Jammy Devils

This month’s MiniMoFo theme is “Literary Inspiration”. If you know my reading habits, you’ll know I am a huge Discworld fan. I’ve even used the series in a previous VeganMoFo post! If you’ve not read Discworld – what are you waiting for? Terry Pratchett’s writing is astounding in its ability to be both fun and serious at the same time, to involve so much detail and yet be enjoyable to read, and to ultimately make you feel at home in his world.

Ankh-Morpork, the central city in the Discworld books, may remind you slightly of London, or perhaps some other city in which you grew up, just with magic and trolls. This recipe hails from there, adapted from Nanny Ogg’s Cookbook (yes, there is a Discworld cookbook) where it is described as “hot, sweet, and cheap. Just the thing for a snack in the middle of a night shift”. Now, I don’t know about night shifts – but I do know these are great for that warm, cosy feeling you get as the nights are drawing in and winter is looming in the background. There’s something about jammy desserts that gives off a relaxing vibe.

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Now, I used a few different sorts of jam for these cookies, because I always have jam around and I thought it’d be fun to try several flavours, but you could just use one flavour if you like. I love how these look like kind of jewels on the plate!

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One thing to be aware of when making these biscuits is – don’t put too much jam on them! You want enough that you can taste it, but if you put a giant dollop on, then it’ll pour over the edge of the biscuit and burn in the oven – and burnt jam is not very nice. Just make a little dip in the middle of the biscuit, and fill that with jam, and then you’ll have lovely not-burnt biscuits!

Jammy Devils

  • Servings: 20 biscuits
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Ingredients

  • 150g vegan butter
  • 120g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch in the US)
  • 250g plain flour
  • 2-3 tbsp vegan milk
  • approx 4-5 tbsp jam

Directions

    Preheat the oven to 180C/355F/Gas Mark 4
  1. Begin by creaming the butter and sugar together until smooth and well mixed.
  2. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  3. Sift in the flour and cornflour and mix to form a soft dough, adding the milk a tablespoon at a time if necessary.
  4. Place tablespoon sized balls of dough on a lined baking tray, evenly spaced.
  5. Using your finger, or the back of a small spoon, make an indentation in the middle of each biscuit.
  6. Add a small amount of jam to each divot – not so much that it overflows, just enough to fill the dip.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, until the edges are turning golden brown.
  8. Allow to cool on the baking tray.

 

 

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Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Is there much better than a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie? Not really. Cookies are perfect to just eat as they are, or to bake up and take to an event. That’s where these cookies come in – and this month’s MiniMoFo too! These cookies are great to pack up and eat outdoors, I took them to a family do and everyone enjoyed them.

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I’ve spent years perfecting my chocolate chip cookie recipe. I’ve cycled through many variations – ones that are soft and cakey, ones that are crispy, ones that are all brown sugar, ones that are all white….and so on. All of which are good, but they’re not this recipe. My husband even declared this to be his favourite, which is quite a compliment!

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The idea for these cookies actually came from Reddit, of all places, where I saw a recipe that used a mixture of baking powder, water, and oil as an egg replacer. They mixed it all together and then poured it into the dough, but I found it worked just as well – if not better – put straight into the mixture.

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These cookies are perfectly crispy on the outside, and soft and chewy on the middle. When you first take them out of the oven, they look a little puffed up and underbaked – but don’t worry! Leave them on the tray for five minutes and they turn into the delicious cookies you can see in the pictures.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Servings: makes 30 cookies
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Ingredients

  • 175g vegan butter
  • 200g brown sugar
  • 150g white sugar
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 0.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 350g flour
  • 200g chocolate chips

Directions

    Preheat the oven to 170C/340F
  1. Begin by creaming the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.
  2. Add in the baking powder, oil, and water, and stir until well combined.
  3. Mix in the vanilla and bicarbonate of soda.
  4. Stir through the flour until you get a stiff dough.
  5. Fold through the chocolate chips until well distributed through the cookie dough.
  6. Place walnut size balls of dough on baking trays, leaving space for them to expand.
  7. Put in the preheated oven for 13-15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove and leave to cool on the trays for at least 5 minutes.
  8. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Vegan Lemon Drizzle Cake

Once again, I am bending the rules a little bit for this month’s MiniMoFo. The prompt is “in season”, and this post uses lemons, which are never in season in the UK because we don’t grow them here. However, lemons are, to me, fresh and summery and make a great introduction to the spring season. Signalling the departure from warm, spiced, wintery foods, a sharp and sweet lemon cake is perfect to welcome in (hopefully) sunnier weather.

