Brokenhearted: The Story of a Doughnut

It was a fresh, snowy Valentine’s Day morning when I decided to make a special batch of heart-shaped doughnuts to celebrate the holiday.

I should have known that it would all go terribly wrong.

I should have taken a picture of my first batch of doughnuts–hugely swollen over the edges. Golden and crispy. And completely stuck to the pan. When I flipped them–blam!–doughnut crumbs everywhere. I was too sad to document it.

After I got home from work, I decided to try it all again. I will have doughnuts! I didn’t buy this new pan for nothing!

Boo! They were super crispy–almost fried–with no cake-y texture at all. They were gluten free! That’s what gluten free baked goods do best: density. Oh well. I still glazed and sprinkled them. And ate three.

I’m not even going to talk about lighting the brownies on fire. That’s a story for another day.

Recipe from Cybele Pascal, who seems to know something about doughnuts that I don’t.

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!

 

 

 

Happy Halloween! Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

I suppose the “latte” part is misleading, because these are really Happy Herbivore‘s Vanilla Chai Cupcakes with a Pumpkin frosting/glaze of my own design. My child was a cupcake for Halloween this year, so she asked that we also make special cupcakes to celebrate. Can do, kiddo.

The cupcake has a very dense texture, but I don’t know if that was partly my fault for over-stirring, or the nature of fat-free baked goods. Whatever the case, it tasted great, and really did have a great chai latte flavor. The pumpkin glaze I made is runny, but it’s also fat-free and super easy, so you take what you can get.

Pumpkin Glaze (for 8 cupcakes):

  • 3 T pureed pumpkin
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Stir ingredients until combined. Then, place mixture in freezer, checking periodically to stir and make sure the mixture is setting up properly. When as it’s as firm as you’d like (but not frozen) dab a spoonful on each cupcake. The mixture spreads quickly, so you won’t need to worry about making it look pretty. Sprinkle with cinnamon for even more fun.

 

E2 Week: Lemon Cornmeal Pancakes with Blueberry Syrup

Of course, these pancakes are beautiful. Bright yellow, smothered in wild blueberries–there is no way to go wrong with that.

See what I mean? There’s a problem, though, and it comes from adapting a recipe too far. Oh, Engine 2 Diet, you can’t take all the sugar out of a recipe with the juice and zest of two full lemons! Since this recipe is adapted from Vegan with a Vengeance, I could check the original–eliminating the oil is one thing (since pancakes sort of don’t need it, if you grease your pan appropriately) but the sugar? THE SUGAR? It’s sort of like thinking you’re going to drink a big glass of lemonade, and what you get is a fresh glass of straight lemon juice. With salt in it.

My husband called these “bitter cakes” for a very good reason. Next time I make them–and I’m determined to make them again!–I’ll add only 1 or 2 teaspoons of zest, the same amount of lemon juice (it’s about 1/4 of a cup), and a tablespoon of raw sugar.

There were two exciting discoveries that came from this breakfast, though: 1. I LOVE soy yogurt. I think I tried it early on, when my tastes were still changing, and it seemed weird. But I ate a bit of the vanilla yogurt that went into these and it was amazing. So, yay! 2. Blueberry Syrup. I made this recipe off the top of my head, and then discovered that it was nearly identical to the one in VwaV. How do I do it?

Blueberry Syrup (makes enough for 4 servings of pancakes, used sparingly):

  • 1/2 cup frozen wild blueberries (the small kind)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 or 2 tsp vanilla (to taste)

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat. The syrup should come together in the time it takes to make all your pancakes, and be gently warm–not burning hot. So, about 15 minutes.

Cherry Almond Scones

I guess that 8pm isn’t a great time for taking scone photos. So, this looks a little funky, but trust me, it tastes great.

I used the recipe from Vegan Brunch, which you can find on the PPK’s website in a slightly different version. Instead of lavender and marionberry, I used dried bing cherries and almonds (1/4 cup of each). I also upped the vanilla to 2 teaspoons, though I frankly could have added more. OH! And I changed one more thing–I was out of shortening, so I just used all canola oil. Just make sure to get it all nice and crumbly like you would normally. As a matter of fact, oil seems to be a lot less work for about the same results.

I’m sure this is just the start of my scone frenzy. I have a can of pumpkin in the cabinet just waiting to get sconed!

Banana Ice Cream

Yep. That’s just a frozen banana, some almond milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. You can find the actual recipe at Happy Herbivore, but it’s so easy, you could probably just figure it out yourself!

I will say that there are two issues I have with this: 1. It’s super hard to get the peels off the frozen bananas. Did anyone else think of peeling them before tossing them in the freezer? I have like 50 bananas in there (no joke). I solved that problem by just using my regular potato peeler. You lose a little bit of banana, but you get them still really, really frozen. 2. It wasn’t sweet enough. I’ve heard that can be an issue with ice cream, too, that’s why it has so much sugar–the coldness numbs the sweet receptors on your tongue. Or did I just make that up? I added a little maple syrup to mine, and it was pretty good.

Still, I’d love some more mix-in ideas. I love banana with peanut butter, so I might toss in a teaspoonful, and see if that works. Or stir in some chocolate chips. Or throw in a few strawberries. Or some agave nectar. Or…I don’t know! The world is your oyster. And this is too easy to make and too good to pass up.

Blackberry Lemon Bread

It’s no secret that I love baked goods. Muffins, cakes, pies, cookies…you name it. But there’s something about a loaf of bread–yeast or quick–that gets me. And this Blackberry Lemon Bread takes the proverbial cake. I just threw it together this morning for breakfast because we had leftover blackberries and leftover lemons from this week’s cooking. So good!

Blackberry Lemon Bread (makes 1 loaf):

  • 2 cups flour (I use a blend of white and whole wheat)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 generous cup of blackberries

Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease a loaf pan. In a medium bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Then, add the milk, lemon juice, applesauce, oil, zest and vanilla. Gently combine until most of the dry ingredients are incorporated. Then, fold in the berries. Spoon mixture into loaf pan and bake for 40-50 minutes, checking frequently after 30 for doneness (when a toothpick comes out clean).

This recipe was adapted from the Lemon Poppy Seed muffin recipe in Vegan Brunch.