Recipe: Sugar Cookies

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I had a weird week at school, but a good week in the kitchen. I brought these vegan sugar cookies to class on Halloween and topped them with star sprinkles because those are the spookiest sprinkles I have. The surprise ingredient in these sugar cookies is pumpkin – they’re on theme for this time of year!

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Ingredients

Cookies
1 c organic Earth Balance
1 c sugar, plus more for topping
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c pumpkin puree
2 t vanilla extract
3 1/2 c flour
1 T arrowroot powder
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t sea salt
2-3 t non-dairy milk

Frosting
1/2 c organic Earth Balance
1/2 t vanilla extract
3 c powdered sugar
Splash non-dairy milk
Sprinkles (optional)

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Instructions

Cookies

  1. Add softened butter to a large mixing bowl and cream with a mixer.
  2. Add sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and pumpkin. Beat for one minute.
  3. Sift flour, arrowroot powder, sea salt, baking soda, and baking powder over butter mixture.
  4. Mix until until just combined, being careful not to over mix.
  5. Add non-dairy milk and mix until soft dough forms. If dough appears too wet, add flour 1 T at a time.
  6. Cover and freeze dough for 15 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 350° F and position rack in the center of oven.
  8. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and scoop chilled dough into balls, about 1 T each. Arrange 2-3 inches apart to allow for spreading.
  9. Dip the bottom of a glass into sugar and gently mash balls down into discs to help them cook more evenly.
  10. Bake for about 10 minutes, or slightly golden brown.
  11. Remove cookies from oven and let rest on the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a plate to cool completely.

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Frosting

  1. Rinse mixing bowl clean and add butter. Beat until light and fluffy.
  2. Mix in vanilla.
  3. Add powdered sugar 1/2 c at a time and continue mixing until thick and creamy.
  4. Splash in a little non-dairy milk to thin. You want the frosting to hold shape once on the cookies, so only add a little milk. Add more powdered sugar if it gets too thin.
  5. Once completely cooled, frost cookies and top with sprinkles, if desired.
  6. Store covered leftovers at room temperature for 3-4 days.

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Yields ~36 cookies.

Adapted from 1-Bowl Vegan Sugar Cookies.


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Recipe: Strawberry Cake

 

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Look, I get it. Sometimes gorgeous strawberries mesmerize you at the grocery store and the next thing you know you have two pounds of them in your fridge at home. This cake is one great way to use up those summer strawberries.

Ingredients

Cake:
2 c and 3 T whole wheat pastry flour
1 c cane sugar
1 t baking soda
1/2 t sea salt
1 c puréed strawberries*
1/3 c canola or olive oil
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 T ground flax
3 T hot water

 

 

 

 

*Wash, hull, then purée strawberries in a food processor or blender.

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Frosting:
~4 c powdered sugar
1/4 c organic Earth Balance
1/4 c puréed strawberries
1 t vanilla extract

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  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two 9″ cake pans* with parchment paper and lightly oil.
  2. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and sea salt.
  3. Prepare a flax egg by mixing the ground flax with 3 T of hot water from the kettle. Allow to sit for a moment.
  4. Mix the purée, oil, vinegar, and flax egg into the flour mixture. The batter will be very thick, so either use a spoon or the cookie dough attachment of a stand mixer until just combined. Be mindful not to over-mix.
  5. Divide batter evenly between the cake pans and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool completely before frosting.
  7. Mix powdered sugar, butter, purée and vanilla with a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer. Start slowly, increasing speed until frosting is thick, fluffy, and smooth.
  8. Decorate frosted cake with fresh strawberries.

 

 

*For a taller, more narrow cake use 7″ cake pans and bake for about 30 minutes.

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I am not a fan of food coloring, but as you can see the strawberries give the icing a gorgeous natural pink color.

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Serves ten.

 

 

Adapted from VEGAN STRAWBERRY CAKE WITH STRAWBERRY FROSTING.

Recipe: Apple Spice Bread

Alright people, another day, another sad looking piece of produce that needs a purpose. A lonely apple has been wiling away its days in the bottom of the wire fruit basket while the bananas hanging above it were eaten, replaced, and eaten again. The apple began to get a little wrinkly and thought Is this all there is in life? and, Is there a retinoid for apple skin?

