Mini S’mores Pie

vegan-smores-pie

On this episode of Vegan Meringue Adventures: Mini S’mores Pies! After making Lemon Meringue Pie and Vegan Lucky Charms, S’mores Pie was next on my list. These mini pies have a soft graham cracker crust, a chocolate filling somewhere between pudding and ganache, and toasted marshmallow fluff.

The recipe is really a group effort and a combination of tried-and-true recipes. I used the Marshmallow Fluff from Seitan is My Motor and the graham cracker dough from my first book, The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur. Using the graham cracker dough rather than crumbs makes this crust crisp and crunchy on the edges, and soft and chewy throughout.

smores-pie

Mini S’mores Pies

Makes 12 mini pies, using a cupcake pan

Ingredients

Crust (adapted from The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur):
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup rye flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup margarine
3 tablespoons agave nectar or maple syrup
2 tablespoons dark molasses
1/4 cup non-dairy milk, 1 tablespoon reserved
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling (adapted from a King Arthur recipe):
2 tablespoons margarine
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk

Vegan Marshmallow Fluff from Seitan is My Motor*

*Note: I made half of the Marshmallow Fluff recipe and it was the perfect amount for these pies. You can make the full recipe, of course, and have leftovers!

Instructions

For the crust:
In a large food processor, combine the flours, sugar, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, and salt. No need to sift. Pulse until combined. Add the margarine and continue pulsing the food processor until the mixture looks like small pebbles.
Add the agave or maple syrup, molasses, non-dairy milk, and vanilla extract. Process on medium until the mixture collects into a ball of dough. Add the remaining tablespoon of non-dairy milk, if necessary.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
Take golf ball-sized pieces of dough and roll into 3 to 4-inch circles. Press into the cupcake liners, crimping the edges if desired. Repeat with all of the dough. Bake the crust 10-11 minutes. Let cool.

Use leftover dough to make graham crackers to garnish the pies, using a knife or cookie cutters. Bake on a parchment-lined cookie sheet for 12-15 minutes until crisp.

For the filling:
Put the margarine, chocolate, and vanilla in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
Combine the remaining ingredients in a saucepan and mix thoroughly. Place over medium heat and whisk frequently until it thickens like pudding, 6-8 minutes. Pour this mixture over the margarine, chocolate, and vanilla and stir until thoroughly mixed. Pour the filling in the pie crusts. Let cool.

Assembly:
Pipe marshmallow fluff atop each pie. Using a culinary torch or your oven’s broiler (for a few minutes, keeping an eye on the pies), toast the marshmallow topping. Or do what I did and risk burning your fingers by holding the pies over a flame on your stovetop. I haven’t used the broiler in this apartment yet and it looked kind of dusty. I didn’t want to start a fire, okay?

Garnish with chocolate, graham crackers, marshmallows, graham cracker crumbs, or anything you’d like.

mini-smores-pie

P.S. This is what happens when you do a food shoot near a cat who is apparently very interested in pie. She hid behind curtains and furniture and jumped out to try and swipe a pie when I wasn’t looking. FYI, she didn’t eat the chocolate or anything else harmful.

Vegan Lucky Charms

vegan-lucky-charms
Reporting back with another vegan meringue development: you can make vegan Lucky Charms out of a can of freakin’ chickpeas and it’s blowing my mind.

When I made Lemon Meringue Pie and a test batch of meringue cookies over the weekend, my first thought was, “oh shit, this tastes like Lucky Charms marshmallows!” I waited about a day before trying it out. Set aside an afternoon for this recipe because we are making hundreds of little hearts, stars, horseshoes, clovers, blue moons, pots of gold, rainbows, and red balloons by hand.lucky-charms

Vegan Lucky Charms

Ingredients

Box of sugary Cheerio-type cereal

1/3 cup (half of 15 ounce can) chickpea liquid
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon agar powder
3/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)

Food coloring: red, blue, yellow

Instructions

Combine the chickpea liquid and cream of tartar in a stand mixer equipped with a balloon whisk attachment and whip until it starts to thicken (here’s a video for reference).
Mix together the sugar and agar powder. Gradually add the sugar/agar mixture and the vanilla, and continue whipping until thick, about 8 minutes.

