Category Archives: Recipes

Wrinkly Crinkly Chocolate Cookies

This is not technically a Halloween cookie.  You could make these cookies all year, and everyone would love them.  But for some reason, they just feel especially right for Halloween.

Maybe it’s because the stark colored contrast and crackled texture remind me of spooky things.  Mummy skin?  Spider webs?  Who knows?

Either way, if you need a last minute Halloween dessert idea, these cookies would fit the bill nicely.  They are ever so slightly labor intensive, but they still come together fairly quickly.  Plus they look impressive as all get out.

So, are you ready to bake?  Let’s go.

Wrinkly Crinkly Chocolate Cookies

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons dark corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup almond milk (or milk of your choice)
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1-1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder (bonus points for black cocoa powder, but don’t use Dutch processed)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

1.  Pour the powdered sugar into a small bowl, and 1/4 cup of the white sugar into a second small bowl.  Set the bowls aside.

2.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, oil, corn syrup, vanilla, milk, flax seeds, and melted chocolate.  Beat until totally combined.  Then add the rest of the ingredients and beat until fully incorporated.  Your dough should be fairly thick and very sticky.

3.  Refrigerate your dough for at least 30 minutes, to make it easier to handle.  When the time is almost up, preheat your oven to 325° F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment.

4.  Once the chilling time has elapsed, remove the dough from the refrigerator.  Scoop a heaping tablespoon of dough and roll it into a ball with your hands.  Then roll that ball in the white sugar until fully coated.  Then drop the ball into the powdered sugar, and carefully coat the ball with a fairly thick coating of powdered sugar.  Gently shake off any excess sugar, and place on the prepared baking sheet.

5.  Continue this process, placing the cookie balls a couple of inches apart, since they tend to spread quite a bit.  Bake for 13-15 minutes, until the cookies look like they do in the pictures (slightly puffed, with lots of cracks on the surface).  Let them cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before very carefully removing to a cooling rack.  Allow them to cool completely before eating.  Store in a single layer.

Serve these at your Halloween party, or any time of year.  Their fudgy texture is a huge hit with people who like rich chocolatey cookies (which is everyone, right?).

And now if you’ll excuse me, I have some cookies to eat.  Happy Halloween, y’all!

P.S. This recipe was created by my favorite cookbook authors, Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.  If you want to see this recipe in its original form, plus many many more amazing recipes, check out their book Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar.  This is not a sponsored post, and they don’t know me at all.  I just love them, and you should too.



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Mimosa Popsicles

Remember how I promised some boozy popsicles a couple of weeks ago?  Well, here’s the first recipe.  When I set out to research popsicles with alcohol in them, I thought to myself, “Why not just freeze wine?”  Well, it turns out that, while you can freeze wine by itself, it gets an off-taste that’s not really appealing.  So you need to mix it with some other flavorful ingredients to make a popsicle you’d actually want to eat.  Hence, mimosa popsicles.

Mimosa Popsicles

  • 12 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate (with pulp)
  • 1-1/4 cup champagne (the really cheap, really sweet stuff)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice

Mix all ingredients in a blender or food processor until totally mixed.  Freeze in popsicle molds or (if you’re me) disposable 3 0z. cups until solid (see recipe notes).

Some notes on this recipe

  • I made two different boozy popsicles for my recent boozy popsicle party, and these were definitely the stronger of the two.  Which is not saying much, since you would still have to eat probably six or eight of them to even get a little buzz.  But just keep in mind that they do have a pretty strong alcohol flavor, and about 3% alcohol by volume.
  • I found that these popsicles simply would not freeze solid in my popsicle molds.  It’s totally possible that if I would have left them in the freezer for 3-4 days, they would have.  But somehow freezing them in much smaller volume molds (the Dixie Cups I ended up using) worked way better.  So if you’re in a hurry, use smaller molds.
  • I know you’re thinking that 1/4 cup lemon juice seems like a lot.  And it does make these pops really tart, in a nice refreshing way.  If you will absolutely not eat something that’s that sour, replace some or all of the lemon juice with prepared orange juice instead.


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Lemon Rosewater Ice Cream Sandwiches

I love the idea of ice cream sandwiches.  Every time I’ve tried to make them at home, though, they are way too hard to eat.  It turns out that homemade cookies, when they’re frozen solid, are really hard to bite through.  So, when recently I had a hankering for ice cream, I started thinking about other things I could use besides cookies.  And then it hit me:  Why not try waffles?  I mean, everyone loves a waffle cone, right?

