Category Archives: Bread & Baked Goods

Vegan Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

I borrowed this recipe from my old favorite, The Post Punk Kitchen. That site is one of the first I dove into when I first started exploring vegetarian cooking. After all, it’s where I discovered the best soup of all time, which served as one of my first I Eat Veg posts ever back in 2008.

So, Sunday I decided to make some cookies (not necessarily vegan) and I had an open can of pumpkin and oatmeal on the brain (after Deceptively Delicious Oatmeal in the morning). Before I inundate you with any more links, here’s the recipe. They were really, really really, really, really, really, really good. If I do say so myself.

From The PPK’s Isa Chandra (yes, one of the ladies behind Veganomicon, etc.!). Everything she says is exactly as they were.

Makes 4 dozen cookies

These are soft out of the oven, but as they cool they are nice and chewy. They are a serious crowd pleaser, for crowds with taste buds.

Note: I use flax seeds because they make the texture a little chewier, but I’ve made them without and they’re still good!

Equipment
baking sheets
2 mixing bowls

Ingredients
2 cups flour
1 1/3 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons molasses
1 cup canned pumpkin, or cooked pureed pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla
optional: 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds

1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1/2 cup raisins

Directions
Preheat oven to 350. Have ready 2 greased baking sheets.

Mix together flour, oats, baking soda, salt and spices.

In a separate bowl, mix together sugar, oil, molasses, pumpkin and vanilla (and flax seeds if using) until very well combined. Add dry ingredients to wet in 3 batches, folding to combine. Fold in walnuts and raisins.

Drop by tablespoons onto greased cookie sheets. They don’t spread very much so they can be placed only an inch apart. Flatten the tops of the cookies with a fork or with your fingers, to press into cookie shape. Bake for 16 minutes at 350. If you are using two sheets of cookies on 2 levels of your oven, rotate the sheets halfway through for even baking. You’ll have enough batter for 4 trays.

Remove from oven and get cookies onto a wire rack to cool. These taste best when they’ve had some time to cool and set. They taste even better the next day!

 

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Vegan Pumpkin Muffins

In honor of Halloween, I decided I needed to make something pumpkiny today. I was going to go with cookies, but ultimately went with muffins (that way I can eat them for breakfast and pretend they’re a little better for me than they probably are). Without any eggs and butter though, I’m already moving in the right direction, right? Pumpkin has protein and all kinds of fiber, so I say they’re healthy.

I found a random recipe on About.com by way of google and changed it up a little. I’m sure there are a few variations/additions you could make depending on your tastes. I put raisins on top of a couple to change it up and I’m sure walnuts or pecans would be good in here too. Or maybe some toasted, sugared pumpkin seeds on top?

And I should mention how easy it was to make these too. It only took about 15 minutes to put these together and get them in the oven. It makes them taste even better somehow, I think.

Ingredients
• 1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
• egg replacer for 2 eggs (I whisked together 2 Tbsp. ground flax seed and 6 Tbsp. water, let it sit, whisked some more, etc. until it was a good consistency)
• 1/3 c. vegan margarine (5 1/2 Tbsp.), softened
• 2 1/2 c flour (I went with whole wheat), separated (1 c./1 1/2 c.)
• 1 Tbsp. baking powder
• 1/2 tsp. baking soda
• 1/4 tsp. salt
• 1 tsp. cinnamon
• 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
• 1/8 tsp. ground ginger
• 1/2 c. soy milk or almond milk (I used vanilla almond milk)
• 1 c. brown sugar

1. Mix together 1 c. flour, 1 c. brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger,  salt.

2. Mix in softened margarine with hand mixer, then add pumpkin, soy milk and egg replacer (some reviews of recipes say because pumpkin is a binder, you don’t need the eggs. Sounds logical, but I replaced the eggs anyway).

3. Mix in rest of flour, blend well.

4. Grease muffin pan or use paper cups. Fill each 2/3 full (I was probably a big heavy handed…as usual). It made 20 muffins for me.

I decided to do a little icing drizzle on some of them too (OK, this definitely is pushing them over to dessert territory here….). I just whisked together powdered sugar and soy milk until I had a consistency I liked and let it harden.

Next time I might save a couple of tablespoons of the pumpkin to include in the icing (since the original recipe I based this off of only had 10 oz. of pumpkin, I totally could have done that and it would have been fine).

They turned out great! They definitely stuck to the bottom of the paper muffin cups, so I wonder if it would have been better to just grease (with the rest of the stick of vegan margarine perhaps) the muffin pan. Of course, I like the idea of not using paper liners too. Yum. I’m definitely going to make these again! (Like as soon as they’re gone).

