Vegan & Gluten-Free APPLE CRISP

Because my spouse does not like pies, but really likes the crumble and the gooey stuff inside my apple pie, I came up with this sweet and scrumptious apple crisp. If the inners and the top are your things, then this crisp, with a dollop of vegan vanilla ice cream is the perfect end to your Thanksgiving meal.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 30-35 minutes

Servings: 6 to 8

Ingredients

TOPPING
1/2 cup GLUTEN-FREE ALL PURPOSE FLOUR (I use King Arthur)
(I use all purpose flours with Xanthan Gum already in the mix.
If you don't then you will need to add it. When adding 
xanthan (zan-than) gum to a recipe, use about 1/4 teaspoon
per cup of flour. Blend it evenly into your dry ingredients before mixing.)
1/2 cup GLUTEN-FREE ROLLED OATS 
1/2 cup LIGHT BROWN SUGAR - PACKED (For a sugar-free recipe use coconut sugar instead)
1/2 tsp BAKING POWDER
1/4 tsp GROUND CINNAMON
1/8 tsp SALT
5 Tbsp VEGAN BUTTER - softened and chopped up

FILLING
4 GRANNY SMITH APPLES (5 cups)- peeled & chopped into small cubes
3 Tbsp VEGAN BUTTER - melted
2 Tbsp GLUTEN-FREE ALL PURPOSE FLOUR (with Xanthan Gum)
1 Tbsp LEMON JUICE
3 Tbsp CASHEW MILK (or any nut-milk)
1 tsp VANILLA EXTRACT
1/4 cup LIGHT BROWN SUGAR - packed
1/2 tsp GROUND CINNAMON
1/2 tsp GROUND NUTMEG
1/8 tsp SALT

Directions

  • PRE-HEAT oven to 375 degrees F
  • COAT 8X8 baking dish with cooking spray
  • In a medium bowl, COMBINE all the topping ingredients and mix until it forms small crumbles. If you have a pastry blade that might help.
  • REFRIGERATE the topping until later
  • In a large bowl, ADD the chopped apples
  • ADD the butter, flour, lemon juice, milk, vanilla, brown sugar, and spices and stir until completely combined
  • TRANSFER the apple mixture into the greased baking dish and spread evenly
  • SPRINKLE topping evenly over apples and pat down so that it covers nicely
  • BAKE for 30-35 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
  • COOL in the pans for 5-10 minutes before serving
  • STORE in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. This crisp freezes well for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator and reheat in over on 350 for 20 minutes.

Adapted from http://www.mamaknowsglutenfree.com

Easy Gluten-free Dairy-free Banana Bread

It’s OK if you don’t want to believe me, but this is the best Banana Bread you will ever eat and it is also gluten and dairy free. Once you make it you will absolutely agree. I made this batch with dairy-free chocolate chips and topped it with walnuts but I have also made it with raisans, flax seed, and almonds. Let me know how yours turns out and what options you put in.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 45-50 minutes

Servings: 12 slices (2 loaves)

Ingredients

4 large EGGS
4-5 very ripe BANANAS, mashed
1 cup SUGAR
4 ounces natural APPLESAUCE
1/3 cup high quality VEGETABLE OIL
1 teaspoon VANILLA
2 cups GLUTEN-FREE ALL-PURPOSE BAKING FLOUR
1 teaspoon BAKING SODA
1/4 teaspoon SALT
OPTION Pairings:
1/2 cup DAIRY-FREE CHOCOLATE CHIPS
1/2 cup WALNUTS, chopped/smashed
or
1/2 cup RAISINS
1/2 cup FLAX SEED
1/2 cup ALMONDS, chopped


