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.

Copycat Vegan Cinnamon Crunch Panera Bagels

I JUMPED on a chance to make these babies for a project for Spoon University (where I sometimes write, lol). VerticalKatherineBaker_Bagels_Cinnamon_Crunch_Panera

So I’m also sharing the recipe here.

KatherineBaker_Bagels_Cinnamon_Crunch_Panera_Holding

Cinnamon Crunch bagels at Panera contain dairy, and are therefore not vegan. And technically you don’t have to make this recipe vegan if you don’t want to (swap non-diary butter for butter). Do what works for you. I’m not here to tell you how to live your bagel life.

KatherineBaker_Bagels_Cinnamon_Crunch_Panera_4

While you’re checking out that post, check out my two smoothie recipes I also did for Spoon this week: Copycat Panera Green Goddess, and Strawberry Smoothie. nom

KatherineBaker_Cinnamon_Crunch_Panera

Speaking of fruit and smoothies, can we talk about a recent food trend for a hot second? The fruit-is-bad-for-you-and-messes-with-your-hormones garbage has GOT to go.

KatherineBaker_Bagels_Cinnamon_Crunch_Panera_dough_prebake

What is with these Instagram influencers who have *zero* nutrition or science education background giving health and diet advice and info with nothing to back it up? Makes my skin boil.

KatherineBaker_Bagels_Cinnamon_Crunch_Panera__

Guess what ladies? Eating bananas will not ruin your hormonal cycle. And I’m so sorry people with hundreds of thousands of followers are telling you so. Eat bananas and be happy, y’all.

KatherineBaker_Bagels_Cinnamon_Crunch_Panera

Anyways, rant over. Here are the bagels.

*KatherineBaker_Bagels_Cinnamon_Crunch_Panera

Also published on Spoon University.

Copycat Panera Cinnamon Crunch Bagels

Prep Time: 10 hrs
Cook Time: 0 mins
Total Time: 10 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 6 bagels

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar or honey – divided
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt – divided
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2-3 tablespoons butter or non-dairy butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda

Method:

  1. In a large bowl, combine warm water, yeast, 1 tablespoon sugar or honey, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Allow yeast to bloom for about 10 minutes.
  2. Add flour and mix with an electric mixer and a dough hook for 3 minutes, or by hand for about 5 minutes. The dough should be tacky and fully moistened, but not wet. If the dough is dry, add a bit more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  3. Allow dough to rest for 10 minutes. Then, knead with an electric mixer and dough hook or by hand for an additional 4 minutes.
  4. Transfer dough to a clean, oiled bowl and allow to rest at room temperature for at least an hour. Bagels will rise better if rested overnight or for at least 4 hours. If resting overnight, move to the refrigerator.
  5. If chilling dough, allow dough to come to room temperature for about an hour before shaping.
  6. When dough is at room temperature, shape bagels. You can shape bagels by rolling dough into 8-inch logs about 1 inch thick in diameter and then pressing the dough together to form a loop. Or you can roll out the dough to be about 1 inch thick and use a large circular cutter to cut a large ring, and then cut a small ring in the middle with a sharp knife or small circular cookie cutter.
  7. Allow shaped bagels to undergo a second proof on an oiled sheet pan for an additional 60-90 minutes.
  8. After second proofing, preheat the oven to 500°F and prepare poaching liquid by combining 8-12 cups water to a boil.
  9. While waiting for water to boil and oven to preheat, prepare topping by combining sugars and cinnamon in a small bowl and melting butter in a small microwave-safe dish. Set aside.
  10. Once water is boiling, add 1 tablespoon baking soda, the additional 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar or honey, the additional 1 teaspoon salt, and stir gently.
  11. Grab a slotted spoon, wooden spoon, or spatula. Gently lower bagels into simmering pot, 1-2 at a time (the bagels should float). After 1 minute of boiling, flip bagels, and boil for an additional 30-60 seconds before removing and transferring back to the oiled tray, domed side up.
  12. Brush the tops of the bagels with melted butter or non-dairy butter, and sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top of the melted butter. Drizzle any remaining butter over the tops of the bagels.
  13. Once all bagels have been poached in water, lower the heat of the oven to 450°F and place the bagels into the oven.
  14. Bake for 15-20 minutes, turning the tray halfway through to ensure even browning.
  15. Allow bagels to cool and enjoy.

