Category Archives: Vegan

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

Cookies

Gaaah!  James posted this photo on Facebook last week, and people were clamoring for the recipe:

“Seems like there was a lot of interest in this recipe so here it is. You don’t taste the chick pea at all and they are REALLY delicious. I will be making them again.

Giving credit where credit is due I found this recipe from an email from Pinterest. It took me to the site of Texanerin.com”

Hmm, the phrase “You don’t taste the chick peas at all” strikes fear into my heart, especially in connection with cookies.  But since it’s from James and we trust him, here’s the recipe.  I’m still trying to get up the courage to make them.

UPDATE 9/3/2017:  I made them and you know what?   They really are good!  You absolutely would not know they contained the dreaded chickpea.  (Dreaded only because chickpeas have no place in a cookie.  Yes, I’m judgey that way.)  I would recommend NOT pressing the balls down to look like cookies because they do not have a cookie crispness at all and you will be disappointed.  They really should look like dough balls because that is what they are!

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups roasted and salted peanuts (or 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons of all-natural peanut butter)*
1- 15.5 Ounce can of chickpeas, well-rinsed, drained and patted dry with a paper towel
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup honey (agave or maple syrup for vegan)
1 teaspoon baking powder
a pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips (use vegan and dairy-free chocolate chips, if desired)

Method:
Preheat your oven to 350°F.

Put the peanuts in a food processor (a blender will NOT work). Process for one minute then scrape down sides. Continue processing and scraping at one minute intervals. In four minutes, you should have delicious, amazing peanut butter. NOTE:  At the 2 minute, 30 second mark or so, the peanut butter will be extremely thick. Do NOT be tempted to add oil or liquid, just keep processing.  You can also use store bought natural peanut butter (1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons).

Leave 1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons in the food processor (store any remaining in the refrigerator). Add all the other ingredients except for the chocolate chips  and process until very smooth. Make sure to scrape the sides and the top to get the little chunks of chickpeas and process again until they’re combined.

Add the chocolate chips and stir them in. The mixture will be very thick and sticky. At this point, I put the bowl of dough in the freezer to firm up the dough.

With wet hands, form into 1 1/2″ balls. Place onto a Silpat- or parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. If you want them to look more like regular cookies, press down slightly on the balls. They don’t rise much.
Bake for about 10-12 minutes. Do not overbake. The dough balls will still be very soft when you take them out of the oven. They will not set like normal cookies. The bottom of the cookies will brown. Cool on wire racks.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature (or in the fridge) for up to 1 week.

IMPORTANT NOTES:

*1.  If you opt for not making the peanut butter do NOT use regular peanut butter! The cookies will come out too oily. You MUST use natural peanut butter.

2.  If you need grain-free baking powder, you can use 1 part cream of tartar + 1 part baking soda + 2 parts arrowroot.

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Vegan Chocolate Cake

VEgan chocolate cake

When you need a vegan dessert this one is easy, moist and delicious. Jitney’s associate director, Awoye Timpo, is vegan, so the Backstage Baker baked this for her birthday.

It’s amazing.  And super easy to make.  In fact, I think I’ll go bake one now.

Easy Vegan Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup canola oil
1 Tbsp. vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup cold water

Method

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2.  Measure flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt into a sifter, sift twice. Sift all into and ungreased 9 inch square pan.

3.  Make three holes in the mixture. Pour oil into one hole, vinegar in the second, vanilla in the third. Pour water over all. Mix with fork until smooth and blended. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes (no more).

This cake is so moist it doesn’t need frosting.  Make like the Backstage Baker and top it with fresh raspberries tossed in powdered sugar and shave some chocolate on top.  Mmmm, delicious!

Chocolate Covered Apricots Dusted with Ancho Chili

I’ve been meaning to post this for weeks . . . This is one of those super simple recipes that only has a few ingredients and doesn’t require baking!  Plus, it’s vegan and gluten-free.  What’s not to love?

From the Backstage Baker:  “We had so many cakes and cookies for Jitney’s opening, that I was trying to think of something else to do for WINE AND UNWIND. I took dried apricots and dipped them in dark chocolate, sprinkling the final product with ground Ancho Chile powder for a little heat. They were yummy and a big hit with the cast and crew. Try them for your next party.”

It almost seems silly to put this recipe format, but for those of you (me!) that are a little anal retentive, here it is:

Ingredients:
20 Turkish-style apricots
2 40z bar of dark chocolate (65% cacao and up)
Ancho chili powder

Method:

Place a sheet of wax paper on a cookie sheet.

Chop chocolate bars into small pieces, place in microwave-safe bowl.  Melt carefully in 30 second bursts, stirring between each burst.  When it is almost (but not quite!) all melted, remove from microwave and stir until smooth.

Dip apricots halfway into chocolate and put on wax paper.

When chocolate has hardened slightly, shake a bit of ancho chili powder on each apricot.

Pour yourself a glass of a bold red (the Jitney cast enjoyed a nice California Cabernet Sauvignon) and savor the flavors.

 

Secret Ingredient Brownies

TTK5Lest you think James has abandoned baking for (gah!) supermarket treats, just know that he has been swamped with rehearsals and tech and rehearsals and previews and rehearsals and . . .  Well, you get the picture.  Opening a Broadway show is a very time-consuming endeavor, and  A Time to Kill  is a big one with lots of pyrotechnics, a turntable and lots of light cues.  (Check out the Broadway trailer here.) Anyway, between it all, James has been practically living at the John Golden Theatre.  So he’s had little time for baking.  (Hopefully, after A Time to Kill  opens on October 20, James will be able to share some more recipes!)

But before all the madness with tech and rehearsals and previews began, James created the following recipe for the Company’s last Wine and Unwind in the rehearsal space.  There are a number of cast members who are gluten-free and/or vegan, which is quite the challenge.   But our Backstage Baker is not to be denied — he is all-inclusive!   Herewith, then, is a divine brownie recipe made with — drum roll please —  BLACK BEANS!!

Black Bean Brownies

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups black beans (1 15-oz can, drained and rinsed very well)
2 1/2 tablespoon cocoa powder- dutch or regular
1/2 cup quick oats
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup pure maple syrup or agave (Honey will work, but not for strict vegans.)
2 nunaturals stevia packs or 2 tbsp sugar (or omit and increase maple syrup to 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup coconut or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup vegan chocolate chips* (not optional. Omit at your own risk.)
Optional: more chips, for presentation

*  Enjoy Life is a good brand of vegan chips.

Method:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 F.  Grease an 8×8-inch baking pan.

2. Combine all ingredients except chips in a good food processor, and blend until completely smooth. Really blend well. (A blender can work if you absolutely must, but the texture—and even the taste—will be much better in a food processor.)   No seriously, keep blending.  Stir in the chips, then pour mixture into pan.  Optional: sprinkle extra chocolate chips over the top.

3.  Bake the black bean brownies for 15-18 minutes, then let cool at least 10 minutes before trying to cut. Makes 9-12 brownies.

TTK3

The happy cast getting ready to enjoy James’ treat!!