Sunday, December 19, 2010

Cranberry Pumpkin Granola

I started making granola back in August becuase James and I were both annoyed with cereal varieties and prices and even more annoyed with granola prices and sugar content. Why not make our own cereal? I looked into making granola and it turns out that its really easy. All you need is time and a handful of ingredients. We've gone through a couple of different recipes and we like the Cranberry Pumpkin recipe the best.

I start with all the dry ingredients first and then mix the wet in.

-6 cups of Oats
-1 cup slivered almonds
-1/2 cup Ground Flax Seed
-2/3 cup Brown Sugar
-2-3 teaspoons Cinnamon
-1 teaspoon Allspice
-1 teaspoon Nutmeg
1 teaspoon Salt

Mix well and then add the following

-1/2 cup of Pumpkin
-1/4 Grade B Maple Syrup
-1/4 Applesauce

Mix well until everything gets clumpy. Split the mixture onto two large pans and place in an oven preheated to 325 degrees. Turn the granola every 20 minutes until it turns golden brown, depending on your oven this may take 80 to 100 minutes in the oven. I always watch carefully and taste from time to time.

Once you've removed the granola and its cooled for a 15 minutes or so add the following;

-1/2 cup of Dried Cranberries
-1/2 cup of Pumpkin Seeds

You can always add more or less based on you like.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Cranberry Pistachio Cookies

This is my second cranberry pistachio posting and the saddest. Its sad because these were great cookies, but I was careless and didn't write down the recipe. If I'm able to recreate these wonderful cookies I'll re-post this with the recipe.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Cranberry Pistachio Scones

This is the first of three post that utilize the same main ingredients; pistachio and cranberries. Since August I've had an excess of pistachio meal that I originally used for cupcakes. I've always enjoyed the cranberries and pistachio's are staring to grow on me thanks to my partner.

I really love scones, they're perfect little treats that compliment a savory tofu scramble or vegan sausage. The best part is that scones are super easy to make. I usually follow Isa's basic scone recipe in Vegan Brunch and then add my own flavors. In this case cranberries, pistachio and a little rose water to bring out the flavor of the pistachio. The result was great, I brought a few into work and my co-workers agreed with my assessment except the one with the nut allergy, she doesn't count.

Pumpkin Loaf

This recipe is from the Post Punk Kitchen website, I made it last year on a whim and loved it. This year same results only I used a mini loaf pan that I got from a friend. These are perfect bite sized pumpkin loaves that I made good use of over Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Mexican Chocolate Cupcakes with Cacoa Nibs

I haven't made these cupcakes in well over a year or so and I forgot how delicious they are. There's nothing better than resurrecting an awesome recipe that kills. I specifically made these for the office Halloween Party. I wanted to add a little something on top to make it look like dirt because we had these cheesy plastic hands that you can stick into the cake. Loved the addition of the nibs, I think next time incorporating nibs into the cupcake will make it even better.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Maple Cupcakes

I've only made these once to bring into the office, I omitted the walnut because of a nut allergy and they still turned out terrific. I'd like to try them again with walnuts or pecans.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Cupcakes

Three years ago I came to the realization that everything pumpkin pre-twenty-five year old me had eaten was crap. That goes for a lot of things, but especially pumpkin. I started with waffles and slowly began a love affair with pumpkin, which is how these cupcakes were birthed. I have to give credit to Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World, this recipe is so closely related that its essentially their recipe with extra cinnamon and minus the chocolate chips.

I love pumpkin, cinnamon and fall thus these cupcakes come out every fall (and sometimes earlier). I usually top these with a quick icing consisting of;
1/4 cup vegan margarine
1/4 cup shortening
1-3 tablespoons hemp milk
1 1/2 - 2 cups powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons cinnamon (depending on how long you've had the cinnamon).

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Orange Blossom Cupcakes with Matcha Icing

These cupcakes have been months in the making, I was dorking out in a big way when I finally got to make them. When we were in Paris in early June I stumbled upon orange blossom water and got excited at the prospect of bringing back an ingredient that wasn't readily available in the States. My fondest memory from that trip was strolling through the Tuileries with James inhaling the the scent of orange blossoms. Sadly I was mistaken regarding its availability because every WholeFoods or Mediterranean Market carries it. On the bright side I'll be able to make these cupcakes whenever I want.

