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FOOD

  • Brownies & Bars FOOD

    Strawberry Pie Bars (Vegan)

    Strawberry Pie Bars – Gooey, rich strawberry jam filling sandwiched between a crumbly, buttery crust and a coconut streusel on top. Perfect for summer!

    Strawberry Pie Bars (Vegan)

    This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I earn a commission if you purchase through those links. These are all products I use daily and highly recommend. Thanks for the support that makes Panthers & Peonies possible!

    Hello friends. I hope you’re all having an incredible holiday week(end?). I know I am.

    It’s cheesy, but I really love the Fourth of July. Not just because I get to eat vegan hot dogs and s’mores to my heart’s desire and drink during the day without judgment, but because it’s one day where everyone comes together and the chaos of the country ceases to exist for a moment.

    Strawberry Pie Bars (Vegan)

    It’s a dumb thing to love, but it’s one day where everyone seems to get along. The Fourth of July provides a moment of peace, and that’s good enough for me. I’m not saying it makes up for all the crap going on the rest of the year, but I try to think positively and see the good where I can.

    Strawberry Pie Bars (Vegan)

    ANYWAYS. I’m totally in love with these pie bars, because they taste exactly like what I want my summer to taste like: fruity, crumbly, chewy, coconut-y. They’re perfect to bring to a family BBQ, and they’re perfect to eat a little bite of before breakfast. It’s a great “anytime snack”, really.

    You start by boiling down fresh strawberries until they’re pretty much the consistency of jam, then pour it over a buttery, flaky crust, and top it with a buttery coconut streusel. They’re so easy to make, and beyond delicious.

    Strawberry Pie Bars (Vegan)

    Here’s What I Used:

    Strawberry Pie Bars (Vegan)

    Strawberry Pie Bars (Vegan)
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    Author:
    Recipe type: Dessert
    Ingredients
    Strawberry Filling
    • 2 cups strawberries, fresh or frozen
    • 2 tsp. lemon juice
    • ¼ cup granulated sugar
    • 2 tsp. cornstarch
    Crust & Crumble
    • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
    • ½ cup granulated sugar
    • ½ tsp. baking powder
    • pinch of salt
    • ½ Tbsp. flaxseed meal + 1½ Tbsp. water
    • ½ cup vegan butter, cold
    • ¼ cup sweetened shredded coconut
    Instructions
    To make the strawberry filling:
    1. Add the strawberries, lemon juice, and sugar to a small saucepan. Place over medium heat and cover. Let the strawberries heat and begin to break down, about 7 minutes.
    2. Once there's a good amount of liquid in the saucepan from the strawberries, add the cornstarch and mix in well to make sure there are no clumps.
    3. Bring to boil, then turn the heat down to medium-low and let heat, covered, until the strawberries are thick and almost jelly-like consistency.
    4. Remove from heat and let cool.
    To make the crust:
    1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
    2. Mix together the flax and water and let sit until slightly thickened, about 5-7 minutes.
    3. Sift together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt), then add the sugar and mix well.
    4. Cut the butter into small cubes and add to the flour, mixing well to incorporate it until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. I always do this step by hand, but you can use a pastry cutter or two forks if you prefer.
    5. When the butter is almost fully incorporated, add the flax egg.
    6. Press about ⅔ of the mixture into a parchment-lined 8"x8" square baking pan, and press it down firmly into an even layer.
    7. Pour the strawberry mixture over top of the crust. It's ok if it's still a little warm!
    8. Add the shredded coconut to the remaining crumb mixture, mix well, and sprinkle over the strawberry layer.
    9. Bake 30-35 minutes until golden brown along the edges.
    Notes
    Before pouring the strawberry mixture over the crust, I used a fork to mash the strawberries so it more resembled a jelly, but that's totally optional.

    Strawberry Pie Bars (Vegan)

    © PANTHERS & PEONIES. All text, recipes, and photographs on this site are my own. Please do not use my images without permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.

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  • Donuts & Cinnamon Rolls FOOD

    Lamington Donuts (Vegan)

    Lamington Donuts – the classic Australian dessert in donut form! Moist vanilla sponge cake filled with raspberry jam, topped with a chocolate glaze and shredded coconut

    Lamington Donuts (Vegan)This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I earn a commission if you purchase through those links. These are all products I use daily and highly recommend. Thanks for the support that makes Panthers & Peonies possible!

