Chocolate Chip Cake Cookies

The softest, fluffiest cookies are a breeze to whip up with the recipe we have in store for you all today. We call these bad boys Cake Cookies because they are so light and airy, and it doesn’t hurt that the trick to getting this texture is ditching the fat components and replacing them with plain water. Trust us! In no way is flavor, texture, or richness compromised in this treat. In fact, it is enhanced. If you are still not convinced, consider this: these cookies are the PERFECT ice cream sandwich cookies. You can pop them in the freezer and be damned by the result. Even after a full night in the freezer with solid ice cream sandwiched between the cookies are soft and chewy as ever.

Almost every cookie recipe starts with creaming fat components (such as butter, margarine, shortening, or coconut oil) with sugar. In the quest to find whole food alternatives to concentrated fats, the simplest alternative worked: water. In this recipe, plain water is used as the solvent for the sugar. Once that is done the recipe comes together in a snap.

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The quick bake time is the last crucial step that allows for such lasting, chewy cookies. Making sure to remove the cookies from the oven just before they brown, ensures they don’t crisp up and harden. They might be deceiving and seem undercooked. When you go to pick them up and they feel as if they are melting straight through your fingers you might question it. But, with your first bite, you’ll be a believer too.

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P.S. Don’t forget to try the ice cream sandwiches!

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Ingredients:

(makes 16 cookies)

Brown Sugar (1 cup)
All Purpose Flour (1 cup)
Whole Wheat Pastry Flour (1 cup)
Baking Powder (1 tsp)
Baking Soda (1 tsp)
Salt (½ tsp)
Non-dairy Mylk of Choice (¼ cup)
Vanilla Extract (1 tbsp)
Vegan Chocolate Chips (1 cup)

Recipe:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine brown sugar with ½ cup of water and stir until all of the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Add non-dairy mylk and vanilla extract to the sugar-water mixture.
  4. In a separate bowl thoroughly combine all of the dry ingredients (all purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing until it is uniform. At this point you will notice that what results is somewhere between a cookie dough and a batter, this is just what we want!
  6. Mix the vegan chocolate chips into the dough/batter.
  7. Spoon heaping tablespoons of batter onto the lined baking sheet, making sure to leave about two inches of space between rows as the cookies tend to flatten and spread out during baking.
  8. Bake for 7-10 min.
  9. Allow the cookies to cool. If the cookies do not readily lift off of the parchment this is okay (it is not undercooked). You can just run a fork underneath to remove.
  10. Try making ice cream cookies with them! Just place a scoop of softened non-dairy ice cream in between two cookies then place in an airtight container and allow it to set in the freezer.

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Dig in.

Citrus Iced Tea

We’ve created a delightfully refreshing drink to enjoy on a scorching afternoon or a humid evening. Iced tea can power you through any hot spell, but ours will have you feeling fresh and breezy. We began by creating a lightly spiced herbal tea. Chamomile and fresh mint as a base, and notes of cinnamon and clove as the spice were all it took to create the earthy tea we knew would pair so harmoniously with citrus.

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The simplicity of the tea allowed us to have some fun with fruit. We created a citrus cocktail using ripe white grapefruit, sweet navel oranges, and the ever so tart lemon. Just as we suspected, this concoction brightened up the tea like magic. All that’s left to finish it off is garnish. Loads of ice, juicy plums, and passionfruit added the right amount of variety for us; and just for fun a splash of vodka never hurt anybody!

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Ingredients:

Water (6 cups)
Chamomile (1 cup)
Fresh Mint (½ cup, roughly chopped + more for garnish)
Cinnamon (2 Sticks ~3 inches each in length)
Cloves (4)
Brown Rice Syrup (2 tbsp)
Grapefruit (juice of 1 whole, we used the white variety)
Navel Oranges (juice of 2 whole)
Lemon (juice of 1 large)
Plum (1, cut into wedges for garnish)
Passion Fruit (as much as you wish but we highly recommend for garnish)

Recipe:

  1. Bring water to a boil then add the chamomile, mint, cinnamon, and clove. Lower heat to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in the rice syrup then set aside allowing the tea to continue to steep until cooled.
  3. Juice the citrus (strain to remove pulp if you wish).
  4. Strain the tea then add in the citrus juice and stir to combine.
  5. Add loads of ice and garnish with juicy sweet fruits that pair well with citrus (our suggestions are above and they were amazing).

