Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout Review
What is that saying that bros say again? ”Go big or go home” or something along that line. Well, I’m no bro and I’m already at home but for my first official beer review I decided to go big, and I mean really big. As you all know, Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday season and although many craft breweries have already been releasing a myriad of seasonal fall beers from the Fresh Hop IPAs and harvest ales to the Pumpkin beers and Oktoberfests (which I’m not the biggest fan of), the day after Thanksgiving is known nationally as Black Friday and the start of the Christmas season. Ironically enough, this is the same day that Goose Island decides to release their latest updates of their Bourbon County Brand Stout and all of it’s cousins. Unfortunately, I did not get tickets to any of the tasting sessions but after I got off work on Friday I decided to venture my way to the Goose Island brewpub in Lincoln Park to have a pour of the new BCBS and a couple of it’s variants that they had to offer.
First I’ll start out with a review of the 2012 BCBS which I actually had the day before Thanksgiving at a ‘pre-Black Friday’ tapping.
To start off with, this beer pours super dark, pretty much black. Right off the bat you get a nice big chocolatey-vanilla aroma with some sharp bourbon and espresso undertones. The stout has a very full body and a nice caramelly smooth mouthfeel. Coffee and bourbon really comes to the forefront in the taste with lots of chocolate and toasted malts arriving in on the back of the tongue. Let me tell you that this is a very rich rich beer with a nice level of booziness that finishes a bit dry with some delicious bourbon notes that warms your palate and sinuses after being swallowed. A very fine beer that once you try it you understand all the hype that is surrounded by this beer. The warmer this stout gets the stronger the bourbon notes start to come through. Needless to say, I’m a big fan. During my time with this beer, the flavor profile changes at least three times. From lots of chocolate-vanilla flavor with a dark fruit/figgy aroma to a smooth caramel taste with delightful espresso notes to a strong bourbon flavor that is complimented by all of the chocolates, caramel, malts, and espresso notes of beforehand that leaves your body feeling like you were sitting by a huge fireplace, naked, soaked in bourbon while eating a bowl of fresh chocolate pudding. If you have a chance to try this beer I definitely encourage you to do so, it’s a hell of a stout.
Next up is the new 2013 Bourbon County Brand Stout which I had at the Goose Island Black Friday Tap release. This beer, although very big and bold in flavor, just like the 2012 BCBS, is a lot more bourbon forward unlike the 2012 which is much more mellow in it’s flavor profile and rides more heavily off of the dark malts and chocolate flavors. This makes sense since the barrel aging process tends to smoothen out a stout’s flavor lending more of the barrel’s woody flavor and fungal yeast that grow throughout the whole process, making the body heavier and the flavors overall more rich, which makes the beer focus less on the warm bourbon bite and more on the malt, sweet chocolate, caramels, and espresso notes. Anyways, the 2013 starts out with some big vanilla and chocolate aromas with some intense bourbon notes with hints of dark fruits such as figs or plums. In the mouth the beer has a silky and smooth feel with tons of caramel and espresso a hint of some of that sweet chocolate playing off well with the sharpness that the bourbon gives to it. The 2013 is not as sweet or rich as the 2012 but rather a has a lot more of an intense bourbon favor coming through in comparison. The warmth of the alcohol comes through right of the bat in the beginning and rides all the way thru till the finish, which is very smooth and leaves your mouth coated in a layer of toasted malts, chocolate and espresso. As the beer warms the flavors start to blend together a little better, complimenting each other’s unique characteristics, becoming a very clean, boozy beer. The intense bourbon flavor, unlike the 2012, starts to mellow out the warmer the beer gets and begins to ride alongside in unison with the sweetness of the chocolate and vanilla flavors. On the last sips, as the beer approaches about 50 degrees, the caramel notes really start to become the main player, lending a very silky, clinging body with a smooth finish.
