Cracker Snacker Part II

Vegan Cheesy Crackers

My favorite savory cracker recipe was created by my good friend and fellow blogger, Celine. She has a knack for developing delicious and unique recipes, all beautifully photographed. When I am craving savory crackers, I often turn to her Cheezy Quackers recipe for satiation. They are incredibly addictive and it’s easy to eat an entire batch because they are so tiny.

The crackers pictured above are adapted from The Vegan Lunch Box blog. I substituted whole grain flours, increased the nutritional yeast, added garlic powder, and topped them with poppy seeds. Otherwise I followed the recipe as posted. They definitely remind me Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Crackers, but obviously way better for you (and homemade!). They take some time but the results are worth it. I think they need a bit more seasoning so I may adjust my next batch.

If you are craving savory crackers you should give the above recipes a try!

Cracker Snacker

Graham Crackers from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar

Crackers. I have a troubling obsession with crackers. It doesn’t matter if they are square or round. It doesn’t matter if they are savory or sweet. What matters is that they are in my possession, whether that be in my pockets or in a box. I love crackers.

When I woke up this morning I decided it would be fun to make some graham crackers. My plans were halted by a lack of ingredients. So Tim and I waited patiently until the steady downpour of rain stopped and hopped on our bikes for a ride to the co-op. A few minutes later we found ourselves riding into solid sheets of rain mixed with nasty gusts of wind. I like to think I’m a tough cookie, but I was clenching my handlebars so tightly that my fingers went numb. We arrived at the co-op and dripped puddles with every step. We rode back home in the rain with ingredients for crackers. I spent the rest of the day in my jammies making graham crackers and cheesy crackers.

Now I am full of crackers and quite content. Foul weather can’t keep me from crackers.

The Story Behind My Favorite Muffin

A peek into my past: When Tim and I moved to Portland nine years ago we didn’t have jobs waiting for us and we didn’t have a place to live already chosen. We arrived in Portland completely free of commitments to adulthood. It was challenging, exciting, and incredibly enjoyable. Our first week was spent in a motel with a small kitchenette. We were not vegan at the time and our cooking skills were average at best.

When we finally found an apartment, I was elated that the kitchen was spacious with big windows lining two of the walls. It was a great apartment (aside from the monstrous black spiders that found pleasure by residing in the bathroom). We took advantage of our large cooking area and created and feasted on some delicious meals. We honed our cooking and baking skills. Meanwhile, I was working at a local kitchen/housewares store just down the street. Our kitchen slowly filled with all sorts of fun appliances.

And then, I discovered a recipe by Marcy Goldman (check out this amazing baking book she wrote – it is filled with incredible recipes, many which can be veganized!) that knocked my socks off – Original Buttermilk Lawsuit Muffins. I was making batches and batches of these muffins for co-workers and also for Tim and I to enjoy at home. They were (are) insanely addictive.

Back to the present: I mentioned to Tim yesterday afternoon that I wanted to make some muffins. He immediately requested “those buttermilk muffins” and I couldn’t resist. The recipe was easy to veganize and since I’ve made a few changes, I am sharing the recipe here so you too, can enjoy yummy muffins!

Banana Pecan Muffins (adapted from betterbaking.com)

Yield: 1 dozen muffins

Streusel Topping:

1 Tablespoon nondairy butter, chilled
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch nutmeg

Muffin Batter:

1 cup unsweetened nondairy milk (I used almond milk)
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup coconut oil
2/3 cup light brown sugar (use 1/2 cup if you prefer a less sweet muffin)
1/4 cup pureed silken tofu
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
zest from one large lemon
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 medium bananas, diced

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a muffin tin with paper liners (or lightly grease).
2. Using your fingers, mix together the streusel ingredients in a small bowl until crumbly. Set aside.
3. Add milk and vinegar to a glass measuring cup, stir briefly, and set aside to curdle.
4. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, pureed tofu, vanilla extract, and lemon zest. Add the curdled milk and stir well.
5. In a separate bowl, stir together flours, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and stir until no flour is visible. Fold in diced bananas.
6. Using a large spoon or cookie scoop, fill muffin liners to the top. Sprinkle streusel mixture evenly over muffin batter. Press gently to prevent streusel from falling off.
7. Bake muffins for 25-30 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. Muffins should be golden and spring back when gently pressed. Allow muffins to cool briefly in tin before removing and placing on a cooling rack.

Enjoy!

Stuffing Cookies

Today I spent a majority of my time in the kitchen baking cookies (and bread). My birthday cupcakes haven’t disappeared and neither has the delicious vegan fudge spread Tim’s mom sent me. It seems as though a sugar palace exists in my apartment! I am not fretting too much though because Tim loves treats and can eat them before I overindulge. The cookies I baked today are a test recipe for Kittee’s forthcoming vegan and gluten-free cookzine. She is a gluten-deleting wonder!

The recipe is for Marshmallow Stuffed Cookies. They have three simple steps: bake the cookies, add the marshmallows (Dandies, in this case), and coat in a chocolaty glaze (therefore encasing the marshmallows). Here are the cookies before being glazed:

They look like cookie faces, don’t they?

And after:

In my clumsiness, I managed to sweep my fingers through the glazed tops of at least half the cookies. I need a vegan robot buddy to help me transport cookies from a cooling rack to a plate.

These cookies are sweet, delicious, fun to make, and even more fun to eat. If you don’t tell people there is a marshmallow surprise hiding under the glaze, they will be delighted when they bite into their cookie(s)!

Birthday Cupcakes

My attempt to reduce my sugar intake isn’t going as well as planned:

Purple Cow Cupcakes (grape cupcakes with vanilla bean frosting)

Today was my 34th birthday. I am not one to have big celebrations. In fact, I am quite the opposite. Tim and I enjoyed a long bike ride under sunny skies and lunch at our favorite vegan cafe. We visited with our good friend, Kittee. We played Bananagrams. And we made Purple Cow Cupcakes. Tim baked the cupcakes (prettiest cupcakes I’ve seen in a long time!) and I took care of the frosting. I wanted a birthday treat that was different and these cupcakes happily filled my wishes. The recipe is in The Vegan Girl’s Guide to Life, courtesy of Hannah Kaminsky.

My day is slowly coming to a close and I hardly feel any older. I mean, I got tater tots, a wind-up toy snail, maple syrup, bubble gum lip balm, and hair holders for my birthday. Seriously, I will always be a kid at heart :)