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Sweet & Easy Vegan: Coconut, Almond and Chocolate Chip Cookies {Giveaway}

by AmandaCarter in Contests, Featured Articles, Recipes

Sweet & Easy Vegan is my kind of cookbook. I’ve been eating a dairy-free, egg-free diet for years, and at the time when I first started out on my vegan adventure, I was sure that cheese would be the thing I missed the most. Not so! As it turned out, I found myself craving traditional desserts more than anything else. Luckily I quickly discovered that vegan treats can be just as delicious— especially homemade vegan treats. I’ve since spent many a day in my kitchen experimenting with making vegan versions of my favorite desserts and baked goods, which can be rewarding when it works (sweet success!), but frustrating when it doesn’t (what a waste of time and ingredients!). That’s why I love Sweet & Easy Veganauthor Robin Asbell has already done that work for you, so you can jump right in and bake delectable vegan treats with confidence. When our friends at Chronicle Books offered us a copy to review, we knew that we just had to do a giveaway so we could share this gem with you.

In the book, Asbell offers over 80 sweet vegan recipes including cookies, cakes, tarts, fruit desserts, muffins and more. The author has also written a thorough introduction that covers the basics of vegan baking, discusses the benefits of whole grain flours and natural sweeteners, and includes a glossary of vegan baking ingredients. Sidebars sprinkled throughout the book give helpful tips on topics such as whole wheat pie crusts, alternative flours, and fair trade chocolate.

All this knowledge makes Sweet & Easy Vegan a great book for someone who is new to vegan cooking, but the appeal isn’t limited to beginners, or even to vegans for that matter. Anyone with a sweet tooth will appreciate the recipes here, which range from classics like yellow cake to more unusual treats like Lemon Pine Nut Cookies, and from decadent desserts like Chocolate Layer Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting to lighter fare like Summer Fruits in Vanilla Syrup. And who wouldn’t love a book with an entire chapter devoted to “Sweet Breakfast Treats”?

We hope you’ll enjoy this cookbook as much as we do. To get your mouth watering, here is a sample recipe from Sweet & Easy Vegan.

Coconut, Almond and Chocolate Chip Cookies

There is something about the texture of coconut in a cookie; the way it stays moist and chewy is irresistible. The addition of chocolate and almonds makes for a triple temptation that will call to you from the cookie jar.

Makes about 8 big cookies

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp nondairy milk, plus more as needed
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseeds
  • ½ cup/60 g unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup/65 g whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼  tsp salt
  • ½ cup/120 ml canola oil
  • ½ cup/100 g granular palm sugar, palm sugar paste, or Sucanat
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 1 cup/90 g unsweetened shredded dried coconut
  • ½ cup/55 g sliced almonds
  • ½ cup/85 g vegan chocolate chip

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C/gas 5.

In a cup or small bowl, whisk the 2 tbsp nondairy milk and the flaxseeds together and let stand for 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine both flours, the nutritional yeast (if using), baking soda, and salt and whisk until well mixed.

In a food processor, combine the canola oil and sugar and process until smooth. Add the almond extract and pulse to combine. Add the flaxseed mixture and process until thoroughly combined. Pour into the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in the coconut, almonds and chocolate chips. If the dough is too crumbly to hold together, knead in up to 2 tbsp more nondairy milk.

Scoop a ¼ cup/60-ml portion of dough (oiling the measuring cup makes it easier to remove the dough) and form it into a ball. Place the balls on an ungreased baking sheet, leaving about 2 in/5 cm of space between them. Using wet palms, flatten slightly to a thickness of just over ½ in/12mm.

Bake for about 16 minutes, until the cookies are quite golden around the edges, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time.

Let cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Stored in an airtight container at room temperature, the cookies will keep for about 1 week.

Would you like to win a copy of Sweet & Easy Vegan? To enter the contest, comment on this post and tell us who you would bake treats for if you win this cookbook. Would you make vegan sweets for your kids, your friends, your sweetheart—or maybe just for yourself? To help you get started with these yummy recipes, we’ll also send the winner a bag of Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat Pastry Flour, a package of Sliced Almonds, and a package of Shredded Coconut.  We’ll pick a winner from those of you who enter by 11:59 pm on 8/23. Good luck!

