Applesauce Bars

Applesauce Bars

Applesauce Bars

When you have to make a dessert that is easily shareable, these bars are your go-to  dessert. With a simple glaze that covers the top, these homemade applesauce bars are the perfect treat! The best way to enjoy these bars are when they come out of the oven and have slightly cooled. The warm sensation with Fall flavors and cinnamon glaze is a finger-licking good recipe.

Applesauce Bars

Yield

Ingredients

1 cup organic cane sugar

1 cup applesauce

1/2 cup avocado oil

2 cups all-purpose organic flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp Himalayan fine pink salt

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1 cup raisins

1/2 cup  walnuts nuts

Glaze:

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1-2 Tbsp. hot water, use as needed

1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp. Himalayan salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a bowl, combine the sugar, apple sauce, and oil. Mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in a separate bowl and add it to the wet mixture. Stir until combined. Fold in the raisins and nuts.
  3. Grease and flour a 13×9-inch baking pan and add the cookie bar mixture.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before topping with glaze.
  5. Enjoy

 

Chef’s tip: You can swap the raisins for another type of dried fruit of your choosing.

Gingerbread Cookies

Gingerbread men Cookies

Gingerbread men Cookies

Here is my favorite gingerbread cookie recipes—and probably one of the more classic Christmas cookies you’ll find. Whenever Christmas comes around, the first thing on my mind are gingerbread cookies and houses, apple pies, and more! I’m sure we can all agree that the smell of gingerbread baking is the quintessential smell of the holiday season. What I enjoy most about this dough is that you can store it in the fridge for up to two days, giving you ample amount of time to get them baked and decorated in time for those holiday parties. There are two different options when baking, my favorite is a plump gingerbread cookie because they are more moist. Or, you can roll it thin, making a crispier cookie. No matter what you chose, you are going to love this recipe!

Gingerbread men Cookies

Yield 36

Ingredients

1 cup vegan butter, slightly softened

1/3 cup maple syrup

2/3 cup dark brown sugar

1 Tbsp. egg replacer + 2 Tbsp. filtered water, combined

1/2 tsp. baking soda

3 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp. Himalayan fine pink salt

1/2 tsp. ground cloves

4 cups all-purpose organic flour

Royal icing:

4 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup concentrated aquafaba liquid, (2 cans garbanzo beans)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; Set aside for later.
  2. In a small pot, add both cans of chickpea liquid and reduce by half. Set in refrigerator overnight.
  3. In a stand mixer, combine the butter, brown sugar, and cream together until smooth. Add the maple syrup and mix until combined. Stir in the egg replacer and then the baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt mixing until well combined.
  4. Slowly add the flour in batches while mixing on a low speed until it is all gone. Once the dough comes together, roll into a ball, divide it in half, and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for up to 1 hour.
  5. Remove dough and transfer to a lightly dusted counter and roll the dough to 1/8”-inch thickness. Cut the dough with desired cookie cutters and transfer to the prepared baking sheets.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, or until edges are lightly golden.
  7. Allow to completely cool before decorating.
  8. In a large bowl, add the concentrated aquafaba and beat on high for 7 minutes, or until stiff peaks are formed. Slowly add the powdered sugar until combined. Pour royal icing into a piping bag to decorate.
  9. Store in a cookie container to retain freshness.

 

Chef’s tip: If you are making these with small children, place a small hole in the head of the gingerbread. This makes for a great edible ornament activity.


Other recipes

Mini Cheesecake with Raw Caramel Sauce

Mini Cheesecake with Raw Caramel Sauce

Mini Cheesecake with Raw Caramel Sauce

Velvety smooth, this no-bake mini cheesecake is perfect for the holiday season! You can share them by slicing little bite size pieces or take it one step further and coat completely in melted chocolate- Yummm! What makes this cheesecake better than the others you may be wondering. The secret is in the crust, I used @simplemills pecan cookies which give this cheesecake the simple touch it needed.

