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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!

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DSC_0711 The last few weeks have been hard. Like, I’m-not-even-sure-how-I’m-awake-and-functioning-right-now hard. In an attempt to make ends meet when moving back to Boston, I took a job at a cafe, which was part-time, and worked as a temp through a temp agency. This worked out well for a while but then I landed a 9-5, M-F desk job through my temp agency. Yeah! But since it’s a temp job, I still needed to keep the cafe job. Which is how I ended up working every single day for the past 30 days- Desk job Monday through Friday, Cafe job Saturday and Sunday. Surprisingly, it’s the cafe job that has been the most exhausting. 8 hours on your feet running around, making sandwiches and coffee and being ‘on’ for the customers is a long day. This is why the recipes haven’t been pouring out. Mostly when I come home, I’m putting my energy toward seeing all my friends that I have missed over the past nine months…or I’m sleeping. Ok, it’s mostly sleeping.  Energy for dinner? Does an apple with peanut butter and chocolate chips count? How about left over chips and salsa and pumpkin beer? There’s veggies in salsa! Despite the hectic, hectic schedule I’ve been leading, I have had time to consistently make one thing: Cold brew coffee. Yes, please! It took me a little while to get used to and to work out the proportion of water to coffee I like but it’s so easy. I can prep it on Saturday night, strain it on Sunday night and have coffee all week. It’s perfect. Because clearly, I am running on nothing but caffeine at this point. DSC_0695 So here is the thing about cold brew coffee: there are a lot of different ways it can be made and everyone seems to have a different strategy. Some people suggest freshly grinding your beans but leaving them fairly course- others say to grind them super fine. Some say let your grinds sit in water at room temperature, others say in the fridge. You have to find what you like best. The below recipe is a combo of everything I read and found online and what works for me. What you have to remember though is that this is a concentrate. It doesn’t have the bitter, acidity that traditional coffee has so it may be easy to mistake the smoothness for it not being “strong”. So not the case. There was definitely a day when I didn’t cut the coffee  and boy was I  jittery at my desk! Another thing to note is cold brew coffee is naturally sweeter. American Test Kitchen suggests replacing your sugar with a pinch of sea salt to bring out that sweetness. I haven’t tried that but I can tell you that when I’m not using the below flavored sweeteners (which I use a very little of!) that I’m not adding any sweetener at all. It’s a great way to cut that morning sugar rush out. OK, Enough Talk! Here’s the coffee and flavored syrups I’m loving right now :

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Option 1 for filtering out your grinds: Fine Mess Sieve and coffee filter over a bowl

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Option 2 for filtering out your grinds: Single-serving coffee cone and filter over your storage container. My preferred option.

Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate with Pumpkin Spice Syrup or Chocolate Syrup

Coffee:

  • 1 cup of whole coffee beans, medium roast is ideal
  • 4-5 cups of water depending on your preference (American Test Kitchen recommends 1 cup of grinds:4 cups water. I like 5 just as much and it’s a little cheaper. Stretching that buck!)

Directions:

  1. Grind your coffee beans to a “fine” consistency* (To grind my coffee, I use something like this)
  2. Transfer grinds to a large bowl, french press or mason jar. I use a large 1/2 gallon mason jar
  3. Add your desired amount of water. Give it a quick stir to make sure all the grinds get mixed in. Cover.
  4. Let sit for 24 hours, preferably in the fridge.**
  5. Strain out coffee grinds. If you are using a french press, the french press does the bulk of the work for you. Depending on how fine your grinds are, though, you may still need to filter them. For everyone else, you can line a strainer with a coffee filter or you can use a single-serving drip coffee cone, which is what I use. So cheap and so effective. I’ve also done the mesh strainer/coffee filter combo over a bowl as well and both work fine. See the two photos above for these two options.
  6. Serve over ice or heat up. Either way, Enjoy!

