Italian Rainbow Cookies Veganized

During Christmas, I had this bad habit of being at the grocery store and looking at the ingredients of the Italian Christmas cookies hoping some of them would be vegan. Not a chance. I’ve been craving these all season.

After Christmas, I looked up some recipes for this type of cookie. I wasn’t sure what they would actually be called, but it was easy enough to find. I found this recipe, which I knew I could veganize with the magic vegan ingredient, aquafaba.

I was so worried I’d really mess up making these a lot earlier on. The parts I thought would fail were not as difficult as I thought. The hardest part was cutting it after I put the chocolate on top, which ended up crumbling a bit and making it not as pretty as I would have liked. The recipe makes it sound much more complicated and some of the steps are needlessly complicated, so I’m re-writing the recipe in the way I did it with the vegan substitutions.

This recipe also required making vegan almond paste (with aquafaba as well!)

That is the first step to making these babies.

Vegan Aquafaba Almond Paste

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups blanched almonds
  • 1.5 cups vegan powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons aquafaba (chickpea water/brine from a can)
  • 1.5 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, blend the almonds until smooth and pasty.
  2. Add the powdered sugar, aquafaba, extract, and salt.
  3. Process again until smooth and dough-like (it should form into a big ball).
  4. You may need to scrape the sides down frequently throughout the process.
  5. When finished, set aside 3/4 cup for your Italian Rainbow cookies. You can save the leftovers, it’s super yummy!

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Veganized Italian Rainbow Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks plus 4 tablespoons Earth Balance sticks
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup almond paste (recipe above)
  • 3/4 cup vegan sugar plus 2 tablespoons
  • 4 tablespoons aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas)
  • 12 tablespoons aquafaba
  • 2 tablespoons vegan sugar
  • food coloring method of choice (red and green)
  • 15 oz Apricot Jam (not the kind with clumpy pieces in it, you want it to be smooth)
  • 10 oz vegan chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place parchment paper on three jelly roll pans or rimmed cookie sheets and spray parchment with cooking oil.
  3. In a stand mixer bowl, place the almond paste and 3/4 cup with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Mix on the medium speed setting until crumbly.
  4. Cut the Earth Balance into small pieces and place into the the mixture while beating together until all the Earth Balance is in there and the batter is smooth.
  5. Sift 2 cups of flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a bowl. Add into the mixer slowly and continue to mix until combined. Do not over mix.
  6. In a large metal bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, place the 12 tablespoons of aquafaba. Whip until foamy. Slowly add in the 2 tablespoons of sugar while continuing to whip on the highest setting. Stop when you have created firm peaks (if you take out the whisks from the meringue, and place them upside down, it will not drip down).
  7. Add 1/3 of the meringue into the batter and fold in with a rubber spatula. Add the rest of the meringue and mix until fully incorporated.
  8. Place the batter evenly into 3 bowls. 1 bowl keep plain, and then add green and red to the other two bowls.
  9. Transfer the batters onto their respective cookie sheets one at a time with a wet rubber spatula . My sheets were too big to be able to spread out the batter entirely, so I tried my best to make the most even shaped rectangles on each cookie sheet so they’d match up when layered together after baking.  Don’t worry too much about it, you’ll cut the edges so they’re prettier when it’s all assembled anyhow. Just worry about making relatively even thickness rectangles for now.
  10. Bake for 4 minutes, rotate the pans around in the oven so that one pan is not on the bottom rack the whole time, and bake for another 4-6 minutes until the edges are slightly browned.
  11. Allow to cool completely.
  12. Spread a thin layer of apricot jam on top of the red layer.
  13. Cut any excess parchment paper from around the white layer. Holding the bottom of the cookie with both hands, carefully line up and flip the white layer onto the red.
  14. Spread another layer of jam. Repeat step 13 with the green layer, but do not place anymore jam on top.
  15. Cover with plastic wrap. Place a clean cookie sheet on top to press down the layers. Place something heavy and even (like two cans on either side) on top of that, and place into the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
  16. Take off the cans, cookie sheet, and plastic wrap. With a sharp knife, trim the uneven sides into a clean rectangle shape. Let sit for a moment or a few.
  17. Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler or microwave.
  18. Spread over the top layer and sides with a spatula.
  19. Allow to set, and then cut into smalls squares.
  20. Place in a container and store in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

Enjoy! I know I certainly will!

 

 

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Going gluten free. First gluten free and vegan baked good –strawberry rhubarb pie!

