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from Basil & Wine

Here is the recipe!

I have no idea how I stumbled upon this, but I’m so glad that I did! She’s got a lot of really great recipes, and I was really intrigued by this one. And just recently, I saw that our local vegan cupcakery has a similar treat in their case! With chocolate frosting! So really, it’s a fabulous idea. I made a few without chocolate chips for my daughter, and froze them. She loved them! The rest of them tasted mostly of chocolate, with a hint of avocado and banana, but really, they great thing about them is the texture. Dense and chewy and heavy (they taste like they’re a little underdone even!). Totally my style, and apparently my daughter’s as well. Sadly, the recipe didn’t quite make a dozen (it claims to make 10-12). Ten smaller muffins is what I got out of it, but so worth it! And really, for a treat they’re pretty healthy, and beyond easy to make. These will definitely be a staple in our house for snacks for baby, without the chocolate chips. But maybe with chocolate sauce as an option for us older folks.

from Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

1 c nonhydrogenated margarine, at room temperature
1 1/4 c sugar
1 tbsp molasses
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 c semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F.

Cream together the margarine and sugar until fluffy. Add the molasses and vanilla. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt, and mix well. Fold in the chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoonfuls spaced a little over 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until ever so slightly browned. Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Makes 3 dozen cookies.

This here is the dough that you would stir into your soy ice cream to make the perfect cookie dough ice cream, veganized (wait, that sounds familiar. I might have said that about another cookie dough… at least I’m conisistent!). It’s really good. I ate way too much of it. And still ended up with 4 dozen cookies, which leads me to believe that our dear author meant that we should drop the cookies by tablespoonfuls. The cookies were pretty small, and didn’t need that 2 inches between them on the cookie sheets. They were a really nice few bite- size, with two cookies being a perfect serving. I did end up baking them for almost 12 minutes though, so maybe teaspoonfuls is what she meant indeed. I don’t know. I’m not complaining! Just keep an eye on them as you get to the end of your baking time! Also, the dough seemed a bit crumblier than I’m used to, but using my melon baller to shape the cookies worked like a charm.
I fed these to my non-vegan aunt and uncle, and mom and dad when they visited, and they seemed pleased with them- so much that a pretty significant number had disappeared by the time they left. I think they tasted even better the day after I made them, though nothing beats a chocolate chip still melty from the oven. Another win for Isa!

from Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero

Graham Cracker Crust:
12 graham crackers, or 1 3/4 c graham cracker crumbs
1/4 c canola oil
1 tbsp soy milk

Chocolate Pie Filling:
1 pound silken tofu (not the vacuum-packed kind), drained
1/4 c hazelnut liqueur (I used coffee liqueur, but the recipe says rice or soy milk work too)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp arrowroot powder
12 oz bittersweet vegan baking chocolate, melted

Maple Candied Pecans:
1 c pecans
2 tsp canola oil
1/8 tsp salt
2 tbsp pure maple syrup

Peanut Butter Caramel:
1/3 c peanut butter, smooth or chunky, at room temperature
3 tbsp pure maple syrup
2 tbsp brown rice syrup

Chocolate Drizzle:
4 oz bittersweet vegan chocolate, chopped, or 1/4 c vegan chocolate chips
1/4 c soy or rice milk

Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a 10-inch pie plate with cooking spray.

Prepare the crust: Process the grahams into fine crumbs. Place them in a bowl and drizzle the oil on them. Use your fingertips or a fork to mix in the oil until all crumbs are moistened; sprinkle in the soy milk and mix again. Pour the crumbs into the pie plate and firmly press them to the bottom and sides of the plate. Set aside.

Prepare the filling: First, melt your chocolate. Crumble the tofu into a blender or food processor. Add the liqueur, vanilla, and arrowroot to the tofu and blend until completely smooth. Scrape down the sides to make sure you get everything. Add the melted chocolate and blend again until completely mixed. Pour the filling into the pie crust and bake for 40 minutes. The center may still be jiggly but that’s fine.

Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack on the countertop for10 minutes, then chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours. The top of the pie should be firm to the touch.

Meanwhile , prepare your candied pecans: cover a large plate with baking parchment. Preheat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add the pecans and stir them very frequently for 3 minutes, until they start to brown. Stir constantly for 2 more minutes, until they are a few shades darker and relatively uniformly toasted. (If a few don’t look toasted, don’t worry about it. That’s better than having them burn.)

Add the oil and salt, and stir for another minute. Add the maple syrup, stirring constantly for about a minute.  The maple syrup should get bubbly and dry. Use a spatula to transfer the pecans to the plate and spread them out as much as you can; it’s best if they aren’t touching. Place in the fridge until ready to use.

