24 January 2008

Altering Martha's Rugelach

These wrapped cookies filled with peach spread, carob chips, walnuts and cinnamon were very easy (and messy!) to make. I just followed the recipe for Rugelach in the Martha Stewart Baking Handbook, substituting agave nectar for the sugar, no-sugar added peach spread for the apricot jelly, and carob chips for the chocolate chips. I also used 1/3 cup of coconut flour (sifted) for 1/3 cup of the ap flour. I baked them at 300 degrees F for a bit longer than the recipe suggested, but they were light, flaky and very tasty!

One of the reasons why I adore Martha Stewart recipes is that they are so well tested. This means that there is enough "give" in a recipe that you can noodle around with it significantly without ending up with a big mess or waste.

These rugelach didn't physically resemble the pastry of my youth, but they were so good that I almost didn't bring them to a party, wishing to keep them for myself. I over-stuffed them, but the result was fine. At the party, there was so much food and so many desserts that I did wind up taking a few home. They didn't last long!

16 January 2008

Yummy Carob Brownies

This recipe originally came from Cafe Fernando, but I've made so many changes to it that my version follows the wee movie showing how I made them. They're uber-fudgy brownies with a nice spicy flavor due to some cinnamon and nutmeg I added. The coconut flour does the trick with the agave nectar and lends a mellowness to the brownies. Next time I make these, I'm going to make a carob ganache to drape on top for even more deliciousness.

Carob Pecan Fudgy Brownies


10 oz. unsweetened carob chips
1/2 stick butter (4 tablespoons)
4 tablespoons pureed white beans
1 1/2 cups agave nectar
4 eggs (you could easily just use the whites here)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup coconut flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup lightly toasted pecans


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8 in. baking pan.
2. In a double boiler, melt the butter with the carob, whisking until smooth. Set aside to cool.
3. Transfer the carob mixture to your mixer bowl and start whisking. Slowly add the agave nectar and whisk until fully combined.
4. Add the eggs and vanilla, whisking until fully combined.
5. Switch to the paddle and fold in the dry ingredients except the pecans.
6. Add the pecans and mix until just combined.
7. Pour into the baking pan and bake for 35 minutes. After 35 minutes, drop the temperature to 300 degrees and bake for 10-12 more minutes until a tester comes out with just the smallest amount of batter.
8. Cool the brownies on a rack until room temperature then frost or cut and enjoy!

11 January 2008

Congratulations Francie Salle -- You're My Menu For Hope Raffle Winner

The winner of my prize for the Menu for Hope raffle is Francie Salle! Congratulations, Francie -- you've won a copy of Veganomicon and a six-pack of organic, raw agave nectar.

So, please contact me ASAP so that I can send you your prize. And, thanks for helping us raise more than $91,000 to help the kids of Lesotho, Africa.

06 January 2008

And then Rich said, "This Tastes Like Tahiti."

Not long ago, I made Pineapple Right-Side-Up Cupcakes from "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World." While I didn't unveganize the cake, I did make a dairy-based frosting made from drained canned pineapple, unsweetened coconut, Neufchatel cheese, agave nectar and butter. It was delightful.

As far as my alterations to the original recipe go, I simply substituted 1/3 cup of coconut flour for 1/3 of the flour in the recipe in order to deal with the agave for sugar substitution. The success of the recipe can be judged by my friend Rich's reaction. He said, biting into a miniature cupcake topped with tasty coconut frosting, "This tastes like Tahiti."

Now there's a compliment!

I thought the cake was very sweet and pineapple-y, while moist. When I make this again, I plan to add a little baking powder to the recipe to give it a bit of lift. That ought to do it. The icing was tart, sweet and creamy all at the same time. When I make that again, I'd add a pinch of salt to take off the sweet edge a bit.

Recently I acquired some agar flakes, so next on my cupcake list are the Brooklyn vs. Boston Cream Pie Cakes. Mmmmmm. Can't wait!

03 January 2008

No One Expects The Dried Pear Noodle Kugel

Yay! We're back from our holiday trip to Utah to visit John's parents (you will be able to find more on that at my other blog as soon as I update it). Prior to our departure (well, most of December, actually) I made loads of recipes that will now make it to the blogs for public consumption.

The little movie below (and I apologize for having to switch back to YouTube after loving Brightcove--they stopped allowing uploads!) is one of those great all-purpose recipes for a tasty, sweet noodle kugel. I served this yummy dish at Mom's Channukah party the day after I made it, and it was a big hit. Between the latkes and the kugel, it's no wonder we were all sluggish after the meal!

This kugel is a conglomeration of several recipes plus my own touches; it's more mine than anyone else's at this point. So, after the little movie, the recipe follows.

Recipe: Deb's Dried Pear Noodle Kugel


1 12-oz bag of thin egg noodles
2 tablespoons of softened butter, plus 1/2 tablespoon for buttering the pan
1 lb of low-fat or fat-free cottage cheese blended until smooth
1 1/2 cups non-fat Greek-style yogurt
1/2 cup low-fat or fat-free whipped cream cheese
1/2 cup agave nectar
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup chopped dried pears
3/4 cup chopped dried apricots
1 cup chopped walnuts


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter baking dish.
2. Boil the noodles until al dente. Drain and set aside.
3. Mush the softened butter in a large bowl for 1 minute. Add noodles and mix until the noodles are coated with the butter.
5. Mix in the yogurt and cream cheese for about a minute.
6. Mix in the cottage cheese and the agave nectar for about two minutes.
7. Mix in the nutmeg and cinnamon just until blended.
8. Mix in the dried fruit for about a minute.
9. Mix in the walnuts for one minute.
10. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and bake for 35 minutes, until golden brown on top.
11. Let cool for 25 minutes or serve immediately. Enjoy!