Keepin’ it Kind Holiday Cookie Exchange, Brookie Grasshopper Squares

It’s Cookie Party time!

The darling Kristy over at Keepin it Kind is hosting a vegan cookie exchange party for the holiday season with cookies from her favorite bloggers. I’m not only in love with this idea, but I’m the lucky girl that’s first in the line up. This little treat I have for you I thought was gonna be a cookie square. But somehow it came out softer and more like a brownie, or a “brookie” which was fine by me! I hope you love these as much as I do! Head on over to Kristy’s site to get the gluten free (optional), egg free, dairy free, soy free and nut free recipe, however these are NOT sugar free or fat free, but I think you’ll forgive me! Just click on the link below:

Visit the Keepin’ it Kind Vegan Cookie Exchange 

Now for a word about Kristy:

This lovely girl is a former fromagier gone vegan. Her passion for food and animals will warm your heart and your belly. She was pivotal in my inspiration to go solo as a blogger and even gave me all kinds of amazing advice when I wasn’t sure  exactly how to set up my new blog. Follow her over at Keepin it Kind, you’ll be in love with every post and dish!

Double Dark Chocolate Coconut Pecan Cookies

all photos in this post courtesy of Annie at An Unrefined Vegan

So I made an incredibly delicious batch of cookies a couple weeks ago, but I didn’t even attempt to photograph them for the blog because quite frankly, I thought that they looked like poo. Sometimes when I have a great recipe like this that doesn’t end up here, I’ll email it to my best friends because I want them to have it to enjoy, even if I can’t make it look pretty.

Would you believe Annie at An Unrefined Vegan baked some right up AND then photographed them for me? Now that’s what you call true blogging buddy love. Somehow she managed to make the cookies look a lot prettier and a lot less like poo than my batch. Perhaps that had something to do with the fact that she didn’t have a scrap of coconut in the house to add to them.

Double Dark Chocolate Coconut Pecan Cookies

  • 1 C. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 C. cocoa powder
  • 1/4 C. chopped pecans
  • 1/4 C. shaved dried coconut (not the itty bitty kind, and toasting the coconut makes it even more delicious)
  • 1/3 C. dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1/3 C. agave
  • 1/4 t. sea salt
  • 2 T. coconut oil
  • 2 T. almond butter
  • 1/4 C. non-dairy milk of choice
  • 2 t. vanilla

Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda together. Cut in almond butter and coconut oil (solid) until crumbly. Add soy milk, vanilla, agave, coconut, chocolate chips and chopped pecans. Stir  with a wooden spoon until combined. Form 12 big cookies, place on a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for a few minutes before eating.

Have you subscribed to our blog over at the Virtual Vegan Potluck yet? If you haven’t, head on over there now! We have some awesome giveaways coming up over there! And don’t forget to vote for your favorite entry in each course before the 13th!

Insane Chocolate Layer Cake

What would you do if you had cause to celebrate but you couldn’t just go out and buy any old cake? I mean I could have picked up a specialty vegan cake at City Cakes or Cake Walk, but I’ve tried their not-so-amazing cupcakes, so a 45 minute drive didn’t seem worthwhile for something I wouldn’t LOVE.

So instead, you make the awesomest plant-based cake. Ever.

Okay, well maybe it wasn’t really the best one ever, and this other cake probably wins the healthiest cake contest, but mine was pretty dang tasty.

Insane Chocolate Layer Cake:

This cake features a simple chocolate cake base, layered with chocolate cheezcake ganache, topped with coconut whipped creme and adorned with figs.

For the cakes: 3 C. whole wheat pastry flour (blend it again through your power blender to get it extra fine, I used extra finely ground kamut berries instead of wheat), 2 C. water, 1 C. unsweetened applesauce, 1 C. raw agave, 2/3 C. cocoa powder (I used raw cacao), 1 t. baking soda, 1 t. salt, 2 T. vanilla, 4 T. apple cider vinegar.

Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil two 9 inch cake rounds, dust with cocoa powder. Set aside. Combine flour, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt in a large bowl. Then combine water, vanilla and agave in another bowl. Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture and stir til just combined. Add the 4 T. apple cider vinegar and stir until swirls start to form in the batter. Immediately pour batter into the cake pans and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cakes rest for 10 minutes before turning out on a cooling rack. Let cakes cool completely. This cake IS NOT made with buckets of white flour, white sugar and loads of fat, so it’s not very sweet or rich, so the batter may not taste like you think it ought too, but the finished product is delicious.

For the Chocolate Cheezcake Ganache: 1 1/4 C. raw cashews, 1/3 C. agave 1/4 t. salt, 1/2  C. dairy free dark chocolate chips, 1 T. lemon juice, 2 T. Cocoa Powder (I used raw cacao), 1 box lite silken firm tofu, 2 T. dry pectin (the kind you use for jam making), 1 C. boiling water.

Method: Place cashews in power blender, grind to a fine powder (if you don’t have a powder blender, soak the cashews for a few hours and skip this step), add agave, cocoa powder, lemon juice, chocolate chips, pectin and salt. Pour the boiling water over the other ingredients and blend until fully combined. Add the box of tofu and blend again. This mixture will be hot and will need to cool in the fridge for a few hours before using.

For the Coconut Whipped Creme: 1 can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated for at least 3 hours.

Method: Open the can, pour off the liquid and save for use in a smoothie, scoop solidified coconut creme into a chilled bowl and whip with beaters or whisk until light and fluffy. See the Veggie Witch method here, I only used one can of coconut as opposed to her 2 cans and didn’t sweeten the creme.

Fresh Figs for decorating

Assembly: Slice the two cakes in half width-wise into layers using a long serrated knife. You will have 4 layers now. Put First layer on a plate or cake platter, spread 1/3 of the cheezcake ganache over the top of the cake. Carefully place the next cake layer on top of the ganache. Repeat until you reach the top cake layer, for the top of the cake, frost with the coconut whipped creme and adorn with sliced figs. This cake MUST be kept covered and refrigerated or the ganache will melt and start to slide everywhere (as it clearly did in my photo shoot).