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Baking substitutions for vegans

b
Birmingham May 25, 2011 02:02 PM

While on the subject of feeding one vegan among 5 carnivores, I would like to bring desserts to these get-togethers we have but don't want to ruin a good dessert using egg, butter, and milk substitutes. Anyone out there have experience using these products? What do you think?

I assume I can use soy milk successfully to replace cow's milk. Any good egg/butter replacements?

One thing I'd really like to make is good old RIce Krispie Treats. I know some dieters leave out the butter as a matter of course, but I think the butter taste is essential. Any way to achieve that with a vegan product?

  1. Peg May 25, 2011 02:08 PM

    I think you just accept that vegan gives a diferent flavour profile and choose the main flavours accordingly.
    You also get a different 'mouth feel' - not worse just different.
    I don't think it's a good idea trying to replicate 'banned' ingredients - you need to think of aiming at different results.

    32 Replies
    1. re: Peg
      f
      ferret May 25, 2011 02:22 PM

      Earth Balance has a Vegan butter substitute. Not a great substitute but passable:

      http://www.earthbalancenatural.com/#/...

      1. re: ferret
        n
        nothingswrong May 25, 2011 05:53 PM

        Yes--most marshmallows aren't vegan though so you'd have to find vegan marshmallows to make rice krispie treats.

        1. re: ferret
          w
          will47 May 29, 2011 02:18 PM

          They also make shortening sticks which are non-hydrogenated and fairly neutral tasting. I use that (or Spectrum organic shortening) more in baking, just because it has fewer "non-food" type ingredients than the margarine (which I do use sometimes, albeit a bit begrudgingly).

          One bad thing about coconut / palm oil based oils for baking is that they have basically no Omega-3s and lots of Omega-6s, even though they have no trans-fats. So I try to use canola or other oils when possible; however, certain desserts do work much better with a solid fat, and so I use them when I think the result will be better - I just try to avoid eating stuff made this way too often. Sometimes I'll blend the two - for example, I used straight out of the fridge shortening sticks mixed 50% with canola oil for this recipe recently, with good results. http://www.chow.com/recipes/29641-mey... (I think there are also some environmental issues with palm / coconut oils).

        2. re: Peg
          b
          Birmingham May 25, 2011 02:29 PM

          It's the vegan himself who has been suggesting egg substitutes, etc. But I've been hesitant about making a cake that might only please one person in the group. Think I should make separate desserts? (I'd just make something vegan that is fruit/grain based, but the other family members have loved my cakes.)

          1. re: Birmingham
            Caitlin McGrath May 25, 2011 02:54 PM

            There's a classic depression-era chocolate cake called wacky cake that has no butter, milk, or eggs (things that were harder to come by and pricier in those lean years), and is therefore vegan. It is a good cake, enjoyed by all kinds of eaters. I know you said in your cake thread that you're not much interested in chocolate, but I have also made non-chocolate versions - it's easy to make a vegan orange or apple-spice cake. This makes an 8x8-inch square pan, but you can double the recipe and use a bundt pan with a longer baking time. Add cinnamon and other spices as you like and chopped or grated apples to the apple-juice version. Chocolate chips are good in the orange version (make sure they're dairy-free).

            1 3/4 cups flour
            3/4 cup sugar
            1 teaspoon baking soda
            1/4 teaspoon salt
            1 cup orange juice plus grated zest of an orange, or 1 cup apple juice or cider
            6 tablespoons neutral vegetable oil
            1 teaspoon white vinegar (or apple cider vinegar if making apple cake)

            Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl and whisk in the wet ingredients until all combined. Pour into a greased pan and bake until a tester comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Cool pan on a rack.

            1. re: Caitlin McGrath
              b
              Birmingham May 25, 2011 03:00 PM

              That sounds really interesting, thanks. I'm going to give it a try. (I'm not anti-chocolate when baking for others--I've just come to terms with the fact that I'm starting to prefer other flavors.)

              1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                m
                maxie May 25, 2011 03:20 PM

                Wacky cake is a great option. A chocolate cake with a coconut milk-based ganache can be quite delicious.

