Muffins are the one of the simplest baked goods to make. Everything goes in one bowl, muffin recipes usually only make a dozen, they bake quickly, and clean up is easy. This makes them a perfect recipe for weekend brunch, or a weekday morning if you have a little extra time. I made these muffins last weekend when I had half a can of pumpkin and half a tub of sour cream to use up. I ended up using apples and pecans. So simple!
Pumpkin Sour Cream Muffins
Makes 12 huge muffins
1 ½ cups pumpkin puree
1 cup sugar
¾ cup non-dairy sour cream
¼ cup canola oil
¼ cup almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of cloves
½ teaspoon salt
1 small apple, chopped
⅓-½ cup dried fruit and/or nuts
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Line a muffin tin with cupcake papers (or grease the cups and forgo the papers).
Pour the pumpkin, sugar, sour cream, oil, almond milk, and vanilla in a mixing bowl and stir until combined.
Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, all the spices, and salt. Mix until almost combined, then fold in the apple, dried fruit, and nuts. Use a cupcake or ice cream scoop to fill the muffin cups, really overfilling them (this will make muffin tops).
Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the edges look crunchy and the tops are springy. Move to a wire rack to cool.
Ice cream roundup!
Thai Ice Cream
Mexican Hot Chocolate Gelato
Coffee Ice Cream
Malted Stout Float
I walk over to Glorioso’s Italian Market several times per week. It’s my go-to destination for weeknight meal ingredients, produce, olives, and pasta. Unless I’m following a recipe or planning a meal, I make Italian food pretty much 90% of the time in day to day life. Italian desserts, however, are heavily dairy-based: mascarpone, ricotta, cannoli, and tiramisu come to mind. These aren’t the simplest recipes to veganize on the fly, so I haven’t delved too deeply. Still, every time I pass the wall of kitchen gadgets at Glorioso’s, I covet the the utensils, pasta makers, and dessert contraptions. Despite the fact they were only a few dollars, I never had a legitimate reason to buy cannoli tubes besides creating a collection of random unused kitchen toys. Then a few weeks ago, I decided I’d buy some, make cannoli, and write about it for MoFo.
I had cannoli all the time as a child, but don’t remember really caring for it. The same is true with cheesecake and other non-vegan cheese-based desserts. But since I enjoy vegan cheesecake, perhaps the same would be true for vegan cannoli. When I think cannoli, pistachio and chocolate chip come to mind, so I decided to make cannoli with a basic filling and chopped pistachios. The thought of dessert ricotta makes me barfy, as does raw tofu in desserts, so I preferred the cannoli made with some of the mascarpone from last week’s tiramisu. For that, and few other reasons, I’m still working out some kinks in the recipe. But the cannoli were tasty! A crispy deep fried shell with a sweet and creamy filling and salty chocolate garnish.
Truffles are such a simple dessert to put together, but they never fail to impress. Plus, a basic truffle recipe can be altered to include almost any flavors. They’re a perfect accompaniment to an array of desserts, providing a cocoa or chocolate-coated silky finish to a meal.
Chocolate and coconut-based, this truffle is infused with cinnamon, coffee, coffee liquor, and tequila. While it would be a nice finish to a meal of enchiladas, chips, and guacamole, I’d be inclined to include them with breakfast.
A healthy dose of Grand Marnier and orange zest livens up a simple chocolate truffle for a citrus undertone. Coated in powdered sugar, these flavors remind me of winter, hot cocoa, and holidays.
The wine chapter in my upcoming book was coming up a little short, so I decided to make a very classic dessert: poached pears.
There are dozens of ways to make poached pears, from choosing the type of wine, to the spices, citrus, and serving method. I decided on Merlot, lemon, and a mix of cinnamon, star anise, and cloves.
After poaching the pears, the whole spices are strained out of the liquid. Then it can be boiled down to a sweet, brightly colored syrup for serving.
I made these the day after tiramisu, so the idea of mascarpone was still fresh in my head. I whipped up a small batch to serve the pears with while they were poaching.
The brilliant magenta color stole the show, and the lightly sweet and spicy pears were simply dreamy eaten with mascarpone.
I was browsing the vegan and vegetarian section of Whole Foods a little while back and noticed all the Yves products were on sale. Lunch meats and other packaged meatless products are not something I buy regularly, but I like to try new things if I hear good reviews, a product looks really interesting, or if it’s on sale. The Yves meatless salami caught my eye that day and I decided it was so weird that I had to try it. As a kid, salami was one of my favorite foods. I’d eat it on sandwiches with veggies and mustard, with pickles, or straight out of the package. Sometimes I’d eat it with chocolate…I know, gross! But isn’t that kind of the idea of the current bacon and chocolate craze? Another method of consumption is the salami and peanut butter sandwich. I haven’t had the (dis?)pleasure, but Dawn Summers made one on Buffy (a quick Google search reveals she’s apparently not alone).
The sandwiches I made with the meatless version are a bit more conventional. Y’know, salami, lettuce, mustard, vegenaise, and tomato on toasted bread:
The verdict? The Yves people made sure to add the creepy speckles of fat throughout the slices, so I suppose that’s in the plus column for authenticity. The flavor was good and quite reminiscent of the real thing. Initially, there was a little burst of flavor, then a couple seconds later, the flavor really mellowed and it seemed a bit bland. That’s okay on a sandwich, but I won’t be eating it out of the package. Overall, it was tasty and made an easy lunch, but the flavors could be much sharper.
Vegetable murders are back! No one really likes celery anyway, right?
Actually I do. But die, celery, die!
Fuel Cafe coffee stout returns for another round of Milwaukee Monday!
This time in tiramisu, or “beeramisu” if you will. Until today, I’d never made tiramisu, vegan or otherwise; but once all the ingredients are acquired and the ladyfingers baked, it’s actually a very simple dessert to put together. Since it’s not baked and the cookies and mascarpone are mildly flavored, it’s very much about the liqueurs, coffee, and flavors the cookies are soaked in. Dark coffee stout couldn’t be more perfect for this role, and teamed up with brewed coffee, amaretto, and coffee liqueur, it’s delectable! I didn’t want to riddle this dessert with egg replacers and tons of expensive prepackaged non-dairy products, so I chose what was necessary and let the flavors shine. Look out for the recipe in an upcoming book project, details forthcoming!
I’ve been working on a few pie and cheesecake recipes in the past month or so, each one tasty in a different way. I was not a fan of cheesecake before going vegan, so I haven’t had the desire to make or order vegan cheesecake in the past 8 years. However, I may change my stance on cheesecake in favor of the vegan version!
Pumpkin Latte Cheesecake
I must admit, I’ve not yet tried any espresso drink containing pumpkin, but autumn’s ubiquitous pumpkin latte seemed perfect to translate into a dessert. The chocolate cookie crust contains coffee and a blend of pumpkin pie spices, which make another appearance in the creamy pumpkin cheesecake filling.
Irish Coffee Pudding Pie
Coffee makes another appearance in this pie that combines chocolate, Irish whiskey, and coffee in the comforting form of a puddin’ pie.
Agua de Jamaica Key Lime Pie
This pie is inspired by hibiscus tea, a sweet magenta tea made from hibiscus or “jamaica” flowers. The base is a graham cracker encrusted classic key lime pie the accompanies visually and deliciously with a syrup made from dried hibiscus flowers.
A couple more vegetable murders (though these are technically all fruit).