Posts Tagged ‘Vegan dessert’
Maple Icing

OK so I have something to confess. I have been having “performance issues” when it comes to vegan cookies lately. Mostly I have been trying too hard when it comes to replacing the fat. I made some cookies 2 weeks ago and tried replacing all of the fat with applesauce, and it was kind of a disaster. I have never thrown out an entire batch of cookies before, but these particular ones were hard as rocks and left me with no choice. After the first disaster, I was actually able to piece together a decent oatmeal cookie recipe. The only problem is that I baked said cookies halfway into splitting a second bottle of wine. As it so happens, I did not write said recipe down, but I know that I replaced about half of the recommended oil with applesauce and that there were raisins and cinnamon involved. It really is a shame that I’m not a more responsible cook, because these cookies were some of the most delicious low fat cookies in the existence of humanity (*these claims represent the author’s opinion as an amateur vegan baker). I will be trying very hard to re-create said recipe, but in the meantime what I do remember is how to make the maple glaze pictured above.

Maple Glaze

  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 c. vegan powdered sugar
  • 2 TBSP earth balance
  • 1 TBSP maple syrup

Begin by mixing together the earth balance, maple syrup, and vanilla until smooth and fully incorporated.
Add the powdered sugar 1/4 a cup at a time, blending fully after each addition. If you are using this recipe as a glaze, stop adding sugar when the glaze will drip from the back of a spoon in a steady stream. If you are using it to ice a cake (which would be an excellent idea), add more powdered sugar until it is thick enough to spread.


As anyone who is a regular reader knows, I have been on a lot of dates lately. Most of these dates have not gone right, for one reason or the other. Emotionally, I’ve really been through the ringer. First dates are very, very draining, because you have to put in a good deal of effort to put your best foot forward. I feel a lot of pressure to put on the Nicole Williams Show, that is a version of myself who is charming, witty, and entertaining, even in the presence of near-strangers. I think that I do an ok job of this, although my call-back ratio would suggest otherwise (there aren’t that many).
After getting through the initial challenge of the first date, assuming that I have made someone like me enough, there is the second date. Over the past few months, the second date has marked the point at which I start evaluating the other person. I start to imagine what it would be like to really date them and I apply my critical thinking and logical reasoning skills to determine if there are any flags or deal-breakers. I’ve had a lot of trouble finding guys who have everything I am looking for. I need someone who is attractive, kind, intelligent, articulate, and confidant. It would be nice to have someone who is also health-conscious, considerate, and a hard-worker. There are some things that I just consider a bonus, for example being a vegan or living the music lifestyle.Yes, I stack-rank the things I am looking for, because I am just that good of a Project Manager.
I’ve recently read some articles that call out girls my age for having too many requirements for men. One urged me to settle for Mr. Good Enough. Reading these articles, I wondered if I should just settle. I had a major problem though. My Mr. Right existed, and I knew it because I was lucky enough to be friends with him. 
I know that a lot of my readers enjoy my bad date stories and that they are a constant source of entertainment for my friends and co-workers. That is why I hope that no one here is too disappointed that after going out on dates with 24 different men since the beginning of the year, I have ended up with the same one who was standing next to me on New Year’s Eve.
 After the jump, please enjoy the reduced-fat vegan brownies that I brought along on what turned out to be our first date.
Reduced Fat Vegan Brownies

  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 3 TBSP cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 2 TBSP vegetable oil
  • 2 TBSP applesauce
  • 2 squares of dark chocolate, chopped

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
Beat together the oil, applesauce, and sugar for about a minute. Stir in the vanilla.
Add the water to the flour mixture and stir well before adding the oil/applesauce mixture. Fold in the chopped chocolate.
Pour into a small greased pan, I used a pie plate.
Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

Optional Peanut Butter Ribbon: Heat 4 tablespoons of organic peanut butter (I press my own at the Whole Foods) and stir in 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar. Drizzle over the top of the brownie batter and swirl in with a knife.

Healthy Fried Ice Cream?!?

