These light and luscious bites are the perfect, pretty little refresher.
Made from only 7 ingredients and requiring no baking, they are ready when you are. And each cool and creamy treat is only about 220 decadent calories.
Even though key limes are not green, I feel like lime desserts should be, so I add a hint of Macha powder, which doesn’t alter the taste.
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (I like Tofutti)
1/4 cup natural sugar
5 ounces coconut cream
Zest of 1large key lime or small-medium lime and juice of entire lime/key lime
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Optional: 1/2 teaspoon Macha powder or enough to achieve desired color
1/4 cup non-dairy whipped topping + 1/2 cup for topping
Garnish: Vegan Graham Cracker crumbs or pieces + optional lime slices or zest
With an electric mixer, cream together cream cheese and sugar until smooth. If cream cheese is cold, use a food processor. Beat in remaining ingredients, except whipped topping and garnishes, until completely combined. Fold in whipped topping. Divide among 8 very small cups–I like clear glass–not much bigger than a shot glass. Top each with about 1 tablespoon of remaining whipped topping. Refrigerate until serving time. (I store them in a lidded carton.) Garnish as desired and serve.
A gift of fresh peaches–the first of the season–inspired these beautiful ready-in-a-flash tarts with their delightfully textured raw vegan crusts and creamy sweet-tart filling. The garnishes I chose were barely sweetened vegan sour cream, blackberries I picked on a walk in the woods, shredded coconut leftover from our wedding cake, sliced almonds, and lemon balm I grow in a pot outdoors.
Make filling and set aside to cool:
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 medium peaches including skin, pitted, and processed in food processor until smooth
Juice 1/2 large lemon
2 tablespoons non-dairy milk
Optional: 1 tablespoon peach liqueur
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
In a small saucepanover medium or medium-low heat, simmer together all ingredients except almond extract, whisking continually, until very thick. Whisk in almond extract. Set aside to cool. Mixture will continue to thicken as it cools.
Make Raw Vegan Date, Nut, Coconut Crust:
1 cup slivered or sliced almonds or a combination pecans and almonds
1 cup shredded coconut, sweetened or unsweetened
Pinch sea salt
Process together in food processor until ingredients are minced and hold together when pinched. Divide into fourths and press evenly onto bottom and sides of four 5-inch tart pans. Divide filling evenly among shells, smoothing tops, and garnish as desired.
If it is extra hot, as it is here in Southeastern Virginia this July, pop these babies in the freezer for a bit before serving. They will cool you right down and perk you right up.
A note about the garnish: I sprinkle my tarts with mini white chocolate chips, but if you don’t have any, just sprinkle with a little powdered sugar for a bit of color contrast. The little bites of white chocolate are nice, but probably not worth making a special purchase. If you use the powdered sugar, be sure to dust the tarts just before serving.
1/2 cup pecans, plain or toasted
1/2 cup shredded coconut (I like unsweetened)
1/4 to 1/2 cup dates or dry figs, stemmed (this may sound like a big difference, but it depends on how moist the fruit is)
Pinch sea salt
Vegan Chocolate Mousse (recipe follows)
Vegan Chocolate Ganache (recipe follows)
12 fresh raspberries, rinsed and patted very dry
Approximately 2 tablespoons mini vegan white chocolate chips or powdered sugar
Garnish: fresh mint sprigs
Place 12 mini muffin cups liners in muffin tin. in food processor, a small one if you have it, process together pecans, coconut, and one quarter cup of figs or dates, and salt. Process until the mixture starts to hold together. If It holds together when pinched between your fingers, it is the right consistency. If not, keep adding figs or dates, one or two at a time. Divide mixture among lined muffin cups and press into bottoms. Fill each with chocolate mousse. (If there is any mousse left over, spoon into a carton and chill, covered, for another use.) Refrigerate for an hour or so and then prepare chocolate ganache, swirling about 1/12 of the mixture in the center of each tart. While ganache is still soft and pliable, press a raspberry gently into the center and garnish with white chocolate chips. Return to refrigerator until chilled through. If using powdered sugar, dust just prior to serving. Serve with mint sprigs if desired. For a quick cool-down treat, freeze the tarts for about a half hour before serving.
