Apricot Cupcakes (vegan)

Posted: September 16th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Cupcakes, Dairy-free, Dessert, Ice Cream, Vegan, Vegetarian | No Comments »

Apricot cupcakes

For our friends Alice & Tom‘s Babywarming/Birthday party, I wanted to make something a little different, a little brunchier than my typical uber-rich chocolate cupcakes. Since I have a pantry full of apricot jam I decided to make apricot cupcakes.

I used the “Golden Vanilla Cupcakes” recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World which, by the way, you should own if you don’t already. No cookbook on my shelf is more dog-eared than this one. The recipes are truly delicious and even the most hardened butter lovers will have to admit that these are damn fine cupcakes, rivaling animal product filled-pastries any day. Why vegan, Heather? After all, you eat bacon like it’s going out of style! Well, my husband is lactose intolerant and the percentage of my friends that are vegan is high enough that there’s always a couple of people whose faces will light up when you tell them your cupcakes are vegan. Plus, as I already mentioned, these are fantastic cupcakes in their own right. Frankly, I’ve tried making non-vegan cupcakes and they’re just not as good, not as moist and flavorful. And just look at them!

Apricot cupcakes

As I said, I used the “Golden Vanilla” cupcake recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World. I added an extra 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract because almond and apricot are two flavors that go together fabulously. Once the baked cupcakes were cool, I poked a hole in the center of each one and used a chopstick to shove some apricot jam in there. Yum. I made frosting according to the “Raspberry Buttercream” recipe in the same book, substituting about 4 tablespoons of apricot jam for the raspberry syrup. I threw in another 1/4 teaspoon of that almond extract in to boot. The result? Wonderfully moist, apricoty, almondy cupcakes. Happy Sunday!

Apricot cupcakes

Audrey’s Vegan Biscotti

Posted: April 23rd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Cookies, Dairy-free, Dessert, Vegan | No Comments »

Vegan Apricot Biscotti

Many years ago, I lived in a house with several friends, many of whom were vegan. One day my housemate Audrey whipped up the most fabulous vegan cranberry biscotti. I just had to have the recipe! She happily shared it with me, but then I sat on it for four years. Good job, Mooflyfoof! Well, today I’m headed to the 10th birthday party of my friend Josie’s dog Milo, so I decided it might be time to finally give this recipe a shot. It did not disappoint. I didn’t have any cranberries so I substituted chopped dried apricots, which worked out quite well. The original recipe also calls for Cointreau, but I didn’t have any so I substituted Disaranno – an almond liqueur.

Vegan Biscotti

From Audrey Penven

1/2 cup non-hydrogenated margarine (such as Earth Balance), softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons Cointreau, Disaranno, or other appropriately flavored liqueur
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup dried fruit such as cranberries or chopped dried apricots
2/3 cup whole almonds (sliced work too, in a pinch)


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Cream margarine and sugar.
  3. Beat in water, liqueur, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Add flour, dried fruit, and nuts; mix well.
  5. On a non-stick cookie sheet, shape dough into a loaf 3/4 inch high and 3 inches wide.
  6. Bake in a 325°F oven for 35 minutes.
  7. Let cool on a rack for 5-10 minutes, then slice into 1/2 inch slices. Put slices back on the cookie sheet, on their sides, and bake another 10-20 minutes until sides are turning golden. Let cool completely, then store in an airtight container.

Vegan Apricot Biscotti

Apple Pan Dowdy

Posted: April 20th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Dairy-free, Dessert, Vegan | Tags: | No Comments »

Another recipe from my childhood vaults — one of my favorites. For the baking-phobic out there, this is a good recipe for you. No precise quantities here! And you really can’t get much more bang for your buck with a dessert recipe. This recipe is so easy and has so few ingredients, but is impressively delicious. People will think you’ve slaved over a hot stove all day. It’s also a good way to get rid of apples that have gone mealy and are on their way out. I threw together this pan dowdy with only two apples, and guessed at the rest of the ingredients. Oh, and did I mention it’s easily vegan/dairy-free?

In case you’re wondering about the name, I like this explanation. It’s true, looks can be deceiving…

Apple Pan Dowdy
My kingdom for a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Apple Pan Dowdy


For the filling:
6-8 large apples
Lemon juice, maybe 1/4-1/3 cup
cinnamon, about 1/2 teaspoon
cloves, about 1/4 teaspoon
nutmeg, about 1/4 teaspoon
ginger, about 1/2 teaspoon

For the topping:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 cube) butter or non-hydrogenated margarine (Earth Balance does the trick), room temperature


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Peel, core, and slice the apples into thin wedges. Add lemon juice and spices, toss until apples are evenly covered. The amount of lemon juice and spices used is eyeballed. Add enough lemon juice to wet the apple slices, but not so much that there’s soup at the bottom of the bowl. The spices should cover all the apple slices in a very thin layer (I like mine spicy).
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the whole wheat flour, brown sugar, and butter or margarine until the chunks of butter are gone. I use a pastry cutter for this job, but a hand mixer would be fine too.
  4. In a large glass baking pan (I think mine’s 10″x14″ — told you nothing was exact here!), put all the apple slices in an even layer. Crumble the topping over the apples. Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Topping should be crispy and apples should be oozing and very soft.
  5. Serve with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream. Prepare for sugar rush.