                1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                  b
                  Birmingham May 26, 2011 06:56 PM

                  Caitlin, decided I'd try the wacky cake recipe for Monday (the dinner's on!)--but where's the chocolate? I'm assuming if it's the Depression, you'd be using cocoa powder... And you're sure it would work to double and put in a Bundt pan? (I've had a couple cake failures lately, so I want to be sure on this one.)

                  1. re: Birmingham
                    trolley May 26, 2011 07:26 PM

                    wacky cake is like a miracle. i've made it in a bundt (double the recipe) and it's come out perfectly

                    1. re: Birmingham
                      goodhealthgourmet May 26, 2011 07:31 PM

                      Caitlin posted the orange version for you. here are some recipes for chocolate:
                      http://savorysweetlife.com/2010/01/chocolate-wacky-depression-cake-recipe/
                      http://www.wunderland.com/WTS/Andy/CookingWithMe/wacky.html
                      http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/member/views/CHOCOLATE-WACKY-CAKE-50101866
                      http://southernfood.about.com/od/choc...

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                        b
                        Birmingham May 27, 2011 07:03 AM

                        Thanks, Trolley and GHG! I thought it was supposed to be a chocolate/orange concoction--and then thought that was pretty progressive for the Depression era.

                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                          b
                          Birmingham May 27, 2011 07:14 AM

                          Oh! Now that I read the ingredients and the method for wacky cake, I see it's like the "Snackin' Cakes" we used to buy in the 70s. You'd make a well and add water (and maybe oil?) and mix them right in the little cardboard pan that came in the box--and you'd have a little cake for a quick dessert.

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                            tokyo Sep 15, 2011 07:12 AM

                            GHG: Can the Wacky Cake recipe be easily adapted to use gluten-free flours? If so, which is best? I'm new to a gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free diet. Thanks!

                          2. re: Birmingham
                            b
                            Birmingham May 27, 2011 09:42 AM

                            I've found this site that shows the "wacky cake" in a bundt version: http://bakingbites.com/2006/01/cookin...
                            (And now I remember making similar cakes but they were called dump cakes. One had pineapple and cherries and was called "Black Forest Dump Cake.

                            )

                            Here's my new question: I love the idea of adding a glaze. The one on this site uses butter and heavy cream. Any vegan substitutes? On the wunderland.com version, she says Pillsbury choc fudge frosting is vegan--can I water it down and turn it into a glaze? Or should I just stick with conf. sugar and water and drizzle it over? (Or I glaze half the cake with the "Satiny Glaze" and the other half with conf. sugar glaze.)

                            1. re: Birmingham
                              goodhealthgourmet May 27, 2011 11:37 AM

                              Or should I just stick with conf. sugar and water and drizzle it over?
                              ~~~~~~~~~~
                              sometimes simple is best :) but make sure you buy *vegan* powdered sugar!!

                              or try:
                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7160...

                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                b
                                Birmingham May 27, 2011 11:58 AM

                                Is the frosting referred to from Post Punk Kitchen, the chocolate ganache that goes with the Vanilla Bean Cupcakes? The link didn't go directly to a recipe that used frosting. (From further reading on the site, it looks like they took the buttercream recipe off to work on it.)

                                Never made ganache before--can it be drizzled over a bundt cake? (But I think I might stick with the conf. sugar drizzle and not get too ambitious.)

                                I can't wait to try these vegan recipes. If they taste as good as they look--and reported--it would be great to not have to use eggs and butter all the time.

                                1. re: Birmingham
                                  goodhealthgourmet May 27, 2011 12:28 PM

                                  crap, i'm sorry the recipe is missing. here you go~

                                  Vegan Chocolate Buttercream
                                  Makes enough to frost two 8- or 9-inch cakes

                                  2 C. Earth Balance Butter, room temperature
                                  12 oz. Vegan Semi Sweet Chocolate, melted and cooled
                                  3 T. Plain Soy Milk (or other dairy alternative)
                                  2 t. Vanilla
                                  5 C. Vegan Powdered Sugar

                                  Beat the butter in a stand mixer until fluffy for about 2 or 3 minutes. Slowly add melted chocolate with mixer on low. After chocolate and butter are well combined, add vanilla, milk and sugar. Beat at medium low until just combined.

