Tuesday, 29 December 2020

Gingerbread Molasses Cookies

 Spicy heart-warming cookies that are so soft and chewy, perfect for a Christmas treat!

I have only this year discovered that molasses cookies even existed I've clearly had my head in a hole! But I think that's because molasses cookies are more popular and traditional in America. We don't use molasses here in the UK unless you buy it from a special shop so an easy substitute that works quite similarly is black treacle. So I suppose you could say that these are gingerbread treacle cookies - but I like molasses cookies better :) Anyway, these cookies are honestly one of the best batches I have ever made. They are everything I usually look for in a cookie - soft, succulent but also a little chewy and I ate a lot of these with zero regrets. The mini Gingerbread men are optional but the spice gives these cookies just a little extra kick. I suggest dunking these in tea, as something about the extra moisture makes them even more desirable. These cookies are perfect to eat around Christmas time so make a batch and share with your loved ones.

Check out my other cookie recipes for more inspiration!

Recipe

Prep: 10 minutes prep + up to 1 hour chilling time
Cook: 12 minutes
Serves: 20 cookies

Ingredients

250g Plain flour
1 tsp Baking soda
2 tbsp Ginger
1 tbsp Cinnamon
¼ tsp Nutmeg
120g Butter melted
130g Dark brown sugar
½ tsp Vanilla extract
50-60g Caster sugar for rolling

Method

✿Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a few baking trays with baking paper.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg and mix together.
In a larger bowl, whisk together melted butter, brown sugar, black treacle and vanilla until combined.
Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until you have a thick dough. Wrap tightly in clingfilm and refrigerate for 45 minutes to 1 hour until firm. 
Pour the caster sugar into a bowl for rolling.
Scoop about 1 tablespoon of the cookie dough and roll into a ball then repeat with the remaining dough. 
Roll the cookie dough balls in the sugar and then place on the baking trays leaving at least 1 ½" between cookies. Push a mini gingerbread man on top of each cookie.
Gently press each cookie dough ball to flatten slightly. 
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies are cracked, puffy, and the edges appear cooked then remove and place on a cooling rack.
Once cool store in an airtight container at room temperature. Best eaten fresh within a few days. Enjoy!

Christina
xx
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Thursday, 24 December 2020

Grinch Christmas Cookies

 Chewy vanilla cookies inspired by the one and only The Grinch!

Fun fact for you, my favourite Christmas film is The Grinch - Jim Carey version if course, though I recently watched the newest animation and I loved it! I will watch The Grinch every year no matter what, usually alone as none of my family like it (the long furry fingers creeps them out) and I every time I watch it I want to be a Who! The cute little village, the decorations are so cute and I definitely would like to make a cake decorated like the town of Whoville. For now though I leave you with my Grinch inspired cookies. I based them off of my easy Mini Egg Easter Cookies and swapped out the eggs for the smarties!

Let's talk about the smarties actually - I know I run a vegan blog, but these were kindly gifted to me from a friend in Canada and as weird as it sounds, my friends don't like to receive chocolate haha. So I thought instead of wasting them, which I NEVER do, never ever waste food, I was use them in a bake and then my family can eat them. So no they aren't a completely vegan cookie, but the dough IS vegan, and if you want to swap out the smarties for vegan alternatives definitely do it! That was my original intention but 1) I couldn't find red and green vegan chocolates in the UK? and 2) you can use Doisy and Dam coloured chocolate drops but they aren't red or green so not with the theme you know!
Anyway, enjoy these cookies if you make them, they are super easy and perfect to make at Christmas time!

Check out my other cookie recipes for more inspiration!

Recipe

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Serves: 16 cookies

Ingredients

115g Vegan butter
100g Caster sugar
100g Light brown sugar
60ml Soya milk
250g Plain flour
2 tsp Green food colouring
1tsp Vanilla extract
1tsp Baking soda
Pinch of salt
2tsp Cornflour
200g red and green chocolates or smarties like I used

Method

✿In an electric mixer cream together the butter and both sugars. Then add the soya milk and vanilla and mix.
✿In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda and cornflour. 
✿Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well together. Now add the food colouring and stir until the dough is green. Only add a little at a time to get your desired colour - the best green for The grinch is more of a lime-ish green! Fold in 150g of smarties till evenly combined - you will have a thick cookie dough so do this with a wooden spoon.
✿Preheat your oven to 180℃ and line your baking trays with baking paper. I had to use 3 as they need room to spread out.
✿Take about a tbsp of cookie dough and using your hands roll into balls. I had to go back and add more cookie dough to some of my balls so don't be scared to use as little or as much as you need to.
✿Make sure the cookie dough balls are spread out on the trays and then bake in the oven for 12 minutes until slightly brown on top - no longer or they will be more crispy. 
✿Once they are out of the oven, press the rest of the mini eggs into the cookies and then leave to cool and firm up. 
✿Store in an airtight container at room temp - best eaten on the first few days. Enjoy!

