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There was no post yesterday courtesy of Holiday festivities which I’m sure everyone can relate to. There are never enough hours in the day during the holiday season!

So, let’s talk Tangerine Butter Cookies. When compiling the list of cookies I was planning on making, I had to make a conscious effort not to make all chocolate cookies. Especially chocolate peppermint. I think at one point I had 4 chocolate peppermint cookies on my list. Not exactly an exciting selection. So here is my attempt to diversify!

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Tangerine Butter Cookies

Veganized from Better Homes and Garden

makes about 5 dozen cookies; potential 30 minutes of chilling required depending on dough.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup vegan butter such as Earth Balance, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Ener-G eggs
  • 2 tsp finely shredded tangerine peel or orange peel
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp orange extract
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal (white was suggested but I had yellow on hand and the cookies turned out fine)
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Directions

In a very large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the 1 1/2 cups sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Beat until light and fluffy, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs, tangerine peel, vanilla, and orange extract until combined. Gradually beat in oil until smooth. Beat in cornmeal. Beat in flour. If the dough becomes too thick for your mixer, stir remaining flour in by hand (I did not have this problem). If necessary, cover and chill for 30 to 60 minutes or until dough is easy to handle. (Again, I did not have to do this).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the 1/2 cup sugar in a small bowl. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll balls in sugar to coat. Place balls 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Using a wooden skewer or toothpick, press an “X” into each ball of dough. I did mine lightly since I would be redoing the “X” when the cookies were removed from the oven.
Bake in the preheated oven for 9 to 11 minutes or until tops are set. This will result in a cookie with a crunchy outside and a chewy inside. If you prefer an entirely crunchy cookie, cook until just starting to turn light brown. While warm, lightly press again with wooden skewer to make deeper “X” indentations. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool.

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This seemed like a good cookie for those non-chocolate folks out there. You see a lot of lemon cookies so I liked how these were a little unusual. If you brought them to a holiday party, I think they would stand out amongst the gingerbread and chocolate peppermint cookies.

 

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I’m going to be honest with you- I was a little on the fence about these cookies. I made them after a batch of Chocolate Peppermint Cookies, which were AH-Mazing (recipe coming soon) and hard to top. I put them toward the back of my mind debating what I should do with them. “Then why did you put them as your very first cookie”, you may be wondering? Because I did not give them a fair shake! My brain was clouded with thoughts of chocolate when I first tasted them. It’s would be like comparing a chocolate fudge cake with blueberry pie. Two different desserts but both equally good when your in the mood for them, you know?

When I revisited these cookies, I became obsessed! The maple frosting is the best part, hands down. Trust me when I say, don’t skimp on the frosting!! I originally made a half batch of the frosting because I feel like there is always extra you don’t know what to do with but that was a huge mistake. I ended up having to leave a few unfrosted and it was a borderline travesty.

Plus, these got thumb-up from more then a few non-vegans. My roommates raved about them. I guarantee no one will know they are vegan at your next Christmas party and you will be guaranteed at least one vegan dessert. Just make sure you put some aside for yourself because they will go fast!
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Cinnamon Sugar Cookies with Maple Frosting
veganized from Minimalist Baker
makes roughly 36 cookies; Requires 30 minutes of chilling time in the fridge

COOKIES

  • 1/2 cup vegan butter (such as Earth Balance), slightly softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Ener-G egg*
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (I used Unsweetened Original Almond Milk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

FROSTING

  • 1/2 cup vegan butter (such as Earth Balance), softened
  • 1 lb. powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tsp maple extract (I found mine at Target)
  • 2-4 Tbsp almond milk, or to desired consistency

*For those of you new to vegan baking, you can find Ener-G egg here or I have found it at Whole Foods and Stop and Shop. It’s becoming pretty common. Don’t be put off by the price. It will last you forever! I bake a lot and have had mine for over a year.

** For non-vegans, you can substitute real milk, butter and eggs for the vegan version at a 1:1 ratio across the board.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Cream sugar and vegan butter with mixer; add Ener-G egg and beat until combined.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  3.  Alternate adding dry ingredients and milk to the butter mixture while mixing. Then add vanilla and stir.
  4. Chill for 30 minutes before rolling out.
  5. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  6. Roll out on floured surface, cut into squares and bake for 10-11 minutes.
  7. To make the frosting, cream softened vegan butter with 1 cup of the powdered sugar and then slowly add in the rest.
  8. Add maple extract and almond milk, and stir. The consistency you’re looking for is thick and spreadable.
  9. Frost cookies, sprinkle with cinnamon or holiday sprinkles and enjoy!

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What are some holiday cookies that you are making this year??

