It's been awhile, I know...
It's been forever it seems since my last post (Halloween, anyone?!). I have been finding it difficult to juggle photography with my work schedule since it now gets dark around 4:30 PM. Not the best situation for light quality! I haven't stopped cooking or baking, though. I've already made many batches of Christmas cookies for various events. It's great that I get to try recipes out beforehand. There are many more I'm going to try before the month is out too! This recipe that I'm sharing with you today is a riff on my staple snickerdoodle recipe.
I love snickerdoodles. They're my favorite cookie. I've said this many times. So, you can imagine, i am quite particular with their taste. I love a simple coating of cinnamon and sugar. Nothing beats it. Nothing, except, maybe chai snickerdoodles? Chocolate snickerdoodles? MULLED CIDER SNICKERDOODLES?!
Nevermind. I'm not that particular. As long as they taste wonderful. And let me tell you: these "doods" taste wonderful. That is now their official nickname.
These cookies have only a couple, albeit important modifications. Instead of the original recipe's addition of non-dairy milk to the dough, I added two tablespoons of mulled (spiced) apple cider. You can buy spiced cider at the store now, which is a nice time saver. If you don't want to purchase it, you can make it at home much like a cup of tea. I put some whole mulling spices in a tea ball and steeped them in a mug of hot cider until the liquid cooled. Since you only need two tablespoons (if that), you can drink the rest. You deserve it.
As for the coating of the cookies, I added the same spices that I used for the cider. My blend included anise, cloves, cinnamon, and allspice. A wonderful and aromatic combo that makes the whole kitchen smell like the holidays.
That's really all you need to do to these to change them from their base form to totally festive AF. The texture can change quickly if you add too much liquid to the dough, however. Be careful to evaluate the dough for its moisture content before adding the second tablespoon of cider at the end. You may not need it!
Mulled Cider Snickerdoodles
Oven set to 375 F.
This cookie recipe is one from my BHG archives. My mom and I always used their "New Cookbook" (published in the early 90's I believe) for our Christmas cookie recipes back in the day. This cookbook has any type of cookie you could possibly desire with easy and simple to follow recipes. Making their baking recipes into vegan versions isn't so difficult anymore, especially if you use aquafaba. 😋
These cookies are as low maintenance as you can get: one bowl, use your mixer for easy clean up and easy mixing, and no rolling required! As cute as cutout cookies are, they are time consuming and temperamental. This dough comes together quickly with the help of a mixer and paddle attachment, if you have one. Once it's done, chill it for about 20 minutes while you heat up your oven and then use a mini ice cream scoop or teaspoon to portion out cookie drops.
The original recipe (linked at the beginning of the ingredient section) calls for banana butter icing. Instead of going through the trouble of making icing, I decided to make these cookies interesting by transforming them into "chunky monkey" cookies. There are chocolate chips and walnut pieces inside each little cookie, which offer crunch and richness. If you prefer to keep these cookies more simple, you can omit the chocolate and nuts.
Also, these are great to make for a last minute cookie swap or holiday get together if you have a spare banana lying around like I usually do. 😅 Enjoy and grab one for yourself. 💝
Yield: About 24 Cookies
Adapted from: Better Homes and Gardens Banana Drop Cookies
Holiday baking is something that I normally go overboard on...but I feel so behind today! I know it's only the Monday after Thanksgiving, but I feel like Christmas is already here. Lights and decorations are going up all around me and all I have to show are two dish towels with reindeer on them. 😳
#firstworldrpoblems, I guess...
I decided to bake some quick, easy, delicious and somewhat healthy cookies for this post. I'm a huge fan of Chocolate Covered Katie, one of the best dessert blogs I've ever encountered. She makes easy recipes that have accessible ingredients, delicious crave-able flavors, and offers all the substitutions you never knew you needed. Her blog was one of the first ones I read when I started to experiment with vegan baking. I had no idea what stevia was and had no clue that you could bake a cake in the microwave. She showed me the truth and I am bestowing my knowledge unto you now.
