Thursday, August 30, 2012

Orange Chocolate Chip Scones

Maybe it's just the cool weather in the mornings and the rapid approach of fall, but I have been craving warm baked breads for breakfast. These are orange chocolate chip scones. I'm not sharing my exact recipe, because I sell them in the bakeshop, I can give you a few pointers on making your own scones. I really like the recipes from Art of Dessert and Savvy Brown. I definitely suggest using canned coconut milk when making your scones. This is one time when you really want the higher fat content. I also think it's a great idea to grate your Earth Balance and then let it sit in the freezer for a few minutes before you cut it into the flour. This will help keep you from overmixing the dough. You don't want to eat tough, rubbery scones!
I can't wait to start rolling out more fall flavors in the bakeshop. Pumpkin, cranberry, apple! I feel like I always get really excited by the changing of the seasons. I love phasing in new fruits and vegetables every few months. It's always a nice change. Do you have any favorite fall baked goods or flavors?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Blueberry Cake Donuts

Last month I realized that it's a lot easier for me to deal with things in my life when I am baking. If I miss someone or want to thank someone, my gut reaction is to handle the situation through flour. I couldn't think of a more 'me' way to say goodbye to two of my favorite people except through a box of treats & a note left on our kitchen counter.
I have made this baked blueberry donut recipe from Nikki of the Tolerant Vegan a few times now. I find them to be one of my stand-by donut recipes. I have mentioned before that I prefer my donuts baked; I feel like it allows the flavors to really shine through. You don't wanna lose all that berry goodness in the taste of oil. And since they are really low in fat & contain fresh fruit, it's not terrible if you eat a few for breakfast right?! That's my kind of compromise.

leaves and flours vegan baked blueberry cake donut
leaves and flours vegan baked blueberry cake donut

If you aren't into blueberries or are just looking for a standard donut batter, this recipe will definitely work. I tossed a handful of mini donuts in a cinnamon-powdered sugar mixture. It was really great, and a nice cross between a cinnamon sugar donut and a powdered donut. You don't want to toss them too soon before they are going to be eaten, because any humidity or moisture the donuts come in contact with will dissolve the sugar.

leaves and flours vegan baked blueberry cake donut

I have a really long list of things to bake, but it's hard to get through it when I keep re-making so many recipes I have found. That's not a complaint. It's just a fact. What are your favorite recipes at the moment? Is there a cookbook you are currently swooning over? I have one that I will be sharing with you all soon!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

S'mores Stuffed Cookies

I remember seeing a picture of a s'more stuffed chocolate chip cookie for the first time. My first thought was that's TOO much. But the longer I thought about it, the more that I realized that it's perfect. If I can put vegan nutella or chick-o-sticks in a cookie, than a s'more really isn't that different. People put oreos in cookies all the time, right?! And I know that I have made s'mores cookies before, but these are so different. A girl can't ever have too many marshmallows.

leaves and flours vegan s'mores stuffed chocolate chip cookies

S'mores Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies
makes approximately 8 large cookies

1 cup Earth Balance
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tbl Ener-G (beat with 1/4 cup water)
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/4 cups unsifted flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
heaping one cup chocolate chips
2 whole graham crackers (Nabisco brand are honey free)
4-6 vegan marshmallows (I used Sweet & Sara, which are slightly larger than Dandies)
1/2 bar dark chocolate

Make your cookie dough first. Break each of your graham crackers into quarters. Cut your marshmallows in halves or leave whole, depending on the amount of gooeyness you want in your cookie. I made mini s'mores similar to the pictures here. Now it's time to wrap those s'mores in cookie dough! I found it easiest to use a large scoop to portion out sixteen pieces of dough on a sheet of parchment. I flattened all of those with my palm, set the mini s'more on top, and set another piece of flattened cookie dough on top. pinch all the edges together, and bake for 12-18 minutes at 350. The baking can be pretty variable depending on how thick your s'mores are.
Be sure to give these cookies plenty of room! They spread like nobody's business. I baked 4 per cookie sheet. I tried to make my cookies a little smaller than the 6-8" ones I had previously seen, but they were still at least 4-6".
Make sure you have plenty of almond milk handy to wash them down.

leaves and flours vegan s'mores stuffed chocolate chip cookies

I'm gonna be honest here. I didn't find these cookies to be near as revolutionary as I expected them to be. I thought they were gonna alter my perspective on baked goods, and I was just a little underwhelmed. If I were going to do this again, I would probably use a sugar cookie dough like I did with the nutella cookies. The piece of chocolate along with all the chocolate chips in the cookies was just not my thing(I know. I can't believe I am saying it either). I also think that the taste & texture of the graham cracker get a little lost in the cookie dough. The texture gets a little moist during the baking, and the brown sugar in the dough sort of covers up the graham taste. So I think that if you used a sugar cookie dough and rolled it in graham cracker crumbs before you baked it, then you would have the real deal. Maybe someone will try it & let me know how it goes?