Line 3-4 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Grab 3 small bowls and spoons and divide up the meringue mixture into the bowls. Using food coloring, make red, blue, and yellow meringue.

Grab 2 more small bowls. Using some of the red and blue meringue, mix some purple meringue. Using blue and yellow, make some green.

You should have red, yellow, blue, purple, and green meringue to make the following marshmallows:
1. Hearts (red)
2. Red balloons (red)
3. Red rainbow stripe (red)
4. Stars (yellow)
5. Pots of gold (yellow)
6. Yellow rainbow stripe (yellow)
7. Blue moons (blue)
8. Blue rainbow stripe (blue)
Mix purple and green out of your colors
9. Horseshoes (purple)
10. Clovers (green)

Preheat oven to 200°F.

Fill 5 small piping bags or ziptop bags (cut off the tip) with each color of meringue. Using Lucky Charms for reference, pipe your tiny marshmallows onto the prepared cookie sheet. How many marshmallows does this make? A lot. Depending on the size of your marshmallows and the spacing between them, you might fill up 2-4 full cookie sheets.

Bake/dehydrate the marshmallows for 1 hour. Turn off the oven and leave the marshmallows in the oven until they return to room temperature.

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Mix with cereal, and eat with your non-dairy milk of choice! I ended up grabbing some whole oat-y cereal, so the feedback I got was, “this tastes like childhood, but with fiber!”

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homemade-lucky-charms

These marshmallows are lighter and more airy than original Lucky Charms marshmallows, but they hold up just fine in a bowl of cereal and milk. Feel free to play around with the recipe and report back if you can make the marshmallows any denser. One method I heard was reducing the chickpea liquid by boiling out the water. Perhaps a mixture of that technique plus more agar powder or a different kind of gum would alter the results.

I accidentally made my rainbow colors in the wrong order because Lucky Charms doesn’t understand how rainbows work and uses blue on the outer stripe.

lucky-charms-marshmallows

If you want to go into even more detail, you can mix orange and a darker green to add detail to the pots of gold and make clover hats. But let’s get real: we’re making these marshmallows by hand without the help of a cereal factory, so it’s okay if your clovers are all one color.

lucky-charms-vegan

I would tell you that they’re magically delicious, but I don’t want a cease and desist letter from General Mills.

lucky-charms-seitan-beats-your-meat

The aftermath:

seitan-beats-your-meat-lucky-charms

Go make some Lucky Charms!

I did not invent the chickpea meringue, or Lucky Charms (duh). Thank you to Goose Wohlt and Révolution végétale for the inspiration!

Pi Day: Vegan Lemon Meringue Pie

lemon-meringue-pie

It’s Pi Day, and vegan meringue broke the internet. Therefore, I bring you pie and meringue.

I heard about the infamous chickpea-based meringue over the past few weeks on Facebook and blogs (like révolution végétale) and filed away the idea for future experiments. Pi Day seemed like the perfect time to try making vegan Lemon Meringue Pie.

Egg white based meringue wasn’t something I ate regularly before quitting animal products. Actually, I couldn’t even tell you if I ate meringue in my pre-vegan days. Therefore my experience with meringue: a) never happened, or b) was totally forgettable. But you know, I like trying out techniques that were deemed impossible just a few years ago. Using leftover chickpea juice is resourceful, and incredibly creative. And everyone is doing it!

The pie crust is adapted from Cheers to Vegan Sweets. I think pie crust can be a little bland, but the coconut oil in this recipe makes it flaky and adds a sweet flavor. I didn’t have vodka, so I replaced it with tequila. This pie is pretty non-traditional already, right? The lemon filling is adapted from a couple of recipes floating around the internet: Mister Nice Guy and Bite-Sized Thoughts. This pie had so many variables, so this is no time to mess around with recipe writing when these recipes are solid.

