Recipes

Simple Vegan Shortbread Cookies

 

Who’s ready for a cheat day?

I’ve been kinda into eating healthier lately, but I had about a year there where every day was a cheat day. But don’t think that I’m upset or disappointed about that at all! I was feeling good about myself, and I was having a good time. Not to mention that it was my first year going back to school, so I was happily embracing my Freshman Fifteen. Now that my life is settling down a little bit more, I have a stable job and home, my hobbies are routine and comfortable, I feel more excited to make healthier meals at home rather than going out, and I started lifting weights a little more regularly (I’m super excited to talk more about that some day). I have been working really hard within myself to break my habits of fearing certain foods or loathing myself for eating in certain patterns. I think that’s what I’m most grateful for from my Freshman Fifteen experience: the realization that my body is simply a vessel through which I perceive the world, and it fluctuates. It ebbs and flows. It is different, and it responds differently, depending on where I am and what I am doing in my life.

By feeling comfortable with my body in all of its fluctuation and all of its ebbing and flowing, I have felt so happy to embrace the time in my life that I am working hard at the gym, and the times that I am munching hard with my friends and my family. One of the things that connects me with my friends and coworkers is my love for baking cookies, and though they are (obviously) not the healthiest, I am no longer afraid to indulge in them when I want to make a batch.

 

 

The recipe for today is a cookie recipe that I’m drooling at just by reading the ingredients, because I’m remembering how scrumptious this buttery, crumbly, flakey melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookie is. Coated in a little chocolate because chocolate, these cookies will convince anyone that you’re a regular dessert chef. Not only are they extremely simple, but they hold up very well. No premature crumbling or completely drying out your mouth. They are the vegan version or EXACTLY what a shortbread cookie should be.

I love these with a cup of almond milk, hot cocoa, and a few close friends. Don’t forget to share them if you make some!

 

 

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Simple Vegan Shortbread Cookies

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 20
Author Kassy

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups Earth Balance butter (or similar vegan butter) softened at room temp
  • 1 cup bone char-free sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2-4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Optional

  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Let butter sit out at room temperature until softened.

  2. Cream together butter and sugar until well combined, and then add vanilla extract and blend well.

  3. Pour 3 1/2 cups of the flour and the salt over the creamed mixture, and combined the flour and salt together on the top before combining the dry ingredients with the rest. Stir until everything is just combined (no need to over-mix).

  4. If the dough is a little thin, add more flour. Fold in pecans.

  5. Pull the dough out, form into a ball in your hands, and place back in the bowl. Cover bowl and refrigerate for 45-60 minutes.

  6. Pull out of the fridge and preheat oven to 350. Meanwhile, roll the dough out onto a cutting board about 1/2-inch thick.

  7. Cut into any shape you'd like (I seriously used the top ring of a mason jar lid for my circles) and place them onto an ungreased baking sheet.

  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until bottoms are a light golden brown.

  9. Cool for 30 minutes.

Optional

  1. Melt chocolate chips in a small bowl in thirty second increments in the microwave, stirring in between.

  2. Dip cooled cookies into the chocolate to coat one side, and place the cookies back onto the baking sheet until the chocolate cools.

  3. EAT UP

Smokey Vegan Cheese Dip

 

GUYS.

BIG BIG DAY.

THIS IS MY 100TH POST!

To celebrate my 100th post here, this recipe fittingly goes out to my beautiful husband Mitchy. It was inspired by a restaurant that we used to love going to up in Washington (If you’re ever in Spokane, it’s the Sanarac Pub). We discovered one day that they had some vegan options, and we went to try them out and absolutely fell in love. They have a whole series of smokey vegan cheese products, with a macaroni and cheese and *BU-NUUUUM* a bombin’ smokey cheese pretzel dip. 

I’m still working on the perfect vegan pretzel, and trust me that you’ll get the recipe as soon as I have it. For now, you’ll have to settle for this delicious cheese dip with some store bought pretzels or anything else that you can dip in it. We used some bread bites for most of ours. I know that I’m going to need to make some more of this dip again soon because it was un-freakin-believable, and we finished it, along with all of our bread bites, in the same day that I made it. It turned out so well, and I love how every bite reminds of those fun nights that Mitch and I would go to the pub for dinner and binge on pretzels and smokey vegan cheese.

