Tag Archives: Vegan

Vegan Chocolate Pudding

Vegan Chocolate Pudding

Last week, while preparing vegan red beans & rice on a vacation Wednesday morning, it occurred to me that I haven’t made a straight-up chocolate dessert in a while. Like, maybe since June? I don’t even know. I was in a summer produce fugue state.

Vegan Chocolate Pudding

Once I realized this, I knew I had to rectify it immediately—a chocolate craving cannot be remedied with anything else. Thinking through our island pantry, I realized I had everything for a quick vegan chocolate pudding. Ten minutes of measuring and whisking later, I was dividing warm pudding into ancient Corelle teacups and setting them in the refrigerator for that night—a perfect make-ahead dessert to go with our make-ahead dinner.

Flash forward a week and I have made Vegan Chocolate Pudding twice in my NYC kitchen since I’ve returned. Its ingredients are things I always have on hand—cocoa powder, cornstarch, sugar, almond milk, dark chocolate, vanilla, salt, and (optional) vegan butter. It takes just minutes to put together and doesn’t require sieving as it doesn’t contain eggs. Score!

Vegan Chocolate Pudding

This Vegan Chocolate Pudding is SO good, y’all. Each spoonful is deeply chocolaty, ice cold, silky smooth, and delicious. I may or may not have eaten it for breakfast this week. Twice.

Vegan Chocolate Pudding
Vegan Chocolate Pudding
makes 4 servings

2 tablespoons cornstarch
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/3 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or other plant milk)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon vegan butter (optional, but recommended)
grated chocolate, for serving (optional)

In a medium pot, whisk together cornstarch, sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Whisk in half the almond milk, followed by the remainder.

Place pot over medium heat. Whisking continuously throughout cooking, cook pudding until it has boiled for 1 minute. This process should take 6-8 minutes from start to finish.

Remove pot from heat and whisk in vanilla, followed by dark chocolate and vegan butter (if using).

Divide pudding into four small heatproof serving dishes (I used 4-ounce mason jars). Press plastic wrap to the surfaces. Refrigerate for a few hours, until cold.

When ready to serve pudding, peel off and discard plastic wrap. Lightly stir pudding, top with grated chocolate (if desired), and serve.

Leftover pudding will keep covered in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Vegan, Gluten-Free Apple Crisp

It may surprise you to learn that all our meals in Maine are vegan and gluten-free. While we don’t all subscribe to that diet year-round, keeping everything this way accommodates everyone (and keeps me from making multiple dinners). While those limitations may stymie some cooks, I do my best to lean all the way in, making sure that our baked goods and desserts fit the same parameters—it’s more fun to bake when everyone can enjoy the final product.

Vegan, Gluten-Free Apple Crisp​

Over the years, our Maine menus have included gluten-free graham crackers, baked oatmeal, blueberry popsicles, pumpkin oatmeal, peanut butter cookies, and a sheet cake. Knowing we’d be up there for the autumnal equinox this time around, this year’s major dessert offering was an easy and seasonal Vegan, Gluten-Free Apple Crisp.

Oh, y’all, I love crisps. They’re so easy and so satisfying—they hit all the same buttons as pie, but they’re a tiny fraction of the work. You can make them with pretty much any fruit, changing up the spices and such to suit whatever it is you have on hand, and—oh yeah—you can serve them warm from the oven without any concern for structural integrity. They’re not recipes for instant gratification, but when it comes to baking from scratch, they’re not far off!

This Vegan, Gluten-Free Apple Crisp has the same steps as the traditional variety: make the filling, make the topping, layer them, then bake ‘til bubbly and serve with vanilla ice cream. The only differences here are that the butter is vegan, the flour is made of almonds, and the ice cream is dairy-free. The crispy, nutty, oat-laden topping and the perfectly spiced apple filling you love are all still there, and they are spectacular. Especially when eaten with friends you love on an island off the coast of Maine.

Vegan, Gluten-Free Apple Crisp
makes one 9-10 inch dish, about 6 servings

Filling:
4-5 large apples, peeled & thinly sliced (5 cups slices)
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt

Crisp Topping:
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup vegan butter (or refined coconut oil), melted

For serving:
dairy-free vanilla ice cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch casserole dish or cast iron pan with vegan butter (or refined coconut oil). Set aside.

