the most ridiculously delicious fudge brownies

FUDGEY. Dense. Chewy. Chocolatey. ADDICTING!

To me, this is what a brownie is supposed to be. Our local vegan bakery just so happens to sell the best damn brownies on the planet, but unfortunately at a whopping-almost-five-bucks-a-not-so-large-square. Needless to say, finding the best brownie recipe on Earth has been on the top of my list of priorities for a while now.

It took a lot of flops and disappointment brownies for me to figure out that in order to find the perfect recipe, I had to pinpoint exactly what I wanted. CHEWY FUDGE BROWNIES! And then I came across THIS DELICIOUS RECIPE by That’s So Vegan.

Hooray! Hoorahhh!

Jef and I made a couple of adjustments to the recipe to make our tastebuds extra happy. We added more sea salt to the recipe, added in chopped walnuts, and used a gluten free flour blend by Bob’s Red Mill to eliminate any possible cakeyness.

These brownies fulfill all of my brownie dreams, hopes, and fantasies. I hope they fulfill yours as well!

chocolate almond butter teff cookies

It’s loveaversary celebration time people!

Today Jef and I are on our way to Berkeley, where we will be spending a couple of days snuggled in our fancy bed and breakfast, eating lots of delicious vegan food, and enjoying some overall quality times. : )

We bid you adieu for a few days, but will leave you with this little recipe that we remixed from the Peanut Butter Teff Cookies that we are so fond of:

Chocolate Almond Butter Teff Cookies:

  • 3/4 cup teff flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 6 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • Coconut flakes, for garnish

Mix everything but the coconut flakes together very well, and then bake at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes. Garnish with coconut flakes and then return to the oven for another 5-8 minutes. Let cool completely and then DEVOUR!

This should make about nine or so cookies, the perfect amount for a couple of cookie monsters looking for a fix.

zucchini walnut bread with chia seeds

We are pleased to announce the arrival of The Littlest Cake, our friend Shannon’s vegan baking/food blog! HOORAY! A new vegan food blog is born! She specializes in baking supremely tasty cupcakes, cakes, cookies, and all treats in general, and she is a mighty vegan kitchen wizard! You should definitely pay her a visit, because she is AMAZING, and I love her so.

Shannon has co-cheffed in the creation of a couple of tasty treats here at The Bear and The Blackberry: Matcha and Vanilla Bean Cupcakes and Cookies and Cream Cupcakes (Part One & Part Two!), and now Zucchini Walnut Bread with Chia Seeds!

Our neighbor/landlord has been bringing us MONSTEROUS zucchinis lately… so we decided a proper way of eating them up would be to make some marvelous vegan zucchini bread!

And marvelous it is, dahhlinnggg. It is tasty fresh out of the oven, but if you practice the art of patience, we recommend letting it cool/refridgerating it, since that helps it stick together like a bona fide zucchini bread should!

Curious to try it for yourself? Have a whole metric shit-ton of zucchini that you don’t know what to do with?? Zip on over to The Littlest Cake for the full recipe, and try it for yourself!

Ahhh… I think we need to go home right now and MAKE MORE ZUCCHINI BREAD!!

peachy chia muffins

What happens when we have an abundance of chia seeds along with some peaches that don’t have much time left before they go back to the peach spirit world? Peachy Chia Muffins, that’s what!

These are some tasty little muffins, with the perfect amount of sweetness to start the day off with a skip and a jump! Ch-ch-ch-chia! I took a blueberry lemon muffin recipe from The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau and tweaked it to look a little somethin’ somethin’ like this:

Peachy Chia Muffins:

  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup chia seeds (I just poured a bunch in until I thought it looked pretty)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3 medium sized peaches, pitted and chopped into small chunks

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit and get your muffin tins ready! You can line them with cupcake papers like I did, or grease them up nice and good with a high heat oil like canola. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (whole wheat flour, baking soda, sea salt, and chia seeds) and in a large bowl, mix together the wet ingredients (sugar, soy milk, canola oil, vanilla extract, and apple cider vinegar) well. Gradually add the dry mixture to the wet, mixing until it is well incorporated. Next, gently fold in the peaches.

Now spoon this tasty mixture into your muffin tins! Lick the bowl clean, since we have no salmonella scares here in vegan baking world! Bake for about 20 minutes, or until they are golden-y brown and a knife inserted in the middle of one comes out clean.

