Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Jumbo Apple Oatmeal Muffins

These jumbo Apple Oatmeal Muffins are vegan and full of roasted apple chunks and apple compote. A bit of extra flavour and nutrition from @nakednutrition Pumpkin Spice #NakedShake up the ante, making these a great option for a lazy Sunday morning as well as a grab and go breakfast mid week.

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Muffins are such a perfect anytime food. I remember having them as breakfasts or snacks when I was in school, or for a quick energy boost after swimming lessons. They're also a great way to incorporate all those bits and bobs of baking pantry items into a portable snack. Knowing I have work on Sunday mornings, I wanted to make something for the team to enjoy after we wrapped things up and we went on our day. I had a few lonely apples in the fridge and a handful of oats and oat milk which I used as my starting point, and thought adding some of the Pumpkin Spice Naked Shake would be a great idea as well - after all, why wouldn't I add some functional nutrition and extra flavour when I can? 

The best apple muffins I had contained chunks of tender apple inside them, but weren't soggy or dense. To try and recreate that, I opted for a dual approach: a cheater apple compote for moisture and roasted apples for texture. The result was exactly what I wanted - lightly sweet and spiced, a perfect smattering of apple chunks and a hint of nuttiness and texture from the oats. This will be staying on my rotation, especially during the fall when bags of apples appear in our cellar!

Friday, April 1, 2022

Red Velvet Shortbread

I can never say no to red velvet anything - and these cut out cookies have all the flavour of the cake in a portable form! The vibrant colour and burst of flavour comes from Lorann Oils Red Velvet Emulsion, coupled with the tang from vegan cream cheese and a dash of red wine vinegar.

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In the four weeks spanning between my mom's birthday and my sister's birthday, we do a lot of red velvet. And by we, I (of course) mean me! It's really hard to beat the complex flavour that goes into a well made red velvet cake, but I've had success with cookies in the past and decided to try my hand at a type of shortbread. These cookies are tender but not chewy, and have the perfect amount of tang which is something that can be hard to find with these bakes. The colour (and some of the flavour) comes from my favourite "cheat" product, an emulsion-style flavouring for baking from Lorann Oils. It's dark red and smells like red velvet cake batter (and stains everything, so be warned).

I was actually pleasantly surprised with the texture of these cookies, given that I used a mix of fats, including a melted fat, melted chocolate and no eggs. I'm used to shortbread as a 4 ingredient, butter forward kind of cookie, but I (and my family) enjoyed these just as much. I was feeling fancy this week, so I decided to keep these cookies red carpet worthy with gold sanding sugar, nonpareils and silver stars. I'm not a fan of royal icing (and who has that kind of time these days?) so the sprinkles were a quick and easy fix that even my finicky niece liked.

That said - if you don't like sprinkles, they're great as is, with royal icing, or made into decadent sandwiches with cream cheese frosting! Hear me out - cream cheese frosting sandwiches with these, frozen, are the ice cream sandwich you didn't know you needed. Yes, it's decadent, but who needs an excuse to indulge now and then?

Note: I have made these with vegan butter (Earth Balance and Becel sticks) and vegan cream cheese (Follow Your Heart) and it worked beautifully!