Directions

  • PRE-HEAT oven to 350 degrees F
  • COAT two 9X5 loaf pans with cooking spray
  • In a large bowl, BEAT the eggs and add the bananas and MASH together (or you can mash the bananas before this step, but I don’t like to dirty too many bowls)
  • ADD the sugar, oil, vanilla, and applesauce and mix together well
  • In medium bowl, BLEND together the flour, salt, and baking soda
  • ADD the dry ingredients into the banana mash and with a big spoon or spatula MIX until all the dry ingredients are combined. Banana lump are fine, don’t over mix.
  • FOLD IN any mix-ins at this point
  • TRANSFER the batter into the loaf pans and SPRINKLE the top of each loaf with the nuts
  • BAKE for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick in the center of the loaf comes out clean
  • COOL in the pans for 10 minutes and then REMOVE from pans and cool on a wire rack for another 20 minutes
  • NOTE: Try peeling your bananas from the bottom up, instead of the stem down, for easy, no mess peeling, especially when over ripe.
  • STORE in an air-tight container on the counter for up to 2 days, then refrigerate. This bread freezes well for up to 6 months. Slice it frozen and toast it in the toaster oven.

Gluten-free Vegan Chocolate Toffee Matzo Bark for Passover

Being dairy-free, I love when Passover comes around because the desserts are among my favorites. I created this gluten-free vegan Matzo Bark as an alternative to all the cakes and macaroons that I make this time of year. If you want to make it Kosher for Passover, then make sure to get Shmurah matzo. You can top this with any type of nut or even cherries or cranberries. Let me know what you think.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 1 hour

Servings: 12-16

Ingredients

5-6 gluten-free SALTED MATZO-Style boards 
If making for Passover use Shmurah matzo
1 cup DARK BROWN SUGAR, packed
1 stick VEGAN BUTTER (Soy-free Earth Balance)
2 cups VEGAN CHOCOLATE CHIPS (Enjoy Life)
1/2 teaspoon pure VANILLA
Pinch of SEA SALT
1/2 cup SALTED PEANUTS, smashed/finely chopped
1/2 cup ROASTED ALMONDS, chopped
Non-stick COOKING SPRAY
PARCHMENT paper

Directions

  • PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees F
  • LINE rimmed baking dish with parchment and SPRAY with non-stick spray
  • COVER the bottom of the baking dish with a single layer of matzo. Break the pieces if you need to make them fit.
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, COMBINE sugar and butter, STIR frequently until it bubbles and boils. Be careful not to burn the syrup. BOIL for 1-minute stirring constantly.
  • ADD a big pinch of salt and the vanilla to the syrup
  • POUR the syrup over the matzo and SPREAD evenly with a heat-proof spatula
  • BAKE 7-10 minutes until toffee syrup is bubbling. Make sure to check frequently so that it does not burn.
  • REMOVE from the oven and immediately SPRINKLE the chocolate chips over the toffee and let it MELT for 1-3 minute from the heat of the syrup
  • SPREAD the melted chocolate chips evenly with a heat-proof spatula
  • SPRINKLE the nuts over the chocolate and PRESS gently so that they stick well
  • REFRIGERATE the sheet for 30 minutes to 1 hour until hard
  • BREAK the matzo boards into pieces and store in an air-tight container until ready to serve
  • STORE in the refrigerator for up to 5 days

Paleo Banana Bread Muffins – Gluten-Free & Dairy Free

This is my first known attempt at a PALEO treat and they taste amazing. I created these muffins with almond butter, almond flour, bananas, and eggs. They are dense like banana bread but easier to eat in muffin form. They are dairy-free, grain-free, and if you don’t use the paleo chocolate chips, they contain no extra sugar and are soy-free too. We have been eating them with dairy-free cream cheese for breakfast all week.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 19 minutes

Servings: 18 muffins

Ingredients

 
3 large EGGS, room temperature
1/2 cup natural ALMOND BUTTER
1/2 teaspoon VANILLA EXTRACT
4 ripe BANANAS, mashed (about 1-1/2 cups)*
1 cup ALMOND FLOUR
1 teaspoon corn-free BAKING POWDER
1 teaspoon BAKING SODA
1 teaspoon CINNAMON, ground
1/4 teaspoon ALLSPICE
1/2 teaspoon NUTMEG, ground
1/4 teaspon SALT
1/3 cup WALNUTS, chopped plus some for topping
Optional: 1/4 cup Paleo dairy-free MINI CHOCOLATE CHIPS** plus
some for topping

