Cherry Scones

These scones are soft and sweet. I love them as a complement to a cherry-walnut salad or as an afternoon snack with a cup of tea.

cherry vanilla scones

cherry-vanilla scones with tea

Cherry-Vanilla Scones

2 cups unbleached white flour
1 tablespoon Rumford baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup Earth Balance margarine
1 ½ cups vanilla rice milk, divided
1 (3-ounce) package dried cherries
2 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 375º.

Combine first 4 ingredients; cut in margarine with a fork or pastry blender until crumbly. Add 1 ¼ cups rice milk and cherries, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 5 or 6 times. Pat or roll dough to ½-inch thickness; cut with a 5-inch heart-shaped or 2-inch round cutter, and place on a lightly greased baking sheet.

Optional: Brush dough with remaining ¼ cup rice milk; sprinkle evenly with 2 tablespoons sugar.

Bake at 375º. for 12 to 15 minutes or until scones are golden.


Raspberries and Meringues

Raspberries and Meringues

Originally uploaded by susansbooks

This is such an easy dessert to make. I purchased the meringues at Whole Foods and filled them with a nondairy vanilla pudding. After topping them with raspberries, I drizzled some dairy-free chocolate sauce on top. I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

Soft Pretzels

Beer and Pretzels

Originally uploaded by susansbooks

I really wanted something salty and pretzels came to my mind. Of course it took me awhile to dig through my stacks of recipes-and I have a lot of them-to find this one. The original recipe called for butter, but the Earth Balance margarine tastes good.


1 1/2 cup warm water
1 1/2 packages active dry yeast
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup bread flour
3 cups unbleached white flour
2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons baking soda

2 – 4 tablespoons Earth Balance margarine, melted

Sprinkle yeast on lukewarm water in mixing bowl; stir to dissolve. Add sugar, salt; stir to dissolve. Add flour; knead dough (I use a large stand mixer) until smooth and elastic. Allow to rise at least 1/2 hour. (I let the dough rise for at least an hour)

In a separate bowl, mix 2 cups warm water with 2 tablespoons baking soda. Stir often. Grease two large cookie sheets; set aside.

Once dough has risen (about double in size); pinch off bits of dough and roll into a long rope and shape. Dip shaped pretzel dough in baking soda solution; place on greased baking sheet. Allow to rise 10 minutes or more. Bake in a 450°F oven for 8 – 10 minutes. Brush with melted margarine and sprinkle with course salt, or for a sweeter option, cinnamon sugar.

Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup

Even though I am not at home, I am trying to get in some
cooking time. I made this roasted tomato-basil soup the other night
and will add this to my “I will make this again” list. I served the
soup with sourdough garlic bread from Whole Foods, but I think the
next time I will just add croutons.

Tomato and Basil Soup

tomato and basil

Roasted Tomato
and Basil Soup

10 Roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise
4 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
4 – 6 cloves garlic, minced
5 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 – 1 1/2 cup chicken broth
salt and pepper

roasted tomatoes

roasted tomatoes

Preheat oven to 400°.

Arrange tomato halves in a roasting pan. With the cut side up, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the basil and the minced garlic evenly over the tomatoes. Then drizzle 4 tablespoons of the oil evenly over the tomatoes. Roast the tomatoes until they are soft when pierced with a fork and the skins slip off easily, 40 – 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and discard the skins.

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, add the remaining 1-tablespoon oil and sauté the onions until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the roasted tomatoes, wine, and chicken broth; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the tomatoes have broken down, the mixture has thickened, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Purée the soup in a blender until smooth. Return to the pan and reheat.

Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the remaining basil.

Soup trials

I know I have been a little lax lately, but I will be trying out some new soup recipes this week, and I will let you know how they turn out. In the mean time, stay warm!

Happy New Year!

Vanilla Pretzel Cookies

This is the first time I tried this recipe and the family wasn’t demanding more which makes me wonder. These lovely cookies are slightly sweet, but seem to have more the texture of a true pretzel rather than a cookie. I dipped the tops of about a half dozen or so in chocolate and that seemed to cause more excitement, but I make so many chocolate cookies, this may not make the cut next year.

vanilla pretzel cookies

vanilla pretzel cookies

Vanilla Pretzel Cookies

6 tablespoons margarine, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon Rumford baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup vanilla rice milk
2 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon water

White nonpareils

Beat margarine, sugar, baking powder, and salt until combined. Add egg yolks and vanilla until combined. Gradually add rice milk; then beat in the flour. Place in a smaller bowl and cover with plastic wrap; chill for 4 hours or until easy to handle.

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease baking sheets or line with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll out a tablespoon of the dough into a 9-inch long rope. Loop each rope into a pretzel shape and place on cookie sheet.

In a small bowl, combine egg and one tablespoon of water and beat lightly. Brush cookies with the egg mixture and sprinkle with nonpareils. Bake 12 – 15 minutes or until light brown along the edges. Cool on wire rack.