Well, I am somewhat relieved to finally have an explanation as to why I have been so exhausted lately. I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, which is an autoimmune disorder. I also have hypothyroidism as a result of it. So, I started researching what else I can do that will help me to feel better besides what my doctor is doing for me. And I kept seeing the benefit of going gluten free. I know I seem to have issues with feeling like crap when I eat too much gluten, so I am trying it. It’s sad for me, because I really loved gluten. I will need to learn more about baking gluten free, and I know I can do it, and be making all sorts of new delicious vegan AND gluten free stuff in the future!

In fact, I made a pie. Unfortunately, my oven and stove just randomly stopped working yesterday. I’m glad I made this before that! I have some ideas up my sleeve for the future, but they will have to wait until it gets fixed 😦

IMG_3740It’s my favorite pie of all time, strawberry rhubarb.

I actually used Bob’s Red Mill Pie Crust Mix. I had used it before and thought it was awesome even when I wasn’t gluten free.

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag Bob’s Red Mill gf pie crust mix
  • 12 tbsp Earth Balance cut into tbsp sized pieces
  • 8 tbsp cold non hydrogenated organic vegetable shortening
  • 8 tbsp cold water
  • 1 lb strawberries, chopped into slices
  • 1 1/4 cup rhubarb, chopped
  • 1 cup vegan sugar
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Directions:

  1. First make the crust. Follow the directions on the back of the packaging. I always need the full 8 tbsp of water it says I might need. You may need 6 or 7 like it says. I find it hard to roll out after it’s been in the fridge…but I manage to fix it up if it breaks apart a bit as it’s pretty easy to put back together.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  3. While the crusts are chilling, combine the strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice into a large bowl.
  4. Take the crusts out of the fridge after the hour has passed, and roll one out into a large circle.
  5. Press into a pie pan.
  6. Pour the filling inside.
  7. To make a latticed topping, cut strips out of the second pie crust after rolling it out a bit.
  8. Place the strips across the pie. First lay them out horizontally, then vertically. You may need a spatula to help you get them off your work surface, and they will probably break apart, but it will still look nice even if they break apart on the pie. Just smoosh them together a bit if they crack or fall apart in the process.
  9. Place in the oven with a cookie sheet underneath to avoid the gooey delicious filling from falling on the bottom of the oven, making a mess and a nasty smell/smoke.
  10. Bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes, then turn down the oven to 350 and bake for anywhere between 30-60 additional minutes until the crust is firm and golden/brown around the edges.
  11. Enjoy! My entire family loved it. When I asked if they could tell the difference between this and a gluten based pie crust, they said they couldn’t. (I can, unfortunately, haha! but it’s still really good!)

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update and recipe for vegan Portuguese muffins!

Hi! I’ve been gone for awhile. The reason for my absence has been because I have been putting most of my recipe energy into working on the cookbook zine, school, and am also planning food for another Ladies Rock Camp! Speaking of which check me out in their volunteer spotlight!

Valentines day has come and gone. That day I cooked up a storm. I veganized our family’s brisket recipe using seitan for my zine, I made heart shaped frosted sugar cookies, and I veganized a recipe for Portuguese muffins.

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I used this recipe (although I changed the icing recipe a bit to add raspberry juice and almond milk).

I have always lived in an area where there is a large Portuguese population. The grocery stores always sell sweet breads and Portuguese muffins here. I used to love them. Portuguese muffins are basically like English muffins without the nooks and crannies and are made from sweet bread.

I have been craving them badly lately, but they are not vegan. They contain milk and eggs.

So, I adapted this recipe to become vegan.

These are the ingredients I used:

1 cup vanilla almond milk or other nondairy milk of choice
4 tbsp Earth Balance
3 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 tbsp potato starch
1/4 cup soy flour
1/4 cup vegan sugar
1 package teaspoons instant yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp Ener-g Egg Replacer and 4 tbsp water whisked together
2 tsp vanilla
1 lemon’s worth of lemon zest

You basically follow the directions on the recipe exactly, although ignore the parts about how much it should rise as I don’t think it really did the amount it said it would and they still came out alright.

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If you’ve never had them, now you can try them vegan! If you have, enjoy the comforting flavor of sweet bread again!

Easy Baked Seitan Recipe for Vegan Homemade Hibachi!

Hi all, it’s been awhile since I have posted anything. I’ve taken a sort of unofficial break to work on some other stuff.

