Never-Fail Vegan Oreos

There are very few perfect treats in this world, and Oreos are high on my list of perfectly yummy delicacies.

Aren’t they pretty?

The best part of these little sandwich cookies is that they are 100% vegan and nitrate free. (Common animal products substitutions are included in parentheses.)

Yep!

Just be sure to use vegan sugar, (apparently some sugar is made a certain way that uses animal products) if this is an issue for you.

For my recipe, I’ve drawn the cookie recipe from here, and the filling recipe from here. However, some modifications have been made.

Both very good recipes, but Mine needed to be vegan, not call for anything I wouldn’t usually have on hand, etc.

For the cookies:

  • 1 cup coconut oil, solid (can substitute butter)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (I sometimes use raw, but the larger grains could make an odd texture)
  • 1 flax egg (1 Tbs ground flax seed, 3 Tbs water, mixed together before being added.) (can substitute an egg).
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the Filling:

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, solid
  • 1 2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon nondairy milk (I use unsweetened almond milk)
  • Pinch kosher salt

Combine the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl, and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and vanilla, and beat until well incorporated.

Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add the dry mixture to the creamed mixture, beating on the lowest speed.  Continue to mix on the lowest setting until the dry ingredients are just incorporated.

Divide the dough in half, and shape into two discs.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

When the dough is chilled, preheat the oven to 350°F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat.  Set aside.

Roll the dough to 1/8 – 1/4-inch thickness.  Use a cookie cutter (approximately 2 inches in diameter) to cut out cookies and transfer them to the prepared baking sheet. I used the wide end of a large frosting tip to cut out these teeny ones.

Bake the cookies for 12 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once the cookies are cooled, prepare the filling.  Combine the softened butter, half and half, vanilla, and salt and beat until combined.  The mixture may be a bit lumpy, but will come together.  Add the powdered sugar gradually, approximately 1/3 cup at a time, until the filling comes together.  It will be slightly stiffer than a cupcake frosting. Try not to snitch too much of it, so you can save it for the cookies!

Transfer the filling to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip.  Pipe the filling onto half of the cookies, and top with the remaining cookies to form cookie sandwiches.

The cookies are best chilled, but there’s no wrong way to eat these. Eating them straight out of the freezer is wonderful and keeps them good for longer than they’ve ever lasted at my house.

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Japanese Cheesecake

My birthday cake!

Based off of a very popular online recipe, I made a wiggly, jiggly, delectable cake that was very memorable.

I’ll link to the original, and just add my tips to make it.

  1. Read the recipe all the way through before you do anything.
  2. Prepare your ingredients, because once you get going, it can be pretty involved.
  3. Follow the instructions, and DO use a springform pan (if you have one)but also,  do put  foil tightly around the bottom to prevent leakage. Don’t forget the parchment paper so removing the cake from the pan goes smoothly.

According to Tasty’s recipe:

Ingredients

for 6 servings

  • ½ cup (130 mL) milk
  • 4 oz (100 g) cream cheese
  • 7 tablespoons butter
  • 8 eggs, yolk
  • ¼ cup (60 g) flour
  • ¼ cup (60 g) cornstarch
  • 13 large egg whites
  • ⅔ cup (130 g) granulated sugar
  • parchment paper
  • strawberry, to serve
  • powdered sugar, to serve

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 320°F (160°C).
  2. In a small pot over medium heat, whisk the milk, cream cheese, and butter until smooth. Remove from heat and cool.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth, then slowly drizzle in the cream mixture, stirring until evenly combined.
  4. Sift in the flour and the cornstarch, whisking to make sure there are no lumps.
  5. In another large bowl, beat the egg whites with a hand mixer until you see soft peaks when lifting the mixer up from the egg whites. Gradually add the sugar while continuing to beat until you see hard peaks when lifting the mixer up.
  6. Take about ¼ of the egg whites and fold them into the egg yolk mixture, then repeat with the remaining egg whites until the batter is evenly combined.
  7. Place a 4-inch (10-cm) parchment paper strip around the edge of a 9×3-inch (23 cm) cake pan that is already lined with parchment at the bottom. If you are using a springform pan, make sure to wrap the bottom and sides completely in foil, twice, to prevent any leakage.
  8. Pour the batter into the parchment-lined pan and shake to release any large air bubbles.
  9. Place the filled pan into a larger baking pan or dish lined with 2 paper towels at the bottom. The paper towels ensure that the heat is distributed evenly along the bottom of the pan. Fill the larger pan about 1-inch (2-cm) with hot water.
  10. Bake for 25 minutes, then reduce the heat to 280°F (135°C), and bake for another 55 minutes, until the cake has risen to almost double its height.
  11. Remove from oven, and carefully, invert the cake onto your dominant hand and peel off the paper. Be extremely careful, the cake will be hot. You can also invert the cake onto a plate, but this will cause the cake to deflate more.
  12. Sprinkle the top of the cake with powdered sugar, slice, and serve with strawberries while still warm!
  13. Enjoy!
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Strawberry Hot Chocolate

 

 

I meant to post this for valentines day…. but life has been hectic since christmas. So, here it goes! If you’re like me, and appreciate some hot chocolate any day of the year, this one’s for you! (If not, just keep it in mind for the next cold snap…)SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Strawberries may very well be my favorite thing to pair with chocolate. (Nothing personal, peanut butter!) They’re just such a lovely balance of sweetness and acidity, fragrance and fiber, crunch and juiciness… My very favorite kind of strawberries are fresh off the plant, still warm from the sun. When they’re out of season, though, any strawberry is a treat.

This strawberry cocoa is the genuine article! My husband isn’t usually a fan of hot chocolate, and he finished his mug really fast! So, without further ado, the recipe:

 

1/2 cup dry cocoa

12 oz can sweetened condensed milk

1/8 tsp salt

7 1/2 cups water

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Roughly 2 cups diced fresh strawberries

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Stir together wet ingredients (including strawberries) in a large pot on low to medium heat. Add cocoa and salt slowly, to prevent clumping. Stir until combined, and heat the mixture until it’s the desired temperature for drinking. Once you have all the ingredients in, you could even turn the burner up a bit, so that it would get hot faster. Just be sure to stir all the way down to the bottom of the pot, so nothing gets stuck or burnt down there.

Alternatively, you could do the cocoa in a crockpot (on high for 2 hours or low for 4) However, if you do, I would recommend keeping the strawberries out until right before serving.

The strawberry goodness soaks into the cocoa more as it cooks, so I’d recommend the stovetop method, for optimum strawberry-ness in the cocoa, as well as keeping some firmness intact in the strawberries themselves.

If I did it again, I’d have it with whipped cream, because everyone knows that strawberries and cream are amazing together!

 

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