Vegan Samoas (Caramel DeLites) with Date Caramel

Girl Scout Cookies.

Yummy Vegan Caramel Delites (Samoas) with Date Caramel

Don’t pretend you don’t like them. Almost everybody has a soft spot for at least one of those delicious, seasonal sweet treats.

Delicious Vegan Samoas with Date Caramel

Coincidentally, several varieties of Girl Scout Cookies are vegan (#bless). Which is honestly such a gift to dairy-free and vegan people. It’s so nice to not miss out on the Girl Scout cookie fun.

Vegan Samoas with Date Caramel

Thin Mints: vegan. S’mores cookies: vegan. Peanut butter patties: vegan.

Vegan Date Caramel

But what’s not? Sadly, samoas (or caramel delites, depending on who you ask). Boo.

Vegan Caramel Delites with Date Caramel

Now. I have seen a million line-extensions of Girl Scout cookie products on the shelves that hypothetically I could enjoy. Girl Scout cookie cereals, granola bars, candy bars, even teas – but nothing is quite as satisfying as the cookies themselves.

Amazing Vegan Samoas with Date Caramel

So when life won’t give me a vegan Caramel DeLite, I will make one myself. Because I am a strong, independent woman and I do not need a mass-bakery to support my inner-cookie-lover. I will get creative and I will succeed. Just watch me.

Vegan Caramel Delites (Samoas) w: Date Caramel

So here we are: vegan samoas. I played around with two versions. One batch I made used date caramel. The other used this Coconut Milk Caramel. You could also just melt a bunch of these heavenly nuggets and use that instead. You do you. I’m not here to tell you how to live your best samoa life.

Anyways ~ On to the cookies. A little prep work is involved, yes, but I promise it’s worth it. Perfect and impressive and tasty for your next party or Instagram. Or in my case, empty Friday night.

#bless up, Girl Scouts:

Vegan Samoas (Caramel DeLights) with Date Caramel

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes, and at least 20 additional minutes or refrigeration
Servings: 12 cookies

Ingredients:

Shortbread Cookies:

  • 1/4 cup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted (can sub additional vegan butter)
  • 3/4th cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (can sub additional AP flour)
  • dash of salt
  • Date Caramel Coconut Layer:

  • 8 ounces pitted dates (roughly 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seed butter, cashew butter, or coconut oil (optional, adds richness)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shredded coconut
  • Alternatively, you can sub one batch of this Coconut Milk Caramel
    Chocolate:

  • 1 cups dark chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (optional)
  • Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • In a large bowl combine softened vegan butter and melted coconut oil. Add sugar and vanilla extract and whisk well. Add flour and fold into dough until just combined. If dough seems dry, add a tablespoon or 2 of water or non-dairy milk. Place dough in refrigerator to set, about 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, soak dates in 1 cup water for at least 10 minutes. Once dates have softened, drain them and place in a food processor. Add sunflower seed butter, vanilla and salt. Pulse until a smooth caramel dough forms; the caramel should be sticky.
  • Transfer date caramel to a bowl. Add shredded coconut and mix until coconut is coated in date caramel.
  • Remove dough from refrigerator. Roll out dough to be about 1/8th inch thick. Use a circle cookie cutter, and/or an inverted drinking glass to cut dough into circles. Use a knife to cut a smaller hole in the middle of each cookie, to resemble a doughnut shape.
  • Place cookies onto a parchment paper-lined pan and place in the oven until golden brown, about 18-23 minutes.
  • Remove cookies from oven and allow to cool.
  • Once cookies have cooled, use a spoon or your fingers (fingers are much easier, honestly) to distribute date caramel around cookies. Aim for about 1/4-1/3th inch of date caramel.
  • Once cookies have caramel layer, melt chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave using 30 second increments, and stirring occasionally. This will take 2-4 minutes. Once chocolate is melted, stir in coconut oil.
  • Pipe chocolate or drizzle it in a zig-zag pattern using a pastry bag, and/or by letting it run off the back of a spoon. Once all cookies have a chocolate drizzle, dip the bottom of each cookie into the remaining chocolate, placing back onto the parchment baking sheet after each dip.
  • Allow cookies to set in the refrigerator until chocolate has hardened, at least 30 minutes.
  • Enjoy!
  • 3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheerio Bars

