each of ground ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and mace
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter
  • 3 T vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 cup vegan sugar
  • 1/3 cup dried fruit (I used dried apricots, chopped small)
  • 1 Ener-G egg made according to package instructions, then whisked  with scant 1/4 C almond milk

Method

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. Using a pastry cutter, a fork, or your clean fingers, rub in the vegan butter and shortening to make a crumbly mixture.

Next, stir in the sugar and dried fruit, then add the egg and milk mixture. Combine to form a stiff dough, kneading with your hands if necessary. Tip onto a clean, floured surface and roll until about 1/4″ thick. Use a biscuit cutter or glass to cut out cakes that are about 3″ across.

Preheat a cast-iron pan on medium-low and add a small pat of butter. When melted, add 5-7 cakes (depending on the size of your pan) and cook for about 3 or 4 minutes, until golden-brown. Flip and cook for the same amount of time on the other side. Make sure that your cast-iron pan doesn’t get too hot and be sure to adjust the temperature between batches. If the cakes cook too fast on the outside, the middle will still be doughy.

Best eaten piping hot off the pan, with butter and a little sugar drizzled on top.

Notes

  • I opted for a commercial egg replacer (Ener-G) in this recipe because it seemed like a flax egg would be too obtrusive. Feel free to give it a try, though!
  • I used a vegan butter and shortening blend because some Welsh cake recipes require both butter and lard, and I wanted to provide a few different types of fat. (I like Spectrum Naturals shortening.) You can use vegan butter only, if you’d like.
  • Don’t let my personal issue with raisins/currents prevent you from trying the more traditional dried fruit!

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Vegan Traditional Welsh Cakes // govegga.com

Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something through my link, it costs nothing extra for you, but I get a few pennies. I’m not looking to make a fortune, just to cover hosting costs. :)

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Vegan Blondies

VeganMoFo 2016 graphic

Week One: Treat Yourself (and others)!

This past Sunday was full of frustration… and cookies. I’ve had a specific cookie concept in my head for a few weeks now, and I decided to work on the recipe this weekend. The first attempt failed, leaving Steven and I with a Tupperware full of cookies that were more like puffy biscuits. (Steven wasn’t complaining.)

Back to the kitchen I went, hoping some modifications would help. Nope. The second batch spread too thin and crumbled horribly, leaving us with a Tupperware now full of biscuit-y cookies and crumbly cookies (Steven still wasn’t complaining).

After that, I gave up — I’ll return to the concept soon, but I couldn’t bear a third failure in one day.

That’s the rub, when it comes to recipe development: you’ve gotta be okay with failure. As a semi-reformed perfectionist, I still get frustrated when things don’t go my way. I’m learning to be okay with it, and to learn from it, but it still grates on me.

So a few nights ago, when another idea surfaced in my MoFo-inspired mind, I headed to the kitchen with just a little trepidation. I knew what I wanted: rich, chewy vegan peanut butter blondie bars that would almost melt in your mouth, studded with chocolate chips for a slightly bitter counterpoint to the sweetness. I melted, mixed, tasted, and finally put them in the oven, hoping my baking mojo had returned and that the curious alchemy of cookie-creation was in my favor that night.

Vegan peanut butter chocolate chip blondies // govegga.com

It was — though I didn’t think so at first. As I tried the blondies, my initial reaction was disappointment. They weren’t sweet enough! I had failed! I kept chewing, though, and soon realized that they did indeed have a perfectly pleasant sweetness; a few tablespoons of maple syrup add complexity and mean that the sweetness grows slowly on your tongue. And you wouldn’t want them much sweeter — these are rich, buttery blondies; too much sugar would render them cloying and unpleasant to eat.

And so! With much relief, today I bring you vegan peanut butter blondies, an indulgent treat that’s supremely easy to whip up. I baked mine in my favorite Le Creuset ceramic 9×9” square dish, and they came out beautifully with just a spray of oil lining the pan. If you’re using a more persnickety dish, feel free to line with parchment paper for easy removal. (And keep your fingers crossed for another cookie recipe coming soon — I think I’ll crack it yet!)

