Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cookies, Chocolate | January 13, 2019 | By

Hey everyone! I’ve recently ventured into vegan baking for some chocolate chip cookies and guys, you wouldn’t even know the difference!

I don’t actually know any vegan eaters, but I do have a family friend who has some diet restrictions that, in baking, may as well be vegan. Plus, I find it really intriguing to bake vegan recipes- it kind of turns everything you know about baking upside-down, and it’s fun to experiment with egg and dairy replacements!

Add on top of all that the high-altitude factors, and we’ve got some science up in here this week. So, here’s what I’m swapping out:

  • Egg= chia seeds soaked in water
  • Butter= margarine
  • Milk= almond milk
  • Chocolate chips= non-dairy chocolate chips

I have to say, of anything, the chocolate chips are like. Entirely not noticeable as a substitute. So much so that it makes me wonder why we even need milk in chocolate to begin with- these taste EXACTLY the same as your normal semi-sweet chocolate chips. Also, they’re available in all my normal grocery stores!

And a note on the egg substitute- there are a lot of options for egg subs. Chia seeds just happened to already be in my pantry (instead of applesauce) but it’s really easy to find egg swap charts online!

These cookies are chewy, soft, and chocolatey. I actually really loved them, and I ate plenty on my own- they taste very indulgent, and while the flavors are just slightly different from your classic chocolate chip cookies, the different is minimal to be honest. Score!

So let’s call it a high-altitude-vegan-chocolate-chip-cookie kind of day, shall we? Enjoy!

High Altitude Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 tbs. chia seeds
  • 3 tbs. water
  • 1/2 cup room temperature dairy-free margarine (I used Earth Balance)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups dairy-free mini chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life)

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, stir together the chia seeds and water, and set aside. It will thicken while you prepare the rest of the dough. 

  2. In a large bowl, beat together the margarine, brown sugar, sugar, vanilla, and almond milk until smooth. Add in the soaked chia seed mixture, and stir until combined. Add in the flour, baking soda, and salt, and beat until completely incorporated. The dough will be fairly soft. Fold in the mini chocolate chips. 

  3. Cover the bowl, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 

  4. Scoop the batter in two-tablespoonfuls onto your baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges just start to become golden brown. Cool and enjoy! 

Chai Spiced Pound Cake

Happy Sunday! I hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend and you’re ending it by winding down in the kitchen with some cake. Actually, I hope you wind down everyday that way, what a dream!

Today I’ve got something a little bit out of my typical recipe style, and it’s really, really effective. I nearly never go for anything other than the traditional creaming method of making cake batter. For the most part, I think it’s easiest, it works really well, and it’s very reliable across many types of recipes.

However, if you’ve seen the recipe I posted for Perfect Pound Cake, it’s a variation of the pound cake recipe in the CSU Fort Collins High Altitude Baking Book, and that’s where this method comes in. It was very interesting to me in the first place, but the results are absolutely too perfect to resist.

Basically, instead of beating together the butter and sugar, then eggs, and then dry ingredients, you start with the dry, including the sugar. Into the dry mix, you’ll beat butter and eggs. At this stage, you have to mix a bit more than you normally would as well- you want to reach a very smooth batter, even though it will be quite thick at this point. Finally, you add in the additional milk, and continue to beat until you have a very silky, ribbony batter that truly bakes up to perfection.

And anyways, I’m not adverse to change when it makes sense guys, and this cake really makes sense. What you end up with is the most reliable, close grained, dense, buttery pound cake you can make at high-altitude. It’s the exact pound cake you’ve always tried to make guys.

And so today I’m adding in the flavors of Chai tea. It creates this warm, spicy cake that brings you all the feels. It’s simple, you don’t need to ice it or top it with crumbs or creams, but instead it’s the perfect breakfast cake, or cake for guests, or cake to simply snack on.

The addition of the Chai tea comes in several forms. First, we’re steeping Chai tea bags into hot milk to really infuse the full traditional flavors. But to make sure the flavors really hit home, we’re also adding additional cinnamon, allspice, and black pepper to the batter directly.

I hope you guys enjoy this one- pound cake has caused me a lot of heartache at high-altitude, so finding recipes that really work here is a wonderful gift! Happy baking!

Chai Spiced Pound Cake

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 4 eggs (plus extra milk, see instructions)
  • 3/4 cup softened butter
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 4 bags Chai tea
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and generously grease a 10-cup bundt pan. Set aside. 