Mini Cheesecake with Raw Caramel Sauce

Yield 4

Ingredients

Crust:

1/2 box Simple Mills Pecan Cookies, crushed

1/4 cup pecans

4 to 5 Medjool dates, pitted

Pinch of Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

Filling:

1-1/2 cups cashews, soaked overnight

1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp. filtered water

1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp. maple syrup

1/4 cup coconut oil

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Caramel:

8 to 9 Medjool dates, pitted

1/4 cup coconut milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Pinch of Himalayan Salt

Directions

  1. In a blender or food processor, combine the caramel ingredients and blend until smooth. Place in the fridge and set aside.
  2. Line the bottom of 4 round ramekins with cling-wrap. Set aside for later.
  3. In a food processor, add the crust ingredients and process until it starts to form a sticky-like dough. Once clumped together, transfer to your ramekins and press it down evenly. Place in the freezer to set for 30 minutes.
  4. In a blender, take your soaked cashew, water, maple syrup, coconut oil, lemon juice, and vanilla and blend until very smooth.
  5. Pour mixture on top of the almond crust and smooth down with back of a spatula. Place back into the freezer to set fully, about 5-7 hours (best results overnight).
  6. Allow mini cheesecakes to thaw at room temperature for at least 20-30 minutes before serving.
  7. Remove from ramekins and serve with caramel drizzled on top.

 

Chef’s tip: Swirl pumpkin purée into the batter once poured.


Other recipes



Pineapple Upside-Down Cake 

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake 

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake  

Sweeten up your life with this vegan Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. Super moist and full of flavor! Inspired by Dan and Méz amazing pineapple leather wristband and classic-style watch, I thought why not veganize an old favorite of mine. It’s perfect for the holidays or re creating that flip-flop and t-shirt weather  vibe.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake 

Yield 8

Ingredients

Topping:

1/2 cup Vitacost light brown sugar

1/4 cup vegan butter, softened

10 pineapple slices, fresh or canned

16-19 maraschino cherries

Cake:

1/3 cup vegetable shortening

1 cup organic cane sugar

3/4 cup oat milk

1 Tbsp. Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer + 2 Tbsp. filtered water

1-1/3 cup King Arthur organic flour

1-1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a 9×2 inch round cake pan, melt the butter in the oven. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the melted butter; arranging the pineapple slices over the brown sugar. Place cherries in the center and gaps where the pineapple slices touch.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder; set aside. In a stand mixer, beat together the sugar and shortening, about 2 minutes. Mix together the egg replaced and water and allow to sit until thickens. Add the egg replacer and oat milk, mixing until well combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the stand mixer. Once combined, beat for 2 to 3 minutes on medium-high. Pour the batter directly on top of the pineapple slices and cherries.
  4. Bake for roughly 50 to 55 minutes or until the cake edges pull away from the cake pan. Once done baking, place a heat proof plate on top of the cake pan and flip it over. Allow to sit for 1 minute to let the caramel drizzle over; remove pan.
  5. Serve warm with a side of vegan vanilla bean ice cream.

Chef’s tip: Remove the cake quickly from the pan otherwise the fruit will stick to the bottom. Have a cake board or plate ready to go.


Other recipes



Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Cookies 

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Cookies 

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Cookies 

Get ready to spice up your old favorite oatmeal cookies with this pumpkin spice oatmeal cookie recipe! Its the perfect activity to get your hands dirty with your kids or to make as a gift for your family and friends. These cookies are chewy and soft, making them the perfect Fall treat!

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Cookies 

Yields 20

Ingredients

3/4 cup Simple Truth organic sugar

1/2 cup vegan butter, softened

1 cup King Arthur organic flour

1-1/2 cups rolled old fashioned oats

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground cardamom

1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1/4 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 Tbsp. Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer + 2 Tbsp. filtered water

1/3 cup pumpkin purée

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, salt, baking soda, and ground cinnamon. Set aside.

