Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Adventures in Vegan baking

Lately I've been experimenting with vegan baked goods. No, I'm not becoming a vegan (I could never betray bacon like that!) I'm just starting to prefer saving our dairy and eggs for eating alone. Most of the time, I don't even notice a difference. I'm definitely not feeling deprived, that's for sure (just ask my love handles, they'll agree)!
Today I was trying to think of an easy grab and go snack, using ingredients that we have on hand. I found this recipe, from allrecipes.com and tweaked it a little to eliminate the dairy and eggs. I also used whole wheat flour instead of regular flour, because I think it keeps you feeling full longer. I've italicized my changes, other than that it's the same as the allrecipes link.

Cranberry Oatmeal bars

1/2 cup melted margarine (I know there's margarine haters out there, but I love margarine. Not all brands of margarine are vegan, so be sure to check ingredients if you really care.)
1 heaping tbs. Soy flour (this, combined with the 1 tbs water, replaces an egg)
1 tbs water
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teas nutmeg (I eliminated this, I didn't have any)
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup walnuts (I just didn't have pecans on hand)
3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease 11x7 inch baking pan.
2. Pour melted butter into a mixing bowl, and beat in the Soy flour and water, brown sugar, and vanilla extract. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice together in a separate mixing bowl. Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture until thoroughly blended. Mix in the cranberries, walnuts, and oats until evenly blended. Press mixture into prepared baking dish.
3. Bake in preheated oven until top is dry and edges slightly pull away from the sides of the pan, 13 to 15 minutes. Cool before cutting into squares.

Also, I used a 11x15 pan and it was still too big. It's easier to get the bars out of the pan if they aren't touching the sides. The batter will smell...bad. Sort of like chewed up alfalfa hay (if you're a horse person, you know what that smells like) but never fear! Once these are cooked they smell and taste amazing. Not at all like alfalfa.


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