Vegan Chocolate Mousse (easily doubles):
8 ounces firm or extra-firm tofu (if you purchase blocks in 14 ounces rather than 16, use half or 7 ounces)
6 ounces vegan chocolate chips, melted and cooled slightly
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (it masks the slightly off-taste of silken tofu)
Pinch sea salt
Optional: 1 tablespoon raspberry liqueur
Place tofu in bowl of large food processor and process until creamy. Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth, creamy, and completely combined, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. This mousse sets up quickly and can also be served on its own or as a cake filling.
Vegan Chocolate Ganache:
2 tablespoons non-dairy milk, half-and-half or creamer
1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips
Heat non-dairy milk in small cup in microwave or until very warm. Whisk in chocolate chips and let cool until very spreadable, but not warm enough to melt mousse.
If a traditional pecan pie–with even more pecans–is what you crave, this pie is perfection and as easy as, well, you know.
Most recipes call for 2 cups–or even just 1 1/2 cups–pecans. Why? Mine calls for 3 for the best filling-nut ratio. This is no time to skimp.
A week ago, I published my other favorite pecan pie, though that one has a more custardy texture, as it is made from a tofu and cornstarch-based custard. Bob the omni liked that one but he much prefers this one, which he eats with his chocolate ice cream that is always in the freezer. He did admit that another flavor of ice cream would be optimal.
So serve either pie with vegan vanilla ice cream and/or vegan whipped cream–perhaps a little drizzle of brandy or bourbon–enjoy, and then let us know what you you think. Happy Holidays!
Note: If you eschew booze, just replace it with 3 tablespoon water and 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, as Veganegg has a somewhat pronounced, slightly savory, flavor that needs countered with the assertive flavor of alcohol or with an acid.
1 prepared vegan pie crust, homemade or purchased
1 1/2 cups pecan pieces
1 1/2 cups pecan halves
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
6 tablespoons Veganegg
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup brandy or bourbon
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup demerrera sugar
3 tablespoons melted vegan butter
2 tablespoons molasses (not blackstrap)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Topping: vegan vanilla ice cream, vegan whipped cream like So Delicious Cocowhip
Set out pie crust if frozen. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet, spray with nonstick spray, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, and toast for 3 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together Veganegg with water and brandy or bourbon. Whisk in all remaining ingredients. Set aside 32 pecan halves and spread all the rest into pie crust. Sprikle with sea salt remaining on baking sheet. Place pie pan on baking sheet, pour filling evenly over the top. Decorate the top with concentric rings of pecan halves and bake for one hour. Pie will seem quite “loose” but will firm up as it cools. Because of this, you may need to gently reposition some of your decorative pecan halves.
Cool completely, cover, and chill for a couple of hours. Serve topped as desired.
I got inspired AFTER Thanksgiving to experiment with pecan pie. The one at our repast was not vegan, so I couldn’t partake.
On a recent trip to Duck, NC, Bob had a scrumptious pecan tart with bourbon ice cream and salted caramel sauce which I had to taste for research purposes. I felt the caramel sauce was overkill. And I knew I wasn’t going to make ice cream just due to time, so I added the booze to the pie and served the slices with purchased vegan vanilla ice cream. Yes, please.
The question for vegan pecan pie bakers is silken tofu or no? I say yes, as I was never a fan of syrupy pecan pie. So, I like the slightly more custardy texture of this one, which slices beautifully. I hope you do too.
As I mentioned, this pie is addicting served with softened vegan vanilla ice cream. And while I deemed the caramel sauce too much of a good thing, everyone will look the other way if you drizzle a hint more brandy or bourbon over the top.
