Chocolate Cake with Zucchini-Vegan

This is the birthday cake I made for both of my daughter’s this year. It is basically the same as my chocolate layer cake recipe, but with a bit of added zucchini. You can’t taste, see, or detect the zucchini, but I feel just a bit better giving them cake if there is even a tiny bit of nutrition in it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not for adding sugar to all vegetables, but if you are going to have cake, you might as well also have a vegetable. Pictured here I made it in a 9×13 pan for a sheet cake and used my regular vegan buttercream.

Ingredients

  • 1 TBL vinegar
  • 1/2 cup almond milk or other non-dairy milk
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups brewed coffee (or more milk)
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Oil 2 8″ round cake pans, put parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, oil and flour pan and parchment paper. Alternatively you can use a 9×13 pan, greased but no parchment paper. Bake for 22-27min for a 9×13 pan.
  3. Mix together the milk and vinegar, set aside to curdle.
  4. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir in sugar and salt.
  5. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients and add the milk mixture, coffee, oil and extracts mixing with an electric mixer briefly until there are no lumps.
  6. Fold in shredded zucchini and evenly divide batter into prepared pans and bake 25-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  7. Let cake rest in the pan about 10 minutes, then remove and finish cooling on cooling rack before frosting.

Fresh Strawberry Pie for the 4th of July

The summer is flying by! I cant believe it is already the weekend before the 4th of July! We have already done lots of summery things – the beach about a 1000 times, biking, walking on the bike path, picnics, and strawberry picking. My girls loved picking strawberries and we picked WAY too many. I had plans to make pie, jam, and freeze some. I forgot that I have small children and those are all time consuming activities. I did make a pie, this pie specifically and it was glorious. I also froze a bunch. The jam will have to wait until next year. Or maybe we’ll do raspberry or blueberry when that time comes. For now, make and enjoy a fresh strawberry pie for your 4th of July.

Ingredients

  • ¾ C. unbleached flour
  • ¼ c. whole-wheat flour
  • ¾ tsp. salt (divided)
  • 6 TBL solid vegetable shortening
  • 6TBL. Plus ¼ C. cold water (divided)
  • ¼ c. cornstarch
  • ¾ c. boiling water
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2.5 lbs fresh strawberries (about 7 cups hulled and haved)
  • 1 TBL. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 TBL Earth Balance or other margarine

Instructions

To make crust:

  1. preheat oven to 350.
  2. In bowl, combine flours and ½ tsp salt.
  3. Cut shortening into mixture until it resembles coarse meal.
  4. Add 4 TBL cold water while stiffing with a fork, and mix lightly to form a ball.
  5. Let dough rest at least 5 minutes at room temperature, then roll out to fit a 9-inch pan.
  6. Slip into pan, trimming as needed and crimping edges.
  7. Fill crust with dry beans, rice or pie weights and back 30 minutes or until light brown.
  8. Remove from oven and cool.

To make filling:

  1. Mix cornstarch thoroughly with remaining ¼ cold water.
  2. Add boiling water, stirring until smooth.
  3. Place in a 1-quart saucepan over medium heat.
  4. Add sugar, remaining ¼ tsp. salt and ½ cup of the strawberries, stirring constantly and crushing berries against sides of pan as liquid comes to a low boil, thickens and clears, about 10 minutes.
  5. Reduce heat and cook 3-4 minutes.
  6. Add lemon juice and margarine and mix gently.
  7. Remove mixture from heat, add remaining berries, mix gently and pour into prepared shell. Refrigerate pit at least 2 hours before serving.
  8. Serve with coconut whipped cream if desired.

Easy 3 Ingredient Vegan Mother’s Day Crêpe -Gluten Free Vegan

Being a mom I think Mother’s Day is great. I get to sit around while someone else cooks and cleans for a day. Sounds like perfection. I know if you’re the one doing the cooking and cleaning for a day it might seem a little overwhelming. I’m here to help. These three ingredient Crêpes are incredibly simply, yet sure to wow. Pictured is simple the Crêpe with some store-bought raspberry jam and a little powdered sugar sprinkled over the top. Beautiful right? You could also find some vegan chocolate hazelnut butter . Perhaps a mimosa and some breakfast potatoes or scrambled tofu and you are good to go!

Happy Mother’s Day to all!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (165 grams) chickpea (Besan) flour -You can find this in any good grocery store by the gluten free foods or specialty flour section.
  • 1 1/2 cups (350 grams) water
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • Cooking spray or Oil for cooking

Instructions

  1. Whisk together flour, water and salt. Set aside for 30 minutes for flour to absorb water.
  2. Once batter has hydrated heat a 11″ non-stick skillet over medium heat.
  3. Spray with cooking spray, or add a small amount of oil to the pan and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add 1/3 cup of the batter and swirl the pan so the batter coats the bottom of the pan in a thin layer.
  5. Cook over medium heat until bottom is golden brown, flip the crepe and cook on the second side until it is also golden brown.
  6. Continue cooking crepes one at a time until batter is gone.
  7. Serve with toppings of choice or use for dipping.

Vegan Crème de Menthe Squares

Vegan Crème de Menthe Squares
Vegan Crème de Menthe Squares

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.

Ingredients

  • 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.