                                  and yes, you can absolutely drizzle ganache over a bundt! in fact, that's one of my favorite ways to go - it looks beautiful & tastes delicious :)

                                  1. re: Birmingham
                                    trolley May 27, 2011 12:28 PM

                                    there used to be a chocolate buttercream recipe on ppk that i used and found it not very good. i thought the margarine took imparted a greasy texture. i'm not finding it on the site anymore which means maybe they thought it was gross too? who knows.

                                    there's a whole world of great baked goods beyond eggs and butter. i'm finding this out myself as well out of necessity but glad i found it!

                                    1. re: trolley
                                      goodhealthgourmet May 27, 2011 12:31 PM

                                      you sure it was the PPK recipe you didn't like?
                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7160...

                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                        trolley May 27, 2011 02:05 PM

                                        I stand corrected! thanks ghg! i DO like the one from ppk. it's easy and the consistency is great. it's the one i made prior to the one from ppk that was a greasy disaster and i can't seem to locate where i found it. well, i certainly got that one out of mind quickly!

                                    2. re: Birmingham
                                      b
                                      Blancmange May 27, 2011 12:32 PM

                                      This is awesome! GHG, thx for the vegan- buttercream recipe. Birmingham, I am with you--cant wait to try this and am going to make this cake this weekend! Yay! Will report back. Thanks for all the inspiration...*love this thread*!

                                      1. re: Blancmange
                                        j
                                        jessinEC May 27, 2011 01:05 PM

                                        there's also a recipe on the scharffen berger website for a mocha pudding made from cocoa powder, tofu, maple syrup, chocolate chips -- sounds crazy but is delicious as pudding or frosting (I leave out the coffee for my kids). Some choc chips are not vegan, though, so check the pkg. http://www.scharffenberger.com/re0804...

                                  2. re: Birmingham
                                    Caitlin McGrath May 27, 2011 02:02 PM

                                    I'm sorry to confuse regarding the wacky cake recipes! Yes, the classic is chocolate, and I offered a non-chocolate version (orange or apple). Regarding the bundt pan, like trolley, I have simply doubled the recipe for the 8x8 pan and baked in a bundt without incident.

                                    One suggestion, as you're going with the chocolate version: replace the water in the recipe with coffee. The cake won't taste of coffee, but it will deepen the flavor of the cake. I like to use brown sugar for the same reason, but some prefer the simpler flavor of granulated.

                                    I like the contrast of a non-chocolate drizzle on a choc. bundt cake sometimes, but instead of water, I prefer to use fruit juice with the powdered sugar so it has some flavor. Orange juice or sieved pureed raspberries go well with chocolate.

                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                      goodhealthgourmet May 27, 2011 05:18 PM

                                      One suggestion, as you're going with the chocolate version: replace the water in the recipe with coffee.
                                      ~~~~~~~~~~~
                                      yesyesyes! or if you happen to have instant coffee or espresso on hand, add a tablespoon to the dry ingredients.

                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                        b
                                        Birmingham May 27, 2011 07:48 PM

                                        Will it give the cake a coffee taste or does it just enhance the chocolate flavor, as I've heard some say? (I like the idea of a coffee flavor, just not sure of the others.)

                                        1. re: Birmingham
                                          goodhealthgourmet May 27, 2011 08:00 PM

                                          as Caitlin said, it just enhances the chocolate flavor, it won't taste like coffee. i've been adding coffee or espresso to all my chocolate creations for many years, and people always ask me how i get such a deep/rich chocolate flavor but they never pick up on the coffee...well, unless i'm making something mocha-flavored! ;)

                                          1. re: Birmingham
                                            b
                                            Blancmange May 27, 2011 08:00 PM

                                            No, it does not give it a coffee taste at all. I *always* sub coffee or espresso for water in choc cake/cupcake recipes. It really , really adds depth to the chocolate flavor. I will often add a tsp of ground espresso, too.

                                        2. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                          b
                                          Birmingham May 27, 2011 08:09 PM

                                          Sorry, Caitlin, I missed your post!

