Recipe: Chocolate-Filled Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies (Vegetarian)

I was trying to recreate these Trader Joe’s shortbread cookies I love to house. It didn’t go well. :(

Ingredients

2 c flour
1/2 t sea salt
1/2 c cane sugar
3/4 c + 1 T butter, slightly softened
2 T coconut milk
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 t almond extract
1 c chocolate chips
2 T heavy whipping cream
1 T corn syrup
Optional: Sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Whisk flour and salt together in a medium bowl.
  3. In a stand mixer, add 3/4 c butter and beat on medium until creamy.
  4. Add sugar and mix on medium until incorporated, scraping down sides as needed.
  5. Add vanilla and almond extracts and mix until combined.
  6. On the stand mixer, switch beater attachment to dough paddle. In 2-3 increments, add flour and mix until just combined and dough begins to form. Do not over mix!
  7. Continuing to scrape down sides as needed, add coconut milk and stir on low to combine.
  8. Using a cookie dough scoop, place balls of dough on baking sheet about an inch apart. Make indentations by using the back of a 1/4 t. Press the middle of the ball about halfway down.
  9. Bake for about 12 minutes, taking care not to over-bake. Remove from oven and cool.
  10. While the cookies cool, combine heavy whipping cream, corn syrup, and butter in a saucepan. Heat and stir over medium until steaming. Remove from heat and pour in chocolate chips. Let mixture sit for five minutes without stirring.
  11. Stir chocolate mixture until smooth. If there are still chunks of chocolate, return saucepan to low heat and stir until smooth.
  12. Using a teaspoon, spoon chocolate into each indentation and immediately top with sprinkles. Allow the chocolate to sit until firm.

Will keep 3-5 days in an airtight tupperware. I recommend mailing them to someone you don’t like that much.

Serves 4-6.

Bummed Out Bailey Rating: 2/10

“They were bad”

me

Rick-the-Meat-Eater Rating: 7/10

Adapted from Vegan Thumbprint Cookies with Strawberry Jam and Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies.

Related on Bummed Out Baker:
Sugar Cookies
Super-Easy Snickdoodles
Velvet Crinkle Cookies


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If you or someone you know needs help right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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Recipe: Strawberry Shortcake + Coconut Whipped Cream (Vegan)

I knocked it outta the park with this one. The carnivores love it, too.

tastes even better than it looks

Ingredients

3/4 c coconut milk
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 t vanilla extract, divided
1 c flour
1 scant cup almond flour
2 T cornstarch
3 T sugar, plus a few pinches more for topping
1/2 t sea salt
2 t baking powder
3 T coconut oil, plus a bit more for brushing onto shortbread
1 lb strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 14 oz can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
3/4 c powdered sugar

scant cup of almond flour

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F and lightly grease a baking sheet. Set aside.
  2. In a measuring cup, stir together coconut milk, apple cider vinegar, and 1/2 t vanilla. Let it sit for a few minutes, allowing it to curdle.
  3. Add flour, almond flour, cornstarch, sugar, sea salt, and baking powder to a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Add the coconut oil and use a spatula to mash and break it up into the flour mixture.
  4. Add about 3/4 c coconut milk mixture to the dry mixture and stir to combine into a semi-sticky dough. Note that you may not use all of the coconut milk mixture (I used all but 1 T). If mixture looks too dry, add more coconut milk 1 T at a time. If it looks too wet, add more flour 1 T at a time. Err on the side of too wet.
  5. Transfer dough to a well-floured surface and dust the top with a bit flour. Handling dough as little as possible, form it into about a 1″ thick pancake with your hands. Using a well-floured biscuit cutter, cookie cutter, or narrow drinking glass (what I used), cut out circles and transfer them carefully to the baking sheet. Arrange shortcakes so they touch (see photo).
  6. Reform leftover dough as needed until all is used, making about seven shortcakes.
  7. Butter tops of shortcakes with melted coconut oil and sprinkle each with cane sugar.
  8. Bake 15 minutes, until beginning to brown slightly. Increase heat to 450°F and bake for another three minutes. Be careful not to burn.
  9. When done, remove shortcakes from oven and let cool five minutes. Then, separate shortcakes and move to a plate so they can better cool. It’s okay if they’re a bit warm when serving.
  10. While shortcakes are cooling, put a large mixing bowl into the fridge for ten minutes in preparation for the whipped cream.
  11. Being careful not to tip or shake, remove can of coconut milk from the fridge. Scrape out the thickened cream that has risen to the top into the chilled mixing bowl and save the liquid for another recipe.
  12. Beat solidified coconut milk until creamy, about 30 seconds. Add remaining 1/2 t vanilla and powdered sugar and whip until creamy and smooth, about one minute.
  13. To serve, slice shortcakes in half and top with coconut whipped cream and a generous serving of sliced strawberries.

