Love & Lemons Creamy Cauliflower Soup

Some of you may have saw that last month I joined the Love & Lemons cooking club. For those of you who don’t know, every month she sends out a new recipe and has her readers send in pictures; it’s super cute. This month the recipe is a cauliflower cream soup, perfect as winter is (hopefully?) starting to wrap up. It only has 10 ingredients, but is surprisingly packed with flavor. It’s creamy and rich, but the cauliflower base ensures it isn’t overly heavy. Serve with bread, a salad, or whatever you’d like. I used up some leftover pita bread, fresh pepper, and paprika, but my sweet grits cornbread, baguettes, or soft rolls would be very good with this.

  • 1 medium cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and sliced into eighths
  • 4 unpeeled garlic cloves
  • 4 c vegetable stock/broth
  • 7ish sage leaves
  • ½ tbsp miso
  • ½ tsp dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 and line a baking sheet. Place chopped cauliflower on the sheet with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Wrap the onion and garlic in tinfoil and place on the baking sheet. Roast until browned, about 30-35 mins. About 20 mins in, bring broth to a simmer in a large pot. Once roasted, add cauliflower, onion, and sage. Peel the roasted garlic and add to the mixture. Cover and let simmer for about 15 minutes, then remove from heat to cool slightly. Combine miso, mustard, olive oil, lemon juice, a few grinds of pepper, and 1/4 tsp salt in a blender. Add the contents of your pot to the blender, and blend until completely smooth. You may need to reheat before serving.

Tips/Things I would Change:

  • My cauliflower was kind of small, so the soup was a tad thick for my preference and I would probably use a bigger one next time.
  • I think fresh basil would also work really well as the herb for this dish.
  • The veggies could definitely be roasted in advanced for quicker future preparation. I honestly think this recipe was even better day 2, though, so feel free to make ahead.

Cookie Dough Cupcakes

I forgot about this gem of a recipe until recently. You may have gathered by now that I’m a big fan of a good mashup. These cupcakes combine two classics– the chocolate chip cookie and the cupcake. The cupcakes have all the rich flavors of a chocolate chip cookie, with the light, tender texture of a cupcake. The real star is the frosting, though, which is like eating cookie dough straight from the dough. Trust me when I say you’ll have trouble saving enough to frost the cookies, especially if habitual snackers frequent your kitchen.

Cupcakes:

1 1/2 c flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

2/3 c almond milk

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 c + 1 1/2 tsp slightly softened vegan butter or coconut oil

1 c sugar

2 tbsp flax + 1/4 c water

3/4 c chocolate chips

6-12 crispy chocolate chip cookies (see note in Tips)

cookie dough frosting (see recipe below)

Line a cupcake tin and preheat the oven to 350. Pulse crispy cookies in a blender or food processor until fine, like breadcrumbs. Add 1 1/2 tsp of the vegan butter/coconut oil and the crumbs to a small bowl and mix. Place a small layer of the mixture in each of the cupcake liners, patting down with a spoon to create a sort of crust. Bake for 5 minutes, then remove and reduce oven temperature to 325. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat vegan butter and sugar in the bowl of a paddle-fitted stand mixer for about 3 mins until fluffy. Lower the speed and gradually add flax mixture. Beat for an additional 1-2 mins. Add half the dry mixture, followed by the almond milk and vanilla, then the remaining dry mix. Once you have a cohesive batter, fold in chocolate chips. Divide batter evenly among 12 liners. Bake for 18-20 mins until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack before frosting. Top with chocolate chips and extra cookie halves.

Cookie Dough Frosting:

1/2 c light brown sugar

1 tbsp almond milk

1/2 tsp vanilla

3/4 c vegan butter/coconut oil

1/4 tsp salt

1 3/4 c powdered sugar

Heat brown sugar and almond milk over medium low heat in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Transfer to the bowl of a paddle-fitted stand mixer with vanilla, vegan butter, and salt. Beat until fluffy, then gradually sift in powdered sugar, mixing on slow until fully incorporated. Frosting should be creamy, yet stiff.