I doubled the meringue recipe because I wanted to try making meringue cookies as well, but that was absolutely not necessary. A tiny amount of liquid whips up into giant fluffy pillows. The recipe below makes half of what I made, and will still give you enough meringue for the pie and a tray or two of cookies.

vegan-lemon-meringue-pie

Lemon Meringue Pie

Makes 1 pie

Ingredients

Crust:
2 cups flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
⅓ cup coconut oil
2 tablespoons sugar
⅓ cup cold water plus 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons vodka

Lemon Filling:
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon agar powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups non-dairy milk
1 cup water
3/4 cup lemon juice (3-4 lemons)
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon zest (1-2 lemons)

Meringue:
1 15 ounce can chickpeas
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons finely ground sugar*
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
*Grind granulated sugar in a food processor so it’s somewhere between granulated and powdered sugar.

Instructions

For the crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Place flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl and cut in oil until dough resembles pebbles. Add water/vinegar and vodka and mix until completely incorporated. Roll out the dough on a floured surface and transfer to a greased pie tin. Crimp the edges (this is a good resource for pie crust). Poke holes in the bottom of the pan with a fork. Bake for 25 minutes or until just starting to turn golden. The pie will be baked again after the meringue step. Let cool.

For the lemon filling: Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and whisk constantly for 5 minutes until the filling is the consistency of pudding. Pour into the baked pie crust.

For the meringue: Pour the liquid from the can of chickpeas into the bowl of a stand mixer (or use electric hand mixers…but you don’t want to do this by hand!). Add the cream of tartar. Whip the bean juice with the whisk attachment until it starts to thicken. Gradually add the sugar and vanilla and continue whipping. This process took me 7-8 minutes, but I’ve read that it can take up to 15 or 20 minutes.

You’ll want to keep it going on high speed until the mixture is the consistency of thick whipped cream. If it’s gloopy, your meringue will deflate. A spoonful of meringue at the proper consistency will not drip if you hold it upside down.

I took a start-to-finish video of the meringue-making process: it goes from liquid to foam to clouds!

To assemble: Preheat oven to 200°F. Pipe dollops of meringue on top of the pie. Bake for 2 1/2-3 hours or until the meringue is toasted. The baking time will depend on the amount of meringue on your pie, and how it’s piped on. Thick layers will take longer to bake. Remove from the oven and let cool completely, letting the meringue set.

To make meringue cookies out of leftover meringue, dollop meringue onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 200°F for 2 hours. Turn off the oven and let dry with the oven door cracked for a couple of hours.

I have a few more experiments up my sleeve, and I can’t wait to see what others come up with.

Happy Pi Day!

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

vegan-chocolate-cake-recipe
Happy Friday! Today I give you a basic chocolate cake with a small twist. I often get a little overzealous when making desserts with unusual flavor combinations, so I had to reel it in a few times with this cake. In the end, the cake and frosting are both pretty basic: a chocolate olive oil cake with strawberry cream cheese frosting, and a little cayenne in the batter for kick. I wanted to also throw in curry! Or rose water! But I think the theme of simplicity with a sprinkle of spice is working in its favor. You best believe I garnished each slice with a grind of smoked sea salt though.

I made a mini cake (6 inches), but the recipe will make a full-sized double-layer cake.
olive-oil-cake

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes 2 9-inch round cakes

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne (to taste)
3/4 cup olive oil
2 1/3 cups non-dairy milk
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons strawberry jam

1/2 cup vegan cream cheese
1/3 cup vegan margarine
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
3 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons strawberry extract*

1/3 cup strawberry jam

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

For the cake: Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda in a mixing bowl. Add the sugar, salt, and cayenne and mix until combined.

Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add the olive oil, non-dairy milk, apple cider vinegar, vanilla extract, and strawberry jam. Mix all ingredients well.

Pour batter into two prepared 9-inch cake pans and bake for 28-30 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cakes cool before proceeding.