The biscuits (let’s be honest, that’s what they really look like) and refrigerated strawberries will last in airtight containers for a few days, but that whipped cream is a like a fine wine and stays good for a couple weeks.

Serves six normies or three wild dessert eaters.

Bummed Out Bailey Rating: 10/10
Rick-the-Meat-Eater Rating: ?/10 (he’s in NYC, I’m in Texas)

Adapted from Vegan Gluten-Free Strawberry Shortcake and Coconut Whipped Cream.

Related on Bummed Out Baker: 
Strawberries Romaoff (Gluten-Free + Raw + Vegan)
Strawberry Cake
Velvet Cake


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If you or someone you know needs help right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Recipe: Strawberries Romanoff (Gluten-Free + Raw + Vegan)

Gooood morning! Simple recipe alert. Strawberries romanoff is a wonderful, easy summer dessert or perhaps a special breakfast if you’re feeling cheeky.

Ingredients

1 c raw cashews, soaked four hours
1 Medjool date, pitted and soaked for 30 minutes
16 oz strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 T Triple Sec or other orange liqueur (like Grand Marnier)
1 T cane sugar
1/3 c fresh orange juice

Instructions

  1. Soak cashews and then go find something else to do for three and a half hours.
  2. Soak date and then go find something else to do for half an hour.
  3. In a medium bowl, gently toss strawberries with Triple Sec and sugar until well combined. Set aside.
  4. Rinse soaked cashews in cold water. Combine cashews, OJ, and date to a high speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Patience Iago, it will get fluffy.
  5. Spoon strawberries into a glass, top with whipped cream, and serve.

The strawberries will keep for about a day and the whipped cream about three days.

Serves two.

Bummed Out Baker Honest Rating: 8/10

Adapted from Vegan Strawberries Romanoff.

Related on Bummed Out Baker:
Strawberry Cake
Avocado Strawberry Caprese Salad (Gluten-Free + Vegan)
Açaí Bowl


Subscribe at the bottom of Bummed Out Baker to get my mental health musings and recipes emailed to you directly – Follow on Facebook for mental health articles and discussion – Follow on Instagram for behind-the-scenes panic attacks and my begrudging, meat-eating husband captured in the wild.

If you or someone you know needs help right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Happy Birthday Bummed Out Baker! Recipe: Chocolate Birthday Cake with Whipped Cream Icing (Gluten-Free + Vegan)

Happy Birthday Bummed Out Baker!

One year ago, I scuttled into the library at my in-laws’ NYC apartment carrying a heavy cutting board loaded down with a food rainbow. I used the window’s natural light to photograph the korma I was making, and my husband and my mother in-law’s nurse looked at me suspiciously, wondering what the heck I was up to now.

I wasn’t quite sure, myself. I had an old, but decent DSLR camera, limited lighting knowledge, and an affinity for cooking and baking new things, so I decided to capture it and throw it up on my site for anyone interested. I made a deal with myself to post a new recipe every Monday for one year and here I am, 52 recipes later! I’m proud I stuck to a promise I made to myself.

Less than two months in I changed the website name from my full name to Bummed Out Baker (Why Am I the Bummed Out Baker?) in order to encapsulate the full breadth of, well, me. Although I was finally pursuing my passion for writing and had accepted a place in The New School‘s MFA Creative Writing Nonfiction cohort for fall, that didn’t take away the depression and anxiety I’ve suffered for years. Do you guys wanna guess what my thesis is about? ;)

This is not a bubbly, perfectly put together vegetarian food blog like the ones all over the internet. They’re beautiful, but that just isn’t me. Instead, I aim to present my truest self to you all and be unabashed about the mental issues I face.

Some days, I’m too wrecked to do much more than to get up, do my morning routine (bed-making, teeth-brushing, etc.), take my meds, and then crank out what’s needed for school. I work hard not to beat myself up for being unable to take on more extracurriculars or a more rigorous social schedule and always try to look for silver linings in mental illness. I will say that one thing my finite emotional gas tank and constant, sinister awareness of my own mortality (lol) have taught me is to be hyper-focused on what and who matters most. Mental illness silver lining, yay!

Mental illness manifests in a myriad of terrible, unconventional, surprising, and sometimes hilarious ways and I will continue to share what I experience here. Thank you to all those who’ve kept an open mind and have been along for the ride with me.

THIS SEASON ON REAL HOUSEWIVES OF BUMMED OUT BAKER:

  1. I will be more transparent about the issues I’m experiencing in real time.*
  2. “Don’t judge your life in comparison to someone else’s highlight reel” has become a social media platitude, and I will further that mentality.
  3. I, an average, sad person on the internet, will provide community and reinforcement to people dealing with or who are in close proximity to mental illness. You’re not alone.
  4. I will snuggle golden retrievers.

