Vegan Recipe Shares: Nog Shortbread Cookies

Preamble

There is a pretty reliable cause-effect chain when the serious cold weather hits: chilly temperatures lead to a craving for warm things leads to consumption of spicy things. Beverages are no exception to the warm & spicy rule, and egg nog is a top contender for favorite holiday drink.

Unfortunately, traditional egg nog relies on the eponymous eggs from laying hens–the vast majority (numbering in the billions each year) are tortured beings who produce billions of eggs while living in cramped cages and toxic air. These laying hens, who endure life in “battery cages,” experience utter hell; and the so-called “humane” and “cage-free” and “free-range” hens have it no better. Even hens on smaller “family” farms live only marginally better lives, never going much beyond “egg machines” for human owners.

Egg nog, then, is not a happy holiday beverage by any stretch of the imagination! Fortunately you can still get your nog on during the holidays and avoid the cruelty with vegan nogs. SoDelicious makes a line of coconut-based vegan nogs that are quite good, including flavors like Pumpkin Spice and Mint Chocolate. Delicious indeed!

Recipe

Inspired by the holiday flavors of nog, last year we came up with a vegan Nog Shortbread Cookie that is easily worth making a holiday tradition in itself. With a smidgen of whiskey tipped in, these can also be helpful for dealing with the stress of holiday family and food mayhem. We have also used gluten-free all-purpose flour with this shortbread recipe, if you want to avoid gluten. Enjoy, and happy vegan holidays!

Nog Shortbread Cookies
– Makes 9 squares.
Ingredients:
1 cup vegan butter, softened (refined coconut oil also works; unrefined adds a coconut flavor)
¾ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ¼ cups flour
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
2-4 tablespoons SoDelicious coconut nog

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a shortbread cookie pan (you can also use a round tart pan if you do not have a shortbread pan). In a large bowl, beat the coconut oil with an electric mixer until smooth. Add powdered sugar, and beat until smooth. Add the vanilla and mix until an even consistency is reached. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt. Add to the wet mixture, and mix with a spatula until well combined, adding egg nog as needed so that the dough is not too crumbly. Transfer dough to the pan and distribute evenly, pressing down with fingers. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. Let cool for 15 minutes, then loosen the edges of the cookies with a knife. Using a towel or oven mitts, invert the pan over a cutting board or large platter. Use a thin, sharp knife to slice the shortbread into 9 squares. Allow to cool on a wire rack for at least another 30 minutes before glazing.

Glaze
Ingredients:
¾ cup powdered sugar
2-3 teaspoons SoDelicious coconut nog
1-2 teaspoons whiskey (we use Jack Daniels, which is vegan-friendly)

Directions:
While cookies are cooling, mix all ingredients in a small bowl and beat with a fork or electric mixer until all lumps are removed; start with the lowest amount of liquids, adding more as needed to reach the proper consistency. After the cookies are completely cooled, drizzle glaze over cookies with a spoon to cover most of each cookie. Allow to dry and then store in a covered container.

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Vegan Recipe Shares: Cranberry Tea Cake

Cranberry Tea CakeWe recently picked up a copy of the superb new book Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts by Fran Costigan, which is a real treat on the eyes as well as being full of impressive vegan goodies.

Her recipe for Blondies went well, but they were a little too sweet for us veggie lovers. So we decided to try our hand at a variation…  The result, which we call Cranberry Tea Cake, will appeal to sweets lovers and, coupled with a steaming cup of tea, those with less of a sweet tooth. The tartness of the cranberries cuts the sugar’s sweetness, while the coconut gives the cake a satisfying richness.

