Starting From Scratch

I am a dessert person. I love dessert.  There is no doubt that I got my love of desserts entirely from my mom. My dad is not a “dessert person”, at all. Apparently, when it came to dessert at a restaurant, they did the “she gets the dessert, he tastes a couple of bites” routine. And I don’t mean “he actually eats half”, I actually mean a couple of bites. If I let my husband share my dessert, I generally cut it in half first because a) I don’t share well, and b) he also loves dessert (although slightly less than me).

Since it was my dad’s birthday a few days ago, I wanted to make him a cake that was, well, healthy. Something he would actually eat. I wanted to make a super fancy raw cake, but didn’t have the time to do all the prep (i.e. learn how to make 8 cups of almond milk from scratch). I resorted to making a “regular” cake. I figured an apple cake. Between applesauce and apple bits, if I searched for a healthy vegan apple cake, there would be something, right? Wrong. Apparently “healthy” includes at least 1/2 cup of oil, usually more like 1 full cup. After nearly an hour of searching, I gave up. I did some research. I built my own recipe from scratch. Nearly 1/3 of the recipe volume was applesauce.

And it tastes and looks delicious!

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Except for one itsy bitsy problem…it’s super dry and crumbly. Half of me wants to just try upping the applesauce, as it was a pretty thick batter. The other half of me is fairly sure I will have to increase the coconut oil from 2 tbsp to 3 or 4 tbsp. The tragedy! Unfortunately, until this fiasco is resolved, I will be keeping this recipe to myself. I don’t think there’s a huge demand for healthy, crumbly apple cakes.

I suppose the problem could be covered up solved by slathering it in icing…but where’s the fun in that?

What’s your favourite “healthy” dessert recipe?

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Black Forest Cookies

It’s that moment we’ve all been waiting for…a new cookie recipe! Took me long enough, I know, but life has been surprisingly busy lately (I wonder why). But last night the urge to bake hit me and out came something delicious. And, applesauce-ified.

 

This recipe is based on the Joy of Cooking’s chocolate chip cookie recipe, modified to be a bit healthier and, of course, the addition of cocoa and cherries.

Black Forest Cookies

Whisk together:

  • 1 c plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Beat in a large bowl until well blended:

  • 1/4 c unsalted butter
  • 1/2 c packed brown sugar

Add and beat until well combined:

  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 c unsweetened applesauce

Stir in the flour mixture until well blended and smooth, then stir in:

  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 c chocolate chips

Grease a cookie sheet and drop the dough by heaping spoonfuls about 2 inches apart.

Now take out an equivalent number of maraschino cherries (my batch made 19 cookies) and squeeze them between some paper towel to get the excess liquid out. Push one cherry into the center of each cookie.

 

Bake for about 10 minutes at 375°F, until cookies spring back when poked OR a toothpick inserted comes out clean (except for chocolate chips, of course).

So, how were they? Extremely tasty! They have that same cake-y texture as most of the applesauce substitute cookies I have tried, but don’t seem to have that baking soda flavour. The dough itself is not very sweet, but the cookies (and cherries) definitely make up for it.

Enjoy!

P.S. I love feedback! If you make one of my recipes, please leave me a comment saying what you thought of it!