1 prepared vegan crust
3 cupswhole pecans
Coarse sea salt
6 tablespoonsvegan butter
1cup demerrera sugar
¾cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon dark molasses
2 tablespoons flour
½teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons brandy or bourbon
Juice of half a medium-large lemon (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon almond extract
1cup soft silken tofu
Optional: a few vegan chocolate chips
Flaky or coarse sea salt
Heat oven to 350 degrees. If pie crust is frozen, remove from freezer. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray, spread pecans in a single layer on sheet, sprinkle very lightly with sea salt, and roast in oven for 3 minutes. Set aside, but leave oven on.
In a medium saucepan, combine the vegan butter, sugar, corn syrup, molasses, corn starch, flour, and sea salt. Stir and cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring, for another minute. Remove from heat and stir in brandy or bourbon, vanilla, and almond extract.
In a food processor, process the silken tofu until smooth. Add the maple syrup mixture and pulse again well combined. Reserve 28 of the pecan halves, add half of the remaining pecan halves, and break up the temaining ones as you add. Use a spatula to gently swirl them into the filling. Transfer filling to pie shell. Arrange the reserved pecans on top of the pie in two concentric circles. Dot with chocolate chips if desired.
Place pie on a baking sheet on the middle rack of your oven and bake for about one hour, until the crust is nicely browned and the edges of the pie are set. The center might still be a very slightly jiggly. Remove from oven, sprinkle with just a hint of flaky sea salt like Maldon or just a nice coarse variety and allow to cool completely before serving.
Serve with softened vegan vanilla ice cream (I like So Delicious No Sugar Added) or vegan whipped cream.
I don’t know quite why I got such a hankerin’ for this pie, but I did and the first experiment was an epic fail resulting in an epic oven cleaning.
But this? This is perfection!
Note: several hours before you plan to bake the pie, prepare the cashews:
1 cup roasted and lightly salted cashews or halves and pieces, covered with hot water in a small bowl and left to soak for 3 hours or until softened and most of water is absorbed, drained (you can use raw cashews, but I think the roasted have more of the desired rich flavor for this recipe)
1 1/2 cups natural granulated sugar (I like demerera)
1/2 cup flour
2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
4 tablespoons vegan butter, melted
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons plain soy or almond creamer
3 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder (I like to use Hershey’s Special Dark)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 homemade or purchased 8-inch vegan pie crust, thawed (if frozen), and unbaked (I used Marie Callender’s for the sake of time, but I much prefer homemade)
Optional garnish: whole cashew nuts or pecan halves
Preheat over to 300 degrees. In a food processor, puree drawined cashews for 3 or so minutes until very smooth. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl and whisk in remaining ingredients until smooth and completely combined. Scrape into thawed pie shell and gently smooth top. Bake for 45 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack, cover, and chill for a couple of hours before slicing and serving plain or with a drift of powdered sugar, a dollop of vegan whipped cream, or a scoop of vegan vanilla ice cream. Garnish, if desired, with a cashew nut or pean half.
I decided to pick a dessert to celebrate Valentine’s Day so I chose the Apple Peanut Butter Streusel Pie. It was this and a clean garage for my man – strange how “gifts” evolve over 22 years of marriage!
I started reading through and it mentions the use of a food processor. Now it is a widely known fact in my home that I absolutely HATE my food processor. Just can’t stand it. My husband feels like I am totally irrational on this point. I admit my first excuse is lame. I tell him there are so many pieces to wash. He points out that we have a dishwasher. Ok true. Then I show him how I can’t seem to ever lock it in without a huge fight. He says…and I love this…”you’re doing it wrong”. So fine…you do it, I say. I cannot tell you the amazing sense of satisfaction I had watching him repeatedly try to lock it into place!! Ahhhhh!! Point made.