A Trio of Indian Goodness

This is the second meal I made from magazines I had the time to read recently due to some time in the doctor’s waiting room and it was great! Two of the recipes are from a spotlight on Indian food in this month’s Vegetarian Times and the other comes from an article on do-it-yourself takeout in a recent Whole Living magazine. All of it was beyond easy and delicious!

I’ll get right to it! As the bread should be cooked right before serving, I’d do it last. I’ll do it in the order, I prepared it, which worked out great.

This may be the longest blog post of all time, but I thought these three things went so well together that I had to post them together!

Stewed Lentils with Yogurt, Cucumbers, and Green Chiles
To serve, ladle the lentils over brown rice, top with some plain, Greek yogurt or soy yogurt and top with cucumber mixture. Sprinkle with cilantro leaves.

For the lentils:
• 1 tsp. whole cumin seeds
• 2 Tbsp. olive oil
• 1 c. diced onion
• 4 cloves minced garlic
• 2 Tbsp. minced ginger
• 1 tsp. ground turmeric
• 5 c. water
• 2 c. red lentils
• kosher salt

1. Heat saucepan over medium heat, then add cumin seeds and toast until fragrant, about 1 minute, swirling pan constantly. Set seeds aside.

2. Heat oil and add onion, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring, until onions are tender, about 6 minutes.

3. Add turmeric and toasted cumin seeds. Cook 1 minute.

4. Add water and lentils. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and partially cover. Cook until lentils are tender and mixture thickens, about 15 minutes. Season with salt to taste.

For the garnish:
• 1/4 c. diced onion
• 1 c. cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
• 1 green chile (I went with a serrano), thinly sliced/diced
•  1/4 c. chopped cilantro, with whole leaves for sprinkling (I forgot the whole leaves)
• 1 Tbsp. white vinegar

Combine all ingredients (except whole cilantro leaves!). Put together and enjoy! This is a really mild, flavorful dish. The garnish really brightens it up (I’d recommend it for other dishes as well).

Okra and Onions
If you’ve never had okra or think you don’t like it, try this recipe. It’s easy and delicious!

• 2 Tbsp. canola or vegetable oil
• 1/2 tsp. whole cumin seeds
• 1 medium onion (about 1 1/2 c.), diced
• 12 oz. frozen okra, thawed (I didn’t manage to thaw very much and it was fine, for what it’s worth!)
•  2 tsp. ground coriander (I ran out a little short, so I used a big of garam masala too)
• 3/4 tsp. salt
• 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
• 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper, or to taste
• 1/2 tsp. amchoor or 1 tsp lemon juice (I couldn’t find amchoor, so I went with the lemon juice)
• 1/2 tsp. sugar

1. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and cook 10 seconds. Add onion and saute 3 minutes.

2. Stir in okra, then coriander, salt, turmeric and cayenne pepper.

3. Cover and cook 10 minutes, stirring once or twice.

4. Stir in amchoor/lemon juice and sugar.

Onion-Stuffed Flat Bread
This bread is easier than you would think and took no time to make! Basically, you can make this while your okra is simmering and you’ll be ready to roll. I am already dreaming up what else I could stuff into this dough and fry to maximum deliciousness.

Filling:
•  2 c. finely chopped red or white onion
• 1 tsp. ground coriander (again, I was out at this point, so I used garam masala. It was good!)
• 1 tsp. finely chopped jalapeno or chile (I went with serrano again)
• 1/2 tsp. amchoor or 1 tsp. lemon juice (again, the lemon juice)

Dough:
• 2 c. atta (Indian whole wheat flour) or whole wheat flour (I went with the whole wheat flour, which I already had on hand)
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 3 Tbsp. canola or vegtable oil, plus more for greasing griddle

1. Make filling: combine all ingredients in a bowl.

2.  For dough, pulse flour and salt in food processor until combined. Add 1 1/4 c. water and process 2 minutes or until smooth. Cover and let stand 10 minutes.

3. Roll dough into eight balls (I halved this recipe and made 4, which was plenty for 2 people), then dust with flour. On a floured silpat or counter, roll out each ball into a 3-inch circle.

4. Place about 2 tablespoons of filling into the center of each circle. Join dough edges together, crimp tightly.

5. Flatten so seam is in the center, dust with flour, then flip it so the seam side is down. Roll out again to a 6-inch circle.

6. Oil iron griddle or heavy skillet and heat over medium heat. Cook dough circle (or oval in my case!) 1 to 2 minutes, or until bottom browns and is firm.

