Archive | December, 2011

Vegan meringue cookies

14 Dec

I’ve been itching to make meringue cookies since I saw the recipe in Hannah Kaminsky’s new book Vegan Desserts. It’s funny, I know egg whites are just protein, but for some reason the concept of meringue always grossed me out and ruined my ability to enjoy the cookie. I think part of it had to do with the smell of raw egg whites as they’re beating up…I’ve always had a strange aversion to eggs so I was super excited to find a vegan equivalent!

The vegan version relies on whipped Ener-G egg replacer, so it’s actually a very easy recipe! You really do need a stand mixer though so that you can whip at high speed.

meringue

I made the vanilla flavored cookies, which tasted a lot like crispy marshmallows. In truth I don’t really remember what meringue cookies taste like, I just remember the texture, which these mimic perfectly. I can taste a little of the egg replacer so I think some stronger flavors would be really good, like maybe matcha or lemon, or strawberry. The book recommends adding some cocoa powder to make chocolate cookies, which sounds amazeballs to me. Maybe putting some jelly on the top of the vanilla ones would be good too.

I copied an idea from this month’s Sunset magazine and made chocolate candy cane cookies. It was super easy, just (carefully!) dip the cookies in some melted chocolate and sprinkle them with crushed candy canes. They are so yummy!

cookies

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Layered no-bake chocolate pumpkin cheesecake

4 Dec

I went to a vegan Thanksgiving potluck and for dessert I wanted to bring a no-bake pumpkin cheesecake. Well, there are vegan no-bake cheesecakes and there are omni pumpkin cheesecake recipes, but nothing I found really sounded very good! Inspired by Sunset Magazine’s November issue, I decided to adapt their recipe for a no-bake icebox cake for my purposes. It came out really well, even if an actual slice never made it into my mouth (more on that later…)!

I made a few modifications, so check the recipe below!

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Recipe:
24 oz cream cheese (3 packages)*
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree
2 tbsp cream**
1/8 tsp salt
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp agar flakes in 1/2 cup water
chocolate graham crackers (store-bought or homemade)
unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
paper cutouts of leaves

With a mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugars until smooth. Then beat in pumpkin, creamer, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla.

Combine the agar and water in a large measuring cup and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir with a whisk and microwave 30 seconds more. Whisk again and let cool 1 min. Quickly add to the cream cheese mix while whisking rapidly until thoroughly combined. Let mix sit until cooled and set.

Cover the bottom of a 9″X9″ pan with graham crackers. Spread 1/4 of pumpkin mixture over crackers. Layer three more times, ending with pumpkin mixture.

Cover and chill overnight. Set leaf cutouts on top and dust with cocoa powder, then remove. Cut into squares and serve!

*Cream cheese: I made 2 cups of cashew cream cheese and added one package of Tofutti brand cream cheese. You could use all cashew cheese (will taste less like cheesecake) or all Tofutti. I’m trying to get away from relying on so much processed stuff, so I compromised by using mostly cashew cheese for richness and healthfulness while the little bit of Tofutti added the right amount of cream cheese flavor.

**Creamer: I used 2 tbsp soy milk powder, mixed with just enough warm water to dissolve. You could also use soy creamer or coconut cream.

A note about agar: 2 tbsp of flakes will get you a thick pudding-like consistency. If you want it to be more jelled, I would add 4 tbsp. And make sure to rapidly whip/stir when adding the agar or little bits will clump up and give you something like tapioca pudding!

It came out beautifully, but unfortunately I dropped the whole thing on my way into the potluck and it smashed into a million billion pieces. I was SO SAD!!! My boyfriend is determined to have me make another one because he really wanted to try it, so stay tuned! Hopefully I’ll get a few shots of the next one before I klutz it up again 😉 Here’s the…erm….after shot:

cheesecakefail