Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Vegan Sexy Low-Fat Vanilla Cupcakes

Sadly I had food poisoning for my birthday the other day so I just got around to fixing up a little dessert to celebrate my birthday, and honey don't worry I put some cupcakes aside undecorated so I can make some more when you get home. Originally I was going to make strawberry shortcake style cupcakes for my birthday, but another day I will make those as the raspberries (and blueberries and blackberries) have caught the tummy of my little man lately.

I must admit I ate all the berries I didn't put on top of these little beauties and they were yummy. Now I can hardly wait for the little man to get home so we can have some cupcakes.

This recipe is from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World.

*update: These cupcakes taste like angel food cake but have the consistency of a pound cake.

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Vegan Green Velvet Cupcakes with Butter Cream Frosting

The other month I made red velvet cupcakes and my neighbor fell in love with those cupcakes. When we were out of town and he was watching the house he started to wonder if I had any cupcakes in the freezer, he was really craving those red velvet cupcakes. I decided that for St. Patrick's Day I would be really nice and make green velvet cupcakes (same recipe as I used for the red velvet) so he could get his fix.

The colors don't show up too well in the picture, but the cupcakes turned out a very dark moss green (oops, too much food coloring and I should have used the brighter green but life goes on) and the frosting is a light green (I used the same moss green food coloring so the frosting wouldn't clash with the cupcake). I haven't yet bit into one of these little gems but I am looking forward to dessert after our Shepard's Pie dinner tonight. I found a vegan slow cooker recipe book and couldn't resist trying the recipe out for St. Patrick's Day.

The cupcake and frosting recipes are both from The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes by Kris Holechek.
The Shepard's Pie I am making is from The Simple Little Vegan Slow Cooker by Michelle Rivera.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies

This week I was tasked with making cookies for an open house at my husband's work. Originally I thought about making chocolate chip cookies, but then I decided that chocolate chip cookies were so common place that I would rather do something a little different. I decided on peanut butter cookies, they are a fairly common cookie yet not as expected and common place as the chocolate chip cookie.

I was excited by making peanut butter cookies because I don't make them very often. In fact I think it has been a few years since I made peanut butter cookies and it gave me a reason to try out one of the vegan versions of this cookie recipe that I have. I opted to use the recipe in my tried and true cookbook, my new favorite baking cookbook, The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes. I have made a number of things out of this cookbook and have had great luck with the recipes in the book. These cookies are crispy, but have a softness to them. They are delicious and the whole family has been enjoying the ones I put aside for us to enjoy. 

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Friday, March 11, 2011

Vegan Chocolate Mint Cupcakes

Last weekend we went to a party, they had Girl Scout Cookies... Thin Mints to be precise. I have not been able to get those cookies out of my mind, of course I couldn't eat the cookies so that doesn't help keep them out of my mind. I decided that I would treat myself to some chocolate mint cupcakes to help me get those thin mints out of my head. Thanks Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World, one of my newest cookbooks. These little beauties caught my eye the first time I flipped through the cookbook and let me say they do not disappoint. They don't taste like thin mint cookies but they do have a very satisfyingly fresh mint frosting topped with chocolate ganache on the most amazing smelling chocolate cupcakes I have ever had. These were a wonderful treat and don't taste Vegan at all. I can hardly wait to hand some out to a few of my sugar fiend neighbors to see if they love them as much as me.

On a side note the one neighbor I shared a red velvet cupcake with the other week loved it so much he seriously considered coming over and nocking on my door for more cupcakes, he said he knew I had more. I love that others, non-Vegan friends, love my baked treats as much as I do. 

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Sunday, March 6, 2011

My Newest Kitchen Gadget

During a recent trip to the mall we stopped in Williams-Sonoma to take a peak. I had been wanting to get a vegetable slicer since last summer, I did actually get one last summer but it didn't make a nice clean cut so it went back. This de Buyer Kobra adjustable slicer is amazing though, it is easy to use and gives a nice clean cut. You can adjust the thickness it cuts by a simple twist of the top of the handle. This thing makes cutting up my veggies much quicker work and the results are beautiful. Cleaning it is also easy, this comes from someone who doesn't own a dishwasher. For me this was $50 well spent.

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Vegan Apple Pancakes with Cinnamon Apples

What do you do with a few bruised apples and a little bit of applesauce left in the jar? Make breakfast.

You will notice the cinnamon apples were served on the side when I made this dish, this is only due to the fact I had never made either of these dishes before and didn't want to ruin both halves of the meal if one half wasn't up to par. This was an excellent meal and in the future I would serve the pancakes with the cinnamon apples on top of the pancakes. I would say you could even use cinnamon apple sauce if you wanted to in the pancake recipe, I just used what I had on hand which was unsweetened.

Vegan Apple Pancakes

3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 1/2 cups plain soy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
oil for the pan

Combine the flours, salt, baking powder, and sugars in a medium bowl. Add the soy milk, vanilla, and applesauce. Stir together until combined, some lumps are fine.

Oil a pan or griddle and warm over medium heat. Pour the batter onto the pan or griddle and cook until bubbles form on top. Then flip and cook until golden brown.

Vegan Cinnamon Apples  (adapted from Easy Skillet Apples recipe)

3 or 4 apples, sliced
1/8 cup margarine, like Earth Balance
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Melt the margarine in a skillet over medium heat. Add apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Saute over medium heat for about 10 - 15 minutes. 

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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Vegan, Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcakes

One of our friends is having a party at her house again tomorrow and last time we went I didn't know she couldn't eat gluten and I made cupcakes, I felt terrible when I realized she couldn't eat any of the cupcakes I made (little pigs) so I vowed to my husband and myself that next time we went to her house for a party I would make a gluten-free dessert to bring along. Enter these vegan (so I can eat them) gluten-free (so she can eat them) vanilla cupcakes. Tonight I will frost and decorate them with the help of my spirited 3 year old, he is a great kitchen helper.

This recipe is from the Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World cookbook.

After the "little man" and I finished up our dinner we got to work making the most amazing buttercream frosting I think I have ever tasted and it's Vegan too, go figure the best buttercream I've had would be Vegan. We shoved our frosting into our decorating sleeve and piped it out on our cupcakes and then added a few sprinkles to each. Don't judge my decorating skills too harshly as this is only my second attempt. I think I am making good progress and besides my frosting tastes amazing whether or not it looks perfect.

The buttercream frosting recipe was also from the Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World cookbook. I am quickly beginning to love this cookbook just as much as my 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes cookbook.

I should note that I used the corn flour in the cupcake recipe where the choice was given between corn flour and almond flour. I am not overly thrilled with the slight corn taste of the cupcake so I would try the almond flour instead when I make this recipe again as I think a slight almond taste would be more pleasant in a vanilla cupcake. That being said they are for a chili party so I will suppose these will work out just fine and besides the fact I went to the trouble to make a gluten-free cupcake for the party due to the hostesses food allergy should be good enough on its own even though these aren't up to my usual standards. 

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Vegan Cornbread Muffins

Tomorrow night we are going to a chili party so I made these Vegan cornbread muffins so I know I have some bread that I can enjoy and after all what goes better with chili than cornbread? I can hardly wait for the chili party so I can bite into one of these cornbread muffins. I hope these muffins taste as incredible as they smell.

I found this recipe in The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes. I was super excited to try this one out because it included some actual corn as well as corn meal. 

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