Giant Vegan Peanut Butter Cup

I have ALWAYS wanted to make one of these. Ever since I saw the half pounders at Target around the holidays, the urge to create my own ginormous peanut butter cup has festered deep inside me.

Peanut butter cup - Giant and Vegan

Yesterday, I scratched that long-time itch on my baking bucket list by making a real life giant peanut butter cup.

GIANT easy vegan peanut butter cup

I made it for a friend’s bday (hey Sarah, if you’re reading). I also made these Vegan Salty Chocolate Chunk cookies. I was honestly sort of insistent on the whole thing.

broken giant vegan peanut butter cup

Sometimes people are like “oh, you don’t have to bake me anything,” and I’m like “Please just let me I live for excuses to bake.”

Easy vegan giant peanut butter cup

So here we are. I halved the recipe below and put it in a mini pie dish since Sarah is leaving to go back to China tomorrow.

Vegan giant peanut butter cup

I am sad to see Sarah off. I have a lot of friends (well, not really but let’s pretend) from all different stages of life but there is just something about those friends you did stupid shit with in basements and backseats of mini-vans high school.

Vegan peanut butter cup - giant

The filling is more than ordinary peanut butter. Since true Reece’s have more of a frosting-like filling, I tried to channel my inner candy maker and copy it. You can totally just fill it with regular peanut butter if you’d like. That works too.

broken stacked vegan giant peanut butter cup

This broke coming out of the pan (hence the broken pics; do me a favor and pretend it’s artsy, okay? thanks). So grease that puppy good and allow it to come to room temp before trying to remove from the pan.

egan giant peanut butter cup bite

Without further adieu…I give to you…

Giant Vegan Peanut Butter Cup

Prep Time:  10 minutes
Chill Time: 20-30 minutes
Servings: 10-12 people

Ingredients:

  • 18 ounces dark chocolate or non-dairy chocolate chips (I used Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (optional)
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy butter, softened
  • 1-1 1/2 cups powder sugar
  • sea salt (optional)

Method:

  1. Grease a pie dish. Set aside
  2. Combine peanut butter and non-dairy butter and whisk together (or use an electric mixer) until smooth. Melting the non-dairy butter may help. Using a hand whisk or electric mixer (preferred) whip in powdered sugar. Use as much or as little as desired until a frosting-like consistency is achieved. If you want it looser, use less powdered sugar. If you want it thicker, use more.
  3. Melt chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second increments until melted, stirring between each increment. When melted, stir in the coconut oil.
  4. Pour a layer of melted chocolate in the pie dish.
  5. Layer peanut butter frosting in the center of the pie dish. Spread.
  6. Pour remaining chocolate over the peanut butter layer.
  7. Place in the freezer to set, at least 20 minutes. Allow to adjust to room temperature slightly before cutting.

Easy Vegan Gingerbread People

Happiest of holidays to you! Are you ready for some easy vegan gingerbread cookies and/or dog pics? Great! Keep reading.easy vegan gingerbread cookies kbaked

Finals are over which means it is BAKING SEASON (cue creepy Pillsbury dough-boy laugh). If I am ignoring your calls and texts and have seemingly disappeared into the abyss, assume it is because my hands are covered in (vegan) butter and cookie crumbs until further notice.

delicious easy vegan gingerbread

As much of a pessimistic Pauly as I can be, I really love the holidays. And the excuse to bake in excess is among the many reasons I relish this season (I also love being cozy, drinking copious amounts of hot chocolate, spending time with fam, and watching The Santa Claus and Home Alone 2).

