Vegan MoFo Day #23, Post #16: Autumn Equinox Eats and GF/V COOKIE BUTTER!

Today’s MoFo Prompt is Autumn Equinox Eats. Lately I’ve become aware of a lot of people hating on everything pumpkin. Honestly, I will eat pumpkin all year round if I feel like it (from a can when it’s not in season). I think apples may not get quite as much credit these days though.

To make up for it, I’ve been quite enthralled by juicing 2 apples and shaking the juice together with 1/4 tsp. It is seriously amazing.


If you’re like me and actually enjoy pumpkin for Fall (and the occasional apple, squash, and sweet potato recipe), then take a look at all these delicious vegan fall recipes I have compiled on my Pinterest board for this purpose. And I know some people also loathe the idea of Pinterest as well…but what’s with all the negativity? It’s where I find the best online vegan/gluten free recipes from blogs and such actually, aside from MoFo.

Also TODAY I MADE HOMEMADE VEGAN GLUTEN FREE SPECULOOS COOKIE BUTTER! I cannot contain myself in not sharing it. The recipe is from Allyson Kramer. Here’s some pictures of the process.


Before they were baked


After baking


After being made into cookie butter!

Yay! I’m sorry, I’ve been slacking a bit with MoFo, but I’m so close to being done with my bachelor of science degree it is ridiculous! So I’m focusing more on that.


Use the leftover apple cinnamon syrup to make apple cinnamon roasted peanuts! (Recipe)


Okay, so my recent cupcake idea (posted the other day-the one before this one- the apple cinnamon cupcakes) actually branched off from my desire to have vegan “honey” roasted peanuts. I had thought it would be cool to try and replicate Bee Free Honee which is made from apples. Then I decided after some research to add some cinnamon to it, which resulted in the cupcake idea. However, I still had a hankering for the peanuts, and had plenty of leftover apple cinnamon syrup from the cupcakes. (I had also put the syrup on some pancakes I made, which was delicious!)

I’ve also been toying with getting vegan peanut brittle I’ve been seeing at my local grocery store, except it has some ingredients I try to avoid like high fructose corn syrup and such in it…So this was a good alternative.

The basic skeleton of this recipe came from Miss Kitchen Witch, another vegan blog. You should try that recipe, too!

I’m re-writing the recipe I used even though much of it is similar to make it easier for you.


  • 1 pound unsalted dry roasted peanuts (I’ve never seen blanched peanuts around me so this is the next best thing. I think it reduces the cooking time slightly due to them being roasted instead of blanched).
  • 1/3 cup apple cinnamon syrup from my Apple Cinnamon Cupcake recipe
  • 3 tbsp apple butter, store bought or homemade
  • 2 tbsp Earth Balance buttery sticks
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp coconut palm sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray a hefty coating of cooking oil on top.
  3. In a saucepan, combine the syrup, apple butter, Earth Balance, and salt on medium low heat until the Earth Balance melts.
  4. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  5. Place peanuts in a large bowl (one that won’t melt when you pour in the sauce) and coat completely with the sauce.
  6. Transfer to the baking sheet.
  7. Spread out in a single layer.
  8. Heat for 5 minutes, take out, then stir with a wooden spoon. Be sure to keep them in a single layer.
  9. Continue baking for 5 minutes at a time and then stirring until about 20 minutes have passed. At twenty minutes they should be done, I could tell by eating one. I think the peanuts would get a bit crispy and burned past this. But feel free to experiment, they may need an additional 5-10 minutes more.


Fresh-picked Apple Cupcakes with Apple Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting Drizzled with Homemade Apple Syrup

Thank you everyone for being so excited about my ravioli post. It was my most popular blog entry yet!

This past weekend I went apple picking. It was really hot that day, so I actually had some frozen lemonade after!

I had actually been planning on this recipe in a vague form even before I decided to go apple picking. In fact, this is specifically why I wanted to go. Now I need to go apple picking every year, because I have realized fresh picked apples are so much tastier than ones bought in the store.