*”espresso or turkish” consistency is how everyone describes it online but seriously? My coffee grinder is the cheapest out there and there aren’t settings. Just grind it really well. According to American Test Kitchen, the fine grinds release more flavor **You can let it sit for longer. I’ve left mine for 36-48 before in the fridge and it was totally fine. Just don’t go less then 24 hours or it will be too weak. Some will argue that letting it sit at room temperature produces better results but I like mine in the fridge because I almost always drink my coffee iced. Try both ways to see if you have a preference. DSC_0703 Chocolate Syrup from Vegan in the Freezer

  • 1 cup of water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp of vanilla

Directions:

  1. Bring the water to a boil and add the sugar.
  2. Stir until the sugar dissolves, which should be about a minute.
  3. Stir in cocoa and salt. Reduce heat so the mixture is simmering. Continue to let it simmer for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
  5. Let cool. It will thicken as it cools.

DSC_0742 Pumpkin Spice Simple Syrup from The Messy Baker

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, light or dark
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves (I used 1/4 cause I don’t love the taste of cloves)
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 TBS vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, add water and both sugars. Simmer on medium-low until the sugar dissolves, about 4 minutes
  2. Turn the head down to low and whisk in cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and pumpkin puree. Simmer for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Do not allow the mixture to come to a boil.
  3. Remove from the heat and strain through a mesh strainer lined with cheese cloth or a very thin, clean tea towel. If you are too lazy/too busy for this (um, me!), then skip this step. The spices and the pumpkin will sink to the bottom of the storage container leaving the syrup at the top to scoop out. You could also give the syrup a stir before using and include the pumpkin and spices in your coffee. I actually don’t mind it like that. I think it’s more flavorful! Just make sure you don’t forget step 4 below.
  4. Allow the syrup to cool to room-temperature before stirring in the vanilla extract. Store in a mason jar or airtight container. The syrup with last for 1 month at room temperature or 3 months in the refrigerate.

DSC_0696 So there are 3 recipes for you! Does that make up for the fact that I have been negligent for the past month? Probably not but I just gave you Pumpkin Spice Simple Syrup so that should count for something! Seriously, these recipes are so versatile! I use the chocolate syrup in hot and cold coffee (though I prefer it in hot I think), drizzled over ice cream or really, drizzled over anything! As for the Pumpkin Spice Syrup, come on! This is about 10x better then that crap you buy at Starbucks. 1. It taste better. A confession for you: I really hate Starbucks PSL. And I love Starbucks and Pumpkin. It taste so chemically to me! This stuff does not, 2. There is actual pumpkin in it! 20 bucks says the PSL does not have real pumpkin and 3. You can also use it in black tea, which is delicious, or over ice cream. Really, you can’t go wrong with either and I think you should go ahead and make these now. Also, if you could send a jar my way that would be awesome. God knows, I can’t get enough coffee lately!

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Aaand I’m back! The lack of posts around here has been shameful but I have to confess, I have been working my butt off elsewhere.

As I mentioned before, I’m participating in a work-sponsored competition called Team Lean. It’s led to some new and exciting exercise attempts. So far I have tried boxing (which is awesome if you just want to let out some pent up anger at your ex/boss/friends/whatever), hot yoga (so sore the next day!) and snowboarding (so sore the next day…and the entire week!!). All this experimenting has not only made me realize that I am quite possibly the least graceful person on the planet (I think I spent more time on my ass then on my snowboard) but has also sucked up all the free time I used to use for playing in the kitchen. But it’s paying off. My team is…well, we aren’t winning. We’re like 40 out of 100+ BUT at least we aren’t last! =)

Not only has my general kitchen time been removed but what I am making is nowhere near as exciting as Red Velvet Nutella Rolls or Cookie Dough Truffles. Lots of random fruit and protein powder getting dumped into blenders, lots of veggie salads, not so much with the desserts or sweets.

So, here is another recipe I gave out around Christmas time that I have been meaning to post but have been dragging my feet on.

