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?

What's Cooking

Eating During the Time of Quarantine

Hello, friends! Thanks for checking out my blog and my first post. Originally, when I decided to create this blog, my first post was going to be about my journey back to veganism and a more eco-friendly lifestyle. But, we can talk more about all of that later, I guess. It feels somewhat inconsequential to talk about any major lifestyle changes at the moment, given everything going on in the world with COVID-19. For now, let’s just talk about some of the things I’ve been whipping up in the kitchen during quarantine.

I was cooking quite a bit before COVID hit, but I’ll admit that I ordered takeout food at least 2-3 times a week, usually on days I didn’t pack anything for lunch. Being the busy people that we are, I’m sure a lot of you were in the same boat. When we had to start staying home, I half expected myself to get sick of cooking pretty quickly. “At least I can still order food to-go or get food delivered to the house,” I thought. Surprisingly, I’ve only ordered takeout a handful of times in the last 5-6 weeks. Every weekend Boyfriend and I try to pick a local restaurant that we like and support them by ordering takeout. My daily tea/coffee runs have diminished to once a week, which has probably been an even bigger adjustment for me than cooking all my meals at home. I’m finding that I don’t even mind it that much. Staying in has forced me to be more creative, not only because ingredients are limited, but so I don’t run out of ideas and end up eating the same thing day after day.

I’ve been trying out lots of recipes from my favorite food bloggers, YouTubers, and cookbooks. Lately, I’ve been really into cooking Korean-inspired meals, as Korean food is one of my favorites.

There’s also been plenty of baking happening, as well. I bake a lot as it is, but considering everything that’s been going on, I’ve ramped things up. (Anyone else stress baking like crazy?) There have been cookies, breads, cakes, cobblers, and candies appearing on my counter at least three times a week…which is why I’ll be calling my quarantine memoir, Land of a Thousand Carbs.

What kinds of things have you all been making lately? Are you sick of cooking yet?