(Bacon) Bourbon Truffles

Posted: February 24th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Dairy-free, Dessert, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Photo by Edrabbit

I know, I know, it’s a little late, but these rich treats are a perfect Valentine’s day gift. Bookmark this for next year! I made these for my sweetie this year. I made half of them with bacon and half of them without. Both versions are delicious, it just depends on how much you love bacon. They’re dairy free, and if you leave out the bacon they’re vegan!

(Bacon) Bourbon Truffles

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma


For the filling:
1/4 cup soy milk (or heavy cream)
4 tablespoons dairy-free margarine, like Earth Balance (butter works too, if you aren’t vegan) (Note: replacing part of this with bacon grease would be good if you really like bacon!)
12 oz semisweet chocolate (I like Guittard chocolate chips, which are vegan)
1/4 cup bourbon (I used Bulleit)
4 pieces of bacon
Cocoa powder, for rolling

For the coating:
12 oz. semisweet chocolate (again, Guittard chocolate chips are great)


  1. Cut bacon into bits and cook it in a frying pan. Allow to drain on paper towels.
  2. In a heavy saucepan, combine the soy milk and margarine over medium-low heat. Stir until the margarine melts and the soy milk simmers. Remove from heat and add 12 oz. chocolate and stir until melted and smooth. A whisk is helpful here. Pour in the bourbon and bacon bits and mix thoroughly. Pour into a bowl. Cover and freeze until just firm enough to mound in a spoon, about 40 minutes.
  3. Line the bottom of a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Scoop out the filling by tablespoonfuls, spacing them evenly. Roll them into rough balls. This will be messy, and they don’t have to be perfect-looking. Cover and return to the freezer for 30 minutes.
  4. Pour cocoa powder onto a plate. Roll chocolate balls in cocoa powder to coat evenly. Re-roll balls to even them out — the cocoa powder will help them not melt and stick to your hands. They should look more like actual spheres now.
  5. Return truffles to the foil-lined baking sheet, cover, and put in the freezer while you prepare the coating.
  6. To make the coating, melt 12 oz. of chocolate in a double boiler until it’s smooth. Remove from heat.
  7. Re-roll truffles between your palms to remove any loose cocoa. Gently drop one truffle ball into the melted chocolate coating, tilting the pan if necessary to coat the ball completely. Slip a fork under the truffle, lift it from the chocolate, and tap the fork gently against the side of the pan to allow any excess chocolate to drip off. Using a knife, gently slide the truffle off the fork onto the foil-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining truffles.
  8. Refrigerate, uncovered, until firm, about 1 hour. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Peanut Butter Cookies

Posted: February 1st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Cookies, Dairy-free, Dessert, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tags: | No Comments »

Peanut Butter Cookies

When I was a kid, I loved my mom’s old Betty Crocker Cooky Book. I think it was all the colorful cookies that enthralled me. Oddly, I only ever made one recipe from it regularly: Peanut Butter Cookies. They’re fantastic cookies so I never got bored of it. A few years ago for my birthday, my parents gave me a reprinted version of this book, which was originally published in 1963. It was then that I renewed my love of this peanut butter cookies recipe. Tonight I made a vegan version for a bunch of friends and everyone raved about how good they were. Thanks Betty!

Betty Crocker’s Peanut Butter Cookies

This recipe is doubled from the original, and produces about 3 dozen cookies.


1 cup peanut butter (best if you use good, natural, unsalted, crunchy peanut butter)
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F
  2. Mix butter, peanut butter, sugars, egg.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix all dry ingedients.
  4. Mix dry ingredients with wet ingredients until well blended.
  5. Roll dough into 1 1/4″ balls and put them on a cookie sheet. Mash with a fork in a criss-cross pattern. Bake in a 375°F oven for 10 minutes. Cookies should be very slightly browned around the edges but still gooey and shiny looking in the center. Allow them to cool for about 5 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a cooling rack.

