Cranberry Apple Butter

makes 1 pint

Merry Christmas and happy holidays, my loves!

This Christmas I’ve been trying to focus on taking time to love others and not getting stressed over getting people material items.  I’ve handmade most of my gifts and I am pretty stoked about that.  Although I am not nor ever was religious, I think the holidays (I hate saying Christmas because not everyone celebrates) is a time when everyone can be extra happy and love one another.  So, I hope you’ve all had the chance to spend oodles of time with your friends and family.   Have a lovely day, and make sure to spread joy and cheer.

Speaking of joy…this butter/spread/jam/whatever you want to call it makes me joyful.  It’s tart and sweet makes the perfect toast or waffle topping.

Let’s eat and be merry!
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Grapefruit Clove Biscotti

Makes 12 biscotti

Coffee and sitting next to a fire is what these lovely treats remind me of.  If you don’t like grapefruit or bitter notes, turn away now.  These biscotti are not the sweetest cookie you’ll ever eat but that is why I like them.

I got the idea from my lovely friend who was super stoked on making Lebkuchen, a German christmas cookie. She decided to candy her own citrus peels and I was totally inspired.  I’ve never candied anything so this was quite the experience.  Take note that the grapefruit peels take at least 24 hours to dry.  Or, you could throw them in a 250˚F oven for an hour or so.  That’d do the trick.

These biscotti are perfectly bitter, a bit sweet, and radiate the warmth everyone wants in winter.  Eat them with coffee, tea, and vanilla ice cream!  These are so tasty and you definitely need to put these on your list of holiday cookies!

Make sure to tag #thebakingyogini if you make my recipe!

Let’s get a’munchin’

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Almost Flourless Bourbon Chocolate Cake with Pomegranate Sauce

makes 1, 9 or 10 inch cake

My new job is basically the coolest thing and I’m learning so much.  I’m so very stoked on it and I love it so very much but it makes me that much busier.  Also, I’ve been so lazy these past two weeks with blogging.  I’m sorry.  I feel bad.

I think this recipe will make up for my absence.

I made it for Thanksgiving, but be warned.  Do NOT make this a double layer cake.  I was sort of worried that a single layer cake would be eaten up super fast but that was not the case, my friends.  This cake is sweet and rich and SO chocolatey so eating more than a little slice is, like, impossible.  Also, be sure not to over bake this cake because it’ll fall apart.  It will also fall apart if it’s warm, so cool it before serving so you have nice, slice-able pieces (I didn’t do this at first, but I left the leftovers in the fridge and they were much easier to cut).

This cake is awesome because it has a lovely, fruity crunch that compliments the bittersweet chocolate in a beautiful manner.  This pomegranate sauce is a mix between a caramel and a jam so I don’t know what to call it.  It’s chewy but not too sticky.  Just go with it.  This cake is sultry, sexy, and if this cake were to be a person it’d definitely be Angelina Jolie in the movie Salt (when she has black hair) because why not, right?  Also, I’m putting bourbon in everything (that I cook of course), is that bad?  Nahhh.

I’m stoked on this cake and I think you need to make it for the holidays.  It’s that good, my friends.

Let’s get chocolatey!

P.S. WHO’S EXCITED FOR THE HOLIDAYS?  I am.

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Twice Baked Basil-y Sweet Potatoes

serves 3

Wow, I’m SO bad.  I meant to post this last night, I really did.  But, I went and saw Interstellar and, well, I couldn’t quite think straight afterwards.  If you have not seen the movie yet, get your mind blown and go see it.  It was quite literally the most absolutely terrifically insane movie I’ve EVER seen.

Now, onto Thanksgiving! Happy Turkey Day, all! If you haven’t planned your menu or are looking for another side to add onto your already-gigantic feast, make these ‘taters.  I could probably live off sweet potatoes and squash if it came down to it.  They are so filling and bright and sweet and tasty.  Mhmm gotta love dem squash.

I’m not quite in the mood to write today because I’ve gotta help make part of tonight’s feast.  So, make these lovely, creamy, twice baked sweet potatoes and love every minute!

What are you all doing on this lovely day?

Let’s get stuffed!

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Cranberry Maple Breakfast Scones

makes 12 scones

Breakfast over the holiday season should be decadent, warm, and all-around filling.  I tend to eat SO many carbs during the fall/winter season because they make me feel warm and fuzzy.  Queue up the scones, toast, and oatmeal for breakfast EVERY day.

With that, I decided I needed to create a hearty breakfast pastry that will actually fill you up (with some fruit, an egg, or some peanut butter on the side).  If I eat anything other than a breakfast filled with peanut butter or an egg and toasts, I’m hungry in a solid hour.  I love pastries, but they don’t fill me up so I rarely eat them.  Fellow hearty breakfast eaters: these scones may change you.