Vegan peanut butter chocolate chip blondies // govegga.com

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies

Makes 9 squares

  • 1/3 C Earth Balance, melted
  • 1/2 creamy natural peanut butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 C brown sugar
  • 1/4 C white sugar
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 T ground flax
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350˚F and oil a 9×9″ baking dish.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the melted Earth Balance, peanut butter, and vanilla extract until well combined. Add the sugars and maple syrup and incorporate, then stir in the salt, baking powder, ground flax, and flours. (You might want to add the flour a little at a time for easier mixing.) Fold in the chocolate chips. The mixture should be similar to cookie dough.

Add the dough to the prepared baking dish and use a spatula to spread evenly. Bake for 23-25 minutes, just until a skewer or knife comes out clean. Do not overbake. Cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing and enjoying.

Notes

  • I’m sure you could omit the white whole wheat flour in favor of more all-purpose flour — though you might need to add a few tablespoonfuls more.
  • Feel free to substitute mini chocolate chips or even white chocolate chips.
  • These would probably cook up well in an 8×8″ pan — just cook for a couple minutes longer.

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Vegan peanut butter chocolate chip blondies // govegga.com

Looking for a slightly healthier dessert option that’ll still leave you feeling like you’re treating yourself? Why not try my fudgy black bean brownies, a treat from MoFo 2014?

Chewy Vegan Coconut Cookies

Let’s not talk about the fact that Labor Day weekend has come and gone, okay? Instead, let’s talk about chewy, melt-in-your-mouth rich vegan coconut cookies. The kind of cookies you could bring to a gathering of even the staunchest omnivores and feel good about. The kind of cookies that you just want to keep on eating and eating and eating, even when your stomach groans in protest.

I’ve made these cookies three times in the past few weeks, twice to share at events, and they haven’t let me down. I’ve basically veganized this recipe, toned down the fat and sugar just a bit, and tweaked a few other things to my taste. I highly recommend using shredded (not flaked!) coconut — it seems to melt into the cookies, providing them with coconutty goodness, without those noticeable flaky bits that might distract from your eating pleasure. (I buy it at Wegmans, but Amazon also carries shredded coconut from Bob’s Red Mill.) Adding the coconut early on helps it soften up and become infused with the creamed sugar and butter. The result is a true delight.

chewy vegan coconut cookies

 

Almost as good as the final product? The fact that this recipe is so, so easy — you can make it in a single bowl, plus a small one for mixing up your flax egg. I use my KitchenAid stand mixer, but a hand mixer or even good old-fashioned elbow grease will do the trick.

If you’re feeling decadent, I bet these would be amazing drizzled with chocolate… but I’ve been too impatient to try that!

Chewy Coconut Cookies
Makes ~18 cookies

  • 6 T Earth Balance buttery sticks, softened
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 1/4 C white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 flax egg (1 T ground flax mixed with 3 T warm water)
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 350˚F and have two cookie sheets ready to go. (You can line them with parchment paper if you’d like; it’s not necessary, but if your sheets are finicky, feel free to try it.)

First, make the flax egg by whisking the ground flax with the water until combined. Set aside.

In your stand mixer (or using a hand mixer or your own brute strength), cream together the Earth Balance, sugars, and vanilla until well combined; it should take two to three minutes. Pour in the flax egg and mix for another 15 seconds or so.  Add the shredded coconut and mix on low until it’s folded in to the creamed butter and sugar.

With the stand mixer (if using) off, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, then mix on low until all ingredients are incorporated. It should take just a minute.

Scoop rounded tablespoonfuls of dough onto your cookie sheet, leaving about 2″ between each cookie. Press down slightly. Bake for 10 minutes, and let cool for another 5 before removing from the cookie sheet.

