23 September 2012

Baked Goods For Work Plus A Recipe!

I thought I would share today the two most recent things I baked to bring in to my work:

Mint Dream Brownies


Cranberry Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Both are vegan, of course, but the cookies are vegan as well as gluten-free!  Pictures follow, as does a recipe for the cookies.

Vegan, Gluten-Free Cranberry Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Yields approximately 20 medium-sized cookies

-  1/2 c. vegetable shortening
-  Scant 1 c. cane sugar
-  1/2 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
-  1 flax 'egg' (1 T. ground flax seed + 3 T. hot water, whisked together or processed together and allowed to let sit for a few minutes to thicken)
-  1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
-  1 1/2  c. gluten-free flour mixture (I used Bob's Red Mill but you can make your own!)
-  1 tsp. baking soda
-  Scant 1/4 tsp. xanthan gum
-  1 tsp. cinnamon
-  1/2 tsp. sea salt
-  1 1/2 c. gluten-free oats
-  Heaping 1/4 c. dried cranberries
-  Heaping 1/4 c. Thompson raisins (you can use any kind but these are my favorite!)

1.  Preheat oven to 350'.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
2.  In a mixing bowl, blend sugars and shortening together until light and fluffy, about three minutes.  Add flax 'egg' and vanilla.
3.  In a separate large bowl, sift together dry ingredients, except for oats and dried fruit.  Add dry mixture to wet and mix until incorporated.  Turn off the blender and mix in oats, cranberries and raisins by hand.
4.  Drop spoonfuls of dough onto prepared baking sheets.  Form dough into miniature disks, flattening slightly.

5.  Bake for 16-18 minutes or until edges are slightly golden.
6.  Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to finish cooling.
7.  Enjoy!

22 September 2012

Ode to a Beet

Lately I have been eating beets like they are going out of style.  Fall awakens something in me that just craves this root vegetable.  I never thought I liked beets until I tried them roasted.  With just a little oil, salt and pepper, the beet somehow transforms itself in the oven into something utterly new and unbelievably scrumptious.  I call it magic.

So this post is my ode to the beet: a beautifully-colored, delicious, nutritious and versatile vegetable.  I could eat (and have), the beet as is, roasted, but I prefer to dice it and put it on a bed of arugala with roasted carrots, toasted pecans and spicy Dijon vinaigrette.  This salad is a fall favorite.

I next want to try this recipe for beet risotto (veganized, naturally).  If a recipe calls for a beet, I am game to try it, and this recipe looks absolutely divine.

12 September 2012

This Week In Instagram!

Now that fall is here (I think/hope), and the weather has turned, baked sales at work have resumed!  I guess people no longer have the need to look good in their swimsuits and can let it all go by indulging themselves with my vegan treats!  For me, all of this means more baking!  It also means less time to work on my blog : /

As my fervent little fingers type away at this very moment, a batch of peanut butter chocolate chip cookie bars bake away in my oven.  A friend from work put in a request for gluten-free anything and this little concoction is what I whipped--or blended--up!  Gluten-free and vegan baking is tough because many solely "gluten-free" recipes contain eggs.  However, we vegans do not use eggs.  It's one thing to omit wheat-based flours and swap it out for a gluten-free blend, but the elimination of eggs too adds another level of difficulty.  I'm still working through it, though.  I welcome challenge and confront it face on!

I must return quickly to my kitchen to check on my bars, so without further ado I present to you random, food-related Instagrams from this past week!  Feast your eyes:

Memorial Day dinner of Tofurky Beer Brat with stone ground mustard and sauteed onions in a whole grain bun!

Leftovers are the best--collard wraps with a black-eyed pea and zucchini filling in a BBQ sauce.

Beautiful breakfast bowl of fresh fruit!

Raw collard wrap of lacinato kale, massaged in cashew 'cheeze,' pea shoots, avocado and hot sauce!  The slaw is Memorial Day leftovers!

Roasted zucchini-stuffed portobello cap.

