Category Archives: Desserts

Vegan Caramel Popcorn

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This particular caramel corn recipe is reminiscent of fairgrounds and greasy carnival food. Delightfully crunchy, sweet, and just a tad salty, this popcorn is deceptively simple to make and is sure to be a real crowd pleaser.

You Will Need:

  • 5 quarts popped popcorn- or 3 standard size bags of popcorn 
  • 1 cup vegan margarine
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Procedure:

  1. Place popped popcorn in a very large bowl. Use two bowls if necessary, leaving room to stir the popcorn around later. 
  2. In a medium nonstick pot, melt butter.
  3. When butter is completely melted, add brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Stir constantly until boiling, then boil without stirring for 4 minutes– set a timer to avoid overcooking.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 250 degrees and grease two cookie sheets.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
  6. Stir in baking soda. The caramel will quickly change color and turn thick, so don’t be too surprised! This really caught me off guard!
  7. Pour in a thin stream over popcorn, stirring to coat.
  8. Divide popcorn between the two cookie sheets and place in the oven. Bake for one hour, stirring every fifteen minutes. Halfway through, switch around the pans so each get a chance to be on top.
  9. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before breaking into pieces. Store in an airtight container and try not to eat it all at once!

Old Fashioned Vegan Fudge

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This fudge is rich and decadent, and not too sweet- perfect for holiday gatherings or afternoon chocolate cravings. I have tried multiple vegan fudge recipes, and this one is by far the best and the easiest!

You Will Need:

  • 5/6 cup (6.5 ounces) vegan vanilla coffee creamer
  • 2 1/4 cups white sugarr
  • 1/4 cup vegan margarine
  • 20 ounces enjoy life chocolate chips
  • desired toppings, optional

Procedure:

  1. Grease a metal pan of choice. I used a 10” cake pan, but an 8×8 square pan works too. Set aside.
  2. Pour coffee creamer and sugar into a medium sized nonstick pot. Turn burner on over medium high and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. 
  3. Immediately remove from heat and stir in margarine until melted. Add chocolate chips and stir. Continue stirring until the fudge is smooth and silky.
  4. Stir in any desired extras like chopped nuts, and pour immediately into the pre-greased pan.
  5. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the sides of the pot and shape fudge into the pan- it’s thick and very hot, so be careful. Sprinkle on any desired toppings and press down gently with the palm of your hand to partially embed them in the fudge.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to cool at room temperature. Do not cut until fudge is completely cool- this may take several hours. For quicker cooling, refrigerate. Use caution, as this will make your fudge very hard (it will soften up as it returns to room temperature).

Fudgey Chocolate Cups

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Are you ready for an INSANELY delicious recipe? This is it! As always, allergen free, and easily vegan. Even better, this recipe is very easy, suitable for even beginner cooks. Take a few minutes and make these delectable goodies– your taste buds will thank you!

You Will Need:

For Chocolate:

– Cupcake papers, regular or miniature size

– 1 cup coconut oil

– 3/4 cup cocoa powder

– 3/4 cup honey or corn syrup

– 1 tsp vanilla

– 1 tsp imitation butter flavor*

Ideas For Filling:

– raw cashew butter

– marshmallows

– chopped nuts, such as almonds

– dried fruit, such as cranberries or cherries.

Procedure:

1. Combine all of the ‘chocolate’ ingredients in a medium saucepan and heat slowly over medium-low heat, stirring constantly once coconut oil begins to melt.

2. Arrange cupcake papers on a cookie sheet. Recipe makes about a dozen regular, or many more miniature cups.

3. Scoop 1 spoonful of melted chocolate into each cupcake paper. Brush sides of cup with chocolate halfway to the top of the cupcake papers. Be sure to leave no bare spots, as your filling will leak through these holes.

4. Place entire cookie sheet in freezer for approximately 10-15 minutes, or until chocolate is tacky. When touched, your finger should come away clean and the chocolate will feel ‘gelatinous’.

5. While chocolate is hardening, prepare the filling. 1 tsp of dairy free soy free margarine and 1/2 cup marshmallows can be heated slowly to make a marshmallow cream chocolate cup. A tablespoon of raw cashew butter makes for a delicious un-peanut butter cup. Whole marshmallows and chopped almonds make a yummy Rocky Road cup.

6. When the chocolate cups are hardened, remove from freezer and add filling of choice. Spoon more chocolate (it should still be runny- heat slightly if needed) on top of filling. If desired, sprinkle chopped nuts on top of chocolate cups.

7. Replace in freezer. Let set for 30 minutes, or until chocolate is almost completely hardened.

8. Remove from freezer and gently peel away the cupcake wrappers. Be careful, as the edges of the chocolate will be brittle.

9. Replace in freezer for an additional 10 minutes before enjoying.

10. Store in the refrigerator to ensure that chocolate keeps shape and does not melt.

*NOTE: May substitute 1tsp dairy free soy free margarine, melted.