Tips/Things I Would Change:

  • If your cookies are small like chips ahoy, use 12. If they are more of a standard size, you only need 6. You can make your own: halving my thin and crispy chocolate chip cookie recipe. Alternatively, you can use store bought: I like Enjoy Life and Lenny & Larry’s.
  • If your frosting is too thick (like a dough), add a splash of almond milk at a time until creamy. If it is too thin, add powdered sugar 1/4 c at a time.
  • If you’re feeling fancy, you could drizzle or fill the center with chocolate, especially if you’re a chocolate lover.

Red Velvet Cake Mix Cookies

These cookies are so quick and easy, yet such crowd pleasers! I thought they would be a great treat to make for Valentine’s Day thanks to the deep red color and chocolatey flavor. They come together so quickly with just a few ingredients. Many people don’t realize that most baking mixes are coincidentally vegan, but they usually are! Betty Crocker’s Deluxe mix if my favorite to use in this recipe, but feel free to use what you have access to. Whether you’re making these cookies for your significant other as a gift, for a Valentine’s Day Party, or to treat yourself as an act of self love, these cookies are sure to please!

  • 1/2 c vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp flax + 1/3 c water mixed
  • 1 box of Betty Crocker red velvet cake mix
  • 3/4 c vegan white chocolate chopped

Whisk oil, salt, and flax mix until combined. Whisk in cake mix and whisk rigorously for about 2 mins. Fold in white chocolate and place in fridge for 20 minutes. Line 2 baking sheets and preheat oven to 350. Form 24 dough balls, generously space them on the baking sheets, and bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool for 10 mins on pan, then transfer to baking rack.

Tips/ Things I Would Change:

  • This recipe is not limited to red velvet, you can use any flavor cake mix you like and switch up the mix ins
  • Feel free to skip the white chocolate or replace it if you’re not a fan
  • The dough freezes well, just defrost in the fridge before you are ready to use and bake as directed

Gourmet Grocery Store Cookies

Remember the classic pink frosted sugar cookies people would bring in for their birthday in elementary school? You know, the chemically ones with the sprinkles that it seems like everyone has opinions on? They’re officially called Lofthouse cookies if you’re unfamiliar (I attached a picture below). Personally, I find their chemically taste and the weird coating they leave in your mouth nostalgic and endearing, but even if you’re not a fan, these cookies are a must-bake. They hold all the same melt in your mouth softness as their grocery store counterpart, without the dry, chemically feel of the originals. Plus, they get their pink color from fresh raspberries, which brings in a great burst of flavor. As scary as going to the grocery store can be right now, these are the perfect quick fix.

  • ½ c room temp vegan butter or coconut oil
  • 3 oz vegan cream cheese (store bought or see recipe below)
  • 1 c granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp flax + 5 tbsp water (mixed)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 ¼ c cake flour (see note below)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • raspberry frosting
  •  rainbow sprinkles

Line 2 baking sheets and preheat oven to 350. Whisk cake flour and baking powder in a medium bowl. Beat vegan butter, cream cheese, sugar, and salt until creamy in a stand mixer with a paddle. Add flax mixture and vanilla and beat until fluffy. Sift in dry mixture and beat on low until incorporated. Form 14-16 evenly sized dough balls and uniformly space across baking sheets. Flatten all the balls to about 1 in thick disks. Place in the freezer for about 15-20 minutes, then transfer to oven to bake for about 13 minutes. The tops should no longer be shiny, but they shouldn’t quite be browning. Let cool completely on pan before frosting. Top with sprinkles.

raspberry frosting:

  • 3/4ish c raspberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 c of room temp vegan butter/coconut oil
  • 2 c confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  •  pinch of salt

Heat raspberries in a small sauce pan until berries break down and a thick sauce is forming. You may need to add a splash of water if using fresh berries. Once cooked down, press mixture through a mesh strainer to remove all the seeds, leaving only the liquid from the raspberries in a small bowl. Beat vegan butter until creamy in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk. Sift in sugar and beat until almost combined. Add vanilla, raspberry liquid, and salt and continue to beat until fluffy.