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Lemon drizzle cake is a classic British cake, usually baked in a loaf tin, which gives a big lemony kick by including lemons in the sponge, and a glaze that’s poured on top of the hot cake once removed from the oven. My recipe also has an extra bit of lemon in the icing that tops it!

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The important thing with this cake is to pour the glaze on top whilst the cake is still hot. Take it out of the oven, leave it in the tin, and then pour the glaze on top. It looks like you are pouring a lot of liquid on the cake and you probably think you are drowning it, but it all gets absorbed into the cake, creating a lovely sticky lemon taste. Then, you leave it to cool completely in the tin, before removing and drizzling with the icing.

A few steps – but totally worth it. Slice this cake and serve with a nice cup of tea – or lemonade if you want to go all out with the lemon!

Lemon Drizzle Cake

  • Servings: 1 loaf cake
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Ingredients

    For the Cake
  • Zest of 1 lemon (1 tbsp)
  • Juice of 2 lemons (5 tbsp)
  • 190ml vegan milk (I used almond milk)
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch salt
  • 60g vegan butter, melted
  • 100g sugar
  • For the Glaze

  • Juice of 2 lemons (5 tbsp)
  • 75g sugar
  • For the Icing

  • 75g icing sugar
  • Squeeze lemon juice
  • Water if necessary

Directions

    Preheat the oven to 170C/340F
  1. In a bowl, mix together the milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarb, and salt.
  3. Into the milk mixture, add the melted butter and sugar, and whisk with a fork until well combined.
  4. Gradually pour the wet mixture into the dry, mixing until it’s all thoroughly stirred in.
  5. Pour the cake batter into a lined loaf tin, and bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, until a knife inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  6. Towards the end of the baking time, begin making the glaze.
  7. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and lemon juice. Place on low-medium heat, and stir until the sugar completely dissolves and the mixture begins to bubble. Keep warm.
  8. Once you have removed the baked cake from the oven, pour the glaze evenly over the cake. It will look like a lot of liquid – but it will sink in!
  9. Leave the glazed cake to cool completely before removing from the tin.
  10. Once cool, make the icing. Mix together the icing sugar with a squeeze of lemon juice, and enough water to make a thick runny icing.
  11. Using a spoon (or a piping bag), drizzle the icing over the cooled cake.
  12. Store in the fridge.

Bourbon Biscuit Brownies

These brownies are both biscuit and brownie. Not in the way that my brookies were a cross between a brownie and a cookie, but in the way that they’re brownies, stuffed full of biscuits! This recipe fits right in with March’s MiniMoFo challenge of “stuffed and filled foods” (indeed, bourbons are a filled biscuit, which in this case are then stuffed inside brownies!), and also has some cool alliteration in the recipe title.

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Have you ever had a Bourbon Biscuit? If you’re not British, then maybe not. Bourbon biscuits are a rectangular cocoa biscuit with a chocolatey filling. If you’re American, the closest you can get would be a chocolate cream filled oreo, they’re different, but they’d work the same in this recipe. Bourbons do not actually have anything to do with the drink, bourbon, and are quite non-alcoholic, being a favourite to dunk into a cup of tea. Many supermarket versions are vegan, just check the packet before you buy!

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These brownies use bourbon biscuits much like other brownies use chocolate chips. The biscuits get chopped up (surprisingly easy to do) and stirred into the batter, with a few placed on top before baking. They’re super chocolatey and great for fans of the popular biscuit!

Bourbon Biscuit Brownies

  • Servings: 20 brownies
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Ingredients

  • 200g bourbon biscuits, chopped into roughly 1cm pieces (with a few reserved to top the brownies)
  • 100g vegan butter
  • 50g dark chocolate
  • 225g sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 50g cocoa
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 175ml milk of choice (I used oat milk)
  • 300g flour

Directions

    Preheat the oven to 170C/340F and line a baking dish
  1. In a large bowl, melt together the butter and chocolate.
  2. Add the sugar, vanilla, cocoa, salt, and bicarbonate of soda, and mix well.
  3. Stir in the milk until well combined.
  4. Add the flour and mix through.
  5. Fold in the chopped bourbon biscuits until evenly distributed.
  6. Pour the batter into your prepared tin, and top with the remaining biscuits.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until a knife comes out clean.
  8. Cool in the tin, then slice and eat!

