Pantry Peanut Butter Oat Cookies

Sometimes the last minute urge to bake strikes, and you’ve got to make do with what’s in your pantry. Which is how these delicious and decadent cookies were born.

I refuse to go to the grocery store in the days leading up to Christmas, it’s entirely too hectic. So when I learned a last-minute Dungeons & Dragons game was happening this week, I decided to bake cookies for our crew without running to the store for anything extra.

These simple cookies are based on ingredients that should all be staples in your vegan (or even non-vegan) pantry. Chewy oats give a hearty base, while crunchy peanut butter adds great texture, and gooey chocolate chips contribute richness. Plus with no need for the dough to rest, you can whip these cookies out in just over half an hour, making them perfect for last minute baking whims.

Pantry Peanut Butter Oat Cookies

Makes 30 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup processed crunchy peanut butter (not natural, it will be too oily)
  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together oats, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Pour in the remaining ingredients and stir well until a sticky dough forms.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and using a tablespoon (which is easier if you spray it with oil), measure out 15 cookies with about 1-inch of space in between each. You’ll need to bake two batches to use all the dough.
  5. Bake cookies until golden brown, about 7-9 minutes. Check these frequently, because agave nectar easily browns and can burn quickly.
  6. Let cookies rest for 5 minutes before removing from the parchment paper with a spatula. They will be extremely soft but will firm up as they cool.

Nutrition per serving (1 cookie):
Calories: 127 Fat: 6g Saturated Fat: 2.3g Protein: 2.5g Carbohydrates: 17g Sugars: 10g

Baked BBQ Tofu

bbq-tofu

I gotta be honest, now that I live in the ‘burbs I can smell about half of the neighborhood grilling on any given weekend and that has left me craving some smoky foods.

As someone who has zero skills at grilling, and also not enough time or patience to actually learn it, I’ve got to find some other way to get my fix with minimal effort. That’s where my oven comes into play.

Baking tofu leaves it chewy and gives it crispy caramelized edges when sauce is applied. Add extra layers of flavor thanks to a dry rub and pickle juice brine, and you’re set with a plate of BBQ tofu that would be welcome at any cookout.

Since I am a self-admitted BBQ novice, I drew inspiration for this recipe from Food Network’s Rib Dry Rub and the sauce is a riff off an oil-free recipe on Inside Kelly’s Kitchen. Both were great jumping off points for mixing and matching to my family’s tastes.

bbq-tofu-2

Baked BBQ Tofu

Serves 4, 4 slices per serving

Ingredients:

  • 2 blocks firm tofu, drained and pressed
  • 4 cups pickle juice (can be from store-bought or homemade)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon coconut or brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 (8 oz.) can of tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • ⅛ teaspoon liquid smoke

Directions:

  1. Cut each block of tofu into 8 ½-inch thick slices. In a shallow casserole dish, layer tofu and pour pickle juice over. Marinate for at least 1 hour, flipping tofu as necessary for all sides to be well coated.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  3. In a shallow bowl, mix together cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, sugar, black pepper, and white pepper.
  4. Drain tofu and roll each piece in the dry rub mixture. Place tofu on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking time.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together tomato sauce, balsamic vinegar, yellow mustard, and liquid smoke. Set aside.
  6. Once tofu has baked for 20 minutes, use a basting brush to coat one side of tofu pieces with sauce. Bake for 5 minutes. Flip tofu, baste the other side, and bake for 5 more minutes. Serve with any leftover BBQ sauce on the side.

    Nutrition per serving:
    Calories: 181 Fat: 7.5g Saturated Fat: 1.4g Protein: 17g Carbohydrates: 16g Sugars: 7.8g

Non-Poisoned Baked Apples (Vegan MoFo #8)

vegmofo

Though I haven’t had a ton of time to blog about it this Vegan MoFo, I have been making a lot of yummy Disney themed foods. So though we’re close to the end, there is still more to come!

Snow White has always been one of those films that creeped me out a bit. The story is just strange (heck, she’s living in the wild with seven men) because of the poisoned apple, the prince kissing a corpse he finds in the woods, etc. Plus nothing compares to the ride at Disney World, which is way too dark and crap-your-pants scary as a kid. Anyway, it’s still considered a Disney classic, so I felt compelled to cook from it.

snow white

Image property of Disney Enterprises, Inc. 

I’ve never been a huge raw apple fan (except for the granny smith kind) so when I was young I always wondered why Snow White was tempted by the poisoned apple. So I decided to make something I would be tempted to eat, even when given by a weird old witch: baked apples with caramel sauce.

snow white apples

I just sliced up a few apples and baked them until tender. Then I made some caramel sauce, with a dash of imitation butter extract for a butterscotch flavor, and drizzled it over. Super delicious.