Cranberry Tea Cake
– Makes 8 pieces.
Ingredients:
1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 cup organic sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup non-dairy milk
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup frozen cranberries

Directions:
Combine the coconut milk with the vinegar and set aside for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly oil a 9″x9″ baking pan. Combine the dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and mix well. Mix together the coconut milk and vinegar, non-dairy milk, maple syrup, and vanilla extract, then add to the dry ingredients along with the coconut oil. Mix until thoroughly combined. Fold in the cranberries. Pour the batter into the pan and spread out evenly; if the batter seems a bit dry, do not worry as it will moisten during baking. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the edges turn golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. The cake will set as it cools. Once completely cooled, cut into 8 pieces.

Vegan Recipe Shares: Yeast-Free Whole-Wheat Bread

Rosemary and I are taking part in the Vegan Food Stamp Challenge this week, a great event that helps us understand the challenges of eating on a limited budget. The rules are to eat for a week on just $30 per person, or about $4.39 per day, which is the average SNAP benefits received by program participants.

As you can imagine, this is a tricky prospect if food budgeting is not something you are used to–we are, to a degree, but it is still tricky! We are also continuing to use organic and fair-trade products, which adds to the cost.

Bread has long been a staple of almost every culture’s diet, and I wanted to try my hand at a simple, yeast-free bread recipe that we could eat during the Challenge. I found this recipe below, veganized it, and priced it out at just under $3.00 for the loaf (we used organic ingredients). I was pleased with how it came out, even without yeast, and will likely make it again!

Yeast-Free Whole-Wheat Bread
– Makes 1 loaf.
Ingredients:
3 cups whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil, softened
2 cups non-dairy milk
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Lightly oil a 9″ loaf pan. Combine the non-dairy milk and apple cider vinegar in a bowl and allow to sit for a few minutes to curdle. Meanwhile, combine the flour, 1/4 cup of the oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Mix the coconut oil in with a fork until well combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix thoroughly until completely combined. Put the dough in the loaf pan, sprinkle the rest of the oats on top, and bake for 50-55 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Vegan Recipe Shares: Kinda-Healthy Orange Chocolate Chip Muffins

It is not often that one finds oneself asking the question, “What in the world am I going to do with these chocolate chips?” The question seems almost rhetorical…I mean, it is chocolate after all…

But that question led to these extremely yummy Kinda-Healthy Orange Chocolate Chip Muffins. There is no oil or cane sugar besides what is in the chips, and about half the flour is whole grain. You also get lots of fun vitamin C, and maple syrup has a pretty respectable (for a sweetener) nutrient profile. Fun!

Kinda-Healthy Orange Chocolate Chip Muffins
– Makes 12 muffins.
Ingredients:
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest of one small orange
Juice of one small orange
1 cup non-dairy milk
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners. Combine the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and orange zest in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, combine the orange juice, non-dairy milk, maple syrup, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix thoroughly. Fold in the chocolate chips. Fill the cups about 3/4 full. Bake for 18-22 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack.

Vegan Recipe Shares: Raspberry Chocolate Chip Scones

Vegan Night Out was lots of fun this year, and once again Sunberry Baking Company baked up a spread of yummy vegan treats. One of the items we made was a new scone flavor that tasted amazingly good! So we wanted to share this recipe for Raspberry Chocolate Chip Scones, which have so much goodness going on. They are pretty easy to make, too; just remember to buy organic, fair-trade sugar and chocolate chips! And if you do not have a scone pan, they still work great as drop scones on a baking sheet (though you may want to reduce the baking time a tad).

Raspberry Chocolate Chip Scones
– Makes 8 scones.
Ingredients:
1 cup soy milk
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
3 cups flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 cup frozen raspberries
¾ cup vegan chocolate chips
½ cup coconut oil
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Lightly grease a scone pan or a baking sheet for drop scones. Measure out the milk in a large measuring cup and add the vinegar to it. Set aside to curdle. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, raspberries, and chocolate chips; if the raspberries are large, it helps to crush them up some with your mixing spoon. Add the coconut oil in small clumps, then use your fingers or a pastry cutter to cut it into the flour until the dough texture becomes pebble-like. Create a well in the center and add the milk mixture, oil, and vanilla. Mix with a wooden spoon until about half of the flour is incorporated. Mix again until all the ingredients are just moistened, taking care not to overmix. A couple of dry-looking spots are fine. Grease a ¼-cup measuring cup and use the cup to scoop the scones into the scone pan or onto the baking sheet. Dust the tops of the scones with more sugar, then bake for 18-22 minutes, until the tops are lightly browned and firm. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool.

