More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts Naturally by Fran Costigan Simple Treats: A Wheat-Free, Dairy-Free Guide to Scrumptious Baked Goods by Ellen Abraham Sweet Utopia by Sharon Valencik
All three cookbooks already rock because they contain yummy vegan desserts that my ladies found easy to make and fun to consume. While I could go on and on, I'd rather let the reviewers do the talking!
From Fran Costigan's cookbook, More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts Naturally, I chose Spiced Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins, a seasonal goodie I thought the ladies would love. Reviewer Kira (who used fresh pumpkin puree instead of canned and whose photo is below) says: This recipe is a great way to use up leftover Halloween pumpkins, but also a good excuse to buy pumpkin! The spiced purée made the muffins moist on the inside, and gave them a complex flavor - it was a great foil for the tart cranberries! Making the muffins was really easy (my four-year-old helped), and super quick once the prep was out of the way. The batter came out sticky, and I was afraid something had gone wrong somewhere, but the little guys domed up in the oven like champs and tasted oh-so-yummy fresh from the oven. The texture is more like a breakfast scone than a muffin, but the flavor makes up for it (also, I love scones). These were tasty little creations, and I will probably be making them again! Also, I was excited to learn from the recipe that there is actually a term for curdling soymilk to make a buttermilk substitute: clabbering. I will be using the word often. muffins. I had enough batter left to make another six, so I experimented with filling the cups all the way to make bigger muffins - adding a few extra minutes in the oven was all it took for them to turn out perfectly.
The smell of Fall filled the kitchen as they cooked - Halloween was a perfect day to make these! And they tasted delicious (on their own and with a swirl of Earth Balance )! My non-vegan father even took three home with him to have for a snack later - and that's really saying something! I'm planning to make them again for a Thanksgiving breakfast feast in a few weeks. Yum! Spiced Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins Recipe by Fran Costigan Yield: 12 to 13 standard muffins 2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1. c. unbleached white flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2/3 c. soymilk
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
1 c., plus 1 tbsp. Spiced Pumpkin Puree (recipe to follow)
1/2 c. oil (safflower or sunflower)
1/4 c. maple syrup
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp orange extract
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1/2 c. dried cranberries
1. Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and pre-heat to 400 degrees. Oil the top and cups of a 12-c. standard muffin tin. (The cups can be lined with paper liners but the tops of the tin still must be oiled).
2. To make the muffins, place a wire mesh strainer over a medium bowl. Add the flour, white flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg to the strainer. Tap the strainer against the palm of your hand to sift the ingredients into the bowl. Stir with a wire whisk to distribute the ingredients.
3. Mix the soymilk and lemon juice in a small bowl and set aside for 2-3 min. (This is called clabbering and will result in a buttermilk subsitute.)
4. Combine the pumpkin puree, oil, maple syrup, and vinegar in a medium bowl. Add the clabbered soymilk and whisk until well blended. Pour into the dry mixture and stir only until the batter is smooth. Stir the cranberries into the batter and spoon into the prepared tin, filling each cup three-quarters full. (Any leftover batter can be backed in an oiled custard cup.)
5. Bake for 12-13 minutes, or until the muffins are well risen (the tops will be domed). golden brown, and a tester inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean.
6. Cool the tin on a rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a thin knife between the muffins and the inside of the cups, and lift each muffin onto the rack to cool completely. Spiced Pumpkin Puree Yield: 2 cups
2 c. (16 oz) unsweetened pumpkin puree
2/3 c. dark whole cane sugar
1 1/2 tsp tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1. Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture comes to a simmer and sputters. Simmer for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly until the puree is dark, shiny, and thickened, and the sugar has dissolved.
2. Remove from heat and spoon into a container. Cool, cover, and refrigerate or freeze. Allow time for the puree to return to room temperature before using.
From Ellen Abraham's cookbook, Simple Treats: A Wheat-Free, Dairy-Free Guide to Scrumptious Baked Goods, I chose Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprints, a recipe that spoke to my heart because my family has been making a variation of these at Christmastime every single year. This was also a special recipe because it was gluten-free!