Robin Asbell, chef and author of Big Vegan and Sweet & Easy Vegan, will be teaching a class next month at the Bob’s Red Mill Cooking School in Milwaukie, Oregon! Get details on the class, “Healthy Baking with Robin Asbell,” and registration information here.

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AmandaCarter Google: AmandaCarter
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empire biscuit

Empire Biscuits: Newport Celtic Festival Winner

by Cassidy Stockton in Contests, Featured Articles, Recipes

These biscuits from Julie Wilcke-Pilmer were a prize winner in the Bob’s Red Mill Baking Contest at the Newport Celtic Festival earlier in the month. The picture is kind of hard to make out, but they’re absolutely wonderful! These are not the light and fluffy American-style biscuits, but made in the Celtic tradition and are much closer to cookies. Enjoy!

Empire Biscuits

Cream butter and sugar well.  Add egg and vanilla and beat mixture. Fold in flour and salt.  Knead dough until mixture forms a smooth ball.  Roll dough out and cut with round cookie cutter to about silver dollar size.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet and put trays in the fridge for 15 minutes.  Bake cookies for 10 minutes at 375°F.  Cookie should not be brown.  After cooled, jam one side of each cookie and put another cookie on top.  Make powdered sugar icing by mixing powdered sugar with enough water to make a nice paste.  Frost the top of each cookie and place 1/4 maraschino cherry in the center.  makes approximately 2 dozen cookies.

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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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limecookies

Gluten Free Coconut-Lime Shortbread Cookies

by Guest in Featured Articles, Gluten Free, Recipes

This fun recipe from Christen of Life:Styled uses our coconut flour and a hint of lime to make shortbread with a little extra zing! We love how she used natural food dyes to make a rainbow of colors and a simple touch with a toothpick or skewer and a light circle press turned these round shortbread cookies into buttons. Life is never boring with Christen. We’re in love with Life:Styled and hope you’ll fall for her too! Of her blog, Christen writes, “Life:Styled is a place to come for weekly menu and recipe inspiration, kids craft ideas, and tons of free downloads for your parties, life, and home.”

Gluten Free Coconut-Lime Shortbread Cookies

Whisk together the flours and salt in a bowl. With a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar and lime until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture until just combined. Adding color with natural food dyes is a fun way to make these cookies pop, so you can mix some in at this point if desired. Divide dough in half. Shape into a disk; wrap in plastic. Chill until firm, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Let dough soften slightly at room temp. Working with one disk at a time, roll out dough on a lightly floured surface until 1/2 inch thick. Using round cookie cutter cut out your shape and space onto cookie sheet 1 inch apart.

Bake until edges are pale golden, 16 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool. Can be stored in airtight container up to one week.

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untitled

White Chocolate Nut-butter Cookies Made with Coconut Flour

by Guest in Featured Articles, Recipes
This recipe comes from Jen of Crazy Cooking Couple and is part of our month-long celebration of coconut flour. Of her blog, Jen says, ” We are foodies who love to explore food both in and out of kitchen. Tasting, eating, baking, broiling, frying and trying not to burn the house down all in the name of good food!” We love that this recipe lets you choose what type of nut butter to use- go classic with peanut butter, mix it up with almond or hazelnut butter, or leave it out altogether. 
White Chocolate Nut-butter Cookies
Makes 1 dozen cookies
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup Softened Butter
  • 3/4 cup Splenda
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill Coconut Flour
  • 1/3 cup creamy Nut Butter (optional)
  • 6 oz bag White Chocolate Chips
Directions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375°F.
  2. Mix together the butter, spenda/sugar and vanilla until creamy.
  3. Mix in the eggs 1 at a time until well mixed.
  4. Stir in the baking soda and the coconut flour.
  5. Stir in the nut butter until well blended (if desired)
  6. Carefully fold in in the chocolate chips
  7. Bake for about 12 minutes or until cookies are slightly firm.
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coconutcookies

Coconut Cookies

by Guest in Featured Articles, Recipes

This cookie recipe comes from Janel Ovrut Funk, of Eat Well with Janel, as part of our month long celebration.  Janel is a Boston-based registered dietitian who loves helping people reach their nutrition goals, one bite at a time. Janel shares her culinary adventures in her blog Eat Well with Janel, Facebook fan page, and loves to tweet @DietitianJanel.