In another large bowl or stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until white and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add pre mixed egg replacer and vanilla extract and mix until well combined.

Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Combine the oats until fully mixed.

Place the covered dough into the refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow it to firm up. Once the dough is chilled, remove it from the fridge.

Using a cookie scooper, place the dough onto a prepared baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Slightly flatten each cookie ball with your hand and leave some space in between each cookie.

Bake for 10 to 13 minutes or until the edges of the cookies or slightly golden brown. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 1 to 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. 

Chef’s tip: Add 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup cane sugar for added richness!

 

Other Pumpkin Recipes…


UNREAL Dark Chocolate Gem Cookies

UNREAL Dark Chocolate Gem Cookies

aUNREAL Dark Chocolate Gem Cookies

I give to you these UNREAL Dark Chocolate Gem Cookies that are completely vegan and totally amazing!! Taking one of my new favorite on-the-go snacks and using them as a chocolate chip replacement was the best idea ever. These cookies have the perfect sweet and salty kick that will cure any sweet tooth. Be sure to keep an eye out for my vegan chocolate peanut butter cheesecake garnished with the @unreal.snack Crispy Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup.

UNREAL Dark Chocolate Gem Cookies

Yields 24

Ingredients

1 cup vegan butter

1 cup light brown sugar

3/4 cup organic cane sugar

2 Tbsp. Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer + 4 Tbsp. filtered water

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2-1/2 cups King Arthur organic flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1 cup UNREAL Dark Chocolate Gems

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla mixing until well combined.
  3. Pour in the flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir mixture just until combined. Fold in the chocolate gems and refrigerate the dough for 10 minutes.
  4. Using a cookie scooper,  dispense the cookie dough into a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.
  5. Bake for 8 to 11 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Cool on rack for 1 to 2 minutes before placing on a cooling rack.
  6. Store in your pantry for 2 to 3 days.

 

Chef’s tip: If your cookies do not flatten completely, lightly press down using a spatula.

Plant-Based Shamrock Shakes

Plant-Based Shamrock Shakes

Plant-Based Shamrock Shakes

How fun are these Plant-Based St. Paddy’s Day Shamrock Shakes! In honor of Lactose Intolerance Awareness Month in February and it being a green holiday, I thought why not share one of my favorite beverages – milkshakes! In partnership with Vitacost, I bring you this organic and non-GMO oat milk by Pacific Foods, which is completely natural. That’s right- 100% natural and the perfect dairy-free alternative! It’s a good source of Calcium and Vitamin D, promotes heart health, and sweetened with oats. I enjoy drinking this oat milk by the glass, in baking, and my recipes!

Plant-Based Shamrock Shakes

Yields 2 servings

Ingredients 

3-1/2 cups vanilla ice cream

2/3 cup oat milk

2 Tbsp. Moringa powder

2 tsp. Spirulina powder

1 tsp. pistachio extract, optional

1/4 cup pistachios, deshelled and minced

Whipped cream, optional topping

Directions

  1. In a blender, combine the ice cream, milk, and pistachio extract. Blend until smooth. 
  2. Pour into a glass. Too with whipped cream and pistachio pieces. 
  3. Serve immediately

 

Chef’s tip: Feel free to add 1 tsp. moringa powder or matcha to boost this milkshake with some nutrition.

Cookie Dough Bites

I don’t know about you but cookie dough bites and a good movie with popcorn are my go-to choices. I’ve created with my friends at EatPastry these fun bite-sized cookie dough bites with their non-GMO, vegan, egg and dairy free cookie dough. It’s super convenient if you are looking for some quick homemade cookies at home. Using the dough to create other favorite indulgent treats is the perfect way to be creative. Feel free to give this recipe a try, they sell at Whole Foods and other locations, which you can search for on their site.