Christina
xx
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Wednesday, 23 December 2020

Mince Pie Crumble Bars

Turn your mincemeat into crumble bars for a twist on mince pies!

I recently forgot that I had some mincemeat ready to go to make mince pies, but this year I fancied using it for something other than mince pies to switch things up a bit. I know mince pies are super easy to make, but these crumble bars are also just as simple. A delicious biscuity bottom, warm spiced mincemeat with a crumbly topping, perfect with a cup of tea. You can make your own mincemeat if you like, there's lot of easy recipes out there and that means you can add whatever you like in it - or grab a jar from any supermarket if you're short of time. 

Check out my other recipes for more inspiration!

NOTE: every ingredient I use is vegan so make sure you check your ingredients if you're following a Vegan lifestyle.

Recipe

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30-35 minutes
Serves: 12

Ingredients

300g Self raising flour
175g Butter - cold
75g Light brown sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Ginger
¼ tsp Nutmeg
¼ tsp Mixed spice
1 tsp Salt
3 tbsp oats
450g Mincemeat

Method

✿Preheat the oven to 180℃ and grease and line an 8x8 inch baking tray with baking paper. 
Cube the butter into a large bowl along with the flour and using your fingers rub the butter into the flour until you have a crumb-like consistency.
Add the spices and sugar and mix together to form a dough.
Press half of the dough into the baking tray and save the rest to the side. 
Spoon the mincemeat on top evenly and then crumble the rest of the dough on top of the mincemeat. Sprinkle over the oats then bake in the oven about 30-35 until golden on top.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely in the baking tray before removing. Once cool, cut into 12 slices and serve. Keep at room temperature in an airtight container. Enjoy!

Christina
xx
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Saturday, 19 December 2020

Gingerbread Pancakes

 The best way to start the day with a big warm stack of festive gingerbread pancakes!

If you're looking for a delicious Christmas morning breakfast, I think you may have found it. I've never started my Christmas morning with pancakes either, but I am absolutely going to be having them this year. I know we all have our Christmas morning traditions, some of you may have a full English, some a mince pie and champagne, some have pastries - as for me, for a long time we used to have sausage sandwiches, which technically I can still do with vegan sausages, but this I'm feeling the pancakes, especially these gingerbread ones! The mini gingerbread men are optional, but highly recommended because biscuits AND pancakes is a dreamy breakfast.

Check out my other pancake recipes for more inspiration!

Recipe

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Serves: Makes 7 pancakes


Ingredients

125g Plain flour
1 ½ tsp Baking powder
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Cinnamon
2 tsp Ginger
¼ tsp Nutmeg
170ml Soya milk + 1 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp Black treacle



Method

✿Place all ingredients (except the mini gingerbread men) into a blender and blend till combined. Or whisk together a lot until smooth.
Leave to sit about 5 minutes, then heat a large non-stick frying pan on a medium heat and drizzle a little oil on. 
Once warm, spoon about 2 tbsp of the pancake batter into the pan to make 1 circle. Repeat with another circle so you have 2 pancakes in the pan - if your pan is bigger add another 2 tbsp to make another one. 
Leave to cook for about 1-2 minutes and there are lots of bubbles on the surface. If you can slide the pancakes around the pan you can flip them over to cook on the other side another 2 minutes.
Remove from the pan and repeat with the remaining batter.
Serve with more treacle or maple syrup and the gingerbread men for a nice crunch and more ginger! Best served fresh. Enjoy!

Christina
xx

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Friday, 18 December 2020

Gingerbread Brownies

Fudgy brownies made with a warm festive gingerbread flavour and topped with mini gingerbread men!