Things like my running blog, actually training for a half marathon, and my Banana Curl, Vegan Girl cookbook zine that’s all my favorite recipes from my childhood. I hope to complete it and start selling it by March. I’ve also started a new website, but haven’t done much work on it yet. It’s not ready to share yet, but I plan to have it be an informational website for vegans of all levels interested in various topics around veganism for social justice and support for people who want to become new vegans. I’m really excited about it, but I have to be patient and keep it secret for now while I’m working on it.

In the next few months or so I will be trying to post new recipes more often as I’ve gotten a bit out of habit with it. I will be sharing recipes I’ve created for the zine too to get you all excited about buying it when it comes out…(It’ll be cheap, like 2-5 dollars I think).

One of those recipes I’d like to share is my recipe for Vegan Hibachi. I loved hibachi and other Japanese foods so much growing up as a kid. We had this restaurant in Providence called Fuji when I was very young in Providence that we would always go to. We went there so often that we got to know the family who owned it really well. Their daughter even came with us on a trip to San Francisco. Unfortunately, it went out of business years ago, but I still have fond memories of it. They always gave us Botan Rice candies as a treat when we left, which I still love (and they are vegan too!) It wasn’t a hibachi restaurant. It was more traditional.  After it went out of business we often went to Hibachi restaurants. I feel like trying to recreate a dish from Fuji I would never get right, and would not do justice to. So, I have settled on making yummy vegan hibachi.

This recipe consists of 4 major steps, but with some planning I am sure you can pull it off! Make the Yum Yum dipping sauce and baked seitan the day before, then prepare the veggies and seitan and mushroom hibachi right before serving.

vegan hibachi!

vegan hibachi!

Recipe for Yum Yum Sauce:

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup Just Mayo (a commercial vegan mayo that can be found at Target and Whole Foods, among others)
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp melted Earth Balance
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • dash cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. Stir together all ingredients.
  2. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
  3. Use as a dip for the hibachi.

Recipe for Seitan:

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 vital wheat gluten
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour
  • 1/2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp lemon pepper
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp organic brown sugar
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp ketchup

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. If you have an electric stand mixer, place them in the bowl for that.
  3. Add the wet ingredients into another bowl or large measuring cup. Stir together well.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
  5. Stir until there is no loose powder.
  6. When cohesively stirred together, use the dough hook attachment on your mixer, or knead the dough by hand on a clean surface for 10 minutes.
  7. Place into a loaf pan, stretching it to fit the length of the pan.
  8. Heat for 30 minutes, flip over, reduce heat of oven to 350 degrees, and heat for another 20 minutes.
  9. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then take out of the loaf pan and place on a plate to cool.
  10. Slice up into pieces as desired.

Recipe for Seitan w/ Mushrooms and Veggie Hibachi

Ingredients for seitan hibachi:

  • 8 oz whole white mushrooms, sliced in halves
  • 1 batch Seitan (in the basics chapter)
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 3 tbsp Earth Balance
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • Salt and Pepper

Ingredients for hibachi veggies:

  • 2 cups chopped zucchini, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tbsp earth balance
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • salt and pepper

Directions for Hibachi:

  1. Place a tablespoon of oil in two separate skillets. Heat oil over medium heat.
  2. Melt Earth Balance in the skillet in which you will cook the veggies in.
  3. In the other, add 2 tablespoons soy sauce and the mushrooms.
  4. Cook mushrooms until their juices are released.
  5. Melt the Earth Balance with the mushrooms and 2 more tablespoons soy sauce.
  6. Add seitan to the mushrooms, cook until heated, stirring frequently.
  7. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
  8. In the other pan, place the veggies into the oil and melted Earth Balance, add 4 tablespoons soy sauce, and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  9. Stir frequently, until everything is fully cooked.
  10. Serve with Yum Yum sauce to dip in.

If you like or dislike this recipe, please tell me why in the comments. And keep an eye out for the zine that will have this recipe inside!! 🙂

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Ps: here is a beautiful picture of my cat, Franz, that I took recently and wanted to share. Isn’t he cute?

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

Ingredients:

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

 Directions:

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.

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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.

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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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Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

  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!

Vegan Mofo Day 17: Worldly Wednesdays: French Onion Soup

Okay, so this could have easily also went into Saturday’s theme, but I felt for some reason that having it in Worldly Wednesday was more fitting.