Dig in.

 

Jenna’s 10th Birthday Cake

It’s the big one-oh for our beautiful Bella! This border collie is the most intelligent, voracious and neurotic of them all, and guess what …she’s VEGAN. At the ripe age of 9 we started to notice that Jenna was not aging as gracefully as we’d hoped. She was slow to get up, developing fat deposits, and her eyes were glossing. We started to worry, but after a close inspection of what we were feeding her we had a hunch about what to change.

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We got responsible and researched options. What fit best for us was to start cooking up some vegan grub for the pups as well. Just three short months after this diet change Jenna’s like a puppy again. She pops up from laying down, she’s always ready to play, her eyes are white and clear, and even her fat deposits drastically reduced in size and some may have disappeared altogether. This girly is 10 but she isn’t missing a beat, and to celebrate we made a big doggy cake that even we enjoyed!

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The cake is made up, rather simply, of three-ingredient pancakes stacked on top of each other. The first ingredient is oat flour which we made by just blending up rolled oats. Whole grains are without a doubt in doggy’s food so this human grade goodness is all good by the pup’s bellies. The next of the ingredients is non-dairy mylk. The last ingredient is banana which is a perfectly suitable treat for dogs. It’s a great source of potassium and vitamins for dogs, but does contain simple sugars, and therefore should be reserved for special treats on birthdays and such!

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The most astonishing factor of this pancake batter is not its simplicity, but its ability to cook perfectly without sticking. We all have had non-stick pan failures, because some things do stick! These pancakes don’t. Take this batter to a non-stick pan and see for yourself! They’re ready to flip after plenty of bubbles have formed and the batter is no longer wet.

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To prevent the stack of pancakes from shearing, each layer is filled with none other than super sticky peanut butter; the ultimate/classic doggie treat. To top it off we made a berry compote that was to die for, without any added sugar. We put mixed frozen berries into a pan with a bit of water and chia seeds and let the mixture reduce. The chia seeds do the job of thickening, replacing the sugar and adding in some omega-3’s making it even better for the pup-pups.

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We made this cake with the dogs in mind, so we were surprised to find that it’s just really delicious period. We will attest, we enjoyed it just as much as the pups. Jenna’s decade of life was commemorated in her favorite way: tons of in-kitchen napping while blanketed with the smell of cooking, and then a big, delicious picnic on the grass.

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Ingredients:

Pancake:
Rolled Oats (3 cups, ground into flour)
Non-dairy Mylk (2 cups)
Ripe Bananas (2)

Filling:
Peanut Butter (1 cup)

Berry Compote:
Mixed Frozen Berries (1 cup)
Chia Seeds (1 tbsp)
Water (½ cup)

Toppings (Optional):
Unsweetened Desiccated Coconut
Kasha/Buckwheat
Almonds

Recipe:

Pancakes:
1. Blend rolled oats into flour. Remove flour from blender.
2. Add banana and mylk to the empty blender.
3. While blender is on a low speed slowly add back the oat flour one third at a time.
4. Preheat non-stick pan.
5. Pour batter onto the pan. When the top layer has dried and appears matte, and multiple bubbles have formed, flip the pancake.
6. Repeat until all the batter is used.

Berry Compote:
1. Add berries, water, and chia seeds to a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil.
2. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring as needed.

Assembly:
1. Spread peanut butter on a pancake. Stack another pancake on top and repeat until all of the pancakes and peanut butter are exhausted.
2. Pour compote over top.
3. Add toppings. (optional)

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Dig in.

Chocolate Hazelnut Butter

This concept has been done and overdone in the recipe world, yet people still buy Nutella. Have you ever looked at the ingredients on that stuff? What if we told you we could narrow it down to just about three simple, delicious ingredients and allow you to enjoy your chocolatey spread all the same? Well that’s what this recipe boils down to: hazelnuts, maple syrup and cacao powder.

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The hazelnuts need a bit of prepping before you can just blitz these ingredients in a blender and call it dessert. That is, they need to be blanched so that the peel can be removed in the easiest way possible. Baking soda in some rapidly boiling water does the trick. Just allow the hazelnuts to boil in the mixture for about 3 minutes. Then, strain them and remove the peels by pinching them off between two fingers. We’ve found it very helpful to do this under some cool running water. Once you’ve got some blanched hazelnuts and the rest of the ingredients, you are ready to sit back and let your blender do the dirty work.