    Hello friends. I’ve got another donut recipe for you. This time in the form of a classic dessert, a lamington. This post may cause a lot of problems with my Australian readers, not because I’m making a lamington donut or “reimagining” one of their favorite desserts, but because I had no idea that the jam inside lamingtons was such a point of contention.

    I chose to put jam simply because it’s delicious and I felt like it, but if you feel with everything inside you that lamingtons aren’t supposed to have jam, then no worries, I won’t be offended if you leave it out.

    Lamington Donuts (Vegan)

    I’ve been seeing Australia literally everywhere lately, like every time I get a new follower on Instagram, they’re from Australia, or it’s a pastry company in Australia, or I’m getting ads to come visit Australia. So I gave into it a little bit and made these donuts, which I’m in love with, but it kind of backfired because now I feel like I need to go visit and eat one in person.
    Anybody want to host me? I’ll bring donuts.

    Lamington Donuts (Vegan)

    Here’s What I Used:

     

    Lamington Donuts (Vegan)
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    Serves: 12
    Ingredients
    Vanilla Cake Donut
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 tsp. baking powder
    • ¼ tsp. baking soda
    • pinch of salt
    • ⅔ cup nondairy milk
    • 2 Tbsp. vegan butter, melted
    • scant ⅓ cup brown sugar
    • 1½ tsp. vanilla extract
    • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
    • ¼ cup jam (I used raspberry)
    Chocolate Glaze
    • ¼ cup cocoa powder
    • 1 cup powdered sugar
    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 2 Tbsp. milk
    • sweetened shredded coconut for topping
    Instructions
    For the donuts:
    1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
    2. Sift together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt), then add the brown sugar and mix well to break up any clumps.
    3. Mix together the wet ingredients (milk, butter, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar), then add to the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Don't overmix; clumps are ok!
    4. Grease the wells of a donut pan, then fill the wells a little under halfway with the batter. Using a piping bag or small spoon, add a small layer of jam on top of the donut batter. Add the remaining batter on top, making sure to completely cover the jam.
    5. Bake 13-15 minutes until golden brown. Let cool completely.
    To decorate:
    1. Mix together the glaze ingredients and stir until completely smooth.
    2. Carefully dip the top half of the donuts into the chocolate glaze, and gently move back and forth to get all the excess glaze to drip off. Set aside and let the glaze start to harden, about 2 minutes.
    3. Once the glaze is starting to set (but isn't hard yet), dip the glazed part of the donut into the shredded coconut and roll around to make sure all sides are coated. Gently shake the donut above the bowl to remove any excess coconut.

    Recipe adapted from It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken – “Classic Vegan Chocolate Glazed Donuts

    Lamington Donuts (Vegan)

    © PANTHERS & PEONIES. All text, recipes, and photographs on this site are my own. Please do not use my images without permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.

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  • Cakes & Cupcakes FOOD

    Chai Breakfast Cake (Vegan)

    Chai Breakfast Cake – Moist spice cake made with bananas and real chai tea. Delicious for breakfast or dessert!

    Chai Breakfast Cake (Vegan)

    This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I earn a commission if you purchase through those links. These are all products I use daily and highly recommend. Thanks for the support that makes Panthers & Peonies possible!

    Ok, breakfast cake might be a bit of a stretch. But it’s got bananas! And it’s made with tea! You know what, it’s totally a breakfast cake. End of story.

    Chai Breakfast Cake (Vegan)

    This cake is like everything I love in the world came together to make the perfect recipe: cake, cinnamon, chai tea, banana, powdered sugar. It’s super moist from the bananas, and flavorful from the tea and spices. It’s delicious on its own, but with a cup of coffee? Even better.