To make these vegan, I substituted Earth Balance margarine for the butter, and Ener-G egg replacer for the egg. Two eggs worth of replacer is 1 tablespoon of egg replacer powder + 1/4 cup warm water, whisked together. I found that there wasn’t enough moisture though, so I added some soymilk, a bit at a time, until the dough came together with the right consistency. It should stick together and not be crumbly, but it shouldn’t be too mushy. I also added a little canola oil because some of the peanut butter I’d used was extremely dry.

Rum Balls

Posted: December 14th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Cookies, Dairy-free, Dessert, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , | 8 Comments »

Rum balls - the final product

This is another Lynch family classic recipe. I’ve been making these with my mom for as long as I can remember. Be warned: since these aren’t baked, they remain slightly alcoholic. However, the amount of alcohol in a single rum ball is pretty minor so you don’t need to worry about getting drunk unless you eat a whole batch (in which case you probably have other problems to worry about, like a stomachache!). I don’t know where the recipe originates, but I think it’s one of those 1960’s recipes that was passed around between housewives. I have at least one other friend who grew up making these.

The funny thing is, these decadent confections can easily be made vegan, with a little attention to ingredient lists. Make sure that your chocolate chips have no dairy (Guittard is my favorite) and look for generic brand Nilla wafers that don’t contain any eggs or dairy. The brand I use, Valu Time (!) is actually far “better” for you than name-brand Nilla Wafers. The name brand version contains all kinds of hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup, whereas Valu Time is mostly real sugar and non-hydrogenated oils. And they leave out the dairy products too (name brand Nillas have whey in them).

You can make these with bourbon instead of rum if you wish. I’ve never done it (the family tradition is to use rum) but I bet it’s delicious!

Rum Balls


6 oz. semisweet chocolate chips (vegan)
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup rum or bourbon
2 1/2 cups crushed Nilla wafers (approx. 1 12-oz. box) (real Nillas are not vegan, but sometimes the generic brands are)
1/2 cup powdered sugar, plus more for rolling
1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)

Ingredients for rum balls


  1. Crush Nilla wafers in a food processor, blender, or by putting them in a bag and rolling them with a rolling pin. Chop nuts, if they’re not pre-cut.
  2. Mix nuts, powdered sugar, and crushed Nilla wafers in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Melt chocolate chips and corn syrup in a double boiler.
  4. Pour melted chocolate mixture over the Nilla wafer mixture. Add rum and mix well.
  5. Let stand 1/2 hour at room temp for 30 minutes. Do not skip this step! It gives the rum time to soak into the Nilla wafer crumbs.
  6. Roll dough into balls and coat with powdered sugar. Store in an airtight container.

Rum balls marinating

Cranberry Shortbread Sandwich Cookies

Posted: December 13th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Cookies, Dessert, Vegetarian | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Cranberry shortbread cookies

What does one do with a bunch of leftover cranberry sauce? Make cookies, of course. The cranberry sauce is sweet enough that it can be enjoyed in both sweet and savory contexts. It was the inspiration for these tender little sandwiches.

Cranberry Shortbread Sandwich Cookies

Adapted from Sunset Magazine, December 2009


2 cups flour
1 cup cold butter, cubed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
leftover cranberry sauce (you shouldn’t need too much)


  1. Using an electric mixer (preferably a stand mixer), mix flour, butter, sugar, and salt on low speed until just blended. Increase speed to medium and mix until dough is no longer crumbly and just comes together. It might take a while; don’t lose patience.
  2. Form dough into a disk and chill 30 minutes.
  3. On a lightly floured work surface, roll dough 1/8″ thick. Cut out cookies into whatever shape you desire. I used a knife to cut mine into squares, but you can use cookie cutters too. Re-roll dough if necessary. Cut small “windows” out of half of the cookies: they will be the top of the sandwich.
  4. Preheat oven to 325°F. Put cookies into refrigerator to chill for 15 minutes while the oven is preheating. Bake until light golden brown, 12-15 minutes. Let cool.
  5. Spread each bottom half with about 1/2 teaspoon cranberry sauce, then put the top half on top and press very gently (cookies will be delicate, so be careful not to break them).
  6. Store in a covered container. You can eat the cookies right after you make them, but they’re actually better the next day when the sauce has soaked in a little.

Dairy-free Cherry Ice Cream (vegan, if you eat honey)

Posted: November 22nd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Dairy-free, Dessert, Ice Cream, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tags: | No Comments »

Coconut milk cherry ice cream

At the request of my lovely lactarded fiance, I made some cherry ice cream with coconut milk. Added bonus: it cleared some of those damn cherries out of our freezer!