Yields 20-25 cookie dough bites

Ingredients

1 tub eatpastry cookie dough

1 cup chocolate chips of choice

1 Tbsp. coconut oil

rock salt, garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. Using a 1/4 tsp., scoop the dough into small rounds and set onto a parchment lined baking sheeted.
  1. Place into the freezer until they are semi frozen, roughly 20-25 minutes.
  1. In a bowl, add the chocolate and coconut cream. Place on a sauce pot filled a quarter of the way with water. Boil until chocolate has melted completely. Remove from heat.
  1. Dip the cookie dough bites into the chocolate and place back onto the baking sheet.
  1. Place in the refrigerator until set, about 30 minutes.
  2. Serve immediately.

Chef’s tip: These can be kept in the fridge for up to a week.

Plant-Based Chocolate Truffles (3 Ways)

Truffles Three Ways
Truffles Three Ways

Store bought truffles are good, but homemade truffles are even better. This Valentines Day, I highly suggest making one of these: Chocolate Truffle, Espresso Truffle, or a Raspberry Truffle. Your family or special someone will love you even more for showing up with these amazing and rich treats, which is why I highly recommend giving these a try. Whether you like plain chocolate, coffee or raspberry, I’ve got you covered with my simple ganache recipe for wonderful truffles (that look store bought!) Whose ready to start melting some chocolate?

Chocolate Truffles
Chocolate Truffles

Chocolate Truffle Base

Yields 8 truffles

Ingredients

1 cup chocolate (60-70% cocoa)

1/2 cup heavy coconut cream, well mixed

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup cocoa powder, to roll in

Directions

  1. In a heat proof bowl, add the chocolate. Warm the cream up on the stove for 3-5 minutes on medium-high heat.
  2. Pour cream over chocolate and whisk until combined. Pour into a parchment lined pan and place into the refrigerator for 1-2 hours or until it is scoop-able.
  3. Remove from the fridge and quickly scoop an even amount into your hand, roll into a ball, dust with cacao powder, and place in the fridge until ready to serve.

Espresso Truffle
Espresso Truffle

Espresso Truffle

Yields 8 truffles

Ingredients

1 Tbsp. espresso powder

1 Chocolate Truffle Base Recipe

1 cup finely chopped pecans

Directions

  1. Combine the espresso powder and Baileys liqueur to the ganache.
  2. Place into a parchment lined pan and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Remove when it is scoop-able and ready to form into the round shapes.
  3. Quicky scoop an even amount into your hand to shape, roll into chopped pecans, and place in the fridge until ready to serve.

Raspberry Truffle
Raspberry Truffle

Raspberry Truffle

Yields 8 truffles

Ingredients

2 tsp. raspberry syrup

2-3 Tbsp. raspberry jam, heated

1 Chocolate Truffle Base Recipe

Additional chocolate to melt

Directions

  1. Add the raspberry syrup and jam to the cooling chocolate ganache. 
  2. Place into a parchment lined pan and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Remove when it is scoop-able and ready to form into the round shapes.
  3. Quicky scoop an even amount into your hand, place a raspberry in the center (optional).
  4. Place onto a baking sheet and repeat until all finished. Place back into the fridge until ready to dip in melted chocolate.

Chef’s tip: This chocolate truffle base recipe is a great to make your own!

Easy Tiered Almond Cake

Almond Cake with Vanilla Meringue Buttercream
Almond Cake with Vanilla Meringue Buttercream

Cake: A spongy-flavorful dessert that we get to treat ourselves with during the holidays, gatherings, and of course- Birthdays! We all have our go-to cake or cupcake, and this Almond Cake with a Vanilla Meringue Buttercream is surely mine. To make the imaged cake, you will need to double this recipe and if you are looking to make two 8-inch rounds, this cake is perfect for that too! Even though I baked this cake without the use of diary and eggs, it is still moist, spongy, and does the job. What’s better than an organic cake made by yourself in the comfort of your own home? I hope that this recipe brings you, your family and friends a lot of good memories and birthday cheer!