I know what you’re thinking right now: “What kind of drugs is she taking, or more importantly what kinds of drugs should she be taking?”. I know it sounds crazy, because the term deep fried ice cream calls up visions of fatty frozen balls of ice cream rolled in a crunchy cinnamon mixture and deep fried in oil. I used to love me some deep fried ice cream, as you can see in this picture. You can also see my flabby arms and chubby little face. To channel my favorite vegan authors Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin would say: that is not the way to a sweet ass. Not only is that dessert as big as my head and following several margaritas, it’s also a perfect storm of fat, milk (the intended purpose of which is to fatten baby cows), and tons and tons of sugar. However, it also tastes like heaven on earth, so I was in quite the conundrum the other day when I started craving it.
 Sometimes, part of being vegan is using a little ingenuity. I found a great recipe in a cookbook called College Vegetarian Cooking, which I picked up hoping to find some quick, easy, and tasty meal ideas. I was not disappointed, and they had a great recipe for what is essentially an ice cream cake with cornflakes on top of it. It was delicious, but their recipe still called for a bit more sugar than I would use and of course ice cream, so I made a few adjustments of my own and ended up with a delicious frozen treat.

Deep “Fried” Ice “Cream”

  • 1 quart of vegan ice cream (I used mocha)
  • 2 tbsp. melted earth balance
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. organic cornflakes
  • 1 tbsp coconut
  • 2 tbsp. cinnamon

Remove ice cream from the freezer and let it sit out for about 10 minutes before you start.
Pulse cornflakes in a blender to create a coarse crumb. Meanwhile, stick the coconut under a broiler for about a minute until it starts to brown ever so slightly.
Add coconut, sugar, cinnamon, and coconut to the cornflake crumbs. Mix with the earth balance and press into the bottom of a baking pan (9×9 works well here, but a bread tin will do in a pinch).
Spread the now-soft ice cream over the cornflake mixture and return to the freezer. Let it firm up for an hour.
When serving, cut into squares, flip upside down, and drizzle with melted dark chocolate. If you close your eyes, you can almost hear the bad karaoke of Acapulco Restaurant in the background.

Pumpkin Pie Wontons

Sure, every good food blogger has a pumpkin recipe that they save and publish in the fall, when pumpkin is a staple on American dinner tables. Not me. I’m a loner Dottie, a rebel, and that means posting my pumpkin pie wonton recipe in May. It also means making my pumpkin pie wontons whenever I want, and just because I love pumpkin. I first used this recipe to bring to a New Years Eve party, and the filling was a hit, but the actual wontons tasted like crap. This is because I tried to make my own wonton wrappers, which was a mistake because I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t really have a choice at the time, because both Trader Joes and Whole Foods were sans-wonton wrappers. Literally 2 days after I couldn’t find them anywhere, I saw an entire display of asian wrappers at Ralphs of all places. So, you don’t have to go to any kind of a fancy store to find your wonton wrappers, you just have to carefully check the label to make sure that there aren’t any little baby animals or baby animal derivatives in them.
These wontons are super easy to make, except the assembly which can be a little tedious. If you can, I would reccomend engaging a qualified sous chef to assist.

Pumpkin Pie Wontons
1 c. canned pumpkin
2 tbsp. maple syrup
3 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
16 wonton wrappers
cinnamon sugar for dusting (you can make your own with 2 parts cinnamon and 1 part raw sugar)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Mix pumpkin, maple syrup, sugar, and pie spice.
Spoon 1 tsp. into the center of each wonton wrapper. Fold in half an moisten the edges to seal.
Arrange on an ungreased cookie sheet and spray with cooking spray.
Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over each wonton.
Bake for 16 minutes, or until wontons are a golden brown.
Flip them over and bake for 2 more minutes, then let cool completely.

Vegan Easter

For vegans, some holidays can be a challenge. On the one hand, you want to savor the tastes of the season,  but you still want to maintain your commitment to cruelty-free living. For me, easter wouldn’t be the same without a basket of chocolate on easter morning, but I was not about to go out and buy snickers eggs, milk chocolate peanut butter cups, and marshmallow peeps. Instead, I spent last weekend doing something that I have always loved: making candy. I boxed up some of these treats and distributed them to friends, both vegan and non, and saved some for myself. I’ve dutifully kept said candy stored in the freezer so that I would be able to enjoy a basket on easter morning.
The chocolate eggs pictured are just dark chocolate chips melted with a tiny bit of earth balance and then poured into candy molds. I also made delicious haystacks, peanut butter truffles, and vegan cream cheese mints. Everything came out really nicely. I found the cream cheese mint recipe here, and substituted tofutti vegan cream cheese instead. The peanut butter truffles and haystacks, however, were all my doing. They came out great, and I am pleased to be able to share both recipes after the jump.
Peanut Butter Pretzel Eggs

  • 3/4 c. unsalted organic peanut butter
  • 3/4 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 c. ground pretzels (either pulse them in a food processor or put them in a ziploc bag and pound them with a rolling pin)
  • 1/2 lb. dark chocolate

In a double boiler (or just a frying pan on top of a pan of boiling water), melt the dark chocolate until smooth, stirring often.
Using a paintbrush, paint a thick layer of chocolate in the bottom of candy molds. Let these set in the freezer for 5 minutes.
Heat the peanut butter, sugar, and pretzels in a frying pan. 
Spoon the peanut butter mixture into the candy molds, drizzle additional chocolate on top until the molds are full. Give them a good shake to let everything settle and freeze for 30 minutes or until the candy can be easily popped out.

