Vegan Baking (Vegan brownie recipe below)

I have been struggling with what to talk about first.  I decided to talk about vegan baking.  It really isn’t that hard and there are some easy options.  I bought my daughter this vegan cookie cookbook: Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar and WE LOVE IT!!  It doesn’t have a bunch of weird ingredients.  We’ve made several different recipes and I highly recommend it especially if you’re new to the vegan scene.  It’s by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and if you don’t want to spend the money on a cookbook, click here and go to her website which has tons of recipes.  Delicious!

So how can you do vegan baking without butter, milk and eggs?  Here are a few helpful tips with photos of the products posted below.  Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks is the best alternative to real butter I have found.  It works just as well with cooking and baking as regular butter (except in that chocolate chip pie that is always at my family gatherings…sadly that was a big failure…must use real butter and real eggs in that one).  And it’s easy to find; I get it at my local grocery store.

Milk is easy.  You can substitute soy or almond milk in any recipe.  There’s also rice milk and hemp milk.  And probably others.

Eggs are a little more tricky but not too complicated.  I usually have to go to my local Whole Foods or Sprouts to get my egg replacer.   Two varieties I have used that work well with baking are: Ener G Egg Replacer and Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer.  They are both a powder and require you to mix with water prior to adding to your recipe.  I have found it is better to mix by putting the powder and water in a small jar and shaking vigorously.  Stirring it with a spoon doesn’t mix it well enough for me.  Both have worked well for me in cookies and cakes.  However I have tried using it in homemade bread and rolls recipes and it does not work well.  I don’t really like the results with using applesauce as a butter or egg replacer.

I have a delicious, like THE BEST EVER homemade granola bar recipe (maybe I’ll share it later) that I got from a dear friend that calls for honey.  Once my daughter decided to go vegan I was torn in how I could make these in a way that she could enjoy them.  It was a simple fix with Agave Nectar.  I can also find this with the other sugars at my local grocery store.

And lastly, what about all those chocolate chips?  We put them in so many things!  Here are a few varieties I have found that aren’t too expensive. (Whole Foods carries some but I have found they are a little more expensive).  My local grocery store carries Guittard Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips and Guittard Extra Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips.  The other varieties of the same brand, like the vanilla and butterscotch all contain milk products.  So I did a little searching and found these on Amazon: King David Caramel Chips, King David Butterscotch Chips, and King David White Chocolate Chips.  The draw back is that they come in a pack of 4 8.8oz bags and the price will vary.  Right now, in the hot months, it looks like the price is a little bit higher, in the $19 range.  I bought them last in the spring time and they were about $15 for a pack of 4. So, they are not cheap, but if you gotta have some, they are the best I found.  The product information says they could melt in the hot months, and I live somewhere hot, so I stock up in the cooler months.  They are delicious; I even went and gave them a great review on their Amazon site because they were that good.  I had tried some white baking chips I got locally and they tasted like wax.

I found this easy-peasy Vegan Brownies recipe on allrecipes.com that I use all the time, made with just regular stuff you already have in your pantry.  Easy and delicious!

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