Chocolate Chip Cookies

No matter how hard I try, I have not mastered the chocolate chip cookie. It always seems to be lacking butter…. Well, I am not giving up! I will continue to experiment with my nondairy options. Here is my latest attempt:

chocolate chip

1 ½ cup unbleached white flour
1 ½ cup oat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ cup Earth Balance margarine
½ cup Earth Balance or Spectrum shortening
2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Sift together flours, salt, and baking soda.
Cream together shortening, margarine, and brown sugar until fluffy, about 3 – 4 minutes.
Add eggs and vanilla; beat until well combined.
Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Drop dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.
Bake for 13 – 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Cool slightly on cookies sheet, then transfer to cooling rack.


Stuffed Pepper Soup

A couple years ago, I had stuffed pepper soup at a local restaurant. Since they didn’t serve it often, I had to come up with my own version. After experimenting with numerous recipes, this is the result:

Stuffed Pepper Soup

Stuffed Pepper Soup


1 ½ pounds ground chuck
1 cup chopped onion
1 large green pepper, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup uncooked rice (I used organic basmati)
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
1 32-oz carton beef broth
2 cups water
1 large beef bouillon cube (I used Knorr)
1 teaspoon salt Continue reading

Chocolate Cupcakes

Cupcakes, cupcakes, cupcakes. I really can’t get enough of them. After several recipes and numerous family reviews (we are all members of a gym, now), this recipe came out on top. The key is to always use the best ingredients possible, especially chocolate. I used Valrhona cocoa in this recipe, but Scharffen Berger works well, too.

Chocolate Cupcake with Peanut Butter Frosting

Chocolate Cupcake with Peanut Butter Frosting


1 cup cocoa powder, not Dutch-process
½ cup boiling water
1 cup vanilla almond milk with lemon juice, at room temperature
1 ¾ cups unbleached white flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
¼  teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup safflower oil
1 1/3 – 1 ½ cup organic sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350° and position 2 racks in the lower and middle third of the oven. Line 24 muffin cups with paper or foil liners.

Put the cocoa powder in a medium heatproof bowl. Add the boiling water and whisk until a smooth paste forms. Whisk in the almond milk mixture until combined. In a medium bowl, sift the flour with the baking soda, baking powder and salt. Using an electric mixer, add the sugar and oil to the cocoa and almond milk. Beat in eggs. Add the dry ingredients and mix. With an ice cream scoop, scoop the batter into the lined muffin cups, filling them about two-thirds full. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until the cupcakes are springy. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Frost.


1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup Earth Balance margarine, melted

Mix until smooth.

Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate. Nothing soothes the soul more than that intense feeling of pleasure you receive biting into a smooth, creamy piece of dark chocolate. If you want something a little fancier, try this velvety rich chocolate mousse. It is a perfect ending for any meal. I adapted this recipe from Bittersweet by Alice Medrich

Intense chocolate.

chocolate mousse

chocolate mousse

Chocolate Mousse

Serves 6

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate finely chopped (I used Scharffen-Berger)
1/4 cup coffee (I used Illy, decaf)
1 1/2 tablespoons Kahlua
3 large eggs at room temperature
3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons sugar

six 6-ounce ramekins

Place the chocolate and the 1/4 cup coffee in a medium heatproof bowl in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Stir frequently until the chocolate is nearly melted. Remove the bowl and stir until completely melted and smooth. Stir in the liquor and set aside.

In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the eggs with the 3 tablespoons water and the sugar until well blended. Set the bowl in a skillet of not even simmering water and, stirring constantly to prevent the eggs from scrambling, cook until they register 160 degrees F on an instant read thermometer. Remove the bowl and beat with an electric mixer at high speed for 3 to 4 minutes, until the eggs have a texture like softly whipped cream. Fold about one quarter of the eggs into the chocolate. Scrape the chocolate mixture onto the remaining beaten eggs and fold just until incorporated. Divide the mixture among the ramekins.

Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.

Serve with raspberries and whipped cream (nondairy, of course)

Cranberry-Orange Scones

I’m following this recipe for scones with the usual substitutions, and I forget to put in the eggs. Well, the scones turned out better than with the eggs added. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.

cranberry orange scones

cranberry-orange scones

Cranberry-Orange Scones

2 cups unbleached white flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons margarine, cold (Earth Balance)
1/2 cup vanilla almond milk (Pacific)
1/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup dried cranberries
zest of one orange

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, stir the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together. Mix the vanilla almond milk and orange juice together; set aside. Cut in the cold margarine into the flour mixture until crumbly. Toss the dried cranberries and the orange zest into the flour; add liquid mixture and stir until moistened. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and form into a rough circle. Slice into eight triangles; place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 20 – 25 minutes. Cool slightly; glaze.

Glaze: mix powdered sugar and enough orange juice for spreading consistency

For a non-vegan scone: before baking, brush tops of scones with the yolk of one egg mixed with 2 tablespoons cold water.

Thin and Chewy Chocolate Delights

My attempts at sifting through my recipes so I can purge the bad ones and organize the good ones usually results in a pile of “I must try these!” and nothing thrown away. Well, I’m glad I kept this one, even though I’ve had this recipe for so long I don’t know where I got it. Nonetheless, I tried it (with the usual adjustments) and it was an instant hit. The trick is not to eat too many.

Chewy  Chocolate Delights

chewy chocolate delights

Chocolate Cookies

1 1/4 cup margarine, Earth Balance
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla, Frontier Vanilla Flavoring
1 3/4 cup unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cocoa, Valrohna or Scharffen Berger

Beat margarine at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add the sugar, beating well. Add eggs and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa; stir. Gradually add to margarine mixture until well combined. Chill until easier to handle, about an hour.

Either lightly grease or use parchment paper on baking sheets. Shape dough into 1 1/2-inch balls and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake 10 – 12 minutes at 350°. Cool on baking sheets for 1 minute; remove to wire racks.

April Absence

Sorry for not having any posts for a month, but I’ve been busy with things that don’t have to do with food. I helped with two moves; one in California and one in Kansas City. I drove to Waco, Texas, took a train to San Jose, California, drove to St. Louis, Missouri, stayed three days, drove back to Kansas City, stayed four days, and took the train back to St. Louis. I am now back in Georgia and back to baking!

I did manage to visit the Whole Foods in Palo Alto with my boys.

Pineapples at Whole Foods

Whole Foods in Palo Alto, California