Once the pie has been chilling for at least 3 hours, prepare the peanut butter caramel and chocolate drizzle. Have your pie out and ready to be assembled.

To prepare the peanut butter caramel: Stir all the ingredients together in a small saucepan. Gently heat everything over low heat, stirring constantly with a fork, just until smooth and heated through. It should fall from your fork in ribbons. If it seems stiff, turn off the heat immediately and add a little extra brown rice syrup, until it’s fluid again. (This happens because different peanut butters have different amounts of moisture.)

Pour the peanut butter over the center of the pie, leaving an inch or two bare at the edges because it spreads. Get your pecans and place them on top of the caramel, pressing them in firmly. You may have to break the pecans apart from one another if they cooled touching.

Prepare the chocolate drizzle: In a small saucepan, heat the soy milk to boiling, then add the chocolate and turn down the heat. Use a fork to stir until completely blended. Turn off the heat and let cool for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

You can drizzle the chocolate over the pie with a spoon, but we like to put it in a pastry bag fitted with a wide writing tip and drizzle it that way, in stripes. Chill the pie for at least 10 minutes before serving, so that the chocolate firms up a bit. Serves 8.

Where do I start?!? I made this pie for my husband’s birthday. He loves pecans. He loves a gooey dessert as much as any sane person does, and chocolate isn’t too far down on his list of likes either. I’ve had my eye on this recipe for a special occasion; you know how I like a simple recipe, so this 5-part pie was a true expression of my love. I also asked him what he wanted for dinner on his birthday, and after a quick perusal of my blog, he chose this chili. Which was a huge relief, since it’s so easy and could be prepared ahead of time, leaving me the day to work on the pie and finish a painting for his gift.
The pie was INSANE. Insanely rich, insanely good. That peanut butter caramel is TO DIE FOR, and those maple candied pecans aren’t too bad either. Both of those I’d make again without making the rest of the pie- they’d be great toppings for ice cream or a simple cake. The chocolate filling is so dense and luscious. The only silken tofu available at the market was the vacuum packed kind, and it turned out really well; so I don’t know what the big deal is. Do you? The liqueur added a richness that I don’t think I was quite ready for. So did that chocolate drizzle! Maybe I’m just a lightweight, but I almost could not handle this pie. What I’d change if I were to make it again- I think I’d double the crust recipe. I had a hard time getting ample crust coverage on the pie plate. I’d make extra PB caramel. I would like more of it on the pie, and more to lick out of the saucepan. I’d also omit that chocolate drizzle. I don’t know if Mike would be very happy about that, but I feel that the caramel and pecans should be the star here, not the chocolate. But I guess it wouldn’t be so over the top with only four parts, right? Happy birthday Mike! I love you! xoxoxoxoxo

from The Garden of Vegan by Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer

Decadent Brownies

1 1/2 c flour
1/2 c cocoa powder
3/4 c dry sweetener
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 c soy milk
1/3 c olive oil
1/2 c nuts (your choice), chopped

Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, sweetener, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the soy milk, oil, and nuts. Stir gently until “just mixed.” Pour mixture into a lightly oiled 8×8 baking pan, and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Makes 8-16 brownies, depending on how you cut them.

I didn’t set out to make two batches of brownies… it’s just that the first recipe really didn’t scratch the brownie itch I was feeling. Don’t get me wrong, the above recipe was indeed tasty and well received by my house guests, but they were too cakey for this dense brownie lovin’ girl. They were just like chocolate cake… granted I haven’t made a lot of brownies in my life, but would you peep that tower of a brownie? Looming over my Coconut Bliss was not how I’d pictured my dessert. I opted out of the nut invitation, due to allergies among our guests, and they were still tasty. I would definitely return to this recipe when seeking out a smaller chocolate cake. On to the batch of brownies I made later that week for a friend’s birthday celebration:

from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero

Midnight Brownies (a variation of the Espresso Fudge Brownies recipe)

3 oz semisweet baking chocolate, chopped
5 tbsp nonhydrogenated margarine (like Earth Balance)
2/3 c sugar
1/3 c nondairy milk
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 c plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp Dutch cocoa powder
2 tbsp black cocoa powder (I couldn’t find this so I used regular cocoa powder)
a pinch of salt

Line an 8×8-inch square metal brownie pan with enough aluminum foil so that it folds over the sides of the pan by about an inch. Spray the bottom of the covered pan with a little nonstick cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350F.

