Monthly Archives: October 2012

Savory Cheesecake Appetizers {vegan}

Savory Cheesecakes for a Virtual Vegan Potluck

Regular visitors know that the recipes I share here rarely venture far from the sweet stuff. However, when Annie announced  World Vegan Day for the second Virtual Vegan Potluck, I immediately knew that I wanted to do something a little different and debut a savory dish. I decided on individual savory cheesecakes, topped with a pumpkin seed pesto.

I admit that at first I was concerned with how a savory cheesecake would turn out. Was I crossing a line I shouldn’t be? But those fears were quickly alleviated. The pesto paired up beautifully with the rich, creamy filling, and I couldn’t have been more pleased with the results. In fact, the next time I attend a “live” potluck, I’m bringing savory cheesecakes :-)

 

Don’t miss out on the other fantastic dishes! Use the navigation buttons, at the end of this post, to move yourself up and down the buffet table… And let’s not forget a big thank you to Annie (An Unrefined Vegan), Somer (Vedged Out), and Jason (Jason and the Veganauts) for organizing this event!

 

 

 

 

Savory Cheesecake Appetizers

Crust:

1/2 cup Finely Ground Wheat Crackers (I used Wheat Thins)

1/4 cup Ground Pumpkin Seeds

2 tsp Olive Oil

 

Preheat oven to 325°F and line muffin tins with paper liners. I used a tin that makes medium sized muffins (cups are about 2 inches wide).

Stir together the cracker crumbs and ground pumpkin seeds. Blend in the olive oil.

Using a tablespoon to measure, scoop crust and press into the bottom of liners.

Bake for 5 minutes.

 

Filling:

8 ounces Dairy-Free Cream Cheese (I used Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese)

1/4 cup Pureed Soft Tofu

1 tsp Whole Wheat Pastry Flour (or All-Purpose)

Combine cream cheese, tofu, and flour in a food processor and blend until smooth. Can also use a mixer for this, but food processors work better, as they don’t aerate the filling.

Scoop filling onto crusts (I started with a tablespoon each, and then divided the remainder evenly amongst them). Spread the filling out to the edges of the crusts and smoothing the tops.

Bake for 15 minutes.

Cool completely, then remove from tins, cover loosely, and refrigerate overnight.

 

Pumpkin Seed Pesto:

1 cup Coarsely Chopped Basil, lightly packed

2 tbsp Pumpkin Seeds, raw

1 clove Garlic, chopped

2 tbsp Olive Oil

1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast

1 1/2 tsp Lemon Juice

1 tsp White Miso

Salt and Pepper to taste

 

In a food processor, pulse the basil, pumpkin seeds, and garlic until minced.

Add oil, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and miso. Blend until thoroughly combined.

Stir in salt and pepper.

 

Just before serving, remove cheesecakes from paper liners. Place a dollop of pesto on each cheesecake (I used about 1/2 – 1 teaspoon each), and spread out to look pretty.

Makes approximately 16 cheesecakes.

 

 

 

 

 

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

Did you know that October is National Cookie Month? And here I am, having not posted one cookie recipe! With not many days to correct this oversight, I got to work on some oatmeal cookies.

Often, oatmeal cookies are associated with plain or boring. I didn’t want that, not for National Cookie Month. So I packed them full of rolled oats, then “loaded” them up with peanut butter, coconut, and chocolate chips… As they cooled, they went from soft and chewy to firm and crunchy. Perfect for milk dunking or packing into lunch bags.

 

 

 

 

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

2 cups Rolled Oats

1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour

1/2 cup Shredded Coconut (unsweetened)

1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1 tbsp Ground Flaxseed

3 tbsp Water, warm

1/2 cup Margarine

1 cup Brown Sugar

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 cup Smooth Peanut Butter (I used natural)

1 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

 

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Stir together the rolled oats, flour, coconut, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.

Stir together the flaxseed and water. Set aside and allow to become thick and goopy.

Cream together the margarine and sugar. Add flaxseed mixture, vanilla, and cinnamon, and beat for about 1 minute. Beat in peanut butter.

Add the dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined.

Stir in chocolate chips.

Scoop a heaping tablespoon of dough, roll into a ball and flatten into a 1 1/2 – 2 inch disk. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet (I lined mine with parchment paper), 2 inches apart.

Bake for 12 – 15 minutes, until golden.

Allow to cool on sheet for 3 – 5 minutes before transferring to rack.

Makes about 30 cookies.

 

 

Rainbow Donuts

Rainbow Donuts

I was in the mood to bake something cute, I had the time to bake something quick. Have you notice how quick and cute are rarely achieved with the same recipe?… Then I recalled funfetti… Funfetti cupcakes, cookies, pancakes, dips, frostings, even popcorn seem to have taken food blogs by storm. They all look so cute, with no real extra effort. Perfect! I was going to make funfetti donuts!

So things were going great, my ingredients were mostly mixed. Things were just buzzing along, when I discover that what I thought were rainbow sprinkles, were actually rainbow nonpareils. Argh!… Not to be defeated, I tossed them in anyway… I think that the nonpareils bled more than funfetti would have, and there was more blending of colours (creating an almost tie dye effect in areas). I loved them!… Cute, fun, and fast!

