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Recipe: Vegan Apple Cider Harvest Doughnuts

30 Sep


Halloween has always been my favorite holiday, and living in the North East was always full of pumpkin picking, apple picking and of course lots of Trick or Treating. One of the best parts of heading out to the apple orchards was getting a bag of hot apple cider doughnuts, which were made fresh right at the orchard shop. Not only do I no longer live anywhere near an apple orchard, but even if I did, those doughnuts are out of the vegan’s reach. But like any other food full of animal products, we make due and make it ourselves!! This recipe makes about 9 doughnuts and holes. Here’s what you’ll need!

  • 1 cup organic apple cider
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 3/4 cups unbleached flour, make sure to have some extra flour for rolling out dough
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/16 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons your favorite vegan butter substitute (at room temp, I use earth balance original)
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar.
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon for coating the doughnuts

Start with boiling the apple cider down to 1/4 of a cup. This should take about 30 minutes on medium low. Put aside in the fridge to cool down. In the mean time, stir the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg together. I like to sift my flour first to get out the lumps.

Make a buttermilk mixture by adding the soy milk and apple cider vinegar together, mix, and set aside to curdle.

Beat the butter for a second, then add the sugar to cream together. Then add the pumpkin and mix. Add the curdled milk and the concentrated apple cider to this as well and mix. Once combined, slowly add in the flour. Mix but do not over mix, it will seem very tacky and sticky. I sprinkled more flour over it and worked it into a ball in the bowl, then laying it out on the counter, with more flour. Roll out the dough until it is about 1/8 of an inch thick. Stick on a parchment lined cookie sheet and pop into the freezer for about 20 minutes to set.

Heat up a pot with about 3 inches of vegetable oil to about 350 degrees. Take the dough out of the freezer when ready, and using a 3 inch round cutter, make the doughnut shapes, and 1 inch hole for the doughnut holes. If your oil is not ready yet, put the cut doughnuts into the fridge.

When the oil is ready, fry each doughnut one at a time, for about 1 minute on each side. Stick on cooling racks to cool and let the oil drip off.

Mix the cinnamon and sugar together and coat the doughnuts while they are still warm. the traditional way would be to shake these up in a brown paper bag, carefully not to break the doughnuts. Serve with a glass of hot apple cider!


Recipe: The Take Five Carrot Cake Cupcake

13 Feb

I hate to put one of Isa’s recipes down, but the carrot cake from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World is just plain impossible. How do I know? I made it FOUR TIMES before just giving up and alternating the measurements to make sense. There is too much leavening agents in the original to the very small amount of flour, and way too much oil. Here is my revised version of the recipe:

The Dry

  • 3/4 c all purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt

The Wet

  • 1/4 c vegetable oil
  • 1/3 c vanilla soy yogurt
  • 2/3 c sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

The Weird

  • 1 c grated carrots
  • 1/4 c raisins
  • 1/4 c chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350, and set up your cupcake liners. The book calls to spray the liners with baking spray, which I tried. The papers STILL would stick to the cupcakes, I think this had to do with the very long baking time the recipe required. With this recipe, I wouldn’t spray the liners. Mix all the wet ingredients together with a spoon until combined. Put a mesh strainer over the bowl and sift in all the dry ingredients, and mix. The batter won’t look like much but it will bulk up from the fillings. Fold in the carrots, raisins and walnuts gently. Spray a ice cream scoop with a spring release with cooking spray, and use to scoop even amounts of batter into the liners, they will only fill up about half way. This recipe says it makes for 12 cupcakes, and they mean it. No more, no less! Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

On the left, my new and improved cupcakes. On the right, two different sets of cupcakes with the original recipe. You really can see the difference! It’s sick!! Now for the frosting! The recipe for cream cheese frosting in the book, honestly does not make enough for me. Here’s my take

  • 8 oz earth balance
  • 8 oz Tofutti cream cheese
  • a ton of powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

I say a ton of powdered sugar because I feel like the measurements for powdered sugar in frosting recipes are never correct. It is always still super gloopy to me. Cream the earth balance and cream cheese together, I prefer the soy free EB. Mix in powdered sugar a half a cup at a time, this may take a while. I used probably 7-8 cups in my recipe. Add the vanilla and beat until thick. You can dye it orange to make cute carrots, or leave it as is and put it in the fridge to stiffen up a bit.This does make a lot of frosting but having some left over to use for next time never hurt anyone. Or make super high mounds of frosting on your cakes! This recipe would probably cover a 2 layer carrot cake pretty well. Happy Baking!! I mean, happier than I was trying to get this recipe correct!!

