Eats · Life · Music

You baked what? +Life + Music

I am trying my hand at a vegan desert for a family gathering this weekend. We have a few vegans in the fam so I thought it would be fun to try something new. I plan on making a non-vegan desert as well (maybe Banana Pudding?). Baking vegan is definitely different for me. So here goes.

I searched Pinterest for a recipe that looked yummy but didn’t have many obscure ingredients. I didn’t want to have to purchase a lot of things that I might not use again. I found this recipe for Vegan Cookies and Cream Bars that looked tasty so I decided to go with that one. Did you know that Oreo’s are vegan? Weird, huh?

While at the grocery store buying the coconut, the cashier asked, “Are you making a drink?” I said, “No, a desert. It calls for coconut. It’s vegan, do you know what that is?” She shook her head “no” and looked at me like I might be a little bit nuts. So I explained that vegan is when not only do you not eat meat, but also meat products like eggs, butter, milk etc. She said, “Why would anybody want to eat it (desert) without those things?” HA! My thoughts exactly!

Anyway, I got home and made the desert. It wasn’t hard to make but I did use about 4 pots, 3 bowls, the electric mixer, a cutting board and a million spoons and measuring cups. My kitchen looked like a disaster zone. I imagine that, as with most things, you get better at it the more you do it. However, I don’t think there is going to be much vegan baking in my future.

I made a big batch and a small batch for us to try. I am worried that it won’t taste good and they won’t like it. Now that it’s finished, I really don’t know if it tastes good or not . . . I think that only a vegan will be able to judge that. It’s super chocolaty and deserty in a way that we are not used to. It sure looks pretty. However, I think we will be sticking with traditionally baked goods.



In case you are interested, here is the recipe.

Prep time 15 mins (more like 30+ for me! but I was doing it with 3 kids around!)
Cook time 20 mins
Total time 35 mins
Serves: 9
For the brownie layer:
  • 2 ½ cups white flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cups sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 2 cups water
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp White Wine vinegar (Apple Cider vinegar works too)
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • ½ cup dark chocolate (finely chopped)
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts

For the cookies & cream layer

  • 2 cups cashews
  • 1 ½ cups coconut cream (melted)
  • 18 cream filled cookies (Oreo style)
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  1. Mix the flour, cocoa powder, sugar and baking powder in a bowl.
  2. Melt the chopped chocolate using a water bath or the microwave on the lowest heat setting.
  3. Add the water, vegetable oil, vinegar, vanilla extract and melted chocolate and mix until well combined.
  4. Grease a baking pan spread the batter evenly and sprinkle with coarse salt and chopped walnuts.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes at 175ºC ( or 350 Fahrenheit) or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Meanwhile using a saucepan cover the cashews with water and bring them to a boil and let them cook for 5 to 10 minutes.
  7. Drain the water and add the cashews to a blender or food processor.
  8. Melt the coconut cream (you can use the firm part of a coconut milk can) and add them to the blender. Blend until you have a creamy texture.
  9. Now add the lemon juice and 10 cream filled cookies and pulse until smooth.
  10. When the brownie layer is out of the oven pour the cream layer on top, spread it evenly and sprinkle with the chunks of 8 crushed cookies. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or until the cookie layer has set. Enjoy!


I bought these wooden Halloween cut-outs at Target, in that front $1 section (they were $3). I always find a few good buys there. They had fun painting them and wanted to know how we were going to attach them to their faces/heads. They are pretty heavy and thick so that’s a no go! Still, I thought it was cute that they asked. They painted a wooden Christmas tree a few years ago and I know that it is one of those things that I will treasure forever. These will be fun to pull out every Halloween.

Garden Update:

The basil is still bonkers. The only other thing doing well is the beans. The spinach has barely sprouted, I think it’s still too hot. The other lettuce is coming up but it looks wilty. I will probably plant some fresh lettuce and spinach seeds in October.

I got to go to breakfast with these two this week. I loved being with them but I don’t recommend Sweetwater Cafe on James Island. The service was fine but the food was not.

Somebody needs to teach this girl some table manners.

Fleet copied The Backpacker sticker.

This is a remake of an oldie. Actually, the remake is becoming a bit of an oldie itself. Which probably means that I am too. I never tire of it. This isn’t a music video. I haven’t figured out how to put just a song on here so it’s the best I’ve got for now!

The new season of The Voice just started. I enjoy this show sometimes. I am amazed that some people just open their mouths and out come these beautiful sounds. That does not happen when I open my mouth. I am a huge Alicia Keys fan so I love that she’s on this season but yikes . . . Miley Cyrus. Anyway, Alicia (yes, first name basis!) belted out a few lines of a song that Luke’s sister sang at our wedding, on Tuesday night, “Some people want it all, but I don’t want nothing at all, if it ain’t you baby, if I ain’t got you baby.” Her voice is simply incredible, no editing or special sound effects needed. Here’s the full version of “If I ain’t got you”

Alicia is going without make up right now and possibly forever. Here is the article she wrote about it. A few lines . . .

I hope to God it’s a revolution. (not wearing makeup)

‘Cause I don’t want to cover up anymore. Not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my thoughts, not my dreams, not my struggles, not my emotional growth. Nothing.

You go girl. Seriously.



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