Coconut Cookies

Inspired by Hannah Kaminsky’s Coconut Drop Cookies in VegNews

Makes 10 cookies

What You Need:

  • 1 cup Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
  • 3/4 cup All Purpose Flour
  • ¼ cup Bob’s Red Mill Coconut Flour
  • ½ – 3/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/3 cup Agave Syrup
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Oil

    For the icing:

  • ½ cup Confectioners Sugar
  • 1-2 Tbsp Soymilk or other Non-Dairy Milk

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large, dry skillet over medium heat, add coconut and stir constantly until flakes are golden brown. Immediately place in a large bowl, and allow to cool completely. Once coconut has cooled, whisk in flour, baking powder, and salt.

2. In a medium bowl, combine sugar, agave, and coconut oil. Then add wet mixture into dry mixture and mix until combined. Mixture may feel dry – use your hands to press the mixture so it begins to stick together.

3. Using clean hands, form 10 “patties” of the dough about 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet.

4. Bake for 6-10 minutes, watching closely, until slightly browned along the edges. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.

5. Meanwhile, prepare icing by whisking soymilk into the confectioners sugar until you get a smooth consistency. Using a spoon, scoop icing into plastic sandwich bag. Cut a small hole in the tip of the bag to use as an icing bag and squeeze icing onto the cooled cookies.

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1615C22

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

by Meagan Nuchols in Featured Articles, Gluten Free

In honor of National Chocolate Chip Cookie Week, here is a customer favorite at our Whole Grain Store. It’s a simple adaption from our Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix. Enjoy!

Over the past couple of months we have experimented with selling our Wheat Free cookies in six packs. Not only have we been selling out, but customers are asking for recipes! Lucky for you this cookie is simple, quick to make and keeps very well. Following, is our best selling Wheat Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie.

Here are a few tips when making this recipe. First, mix dough until just combined. The cookies tend to flatten out if over-mixed. Next, if your cookies are coming out too dark and doughy in the middle, place another pan underneath. Lastly, to make a regular Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie, omit the peanut butter and water from this recipe. With this variation you may have to increase your baking time. Enjoy!

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a stand mixer, cream together butter and peanut butter. Scrape down sides and add applesauce and water. Mix on medium speed until combined. Add cookie mix and chocolate chips. Mix for no more than a minute, scraping down sides if necessary. Scoop in to 2 ounce balls (about 2 Tbsp of dough), flatten with hand and bake for 14 minutes. When cookies are done they will lose their shine and will be dark around the edges.

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Meagan Nuchols Google: Meagan Nuchols
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chia2

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Chia Bites

by Guest in Featured Articles, Recipes

These tasty treats are part of our month-long celebration of everything chia. Courtesy of Natalie Herr from Oven Love, we adore these simple and easy decadent little cookies and cannot get over how down-right healthy they are to-boot.  We know they have a good dose of peanut butter and chocolate chips (two of our favorite things!), but the whole grain goodness of rolled oats and the boost of fiber and Omega-3 from the chia seeds make these more like an energy snack than a cookie.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Chia Bites

Ingredients:

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Let chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or more. Remove them from the fridge, use a small cookie scoop to create uniform portions and roll into balls. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Makes about 4 dozen bites.

At Oven Love, you’ll find recipes made from scratch, with love and a little sass. I enjoy creating food that makes people smile, whether it’s a hearty main dish or the occasional sweet treat. Come by for a visit and see what’s cooking!

