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Coconut Delights (vegan, gluten-free cookies!)

In Sweet Things on December 14, 2013 at 7:10 pm

It’s a Christmas Miracle…in your mouth! These are toasted coconut crispy on the outside, and delectably chewy on the inside. In all honesty, they are some of the best cookies I’ve ever made, and when I started out all I wanted to do was get rid of some of the ridiculous amounts of shredded coconut I had lying around.

CoconutDelights

Makes about 32 cookies

1 1/4 cups Bob’s GF all-purpose flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup Earth Balance
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup beet sugar

Egg replacer equivalent to 1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/3 cups shredded coconut, plus a little less than ¼ cup extra in reserve

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the flours, baking soda, and salt in a smallish mixing bowl.

In a different, medium sized mixing bowl, cream the Earth Balance, coconut sugar, and beet sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg replacer and vanilla until everything is creamy and fully mixed. Gradually blend in the flour mixture, and then add in all but that little bit of extra coconut. You may want to use your hands for this if you don’t have a mixer.

Roll the dough into balls that are about 2/3 the size of a golf ball (this is a 3 bite cookie for ladies, to give you an idea) and squish them down a bit onto an ungreased cookie sheet, leaving about two inches between each cookie. Top with some of that reserved coconut, lightly pressing it into the dough.

Bake for 11 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly toasted. Cool a bit. Eat while still slightly warm and chewy for the optimal experience. Just don’t get excited and eat too many at once like I did because then your belly will hurt.

Cranberry Pecan Bourbon Rugelach (Vegan, Gluten-free!)

In Crowd Pleasers, Sweet Things on November 24, 2013 at 10:13 am

Whaaaaaat? Yeah, that’s right. And they are so, so so SO good! I’d never made or even tasted rugelach before I whipped these up, so even though I was obsessed with them from the first bite I had nothing to compare them to and I had to call on a panel of rugelach experts to tell me whether or not these tasted legit. The responses were an overwhelming “Yes!”, and the proof was in the empty plate at the end of Thanksgivukkah. I’m a proud food-mama!

Rugelach

Last-minute iPhone photo before I was out the door. They may not be the prettiest, but they sure are delicious!

From start to finish these will take you about 2 hrs 45 mins to make, but some of that time is going to be spend twiddling your thumbs (or washing dishes) while you wait for the dough to chill.

You will get about 3 dozen out of this recipe.

Ok, ready? Here we go. We’re going to do this in a few steps, so read through the whole recipe first before you shop for ingredients or start in.

Step 1: Make the Dough

Dough Ingredients:
2 ½ cups Bob’s gluten-free all purpose flour
½ tsp salt
1 cup (8 oz) Earth Balance (at room temp)
1 cup (8 oz) Tofutti cream cheeze (also at room temp)

Dough Instructions:
Cream together butter and cream cheese in a large-ish bowl. With an electric mixer on medium or your monstrously strong arms, gradually add in flour and salt and mix til smooth. Separate into three balls and flatten each ball into a disk about 1 inch thick and 4 inches in diameter, then wrap each one separately in waxed paper or plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 2 hours. (You could make the dough the night before and cool it overnight, but I like to do all my baking in one fell swoop so this recipe assumes that you will do the same.)

Step 2: Make the Bourbon Vanilla Cranberry Sauce

This recipe makes about 2 cups of sauce and you only need 1 cup for the rugelach, so save the rest for your holiday meal. Or halve the recipe. I advise against doing that, though, as you will discover that this sauce is amazing and you’re going to want it for more than just the rugelach.

Sauce Ingredients:
16 oz fresh cranberries
1 cup beet sugar or cane sugar
1 cup water
2 Tbs bourbon (I used Burnside Bourbon from Eastside Distilling right here in beautiful Portland, OR)
1 Tbs vanilla extract

Sauce Instructions:
Combine all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the cranberries burst and begin to break down, which will take about 10-15 minutes. Stir well and remove from heat. Using a sieve or small-gauge strainer, strain the sauce until you have a cup of cranberries, conserving the juice and adding it back to the stuff in the pot. Refrigerate the strained cranberries separately from the rest of the sauce, as this is what you will use for the rugelach filling.