Instructions

  1. In a heavy saucepan combine 1/4 cup butter and cocoa powder. Cook & stir over low heat till butter is melted.
  2. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir in 1/4 Cup powdered sugar, & vanilla.
  4. Add graham crackers; stir till combined.
  5. Press mixture onto bottom of Ungreased 9x9x2” pan.
  6. Melt 1/4 Cup butter.
  7. In mixing bowl combine this and crème de menthe.
  8. Gradually add remaining powdered sugar beating with mixer till smooth.
  9. Spread over chocolate layer.
  10. Chill in fridge 1 hour.
  11. In heavy small saucepan combine 2 TBL cup butter and chocolate chips. Cook and stir till melted.
  12. Spread over mint layer.
  13. Cover and chill 1-2 hours or till firm.
  14. Cut into small squares.
  15. Store in the refrigerator

Vegan Frendsgiving/Thanksgiving Spice Cake

Vegan Spice Cake
Vegan Spice Cake

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.

Makes 1 9×9 cake

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 370F.
  2. Add vinegar to milk and set aside.
  3. Cream together sugar and shortening until smooth.
  4. Add the chia seed/water mixture to sugar and mix together.
  5. In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
  6. Alternate between adding flour mixture and soy milk to the shortening, mixing thoroughly between additions.
  7. 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.
  8. Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes if you can.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Spiced Muffins – Paleo, grain free, dairy free

Gluten Free Pumpkin Spiced Muffins - Paleo, grain free, dairy free
Gluten Free Pumpkin Spiced Muffins – Paleo, grain free, dairy free

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!

 Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (66 grams) coconut flour
  • 3/4 cup (75 grams) almond flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 7 tablespoons (98 grams) coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup (120 grams) canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Line a mini muffin pan with 24 muffin liners or oil pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the coconut flour, almond flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, mix together the eggs, coconut oil, maple syrup, pumpkin, and vanilla.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry mxture and stir just until combined.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. These need to rest for at least an hour before serving, both because of taste and texture.
  8. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Best in the first 2 days.

Happy Anniversary To My Husband

Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream
Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream

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!

My Husband’s Favorites:

The best vegan chocolate chip cookies
The best vegan chocolate chip cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream

Cold Brew Whiskey Coffee

 

 

 

Vegan Chickpea Cutlets
Vegan Chickpea Cutlets

Chickpea Patties

Pot Pie

Even Better Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

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.

 Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl cream together oil, Earth Balance, brown and white sugar, vanilla extract, and water mixing until smooth and creamy.
  2. 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.
  3. Add chocolate chips and stir to incorporate.
  4. Place covered mixture in an airtight container and refrigerate overnight.
  5. The next day remove the cookie dough from the refrigerator and allow to sit for about 20 minutes so you can scoop into it.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  7. Drop cookie dough by the spoonful onto ungreased cookie sheets leaving 2″ between each cookie.
  8. Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.
  9. Sprinkle cookies with salt, just a few grains per cookie, then transfer from cookie sheet onto cooling rack immediately.
  10. Wait a few minutes before eating to prevent burning your mouth on hot chocolate chips.
  11. Enjoy responsibly.

Easy Gluten Free 2 Ingredient Frozen Yogurt (vegan or not)

Easy Gluten Free 2 Ingredient Frozen Yogurt (vegan or not)
Easy Gluten Free 2 Ingredient Frozen Yogurt (vegan or not)

My oldest daughter calls sunscreen “ice cream.” Super cute, and funny as it means I have yet to convince her that ice cream is a totally different item. I decided to make this with her to give her a small taste of what ice cream is. I usually don’t even let her have yogurt with sugar in it (she loves plain), but I made an exception here. She thought it was pretty great.

This is a super simple combination of frozen fruit and yogurt that makes a creamy, fruity, frozen concoction that fills any need for ice cream. It works with both vegan and dairy yogurt. I like to use the sweetened yogurt here, but plain would be fine if you are ok with a fairly tart yogurt. If you use sweetened yogurt and it isn’t sweet enough for you add a touch of agave or maple syrup. It will depend on how sweet the fruit is that you use. I used peaches for this batch, but pretty much any frozen fruit will work. I haven’t met one yet that doesn’t.

Happy summer!

 Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sweetened vanilla yogurt (non-dairy is fine)
  • 2 cups chopped frozen fruit (I used peaches)
  • Optional – sweetener such as agave, honey, or maple syrup
  • Optional-Vanilla or almond extract 1/4 tsp or so

Instructions

  1. Place yogurt, then frozen fruit in a high powered blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  2. You will need to stop several times to scrape the sides.
  3. Serve immediately. It doesn’t freeze well. You could keep it in the freezer for an hour or so, but much longer it gets very hard and doesn’t thaw consistently so it is best eaten in one sitting.

Vegan Date Caramel Carmelita Bars

Vegan Date Caramel Carmelitas
Vegan Date Caramel Carmelitas

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…

 Ingredients

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)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8×8-inch pan and set aside.
  2. Cover dates with boiling water in a heat proof bowl or measuring cup and set aside for 10 minutes.
  3. Combine the melted “butter”, coconut sugar, and vanilla whisking until smooth.
  4. Add the flour, oats, baking soda, and stir until combined.
  5. Add roughly half of the mixture to the prepared pan and smooth it to form an even layer.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes. While it bakes make the date caramel.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the date caramel in an even layer.
  10. Evenly crumble reserved oatmeal-sugar mixture over the top.
  11. Return pan to oven and bake for about 15 to 18 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned and center appears to be set.
  12. Allow bars to cool for a few hours in the pan before slicing and serving.
  13. These are best stored in the refrigerator and are delightful cold or at room temperature.