*I freeze over-ripe bananas often (why waste them?). They
work great for mixes like this. They thaw quickly and
mash easily.
** Without the chocolate chips these muffins
will also be soy-free

Directions

  • PREHEAT the oven to 375 degrees. (This is 25 degrees warmer than we are going to bake them at, but the extra heat to start helps the muffins brown on top when cooked.)
  • LINE 18 muffin cups with paper liners (I use 2 12-cup muffin trays because that is what I have.)
  • In a medium bowl, MASH bananas until smooth.
  • In a large bowl, BEAT the eggs and then ADD almond butter and vanilla. WHISK them all together well.
  • ADD mashed banana puree to the wet mixture
  • DUMP in almond flour, baking soda, baking powder, and spices. Gently MIX dry ingredients with wet mash mixture until there are no lumps. The batter should be a medium consistency. Don’t use an electric mixer because over beating the batter will cause the muffins not to rise. Just mix until you don’t see any more flour.
  • FOLD in walnuts and chocolate chips (if using).
  • Using a soup ladle, FILL each muffin lined cup 2/3 full
  • Optionally, TOP 1/2 the muffin cups with some extra chopped nuts and 1/2 with extra chocolate chips
  • LOWER the oven temperature to 350 degrees
  • BAKE the muffins for 14-19 minutes. Check them at 14 minutes. You know they are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (unless it hits a chocolate chip, then use another toothpick and try again).
  • COOL the muffins in the pan for 5 minutes then transfer to cooling racks. Cool completely.
  • STORE in an airtight container for 2-3 days or FREEZE in an airtight container for 3 months.

TO MAKE A LOAF INSTEAD OF MUFFINS: If you want to try this as a bread instead of muffins, then mix all ingredients as above, but use a loaf pan instead of a muffin tray. LINE the loaf pan with parchment paper. FILL the loaf pan with the batter. TOP with chopped nuts. REDUCE oven temperature to 350 and BAKE for 50-60 minutes (using the toothpick method above to test for doneness). COOL completely in the loaf pan. LIFT out the bread using the parchment paper and slice.

Breakfast muffin with diary-free cream cheese and scrambled eggs with vegan ham

Egg Yolk Insanely Fluffy Cookies – Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free

I was trying to figure out what to do with a bunch of leftover egg yolks yesterday after making meringue. Somehow I created this insanely fluffy egg yolk chocolate chip monster that is more like cake than a cookie. Naming a recipe is not easy. My first thought for a name was “Chocolate Chip Egg Yolk Cloud Cake Cookie with a Touch of Orange,” but I settled on something shorter.  I will let you be the judge of what to call yours.

Preparation Time: 15-20 minutes

Cooking Time: 10-12 minutes

Servings: 60

Ingredients

1/2 cup Vegan BUTTER (1 Earth Balance Soy Free stick)
3/4 cup SUGAR
1/2 cup natural APPLE SAUCE
6 EGG YOLKS (or 4 egg yolks & 1 whole egg)
2-1/2 cups gluten-free ALL PURPOSE BAKING MIX (King Arthur)
1 teaspoon BAKING SODA
1 teaspoon VANILLA EXTRACT
1 teaspoon ORANGE EXTRACT (if you don't have it
add another teaspoon of vanilla extract)
1 pinch SALT
3/4 Vegan MINI SEMI-SWEET CHOCOLATE CHIPS (Enjoy LIfe)
Parchment PAPER