easy vegan cream cheese (makes extra):

  • 1/2 c + 2 tbsp cashews
  • 2 tbsp canned coconut milk
  • 2 tsp vinegar

blend ingredients until smooth and creamy.

tips/things I would change:

  • To make Cake flour, measure 2 c of flour, and then remove 1/4 a cup. Add 1/4 a cup of cornstarch. Then add 1/4 c flour and remove 1 1/2 tsp of it. Add 1 1/2 tsp of cornstarch. Sift flour/cornstarch mixture twice until well combined and light. Use as cake flour (makes exact amount for this recipe).
  • You’ll have a lot of extra frosting, so you may be able to get away with halving the recipe depending on how much you like per cookie.
  • I think I would prefer using coconut oil instead of vegan butter for the frosting.

Mini Pear and Fig Ramekin Pies

Sometimes when I mess around in the kitchen, it just creates a huge mess that no one wants to eat. Sometimes, though, magic happens. Today was one of those days. I had some ingredients that needed to be used, so I whipped together these fun little desserts, and I absolutely love them. They take minimal effort, but come across as fancy and sophisticated, encompassing some of the best flavors of winter. Perfect for any dinner party or to spice up a boring weeknight, I’ll be sure to turn back to this recipe in the future.

3 large, extremely ripe pears

5 dried figs

8 graham crackers/digestive biscuits

1/4 c olive oil

sprinkles of cinnamon to taste

glaze (see recipe below)

Preheat oven to 400 and take out 4 ramekins. Crush biscuits in a small bowl and add olive oil until you have a crumbly mixture that is just starting to stick together (you may need slightly more/less olive oil to get to this point depending on the size of your cookies). Evenly distribute the mixture between the 4 ramekins. Finely chop 2 of the pears, reserving any residue on the cutting board. Slice 1 of the pears into thin slices and then cut the slices in half. Slice the figs into thin slices. Distribute the chopped pears between each of the 4 ramekins, followed by a layer of the figs. Use the pear slices to make spirals on the top of each. Drizzle the glaze over each and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake for 20 minutes uncovered, then cover with tinfoil and bake for an additional 5-7 mins. Filling should be bubbling. Let sit covered until ready to serve. Serve warm or chilled.

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

3 tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp almond extract

1 tsp vanilla extract

Whisk ingredients together in a small bowl.

Tips/Things I Would Change:

  • If you’re short on time, the spiral of pears on top is completely optional; it just looks nice. Feel free to skip and chop all the pears.
  • You can adjust any of the proportions of this recipe to your taste, but even if you’re skeptical don’t skip the balsamic vinegar the first time you try. It really ties the pears and figs, and the maple syrup cuts the bitterness.
  • The ramekins should be filled to the top, as the fruit will compress a bit when cooked, so feel free to add more than listed to fill them up. My pears were fairly large.

Thin and Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have many chocolate chip cookie recipes on the blog: Brown Butter Caramel Centered Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies, Smash Cookies, Cookie Breakfast Sundaes, and Peanut Butter Cup Stuffed Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies. These are all great options, but sometimes, you just need a classic. Today, I bring you simple, crispy cookies that are versatile and snackable. For anyone who is a fan of Chips Ahoy or Tate’s cookies– I’m looking at my two best friends– these are your perfect match.

1 1/2 c flour

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

8 tbsp melted vegan butter/coconut oil

1/2 c granulated sugar

1/3 c light brown sugar

2 tbsp light corn syrup

1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water mixed

2 tsp almond milk

1 tbsp vanilla

3/4 c chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 and line 2 baking sheets. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Beat melted butter, sugars, and corn syrup in the bowl of a paddle-fitted stand mixer on low until incorporated. Add flax mixture, almond milk, and vanilla and beat until smooth. Gradually beat in dry mixture until you have a cohesive dough. Fold in chocolate chips with a rubber spatula. Form dough into 1 tbsp sized balls and space them evenly on the baking sheets. Bake the sheets 1 at a time, for 12 mins each. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to fully cool.