    Hello! It me. I bring to you another dessert recipe from Wisconsin since my flight to NYC was canceled this morning due to the wind! Blah. I suppose this means even more time to experiment with dessert recipes since I will no longer have the opportunity to stuff myself with Van Leeuwen vegan ice cream this weekend (my absolute fav).easy-vegan-3-ingredient-peanut-butter-chocolate-cheerio-bars

    Now I will preface this recipe by acknowledging that I’m aware I did not break any culinary boundaries in creating these. And that’s fine. But these bars are beauties because they’re super duper easy and super duper delicious. They’re also vegan and gluten-free, if you’re into that kinda thing.

    They’re also highly addictive. My mom ate like 3/4th of the tray in one sitting. We are definitely related. Chocolate is a food group, according to us. vegan-3-ingredient-peanut-butter-chocolate-cheerio-bars

    So a lil history on these bars: they came about because as a constantly-on-a-budget TJs fanatic, I am always looking up ways to create cheap after-dinner sweet snacks. In grad school I starting buying bags of chocolate chips for $1.99 (yup, TJ’s chocolate chips are vegan) and boxes of TJ’s Joe’s O’s (which are the Trader Joe’s equivalent of Cheerios) also for $1.99. I would mix chocolate chips and Joe’s Os in a wee little bowl and nibble on the mixture while studying.

    The mix is a bit sweet, a bit carby, chocolatey, and crunchy. It’s highly satisfying, easy-to-prepare, and cheap as can be! It really stretches out a bag of chocolate chips, and has the added bonus that Joe’s O’s are decently not-too-shabby-for-you, making it a snack that’s easy to eat every night without feeling icky.

    Then one day last month, I  was making puppy chow for my sister when she was in town, and I ventured to the grocery store to get a box of Chex. And then I got home and saw my Cheerios and I was like…I wonder if….!

    And so this month, I tried it. I basically used the puppy chow idea (melted chocolate + pb) with Cheerios in place of Chex, but pressed them into a pan instead of coating them with powdered sugar.vegan-gluten-free-3-ingredient-peanut-butter-chocolate-cheerio-bars

    The result is a crunchy, easy peasy snack that satisfies any crunchy chocolate peanut butter craving. They’re just damn good and damn delicious.

    Anyways, without further audieu, I present to you…

    vegan-3-ingredient-peanut-butter-chocolate-cheerio-bars-gf

    Vegan Salted Coconut Milk Caramel

    Caramel! Do you say it “CARA-uh-mel” or “CAR-uh-muhl” or “KAR-mul?” I say it “delicious,” and something I enjoy swirled into my ice cream or as a dipping sauce for a hot doughy pastry (hello, mini churros).yummy-vegan-coconut-milk-caramel

    So once upon a time I found and fell a bit infatuated with these vegan caramels made from coconut milk. Me being me, I instantly starting working on how I could recreate something similar.

    I typically make my vegan caramel from dates, which is delicious, but this was a fun new challenge and I can’t wait to bake with this stuff and incorporate it into other fun desserts and treats.coconut-milk

    What are you up to right now? As I’m typing up this post, I’m watching Vanderpump Rules. It’s the best worst show ever.

    Life is still a bit of a doosey for me lately. I’m experiencing multiple transitions and am exploring new platforms for freelance, and in the meantime I find I have a lot of create energy and am unsure where to place it. It feels like I’m going to pop creative juice all over the carpet. So when this happens I end up baking breakfast cookies and making homemade vegan caramel. I need a life. Or a friend who will eat my food that isn’t my dog.vegan-coconut-milk-caramel

    In other news, I am experiencing a really adorable adult acne breakout. This acne does not help me in the she-looks-like-a-teenager-don’t-take-her-seriously-department. Which is starting to get a wee bit frustrating. But that’s okay. I recently read a tweet from a vlogger I follow about letting people who doubt you and try to take advantage of you be your motivation to succeed. So I’m going to try to go this route. Which I guess means caramel, among other things.