French onion soup with melty cheese on top of French bread croutons

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French onion soup with melty cheese on top of french bread croutons

This recipe took a lot of research and was referenced to two different recipes, one vegan from the start and one not. The main recipe I want to give credit to is the recipe I based the cheese off of, http://vedgedout.com/2013/03/11/individual-vegan-margherita-pizzas-with-homemade-fresh-moxarella-cheese/. I tweaked it quite a bit because I wanted it to have a sharper flavor that tasted more like the cheese I remember from this dish and rewrote the directions based upon my own experience with making it.

My entire family (none are vegan themselves) all ate it and said it tasted like the real thing. My mom (although full disclosure: has not eaten real cheese since the 90s, longer than I have abstained from it) said the texture and melty-ness of the cheese was spot on and was of excellent flavor.

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

For the soup:

  • 1 stick earth balance (1/2 cup or 8 tbsp)
  • 4 vidalia onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 cup vegan red wine (See barnivore.com to be sure the wine you select is vegan)
  • 3 tbsp unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2 quarts (8 cups) vegetable broth (I used Trader Joe’s Low Sodium variety)
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I only added 1/2 tsp black pepper because I’m watching my sodium and it didn’t seem bland at all)
  • 1 french baguette, sliced thick
  • 1 batch melty tapioca cheese (see below)

For the cheese:

  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 tbsp plus 1 tsp tapioca starch
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika

Directions:

For the cheese (it is best to make this first because it can sit while you cook the rest):

  1. Blend ingredients in a good blender until totally smooth/liquid.
  2. Pour into a saucepan and cook while stirring constantly on medium-high heat.
  3. After it begins to look as if it is separating (and is), turn the heat to medium and continue to stir until it becomes very thick and is a melty, stretchy consistency. It will also be bubbling quite a bit. Pretend you are a witch making a fancy vegan potion or a mad scientist doing a new experiment. 😛
  4. Set aside or place in the fridge when cool for use a bit later when the rest of the soup is done.

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After the cheese is done

For the soup:

  1. In a large soup pot over medium heat, melt the stick of Earth Balance.
  2. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme sprigs and cook covered for about 20-25 minutes until the onions are browned, soft, and caramelized. Check about every five minutes or so and stir gently to make sure it doesn’t start to burn.
  3. Add wine, boil, and reduce the heat to simmer until the wine is mostly evaporated and the onions are somewhat starting to dehydrate. Leave the pot uncovered for this step. This will take at least 10 minutes, maybe longer.
  4. Add the flour and stir. Reduce the heat and cook for about 3 minutes or less if the flour really starts to stick to the bottom of the pot.
  5. Add the vegetable broth and stir the contents of the bottom of the pot to deglaze the flour and onions stuck to the bottom.
  6. Bring to a simmer and cook for at least 10 minutes.
  7. Add pepper and/or salt as desired. Don’t be tempted to add too much salt as the salt in the vegetable broth should be enough (unless you bought a salt free brand). I just added 1/2 tsp black pepper, you might like more or less.

To put it all together:

  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. Place the baguette slices on a baking sheet, spray both bottoms and tops with cooking oil, and place a good sized dollop of the cheese (about 2 tbsp) on top.
  3. Broil for 3-5 minutes watching and checking quite carefully. Don’t let making the soup distract you because you could easily burn them beyond recognition if you don’t.
  4. Place soup in bowls or pretty ramekins and place the croutons on top of the soup, allowing the soup liquid to seep into the bread.
  5. If you have any leftover cheese, it might be a great idea to add a bit more to the soup and float it around for more of that gooey, stretchy, deliciousness.

Vegan MoFo 2014- Day 9: My Rhode Island semi-famous vegan Cashew Cheese Danish Recipe

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I’ve been back and forth about whether I should actually share this recipe. My future dreams of possibly owning a vegan business and definitely (I hope!) writing a cookbook tell me I should keep this a secret until then. However, seeing there aren’t any recipes on the web for vegan pastry dough and cashew cheese danish quite like this (but it has been attempted many times in other ways), I figured, why not share the deliciousness with everyone? Part of my goal with this blog is to make vegan food accessible to all. So, it seems rather hypocritical of me to guard this recipe so much.

Besides, I’ve been told that, “I have the patience of a saint” which I partially agree with. I do have a lot of patience. The patience ranges from elaborate, multi-step recipes that are strewn out across several days (like this one) to working with people (unless those people are my family whom I still live with or my cat when he tries to make biscuits with his claws out eat my favorite blanket, inadvertently destroying it). This recipe requires a lot of patience in that sense, although I love the relatively easy cleanup that comes from making the dough in a food processor!