                                          Oh--and I like the idea of an orange drizzle over the cake!

                                          That's just how I'll make it: doubled for bundt cake, coffee instead of water, and orange juice with the conf. sugar. Yikes: hate to have to wait till Monday evening to get to try it!

                                          1. re: Birmingham
                                            goodhealthgourmet May 27, 2011 08:25 PM

                                            forgot to mention above that the coffee/espresso trick also works with carob...just FYI :)

                                        3. re: Birmingham
                                          b
                                          Birmingham May 29, 2011 01:26 PM

                                          FYI: the bakingbites.com recipe came out dry (and stuck to the bundt pan!). I think she must have used a smaller pan. I kind of wondered when she called for a 9-inch bundt--that's not how bundts are referred to, it's cups.

                                          I'm now going to try one of your other versions above and make it in a 9x13 pan.

                                          1. re: Birmingham
                                            Caitlin McGrath May 29, 2011 01:51 PM

                                            Doubling the recipes for an 8x8-inch square pan should work fine in a 9x13 or a standard 12-cup bundt, you'll just need to watch the time it bakes, increasing as necessary, esp. for the bundt.

                                          2. re: Birmingham
                                            w
                                            will47 May 29, 2011 02:10 PM

                                            I don't know how it would work in a glaze, but if you have a vita-mix or other high-powered blender, you can make a pretty good nut based cream, like cashew cream. I have had some success using it for applications not requiring whipping. For example, I just made cream biscuits (out of Fannie Farmer) for strawberry shortcake, using cashew cream to replace the heavy cream in the recipe. You can buy some similar cream substitutes in packages at Whole Foods and similar stores.

                                  3. f
                                    ferret May 25, 2011 02:28 PM

                                    This company produces a vegetable-derived product that's meant to replace dairy/egg/mayonnaise in cooking/baking. They sold at the consumer level a few years ago (I bought several jars) but I don't see the option now.

                                    http://www.ztrim.com/pages/applicatio...

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: ferret
                                      goodhealthgourmet May 25, 2011 06:12 PM

                                      Z trim is just cellulose (fiber) derived from corn & oat hulls, and it was actually developed as a "calorie-free" fat replacer - the vegan aspect was just a bonus for some people :)

                                      anyway, it's not available to retail consumers anymore - it's strictly a manufacturer/food service product now.

                                    2. Caitlin McGrath May 25, 2011 02:57 PM

                                      Isn't the bigger obstacle to Rice Krispies treats finding vegan marshmallows (made without gelatin or egg whites)? If you have a source of those, I think you would simply have to go with Earth Balance or the like as best-course butter sub.

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                        f
                                        ferret May 25, 2011 03:05 PM

                                        For whatever reason Vegan marshmallows are all over the place. Here's one:

                                        http://www.chicagosoydairy.com/dandie...

                                        Seaweed gelatins have been used in Kosher marshmallows for half a century or more.

                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                          b
                                          Birmingham May 25, 2011 03:06 PM

                                          Oh I had no idea: thought marshmallows were nothing but sugar. (Gelatin is a no-no too?)

                                          1. re: Birmingham
                                            Caitlin McGrath May 25, 2011 03:33 PM

                                            Conventional gelatin, used in the big brands like Kraft, is an animal byproduct (traditionally made from pigs' or cows' feet). Marshmallow Fluff has no gelatin, but has egg whites. You'd have to look for specifically vegan ones.

                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                              goodhealthgourmet May 25, 2011 06:15 PM

                                              and just to expand on Caitlin's explanation, there is vegan gelatin - it's derived from seaweed (agar) - but it's the exception rather than the rule, and usually marketed specifically as a vegan product.

                                        2. yumyumyogi May 25, 2011 03:08 PM

                                          Here are some substitutes I've had success with:
                                          - Reconstituted ground flax seeds in place of eggs (1-to-3 flax seed to water ratio = 1 egg)
                                          - Coconut oil in place of butter
                                          - Applesauce in place of milk and/or sugar

                                          You might want to try coconut oil for rice krispie treats as I've made granola bars with it before and they turn out great. If you find they don't hold together, you can add a few tablespoons of rice syrup and/or a nut butter to bind them together.

