Chocolate Chocolate Pancakes

Don’t we all need double the chocolate in our pancakes?

I adapted this recipe from the basic pancakes in the Happy Herbivore. That is the best starting point for pancakes I’ve ever seen–you can basically add anything to it, and they come out great. Blueberries? Sure! Flax? Yes! Pumpkin? Probably. But this time I added both cocoa powder and chocolate chips to make it extra, extra chocolaty.

Chocolate Chocolate Pancakes (makes approximately 8 to 10):

  • 1 cup of flour (I use ultragrain flour)
  • 2 T cocoa powder
  • 1 T baking powder
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1 cup vanilla soymilk
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • semi-sweet chocolate chips (reserve)

Follow the directions in the Happy Herbivore cookbook, which are basically: mix all the dry ingredients, then add the the wet. Mix gently and let sit for 10 minutes. You can heat up your skillet while you wait.

Now, grab your chocolate chips! When you pour the batter into the pan to make the pancake, add 4 to 5 chocolate chips on the top. When you flip the pancake, the chips will be incorporated in. You don’t need very many, and this way you can easily control how much chocolate goes into each pancake, instead of having some with none, and some with TONS.

I topped ours with raspberry jam and powdered sugar. But for Christmas, I think it would be adorable to make a peppermint glaze (out of unmilk, powdered sugar, and peppermint extract) and top with some crushed candy canes. I think you could even do an adorable chocolate orange pancake (you could even use orange-flavored chocolate!), or one with blueberry syrup.

Chocolate Banana Walnut Oatmeal Cookies!

Have you ever had Laura’s Wholesome Junk Food? I love that stuff, but especially the banana chocolate cookie version. If you followed that link, you’d know my sadness–they no longer make it! And while I don’t think these cookies quite live up to Laura’s yet, they are really easy to make, and cost a lot less than $5.99 a batch!

Chocolate Banana Walnut Oatmeal Cookies (makes 13 cookies–a baker’s dozen!):

  • 1 really ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 T applesauce
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 T ground flaxseed meal
  • 3 T unmilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup walnut pieces

Mix the applesauce, sugar, syrup, flaxseed, unmilk and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl. There will probably be a few banana lumps–don’t worry about them, as long as they aren’t huge. Now, add the oats, flour, cinnamon and baking powder to the bowl, and mix until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts until evenly incorporated.

Drop cookies onto a parchment lined cookie sheet, and bake in a 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes. It’s important to slide them off of the cookie sheet and onto a baking rack when done, so the bottoms don’t steam and get super soft. Let them cool fully before eating, or they will turn into a gooey blob in your hand. Yummy!




Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles!

One of my husband’s beloved co-workers had her last day at work on Friday, so I made these very spicy cookies from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. One, we didn’t tell anyone that they were spicy, so that was pretty funny. Two, these are amazing! I will cut back on the cayenne next time I make them–they were a little too hot for me. But they would make the best ice cream sandwich cookies in the world.

Basically, imagine a cookie that has the taste and texture of a very thin brownie. Then make it sugary crunchy on top, with a hint of cinnamon. Then, put it in your mouth. Aaaaah.




Mmm…Happy Herbivore’s Smoky Black Bean Enchiladas. My photo does not look a THING like hers from the cookbook–my enchiladas are always a messy, messy affair, with ripped tortillas and gooey filling and melty sauce and cheese. These were no exception, and were totally, totally rockin’. I don’t say “rockin'” very often, but I think it fits here.

Can I just say I was totally skeptical about the chocolate in the sauce? Yeah. I didn’t believe, but now I do. When I smelled the distinct, accurate scent of enchiladas wafting from the oven, I knew she was right. And the smoky tofu black bean filling! It required 2 tsp of smoke flavoring, which scared me. Two whole teaspoons? I think I put in maybe one and a half, and I should have gone the whole way. Or added a little smoked paprika, too, that would be an awesome touch.

