HAPPY 2015!!!! Two months late…

I can’t deny that I have been neglecting my blog in 2015. Here’s what has been going on:

– In December, I got a new, full-time job. Which is great! As much as I loved dropping everything and moving to Australia, it took a serious toll on my finances. So did the two moves in less than 12 months and the tempting I did August-December. So yeah to paychecks again!!! Unfortunately, with a new job comes a new schedule and an adjustment period. I have been working lots of hours to try and get up to speed with my co-workers and to earn my keep. There has been more than one night where I’ve come home at 8, had a cup of tea and a bowl of popcorn for dinner, and passed out at 9:30. As you can imagine, that not only makes me incredibly boring but it doesn’t leave a ton of time for new recipes. Unless you want a recipe for making peppermint tea and stove top popcorn. Cause I am ALL over that!

– In January, I started the Tone It Up plan, which I am loving! You can follow the link to read more about it if you are interested. Since I was making next to nothing Aug-Dec and still having to pay rent and bills, I was eating really, really poorly. I was eating a lot of free food that was available at my temp job which means I wasn’t hesitating to have pizza for lunch two days in a row. Hey! I mean, take the cheese off and that’s a free meal right there! So, once I got hired full-time in December and started receiving real, grown-up paychecks again, I decided to crack down and start eating better. The problem with this is, though I make all my own food for the Tone It Up plan, about 90% of it is from their nutrition plan, which is all under copy right. Not super helpful for a food blogger!

Despite these set backs, now that I am a bit more settled into the new job and the new plan, I am able to work out some wiggle room for recipes for the blog. I am hoping to start posting again in the next week or so. The recipes may be a little slower coming as I get settled into my job and they may be a bit more healthy but they are on their way.

Until then, here is a Valentine’s Day Round-Up for you. I’ve added to last years since I made some super fun things while in Aussie.



“Be Mine” Fruit Smoothie

Chocolate Pancakes for One (can easily be multiplied)

Heart-shaped Red Velvet Nutella Breakfast Rolls

Strawberry-glazed Donuts



Peanutty Noodles

Pumpkin Burger with Beer Fries

Spicy Black Bean Quinoa Soup

Tofu Mango Summer Rolls (as Boston is currently buried under a million feet of snow, give or take, I couldn’t resist adding these as a nice alternative to soups and stews. They are also a fun “Make Your Own” if you and your significant other like different things)



The Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes (You could fill these with Strawberry Chia Jam for something a little different)

Coconut Passion Fruit Cupcakes with Coconut Milk Buttercream Frosting

Dark Chocolate Truffles

Healthy-ish Peanut Butter Truffles

Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats

Red Velvet Beet Cupcakes

I want to eat ALL of these desserts. Instead, I am currently eating grapefruit. If you want to see more of what I am eating which is all vegan and Tone It Up approved,  you can check out my instagram account, tiu_wickedvegan. Part of the plan is you check in regularly so be prepared for A LOT of food pics. You’ve been warned.


One of the most tempting, non-vegan treats during the holidays for me is a Starbucks Peppermint Mocha and their peppermint cake pops. It’s just so comforting when it’s cold out and you’re having a stressful day. I have managed to figure out how to make a vegan Peppermint Mocha (Soy Latte with peppermint syrup and then add chocolate powder at the milk bar) but the cake pop was the kicker. It was just such a perfect little bite of sweetness but with the white chocolate, it definitely wasn’t vegan. So I decided, I can totally make these myself! They were one of the first things on my cookies list. I mean, I know that they aren’t technically a cookie but they are bite size and they are portable so they sort of fit into the category right? Right. Erin logic at work right there.


Chocolate Mint Condensed Milk
from Veganbaking.net

Combine the “milk” and the sugar in a slow cooker. Set for high and cook for 7 hours, leaving uncovered the whole time. You should have 1 cup of condensed milk when you are done. Transfer to a bowl to allow to cool. Once cool, whisked in the vanilla extract.

If it cooks down too much, you can add water and food process it until you have 1 cup.

*this can also be done on the stove top. Go to veganbaking.net for the full instructions on that.

**If you can’t find this milk, you could heat 2 3/4 cups of almond milk with some cocoa on the stove like you were making hot chocolate. Once well combined, add to the slow cooker and proceed as instructed above, replacing the vanilla extract with peppermint. I didn’t try this but it would be worth a try. I think you would get similar results.

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes
from Brown Eyed Baker 

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 avocado, pitted and peeled
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • ¾ cup almond milk (you can use the So Delicious Chocolate Mint milk here too but it doesn’t really make a difference in the taste)
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in bowl. Purée avocado in food processor until smooth. Add maple syrup, almond milk, oil, and vanilla, and blend until creamy. Whisk avocado mixture into flour mixture.

