flourless cashew cookies.

Flourless Cashew Cookies

I have a confession to make: I love cashews. If you present me with a tin of mixed nuts, I will present you back with a tin in which there are no cashews to be found – and nary a cashew crumb. I have another confession to make: I love cashew cookies. Love. My love for both nut and cookie was the inspiration for this out of this world delicious recipe. The resultant flour-less cookies are simple, sweet and nutty confections that are not only vegan, but naturally gluten-free too – and with no added fat. With only five simple ingredients, you’ll be whipping up these toothsome temptations in no time – and soon see them disappear before your very eyes. Scrumptious, with a delightful crumb: these cookies don’t disappoint. They’re a new favourite of mine.

This recipe also makes a solid base for any nut butter with minor tweaks like adjusting the amount of salt. For Peanut Butter Cookies, I increase the salt to a 1/2 teaspoon. While I list a range of salt below (1/8 up to 1/4) to account for differing tastes, I prefer the Cashew Cookies with the lesser amount of a 1/8 teaspoon. I find that while the flavour of peanut butter lends itself quite nicely to a salty counterpoint, the sweetness and subtle flavour of cashew is easily overwhelmed by too much. Experiment with other nut and seed butters too, like almond, sunflower seed, or macadamia. Enjoy!

Flourless Cashew Cookies

(vegan, gluten-free)

Ingredients:

1 cup cashew butter
1/4 cup blended silken (or soft) tofu
3/4 cup granulated (white) sugar (scoop and level) **do NOT substitute brown sugar or you’ll get flat cookies. White sugar only.
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon sea salt (or up to 1/4 tsp)

Preparation:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. Using a food processor or high powered blender, blend tofu until completely smooth.

3. In a large bowl combine cashew butter and tofu until well blended. In a separate bowl, combine sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add dry mix to wet mixture and stir until combined. **Note: The dough will be very stiff – this is normal. Do NOT add additional liquid – it’ll take some muscle to combine everything, but the stiffness is required. If you add liquid, the cookies will over spread.

4. Drop dough by slightly rounded tablespoons (or similarly sized cookie dough scoop) onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Use a fork to slightly flatten each cookie.

5. Bake for 12 to 13 minutes. The cookies will be mildly golden all over and will feel very soft to the touch when they first come out of the oven (they will harden as they cool). After baking, allow cookies to cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes 18-22 cookies.

Flourless Cashew Cookies

I originally shared this recipe with T.O.F.U. Magazine, for whom I am a proud contributor.

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nanaimo bars and graham wafers.

It’s Daring Baker challenge reveal day and this month it’s all about Nanaimo Bars and Graham Wafers.

The January 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen. Lauren chose Gluten-Free Graham Wafers and Nanaimo Bars as the challenge for the month. The sources she based her recipe on are 101 Cookbooks and www.nanaimo.ca.

As per usual – I used alternative recipes in order to make my bars and wafers vegan. For the Nanaimo bars I used my go-to recipe, which you can find in my original post here. For the graham wafers, I used this fabulous Vegan Yum Yum recipe. I opted to use wheat because that’s what I had on hand, but I hope to try Lauren’s gluten-free version soon as it looks wonderful. Neither my bars nor my wafers are gluten-free.

One thing I have learned after making this recipe countless times since that original Nanaimo post – use a good sharp knife to cut your squares.

Even so, I still managed to crack the chocolate top.

Check out what all the other Daring Bakers are doing by clicking on the logo below – you will be inspired.

sweet potato cake.

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What is it about sweet potato and cake in the same sentence that promises awesome? When I saw this recipe posted at the fabulous VegNews site, I knew I was in trouble.

Five days. That’s how long I lasted between spotting the recipe and making it materialize in front of me.

This cake is delicious – I think it might just make another appearance over the Holidays. Sweet, fragrant and spicy, this dense and super moist delight is like gingerbread in a cake.

I followed the recipe for the cake exactly, except that I used two round 9-inch pans (instead of the recommended 8-inch pans). You could definitely make this cake in a bundt pan or muffin tin – gingerbread cupcakes! I baked for an extra 5 minutes (for a total of 40 minutes), so definitely use a toothpick to determine done-ness. I also made my own sweet potato puree (rather than the called for can), by steaming sweet potato and weighing it to get the required amount. In a pinch, you could probably substitute pumpkin puree – but have you ever noticed how much sweeter sweet potato is? Mmm, sweet potato.

After comparing the icing portion of the recipe to some of my favourites, I decided to reduce the amount of confectioner’s sugar called for, using 3 cups (instead of 4 cups) – which is plenty sweet and has a really nice texture.

I love, love, love the addition of toasted coconut and pecans sandwiched between the two cake layers – so don’t leave that part out!

What to make next? Have you seen the VegNews Holiday Cookie Collection? Yeah, baby.

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