    Enough of my talking. On to the caramel:delicious-vegan-coconut-milk-caramel

    It’s easy, delicious, and has a lovely coconul undertone. It’s wonderful swirled into yogurt, on top of ice cream, AND in the recipe I am going to post next (stay tuned ~ I’m really excited about this one).

    Oh, and if you’d like the mini vegan churros recipe here it is: 1) Go to Trader Joe’s. 2) Buy frozen mini churros. 3) Eat.

    Prep Time:  2 mins
    Cook Time: 35-40 mins
    Total Time: ~40 minutes
    Servings: ~1/2 cup caramel sauce

    Ingredients:

    • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
    • 1/2 cup sugar or coconut sugar
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
    • 1 teaspoon sea salt

    Method:

    1. In a small saucepan, combine coconut milk and sugar.
    2. Heat mixture to a boil over medium heat. Maintain slow boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened, roughly 35-40 minutes. Stir in coconut oil and vanilla and remove from heat.
    3. Transfer caramel sauce to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Enjoy!

    Vegan Macaroon Bars

    Once upon a time I lived very near to exceptional vegan eatery called Peacefood Cafe.

    From the famous chickpea fries to the best vegan burger I have ever put in my mouth, you really can’t go wrong at Peacefood (minus the raw sushi, I’d skip that).

    Then, of course, there is the dessert case. HOLY COW that dessert case. It is beautiful and extensive and wonderful and delicious. The carrot cake is a frequent subject of my day dreams. The raw key lime pie is super tangy and refreshing. The raw cocoa mousse pie tastes like heaven took slice-form. And the deceptively simple coconut macaroons are other-wordly.vegan-coconut-almond-macarron-bars

    I’m proud to say I’ve eaten everything in their dessert case at one time or another (seasonal/daily specials aside). But I’m sad to admit I skipped over the chocolate-dipped coconut macaroons for a long time.

    Until, one day, my friend Dan ordered one post-dinner, so I got one too. It was phenomenal. Moist, sweet, but not overly so, and dipped in dark, dark chocolate. HEAVEN.vegan-coconut-macaroon-bars

    It took me several attempts to recreate macaroons that tasted half as good as Peacefood’s. The key, I have decided, is almond extract, and enough melted coconut oil to keep the inside moist and luscious.

    The macaroons are yummy, but a bit putsy to make, so I turned the recipe into a bar form so there is less messing around/time between me and ma macaroons.

    If you want to create the regular babies, just use an ice cream scoop and shape into small mounds and place onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet  before putting into the oven instead of pouring into a pan. delicious-vegan-gf-macaroon-bars-with-almonds

    Vegan Macaroon Bars with Almonds

    Prep Time:  20 mins
    Cook Time: 10-12 mins, plus at least 1 hour to chill
    Total Time: 1 hr, 30 mins
    Servings: 12

    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
    • 2 teaspoons almond extract (optional, but truly the MVP here; if you don’t have any, sub an additional teaspoon vanilla)
    • 1 cup dark chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
    • 1/3 cup almonds, chopped
    • dash of sea salt

    Method:

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 12×12″ pan.
    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. Microwave coconut oil until melted (about 1 minute). Pour into bowl with shredded coconut. Add maple syrup, vanilla extract, and almond extract, and stir until well combined and sticky. If the dough does not seem sticky enough, add an additional tablespoon or two of maple syrup.
    5. Pour dough into greased pan and press into pan with a spatula. Flatten and pack dough as much as possible.
    6. Place pan into oven for 10-12 minutes, until top is just lightly browned.
    7. Remove pan from oven and place in the refrigerator to cool.
    8. Meanwhile, microwave chocolate chips in 30 second increments until melted, stirring at each increment. This will take about 90-120 seconds.
    9. Chop almonds.
    10. Remove pan from the refrigerator or freezer and pour melted chocolate over the coconut bars. Spread chocolate with a spatula to evenly cover bars. Sprinkle chopped almonds over melted chocolate. Sprinkle with salt, if desired.
    11. Place bars into the refrigerator until the chocolate top sets, at least one hour.
    12. Slice into bars and enjoy!

    PS ~ Have you checked out the kbaked Facebook page yet? 🙂 😉

    Other fun links!

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