Presently I’m watching Relationsheep (#Bravofan5ever) as I quickly type up this post. Then it’s back to cleaning, gift wrapping, and doing a bunch of work (non-school related) that I pushed onto the back burner until finals had ended.

delicious vegan gingerbread cookies

But I thought I’d take a pause from my grind to share these easy vegan gingerbread people. These literally took about 10 minutes to throw together, and an additional 8-10 to bake. They were almost too easy making them the perfect cookie to whip up last minute for a gathering, and/or the perfect treat to satisfy a random gingerbread craving (which, personally, I have on occasion).

gingerbread people easy vegan

If you’d like to dress them up with some icing, by all means do your thing. I’m currently digging them plain, paired with a wicked cup of cocoa or a alongside a cold brew iced coffee. Mmmm.

super simple vegan gingerbread

If you don’t want the fuss of rolling out cookie dough, you can certainly bake these in dough balls with a dusting of raw sugar. This is a delicious option and gives the cookies a yummy chewy tummy middle.

easy vegan gingerbread people

I hope you give these cookies a whirl and love them as much as I do! If you make them, tag me on Insta (@katherinebaker4). I’d love to see them IRL!

EASY Vegan gingerbread_

Many more posts coming your way this weekend/upcoming week! In the meantime, please enjoy this photo of my dog in a Mrs. Claus outfit her grandma bought her from Walgreens. Happiest of holidays to you!

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Easy Vegan Gingerbread People

Prep Time:  10 minutes
Cook Time: 8-10 minutes
Servings: 8-10 people, depending on the size of your cookie cuter

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup softened vegan butter (I like Earth Balance baking sticks)
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax + 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup + 1 additional tablespoon molasses (note: these are molasse-y cookies, since I love the taste of molasses. If you want them a little less molasses-heavy, sub the additional tablespoon for water)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat baking flour (can sub additional all-purpose, if desired)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place flax and water in a small bowl and allow to thicken, at least 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cream together softened butter and brown sugar using an electric mixer or stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add molasses and flax egg and mix again.
  4. Combine flours, baking soda, spices, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk together.
  5. Fold dry ingredients into wet until just combined. Form dough into a ball and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes for ease of rolling (optional, but highly recommended; you can also pop it in the freezer for 5-10 minutes if you’re short on time).
  6. Roll out dough and cut with cookie cutters as desired. Place shapes on a lined baking sheet. For non-shaped cookies, you can also roll dough into balls, sprinkle with raw sugar, and place onto a lined baking sheet.
  7. Bake 8-10 minutes until just golden. Allow to cool before eating or icing.
  8. Enjoy!

PS – If you want more gingerbread goodness, try this yummy Nutty Gingerbread Granola!

5 Easy Avocado Toast Ideas for YOU

Yum yum yum. Avocado toast. I love to make it! Because I am a millennial and never want to be able to buy a house! I’d rather spend my time creating easy avocado toasts so you can have some easy avocado toast ideas on hand.

Lol. All jokes aside, people who rip on avocado toast can shove it. Sure, it can be overpriced on brunch menus, but isn’t everything? Like people pay $8-20 for an omelet. And eggs are CHEAP AF.

Mil Dawg

Anyways, here are a few avocado toast ideas for you. I hope you enjoy for a snack or breakfast or for lunch or for whatever!

Avocado Toast with Pomegranate Seeds

avocado toast with pomegranate perils.png

An old favorite! And so cute and festive for the holidays. The recipe exists on my site here, but basically it’s just bread + avo + pomegranate perils. You can add red pepper flakes if you want too. Add S&P and: Yum!

Avocado Toast with Nutritional Yeast

avocado toast with nutritional yeast

Yes. Simple and delicious. The nutritional yeast truly kicks it up a major notch. Try it. Trust me. Cheesy, umami goodness. Add S&P, of course. Yum. #vegan

Avocado Toast with Preserved Lemons and Radish

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This was better than expected. I had a jar of perserved lemons I had no idea what to do with. Honestly, I’d never even had them before. I opened them up and they tasted like olives. But lemon. It’s weird and wonderful at once.

They are super salty, so naturally they go well on avocado toast. I added radish. You could also do tomatoes. Whatever you want!