Finally, I want to share an anecdote from when I first made these to test out the recipe. They came out way more amazing than I had ever hoped. I was going to a vegan feminist meeting in Providence and wanted to share them with my fellow feminists. They seemed to enjoy them. But upon walking back to my car from the meeting, as I was crossing the street, a car full of three of my friends from Girl’s Rock, RI who all love the food I make for their camps randomly saw me and stopped at the light. They asked me what I was doing, and since I had a bunch of the danish with me, I offered them some. When I got home, awaiting for me on my facebook was a picture they took of me with a mischievously delicious grin on my face (quite secretively because I didn’t even realize it!) proclaiming that I was:

A magic angel. We bumped into her at a random intersection and she fed us homemade baked goods. I am not hangery and that danish was ah-mazing. Providence we are a lucky bunch.

And last night I made them again and they came out even better than the first time because they were so beautifully browned! I fed them to my cohort at my school, and they were a huge hit! Even with no one being vegan themselves, there!!

Before I get to the actual recipe, here are some pictures so you can see the process after the dough is all set to be made into the pastry:

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Putting the brown sugar on the dough squares

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Making the dough into a cylinder shape

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The “pinch pot” coil shape

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Adding the cheese

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The finished product

 

Vegan Cashew Cheese Danish Recipe:

Makes 2 dozen danish pastries

Ingredients:

For the sweet Lemon Cashew cheese:

  • 2 cups raw cashews soaked in water overnight and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp plain coconut milk yogurt
  • 2 tbsp plain almond milk
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest
  • 12 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the pastry dough:

  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup plain almond milk at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp egg replacer powder and 2 tbsp and water
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 package active dry yeast (about 1 1/2 – 2 tsp)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) Earth Balance cut into 1 tbsp sized chunks

For assembly:

  • Brown sugar to sprinkle
  • 1 tbsp egg replacer powder mixed with 4 tbsp almond milk as a wash

For the glaze:

  • 1/2 cup (a bit more actually) organic confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tsp almond milk

Directions:

To make the cashew cheese:

  1. Blend all ingredients in a food processor.
  2. Lay out some cheesecloth inside a mixing bowl and pour the cheese inside.
  3. Wrap the cheesecloth around the cheese into a ball.
  4. Let sit in a warm area of the kitchen overnight or at least 8 hours.
  5. Place in the refrigerator until needed, up to a week or so.

To make the pastry dough:

  1. Pour water and almond milk into a bowl and sprinkle with the yeast, mix a bit until absorbed, and let sit ten minutes untouched.
  2. After the 10 minutes, add the egg replacer and water to the bowl with the yeast, mix together, and set aside.
  3. Set up your food processor with a large mixing bowl next to it. Place the flour, salt, and sugar inside the processor.
  4. Pulse very briefly to combine the ingredients, then add the Earth Balance chunks and pulse about 10 short times. You still want to see small chunks of the Earth Balance in it.
  5. Empty this crumb mixture into the bowl you set aside. Add the yeast liquid and combine with a rubber spatula or your hands. Don’t over mix, it should still be gooey and messy.
  6. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours to overnight.

To prepare the dough further:

  1. Take out of the fridge and let it sit to warm up a bit for about 10-20 minutes, depending on how long you let it stay in the fridge.
  2. Lightly dust a clean surface area to work in with flour.
  3. Take half the dough and roll out into a thin square or rectangle-like shape.
  4. Fold in thirds as you would a pamphlet.
  5. Turn so that the folded edge is to your left, and roll out again into a square, repeat the rolling and folding steps three more times. Fold one more time and leave the dough that way.
  6. Repeat with the other half of the dough.
  7. Place each dough rectangle in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

To make the Danish:

  1. Roll one of the wrapped dough rectangles out into a large thin square or rectangle shape.
  2. Cut into 12 squares or rectangles, about 3”x2.”
  3. Sprinkle each square with brown sugar.
  4. Roll up with the width side (the longer side) into a round cylinder shape. (See pictures)
  5. Now take these cylinders and form into a coil shape, sort of like a cinnamon bun.
  6. Take your hand and mush so there’s no gaps in the coil, making a well for the filling. It’ll look sort of like a pinch pot if you’ve ever done basic clay/pottery work.
  7. Top each with about one tbsp of the cream cheese filling.
  8. Place on a baking sheet with parchment paper lining it, and brush the egg replacer and almond milk mixture around the pastry part.
  9. Let sit for an hour and a half.
  10. After one hour has passed in the sit time, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  11. Place in oven for 20 minutes or longer, until slightly golden brown and firmly puffy.
  12. When cool to the touch, place on a wire rack and make the glaze.

