Archive for desserts

Fudgy Brownies

fudgy brownieeeeeeMany boxed cake and brownie mixes are free of milk and egg products. Find a brownie mix that is, and instead of adding an egg or two as directed, use this great substitute:

1 tablespoon freshly ground flax seed
3 tablespoons water

Stir together and let sit for a minute or two, then add to the batter as you would the egg. Cook according to package directions, and voila! Quick, easy, delicious brownies. I think this might be my new go to lenten birthday/name day treat.

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Melomakarona

Melomakarona is a dense, very sweet traditional Greek cookie. I have sometimes heard it called simply “makaron”. Some people find they are too sweet for their liking; however, I have such a sweet tooth, it’s never a problem for me! But because not everyone is so afflicted, I prefer to make these cookies on the smaller side, just enough for a bite or two each.

 
Melomakarona

3 cups coconut oil*
1 cup orange juice, divided
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
7 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350. Meanwhile, blend the oil and 1/2 cup of the orange juice in a large bowl. Mix the sugar and spices together in another bowl, then add them to the oil mixture. Put the baking soda in the remaining 1/2 cup of orange juice, dissolving it and letting it fizz, then add it to the oil mixture.

Mix together the flour and baking powder, then add that to the oil mixture until it forms a soft dough. Add in the nuts.

Form the cookies from about one tablespoon of dough. You can make log shapes, balls, crescents, etc. Place them a couple of inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for about 30 minutes. While the cookies are baking, make the honey syrup.


Honey Syrup

1 cup sugar
1 cup honey
1 cup water

Stir all ingredients together in a saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves and the mixture simmers. Remove from heat.

Dip the completely cooled cookies into the syrup and place on a rack to drip. If they’re not completely cooled, they’ll fall apart! Be careful. Immediately sprinkle them with more chopped nuts if you like. I really think they are best this way.

* It’s probably not traditional to use coconut oil but I try to avoid vegetable oil. My coconut oil has a slight coconut taste to it, which I personally like, but “deodorized” oil is available, too, or you can just use vegetable oil.

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Chewy Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe originally came from IsaChandra at the Post Punk Kitchen. Along with the lenten chocolate cake I recently published here, this is my go-to recipe for a great lenten dessert. I like to make these for birthdays and name days that fall during a fast. They’re amazing. Below is the recipe from Post Punk Kitchen, with a couple of modifications from me. You will need:

3/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon whole flax seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk

2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup dutch processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Grind the flax seeds on high in a blender until they become a powder. Add coconut milk (or hemp or almond, whatever you like) and blend for another 30 seconds or so. Set aside.

In a large bowl sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.

In a seperate large bowl cream together oil and sugar. Add the flax seed/coconut milk mixture and mix well. Add the vanilla.

Fold in the dry ingredients in batches. When it starts to get too stiff to mix with a spatula, use your hands until a nice stiff dough forms. Add the chocolate chips and mix with your hands again. Alternatively, use a stand mixer. You need some power for this recipe!

Roll dough into 1 inch balls and flatten into a disc that’s about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet about an inch apart.

Bake for 10 minutes. Seriously, 10 minutes. You really don’t want to overbake these, or they’ll end up being nothing special! Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes, then set them on a wire rack to cool completely.

These are really good as cookie-wiches: spread some kind of lenten frosting on one, and put another one on top of it. If you make them this way, however, you may want to make the cookies smaller or else you may find them to be too rich.

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Lenten Chocolate Cake

This was modified from this page: http://www.theologic.com/oflweb/inhome/wakkicake.htm

My adaptations are the replacement of vegetable oil with coconut oil, and coconut milk in the frosting rather than juice. I like the light coconut taste imparted by these ingredients (more or less depending on whether or not your coconut oil has been deodorized), and whereas vegetable oil is unhealthy, coconut oil isn’t. You can read more about the great benefits and many uses of coconut oil at http://www.organicfacts.net/organic-oils/organic-coconut-oil/health-benefits-of-coconut-oil.html

3 c. flour
2 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
6 T. cocoa
3 T. vinegar
2/3 c. coconut oil
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. water

Mix well all the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cocoa. Add all the liquid ingredients: vinegar, oil, vanilla and water. Mix well. Pour into an ungreased 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Bake in 375º oven for 35-40 minutes, or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. When cake has cooled, dust cake with powdered sugar, or ice with frosting.

Lenten Chocolate Frosting

2 c. confectioners sugar
4 tsp. cocoa
2 T. shortening
1 T. coconut milk (or more as needed)
Chopped nuts (optional)
Toasted coconut (optional)

With electric mixer, mix together sugar, cocoa and shortening. As needed, add coconut milk. Add enough to make spreadable over cooled cake. Top with chopped nuts and/or toasted coconut, if desired.

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Vegan Brownies

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup strong coffee
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Pour in water, coffee, applesauce, vegetable oil and vanilla; mix until well blended. Spread evenly in a 9×13 inch baking pan.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until the top is no longer shiny. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into squares.

I like my brownies a bit chewier/fudgier than this, but these are very good.

This recipe was altered from http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Vegan-Brownies/Detail.aspx. Thanks to Bethany for the link.

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