  2. In a large bowl, sift your cake flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and black pepper. Set aside. 

  3. In a measuring cup, crack your 4 eggs, and add enough whole milk to make 1 cup total liquid in the cup. Add the egg mixture and the softened butter to the sifted dry ingredients. Beat with an electric mixer for several minutes. The batter should be thick, but very smooth at this point, which may take several minutes. 

  4. Heat the remaining milk in the microwave until very hot. Steep the 4 Chai tea bags in the hot milk for 5-10 minutes, or until the milk has changed in color and has a strong scent of the tea. Let the milk cool until just warm. 

  5. Slowly add the milk into the batter and beat for several minutes. The batter should be very silky and should ribbon off the beater when you lift it. 

  6. Pour the batter into your prepared cake pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool for 15-20 minutes before inverting the cake onto a wire rack to cool. Enjoy! 

Chocolate Dipped Toffee Shortbread

Cookies, Chocolate | December 29, 2018 | By

Hey guys! Do you have the after-Christmas-blues a little bit? I definitely do. But I’m trying to push through that with more cookies because listen, it’s still winter, and we’re still wearing leggings and big sweaters so it’s all good tbh.

Toffee Cookies 1

And anyways, I was in the grocery store the other day, and they still had a big display of holiday baking items, and so I was browsing that, and saw all kinds of interesting chip-type-things. So like instead of just chocolate chips, there was a bad of s’mores chips with mini marshmallows and graham cracker pieces too (I bought those). And then also there was a weird mix of cookies & cream stuff, and I don’t know exactly what it is yet, but I bought those too. PLUS though, some little toffee chips, further seen below.

Toffee Cookies 2

So here we are- I feel like this is a deconstructed candy bar cookie of some kind. And I know if you watch cooking competition shows, you’re probs saying “DUDE, don’t use the term ‘deconstructed,’ you know better!” But listen, I’m at home, and it is what it is.

And more importantly, these cookies are good man.

Toffee Cookies 6

So basically I made some shortbread dough, and tossed in a bunch of these little crunchy toffee bits. They get all exploded in the oven, and make craggy edges, and it’s very charming and sweet. Oh as a sidenote, if you can’t find these little bits, I’m of the opinion that it’d be kind of awesome to just like chop up a toffee candy bar and go for it that way.

Toffee Cookies 3

So anyways, I dipped these ones in chocolate to add that well, chocolate factor. I went at an angle, and I think they would be super yummy if you even just drizzled chocolate all over the entire cookie too, idk guys, do you.

Toffee Cookies 5

I’m feeling weird today, and this post sounds weird as I read it, but I’m keeping it as is just as a reminder of this weird after-holiday vibe I’m feeling strongly this year. The point is, cookies will bring us all joy no matter what time of the year it is. JOY IT UP GUYS.

Chocolate Dipped Toffee Shortbread

Servings 20 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups cold butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup toffee bits
  • 1 cup chocolate chips, melted

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. 

  2. In a large bowl, beat together the cold butter and powdered sugar until combined. Since the butter is cold, you might need a few more minutes than you are used to for mixing time. Beat in the vanilla extract. 

  3. Add in the flour and salt slowly, beating until the dough forms. It will be slightly crumbly, but should completely combine. Beat in the toffee bits until combined. 

  4. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut the dough into whatever shapes you like- I did rectangles- and poke holes over the top with a fork. Transfer dough to your prepared cookie sheets. 

  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges just start to become lightly golden. Cool on the cookie sheets completely. Dip into the chocolate or drizzle chocolate on top of cookies. Place the cookies on parchment or wax paper to let the chocolate set. Enjoy! 

Espresso Pecan Pound Cake

Cake | December 16, 2018 | By

Hey everyone!

Espresso Pecan Pound Cake 4

So I hope that in the midst of all the shopping and festivities, we’re all taking time to bake. I mean, I bake all year, really just as much, but I love seeing what everyone else is making this time of the year when we all do it.

Espresso Pecan Pound Cake 1

And anyways, can we just talk about how adorable this freakin cake pan is? I wish I could tell you where to get it, but I actually bought it years ago at an estate sale, and I’m totally unable to find it online! But it’s so festive and pretty, I love it!

Espresso Pecan Pound Cake 2

So onto the cake. I actually made this for my last day of work at the company where I’ve spent the last three and a half years. It’s been a bittersweet change for me with so many wonderful people there, but I’m really excited for a change, and I start a shiny new job on Monday!