Behold! My recreation of a recipe from CCK's cookbook (which you should probably buy):
These pixie cookies are delicate and fluffy drops of cake-like chocolate with a hint of cool peppermint and rolled in powdered sugar to make them look like they've been on a romp in the snow. ❄️☃ These take only 12-15 minutes to bake and they are small, so if you are feeding a crowd of up to 9 people, you're perfectly fine without doubling the recipe. Also, if you have peppermint extract (or peppermint stevia at your own risk), you can whip these cookies up any time because they only use staple pantry ingredients. My rendition has a few minor changes so make sure you check the ingredients in case you need to plan ahead. Otherwise, whip up a batch now and join me in cookie heaven! 🍪🍫😇💖
Mint Chocolate Pixie Cookies
Adapted from Chocolate-Covered Katie
Free from: Gluten, Refined Sugar, Nuts, Soy*
Yield: About 18-24 cookies
The highlight of my Christmas baking has and always will be snickerdoodles.
I absolutely love them. I love them so much, that I made them for my very first blog post!
When I first began baking without eggs or dairy, I thought recreating something as simple as a snickerdoodle (my favorite cookie ever) wouldn't be challenging at all. Boy, was I totally wrong! There's something that eggs do in a snickerdoodle recipe that really makes a difference. The puffy, cakey yet slightly crisp texture sets the snickerdoodle apart from its sugar cookie cousin. Sugar cookies are nice, sure, but they're pretty flat in texture. Even if you add baking powder and soda to your recipe, it doesn't come close to achieving the rise that I expect from a snickerdoodle batter.
Since my discovery of aquafaba, I've been curious to see what its effect on cookies would be. I've used it for the first time in my cookies this year and my goodness. I'm hooked! Aquafaba combined with Ener-G egg replacement powder is the best thing to happen to my cookies since coconut sugar. This combination of binding power and rising agent gives cookies the fluff that I was missing so much.
The best thing about using aquafaba for these cookies is that they stay up! My main issue with making snickerdoodles before was that their rise was great in the oven, but deflated once they cooled. Using aquafaba is wonderful because it maintains the cookie's shape in any temperature. These cookies freeze beautifully, too. Feel free to make these ahead of time if you are busy. I totally did that and no one knew! ;)
The greatest thing about this recipe is that it's derived from the recipe that I know and love from my childhood. My grandma used to make these with my sister and I when we were little. I looked forward to it every Christmas. The ones we made were not gluten-free, but the ones I have for you today are!
This recipe does hold up to it's gluten-containing counterpart. I tested the batter by using unbleached all-purpose flour in place of the gluten-free flours (sub 1 for 1) and it's great! The texture changes slightly, but not in a bad way. The gluten-free variation is actually a little more on the moist side, which isn't a bad thing at all!. The gluten-containing version is a little more sturdy and not as soft. Either way, they are absolutely delicious and simple to make.
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! New Year's is right around the corner, too, so maybe make these little guys for any shin-dig you may attend/host! They're definitely a crowd pleasing cookie. From my kitchen to yours, Happy New Year! <3 ^_^
Oven 375 F.
I've got another scrumptious cookie recipe for you! These beauties were something that I decided to do at the last minute and I was surprised and delighted when they came out well! These cookies are definitely not as healthy as some of my other recipes have been. However, I think that sometimes a treat is a treat and should be enjoyed for what it is (unless of course you have allergies).
These cookies may be sweet, but they are also rich with dark chocolate flavor. If you use a high quality cocoa powder, you will be baking wonderful antioxidants into your cookies! Those are good for you, right? ;)
The chocolate chips and marshmallows really make these cookies what they are supposed to mimic: a comforting cup of hot cocoa. I used Dandies brand marshmallows, which are wonderful. They also recently updated their packaging and I think it looks amazing! If you are looking for another great vegan marshmallow, try Sweet & Sara. Those are also delicious and a little bit more gourmet since they offer more flavors. If you're gonna go out of your way to get a vegan marshmallow, you might as well go all out, right? ^_^
I'm sorry if I'm pushy in this post. I just really love these cookies and I want you to try them. Now.