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Pinwheel Cookies

Christmas Pinwheel Sugar Cookies

Oh Christmas time. If you have read my blog previously, you know that Christmas is not my favorite time of year- Christmas carols playing in every single store you visit; Really, really lame Christmas movies on TV; not being able to find parking in my preferred area of the mall; the stress of Christmas shopping. I tend to find my Christmas spirit the week of Christmas. That’s when I really start to get pumped for the holiday.

This year I started a bit early, though. I’ve had more free time on my hands then ever before and have been able to do things that I never had time for during Christmas- making my own Christmas cards and presents, having more time to shop and most importantly, more time to make holiday cookies. Oh yes. Christmas cookies are hands down my favorite part of the holidays! Last year, I tried to do Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies for you but wasn’t able to make it through because of how busy I was at work. This year, though, this year I will be completing my Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies, gosh darn it, and it’s going to be awesome!!

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Pecan Pie Cookie

To kick off the cookie baking season, here is a round up of my some of my favorite cookies to date:

Chai Spiced Cookies with Pumpkin

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

Healthy Cookie Dough Bites

Holiday Ginger cookies

Lemon Thumbprint Cookie with Vanilla Blueberry Chia Jam

Mocha Macaroons

Peanut Butter Triple Chocolate Cookies

Pecan Pie Cookie

Pinwheel Sugar Cookie

Snickerdoodle Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Tune in tomorrow for the first new cookies recipe of the season!

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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.

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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.


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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!!

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I really need to work on my Christmas tree decorating skills

I really need to work on my Christmas tree decorating skills

Happy Holidays, everyone!! Tis the season for presents and cookies and Christmas lights on all the things! oh, and, like, family and friends and stuff. But Christmas lights! and Cookies!!

Each year, I spend most of December in a Grinch-like funk over my dislike for Christmas. I usually warm to it the week of Christmas but it certainly is not a month long celebration for me. This year, though, I have found myself kind of into it. I don’t know what has come over me. All the pretty lights are making my Grinch-y little heart grow three sizes. My room currently has 2 kinds of purple lights strung around it and I love it! The only reason I don’t have more is because I’m still temping. Otherwise, I would have all the purple light. And upgraded my tiny little tree.

So, in honor of this new-found Christmas cheer, I decided to do a little celebration here on Wicked Vegan. The Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies! There’s nothing better then a well-made cookie and there is absolutely no reason that during the holidays, vegans can’t share in this tradition. So, starting tomorrow afternoon, I will be doing 12 straight days of vegan cookies. I am SO excited!!  I have fun seasonal ones in store, some healthy varieties for those who don’t want to go into a sugar coma, some no-bake options, quick varieties you can whip up in no time and some that are a little more intensive but well worth the effort. So come back tomorrow to see the first recipe I have to share.

Until then, here is a round-up of all the cookies from Wicked Vegan that would be great for upcoming holiday parties:

xmas cookies

Chai Spiced Cookies with pumpkin (the pumpkin is subtle. I think you can get away with it for a holiday treat)

Chewy Ginger cookies (hands down the best ginger cookies I have ever tasted. These are one of my top 5 favorite cookies)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Peanut Butter Cups

Cookie Dough Truffles

Dark Chocolate Truffles

Double Dark Chocolate Craisin Cookie (with pecans)

Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie (the one I most frequently make in my house)

Fruit and Chocolate Dessert Pizza on a Snickerdoodle Cookie Crust (it has fruit. Clearly, it’s healthy)

Peanut Butter Triple Chocolate Cookies (sprinkle some holiday sprinkles on these after you dunk them in chocolate and they will be adorable!)

S’mores Truffles

Snickerdoodles 

Strawberry Macaroons

Whole Wheat Cherry Pecan Cookies

Yoga Cookies, for a healthier option

Stay tuned for more delicious treats! And if you have any suggestions on what you would like to see in the next twelve days, leave a comment below and I will do my best to make it. Happy Friday!!

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Travel Tuesday- Fraser Island

So in my last Travel Tuesday, waaaay back in April, I was at the Sunshine Coast with the kids. It’s a tie between whether we spent more time at the beach or singing “Do You Want to Build a Snow Man?” A little ironic, I know.

Anyway, after the week was up, my boss took the kids back to Toowoomba and I went to do a little more traveling. I booked a trip with Sunset Safari and did a two day tour of Fraser Island, which was SO interesting. There are no roads on the island so people just drive big cars along the stretch of beach. This is actually ok because you can’t really swim at the beach because there aren’t shark nets around the island. Also, there are wild dingoes. So, everyone huddles around the fresh water rivers that flow out of the center of the island. This clearly worked for me. I mean, finally! Everyone was agreeing with me that going into the ocean would mean getting your leg chewed off. Finally!!