7. Flip and cook 1 to 2 minutes more. Here the directions said to oil the bread before flipping, etc., but I’d just use common sense and oil bread or pan as needed. I think I ended up with less greasy fried bread by holding back a little… Cook second side 1 to 2 minutes and press down firmly to get nice and brown. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Bars


A good friend of mine said she wanted to make some healthy, no sugar breakfast bars. M came over and got to work, basing them on a recipe she found on line. I did little, other than flour the pan, sprinkle a few flax seeds and offer my 2 cents from time to time. Though they didn’t turn out as granola-bar-like as we thought, and a little more muffiny, they taste really good! They’re pretty dense, but full of all kinds of good things.

I’ll post the recipe we based it off of and you can doctor it up your own way like we did. Among our changes: we used less than the called for butter and added a few Tablespoons of natural peanut butter, we added about 1/4 c. ground flax seeds/flax meal and sprinkled some whole flax seeds on top. She used honey instead of so much sugar, diced apples, sliced almonds and a little water to thin it out as necessary (it occurred to me this morning when I opened my refrigerator — we should have used almond milk!) Als0 — keep an eye on the time. We cooked for about half as long and it was perfect!

I think it was an amazing first attempt and I’ll definitely make these (or something like it) again. Also, though it didn’t look like it would, it nicely filled the bottom of a 9×13 pan and left us with 2-3 dozen small bars.

Here’s the original recipe, from CDKitchen.com:

• 1 1/2 c. flour
• 1 tsp. salt
• 1/2 tsp. baking soda
• 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
• 1 tsp. cinnamon
• 1/2 c. soft butter or margarine (we used Earth Balance vegan sticks)
• 1 c. brown sugar
• 1 egg
• 3 medium mashed bananas
• 1 tsp. vanilla
• 1 1/2 c. raw, quick-cooking oats
• 3/4 c. (total) chopped nuts, raisins, and dates (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Grease and flour 13×9 inch baking pan.

2. Sift together: flour, salt, soda and spices, set aside.

3. In large bowl, beat until light and fluffy: butter, sugar, egg. Add bananas and vanilla beat until smooth.

4. Gradually stir in flour mixture and oats until well combined. (If it seems to be getting a little thick, slowly add about 1/4 c. non-fat milk as needed.)

5. Stir in nuts etc. Bake until golden (about 25 minutes) — keep an eye on it! We only baked about 10-12 minutes and it was starting to brown and cooked perfectly! Beware!

Vegan Lime and Coconut Shortbread Cookies


I picked up a pretty little cookie cookbook by Christabel Martin a few weeks ago from the bargain section of local bookstore recently. Everything in it is perfectly photographed, displaying little cookies, biscuits and treats that you imagine eating at an outdoor, fancified affair.

I don’t have any affairs to attend, but decided I have done enough baking lately — in fact, as a person who primarily made baked goods until a few years ago, this blog is severely lacking in cookies, cakes, pies, tarts, muffins, scones… you get the idea. So, tonight was the night!

My squeeze likes coconut, and I had about 10 minutes to throw together a shopping list and get back home to make dinner. I had everything but the lime and the coconut (yes, I’ve been thinking of Reservoir Dogs all day…), so I decided it was a go on this recipe. It turned out, I couldn’t find the right coconut (unsweetened and dried) but went ahead anyway.

I also was happy that I could easily veganize this recipe — I just swapped out the butter for my new favorite vegan butter, and voila! I seem to hear from all kinds of people what a drag it must be to not have any dairy or eggs, but this is a prime example of a delicious sweet treat that can easily be made vegan.

Here is the original recipe (I’ll note my changes). The recipe says it makes 25, but mine were only slight smaller than directed and I had almost 70! So, guess it’s up to you how bite-sized you want these…

Cookie Ingredients
• 2 c. all-purpose flour
• 1/3 c. confectioner’s/powdered sugar
• 3/4 c. unsweetened dried coconut
(I used regular bagged sweetened coconut flakes, because it was all I could find!)
• 2 tsp. finely grated lime zest (the zest of 2 good-sized limes did it for me)
• 3/4 c. plus 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed and chilled (leave in refrigerator until ready to add to bowl!)
• 1 Tbsp. lime juice

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper (or don’t… if you don’t have any… and it will still be fine)

2. Sift flour and powdered sugar (if you have a sifter…) into a bowl, then stir in coconut and lime zest.

3. If butter has been sitting out, stick it in the refrigerator for a few minutes — it should definitely be cold for this. When it’s ready to go, add it to the bowl and squeeze it into the mixture with your finger tips until the mixture is crumbly.

4. Add lime juice to bowl and cut through dough with a flat-bladed knife. You kind of think “How in the world will this possibly mix the juice in?” Oh, it does. Just do it.

5. Gather dough in a ball (I have only a small silpat to roll dough out on, so I did half at a time). Roll out on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick. Using a 2-inch cookie cutter*, cut into rounds and place on cookie sheet.