Finally before I left to brewpub, as I can’t stand spending much more than an hour there, due to the bro-y-ness of the bar (no offense Goose Island, it’s the location) I decided to try the Baudonia which is described as the base of the 2013 Bourbon County Brand Stout but “blended from fungus inhabited in barrels.” I decided on this one because it’s not one that is to be bottled or distributed which means I very well may not see it again any time soon. Let me start by saying that this beer was good, I mean really good. It basically has all of the qualities and characteristics of the 2013 BCBS but with all of the flavors kicked up a notch. It is much more rich with even more of the clinging bourbon body and warmth that comes along with the barrel aging process of the original BCBS. Definitely one to seek out if you have the chance.
Overall, my first experience with the Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout has been a good one. I’m usually not one for huge stouts but I think that it’s definitely something that my palate can build on, especially with such a complex beer as the BCBS.
V/GF Pumpkin Espresso Muffins with A Maple Almond Drizzle
Oh, the holidays. It seems like it was just yesterday that I was glazing a made-from-scratch tofu roast with a sweet and spicy orange zest reduction. Ah… How the days seem to go by, especially since I’ve been working so much. Between my part-time job and my internship I haven’t had a lot of free time lately. Don’t get me wrong, I’m super happy that I’ve been working so much but it really does put a dent in my personal kitchen time. But what can I complain about. I’m making an income, gaining experience, and meeting some really cool people in the process. However, it is that time of year again and I am seriously behind the game in my baking and writing about such seasonal foods that I love. This recipe will hopefully spark some much needed motivation to get me back in the kitchen even when I’m tired and un-motivated when I get home after work.
What I have for you today is my first pumpkin recipe of the season and hopefully the start to many more seasonal creations. It is a recipe for pumpkin muffins that I decided to add a bit of a coffee kick to. It’s super easy to make and it tastes great with or without the almond-maple glaze (though I highly recommend the glaze).
For the muffins:
- 2 cups of GF flour (since I’m on a budget and can’t afford separate flours I am using Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Flour)
- 1/2 tsp of xantham gum
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1/3 cup of virgin coconut oil
- 1 can of pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup of organic brown sugar
- 1 tbs organic maple syrup
- 1 tsp organic vanilla extract
- 1 tbs golden flax egg
- 1/2 cup plus more if needed of unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbs almond butter
- 1 tbs molasses
- 1/3 cup of fresh brewed dark coffee (I used Trader Joe’s Organic Morning Blend)
For the Glaze:
- 1 cup of powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup of melted virgin coconut oil
- 1 tsp organic vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup of maple syrup
- 1 tbs of almond butter
- Mix flax seed with 3 tbs of warm water and set to the side fore about 10 minutes
- Add the apple cider vinegar to the almond milk and set aside
- Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl
- Mix the wet ingredients together one-by- one tills a nice mixture is former
- slowly add the dry ingredients to the dry ingredients about a 1/4 of a cup at a time until a nice smooth dough is formed
- transfer to muffin baking pan with liners and set them in the oven at 350F for 15-18 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean
- Mix the coconut oil, vanilla extract, maple syrup, and almond butter till a smooth consistency is formed
- add the powdered sugar a 1/4 cup at a time till a nice, decently thick consistency is formed
Let the muffins cool for at least 15 minutes before glazing and enjoy the phenomenal final product!
I really want to make something similar to this again but maybe with an addition of the Goose Island BCBS Coffee Stout (brewed with Intelligentsia Los Inmortales beans) when I get a bottle of it ;)
I hope you enjoy these little guys and I’ll be posting to you real soon!
Cheers and happy holidays!
V/GF Chocolate Cherry Cashew Cake
So I’ve been really busy lately. I started an internship with hospitality company Element Collective and even more recently I started working at Whole Foods Market in Lincoln Park as a chef in their asian food venue (I know, not the most vegan friendly venue but at least I’m using ingredients that I can feel decently good about…). Anyways, I haven’t had a lot of time to do much baking and experimenting in my own kitchen as I would like but c’est la vie of being employed i guess. And I shouldn’t really be complaining about having employment in the first place, jobs are hard to come by now days.