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Mocha Almond Butter
from Edible Perspective
yields ~ 1 1/4 cups

  • 2 cups raw almonds
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons + 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder*
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin unrefined coconut oil, melted (may need more)
  • 1 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2-3 teaspoons coconut sugar or sucanat (optional)
  • 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat your oven to 300*F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Toss the almonds with the maple syrup and 2 teaspoons of instant espresso powder, then spread on the baking sheet.
  3. Roast for 10 minutes, turn almonds, then roast for another 10 minutes.
  4. Remove and let cool for 10-12 minutes.  You want them to still be warm but not hot.
  5. Scrape almonds from the parchment into your high powdered food processor [at least 10 cup capacity] and turn on.
  6. Let spin, scraping down the sides as needed until it starts to form a thick, doughy texture.  8-10 minutes.
  7. Add in the melted coconut oil and let spin until it is fully smooth and drippy.  Scrape the sides as needed.  The process will take 12-15 minutes in total.
  8. Add in the 1 teaspoon espresso powder, cocoa powder, and salt and let spin until smooth.
  9. Taste and add 2-3 teaspoons of coconut sugar and/or more salt if desired.
  10. Pour into a jar and let cool to room temperature before sealing.  Best kept in the fridge.

*I made several jars of this and experimented with the instant espresso. I used powdered instant coffee which I ground into a fine powder. It was ok but a little bitter. You’ll want to up the sugar. I also tried instant cappuccino, which was lingering in my cabinet from a former recipe but was not dairy-free. It got the most rave reviews, though.

notes: This fits in an 8oz jar with about 1/4 cup leftover.  You can sub another oil for coconut if needed.  You can sub another sugar for the coconut sugar if desired.

I don’t really love almond butter as a general rule but for some reason, homemade almond butter is so much better then store bought! Especially when you add coffee and chocolate.

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Like the cashew butter, you can serve this with fruit (like an apple, strawberries or banana), put it in your oatmeal (swirl in 1TBSP with your hot oatmeal and then top with toasted coconut and pecans. I bet it would be delicious!), slather it on some bread or heck, eat it off a spoon for dessert. I’m not judging!

Off to burn more calories! I’m hoping to post a new margarita recipe soon so I have to go earn that tequila =)

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Mocha Overnight Oats

I know that I just posted a recipe for hot oatmeal because it’s *this close* to fall here in Boston but I made this recipe a few weeks ago and never got a chance to post it.

This recipe is dedicated to my Dad, who is a fan of chocolate, coffee and, surprisingly, a huge fan of overnight oats.

I posted my blueberry pie overnight oats recipe back in April and my mom and dad were both pretty enthusiastic about it. Around this time, maybe about two weeks later, I was getting a really weird number of hits on here. Usually, I get the most hits on the days I post a recipe and, usually, the amount of hits is in the same ball park each time. But, a few weeks after the blueberry pie overnight oats went up, I was getting three times the amount of hits I usually get and on days I wasn’t even posting anything. It was so weird! I had no idea what was going on. Then, in early May, Gary (Hi Gary!) leaves a comment saying that my Dad is making everyone at his work try the overnight oats and then directing them to my website! I was super amused! Of all the things I make, my Dad is handing out oatmeal?? I’ve made cookie dough truffles for Pete’s sake and he chooses oatmeal to have his co-workers try?? Too funny!

So, this recipes is for my Dad and all his co-workers. Hopefully this lives up to the blueberry pie overnight oats. And if not, well, at least it’s something different to try!

Mocha Overnight Oats
veganized from The Yummy Life
serving size: 1, but easily multiplied

  • 1/3 cup uncooked old fashion rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup of non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk.)
  • 1/4 cup of non-dairy plain yogurt or an additional 1/8 cup of non-dairy milk (I’ve tried this with Soy Delicious Vanilla Soy milk and an addition 1/8 cup of almond milk and liked both ways. The yogurt just produces a creamier texture. Greek yogurt can be used for non-vegans)
  • 1 1/2 tsp chia seeds
  • 2 tsp maple syurp
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp of instant espresso or instant coffee dissolved in 1 TBSP hot water

Put all ingredients in a jar or container. Stir until well mixed. Refrigerate overnight or up to 3 days. Serve cold.