 

 

 

 

 

Rainbow Donuts

1 cup All-Purpose Flour

1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1/4 tsp Salt

1/3 cup Sugar

6 tbsp Non-Dairy Milk

6 tbsp Non-Dairy Yogurt

2 tbsp Canola Oil

1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

2 tsp Rainbow Nonpareils

 

Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly grease donut pan.

Stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Blend together the sugar, milk, yogurt, oil, and vanilla, until thoroughly combined. Add to the dry ingredients and blend until just combined. Stir in nonpareils (be careful not to stir too much, or your batter could go from colorful to muddy)

Fill each donut well 3/4 full. Bake for 6 – 10 minutes, until donuts spring back when lightly pressed (or an inserted toothpick comes out clean). Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes before transferring to rack.

When completely cool, ice the tops.

Makes 6 donuts

 

 

Icing

1/2 cup Icing Sugar

1 1/2 – 2 1/2 tsp Non-Dairy Milk

1 – 2 tsp Rainbow Nonpareils

 

Stir together the sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons of milk, until smooth. Add additional milk 1/4 tsp at a time, until desired consistency is reached… The icing should be thick, and smooth out very slowly when stirred.

Sprinkle nonpareils onto freshly iced donuts… Icing dries quickly, so it is best to add sprinkles immediately.

 

 

Cranberry Coffee Cake

Cranberry Coffee Cake

With a small crop of cranberries sill in my refrigerator, I decided to use some up in a coffee cake (with a yummy streusel topping).

This is a slightly altered recipe of mine, that happens to be one of Dave’s favorites (this time I made it using all cranberries, instead of a berry mix). Although the ingredients list is long, don’t let it deter you. The cake comes together quite quickly… Most delicious when served still warm with a little scoop of ice cream.

 

 

 

 

 

Cranberry Coffee Cake

Streusel Topping:

1/2 cup All-Purpose Flour

1/4 cup Sugar

1/4 tsp Cinnamon

1/4 cup Margarine

 

Stir together the flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Cut in the margarine until crumbly. Set aside.

 

Filling:

1 cup Cranberries (fresh)

1/2 cup Chopped Walnuts (or walnut pieces)

1/4 cup Sugar

 

Toss the cranberries, nuts, and sugar together. Set aside.

 

Batter:

2 tbsp Ground Flaxseeds

1/4 cup water, warm

1 1/3 cup All-Purpose Flour

1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Cinnamon

1/3 cup Non-Dairy Milk

1/4 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar

1/4 cup Margarine

2/3 cup Sugar

1/3 cup Non-Dairy Yogurt

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

 

Preheat oven to 375°F and grease a 9 inch round cake pan. For easier removal, I line the bottom with foil and then grease.

Stir together the flaxseeds and water. Set aside and allow to thicken.

Stir together the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon. Set aside.

Stir together the milk and vinegar. Set aside.

Cream the margarine. Add sugar, yogurt, vanilla, and flaxseed mixture. Beat until smooth. Add the flour mixture in 2 additions, alternating with the milk. Beat thoroughly after each addition.

Spoon batter into pan, and level the surface. Spread the filling over the batter. Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the top.

Bake for 50 -60 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Cool on rack for 20 – 30 minutes before removing from pan.

 

 

Lemon-Currant Scones

Currant-Lemon Scones

When I was a little girl, I spent a summer in England with my godmother. We often ran errands in the afternoons, to her clients or business associates, and were frequently invited to stay for afternoon tea. How this ritual delighted me! They were like real life, grown-up tea parties; with tea and biscuits, or little sandwiches, or cakes, or scones… At afternoon tea, everything just slowed down, and everyone seemed so…. civilized.

Making these simple scones took me back to those teas… Eating them made me want to through a tea party. Maybe I will. These days, we could all take a little time to slow down.

 

 

 

 

Currant-Lemon Scones

Finely Grated Rind From 1 Lemon

1 cup Coconut Milk, light (canned)

1/4 cup Agave Nectar

2 tbsp Lemon Juice

1/2 tsp Lemon Extract (optional)

3 cups All-Purpose Flour

1 cup Corn Flour

1 cup Dried Currants

2 tbsp Baking Powder

1/2 cup Margarine, cold

1 tbsp Coconut milk (optional, for brushing)

1 tbsp Sugar (optional, for sprinkling)

 

Preheat oven to 400°F and prepare a baking sheet.

Whisk together the coconut milk, agave, lemon juice, and extract, until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

Stir together the flours, currants, baking powder and lemon rind.

Cut margarine into the flour mixture until it looks like course crumbs.

Add wet ingredients and stir just until a dough forms. Finish by gently kneading (I do it in the bowl) until dough holds together. Be careful to not over knead.

Divide dough in half and form into balls. On a lightly floured surface, pat 1 ball into a disk (about 1 1/2 inch thick). Slice disk into quarters (or into 6 pieces, like I did) and place 1 inch apart on the baking sheet. Repeat with other half of dough.

If you want, lightly brush the tops with additional coconut milk and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer to rack and allow to cool for 5 – 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 8 – 12 scones.