Any who, the other night my brother’s partner was having a craving for some chocolate cake and would have been totally down to whip something up but I ended up just falling asleep after I ate dinner, I guess my body isn’t used to waking up at 5am and working 8 hours just yet. So last night was my night off and I decided to surprise her with a chocolate cake for her when she got home from work.
This is my latest adventure in vegan/gluten free baking which turned out so awesome that the cake was literally all gone within minutes. It is a chocolate cake made with pureed cherries and cashews and absolutely no hydrogenated oils or refined sugars. I used cherries and maple syrup for the sweetener and vegan dark chocolate for the flavor.
1 1/2 C gluten free flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking sode
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 C almond mild
1 tbs apple cider vinegar
1 chia seed egg (1tbs chia seed + 3 tbs warm water)
1/3 C organic maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 C organic dried cherries
1/3 C raw cashews a tbs more for garnish
3 tbs dark cacao powder
1/3 cup of fresh brewed dark roast coffee
Start with a cup of almond milk and add a tbs of apple cider vinegar to set aside and a tbs of chia seed with 3 tbs of warm water and also set aside for ten minutes.
puree cashews and cherries till you have a fine powder and add a 1/4 cup of warm water and set aside to coagulate.
In a mixing bowl combine flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder
in a larger mixing bowl combine dry ingredients with wet ingredients and incorporate the maple syrup, vanilla extract, coffee, and cacao powder till a batter is formed. Pour batter in an 8x8 inch greased cake pan and set in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.
Let cool for 30 minutes before adding frosting if you are in the mood for frosting. I personally made a frosting but it makes the cake a whole lot more indulgent (which is not a bad thing in my opinion).
combine a 1/4 cup of almond milk and 1/2 cup of vegan dark chocolate over a double boiler and stir until a chocolate sauce is formed. Add chocolate sauce to 2 1/2 C of organic powder sugar and 1 tsp of bourbon vanilla extract and mix until everything is completely incorporated (I would have used a can of full fat coconut milk and less sugar but I didn’t have the necessary ingredients on hand to make the frosting that I usually make).
Once the cake is fully cooled pour frosting over top of it and spread evenly till a nice layer of frosting is coating the top. Let it cool and serve.
This cake turned out to be a big hit and I will definitely be making it again soon. I’ve already been asked to make another one by a few people hehe.. I just wish that I had more time to bake but sometimes you gotta make money in order to do what you like to do.
Anyways, I hope to be baking and writing more in the near future so stay tuned to up coming vegan adventures!
V/GF Classic Chocolate Chip #1
This recipe is for a basic, but oh-so-good vegan and gluten-free chocolate chip cookie. Lately, I’ve been experimenting with a few different recipes and gluten free flour combinations to try and get the most desirable textures and flavors that I, personally, would like to see most in a cookie - moist, crumbly, yet soft with just the right amount of sweetness and flavor complexity… all while only using all natural, organic, high quality plant-based ingredients. With each attempt at the cookie I can feel myself coming closer to the final result I want. This post is my most recent adventure into the realm of the chocolate chip cookie. It also happens to be the recipe that I feel is pretty damn close to what I’d like to see in a chocolate chip cookie that I’d buy somewhere.
It only suits to have a go-to recipe for chocolate chip cookies on hand. One that is easy and reliable; one that always come out the same; one that you can keep in your back pocket and take with you wherever you go. I’m on the hunt to find that recipe…. without using any refined sugars, hydrogenated oils, and of coarse no gluten.