 

 

Like a lot of my other recipes, you really can modify this dip to be exactly how you like it: a little smokier? Add more liquid smoke. A little thicker? Add more flour. A little saltier? Come on, dude. Add salt. I hope you already know that trick.

Other than those modifications, you’ll really just need to blend a few ingredients together and then heat them up on the stove and BAM the yummiest vegan cheese dip you’ve ever tasted. Dare I say it? It might be better than the kind we always had at Sanarac.

It might even be better than your mama’s classic family recipe dairy cheese dip. There’s only one way to find out.

 

 

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Smokey Vegan Cheese Dip

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cashews soaked overnight
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1-2 tsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt to taste
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2-1 tsp liquid smoke to taste
  • 1 sprinkle ground chili pepper

Instructions

  1. Soak raw cashews overnight. (For quick softening, you can also simply bring them to boil, pull them off of the stove, and let them simmer and soak for one hour)

  2. Add the cashews into your blender with the hot water, nutritional yeast, garlic, flour, vinegar, salt, pepper, and liquid smoke, and blend until very smooth.

  3. Taste test and add more salt, pepper, or liquid smoke until your desired flavor is reached.

  4. Pour smooth cheesy sauce (it should still be pretty thin) into a medium pot and stir frequently on medium heat until mixture is thick, gooey, and hot.

  5. Serve immediately with bread bites, soft pretzels, or your favorite crackers!

  6. Store leftovers in fridge for no more than 3-4 days. To reheat, simply pour it back into a pot on medium heat until the sauce is hot again.

Yogurt Fruit Dip

Alright, you’ve had your savory yogurt recipe. Now it’s time for a deliciously sweet yogurt dip to knock your socks off. As we wrap up this wonderful summer, I wanted to throw out at least one more fruity recipe for you to enjoy before all of our fruits go out of season for a while. Here I present to you a flavorful, creamy yogurt and cream cheese dip. This recipe tastes way more complicated than it really is, and party guests would never think that you could whip it up in just a few minutes!

Okay, enough of the food blogger voice. Let me just tell you about this dip. It’s dope. You only need four ingredients, and they’re all things that you can usually find in the grocery store, like the vegan cream cheese and the coconut yogurt alternative.

 

 

Once you have the cream cheese and the yogurt, you just add a little cinnamon and some sweetener of your choice. I had agave on hand so that was what I used, but maple syrup or fine cane sugar would be great as well! I love these kinds of recipes because they help me to increase my fruit intake when I’m not feeling like eating just plain fruit. I don’t mean to tempt you or anything, but the dip also goes unbelievably well in a cookie sandwich. Combine it with some salted dark chocolate chip cookies, and it’s freakin’ vegan heaven.

 

 

If you do try out this super simple combo with your next fruit platter (or cookie sandwich), please let me know what you think!

Love and peace and happiness to you 🙂

 

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Vegan Yogurt Fruit Dip

Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 container Tofutti cream cheese or similar brand
  • 1 container vanilla vegan yogurt 5-ish oz.
  • 3 tbsp agave nectar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Scoop the cream cheese into a bowl and stir it until creamy and chunks are smooth. Use a mixer to make it smoother.

  2. Add in the yogurt, agave, and cinnamon, and stir until well combined and creamy.

  3. Serve with your favorite fruits, nuts, seeds, or even cookies!

Vegan Tzatziki (Greek Yogurt Dip)

You folks ready for some rad Mediterranean dishes? Because I love Mediterranean and Greek food so much that I actually work at a Mediterranean restaurant as my day job while I’m going to college. I have hummus and falafel every damn day at work. And I still crave it. I’m craving it right now. So if you’re here with me, you better get ready to love it too.

If you already love Greek food but you aren’t vegan, you probably know tzatziki sauce pretty well. If not, it’s time to play catch-up: tzatziki (supposed to be pronounced zot-zeek-ee but is pretty widely pronounced ta-zeek-ee instead, so I just fit in by sticking to the latter) is a Greek yogurt dip made with cucumber and dill. Working at a Mediterranean restaurant, it’s one of our most commonly ordered dips, but I had been vegan for years before beginning work there, so I have never actually tried our house tzatziki. Honestly, I’ve almost completely forgotten how dairy yogurt tastes, so sometimes I will smell our yogurt dips to try to remember, and for an instance I will, but the next instance I’ll have forgotten again. Obviously things go by in my life constantly that I will never try because of their use of animal products, but tzatziki has had me curious for a long time because it seems like something I might actually enjoy in my pitas or on my salads!

