There’s just something about buttery shortbread that’s otherworldly. How does that rich, savory-sweet, toastiness, sweep into your palate with buttery wave after buttery wave? How does it exist with such a crispy texture? That snap when you bite into it unleashes a lingering aroma that takes over you and lets you know that you’ve arrived
. Everything is going to be okay now. As long as you don’t hog all the shortbread.
I’m pretty picky about my shortbread. I believe it should be a celebration of the flavor of butter. Any other flavors present need only be there to play a supporting role. As you bite in, it should yield with a snap and infuse the senses with buttery richness. But this is vegan baking. How do you do all these things as well as showcase butter?
Leveraging toastiness can be a powerful tool for creating rich, complex flavors. Toastiness is often defined in dictionaries as “comfortably or cozily warm”. I think it’s pretty cool how this definition describes the actual food flavor so spot-on. When you combine toastiness with coconut, you’d better watch out; you’re in for a burst of rich toastiness with a lingering creamy coconut finish that can fade into maltiness. Perfect for kicking your vegan baking up a notch or three!
Why confine toasted coconut to coconut flour? By making coconut milk out of toasted coconut flour, we’re able to apply this rich, complex creamy toastiness to a much wider array of vegan baking applications. Ice creams
, cream sauces
; any food that uses a large proportion of liquid can take advantage of toasted coconut milk in place of regular non-dairy milk. You can even put it in your breakfast oatmeal where it’ll add a rich, savory maltiness. But how does this flavor come to be?
I decided to assemble Team Coconut: an all-star team of players dedicated to bringing in some serious coconut action. Like a Quiet Riot - Bang Your Head (on the Coconut) remix. Based on my Vegan Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie
recipe, Vegan Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies boast toasted coconut flour, unrefined coconut oil, coconut sugar and shredded coconut that toasts during baking. Let’s do this.
This super easy Vegan Coconut Almond Truffle recipe will satisfy that late night chocolate craving without the excess sugar and empty calories of other desserts. This perfect blend of coconut, chocolate and almond will keep you coming back for more.
Vegan Orange Icing is perfect for doughnuts, cookies or cakes such as Rosemary Olive Oil Semolina Cake
. It features fresh orange juice that lends a bright burst of flavor, coconut oil to allow it to solidify properly and a touch of vanilla extract for depth of flavor.
Coconut Vegan Butter is similar to Vegan Butter but involves unrefined coconut oil and agave syrup to accentuate the coconut flavors. The result is a spread that celebrates the richness and smoothness that only coconut can offer. Since this Vegan Butter is slightly more sweet than a regular vegan butter, it's recommended to add another layer of complexity to things like pancakes, toast or a baked item where coconut would enhance flavor. Also use this to make things like coconut pie crust or coconut lime scones.
Vegan Butter is designed to mimic real butter in vegan baking applications. Like real butter, Vegan Butter is more solid than tub margarine and not as spreadable. This is so it can perform optimally in vegan baking applications. If your goal is to have a conveniently softer, spreadable Vegan Butter, swap out 1 additional Tablespoon of the coconut oil with 1 Tablespoon canola, light olive oil or rice bran oil.
Banana Vegan Butter doesn't utilize curdling so it's great for people looking to avoid soy. It can also be made raw. It has a smooth, subtle buttery banana flavor that's great for using as a butter substitute or for amping up desserts that already showcase banana. Try Banana Vegan Butter on pancakes or make banana croissants. Non-dairy butter is designed to mimic real butter in vegan baking applications. Like real butter, Vegan Butter is more solid than tub margarine and not as spreadable. This is so it can perform optimally in vegan baking applications. If your goal is to have a conveniently softer, spreadable Vegan Butter, swap out 1 Tablespoon of the coconut oil with 1 additional Tablespoon canola, light olive oil or rice bran oil.
As I progress in my vegan baking adventures I strive for quality ingredients that give me as much control as possible over the flavors and textures I'm trying to convey. I also love breaking foods down to their most basic components and building them back up again, learning and getting unnecessarily excited along the way. For some people it's TV. For me it's this sort of food hacking.
I recently decided that I wanted to create a high quality vegan butter because I began to tire of the store bought yellow goop
that I was so steadily relying on. What if I don't want all that diacetyl flavoring, beta carotene coloring, palm oil and who knows what else? My vegan butter experimentation ended up being more successful than I imagined
. What if I made my own shortening?
