Vegan Apple and Cherry Coffee Cakes

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Vegan YumYum gets the credit for this one! I was planning to make little pie bites with crescent rolls, but my grocery order arrived with no crescents (apparently they were completely out… what the heck?). So, off I went in search of a recipe for something else. I found this one, and decided to do one batch as muffins and one batch as a cake, but with slight variations on the original.

They came out deliciously. If you like your coffee cake really sweet, you may want to ramp up the sugar just a bit. Otherwise… here you go!

Ingredients

2 ½ cups flour
1 cup raw or vegan sugar
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon (for apple version)
2/3 cup vegan margarine, softened (or canola oil)
2/3 cup non-dairy milk (I used almond) + 2 tsp vinegar or lemon juice
2 Tbs cornstarch mixed with 1/2 cup water
2 tsp vanilla extract (for apple) or almond extract (for cherry)
1 20 to 25 oz can/jar apple or cherry pie filling
1 Tbs sugar mixed with 1 tsp cinnamon, for topping on apple
1.5 Tbs raw sugar, for topping on cherry

Process

Preheat oven to 350º F.

Combine dry ingredients (except topping). Add liquid ingredients (not the filling) and fold the batter until well combined. It will be pretty thick.

Spread 1/2 of the batter in the bottom of a pie pan, square cake pan, or muffin tins.

Add pie filling evenly over the top.

Spoon the rest of the batter over the top in clumps. It doesn’t need to be connected or smoothed.

Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture or raw sugar.

Bake for 70 to 90 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. If it starts to get too brown before it is fully baked, Vegan YumYum suggests covering it with foil.

Allow to cool and serve.

Vegan Chai Concentrate Recipe

IMG_1949aLast week, in an effort to iron out some stomach woes, I gave up coffee, even the decaf variety. This meant switching to tea, because no hot drinks was not an option in January. I like tea, but was in the mood for something robust and filling, so I decided chai fit the bill.

The chai at Starbucks and readily available in concentrate form is good, but not vegan. The chai in teabags is decent, but not amazing. To make chai from scratch each time is admirable, but not realistic! Thus, I decided to make my own chai concentrate. I’m still adjusting the recipe, but this is what I have right now.

Note: I like my chai like I like my… um… tea -spicy and sweet. Adjust as needed.

Vegan Chai Concentrate
(makes 1 quart jar + a bit)

Ingredients

30 cardamom pods
10 cinnamon sticks
30 black peppercorns
20 cloves
5 star anise
2 medium pieces of fresh ginger, sliced
½ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. fennel
½ cup brown or raw sugar
5 cups water
15 black tea bags (regular or decaf)*

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Process

Place all ingredients except tea bags and cinnamon sticks in a pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and allow to cook for 15-20 minutes.

After 15-20 minutes, raise the heat again for a minute to bring the pot back to a boil. Add tea bags and cinnamon sticks and turn heat to low. Steep for 8-10 minutes.

Strain mixture into a canning jar or other glass container for storage (it will stain plastic). To drink, mix ½ and ½ with the milk of your choice and heat – or not if you want a cold drink.

I don’t know how long exactly it will last, because I drink it pretty fast, but at least 5 days.

* The type of black tea doesn’t matter, really, so just get something inexpensive.

 

 

Let It Scone, Let It Scone, Let It Scone!

(All images by Ms. TheVeganAsana Jr.2)

It’s time for another holiday festival of scone making. This is weekend #2 of making these little delicious pastries and there may be one more to go (we’ll see). Scones are delicious, easy, and last well, making good gift treats for friends, family, and coworkers.

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My baking supervisor, Charlie

Ingredients
2 cups flour
1 T baking powder
1/4 t salt
2 T turbinado sugar (plus more for board)
1/4 C vegan margarine (soften if needed)
2/3-3/4 C soy milk

Add ons:
1/2 C raisins and 3 T cinnamon
1/2 C dried cranberries, 2 T orange zest, 1/2 orange juiced
1/2 C chocolate chips
½ C chopped almonds and 2 t of vanilla extract

Process
Mix dry ingredients.  Use a pastry cutter to cut in margarine until it forms crumbles in the flour.  Add flavorings and stir.  Add soy milk bit by bit until dough forms into a ball.  I use a stand mixer for this with a dough hook.

Cover a cutting board with a thin layer of turbinado sugar. Divide ball into 4-6 even pieces, place on  your sugared board, flatten to about 1/3 inch thick and sprinkle liberally with sugar.

Use a pizza cutter or knife to cut into pie shaped slices.  Bake at 400* until slightly browned on the top.  This will take around 20 minutes.

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