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The answer to both of those questions is, of course, no. The solution is to 1) bake your sad (or happy) apples into this fabulous apple spice bread, 2) take it to someone as a host gift, and 3) be popular.

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Ingredients

1/2 c organic Earth Balance
1/2 c maple syrup
1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
1 t vanilla
2 c whole wheat pastry flour
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t sea salt
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
1/4 t ground ginger
1/4 t ground cloves
3 apples, peeled and shredded

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  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix butter and maple syrup in a large bowl, using a hand or stand mixer.
  3. Add apple sauce and vanilla, mix until combined.
  4. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt and spices, mixing until just combined.
  5. Add milk, mixing until just combined.
  6. Fold in apples.
  7. Lightly coat a loaf pan in oil to prevent sticking, or line the loaf pan in parchment paper.
  8. Pour batter into the pan and bake for about 45 minutes, or until a butter knife comes out clean.

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This can be served plain, with butter, or syrup.

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Adapted from Vegan Apple Pie Bread.

 

 

 

 

Recipe: Velvet Crinkle Cookies

I call these “velvet cookies” because I don’t like to use food coloring, and while “brown velvet” sounds chic, it does not sound tasty. Anyway, these cookies are heaven. Enjoy!

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Ingredients

Dry Ingredients
1 1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour
1 T cocoa powder
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1/4 t sea salt

Wet Ingredients
1/2 c organic Earth Balance
3/4 c cane sugar
3 T maple syrup
2 T coconut milk
2 t vanilla extract
1/3 c powdered sugar

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  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until creamy and fluffy. Mix in the maple syrup, milk, and vanilla extract. It’s normal to see little flecks of butter in the mixture (see photo below).
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, slowly mixing in until just combined.
  5. Put powdered sugar in a bowl wide enough to roll a ball of dough around in it. Scoop out the dough with a melon baller, cookie dough scoop, or tablespoon and gently drop into powdered sugar. Roll dough balls in powdered sugar until completely coated. Lightly tap off excess sugar and set on baking sheet.
  6. Using a flat spatula, press down on each dough ball until slightly flattened.
  7. Bake for ten minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for ten minutes before eating.

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Although it depends on the tool you use to scoop the dough, I’ve found this recipe yields about 15-17 cookies.

Adapted from Vegan Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies.

 

 

 

 

Recipe: Banana Bread

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Do not disparage sad looking bananas! An overripe banana is sweeter and perfect for baking or freezing for smoothies.

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Ingredients

Wet Ingredients:
3 large overripe bananas
2 T ground flaxseed
1/3 c coconut milk
1/3 c coconut oil, melted
2 T maple syrup
2 t vanilla extract

Dry Ingredients:
1/4 c plus 2 T cane sugar
1/2 c rolled oats
1 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t sea salt
1 1/2 c whole wheat flour

Optional Toppings:
Chopped pecans, sliced banana, chopped walnuts, chocolate chips

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  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Lightly spray 9 x 5″ loaf pan (or parchment paper-lined loaf pan) with oil and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl mash the banana until almost smooth.
  4. Stir in wet ingredients (flax, milk, oil, syrup, vanilla) into banana until combined.
  5. Stir dry ingredients into the wet mixture one by one, in the order listed (sugar, oats, baking soda, baking powder, salt, flour) until just combined.
  6. Using a spatula, pour batter into the loaf pan and spread out evenly.
  7. Add toppings, if desired.
  8. Bake uncovered for 45 to 55 minutes until lightly golden and firm on top. Do a toothpick or butter knife test in the middle of the loaf to confirm it’s done. Mine took 52 minutes to bake.
  9. Place pan on a cooling rack for 30 minutes.
  10. If you did not use parchment paper, slide a knife around the loaf to loosen it and gently remove it from the pan. Place on a cutting board and slice.

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Good with breakfast, paired with coffee, as dessert, or as a host gift.

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Rick was eager to dig in and followed me around with a butter knife while I finished taking photos.

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Apollo Aldrich was there, too.

Store in an airtight container. Enjoy!

Adapted from Vegan Banana Bread.