This is one of those special treats that can turn a fruit platter into dessert, can turn toast into a pastry and it can most certainly put a smile on your face. It’s really good enough to just lick off a spoon, but if you’re too bashful, or just in public and stumped for what to dip into this bad boy, here is our most heartfelt advice: enjoy with some pears and pretzels.

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Ingredients:

Hazelnuts (1 cup)
Maple Syrup (½ cup)
Cacao Powder (½ cup)
Baking soda (2 tbsp)
Vanilla extract (1 tsp)
Salt (¼ tsp)

Recipe:

To blanch the hazelnuts:

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil.
Add in the baking soda then add in the hazelnuts.
Allow to boil for 3 minutes.
Note: You can spoon off suds to prevent boiling over.
Remove from heat. Strain. Pinch off peals under cool running water.

Then:

Add all the ingredients into a high speed blender or food processor and blitz until smooth or desired consistency. If you can stand to wait, it is even better chilled.

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Dig in.

Golden Raisin + Coriander Granola

We call this “grown-up” granola for so many reasons, but mainly because of the sophisticated flavors in this dish. It’s a true marvel how there could be so much synergy between such a peculiar combination: coriander seeds and golden raisins. Don’t let skepticism deny you of this unique and glorious flavor match.

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The process of creating this dish was surreal enough to mention. We were brainstorming and test kitchening, coming up empty for a whole day after a grand total of almost 4 different trial dishes. We put it to rest, but our minds were still churning. Right before bed, with the ingredients we had on hand fresh in our minds, this idea popped up out of thin air. The next morning, we shoved a coriander seed into a golden raisin and were shocked, with chills even, at how well these flavors collaborated. We started joking around as if this were a favorite recipe surfaced from a past life; cooking it certainly flowed that way.

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So, on to the magic recipe that may or may not be from a past life. It’s straightforward and so good it’ll disappear right before your eyes.

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Ingredients:

Dry:
Rolled Oats (3 cups)
Golden Raisins (1 cup)
Almonds (1 cup, roughly chopped)
Coriander Seeds (2 tbsp)
Flax Seeds (2 tbsp)
Cinnamon (½ tsp, ground)
Nutmeg (½ tsp, ground)  
Salt (½ tsp)

Wet:
Applesauce (¾ cup, unsweetened)
Agave (½ cup)

Garnish:
Zest of one lemon

Recipe:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Combine wet ingredients in a separate bowl.
  4. Work the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients well (hands work best).
  5. Lay mixture onto the lined baking sheet in a single layer about ½” in thickness. Apply downward pressure with your hands to minimize surface area and thus the risk of burning.
  6. Bake for 22 minutes then turn off your oven and allow the granola to sit in the residual heat for 10 min so that it can dry out a bit more without burning.
  7. Add garnish.
  8. Allow to cool then either crumble into traditional granola chunks or cut into chewy squares.

Dig in.

Peaches and Cream Oats

What do you do when Spring is FINALLY here, but morning after morning a relentless chill is knocking on your door? The only thing there is to do: sit down and have a bowl of peaches and cream oats. This dish has the warm, cozy comfort that wards off the chill while still preserving the optimism of Spring! Hearty oats, sweetened with a kiss of maple syrup, are the perfect bed on which to lay some caramelized peaches. Nothing less than a stunner; that’s a grilled peach for ya! And that’s exactly why it’s the centerpiece of this breakfast. Continue reading “Peaches and Cream Oats”

No-Bake Brownie

What we’ve got in store for you all this week is a guilt free brownie you can have when and where ever you need a chocolatey boost. These 4 ingredient, no-bake brownies pack nutrition and energy into a sinful little package. Back up… it’s only 4 ingredients? YUP, it’s really simple too. So much so that we’re hesitant to even call this a recipe. Continue reading “No-Bake Brownie”

Classic Scones

Whats a breakfast food that doubles as a dessert and vice versa? Scones! Scones are one of those foods that just make you feel cozy inside and this version goes easy on the sugar so that cozy never becomes sluggish and tired. And, if you’re going to or hosting a brunch this is your golden recipe. They are quick and easy to whip up and not only will we say that you could make them a day ahead, we’d implore you to do so. Yup, they get better with time! Three little words that are music to a gather-artist’s ears. Continue reading “Classic Scones”