For the frosting: Whip vegan cream cheese, margarine, and shortening with a stand mixer or hand mixer until fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar, mixing after each addition. Add the strawberry extract and whip for 5-6 more minutes.

To assemble: Spread strawberry jam between the two layer cakes. Spread and pipe on frosting as desired.

*Strawberry extract can be hard to find, and sometimes tastes very artificial. Feel free to replace with strawberry syrup, strawberry jam, or another fruit extract you like.

vegan-strawberry-cake

Salted Key Lime Pie

vegan-key-lime-pie

Today is National Pie Day (not to be confused with Pi Day). I don’t need an excuse to eat pie, so it seemed like a great day to celebrate. This recipe is adapted from the Agua de Jamaica Key Lime Pie recipe in Cheers to Vegan Sweets. The addition of coconut cream adds a subtle creamy flavor to the tangy key lime base, and the sea salt makes it taste like a slice of margarita. The recipe makes a mini pie, so double the ingredients for a standard-sized pie.

Salted Key Lime Pie

Makes 1 6-inch pie

Ingredients

For the crust:
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons margarine, melted
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

For the filling:
3/4 cup non-dairy milk
1/4 cup lime juice (about 10 key limes)
1/2 tablespoon lime zest
3 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot powder
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons vegan cream cheese
1 tablespoon coconut cream (or more cream cheese)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Whipped cream, coarse salt, and lime slices for garnish

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375°F.
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir thoroughly. If the crumbs are dry or won’t hold together when pressed, add a splash of milk to the bowl.
Grease a 6-inch pie or tart pan with margarine or cooking spray, then press the graham cracker mixture evenly over the bottom and up the sides. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until firm. Set aside to cool.

Combine all filling ingredients except the cream cheese and coconut cream in a medium saucepan and whisk to dissolve cornstarch. Turn the heat up to medium and stir frequently until very thick, 8 to 9 minutes.
Turn off heat, then stir in the cream cheese and coconut cream until smooth.
Let sit for a minute, then pour into prepared graham cracker crust. Cool completely on cooling rack, then cover and transfer to the refrigerator until firm.

Garnish the pie with lime slices and whipped cream, and sprinkle with coarse salt.

salted-key-lime-pie

Peppermint White Russian

The weather outside is frightful and the best cure is staying inside with blankets, Netflix, and a warm drink. The season is almost magical until the windchill is -15°F or you have to trudge through ice and snow (thankfully Chicago is snow-free so far!) to get to the grocery store. I’m not a fan of winter or cold weather, but I will not complain about a drink topped with whipped cream and mini marshmallows.
vegan-white-russian

This Peppermint White Russian takes the cake with a black cocoa and vanilla sugar rim, and mountains of whipped cream and marshmallows. Serve it hot or cold, or make a White Russian-hot cocoa hybrid!

This drink contains quite a few components and ingredients you probably don’t happen to have in your kitchen. That’s okay, because the recipe is more of a guideline. The black cocoa and vanilla sugar rim is delicious as is, but you could omit it or make substitutions where you see fit (agave nectar and a splash of vanilla extract could replace the vanilla bean paste!). I’d hate to make you go out in the cold. Or make hot cocoa instead of a White Russian if you don’t drink alcohol. ‘Tis the season!

Peppermint White Russian

Makes 1 serving

For the rim:
Vanilla bean paste
Peppermint schnapps or peppermint extract
Black Cocoa and Vanilla Sugar (recipe below)

1 1/2 ounces vodka
3/4 ounce peppermint schnapps*
1 ounce Kahlua
Non-dairy creamer, milk, or a mix of both**

Vegan whipped cream (I used So Delicious Coco Whip!)
Vegan mini marshmallows (I used Chicago Vegan Foods’ Dandies!)

*Can be replaced with more vodka and a splash of peppermint extract. Or just vodka if you’re not feeling the peppermint flavor.
**The milk can be heated if you want a warm drink. Better yet, replace the milk with HOT COCOA.

