I've got a new favorite Christmas cookie.... that happens to be vegan by my idol Isa Chandra Moskowitz.
I'm not a huge peppermint candy fan but it works here. I didn't have peppermint chocolate that the recipe calls for but I did get a gift of candy canes I crushed up in the food processor and had some Enjoy Life mega chunks in the cupboard.
They are not overly sweet or minty, they are the perfect dark fudgy chocolate that I respect in a cookie!
Candy Cane Fudge Cookies
The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook byIsa Chandra Moskowitz
1/2 cup refined coconut oil, at room temperature
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce, at room temperature
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or your favorite non-dairy milk), at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted if lumpy
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 - 3 oz peppermint chocolate bars, chopped up
4 candy canes, crushed up (in pieces no bigger than 1/2"
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease 2 rimmed baking sheets.
In a large bowl, cream together the oil and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the applesauce and milk and mix gently; it might make the oil clump up and firm up a bit, but that's okay. Mix in the vanilla.
Add 1 cup of the flour along with the cocoa powder, baking soda and salt and mix well. Mix in the chocolate peppermint chunks and then the remaining 1 cup flour and mix until it firms up. You might need to use your hands to get it fully incorporated.
Place twelve 1 1/2 tablespoon scoops of dough on each baking sheet, a few inches apart. Flatten slightly with your hand. Place a pinch of crushed candy cane in the center of each and press gently into the surface.
Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooking rack to cool completely.
I love making granola bars. Here's one from Vegetarian Times. I found it a little on the sweet side but others I served too find it just right. Next time I'd reduce the amount of sugar. They are a little sticky so to store for on the go I wrapped in tin foil.
Chocolate Coconut Oat Bars
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup almond meal
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup natural cane sugar
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 275. Combine oats, almond meal, shredded coconut, and cocoa powder in a large bowl. Mix well.
2. Combine coconut oil, agave nectar, and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves and mixture is hot (not boiling). Pour over oat mixture and stir until well mixed and cooled slightly. Stir in chocolate chips, quickly but thoroughly.
3. Press the mixture into an ungreased 8x8" pan and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely. Cut into small squares.
I love sweet little things disguising a healthy treat! These truffles are great when you want something bad but are being good. I've given these as gifts to healthy friends and they have been well received. The almond butter with the dates makes it not too "fruity" tasting and more sweet; the oats make it more satisfying!
A combo of cocoa, oats, dates, almond butter and spices makes for naturally sweet treats, a healthier alternative during the holiday sweets season.
Method: Place oats in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely ground. Add dates, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, almond butter, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon and process until finely ground and sticking together. Place remaining cocoa powder in a shallow bowl. Roll truffle mixture into balls about 2 teaspoons each, pressing firmly for mixture to stick together. Roll truffles in cocoa powder and chill until ready to serve.
We go in food phases in our house, one day we love oatmeal but the next day I'm finding expired packets that need to be tossed. One of those throwing out days I wondered if there's a better way to get great tasting instant oatmeal... after much experimentation there is!
There's tons of recipes out there, this is a good basic that works for us. I mix a batch up and portion out into half pint jelly jars, labeling the lid with a dry erase marker. At first my husband laughed skeptically at these rows of jars but after a few days he was asking what exactly is in these and bringing friends in to see his wife's crazy good oatmeal collection! Now it's a staple in our house.
Home Made Instant Oatmeal
2 1/2 cups Quick Oats or Regular Oats
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
Blend 3/4 cup of the oatmeal in a blender or food processor (I use Vitamix with grain mill blender container but not needed; just a few pulses to it up to a heavy powder). Mix ground oatmeal with other ingredients, adding to a container with sealed lid (or ziplock bag). Shake up really good to combine. This is the instant oatmeal base that will make 9 servings. Sometimes I mix a few and leave the base which my husband likes because some days he adds a little more plain to his bowl or he feels like going outside my jars and mixing his own!
To package for individual servings add the following to a half pint jelly jar:
1/3 cup of the oatmeal base along with flavoring mix-ins such as: 1 tsp seeds (chia, flax) + 2 tsp grain, nuts or dried fruit (oat bran, wheat germ, any ground nut, choppied dried fruit) +1-3 tsp sweetner (stevia, coconut sugar, vanilla sugar, or more brown sugar) + 1/8 tsp spice (cinnamon, apple pie spice, grains of paradise) + pinch salt
Or use your imagination and follow the above proportions (aprox 3 tsp flavorings + 1-3 tsp sweetner +1/8 tsp spice) along with the 1/3 oatmeal base. Some of our favorites include: coconut, hot cocoa mix, chocolate chips, and PB2 dried peanut butter.
To cook the oatmeal:
For regular oats: add about 3/4 cup liquid to a bowl along with contents of the jar. Cover and microwave about 2-3 minutes depending on the microwave. Our favorite liquids to use are soy milk, almond milk, hemp milk, hazelnut milk. Chocolate versions of any of those are obviously really good!
For instant oats: add boiling water directly to jar, about 1/2" from the top. Cover and let sit about 5 minutes. You can also add 2 tsp powdered milk for creamy consistency with the water. I love this option for the office since it's so easy.
I've also done overnight oats with this method: add desired liquid (any milk works great or water for lower calories) to jar, about 3/4" from top. Regular oats will still be runny in the morning and I'm not a fan of cold oats so I do heat up in the jar, covered, watching very closely heating in 30 second increments because it will overflow very quickly!
We have become more creative with our mix-ins and came up with snappy concoctions such as: Almond Joy (almonds, coconut, chocolate chunks, coconut sugar), Cherry Pie (dried cherries, graham cracker crumbs, vanilla sugar), Peanut Butter Cup (chocolate chunks, PB2 dried peanut butter), Pina Colada (dried pineapples, coconut sugar, coconut)... the possibilities are endless! Let me know if you come up with any options we must try!
is the smallest kitchen ever. We used to watch those decorating shows that said they were doing small kitchens and then could see that 4 of my kitchens would fit in their "small kitchens".
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