Archive for the ‘Sweet Things’ Category

Gluten-free pumpkin pie with whip, for the lazy vegan

In Sweet Things on December 5, 2014 at 2:36 pm

Oh, hi there! This might be a boring post for you if you are looking for food porn pictures, so if that’s the case move along. However, if you want a straight up simple recipe for amazing pumpkin pie with whipped (coconut) cream, then you’ve found the right place.

Step 1:

Go to New Seasons or your local goodfood mart and buy whatever frozen, gluten free pie shells they have on offer. You only need one but they often come in twos.

Step 2:

Pre-bake the crust as directed on the packaging, and while you’re doing that follow this recipe for the pumpkin pie filling. I used cornstarch, not arrowroot, beet sugar in place of cane sugar, and full-fat coconut cream, not almond milk.

Step 3:

Make coconut whipped cream using this recipe. I experimented with full fat coconut milks from Whole Foods (their brand), Thai Kitchen, and Trader Joe’s (coconut cream), and by far the best one was Trader Joe’s. The whole thing was nothing but rich cream, whereas the Whole Foods brand did not solidify at all and the Thai Kitchen one yielded less than half solid cream.


Refrigerate your coconut milk and make your pie one day ahead of when you want to serve it. Both need to sit overnight to set up. The next day you can make your whip right before you serve, and it will be great, or you can make it in the morning so it has a chance to set up a bit before you serve. Either way it’s totally delicious!

Thanks to Oh She Glows for the recipes! Angela* keeps a really pretty plant-based food blog, so while you’re there you should definitely browse around and check out her other recipes.

*I say that like I know her but I don’t. I’ve just been following her blog for a long time.


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.


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

*optional: 1 tsp powdered cardamom

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

*also optional: a couple of tablespoons of your favorite jam/preserves that would go well with coconut or coconut and cardamom. In 2018 I used stem ginger, and it was delish!

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the flours, baking soda, and salt (and cardamom if you are using it) 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. (If you’ve decided to use the optional preserves, you’re going to make this into a thumbprint cookie, so make the balls about half the size of a golf ball, and press your pinkie deep into the ball to create a divot for your preserves. Shore up any cracks, and put a dab of preserves in the hollowed out center.)

Bake for 10 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!


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.

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.


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.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

In Sweet Things on November 16, 2011 at 9:06 pm

Oh my gosh it is crazy windy outside tonight. Meanwhile, within the cozy walls of Casa de Awesome, the pumpkin obsession continues unabated with a recipe I altered from Gluten Free Goddess. Enjoy!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and grease a 12 muffin tin with Earth Balance*

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together:
1 cup sorghum flour
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup Bob’s gf all purpose baking flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp nutmeg

Then add:
1 cup beet sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 cup organic pumpkin puree
1/3 cup olive oil
2 eggs worth of egg replacer
1 Tbs vanilla extract
1/4 tsp lemon juice

Then add:
1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk

Stir this up really well til it’s a nice smooth consistency.

Finally, add:
Half a cup of vegan chocolate or carob chips! Or you could add pecans I suppose, but really the chocolate chips are a way better idea.

Spoon the batter into the muffin tins til each is filled evenly. Then put a whole pecan on the top of each. For, you know, presentation.

Bake 23 minutes, or until they are golden and a toothpick comes out clean from the center.

Cool for a few minutes in the pan, and then pull them out to cool the rest of the way on a rack or plate or what have you.

Makes one dozen delicious muffins

*Why do people use muffin tin liners? So wasteful.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding, all vegan and gluten-free style

In Sweet Things on November 6, 2011 at 7:43 pm

Fall is here!  Bright crisp days with a pumpkin latte in hand.  Chilly nights good for fireplaces and snuggling.  Pumpkin pie for breakfast.  Gold and red leaves strewn across our table for a dinner party.   I love so much about fall.

For our latest dinner gathering, I decided to make something I’ve never tried before: bread pudding.  And because I am completely obsessed with pumpkin right now, of course I had to add that in.  It turns out that bread pudding is:
1) ridiculously easy to make
2) insanely delicious and rich
3) impressive to dinner guests
which means that this is not the last time this dessert will be gracing our table.

The ingredients:
1 cup light coconut milk or unsweetened soy milk
1 15 ounce can organic pumpkin puree
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup beet sugar
Egg replacer equivalent to 2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
10 slices Food For Life brown rice bread, cubed fairly small (whatever size you find visually appealing, really)
Half a bag vegan chocolate or carob chips (not required, but tasty).  If you decide to go this route and your chips are sweetened, halve the amount of beet sugar you use.
1/3 cup Earth Balance (I’m using the olive oil version these days)

The ridiculously simple steps:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Put the Earth Balance in a 9 inch square baking dish, and place it in the oven to melt.

In a blender, process everything but the bread (and EB, obviously, because it’s already melting in the oven).

In a large bowl, toss the bread cubes with the melted butter and the pumpkin mixture, until each bread cube is coated.  Add in the chocolate chips if you’ve decided the use them, and mix til evenly distributed.  Put the whole wingdizzle back into that square baking dish.

Bake about 30 minutes, or until the liquid seems to “set” somewhat like a custard.