It's only as I've gotten older that I've started to appreciate ginger flavoured foods, be it sweet or savoury. I've really underrated it and now I'm making it up for slowly but surely - starting with this delicious brownies! I needed to make a festive themed brownie and this seemed perfect! The treacle and spices really give them that christmassy touch, plus the gingerbread men are so cute on top! Behind the scenes you can't tell but I get quite frustrated with vegan brownies, I do find it hard to crack the no egg replacement - no pun intended haha!- but I may have nailed it with these ones. They are everything you need in a brownie and so much more :)

Check out my other brownie recipes for more inspiration!

NOTE: every ingredient I use is vegan so make sure you check your ingredients if you're following a Vegan lifestyle.

Recipe

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Serves: 12

Ingredients

120g Plain flour
1 tsp Baking powder
60g Cocoa powder
½ tsp salt
2 tsp Ginger
1 tsp Cinnamon
¼ tsp Nutmeg
2 tbsp Chia seed + 60ml water
130g Butter
60ml Soya milk
150g Dark brown sugar
60g Black treacle
1 tsp Vanilla extract
140g Dark chocolate melted
Gold stars optional
Melted chocolate on top optional

Method

✿Preheat the oven to 180℃ and grease and line an 8x8 inch baking tray with baking paper.
In a small bowl mix together the chia seeds and water and leave in the fridge to form a gel for about 5-10 minutes.
Melt together the dark chocolate and butter in the microwave and then leave to cool. 
Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and salt and whisk to combine. 
Add the soya milk, treacle, brown sugar, vanilla and chia egg into the chocolate butter mixture and mix well.
Then pour this mixture in with the flour and fold together. Pour into the prepared baking tray and spread out evenly. Top with the gingerbread men and then bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
Leave to cool completely in the tin, do not be tempted to cut these whilst warm otherwise they will fall apart, they need to set first and you'll like them more that way! Once cool, you can drizzle on some melted chocolate and sprinkle the stars on but completely optional, I thought they would look even more festive!
Best kept in an airtight container at room temperature up to a week. Enjoy!

Christina
xx
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Wednesday, 16 December 2020

Reindeer Snowman Chocolate Bark

Get the kids involved with this easy no bake chocolate bark just in time for Christmas!

I had so much fun making this, I'm now thinking it's not just for kids! It's so simple, lots of chocolate, sprinkles, marshmallows and pretzels, you can't get better than that. The best thing is you can decorate this how you like, omit the snowmen if you want and get creative with different Christa characters! Add whatever sprinkles you like too, you could make more of a winter wonderland by using mostly white chocolate and blue sprinkles, that would gorgeous :)

Check out my other no-bake recipes for more inspiration!


NOTE: every ingredient I use is vegan so make sure you check your ingredients if you're following a Vegan lifestyle.

Recipe:

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: n/a + 1 hour chilling time
Serves: 12

Ingredients

150g Dark chocolate
150g Milk chocolate
50g White chocolate
10 Pretzels
7 Red skittles
30 Mini marshmallows
Edible black pen
Sprinkles 


Method

✿Line a rectangle baking tray with baking paper. 
Melt the dark chocolate in the microwave in 20 second intervals, stirring in between until all melted. Repeat with the milk chocolate and the white chocolate.
Spread the dark in a thin layer over the baking paper, then spoon the milk chocolate in random dollops over it and spread evenly. Dollop the white chocolate in random places and then use the sharp end of a knife to run through it creating a feathered effect. You should have good thickish rectangle slab.
Place two marshmallows in random places to make eyes for a reindeer, and then place three in a line to make snowmen - refer to photos if confused. 
Put the skittles under the eyes to make a nose. Cut some of the pretzels in half down the middle to make two antlers and place them above the eyes. Cut some of the pretzels into sticks to make arms for the snowmen. 
Sprinkle the sprinkles all over as much as you like then place in the fridge until completely set.
Once hard, use the pen to make a small dot on the two marshmallows for eyes and the same for the snowmen. Use a knife to cut around the chocolate around the reindeers and snowmen into pieces ready to eat. Can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge. Enjoy!

Christina
xx

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Thursday, 10 December 2020

Chocolate Peanut Butter Porridge

Thick creamy chocolate porridge topped with natural delicious peanut butter!

