All things sweet

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So the recipe this week is surely the furthest I can get from becoming healthy, being vegan, gluten free or sugar free!  Out of the five weeks of baking I do for the parents at Infant Massage this recipe is the most sugar laden … and probably the most irresistible of them all.  Herself also loves it when I make these because it is the one week she doesn’t have a little (vegan) brother competing for the left overs … just her father at the end of the day 🙂

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Drying the covers for the upcoming class.

So as the covers (from the duvet that everyone sits/lies on) have been washed and are getting blown dry on the line ready for Wednesday’s class I thought I would share what I made last week for everyone. They are in hot demand and so in between guarding cookies from certain wee hands, offering them at Infant massage and letting herself and her father enjoy the leftovers I only just remembered about a photo as the last few were about to be devoured  ……. herself did suggest that I make more so you could all see a full batch, fresh and warm, though I have declined that offer 🙂

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Even this photo was hard to get with little hands trying to nab them!

It is actually thanks to herself that we have this recipe as she found it many years ago when researching how the chocolate chip came into existence ….. Thanks Ruth Wakefield …. so I guess it is only fair that she gets the spoils.  It has been a rare treat ever since and having two vegans on the bus has made it even rarer and it has been over a year now since these beauties were fragrancing -yes, it is a real word – our wee bus.

Though it is sugar laden you can reduce some of this by using 90% chocolate or reducing the sugar if you are so inclined.  You can also add in some nuts to replace some of the chocolate.  Another version I have tried was with white chocolate, which I bought by mistake, which everyone loved.  I’ll leave it to you to play with and enjoy though I’d love to hear about any good variations you find.

Chocolate Chip Cookies 

This is half the original recipe and still makes around 45 biscuits.

1 1/8 Cup Flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

125 gm softened butter (1/2 Cup)

3/4 Cup raw/brown sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

1 large egg

1 Cup of broken up dark chocolate (the darker the better and the less sugar). One block is more than enough.

  • Pre-heat oven to 190 C
  • Melt the butter and beat with the sugar until blended
  • Add the egg and vanilla essence, mixing well.
  • Mix in the flour and baking soda.
  • Add chocolate in and stir well into the dough
  • Drop teaspoon sized balls of dough onto a lined tray (baking paper is good).  They will flatten and expand on baking so leave room for this
  • Bake for 9-11 minutes or until the cookies begin to flatten and brown.
  • Cool on a wire rack …. if you can wait that long!!

Hope this finds you enjoying life’s sweet treats, happy, healthy and content.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz/

Vegan goodness

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So our latest culinary challenge, sorry, adventure has been delving into the world of veganism as our youngest has decided that he is now Vegan.  He has always been a bit of a picky eater around meat and is constantly worried about animal welfare so it really didn’t come as a huge shock when he announced a month ago that he was vegetarian and then followed up a week later with ‘ I think I’ll give being a vegan a try.’

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The last few pieces of our vegan shortbread.

It actually hasn’t been that bad and if anything it has been awesome not having him tempted by all the rubbishy chocolate treats that abound in every shop.  There are 2 main stumbling blocks I have hit so far though; 1) Eating out and 2) Baking.  Eating out is a bit of a mine field as it seems every thing is out on the children’s menu … have you noticed how every kid’s menu is deep fried meat of some description … and most things suitable on the adult menu are either too spicy or so expensive it makes us think twice. Thankfully we don’t eat out that much, the thought it takes is beyond my mental powers at the moment, and when we do venture out at least he is having a fairly healthy meal unlike before.

Which brings us to the second point ….. soooo many recipes rely on eggs (well the ones I currently make anyway) and even though we are pretty good at replacing the dairy it is taking me a while to get my head around using egg replacements (chia seeds and water is the main one I’m using at the moment).  I have been doing the research though to ensure that we get all the good bits into him and thanks to some great Vegan recipe books from the local library  I have found some great savoury and sweet baking ideas to keep everyone (well half of us to be honest) happy.  The one recipe that has been made the most so far is courtesy of Jennifer Katzinger’s Flying Apron Gluten Free and Vegan Baking Book.  This delicious ‘Vegan Shortbread’ (my name for it as I have returned the book and forgot the name sorry) is so easy and so delicious that I’m sure you’ll be whipping it up numerous times too.

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What I’m putting below is a half recipe of what is printed in the book as I found that was more than enough.  I also cut it into more squares than the recipe in the book indicates as we found it very rich and a little square of it was enough.  If you enjoy this recipe though I would recommend checking out the whole recipe book as has so many more delicious things to make. 😉

Vegan shortbread

  • 1 & 3/8 cups Rice Flour
  • a grind of salt
  • 1/2 Cup of coconut oil
  • 3/8 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

– Preheat the oven to 190C (375F)

– Melt the coconut oil and then add the maple syrup

– Blend all the ingredients together.

– Pour and flatten the mixture into a baking paper lined baking dish

– Bake for 15 – 20 min or until the edges are slightly brown

– Remove from the oven and cut into squares while it is still warm in the tin

– Slide onto a cooling rack and break into separate pieces when it is fully cooled.

– Enjoy!

Well that is it from me on a cold and snow predicted evening. I hope this finds you all warm, healthy and enjoying life at whatever temperature you have it at. 😉

Arohanui

Y