                                          6 Replies
                                          1. re: yumyumyogi
                                            b
                                            Birmingham May 25, 2011 03:19 PM

                                            Now that's sounds interesting. Isn't it coconut oil that used to make theatre popcorn so good?

                                            1. re: Birmingham
                                              yumyumyogi May 25, 2011 08:38 PM

                                              One caveat: I refer to virgin coconut oil, which has extremely different fat and health properties than the highly refined regular coconut oil. I believe the movie theater popcorn is made with the non-virgin version which is high in trans fats and much less expensive.

                                            2. re: yumyumyogi
                                              p
                                              pluot May 25, 2011 04:20 PM

                                              I can't recommend the flax seed egg substitute enough. I've cooked for many vegans and it has yet to fail (or disappoint egg eaters who had no idea the muffin/cookie/cake was vegan) and has garnered better results than egg replacers on the shelves.

                                              I use 1 TB ground flaxseed to 2-3 T water (usually 2.75T) per egg. Add flax to water, stir thoroughly and let sit for at least 5 minutes (ideally longer).

                                              1. re: pluot
                                                n
                                                noya Jan 20, 2012 10:55 AM

                                                this is perfect! thank you!

                                              2. re: yumyumyogi
                                                b
                                                Birmingham May 27, 2011 07:53 PM

                                                Re: ground flax seed. I was just at Whole Foods and saw they had Bob's (Red Mill?) Golden Ground Flax Seed, regular Ground Flax Seed, and then "Egg Replacer" that didn't have any flax seed in it at all. And the Flax Seed bags didn't at all mention using it as an egg replacement. I did also see the EnerG Egg Replacer--but if the Bob's stuff is good, I'd rather use it as it's less expensive. But egg replacer or flax seed? I'm confused.

                                                1. re: Birmingham
                                                  goodhealthgourmet May 27, 2011 08:14 PM

                                                  okay, we need some serious clarification here.

                                                  - egg replacer and flax gel can both be used as vegan egg substitutes, but they're two completely different things. flax gel is an *alternative* to the packaged egg replacer for those of use who want to use a more healthful option, because the boxed stuff is just refined starch & leavening agents. (plus i personally think flax turns out better results.)
                                                  - golden flax & regular flax are interchangeable for this - the only difference is the color.
                                                  - just because it doesn't say anything about egg replacement on the bag doesn't mean you can't use the flax meal the way we've explained. it's also a great thickener for salad dressing, a binder for meatloaf, a good substitute for wheat germ, and an alternative to bread crumbs or flour for dredging/coating...but it doesn't say any of that on the bag either ;)

                                                  i'd suggest buying the flax instead of the packaged egg replacer because you can use it for other things besides baking the cake. just be sure to store it in the freezer, because ground flax is HIGHLY perishable. i personally prefer to buy the whole seeds and grind them into meal as need (i use a small coffee grinder), but some people think that's too much trouble.

                                              3. n
                                                noodlesegg May 25, 2011 06:08 PM

                                                Like others have posted, I have had success with ground flax seed mixed with water. Although I will caution that in vanilla cupcakes, you can see the flax flakes. I have also recently been using Ener-G egg replace. It's mostly a mixture of starches. No one has been able to tell a difference in my cakes.

                                                As for milk replacement, I use almond milk over soy milk just because there's no soy taste. And I like using Earth Balance as butter- although different oils can be used with success depending on the recipe.

                                                7 Replies
                                                1. re: noodlesegg
                                                  amyzan May 25, 2011 06:22 PM

                                                  I can second the recs of EnerG brand egg replacer and almond milk. Coconut milk is another option. I'm not vegan, btw.

                                                  1. re: amyzan
                                                    soytoy May 27, 2011 10:24 PM

                                                    I third EnerG egg replacer and unsweetened almond milk.

                                                  2. re: noodlesegg
                                                    b
                                                    Birmingham May 25, 2011 06:37 PM

                                                    Wow, this gives me hope. I keep finding recipes that are almost vegan and I keep doing the Homer Simpson "Doh!" when I discover there's 1 egg or 2 T milk or something.