Make the filling. Place apple slices in a medium mixing bowl and toss with vinegar, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.

Make the crisp topping. In a medium mixing bowl (I just wipe out the one I used for the apples), whisk together oats, almond flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add melted butter and stir until everything is saturated. It may seem sandy; this is okay. Scatter topping onto the apples.

Bake 28-30 minutes, until topping is browned and apples are tender. Let cool 10 minutes before serving in bowls with vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Cover and refrigerate any leftovers for up to 4 days. Reheat before serving.

Vegan Pumpkin French Toast

Vegan Pumpkin French Toast​

The first morning in Maine is always a production. As it’s the first day of the trip that hasn’t involved a pre-dawn wake-up call and several hours in the car, it’s something to celebrate, preferably with loads of coffee and a good breakfast, like this Vegan Pumpkin French Toast!

You read that right: vegan French toast. Like no eggs, no dairy, but all the crispy goodness. This Vegan Pumpkin French Toast will knock your coziest socks right off.

Vegan Pumpkin French Toast​

I’ve been intimidated by veganizing French toast in the past due to the classic recipe’s reliance on eggs for structure and flavor, but you know what? Pumpkin is an excellent egg replacer in baked goods, and does indeed provide some structure and flavor (with the help of some pumpkin pie spice). Plus, pumpkin season (or as you might know it, autumn) has officially begun and this is fulfilling all my cravings.

As for the process, it’s basically the same as traditional French toast. Mix up the eggless pumpkin custard, dip some day-old bread in it and fry it up in a mix of (vegan) butter and oil. Top it off with maple syrup, confectioner’s sugar, toasted pecans, or anything else your heart desires and dig into this pumpkin decadence!

Vegan Pumpkin French Toast​

As you can likely tell from the photos, I made the batch pictured at home in NYC, but our first-day-in-Maine batch worked just as well even with gluten-free sandwich bread. It was the perfect way to start our trip and the perfect way to start off a new season.

Vegan Pumpkin French Toast​
Vegan Pumpkin French Toast
makes 8-10 pieces, about 4-5 servings

1/2 cup pure pumpkin purée
1 tablespoon granulated or brown sugar (or maple syrup)
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1 1/4 cup unsweetened plant milk (or other milk of choice)
8-10 thick slices day-old vegan bread (I used 2/3 of a 1 lb. country loaf from Costco)

For cooking:
2 tablespoons (vegan or regular) butter
2 tablespoons canola oil

For serving:
maple syrup
confectioner’s sugar
toasted chopped nuts
seasonal fruit

In a small-medium mixing bowl, whisk together pumpkin purée, sugar, pumpkin pie spice or salt. Whisk in plant milk. Pour custard into a shallow dish.

Heat 1 tablespoon each of butter and oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat.

Working with one or two slices of bread at a time, dip each in the custard, coating both sides. Transfer to the pan and cook 2-3 minutes, or until turning brown. Flip with a spatula and cook another 2-3 minutes. Remove to a plate.

Repeat dipping and cooking processes until all slices of bread have been used. Add more butter and oil to the pan as necessary.

Divide French toast among plates. Top with maple syrup, confectioner’s sugar, toasted nuts, and/or seasonal fruit as desired. Serve immediately.

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}​

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: there are a million way to make a chocolate chip cookie. Soft, chewy, crispy, thin, thick, as a cake, with nuts, whole grain, vegan, gluten-free, or some combination in between—there’s a recipe out there for everyone.

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}​

Today’s recipe, made with an almond flour base, is for the soft & chewy, gluten-free, vegan chocolate chip cookie people. And also, everyone (except the people with nut allergies; sorry y’all).

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}​

These chocolate chip cookies are so delicious, and not in a “delicious for being vegan and gluten-free” sort of way. They’re great, period. They’re pillow-soft, thick & chewy, have a perfect vanilla-brown sugar balance, and are loaded with chocolate chips. In short, they’re magnificent. A triumph, even.

But that’s just the final product—we haven’t even discussed ease of preparation! And I do mean “ease.” Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies are a no-mixer, no-chill recipe, and with the possible exception of almond flour, you likely have all of the ingredients in your kitchen right now!