Avocado Toast with Everything Sea Salt

Everything bagel Toast avocado

Another simple wonderful creation. Simply mash avocado, and sprinkle with everything bagel salt. I get it at Trader Joe’s for $1.99. This salt is a GAME CHANGER. Invest.

everything bagel avocado toast

Avocado Toast with Herbs, Walnuts, and Crushed  Chips or Sundried Tomatoes

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I love avocado toast with herbs. It just tastes and feels so right. Cilantro on top makes it like a guac toast (also good). Parsley also tastes SO FRESH. I also like adding nuts for crunch, and something to contrast the savoriness.

In this case, it was Just Beets from Trader Joe’s. Any pop of sweet tanginess (see pomegranate perils above, or sun-dried tomatoes), or juiceness (like tomatoes) will do.

Hope this gave you some ideas! Stay #blessed, y’all.

 

Vegan Watermelon Feta Balsamic Salad With Tofu Feta + Mint

Watermelon goes surprisingly well in salads. I still remember the first time I had watermelon in a lettuce salad. It was at LPQ right when I moved to NYC to start at NYU. It was served with arugula + feta + mint and seriously good balsamic.

watermelon_feta_arugula_salad_vegan_kbaked

My mom and I adored this meal. To us, the flavor combo was new. Now, you see this stuff all over. But at the time, it seemed like a fun, wild treat to us. Something I totally would have Insta’d. But that was an age where people didn’t Insta their food. Strange to think about, I know.

Vegan_arugula_salad_watermelon_feta

Anyways, when watermelon is in season, I have thrown it into salads ever since that day. I love it.

Now I’m plant-based mostly, and rarely have feta around. Even when I wasn’t plant-based, I rarely bought cheese because it was rare I’d use cheese for more than just a garnish. I was never a huge cheese eater.

arugula

But it adds such a nice a lovely saltiness and a bit of staying power to the salad. So here we are. I used this homemade tofu feta, but you can totally use conventional feta or purchase a plant-based feta at the store.

Arugula provides a nice peppery green, but you can also use baby kale or whatever green you want.go together surprisingly well together. I also often add avocado to this salad. Because avocado. Duh.

watermelon salad ingredients

Also, it’s essential to use a good balsamic. I mean, really you don’t have to, but it will truly kick it up a notch. And if you haven’t experienced a really good balsamic yet in your life, you should. They are sweet and sticky and wonderful.

I used this one from Trader Joe’s, which I’d highly reccomend.

balsamic_arugula_salad_watermelon_vegan

Speaking of Trader Joe’s, I need to hit it up tomorrow. This week has been crazy busy. I started 2 new jobs, did a lot of freelance, and took a day trip to Chicago, which I’ll be sharing soon.

Stay tuned!

Tofu Feta

Prep Time:  10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Servings: 1 as entree or 2 as side, easily doubled or tripled

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups arugula, baby kale, or spinach
  • 1 cup watermelon, cubed
  • 3/4 cup tofu feta or conventional feta, or plant-based store-bought feta
  • 1/2 large avocado, sliced (optional)
  • roughly 1/4th cup fresh mint
  • 4 tablespoons high quality balsamic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Assemble greens, avocado, watermelon, mint and tofu feta in a bowl. Drizzle with desired amount of balsamic and oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Serve with crusty bread and enjoy.

 

 

Vegan Lemon Coconut Macaroons

Hey hey! How’s your long weekend going? Mine’s been chill AF and filled with time with my Mil-dawg, which was much-needed after a long week.

Vegan Lemon Coconut MacaroonsIn other news, I’ve got an easy sweet recipe for ya. I made these a few weeks ago and decided to make them again and post the recipe. I also tried adding a glaze this time and ended up liking them better without the glaze.Screen Shot 2017-05-28 at 8.26.57 PM

Maybe next time I should just buy vegan white chocolate and melt it and use that. Oh well. Ya live and ya learn, ya know?

kbaked Vegan Lemon Coconut Macaroons

These are really great if you’re one of those people who loves coconut. I happen to be one of those people. Coconut me anything.