For fun and a tad more sweetness, I took the muffins out at about 15 minutes, sprinkled some brown sugar on top, and then returned them to the oven. Once finished, I garnished them with almond slices. I recommend toasting the almonds a bit before slicing, as it seems they are more knife-friendly after enduring a little heat.

Mmmm MMMMMM Peachy Chia Muffins!

matcha and vanilla bean cupcakes

Continuing my 25th Birthday Celebration upon my return from Portland, Shannon and I made these amazing Matcha and Vanilla Bean Cupcakes! We have been wanting to try these magnificent cupcakes for a while now. Our last attempt was halted by the co-op being out of two very important ingredients for these cupcakes: matcha green tea powder and vanilla beans. Luckily this time the co-op was stocked with everything we needed to make these delicious morsels!

I don’t recall where Shannon found this recipe, somewhere floating about online. I’ll have to get back to you on the source!

Here is the recipe for the cupcakes:

  • 1/2 cup soy yougurt
  • 2/3 cup soy milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3-4 teaspoons matcha powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
 We mixed together the wet ingredients with Shannon’s POWERFUL hand mixer, and then sifted in the dry ingredients. We gently stirred them together until the mixture was thoroughly incorporated.
For the frosting, we adapted the frosting recipe that we used for the cookies and cream cupcakes to be vanilla-bean-amazingness:
  • 1 cup earth balance
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 vanilla beans (well, their delicious bean-y guts, anyhow!)
  • 2 tablespoons soy milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
We beat all of these tasty ingredients together with Shannon’s hand mixer and YUMITWASGOOD! This made a lot of frosting, so if I were you I would either double up on the cupcake recipe (DO IT DO IT!!) or halve the frosting recipe. Or have lots of frosting left over to feed to your sugar addicted boyfriend! Whatever is clever!

Shannon and I agree that these are our new favorite cupcakes! You should most definitely try them out for yourself.

dark chocolate cupcakes topped with strawberry cashew cream

Happy Sandy Day! We love to show our friends and family that we adore them with home made treats and doodads. For my friend Sandy’s Twenty-Fifth Birthday we made these Dark Chocolate Cupcakes topped with Strawberry Cashew Cream, plus a sweet home made card featuring her dog, Jolie!

I scoured my cookbook collections for the perfect Birthday-Treat recipe for Sandy… Leslie Cerier has done it again! Yet another tantalizing and decadent vegan recipe from her cookbook Going Wild in the Kitchen:

Dark Chocolate Cake (or in this case…Cupcakes!):

1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 1/2 tablespoons flaxseeds
1/2 cup apple juice
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 tablespoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips/chunks
3/4 cup vanilla soymilk

Preheat the oven to three hundred and fifty degrees. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Place the flaxseeds in a blender and grind to a powder. Next add the apple juice, canola oil, maple syrup, and vanilla, blending very well. Heat the chocolate chips and soy milk over low heat in a double boiler or medium sized saucepan, constantly stirring until the chocolate is melted. Add the blender mixture and melted chocolate to the flour mixture, stirring to a smooth batter.

Pour the batter into a lightly oiled cake pan and bake for forty minutes, or until your toothpick comes out batter-free when inserted in the center. Let the cake cool completely before frosting. DEVOUR! Or share… sharing is caring!

*To make cupcakes out of this recipe, simply pour the batter into cupcake papers in cupcake tins and cut the baking time in half, to around twenty minutes or so.

Strawberry Cashew Cream:

1 cup raw, unsalted cashews
1/4 cup vanilla soy milk
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup fresh strawberries, stems removed

Grab your BEST food processor ever. Throw in your cashews and grind to a fine meal. With the magic machine still running, slowly add the soy milk through the top. Next the maple syrup, then the vanilla, and last (but most importantly!) the fresh strawberries. VOILA!

Jef and I shared a cupcake (to test the recipe, naturally!) and THESE ARE SO GOOD! We had to restrain ourselves from devouring ALL of Sandy’s cupcakes! Rich and chocolaty, but topped with the fresh tasting strawberry cashew cream… it was a perfect balance! YUM!

We will definitely be making these again. I love that the recipe does not use any processed sugar or questionable ingredients. Just whole, organic, natural food… just like Great Great Vegan Grandma made (I wish I had a Great Great Vegan Grandma.. know of any that I can adopt??)! The organic California strawberries (that just came into season!) really make the cashew cream spectacular.

