vegan christmas

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Sweet Potato Casserole (Vegan)

Published December 25, 2011 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

This recipe came out awesome. I wrote it yesterday and took it up to Thomas’ mom’s for Christmas Eve. Unfortunately with all the rushing and driving around, I forgot to take a finished picture but it was totally delicious and I will definitely be making this again!

Merry Christmas!

Sweet Potato Casserole (Vegan)

4 large yams or sweet potatoes (I used garnet yams)

1/3 c. sugar
flax mixture (1 tbsp. ground flax seed + 3 tbsp. hot water, whisked)
2/3 tsp. salt
fresh ground pepper
4 tbsp. vegan butter, softened
1/2 c. non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened almond milk here)
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp.  nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/3 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
2-3 tbsp. cold vegan butter
1/2 c. chopped pecans

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400*F and prepare a cookie sheet. Scrub sweet potatoes and stab all over with a fork. Bake for 60 minutes. Remove from the oven to cool and drop oven temp to 350*F. Once cooled, you can scoop out the flesh. Alternatively you could peel, cube, and steam or boil until potatoes are tender.

2. In a large bowl, mix together sweet potatoes, sugar, flax mixture, salt, butter, milk and vanilla until smooth. Transfer to a deep 8×8″ baking dish.

3. In medium bowl, mix brown sugar and flour. Cut butter in until the mixture is crumbly. Stir in the pecans. Sprinkle the mixture over the sweet potato mixture. Bake for 40 minutes; crumb topping should be golden.

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Peppermint Crunch 4 Layer Cake

Published December 13, 2011 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

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Several things happened when I got this month’s Williams-Sonoma catalog. I fell in love with all the gadgets and gizmos that I WON’T be buying before our move to Seattle, as usual. I made a mental list of all the things I WILL be buying when we get to Seattle, kitchen space providing. Then I got to the food pages. Sure, the first part is mainly meat items. Flip, flip, flip. (Though the mini beef wellingtons just made me crave the pastry encased Field Roast!) Then I got to the sweets & treats. Now I’m not normally a sweets person, but this really got to me. Gingerbread men coated in dark chocolate and sandwiching marshmallows, PEPPERMINT BARK! and this cake. A $100 peppermint crunch cake that I just HAD to make. (I really wanted to make peppermint bark too, but having to special order vegan white chocolate chips turned me off to the idea.)

This resulted in one shopping trip to Whole Foods where I bought an obscene amount of vegan sweets…

Also… the resolve to make my own version of said cake. I decided to go with what I know. So I pulled out my copy of Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. I used the basic chocolate cupcake recipe and Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa, only with 1 tsp of vanilla extract and 1 of mint extract. I used 1 recipe for each 9″ cake pan, and they were baked in 25 minutes, 2 at a time. I would love to tell you that I baked all 4 at one time or in advance, but that’s not really how it went. For some reason I thought this was going to give me a thick enough layer to halve, but I was wrong. I baked the first two the night before, and then the other two after assembling the first two layers!

I also used the basic buttercream for both of my frostings, again using 1 tsp. of vanilla extract & 1 tsp. of mint, and adding 1/2 c. of crushed candy canes for the peppermint crunch frosting. For the outer smooth peppermint frosting I added probably close to 4 tsp. of mint extract, and it was still fairly subtle.

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I also went by BB&B today with one of those 20% coupons and got myself the BIGGEST cake dome/carrier of all time. (It has trays to also tote 2 dozen cupcakes wherever you please.) As I neared the registers I got sucked in to the Christmas section and picked up some pre-lit garland. We didn’t feel like fussing with a whole tree this year, and Thomas came up with a marvelous substitute! (Pic below!)

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Results: According to Thomas it’s really awesome. : ) I think it’s pretty good. It slices really well, and holds all the layers from cake to plate, no problem. The only adjustment I would make is to do a little less crushed peppermints in the layer frosting, or just peppermint extract and leave the pulverized candy canes for the outer decoration.

The only other time I made a layer cake was for Thomas’ birthday back in September, and it only had two layers, so I was pretty satisfied with how this came out. It did have an ugly side, but the peppermint crunchies on the side helped to conceal it. I’m thinking an AMAZING variation would be a mocha cookies ‘n’ cream number using this recipe as a guideline.

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