Dessert · Recipes · What's Cooking

A Sudden Burst of Nuttiness

All this cooking from home is starting to make me crave random things. Perhaps it’s because I’ve already exhausted my usual repertoire of recipes, so now my tastebuds also have to get creative so as not to get bored. When looking through the pantry the other day I noticed half a bag of walnuts and pecans that have been hanging around for a while. Instantly I thought of pecan pie, even though I usually only make pecan pie around the holidays. Be that as it may, who am I to deny a sudden bout of baking inspiration?

Instead of making a full pie, I went the easier route and made these cute mini nut tarts. I kept things pretty simple with a press-in crust and using one bowl for everything. Using maple syrup instead of corn syrup adds a nice touch of sweet, maple-y goodness that I just love. (Personal tip: When you have the option to add maple syrup, just do it.) Despite their small size, these really aren’t all that time consuming to make. You can easily use all pecans here or swap one type of nut with another. (Adding some chopped hazelnuts would be good.) If you decide to give the recipe a try, let me know how you mixed it up!

Mini Nut Tarts

(Makes approx. 2 dozen)

Crust:

1 cup white flour

1/2 cup oat flour

Pinch salt

4 TBSP vegan butter, melted (I use Earth balance)

2 TBSP maple syrup

Filling:

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 TBSP coconut oil, melted

2 TBSP oat milk

1/2 tsp vanilla

1.5 TBSP flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans and walnuts)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cavities of a mini muffin tin. (Make sure to grease well!)
  • In a large bowl combine flours and pinch of salt. Add melted butter and maple syrup. Mix until everything is well combined and the dough is crumbly, but holds together. (I usually start mixing with a wooden spoon, then switch over to using my hands to really knead everything together well.) If your dough feels a little too dry, you can add 1-2 tsp water to help moisten it.
  • Press clumps of dough into the greased muffin cups, pressing gently onto the bottom and about 3/4 the way up the sides.
  • In the same large bowl whisk maple syrup, brown sugar, coconut oil, milk, and vanilla together until well combined.
  • Add flour and salt. Whisk until no lumps of flour remain.
  • Fold in chopped nuts.
  • Spoon filling into prepared tart shells, filling them almost to the top.
  • Bake approximately 15-18 minutes, until tarts look golden brown and the filling is mostly set.
  • Let cool completely before removing tarts from muffin tin. (The best way to remove them is to slide a thin knife around the edge of the tarts to loosen the crust.)
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.
Dessert · What's Cooking

Fudgy Wudgy Vegan Brownies

Have you ever taken a bite of a dessert and thought “Wow, this is way too chocolatey and ooey gooey?”

Yeah, neither have I.

Earlier this week I came across a recipe that Hannah from the Bittersweet blog shared on her Instagram. It was a recipe for brownies that use aquafaba. If you are new to veganism or have somehow just missed the memo: aquafaba is the magical juice that you get from a can of chickpeas. (Yes, that stuff you normally strain out and dump down the drain. Stop doing that, alright?) Aquafaba has some similar properties to egg whites and can be whipped up like meringue or folded directly into batters to create all kinds of desserts that are normally difficult to veganize. I’ve even seen some people using it to create mayonnaise, but I haven’t personally tried that one yet. This was my first time using aquafaba in brownies before and I was pleasantly surprised with the results.

If Fuzzy Wuzzy had a brother named Fudgy Wudgy, he would love these brownies.

What are some of your other favorite uses for aquafaba? Even more importantly, are you a fudgy or cakey brownie person?

Dessert · Recipes · What's Cooking

Cookieception (aka Vegan Cookie Dough Balls)

Now that I’m working mostly from home I am finding myself wandering to the kitchen to graze more than usual. I mean, it’s just too easy when your home office (and by office, I mean couch) is literally 15 feet away from the refrigerator. And you know what? It’s fine. We’re all living through a stressful time right now. There’s no point in beating myself up over something like too many snacks, especially considering how much I love snacks. 🙂

I’ve been doing my best to keep a good balance in my diet lately. It’s fine to crave and eat junk food, but I know that if I just sit around eating Oreos all day that I’m probably not going to feel great. That’s where all the healthy snack and dessert recipes that I’ve been hoarding for years on Pinterest have come in handy.

Several versions of vegan cookie dough ball recipes have shown up in my feed lately, meaning that some great higher power is telling me that I need to eat raw cookie dough. (Which I did a few days ago…not the healthy version, like this recipe, either. Just straight up cookie dough out of the freezer. Don’t judge me.) This afternoon I decided to play around a bit and make a “healthier” cookie dough recipe that I can snack on throughout the week. I used the recipe posted recently on Sweet Simple Vegan for my starting point, with some tweaks here and there. Instead of using all nut butter, I actually used a mix of peanut butter and Biscoff spread to give it more of a cookie-like taste. (Since I used a cookie spread inside a cookie dough recipe, is that cookieception?) The spreads I used were thicker than a lot of nut butters, so I had to adjust the amounts of some of the other ingredients I used. For a first time attempt I am super happy with the way these turned out.

Now…how do I actually make them last until the end of the week? 😛

Cookieception Balls (aka Vegan Cookie Dough Balls)

3-4 TBSP maple syrup (depending on how sweet you like things)

2 TBSP peanut butter

2 TBSP Biscoff spread

1 tsp melted coconut oil

1/2 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup oat flour

1/4 tsp maca powder (optional)

1/4 tsp salt

Water, as needed (I used about 1 TBSP)

Chocolate chips (About 1.5 – 2 TBSP. Just measure it with your heart.)

  • Combine maple syrup, peanut butter, Biscoff, coconut oil and vanilla in a bowl. Whisk until wet ingredients are well combined.
  • Add oat flour, maca (if using), and salt to the wet ingredients. Stir until well combined and a soft dough begins to form. If your dough is thick, you may want to knead the flour in by hand to get it well incorporated. Add water, a little at a time, to moisten dough if it’s too dry or crumbly.
  • Stir/knead in chocolate chips.
  • Roll into small balls (I got 10) and place on parchment paper.
  • Pop in the fridge for at least half an hour to chill. (Keep store in the fridge, if you don’t eat them all in one sitting.)