Spoon batter into prepared cupcake cups. Bake 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out with some crumbs attached. Cool.

Chocolate Peppermint Cake Pops
adapted from my almond joy cake balls
made about 15 large cake pops. I suggest making them a little smaller

  • 1 batch of the above vegan chocolate cupcakes (or your favorite chocolate cake recipe)
  • 1/8 cup condensed chocolate mint condensed milk
  • 1/3-1/2 cup So Delicious Chocolate Mint Coconut Milk
  • about 1 bags of vegan chocolate chips
  • 1/2-1 tsp of peppermint extract
  • 1 tsp shortening (this thins out and keeps your chocolate smooth. If you can’t find a vegan shortening that you like, I know Earth Balance has one, this is not necessary. Your chocolate will just be thicker)
  • sticks for your pops (I used striped straws and cut them in half)
  • candy canes crushed up

Crumble the cooled chocolate cupcakes into a large bowl. Add 1/3 cup milk and the 1/8 cup condensed milk to the bowl. With your hands, mix the ingredients in the bowl together until they are well combined. You want the mixture to be moist and easily stick together. If it is too dry, add the remaining Chocolate Mint coconut milk a little at a time until you are satisfied with the consistency. How much milk you will need will depend on how moist your cake is. Once the cake and milk have been combine to your satisfaction, roll into balls and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill for 1 hour. (if you are using straws, insert them into the cake pops before chilling. It’s more difficult after since they are hollow.)

Melt the chocolate, the shortening and the extract in a double boiler on the stove. Dip one end of the pop sticks into chocolate and inset into your chilled cake pops. Roll the chilled cake balls in melted chocolate and place back on the parchment paper. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Return to the fridge until read to serve.


These are so cute!! They would be adorable with little cake pop bags and festive ribbons if you are giving them away. I made mine way too big so definitely aim to make them on the smaller side. With the chocolate cake, chocolate condensed milk and chocolate coating, they end of being quite rich so smaller will be better. You can also decorate these with sprinkles, if you prefer, and leave off the sticks if you just want truffles. These are so versatile in decorating and customizing. And guess what? They would totally go with your vegan peppermint mocha!!


I don’t like pie.  I’m not a pie kinda gal. When given the option, I will pretty much choose any dessert except pie. The only pie that I’ve even attempted to make is a chocolate silk pie and that’s sort of cheating since it’s a pre-made graham cracker crust and chocolate pudding.

BUT, when you make a pie into a cookie, I’m totally on board! My mom made these cookies last year and pretty much hasn’t stopped talking about them. I knew they had to make the cut when I was making my list for my cookie-a-thon.


Pecan Pie Cookies
makes 24; I’m no sure where this recipe came from as it was emailed to me. If you know the source, please feel free to send it to me.


  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup Earth Balance vegan butter
  • 1 Ener-G egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder


  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup canned coconut milk (not lite)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


Heat oven to 350°F. Combine all cookie ingredients except flour and baking powder in large bowl. Beat at medium speed until creamy. Reduce speed to low; add flour and baking powder. Beat until well mixed.

Shape dough into balls. Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Make indentation in each cookie with thumb; rotate thumb to hollow out slightly.

Combine all filling ingredients in small bowl; fill each cookie with 1 rounded teaspoon filling. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets.


These cookies are SO good. With all the brown sugar that is packed into these babies, they are definitely sweet but the filling is so yummy! And they are just the perfect combo of two holiday favorites.

Wicked Vegan- Mocha Macaroons1

Today, I flipped my countdown calendar and there was 7 days until Christmas. 7 DAYS!! I panicked. Then I doubly panicked when two of the gifts I ordered were cancelled or suddenly backordered. What is happening with the world when people are cancelling Christmas orders a week before Christmas?!

It just really hasn’t been a good day for Christmas cheer. On the plus side, I got some excellent Christmas movie suggestions from a bunch of you.

  1. Elf
  2. It’s a Wonderful Life
  3. Muppet Christmas Carol
  4. A Wish For Wings That Work
  5. Love Actually
  6. The Holiday
  7. The Family Stone
  8. Edward Scissorhands
  9. The Vicar of Dibley episodes when she marries Richard Armitage
  10. How I Met Your Mother Christmas episodes
  11. The Night They Saved Christmas
  12. Holiday Inn

I’ve never even heard of some of these! I started with Love Actually last night but promise I will attempt to see them all before Christmas. I love the challenge of working through a list!

Wicked Vegan- Mocha Macaroons 2

Today’s cookie combines my two favorite things- Coffee and Chocolate. God knows I will need coffee in whatever form I can get it in if I’m going to get everything done before Christmas. If it happens it come with a side of chocolate, even better!!