I also really love lemon. Giada is totally right on the whole lemon thing: that shit adds shine to any dish. I love lemon in sweet, savory, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. Mmm mm mmm. Lemon me.

Easy Vegan Lemon Coconut Macaroons

One pro tip I’d give for these macaroons: make sure you pulse the coconut in a food processor or blender or Vitamix or whatever fancy shit you got before you make the macaroons. It helps them bind and greatly enhances the texture/overall final mouth feel.

Vegan Lemon Coconut Macaroons

But if you love lemon and/or coconut, MAKE THESE. And dip ’em in white chocolate if you want. They’re great as a mid-morning snack, enjoy with yogurt or ice cream (I crushed one in my yogurt and it was like 10/10 material), or eat as dessert.

Vegan Macaroons - Lemon Coconut

Above is the photo from my original Insta post.

And if you love coconut, make THESE amazing vegan coconut macaroon bars with chocolate and almonds. More life-type posts coming soon!

Vegan Coconut Lemon Macaroons

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Servings: about 12 bars

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces shredded coconut (unsweetened, I got mine for $1.99 at Trader Joe’s)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract (optional, but truly the MVP here; if you don’t have any, sub an additional teaspoon vanilla)
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 6 ounces dairy-free or regular white chocolate

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place shredded coconut in a food processor or blender and pulse until a rough crumb forms (it should still have some shredded texture, but aim for tiny shred pieces).
  3. Transfer shredded coconut to a bowl.
  4. Wash and zest lemon.
  5. Microwave coconut oil until melted (about 1 minute). Pour into bowl with shredded coconut. Add maple syrup, vanilla extract, and almond extract, lemon zest and juice, and stir until well combined and sticky. If the dough does not seem sticky enough, add an additional tablespoon or two of maple syrup.
  6. Shape dough into small balls. I did this using a mini melon baller. Place balls of coconut dough onto parchment paper-lined baking sheet, roughly 1 inch apart.
  7. Place oven for 10-12 minutes, until top is just lightly browned.
  8. Remove pan from oven and place in the refrigerator to cool.
  9. If using white chocolate, microwave chocolate chips in 30 second increments until melted, stirring at each increment. This will take about 90-120 seconds.
  10. Remove macaroons from the refrigerator or freezer, dip bottoms in white chocolate, and return to parchment paper.
  11. Place bars into the refrigerator until the chocolate top sets, at least one hour.
  12. Enjoy!

Easy Vegan Puppy Chow

Puppy chow!! Aka muddy buddies (apparently). Aka the best darn sweet crunchy snack of all times ever period!I remember puppy chow sales being a thing when I was little. Were they a thing where you grew up? Because when I went to college I realized they aren’t a thing everywhere. In fact all 3 of my freshman year suite-mates hadn’t heard of puppy chow. How sad, I know. MuddyBuddys_Katherine_baker

I think Puppy Chow is a Midwest thing. I could be wrong. All I know is that everyone I know from the Midwest knows what it is, and I’ve met lots of coasties who do not. But that could be an anomaly.

Baker_Katherine_puppy_chow_mix

If you look on the back of a Chex box for a puppy chow recipe, you may notice that that recipe contains butter and vanilla. I find these additions to be unessential. Like, when you’re eating puppy chow, I feel like they don’t add much. IMG_5461

At least to me. I just use peanut butter, chocolate, powdered sugar, and cereal, and I don’t miss anything. So I reason I’ll save vanilla and butter for instances where it really does add shine. Gotta save those valuable baking resources, amiright?

PuppyChow_KatherineBaker

So here is my coincidentally, stripped-down, bare-bones, completely delicious vegan puppy chow recipe. If you’ve never had it, make it right the fuck now. Trust me. KatherineBaker_Chocolate_peanutbutter

This is another adapted recipe I posted on Spoon University, but here you’ll find it completely unabashedly dairy-free and with slightly different photos. Enjoy!