Espresso Pecan Pound Cake 7

Sometimes I kind of get carried away with the flavor combos tbh. Like, first it was just going to be pecan. Then I decided espresso sounded good too, and then who doesn’t want chocolate chips in cake? So here we are.

Espresso Pecan Pound Cake 6

It’s honestly such a perfect combination though, and I think the addition of pecans really make it feel like the holidays. I don’t know if that’s even a thing, but they just take the recipe home for me. Plus I think you could easily sub in other nuts if you prefer- walnuts or almonds would be wonderful as well.

Espresso Pecan Pound Cake 8

A note about the baking pan- you definitely need to use a 10 cup bundt pan here. Anything less and you won’t have enough room for the batter. If you only have a smaller pan, I would not use all the batter here to prevent overflowing. And as always with bundt pans, make sure it’s very well greased to prevent sticking. I use Pam baking spray and it works wonderfully.

So anyways, I hope you’ve got a pretty festive pan to bake this up in, and I hope you make for people you love because hey, it’s Christmas!

Espresso Pecan Pound Cake

Servings 16 slices

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbs. instant espresso powder
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup softened butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and grease a 10-cup bundt pan. 

  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the cake flour, baking powder, salt, and instant espresso powder. Set aside. 

  3. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time, beating between each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract. 

  4. Reserve about 1 tablespoon of the flour mixture in a medium bowl. Add in the flour mixture and the milk in alternating additions, starting and ending with the flour, until completely combined. Beat on medium speed for about 5 minutes. This will seem like longer than you need, but just keep going. 

  5. In the bowl with your reserved flour, add your pecans and chocolate chips. Toss to completely coat. Fold the mixture into your cake batter, including any excess flour, until evenly distributed. 

  6. Pour batter into your prepared cake pan. Bake for 60-65 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool before removing from the pan. Enjoy! 

Snickerdoodle Cake

Cake | December 9, 2018 | By

Hey everyone! Happy Sunday, and happy holidays!

Today we’re talking about cookies. Oh wait, I mean cake! Cake ABOUT cookies! Actually, snickerdoodles are just ya know, cinnamon sugar cookies, so this cake is just kind of like a cinnamon swirl loaf cake. But I always find myself coming back to classic flavors, and this is one of them.

Snickerdoodle Cake 6 Snickerdoodle Cake 1

Are you guys enjoying the holidays this year so far? It’s been such a whirlwind for me this year, and I’m sad thinking about the season coming to an end so quickly. But for now, our house is full of lights and pretty wrapped gifts and the smells of cookies and cakes. (that last part is there all year round- ha!)

Snickerdoodle Cake 2 Snickerdoodle Cake 3

And anyways, I was about to type out that cinnamon and sugar is such a nice holiday flavor, but if I’m being honest, I feel like I could spin literally any flavors and call it holiday. You guys know I love Christmas and winter, so anything I’m eating I’ll just be like “It’s Christmassy you guys, CHRISTMAS!”

Snickerdoodle Cake 5

Whatever, IT’S CHRISTMAS!

So anyways. Eat this cake with coffee or tea, or mulled wine, or like, anything. The cinnamon-sugar coating in the middle becomes gooey and sweet, melting into the cake, while the layer on top becomes crispy and provides a beautiful texture. It’s the perfect dessert or breakfast, tbh.

Snickerdoodle Cake 9

It’s a really simple recipe to whip up, just a classic and easy cake, plus that cinnamon and sugar mixture. I hope you guys enjoy this one, I know I did!

Snickerdoodle Cake 4

Snickerdoodle Cake

Servings 1 9-inch loaf cake

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 6 tbs. softened butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9-inch loaf pan, and line with parchment paper for easy removal. Set aside. 

  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the cake flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside. 

  3. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and 1 cup sugar until fluffy. Add in the eggs and vanilla extract, and beat until incorporated. Then, beat in the milk until combined. 

  4. Slowly add in the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, and beat for an additional 1-2 minutes after adding the flour until the batter is smooth. Spread about half of the batter into your prepared pan. 

  5. In a small bowl, stir together the 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon until the cinnamon is evenly distributed. Evenly sprinkle about half of the mixture onto the half of the cake batter in your pan. Spread the remaining batter in the pan on top of the cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle the remaining sugar and cinnamon on top. It will seem like a lot, that's ok. 

  6. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan, slice, and enjoy! 

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