Sweet Lemon Poppy Seed Waffles

  • 2 cups almond milk (or milk of your choice)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • zest from one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract (or zest from another lemon)
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds

1.  Preheat your waffle iron.  If it has variable heat settings, set it to medium-low.

2.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the milk, lemon juice and zest, lemon extract, oil, and agave nectar.  Whisk until well-combined (this might take a minute, since agave is pretty thick).

3.  Sift in all the other ingredients and stir until well mixed.  Cook waffles according to manufacturer’s instructions.  Set aside to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least an hour.  Cut waffles into manageable pieces before filling.

At this point, you can either make ice cream from scratch or use store-bought ice cream.  Either way, make sure your ice cream is slightly softened before filling sandwiches.  I used a pastry bag to pipe the ice cream onto one waffle piece, and then gently placed the other waffle on top.  This is probably more trouble than it’s worth, and a knife or spatula would work just fine.

If you want to make homemade dairy-free ice cream, use the recipe below.  If you are planning on using store-bought ice cream, fold some rose water into softened vanilla ice cream before spreading on the waffles.  Or just pick a flavor of ice cream or sorbet that would go well with lemon waffles (raspberry, strawberry, lime, etc.).

Dairy Free Rosewater Ice Cream

  • 1 can of full-fat coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 6 ounces silken tofu (see recipe notes)
  • 1 tablespoon rosewater (see recipe notes)

1.  Puree all the ingredients in a food processor or blender until very, very smooth.

2.  Refrigerate mixture for at least an hour, then pour into an ice cream maker.  Follow manufacturer’s instructions to freeze your ice cream.  Place the ice cream in the freezer for about 45 minutes to firm up slightly before filling sandwiches.

It turns out that waffles are much softer when frozen than cookies are.  So these sandwiches are way easier to eat.  And I know that this recipe may seem like a lot of work, but you can spread it out over a couple of days to make it more manageable.  Ultimately, the reward for your trouble is so worth it!  So go cool off with some ice cream sandwiches, and you can thank me later.

Some notes on this recipe

  • The waffle recipe is not overly sweet.  I personally prefer the ice cream to be very sweet and the waffles to be less sweet.  If that’s not how you roll, you can add a couple of tablespoons of sugar to the batter to sweeten it up.  Taste the batter to see if it’s sweet enough.
  • I only tried this recipe with standard, non-Belgian waffles.  I’m not sure it would be great with Belgian waffles, but it’s certainly worth a try.  If you do decide to try it, let me know what you thought!
  • Silken Tofu can be found in the produce section of most grocery stores.  I prefer to use the shelf-stable aseptic packed tofu for this recipe (look for Mori-Nu brand at the health food store), but any silken tofu will work here.
  • Rosewater can be found in several places.  If you are lucky enough to live near a Mediterranean market, you can find it there.  If not, it can be found at some Asian markets and well-stocked health food stores.  Try looking in the health and beauty section.

If you make this recipe, I’d love to know how it turned out for you!  And if you have any questions, I’d love to answer them.  You can leave a comment on this blog post, email me at, or find me on facebook or twitter.


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Maple Ginger Cookie Sandwiches

I almost called this post “How to Cheat at Dessert,” since that’s really what this recipe is all about.  A few weeks ago, my boyfriend and I hosted a baby shower for his (very pregnant) sister.  At the last minute, I decided I needed another dessert besides the cupcakes I was making.  And the cookie frosting sandwich was born.

Now, I’m certainly not saying I invented putting frosting between two cookies, but I can’t remember ever seeing this before.  What’s important is that this technique really helped me out in a pinch.  And when, sooner or later, you need a last minute dessert, it just might save you as well.  Anyway, let’s get cooking frosting.

You’ll Need:

  • 1/4 cup non-hydrogenated shortening
  • 1/4 cup margarine
  • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy milk (see notes at the end of this recipe)
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract
  • 1 one pound bag ginger snaps (I like Murray’s, but any cheap ones will do)

1.  Use a hand mixer or stand mixer to cream together the fats.

2.  Sift in about 1/2 a cup of confectioner’s sugar, add a splash of milk, and beat to combine.  Repeat until all the sugar and milk have been incorporated (this should take less than five minutes).

3.  Add maple extract and beat until fluffy (about two more minutes).  If frosting looks a little too soft, beat in up to another 1/4 cup powdered sugar.

