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.
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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.

Vegan Mud Pie Ice Cream

Vegan Mud Pie Ice Cream
Vegan Mud Pie Ice Cream

Tomorrow is national ice cream day! Oh boy, what a wonderful thing to celebrate. I haven’t created any new ice cream flavors in a while so I decided to put some thought into it. Here is my creation: a creamy coffee ice cream with bits of Oreo, best served topped with hot fudge sauce and coconut whipped cream. A vegan mud pie!

My ice cream recipe is versatile and I have a post on making vegan ice cream without a recipe if you want to experiment. For this coffee base I used my whiskey cold brew, but any strong, cold coffee would work.

If this flavor isn’t your jam, check out the vanilla, peanut butter cup, Irish cream, or Mint. I do love ice cream!

 

 Ingredients

  • 1 can (13.6 oz) full fat coconut milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 TBL agave nectar
  • 3 TBL cold brew whiskey coffee, or cold coffee
  • 6 Oreos, smashed
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Blend all ingredients together briefly.
  2. Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturers instructions.
  3. After ice cream has been churned fold in the crushed Oreos.
  4. Scoop ice cream into freezer friendly container and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.
  5. Top with vegan hot fudge sauce for a delightful treat.

Vegan Macadamia Nut Cheesecake with Raspberry Sauce

Vegan Macadamia Nut Cheesecake with Raspberry Sauce
Vegan Macadamia Nut Cheesecake with Raspberry Sauce

Happy Fourth of July! This is a delightful summer recipe perfect for cooling off at the end of the day. The base is similar to my Key Lime Pie Cheesecake, but the macadamia nuts make it richer with an almost white chocolate feel to it. The raspberry sauce is a good contrast with its bright fruitiness brings the proper balance to the dish.

 Ingredients

  • For the crust
  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (1 sleeve of whole graham crackers-make sure they are vegan) I used the blender to grind them into crumbs
  • 1 TBL brown sugar
  • 3 1/2 TBL vegan butter, melted
  • For the cheesecake filling
  • 1 cup roasted, unsalted macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup coconut milk (full fat from a can)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp pure almond extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Prepare muffin pan with 12 liners.
  3. Mix graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and vegan butter in a bowl until combined.
  4. Divide evenly into prepared muffin tin.
  5. Press crumbs down into pan with the bottom of a cup or you fingers.
  6. Bake 6-8 minutes until lightly golden.
  7. Cool completely.
  8. While crust is cooling, place macadamia nuts and cashews in a small saucepan and cover with water.
  9. Bring to a boil, and boil for 5 minutes.
  10. Drain and set aside.
  11. In the container of a high powered blender combine the coconut milk, coconut oil, vanilla, almond extract salt, and agave and blend until thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds.
  12. Add the cooked and drained nuts to the blender. Start your blender on a low speed and slowly turn it up to high, then blend on high for 1 minute until completely smooth.
  13. Divide batter evenly over the prepared crust.
  14. Freeze for at least 3 hours before serving. Store in the freezer and allow them to thaw about 20 minutes on the counter before eating for the best texture.
  15. Top with Raspberry sauce before serving.

 Ingredients

  • 3 cups frozen raspberries
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 TBL agave nectar

Instructions

  1. Combine ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  2. Cook, stirring frequently, until the raspberries are soft and falling apart, and the mixture has thickened, about 10 minutes.

Happy Father’s Day Chocolate Cake

vegan blackout chocolate cake
vegan blackout chocolate cake

My dad loves chocolate, I mean really loves chocolate. He isn’t going to be with me this Father’s Day since we live a few states apart, but since he generously passed on his love of chocolate, I will generously eat this cake in his honor. Love you daddy!

I did think about making something for my husband and father of my children, but I make things for him all the time. I’ll make sure to make some of his favorites for him, and I’ll even share the cake.

This is a lovely combination of several recipes on my blog, and comes together into a delightful blackout chocolate cake topped with chocolate mousse.

 Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Cut the top off one cake to make it flat. Frost it and stack the second cake on top. Frost top and sides of cake and pat chocolate chips into sides and top.
  2. Top the cake with chocolate mousse, serve, eat, and then take a nap. Happy Father’s Day!!

Vegan Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies Made With Black Beans

Vegan Gluten Free Black Bean Brownies
Vegan Gluten Free Black Bean Brownies

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.

Adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie

 Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups black beans (1 15-oz can, drained and rinsed very well)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp coconut or granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp pure almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips plus more for top

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Place the rolled oats in a food processor and blend to a flour, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the chocolate chips and process until very smooth, another 2-3 minutes stopping and scraping the sides occasionally.
  4. Stir in the chips, then pour into a greased 8×8 pan.
  5. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of extra chocolate chips over the top.
  6. Cook the black bean brownies 15-18 minutes until the top looks dry and they feel firm to the touch.
  7. Allow to cool at least 10 minutes before trying to cut.