Anzac cookies are probably one of my favorite cookies! The richness of coconut, the depth of Lyle’s golden syrup all held together with oats, flour and sugar…oh yeah, and your favorite non-dairy butter too! How incredibly delicious this mixture is. All I can say is THANKS AUSTRALIA for coming up with a perfect cookie. Australians call these cookies biscuits and they were developed during the first World War for the soldiers. They were perfect for travel because they do not contain milk or eggs, which means the soldiers had a yummy way to have sustenance while away. The one secret ingredient is Lyle’s Golden Syrup. I found mine at a local store that has an international section. Look where you might find ingredients from the UK, you will likely find this sweet gem. There’s only one way it could get better…add fruit! So which fruit goes well with coconut and oats? My pick is strawberry. I originally planned on making homemade strawberry jam but then got impatient (big surprise for those who know me) and bought a jar of organic strawberry preserves instead. I suppose that for this recipe you could use homemade jam and it would add another layer of deliciousness. These cookies are sweet, rich and the texture is a little chewy, a little soft…and A LOT delectable.
Butter is one of those ingredients that can be so central to baking that as soon as some people hear the term vegan baking
they wonder aloud almost in a panic, “what about the butter?!” Many vegan baked items get along great with fats like canola, coconut oil
or even olive oil. These types of fats work wonders for cakes
. When designing recipes where we need something to act like butter, things start to get complicated. Solid fats like butter and margarine are integral to things like puff pastry
, pie crust
, danish dough and certain cakes
. This is because in these cases the fat is used to coat the flour so gluten doesn't develop too much and also trap air bubbles to enhance leavening and texture. The only option in these instances is to turn to a margarine or similar vegan butter that is solid at room temperature and gets soft as it melts so it blends to one cohesive mass of dough.
When working on this Vegan Double Chocolate Fudge recipe I learned that in order to master fudge, you need to thoroughly understand caramelization. Luckily, after dozens of fudgy failures, I now understand caramelization well enough to the point of where I can proudly share my recipe for all to enjoy, because you, dear reader, are worth more than marshmallow fluff. This recipe is easy as long as you follow it closely.
This Rich Vegan Coconut Frosting recipe is just bursting at the seams with coconut flavor. It's similar in flavor and texture to the frosting at BabyCakes
bakery if you've ever been lucky enough to do a "shot" of theirs. This vegan frosting differs in that it takes advantage of caramelizing sugar to the thread stage of 230F (110C)
where it contributes a smooth velvety texture. It also uses soy milk powder (not to be confused with soy flour) to improve creaminess and a dash of vanilla extract to tie it all together. A touch of agave syrup inhibits sugar recrystalization in the frosting. There is a delicate balance due to coconut oil's tendency to melt above 76F (24C)
which is one of the caveats of using coconut oil in a frosting.
Be extremely careful if you choose to customize this recipe with your own flavor substitutions; adding too much liquid can make it excessively runny. You even have the option of using refined coconut oil if you want to go in a completely custom non-coconut flavor direction. When using this frosting and other coconut oil based frostings, try to keep your cake in temperatures below coconut oil's melting point or your frosting may slip slide away along with your sanity.
This Vegan Coconut Rum Raisin Ice Cream recipe is a great example of how suitable coconut milk can be as a rich, creamy base in vegan ice creams. The coconut flavor is further enhanced by the addition of toasted shredded coconut then complimented by just the right amount of rum soaked raisins. It's important to note that adding more than 2 Tablespoons of rum is discouraged because it will drastically increase the freezing temperature resulting in ice cream that's too soft.
If pirates ate brittle (and you know they did) this Vegan Coconut Macadamia Nut Brittle would be the flavor and this is how they'd describe it:
Yaaar ya kitchen dwellin' landlubber! Coconut, caramelized sugar and macadamia nuts be tied together with a splash o' rum t' make this t' brittle o' t' pirate seas, matey! So whip up a batch and hand 'er over before ya be plank walkin'!
They might also marvel in the fact that this vegan brittle recipe uses coconut milk, coconut oil
and shredded coconut for maximum coconut flavor, except it would be hard to hear yowled in that thick pirate accent.
Use this Easy Vegan Caramel Sauce recipe to bring another dimension to vegan cheesecakes, ice creams, pies, brownies or pretty much anything. Caramel is one of those rare taste miracles that's in the same realm of chocolate sauce and maple syrup; it would probably make cardboard taste delectable. It's liquid gold. This is an easy to make sauce that utilizes coconut cream for rich flavor. Coconut contains flavor compounds called lactones which are among the same compounds that give dairy products like cream their signature flavors. Want to turn up the flavor level to eleven? Replace the vanilla extract with 1 Tablespoon bourbon, rum or brandy.