I started with a simple vanilla cupcake and instead of vanilla extract I used about 2 tablespoons of orange blossom water. This gives the cupcake a subtle flavor of orange blossom. The hardest part was coming up with the right frosting/icing to compliment the cake. I made two different frostings before I decided upon using a matcha icing. The flavors work really well together and as almost always the cupcakes disappeared within minutes.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Pistachio Cupcakes

These cupcakes were inspired by and made for James' 36th birthday. James has been in a pistachio fever since we got back from Paris, where pistachio pastries are everywhere. So it was no surprise that he wanted pistachio cupcakes for his birthday party. The only problem was how to incorporate pistachios into a cupcake. I was a bit late to the planning, but had I been more on top of things I could have purchased pistachio oil online and that would have done the trick more or less. I visited the one Mediterranean store I could find in Seattle with no luck, and I didn't have time to search Pike Place Market so I improvised. I took pistachios and processed into a meal and substituted part of the flour in the recipe with the pistachio meal. This sort of did the trick, however the flavor was still a little lacking. By adding rose water I was able to achieve the desired flavor and off to the oven the cakes went.

Thankfully I wasn't anticipating any issues with the frosting since I had mapped that out already. I was going to use the pistachio paste James and I picked up at Le Bon Marché (La Grande Epicerie).
Thanks to the miracle that is the world wide inter webs you too can own pistachio paste by simply going to Google and searching for it.

The pistachio frosting took a lot longer than I thought due to the fact that the pistachio paste is pretty hard and takes a while to mash down and incorporated into the butter cream frosting. After incorporating the paste I added rose water at James' behest so that the flavor would be more pronounced.

The cupcakes came out perfectly and went over very well at the party. Success!


Monday, August 2, 2010

Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese

I don't know why its taken me so long to put strawberries and cupcakes together, the two go together like rainbows and unicorns. I was in the mood to bake last week and this was the result, a easy vanilla cupcake with tofu cream cheese and a strawberry puree. I used a blender to blend down the strawberries added a hint of balsamic vinegar to bring out the strawberry flavor and yahtzee! instant cupcake delight.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


This is one of the few recipes that I've tried that was a great learning experience. This was my third of fourth time trying the bagel recipe from Vegan Brunch and I finally got it, to a degree. Practice makes perfect, these bagels are far from perfect but they were truly a good and I'm sure the next time will be even better. Thank you Isa!

Sadly I have no pictures because of on-going iPhone issues.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Vanilla Hazelnut Cupcakes

I've been wanting to make a decent quick hazelnut cupcake for a while now I just haven't been in the cupcaking mood the last few months. I made these for a small family Fourth of July celebration and they tasted fantastic. I used a simple vanilla cupcake recipe and added 1/3 cup of hazelnut meal to the batter to get a nice, but not overpowering hazelnut taste. I think you can buy hazelnut meal at a local Co-op or specialty store for an arm and a leg, using a food processor does the same thing for a fraction of the price. I can't believe I actually used to live without one of those.

For the icing I used a quick chocolate ganache from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. And dusted with crumbled hazelnuts.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Chocolate Ghost Chili with Orange Buttercream

This is take two of the ghost chili cupcake, the first one was very successful but had a fair amount of room for improvement. In the first attempt I had a few proportions off which I was able to correct I also used a simple ganache to top the cupcake which I replaced with an orange cream cheese icing. The reviews were very good, not a single cupcake was left that night. ( I made four dozen).

Chocolate Trinity

We decided a few weeks back that we would once again host a Vegan Sunday now that we're in a new space that's quite a bit larger than the last. The theme was pre-Valentine's Day and as an extra bonus I decide to get tiny pink pastry boxes so that everyone could take a few cupcakes home with them. At first I wasn't sure what I was going to do and then I settled on about ten different kinds of cupcakes and then decided I didn't know what I was going to do.

I finally came to my senses and kept it easy, I was going to make simple chocolate and vanilla cupcakes and do something different with the frosting. A chocolate cupcake with chocolate ganache and chocolate cream cheese frosting to round out the choco-overload. The hardest part was trying to tame the chocolate cream cheese frosting that had the consistency of feta. Sadly I was never able to spread it in the way I hopped, it was still delicious.

Chocolate Fennel Cupcakes

These were a last minute dessert for a dinner a few weeks back. I'm kicking myself for not taking any pictures.

A friend invited James and I over for dinner and on the day of asked if I could bring a dessert. She said all she had were figs and that she'd like to have me bake something. I had about an hour and a half post-work. I asked James what would go well with figs, he said fennel. Fennel? I've put stranger things in a cupcake, so I decided to make a simple chocolate cupcake and add some crushed fennel (about a teaspoon). I topped with a fantastic chocolate cream cheese frosting.

The Chocolate Fennel went really well with the figs after dinner, I have to give James all the credit on this one.