On Day 2, we hiked through the rainforest and then went swimming in a mineral lake which had the clearest water I’ve ever seen. Then we headed off the island and back to our respective cities. I went back to Brisbane where I expected to head back to Toowoomba but ended up taking an additional trip. More on that in the next Travel Tuesday. For now, Fraser Island highlights!

*As usual, click for larger images*

Day 1

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Fraser Island!

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Our giant bus.

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This is the Maheno shipwreck and hands down my favorite part of the tour. You are just driving along the beach and all of a sudden, there’s a ship wreck! I really enjoyed photographing it.

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shipwreck

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shipwreck. I have a million shots of the barnacles on the ship.

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shipwreck

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shipwreck

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some colored sand rocks. Unfortunately, you can’t see it super well, but the rocks were striped with different colored reds and browns

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Climb up to Indian Head. My only complaint on the trip was the constant change between hanging on the beach and hiking up mountains. It’s a sneaker sports, jk it’s a flip flop activity, jk again back on with the sneakers. As someone who loathes sand, this was my worst nightmare. Sand in the sneakers! I didn’t realize we were hiking this mountain, though, so ended up hiking it in my $5 Old Navy flip flops. I wouldn’t recommend it.

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The view from Indian Head. We didn’t see any turtles, dolphins or whales as advertised but the hike was still worth it!

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Wild Dingo at Eli Creek. The million and one signs tell you to Do Not Feed Dingoes!! And you know, don’t leave your baby unattempted.

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Eli Creek. It’s completely fresh water and is sort of like a natural lazy refer. People swim in it and hang out around the base of it like they would a beach. The water flows right our of here into the ocean

Day 2

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Pine Valley Hike. It was very strange to be hiking through what felt like a forest and have palm trees and crystal clear water. You could definitely tell you were somewhere more tropical then New England!

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weird tree roots. You’ll see more of those later

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Lake Birrabeen

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The water and sand. It’s so clear!!

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Lake Birrabeen

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More trees with weird roots. Check out the close-up below

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yeap! Those are roots. I bet you can just imagine the nickname this tree is given!

Ok! That’s it for my Fraser Island tour. I spared you the 8 million barnacle pictures that I took and tried to focus on the highlights. Recipes to return later this week!

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Thin Mint Protein Smoothie

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Serious news is going down, people. This has nothing to do with Veganism, St. Patrick’s Day or food BUT it does have to do with some serious awesomeness, which is pretty much the corner stone of Wicked Vegan. Awesomeness with a side of food.

It has nothing to do with a new Pope because let’s be serious. Yeah, smoke signals are cool and all but the whole electing the Pope thing was way more interesting when Dan Brown told it. Where’s the exploding helicopters, the murder, the car chases? The art history lessons about Bernini which I totally nerded out about? No? None of it? Bah! Definitely not awesome.

It also has nothing to do with the fact that those backstabbing traitors known as The Patriots let my beloved Welker walk away. That is not awesome at all! In fact, where just not going to talk about it…

Nope, this is bigger. Ok. Deep breath. After YEARS of speculation…

…there is going to be a Veronica Mars movie.

I KNOW! I’m so excited!!

What? Were you expecting something else? I mean, weren’t you texting your equally excited friend for like, 2 hours counting down the Kick Starter bids to $2 million (seriously, watch the video on that site. It’s frickin’ hysterical!), stalking Kristen Bell and Rob Thomas’s twitters for the latest updates and rewatching your favorite Kristen Bell and Veronica Mars videos?

No? Oh, ok. Um, neither was I. I was totally working on this super yummy protein shake for you… Clearly.

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Chocolate Mint Protein Smoothie aka Thin Mint Smoothie
from Rabbit Food for My Bunny Teeth

1 cup frozen spinach (or 2 cups fresh)
1 cup almond milk
2 scoops vegan chocolate protein powder (I used vega protein powder which I talked about here. You can buy individual serving sizes. I found mine at Whole Foods)
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/8 tsp peppermint extract

Toppings:
1 Tbsp walnuts
1 Tbsp 70% dark chocolate chips

Combine the almond milk, spinach, protein powder, rolled oats, and peppermint extract in a high powered blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to a glass and top with walnuts and chocolate chips.

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It’s not exactly Irish but it is green. And it will taste great when you go to hot yoga at 9am on St. Patty’s day after lord-only-knows what sort of debauchery went down the night before. (yeap, that’s my plan!)

I’m really sorry this post was long and rambly. I average 1-2 post a week and this is my third with another one coming tomorrow. My life is clearly not interesting enough to fill 4 posts a week!

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