*If you don’t have a 2-inch round cookie cutter, you can find something else to use, like, oh, perhaps a shot glass that measures about 1.75-inches, making them perfectly bite-sized.

6. Give the cookies a little room on the cookie sheet (at this size, I was able to fit about 25 on a sheet) and make for 15-20 minutes or until very lightly golden brown (I was on the shorter end at this size, of course).   Let cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack, etc. to cool completely.

Frosting Ingredients:
• 1 c. powdered sugar
• 2 Tbsp. lime juice, strained

1. Add powdered sugar and lime juice to a heat-proof bowl (I went with a metal mixing bowl) and place over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until smooth.

2. Spread a little frosting onto each cookie, stirring the frosting in the bowl occasionally so it doesn’t harden. Let cookies with frosting cool completely  — they will be stackable and delicious!

Cookies will stay fresh in an airtight container for about 5 days.

Crusty No-Knead Bread

I finally got around to making the no-knead bread recipe my squeeze’s mom gave me, along with the cast iron pot to make it in, for Christmas. It’s nearly identical to the bread recipe G.P. made during Cooking Club S01E01 a few weeks back, but I’ll post it here anyway. It’s a little tough to cut because it’s so crusty (it just makes a mess of crumbs) but it was DELICIOUS. (If I do say so myself).

Here’s how you make it:

• Dissolve 1/4 t. dry active yeast in 1 1/2 c. warm water
• Mix in 3 c. flour and 1 1/2 t. salt

The dough will be sticky and shaggy. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit at
room temperature (warmest area of the room if possible – not by a window!) for
12-18 hours, at least until little bubbles dot the surface of the dough. For me this was
about 15 hours.**

(**4/26/10: I just made this again only this time got super busy and let it sit for 19 hours. It was much better! Rose up to be about 7 inches tall unlike the pathetic 3 or 4 of the first time. I’ll definitely let it sit longer next time!!!)

Remove from bowl onto a floured surface (I chose a floured cookie sheet). Sprinkle dough with flower and fold over onto itself once or twice. Cover loosely with the plastic wrap (right there on the cookie sheet) and let sit for about 15 minutes.

Generously coat a clean tea towel or kitchen towel with flour, cornmeal or wheat
bran (I did a little flour and a little polenta). Place dough, seam side down, on the
towel and dust with more flour, cornmeal or wheat bran (I also added some garlic
powder in there on this step). With floured hands, gently shape dough.

Cover with another towel (or fold this one over if it’s big enough like I did) and let it sit for one to two hours. It should double in size.

You’ll know it’s ready when you can poke your finger in it and it doesn’t fill back in.
The first time I checked it, after about 2 hours, it did bounce back/fill in. Twenty
minutes later — success!

At least 20 minutes before dough is set to be ready, preheat oven to 475 and place
a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex…) in the oven as it heats. For some pots (like mine) cover handle of pot with a few thicknesses of foil.

Slide your hand under the towel and flip dough over into the pot. Shake pot gently from side to side to even it out if you need to.

Bake for 30 minutes, covered. Remove lid and bake for 15 minutes more. It came out pretty disk like, but so did G’s, so I didn’t think anything off it. It was super crusty on the outside and soft and spongy on the inside.

We paired it with Italian food one night and the next, I ate it with asparagus and Hollandaise sauce (dinner of champions). I think it would be really good as a dipping bread with olive oil and spices.

This makes me want to try different bread recipes and mess with this one too. I just can’t leave well enough alone, I guess. 🙂

Butternut Squash, Ginger and Shallot Soup and Crusty No-Knead Bread

This also from Season 1, Episode one of the cooking club, made by the lovely G.P. I love ginger stuff, so it was especially delicious. We ate it alongside her no-knead bread – a recipe originally printed in the NY Times. Both were amazing!

Butternut Squash, Ginger, Shallot Soup
Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 2/3 cup soup and 1 teaspoon chives)
Ingredients

4 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
4 large shallots, peeled and halved
1 (1/2-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger, thinly sliced
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
2 Tbsp. (1-inch) slices fresh chives
Cracked black pepper (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375°.

2. Combine first 5 ingredients in a roasting pan or jelly-roll pan; toss well. Bake at 375° for 50 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Cool 10 minutes.

3. Place half of squash mixture and half of broth in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Pour into a large saucepan. Repeat procedure with remaining squash mixture and broth. Cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Top with chives and pepper, if desired.

*I used a food processor instead which was easier and worked well
*I doubled the entire recipe, using 1 large 3 lb squash and added extra ginger.


No-Knead Bread

Time: About 1½ hours plus 14 to 20 hours’ rising

3 c. all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ tsp. instant yeast
1¼ tsp. salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Yield: One 1½-pound loaf.