Directions

  • PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees F
  • COVER 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper (or you can lightly grease them) 
  • CREAM the butter and sugar until fluffy
  • ADD the applesauce to the creamed mixture and BLEND well
  • SEPARATE egg whites from yolks. I use 3 bowls to do this: 1 bowl for the yolks, 1 bowl for the whites, and 1 bowl for the shells. After separating all 6 eggs, put the egg whites in the refrigerator (use them for something else, like my Dark Chocolate Meringue Cookies). 
  • BEAT the egg yolks and the extracts together
  • ADD the beaten egg yolk/extract mixture to the creamed mixture and BLEND well
  • In a separate bowl, WHISK together all the dry ingredients
  •  ADD the dry ingredients, a third at a time, to the creamed mixture and BLEND well.
  • ADD the mini chips to the batter and BLEND 
  • DROP the batter onto the parchment covered baking sheets in evenly spaced slightly rounded teaspoons of goo (for bigger cookies use a tablespoon instead)
  • Slightly FLATTEN the batter globs if you can, they won’t spread much
  • BAKE for 10 to 12 minutes. They will look undercooked and should be only slightly golden.
  • COOL on cookie sheets for a few minutes and then plate
  • STORE them in an airtight container for up to 1 week   

Dark Chocolate Meringue Cookies – Gluten & Dairy Free

I love when the house smells like chocolate. These cookies are so chocolatey, crunchy and chewy at the same time, that no one notices that they contain no flour or butter. Did you know that making a meringue is easy? It is just really air, eggs whites, and sugar. Give these yummies a try next time you need a chocolate fix.  

Preparation Time: 20 – 30 minutes, depending on your equipment

Cooking Time: 18 minutes

Servings: Makes about 40 cookies 

Ingredients

4 EGG WHITES
1/2 teaspoon LEMON JUICE
1/2 teaspoon VANILLA
1/8 teaspoon SALT
1/4 cup SUGAR
12 ounces Vegan DARK CHOCOLATE MORSELS, melted
1/2 cup WALNUTS, chopped
Enough WALNUT halves to decorate cookies
1/2 cup DRIED CHERRIES, chopped
Parchment PAPER

Directions

  • PREHEAT oven to 325 degrees F
  • LINE 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper
  • SEPARATE egg whites from yolks. I use 3 bowls to do this: 1 bowl for the yolks, 1 bowl for the whites, and 1 bowl for the shells. After separating all 4 eggs, put the egg yolks in the refrigerator (I use them to make my Egg Yolk Insanely Fluffy Cookies) and let the egg whites reach room temperature. 
  • MELT the chocolate morsels, either in a double boiler or microwave. I microwave mine on medium-high (50% power) for 1 minute, then stir, then repeat on medium-high for 20 to 30 seconds at a time, again and again until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool.  
  • COMBINE egg whites, lemon juice, vanilla and salt in a large, clean bowl. (A grease-free bowl is a must when making meringue. Also, make sure there is no yolk in your egg whites or it can keep them from fluffing nicely.)
  • Using an electric hand mixer, or a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, BEAT the mixture on low speed until foamy.
  • Increase mixer speed and GRADUALLY ADD sugar, a little at a time, until combined.
  • BEAT mixture on high until stiff peaks form. (Be patient this can take several minutes.)
  • Using a spatula, FOLD in the cooled chocolate, chopped walnuts, and the dried cherries. Make sure not to over combine as you don’t want to lose the airiness of the meringue.
  • FILL a pastry piping bag, or improvise with a large zip-lock plastic bag*, with half of the meringue mixture.
    • If using a plastic bag, cut a 3/4 inch hole in one corner.
    • If using a pastry bag, use a large star tip. 
  • PIPE cookies (about 2″ each) on to the prepared parchment covered cookie sheets.
  • REPEAT the process with the other half of the meringue.
  • TOP each cookie with a half of a walnut.
  • BAKE for 12 minutes and then check on them. The cookies are done when they are set and dry looking. This can take 15 to 20 minutes. 
  • REMOVE cookie sheets from the oven and allow the cookies to COOL completely on the sheets. 
  • STORE in an airtight container for 1 week. 

*Piping is not always easy for those of us with arthritis in our hands. My alternative is to drop the batter onto the parchment covered baking sheets in evenly spaced slightly rounded teaspoons of goo.  

