Last weekend my husband and I visited good friends of ours that have recently had a baby (a super cute one, at that!). We thought it might be nice to make dinner for the busy new parents and this pie was what I brought for dessert.
When I was trying to decide what to make I had three objectives:
Need to be able to make it the night before (which also means it must travel well)
Needs to be sort of a universal crowd-pleaser
Needs to be delicious
Obviously, that’s sort of a tall order. However, as I was thumbing through Vegan Pie in the Sky, I came across this little slice of heaven and knew it was just what the doctor ordered. If you’ve got an occasion coming up or are just in the mood for something yummy, give this one a try.
1 3/4 cups finely ground vegan chocolate wafer cookies (Newman’s Own makes a good one)
3 tbs sugar
4 tbs Earth Balance
1 tbs plain soy or almond milk
1/2 cup whole unroasted cashews, soaked in water for 2-8 hrs or until very soft
1 (13 oz) can coconut milk at room temp.
1/4 cup creme de menthe
1/2 cup plain unsweetened almond milk
1/2 tsp agar powder
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp mint extract
4-6 drops green food coloring
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tsp coconut oil
Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly spray a 9-inch pie plate w/non-stick cooking spray
In a mixing bowl, combine the cookie crumbs and sugar
Drizzle in the butter and use a spoon to blend the mixture thoroughly to moisten the crumbs, then drizzle in the milk and stir again to form a crumbly dough
Pour the crumbs into the pie plate
Press crumbs into the sides of the plate first, then work down to the bottom
Bake for 10 min.
Set aside to cool
Drain the cashews and place them in a food processor or blender
Blend with the coconut milk and creme de menthe until totally smooth
In the meantime, stir together the almond milk and agar powder in a small 2 qt saucepot
Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring consistently
Boil for 30 seconds, then lower the heat so that you’re just getting small bubbles and cook for about 5 min., stirring occasionally
Whisk in the sugar, add the coconut oil and mix until melted
With the food processor running, stream the hot mixture in until thoroughly blended with the cashew mixture
Add the vanilla, mint and food coloring and pulse to combine
Transfer the mixture to the prepared crust and refrigerate until set, about 4-6 hours
When the pie is almost set, melt the chocolate chips in a bowl and stir in the coconut oil to melt
Transfer the melted chocolate to a plastic bag
Snip a tiny corner off the bag and drizzle the chocolate all over the pie
Return to the fridge to set for at least 20 min. (to bring out the full flavor of the mint and mellow the coconut flavor, chill overnight)
It couldn’t be a more perfect day for truffles, right?
I made these over the weekend for my sweetheart (and myself, of course) and the way we’re savoring every last one of them, you’d think they had flecks of gold in them or something. They’re absolutely delicious and come courtesy of Chloe Coscarelli – the phenomenal vegan chef behind some of the most popular recipes on this blog (strawberry shortcake cupcakes, black bean burgers, etc.) While I was pirating this recipe from her site, I also noticed that she’s got a cookbook coming out next month. It will be mine.
Maybe best of all, since these are vegan it’s 100% a-ok to eat the cookie dough raw. No eggs means no risk of salmonella poisoning (and happy chickens!). I promise, you won’t miss them.
If you don’t like peanut butter cups, I don’t get you.
This recipe is courtesy of The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone and she offers them up as a delicious alternative to good old fashioned (non-vegan) Reese’s. They’re definitely yummy but be warned: they will not be kind to your waistline (350+ cals a pop!). If you whip up a batch of these, share the love!
1/2 cup Earth Balance
3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter (unsweetened/unsalted)
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (~10 graham cracker squares)
1/4 cup maple sugar or other granulated sweetener
1 cup vegan, semi-sweet chocolate chips*
1/4 cup non-dairy milk
1/4 cup chopped peanuts, pecans or almonds
*I think these could use a least another 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and 1/8 cup of milk. Just my 2 cents.
Note: I read somewhere that adding some rice crispies to the peanut butter mixture makes for a yummy variation here. Just an idea.
Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners, set aside
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat
Stir in peanut butter, graham cracker crumbs and maple sugar and mix well
Remove mixture from heat and evenly divide among the muffin cups (about 2 tbs per cup)*
Combine the chocolate and milk in another small pan
Stir over medium heat until the chocolate has melted
Spoon the chocolate evenly over the peanut butter mixture
Top with chopped nuts and place in fridge to set at least 2 hrs before serving
*I’ve made these twice now and I firmly believe that it would be best to place these in the fridge for 15-30 min. before melting and applying the chocolate. When the pb mixture is still very warm, it’s really hard to get the chocolate to spread evenly over the top rather than pool down into the center.
Much like the chocolate chip cookies I posted the other day, these little babies have a totally “normal,” delicious taste. Unlike the chocolate chip cookies I posted the other day, you actually could call these healthy. How bout that?!
These are from a great vegan blog, Oh She Glows. The author based them on a classic snickerdoodle recipe from Joy of Baking. I’d say she did a pretty great job!
Since I went vegan I’ve tested out several vegan chocolate chip cookie recipes from cookbooks and veg blogs, etc. I’ve found that it is common with vegan cookie recipes that they also take it one step further and try to alter the ingredients to create a “healthier” cookie. As a result, every single recipe so far has tasted just like the average person might expect a healthy, vegan chocolate chip cookie to taste – which is to say, not so hot.
So, this year I decided to try something different and attempt to “veganize” a classic recipe for chocolate chip cookies. No whole wheat flours, no weird binders. Not even a flax egg. I’m happy to say it worked! And I make no apologies. This is a cookie. By definition, a treat. It is not good for you but it is vegan and it will taste the way your mouth expects a chocolate chip cookie to taste. Can I get an Amen?
Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe inspired by The Betty Crocker Cookbook via CulinaryCory.com
1 cup white sugar
1 cup (light) brown sugar
2/3 cup Earth Balance, softened
2/3 cup vegetable shortening
2 Ener-G eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups unbleached white flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips*
*Most semisweet chocolate chips are naturally vegan. Read the ingredients list to be sure.
Preheat oven to 350ºF
Beat sugars, butter and shortening with and electric mixer until light and fluffy
Add the eggs and vanilla until combined
Slowly add the flour, baking soda and salt (do not overmix)
Carefully fold in the chocolate chips with a spoon until well combined
Using a cookie dough scoop (or 1 tbs), drop the cookies onto ungreased cookie sheets about 2 in. apart
Bake for 6 to 8 min., rotating the trays halfway through
Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool as long as possible on the cookie sheet before transferring to cooling racks (the longer they’re on the sheet, the softer they’ll be)
Helpful Tip: I found that these taste significantly better the next day. If you can, store them in an airtight container after they’ve cooled completely and serve the next day. It makes for a much more dense and chewy cookie.
This is the pumpkin pie I made for Thanksgiving this year. It tasted as good as it looks (unless, of course, you don’t think it looks good, in which case, it tasted better than it looks)!
I’m not actually all that hip on pumpkin pie but it was a special request from my mom so I took the plunge. It also gave me an excuse to buy Vegan Pie in the Sky, which you should run out and do immediately.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbs sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold nonhydrogenated shortening
4 tbs or more ice water
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
3 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup plain unsweetened soy milk
4 tsp canola oil
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbs cornstarch
1 tsp agar powder*
*For the life of me, I cannot find agar powder around St. Louis. I ground up agar flakes in a coffee grinder to make “powder” and it worked fine.