    Chai Breakfast Cake (Vegan)

    Here’s What I Used:

     

    Chai Breakfast Cake (Vegan)
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • ½ cup nondairy milk
    • 1 chai tea bag (I used Tazo Chai Vanilla Caramel)
    • ¼ cup vegan butter
    • ½ cup brown sugar
    • 1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed + 3 Tbsp. water
    • 1 tsp. vanilla
    • 2 medium bananas, mashed
    • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
    • ½ tsp. baking soda
    • ½ tsp. baking powder
    • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
    • pinch of ground nutmeg
    • ¼ tsp. salt
    Instructions
    1. Add the nondairy milk to a small saucepan and heat on low, covered, until steaming and bubbles form around the edges of the saucepan. Remove from heat, add the tea bag, cover, and steep 20 minutes. Once steeped, discard the tea bag and set the milk aside to cool.
    2. Preheat the oven to 325ºF.
    3. Mix together the flax and water and let sit until slightly thickened, 5-7 minutes.
    4. Cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
    5. Add the flax egg and vanilla.
    6. Sift together the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt).
    7. Pour ⅓ of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, and mix until just combined.
    8. Add ½ of the steeped milk and mix until just combined.
    9. Continue adding the wet and dry ingredients alternately, ending with dry.
    10. Gently fold in the mashed bananas.
    11. Pour the cake batter into a greased 6" cake pan. Bake 30-35 minutes until golden brown.
    12. Dust with powdered sugar right before serving.

    Chai Breakfast Cake (Vegan)

    Chai Breakfast Cake (Vegan)

    © PANTHERS & PEONIES. All text, recipes, and photographs on this site are my own. Please do not use my images without permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.

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  • Cookies FOOD

    Marbled Chocolate Protein Cookies (Vegan)

    Marbled Chocolate Protein Cookies – Rich cookies packed with chocolate protein powder, marbled with a rich chocolate hazelnut spread. The perfect mix of healthy and indulgent!

    Marbled Chocolate Protein Cookies (Vegan)This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I earn a commission if you purchase through those links. These are all products I use daily and highly recommend. Thanks for the support that makes Panthers & Peonies possible!

    These cookies may be the quintessential Panthers & Peonies recipe: slightly healthier than a regular recipe, but still rich, chocolatey, and delicious.  Ultimately a mix between good-for-you foods and indulgent foods, which I guess my blog is kind of all about.

    Marbled Chocolate Protein Cookies (Vegan)

    These cookies are for any of my protein-deficient friends out there (insert vegan joke here), because wouldn’t you rather be consuming your protein in cookie form? I know I would. And fun fact, eating these with a scoop of Trader Joe’s Soy Creamy Vanilla Ice Cream actually doubles the amount of protein you get. True story.

    Marbled Chocolate Protein Cookies (Vegan)

    You guys know I’m just joking. But I am a huge fan of sneaking healthy things and superfoods into dessert. It just makes you feel a little better, you know?
    If you’re going to eat dessert, please let it be these. They’re packed with chocolate protein powder, flaxseeds (to get those omega-3s), and healthy fats from the hazelnut butter (btw I used Justin’s because it’s natural with a short list of ingredients, please please please don’t use Nutella or any of those other junk “chocolate spreads”).

    Marbled Chocolate Protein Cookies (Vegan)

    Here’s What I Used:

    Marbled Chocolate Protein Cookies (Vegan)
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    Author:
    Recipe type: Cookies
    Serves: 12
    Ingredients
    • ¼ cup vegan butter
    • scant ½ cup granulated sugar
    • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
    • 2 Tbsp. flaxseed meal + 7 Tbsp. water
    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1¼ tsp. baking soda
    • 1 tsp. cornstarch
    • ½ tsp. salt
    • scant ½ cup chocolate protein powder (I used Vega)
    • ¼ cup applesauce, plus an extra 1-2 Tbsp. if needed
    • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips
    • ½ cup chocolate hazelnut spread (I used Justin's)
    • cinnamon for sprinkling
    Instructions
    1. Mix together the flax and water and let sit until slightly thickened, about 5-7 minutes.
    2. Cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
    3. Add the flax and vanilla and mix well. The dough may look broken or clumpy at this point, but that's ok!
    4. Sift together the flour, protein powder, baking soda, salt, and cornstarch and add into the mixing bowl all at once. Mix on low until the flour is just incorporated.
    5. Add the ¼ cup applesauce and mix until just combined. The dough should form into one big ball and pull away from the sides of the bowl. If the dough looks super crumbly or dry, add an additional Tbsp. of applesauce.
    6. Fold in the chocolate chips.
    7. Add the chocolate hazelnut spread all at once, then quickly turn the mixer on and off a few times so that the spread is just starting to get incorporated. You can also fold it in by hand (which will give you more control over the marbling), but it's a little harder to do.
    8. Scoop the dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, then chill in the fridge until cold, about 10-20 minutes. While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 350º.
    9. These cookies will puff up in the oven, so I like to smash them down. This step is totally up to you, but I think smashing them gives a much better texture. You can smash the dough before you put them in the oven, but I like to bake the cookies and let them cool for about 5 minutes, then smash them afterwards. They don't look as pretty as they do if you smash the dough before you bake it, but I think they taste better!
    10. Sprinkle the cookies with cinnamon, then bake 13-15 minutes until the cookies are set and slightly golden around the edges.

