It’s September 16th, and we’re long overdue for some vegan sweetness.
In a last ditch effort to lose these last several stubborn pounds of baby weight, I’ve been trying to avoid sweets (sorta). And then there are cookies–peanut butter cookies, at that. I love peanut butter, and when the natural stuff was only 99 cents a jar (!!!!) at Kroger, there was no turning back. I had no choice but to bake peanut butter cookies, even though I’m sure they won’t help me achieve any weight loss goal.
Have you ever been guilted into participating in a bake sale fundraiser for work or school? Your worst fear is that you’ll spend 6 hours baking a dozen vegan goodies that your friends will only wrinkle their noses at. I’ve been there.
Here’s 4 tips that I’ve learned about baking vegan treats for non-vegans:
1. When you’re baking for non-vegans, you’ll probably want to put any sugar and fat restrictions on hold for a few hours. Now is not the time to be pulling out that recipe for oil-free, prune-sweetened, carob cake–even though I’m sure your oil-free, prune-sweetened, carob cake is just fabulous.
2. Focus your efforts on tried and true vegan recipes that don’t scream “I’m VEGAN!”. For example, your favorite vegan lemon cookie might be a better choice than a vegan cashew cheesecake that you’ve never made before. Desserts like vegan cheesecake and meringue (while yummy) are difficult to veganize without completely changing their historical flavors. Using simple vegan recipes without too many fake dairy ingredients will be sure to please any non-vegan. (Pssst! Is there even such a thing as vegan meringue??)
3. Make your treats visually appealing. In my opinion, there’s nothing worse than a nasty-looking so-called “dessert” to destroy the reputation of vegan food.
4. Don’t be afraid to casually offer that your treats are vegan. You never know when you’ll meet another vegan or someone with a dairy or egg allergy. Additionally, because your vegan treats will taste amazing, your friends will now be able to associate veganism with something delicious. Win-win!
Oh, and just in case you too have stocked up on 99 cent peanut butter and need something to please the crowds, go ahead and bake yourself some peanut butter goodness.
- ¾ cup natural peanut butter (smooth)
- ¼ cup vegan margarine (softened)
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon applesauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup quick oats
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1-3 tablespoons almond milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a mixing bowl, combine peanut butter, margarine, sugars, cornstarch, applesauce, vanilla, and lemon juice until well-incorporated.
- Add flour, oats, baking powder, and salt to mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
- Add almond milk one tablespoon at a time until cookie dough is soft, sticks to itself, and is easy to handle.
- Roll dough into 2-tablespoon-sized balls and place on lined cookie sheet.
- Use a fork to make characteristic peanut butter cookie stamp on each cookie, being careful not to push too hard and form cracks around the edges.
- Bake cookies for about 10-11 minutes at 350 degrees. Allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet before attempting to move them to a cooling rack.
“Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.” Romans 12:20 (King James Version)