                                                    If you don't mind my switching gears to cooking: I've got a rice/beans/grains cookbook with lots of "almost vegan" recipes too. Many of them are completely vegan until they recommend a topping of grated Parmesan to finish off the entrees. Any vegan equivalent for that?

                                                    1. re: Birmingham
                                                      goodhealthgourmet May 25, 2011 08:43 PM

                                                      Many of them are completely vegan until they recommend a topping of grated Parmesan to finish off the entrees. Any vegan equivalent for that?
                                                      ~~~~~~~~~~
                                                      kinda sorta. a mixture of nutritional yeast, ground walnuts (or almonds), and salt is pretty much the standard vegan answer to parm. it adds a bit of that savory umami flavor, but it's not gonna fool any cheeseheads :)

                                                      1. re: Birmingham
                                                        yumyumyogi May 25, 2011 08:46 PM

                                                        Yes, there's hope! I'm not vegan but I began experimenting with the above mentioned vegan substitutes ever since I started a batch of muffins one day, only to realize I had no eggs in the house. I tried using flax seeds and I was utterly fascinated with how good they turned out. Ever since, I've been replacing butter and eggs in my baking just to see how they turn out. So far so good.

                                                        As far as the Parmesan goes, that's a tough one Good luck finding a replacement.

                                                        1. re: Birmingham
                                                          amyzan May 25, 2011 08:56 PM

                                                          It's not a parmesan cheese sub, but a lot of times when cooking for vegan friends, I will include rehydrated shiitake or other dried mushrooms, or seaweed in some form. Both have that "something," which is amino acid in nature, and some describe as umami. It's not as complex as the delicious and textural delight that is parmesan, but both have got their own pleasures, both flavor and texture wise. You can get a lot of boost from kizami nori, toasted shredded nori, for instance. But, of course, this assumes your vegan friends like seaweed and mushrooms, both of which can be acquired tastes for some people.

                                                        2. re: noodlesegg
                                                          w
                                                          writergeek313 May 26, 2011 07:36 PM

                                                          One of my friends is a vegan who loves to bake. I was a little skeptical the first time she brought something to share at work, but a few weeks ago, she brought in a vanilla flax seed cake with a lemon (no) buttercream frosting. It was so good!

                                                        3. c
                                                          cathyeats May 25, 2011 08:28 PM

                                                          Macadamia nut oil can be a good butter substitute in some recipes, but you kind of have to experiment to see if it gives you the result you want.

                                                          1. trolley May 25, 2011 10:35 PM

                                                            if you want some ideas you can browse the FAAN site which is actually a website for people with food allergies. my son is allergic to eggs so i make a lot of recipes from this site and they're really good. every recipe has a non diary option for the dairy allergy. i make cakes all the time without egg and they come out perfectly. in fact, i now prefer some recipes more without the egg like chocolate chip cookies. the ones i make are with egg replacer and they stay chewy and moist for days. good luck!

                                                            http://www.foodallergy.org/

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: trolley
                                                              b
                                                              Birmingham May 26, 2011 06:58 AM

                                                              Thanks for the tip: I have friends with celiac too and it gets a little frustrating trying to figure out who can eat what.

                                                              1. re: Birmingham
                                                                trolley May 26, 2011 07:31 PM

                                                                the recipes on the site are great b/c they're so basic and you can tailor them to whatever you're needs are. all recipes are nut free which i know isn't what everyone is looking for necessarily. but they're sort of geared towards little people so they try to recreate the "real thing" without making it taste vegan. i've tried some vegan recipes and frankly they've gone straight into the garbage can!

                                                            2. b
                                                              Blancmange May 26, 2011 07:51 AM

                                                              I love these what I call "good for you" Rice Krispy Treats. They are a 5 min, 6 ingredient, vegan treat (although everyone is shocked to hear that because they are *so* delicious and highly addictive!) This makes 14 "golf ball" size treats.

