It’s the time for baskets filled with themed treats, especially goodies that are homemade and vegan. These “eggs” are quick and easy, and also fun to make with the entire family. The only hard part is waiting for them to be cool so they don’t burn the roof of your mouth!
I’ve posted about rice cereal treats before (see Halloween Rice Krispie Monster), but I thought to add a chocolate spin on the usual recipe. Not wanting the result to be overly sweet, I used Blissfully Better’s Coconut Thins that are sweetened with coconut sugar. A few chopped up bits of the chocolate mixed in with the other ingredients made a tasty addition.
Line a 9 x 13-inch pan with parchment paper and set aside.
In a saucepan, melt the margarine and coconut oil on low heat. Add marshmallows and melt, stirring often to avoid burning. Be patient; low and slow is best with vegan marshmallows.
Once melted, remove from heat and quickly stir in the cereal. Wait a moment for the mixture to cool slightly, then carefully stir in the diced chocolate bits.
Place the mixture in the lined pan and pat down gently. Let cool for 15 minutes. Tip the pan over onto a cutting board. Gently remove the parchment paper from the slab. Cut into individual treats with a large egg-shaped cookie cutter.
Until next time, happy Easter and happy non-baking!
Want to get Blissfully Better’s chocolates at a discount? Use the code BBSOCIAL2022 in their Shopify store for 20% off. (I make nothing sharing this code with you — I’m just spreading some holiday joy!)
In last week’s post, I wrote about prepping a dough and then stashing it in the freezer. Today I present the cookie recipe that I used, with notes on how I baked the frozen dough. You can make these cookies and bake them straight away for immediate gratification, or you can pop the dough into the freezer to make daily fresh baked goodies.
I found a recipe for vegan oatmeal cookies, but I wanted to boost their flavor so I added pumpkin seeds, dried apricots, and ground ginger. The high altitude adjustments were adding more applesauce and vanilla to combat dryness, and reducing the amount of baking soda.
To make the cookies more cohesive I used a trick I just learned — pulse the oats a few times in a food processor to make them a bit smaller so they blend in better. The pumpkin seeds also needed chopping so I added the oats with them in the processor and let my kitchen appliance do the hard work.
My tasters enjoyed these as a midday snack and with tea for breakfast. Hubby even liked them, despite their lack of chocolate, so I knew I had a winner.
1.25 cups old fashioned oats 1/4 cup unsalted pumpkin seeds 3/4 cup + 2 teaspoons all purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 1/4 cup diced dried apricots 6 tablespoons vegan butter 6 tablespoons organic sugar 1/4 cup organic light brown sugar 4 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Place the oats and pumpkin seeds in a food processor and pulse a few times to break them into smaller bits. Set aside.
Sift the flour, baking soda, ginger, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the oats-seeds mixture and the apricots. Stir with a spatula to mix together and set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the vegan butter and both sugars. Add the applesauce and vanilla and beat to combine. (Don’t worry if the mixture looks curdled.) With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients in two batches, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Continue mixing until a cohesive dough forms. Remove the dough and wrap it in plastic wrap. Place the wrapped dough in the fridge for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, set the oven to 375F.
Once the dough has chilled, use a 2-tablespoon scoop to make 22-24 dough balls. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheets, 3” apart. Press each ball down slightly then bake for 9-10 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies harden and the bottoms become golden brown.
Place the baking sheets on wire racks for 5 minutes to allow the cookies to cool slightly, then transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
To freeze the cookies then bake later, make the dough balls and place them on the baking sheets. Put the baking sheets in the freezer for 30 minutes, or until the dough balls are firm and solid. Place the dough balls into freezer-safe zipper top bags and store in the freezer for up to two months.
To bake from frozen, preheat the oven to 355F. Place the desired amount of dough balls on parchment lined baking pans with the cookies 2” apart. Bake for 14-15 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies harden and the bottoms become golden brown. Place the baking sheets on wire racks for 5 minutes to allow the cookies to cool slightly, then transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
This post idea started out in the usual way — think of a tasty treat and make it. And I did start to make something yummy until I realized I was too full from dinner to enjoy dessert. In an effort to avoid wasting fresh-baked goodies, I decided to stop in the middle of my cookie preparations.
However, I stalled out wondering what I should do with my prepared cookie dough. Previously, I had worked with baking and then freezing cookies (see The Great Cookie Freezing Experiment.) Now I guess I needed to jump in and try my hand at freezing and then baking the dough itself.
To start, I grabbed my batch of cookie dough and a cookie scoop that made 1.5 tablespoon balls. I portioned the dough out onto small parchment paper lined baking pans. The pans were then placed in the freezer for over 1 hour for the dough balls to become firm. Once solid, the dough balls were put in a large zip-top freezer bag which went into the freezer.
The next day I was pondering again, but this time I had different questions. Did I need to defrost the dough balls? At what temperature should the oven be set? How long should I bake the cookies? Should I bake all the cookies now, or save some for later?
An internet searched came up with the answers, thanks to Handle the Heat. “You can bake from frozen. Here are the steps…
Preheat the oven to about 20 degrees lower than the original recipe temperature.
Remove however many balls of dough you need from the freezer and place on a parchment-lined baking pan.
Bake the cookies for 2 to 5 minutes longer than the original recipe instructions, or until the cookies are golden at the edges but still slightly ‘wet’ looking at the very center.”
Using the advice above, I did a test of six frozen cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet in an oven set to 355F instead of 375F. I baked them for 5 minutes more than the recipe stated because I felt my cookies were a little larger than those in the original recipe. My cookies were beautiful golden brown on the bottom and they flattened with minimal dough spread. They were gorgeous, and also delicious.
The tips above even helped answer the question on how many cookies to make. I learned that the dough could be frozen for up to 6 weeks, so I realized I should bake some now but save some for a future cookie craving.
By now are you wondering what cookie I baked? The pictures give a hint, but you will have to wait until next week for the recipe.