Archive for the 'Almond' Category



Agave-Sweetened Almond Quinoa Muffins

I had a ton of left-over quinoa this weekend, and while I’ve been very happy to add it to my oatmeal and salads, I wanted to find something else creative to do with it. I made quinoa muffins awhile ago (a year ago! Wow, how time flies…), and they were delicious. The recipe I used both times is from Veganomicon, and the only adaptation I made to the original recipe is to add half a teaspoon of baking powder (to make the muffins rise a bit more) and substitute chopped dried cherries instead of apricots or currants because that’s what I had on hand.

When I first tasted the muffins, a few minutes out of the oven, they were very moist and dense but still delicious. The next day when they were completely cooled and had sat out overnight, they felt a bit fluffier and lighter, which was interesting. You can’t taste the almond at all, and I’m a big almond fan, so next time I might add chopped almonds or even a bit of almond extract to the batter, but the muffins certainly don’t need that unless you’re really looking for the almond flavor. The cardamom and cinnamon spices are not overpowering, and are just plain yummy!

I love the bumpy texture that the quinoa gives the tops of the muffins, and the healthy/protein-jump-start to the day that these muffins give you. I also really like that these muffins are delicately sweet, and sweetened only with agave (so really, it would be quite healthy to eat 2 for breakfast everyday, right?). Mmm. As a big nut-butter fan, I found that they were delicious with hazelnut butter spread thickly on top!

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Ingredients:
1 cup plain non-dairy milk (I used almond milk)
1 Tblsp. ground flax seeds
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (you can use whole wheat pastry flour, your muffin will just be a bit heavier)
1/4 cup almond meal
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1 1/4 cups cooked quinoa, cooled
1/2 cup finely chopped dried cherries (or whatever dried fruit & nuts you want to use)

Preheat the oven to 350° F, and line or grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
Whisk the almond milk and flax seeds in a small bowl.
Sift the dry ingredients (except the quinoa, which isn’t really dry, but just in case) together into a big bowl.
To the almond milk mixture, add the oil, agave, and vanilla.
Pour the wet stuff into the dry stuff and mix with a wooden spoon just until it’s combined.
Add the quinoa and cherries and fold in gently to combine.
Spoon the batter in the muffin tin, and bake for 20 minutes. Muffins are done when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

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Almond Cupcakes

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I made these cupcakes for a fundraiser for the youth group I was in during high school (JYCA) and wanted to make something that would appeal to everyone. I decided on an almond flavor cake, and was going to go with an almond frosting but thought that the sweet almond flavor would be too cloying in such a large amount. I settled with making a basic buttercream frosting. I colored the frosting purple and orange to match JYCA’s colors! I made mini cupcakes for the event, but also made a few regular-sized cupcakes for close friends and family. Here is a picture of the cupcakes before I frosted them, so you can see the beautiful brown almond flecks:

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Here they are after frosting:

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This recipe is adapted from the Golden Vanilla Cupcake and Fluffy Buttercream Frosting recipes in Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World. Added warning: This recipe is doubled, and will make about 80 mini cupcakes.

Ingredients:
2 cups almond milk
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup almond meal
4 Tblsp. cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 1/2 tsp. almond extract

Frosting:
1/2 cup nonhydrogenated vegan shortening
1/2 cup nonhydrogenated vegan margarine (I used Earth Balance)
3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/4 cup almond milk

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and line mini-muffin pans with cupcake liners.
Whisk the almond milk and vinegar in a measuring cup and set aside a few minutes to get good and curdled.
Beat together the almond milk mixture, oil, sugar, vanilla, and almond extract in a large bowl. Sift in the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix until no large lumps remain.
Fill cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full, and bake for 15-17 minutes till done (you can stick a toothpick in the center and it should come out clean). Leave in muffin tins for 3-5 minutes after taking out of the oven, so the cakes can set, and then take out of the tins and place on a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
For the frosting, cream together the shortening and margarine until well combined and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat for abut 3 more minutes. Add the vanilla and almond milk, beat for another 5-7 minutes until fluffy.

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Raw Banana Pie

Also Kosher for Passover, this raw banana pie was delicious! It was nice to have a lighter dessert pared with the rich dark chocolate desserts also served, which were quite heavy without any levening! This pie was pretty easy to throw together, although I will have to remember next time to take it out of the freezer quite a bit before serving time to let it thaw out. Unfortunately, I did not measure my ingredients exactly, so here is an approximate ingredient list:

1 cup raw almonds
3/4 cup dates, soaked tap water for at least 20 minutes
4 bananas, peeled and frozen
1/2 cup strawberries
1 slice lemon, or other fruit for garnish

Step 1: Grind raw almonds in a food processor until it reaches almost a “meal” consistency. Add pitted and soaked dates, and puree together until it is a good thick paste. Press evenly into your pie pan to form the bottom crust.

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Step 2: Blend frozen bananas in your food processor or blender, till smooth and thick like frozen yogurt. Pour into your crust and flatten the top with a knife or the back of a large spoon.

Step 3: Slice strawberries and layer in a circle shape, with a slice or two of lemon in the center for garnish.

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Step 4: Put pie in freezer to harden. Remember to take it out about 30 minutes before you want to serve it, and let it sit at room temperature to soften a bit. You want it to still be firm, so the banana filling holds together when you slice it.

Chocolate Raspberry Torte

This chocolate torte was very rich and fudgy and I’m trying to convince myself it was healthy too! Since it had to be Kosher for Passover (which means no flour, leavening, etc.), it was made with almond meal – and it had a lot of raspberries, and so clearly it has a lot of protein, vitamins, and nutrients, right? And dark chocolate is certainly good for you…In any case, it was delicious, especially with the tart raspberry-lemon sauce that I whipped up at the last minute and poured liberally on top.

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Chocolate Cherry Cake with Almond Buttercream Frosting

Chocolate cherry cake with dark chocolate and almond filling between the layers

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With fluffy almond buttercream frosting, sliced almonds, and cherries on top

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The finished cake, sliced down the middle:

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Adapted from Claryn’s recipe

Holiday Cookies

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Chocolate-peppermint sandwiches:

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Rum balls:

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Decorated stars, dreidels, menorahs:

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Assortment, including pecan balls, peanut butter cookies, thumbprints, rum balls, chocolate & peppermint checkerboards, gingersnaps, chocolate-peppermint sandwiches, orange balls, decorated dreidel, and almond-poppyseed spirals:

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