Of course, I bought more apples than I knew what to do with (figuratively not literally basically) so I had to make some things with them. I don’t know why I just said that because that was part of the plan, but it sounds better that way? Don’t mind me…

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Fresh-picked Apple Cupcakes with Apple Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting Drizzled with Homemade Apple Syrup

Makes a dozen cupcakes


For the Apple Cinnamon Syrup:

  • 1 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1 cup organic evaporated cane juice
  • 2 cups water
  • 5-6 red apples worth of peels
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

For the cupcakes:

  • 2 cups apples diced small
  • 1 cup organic evaporated cane juice (vegan white sugar)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 1 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup almond milk

For the frosting:

  • 1/4 cup earth balance
  • 1/4 cup vegan non-hydrogenated shortening
  • 2 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 tbsp apple cinnamon syrup
  • 1 tbsp almond milk or other non dairy milk of choice


For the apple cinnamon syrup:

  1. Stir together the sugars and water in a saucepan.
  2. Peel the apples and place the peels into the pan.
  3. Make sure you save the meat of the apples for the cupcakes and possible other things you may choose to make or eat as is.
  4. Add the cinnamon sticks.
  5. Simmer for about 45 minutes. You can have it on a medium low heat and then turn it to the lowest heat once it starts to bubble a bit.
  6. After 45 minutes, take off heat and allow to cool slightly. Your kitchen will smell amazing, by the way.
  7. Strain into a container. Discard the apple peels and cinnamon.
  8. Refrigerate until ready to use for the frosting. You’ll have quite a bit of extra syrup that you can use in drinks or whatever your heart desires. I’m going to use it to make a vegan roasted peanut recipe, so you may want to save some of it for when that posts!

For the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix the apples and evaporated cane juice in a mixing bowl and let sit for ten minutes.
  3. Add in the vegetable oil, vanilla, and apple sauce. Stir to combine.
  4. Fold in the flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
  5. Add the almond milk and stir to combine.
  6. Place batter into twelve cupcake liners in a muffin pan. You’ll want to fill them up more than typical cupcakes. Spread the batter out as evenly as you can into eat. I used about 2 huge heaping tablespoons in each.
  7. Bake for at least 20 minutes. It took my cupcakes about 24 minutes to be done. After the 20 minutes I took a toothpick and checked the middle and continued to do this every so often until they were golden brown and the toothpick came out clear.
  8. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting:

  1. Cream together the Earth Balance and shortening with an electic mixer.
  2. Add in the powdered sugar and mix until crumbly.
  3. Add the syrup and almond milk and mix until smooth.
  4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix a bit more to ensure everything is mixed together.

To assemble:

  1. I like to put the frosting into a ziplock bag and snip off a corner to use as a pastry bag.
  2. Pipe frosting onto the cupcake in your desired arrangement.
  3. Drizzle extra syrup or sprinkle cinnamon on top.


So good!

PS: Today I also made Isa Chandra Moscowitz’ Kale Salad from Isa Does It. It has butternut squash and lentils and the dressing is so good. I ate it with some Earth Balance Mac and Cheese.


Vegan MoFo Day 28: Sunday Brunch: Pretzel Bread Chia Pudding and Date Caramel Casserole

So I already posted this, but I’ll post it again in case you missed it because it’s relevant. I’ve been making food to share with my classmates at my college program as a part of my project I’m working on. Recently, they wrote about me in their “student snapshots” and actually took pictures of me unveiling this dish I’m about to post the recipe to now. It was a big hit. Take a look.

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This is the type of brunch dish that is so good it amazes people. It’s also the type of dish where when you eat it you are gasping a bit. I literally said “Omm nom” when I first tried it, I think. It was so good that no one who wasn’t vegan even cared that it was vegan. I’m sorry for bragging, but honestly I was actually a bit shocked at first at how good this thing I invented came out.

It has a lot going on, but trust me, it’s so good.

It’s a bit of a pain if you need to make the pretzels just to make this dish, but if you want pretzels too, then it’s a great decision. Just reserve at least 2 days before you plan on having this.

My family has a tradition for certain holidays to make the most luxurious, elaborate, and fancy brunch recipes for certain holidays like Christmas morning and such, and this is definitely already on the menu for that!

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  • 4 homemade pretzels from my recipe here
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup evaporated cane juice
  • 2 tbsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 batch caramel date sauce (recipe from the pretzel recipe here)
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance, melted


  1. Break up pretzels into small chunks and place in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Pour almond milk over this mixture and coat well. Let sit in the fridge overnight.
  3. The next day, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. In a medium sized bowl, mix the chia seeds, arrowroot, water, sugars, vanilla, and spices together.
  5. Place the pretzel mixture into a casserole dish, and fold in the mixture you just prepared in the medium bowl.
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes.
  7. Take out of the oven and drizzle both the date caramel and melted margarine over the bread pudding.
  8. Dig in!