Christmas is coming, and so are the cookies! My problem is I really like to make cookies, but know that I really shouldn’t keep that many of them in the house. They are just too easy to eat. So, I try to limit my cooking making and share whenever possible. I do end up making these almost every year. Chocolate and mint is the one flavor combination I usually like. Most often I’m a chocolate purest and just want my chocolate to be chocolate, but in the winter mint is allowed to make an appearance every now and again.
This is a recipe from my childhood where I made a few switches to make it vegan. I also cut the recipe in half so I wouldn’t have so many cookies on hand. If you’re doing a cookie exchange or just have a lot of company coming this one is easily doubled.
Crème de Menthe Squares
1/2 cup + 2 TBL Cup earth balance or refined coconut oil (divided)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 3/4 cups sifted powdered sugar (divided)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup finely crushed vegan graham crackers
1/3 cup crème de menthe
3/4 Cup vegan semisweet chocolate chips.
In a heavy saucepan combine 1/4 cup butter and cocoa powder. Cook & stir over low heat till butter is melted.
Remove from heat.
Stir in 1/4 Cup powdered sugar, & vanilla.
Add graham crackers; stir till combined.
Press mixture onto bottom of Ungreased 9x9x2” pan.
Melt 1/4 Cup butter.
In mixing bowl combine this and crème de menthe.
Gradually add remaining powdered sugar beating with mixer till smooth.
Spread over chocolate layer.
Chill in fridge 1 hour.
In heavy small saucepan combine 2 TBL cup butter and chocolate chips. Cook and stir till melted.
The recipe for this delightful morsel of a cake has been passed down from my great-grandmother. It was one of the first recipes I posted when I started my blog several years ago. I didn’t have a picture of it, and I never uploaded one, until today. Just in time to celebrate the start of the holiday season. This cake is ultra moist, full of warming spices, and somehow never too sweet. It is perfect for dessert, breakfast, or as an addition to a holiday brunch. It also takes about 5 minutes to make and makes a big impression with its amazing fall flavors. This is the cake to bake when you have company as the whole house smells like you’ve spent hours in the kitchen as the warm fragrance of fall baking spices waft through the air.
Gramma’s Spice Cake
Makes 1 9×9 cake
1 cup non-dairy milk, or dairy milk
1 tsp. vinegar (apple cider or white, but I’ve also used rice in a pinch)
1 cup sugar
1 TBL vegetable shortening
1 TBL chia seeds mixed with 2 TBL water, or 1 egg, or equivalent of 1 egg in whatever form you like
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 370F.
Add vinegar to milk and set aside.
Cream together sugar and shortening until smooth.
Add the chia seed/water mixture to sugar and mix together.
In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
Alternate between adding flour mixture and soy milk to the shortening, mixing thoroughly between additions.
Pour batter into a greased 9×9 cake pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until cake pulls away from the edges of the pan and a cake tester comes out mostly clean.
I’m so sorry I have skipped a few weeks lately. Things have been crazy around here. We are getting ready to move across the country, from the Boston area to the Seattle area. With two kids under the age of 3. I’m very excited, but, as I said, it’s been a bit crazy. Please forgive me if this are a bit slow in the next few weeks, but I hope to back up to speed for the holidays. I hope.
These delightful little nuggets of joy were a fun find from The Texanerian. I changed a few things but that was my inspiration. These are perfect for fall and a wonderful, fairly healthy, way to start Halloween. full of actual pumpkin and lots of meat free sources of protein these guys will fill you up. My older daughter ate them one after another until I had to cut her off! Also a hit with the neighborhood kids, and adults. Yummy!
1/2 cup (120 grams) canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Line a mini muffin pan with 24 muffin liners or oil pan.
In a large bowl, mix together the coconut flour, almond flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt.
In a separate medium bowl, mix together the eggs, coconut oil, maple syrup, pumpkin, and vanilla.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry mxture and stir just until combined.
Pour the batter evenly into the muffin liners, filling each liner until almost completely full. You’ll likely have enough batter for another six. I scooped them into a big muffin pan so I could cook them at the same time and they were flat but perfectly yummy.
Bake for 11-13 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
These need to rest for at least an hour before serving, both because of taste and texture.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Best in the first 2 days.
Tomorrow is my 6th anniversary, which means my husband and I have been together about 10.5 years! In that time we have lived in 6 different states, countless houses, tents, and trailers, bought and sold one house, changed jobs about a million times, had two children, and are now preparing to move across the country again! It’s been fun, and I can’t wait to keep living the dream with my amazing, thoughtful, compassionate, hard working, incredible father of a husband. I love you Aspen Gone Wild.