Sift together flour, sugar and salt. Cut in the shortening to form a crumbly dough
Stir together 4 tbs of the ice water and vinegar, then drizzle a third of it over the flour mixture. Gently mix to moisten, drizzle in another third of the liquid and mix to moisten. Repeat with remaining mixture until dough forms a soft ball when pressed together. If it hasn’t come together yet, sprinkle in another tbs of water (or more) until the dough can be gathered into a ball
Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour
When you’re ready, roll out the crust into a circle about 12 in. in diameter and transfer onto a pie plate, gently pressing in, if necessary
Trim any overhanging dough, leaving about 1 1/2 in
Crimp the edges as desired
Preheat oven to 350°F
In a blender or food processor, pulse together filling ingredients until very smooth
Pour filling into the pie shell
Bake for 60 to 65 min, until center looks semi-firm
Check edges of crust after about 40 min. If edges are browning too rapidly, carefully remove the pie and apply crust protectors to the edges*
Remove pie from oven and transfer onto cooling rack for 30 min, then chill for at least 4 hours before slicing
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbs sugar
8 tbs cold Earth Balance
8 tbs cold nonhydrogenated shortening
6 tbs ice water
1 tbs apple cider vinegar
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup Earth Balance, melted
4 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 large Honeycrisp apples, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tbs all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour and salt. Mix in the sugar
Add half the butter and shortening by about 1/2 tbs cutting into the flour with your fingers or a pastry cutter until the flour appears pebbly
Add the remaining butter and shortening, cut into the flour
In a cup, mix together 4 tbs of the ice water with the vinegar
Drizzle the water and vinegar mixture into the flour by the tbs, gently mixing it after each addition
Knead the dough a few times, adding more water until it holds together (you may need only the 4 tbs, but add up to 2 more tbs if needed)
Divide the dough in half, roll each into a ball and press them into disks and wrap each in plastic wrap
Refrigerate until ready for use
Preheat oven to 375°F
Roll out one half of the dough
Stir together first 3 ingredients and spread onto bottom of a 9 in. pie plate. Place rolled out crust over pecan mixture in pie plate, allowing excess crust to hang over the sides
Roll out remaining half of the dough
Stir together apples and next 5 ingredients. Spoon mixture into crust, packing tightly and mounding in center
Place remaining crust over filling and press both crusts together, fold edges under and crimp
Place pie on an aluminum foil-lined jelly roll pan, cut 4-5 slits in top of pie for steam to escape and bake on lower oven rack 1 hour to 1 hour and 5 minutes or until juices are thick and bubbly and crust is golden brown
Shield pie with aluminum foil after 50 minutes, if necessary, to prevent excessive browning
Cool on wire rack 10 min. Place serving plate over the top of the pie and invert onto serving plate
I realize we’re a little past peach season at this point, but that’s what bookmarks are for, right?
This is the last recipe from our recent vacation and while the filling is good, the real standout element here is the crust. This is Kim Barnouin‘s pie dough recipe from Skinny Bitch Ultimate Everyday Cookbook and it is fantastic. It’s great for any fruit pie or even a veggie pot pie, as she recommends. It makes a very “sturdy” crust that still manages to remain light and flaky. If you’re planning an apple pie for Thanksgiving this year, I’d highly recommend giving this dough a try.
Mix together the flour and salt for dough in a large bowl
In a glass measuring cup, add 1/2 cup of the cold water, then add the vegetable shortening to equal 2 cups of water and shortening combined. Lightly pack the shortening to remove air bubbles and then scoop out the shortening from the measuring cup with a spoon and add the flour mixture, discarding the water
Using a pastry cutter, cut the shortening into the flour mixture until small flaky dough balls start to form. Add the 14 tbs of ice water, one tbs at a time and continue mixing
Add additional tbs of water if the dough seems too hard. Chill the dough in the fridge if it’s too soft. Divide dough into to two equal portions and roll into balls
Preheat oven to 350°F
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place the peaches in boiling water for just a few seconds, then carefully remove. This should make removal of peach skins easy. Peel and slice peaches
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, nutmeg and allspice for the filling with the peaches, tossing to coat
Roll out the first ball of dough and place in a 9 in. pie pan
Spread filling into the pan and drop cut Earth Balance onto the mixture
Roll out the second ball of dough and place over the top of the pan. Trim any extra dough and then press the edges to seal, crimping with a fork or pinching closed with your fingers
Brush the top of your pie with soy milk and sprinkle with sugar
Make about 6, 1/2 in. cuts in the top crust to release steam during baking