This dinner was also made possible by Trader Joe’s, who now has two stores in the Kansas City area. Bless them. They have totally superior and cheap products, and I have driven out there not once this week–but three times. THREE TIMES. In a week. That’s like 6 hours of transit time for a little Trader Joe’s fix. But I missed them so much! When I lived in San Diego, they were just down the street. I took them for granted. No longer!

So, yeah, Trader Joe’s organic sprouted tofu is my new favorite tofu. It smells amazing raw, which I do not normally think about tofu. At all. And great corn tortillas, since making my own is sort of a pain in the butt. If I talk any more about them, I’ll want to drive out there again. Must…stop…reaching…for the keys…

Cookie Bars! Cookies! In Bar Form!

Well…what you see is a cookie bar, not bars, but there were more of them. I promise!

I’m still working on getting my cookie recipe just right, but these are close enough that I thought I would share. The first night, I made this dough into regular cookies, then popped the rest of it in the fridge. When I tried to make cookies again the next day, the dough wouldn’t form back up. I got cookie crumbles. Or, as my husband lovingly pointed out, “Are you in there making trail mix?” Exactly.

So, I decided to take what was left and just press it into a baking pan and make bars. Easily done, and they came out really great–even better than when they were shaped into “normal” cookies. Hooray!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars:
(makes easily a dozen bars, cut smaller or larger for more…or less)

  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 T ground flax seeds
  • 3 T unmilk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1 and 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips

Take the flax seeds and mix with the unmilk in a small cup. Set aside while you work on this next part. Vigorously blend together the sugars, maple syrup, and canola oil in a medium bowl. Mix it for as long as you can stand, the longer you mix the better your cookie texture. Now, add in the flax and unmilk mixture and the vanilla. Stir to incorporate. Add in the salt, baking powder, and flour. Continue to mix until most of the flour is absorbed. Now, add your chocolate chips and stir until they are pretty evenly distributed. Lots of them will attempt to hang out at the bottom of the bowl.

Now, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. For ease of removal, you may want to lightly grease your 8×8 (or smallish) baking pan, or line the bottom with parchment paper. Press the cookie dough firmly in, and bake for about 10 minutes. The dough should be slightly golden on the top, if it isn’t, put back in for another 2 minutes.

Note–great mix-ins for these cookies would be: 1/4 cup of coconut, and/or walnuts, and/or pecans.

Speltaway Meltaways

Cookie Mad Science: Muwahahaha! I have just been down in the cookie lab, and made something I’m desperate to call Speltaway Meltaways, though I don’t think they are actually meltaway cookies. Rather, they are no-conventional-sugar chocolate chip and spelt wonders. I’m super excited to share the recipe with you!

Speltaway Meltaways (I can’t help myself):

  • 1/2 cup flour (I use something known as “super grain flour” which is a mix of white and whole wheat)
  • 1/2 cup spelt flour
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup brown rice syrup (or use agave nectar, if you have it on hand)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 T blackstrap molasses (or any you have on hand)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 T tapioca starch
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

You first want to mix the syrups & molasses with the oil. When mostly blended, add the tapioca starch and vanilla, and then really mix the heck out of that thing. I’d say stir for at least a minute, maybe two. Now, just add in the flours, salt, and baking powder. Mix until dough forms. Vegan cookies tend to not “come together” like non-vegan ones, which will usually sort of ball up on you. Instead, just make sure all the dry ingredients are incorporated. Now, mix in the chocolate chips! This is the tough part, because the dough will want to reject them. Don’t let it!

Next, and this is optional, get out a piece of plastic wrap. Use this to roll the dough into a neat log (a la tube cookies from the store). This will help you get the chocolate chips incorporated, and will let you make pretty cookies when you slice them off the log. Put the log in the fridge until it firms up. If you want to skip this and make drop cookies, just drop tablespoonfuls of dough on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake cookies in a 350 degree oven for at least 8 minutes, but probably more like 10 minutes. Cookies always look undercooked when you remove them from the oven, let them cool on the baking sheet and they’ll be perfect.