To celebrate I’m making a short list of my husband’s favorites, and maybe, if he’s lucky, I’ll make one for him in the next few weeks:) This year my husband and I will be spending our anniversary celebrating with my sister-in-law for some of her pre-wedding festivities. I wish her the same love, kindness, and respect that I find in my own marriage. Love you J-dazzle!
I posted a recipe for chocolate chip cookies a long time ago; I have been using the same recipe for ages, and it is delicious! However, in the last year I learned a few things about chocolate chip cookies thanks to Food Lab and my BFF Kenji (yes this friendship is all in my head). The two things that I have incorporated into my recipe are the refrigerate the dough overnight, and to finish the cookies with salt. These two simple steps are a game changer. The texture of the cookies is a bit softer, and they develop a deeper flavor. Yummy. The salt, I feel is just the perfect addition to bring out the flavor of the cookie, and as a counter point to the sweetness.
If you are in a rush you can bake these right away, but I would only bake as many as you need and save the rest of the dough for the next day.
Even Better Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/2 cup neutral flavored oil (I use refined coconut oil)
1/2 cup Earth Balance buttery sticks
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 TBL water
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 – 2 cups chocolate chips
kosher salt, or other coarse salt for finishing
In a medium bowl cream together oil, Earth Balance, brown and white sugar, vanilla extract, and water mixing until smooth and creamy.
Add flour, baking soda, and salt giving dry ingredients a stir before combining with the creamed mixture. Mix dry and creamed mixture just until combined.
Add chocolate chips and stir to incorporate.
Place covered mixture in an airtight container and refrigerate overnight.
The next day remove the cookie dough from the refrigerator and allow to sit for about 20 minutes so you can scoop into it.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Drop cookie dough by the spoonful onto ungreased cookie sheets leaving 2″ between each cookie.
Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.
Sprinkle cookies with salt, just a few grains per cookie, then transfer from cookie sheet onto cooling rack immediately.
Wait a few minutes before eating to prevent burning your mouth on hot chocolate chips.
I’m from the Midwest, you know, land of “hot dish” (casserole), and cookie bars. Yet, somehow I never had carmelitas until my sister-in-law made them when visiting over a year ago. I have only had them that one time, yet they stuck in my brain. This very comforting combination of caramel, chocolate, and almost and oatmeal cookie crust. I attempted one other time to make them vegan and failed miserably. I didn’t try again until recently, after I had found date caramel . This version of carmelitas are vegan, and much lower sugar than your average bar. They are still sweet, very sweet. In fact they are perfect for breakfast dessert with a cup of coffee. mmm, or mid-afternoon snack with a cup of coffee, Be right back…
Vegan Date Caramel Carmelitas
For the Oat Base and Crumble
3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted (I used Earth Balance)
1/2 cup packed coconut sugar (or brown sugar if that’s what you have)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-rolled old fashioned oats (not instant or quick cook)
1 teaspoon baking soda
For the Date Caramel
8 oz pitted medjool dates (about 2 cups)
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup water that the dates were soaking in
1 TBL bourbon (or more date water)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks (vegan if that’s your jam)
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8×8-inch pan and set aside.
Cover dates with boiling water in a heat proof bowl or measuring cup and set aside for 10 minutes.
Combine the melted “butter”, coconut sugar, and vanilla whisking until smooth.
Add the flour, oats, baking soda, and stir until combined.
Add roughly half of the mixture to the prepared pan and smooth it to form an even layer.
Bake for 10 minutes. While it bakes make the date caramel.
7.Combine the soaked dates, coconut milk, soaking water, vanilla, and salt in a food processor and blend until smooth. This will take a few minutes and you will have to stop and scrape the sides a few times.
After the oat base has cooked for 10 minutes remove it from the oven and dollop the date caramel over the base. Smooth with a spoon or spatula to form one even layer. This is delicate work.
Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the date caramel in an even layer.
Evenly crumble reserved oatmeal-sugar mixture over the top.
Return pan to oven and bake for about 15 to 18 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned and center appears to be set.
Allow bars to cool for a few hours in the pan before slicing and serving.
These are best stored in the refrigerator and are delightful cold or at room temperature.
Sometimes you need a brownie. I gooey, deeply chocolaty, fudgy brownie. Perhaps you want to make a special father in your life something for Father’s Day. Maybe, just maybe, you also want to pretend to do something decent for your body. This is the answer. These are delightful brownies in their own right, and they are gluten free, vegan, and made with black beans! You would never guess that there are beans here, and the texture is a delight. These would be a lovely contribution for any party, grill-out, or picnic.
Vegan Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies Made With Black Beans