    Marbled Chocolate Protein Cookies (Vegan)

    Marbled Chocolate Protein Cookies (Vegan)

    © PANTHERS & PEONIES. All text, recipes, and photographs on this site are my own. Please do not use my images without permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.

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  • Breakfast FOOD Home LIFE

    5 Tips for Better Mornings, & My Favorite Dirty Chai Recipe

    Every morning, we wake up with a whole new day in front of us. It’s exciting, but more often than not we’re tired, groggy, and hitting that snooze button. If that sounds like you, it’s ok! Waking up stressed and groggy is actually something our brain naturally does: it’s called the negativity bias, and it can be super difficult to control. But waking up early and sticking to a morning routine can help you overcome it, in addition to setting your whole day on track.

    Waking up early has tons of benefits for both your brain and your body: it enhances your productivity for the day, helps your mental health, kicks your body into go-mode earlier (which can lead to losing weight and having more energy), and can even prevent certain diseases.

    5 Tips for Better Mornings, & My Favorite Dirty Chai Recipe

    Here are 5 tips for better mornings:

    Drink some water.
    Drinking water first thing in the morning is one of the healthiest things you can do: it instantly raises your metabolism, gets your system working, keeps you hydrated, and flushes out toxins from the day before. If you can’t drink a whole glass of water, it’s ok! A few sips is better than nothing.
    I also take a minute in the morning to fill up a gallon-sized water bottle for the day. If you have a full glass of water next to you during the day, it makes it a lot easier to stay hydrated.

    Make breakfast work for you.
    I’m one of those people who eats right when they wake up, usually before I even shower or get dressed or anything. But not many people are like that. In fact, only about 30% of the US population eats breakfast every day, and over 31 million people (about 10% of the US population) don’t eat breakfast at all!
    Yes, they say breakfast is the most important meal of the day: it gives you a boost of energy and gets your system working. But if you’re not hungry in the morning, don’t force yourself to eat. If you’re a little hungry, grab a granola bar. And if you’re really hungry, sit down and eat breakfast.

    Get up and move.
    It doesn’t have to be a full workout, but try to go for a 15 minute walk, do some light yoga, or just stretch to wake yourself up for the day.

    Make a brain dump list.
    I usually find it best to write my to-do list the night before, but writing in the morning is helpful too. Write down everything you need to do for the day and everything that’s on your mind, either in a planner, journal, or on a scrap of paper. Just take a minute to get everything out of your head and onto the paper!

    Take a moment to be grateful.
    Taking a moment before you fall asleep at night and a moment right when you wake up to say thank you is something that we should all be doing. Feeling grateful will put you in a good mind set for the day, and it’ll help you to start thinking more positively (a good step towards overcoming negativity bias!).

    But my top tip for a productive morning? Coffee. Here’s my favorite dirty chai recipe that really kicks my brain into overdrive. Enjoy!

    5 Tips for Better Mornings, & My Favorite Dirty Chai Recipe

    My Favorite Dirty Chai
     
    Prep time
    Total time
     
    Author:
    Recipe type: Drinks
    Serves: 1
    Ingredients
    • 1 cup nondairy milk
    • 1 chai tea bag (I like Tazo Chai Vanilla Caramel)
    • 1 cup freshly-brewed strong coffee
    • Sugar to taste
    Instructions
    1. Add the milk to a small saucepan, set over medium-low heat, and let warm until the milk is steaming and small bubbles start to form around the edges of the pan.
    2. Once steaming, remove the pan from the heat. Add the tea bag, cover, and let sit 15-20 minutes.
    3. Pour the milk into your favorite mug, top with freshly brewed coffee, and enjoy!
    Notes
    If you want your drink sweeter, add sweetener of your choice to the milk after you pour it into the mug.

    5 Tips for Better Mornings, & My Favorite Dirty Chai Recipe

     

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