Mango and coconut are good friends and some of my favorite foods so why not pair them together in this Vegan Coconut Mango Pancake recipe? These vegan pancakes feature coconut milk, shredded coconut, mango chunks, just the right ratio of whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour and a touch of vanilla extract to further unify the flavors. It's the closest a pancake breakfast will ever get to feeling like a tropical paradise.
One wonderful summer in lovely Northern California, I had the pleasure of camping with one of my favorite people ever (who I'll just call Alf). That night he introduced me to something I'll never forget...Banana Delight! Serve with some quality sipping whiskey and good friends.
I used to own a vegan baking company called Enchanted Oven Baking Co
. This Coconut Mac Daddy Macaroon was one of the cookies I sold, individually packaged, to health food stores around the San Francisco Bay Area around 2003-2005. Here it is in all its glory. This recipe has been modified from a 200 cookie batch so please excuse the wonky measurements.
Brown rice syrup, coconut, vanilla extract and just the right amount of macadamia nuts really bring out the best in these dense, chewy coconut macaroons.
I used to own a vegan baking company called Enchanted Oven Baking Co. This Chocolate Coconut Mac Daddy Macaroon was one of the cookies I sold, individually packaged, to health food stores around the San Francisco Bay Area around 2003-2005. Here it is in all its glory. This recipe has been modified from a 200 cookie batch so please excuse the wonky measurements.
Brown rice syrup, coconut, cocoa powder and just the right amount of chocolate chips really bring out the best in these dense, vegan, chewy chocolate coconut macaroons. Please Note: For best results it's crucial that this recipe is followed exactly.
This Vegan Chocolate Coconut Magic Bar recipe is quite possibly the only good thing I got from going to church as a youngster. Sundays were free-for-all sugar fests that kept the kids coming. This vegan dessert in particular often inspired me to secretly infiltrate the church kitchen with ninja-like abilities so I could get to it first while the church service was still in session.
Magic Bars are also known as Seven Layer Bars because they often involve seven alternating layers of things like walnuts, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, butterscotch chips and shredded coconut that are bonded together with a liberal drizzling of condensed non-dairy milk. I opted to forego the peanut butter chips and butterscotch chips due to their near-impossible vegan availability and because they usually push the sweetness envelope a little too far. I then made up for their lack of flavors by opting for Golden Vegan Caramel Sauce
or Easy Vegan Caramel Sauce
instead of Vegan Condensed Non-dairy Milk
in the binding department. The result is a sticky gooey mess of a great thing.
This Vegan Tropical Paradise Granola recipe features shredded coconut, coconut oil, dried pineapple and dried mango. Cashew butter makes a creamy base that ties it all together. Savoring this vegan granola is kind of like going on vacation. Except without palm trees. And it's cheaper. And it tastes better.
These Vegan Pecan Bonbons are beautifully simple because they're made up of just dates, cinnamon, almond butter and coconut blended to perfection. It's just an effortless, fruit-sweetened treat.
A Thai classic, this Sweet Sticky Vegan Rice Pudding (Kao-Niew-Moon) recipe is simple to make and wonderfully creamy due to its use of coconut milk, sugar and a touch of salt. Topping this gluten-free vegan pudding with sliced mango is highly recommended.
This Vegan Tropical Paradise Bar recipe makes perfect vegan energy bars for sporting events, a nutritious snack for people on the go or just for dessert. These gluten-free bars feature a cashew butter base that's sweetened with agave syrup, brown rice syrup then studded with pineapple chunks, macadamia nuts and shredded coconut.
One of my favorite things about coconut is how its simplicity doesn't yearn to be enhanced, combined and built up amongst other ingredients to really shine; its gloriously rich and warm flavors are substantial enough without much else. In this Vegan Coconut Macaroon recipe I chose to showcase coconut with just a touch of brown rice syrup and vanilla extract so the coconut does most of the talking. Coconut is perfectly happy if you are in the paring mood however. If you're feeling so inclined, a drizzle of melted chocolate will bring these to the next level.
This Vegan Chocolate Coconut Macaroon recipe is based on the fact that chocolate and coconut is one of the best flavor combinations ever known. These vegan macaroons feature brown rice syrup and a touch of vanilla extract to let the chocolate and coconut flavors really shine.