When I was very young, my mom taught me how to bake. Basic baking ingredients were affordable and it’s amazing what you can create with flour, sugar, powdered milk and imitation vanilla. If we found a great looking recipe with an ingredient we didn’t have, she would save up and get it for me. So I love to bake for the memories; and for this reason, I am really old school about it. So long story short, it’s a no on the food processor.
This recipe called for coconut oil. Ok that would be under the bathroom counter. I always thought it was for making great body scrubs. It never occurred to me to cook with it! I didn’t have enough so I went shopping. While I was standing in front of the overwhelming choices of coconut oils (refined, medium heat, virgin, unrefined) I was so tempted to text Betsy for advice. But seriously, did Julie have an option of texting the great Julia Child? Nope. I’m on my own here, so I chose the virgin, unrefined. It just sounded more vegan to me.
When it came time to make the tart dough, I was skeptical. Coconut oil instead of butter? Surprisingly it really did have the consistency required and it came together perfectly. I pressed it into a heart shaped pan but the sides kept slipping down so I gave up on that and just stuck it in the oven.
With the coconut oil out I just couldn’t resist giving my dry winter hands a spa treatment so I made a quick lemon sugar scrub in the palm of my hand. What could be better? Baking and a spa treatment!! Instant stress relief.
Everything else was a breeze and I was in my element. It was beautiful right out of the oven. I even sprinkled some red sugar over it for a more festive look.
Even though I was super careful to hide the coconut oil and the organic peanut butter, my men were circling it like a pack of wolves – going in, examining it, sniffing it and backing out again. What the hell guys! It’s just heart shaped!! Do they per chance suspect vegan?? Has my cover been blown so early in the game??
So here are the results. My husband kept shaking his head saying it needed more peanut butter (seriously I think he just meant it lacked Jif, his favorite), but he liked the crust saying it tasted like the apples. My son will eat anything and gave it a thumbs up on his way out the door. I, unlike my husband, tasted tons of peanut butter, but I must confess I really missed the butter in the crust and the topping. I do love the fact that the apples were sautéed before going into the oven. Overall thumbs up but sorry, I have to use butter next time. I sure will miss my hand scrub though.
Yield: 8 to 12 servings (it is decadent and rich, so a thin sliver may do the trick)
This recipe began its life as No Bake Chocolate Cake (which is really more of a terrine) at 101 Cookbooks.
But, my enterprising friend, Barbara Gelpi, simply poured the mixture into a crumb crust–homemade or purchased, plain or chocolate–and voila!: the densest, richest, most delectable tart imaginable with not a bit of tofu in sight.
Though I happen to love tofu, the absence of it removes all the soy, to which some folks are averse, while also removing the need for a food processor. Considering that my new dog Patsy “retrieved” the blade from the counter where it was draining and ruined it by chewing up the plastic part only–thank goodness–that is a good thing.
Barbara and her husband, Juan, joined me in the preparation of a delectable vegan Moroccan meal last night, so Barbara’s addition of a pistachio garnish was perfectly fitting and tasty, and the green was such a pretty contrast with the warm reddish-brown of the chocolate. But use any nut you like or no nuts at all.
This tart is sure to become a staple and all of your friends will ask you to bring it when they invite you for dinner. Heck, they may invite you to dinner just so you’ll bring the tart!
8 ounces vegan chocolate (at least 70% cocoa)
1 cup almond milk
1/2 teaspoon allspice, cinnamon, chili powder, etc.
2 teaspoons espresso
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 crumb pie crust
Optional topping: 1/4 cup coarsely chopped pistachios or your favorite nut
Melt the chocolate on the stovetop or in the microwave. Heat the milk with the spice of your choice, the espresso, and the salt just bubbling. Whisk the chocolate into the milk. Allow to cool and thicken a bit, and then pour into crust. Sprinkle with nuts, and chill a couple of hours or until cold throughout and set. It should be firm enough to slice beautifully. Note: to make peanut butter version, melt 2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter with chocolate and sprinkle top with coarsely chopped peanuts.