-Kbakes

PS: If you want more p chow in your life, check out this Puppy Chow Granola post!

PuppyChow_KatherineBaker_

Easy Vegan Puppy Chow

  • Prep Time: 15-20 mins
  • Cook Time: nada
  • Servings: varies on how much you can eat at once (I can eat a lot of this at once)

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups Chex or other plain cereal
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter or other nut butter (almond or sunflower seed butter would also be yummy)
  • 1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips (I use Trader Joe’s) or chopped dark chocoalte
  • 1/2-3/4 cup powdered sugar, depending on if you’re one of those people who likes a little or a lot of powdered sugar on your chow

Method:

  1. Melt the chocolate in a large microwave safe bowl by heating in 30-second increments in your microwave for 1-2 minutes, stirring between each until chocolate is almost (but not completely) melted. Add peanut butter to the bowl and return to the microwave and heat for an additional 30-60 seconds, until peanut butter is also melty.
  2. Mix those two together. Enjoy the views and the smells.
  3. Add cereal to bowl and mix gently. You want to coat the cereal with the chocolate/peanut butter mixture, but also want to be careful as to not crush the cereal.
  4. Transfer to a large zip-lock, add powdered sugar, and shake it up until cereal is coated with powdered sugar.
  5. Eat the shit out of that delicious puppy chow.

That Time I Made Rosa Park’s Pancake Recipe (Vegan Style)

If you follow me on Instagram, you may recall these pancakes I posted a few weeks ago. Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 9.26.56 AM

So what’s so special about a damn picture of pancakes with awkward irregular shaped edges and a few walnuts and banana slices on top as a despite attempt on food styling? Oh, that’s right. They’re Rosa Park’s pancakes.

Well, not Rosa Park’s pancakes per se; I didn’t go back in time, steal them from her table, freeze and then defrost them decades later for the sake of an Instagram photo. No, I merely made them from a recipe she had written on the back of an envelope, a photo of which was featured in this article for NPR (side note: I <3 NPR).

IMG_4110

They’re endearingly called “Featherlighte Pancakes,” and the recipe is written in handwriting that looks charmingly like my Oma’s. As soon as I set my eyes on the recipe, I knew I had to make them.

And you know what? They were darn delicious. I was hesitant to add a full two tablespoons of baking powder, but then decided since Rosa Parks was right about so many things, she was probably right about this too. I put my trust in her and was not let down. The pancakes truly were, featherlight.

The pancakes were fluffy and delicate, yet substantial and hearty, with a bold peanut butter flavor that could stand on its own, and also tasted great with maple syrup. Just a few would fill you up, which according to the article, means the pancakes achieved their purpose of offering a form of delicious, extended substance from inexpensive ingredients. They were delicious, and I do plan to make them again.

And while I was eating them, yes, I did think of Rosa Parks. How humbling is it to remind ourselves that we all must eat? No matter the time period, our religion, our views of the world, our level of education, or our environments. All humans eat, and it is something that connects us and equalizes at a primal level. IMG_4116

I slightly adapted the recipe to make it plant-based, but the original recipe can be found here.

Recipe adapted from Rosa Parks.

Rosa Park’s Featherlight Pancake Recipe (Veganized)

Prep Time:  5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: about 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour (I subbed 1/2 whole wheat flour)
  • 2 “T” baking powder
  • 1/2 “t” salt
  • 2 “T” sugar
  • 1 flax or chia egg (1 tablespoon chia/flax + 3 tablespoons water) –> original recipe calls for 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk –> original recipe calls for milk
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon oil

Method:

  1. Combine flax or chia and water in a small dish and allow to thicken, at least 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine all ingredients in a bowl. Add flax/chia egg. Mix until just combined.
  3. Cook on a griddle at 275F (I cooked each side roughly 3 minutes before flipping)