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Vegan Gingersnaps

December 18, 2016

ginger-snaps-vegangingersnaps

It’s the last weekend before Christmas!! 

How did this happen?? I hope you all have your act together – unlike me. I admit to beginning my holiday shopping this past Wednesday. Oops. It somehow got away from me this year. Usually I’m all over it, and even have time to order things online. Now, I fear that anything ordered online will arrive post-Christmas. Another oops.

Thankfully, I’ve been able to find a few perfect gifts so far, and even delivered one already. I think that makes up for the lateness of my shopping. 

If only I was as prepared as I was with my holiday baking.

I like to start early so I can freeze it and take it out when needed. That way, it’s ready for all the holiday get-togethers, and last-minute get-togethers. I also tend to over-bake. As in, when the holidays are over I somehow still have a TON of leftover holiday baking in the freezer. I’m pretty sure Adam took out a tin of cookies from last year.. another oops.

These Vegan Gingersnaps are so easy to make, and freeze well – just, maybe not for a year. 

vegan-gingersnaps

It’s also SNOWING again. I’m secretly hoping it sticks around for us to have a white christmas.

Vegan Gingersnaps
Perfectly crisp and chewy ginger snap cookies.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 2½ tsp baking soda
  3. 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  4. 1½ tsp ground ginger
  5. ½ cup vegan butter, melted
  6. ⅔ cup dark brown sugar, packed
  7. ½ cup blackstrap or fancy molasses
  8. ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  9. 2/3 cup raw cane sugar, for rolling
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger. Mix well.
  3. In a larger bowl, whisk together melted butter, brown sugar, molasses and vanilla.
  4. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Pour raw sugar into a small bowl for rolling.
  6. Scoop cookie dough by the heaping tablespoon and roll into balls. Roll dough in raw sugar. Gently press each dough ball to flatten slightly. Place cookies on cookie sheet with parchment or baking mat.
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the cookies are cracked, puffy, and the edges appear cooked. Cool on a cooling rack.
Adapted from I Love Vegan
Adapted from I Love Vegan
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/
Bars & Squares, Brownies

Gluten Free Brownies

December 14, 2016

Best Gluten Free Brownies // bakeaholic.ca

Best Gluten Free Brownies // bakeaholic.ca

The last week of school before the winter break is especially busy. Decorating, rehearsing for the concert, finishing up work and trying to keep it all together – while happily smiling.

There are three more days until freedom. Plus, we’ve been hit by two largish snow storms. Needless to say, the kids are interested in the snow more than anything happening in class right now. It’s hard to compete with snow. 

While pretty, the snow makes for an icy commute and below zero temperatures. You can find me beneath 6+ blankets on the couch, with the heater pointing directly at me. I hate to think of our heating bill this month – those long, hot, showers are everything. 

As are these brownies – they are everything you want in a gluten-free brownie. They’re rich, fudgey and have the quintessential flakey, sugary crust on top. The sign of a true brownie. 

All the holiday baking has been completed and is nestled in the freezer with hopes that Adam and I don’t eat them all before Christmas. So far, we’ve only snuck a couple brownies and Vegan Nanaimo Bars. The only thing I have left to make are the Pizzelle, which I like to make fresh a day or two before Christmas. And maybe another batch of Nonna’s Biscotti. Just in case. Us Italians like our Biscotti. 

If you haven’t finished your holiday baking yet, and need something truly decadent, these brownies are sure to please everyone. They would be cute boxed up as a delicious gift, too!

Best Gluten Free Brownies // bakeaholic.ca

I’ve had some misses with brownies in the past, relying on my Black Bean Brownies, or Flourless Brownies when I wanted to make a batch because they always turn out great. While both delicious, they just don’t replace that dense, fudge ‘real’ brownie. 

These brownies deliver the best of both worlds. 

Total brownie points. 

Best Gluten Free Brownies // bakeaholic.ca

Gluten Free Brownies
Rich, fudgey gluten free brownies. You'll never know the difference!
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup Chopped Dark Chocolate
  2. 3/4 cup Butter
  3. 1 + 3/4 cups Granulated Sugar
  4. 3 Eggs
  5. 1 tablespoon Vanilla extract
  6. 2 tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder ( I like Hershey's Extra Dark )
  7. 1 cup Gluten-Free Baking Flour (I use Cup 4 Cup)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Line a 9x9” pan with parchment.
  3. Place chocolate and butter in double boiler and melt until smooth.
  4. Alternatively, you can use a medium sized microwave safe bowl. Heat in 1 minute increments, stirring between each until smooth.
  5. Using hand held mixer, beat sugar into chocolate mixture, then beat in eggs until well mixed. Add the vanilla, cocoa, and blend until smooth.
  6. Add in the flour and blend once again.
  7. Pour batter into the pan. You can sprinkle a little sea-salt on top if you like.
  8. Bake for about 18-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out slightly fudgey. Do not over bake, otherwise you will get a dry cake-like brownie.
  9. Cool completely in the pan. Lift out with parchment and cut into squares.
Notes
  1. Store in an airtight container for a few days, or freeze for up to one month.
  2. The original recipe baked these for 22-25 minutes, but I always begin at 18-20 minutes, and add more time if needed. It's better to have a fudgey slightly under-baked brownie.
Adapted from Crazy For Crust
Adapted from Crazy For Crust
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/
Best Gluten Free Brownies // bakeaholic.ca