*be fair warned that this recipe is subject to change in the future if I find that different ratios of ingredients enhance the cookie (that’s the difficult thing with gluten-free cookies.. wamp)
The chocolate chip cookie is a peculiar thing. It is a dessert-staple in cafes and bakeries everywhere and yet it is one of those desserts that, many times leaves much to be desired. I find myself wanting to escape the mundaneness and, more often than I like to admit, the let down of buying a mediocre vegan chocolate chip cookie somewhere.. For some reason it’s always dry and almost too sweet (don’t even get me started on gluten-free cookies at most places…)
To give you a bit of an analogy, the chocolate chip cookie is a bit like a Martini, deceptively simple to make yet just as easy to fuck up. It’s something that seems very basic and is comprised of very minimal ingredients. However, if you are like me or you are familiar with ordering a Martini, it is very seldom made satisfactory. I mean, it can’t be that difficult, right? It’s just two ingredients, gin and vermouth and an olive garnish, right? Yes, but there are many other factors that go into the creation of a Martini that actually make it. Such as the preparation, the quality of ingredients used, and the method of it’s creation. And once you finally find that perfect ratio of gin-to-vermouth it’s such a beautiful thing.
The exact same principles go into the preparation and creation of a chocolate chip cookie. If one of those factors is thrown off (though it may taste fine) it will be the difference between just another not-so-special chocolate chip cookie and a cookie that you taste and say, “woah… whoever made these cookies really knows what they’re doing… I’d like to get to know them”
Anyways, here it is.
1 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup millet flour
1/4 cup almond flour
1/2 tapioca flour
1 tsp xantham gum
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup organic canola oil
1/4 cup almond milk + 1 tbs ground flax
1 tsp molasses
2 tbs maple syrup
1/4 cup organic turbinado cane sugar
1 tbs almond butter (gives it some fluffiness without adding too much un-wanted nuttiness that PB does)
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts (optional)
Add almond milk and ground flax seed in a small bowl, mix and set aside
Mix all the dry ingredients in a small mixing bowl
Mix together wet ingredients, add almond flax “egg” after it has set for about 7-10 minutes
Slowly combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients then use a spoon and scoop the dough to a pan lined with parchment paper and transfer to an oven pre-heated to 350 degrees for 10 minutes, rotating 180 degrees after 5 minutes (this gives it an even bake).
The sorghum flour gives the cookies a nice light texture on the inside while the almond flour gives it a nice rich mouth feel and flavor complexity and finally the millet flour provides that classic, almost crumble-like exterior that any good Choco Chip Cookie has.
….done well this time, done quite well…
*I had some pretty good feed back from some pretty picky non-vegans but I will continue to tweak my recipe until they are absolutely perfect.
…..which means I’ll be making more tomorrow….
Cheers and enjoy the cooks.
Chocolate Cupcakes with Almond Butter Cream Frosting
I’ve recently been seeing an abundance of cupcake recipes popping up on the interwebz. Or maybe it’s just that once I see one recipe posted on someone’s blog I end up spending time searching cupcake recipes for way longer than I should and go down a steep rabbit hole of just cupcake posts. Anyways, I had enough of just gawking and jacking off to them that I decided to try my own hand at creating a recipe. Also, what better way to surprise my older brother than to bake him something fuckin’ sweet for his b-day? Oh, and maybe to show off my baking chops to a fellow vegan.
I will have to admit, I am a little bit of a newcomer to the world of GF/V cupcake baking. I still am haunted by one of my first attempts to bake vegan cupcakes a couple of years ago that didn’t pan out as well as I’d hoped. I was at my brother’s harvest party in Chicago where a bunch of local bands were playing in their club house. There was a fire, beer, some palm reading, and even a puppet show… oh, and I can’t forget the random fire dancer. For my contribution, I decided to bake some cupcakes. Actually, they were some pretty unimpressive chocolate cupcakes with a mediocre buttercream frosting. I’ll always remember trying to make the buttercream frosting without any confectioners sugar… not my best moment in the kitchen. Although they tasted good, the frosting came out like shit. Grainy and liquidy. Needless to say it didn’t hold up well on the cupcakes.
For this attempt, I am fully prepared with all of the necessary ingredients and a lot more baking experience and knowledge to take along with me.
