Vegan Oatmeal Cream Pies

vegan-oatmeal-cream-pie-7

Oatmeal Cream Pies have a special place in my heart. As I child, I was sent to Tennessee on occasion to visit my grandparents in the summertime along with my younger brother. This wasn’t exactly a warm, happy time in my Huckleberry youth. Don’t get me wrong. My grandparents were wonderful people, but the Tennessee summers were humid and the town of retirees where they lived was boring and my grandfather would frequently complain that we wouldn’t feel so much like strangers if my parents could afford the airfare for visits more often… like my cousins enjoyed.

vegan-oatmeal-cream-pie-2

Perhaps more trying than the humidity or the emotional distance that was then blamed on my parents was the food. While I was repeatedly assured that my grandmother was once a cook of notable talents, the unusual concoctions she set before us at every meal was a daily lesson in the many trials of the human condition. My brother and I would exchange glances over sandwiches made from Wonder Bread with cold, smushed-up hot dogs spread throughout the center, daring each other to take a bite while internally gauging our hunger to determine if we finally reached that point where we would actually “eat anything.”

vegan-oatmeal-cream-pie-6

The one saving grace on those summer trips was a convenience store located behind a short stretch of woods at the edge of my grandparents’ yard. After canned milk and wheat bricks for breakfast, and before smushed-up hot dogs or plain soggy egg noodles churched up with a can of tuna fish arrived for dinner, we would sneak through the woods for glass bottles of orange soda and oatmeal cream pies.

vegan-oatmeal-cream-pie-1

There was something very unifying for my brother and me in these summer jaunts. Despite all the bickering we engaged in back home, out here we were in this together. Together, we rationed the money our mom gave us before we got on the plane. Together, we would journey through the woods which, for two desert rats, was a spooky place of strange bugs and poison ivy and maybe even bats. Together, we would negotiate the strange accents of rural Tennessee to finalize our purchase of pop and oatmeal cream pies. And then we would head back, pausing under some picturesque tree or seated together on a felled tree long enough to enjoy the spoils of our adventure.

Oftentimes, it was just about twenty-four hours since the last food we both chewed and swallowed. The sun was warm but nothing like the blistering Arizona heat we were accustomed to as we devoured Orange Crush and Oatmeal Cream Pies. I can still call to mind that flavor combination during those sticky summers in Tennessee.vegan-oatmeal-cream-pie-3

I honestly thought nothing could supplant that perfect memory in my mind. Those thin disks of chewy oatmeal cookies encasing a rubbery layer of  sugary “cream”. Well, turns out, Dana has something even better. She managed to take that corner store classic and fancy it up for a dessert worthy of guests.

Fresh baked (vegan) oatmeal cookies sandwiched around a delicious layer of cinnamon cream. For her oatmeal cookie recipe, Dana modified an oatmeal raisin cookie recipe found in this awesome cookbook: Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. Then she added her special cinnamon cream to the middle to really make this treat pop.

finishingpies

Dana prefers using Frontier’s Organic Vietnamese Cinnamon and suggests having some pastry bags on hand (always a good idea for bakers).

And, last but certainly not least, a special note from Dana: “One great thing about this recipe is that you can make these any size. Mini pies, giant pies, you name it.”