Simple spinach salad with cucumber, hemp hearts and blackberry balsamic vinegar--an Ezekial sprouted grain muffin with blueberry-cherry preserves and a fresh, local, organic nectarine compliments  the spinach.

Michigan peach scones, made by me!

Baked falafel patties with housemade hummus, tabbouleh and tahini from Anita's Kitchen in Ferndale, Michigan.

Vegan double Chocolate Peanut Butter rice cream from Treat Dreams in Ferndale, Michigan--a post-Anita's Kitchen treat ;)

Breakfast bowl of organic, local peaches, banana, almonds, buckwheat groats and raw almonds in almond milk!

Breakfast 'porridge' of shredded apple, shredded coconut, raisins, raw almonds, buckwheat groats, golden flax seeds and cinnamon in almond milk!

Another simple, no thinking required kind of lunch: spinach with shredded carrots, cucumber and hemp hearts, avocado toast and a nectarine.

10 September 2012

Bake on Track!

No, the title of this post was not a typo.  I thought "Bake" on Track would be cute because I am back on track with my baking!  My scones sold out incredibly fast and the salted caramel chocolate chunk bars I brought in shortly thereafter sold out just as quickly!

Here are some photos of the aforementioned bars:

Looking at these again just makes me want to gobble one up!  I'm quite pleased with how they turned out, both in terms of appearance and, more importantly, taste.  I am fairly certain I'll be making these again ;)

Getting back to my scones: after they sold (and my salted caramel chocolate chunk bars), I decided to make more scones!  This time I opted for apple-cinnamon scones with roasted pecans.  I am going to start "celebrating the season" more by making baked goods that really highlight the time of year.  Apples are in season and the Galas I used in my scones came from a nearby cider mill, so not only did I support local but I took advantage of Michigan's bountiful apple season: fall!

After I publish this post, I'm off to my kitchen to whip up a batch of "Figgy-Walnut Oat Bars."  The locally grown figs I found at Whole Foods looked great and were on sale so I thought, I'm going to do something with these guys.  And I'm going to!

05 September 2012

RECIPE: Vegan Roasted Peach Scones

It has been quite some time since I have posted a recipe so, here you go!

I wanted to make something that used the last of the season's beautiful peaches and immediately scones came to mind!  I drove out to Romeo after work today--home of the well-known Michigan Peach Festival--and bought myself a peck.  I reserved some for myself and the rest went towards the scones!

Vegan Roasted Peach Scones

-  2 peaches, peeled* and diced
-  3 T. cane sugar
-  3 T. very hot water
-  2  c. all-purpose flour + 1 T.
-  3 heaping T. cane sugar
-  1 T. baking powder 
-  1/2 tsp. sea salt, rounded
-  5 T. Earth Balance (make sure it's cold!)

-  1 c. soy creamer (I use vanilla-flavored Silk)
*Note: To peel your peaches, score the bottom of them with an "x" and submerge them in a pot of boiling water for 45 seconds.  Immediately after the time is up, drain the boiling water and place the peaches in a pre-made ice bath.  Use your thumb to rub away the peach's skin and voila!  You have a peeled peach!
-  Coarse turbinado sugar, for sprinkling on top of scones

1.  Preheat oven to 400'.
2.  Mix together the 3 T. cane sugar and 3 T. hot water.  Place diced peaches onto a small, ungreased baking sheet and pour sugar-water mixture over the fruit.  Let roast 15-20 minutes.  
3.  Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Use a pastry cutter to cut in Earth Balance until mixture resembles small peas.  Carefully mix in peaches.
4.  Pour creamer into mixture and mix until all ingredients are incorporated.  
5.  Grease a large baking sheet.  Form dough into a ball, flatten and cut into eight triangular pieces.  Place pieces on prepared baking sheet, lightly brush tops with soy creamer and sprinkle on turbinado sugar.
6.  Let bake 15-16 minutes.  Remove from baking sheet and allow to cool on wire racks.
7.  Enjoy!