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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Vegan BBQ Meatballs

When I made and tried my macaroni salad for the first time, I thought man bbq meatballs would go really great with this salad. I was so right too. I ate so many bbq meatballs I can't stand the thought of them now. ha ha You know how that goes!! Eat so much of something you get sick of it.

Not only are these super easy to make, they are great for serving at party's too.

Anyway, as always, these are super easy to make but you just need to be patient while they are cooking for an eternity. Just kidding but the longer they are in the slow cooker the better. I cooked mine for about six hours.

Let's get started. Here is what you will need. 
2 - 12 ounce bags of meatless meatballs
1 cup of chili sauce or bbq sauce
1/2 cup of grape jelly

Combine the chili sauce and grape jelly. Give it a taste and make sure it's to your liking. I like it somewhere in between not so sweet and not so tangy. It just depends on what you like.

Stir in the meatless meatballs. Toss into a slow cooker on low and leave it be. After a few hours, give it a taste again see how you like the sauce. You can adjust now by adding more or less of chili sauce or grape jelly. 

Please enjoy!!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Vegan Mint Milano's

This has to be the best cookie creation I have had in a long time. Well, with the help of my friend Rachelle. It was really her idea. When I took the lemon sandwich cookies to work for my friends to enjoy, she tried one and thought "Mint Milano". I thought about it for a second and said I really think I can make it happen. So I tried them and they turned out great. I really can't believe how well they came out. I really can't.

This recipe will be new on my list of holiday cookies to make. They are that good. 

Let's get right to the recipe. Here is what you will need. 
Oh yea, in order to use all of the minty chocolate ganache, you will need double of what I used in the video. So, I am giving ingredient amounts for double of what I used.

1 cup or 2 sticks softened vegan butter
1 cup confectioner's sugar
2 vegan egg yolks (I used #BobsRedMill vegan egg replacer)
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
4 tsp vanilla extract
optional extra confectioner's sugar for sprinkling on cookies when they are hot out of the oven. 
10 ounce bag of vegan chocolate chips
1/4 cup plant milk
2 tsp peppermint extract

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees or 190 celcius. 

In a large bowl, beat the butter, vegan egg yolk and confectioner's sugar until nice and fluffy. 

Beat in the vanilla. 

Gradually beat in the flour. Add a little at a time mixing thoroughly but be sure not to over mix.

Using a cookie scoop that measures a tablespoon, scoop some dough, roll into an oblong shape, split in half, roll into a ball and place on cookie or baking tray.

Cut a small piece of parchment (3x2 inches) and using a flat bottom glass, lay the parchment over the cookie and gently press the dough to about an 1/8 of an inch. This makes the cookies look smooth when baked looking really professional. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes just until the edges start to lightly brown. 

When they are finished baking, remove from the oven immediately and transfer to some wax paper. Sprinkle lightly with confectioner's sugar and let cool. The hot cookie will absorb the sugar.

In a double broiler, melt 10 ounces of vegan chocolate chips. I used Meijer brand #TrueGoodness semi sweet organic chocolate chips. Remove from the heat and add the peppermint extract and plant milk. Stir to combine thoroughly. 

Spread some of the minty ganache on the bottom of a cooled cookie and sandwich with another cookie. Taste and enjoy!!!! 

Makes about 4 dozen sandwich cookies.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Vegan Pecan Sandies

I have been making these cookies for about 20 years and they never fail to deliver in delectability. New word there. ha ha Anyway, when I turned these cookies vegan, you could never tell. They are melt in your mouth delicious and my coworkers loved them.

This is another cookie I only make once a year. I think I make these more for myself than anyone else.

The only thing I had to change was the butter. Honestly, I think they are better than ever. 

Let's get to the recipe. Here is what you will need. This recipe makes about 4 dozen and can easily be doubled for more cookie goodness. 
1 cup softened vegan butter
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp water
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. About 150 degrees celcius.

In a large bowl. Beat the butter for a minute or two. Then add the confectioner's sugar and beat until well combined. 

Beat in the vanilla and water and then mix in the flour a little at a time. 

Once everything is combined, pour in the pecans and stir or mix by hand. 

Place dough a tablespoonful at a time onto a parchment lined cookie tray. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to some wax paper and sprinkle some confectioner's sugar on them while they are still hot. That's it. Please enjoy. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Vegan Chili Dip

If you like chili and cheese, you will love this dip. This is a dip that is served hot from the oven with tortilla chips or if you like, vegan dorito's. I would make a big batch of this because it always goes fast. 

#ChilliMan seasoning mix is my favorite chili mix but you can use whatever vegan chili you like. You can also use lentils instead of #TVP or Gardein crumbles. 

The amount of cream cheese and cheddar jack you need will depend on the size of the baking dish you use. 

I always say this recipe is easy but this has to really be one of the easiest. 

Let's get to it. Here is what you will need. 
1 cup of boiled water
1 packet of Chilli Man seasoning mix
1 cup of TVP
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 15 ox can kidney beans
vegan cream cheese
vegan cheddar jack 
tortilla chips for serving

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees or 170 celcius.

Let's make the chili first. As soon as your water comes to a boil, remove it from the heat. Add the Chili Man seasoning mix to the water and stir to combine. Add the TVP and stir again. Let the TVP absorb the water. 

Add the tomato sauce and beans. Give it a stir and that's it for the chili. 

Spread an even layer of vegan cream cheese in the bottom of your baking dish. Should be like 1/4 inch thick.

