Several years ago someone gave me Love Real Food by Kathryne Taylor for my birthday. At first glance, I wasn’t very inspired by the recipes, which seemed pretty basic for a lifelong vegetarian. I made one underwhelming recipe and put it on the shelf, where it sat for the last few years. But lately, I’ve been trying to revisit old forgotten cookbooks instead of turning to the internet every time I want to find a new recipe. So I rescued Love Real Food from the bottom of the pile and started looking through it with a more receptive spirit. I was able to find several recipe I could try making, even if none of them seemed particularly original. This recipe for carrot cake breakfast cookies was my first attempt at a dessert recipe from the cookbook, but my second attempt at a carrot cake cookie. I embarked hoping this try would be more successful than my first disappointing version.
I was a bit skeptical of this recipe, since it contained neither eggs nor an ingredient that I consider an egg substitute (like apple sauce). Despite my misgivings, I followed the recipe to the letter (except for leaving out the raisins). This was a super simple recipe. I wasn’t sure whether to melt the coconut oil or not, but I followed my instincts I used it in its solid form. The recipe says to use a hand mixer to cream it with the maple syrup, which worked well. Using the solid coconut oil ended up working well, but the first batch of cookies didn’t spread out at all. For the second batch I smooshed down the dough balls and they came out perfect.
I was super impressed with these. The mixture of spices, maple syrup, and coconut oil made for a sweet and savory effect that leaves a great taste in your mouth. Without the raisins I wasn’t sure the cookies would be sweet enough; they only have 1/2 cup of sweetener. But the sweetness level was just right for me. Plus they’re pretty low calorie (less than 70 calories each by my calculation!). My only complain with these cookies was that they’re a bit crumbly (they’re basically carrot granola clumps). They came apart a bit when I took them off the baking sheet. With the second batch I let them cool for a minute or two before moving them off the sheet, which helped with the crumbling. I might try adding a single egg to these to help them stick together better, but otherwise I thought they were perfect.
If you’re like me and crave sweets everyday, you might be looking for a great weeknight cookie that can satisfy your cravings without going overboard on the butter and sugar. These zucchini chocolate chip cookies really fit the bill. The zucchini provides moisture so that you don’t have to add much extra fat. And the cookie is slightly sweet rather than super sweet. I’ve used vegan yogurt and found that work fine. The extra moisture from the zucchini causes the cookie to puff up, so the texture is a bit cakier than your average chocolate chip cookie. But I really enjoy them. And I find one is satisfying. This will be a staple for me anytime I have zucchini in the garden.
This recipe is originally from Alice Medrich’s Cookies and Brownies. I found it by way of my sister’s blog. I decided to make cookies for my boss instead of buying her a present for the holidays. I made these cookies as well as peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. Her daughter is allergic to walnuts, so I made half the batch without walnuts and half the batch with.
Since Scharffen Berger Chocolate isn’t available where I live, I used 6 ounces of unsweetened Ghirardelli baking chocolate and 3 ounces of 80% bittersweet chocolate.
The recipe says you can refrigerate the batter for up to 24 hours. I refrigerated for about 8-10 hours. This was a mistake. The batter came out of the fridge so solid I had to hand roll the cookies like they were made of modeling chocolate. Next time I’d only refrigerate for the minimum 1 hour.
The cookies definitely need walnuts to cut the sweetness. My boss really liked them. They have a deep chocolate flavor and soft internal texture. For me, they were too sweet. If I make them again, I’ll cut the sugar from 1 1/3 cup to 1 + scant 1/4 cup. That might still be too sweet for me. We shall see.
Carrots and oatmeal are great low fodmap sources of soluble fiber. I was trying to find ways to increase soluble fiber intake and wanted to make a lowfat dessert. These cookies seemed to fit nicely. The recipe is really easy to make. I used a whole egg instead of egg whites.
I liked the cookies when they first came out of the oven, and they were good enough the next day. But as the days went on, I found myself not wanting to eat them. They were too dense, too cakey and not sweet enough. They weren’t terrible, but I won’t make these again.
In my second attempt to make my own desserts, I decided to try a no-bake cookie recipe. I started with this recipe but made a ton of changes. The result was pretty yummy. It makes about 40 cookies that are 100 calories each. Not a bad treat.
1 cup sugar
1/2 butter or vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
3/4 cup milk (I used 2% but I think any vegan milk would work fine)
4 1/2 cup oats
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ounce bittersweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups peanut butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Combine sugar, milk, and oats in a saucepan. Cook on medium-low, stirring constantly for 20 minutes
Stir in cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate, cooking for a couple more minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter and vanilla extract
Drop spoonfulls of batter onto baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
I have a robust sweet tooth. For years I’ve been purchasing my sweets. My go-tos were frozen yogurt bars and bittersweet chocolate, with the occasional pint of lactose free ice cream thrown in. But recently, I listened to a Science Vs. podcast episode on processed foods. The episode featured a scientist describing ultra-processed foods as Clorox for your gut, taking all the good bacteria with them as they went through. That image really stuck with me. I have a lot of issues with my gut. So I decided to start making my own desserts.
This recipe for “vegan chocolate pudding” was my first attempt. The recipe calls for Mexican spices, but since I had fruit in the chococate I was using, I left those spices out. I used 1/2 cup of sugar instead of the 3/4 cup called for and found that to be enough. But I like super dark bittersweet chocolate. The recipe is ridiculously simple, essentially just chocolate, sugar, and silken tofu. But oh my goodness the result. It wasn’t really a pudding, but rather an ultra thick, rich, chocolate mousse. The kind that you only need a bit of to feel satisfied. I think in order to make it more like a pudding, you’d need to add an extra 4 oz of silken tofu.
I honestly cannot believe how good this was. I particularly enjoyed dipping strawberries in it. And amazingly, it was so rich that I found I had fewer sweets cravings throughout the day when I ate a bit of this at night. So far my homemade desserts experiment is looking like a success.
Next time I’m going to use baking chocolate so that I can better control the sweetness level. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.