Thursday, November 24, 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

In all honesty, I made these because I made some more pumpkin cupcakes for dinner with my family and that left me with some leftover pumpkin puree. And also because I love chocolate chip everything.

And I'm going to keep this post super short because I've got to run back and finish baking, but if you have any pumpkin puree leftover from your Thanksgiving dinner, make these cookies. Seriously, I'm not a very big fan of pumpkin things, but these are probably my second favorite cookie that I make, right after my cranberry and dark chocolate oatmeal cookies.

The Ingredients (makes 1 dozen):
-1 cup all purpose flour
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1/8 tsp salt

-1 tsp cinnamon
-1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

-1/4 cup butter, softened
-1/2 cup white sugar
-1/4 cup brown sugar

-1 egg
-1/4 cup pumpkin puree
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1/2 cup chocolate chips

The Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Sift the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice together and set aside.
2. Cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Then mix in the egg, puree and vanilla one at a time, mixing after each addition.
3. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet, stirring until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. The dough will be very sticky.
4. Drop the dough by the tbsp onto a lined baking sheet and flatten (like you would with oatmeal cookies) and bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
5. Consume and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Vegan Brownies

Another recipe for National Vegan Month! And another recipe proving that just because no animal products were used, it doesn't mean it's going to taste bad! I'm not vegan myself (obviously), but I don't like that people jump to the conclusion that just because something's vegan, it's going to taste terrible.

Anyway... these brownies are more cake-like than fudge-y, but they still have that rich chocolate-y goodness brownies are known for. Perfect with a cup of milk or soymilk!

The Ingredients:
-2 cups flour
-2 cups unbleached cane sugar
-3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
-1 tsp baking powder
-1 tsp salt
-1 cup water
-1 cup vegetable oil
-1 tsp vanilla extract

The Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease (make sure to keep it vegan!) and flour your baking pan.
2. Whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt together.
3. Pour in the water, oil and vanilla and mix will until well combined.
4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top is no longer shiny. Rotate the pan halfway through to ensure even baking.
5. Allow to cool completely, then run a knife along the sides and flip out onto a cutting board. Cut into squares.
6. Consume and enjoy!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

November's Cupcake Of The Month: Super Chocolate-y Vegan Cupcakes

Oi, almost another month gone already. All this time flying by has made me realize just how much I procrastinate. Seriously. My original plans for November were to get my hair cut, dye my hair again, bake two goods for National Vegan Month, catch up on reading, and respond to an invitation to meet up with a friend. So far, I've baked these cupcakes and kind of responded to the invitation. And by kind of, I mean, I told him the days I would be available in hopes that he would set a date because I'm indecisive as hell, but instead he said "whenever" is fine with him... Well, guess what, you can't spell "whenever" without "never" so I guess we can't be friends. Just kidding, I'll see him in a couple of weeks. 

But anyway, with Thanksgiving less than a week away, the holiday season is upon us! And for all of you Game of Thrones fans out there, winter is coming! So make sure to come back soon to check for more holiday-inspired goodies. And if you love the combination of pumpkin and chocolate, be sure to visit before Thanksgiving!

Now, finally, on to the cupcakes. You would never be able to guess that they're vegan just by tasting them. They're super moist and the super easy frosting makes them the perfect little animal product-free treat. Since I don't have a vegan recipe of my own, I borrowed this one from "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World," written by two wonderful vegan bakers. And if cupcakes aren't your thing, they have other vegan cookbooks as well, including "Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar" and "Vegan Pie In The Sky". Hope you enjoy these as much as I did! 

The Ingredients (makes 1 dozen):
For the cupcakes (from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World):
-1 cup plain soy milk
-1 tsp apple cider vinegar
-1/2 cup unbleached cane sugar
-1/3 cup canola oil
-1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-1 cup all purpose flour
-1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
-3/4 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-a pinch of salt
For the frosting:
-1/4 cup unbleached cane sugar
-1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
-about 1/3 cup warm water

The Directions:
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line your cupcake pan.
2. Whisk the soy milk and vinegar in a large bowl and set aside to allow it to curdle.
3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
4. Add the sugar, oil and vanilla to the soy milk and beat until foamy. Then add the dry ingredients in increments, mixing until smooth and combined and scraping the bowl between each addition.
5. Fill cupcake cups and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
6. Combine the sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl and whisk in a tablespoon of water at a time until you reach your desired consistency. Stir until smooth. If you're having trouble getting the sugar to dissolve completely, you can stir the mixture over a pot of simmering water.
7. Frost your cupcakes.
8. Consume and enjoy!
Jordan, my assistant for the day, picking out his reward