Out with a Bang…and a Recipe!

Quiet time is not necessarily inactive time. We have been intensely active during the Sunberry Baking Company period of quietude. For those of you who have not heard, we are relocating to Chapel Hill, North Carolina later next month. We thank everyone who supported us and encouraged us to bring, and promulgate, vegan treats (and more!) to the Valley.

Before we leave, though, we have organized a vegan treat of epic proportions that we hope each and every one of you will indulge in…  Vegan Night Out!

This year’s Vegan Night Out event in downtown Harrisonburg, which is a follow-up to last September’s event, will take place on Tuesday, September 17th. Like last year, everyone is welcomed to local restaurants for vegan-friendly dining with specials, discounts, and other fun surprises from 5-7 pm.

Then, join us at Court Square Theater at 7 pm for a FREE keynote talk by Jasmin Singer and Mariann Sullivan of Our Hen House, a leading vegan organization based in New York City, and a FREE screening of the powerful film Turlock – The Documentary, about the amazing rescue of over 4,000 chickens from an abandoned factory farm. And, of course, there will be FREE vegan treats from Sunberry Baking Company, product samples and coupons, tons of door prizes, and more before the talk and film. Doors will open around 6:30 pm.

Vegan Night Out will actually be part of nearly a week of vegan community-building in the Valley:
– Join the Shenandoah Valley Vegans for a lunch meetup at Taste of India in Harrisonburg at noon on Sunday, September 15th.
– Get out and go vegan during Vegan Night Out on Tuesday, September 17th starting at 5 pm!
– Come to a second free talk by Jasmin Singer & Mariann Sullivan from 5:30 to 6:30 pm at the Hunt Dining Hall (west side) on the campus of Mary Baldwin College in Staunton. Then join the Shenandoah Valley Vegans for a dinner meetup at Ubon Thai in Staunton starting at 7 pm!
– Attend a free screening of the film Forks Over Knives on Thursday, September 18th at Augusta Health in Fishersville (more details TBD)!

Make sure to follow updates at the Vegan Night Out website, and please join the Facebook event and Meetup events for other updates and to let us (and your friends and the rest of the galaxy) know YOU are coming to Vegan Night Out!

Oh, right… I promised you a RECIPE, too! Below is our recipe for yet another fun concoction by Rosemary, our resident vegan baker extraordinaire. It will remind most of you of Rocky Road cookies, but ours have several twists–they are vegan and gluten-free! They were quite a hit at the Harrisonburg Farmers Market and The Store in Staunton. We hope you give them a try! (Quick tip: you can get vegan marshmallows at Friendly City Food Co-op in Harrisonburg…they are called Dandies, appropriately enough.)

Thanks, folks!

Chocofluffer Cookies (gluten free)
– Makes 12 cookies
Ingredients:
½ cup canola oil
1 ¼ cups sugar
⅓ cup soy milk, plus extra if batter is too dry
2 teaspoons flax meal
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ¼ cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
⅓ cup cocoa powder
¼ cup vegan chocolate chips
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup chopped almonds
¾ cup vegan marshmallows, chopped (if large)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly oil two cookies sheets. Stir together oil, sugars, soy milk, and vanilla in a large bowl. Add the flour, cocoa, chocolate chips, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt, almonds, and marshmallows. Stir to combine all ingredients. Pack chunks of dough into an oiled 1/4-cup measuring cup, roll them into balls, flatten halfway into patties in your hands, and then place them on the cookie sheets. Bake for 15-18 minutes, let cool on the tray for a minute, then transfer to a wire cooling rack. Store in an airtight container.