For these cupcakes I decide to use a full cup of white rice flour. I really didn’t want a dense cupcake as I’ve had way too many of those from numerous vegan bakeries in the past… I also wanted to create a flour mixture that was more similar to the non-GF/V counterparts that I have fond memories of before I started to do the GF/V thing. With that in mind, I chose to include a larger percentage of white rice flour because it tends to make baked good a lot more light and airy than most other GF flours. This is because rice has a more basic chemical makeup than most other grains. It doesn’t have the protein content that quinoa flour and legume flours have, nor the fat content that all nut flours have. Lastly, rice flours do not have the fiber content that most other grain flours naturally have. Using white rice flour in combination with my ol’ staple of sorghum flour and tapioca flour proved to be perfect mixture for a light and fluffy, yet moist and slightly dense cupcake. Used in combination with virgin coconut oil and my almond milk buttercream concoction, the cupcakes came out light, cakey, and super decadent.
Oh, and I can’t forget the frosting this time ‘round.
It was a total win.
Perfect consistency and sweetness.
Needless to say, I was stoked how it turned out. With a touch of almond extract and almond butter… hell yeah.
I failed to mention to those who ate them that they were not just vegan but GF as well.. they didn’t seem to notice.
As you can see, my piping skills need a little work.. But I guess that just gives me another excuse to make more cupcakes…rough life.
1 C white rice flour
1/2 C sorghum flour
1 tbsp tapioca flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 tbsp dark cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 C virgin coconut oil
1 C organic cane sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 C almond milk + 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar + 2 tsp ground flax seed
1 flax egg
2 tsp almond butter
3 C powdered sugar
1/2 C earth balance
1 1/2 tbsp almond milk
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1 tbsp almond butter
1 tbsp cocoa powder
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Mixed together dry ingredients being careful to add the precise amounts of the different flours, otherwise the texture can get a little off (dangers of GF baking…)
- Mixed together wet ingredients, incorporating each ingredient one by one so that you have a nice, clump-free liquid.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients about a half o’cup at a time to avoid that old, clumpy problem that arises when too much is added all at once.
- Once everything is incorporated and you have a nice looking batter, plop the goo in to cupcake liners about 1/2-3/4’s of the way full depending on how big you like ‘em (this will effect the baking time).
- Finally, you’re gonna want to bake the little guys for about 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. I highly suggesting rotating the cupcakes 180 degrees half way through the baking process in order to get an even bake for all of them.
- And this is what your end result should look like.
Not to shabby if I don’t say so myself.
*I made these cupcakes again but decided to put the frosting inside and garnish the tops with a maple coconut glaze, it was pretty intense.
A Tryst with Little Skips
As of late, I have recently become mildly obsessed with looking up local haunts in various cities on social media websites Yelp and Foursquare. On my most recent trip to NYC I had the luxury of visiting some great new restaurants, cafes, and bars as well as some old favorite spots of mine.
I love visiting NYC and when I am there I always try to spend a lot of time walking around and exploring the city while my brother is at work. This particular trip to NYC was a little impromptu. I decided within a night that I wanted to spend some time with my brother while being newly “funemployed” after graduating from college up in Chicago in May. I mean, there really isn’t a better time in your life to spend exploring an awesome city when you have all the time in the world to do nothing. I guess I could have spent my time updating my resume and looking for a job but honestly, who enjoys doing that. Go ahead and judge me but I’d much rather enjoy myself exploring an amazing city, meeting awesome people, and indulging myself in some awesome food, coffee, and drinking spectacular beer.
As soon as I got to NYC I already new that I wanted to revisit some of the spots that I had grown to love during previous trips. One such place is Little Skips, a little cafe located in Bushwick, a pretty sweet hood located in Brooklyn. I love going to Little Skips because for one: it has an awesome aesthetic that makes you feel like you are a part of the local art/DIY scene that has grown to characterize this area of Brookyln, two: the coffee is fucking awesome and three: the baristas here are super nice and make me feel like I am a regular.