Serve warm with vanilla Coconut Bliss or soy whip cream.  So good!  So easy!

Serves 12 or so

Vegan, Gluten-Free Banana Bread

In Sweet Things on March 9, 2010 at 11:10 pm

Making banana bread requires me to channel my inner hippie mama.  She’s wearing an apron that’s covered in both flour and oil paint, and she’s still got dirt under her nails from the vegetable garden.  She’s probably going to bake this bread and then sit outside on the porch eating a slice while she reads Siddhartha and listens to the birds.  I love this hippie mama so long as she only comes out at times like these to help me bake bread, and doesn’t try to make decisions about how I dress or whether or not I should grow my hair long.

1 3/4 cups Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free baking mix
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup blonde coconut palm sugar, OR 1/2 cup agave nectar (in with the wet ingredients) if you don’t have the palm sugar on hand
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, if you like that sort of thing

Flax seed egg replacer equivalent to 2 eggs:
2 Tbs ground flax seeds
6 Tbs water
Simmer flax seeds and water in a saucepan until thick, egg-like consistency has been reached.
Let the mixture cool before you add it to the dough

3 mashed ripe bananas
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup agave nectar (if you didn’t have the palm sugar)
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a medium-sized bread pan with Earth Balance and set aside.
Prepare the flax seed mixture first so it has time to cool.
Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients together with a hand beater or a mixer, and then fold the wet mixture into the dry mixture.
Pour the batter into your bread pan and bake for an hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool for a few minutes before removing from pan, and then cool the rest of the way on a wire rack if you have one, and on a plate if you don’t.  This bread is best if you wait til it’s almost fully cool to eat it, or lightly toasted/warmed at 200 degrees in the oven the next day (if you haven’t eaten it all already).

Apple Uncoffee Cake

In Sweet Things on January 17, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Unbelievable!  Gluten free, sugar free, and of course totally vegan.  So fluffy and delicious you won’t believe it.  Bake it the night before and have it with a scoop of vanilla Coconut Bliss while it’s still warm, then have it again the next day with your morning coffee. Either way it’s absolutely delightful.

Preheat your oven to 375 and lightly grease an 8″ round or square pan with Earth Balance.

Make some vegan buttermilk:
3/4 cup soy milk (regular or vanilla)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Mix the two together, set aside, and then start in on making the top and middle layers.

The top:
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill gluten free all purpose flour
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup oats that have been ground a bit in your food processor
Mix all of this together in a bowl.  It will be sort of like a big mass of brown shiny stuff, not crumbly like your usual coffee cake.

The middle:
1 granny smith apple, cut into very thin wedges
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon
Mix this together in a bowl.

The bottom:
The vegan buttermilk you made earlier
1/3 cup brown rice syrup
1/3 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups Bob’s Red Mill gluten free all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
Mix the wet ingredients together first, and then add the dry ingredients. Use a mixer of some sort and this will go quickly. I have an old hand-operated eggbeater that I love for this.

Now get your greased pan and put down the batter first, then arrange your apple slices, and finally use your hands to pick apart the topping and evenly distribute little pieces of it all over the top.

Bake for 35 minutes and let it cool for about half an hour before you serve it.

The original inspiration for making this cake came from Isa’s Vegan Brunch cookbook. Unfortunately it was not gluten OR sugar free, so I had to noodle with the ingredients and proportions. Then I had this granny smith apple that was shining roundly at me in a bowl, so I used that too. There must’ve been magic in the air, because this cake turned out beautifully and perfectly the very first time. Yay!

Peanut Butter Cookies

In Sweet Things on January 5, 2010 at 11:03 pm

Oh my god these are so good. I love peanut butter cookies, and I just couldn’t give them up despite my host of food allergies, so I had to figure out a way to make it work. My first few attempts were definitely less than stellar (although they couldn’t have been that bad since Lucas gamely ate them all up anyway), but now I’ve got it down. To me they are just right, but I have a slightly different palate as I grew up appreciating Chinese desserts. Some people might want to add a little more agave to make them even sweeter.


Here you go:

1 cup Earth Balance
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup agave nectar
1 egg replacer thingy
1 ¾ cups GF flour
½ tsp vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tsp baking powder
Optional: half a bag vegan chocolate chips, if you’re into that sort of thing. I know I am.

Cream together the EB, vanilla, peanut butter and agave. Make the egg replacer and beat it in. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt separately, and then gradually stir into the peanut butter mixture. If you’re adding chocolate chips, add them after everything else is well mixed.

Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least one hour. If you don’t want to make them all at once you can make logs and wrap those in wax paper. I usually make one batch immediately and have two extra batches sitting in the fridge waiting to be made, as I love the smell of cookies baking almost more than I love to eat them. It smells like home to me.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make small balls of dough. Flatten with fork to form cross-wise pattern.   Please note that these really spread out, so don’t pack them too closely.

Bake for 10 minutes, and ONLY 10 minutes, in the preheated oven. Because these are not your typical cookies they don’t act typical when you are baking them. Even though they don’t look done after 10 minutes, they are. Trust me. Pull them out, let them cool a little, and see for yourself. So good!