Kitchen Sink Carrot Muffins

Kitchen Sink Carrot MuffinsKitchen Sink Carrot Muffins

2 cups all purpose flour
½ cup oatmeal
½ bran cereal
½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
½ tsp nutmeg or allspice
½ tsp salt
1.5 cups grated carrots (2-3)
1 cup grated apple or apple sauce
½ cup raisins
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup nuts, seeds, shredded coconut, dried fruit, etc
2 eggs
2/3 cup plain yogurt
1/3 vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Combine dry ingredients, stir in carrots, apples, raisins and other add-ins. In another bowl, beat eggs, add yogurt and oil. Stir into flour mixture until just combined (batter will be thick).Spoon into prepared muffin tins. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Makes about 18 muffins

Vegan Bailey’s, or, Welcome to Lactose-free Heaven

This recipe is amazingly easy, and brought back fond memories of early morning classes in university 🙂

baileys1 can light coconut milk
1 can full-fat coconut milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup strong espresso or coffee, or to taste
3/4-1 cup whiskey, or to taste
pinch of salt
In a large saucepan, whisk together the two cans of coconut milk, then whisk in the sugar. Heat to a low boil, and simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently to make sure it doesn’t boil over. The mixture will cook down and thicken slightly. Remove from heat and stir in the espresso or coffee. Add salt and whiskey. Taste for quality control. Keep refrigerated in a sealed container (like a recycled wine bottle). The contents will separate, so give it a good shake before serving. Makes 3.5-4 cups.

Adapted from the original recipe found here.

 

Christmas Crack(er Toffee)

Saltine-Toffee-aka-Christmas-Crack-2

Christmas Crack

Seriously, just make 2 batches. 

1 to 1.5 sleeves salted Saltine crackers
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter or margarine
3 cups chocolate chips
1 cup creamy peanut butter, melted
1 cup candy and/or sprinkles

Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper, making sure it comes up all sides of the pan.

While you melt the butter and sugar together on medium heat, spread the crackers in a single layer across the entire cookie sheet. Just as the butter and sugar begin to boil, leave it alone without stirring for 3-4 minutes to make the toffee. Then pour the boiling mixture over the crackers. Bake for 5 minutes while you melt the peanut butter.

When toffee is done, remove from oven and allow it to settle (stop bubbling) before spreading the peanut butter over it. Sprinkle with chocolate chips, then pop back in the oven for a minute or two to melt them. Smooth the chocolate layer, add candy and sprinkles, and freeze for an hour or two to set the toffee. Then break into pieces and let the addiction begin!

There are a ton of variations on this you can try, like Pretzel Crack, Rice Krispie Square Crack, and more! Click here for Crack 2.0.

I modified this recipe slightly from the original found here.

Vegan Socialist Apple Pie

Yeah you heard me. Not only is this pie suitable for righteous vegan palates, the top crust can also be carved into the shape of Hugo Chavez wishing your brother a happy birthday. Or whatever. Get crafty with it!

Here are the basic instructions. Pie making is in my blood (and apparently my muscle memory) but if you’ve never made a pie before, it would be a good idea to check out allrecipes.com for their handy how-to videos before you begin.

Deliciousness guaranteed. Socialism optional.

Basic Vegan Pie Crust

Makes top & bottom crust for one pie

2 cups all-purpose flour

¾ cup Coconut oil (room temperature)

½ tsp Egg replacer + 1 tbsp water (check the package for the equivalent of half an egg)

1 tsp sugar

½ tsp salt

1½ tsp lemon juice

¼ cup ice water

  1. Using two knives, a pastry cutter, or even a food processor, cut the coconut oil into the flour until crumbly (note that coconut oil should be soft but still solid at room temp).
  2. Mix the “egg,” sugar, salt & lemon. Pour this mixture into a well in the centre of the flour mixture with half (2 tbsp) of the ice water.
  3. Stir gently with a fork just until the dough forms a ball, adding more ice water (a little at a time) if needed.
  4. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead briefly. Cover and chill for approximately 1 hour before rolling out (keep an eye on it, though, as coconut oil will solidify in the fridge, and you want the dough to still be pliable).
  5. Once chilled, divide the dough into 2 and roll one part out on a floured surface. Don’t have a rolling pin? Just clean off an empty wine bottle and dust it with flour. Working from the centre to the edges, roll it out into a circle about ¼” thick, and large enough to fill your pie plate and hang over the edges at least ¾”. (The crust will shrink slightly while baking, and you don’t want it to disappear!) Place the bottom crust in your pie plate and poke the bottom with a fork a few times.
  6. Next you’ll want to fill your pie with something delicious (see below for Apple Pie filling). Now roll out the top crust in the same manner. You’ll need to cut some slits in the top crust to let the steam escape while baking, so why not get creative with it? You can use a sharp knife to cut out shapes or outline a drawing, and you can also use spare scraps of crust to add leaves or other cut out shapes on top. Just keep in mind that the shape of the top crust will change slightly as the filling bakes underneath it.
  7. Get your fingers wet and lightly dampen the edges of the bottom crust around the rim of the pie plate (this will help the top crust to stick to it). Now place your top crust over the filling, making sure it hangs over the edge at least ¾”. (I like to roll out my top rust on plastic wrap for ease of transferring, but you can also use a pastry board if you have one.)
  8. Use a fork to flute the edges of the crust (that means squish them together, you can also pinch it with your fingers).
  9. Bake the in an oven preheated to 425˚F for 15 mins, then turn the temp down to 350˚F and bake for another 30-45 minutes, until crust is golden and apples are soft. (If your pie starts to brown on top before the filling is cooked, cover it with foil and continue baking).
  10. And viola, PIE!

Apple Pie Filling

Adjust the spices to your taste, or look online for lots of other filling options.

6-10 Apples (Macs are great for baking, but use whatever you’ve got)

2 tbsp sugar or sugar substitute (add more if you have a sweet tooth, my Granny used to use a full cup…!)

1 tbsp Cinnamon

½ tsp Cloves, Nutmeg and/or Allspice

½ tsp ground Ginger

A sprinkle of Lemon juice (to keep apples from browning)

1. Peel, core & slice the apples. You can layer apples, then sugar & spice, or mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and then transfer to your pie crust.