Mocha Macaroons
from Chocolate Covered Katie

  • 1 tbsp flour of choice (or protein powder)
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp instant coffee powder (wv note: I didn’t have instant coffee so I used regular coffee ground really, really fine and it was fine)
  • 1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp milk of choice
  • 4 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • just over 1/16 tsp salt
  • melted chocolate chips

Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips in a tall dish. If using a microwave, heat two minutes. Stir, then microwave one more minute or until firm enough to scoop out into ball shapes. (Or cook on the stovetop until it’s firm enough to scoop out.) Scoop into balls on a cookie tray—I used a cookie scoop. Cook at 360 F for 14-16 minutes. Let cool before removing from tray.

Line a plate with wax paper. Dip each cookie in melted chocolate, place on the wax paper, and let set (you can refrigerate or freeze them if you need them to set faster)  Makes 12-22 cookies, depending on the size cookie scoop you use.

Wicked Vegan- Mocha Macaroons 4

I’m a fan of these. I love coconut macaroons, I love chocolate/coffee and I love how easy they come together. Just dump everything in a bowl and bake. If you are looking for something more festive for a holiday party, you could add seasonal sprinkles before the chocolate dries. As I am normally not a Christmas girl, I have amount a million halloween sprinkles and zero Christmas ones. But definitely go crazy with the Christmas cheer!

Wicked Vegan- Mocha Macaroons 3

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some serious Christmas movie watching to do!

wickedvegan-blueberry lemon thumbprint 6

Yesterday there was no Day 4 of 12 Days of (vegan) Christmas cookies and here’s why- Procrastination failed me for the first time ever.

See, as I’ve mentioned before on this blog, Procrastination and I go way back, like Middle School days. I had to write a paper for DARE, waited until the night before and won an award. It was all down hill after that. Making an entire Civil War scrapbook for high school, complete with tea stained pages? Done the night before. Got an A++ (yeah, I was that girl). Final papers in college that were an obscene amount of my grade? Done the night before, hopped up on instant vanilla cappuccinos for the machine. Still got A’s and B’s.

All of these instances turned out great. So when I went to photograph pictures for the carrot cake cookies at the last moment because I didn’t get a chance to photograph them over the weekend, I totally thought I could make it work! Turns out, no natural light and a poorly lit apartment are more powerful than my relationship with procrastination. These are the pictures I got:


Gah! Bad. Is that corn in there? What is happening? Who would want to eat that?

So I have learned my lesson and will do my best not to procrastinate. And here are some lemon thumbprint cookies that look about a thousand times more edible than that cookie up there.

wickedvegan-blueberry lemon thumbprint 8

Lemon Thumbprint Cookies with Vanilla Blueberry Chia Jam
makes approximately 30 cookies

from Oh She Glows

  • 3 cups frozen blueberries
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup, or to taste
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

veganized from The Foodie Affair


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) vegan butter, like Earth Balance, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Ener-G eggs (if you are making this non-vegan, The Foodie Affair used 2 egg yolks)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest, grated
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour


For the jam:

  • Add frozen blueberries and maple syrup into a medium pot and bring to a simmer.
  • After 5 minutes or so, stir in the chia seeds.
  • Continue to cook down the mixture for about 15 minutes, or until thickened.
  • Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
  • Chill in the fridge for a couple of hours to thicken it up even more.

You can serve it as is or if you want it smoother, mash it with a potato masher or use an immersion blender. I used an immersion blender as I don’t like chunky jam. Also, this recipe makes a lot so you will have leftovers. It is great on toast, ice cream, etc.

For the cookies:

  • Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  • With a mixer, beat Earth Balance and sugar together in a large bowl until well combined. Beat in Ener-G eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt.
  • On low-speed, beat in flour just until large moist clumps form. You may need to use your hands at this point to form one large ball. (WV note: I did not have this problem which could be because I used vegan ingredients. I want to leave it in incase it does occur to your recipe or you are making this non-vegan)
  • Roll tablespoons of dough into balls. Place balls on prepared baking sheets about 1 inch apart. Make a deep indentation in center of each ball.
  • Fill the indentations with your blueberry jam.
  • Bake cookies until firm and lightly golden on bottom, about 18 to 20 minutes.

Alternatively, you can wait to fill your cookies after you bake them. Just make your indentation as noted above and bake like that for 18-20 minutes. I preferred baking the jam in the cookie because I found that it helped thicken the jam further, keeping it on the cookie; that it provided a moisture cookie; and when the cookies are baked without the jam, the indentations kind of disappear a bit. But you can make them however you prefer.

wickedvegan-blueberry lemon thumbprint 10

These cookies are definitely an ode to my mom, who loves all things lemon. When I was making my cookie list, my initial list had 12 chocolate cookies with minor variations- chocolate and peanut butter, chocolate and mint, chocolate and chocolate… I realized that I wasn’t exactly providing a wide variety of options so I spiced things up a bit and made sure I included a cookie for the non-chocolate lovers.