Coffee Cupcakes with Caramel Drizzle

Confession: I’m not much of a coffee drinker. I know, in this world full of Starbucks and Costas that’s pretty shocking, right? The thing is, I can’t do caffeine, and getting decaf and vegan options at a coffee shop is always a little risk for me. So, I don’t really drink much coffee. This doesn’t mean I think coffee tastes bad though. One thing I really love is coffee cake.

Coffee cake is something that I believe means different things in different places. I have learnt that in America, coffee cake is cake that you eat with coffee. Like a biscuit for your tea. In the UK, however, coffee cake is cake that tastes like coffee. Coffee flavoured cake. I think our way makes more sense, because if you have a chocolate cake, it is a chocolate flavoured cake, right, not a cake you eat with chocolate? Anyway, these cakes are coffee flavoured. The buttercream is also coffee flavoured! And they’re all topped with a caramel drizzle – because caramel and coffee go very well together.

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When using coffee in things like cakes, the easiest way is to use instant coffee. You don’t need to worry about posh tasting coffee because in a cake, you can’t really tell, and instant coffee gives you the ability to just dissolve some in water to get the amount you need. You can make a really concentrated coffee that flavours your cake well without adding too much extra liquid. However, if you don’t have access to instant coffee, you could make up a really really strong cup of coffee and use a similar amount, liquid wise.

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To make the caramel sauce, I boil together some vegan butter, sugar, and golden syrup in a saucepan for five minutes, then add a little milk (I used almond milk) and beat it until it thickened up. I used an electric whisk for this because it makes it easier, if you want to do it by hand, use a wooden spoon and beat for a while until it is thickened and opaque.

 

Coffee Cupcakes with Caramel Drizzle

  • Servings: 12 cupcakes
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Ingredients

    For the Cakes
  • 300ml milk of choice (I used almond milk)
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 300g plain flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 100ml oil
  • 160g sugar
  • 2 heaped tsp instant coffee
  • 1 tbsp boiling water
  • For the Buttercream

  • 75g vegan butter (I used vitalite)
  • 600g icing sugar
  • 2 tsp instant coffee
  • 1 tbsp boiling water
  • For the Caramel Drizzle

  • 50g vegan butter
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 50g golden syrup
  • 25g white sugar
  • 50ml milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions

    Preheat the oven to 175C/350F
  1. First, make the cakes. Begin by combining the milk and the cider vinegar in a medium sized bowl, and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt, bicarb, and baking powder.
  3. Mix together the instant coffee and boiling water until the coffee dissolves. Add this to the milk mixture.
  4. Into this, add the oil and sugar, and whisk with a fork until all well combined.
  5. Gradually pour the liquid mixture into the flour mixture, stirring, until well mixed with no lumps.
  6. Spoon the mixture into cupcake cases, and place into your preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until a knife inserted into a cake comes out clean.
  7. Let the cupcakes completely cool before you make the icing.
  8. Once the cupcakes are cool, begin the buttercream. Start by mixing together the instant coffee and boiling water in a cup, and setting aside.
  9. Next, in a large bowl, add the butter and a third of the icing sugar. Mix well.
  10. Add another third of the icing sugar and mix again until well combined. Stir in the coffee.
  11. Then, add the remaining icing sugar and mix until light and fluffy. Spoon into a piping bag and pipe the icing on top of your cupcakes.
  12. Finally, make the caramel drizzle. In a small saucepan, add the butter, sugars, and golden syrup, and bring to a simmer.
  13. Simmer for five minutes on a low-medium heat, then remove from the heat and add the salt and milk.
  14. Mix, either with an electric mixer or a wooden spoon, continuously until the caramel thickens and starts to go opaque.
  15. Drizzle the caramel on top of the iced cupcakes.
  16. Store in the fridge!

Brookies! – VeganMoFo Day 30

It’s the last day of VeganMoFo 2016! How sad is that? 😦 I really hope everyone has enjoyed it, and has found some great new vegan friends and recipes this month.

How apt that the final prompt for VeganMoFo this year is about giving. I love giving food as gifts and in fact did a huge order of food gifts for my family this past weekend. I made lots of my Millionaire’s Shortbread and lots of this recipe too.

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Introducing brookies! They are a cross between brownies and cookies. I used my brownie recipe as inspiration – these cookies have melted chocolate in the batter which makes them lovely and fudgy – and adapted it into cookie form. And these might be the best cookie recipe I have ever come up with!

