Spring has fully sprung. The flowers are popping up everywhere, including my kitchen. These cookies are flower-inspired and are cute for a garden party. (Okay, I’m not the best pastry artist, but you get the idea.)
For my floral cookie, I found a recipe that was already vegan. To adjust for altitude I swapped leaveners and I added more applesauce. I also jazzed up the flavor with the addition of cinnamon and vanilla.
You can leave the cookies thumbprint-style or make an icing to create a flower petal design. If you are better at decorating than I am, you can use different petal patterns and colors to create a festive bouquet.
1 cup + 1 tablespoon all purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt 1/2 cup unsalted vegan butter 1/8 cup vegan sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce 1/4 cup jam
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt, then set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the vegan butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the cinnamon, vanilla, and applesauce and beat until smooth. Add the flour mixture in several batches, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix until a uniform dough forms.
Scoop the dough into 12 balls about 1.5 tablespoons each. Place them on the baking sheet and flatten them slightly with the palm of your hand. Make an indent in the center of each with a small spoon, then fill the indentation with jam.
Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies begin to brown. Place the baking pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a rack to fully cool. Enjoy as is, or decorate with icing.
The sun is shining and plants are reaching towards it. Yes, it’s lovely springtime. This weekend also happens to be Mother’s Day in the U.S., so I thought I would head to the kitchen and make a celebratory brunch.
To me, the perfect brunch starts with quiche. Next add a salad made up of veggies, fruit, and a bright dressing. Include warm bread slathered in olive oil to complete the meal. You can also serve mimosas to make it more joyous.
My refrigerator had everything for my feast except the quiche, so I dug up a recipe that a friend had shared with me. It was already vegan, and needed no altitude adjustments, but I changed the flavors to suit my tastes and what I found in the fridge. I used fresh asparagus and vegan salami with a bit of dill and parsley and had delicious results. So whether you are celebrating Spring or Mother’s Day, this quiche makes a wonderful brunch entrée.
crust 2 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out the dough 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt 1/2 cup vegan butter, cold from a brief time in the freezer 2 – 4 tablespoons ice water filling 8 asparagus spears 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 shallot, chopped 1/4 cup chopped vegan salami (I used Renegade Foods) sea salt, to taste 1/3 cup vegan feta, broken into small pieces (I used Violife) 1 (12-ounce) bottle Just Egg, cold and shaken 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
For the crust, sift together the flour and salt and place it in the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and pulse several times until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Gradually add the ice water, pulsing until the dough just comes together.
Sprinkle a light layer of flour onto a clean surface. Turn the dough out onto the floured surface and use your hands to bring the dough into a ball. Lightly sprinkle the dough with flour, and roll the dough ball out into a roughly circular shape. Keep rolling the dough until it is 3 inches larger than the dish you are making your quiche in.
Carefully lift the dough and place it in the dish. Gently press the dough into the sides of the dish, bringing it up and slightly over the top of the dish. Trim any excess with a knife and crimp the edge with your fingertips. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork, then place the crust in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, put a baking pan on the center rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400F. Line the chilled crust with parchment paper and fill the crust with dried beans or pie weights. Place the crust dish on the baking pan in the oven and bake for 12 minutes.
Remove the dish from the oven and reduce the temperature to 325F. Remove the beans and parchment paper and return the dish to the oven for 10 more minutes, or until the crust is slightly golden brown. Place the cooked crust on a wire rack to cool. Leave the oven on with the baking pan still on the center rack.
For the filling, bring a large skillet of salted water to a boil. Place the asparagus in the skillet and blanch for 3 minutes but don’t fully cook it. Rinse the asparagus in a colander under cold running water, drain, then pat dry. Take half of the stalks and trim the ends, placing them aside for the top of the quiche. Take the remaining spears and cut them on the bias into slices 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 inch wide.
Dry the skillet and set it over medium heat. Add the oil. When the oil is hot, sauté the shallots for about 2 minutes. Add the salami and cook 1 minute more. Season with salt, then scrape into the crust. Add the cooked asparagus over the shallot-salami mixture, spreading everything out evenly. Scatter bits of feta over top.
Place the Just Egg, dill, parsley, and nutritional yeast in a bowl. Whisk together, then pour the mixture into the crust. Artfully arrange the reserved asparagus spears over the top of the quiche. Bake for 60 minutes, or until the center is set. Place on a wire rack for 15-20 minutes to cool before eating.