Hot Cocoa Cookies
Yield: approx 35 cookies
Free of: Gluten, Soy*, Nuts
*make sure to use soy-free chocolate, non-dairy milk, and marshmallows
Preheat oven 350 F.
Well, it's that time in December where I go baking crazy (as if I wasn't already!). I'm beginning the cookie and cake bonanza with these delicious little oatmeal cookies. They're made from a recipe that I have veganized and made gluten-free from my favorite Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. It yields a delicate cake-like cookie that is also full of texture! I threw both rolled oats and granola into these cookies to make them a little crunchy while also being melt=in-your-mouth soft.
You can mix up the spices (or omit) that you throw into the batter if you wish. I used ginger and nutmeg to give them a bit of a bright flavor that most oatmeal cookies do not have. Usually, an oatmeal raisin cookie, while delicious, remains stuck in the cinnamon flavor profile. I love ginger because of its bright and refreshing taste. I paired it with the sweet tartness of dried cranberries (I also love their jewel red color!). What a great surprise for anyone who goes in for a cookie, right?
These cookies are easy to whip up and do not require rolling. If you need something to give quickly as a gift, bring to a party, or just need to satisfy your cookie craving, these are the best! I attempted to make mine a little more healthful by subbing sugar for low-GI coconut sugar and added in some buckwheat flour, which is full of protein. You're gonna need your strength to get through all the hustle and bustle of the next few weeks. Let these little cookies help you out. ;)
Ginger Oatmeal Crunch Cookies
Yield: about 24 cookies (approx. 1 Tb batter each)
Free of: Gluten, Soy*, Refined Sugar
*depending on non-dairy milk choice
Adapted from: Better Homes and Gardens
Oven 375 F.
This post is also a no bake cookie! Well, actually, this treat is more like a fudge or no bake doughnut hole in texture. It's got a ton of delicious chocolate chip cookie flavor inside AND out, though!
That's right. It's a chocolate chip cookie dough fudge bite covered in a chocolate chip cookie coating. What more could you want? It's also kinda healthy, too. Holiday win.
I thought of this recipe when I thought to myself, "A chocolate chip cookie dough ball would be fantastic right now." There is the whole process of making cookie dough that I didn't want to partake in at the moment, however. Instead, I decided to bite the bullet and do it. But, I made my life easier and just threw everything in the food processor. What a great idea!
These cookie dough fudge balls come together pretty quickly, so feel free to double or triple the recipe to feed more friends. These travel well, too. They're oil-free, low in sugar, and gluten-free too! I used chickpea flour in them to boost the protein content and to give them a nice toasty color. If you don't like the chickpea flavor the flour imparts, just swap out a different flour! Whichever you prefer, really.
Also, feel free to use any chocolate chip you like. I use dairy-free chocolate, but there are varieties out there that are soy-free if you need.
I'm on a roll with these no bake cookie recipes! I promise I'll give you some baked ones, too...it's rare that I don't bake during this time of year, but it's nice to switch it up! ^_^
Yield: about 7 bites, depending on the size
Free from: Gluten, Oil*
This recipe is all about instant gratification! Well, almost instant!
These clusters of deliciousness are quicker and easier than most of the recipes on my blog, so I consider that as instant as I can get. If you forget to make something to take to a holiday function, to a work party, to a friend's birthday, to your own birthday, or any other occasion that warrants snacking, these are the treats for you
Don't worry, I've got your back.
What I love about these snack clusters are their slight sweetness and their vague identity. They have cereal in them, so they could be breakfast. There are also pretzels and popcorn, so that = snack, right?
Fruit and peanut butter is a classic lunch combination.
Chocolate and vanilla together is a classic dessert combo.
So, you've really got all your meals covered for the day with this recipe (minus dinner, but who has time for that?)!