Sitting down at this cafe you first notice the absurd amount of flyers that are posted on the wall that quickly come and go and are provided by the vary Brooklynites who are coming in to get their caffeine fix or grab a quick snack right next to you. That being said, you are guaranteed to get in some great people watching. Or, if you are the outgoing type you’ll definitely meet some amazing people, artists, musicians and designers, all enjoying the same awesome coffee and food of LIttle Skips.
Onto the coffee. This place is an institution when it comes to cold-brewed coffee. Hands down, Little Skips makes one of my all time favorite iced coffees. I mean, I can’t say enough about it. It is the absolute perfect beverage to enjoy on one of those scorching Brooklyn summer days. Another aspect that I love about Little Skips is that they serve locally made almond milk which is the perfect accompaniment to pretty much all of their drinks.
Iced coffee and locally crafted almond milk = caffeinated orgasm.
Oh, and did I mention that they also have some killer vegan snacks. From cookies and fudge to even some delicious V/GF raspberry bars.
Little Skips definitely holds a special place in my heart. Whether you want a quick coffee to-go or if you feel more like a sit down with a book or laptop while enjoying the Bushwick atmosphere, Little Skips is definitely a place that’ll make you want to be a regular.
Stay tuned for more location reviews
Rolo Tony Brownie Town
I was only planning on baking some chocolate chip cookies tonight for my family to have in the car with them on their trip to our family reunion (which I really didn’t feel like going to…). However, as I was getting the ingredients out and preparing to crank out a quick batch of chocolate chip cookies, my younger sister enthusiastically ran into the kitchen and requested that I make brownies instead (she has a bit of a brownie fetish). I’m always open to suggestions on what I bake and I assured her that there would be brownies. But being open to suggestions does not necessarily mean that I am not somewhat stubborn in the kitchen.. I still had my mind set on some cookies so I decided to just make them both.
I hadn’t baked brownies since Christmas time of this past year and my computer that I had back then (which contained all of my goddamn cooking notes) had been stolen from my car by some motherfucker. Sorry, shit like that really pisses me off. Needless to say, I had to improvise on this recipe. Luckily, everything turned out fuckin awesome and through this baking adventure I am currently on the verge of a kick-ass new egg substitute that added a lot of fluffiness to the brownie without sacrificing the overall density.
The egg sub epiphany:
It all started when I was looking through my fridge and couldn’t find any un-sweetened apple sauce to use as one of my “eggs.” I then noticed a jar of peanut butter and a very ripe banana were sitting right in front of me on the the top shelf. In the past I had used both of these ingredients to add a bit of fluffiness and texture to baked goods but never together and thought, “what if I used them both together with a bit of almond milk and baking powder to make an ‘egg’ hybrid that is both creamy and dense? mmmhmm… creamy sounds nice”. And thus the peanut banana egg was born and it proved to be key in the final outcome of the brownie. After 30 minutes of baking in the oven I knew that it was gonna be sweet. This is what I love about GF/V baking: the adventure to find all-natural, healthy, plant-based ingredients that can come together to create something truly satisfying and, hopefully, better than their super processed, animal-based counterparts.
- 1 cup sorghum flour
- 1/2 cup white rice flour
- 1/2 cup tapioca flour
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 3 tbs cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup virgin coconut oil
- 1/2 white sugar
- 1/3 brown sugar
- 1 flax egg
- 1 banana peanut butter egg (tbs peanut butter + medium ripe banana + 1 tbs non-dairy milk + 1/4 tsp baking powder)
- 1/3 cup almond milk (add in tbs while mixing dough to get right consistency)
- 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- preheat oven to 350F
- Add 1 tbs of ground flax seed with 3 tbs of water and set aside
- Mix all of the dry ingredients together except for the cocoa powder and chopped pecans.
- In a separate bowl mix together the coconut oil sugars flax “egg” and vanilla extract
- a small bowl mash 1 medium ripe banana, add 1 tbs raw peanut butter, and 1 tbs non-dairy milk plus 1/4 tsp of baking powder
- Add all of the wet ingredients together then slowly pour in the dry ingredients in thirds mixing in 1 tbs of cocoa powder each time with the almond milk. Be carefully to watch the consistency of the batter, this is what gives me a hard time with brownies because you want it to have more of a thick liquid, almost cake batter-esque consistency instead of a cookie dough type of consistency.