Add a layer of chili and top with the vegan cheddar jack. 

Bake until the cheddar has melted and is heated through. Should be no more than 30 minutes but that really depends on the size of the dish. 

Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!!!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Vegan Thin Mint Cookies

I never thought in a gazillion years I could have a thin min cookie again. Man was I wrong. I found this recipe by The Pretty Bee that is actually pretty good. I changed just a few things slightly for my liking but I really can't believe how well these came out. And another recipe was inspired by this but I can't tell you about that one yet. 

These are really quite easy to make too. Please do not get overwhelmed by the rolling out of the dough. I would definitely use flour when you roll out the dough instead of cacao. To much cacao makes them bitter and the flour just works better. 

The Pretty Bee's recipe is gluten free but I used regular flour. I also rolled them out to 1/8" thick and baked them for at least 10 minutes. You want them to get crispy and crunchy. I would also use 1/2 cup plus 1/8 cup sugar to ensure there is no bitterness from the cacao.

Here is what I used.
The cookie:
1 vegan buttery stick softened or 1/2 cup
1/2 cup plus 1/8 cup organic cane sugar
1/8 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cacao powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp peppermint extract - Be sure to use peppermint extract and not mint. Mint extract is more like a spearmint gum flavor.

The coating:
1 10 ounce bag of vegan chocolate chips
1/2 tsp peppermint extract

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar on medium speed of an electric hand mixer. Add the extracts and applesauce and mix well. 

Add the salt and cacao and mix well again. Add the flour a little at a time and mix well each time.

Divide the dough into two even parts. Wrap in some cling wrap and shape into a disc. Refrigerate for at least half an hour. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees or 175 Celsius.

Take out one piece of dough from the fridge. Gently sprinkle some flour on a rolling area and on the top of the dough. Roll the dough out to 1/8" thick. I used a cookie cutter that was about 2" wide and cut out several cookies. 

Place the cut out cookies on to a parchment lined tray and bake about about 10 minutes. If you use a different size cookie cutter, the times might vary. 

Let the cookies cool for about five or ten minutes on the tray then remove to some wax or parchment paper to let cool completely.

When you have completed the first piece of dough, continue with the second piece. 

Once the cookies have completely cooled, it's time to coat them in chocolate. 

Melt your chocolate in a microwave or a double broiler which is what I used by putting about an inch of water into a sauce pan and bring the water to a simmer. Set a large glass bowl over the pan and add the chocolate chips. This will only take a few minutes to melt the chocolate. Add the peppermint extract and stir to make sure it's all smooth. 

Leave the bowl of melted chocolate over the water. This will ensure it stays melted while you are coating the cookies. Once you have coated a cookie, place it on the wax paper to set. This will take a while. Once you can remove a cookie cleanly from the wax paper, you can put them in the fridge to completely set. 

Here is The Pretty Bee's original recipe:

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Vegan Lemon Sandwich Cookies

Here is another old recipe of mine that was easy to veganize. Incredibly easy and another one of my favorites. 

This recipe originated from almond crescent cookies many years ago. You know that one that is coated in confectioner's sugar and shaped like a crescent moon. While making the crescent cookies one year, I thought to myself, I wonder if this would work with lemon extract. I tried it and was pleasantly surprised. I then thought it needed more lemon and wondered what I could do to make it even better. And the lemon sandwich cookie was born. 

This recipe is really easy but the hardest part is the baking time. They do not take long and if they are over baked, they really are not as good. These cookies are meant to be soft and melt in your mouth. Over baking causes them to be more crispy. 

OK, let's get to the recipe. Here is what you will need. 

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. 190 Celsius. 
1 cup of butter softened at room temperature
1 cup confectioner's sugar
2 vegan egg yolks (I used Bob's Red Mill Egg Replacer)
4 tsp lemon extract (You can add two tsp if you do not want it so lemony)
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
extra confectioner's for sprinkling on cookies after they have been removed from the oven. 

In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar, lemon extract and egg replacer yolks until nice and creamy. 

Gradually beat in flour. Dough might look crumbly but just keep beating it until it comes together.

If you have a cookie scoop, scoop the dough making sure it's level. Release the dough, roll into a oblong shape and cut in half. Roll into a ball and place on a parchment lined cookie or baking tray. Place only 12 dough balls evenly spaced. Gently press into a disc shape. Not too much. Should be a little less then a 1/4 high.  

If you do not have a cookie scoop, measure about a tablespoon full, roll into and oblong shape, cut in half and roll into a ball. Place on the cookie sheet and gently press. 

Bake 8 - 10 minutes. My oven took 10 minutes and the cookies were perfect. Do not let them brown. 

Immediately remove from the cookie sheet and place onto a wax or parchment paper and sprinkle with confectioner's sugar. The hot cookies will absorb the sugar. I usually sprinkle until the cookie stops absorbing the sugar. 

Let cool. 

So, in the video I made a double batch of buttercream. You really only need half of that. Below is the recipe for a half batch.

Buttercream filling
1 vegan buttery stick or 1/2 cup softened
1 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
2 tsp lemon extract

In a large bowl, beat the buttery stick for about five minutes. It will become lighter in color and double in size. Mix in the lemon extract and gradually add the confectioners sugar. If the buttercream does not seem thick enough, you can add a little more sugar. 

Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag with a star tip and pipe half of the cookies with the buttercream. Make sure you get buttercream on all of the cookies then top with another cookie. Enjoy!!!