Almond Cake

Yields 45 servings for 6 and 7-inch or 60 servings 6,7, and 8-inch cakes

Ingredients

Cake (double recipe for tiered style):

3-1/4 cups King Arthur organic flour

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1-3/4 cups organic sugar

2-1/2 cup buttermilk (2-1/4 cup plain almond milk+ 1/4 cup lemon juice, mixed)

2-1/2 Tbsp. almond extract

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

Frosting:

2-1/4 cup organic cane sugar

3/4 cup filtered water

1 cup concentrated aquafaba (chickpea liquid)- Two 8 oz. cans garbanzo beans

1 cup butter of choice, cubed

1 cup vegetable shortening, cubed

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions

Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a stand mixer, beat together the sugar and oil until light in color. Add the almond extract and buttermilk.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and powder. Add the salt and combine the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, a little bit at a time.
  4. Beat until flour is well combined and cake batter consistency is achieved.
  5. Cut out parchment rounds to fit the bottom of the cake pans. Be sure to grease the parchment also, this will help your cakes not stick.
  6. Using two 8-inch round cake pan, distribute the batter between the two as listed below. If you are using a 6 and 8-inch pan for a 3 tier cake, you will need to triple the recipe and fill the cake pans up as provided below:
    • 6-inch: 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes; 3 cups batter
      7-inch: 350 degrees F for 40-42 minutes; 4 cups batter, optional
      8-inch: 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes; 5 cups batter
  7. Bake cakes for 40-45 minutes (rotating half way through) or until a toothpick comes out clean and cake edges are slightly browned and pulls away from pan.
  8. Place onto a wire rack to cool until bottom of the pan is cool to touch.
  9. Flip the cakes out of the pan onto the rack and allow to completely cool (roughly 1-1/2 hours).
  10. Using a knife, level the cakes so they are all even. Slice cakes in half, wrap in plastic individually, and place in fridge or freezer until ready to frost or leave out if you are making it that day.

Aquafaba Concentrate:

  1. In sauce pan over medium-high heat, pour in both cans chickpea liquid AKA aquafaba (save chickpeas for my hummus recipe). Reduce liquid until 1 cup remains. Pour liquid into container and cool in refrigerator overnight (this step is very important).

Meringue Buttercream:

  1. In your Kitchen-aid standing mixer, whip the concentrated chickpea liquid for 10-15 minutes until a medium peak has formed.
  2. In the meantime, melt the sugar and water in a medium sauce pan on high-heat, 2-3 minutes. Once rolling boil starts, remove from heat and pour into the mixer with chickpea liquid. Make sure to turn the speed down when pouring. 
  3. Turn the speed back up to high and whip together for another 8 minutes until meringue -like consistency forms.
  4. Once completely cool, add the butter and shortening slowly a little bit at a time until completely mixed. If for any reason it separates, place more fat into the meringue. If it still doesn’t hold, place in the fridge for a couple minutes and re mix or heat the bowl if it appears “curdled”.
  5. Add the vanilla and give a good mix. Once frosting has thickened and is a good consistency, you are ready to frost the cake.
Almond Cake with Vanilla Meringue Buttercream

Assembling:

  1. Smear a small amount of frosting on the bottom your cake boards and place the leveled cake on it.
  2. Place one 8-inch round layer down on the plate and add 2 ice cream scoops of the meringue buttercream in a smooth layer. Place the other 8-inch layer on top and use more meringue buttercream. Coat the outside as well for a crumb coat (light layer of frosting to keep crumbs from showing up in the final frosting layer). Place into the fridge to chill while you do the same process with the 6-inch round cakes.
  3. Remove from fridge and add buttercream to the outside of the cakes for a final coat.
  4. Put three wooden dowels into the bottom layer. Put the 6-inch cake on top and put another wooden dowel in the middle, smearing frosting to cover the hole. Frost the gaps and cracks once you are finished securing the cake.
  5. Top with choice of fruit, frosting design, sprinkles, or any other toppings you’d like.

Chef’s tip: If you would like to make a three tiered cake, you will need to triple the recipe.