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heartShortbreadCookies

Happy National Shortbread Day

by Cassidy Stockton in Featured Articles

I bet you didn’t know it was National Shortbread Day, did you? Geez, where have YOU been? I am a sucker for the myriad food holidays that our country has deemed celebratory for each month and today is no exception. I absolutely love shortbread. Good shortbread is buttery and slightly crispy. It crumbles in your mouth when you take a bite. A basic shortbread can be simple and lightly sweet, but these days there are many variations on this classic cookie that take it in new directions from savory to decadently sweet. There are even whole blogs dedicated to different shortbread recipes!

Shortbread originated in ancient Scotland and follows a pretty basic ratio of ingredients- one part sugar, two parts butter and three parts flour (originally oat flour was used, but today white flour is more common). When I had the lucky privilege of traveling to Scotland for the Golden Spurtle, one of our stops was the Walkers estate. It was closed, so we didn’t get to take a tour, but it was really neat to see where some of the best shortbread is made. I can’t honestly say whether I prefer Walkers or McTavish. On the one hand, Walkers is imported from Scotland (it’s their largest food export) on the other- McTavish is baked right here in Portland, Oregon. I’d wager, though, that homemade shortbread would easily rival both brands.

Accolades from the Queen at Walkers Shortbread Factory in Scotland

Here are some of our favorite shortbread recipes to help you celebrate today. If you want to take the semi-easy homemade route, try our Shortbread Cookie Mix.

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Cassidy Stockton Google: Cassidy Stockton
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Chocolate crinkles in a row

Gluten Free Peppermint Crackles (or Crinkles)

by Meagan Nuchols in Featured Articles, Gluten Free, Recipes

Crackles or crinkles, whatever you call them, are one of our all-time favorite cookies. This version from our bakery uses our Gluten Free Brownie Mix and adds a festive peppermint twist for the holidays.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Peppermint Crackles

  • 3 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Brownie Mix
  • 1 Egg
  • ½ cup Butter (melted and cooled)
  • ½ cup Water
  • 1-2 tsp Peppermint Extract
  • Powdered Sugar for coating

DIRECTIONS:

Melt butter, then add water, egg and peppermint extract. Mix to combine. Add Brownie Mix. Mix until lumps are gone and color lightens. (About 2 minutes). Drop by tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheet (greased or lined with parchment paper). Refrigerate for 1-2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Before baking, roll each cookie in powdered sugar and return to cookie sheet.  Bake for 12 minutes. Let stand on cookie sheet 2-3 minutes, then remove to wire rack to cool.

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Meagan Nuchols Google: Meagan Nuchols
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Gingersnaps

Gluten Free Gingersnaps (or Ice Cream Sandwiches)

by Meagan Nuchols in Gluten Free, Recipes

Crispy and full of zing, these classic Gingersnaps live up to their name and they’re so simple to make. This recipe comes from our bakery and uses our Gluten Free All Purpose Flour. If that particular flour blend doesn’t appeal to you or your family, try this recipe for gluten free Crispy Ginger Cookies.

For a fun  holiday dessert, make these into ice cream sandwiches- simply place about 1/4 cup of softened vanilla ice cream (dairy or non-dairy will both work fine) between two gingersnaps and gently press. When ice cream has filled to the edge, roll the edge in festive sprinkles. Then wrap in plastic and freeze for at least 30 minutes to an hour. Enjoy!

Gluten Free Gingersnap Cookies

Directions:

1. In medium bowl, cream butter, sugar, molasses, and eggs.

2. In large bowl combine dry ingredients; stir into butter mixture.

3. Refrigerate for several hours

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

5. Scoop out dough, and shape into ½ inch balls.

6. Roll into granulated sugar.

7. Arrange at least 3 inches apart on a baking sheet (they spread while baking).

8. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes. (Baking less time will give you a chewy cookie; baking more will make them crisp).

9. Cool on wire racks.

10. If desired sprinkle with more granulated sugar.

Makes approximately 48 cookies.

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Meagan Nuchols Google: Meagan Nuchols
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