Vegan Haystacks

  • 1/2 c. peanuts 
  • 1/2 c. orange flavored dried cranberries
  • 1 c. pretzel sticks, broken in half
  • 1 bag of dark chocolate chips

In a double boiler or microwave,  melt the chocolate chips until smooth, stirring often.
Mix in the peanuts, cranberries, and pretzel sticks.
Drop by rounded teaspoons onto a baking sheet covered in wax paper.
Refrigerate for about an hour or until firm. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

Fat Free Carrot Cake!
 Editor’s Note: we are up to 991 uniques as of 9 AM Tuesday morning. Please keep coming back and posting links on your facebooks, twitters, and the like. I started posting on February 6th, so this is a huge milestone for me. 

That’s right ladies and gentlemen, I am suggesting that there is a way to have your cake and eat it too. Fat Free Vegan is one of my favorite resources to find new vegan recipes.When I needed a cake recipe a couple of weeks ago, it was my first stop. I found a carrot cake recipe that is absolutely out of this world. It doesn’t use any fat or butter, and incorporated unsweetened apple sauce and fresh grated carrots. It is the densest, richest, moistest cake that I’ve ever baked, and no one can believe that it’s vegan or fat free. It does use a bit of sugar, but I’m not really sure that you can ever have a completely healthy baked good. However, if any of my readers know anything about that, I would very much like to be clued in.
Now, the reason why I love carrot cake so much is because of the cream cheese icing. The original recipe recommends a lemon glaze, but that would be total bullshit. Everyone knows that the best part of carrot cake is that delectable cream cheese icing. I would eat bowls and bowls of it if I could. So I consulted several different frosting and vegan frosting recipes online, and finally settled on my own combination of soy cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla soy milk, and earth balance.
I’ve made this cake three times now. The first was for a birthday and was a huge success. The second time I tried to make cupcakes for work, but I got lazy and bought this weird, sticky vanilla frosting from Whole Foods. That was a disaster. The third time I went back to basics, but made a double batch so that I could put together a layer cake for my tea party. That was a win as well. This cake keeps great in the refrigerator, and doesn’t lose any of its moisture or deliciousness. In fact, I think that I like it better slightly chilled.

Fat Free Vegan Carrot Cake (from

  • egg replacer for 2 eggs
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 1 c. unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 c. grated carrot (I buy the shreds from the grocery store)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 c. raisins (my addition)

Combine egg replacer, sugar, and applesauce and beat together until light in color.
Stir in cinnamon, salt, and carrot.
Sift together the baking powder and flour, then mix both of them in until nicely blended.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Since there are no eggs, I usually take it out at around 40 minutes. Under baking it a little bit just adds to that dense, rich carrot-cake experience.

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting (my own recipe)

  • 1 container of vegan cream cheese (about 7 oz. works nicely)
  • 1/4 c. soy milk
  • 2 tbsp. earth balance
  • 3/4 c. powdered sugar

While you’re waiting on your cake to cool, take the cream cheese and earth balance out of the fridge and let them get to room temperature.
Just before frosting, mix together cream cheese and earth balance until smooth in a medium-sized bowl.
Beat in powdered sugar and soy milk until the entire mixture is creamy and a little fluffy. If you like, you can add 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract.

Words to Live By

Sometimes you have to show a little skin. This reminds boys of being naked, and then they think of sex. Alicia Silverstone graced the silver screen in Clueless, a movie that spoke to the mid-90′s zeitgeist. Alicia is one of my favorite vegans, and I really do need to get out there and buy her new book, The Kind Diet. Alicia touts the benefits of veganism, including weight loss, improved health, and general good karma. I think that it’s great that she is using her notoriety to promote a plant-based lifestyle, especially when there are so many celebrities who are happy to plug fast food restaurants and soft drinks.¬† I could gush for days about Alicia, but this is my blog (her’s is here).