Instructions

  1. Thin out a pea-sized amount of vanilla bean paste with peppermint schnapps or peppermint extract. Coat the rim of the glass or mug with the mixture.
  2. Dip the coated rim in the bowl of black cocoa and vanilla sugar.
  3. Make the drink. Pour all three liquors in the glass.
  4. Fill the rest of the glass with the non-dairy creamer or milk. Use less milk for a stronger drink.

Black Cocoa and Vanilla Sugar

1/2 cup sugar
1/4-1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1/2 teaspoon black cocoa powder

  1. Mix together the sugar and vanilla bean paste in a small bowl until the sugar is completely coated and the vanilla bean paste dispersed.
  2. Add the black cocoa powder to coat the sugar completely. Adjust the amounts of vanilla bean paste and cocoa if the mixture is too sticky or dry. Set aside.

Pancakes Recipe

Seitan Beats Your Meat is back! And with pancakes, naturally.

pancakes

This pancake recipe is an oldie but a goodie. The original, non-vegan recipe is from an old cookbook my dad and I used to make pancakes every Sunday when I was a kid. Now I make a vegan version most weekends, or on a Friday afternoon when I go to bed the night before with an image in my head of a stack of 20 (21? 22?) pancakes. That sort of thing needs to be made and photographed, stat.

In this recipe, the applesauce replaces the eggs, and the margarine takes care of the melted butter. You could probably replace the margarine with any cooking oil, but melting the margarine in a cast iron pan before mixing it in the batter adds something special. Go easy on the non-dairy milk of your choice to make a thick batter for fluffy pancakes, or thin out the batter with extra milk for thin pancakes that are soft in the middle and crispy on the edges. Add fruit or chocolate chips…go versatility! But first, let’s review the cardinal rules of pancake.

Tips for Perfect Pancakes

Tip #1: Flip your pancakes when they bubble and the bubbles begin to hold their shape. Don’t wait any longer or you’ll run the risk of burning your pancakes.
Tip #2: Lower temperature, longer cooking time. A high temperature will result in browned pancakes on the outside, but they’ll be underdone on the inside. Similarly, if your temperature is too low, the pancakes will take a very long time to cook and turn out pale and gummy.
Tip #3: A cast iron pan makes for tasty, evenly-cooked, and crispy-in-all-the-right-places pancakes! Or you could use a non-stick pan; just don’t tell me.
Tip #4: Sprinkle chocolate chips, blueberries, or any other add-ins on your pancakes before flipping.

vegan-pancakes

Pancakes

Makes 6-8 pancakes, depending on size

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or more white flour)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 2/3 cups non-dairy milk
1 tablespoon margarine

Instructions

Combine all dry ingredients, stir with a whisk.
Make a well in the middle and add applesauce, vanilla, and soy milk. Stir until almost combined.
Preheat your skillet or cast iron pan at medium heat, rub some margarine on one of the pans and melt the rest in the other. Pour melted margarine into the pancake batter and stir until combined.
Drop by large spoonfuls or pour batter onto the pan and flip when bubbles start to form. Repeat until all the batter is gone.
Serve with a pat of Earth Balance, pure maple syrup, and fruit.

vegan-pancakes-recipe

Checkerboard Cake Tutorial

checkerboard-cake-tutorial

If you’ve ever ventured beyond making basic round or sheet cakes, you may have considered adding a novelty cake pan like a giant cupcake or a checkerboard to your collection. In most cases, these pans are a waste of money and valuable kitchen storage space, and have very limited use (how often are you going to bake a cake shaped like a castle or a specific cartoon character?). Nearly any shape or pattern can be cut or carved out of regular round or sheet cakes, and this checkerboard cake is one of the easiest “patterned” cakes to make.

If you can cut (or let’s be honest, trace) a circle out of cake, you can make a checkerboard cake using round cake pans without any special equipment. I haven’t inspected checkerboard cake pans in the store, but I’m sure they utilize the same technique. Cutting the cake pieces yourself means you can add as many layers as you want and make the checkers any size you want.