Tips/Things I Would Change:

  • To reach the maximum crispiness, you actually have to let these cookies cool.
  • It wouldn’t be a bad idea to make the dough for these cookies in advance and store them in the fridge overnight. This would let the flavor develop and deepen, but it’s totally not necessary. If you do opt for this method, let the dough warm to room temperature before baking.
  • Really try to keep your dough balls small or bake these a minute or two past when they look just done to really get a crisp.

Love & Lemons Sesame Soba Noodles

I’ve talked about Love & Lemons on the blog before because it has always been one of my favorites! I love the blog and the cookbooks, and I draw inspiration from a lot of her recipes. I joined her cooking club this year and I’m loving it! Every month she sends out a new recipe and has her readers send in pictures, which I think is super cute. It’s nice to be in a community during this time of isolation. I highly recommend joining– message me if you do! This recipe is super fresh and nutritious and I absolutely love it. It makes for great leftovers and looks gorgeous. Whenever you feel like mixing up your typical takeout, try this one out! Here’s the original recipe.

  • 6 oz soba noodles
  • 2 sliced avocados
  • 2 c blanched snap peas
  • ¼ c shelled edamame
  • 1/4 c fresh scallions
  • 1 sliced watermelon radish
  • sesame dressing (below)
  • fresh cracked black pepper

Bring a pot of unsalted water to a boil and cook soba noodles as directed, about 4 mins. Drain and rinse with cold water. Toss noodles with snap peas, edamame, scallions, and dressing. Divide between bowls and top with radish and avocados.

Sesame Dressing:

  • ¼ c white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • ½ tsp toasted sesame oil (more to taste)
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp maple syrup

Whisk ingredients together.

Tips/Things I Would Change:

  • I added a little extra sesame oil, ginger, and maple syrup to the dressing. I kept the measurements the same so that you can change them to your tastes.
  • I think red pepper flakes may be a nice addition if you’re looking for a kick.
  • I don’t think the original recipe specified, but I really liked serving this dish chilled; it was very refreshing.

No-Bake Chocolate Orange Tart

Nothing says winter like a good chocolate citrus dessert! This tart fresh tasting and an indulgent tasting dessert that won’t leave you feeling heavy and ready to enter a sugar coma. I even shamelessly ate leftovers for breakfast after the first day I made it. It’s not too sweet and the majority of it can be made in a blender. It’s a minimal effort sophisticated dessert, perfect for any winter soirée. Serve with a glass of champagne and some chocolate orange truffles!

crust:

  • 1 2/3 c ground almonds
  • 1/2 c hazelnuts
  • 1/2 c pecans
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp peanut/almond butter
  • pinch of salt

filling:

  • 2 1/2 c cashews (soaked in water overnight or boiled for 15 minutes)
  • 1 c melted coconut oil
  • 1 c almond milk
  • 1 (14 oz) can of coconut milk
  • 1/2 c maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • zest and juice from 1 orange
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder

Chocolate Coating:

  • 1/4 c + 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 c cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

Place all of the crust ingredients in a food processor or blender until moldable and smooth. Transfer to the base of a springform pan lined with parchment paper and press into an even base layer and place in fridge to chill. Place soaked cashews, coconut oil, almond milk, coconut milk, maple syrup, and vanilla into a blender and blend until smooth. Place half the mixture in a medium bowl. Add cacao powder and mix well. Pour on top of crust layer as evenly as possible and place in freezer to set. Place orange juice in zest in the remaining batter and blend until combined. Pour on top of chocolate layer as evenly as possible. Place in the freezer to set for at least 3 hours. Mix chocolate coating layer in a small bowl and pour over top. Place in freezer for an hour until ready to serve. Top with orange slices, chocolate curls, coconut whip, or any toppings of choice.