Vegan Oatmeal Cream Pies

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Vegan Oatmeal Cream Pies

Ingredients

    For the Cookies:
  • 2/3 cups 'milk' (I used coconut milk)
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
  • 1 1/3 cups brown sugar
  • 2/3 cups canola oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (more or less to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups quick cooking oats
  • For the Cinnamon Cream Filling:
  • 1 3/4 - 2 cups shortening (I like Spectrum brand)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk milk and flax seeds together until well combined. Whisk in oil and brown sugar until it is caramel-like. This takes a few minutes, so don't give up! Once oil and sugar are well mixed, add in vanilla.
  3. Sift in dry ingredients and mix as you go. Once everything is well incorporated, fold in the oatmeal.
  4. Line baking sheet(s) with parchment and spray with non-stick spray of choice (if using). The cookie dough will be kind of sticky. I like to use gloves and try to form a ball (or something close to it), drop it onto the sheet and flatten it a bit. If you don't have gloves, just drop tablespoons of dough onto the sheet and flatten. (Flatten as much as you like to achieve the size you want, as these don't spread out much when baking.) Bake 10-12 minutes. Once out of the oven, let sit for a few minutes, then transfer to cooling racks.
  5. While cookies are in the oven, you can begin to make the filling. (Of course, you can make this while cookies are cooling, too).
  6. Place room temperature shortening in a large bowl. With a hand mixer, whisk it up until it has a creamy consistency. Add powdered sugar about 1/2 cup at a time. Add cinnamon and vanilla. The filling should be the texture of what you might use as cupcake frosting. If it seems too dry, add a (very) small splash of 'milk'. You can adjust the amount of sugar and cinnamon to your liking. Over time, you'll figure out how to get it just right for YOU.
  7. Once the cinnamon filling is ready and cookies are cooled, you're ready to put these pies together. Spoon or pipe filling onto the bottom of one cookie, then top with another. Presto! You're done!
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://smallfrypie.com/2016/11/12/vegan-oatmeal-cream-pies/

Simple Vegan Chocolate Mousse – Only 5 Ingredients!!

simple-vegan-chocolate-mousse-2

It seems like adulthood is defined by an endless litany of tasks. One must clean the floors and launder the clothes and prepare the food and pay the bills. And let’s not even get into the drudgery that can accompany the monetary requirements of bills. It’s easy to get overwhelmed.

And, let me tell you, it’s been one of those weeks. It seems like every time I scratch on thing off my to-do list, I’m reminded of five more things that need to be added. Between work and blogging (more work) and family and household needs and trying to squeeze in a little time for my creative outlets, I’m feeling a bit tapped out. To top it all off, I agreed to entertain guests at my home this very same evening.

What on Earth was I thinking? Now, don’t get me wrong. I love my friends, both new and old. I’m a warm and fuzzy kind of gal underneath the veneer of smudgy eyeliner and self-depreciating jokes. And, as I’ve gotten older, my maternal side has started to stir. Not an actual desire to bear children (dear gods), but a need to nurture those that I love.

simple-vegan-chocolate-mousse-ingriedients

Usually, this expresses itself in two ways. First, I mother-hen fully grown, and perfectly capable, adults. I do this by asking impertinent questions about the well-being of those around me. Sometimes, I apologize afterward when I see that I’ve crossed some invisible line in the sands that divide normative, friendly chitchat from full-blown, Jewish-mother interrogation. But, usually, I don’t. After all, if you are my friend, you’re going to have to learn, sooner or later, that I am a word garble of emotional transparency. Deal or distance. Those are your options.

The other form of expression this emerging maternal natures takes on is a need to feed. I recognize the irony in this because I do, in fact, hate to cook. I learned, however, that I love to feed. Give me a table full of people who have subsisted on Jack-in-the-Box for a week straight (aka, many of my friends) and I will do my best to fill them with nutrient-rich, home-cooked food. I enjoy doing it which is weird in that my sixteen-year-old self could never have anticipated this shift.

And, because I inherited a strong sense of propriety from my mother’s copy of Miss Manners which was prominently displayed on our coffee table for the first fourteen years of my life, I also feel that if you invite people over for dinner, you should serve dessert. Dessert takes a perfunctory meal and turns it into a social experience. After all, one must finish their meal, allow a reasonable amount of time for digestion, and only then is it time for dessert.simple-vegan-chocolate-mousse-1

Dessert gives your guest time to pause, to kibbitz, without feeling rushed to head back home once the feeding is done. But, if you’ll go back with me a few paragraphs, I’m swamped and I have to prepare dinner for a group. I don’t want to do something lame, like buy a box of Oreos from the grocery store, but who has time to prepare dessert? And yet, dessert is essential.

Once again, Dana swoops into rescue me. This handy dandy recipe for Simple Vegan Chocolate Mousse is one I plan on printing and keeping on hand from here to eternity. Just five ingredients and a few hands-on minutes can lead to a rich, decadent, VEGAN dessert that will impress your guests.

In fact, I’m going to make it this very same night for our dinnertime visitors. And that will still leave me enough time to prepare the meal, straighten up around the house, and maybe, just maybe, sneak in a twenty minute nap with my dog. Hell, I might even bathe just because, you know, company.

