Favourite Recipes, Baked Goods Edition: Cornbread and Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Deliciously and moist cornbread

When I was vegetarian but not vegan, I was very skeptical about vegan sweets and baked goods. I would visit Fresh restaurant in Toronto and devour everything on the lunch or dinner menu, but never even try the (vegan) desserts. Obviously, I was way wrong and ignorant. I know now that vegan sweets and baked goods are every bit as wonderful as the traditional ones, and even better for being made with compassion.

Here are two of my favourite baking recipes, for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and cornbread. These aren’t my own recipes; I’m a baking beginner. Both of these recipes can be whipped up and in the oven in less than five minutes (seriously). Both are absolutely top-notch and ensure that you’ll never have to look for another oatmeal chocolate chip cookie or cornbread recipe.

Cornbread

This recipe for cornbread from Pickles and Honey is perfect. Ridiculously easy and virtually foolproof, the cornbread is delicious either as directed, or with endless variations like added jalapenos, vegan cheddar, roasted corn, or whatever else you’d like to throw in. I follow the recipe exactly and don’t make any changes (except add-ins).  Served warm and smeared with some vegan butter or margarine it is so, so good.

Cornbread

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Growing up, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies were my favourite sweet by a large margin. After going vegan I tried several recipes with variable results. This recipe from Vegan Occasions blew my socks off when I tried it. R. loves them, my mom loves them, everyone loves them.

Recipe tweaks: I find that the cookies are just as good with 1 cup loosely packed sugar, rather than the 1.25 cups called for. You can also trade off a little bit of the oil for extra juice (apple or orange juice work equally well) if you like.  If you’re using mini vegan chocolate chips rather than the stadard size, I suggest reducing the amount to 3/4 of a cup.

Important: Don’t overcook these cookies! I find that they take about 10 minutes. Watch them like a hawk for the last couple of minutes and remove as soon as they start to turn the slightest bit golden. If they do end up getting a bit too much time in the oven, they will cool crispy rather than chewy. They’re still great, but I suggest a few seconds in the microwave to soften them up before serving if they’ve cooled hard.

Best cookies EVER

Vegan Green Tea Ice Cream

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Green tea ice cream!  Such a wonderful treat… cool and creamy but not overly sweet, with the rich flavour of matcha green tea.  After my recent purchase of an ice cream maker, I have been experimenting with delicious homemade vegan ice creams.  I’m still tweaking some other recipes, but this green tea ice cream turned out beautifully.  It’s just like the ice cream in a Japanese restaurant, which I have so missed since giving up dairy and eggs.

This recipe uses an ice cream maker, but if you’d like to try it and don’t have one, try these tips for homemade ice cream without a machine.

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  • 2 cans (400ml each) coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup very hot water
  • 2 tablespoons matcha green tea
  • ¾ cup white sugar (or a little more or less, to taste)

Whisk the matcha powder into the hot water to dissolve it as much as possible.  Whisk the sugar into the coconut milk, then add the matcha mixture and whisk the whole thing until you’re sure the matcha and sugar have dissolved.

Transfer to an ice cream machine and follow the machine’s directions.  After about 25-30 minutes, the ice cream will have a soft texture.  Transfer it to a freezer-safe container and freeze about 30 mins to firm it up before serving.

This ice cream does freeze rather hard, so if it’s been in the freezer for longer than a couple of hours you may wish to give a few minutes at room temperature to soften before scooping.

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