Now, I’m thinking of pulling an all-nighter, College style, to complete my Christmas cards for tomorrows. Leave me your suggestions on your favorite holiday movies to get me in the spirit and keep me going through those long hours of gluing.


Living with roommates is hard. Like, really hard. Sometimes, they fill the sink with dirty dishes and take forever to clean them. Sometimes, they don’t do their portion of the chores and the bathroom ends up going weeks without being cleaned. Seriously, three girls with longish hair and one tiny bathroom? I assure you, it gets nasty. Sometimes, they don’t replace commonly use items as quickly as you’d like and you just need olive oil, damnit!! How am I suppose to make popcorn without olive oil!!
Yeap. Living with roommates can be hard.
Know what can help? Taking deep breaths and reminding yourself that you being the only person in the house putting the toilet on the roll is not the end of the world. You gotta pick your battles, you know?
And if things are still tense in the house? Make cookies. No seriously, make cookies and then share them with your roomies when they’re still warm. Because who can seriously be mad while they are eating soft cookies with gooey chocolate?
Just, you know, make sure you clean up your dishes after you’re done baking.
The Fluffiest, Softest Chocolate Chip Cookies 
veganized from Apple A Day
makes approximately 20 with a standard cookie scoop
3/4 c. unsalted vegan butter, such as Earth Balance
3/4 c. brown sugar 
1/4 c. granulated sugar 
1 Ener-G egg 
2 tsp. vanilla extract 
2 c. all purpose flour 
2 tsp. cornstarch 
1 tsp. baking soda 
1/2 tsp. salt 
1 c. vegan chocolate, I used Enjoy Life Chocolate Chunks (see my original post on alternatives and where to find vegan chocolate)
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars until fluffy and light in color. Add Ener-G egg and vanilla and blend in.
3.  Mix in flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Stir in chocolate chunks.
4.  Using a standard-sized cookie scoop or tablespoon, drop dough onto a prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges.  (do NOT cook longer then 10 minutes. The tops won’t brown and they may look slightly undercooked but that’s ok. They will continue to cook on the pan.)
5.  Let cool, on the sheet, on a wire rack for five minutes.  Remove from baking sheet and let cool completely.
I can not express how much I love these cookies. They are hands down one of the best chocolate chip cookies to come out of my kitchen, second only to the mint chocolate chip cookies my mom and I make. The chocolate chunks are really a must. They elevate the cookie from a 10 to an 11. In fact, when faced with making a bunch of new cookies for the coming week, I really just wanted to make these again. And then hoard them all. And not share any.
Seriously, go make these cookies and report back to me so we can gush about how good they are.

Wicked Vegan- Healthy Cookie Dough Bites

Ah, Christmas. The season of cakes, cookies, candies and booze. Dinner parties, luncheons, cookies swaps and way less gym time then you would probably like. There is just so much food everywhere. Clearly, as I am celebrating 12 straight days of cookies, I am not opposed to any of this but it is nice to have a healthier options every now and then. And that is something that I really wanted to keep in mind during this cookie marathon- that not everyone wants sugar-loaded treats. Sometimes, it’s nice to have a little break from the sugar coma.  Which is why for Day 2 of 12 Days of Christmas Cookies, I’m sharing with you healthy cookie dough bites!


Healthy Cookie Dough Bites
from LaurenConrad.com
Makes 12


  • 2/3 cup raw cashews
  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 2 Tbsp agave syrup
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup mini chocolate chips or sweet cacoa nibs


  1. Combine oats and cashews in a food processor and grind into a flour-like consistency.
  2. Add agave, maple syrup, and vanilla, and blend again until smooth.
  3. Transfer your dough into a mixing bowl and stir in chocolate chips by hand.
  4. Chill for around an hour.
  5. Roll the dough into approximately 12 chocolate truffle-sized balls. Enjoy immediately or store in the fridge/freezer for later.


I really like these cookie dough bites for a treat at home. At work and friends, you are inundated  with sugary treats. When you are home and have down time, it’s nice to have a healthier options, especially since these are best cold. I keep mine in the freezer and tend to reach for them in the evening after dinner.

You can definitely gift them but they tend to get sticky and soft at room temperature so keep that in mind when thinking of presentation. I tried to photograph them at room temperature in a mason jar and they sort of just slowly mushed together. Maybe try a tin and put them in a single layer in mini cupcake liners like a box of chocolate? That would be super cute and a great alternative to cookies for people that are allergic to gluten (just use gf oats), dairy or are just looking for a healthier treat.

Plus, they’re no bake so perfect for people who are allergic to their oven.

Tomorrow, we’ll be back to the sugar, though, so don’t worry if this healthy detour is scaring you. I have plenty of chocolate and peppermint and sugar in store for you.


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