And, as per usual, Dana offered a few suggestions to make this dish your own. She says, “This tastes great topped with coconut whipped cream, fresh berries, or crunched up cookies. The cookies I used were found at an international market and are delicious!”

Ready to chill!

Ready to chill!

I’m going to take the baker’s advice and make a quick stop at the international grocer on the way home to snag some tasty cookies to crumble on top my Simple Vegan Chocolate Mousse. And, as an added touch, I happen to have some Vegan Coconut Whipped Cream ready for that final dollop on top.

Dessert, boom! Today, I’m winning at adulthood.

Simple Vegan Chocolate Mousse – Only 5 Ingredients

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Simple Vegan Chocolate Mousse – Only 5 Ingredients

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a food processor, blend tofu, milk, agave and vanilla. Blend until smooth and mixture does not have a 'grainy' look or texture. Be sure to scrape down the sides and get all those rogue tofu bits!
  2. Melt chocolate chips over medium heat. (A good nonstick pan and silicon spatula are really your friend here) I would suggest adding a tablespoon of non-dairy milk to help in the melting process. Sometimes the chocolate can really clump up and the milk will help keep it nice and smooth.
  3. Let melted chocolate cool for 5 minutes or so, then add to tofu mixture in processor and blend again. Blend until chocolate is well incorporated.
  4. Pour mousse into a bowl and cover. Chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to overnight. Scoop and enjoy!

Notes

Cooling Time makes up most of the Total Time!!

Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://smallfrypie.com/2016/10/09/simple-vegan-chocolate-mousse-5-ingredients/

Dana’s Vegan Pie Dough

8a2e0c8d-4db9-47db-bae9-ce75e71a44ec

Well, folks, it’s been a busy month. We hope you’ve enjoyed the recipes we’ve brought you thus far. It was certainly exciting to see some bakers out there tackling Dana’s Strawberry Jalapeno Pie. Please feel free to post pictures of your completed projects in the comments below and don’t forget to tell us about your modifications. We love hearing about all the food fun!

f638349c-6871-44f4-b0b3-d196ba19010f

In hindsight, we probably should have started with this recipe. After all, Dana’s awesome Vegan Pie Crust is an elemental component in every pie she makes. And, in the interest of transparency, it was her pie crust that first sparked my foodie bond with this baker.

The crust is rich despite the lack of butter; melting in your mouth to fuse with the flavor of the filling. Dana limits the sugar so the pie crust isn’t overly sweet – that’s what the inside is all about!

The trick is to get a nice, pebbly texture when you’re mixing the dough. You can see that in the picture below. If you’re crust is too dry, add a little extra dollop of Earth Balance. Some flours are more absorbent than others.c4e04916-6c9d-4e13-95eb-5a244f2fa833

We have quite a few pie recipes lined up for you this year so this is a great recipe to print out and keep on hand. You can make this pie crust ahead of time and freeze it for future use. Or you can store it in your refrigerator for a few days.

Dana’s Vegan Pie Dough

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 Cups flour
  • 3TBSP sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4-6 TBSP vegan butter (Earth Balance is preferred), cold
  • 3/4 - 1 cup vegan shortening (Spectrum brand is preferred), cold
  • 1/4 Cup ice water
  • 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt. I like to give them a quick whisk.
  2. Add half of the cold butter and shortening, about a tablespoon at a time. Incorporate butter and shortening by cutting it into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or with fingers. I prefer the hands on approach, so I use my hands for this part.
  3. Combine until the mixture is a bit sandy and pea sized bits of dough begin to form.
  4. Add remaining butter and shortening, and cut into the flour. Use cutter or fingers to work into flour mixture.
  5. At this point, the dough should be starting to come together. Drizzle in the ice water/apple cider vinegar and knead a bit until the dough begins to hold together. Use as much or as little as needed. Remember not to overwork the dough, or you will end up with a tough pie crust.
  6. Divide the dough into 2 balls. Wrap in plastic and flatten into discs.
  7. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  8. Take dough out of refrigerator about 15 minutes prior to use or rolling out. Don't let it get too warm, just warm enough to be pliable. Keep it as cool/cold as possible until it's ready to go into the oven.
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://smallfrypie.com/2016/07/31/danas-vegan-pie-dough/