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These cookies only take 10 minutes to bake – don’t leave them in any longer or they’ll overbake – and are so deliciously gooey and chocolatey that they are a perfect food gift for any chocolate lover. They use aquafaba, which is liquid from a can of chickpeas – read about it in my carob cookies page – which works in place of eggs and keeps them holding together.

Brookies

  • Servings: Makes 22 Cookies
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Ingredients

  • 100g vegan plain chocolate, broken into squares
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp instant coffee powder (optional)
  • 75g vegan butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tbsp milk of choice
  • 3 tbsp aquafaba
  • 225g white sugar
  • 200g plain flour
  • 75g chocolate chips

Directions

    Preheat your oven to 180C/355F
  1. In a heatproof bowl, combine the chocolate, cocoa, coffee, and butter. In a microwave, or over a double boiler, melt completely.
  2. Into the melted mixture, add the bicarbonate of soda, vanilla, and aquafaba, and mix well.
  3. Stir through the sugar until well combined.
  4. Add the flour to the mix and fold through until no pockets of flour remain.
  5. Finally, fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Place tablespoon size balls on a baking tray – no need to flatten – leaving a space between as they will spread slightly.
  7. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. They will look slightly underbaked but do not leave any longer!
  8. Leave to cool before eating.

Mince Pie Cookies – VeganMoFo Day 28

It’s the final week of VeganMoFo 2016! Can you believe that? In just a few days it’ll be December, nearly Christmas. Are you feeling festive yet? Or are you a bit of a Scrooge and wish we’d all shut up about Christmas? Well, I’m firmly in the former camp. Christmas is great! If I have to put up with the cold rainy months I am going to enjoy Christmas as much as I can.

Mince pies are something traditionally Christmassy here in the UK. If you’re not familiar with them, they are a dessert – small individual pies filled with “mincemeat” which has no meat but is actually a stewed spiced fruit mix. You can buy it in jars here in most supermarkets (these days it’s almost always vegan) but if you can’t access it, you can make your own. I like to change things up a bit, so in the past I’ve made Mince Pie Cupcakes using mincemeat, and this year I made cookies!

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These are simple cookies to make, with added mincemeat and mixed spice. “Mixed Spice” is something that you can buy easily in jars here, but if you can’t, it’s a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, and ginger. If you’re in America, you could sub pumpkin pie spice, which I believe is a very similar thing.

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I like to chill the dough for these cookies in the fridge for half an hour before baking. This makes it easier to shape the cookies onto the baking tray, but you don’t need to do this step if you are impatient.

Mince Pie Cookies

  • Servings: 20 cookies
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Ingredients

  • 130g vegan butter (I use Vitalite)
  • 80g brown sugar
  • 150g mincemeat
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt

Directions

  1. Cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl.
  2. Add the mincemeat and mix well to combine.
  3. Sift in the mixed spice, flour, baking powder, and salt, and fold gently to combine.
  4. Place the bowl of cookie dough in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes (or longer if you wish).
  5. Preheat the oven to 170C/340F
  6. Place tablespoon sized bits of dough on a baking tray, slightly apart from each other.
  7. Put the cookies in the oven for 12-15 minutes, until lightly golden brown.

Cherry and Almond Loaf Cake – VeganMoFo day 21

Three weeks of VeganMoFo down! We’re into the final weeks of November now – how strange is that? Christmas is nearing (but not yet) and it’s definitely getting very cold.

This week in VeganMoFo is Memories and Traditions week. This will incorporate American Thanksgiving but also involves all sorts of food memories and experiences! Today’s prompt is “Your favourite food memory” which is hard because – so many!

It had to be dessert, because I have a massive sweet tooth. Something baked too, because I love baking. And thinking back to times I’ve had good memories about baked goods…I came to my Granny’s house, where she always had cake. She lives in a little village and they are very…village-y, and she would always have cakes she bought from the local WI (Women’s Institute). My absolute favourite cake was the cherry and almond loaf cake – a golden cake with an almondy hit and sweet glace cherries through it.

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So, I made it. Mine isn’t quite as pretty as the WI version – my slivered almonds on top seemed to migrate to the middle – but it tastes just as good!

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Baked in a loaf tin, this cake slices well and is lovely with a warm cup of tea (or coffee if you must). The glace cherries are rinsed and chopped into quarters – this is to stop them sinking – and it all bakes until lovely and golden brown.