I make chocolate porridge a lot because I love to start my day with something a little natural sweetness. And the versatility that comes with chocolate is that you can mix up the toppings and what better to drizzle on top of porridge than lots of peanut butter?! I'm quite open to peanut butter brands, especially the ones that don't use any palm oil and are 100% peanuts. Recently I discovered this amazing peanut butter in Tesco called Nuts about Nature - not entirely sure if it's Tesco's own brand but it says it's made in the Netherlands - and the price tag is so much better than some of the other brands on the market. I find it can be quite hard to find a good creamy, natural peanut butter that isn't below £2.50 but Tesco's have done it. We haven't used anything since and I highly recommend! I just like to give a little brand boost every now and then haha :) 

Check out my other porridge recipes for more inspiration!

Recipe

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 3-4 minutes
Serves: 1

Ingredients
40g Porridge oats
1 tbsp Cacao powder or chocolate protein powder
200ml Soya milk
1 tsp Vanila extract
1 heaped tbsp Peanut butter 
Toppings
Cacao nibs
Berries
Peanuts


Method

✿Add the porridge oats and cacao powder to a bowl and mix. Pour in the soya milk, mix and then place in the microwave for 3-4 minutes on high making sure to stir half way. Be careful the porridge doesn't explode and spill over, this can happen!
✿If you prefer to cook on the hob/stove, adjust the cooking times accordingly.
✿Once cooked, spoon the peanut butter on top and add the toppings. You may need to add more soya milk if you like a very wet porridge. Enjoy!

Christina
xx
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Wednesday, 9 December 2020

Pecan Pie Layer Cake

 Turn your favourite Thanksgiving dessert up a notch into a delicious Pecan pie themed cake!

I love pecan pie, I've had some really delicious slices, and even though this year I did intend on making a pecan pie, I had the idea instead to make it into a cake. Because for me, everything comes in cake form! In this cake we've got lovely brown sugar spiced sponges, a pecan butter filling and a creamy sweet maple buttercream. I know I'm writing this recipe a lot later than Thanksgiving but I'ma always behind with these things (let's hope Christmas I'm on the ball!) but I thought it's still worth sharing the recipe - pecan pie can still be enjoyed all year round :) Next year if I don't make a pecan pie type something, I'd like to try some other traditional thanksgiving recipes.

Check out my other layer cake recipes for more inspiration!

Recipe

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Serves:

Ingredients

Cakes
325g Self-raising flour
300g Light brown sugar
1 tbsp Baking powder
1 tsp Salt
130g Applesauce
250ml Soya milk + 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
160g Butter 
2 tsp Vanilla extract
1 tbsp Cinnamon
Filling
Meridian Pecan butter
Buttercream
300g Butter softened
500g Icing sugar
2 tbsp Maple syrup
Pecans optional

Method

✿Preheat the oven to 180℃ and grease and line x3 6 inch cake tins with baking paper.
Mix together the soya milk and ACV in a jug and leave to one side for 5 minutes to create a 'buttermilk'.
Using an electric mixer or standing mixer, beat together the butter and sugar together until combined and fluffy. Add the applause and vanilla and mix in - the mixture may start to separate but that's okay it will come together with the rest of the ingredients. 
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt and cinnamon. In stages add some of the dry mixture to the sugar mixture and a  little bit of 'buttermilk' and mix.
Keep alternating and mixing in-between, ending with the flour last and then mix the cake batter till smooth.
Divide the cake batter between the 3 tins and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until a knife inserted comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tins completely before removing.
Meanwhile make the buttercreamUsing an electric whisk or stand mixer, beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the icing sugar about 100g at a time, and mix together making sure to stop and scrape in and around the bowl to collect all of the icing and butter.
Finally add the maple syrup and mix in, add more if needed but it should be quite sweet.
To assemble the cakes, place one cake layer on a cake board or plate and spread a thinnish layer of buttercream on top. I like to pipe a wall of buttercream around the outer edge of the cake layer to prevent the filling seeping out.
Add about 2 tbsp of pecan butter in the middle and spread evenly to meet the wall of buttercream.
Place the next cake layer on top and repeat the process finishing with the last cake layer on top.
Using a palette knife spread some more buttercream on top and around the cake for the crumb coat. Place in the fridge to chill until firm to touch.
Remove the cake and spread the remaining buttercream around the cake for a smooth finish. I saved some to pipe a rope style on top of the cake but you can finish it how you like.
Add the pecans around the bottom or on top and leave in the fridge to chill until ready to serve. Will keep in the fridge up to a week. Enjoy!

Christina
xx




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