Below are the basic instructions for a two-layer, two-color checkerboard cake. Depending on the size of your cake, you could also cut four rings (making more, smaller checkers) using the same technique, make the cake triple or quadruple-layered, or use as many different colors as you want. You’ll want to choose a cake recipe that’s on the sturdier side so you can make clean cuts and prevent breakage when moving the pieces, even leaving the cakes in the oven an extra minute or two. I used the vanilla and chocolate recipes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, adding blue food coloring to the vanilla batter.

how-to-make-a-checkerboard-cake

Then decorate your cake as you would any normal round cake. For this cake, I made a basic buttercream, made the stripe pattern with edible paper, and made little fondant sculptures of our pets.

checkerboard-cake-without-a-pan

And that’s it! This is a low-maintenance way to add something extra to a round cake. I imagine it would work similarly with a sheet cake–just cut rectangle rings instead of circles. Please email me if you want clarification on any of the steps, or want to see a tutorial on another kind of sculpted or patterned cake.

Bacon Butter Pecan Ice Cream

bacon-butter-pecan-ice-cream

Yes, Bacon Butter Pecan Ice Cream. When you eat ice cream, do you often find yourself thinking, “this would be better with bacon”? No? Well, I promise there is a reason for this madness: a vegan bacon zine!

I’ve been talking about it and occasionally working on it for years, but I’m now actively making recipes and planning to design and print a bacon-themed zine very soon. If you’ve been following my posts, you may have noticed a the occasional bacon recipe like bacon vodka and Maple Bacon PBR Cupcakes. Since the bacon trend pioneers don’t appear to be calling it quits anytime soon, a bacon zine will still be ever so relevant. Filled with recipes, games, and words, printed on paper, and held together with not two, but three(!!) staples, it’ll be just what you need in your life.

Without further ado, this week’s post features a recipe from the forthcoming zine. If bacon in ice cream is not your thing, you can leave out the bacon and replace the maple syrup with agave or another liquid sweetener for a classic butter pecan ice cream.

This ice cream is smooth, caramel-y, and loaded with flavor and richness. The butter pecans add a punch of flavor on their own, so the bacon is more of an accent. I used chopped Upton’s Bacon Seitan for this recipe because it stays tender after cooking in the butter and sugar syrup (baking with bacon seitan often yields chewier results). I find that coconut cream yields the creamiest vegan ice cream. As I mentioned in my last ice cream post, Thin Mint Ice Cream, you can now buy Trader Joe’s coconut cream in a can without the hassle of separating the fat from a can of coconut milk. It does add a bit of coconut flavor to the ice cream, so try to choose stronger flavors or flavors that complement coconut when using coconut as an ice cream base. The buttery flavor of coconut goes well with the brown sugar and butter pecans.

Bacon Butter Pecan Ice Cream

Makes about 1 ½ pints

Ingredients

¾ cup chopped pecans
⅓ cup chopped vegan bacon
3 tablespoons vegan margarine
1 ½ tablespoons maple syrup
¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon brown sugar
14 ounces coconut cream
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup almond (or other non-dairy) milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

Toast the pecans in a dry skillet for 2-3 mins until fragrant, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in the bacon and butter. The pecans will burn quickly, so keep an eye on them.
Transfer to a small bowl, then pour in the maple syrup and sprinkle on the 1 tablespoon of brown sugar. Set aside to cool.

Combine coconut cream and brown sugar in the saucepan and cook until sugar is dissolved and starts to bubble, then let boil for 3 minutes. Add milk, vanilla extract, and ⅓ cup of the pecan mixture. Let cool.

Freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Put the remainder of the pecan mixture in the freezer for the duration of freezing so it doesn’t bring down the temperature of the ice cream when you add it. Add pecans and bacon in last 5 minutes of freezing.

If you make this recipe (with or without bacon!), let me know how you like it! And I would also love to hear what kind of recipes and content you’d like in a bacon zine, so keep the suggestions coming!