Let me know how this mad science works for you! I’m still trying to perfect my cookie recipe, and I would like to do it without conventional sugars. I found these to be a little bit on the dense side–but that might be good for layering or in a blondie-type situation.

Raspberry Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hear ye, hear ye! On this day, I have made cookies.

Is it wrong to write about this cookie as I’m eating it? It’s blood (chocolate) is still on my hands! Its sweet, sweet taste–in my mouth! Probably not all that wrong, if you think about it.

So, I have a super secret cookie recipe that is not at all vegan, and I’ve been looking to transcribe it. Aiding me in that effort is Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, though I don’t think these came out perfect. My husband loved them (he even told me just now that I should “tell everyone who reads my blog”), but I think they came out a little too sweet, and a little too greasy. I like my chocolate chip cookies to be soft, but a little drier, and a lot tangier. I think what’s missing for me is the baking powder. I’d also cut down on the brown sugar, and probably the regular sugar, too. But the vanilla and texture both work pretty much spot on. And the ratio of cookie to chocolate is in good balance.

I added a little bit of a Chocolove Dark Chocolate and Raspberry bar, to give this a little mysterious kick. Pretty good, but I think I’ll stick with regular chips next time. And add in my secret hobo spices! (Disclaimer: spices did not come from a hobo)

Love This…The May Edition

Being newly vegan means that some of the products I use also needed to change. And while I am a dietary vegan, I have the feeling that I’ll slowly be phasing myself into actual ethical veganism. Though the vegan police may have to come and forcibly remove my Birkenstocks from me. And I’m pretty sure I will never think that using bee products is wrong. But you never know!

Anyway, I wanted to institute a little monthly “Love This!” post to cover all the new foods, products and places that I am currently in love with. If you find that any of these aren’t vegan, please keep in mind, I am unethical.

1. Pit Powder from Muddy H2O

I picked this up while in Astoria, OR at their co-op. They make a men’s version, too, but since I’m a lady, I bought the one for women. I love it! Totally easy to put on (you just shake the powder into your hand), and does a pretty good job keeping down the stink. Being vegan helps, though, too. I’ve tried basically every natural deodorant on the market, too, so don’t think I’m uninformed. I’ve even made my own–which works some of the time, but not when it’s cold. Darn you, coconut oil! Anyway, love this stuff–thanks Oregon! Oh–I guess it’s actually made in Washington.

2. NUTrition Heart Healthy Nuts from Planters

So, yeah, these are awesome. And I know they aren’t organic or fancy, and you can just buy them at the grocery store, but they make me happy. It’s the best mix of nuts ever! And I like that hazelnuts are called filberts. They are the adorable old man of the nut world. I bet that Mr. Peanut secretly wishes he was Mr. Filbert. Or it’ll be like in Clue–It was Mr. Filbert in the parlor with the nutella! What?

3. Dr. Bronner’s Soap

Dr. Bronner may have been a mad scientist that thought that everything is ALL-ONE, but that guy makes some sweet soap. I’ve been using it for years and years, for everything from hand soap to shampoo to (once) toothpaste. You can’t go wrong with Dr. Bronner. Right now, the baby soap is my favorite face wash.

4. Chocolove Dark Chocolate Bars

Yeah, these say that they “may have come into contact with milk” but so has most of the food in my fridge, since my child and husband aren’t vegan. I say you can’t be that paranoid. And this chocolate is seriously magical. Looking at this photo makes me want to go downstairs and eat the bar I have in the cabinet. Yes!

5. Preserve Cutting Board

I’ve had this cutting board for a while, and I adore it. Preserve is a great company anyway, what with the recycling and all, and this cutting board is–dare I say it?–top notch. I have this giant green one, a little green one, and everything else they make. I sorta want to buy another large one in white, but I can’t actually convince myself that I need it, so I don’t. Do you think I need it? Help me justify my spending! Someone needs to.

So, what are you loving this May?