Dairy-free Cherry Ice Cream

Adapted from 101cookbooks.com


1 14 oz. can of full-fat coconut milk
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup pitted, chopped cherries (I used ones I picked during the summer and froze)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon Amaretto or cherry liqueur


  1. In a bowl, mash the chopped cherries so some of their juice comes out. Add juice + everything but the amaretto to a saucepan and heat until honey is melted. Don’t let it boil fully — just heat it.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in Amaretto. Cover and put in the fridge to chill until it’s cool. Be patient — if you try to freeze the mix while it’s still warm, your ice cream won’t have a good texture.
  3. Freeze per your ice cream maker’s instructions. Put in containers and let freeze fully in the freezer for another 12 hours or so.

Veganifying “Mrs. Fields” Chocolate Chip Cookies

Posted: November 22nd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Cookies, Dairy-free, Dessert, Vegan | No Comments »

Chocolate chip cookies, fresh out of the oven.

Remember this? It’s my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe in the world. My only problem with it is that it’s not vegan, nor is it dairy free. This means that neither my fiance nor many of my friends can eat them. Needless to say, that’s not a good situation for my waistline. So I figured out how to veganify them. They’re just as delicious without animal products — though be warned, they don’t stay good for nearly as long. If your house is anything like mine, though, that won’t really matter.

Vegan “Mrs. Fields” Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: About 50 cookies


1 cup Earth Balance margarine
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon Ener-g egg replacer plus 1/4 cup warm water, mixed well
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups flour
2 1/2 cups oatmeal
1 12-oz. package vegan chocolate chips
1/4 cup soy milk (approximately)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. Cream the margarine, sugars, and vanilla with a mixer until fluffy.
  3. Add replacer + water. Mix well.
  4. Add salt, baking powder, baking soda, flour. Mix well.
  5. Put the 2 1/2 cups oatmeal into the blender and whiz it till it’s ground like flour. Add to the dough and mix well. It should be pretty thick at this point.
  6. The dough will probably be pretty dry and crumbly at this point. Add some soy milk and mix it in until it’s the consistency of thick cookie batter — about 1/4 cup.
  7. Add chocolate chips and mix with a wooden spoon until thoroughly incorporated. It should look about like this:

    Nothing quite like cookie dough.

  8. Roll into balls and place on a cookie sheet.
  9. Bake one sheet at a time for about 9 minutes, or until the peaks of the cookies are just getting golden brown but the rest of the cookie is still light and looks uncooked (it should still be shiny).
  10. Remove from oven and let cool on the cookie pan for 5 minutes. Transfer to wire cooling rack. (Cookies will fall apart if you try to transfer them sooner.)
  11. Devour.

Vegan Pumpkin Ginger Ice Cream

Posted: November 7th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Dairy-free, Dessert, Ice Cream, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Pumpkin Ginger Ice Cream (vegan!)

I think this ice cream speaks for itself. It’s vegan–made with coconut milk–and has chunks of candied ginger and ginger cookie dough. It’s ridiculously creamy, spicy, and delightful. I got the idea for the ginger cookie dough from my friend Josie, who, upon tasting this particular dough, declared that it would be fantastic in ice cream. She was absolutely correct.

Vegan Pumpkin Ginger Ice Cream

Adapted from Pumpkin Ice Cream, by Williams-Sonoma and Ginger Sparkle Cookies from Vegan With A Vengance.

Yield: About 1 quart.


For the ice cream:
1 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 14 oz. can of full-fat coconut milk
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ tsp. salt
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch ground cloves
1 tablespoon bourbon (I like Maker’s Mark)
¼ cup chopped candied ginger

For the cookie dough:
½ cup flour
¼ teaspoon salt
generous ½ teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon soymilk
¼ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla


For the ice cream:

  1. Whisk together all ice cream ingredients except bourbon and candied ginger. Cover and refrigerate as long as you can stand, up to 24 hours. The longer the better. Admittedly I was impatient and only let it cool for about a half hour. It was still good.
  2. This is a good time to make and roll the cookie dough (see below).
  3. Freeze the ice cream according to your ice cream maker’s directions. In the last five minutes of freezing, add the bourbon and candied ginger. When it’s done freezing, gently fold in the cookie dough balls. Transfer to a container and freeze in the freezer for another 12 hours. You can eat it now, but it will be really soft and much tastier after it’s hardened a bit.

For the cookie dough:

  1. Sift together flour, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the canola oil, molasses, soymilk, sugar, and vanilla.
  3. Mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients.
  4. Roll into small (dime-sized) balls of dough.

*Note: This cookie dough won’t bake into proper cookies because it doesn’t have any leaveners in it.


If you prefer real dairy ice cream, just substitute 2 cups (1 pint) of heavy cream for the coconut milk. It will be divine, I promise.

If you accidentally picked up canned pumpkin pie mix instead of plain pumpkin, just reduce the sugar and spices a bit. Here’s what I did:

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
small pinch cloves
small pinch nutmeg
1/2 cup packed brown sugar

Everything else remains the same.

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