4.  Fit a pastry bag with a large star-shaped pastry tip and fill the bag with frosting.

5.  Place one cookie upside-down on a clean working surface, and pipe a circle of frosting close to the edge of the cookie.  Don’t worry about filling the circle in — there will be enough frosting without it.  Place another cookie right-side-up on the frosting, and press gently.

6.  Repeat until you run out of frosting or cookies (they should run out at roughly the same time).  Now place your cookies in the refrigerator.  For how long?  Well, that’s up to you.  If you have a couple of hours, that’s better.  That way the cookies will soften a little, making them slightly easier to eat.  But by all means, you can eat these right away.

Some notes about this project

  • Make sure you use cheap cookies.  Expensive, gourmet cookies somehow don’t work as well.  Neither do homemade cookies.  The cheaper the better for this project.  You could probably even use canned vanilla frosting with maple extract mixed in.  I haven’t tried it, but if you do, let me know if it worked.
  • My maple extract had a really dark brown color.  If yours doesn’t, throw a teaspoon or so of cocoa powder into your powdered sugar when mixing.  That’ll give your frosting a nice maple-y color.
  • It is imperative that you use a fancy piping tip for these cookies.  Otherwise, they’ll look rushed and sloppy.  Since this recipe is so simple, it’s worth getting out that pastry bag!  Oh, and I got my bag and tips from Bake it Pretty.  I would HIGHLY recommend this kit.  (Full disclosure:  I used to work for BIP, but I don’t any more.)
  • These cookies are a little messy to eat.  The longer they are refrigerated, the less messy they get.  If you want, you can even freeze them for an hour or so and serve them frozen or partially thawed.  What I’m saying is that this recipe is pretty versatile.
  • I don’t consume dairy, which is why this recipe calls for soy milk.  You can definitely also use almond milk, rice milk, or even canned coconut milk.  I’ve tried it with all of them, and they all work well.  If you want to use cow’s milk for this recipe, I’m not gonna stop you.

Those may or may not be the actual crumbs from an actual cookie sandwich I ate during this photo shoot.  They’re just so tiny and irresistible!

As always, if you make these, let me know how they turned out.  Or if you have questions about this recipe (or any other recipe or project you see here) let me know.

You can leave a comment on this blog post, email me at, or find us on facebook or twitter.  I’d love to hear from you!

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Dandelion Flower Sorbet Recipe

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve wondered why we call some flowers flowers and other flowers weeds.  I think the dandelion is a perfect example of what I’m talking about.  The flowers are the most brilliant yellow, the stems are long and straight, and you can find them right in your back yard.

I have always known that you can eat dandelion leaves, but it only recently came to my attention that the flowers are also edible.  I am so into foraging for food that it borders on obsession, so naturally as soon as I found out that you can eat dandelion flowers, I decided I had to make something with them.

Now I’m not going to lie — this recipe is a little challenging.  It takes some hard work, some patience, and some finesse.  But the end result is totally worth it; a sorbet that tastes like the essence of spring itself.

Enough chatter, let’s make some sorbet!

Dandelion Flower Sorbet

You’ll need:

  • 1 quart just-picked dandelion blossoms, harvested from a pesticide-free area
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice

1.  As soon as possible after harvesting your flowers, use sharp scissors to cut the yellow petals away from the green calyxes.  Try to leave as much of the bitter white fibers at the base of the petals out as you can.  We’re shooting for as much yellow as possible.

2.  Place the petals in a fine mesh strainer and give them a quick rinse under cold water.  This will get rid of any tiny bugs that might be on them, so don’t skip this step!

3.  While the petals are draining, make your simple syrup.  Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat.  As soon as the mixture comes to a boil, remove it from the heat and add the drained petals.  Let that mixture steep for one hour.

4.  At the end of the hour, use that fine mesh strainer again to strain the petals out of your syrup.  Stir the lemon juice into the syrup mixture.  Now place that in a covered container in the refrigerator and chill overnight, or for at least 8 hours.

5.  Freeze the cooled syrup mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  I’ve heard that you can also freeze the mixture on a baking sheet until solid and then puree it in a strong blender.   I’ve never tried this method, so if you do, let me know how it worked!

6.  Once your ice cream maker has finished, freeze the sorbet in a covered container for no less than three days.  Be sure to remove the sorbet from the freezer 15-20 minutes before serving.  This is not totally necessary, but it makes it much more scoopable.