**NOTE: For completely vegan cups, use vegan marshmallows. For nut-free cups, avoid using nuts.

Chocolatey Chocolate Chunk Brownies

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These brownies are lip-smacking good and of course are allergy friendly! Check out this recipe for the ultimate gooey chocolate snack. For firmer brownies, refrigerate after baking. Otherwise, store these in an airtight container to maintain their softness.

You Will Need:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup cool water
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chunks*

Procedure:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of an 8×8 metal cake pan. 
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Stir in water, oil, and vanilla, and mix until well blended. Add chocolate chunks.
  4. Pour into pan and spread evenly. Smooth the top and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is no longer shiny. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before cutting into squares.

*NOTE: There are several brands of vegan chocolate chips and chocolate chunks on the market. My favorite is Enjoy Life Foods chocolate chunks, which melt and taste like real milk chocolate chunks.

Soft Pumpkin Cookies With Brown Sugar & Marshmallow Glaze

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Please excuse the picture quality! I left my camera at my in laws’ and snapped this with a camera phone.

It’s the day after Thanksgiving, and if your kitchen is anything like mine, you’ve got leftover pumpkin you don’t know what to do with! Even if that isn’t the case, this recipe is so gooey and delicious it’s totally worth opening a new can of pumpkin puree. These cookies come out soft and fluffy, more cake-like than anything, and are absolutely delicious.

You Will Need:

For Cookies:

  • 1 cup soy-free margarine
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg substitute
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups flour

For Glaze:

  • 3 tbsp soy-free margarine
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup marshmallows
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp orange peel or orange zest

Procedure:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together soy free margarine and sugars until light and fluffy. Mix in egg substitute, such as Ener-G Foods Egg Replacer.
  3. Blend in pumpkin puree and vanilla extract. Mixture will probably look separated and grainy- this is okay.
  4. Add baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  5. Gradually stir in flour. The dough should be soft and fluffy, and light orange-brown in color.
  6. Drop spoonfuls of cookie dough onto ungreased cookie sheets, 3 inches apart.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, or until edges of cookies are golden brown.
  8. Immediately transfer cookies to wire racks or other cooling apparatus (I use a plate). Allow to cool completely before frosting with brown sugar & marshmallow glaze.

Procedure For Glaze:

  1. Add soy-free margarine, sugar, and marshmallows to a small saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until melted.
  2. Stir in nutmeg and orange zest.
  3. Allow to cool to room temperature, then glaze cookies sparingly.

Holiday Rice Pudding

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With the holidays right around the corner (hello, Thanksgiving!), it seemed the appropriate time for rice pudding. My daughter loves the way her grandpa makes rice pudding, but alas, it is not vegan! Whether you’re looking for breakfast or dessert, this new take on an old recipe is sure to please!

You Will Need:

  • 3/4 c uncooked white rice
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 c white sugar
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 1 tsp poppy seeds (optional)
  • 1 tsp orange zest (or lemon)
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 c raisins (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Procedure:

  1. Boil the milk and water. Add rice and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes.
  2. Stir in seasonings. If rice thickens too much, add additional coconut milk. Stir in raisins.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool, stirring occasionally.
  4. When rice is nearing room temperature, stir in vanilla extract and any additional add-ins if desired.* Serve warm or chilled. Enjoy!

*NOTE: Good ideas for add-ins include dried cranberries, chopped walnuts, chopped or slivered almonds, and golden raisins. Experiment to find what tastes best to you and your family!

Sinful Chocolate Fudge

Oh my goodness! I was totally bummed out about not being able to make or eat fudge this year. It’s usually a Christmas tradition for me! I was THRILLED when I was able to modify a traditional chocolate fudge recipe to suit my needs! I can’t wait to see if my holiday guests will be able to tell the difference!

You Will Need:

  • 1/2 cup Vanilla flavored almond or coconut milk
  • 1 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy-free margarine*
  • 1/2 cup Enjoy Life dairy free chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Preparation:

  1. Put alternative milk and sugar in a sauce pan. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. While you can use soy milk if you are not allergic, soy milk does tend to curdle when heated, so use extra caution here. Bring to a boil and, stirring frequently, boil for 7 minutes.
  2. Remove pan from heat, adding margarine, chocolate, and vanilla. Stir until margarine and chocolate melt and the mixture is smooth and creamy. Do not neglect the stirring, as the chocolate will burn!
  3. Pour into a greased 8×8 casserole dish. A smaller dish can be used to yield thicker pieces of fudge. We prefer them thin.
  4. Refrigerate overnight before cutting into squares**

*NOTE- I prefer Earth Balance’s soy-free margarine. Earth Balance Organic Coconut Spread also works well, but doesn’t have the same authentic butter flavor.

**NOTE- To change the flavor or add a festive feel to your fudge, crushed peppermints, crushed candy canes, chopped nuts, coconut, or any other holiday topping can be sprinkled over fudge. Press the toppings down gently so they set into the fudge a bit prior to serving.

 

Now that fudge is back on the menu for you, too, I urge you to watch your waistlines- this one’s bound to be addicting! Cheers, and happy eating!

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