Sunday, November 25, 2012

Vegan Coffee Cake

Post-Thanksgiving on a chilly morning, I was still in comfort food mode and was craving coffee cake and hot coffee.  When I was a kid, my favorite coffee cake memory was making it using the Aunt Jemima Coffee Cake mix.  I remember adding an egg and milk to the mix in the bag and you mashed it together in the bag and then poured it in the included aluminum tray.  It came with a waxed paper envelope of crumb topping that you topped the mix with and it baked perfect.  I loved it--there were never leftovers.  I found an enticing recipe for vegan coffee cake on Poppytalk blog and gave it a go:

I decided to make it without the optional berries, and it was just what I wanted.  It reminded me of the classic Aunt Jemima coffee cake and was perfect on a chilly morning with hot coffee.  I'm definitely making this again!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Gluten-free Vegan Pumpkin Pie

For Thanksgiving this year, I decided to make a vegan pumpkin pie and found this great and fairly easy recipe:  Pumpkin Pie with Gluten-free Pecan Crust.  One note:  though this recipe is gluten-free, it isn't nut-free so it's not acceptable for those with nut allergies, unless you switch out the crust with a gluten-free, nut-free one.

I loved the crust while I was making it.  You know how cookie dough is great in it's dough form, sometimes better than it's finished cookie form?  The crust was like this--I could have eaten the crust dough straight.  It was a great mix of nutty, sweet, and salty.  These elements became much more subtle after baking it with the pumpkin filling.  Overall the consensus was that regardless that this pie was vegan and gluten-free, this pie was a delicious.  I recommend it as a great change-up at your next Thanksgiving buffet!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Maple "Butter" Bars

I've been testing out recipes that me and my nephew (with specific allergies) can enjoy together and this one from Flying Apron's Gluten-Free & Vegan Baking Book caught my eye. It's supposed to be like shortbread which I love. I really wish this book had more pictures of their recipes, so I knew if these look right.  Since I don't have a mixer, I mixed it by hand with a strong fork and I'm wondering if that changes the composition a lot.  I also used a 9x13 pan instead of the 9x12 pan, so I think they're thinner than they're supposed to be:

They are tasty and not overwhelmingly sweet and I certainly enjoy them, but they seem very dense and chewy, rather than crisp which I associate shortbread with.  Also, when I pulled the pan out of the oven, the coconut oil had bloomed to the top and was just sizzling/boiling when I pulled the pan out of the oven, though it eventually settled back down into the cookies as it cooled. Also, the recipe advised to score the cookies while they're hot, but I found this unnecessary and was able to cut them into bars pretty easily.  Hmm, maybe I need to try this out with a mixer sometime and see if it changes things.  Anyone familiar with this recipe and can tell me if I made these right? 

Anyhoo, if you'd like to try making these (it's pretty easy with 5 ingredients)--please let me know how they turned out (especially if you've got a stand-up mixer)!

Maple "Butter" Bars

- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Combine 2 3/4 c of brown rice flour and 1/2 tsp salt in a medium bowl.
- In the bowl of a stand-up mixer fixed with paddle attachment, combine 1 c coconut oil (or palm oil), 1 c maple syrup, and 1 tsp vanilla until well mixed. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture a little at a time until well mixed, about 3 minutes.
- Spread batter evenly into a parchment-lined 9x12 pan. Bake until edges harden slightly, about 15 minutes. While dough is hot, score it into 12 pieces with a knife. After it has cooled, slice it the rest of the way through and remove bars from pan.