Thin Mint Ice Cream

vegan-thin-mint-ice-cream

Looking for something to do with your leftover* Girl Scout Cookies? The next best thing to eating the cookies in their purest form is making a new dessert featuring the cookies. This Thin Mint Chip Ice Cream, for example.

*And I’m going to assume the only reason you’d have leftovers is because you bought four or five boxes.

A few months ago, my girlfriend came home from a visit to New York with an assortment of Girl Scout Cookies. She filled our cabinets with Lemonades and Thanks-A-Lots and lined the freezer with shiny sleeves of Thin Mints. After eating cookies out of the freezer for a few weeks, I decided to use a sleeve for an ice cream experiment.

Before ordering a case of Girl Scout cookies, do your homework. The veganness of Girl Scout Cookies varies by manufacturer (for Thin Mints especially), and the manufacturer varies by US region. Thin Mints from ABC Bakers are free of animal ingredients, but Thin Mints from Little Brownie Bakers are not veagn. Get the lowdown on the varieties of vegan Girl Scout Cookies from The Laziest Vegans, and the ABC Bakers FAQ.

girl-scout-cookie-ice-cream

I find that using coconut cream as a base for homemade ice creams yields the creamiest texture, even after freezing completely. It does add some coconut flavor to your ice cream, so keep that in mind when choosing flavors for your ice cream, or replace with another high-fat non-dairy milk or cream.

To get the cream from a can of full fat coconut milk by letting it sit at room temperature, undisturbed, for a day, then chilling it for another day. The cream will rise to the top and solidify so you can scoop it out and use it in a recipe. While this is not a complicated process, you do have to plan ahead. Therefore, I was happy to find that Trader Joe’s carries cans of coconut cream! Not to be confused with the sugary liquid used in piña coladas that is also called “coconut cream” and also comes in a can, this coconut cream contains just the cream from coconut milk. Trader Joe’s is the only place I’ve found this, so let me know if you have another source. When in doubt, read labels.

Once the logistics of your cookie and coconut cream acquisition are complete, it’s time for dessert. This refreshing mint green ice cream loaded with cookies and chocolate beats the dairy Thin Mint Ice Cream any day.

Thin Mint Chip Ice Cream

Makes about 1 ½ pints

Ingredients

14 ounces coconut cream
¾ cup sugar
1 cup non-dairy milk
2-2 ½ teaspoons peppermint extract
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Green food coloring (optional)
10 Thin Mints
¼ cup chocolate chips, chopped

Instructions

Combine coconut cream and sugar in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.

Remove from heat and stir in the milk, extracts, and food coloring, if using. Let cool. Keep the chocolate and Thin Mints in the freezer until it’s time to add them to the ice cream so the ice cream maintains its temperature when you add the chocolate and cookies.

Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions, adding the Thin Mints and chocolate during the last five minutes of freezing. Serve garnished with extra Thin Mints, and chocolate syrup, if desired. Enjoy!

thin-mint-ice-cream

You may have noticed that Seitan Beats Your Meat took an unexpected hiatus over the past several months. Adding a full-time job to my schedule, moving to Chicago, and living out of boxes for a little while got in the way of creating recipes, doing photoshoots, and hoping to make posts on a regular basis. Now that life has settled down quite a bit and I have a place to live with everything unpacked for the first time in a year, I’ll be back with content (and maybe post some photos of my new kitchen and workspace!). I’ll still focus on quality over quantity, but gaps between posts will be weeks, not months.

I’d also like to announce that I’m vending at Paper Moon Pastry‘s upcoming Vegan Vortex Market in Chicago this Saturday! I will have copies of Cheers to Vegan Sweets, zines, and other fun stuff at my table. The market is a showcase of local vegan businesses, authors, and artists so you’ll find food, dessert, handmade gifts, books, art, and more. All of the details are on the Facebook event. Come on by for lunch and check out the goods!

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I’ll be back very soon with another recipe and post!