Tips/Things I Would Change:

  • You can alternatively drizzle chocolate over sides of cheesecake for a little added decoration
  • Feel free to mix up the nut types used for the crust based on what you like, or opt for a traditional shortbread or graham crust.
  • Make sure to even out each layer before pouring the next for optimal presentation.
  • I got this recipe from the Vegan Christmas Cookbook, check it out!

iced gingerbread llamas

Who says gingerbread has to be reserved for December? These llama cookies are a great for any occasion. They can be made festive for any holiday depending on your icing design and llamas are ALWAYS fun. Plus, icing the cookies is a great activity; perfect for kids, friends, or couples. I thought these were such a fun twist on the classic gingerbread men, and very fitting for my family (the Lammas). They are not too hard and bland like most gingerbread, but still sturdy enough to hold icing and sprinkles. While I would not recommend trying to make a house with this recipe, you can opt for a different shape if you don’t have a llama cutout (though you can get one super cheap on Amazon or Target).

cookies:

  • 3 c flour
  • 3/4 c dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 12 tbsp melted vegan butter/ coconut oil
  • 3/4 c molasses
  • 2 tbsp almond milk
  • llama cookie cutter (or cutter of choice)

Pulse dry ingredients in a food processor/ blender until fine and well combined. Add melted butter/oil, molasses, and milk and pulse until dough starts to form. Spray counter with baking spray and roll dough a few times until smooth and even. Divide in half, form 2 disks, wrap each in plastic, and place in the fridge for at least an hour. Line 2 baking sheets and preheat the oven to 350. Roll one of the disks out until 1/4 in thin. Use your cookie cutter to make as many cutouts as possible. You can combine scraps and roll out again to make more. Repeat with second disk. Bake for 9 mins until edges are puffed. Alternate which racks the baking trays are on in the oven halfway through. Let cool for 10 mins on pan, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely before icing.

royal icing:

  • 1/4 c aquafaba*
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 lb of powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tsp food coloring (optional)
  • almond milk

Whisk aquafaba and cream of tartar in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk until foamy. Add half of the powdered sugar and whisk on low until mostly incorporated. Add the rest of the sugar and mix until you reach a glue-like texture. Add vanilla and food coloring and enough almond milk to reach your desired consistency.

Tips/Things I Would Change:

  • Roll your dough in-between 2 pieces of parchment or plastic wrap sheets to make it easier and less messy
  • Gingerbread burns really easily, so make sure you have a timer set and are checking up on the llamas
  • You can add water or lemon juice to thin the icing as necessary for different designs
  • Icing dries out very quickly, so if you need to store it make sure you get it to an airtight container ASAP

eggnog snickerdoodles

Happy New Year! 2020 was a rollercoaster for all of us, so I hope everyone enjoys their fresh start. If your New Years resolution is to bake more delicious cookies, look no further. These snickerdoodles are festive, fun, and full of flavor. I included them in my Christmas cookie bags and they were a fan favorite. The center has a nice chew, while the edges crisp up. They are relatively easy and quick to make, and a perfect way to start a sweet year with some spice, especially with a mug of hot chocolate or large glass of almond milk eggnog (obviously).

  • 2 1/2 c flour
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 16 tbsp softened vegan butter/ coconut oil
  • 1 1/3 c sugar
  • 2 tbsp flax + 1/4 c water mixed
  • 1 1/2 tbsp rum
  • 1/2 c powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

Line 2 baking sheets and preheat oven to 400. Whisk flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Use stand mixer to beat butter and sugar until very fluffy (3-6 mins). Add flax mixture and run and beat until combined. On low speed, gradually add dry mix until just combined. Roll dough into 1 tbsp balls and generously space across baking sheets. Use greased measuring cup/glass to flatten each ball until 1/2 in thick. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes, alternating which rack the pans are on half way through. Let cool on pan for 5 minutes, then finish completely cooling on wire rack. Whisk powdered sugar and nutmeg together in a small bowl. Use a sifter to dust the tops of the cookies.

Tips/Things I Would Change:

  • I made these really thin, which I ended up really liking
  • I added edible star glitter for a festive touch, which I highly recommend (you can get on Amazon)
  • You can replace the rum for rum extract if you have it and want a stronger flavor