Enjoy!

chewy vegan coconut cookies

Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something through my link, it costs nothing extra for you, but I get a few pennies. I’m not looking to make a fortune, just to cover hosting costs. :)

Fusion Challenge: Pumpkin Biscuits for Humans and Dogs

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Day 30: Fusion Challenge!

Oh boy, I am taking some LIBERTIES with this prompt.

Typically, “fusion” food combines elements of two (or more) culinary traditions — like curry burritos or Thai pineapple pizza (!). I’m all for merging the best of the best to create super-delicious meals with bold flavors. I even recipe tested for Joni Marie Newman’s fusion-inspired cookbook, Fusion Food in the Vegan Kitchen. But I’m looking at fusion food from a different lens today… the lens of “combining human and dog food.”

HEAR ME OUT.

Backstory first. Working at The Humane Society of the United States means that I get to bring my dogs to work. We have a strong Pets in the Workplace policy, along with a committee that governs it. It’s a win for humans and dogs alike, in so many ways. But a few weeks ago, we learned that at least one office dog had bordatella, a highly contagious bacterial infection. On the advice of our staff veterinarians, the committee temporarily suspended the PIW policy. For two weeks, our canine companions stayed home, and we humans remembered what it’s like to work somewhere that doesn’t allow dogs. I missed the frequent excuses to get outside, the sound of the occasional bark from somewhere in the building, and the morning rituals when my coworkers (dogs and humans!) greet each other. Of course we all appreciated the caution that prompted the suspension, but it was no fun. And I wished I could explain to Moria and Luna that we weren’t abandoning them at home; they’d be able to return eventually.

Pups

My babies!

Tomorrow, though, the dogs are back! And I couldn’t be more excited. I knew I wanted to bake some dog treats to give out to any pup I see tomorrow, and then I thought… why not make some people treats, too? The ultimate fusion food!

(Am I stretching it? Eh. Too bad.)

Dog and People Biscuits

My strategy was to create a base dough that’s then separated in half and flavored for each species. The human variety has sugar and spices, while the dog variety has oats and extra molasses. Note that although you can definitely eat your canine companion’s biscuits, she shouldn’t eat yours — at least not if you include the nutmeg, which isn’t good for pups. And no, these aren’t the most exciting human biscuits, but I have a secret love for chewy, doughy, mildly flavored things I can snack on!

Ed. note: Okay, this is embarrassing. The human biscuits are… not great… the day after baking, so I can’t really recommend them. Instead, you can double the dog-biscuit ingredients and make a LOT of dog treats, or halve the first set of ingredients. I’m sorry!

Pumpkin Biscuits Two Ways
Makes many tiny biscuits

  • 1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, softened
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 1 1/2 T blackstrap molasses
  • 1 T cinnamon

For the human biscuits (not recommended)

  • 1 cup + 1 T all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp cloves

For the dog biscuits

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup rolled oats

Combine the first set of ingredients in a large bowl, then split the dough and move one half into a new bowl. Preheat the oven to 350˚ and oil two cookie pans.

This second bowl will be your human-biscuit bowl. Add all the human-biscuit (HB) ingredients and mix until well-combined; it will take a few minutes to come together. Refrigerate this dough while you prepare the dog-biscuit (DB) dough. To do that, mix in all the DB ingredients. Refrigerate that dough while you roll out the HB dough.

Roll out he HB dough on a well-floured surface with a rolling pin. Using your favorite cookie cutters, cut the dough into shapes. Repeat the process with the DB dough. If your cookie cutters are vastly different sizes, try to group the small biscuits on a single sheet and the large biscuits on another sheet.

Bake small biscuits for about 15 minutes and larger ones for about 18. They’ll harden as they cool, so don’t worry if they’re soft when they come out of the oven.

~~~

And with that, I say goodbye to Mofo 2015! I’ve been a little burned out this past week, so honestly I’m not sorry it’s over! But I do like the prompts — Steven and I are already musing about ways to incorporate fun/surprise prompts into my blogging practice, and I have some good ideas. Stay tuned!

…and now I’m gonna go eat some roasted potatoes and Gardein tenders. Night, y’all!