So, to align with my unending quest to veganize the world, I decided to jump right in to making a vegan yogurt dip, hoping that I would finally satisfy my curiosity.

 

 

An important step in making this yogurt dip is getting a good yogurt. I still haven’t found a brand that sells vegan greek yogurt, but I imagine that the thicker, more sour yogurt would be great for this recipe. If you ever find one or make one on your own, let me know what you think. Maybe I’ll just have to make one on my own as well! Instead of any greek style yogurts, I used So Delicious‘ plain coconut yogurt, but I think that coconut’s natural sweetness made it a little sweeter than other yogurt alternatives might. For this recipe, I used two of the small containers of plain coconut yogurt (about 11 oz.) so If you want to make a little more by using the bigger container (24 oz.) for your next poppin’ vegan Mediterranean party (we all know and love those), just double the rest of the ingredients!

 

 

Once you have your yogurt down, you’ll just need to add your cucumber, dill, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, and your dip will be complete! It really is a great, refreshing dip to have with pita chips or in a classic Greek meal with rice and shredded greens. PLEASE do let me know if you try it out! I’d love to hear that I’m contributing to the vegan movement and not just making food and taking pictures of it just to sit in my room alone and write to myself 😀

 

5 from 1 vote
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Vegan Tzatziki Dip

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 2 containers vegan yogurt 5ish oz. each
  • 1/4 cucumber shredded
  • 1/2 squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill minced
  • 1 tsp salt to taste
  • 3/4-1 tsp pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Shred your cucumber, mince the garlic and the dill, and juice your lemon.

  2. Add all ingredients together in a small mixing bowl until combined. Serve cold with pita bread, pita chips, or in a wrap or salad.

 

 

If you like this recipe, check out some of my other Mediterranean creations.

Love and peace to you,

Kassy

Salted Dark Chocolate Cookies

 

 

 

Let me just make you the guarantee right now that these will be the best vegan chocolate chip cookies you will ever bake. They are crisp on the edges, but gooey in the middle. They are sweet, buttery, and salty. There is a delicious contrast between the rich, melty chocolate and the thick, chewy cookie that contains it. Best of all, as soon as you take a bite you’ll realize how beautifully they match with a cup of milk. Almond milk that is 😉

I have been making a batch every day since perfecting the recipe, bringing them in to work, and even considering sending some home to my family to show them my proud work. Regardless of if you normally bake plant based recipes, I suggest you try it just to see how absolutely spectacular these cookies are without any animal products. Here is just a short list of the compliments I’ve gotten about them so far:

“They don’t even taste like they would be vegan!”

“You made these? They are, like, professional looking”

“Hey… Where dem cookies at dough? I need more” -my boss

“You DIDN’T get these out of a box?” -Good ol’ Mitch

 

 

I think that the secret to this delicious recipe is the dark chocolate and salt combo. I initially tried it with the Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate but have also tried it with the Trader Joe’s brand, and both have been amazing. You just chop the bars up like so:

 

 

 

and roll them into the sweet, buttery dough. I’ll leave you the recipe below, and if you bake them at your next fancy party, let me know! Your people will love them fo’ sho. (IT ALL RHYMED DID YOU NOTICE AND LOVE ME?)

 

Adapted from Betty Crocker’s Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe.

5 from 1 vote
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Salted Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 3 tbsp hot water
  • 1 cup Earth Balance butter (or similar vegan butter)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar vegan
  • 2 1/4 cup bleached flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp salt for topping cookies
  • 1 dark chocolate bar, chopped into bits

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.

  2. Mix together flax meal and hot water, and let sit for 5 minutes.

  3. Mix the butter substitute and the vanilla extract into the flax mixture until smooth.

  4. Add in the brown and white sugar and cream together with the butter mixture.

  5. Pour in the flour, baking soda, and salt, and mix everything together until stiff dough forms.

  6. Fold in dark chocolate chips until evenly mixed.

  7. Roll 2 tbsp of dough into circles in your hand and place them 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet (you can safely fit about 8 of these large cookies on a cookie sheet).

  8. Bake for 9-10 minutes, until golden on top and bottoms are golden brown.

  9. Pull cookies out and let them cool for 5-10 minutes.

  10. Nom!