Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies + some updates

Hi! 

It has certainly been a while….

  

But I’m back! And bringing you more recipes and photos of things with a big bite taken out of them.

I’m no longer living in Bangkok (and I miss it EVERY day) but now my everyday struggles take place in a new language…Mandarin! I live in mainland China now, and have for the past year in a “small” city with 4.5 million other people. I have picked up a couple friends along the way…

   
I still love to cook, eat, and travel. And I still hate baked donuts.

So now that that’s settled, let’s get into the cookies.

I don’t know what it is about vegan baking, but it always tastes better the next day. I don’t know if it has to do with using a chemical leavener like baking soda instead of eggs, but it always ALWAYS seems to taste better when it’s not fresh out of the oven and has had at least 8 hours to kind of hang out. I thought this was all in my head until my coworker, who I had not told my theory to told me “hey you know those cookies you made were even better the next day! Weird right?” 

My point is, although you’ll want to eat these fresh out da oven, let em sit overnight or at least for a few hours to get the best result.

P.s. If you’re Instagram savvy, come follow me @darthveganeats !

 

Gloop gloop  
 I took this photo solely for the purpose of showing how cool my measuring cups are   
 
 
Hungry yet? Ha well you’ll have to wait. Trust me!

Recipe: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 2-3 dozen (depending on how much batter you eat)

Ingredients

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 cup pumpkin purée 

1/3 cup flavorless oil (like canola)

1/4 cup coffee

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 teaspoon butter extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon (and/or 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice)

3 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 + 1/2 cups chocolate chips or chunks

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 180 degrees Celsius.

2. In a large bowl whisk together sugars, oil, coffee, water, corn starch, and extracts to a caramel-like consistency. Add in pumpkin, set aside.

3. In a separate bowl mix together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt until combined and no big lumps remain.

4. Slowly add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture, mixing in between. Fold in chocolate.

4. Scoop out batter onto a greased baking sheet or wax paper covered baking sheet by the rounded tablespoon. Leave at least 2 inches in between as they will spread.

5. Bake for 8 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes, then move with a spatula to cool on a wire rack or wax paper. Repeat until all your cookies are baked. Finished!

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Pumpkin + Coffee + Chocolate Chunk Bread

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I had a really hard time naming this one.  I put some plus signs in the title hoping it’d help cover up the ridiculous length of the title, but alas.  I wasn’t even sure about the ‘bread’ part.  It’s so, so, (i hate this word but there’s really no way around it…) moist. *cringe*  It’s soft and squishy – almost more on the cake side.  But it’s still in a bread pan and tastes amazing with butter so….bread it is!

Some notes…

If you’re using fresh pumpkin, you’ll want to roast roughly 3/4  of a kg.  If you’re using canned pumpkin, this takes one cup, or roughly half of a 15 oz can.  If you’re feeling extra pumpkin-y, you can use the other half making some pumpkin gnocchi :)

The other ingredient that makes this bread SO good is the applesauce.  I would really recommend using homemade applesauce for this recipe.  Store-bought applesauce can often taste artificially ‘apple-y,’ which could make the bread taste a little fruity and off.  Homemade applesauce, which is just boiled apple chunks, are far more bland and will bind everything together sans funky apple taste.

Last thing!  I couldn’t taste the coffee in the bread, but I drink about three cups everyday and am highly desensitized to it.  It really brings out the flavor of the pumpkin, but if you have an aversion to coffee you could always sub it with water or a non-dairy milk.

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Vegan Pumpkin Coffee Chocolate Chunk Bread

Ingredients

1 cup pureed pumpkin

1/2 cup unsweetened, plain applesauce

1/2 cup flavorless oil (canola, vegetable, rice bran, etc.)

1/3 cup black coffee or espresso

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp butter extract

1 + 1/2 cups brown sugar

2 cups all purpose flour

tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon or 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

3/4 cup chocolate chunks

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 180ºC (350ºF)

2.  In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, applesauce, oil, coffee, vanilla and butter extracts.  Stir until combined and set aside.

3.  In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon/spices.  Stir until well combined.

4.  Slowly add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and stir together.  Add the chocolate chunks and fold in.

5.  Pour the batter into a greased bread pan (one-pound or two half-pounds).

6.  Bake for one hour, or until the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool, then slice and serve!

Pumpkin Gnocchi with Kale

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For those of you lucky enough to have more than one season, fall is almost here!  Just know, that from thousands of miles away, I’m giving you the stink-eye as you drink that pumpkin spice latte.  On the other hand, pumpkins grow year round here! Yeah, you still win.  But you can even eat the skin!  Most people probably don’t think of pumpkins when they think of Thai food, but the pumpkin dishes are some of the best.  On an unrelated note, it took me like 6 months to be able to say the word pumpkin in Thai without giggling.  Put it in google translate if you’re curious… and make sure your headphones are in :)

There’s a lot you can do with gnocchi, but I wanted to keep it simple.  The gnocchi is simply pumpkin and flour, and the sauce is olive oil, garlic, kale, and salt.  The ingredients are few, but this dish is still very flavorful.  You could surely throw in some spices or change up the vegetables.  Throw in some vegan butter and fresh sage leaves if you so desire.

A note about the pumpkin.  If you have fresh pumpkin on hand, you’ll want to roast .75 kg at 400°F for an hour and a half.  It should be soft enough to scoop from the shell.  Mash it a little with a fork and it’ll be good to go.  Canned works just fine too!

Depending on the water content of the pumpkin you’re using, you might need more or less flour, so adjust as needed.

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Vegan Pumpkin Gnocchi with Kale

Ingredients:

1 and 1/4 cup mashed pumpkin

1 – 2 cups all purpose flour

2 tbsp olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup kale, chopped

salt + pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. Combine pumpkin and 1 cup flour in a bowl.  If the dough is sticky, add more flour.  It should be soft, but not sticky.  Don’t knead it!

2.  Divide the dough into four equal pieces.  On a floured surface, roll the pieces out into snake-like shapes, about a foot long, or as thick as your thumb.  Cut the long dough piece every inch to create little gnocchi pillows (see photo above).

3.  Next, using a fork (or a gnocchi board if you’re fancy), roll the gnocchi down with your thumb to create the indents and elongate the pieces.

4. Bring a large pot filled with water to boil.  Salt the water, and gently drop the gnocchi in, making sure not to over crowd (I did three batches).

5.  When the gnocchi floats to the surface (about five minutes), wait 30 seconds, then remove with a slotted spoon and drain.  Repeat until they are all cooked and set aside.

6.  In a pan, heat the olive oil.  Add the garlic, and cook until it begins to brown.  Add the kale and cook until the kale is wilted and soft, about three minutes.  Be careful not to cook too long, or the kale will turn crispy (and pop!)

7.  Place the gnocchi in a medium bowl.  Pour the olive oil/garlic/kale mixture on top.  Add salt + pepper to taste, and more olive oil, if desired.  Finished!