Two foods make my life worth living: chocolate and peanut butter. After my vegan month, I have no taste for milk chocolate. I crave the intense flavor of dark chocolate. This is great for me, because it takes much less to satisfy my monthly chocolate cravings. Another thing that I love is peanut butter. I love it so much that I can’t keep it in the house, because an entire jar can disappear in three days. However, I am a big believer that any successful, long term diet needs a little room for indulgence. So, I was very excited when I came across Alicia’s recipe for vegan peanut butter cups. This recipe uses earth balance, organic peanut butter, and dark-chocolate to create a dessert that is sinfully delicious. It makes a dozen peanut butter cups, so it would be perfect to give as a gift, or to bring into the office. Or I suppose you could eat all 12 yourself, but then you would pretty much be done eating for the day, just like when you get a chipotle burrito.

For sweetener, I used organic raw sugar, but you can tweak it to whatever your dietary restrictions might require. I used organic unsalted peanut butter and one of those huge 1 lb dark chocolate bars from Trader Joes (which is the cheapest way to buy dark chocolate). I ran into one hang up while melting the chocolate. Mine was very thick and did not easily pour over the peanut butter. I added a few extra tablespoons of soy milk, which seemed to do the trick. I love the idea of graham cracker crumbs in the peanut butter filling, because it perfectly mimics the taste and texture of Reese’s peanut butter cups.

The Kind Diet: A Simple Guide to Feeling Great, Losing Weight, and Saving the PlanetThis recipe was super easy to make, but the peanut butter cups look very impressive. I was very excited to serve these at my Valentines Day tea party, which featured a wide assortment of vegan baked goods. I crunched the numbers and my finished product had 160 calories per peanut butter cup. Like I said, these are good for a once in awhile treat.

The recipe can be found here: Alicia Silverstone’s Vegan Peanut Butter Cups

Valentines Day Cookie Recipe

Valentine’s Day is coming up this week. Yes, it’s a completely made up holiday to promote consumerism. However, it’s still one of my favorite holidays. I love the chocolates, the flowers, and the idea of spending a special evening with the person you love. Unfortunately, due to circumstances out of my control, I will not have a valentine this year. But, just because I’m going to die alone doesn’t mean I shouldn’t post a delicious cookie recipe.

This recipe is a veganized version of my mother’s potato cookies. She makes them at Christmas every year, and I absolutely love them. Her version is exactly like mine, except I use earth balance instead of butter and sweet potatoes instead of white. Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins A and C, so it could be argued that these cookies are good for you.

I think that there’s something to be said for giving baked goods instead of a bunch of store-bought chocolate hearts. It’s quirky and interesting and more special because of the effort that goes into it. I once had the brilliant stroke of genius to bring a few of these very cookies on a first date. It was a little ballsy, but it was one of those rare first dates (for me anyway) where he actually called when he said he would. If these cookies can get Ms. Unlucky in Love a phone call, they will probably bring the man (or woman) of your dreams to their knees.

Vegan Potato Cookies with Raspberry Jam
2 c. organic and unbleached white flour
1/4 c. organic powdered sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 c.  cooked sweet potatoes
1/2 c. earth balance
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. organic raspberry jam, jelly, or preserves

1. Boil about 3 medium sweet potatoes until they are so tender that they break apart with a fork, drain them, and put through a blender or food processor until smooth.
2. Let potatoes cool and then mix in a bowl with the earth balance and vanilla, until the mixture is creamy and light in color.
3. Add the powdered sugar, half at a time.
4. Gradually mix in the flour until the mixture forms a ball in the center of the bowl. I usually take this opportunity to let the dough chill for about 20 minutes, because it’s easier to work with.
5. Turn half of the dough out onto a floured surface. With a rolling pin, roll it out to about 1/4″ thickness. These cookies don’t rise or fall when they bake, so whatever thickness you make the dough will be the thickness of your finished product.
6. Cut with a cookie or biscuit cutter and place on a nonstick cookie sheet.
7. Spoon a teaspoon of jam in the center of each cookie.
8. Roll out the other half of the dough and repeat steps 5 and 6. But, use a straw to poke a tiny hole in the middle of each cookie. These are going to be your tops, so stick them on.
9. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until the dough is just starting to brown.
10. Let cool and serve with powdered sugar sprinkled on top.
Yields: 3 dozen cookies will be 69 calories each

disclaimer: the cookies pictured above are not my cookies, but once you put a shit ton of powdered sugar on them, they all look alike ;)