Monthly Archives: March 2012

Easy Peasy…Japaneasy. But not Japanese, because we’re making cookies, stupid.

Peanut butter cookies, I love them. Love them. Crispy and velvety, sweet, perfect.

We eat a lot of eggs at home, I make Eggs everyday for the husband for breakfast, I’ll have a couple myself, and sometimes when he’s away, I’ll make them for dinner. Normally, I reserve the full eggs for when I’m being bad; I have a lot of egg whites stacked up for training diet purposes; the point is, however, that since we eat so many of them, I often run out, and when I want to bake I curse myself for the intense egg consumption.

This doesn’t bode well when I get the urge to bake something, especially cookies. Recently however, I realized that there is this huge lifestyle called veganism. WHATTTT! Haha, so I just searched around the internet (no shit) for ideas on what to do when I wanted cookies, and didn’t have egg replacers.
Answer: Vegan Peanut butter cookies.

I know I knocked Vegan bacon in a previous post, but let me clear the air, I love Vegan Baking. I can’t get enough of it, it’s amazing, full of flavour, and I think it’s pretty intense that people can locate all the random ingredients that are required, and put them all together so it actually tastes like it has eggs and butter and all of that goodness in there. All I mean by that is, I’ve had vegan baked goods and they were as hard as rocks.

Anyway, enough about that. You need to make a gigantic batch of these, bake a few (dozen) and put the rest of the dough in the freezer for those days where you want a cookie, but don’t want to pull out all the bowls and whisks. This is by far the easiest cookie recipe I have ever made, seriously, give it a shot, you will NOT be disappointed.

Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies
Recipe from http://www.chooseveg.com/display_recipe.asp?recipe=236

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix all ingredients in a bowl until all combined. Roll the dough into 2-inch balls, place onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Take a fork dipped in sugar and lightly press down on the cookies to flatten them slightly. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Be careful with these ones, they flake if you don’t let them cool 100%…if you can wait that long!

Yup, that’s it. Easy, just like that girls you knew in highschool! Ha. Ha.

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Apples to Apples – Fork to Mouth.

One of the things that I miss most about being back home on the acreage in BC is the abundance of apples we got from the apple tree…and the blueberries, and cherries, and walnuts….sigh. I do definitely need to figure out how to garden soon though, I’m told the weather in Nova Scotia will get better (doubtful) and that I’ll be able to have herbs and flowers if I want as well, what a concept! I’m used to my grandma and mom doing all the gardening; I know, I know, what a loser. But still, I miss the bounty of a garden, and the pleasure of making a meal out of the fruits of my (grandma and mom’s) labour. (I should give myself SOME credit; I did always help shovel the manure).

Anyway, Baking with apples is my absolute favourite; they’re so versatile; pie, cake, muffins, sauce, cookies, baked with ice cream, the list goes on and on. Although I get the urge to bake all the time, I usually take my time finding a recipe that really makes me drool, a lot, and then I bake it and take my time enjoying it. Lately though, I say “I’m craving something sweet, what do I have?” and if I don’t have a chocolate bar in the candy drawer, I just look in the fridge to see what I have, mosey on over to the computer and find a recipe that suits the food-stuffs in the kitchen. I had a few apples that were days away from going bad so I had to use them ASAP! There are a lot of things in life I’m not sure of, and only a few that I am sure of; one of those things is that the Barefoot Contessa knows good food, nay, great food. The texture of this cake is AH-MAY-ZING, the sour cream makes it super moist and there is something seductive about the way that the apples and sugar caramelize to make a ooey gooey topping. I should mention, that I wanted a bit of an apple pie flavour to the apple topping, so I added about a ½ tsp of ground cinnamon; divine. I should also mention, that if you’re making this for an event or party, make a lot; I poured the batter into a 9×9 dish, and it only lasted us one night…

BEHOLD! (again, sorry for the terrible photo, and the piece missing…)

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Barefoot Contessa’s Apple Cake Tatin
adapted from http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/barefoot-contessa/apple-cake-tatin-recipe/index.html

  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing the dish (I just used a bit of veggie oil)
  • 1 1/4 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced into 12 pieces
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest ( I didn’t have lemons, so I omitted this completely)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Confectioners’ sugar (optional)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Generously butter a 9-inch glass pie dish (I used a 9×9 cake pan) and arrange the apples in the dish, cut side down.

Combine 1 cup of the granulated sugar and 1/3 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over high heat until it turns a warm amber color, about 360 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Swirl the pan but don’t stir, swirl in cinnamon if using. Pour evenly over the apple slices.

Meanwhile, cream the 6 tablespoons of butter and the remaining 3/4 cup of granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy. Lower the speed and beat in the eggs 1 at a time. Add the sour cream, zest, and vanilla and mix until combined. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and, with the mixer on low speed, add it to the butter mixture. Mix only until combined.

Pour the cake batter evenly over the apple slices and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes, then invert the cake onto a flat plate. If an apple slice sticks, ease it out and replace it in the design on top of the cake. Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with confectioners’ sugar.

ImageThis cake tastes absolutely fabulous right out of the oven (after about 10 minutes of cooling time, of course) and it tastes great cold with a cup of tea. It’s made it into the recipe book, and has been made more than once, this one is definitely a keeper.


Is that a zucchini in your pocket….?

I have a huge problem, I make food, and then I eat it. Sounds like a ‘non-problem’ right? But when I’m trying to run a blog about food, I need to resist eating the food until I get a photo of it. I’m going to apologize now for the next couple of posts, there aren’t many photos that are any good, and they’re shots of a single slice of whatever it is I’m posting about, and shots of a cake with a single slice missing…I’m not proud of myself.

I always have really random cravings in the middle of the week, but especially when I’m sitting at home alone while the Mr. is away. This time it was for grilled cheese and chocolate cake. Since I had all the ingredients and it was my my cheat meal day, I decided to go a little bit overboard.

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I’m not sure why people think baking a chocolate cake is so difficult and time consuming; let’s clear up both myths at once, it’s not, and it’s not. Oh, and you can incorporate your veggies in it as well! You may be shaking your head in disbelief right now, and thinking that I’m crazy.

Trust me

Chocolate Zucchini Bread
Adapted from http://bsinthekitchen.com/chocolate-zucchini-bread/

  • 1 & 1/2 Cups Shredded Zucchini
  • 1 whole carrot, washed and shredded (optional. I also leave the peel on)
  • 1 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Cup high quality Unsweetened Cocoa
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • Dash of salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Cup Canola Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup packed Brown Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 3/4 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips

In a mixer, combine oil, both sugars and vanilla until smooth. Mix in your eggs, shredded zucchini and carrot if using. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, cinnamon, baking soda and baking powder. Slowly add the dry mixture into the wet and beat until combined. Mix in your chocolate chips.
Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan, cupcake pan or 9×9 cake pan, and bake at 350ºF degrees for 50-65 minutes (and the muffins about 25-30 minutes), or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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