                                                              1/2 cup chunky all-natural almond butter (or peanut butter if you prefer)
                                                              2 tsp pure vanilla extract
                                                              2 cup rice crisp cereal
                                                              6 tbsp organic brown rice syrup
                                                              2 tbsp cacao nibs
                                                              Optional: Cinnamon to taste

                                                              Directions: In a medium size bowl , heat and stir together the almond butter, brown rice syrup, and vanilla. (Or microwave on high for about 45 seconds.) Stir well and immediately add in the rice cereal and cacao nibs. Stir until well combined.

                                                              Shape into “golf-balls”. Press mixture together firmly so it will hold. Freeze for 10 minutes. You can keep them in the freezer in a sealed container.

                                                               
                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: Blancmange
                                                                b
                                                                Birmingham May 26, 2011 08:22 AM

                                                                Thanks for this! I have a recipe that's along the same lines using peanuts and chow mein noodles--but they always upset my stomach. I'm definitely going to try these.

                                                                1. re: Birmingham
                                                                  goodhealthgourmet May 26, 2011 11:13 AM

                                                                  if you make these for your Celiac friends just be sure to use crisp rice cereal that's *specifically* labeled as GF - many of them are sweetened with barley malt, which is a no-no.

                                                                  BTW, sunflower butter is FANTASTIC in place of the PB.

                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                    amyzan May 27, 2011 09:33 PM

                                                                    Yes, and Kellog's Rice Krispies are NOT gluten free, unless you can find the new Gluten Free kind that are specifically labeled that on the box, prominently. I don't think it's made it to the KC, MO/KS area yet.

                                                              2. greygarious May 27, 2011 10:23 PM

                                                                Google "Nikki's Healthy Cookies", a tasty vegan recipe. I am not vegan so I do add an egg, which makes them a bit sturdier. I'll second the recommendations for virgin coconut oil, which is a good butter substitute and adds a slight coconut taste. It is rock-hard in the refrigerator. At room temp, it is the consistency of cool butter, and it liquefies at 78 degrees. It keeps remarkably well at room temperature.

                                                                1. w
                                                                  will47 May 29, 2011 02:25 PM

                                                                  I've done a lot of vegan baking, but also do eat eggs in a limited capacity at home only. It's possible to get good results with egg replacers like flax-seed or commercial egg replacer. But I think I do get slightly better browning on muffins / cookies / etc. when I use eggs. Still, it's possible to make some great cakes and cookies that are completely vegan, and honestly, I doubt most of your guests would notice the difference or complain, unless you did a back to back comparison. Some things will work better than others.

                                                                  I have made a great chocolate / hazelnut cupcake with a chocolate glaze that I think is pretty delicious. Heavily spiced bundt cakes also work pretty well, I like with a lemon glaze. Anything deep fried (i.e., yeast doughnuts) tends to be pretty easy to veganize.

                                                                  (this can be halved - as is, makes about 24 cupcakes)

                                                                  ~ 6 oz hazelnuts (buy toasted or toast them yourself)
                                                                  2 1/2 C white flour
                                                                  1/2 C wheat flour (you could adjust the proportions for more / less wheat flour if you want)
                                                                  2/3 C cocoa powder
                                                                  1 tsp baking soda
                                                                  1 tsp salt
                                                                  2 C cane sugar crystals (you could probably use a healthier sweetener if you wanted)
                                                                  1 C veg oil
                                                                  2 C iced almond milk (you can use water instead, or sub some iced coffee
                                                                  for part of it)
                                                                  4 tsp vanilla
                                                                  4 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
                                                                  2 eggs worth of egg replacer (this isn't probably really needed, but I use it anyway)

                                                                  raspberries and frosting / glaze to top

                                                                  Mix dry ingredients and egg replacer powder. Don't blend the hazelnuts to the point where they start becoming like a nut butter.

                                                                  Separately whisk together almond milk, oil, vanilla. Add to dry ingredients and mix. Add the vinegar and quickly mix. Pour into baking cups - I fill pretty close to 95% full since these don't rise a whole lot.