All joking aside, though, these snack clusters are a delicious and slightly healthy way to indulge around the holidays. This is a wonderful recipe to share, give as gifts, or munch on while you do festive activities inside or out!
Change up your dry ingredients for fun times. As I was making these, I started to have a spiritual awakening thinking about all the fun things I could dredge in the peanut butter base.
Here's a short list of what I thought of in those 5 minutes:
I hope I've inspired you to run with your wildest cluster-making dreams!
There are more holiday-themed recipes on the way, so stick around! ;)
Gluten-Free Reindeer Treats
Yield: Approx. 20 clusters
Free from: Gluten
Adapted from: Macrobiotic Rice Crispy Treats from The Hip Chick's Guide to Macrobiotics by Jessica Porter
This vegan royal icing is easy to pipe, sets quickly and isn't too sweet. It's everything I've ever wanted out of an icing. It's also egg-free, soy-free and fat-free. What else could you want?
The cookies themselves are very simple to make. They are an adaption of a simple rolled sugar cookie recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks (non-veg). The fact that they are gluten-free is great because they never change in consistency no matter how many times you roll them out. It's pretty wonderful. =)
I love that the cookies are aromatic without being too sweet. You can easily add up to 1/4 cup more coconut sugar (or regular sugar) if you want them sweeter. I prefer them more buttery because I don't like cookies to be too sweet after they are iced. That is entirely up to you, though!
Feel free to play around with the design/cookie cutter you choose. I made mine look like skeletons and used a gingerbread man cutter. These would also be great as pumpkin shapes (of course) and even circles (ghosts? skulls?). Since the cookies are pumpkin flavored, you could easily make these for Thanksgiving and change up your cutter/design for that too! The possibilities are (almost) endless!
Happy cutting, everyone! ;D
Pumpkin Cutout Cookies
Yield: Approx. 24-36 cookies (depending on the shape)
Free of: Gluten, Soy, Nuts
Adapted from The Blenderist's Recipe
Royal Icing Instructions
Today, I'm revising an old recipe from my grandma's (maternal) recipe box that she gifted to me about a year or so ago. She's been a big influence on my baking style ever since I was little. She has celiac disease, so she hasn't baked much lately. She continued to bake when I was younger. She would also bake things gluten-free sometimes. Usually though, she would still make things with regular flour for special occasions. She was always great with entertaining.
One cookie that I absolutely love to make during the holidays is a 7 layer bar cookie. I'm sure this isn't an alien dessert for many people: graham cracker crust, layers of chocolate and butterscotch chips with a gooey texture and deliciously sickeningly sweet taste. Ring a bell? =P
Since going vegan, I haven't really attempted to make these cookies. The original recipe calls for sweetened condensed milk, which binds the bar together and gives it a tooth-decaying sweetness. This cookie isn't actually made from scratch. The recipe basically tells you to layer store-bought ingredients and then bake them together (Sandra Lee style, if you will).
I decided that, as appealing as these cookies are originally, they deserve a modern and healthy make-over. I looked at every layer and thought, "That could be healthier."
I basically made a no-bake bar cookie that took about 30 minutes to put together and an hour to set in the freezer. It may not be as quick as pouring and baking would be, but it's certainly worth it for the health benefits and lower processed food content.
Everything in this cookie can be substituted for any allergies. All ingredients are minimally processed. I also used strictly coconut sugar so as to lower the sugar crash effect of the original recipe. Feel free to use any type of nut/nut butter if you don't like peanuts. This kind of tastes like a healthy snickers bar, if you're into that. I certainly am. ;)
Healthy No Bake 7 Layer Bars
Yield: 1 9x5 loaf pan
Free of: Gluten (*Can be nut/soy free with substitutions)
Vegan Butterscotch Sauce
This is my very first food blog! I post revised conventional recipes of foods that I hold near and dear to my heart. My cooking here is all gluten-free and cruelty-free, but full of flavor and comfort.