- fold in the pecans then pour batter into a greased baking pan
- Place it in the oven for 30 minutes and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Almond Fig Pop Tart Cookies
Last night’s baking adventure…
I decided to make something kinda weird, vegan, and gluten free (pretty much no different than anything else that I make):
Vegan and gluten-free almond fig Pop Tart cookies inspired by pupusas!
It had been in my mind to make them ever since I visited my sister in Chattanooga, TN last weekend. The idea was to create a vegan dessert inspired by the pupusa, a classic El Salvadorian dish that traditionally consists of a thick corn tortilla stuffed with beans and meat or cheese (not vegan!).
My interest in altering this classic dish into a dessert was sparked when my sister, her husband and I went out for Latin American food and I saw pupusas on the menu. Suddenly and peculiarly, the thought of a pop tart sprang into my head!
For the last couple of months before I moved back to Tennessee from Chicago I was seeing vegan pop tarts popping up in #TheWormHoleCafe (delivered fresh from #FritzPastry). But stupidly, I never tried one…and I’ve been feeling the regret ever since. Necessarily, I needed a release from the pop tart thoughts that were stuck in my subconscious.
So last night I decided to recreate a dessert version of the classic El Salvadorian dish, the outcome being a vegan and gluten-free dessert bearing the likeness of a pop tart! At the same time I experimented with different gluten-free flour combinations and quantities… (a dangerous proposal).
Here is the recipe if you want to try your hand at it..
Dry ingredients (don’t judge me)
3/4 C tapioca flour
3/4 C sorghum flour
1/2 C white rice flour
1/4 C almond flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/3 C canola oil
1/4 C organic light brown sugar
2 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp mollasses
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/4 C almond milk + 1 tbsp ground flax seed (for the “egg”)
1 tbsp almond butter
1 tbsp vegan sour cream (I added it to finish off the container but proved to be a good choice)
1/2 C fresh figs
Desired amount of almond butter to spread on figs
After separatey mixing the dry ingredients and wet ingredients, add them together and mix until a uniform ball of dough is formed.
Put figs in a food processor and pulse until sticky consistency is achieved.
Then, in classic El Salvadorian style, make the pupusa.. I mean cookies. *These next few steps require you to take on the persona of an El Salvadorian señora flattening out the patties and stuffing them with the filling. Trust me, it adds extra flavor..
Make a dough patty. Spread fig purée and almond butter in the center.
Roll it into a stuffed dough ball.
Smush the stuffed dough ball into a flat patty and place on baking sheet.
Bake at 350°F for about 10-12 minutes.
Here they are, ready to eat (a couple of scoops of coconut ice cream goes really well with them).
Figgy almondy center…
And if you were like me and puréed way too many figs, you can use the rest to make elicious chocolate fig no-bake cookies - recipe coming soon!
Chocolate Almond Biscotti
1 C all purpose flour + 1 C whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C organic brown sugar
1/3 C Earth Balance
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 tbsp raw almond butter
1/2 C vegan chocolate chips
V/GF Dark Chocolate Ginger Snap Cheesecake
1 C ginger snap cookies
3/4 C raisins
1/2 C walnuts
1 tbsp water
Add all ingredients to food processor and combine. Be careful not to over-process or add too much water. Spread evenly on spring form pan. Store in freezer while preparing filling.
3 C raw cashews (soaked overnight)
1/3 C fresh lemon juice
1/2 C agave nectar
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/3 C coconut butter
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp dark cocoa powder
1/2 Cup dark chocolate chips
Add everything to a food processor and blend until it has a smooth and creamy texture. Spread mixture evenly over chilled crust in a spring form pan and set in the fridge for 4-5 hours or overnight