Cherry & Almond Loaf Cake


Ingredients

  • 250ml almond milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 160g plain flour
  • 80g ground almonds
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch salt
  • 75g glace cherries, rinsed and quartered
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp almond essence
  • 80g vegan butter, melted
  • 130g sugar
  • 10g slivered almonds

Directions

    Preheat the oven to 170C/340F
  1. In a jug or bowl, combine the almond milk and lemon juice, and set aside to let curdle.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, bicarbonate, and salt.
  3. To the dry bowl, add the glace cherries, and toss to coat.
  4. Into the almond milk mixture, add the vanilla, almond essence, melted butter, and sugar, and whisk to combine.
  5. Slowly pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture, and gently stir until all combined.
  6. Pour into a lined loaf tin, and sprinkle on top with the slivered almonds.
  7. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean!
  8. Cool in the tin, and slice and serve!

Marble Cookies – VeganMoFo Day 18

Today’s VeganMoFo prompt is to make something in greyscale, or black and white. As with yesterday, I must admit I uh, strayed a little from the prompt. I tried taking photos in black and white and they just didn’t look very good. And as for actual black and white, well the black tends to come from when I forget about whatever is cooking on the hob…

So I am going for the next best, two contrasting colours (and flavours), chocolate and vanilla! These are the same flavours as used in black and white cookies so I think I’m ok.

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These cookies, which I call “marble cookies” are round like marbles and made with a half chocolate dough and a half vanilla dough.

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I make them with icing sugar (or powdered sugar for the Americans!) which gives a smoother, almost fondant like texture to the cookie, and these are great little cookies to snack on or give as gifts!

Marble Cookies

  • Servings: 24 cookies
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Ingredients

  • 175g vegan butter
  • 150g icing sugar
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 300g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Directions

    Preheat the oven to 160C/320F
  1. In a bowl, cream together the butter and icing sugar.
  2. Remove half the creamed mixture and place in a separate bowl.
  3. To the first bowl, add the cocoa powder and mix well.
  4. To the second bowl, add the vanilla extract and again mix well.
  5. Now, to each bowl, add 150g (half) of the flour, and a quarter teaspoon of the bicarbonate of soda. Mix well.
  6. Next make your marbles. Take a teaspoon sized bit of dough from each bowl, and in your hands, roll together to form a ball.
  7. Place on a baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining dough.
  8. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, then leave to cool.

Afghan Biscuits – VeganMoFo Day 8

If you read the title of this post and thought “what on earth are afghan biscuits?” then, me too, reader, me too. Today’s VeganMoFo prompt is “If you dug straight down, where would you come out?” and being from the UK, roughly going straight down would take me to New Zealand, or near enough. Now, you all know I love baking, so I looked up baking recipes that come from New Zealand. One of the ones I came across, which is apparently a New Zealand favourite, was the Afghan Biscuit. A short chocolate biscuit, made with cornflakes, and a walnut on top.

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Wait, cornflakes? In a biscuit? Well, I’ve had “cornflake cakes” before, but they’ve just been cornflakes mixed with melted chocolate kinda things. Never baked into an actual biscuit. I was really quite hesitant about this food, but decided to try it anyway.

You know, I am so glad I did! Wow, these are good. The cornflakes, that I was so hesitant about? They give an amazing crunch to the biscuit and pair perfectly with the cocoa and the soft icing on top.

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The biscuits traditionally have half a walnut on top, which I did for half of my biscuits, but I know not everyone likes nuts, so I topped the other half with a chocolate button, which was also really tasty!

Afghan Biscuits

  • Servings: 25 biscuits
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Ingredients

    For the Biscuit
  • 150g vegan butter
  • 110g sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 160g plain flour
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp milk of choice
  • 50g cornflakes
  • For the Icing

  • 40g vegan butter, melted
  • 225g icing sugar
  • 15g cocoa powder
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 2tbsp water
  • Walnut halves or chocolate buttons to top

Directions

    Preheat the oven to 180C/355F
  1. Cream together the vegan butter and sugar.
  2. Add in the vanilla and milk, and mix to combine.
  3. Stir through the flour and cocoa until well mixed.
  4. Gently fold through the cornflakes until combined.
  5. Place tablespoon size balls of the biscuit dough on a baking tray, gently flattening with the back of a spoon.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 12 minutes, then leave to cool.
  7. Once cooled, make the icing. Combine all the ingredients, except the walnuts and chocolate button, to make a thick but spreadable icing.
  8. Top each biscuit with a spoonful of the icing, followed by either a walnut half or a chocolate button.
  9. Leave to set, then enjoy!