                                                                  bake til done @ 375, let cool, top with warm icing and three raspberry halves

                                                                  chocolate icing type stuff (not like a thick frosting):
                                                                  1/2 C soy margarine (earth balance)
                                                                  1/4 C cocoa powder
                                                                  1/3 C almond milk
                                                                  2C organic powdered sugar (sift), or veganchef.com "veganized powdered
                                                                  sugar" if you avoid regular confectioners sugar
                                                                  1 1/2 tsp vanilla

                                                                  heat margarine, cocoa, almond milk, vanilla.. add sugar about 1/3 at a time, whisking the whole time. You could do a vegan "buttercream" type frosting if you prefer that style.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: will47
                                                                    goodhealthgourmet May 29, 2011 03:48 PM

                                                                    i assume you use *unsweetened* almond milk...? you might want to specify.

                                                                    oh, and just a tip that replacing part of the sugar with maple syrup or brown rice syrup will help with the browning. eggs aren't the key there, it's milk solids that give non-vegan baked goods that nicely browned appearance.

                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                      w
                                                                      will47 May 29, 2011 11:55 PM

                                                                      I don't use dairy, but I seem to get better browning on cookies and muffins when I use eggs vs. not. It's just anecdotal; I don't know what the actual reason is.

                                                                      I don't really think it matters what type of almond milk - I usually use normal (non-unsweetened), but I don't think it would make too big a difference as long as it's not vanilla flavored or something.

                                                                  2. x
                                                                    xcskier20 May 29, 2011 08:32 PM

                                                                    Rice krispie bars turn out great vegan. Here are some tips:
                                                                    1. you can buy vegan or kosher marshmallows at many stores and they work great, just melt slow and low (watch out because some kosher marshmallows still use fish gelatin)
                                                                    2. you must really use a solid stick margarine and not spread, otherwise the water content is too high and krispie can turn mushy (same thing if you're making vegan cookies). I really like earth balance baking sticks (not tub spread) because it imitates butter fat content the best: http://www.earthbalancenatural.com/#/...
                                                                    3. add a bit more salt to the recipe than normal as cow butter is more salty
                                                                    4. add butter extract (they are actually all vegan as it's a chemical) to really get a great, strong butter flavor, extra vanilla extract never hurts either

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: xcskier20
                                                                      x
                                                                      xcskier20 May 29, 2011 08:34 PM

                                                                      Also, forgot to mention, here is a great blog with somewhat time-consuming but fail-proof vegan recipes as well as a website that I always use when trying to find something vegan

                                                                      1. http://bittersweetblog.wordpress.com/
                                                                      2. http://vegweb.com/

                                                                    2. a
                                                                      adventuresinbaking Jun 27, 2011 08:02 PM

                                                                      I am a gluten free vegan (health problems!) and I've found a few tricks to make food everybody likes.

                                                                      I do a french silk tofu chocolate pie. Blend one silken tofu container with 12oz of melted chocolate in a food processor with a little espresso powder and vanilla. Blend until smooth and pour into your crust. I usually make a no bake crust with ground up oatmeal or gluten free cookie for the bottom. (just make sure your gf friend can eat oats if you use them :) I've fed this to a variety of folks and everyone loves it.

                                                                      i did a strawberry rhubarb cobbler the other day with gluten free drop biscuits for the topping. Look for a recipe that contains sweet potato to make the biscuits moist. This gets a little more complicated because it needs gluten free flours, but it can be really good.

                                                                      I'd also check out vegan cupcakes take over the world or the veganomicon from your local library if you are looking for some ideas, google works great too.

                                                                      It took me a little while to adjust to this new way of eating. I really miss pizza, but I had to do this.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: adventuresinbaking
                                                                        b
                                                                        Birmingham Jun 28, 2011 02:56 PM

                                                                        Last time I was over at our vegan friend's house, I noticed that the nice Southern lady who comes in to cook for the family once a week was using "Veganomicon" to make some things. I thought it was kind of funny to see this lady who specializes in fried chicken, collard greens (with bacon fat, of course) and all the other Southern specialities--and makes them all by heart--having to go slowly step-by-step with this vegan cookbook.

                                                                        Thanks for the tips!

                                                                      2. s
                                                                        Saluti Jan 20, 2012 11:41 AM

                                                                        The following company sells vegan marshmallow cream.

                                                                        http://www.suzannes-specialties.com/d...

                                                                        Depending on the recipe, you could try using coconut milk or almond milk as a substitute for the dairy kind.

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