Zucchini SoCo Cream Pies

Last night, August 8th, was “Sneak some Zucchini onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Night!” Strangest national holiday ever. I know you all participated. Much to L’s disappointment our neighbor’s did not haha. Must not be an abundance in the city. But that didn’t stop me from sharing the wealth! I whipped up these babies for my friends at work and they were D·E·L·I·C·I·O·U·S. Like an oatmeal cream pie crossed with zucchini bread and dipped in a little Southern Comfort =)
Adapted from marthastewart.com.

Ingredients:
Cookie:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp celtic sea salt
  • 1 1/2 Earth Balance buttery sticks, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light-brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp bourbon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup zucchini, finely grated
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Frosting: 

  • 8 ounces Better Than Cream Cheese, room temperature
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp Southern Comfort or other liqueur

In a medium bowl, mix flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In a separate large bowl (or standing mixer) cream together 1 stick of butter and both of the sugars until fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla mixing well to combine. Stir in zucchini, oats, and walnuts. Refrigerate dough for about 1 hr.

Pre-heat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a large cookie scoop (about 2 TB) spoon out dough 2 inches apart. Bake cookies until the edges turn a crisp golden brown, about 17 minutes. Let cool completely.

For the frosting beat the cream cheese, confectioners sugar, and liqueur together until fluffy. Martha only used 1 cup of sugar, but I wanted my frosting a bit thicker so I added some more. After that it still wasn’t thick enough so I refrigerated it over night.

When the cookies are cool, and the frosting is thick and ready spread heaping amounts onto the flat side of a cookies. Sandwich together with another cookie. Eat and repeat!

Carrot Ginger Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting And Candied Carrot Sprinkles

My co-worker/friend/honorary big brother T’s birthday was the other day. Perfect opportunity to try out a new cupcake recipe! T is a person who is super supportive and always in my corner no matter what. While we were out at the bar (fact: I have no shame bringing the cupcake hotel out to bars) a randomer offered to pay me for one of my cupcakes! It was my first sale as a baker, and T was more excited about it than me I think haha. He exclaimed “Now you’re a professional! Woohoo!!”  Gotta have people like that in your life =)
Adapted from: Cupcake Bakeshop
Yields: 24 cupcakes

Ingredients:

Cupcakes:

  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 lb carrots, grated
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 TB lemon juice
    (the almond milk+lemon juice is a non-dairy substitution for buttermilk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 TB finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped candied ginger (purchased at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s only has it seasonally)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

Frosting:

  • 1/8 cup Earth Balance Buttery Sticks
  • 1/8 cup shorting
  • 1 container Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese Plain
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • splash of almond milk

Candied Carrots:

  • 2 peeled carrots
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2-4 TB sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine carrots, eggs, almond milk, lemon juice, vanilla, sugar, vegetable oil, fresh ginger, and candied ginger. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Fold flour mixture and pecans into the wet mixture. Fill cups 2/3’s full and bake 20 minutes or until tester comes out clean.

While the cupcakes are cooling you can make the frosting! Cream together butter, shortening, and cream cheese until fluffy. Add in vanilla, sugar, and milk and beat until well combined. Add additional milk as needed or until desired consistency is reached.

To candy the carrots, bring water and sugar to a boil in a small sauce pan. Reduce heat to low, add in carrots and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Pour carrots into a fine strainer and let completely cool. I ended up leaving mine out overnight. The end result wasn’t sweet enough for me so I started sprinkling on sugar until I thought they looked coated.

Pipe the frosting in a swirl pattern using a medium circular tip. Then sprinkle on candied carrots!

Spiced Apple and Carrot Cake Muffins

The Gingerbread Construction Co. has to be my favorite place to get muffins. And I use the word muffin lightly. They are more like glorious sugary cupcakes that Mom would only let us eat for breakfast on vacation. The best muffins are the gingerbread and carrot cake because they are doused in cream cheese frosting (cream cheese is a breakfast item right?)

Trader Joe’s has a plethora of muffin and bread mixes that don’t contain dairy.  I actually think they do the best job of providing processed food that doesn’t contain unnecessary and wordy ingredients. Often I have so many workarounds avoiding milk that I love and take full advantage when I don’t! Gingerbread is sadly a seasonal item so I went with spiced apple. They also didn’t have anything close to carrot cake but luckily Johnnie’s did. Duncan Hines carrot cake mix just contains wheat hooray!

For the muffins, the directions are on the boxes. The most important part is the cream cheese frosting!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance Buttery Sticks
  • 1/4 cup Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese Plain
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup plain soy milk

Cream together butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Add in vanilla, 1 cup of the sugar, and half of the milk. Beat until well combined then add in another cup of the sugar. Add additional milk as needed or until desired consistency is reached.

For the spiced apple muffin I wanted to stuff it with frosting. Using a small pairing knife, on the top of the muffin cut out a cone shape. Flip the top over and cut off the cone, saving the top. Fill the hole with frosting and replace with saved top. Sprinkle remaining sugar all over.

For the carrot cake go the traditional route and apply the frosting liberally =)

Portobello Panini with Herbed Cream Cheese

One of my favorite cheeses is Boursin. I would put it on everything from crackers to burgers and chicken. It also tastes amazing with bacon! Tofutti makes this great Herbs & Chives cream cheese that comes close to the real thing. Often it’s hard to find in grocery stores so I usually just make my own. Paired with portobello mushrooms seasoned with the same spices makes for a nice little sandwich!

Adapted from Shape.com
Serves 4.

Ingredients:

  • 4 ciabatta rolls
  • 1 8oz. container Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese Plain
  • Garlic, Celtic Sea Salt, Pepper, Dried Parsley, Dried Chives to taste
  • 4 medium portobello mushroom caps, cleaned and sliced 1/8-inch strips
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 bag baby arugula blend
  • 1-2T olive oil

Directions:

Transfer cream cheese to a small bowl. Combine cheese with garlic, salt, pepper, parsley and chives to taste. Set aside.

Heat oil in a large pan on medium heat. Season mushrooms with the same spices as the cheese and saute in oil until soft, 5-10 min.

In medium bowl gently toss arugula and lemon juice. Slice ciabatta roll in half and cover the bottom with the arugula mix. On the top half spread the herbed cheese.

When mushrooms are tender remove from heat and lay across arugula.

Serve with your favorite fried potato!