Recipe: Peanut Butter Cup Pie

5 Feb

Inspired by my boyfriend exclaiming that my new tart pan looked like “a huge Reese’s cup”, this pie is a sinfully fatty way to get your protein on. It’s loaded with Peanut Butter and Co‘s White Chocolate Wonderful peanut butter, and a super rich dark chocolate creme.

For the Crust

  • Earth Balance Buttery Sticks, 1/3 cup melted
  • 1 package Nabisco Chocolate Wafers

For the Filling

  • 1 package Silken Tofu
  • 8-10 oz vegan dark chocolate,finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp soy milk
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 whole jar of peanut butter, preferably Peanut Butter and Co‘s White Chocolate Wonderful

Preheat your oven to 375. Start off with getting one of those big zip lock bags, and putting all of the wafers into it, and seal. Smash it with a hammer, meat pounder, baseball bat, whatever you have!! Just make sure all the cookies are smushed into crumbs, leaving no big chunks behind. Dump the bag into a bowl, and add the melted earth balance. Mix together until all the cookie crumbs are wet and start to stick. Pour the mixture into a 9 inch tart pan, covering the entire bottom and bringing it up the sides. Put it in the oven for 8-10 minutes, and allow it plenty of time to cool.

In case you don’t know what I mean when I say chocolate wafers, there they are. They are kind of hard to find outside of Christmas time, and they’re usually by the frozen foods/ice creams, NOT the cookie aisle.

While the crust is cooling, get your chocolate melted. Boil some water on medium, and and when it starts to bubble, put a metal bowl on top and dump in the chopped up chocolate pieces. Lower the heat a bit so the water is just steaming, and it isn’t bubbling onto the dish. Stir stir stir the chocolate, until it is completely melted and velvety. Set aside to cool for about ten minutes. Your crust should be cooled down by now, so lets bust out the peanut butter. You will use the whooole jar. Scrape it out into a bowl and whip with an electric hand mixer, to make it easier to spread. Use a rubber spatula to spread it evenly into the pie crust. If you get a few loose crumbs, that’s alright. This stuff is sticky, and hard to spread! When done put the crust to the side, and start on your chocolate creme

Add half a package of silken tofu, about 8 oz, to the chocolate, along with the soy milk and maple syrup. Mix with a bit with a fork, then blend it with your hand mixer. This will take some time to get it to the right consistency and to hide the tofu. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as you go, as you can see in the photo, it gets a little crusty looking. Give it about 7-10 minutes of whipping, and you’ll have a super thick pudding. Pour it over the peanut butter, and smooth it with a rubber spatula.

Let it chill in the fridge for 2 hours before cutting into it. This pie was for a work function the next day so I just covered it with foil. Don’t let the size of this pie fool you, it is so rich, you only need to cut a small slice to satisfy.

Pretzel Bread

6 Jan

I had a liiitttle bit of bread dough left in my fridge from the pizza and zeppoles. I didn’t feel like making another pizza, or buying more cheese. What could I do with this morsel of gluten? Pretzels!! Or in this case, a pretzel roll to attempt to recreate Bennigans famous Turkey O’Toole, vegan style.  What you need is:

  • Isa’s recipe for pizza dough, quartered
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 2 cups of water
  • coarse salt
  • melted earth balance

Take the dough out of the fridge and let it warm up and rise a bit, unless you are making this fresh. Form dough into rolls, tucking in the edges.Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Boil up 2 cups of water to a low rolling boil, then add baking soda SLOWLY. This will create a reaction and it will foam up a lot, so be careful. Once the foam dies down, add the bread dough into the water and let it cook for 45 seconds on each side, then pull it out on a slotted spoon to drain. Repeat with all dough balls.