There may be a few more summery recipes around the corner, I’m thinking at least one more salad, and then the onslaught of fall recipes begins! Oh yes! Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkins, Apples, Squash…you’ve been warned!

Have a great weekend!

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As I mentioned last week, I was feeling kind of sick and in a bit of a cooking funk after my two messed up recipes. As a result, I avoided the kitchen. I was eating raw carrots, cucumbers and avocados (I told you I’m obsessed!) with hummus for lunch, heating up left overs for dinner and overall, not doing a lot of things that make for good Wicked Vegan posts.

But this weekend, oh…this weekend was different. Why? Because St. Patty’s Day is this week! Sometimes you just need a little inspiration to get you back in the kitchen and that is exactly what St. Patrick’s Day has done for me. I was a cooking fool this weekend and as a result, I have a week full of yummy Ireland inspired meals for you!

First, let’s start with homemade Bailey’s Irish Cream. What better way to start my week of Irish inspired food than by starting with an Irish drink, which you can drink straight up on the rocks or use in a myriad of recipes. When my family and I went to Ireland in 2007, I had a nightcap of Bailey’s almost every evening I was there. It’s had a special place in my heart since then.

Homemade Vegan Irish Cream Original Flavor
inspired by cupcakeproject.com (I’m sorry I’m not linking to that page but every time I try to check out this recipe, it allows me to scroll for 5 seconds and then it freezes on me. It took me several times, strategiclly scrolling in those 5 seconds, to get the non-vegan recipe for me to convert.)

1 C soy cream

14 oz sweetened condensed milk (I used vanilla almond milk)*

1 C- 1 2/3 C Irish whiskey (I used Jameson’s)**

1 t instant coffee

2 T melted vegan chocolate (the original recipe called for Hersey’s syrup but I wasn’t feeling the chemicals in Hersey’s syrup so I just melted some vegan chocolate chip with a little vegetable shortening to thin it out)

1 t vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a blender and set on high speed for 30 seconds.

Bottle in a tightly sealed container and refrigerate. Shake before using.

* I used almond milk for my condensed milk, which I had never done before. The result was a very strong almond after taste, which you can pick up in the finished Irish Cream. This isn’t bad, and the original recipe even called for 1 tsp of almond extract, but it definitely is a difference between the vegan version and the original Bailey’s. As you read this, I have soy milk condensing in my slow cooker and if you check back tomorrow, I will let you know how that comes out.

** Um, sooo…the original recipe on cupcakeproject.com recommended 1 2/3 C of whiskey but, um, well… I’m a huge lightweight. There! I said it! I’m part irish and I’m a lightweight. *sigh* it’s not something I’m proud of people. But, because of this, I only put 1 C of whiskey into my irish cream, and not the full 1 2/3 C. You can use your own discretion when adding the booze. Also, in case you were curious, Jameson is vegan friendly. That website is great for any alcohol/vegan questions you may have.

Now, seeing as I have been DYING to make this recipe for about 2 months, when I finally had a chance, I couldn’t resist making 2 batches. I became obsessed with Chocolate Mint Bailey’s in December when my friend, Melinda, bought me a bottle as a Thank You gift. I think I had a glass every evening, which was the perfect way to end some seriously stressful work days. I knew that I had to attempt the Chocolate Mint version, as well as the original.

 Homemade Vegan Chocolate Peppermint Irish Cream 

inspired by cupcakeproject.com 

1 C soy cream

14 oz sweetened condensed chocolate milk (I used half chocolate almond milk and half dark chocolate almond milk)

1 C- 1 2/3 C Irish whiskey (I used Jameson’s)

1 t instant coffee

3 T melted vegan chocolate (the original recipe called for Hersey’s syrup but I wasn’t feeling the chemicals in Hersey’s syrup so I just melted some vegan chocolate chip with a little vegetable shortening to thin it out)

1 t peppermint extrant

Combine all ingredients in a blender and set on high speed for 30 seconds. The notes above regarding the almond milk and whiskey, obviously apply here too

Aww, perfect way to start off our week long celebration of Ireland. Cheers!

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