Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

I had to make four batches of chocolate chip cookies to get these just right. I can't stress how wonderful it is to get a great vegan cookie using no soy product (I started the endeavor for a friend who is intersted in veganism but scared because she is allergic to soy). Hence, the perfect vegean soy-free chocolate chip cookie:

2 cups unbleached flour
2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp.salt
chocolate chips (as many as you like - I did vegan organic semi-sweet chips, about a cup)
1 cup raw sugar (turbinado #1, sucanat works too but sucks up a lot of the moisture)
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup water

VERY IMPORTANT-make sure all ingredients are at room temperature. I can't stress this enough!

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl mix flour, baking powder, salt. Add chips. Make a well in the center and set aside.

In a medium size bowl mix vegan sugar and oil. Mix it well. Add the vanilla and then add the water. Mix it well. Add the wet to the well in the dry. Mix it well but be careful not to overwork it. Add more chips if you need to. Scoop out the admittedly crumbly and hard to work with batter and shape it into balls and smoosh them on a greased cookie sheet (you'll see what I mean when you try it).

Bake for 5 minutes and then rotate and bake them for 5-7 more.

The cookies are done when they seem a little bit softer then you want them to be (they are pale compared to what you are used to and look slighly undercooked when they are actually done - I only cook mine 11 minutes total). They will harden up some as they cool.

Makes about two dozen, takes about 20 minutes!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Tea Time.

These lemon tea cookies are tart and will make you pucker as you try to smile and say, "Oh my! It's vegan?" They are delish. Best baked good I've made post-veganizing my life. Also super easy and quick. Why aren't you preheating your oven already??

Lemon Tea Cookies

2 teaspoons lemon juice (really, really needs to be fresh)
1/2 cup soy milk (I use lite Vitasoy)
1 3/4 cups flour (I use 1/2 unbleached white and 1/2 whole wheat pastry)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup soy butter (I use Earth Balance)
1 tablespoon flax seed combined with 3 tablespoons water (GREAT binding agent, I used milled flaxseed for this, instead of crushing seeds myself)
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind (or a little more if you're a lemonhead like me)
1/2 to 3/4 c sugar (can reduce sugar and add applesauce or banana to sweeten if you'd like, I use 1/2 c of turbinado and no additional sweetner)

Lemon glaze:
1/2 (overflowing) cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350.
Stir 2 teaspoons lemon juice into soymilk and set aside.
Stir together the flax seed and water and set aside.
Combine flour, baking powder, soda, and salt.

In a separate bowl, beat soy butter for 30 seconds (it's better to have the margarine set out and kind of room temp-ish, but not necessary, have faith), then add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add flax mixture and lemon rind; beat well.

Stir in the dry ingredients and soymilk mixture alternately to the margarine/sugar mixture.

Drop from a teaspoon (seriously, just a teaspoon, trust me) onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Remove at once onto a wire rack.

While baking, mix together the lemon glaze to be brushed on the cookies while cooling.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies. I dare you not to eat them all.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Aloha Bread.

Doesn't the name just sound coconuty-sweet and breezy? Well, it is.

I adapted the recipe from Joanne's cookbook (born from her blog Yellow Rose Recipes - cookbook is of the same name).

Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Grease and/or flour a bread pan (loaf pan).

In a small bowl mix the following together and set to the side:
1 mashed ripe banana
1/4 cup of natural applesauce (i went to about 1/3 cup)
1/3 cup plain soy yogurt

In a medium bowl sift together the following and set aside
1 c whole wheat flour
1 c unbleached flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp grated fresh nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt

In the largest bowl mix the following (just blend together slightly, with a wooden spoon):
1/2 c sugar
2 Tbsp mollasses
2 Tbsp agave nectar
2 Tbsp pineapple juice (from a can of crushed pineapple - no sugar added)

Add STEP 1 ingredients to STEP 3 and mix lightly. Then add STEP 2 dry ingredients in batches (in three or four of them) and just fold it into the wet ingredients. Be very careful not to overmix.

Finally, add:
1/2 c crushed pineapple (drained)
1 c coconut flakes (sweet or unsweet - up to you)

Mix until just turned in to batter.

Pour batter into loaf pan (is pretty thick, you may need to force it to fill pan with your hand or a greased spatula).

Cook on lower rack for 25 minutes. Pull out, rotate 180 degrees, put on top rack, and cook for 10 to 15 more minutes (until a fork comes out clean when iserted in the center).

Cool on a rack (out of pan) for 3 or 4 hours before slicing and enjoying!

Drink it with a glass of almond milk and listen to the waves crash on the sandy shore.