Inspired by Alison Ashton who was inspired by Gail Simmons

Heavenly Dutch Apple Pie – Gluten-Free & Vegan

Who can resist the all-time holiday favorite, Apple Pie? My gluten and dairy-free version is a hybrid between a pie and a crisp. I use a store-bought gluten-free graham style crust for the bottom (because crusts are not my best skill and I am all about uncomplicated cooking) and a home-made crumble for the top. Try a warm slice of sweet apple pie, all moist and sticky, with a scoop of dairy-free Vanilla Ice Cream. Now that is my definition of heaven.  

Prep time: 15-20 minutes

Cook time: 45-55 minutes

Servings: 1 pie (6 or 8 slices)

Ingredients

1 Gluten-Free PIE CRUST (I use MI-DEL allegen safe graham style)
Crumble Topping
3/4 cup All Purpose GLUTEN-FREE BAKING MIX (King Arthur Flour)*
3/4 cup LIGHT BROWN SUGAR, packed
1/4 cup granualated SUGAR
2 teaspoons ground CINNAMON
1/2 teaspoon ground NUTMEG
1/4 teaspoon Kosher SALT
1/2 cup (1 stick) Vegan BUTTER, chilled and cut into small pieces
Filling
5 or 6 large APPLES, peeled, cored and sliced thin
For crisp try HoneyCrisp or PinkLady or tart try Granny Smith
1/2 cup granualted SUGAR
If using tart apples, you may need more sugar
1 teaspoons ground CINNAMON
1/4 teaspoon ground NUTMEG
1/4 teaspoon ground GINGER
Pinch of SALT

*If using all purpose gluten-free flour instead of baking mix,
you will need to add 1/2 teaspoon of XANTHAN GUM.

Directions

  • MAKE the TOPPING
    • In a medium bowl, WHISK baking mix, brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Make sure to get the lumps out of the brown sugar
    • BLEND in chilled butter with a fork or pastry blender until you have a nice crumbly texture
    • REFRIGERATE the bowl for 10 minutes until firm
  • PREHEAT the oven to 375 degrees F
  • MAKE the FILLING
    • PEEL, CORE, and thinly SLICE apples
    • In a large bowl, COMBINE apples, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt
    • SET the bowl aside and let the juices combine while the topping is cooling
  • ASSEMBLE the pie
    • REMOVE the crumble from the refrigerator and BREAK UP any large clumps
    • PLACE the pie on a baking sheet to catch any overflow spills
    • DUMP the filling into the pie crust and MOUNT in the center. Make sure to pour all the juices in.
    • SPOON the crumble topping evenly over everything and don’t be afraid to use it all. PAT DOWN the crumbles gently with a fork (I use my hand) to make sure that it sticks to the filling.
  • BAKE
    • BAKE in preheated oven for 45 minutes, until the juices are bubbling out the sides and the crumble is evenly golden brown.
    • If using a regular pie crust, about 25 or 30 minutes into the bake, COVER the edges of the crust with foil to prevent burning. You don’t have to do this if you are using a graham style crust, as it doesn’t extend past the topping. 
    • Depending on your oven, you might need to ADD 5 to 10 minutes to the baking time.
    • REMOVE the pie from the oven and let COOL completely for at least 1 hour before serving. Fruit pies continue to thicken as they cool, so you really want to allow it the time it needs to give you a perfect slice. 
  • STORE the pie covered at room temperature for several days or freeze.
  •    SERVING SUGGESTIONS
    • Warm the pie in the microwave
    • Serve with your favorite dairy-free vanilla ice cream


Happy Peanut Butter Cups – Gluten-Free & Vegan

Chocolate and peanut butter: two flavors that make me happy. I like to make these little happy treats for birthdays and other sweet times. The process isn’t too complicated and with only 3 ingredients, you can’t go wrong. Note that the quality of the peanut butter you choose will affect the overall taste of the dessert, so use good stuff (organic vs Skippy, for example).  I hope they make you happy too. 