Place the chocolate and margarine in a large glass mixing bowl. Microwave at 50 percent power for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes until the chocolate is soft enough to melt into the melted margarine when stirred with a rubber spatula. Stir until smooth, add the sugar, and stir again to combine.

In a liquid measuring cup, vigorously whisk together the nondairy milk, cornstarch, and vanilla until foamy. Stir this into the chocolate mixture, using the rubber spatula, until completely combined. Sift in the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt and fold into the chocolate mixture until moistened. A few small lumps are okay; do not over-mix. Scrape the batter- getting as much as possible- into the prepared pan and smooth it out evenly to the edges of the pan.

Bake for 22 to 24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out mostly clean with a few moist crumbs (but no gooey batter). Place pan on a wire rack to cool for at least 30 minutes, if possible allowing the brownies to cool completely before serving. Slice into 12 brownies. Store in a tightly covered container.

Now THESE are what I was after. No cakiness here, the few crumbs are sticky and dense. No frosting or Coconut Bliss needed (though still welcomed. Especially heavenly with this, ungh!). And they would be really good with walnuts, if that happens to be your style. Next time I might try the mint variation offered.
This was quite the learning experience- comparing the recipes is really interesting to me- the wet to dry ingredient ratio should have been more obvious to me, but now I know! Each brownie had her strengths. Tall girl was great for soaking up her melting toppings, whereas Shortie satisfied me like the many slices of berry pie, oranges and tall glasses of herbal iced tea did while I was pregnant. And if you’ve ever been pregnant…

Vegan! Gluten- and Soy-Free! from

For the Cupcakes:
2 tbsp ground flax meal
1/3 c warm water
3/4 c brown or white rice flour
1/2 c teff flour
3/4 c granulated cane sugar
1/2 c cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 c almond milk
1/2 c sunflower oil
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c boiling water

For the Icing:
1/2 c virgin coconut oil
3 c powdered sugar
2 tbsp almond milk (I ended up using closer to 6, and my icing was still more like frosting…)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon juice

1/2 c unsweetened flaked coconut, toasted

Prepare the cupcakes:

Preheat the oven to 350F with rack in the middle. Line 12 standard (1/3 cup capacity) muffin cups with paper liners.

In a small bowl, combine the flax meal and warm water. Set aside to gel, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients with a whisk.

In another mixing bowl, combine the almond milk, sunflower oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and beat vigorously for about one minute. Stir the boiling water into the mixture. The mixture will be quite runny.

Pour mixture into the prepared cupcake pan. Bake 25 minutes, or until set in the middle. Set aside to cool before frosting.

Prepare the icing:

Place coconut oil in a bowl and beat vigorously to loosen. Add powdered sugar and beat to combine. Stir in almond milk, vanilla, and lemon juice until well-combined.

Frost the cooled cupcakes with the coconut icing then sprinkle each cupcake with a spoonful of flaked coconut.  Makes 12 cupcakes, and plenty of frosting.

Let’s just start out by saying that THESE ARE THE BEST CUPCAKES I’VE EVER HAD. Kudos to this recipe author for it being her first attempt at such a concoction- and being from the preferring a less-sweet dessert camp, this cupcake and I are a perfect match. I also love it when the frosting is what brings sweet to the table, to complement a faint saltiness to the cupcake. They were super moist, just the right amount of dense, and the chocolate level just perfect. I made them for my sister’s birthday earlier this month, and we were all very impressed by them, and the presentation in the parchment paper instead of the usual paper cupcake liners. Here’s my delicious cupcake:

I cut 12-inch squares from parchment paper, and then used a plastic cup to fit them into the cupcake pans. Of course, the paper wants to just pop right out of there, so you have to hold the paper in place while you pour this super runny batter in. I don’t know if it would go as smoothly with a thick gooey batter (unless you had a buddy to help you out), so as alarming as this runny batter was, it was a good thing. The parchment paper also allowed me to fill the cups fuller and have no spill-over (or muffin top) that I probably would have had otherwise. And can we talk about frosting containment? What a perfect vehicle for the divine toppings- I was really able to pile it on. Speaking of frosting, let’s address that extra liquid that we needed… I used a hand mixer to get the ingredients combined, and it was super pebbly until I added more and more almond milk- basically you can decide the consistency- if you want a frosting, use less; for an icing, more. I will definitely be making this icing in the future, and think it would be absolutely BOMB on this cake.
Here’s the pan of cupcakes. Good thing for birthdays; I’d weigh 12 times what I do now if I didn’t have help eating these yummy recipes.

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