To make the glaze and finish these delicious suckers:

  1. Mix the confectioner’s sugar, vanilla, and almond milk in a bowl with a spoon.
  2. Drizzle over the danish with a fork and allow to set before eating. 
  3. Share with as many people as possible, and don’t forget to tell them where you got the recipe from! 😉

 

 

 

 

Vegan MoFo 2014: Too Good Baked Good Tuesday: Pina Colada Pie

Phew, I am barely making it to post this tonight. I literally just finished it, as it requires 3 hours of chill time.

This recipe was originally inspired by a recipe for lemon pie in the book Soy Not “Oi!”, but I ended up changing it quite a bit once I realized it was going to taste better and be a better consistency the way I wanted to. It’s still somewhat runny, but is incredibly delicious, if I may say myself (I just tasted it!) I am bringing the rest (I made 2!) to school tomorrow so they can all try it and give me feedback on it, as well.

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Pina Colada Pie

Makes 1 pie

Ingredients:

Pie crust:

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup unbleached white flour
  • 1/2 tsp vegan sugar
  • 3 tbsp cold Earth Balance
  • 3 tbsp non-hydrogenated organic vegetable shortening
  • 2 tbsp cup cold water

Pie filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tbsp cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 3 teaspoons arrowroot
  • 3 tsp water
  • 2 tbsp Earth Balance 
  • 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1/2 tsp agar agar powder

Whipped cream:

  • 1 can coconut milk (I used Goya brand), placed in the freezer for at least an 1 hour before use with the white cream scooped out only, not the rest of the clear liquid.
  • 1 1/2 cup vegan powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup organic non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla

To make the pie Crust:

  1. Place flours and sugar in a food processor. Give it a quick whir to combine together.
  2. Add 1 tbsp of shortening, quickly pulse, and continue to add the shortening 1 tbsp at a time until you’ve put in 3 tbsp.
  3. Follow the same method with the earth balance as above.
  4. With the processor running, open the little opening thing on top and slowly pour in the water.
  5. Smoosh into a round disk shape, and wrap in plastic wrap.
  6. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes to 2 hours.
  7. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  8. Roll out the dough into a thin round layer on top of plastic wrap.
  9. Carefully place on top of a pie pan and shape the crust with your fingers around the edges of the pan.
  10. Bake in the oven 7-12 minutes until golden and crispy looking and not mushy when touched.

To make the pie filling:

  1. In a saucepan, add sugar and cornstarch.
  2. Stir in the coconut milk and pineapple juice.
  3. In a separate cup, whisk the arrowroot and water together. Add to the other ingredients in the saucepan.
  4. Add the margarine and boiling water over the Earth Balance so it melts.
  5. Heat on medium heat on the stove until just starting to thicken, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon.
  6. Once starting to thicken, add in the agar agar powder and immediately start to whisk until combined. Be careful to whisk a.s.a.p after placing it in the saucepan and whisking all around the pan or you may end up with agar agar clumps throughout. It will thicken very quickly after this step.
  7. Shut off the heat and continue to whisk for a bit.
  8. Pour into the pie shell you made and refrigerate for 3 hours before piping the whipped cream on top.

To make the whipped cream:

  1. Place the coconut milk can in the freezer for at least 1 hour before using.
  2. Open the can and scoop out the solid cream with a spoon. Use the remainder of the watery coconut milk in a smoothie or whatever else you think you’d like it in.
  3. Add in the powdered sugar, shortening, and vanilla. Mix with a rubber spatula until combined.
  4. Use a handheld electric mixer and whisk in circles until peaks form.
  5. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use/place on top of the pie, or for at least an hour until it’s more solid. I like to place it in a ziploc bag and cut the tip and squirt it out in little round globs.
  6. You will have extra left depending on how you choose to decorate the pie, so use every last bit of that for other delicious reasons!

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Oh, and here’s an interesting wikipedia article on the history and other fun facts about one of the ingredients I used, agar agar.

See you tomorrow for another entry for Vegan MoFo 2014!

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Sharing my breakfast today with my readers!

I made a delicious breakfast this morning.

I made lemon poppy seed pancakes from this recipe, topped with a tiny bit of Earth Balance Spread, and a side of Upton’s Naturals seitan bacon (my new favorite vegan bacon!).

 

Image I am hoping I will have time to post more soon, but it is starting to be crunch time at school.