Tag Archives: vegan sweets

Vegan Brownies

I lucked out and got this vegan baking book for free on my kindle recently! This recipe is from the book ‘Vegan Baking Classics’ by Kelly Rudnicki. The book describes these brownies as “a nice balance of fudgy and cakey” that “tastes like rich chocolate”. I think that description was right on the money. This is the first recipe I made out of this book and we all agreed… these brownies were good! ūüôā

I can’t help it… I am and have always been a major sweet lover. My kids apparently inherited this trait. Hopefully, they will inherit more of my good traits than my bad ones! Being a parent, its easy to worry too much- you worry about your kids growing up right, if they will make friends easily, you worry about them getting enough exercise, you worry about if they will be kind to others and grow up to become good law-abiding citizens (just to name a few things). I guess that is one reason why I always find myself trying to find ways to make things a little “healthier” (such as using applesauce in place of oil, forgoing shortening or butter when a healthier alternative can be used)…¬† However, you mustn’t forget that some treats are simply meant to be eaten sparingly and when the occasion arises, one should perhaps just¬† “let it be”, and celebrate being alive by indulging in something that is… indulgent!

Chocolate Chip Brownies

  • 1/2 cup dairy free shortening (I use Spectrum vegetable shortening)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup silken xtra-firm tofu (I use Mori Nu, which is often found on the store shelves with Asian foods, not in the refrigerated section)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup dairy free mini chocolate chips
  • powdered sugar for dusting

In a mixer bowl with a fitted paddle attachment, beat the shortening, sugar, tofu and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt with a whisk. Add the flour mixture to the shortening mixture and mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips with a rubber spatula. Don’t worry – If your mix is very thick, you are doing it right! (You can also stir in some chopped walnuts here if you want!)

Preheat oven to 350 and spread the batter in a sprayed 8×8″ square baking dish. (Like I said, it will be very thick, so you literally have to spread it out as evenly as possible.) Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick/knife comes out of the center clean. Cool completely and dust with powdered sugar. Cut into 9 squares and serve!

Enjoy me with a nice glass of cold soy milk!!

This is my first time making brownies using silken tofu… but it won’t be the last!¬† I love trying new sweets. In fact, it is hard to keep myself from baking only sweets sometimes! I have always eaten pretty healthy, especially since I went vegetarian (and even more so after becoming vegan… and even more since becoming a mom!). Being a mom has also made me try new things more often since kids can be pretty picky! (Thanks kiddos!)

** THE QUICK FIX **¬† If you are in a hurry and don’t have time to make homemade brownies (though I find in my experience it is best MAKE time for homemade goodies),¬† Cherrybrook Kitchen has a great selection of mixes for brownies, cakes and more! Most of their mixes are gluten-free & vegan… and did I mention delicious? Duncan Hines’ California Walnut Brownie mix is also vegan.

Stay tuned… I’m starting to think about what muffins, cookies and breads will make it into my Christmas goody bags this year! Any suggestions are welcome!

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Cakes, Cupcakes and Birthdays

Sometimes raising vegan kids can be a challenge… for example,¬†like when we’re going to¬†a birthday party.¬† I never felt comfortable bringing my kids their own piece of vegan cake to eat (the last thing I want is for them to feel alienated) nor did I want to tell them they¬†“can’t” have any cake or ice cream that everyone else is eating.¬† (In fact, I once allowed my children to have a cupcake at a friend’s birthday party before that contained real butter in the frosting¬†– and they didnt¬†die! hahaha) But seriously, my family is¬†vegan for a reason (or several), and naturally I also want my children to feel part of the group and not feel like¬†some kind of¬†vegan weirdo.¬† My older child, who is almost 4,¬†loves animals and understands why we don’t eat meat or dairy, nor does she want to (at this time).¬† Hopefully she will continue on the vegan (or at least vegetarian) path on her own as she grows up.¬† My little man is almost 2 so we¬†haven’t had “the vegan talk”¬†yet!¬† He basically eats anything he’s given (when I’m lucky).
 
So… anyway,¬†my solution to this birthday cake dilemma¬†is to bring an entire¬†batch of vegan cupcakes along for anyone who wants one.¬† I must say, this has always gone over smashingly well. This also introduces others to how delicious vegan¬†food can be!
 
The last party I went to (which was about 2 weeks ago),¬†I had to grab aside my kids 2¬†cupcakes because my vegan cupcakes were flying off the table before the other cake was even cut!¬† And honestly, I really enjoy bringing and baking cupcakes!¬† I usually use a recipe from my favorite cupcake cookbook (pictured below) called Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.¬† There are SO many recipes I want to try!!!¬† In fact, I’ve¬†made the cookies & cream cupcakes¬†more than once because they are sooo good!

These are the cookies and cream cupcakes (an addition to the basic chocolate cupcake recipe). They contain smashed up Newman-Os in the batter and icing, and one on top.

For my daughter’s third birthday, I baked¬†the “chocolate death cake” (recipe by The Grit, a “famous” Athens vegetarian restaurant) in the shape of Minnie Mouse for her party.¬†

Here is the baked cake, popped out of the pan and cooling...

¬†Making the cake¬†was really easy!¬† The icing part was trickier, but it wasn’t too hard & I thought it was lots of fun piping the icing.¬† This was the first character cake I ever¬†made and I have to say I think I totally rocked it! I made my own icing¬†and used a piece of an Airhead candy for Minnie’s bow & tongue.¬† Do I even have to say how much everyone loved it?!¬† I impressed myself!

All finished! What a beauty!

I also made my¬†son had a Pluto cake for his first birthday.¬† I found the pan on Amazon online and it was perfect because it was small, so it was his own personal cake.¬†¬†It’s¬†more of the older version of Pluto than the newer one, and I think it turned out really cute!
 
 
I also made other dog-related “treats” (no pun intended)¬†to go along with it, and hearts too,¬†because my son’s birthday happens to be on Valentine’s Day ūüôā

Here are the other sweets I made to accompany the Pluto cake... vegan rice krispy treats, chocolate heart cupcakes and sugar cookie hearts & bones, plus vegan truffles & chocolate covered banana chips (thank you EarthFare for the last 2)!!

As you can probably tell, I love baking sweets & character cakes are my more recent challenge… and they¬†can all easily be made vegan!¬† Don’t let anyone make you think otherwise!¬† I highly recommend that cupcake cookbook I¬†mentioned above.¬† I use the basic¬†vanilla & chocolate cupcake recipes¬†a lot¬†& there are tons of awesome frosting recipes in there too!¬† It is a vegan must-have!