Sandy and I, dressed up in funky attire for some funky birthday rollerskating!

peanut butter teff cookies

Teff, peanut butter, and cookies, oh my! Teff adds a subtle hazelnut/chocolate flavor to these peanut butter cookies, and just so happens to be gluten free and high in dietary fiber, protein, iron, and calcium. With this easy six ingredient recipe starring the super nutritious teff flour, you can almost convince yourself that you are eating these cookies for health, and not pleasure! Almost…

We found this recipe conveniently located on the back of our bag of teff flour from Bob’s Red Mill. It is by Leslie Cerier, who just so happens to be the author of one of our favorite cookbooks: Going Wild in the Kitchen.

1 1/2 cups Teff Flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup peanut butter

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Combine the dry ingredients together in a big bowl. In your favorite food processor blend the maple syrup, canola oil, vanilla, and peanut butter well. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, incorporating well. Form little balls of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheat. To get that classic criss-cross look that peanut butter cookies are famous for, get your criss-cross action going with a fork. Bake for about  thirteen to fifteen minutes. Allow them to cool all of the way, and then gobble them up!

Cheers to healthylicious vegan cookies!

cookies and cream cupcakes (PART TWO)

So Shannon and I decided to have another cupcake party! We were going to make a new cupcake (matcha cupcakes with vanilla bean frosting) but unfortunately the co-op was out of both matcha and vanilla bean. What are two girls looking for a cupcake party to do?

MAKE MORE COOKIES AND CREAM CUPCAKES!!!

This time we adjusted the frosting recipe so that it wouldn’t be so deliciously goopy. We simply added a lot less soymilk to the recipe, since the earth balance tends to liquify  when it is beaten because of the heat produced.

These cupcakes were just as delicious, but even better since they weren’t dripping everywhere! We were nice this time, and decided to share. We drove around delivering joy and cupcakes to friends and coworkers. It was the BEST!

There are going to be lots and lots of future vegan cupcake parties! We are really looking forward to making these mysterious matcha and vanilla bean cupcakes… perhaps you will be seeing them at The Bear and The Blackberry soon!

cookies and cream cupcakes (BEST!)

I love all of the vegan food blogs that I am finding out in the e-universe. Not only do they provide me with a sense of camaraderie and connection, but they supply endless amounts of inspiration, as well as lots of “I HAVE TO MAKE THAT!” moments.

One such moment came a few weeks ago, after stumbling upon We Heart Vegan. They made a tantalizing post about the most delicious looking cupcakes ever: Cookies n’ Cream Cupcakes!

Our friend Shannon came over so that we could try out the recipe. It turns out not only do these look like the most delicious cupcakes ever, but THEY ARE THE MOST DELICIOUS CUPCAKES EVER INVENTED! I challenge you to prove me wrong!

Seriously though… these are really ridiculously freaking good. When I sunk my teeth into my first cupcake, all I could say was, “MMMMMMMMM….”, followed by, “This is the best cupcake I have ever had… EVER!”

You should definitely try them for yourself! The recipe can be found at We Heart Vegan, so ch-ch-ch-ch-check it out!

Shannon drew this for me : ) It now resides on the fridge, naturally.

P.S. The next time we make these, we promise to share!

BEST!

valentines day treats!

First off:

NOMNOMNOM TREEEEATS!

Secondly:

MUWA MUWA MUWA KISSES!

Cool. We spent V-day baking, specifically Lemon Poppy Seed Almond Cupcakes and Brownie Pecan Cookies with Orange Zest. They won. We won. Everyone won. It was a good day. Sharing is caring, so we spread the love and even shared these with friends!

Cupcakes, a traditional Valentine treat, are great, and decorating them is a blast. We made a vegan buttercream frosting and then crafted little hearts out of strawberries for the cupcake decor. Über Cüte. Cookies are usually a St. Valentine favorite as well, but typically sugar cookies.. BORING. We love chocolate (yet another favorite for this Holy day), so we made some zesty chocolate cookies. Flavorful and sweet, but not disgustingly rich, I could eat them for breakfast!

We found these tasty treat recipes in The Garden of Vegan by Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer, and only slightly adapted them to fit our palates.