Halloween & Sugar Cookies!

Happy Halloween, everybody! I love the creativity involved in this holiday but, because it’s officially here, it means that Vegan MOFO 2011 is over! Boooo! Overall, it’s been fun sharing my adventures with everyone and finding out about the hundreds of cool vegan blogs out there. I can’t be too sad that it’s over knowing that I will continue, business as usual, posting on a consistent basis and meeting new bloggers! That being said, let us continue on to the delicious sugar cookies that I made for my friend’s pumpkin carving party on Saturday.

I was in a bit of a rush on Saturday, so this delicious treat was the amalgamation of a couple of different recipes. The sugar cookie recipe that I used was one that I found over at Chez Betty, whose heart cookies look adorable! The only thing that I did differently was half the recipe and roll out the dough to used cookie cutters after I took it out of the refrigerator.

Next, I tried to figure out what to do with the decorations; was I going to use sprinkles? Was it going to be topped with icing? What flavor would the icing be? Oh, the hard decisions you have to make when baking! 😉 I started winging it, and this is where things get a little hazy as far as recipes go. The icing started out more as whipped frosting of the butter cream variety, then turned into a weird mess, then finally into chocolate-y goodness.

If I were to do this again, instead of whipping everything up and then microwaving it into an icing, I’d make this in a pan! So, I’ll give you an estimated recipe of what worked for me and if you try it out let me know how it goes. >_<

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbsp. Earth Balance
  • 1 1/2 Cups Organic Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 Cup Non-Dairy Milk
  • Pinch of Salt

Directions:

  1. Heat Earth Balance over medium head until melted. Mix powdered sugar and cocoa powder together in a bowl and then slowly stir it into the melted Earth Balance until it is well combined. Add salt and vanilla to the mixture and as much of the non-dairy milk as necessary to make the icing liquid-y.
  2. Take the icing off of the heat and let cool for a few minutes, making sure to stir it occasionally so that it cools evenly. Then either pour a little icing at a time over the sugar cookies or dip the top face of the cookie into the icing. Make sure to ice the cookies over a plate or parchment/wax paper.
  3. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes before stacking the cookies if you are planning on bringing them with you to a party!

Even after the stressing out about the unique way of icing these cookies, I brought them over to Sarah’s and everybody loved them! I probably should have made the whole recipe, but I think it’s better this way (with less cookies in my belly!).

I also brought another dish to the party, but I won’t be sharing that with you until later this week, perhaps tomorrow? 🙂 Instead, I will leave you with the end result of our pumpkin carving party! One pumpkin is a tad NSFW, and was not done by me! Can you guess which one is mine?

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Well, of course it would be the one with vegan pizza and beer on it! And my blog initials, too, dang I’m such a nerd! 😀

Again, Happy Halloween, everyone and I hope that you had a great weekend and Vegan MOFO! Stay safe and eat lots of vegan treats, I will probably just stuff my face with pumpkin beer and butter pecan icecream. 😉

Gluten Free Carrot Waffles with Red Grape Compote

 

This weekend was the last weekend of Vegan MOFO (sadly), and the last chance for me to participate in Vegan MOFO’s Iron Chef Challenge. The challenge this time was to make a dish that had carrots and oats as two ingredients and I think I did fairly well with them!

I am a HUGE fan of big breakfasts, and this one was no different. I am not intolerant to gluten or anything, but this would be great for those that are; I’m looking at you Oh, Ladycakes! 😉 As soon as I saw that I would need to mess around with carrots and oats, I wanted to pair them with fruit to make a well-rounded dish. That being said, it would have been nice to have raisins at my house, but the red grape compote completely exceeded my expectations and went perfectly on top of these subtly sweet waffles.

This recipe was a little temperamental at first, but that was also because I was not filling the Belgian waffle molds fully; so, my first tip to you is to do so or else the top side with have a had time cooking fully! Another tip to you would be to turn on the oven to 250°F so that in between waffle pours you can place them on a baking sheet and store them in the oven to stay warm; or you can place them in the microwave, but I find they get a little mushy like that.

Ingredients (4-5 Large Belgian Waffles):

  • 2 Cups Rolled Oats
  • 1 Cup Non-Dairy Milk
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 4 Tbsp. Ground Flaxseed
  • 1 Heaping Cup Shredded Carrot
  • 1/8 Cup Organic Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Melted Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients inside of a blender or food processor and puree until smooth and the batter should be a little thicker than pancake batter.
  2. Fill Waffle maker molds completely and cook 11-13 minutes, these might take a little longer depending on how thick your batter is. Remove from waffle maker once the edges start to brown and they are crispy on the outside.

Ingredients for Grape Compote:

  • 2 Cups Red Grapes, Chopped
  • 2-3 Tbsp. Organic Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Water
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Heat the grapes, sugar, and water over medium until they start to boil; lower heat to low-medium and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the cinnamon to the mixture and simmer another 5 minutes, and let it cool. The compote should be a little syrupy, but perfect for topping the waffles.

And there you have it! You are more than welcome to garnish the waffles with a little extra shredded coconut, or even powdered sugar would be great, too. I ended up only eating one waffle, and giving my dad the other; these things are filling! So, for a great start to your weekend morning I highly recommend that you try out this recipe!


A Bundle of Extremely Easy, Healthy & Delicious Sweet Snacks!

I. Love. Desserts. So much so, that I’m pretty sure I don’t have an imposing sweet tooth, I have sweet TEETH. I love making elaborate desserts, cupcakes with fillings and interesting icing, layered cakes, and beautiful pies. But, there is a time and place for all of these and when you’re pressed for time and hankering something that you won’t regret you need something fast and healthy.

Today, I have for you a few different fruit snacks and desserts that I’ve made lately that I absolutely love. You could also get away with preparing these dishes for a small get together, and fooling them into thinking that you are a culinary genius! 😉

First up, a comforting and warm apple dessert; this dish is much like a deconstructed version of the Cran Apple Pie that I made the other day. But, there are a few things different here, less ingredients, single-serving portion, and even healthier!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Apple, cored and sliced into wedges
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Maple Syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. Dried Cranberries
  • 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Place sliced apples in circular motion on a small, microwave-safe plate. Sprinkle cranberries and cinnamon on top, then drizzle with maple syrup. Microwave for 1-2 minutes, take out and let sit for a few minutes; the water in the apples retains the heat very well so it will be super hot! Enjoy with a nice glass of Riesling if you’re that kind of thing.

Next up, a dessert that I made on a complete whim that turned out better than I could have ever anticipated! I know it’s not much to look at, but warm bananas topped with chocolate-y goodness make a seriously great dessert (even better to share with two others!).

Ingredients:

  • 1 Banana, Sliced Lengthwise into 3
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. Mini Chocolate Chips, I use Enjoy Life Mini Chips
  • 1 tsp. Apple Syrup, Maple Syrup or Agave Nectar

Directions:

  1. Lay banana slices flat and sprinkle chocolate chips over them, drizzle the syrup/nectar on top. Microwave for 45-60 seconds, let cool for a minute or two and try not to gobble them up in under 30 seconds. It’s nearly impossible, I assure you.

Last, but definitely not least, the easy to prep (and eat) apple slices with creamy peanut butter. This is one of my favorite post-workout snacks because it has a lot of protein, but is still relatively light; not to mention the combination of sweet, crisp apples and smooth, salty peanut butter is AMAZING! Instead of using just one apple and 2 tbsp. of peanut butter, you could slice up a couple of apples and make a peanut butter dip for a great appetizer or dinner party dessert.

Now, go on, eat healthy my friends! At least until the extravagant holiday desserts come around. 😉

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