Alright, now CAKE!

Ingredients

1 can unsweetened coconut milk
1 c teff flour
1/2 c rice flour
1/2 c potato starch
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
2 ripe bananas
1 c orange juice
1/2 c olive oil
1/4 c + 2 T maple syrup
1/2 c coconut sugar
1 t vanila extract
vegan chocolate sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Refrigerate can of coconut milk overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease sides of cake pan with oil and place parchment paper on the bottom of the pan (or use cake pan w removable bottom).
  3. Combine teff flour, rice flour, potato starch, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder in a large bowl. Mix well.
  4. In a blender, add bananas, orange juice, olive oil, 1/4 c maple syrup, and coconut sugar and blend until smooth.
  5. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  6. Pour batter into cake pan.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes, testing the middle of the cake with a toothpick until it comes out clean.
  8. Let cake cool completely in pan before removing.
  9. When you’re ready to ice, place mixing bowl in the freezer for about ten minutes.
  10. Turn refrigerated can of coconut milk upside down and open. Pour liquid at the top into a jar for later use (i.e., smoothies). From bottom of can, spoon out coconut fat.
  11. In the cold mixing bowl, beat together coconut fat, remaining 2 T maple syrup, and vanilla on high for about four minutes.
  12. Frost top of cake with whipped cream and sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles.

*I’ll start my candor now: this cake, although it looks delicious, tasted like a stale Luna bar with coconut guts smeared on top. The sprinkles were top notch, but you don’t have to make this cake to eat those. My advice: enjoy the photos, eat some sprinkles, but… don’t make this cake. Here’s a recipe for a truly fabulous cake.

If you’re a masochist: recipe adapted from Vegan Gluten Free Chocolate Cake and Vegan Whipped Cream.


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Recipe: Velvet Cake

Because I love the people who read Bummed Out Baker so much my gift to you this Valentine’s Day is my pièce de résistance. My magnum opus. Ev.ery.thing. I give to you: red velvet cake… without the red.

For my thoughts on food coloring and another fabulous recipe, see my Velvet Crinkle Cookies.

Ingredients

Cake

2 c non-dairy milk
2 t apple cider vinegar
2 1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour
2 c cane sugar
4 T cocoa powder
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t sea salt
2/3 c coconut oil
4 t vanilla extract
1/2 t almond extract

Icing

1/2 c organic Earth Balance butter, softened
1/2 c cream cheese
1 t vanilla extract
6-8 c powdered sugar
vegan sprinkles, if desired (I like Fancy Sprinkles – I mean just look at them!)

non-dairy milk + apple cider vinegar
some lumps in your batter = okay

Instructions

Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line bottoms of two round cake pans with parchment paper, then lightly oil them.
  2. Combine milk and vinegar in a medium bowl and let it sit for about five minutes, allowing it to curdle.
  3. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt.
  4. Stir sugar into dry ingredients.
  5. Stir coconut oil, vanilla extract, and almond extract into milk mixture, whisking well to combine.
  6. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients, stirring until ingredients come together. Small lumps (especially of coconut oil) are okay and expected! Be careful not to over mix.
  7. Pour batter evenly into the two cake pans.
  8. Bake 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of each cake comes out clean. Keep an eye on them after the thirty minute mark.
  9. Remove pans from oven and allow to cool completely.
  10. Meanwhile, rinse and wipe out large bowl to prepare for icing.

Icing

  1. Whip softened butter until fluffy, about a minute.
  2. Add cream cheese and continue to whip until well-combined.
  3. Stir in vanilla extract.
  4. One to two cups at a time, add powdered sugar to the mixture. After about five cups, stop mixer, taste icing, and adjust to your preference. If too cream cheesy, add more powdered sugar.

I like my icing with just a hint of cream cheese, so I typically use 7-8 cups of powdered sugar.

Since I’m #NotAChef and don’t have sweet icing / sprinkles skills I cut a heart out of a piece of computer paper and then used the outline to poorly guide the heart o sprinkles pictured above. Sprinkles scattered all over the countertop and floor and then I promptly dropped a full bottle seltzer water in the kitchen that exploded everywhere and made everything a wet, rainbow disaster. I screamed and shouted for help and Rick, entranced in Madame Secretary, did not come to my aid. I know Téa Leoni’s super hot but jeez Rick GOOD THING IT WASN’T A REAL EMERGENCY.

Anyway, the cake was fabulous. Rick says I make the best cake in the world and, since he’s leaving me for Téa Leoni, he has no reason to lie about my baking.

Adapted from Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes Recipe.


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