Total time: about 40 minutes from prep to eat 

Servings: 10-12

Ingredients

7 ounces of Vegan CHOCOLATE MORSELS or SQUARES
4 tablespoons of COCONUT OIL
3/4 cup good quality PEANUT BUTTER
12 cupcake PAPER LINERS 

DIRECTIONS

  • PLACE 10 to 12 cupcake paper liners in a flat baking dish.
  • In a double boiler* on medium heat, MELT the chocolate with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. STIR occasionally until completely combined. TURN off heat but leave on the stove to stay warm.
  • In a small bowl, MIX peanut butter and 2 tablespoons of coconut oil until well combined.
  • SPOON a small amount of the chocolate/coconut oil mixture into each cup; enough to cover the bottoms.
  • FREEZE the cups for a few minutes to set; 2 or 3 minutes should be fine.
  • Remove cups from freezer and DROP a small spoonful of peanut butter/coconut oil mixture on top of the hardened chocolate/coconut mixture in each cup.  FLATTENING with the back of a spoon. 
  • Then SPOON more chocolate/coconut oil mixture into each cup. If you want them to be like Reeses then put in enough chocolate/coconut oil mixture to cover all the peanut butter. I just drizzle chocolate on top for a pretty effect. 
  • FREEZE until ready to serve (at least 15 minutes to harden).
  • THAW to serve:  REMOVE the treats from the freezer about 30 minutes before you want to serve them. REMOVE the paper liners and place the naked treats in the refrigerator to thaw. If the treats get too soft they can lose their shape. If they do throw them back in the freezer for 5 minutes until they harden again.   

 *NOTE: Instead of a double boiler, I use a saucepan with about 1 inch of water in it with a heat safe bowl on top. Make sure that the bowl does not touch the water, as you want the chocolate to steam not boil. 

Spiced Pumpkin Muffins – Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free

Sometimes, I just crave a breakfast muffin. I like to heat them for 30 seconds in the microwave and then slather Vegan cream cheese on top. I tend to throw the kitchen sink of spices into these muffins so that the flavors of winter just explode in every bite. Adjust the spices and add-ins to match your mood.

Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Servings: 18

Ingredients

1-2/3 cup All Purpose GLUTEN-FREE FLOUR
1/2 teaspoon CINNAMON
1/2 teaspoon CLOVES
1/2 teaspoon NUTMEG
1/2 teaspoon GINGER
1/4 teaspoon BAKING POWDER
1 teaspoon BAKING SODA
1/2 teaspoon SALT
3/4 cup HONEY
2 EGGS (or Vegan egg replacer)
1/2 cup melted Vegan BUTTER (I use Earth Balance)*
1 15-ounce can of PUMPKIN PUREE (not Pumpkin Pie Mix)
1/4 cup cold WATER
1/4 cup dried CRANSBERRIES or RAISANS
1/4 cup chopped WALNUTS
1/4 cup dairy-free chocolate morsels (optional)
18 Paper Muffin LINERS

*If you are watching your fat, you can replace butter with APPLESAUCE.

Directions

  • PREHEAT oven to 325 degrees F.
  • LINE 2 12-cup muffin tins to handle about 18 muffin cups.
  •  In a large mixing bowl, MIX all dry ingredients together well.
  • In the same bowl, ADD all the rest of the ingredients and just throw it on top of the dry ingredients. STIR to combine. (I use a wooden spoon but I guess you could use an electric mixer.)
  • SPOON the batter into the lined muffin cups until each is about 3/4 filled.
  • BAKE for 40-45 minutes. (About 1/2 the time if you are making mini muffins).
  • TEST for doneness by inserting a toothpick (or another tester) into the center of a muffin. If it comes out with only a few moist crumbs on it, then they’re done. 
  • COOL for 10 minutes before removing them from the tins. If the muffins are stuck to the tin you can run a knife around them to loosen. 
Pumpkin happiness on the rise
Perfect blend of spices and pumpkin

Storage: You can store the muffins at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days or freeze them for 3 months. 

Almond Paste Macaroons

I love almond anything and these traditional Italian Christmas cookies are quick and easy to make for any holiday gathering with pre-made or store-bought almond paste. At only 30 to 40 calories per cookie, who can resist eating a few? They are gluten and dairy free, and if you make them with egg replacer they can even be Vegan. Be careful not to overcook them or they turn into little rocks. 