Vegan Recipe Shares: Blackberry Allspice Muffins

Although life has been topsy-turvy crazy for the past few weeks, we are in fact still baking here at home. The following recipe for Blackberry Allspice Muffins is a new hit that, though tried in the late afternoon, has us eager for the morning so we can munch on them with some tea.

The original recipe comes from the new book Whole Grain Vegan Baking by Celine Steen and Tamasin Noyes, which is a definite must-have for vegan bakers.  What you have here is a slightly tweaked version that, in the end, has great flavor yet feels quite healthy (even with a little sugar, salt, and oil).

Blackberry Allspice Muffins
– Makes 12-13 muffins
Ingredients:
1 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup oat flour
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
1 tablespoon tapioca flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cup non-dairy milk
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons canola or other neutral-flavored oil
1/3 cup brown sugar or turbinado sugar
1 cup fresh or frozen blackberries

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Lightly oil a muffin tin or line with cupcake liners. Whisk together the flours, flax seeds, baking powder, allspice, salt, and baking soda in a medium-sized bowl. Combine the milk and vinegar in a medium-sized bowl and allow to curdle. Whisk in the vanilla, oil, and sugar. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir together. Stir until no flour is visible, but do not overmix. Gently fold in the berries. Spoon a rounded 1/3 cup of batter into each muffin cup. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until golden. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer the muffins to a cooling rack.

Support Vegan Night Out!

Although Sunberry Baking Company is currently on hiatus, we are still busy fomenting veganism IMG_2574in the Valley.

Last September, we organized Vegan Night Out, a fun opportunity to support and build vegan community through downtown vegan dining and a free screening of the film Vegucated.

This year, Vegan Night Out will be back in Harrisonburg on Tuesday, September 17th starting at 4:00 p.m. Along with downtown dining and a film at Court Square Theater, there will also be an exciting keynote talk by Jasmin Singer and Mariann Sullivan of Our Hen House, a leading vegan/animal-rights organization in NYC.

But to make Vegan Night Out happen, we still need to raise about $1,200!

If you are interested in supporting this event with heart, please contact us today. Also visit the Vegan Night Out website for more information and to sign up for updates.

We look forward to seeing you at the next Vegan Night Out!

Hiatus Henceforth

Thanks to everyone who has supported and followed Sunberry Baking Company since late 2012. As you know, things have gone all sorts of directions, and as of late have slowed down…

We wanted to let everyone know that Sunberry will be on hiatus until further notice. We are in the process of relocating out of the area, and until then will not be taking orders.

However, please stay tuned for more recipes and some exciting upcoming vegan events in the Valley. And mark your calendars now for Vegan Night Out on September 17th, 2013…

 

Vegan Recipe Shares: Lady Grey Muffins

We love recipe requests. Sunberry Baking Company’s primary mission is to educate the community about veganism–through yummy vegan treats and more! While letting our creativity run wild in order to make something new is exciting, the best reward is when someone makes one of our products for themselves.

A request for our Lady Grey Muffin inspired this installment of our Vegan Recipe Shares. Rosemary’s genius is the source of this sophisticated, flavorful muffin, which (when we make it) includes organic fair-trade Earl Grey Tea and local organic White Oak Lavender flowers…with a little organic orange zest thrown in for fun.

These are super delicious and fun…and eating with a pinky pointing up is not required.

Lady Grey Muffins
– Makes 12 muffins.
Ingredients:
3/4 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon flax meal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lavender flowers
1 1/2 teaspoon ground Earl Grey tea
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners. Combine the soy milk and vinegar in a bowl and set aside to curdle for a few minutes. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, flax meal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, lavender flowers, tea, and orange zest. Add the soy milk mixture, oil, and vanilla to the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Fill the liners about ¾ full. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.