Place on a parchment lined, or pam flour sprayed baking sheet. Score the top of the bread with two slits because it will puff up more in the oven. Brush tops with melted earth balance, and sprinkle salt on top. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.

I was sad it didn’t turn out that dark brown like a real pretzel, but with practice comes perfection!! If you want to go turkey o’toole on this baby, pile it high with sliced tofurky of your choice, topped with follow your heart monteray jack, and melt it in your toaster oven. Smear a heaping spoonful of agave mustard on it and scoff til ya drop!!

Recipe: Gaga’s Spiced Pecans

2 Jan

Make fun of me all you want, I watched the Lady Gaga Thanksgiving special. There was a part of it showing some of her family recipes for the holidays, and these pecans caught my eye. I recently moved to South Carolina, and they are all about the pecan down here. You can buy them anywhere, in big bags still in the shells, or in bulk bins at the supermarket. I couldn’t wait to make this recipe for my family, and to veganize it!

Aunt Sheri and Uncle Steve’s Spiced Pecans (vegan version)

  • 1 11.5 oz bag of raw shelled pecans
  • 5 tbsp earth balance buttery stick
  • 5 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla syrup *NOT extract!!
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne *optional
  • soy creamer as needed

Preheat your oven to the magic 350, and spread out your pecans onto a baking sheet in a single layer. Toast them in the oven for ten minutes.

While they are baking, prepare the rest of the ingredients. Combine butter, brown sugar, and vanilla syrup and melt in the microwave for about 45-60 seconds, until melted. You can also add cayenne to make them spicy, but as I was making them for my family I wanted them to be sweet. Stir together until everything is combined. The vegan butter is mostly oil, so it will not be fully combined like using real butter. This is where the creamer comes in. Add a splash of creamer to the mix and stir stir stir, until it starts to come together. Add another splash and stir until it is of caramel color and consistency. By now your pecans should be ready.

I melted my ingredients in a glass liquid measuring cup, and it was large enough to put all of the pecans in. If it isn’t, put the pecans into a bowl while they are still hot, and then pour the mixture over them. Toss gently to combine. Store in an air tight container. You can enjoy these almost immediately, they are best when eaten warm. The butter mixture will harden and get almost “lardy” looking once they cooled completely so reheat them in the microwave for a few seconds before enjoying.

My dad couldn’t keep his hands out of this container!! They really are sweet, buttery, and addicting!! Thanks Gaga!

Vegan Zeppoles

1 Jan

The recipe for pizza dough from Vegan with a Vengeance makes enough dough for two 14 inch pizzas. That is a lot of pizza for one vegan girl, so I took the second dough ball and split it. I needed a treat for New Years Eve and with no chocolate in sight, I went for quick and easy Italian Zeppoles! All you need to make them is pizza dough, oil for frying, and powdered sugar.

I cut my dough into two portions and then rolled them out long like a snake. I cut this into thirds, and then rolled them between my palms. Some came out a little bigger than others, I tried to even them out after the picture. These do puff up in the oil a bit so don’t be worried about how tiny they look. Having a thermometer to test the temp of the oil is best, you want it about 350 degrees. Mine was a bit too hot at first and some of them didn’t cook all the way in the middle, because I sadly don’t have a thermometer. Drop them into the oil slowly on a spoon. When they start to get brown on the edges, flip them over gently. Remove with a slotted spoon and place them on paper towels or a brown paper bag to drain.

Get out your sifter and dust these beauties with powdered sugar, or even sprinkle with some raw sugar if you so please. I prefer the boardwalk standard of powdered. If you really want the authentic boardwalk experience, toss these in a paper bag filled with powdered sugar and give em a good shake. It’ll make a mess but being clean with this dessert is pretty impossible in the first place. Enjoy!