Reviewer Kristina says: First off, the thumbprints are delicious. The ingredients were easy to find, reasonably priced and I had most them in my pantry already. The instructions were straightforward and the cookies were quick to make. They would be excellent when someone is in a pinch. The only problem I had was resisting eating all the dough which is just as good as the cookies!
Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprints
Recipe by Ellen Abraham
Makes 1 1/2 dozen cookies
1/2 c. maple syrup
1/2 c. safflower or sunflower oil
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. roasted peanuts (place peanuts in a 350 degree oven until browned nicely, and stir once or twice while roasting to make sure they don't burn)
3/4 c. rolled oats
1 c. barley flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder1/2 tsp. baking soda
3 tbsp. grape jelly
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, mix the syrup, oil, and vanilla; set aside. Process the peanuts and oats in a food processor or blender until they are they are the consistency or fine meal. (Be sure the peanuts are completely cool before processing; otherwise, you will end up with a pasty mess).
In a separate, larger bowl, sift the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. (Sifting isn't absolutely necessary, but it ensures there won't be clumps of flour or salt in the batter.) Add the nut-oat mixture. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and mix with a spatula until everything is well incorporated.
With a 1-oz ice cream scoop or two spoons, scoop out 1 heaping of the batter onto well-oiled or parchment-lined cookie sheets. Flatten the cookies slightly with the bottom of a cup or glass. (Dip the bottom of the cup/glass in warm water before flattening each cookie. The water will prevent the batter from sticking.)
With your thumb or the back of a tsp. measuring spoon, make an indentation in the top of each cookie. (Dip the spoon into warm water to prevent the batter from sticking.) Place 1/2 teaspoon of the jelly into the indentation of each cookie.
Bake for 11 minutes and rotate the cookie sheets a half turn to ensure even baking. Bake 4-5 minutes more or until the cookies are golden around the edges. Let cool on the cookie sheets 5-6 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack.
From Sharon Valencik's cookbook, Sweet Utopia, I chose Divine Chocolate Pudding, a recipe that seemed easy and fun to make. Thankfully, the ladies had as much fun as I had anticipated and even got the whole family involved!
Divine Chocolate Pudding Recipe by Sharon Valencik 1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 c. granulated vegan sugar
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
2 c. vanilla soymilk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract or additional vanilla extract
1/3 non-dairy chocolate chips.
Sift the cocoa powder into a medium saucepan. Mix in the sugar, cornstarch, and slat until there are no lumps. Place on low to medium heat and slowly whisk in the soymilk until the mixture is smooth. Cook on medium heat, whisking constantly, for about 10 minutes, or until thickened (it should be the consistency of cake batter). Do not let the mixture come to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the extracts. Then stir in the chocolate chips and continue stirring until they are completely melted.
Pour evenly into six-6 oz. ramekins or a large bowl. Cool, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 4-8 hours before serving, or until thoroughly chilled. Store leftover pudding tightly covered in the refrigerator. * Endless thanks to the tireless, dedicated KMIV volunteers who helped make this cookbook review a success. You are all vegan baking rock stars! * And, now, for the GIVEAWAY:
Here's your chance to win a free copy of one of the cookbooks featured today!
I challenge you - yes, YOU - to a Vegan Thanksgiving Challenge! To enter to win a free cookbook, please submit a photo of a vegan dish you made for Thanksgiving - extra points if your dinner photo doesn't include a turkey! Please include with that photo: 1) A sentence or two about your dish, and 2) One major thing you're thankful for this year. I will choose three winners to feature in a Thanksgiving Roundup Blog in early December!
The deadline for this giveaway is Monday, November 29th. So, open those holiday cookbooks and get crackin' people!
Need cooking inspiration? Check out my Thanksgiving post for ideas to help you get started.
Book Publishing Company is also doing a giveaway of their own this month. Click this link to learn more and enter for a chance to win a free vegan cookbook!