Bars & Squares, Vegan

Vegan Nanaimo Bars

December 9, 2016

Vegan Nanaimo Bars // Bakeaholic.ca

Vegan Nanaimo Bars // Bakeaholic.ca

It finally feels like Christmas!

It’s snowing for the first time in December in two years. Even as an adult, I’m pretty excited. I’m hoping we have a white christmas.

We’ve also already hosted our first two christmas get togethers, and I’ve had my work staff party.

As a teacher, it’s pretty exciting to have an entire class of students watching out the window as the snowflakes begin to fall. Needless to say, we’re not getting a whole lot accomplished in these last two weeks of school.

Another reason it’s beginning to feel like christmas is that I’ve almost finished all my baking. I parked myself in the kitchen last weekend and cranked out what can only be described as an overload of sugar. My husband’s friend always ask how he is so thin with the amount of baking I do, but he always tells them that he’s not allowed to eat it. Which is true – I always tell him he’s not allowed to touch it until It’s out for guests, then he can finally have some. He’s so deprived.

I knew I had to make the classic christmas treats – and that included nanaimo bars. My grandma always made them as a kid, and then my aunt took over making them. She was the nanaimo bar queen. I asked her for her recipe before, and I try and make them as good as she does.

Vegan Nanaimo Bars // Bakeaholic.ca

This year however, I decided to try something a little different. After doing some investigating, Graham Crackers are actually vegan. They contain no egg or butter. So I thought why not try and make vegan nanaimo bars! I subbed the butter for coconut oil – which works perfectly as this is essentially a coconut dessert. And then I used a flax egg – which I wasn’t sure about, but it turned out great as well!

You can of course make the original, subbing butter and eggs, but I can honestly say these are AS good, if not Better – than the original.

Vegan Nanaimo Bars // Bakeaholic.ca

Happy Baking! & hope you get to enjoy some snow

Vegan Nanaimo Bars
These Nanaimo Bars are just as delicious as the original version, but made slightly healthier with coconut oil and flax seed eggs.
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For the Base
  1. 1 cup Coconut Oil
  2. 1/2 cup Sugar
  3. 10 tbsp. Dark Cocoa
  4. 1 flax egg ( 1 Tbs. Ground Flax Seeds + 3 Tbs. Water )
  5. 2 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  6. 3/4 cup Walnuts, chopped
  7. 2 cups coconut
Second Layer
  1. ½ cup coconut oil, solid at room temperature
  2. 1/4 cup vegan butter
  3. 2 Tbsp Almond Milk
  4. 2 Tbsp. Birds Custard Powder
  5. 2-3 cups icing sugar
Third Layer
  1. Dark Chocolate
  2. tsp. of coconut oil
Instructions
  1. In the top of a double boiler (if you do not own one, place a glass or metal bowl over top of a sauce pan filled with simmering water) melt together the coconut oil. Add in sugar and cocoa, whisk to combine. Remove from heat when fully melted.
  2. In a small bowl make the flax egg.
  3. Slowly whisk it into the melted butter and cocoa mixture. Continue to whisk until it thickens.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the crumbs, coconut and chopped walnuts.
  5. Press mixture into a parchment lined 9"x13" pan and place in fridge, covered.
  6. In a stand mixer with paddle attachment whip the coconut oil until pale and creamy. Add the almond milk and custard powder and continue to beat. Slowly add the icing sugar and whip until the consistency of frosting.
  7. Take the chilled base out of the fridge. Spoon the custard layer over top, using a offset spatula or spatula to smooth evenly over top of bottom layer.
  8. Place in fridge, covered to set 3-4 hours, or overnight.
  9. You want the base to set and harden completely.
  10. Once chilled, remove from fridge. Carefully lift out of the pan using the parchment paper.
  11. Using a long knife, cut evenly into 1.5 x 1.5 inch bars.
  12. Finally, after you have sliced the bars fully into squares place them onto a cooling rack with a piece of parchment paper underneath. Melt the Chocolate and coconut oil in the microwave in 1 minutes intervals, stirring until fully melted. Spoon the melted chocolate into a ziplock bag or piping bag and snip off the corner. Drizzle the melted chocolate over top of the bars. Place aside to allow chocolate to set.
  13. To store the bars, place them in an airtight container in the fridge separating the layers with parchment. Alternatively, you can place them back into the 9x13" pan and cover.
Notes
  1. The bars also freeze very well.
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/