Some notes on this recipe:

  • Harvesting dandelion flowers does not take as long as you’d think.  Take a quart jar out to the lawn on the day you’re going to mow, and fill up the jar.  However tightly packed the flowers are, that’s how intense the flavor of your sorbet will be.
  • Flowers harvested in the morning have a sweeter flavor, and the faster you get the petals into the hot syrup, the sweeter your sorbet will be.
  • You are going to want to eat this before it’s frozen for three days.  Don’t.  Seriously, I don’t know how, but something magical happens to this sorbet after a few days in the freezer.  It’s worth the wait.
  • I wish that the sorbet was a little brighter yellow.  I fought the temptation to add food coloring, but I’m not sure it was the right choice.  If you make this and decide to add a drop or two of food coloring, I won’t tell anyone.  I promise.

As always, if you decide to make this recipe, I’d love to hear about it.  Send me an email to  Or, even better, share your pictures with the world by posting them on our Facebook page!


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Empty Pantry Chocolate Cake

Around my house, you can pretty much count on a couple of things:

#1.  There are always baked goods on the counter.

#2.  I am almost always out of some major ingredient.

This combination leads to a lot of improvising in the kitchen.  Which is why I tend to really lean on recipes like this one, since it doesn’t require much in the way of supplies.  And it comes together in no time, which is a total plus in my book.

This recipe is actually a riff on Wacky Cakes, which are desserts people used to make during the Great Depression, when ingredients like eggs, milk, and butter were in short supply.  If you have some very basic kitchen staples hanging around, you can make this cake.

Empty Pantry Chocolate Cake

You’ll Need:

  • 1-1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Cup Cocoa Powder (I like Dutch Process for this recipe, but whatever you’ve got is fine)
  • 1-1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/3 Cup Canola Oil
  • 1 Tbsp White Vinegar
  • 1 Cup Cold Water
  • Frosting of your choice

1.  Preheat your oven to 350°F and lightly grease some sort of pan(s).  For this recipe, I used four 4″ round cake pans.  But I’m just showing off.  If you’re a normal person, you can use one 9″ cake pan, or a muffin tin, or try two clean coffee cans.  The coffee cans will give you cakes similar in size to mine, and you have the added benefit of exhibiting some super Depression-era realness.

2.  Make your batter while your oven is heating up.  In a large bowl, combine your flour, sugar, salt, soda, and cocoa powder.  Whisk the mixture (with an actual whisk) until the color looks evenly grayish brown all the way through.  This is the hardest part of the recipe.  It’s not hard, the rest of the recipe is just really easy.  Into the dry ingredients bowl, pour the remaining ingredients.  Use that whisk again to get it all good and mixed.  Don’t worry about over-beating, this recipe is totally forgiving.

3.  Pour the prepared batter into your prepared pan(s).  As a rule of thumb, never fill any cake pan more than 2/3 of the way full.  Usually 1/4 cup measuring cup fills each hole of a standard muffin tin nicely.  If you’re using coffee cans (good for you!) only fill them about half way up.  You can bake any left over batter into a regular cake pan.

5.  Bake until done.   For a 9″ pan, or two coffee cans, that will be about 30 minutes.  For cupcakes, it’ll be closer to 18 minutes.  It’s better to check them too often than to let them burn.  Cool on a cooling rack for 5 minutes.

6.  Put the cake into the freezer after five minutes.  That’s right, put the cake (still in the pan) into the freezer.  We’re not going to freeze it, just cool it off a little.  Remember, the pan is hot and it’ll melt stuff, so keep that in mind.  Now make your frosting.  When the frosting is done, your cake should be nice and cool (we’re aiming for somewhere around room temperature here).

7.  Cut into layers.  Cut the rounded top of the cake off to make it as flat as possible.  Now cut it into as many layers as you want, and put a nice layer of frosting in between each layer.  This whole thing only takes a minute, and it looks way more impressive than a single layer.  I promise it’s worth it.

Some notes on this recipe:

You can improvise like crazy with this thing. 

  • If you want to sub some milk (regular, almond, coconut, whatever) for the water, that’s totally fine. (Try brewed coffee, too.  It’s delicious.)
  • If you want to use lemon juice or fancy vinegar instead of white vinegar, go ahead.
  • One of my favorite variations on this recipe is to sub balsamic for the white vinegar and olive oil for the canola.  It feels so fancy.
  • Try using fruit preserves in between some of the layers, and whipped cream in between the others.  It’s divine.

If you make this cake (or some variation of it) I’d love to hear about it!  Leave a comment below.


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