If you want a jellied cranberry sauce, now would be the time to add in your agar, while the sauce is still hot. I didn’t do that, so I can’t lay those instructions on you. But if you know what agar even is, I’m going to assume you’ve worked with it before and can probably figure out what needs to be done to make the cranberry jelly happen.

~Interlude~
Time to wash dishes while the dough and sauce cool.
Once almost 2 hours have passed since you put the dough in the fridge, you can start to make the filling.
~End Interlude~

Step 3: Make the Filling

Filling Ingredients:
1 cup cranberry sauce
1 ½ cups lightly toasted, finely chopped pecans
1 cup coconut palm sugar or brown sugar
½ cup Earth Balance
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract

Filling Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the Earth Balance, making sure to constantly stir and swirl so as not to burn it. As soon as it gets bubbly ant is 100% liquid, take it off the heat and add it to the chopped pecans. Add vanilla extract, cinnamon, palm sugar, and cranberry sauce, and mix until combined.

Step 4: All Together Now

Take one disk from the fridge and unwrap it onto a lightly floured surface. Add more flour to the top, and roll with a rolling pin into a 12-inch circle that is as symmetrical as you can get it. Use as much flour as you need here to make it work because with all that cream cheeze and Earth Balance in there, if your kitchen is warm (as kitchens are wont to get when the oven is on and stuff) your dough will get soft and unruly pretty fast. Flour helps a lot. Still, if the dough gets unmanageable at this stage, lay it on one of the three nonstick baking sheets you will need for this recipe (unless you want to cook in stages, which is fine too) and put it in the freezer for 5 minutes, until it’s chilled again.

Once the dough is rolled out, spread a third of the filling mixture on top of the dough, all the way to the edges of the circle. Since the filling is going to be all gooey, it’s best to spoon four or five blobs onto different spots on the dough, and then use your fingers to distribute the mixture evenly, making sure to get it all the way to the edges. With a pizza cutter or a knife (pizza cutter works way better), cut the dough into 16 equal wedges. Roll each slice from the outside in (start at the wide end and roll towards the point), and then place the roll onto a cookie sheet (remember, you should have 3 cookie sheets for this, or you can use your one cookie sheet and do three baking sessions, one after the other). Repeat this process with the other disks of dough.

Bake the rugelach for 17 minutes, turning the cookie sheet halfway through baking, until set. If you’re new-ish to gluten free baking, you should not try to use a lightly golden top as your guide to whether or not these babies are done. Gluten free flour doesn’t really do that. Just pay attention to whether or not the cookies have set and you will be fine.

Cool completely before serving, and please ignore whatever stupid ad you see below this text because I had nothing to do with it.

Vegan/gluten free white choc chip mac nut cookies

In Sweet Things on March 2, 2013 at 8:08 pm

The first time I ever had a mac nut cookie was the first time I visited my family in Hawaii. I remember being amazed that such a boring-looking cookie could be so delectable. Obviously these are a serious nostalgia food for me, and I was sad to think I’d never have them again when I went vegan because white chocolate chips were nowhere to be found. But, much to my delight, Food Fight! started carrying them about a year ago! I bought several bags at once because I’m a glutton, and now I can make them whenever I want (which is a lot). Sadly, Food Fight! doesn’t seem to carry them online, but I found them on Amazon if you’re interested in duplicating this recipe.

cookie-cookie-cookie-2

This recipe makes about a dozen. If you have roommates or a significant other you should probably make a double batch and hide a dozen in a secret place, because these definitely have a way of disappearing.

1/2 cup Earth Balance (olive oil type)
3/4 cup granulated beet sugar
Egg replacer equivalent to 1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill gluten free flour
1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces vegan white chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups chopped macadamia nuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

In a medium bowl, cream together the Earth Balance and sugar. Stir in the egg replacer and vanilla. Combine the flours, baking soda and salt, stir into the creamed mixture. Finally, stir in the white chocolate chips and mac nuts. Form balls a little smaller than golf balls and squish to about 1/3″ thick onto an ungreased cookie sheet, about an inch apart. They really don’t flatten much more as you cook, so keep that in mind when forming and spacing the patties.

Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven. They won’t brown (gluten free flour is strange), so don’t wait for that to happen. Let them cool a couple of minutes before you try to take them off the pan. Eat. Eat more. Eat the rest.

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