I have been experimenting with vegan baking lately. Most of these endeavours, okay all of these recent attempts, have come from “Vegan with a vengeance” by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. This book has been a fixture in my kitch lately. And ok, ok, I have spent more time in the “cookies, bars and bake goods” than I really should for my own good; I have marked a bunch of dinners and other recipes with stickies for some time later. I just haven’t gotten to those recipes yet. I’ll get there.
Since I loved the cupcakes; my kids loved the cupcakes. I decided to try more goodies, so we tried “Raspberry-Chocolate Chip Blondie Bars,” “Big Gigantoid Crunch Peanut Butter-Oatmeal Cookies,” “Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies.”
The Blondie bars were a total hit with the kids. I did not have raspberry jam, instead I used strawberry. Kids loved them anyway. And probably would like them better this way because they really hate raspberry seeds. So this worked for us. I took the batch with us for a family weekend vacation and I was happy
to have a treat in the hotel room that was vegan. (Did I mention how great it is to have the kids bake with you and be able to let them lick the spoons… try the batter…clean the bowls, without the worry of the raw egg thing?!? Umm… probably many times.I love that!)
The Gigantoid Peanut butter cookies were okay. 🙁 I’ve learned a couple of lessons…. when it comes to non-vegan baking, I’m pretty good at substitutions. I know that I can add more of this or use less that and everything will turn out okay. I know my limits. I can use less oil or sugar and get good results. But I have not learned the limits of vegan baking yet. Not having eggs in the mix changes things significantly, the texture is different, and the end result can get really heavy and too dense if you are not careful. So… I thought the traditional, (read: the not natural, hydrogenated junk) could be substituted for natural peanut butter. But it just did not work. The cookies were dry, kinda tasteless and salty. I may try these again when I have the good kind of peanut butter.
The pumpkin cookies were awesome. They kinda tasted like a carrot cake, and have the texture of a muffin; which is nice. These are really yummy and I don’t mind the kids eating them. There is a bunch of sugar in the recipe, but no matter what, I still like the idea of the kids eating these verses something out of a box. I substituted half of the while all-purpose flour for all-purpose whole wheat.
And just an FYI, these little babies come in around 110 cals, 5 grams of fat and 2 grams fibre each. Recipe makes 48 small cookies. Consider too, that about half the fat comes from the walnuts, so it is the good kind.
Here is the recipe for the Pumpkin Cookies, based on how I made them….
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat all-purpose flour
- 1 2/3 cups rolled oats
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 2/3 cups sugar
- 2/3 cup canola oil
- 2 Tsp molasses
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 Tsp ground flax seeds
- 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 350. Mix dry ingredients in small bowl – flour through nutmeg. In a larger bowl mix together sugar through pumpkin. I used my electric stand mixer to really cream together the sugar and oil before adding the molasses, pumpkin and vanilla. Mix in the flax seeds. A third at a time, add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just combined. (At this point I have removed the bowl from my electric mixing and I did this step by hand). Fold in the walnuts and raisins.
I use parchment paper for all cookie making instead of greasing the pan. Using two spoons, drop cookies onto prepared baking sheets and sorta push into a round shape. Flatten the tops a bit. Bake 15-18 mins, or until lightly browned on the edges. Allow to cool for a few minutes before removing from baking tray to cooling rack. These are great for packing in lunches.