Cook Time: 20 – 30 minutes

Servings: 18

Ingredients

1 extra large EGG WHITE (Vegans can use EGG REPLACER)
1 8-ounce can ALMOND PASTE (or make 14-ounces of your own as follows)
1-1/2 cup BLANCHED ALMONDS or ALMOND MEAL/FLOUR
1-1/2 cup POWDERED SUGAR
1 EGG WHITE
(Vegans can use EGG REPLACER, with 3 teaspoons of CORN SYRUP)
2 teaspoons ALMOND EXTRACT
1/4 teaspoon SALT
1/2 cup granulated SUGAR
18 MARACHINO CHERRIES, optional
18 Sliced ALMONDS, optional

Directions

  • If you are making your own almond paste then do it at least the night before you make the cookies because it needs to be refrigerated to firm up.
  • To make almond paste: 
    • In a food processor, GRIND the blanched almonds (or use almond meal/flour already ground)
    • COMBINE the ground almonds and sugar and PULSE until well mixed
    • ADD almond extract and pulse again until combined
    • ADD egg whites (or egg replacer and corn syrup) and mix until it forms into a dough. If the mixture is too wet, add more sugar or almond flour
    • TURN OUT onto a clean work surface, KNEAD a few times, and ROLL the dough into a log
    • SPLIT the log into 2 servings (about 7-ounces each). Then WRAP each log in plastic and place in the refrigerator overnight. The dough will keep for at least a month in the refrigerator and up to six months in the freezer. 
  • PREHEAT oven to 325 degrees F
  • LINE a cookie sheet with parchment paper
  • COMBINE almond paste (after you break it into pieces for easier blending) and sugar in food processor. 
  • ADD egg white (or Vegan egg replacer) and mix in the food processor until the dough is sticky (2 or 3 minutes). (Note: If you chose to go the Vegan route, the cookies are not as chewy which is why you might want to add corn syrup, but it just isn’t the same as egg whites and it is hard to get the dough tacky enough.)
  • DROP rounded tablespoons of cookie dough onto the cookie sheet about 1 inch apart.
  • TOP cookies with either 1/2 a cherry or a sliced almond. You may have to press the cherry or almond into the cookie a little bit to make it stick.
  • BAKE 15 – 20 minutes on the middle shelf and then move them to the upper rack for 5-7 minutes.  The cookies should be golden brown in color.
  • MOVE cookies and parchment paper to a cooling rack and let them completely cool before placing in airtight containers.      

Inspired by the “Almond Macroons” recipe on the side of the Solofoods Almond paste box. https://solofoods.com 

Vegan Pumpkin Pie

What would Thanksgiving be without a wonderful gluten-free and dairy-free vegan pumpkin pie? I usually make 2 at a time because it gets eaten so quickly (just double the recipe with no problem). Treat yourself to some vegan whipped topping to finish it off (they have so many varieties of dairy-free whipped topping these days, who can resist?)    

Cook Time: 75 minutes

Servings: 8

Ingredients

1 15-ounce can of pure PUMPKIN PUREE (not pumpkin pie mix)
3/4 cup BROWN SUGAR (light brown sugar makes a nicer looking pie)
1 12-ounce packages of EXTRA FIRM SILKEN TOFU
1 teaspoon CINNAMON
1/4 teaspoon CLOVES
1/4 teaspoon NUTMEG
1/2 teaspoon SALT
1/2 teaspoon GINGER (I like ginger, use less if you don't)
1 9-inch unbaked gluten-free PIE SHELL
Vegan WHIPPED TOPPING (optional but a really good complement)

Directions

  • PREHEAT the oven to 435 degrees F
  • BLEND the pumpkin and brown sugar in a blender
  • ADD the tofu, salt, and spices and blend until smooth
  • POUR the mixture into the pie shell (I recommend putting the pie on a cookie sheet because the filling tends to run over the sides)
  • BAKE for 15 minutes then reduce temperature to 350 degrees F for another 60 minutes or until the filling has set
  • CHILL and server with vegan whipped topping