The dough comes together in just a few minutes, then gets separated into two-tablespoon increments and flattened into disks before baking. Because this dough doesn’t contain gluten or a particularly high volume of sugar, it doesn’t really spread like a traditional chocolate chip cookie, though it does puff in the most satisfying way.

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}​

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies bake up in ten minutes, and then it’s just a matter of what you consider too-hot-to-handle when it comes to dessert. I’m a “room temperature, but the chips are still soft” lady myself, but just as there is a chocolate chip cookie recipe for everyone, I’m sure there’s an ideal temperature, too.

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}​
Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}
makes about 1 dozen cookies

2 cups blanched almond flour
1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
4 tablespoons vegan butter,* melted & cooled slightly
1 tablespoon lukewarm water
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup dairy-free chocolate chips

Set oven racks in central positions. Preheat oven to 350F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together almond flour, brown sugar, confectioner’s sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together melted vegan butter, water and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry, then use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to combine. Mixture may be crumbly but should hold together when pinched. Fold in chocolate chips with the silicone spatula or your hand.

Scoop dough in 2 tablespoons increments, roll into balls, and set 2 1/2-inches apart on prepared pans. Use the heel of your hand to press each ball into a 1/2-inch thick disk. Smooth edges with your fingers as desired.

Bake cookies 10 minutes, until puffed and starting to turn light golden. Let cool on pans for 7-10 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.

Serve cookies. Leftovers will keep covered at room temperature for a few days.

Note:

I use Miyoko’s Cultured Vegan Butter (and occasionally Earth Balance) in vegan baked goods. You may use an equal volume of refined coconut oil in its place, or even regular dairy butter (though your cookies will not be vegan).
Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}​
Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}​
Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}​

Homemade Peanut Butter Shell

Homemade Peanut Butter Shell​

My favorite thing about having a baking blog during the summer is not baking at all: it’s making ice cream toppings. I’ve tackled all the major ones—hot fudge, caramel sauce, butterscotch—you name it, I’ve made it. Of all of them, Homemade Chocolate Shell is the one I go back to over and over. It’s a quick two-ingredient recipe and, when poured over ice cream, results in the thin & thwackable topping we all love. It’s impossible to improve upon, so I won’t try…but did you know you can make a peanut butter version?

Homemade Peanut Butter Shell​

Oh yes, Homemade Peanut Butter Shell is a thing, and it is indeed magical. Made with just creamy peanut butter and coconut oil, it has all the salty, creamy flavor you love, but hardens within a minute of meeting a scoop (or three) of ice cream.

I’ll admit that I didn’t quite get the “thwack” photos I’d hoped for with this recipe, mostly because I shot them in the throes of a heatwave. Still, you can see the definition and how the shell is, in fact, a shell. Once hardened, it can easily be lifted off the ice cream (or other cold thing) it’s molded over. 97 degree weather, be damned.

Homemade Peanut Butter Shell​

I enjoy Homemade Peanut Butter Shell over vanilla ice cream (and some peanut butter cups), but I know it would be perfect paired with chocolate, No-Churn Peanut Butter Cookies & Cream, or pretty much any flavor that goes well with peanut butter…which, I think we can agree, is basically all of them.

Do yourself a favor a make a little jar of Homemade Peanut Butter Shell this summer. While it absolutely can be too hot to bake, it’s never too hot for a salty-sweet bowl of ice cream.

Homemade Peanut Butter Shell​
Homemade Peanut Butter Shell
makes about 2/3 cup

1/3 cup creamy-style peanut butter
1/4 cup coconut oil (preferably refined)

While any coconut oil will work in this recipe, refined coconut oil will have the least noticeable flavor.

Combine peanut butter and coconut oil in a small bowl. Microwave in 15 second increments, stirring in between, until melted. Let cool a few minutes for optimal pouring consistency (so it doesn’t melt off whatever it’s coating). Pour or drizzle over ice cream or use as a dip for other frozen treats.

Leftover peanut butter shell will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for at least two weeks. Reheat by microwaving in 10 second increments, stirring in between, until pourable.
Homemade Peanut Butter Shell​
Homemade Peanut Butter Shell​
Homemade Peanut Butter Shell​