Since these babies have whole wheat pastry flour, they are denser and seem to be much more filling than most pastries.  Yes they taste great.  No the heartiness does not take away from their yumminess!  These scones are filling, tart, and not too sweet.  They are the PERFECT element of a filling breakfast.

Let’s get full!

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Peanut Butter Caramel Drenched Double Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Buttercream

makes 1 really rad 3 or 2 layer cake

Well hoooooly schmoly…this cake is BOMB.  I’ve been planning this cake for over a month, you guys because I kept telling a special someone that this was going to be the best cake he would ever eat.  I think I won with this one, so let me explain.

The actual cake is based off a recipe that has been in my family for a really long time.  My mom makes this cake during the holidays because it’s so decadent and chocolatey.  My great grandma Terrill came up with this recipe and it really has lived on.  Her original recipe is called, “Grandma Ts Devil’s Food Cake with Sweet Milk”.  Her’s is really great but I wanted to add some buttermilk to give it a little tang…oh and extra chocolate (chips) because birthdays are for extra chocolate.  Always.

To up the ante of this already fantastic cake, I wanted to coat it in a simply sweet buttercream frosting and put something ridiculous on top.  That ridiculousness turned out to be peanut butter caramel sauce.  Like caramel is great but PEANUT BUTTER caramel is godly.  Literally heaven all smooched into one tiny sauce. Oh, and to top it off, of course I had to put peanut butter cups in between layers AND on top.

If you have 1) time, 2) a special event, or 3) a special person, make this cake! This cake takes lots of love so do not try to rush it.  Put your soul into it, you guys.  I promise it will be one of the best cakes you’ve ever tasted.

Did I mention I rarely even LIKE cake with frosting.  This one however…well, see for yourself!  Tag #thebakingyogini if you make this babe of a cake!

Remember to check out my FacebookPinterest, and Instagram.

Let’s bake a cake.

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Golden Beet Focaccia

makes 1 15 1/2x 10 1/2 inch sheet loaf

GUYS!…Halloween is in ONE DAY.  I’m so excited/can’t wait/I just carved the absolute ugliest pumpkin EVER.  Also, I’ve been vegan for almost a month!  I feel really awesome and have a lot of energy.  I’ve definitely been eating less processed foods.  However, I don’t think I’ll be able to be completely vegan for the rest of my life.  It has taught me a lot about food and I will definitely be much more conscious of how I eat in the future! Phew…well lets get to food, I guess.

This focaccia is quite Halloween-y if I do say so.  To be completely honest, I thought I was cooking a sweet potato buuuut it turned out to be a golden beet.  Kind of embarrassing but it totally looked like a sweet potato on the outside. It was a great mistake.

Beets just remind me of eating a piece of Earth in the best way possible.  A lot of people think they taste like dirt, and I understand where they’re coming from.  But fer realz, they taste like good dirt.  If theres a savory bread that screams autumn, this is it. It’s chewy on the inside, earthy, crispy on the outside, slightly salty, and absolutely beautiful.  You absolutely cannot leave out the balsamic vinegar to baste on top of the bread because it makes it.  The acidity of the vinegar mixed with the earthiness with the beet is making my mouth water as I type.  I made this bread two days ago and it’s almost gone. Win?  YUS.

Alright, well I’ve gotta go work on my Halloween costume. What are you guys going to be?  If you make my recipe, post a picture on Instagram!  Make sure to check out my Facebook and Pinterest if you wanna see some crafty stuff.

Let’s get spooky!

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Pumpkin Ginger Latte

makes 1 latte

Guys, I miss cheese.  I know many vegans use nutritional yeast to replicate the cheesy feel of a dish but it really isn’t cutting it for me.  Man, I don’t know if veganism will be sustainable for me.  Buuuut, I sure am feeling great.  I think if I do go back to eating dairy and meat it will be in moderation because I feel so great eating mostly plants!  Woohoo go veggies.

Right now I’m flying home from a pretty hectic long weekend.  I visited 3 cities, 2 states, 2 schools, and flew on 5 planes in the course of 5 days.  For the majority of my trip I ate out at restaurants which gave me a sense of what I can’t eat.  Up until this trip I was like, “man, this whole vegan thing is easy as pie,”.  Then the real world set in and it’s pretty brutal! Luckily, Colorado and Montana were pretty accommodating.

I also want to give a huge shout out to Govinda’s Garden in Denver.  This restaurant is a 100% vegetarian and vegan buffet and the staff is SO NICE.  If you’re ever in Denver and looking for a great restaurant (even if you’re a meat lover) go here.  Their vegan quiche was exquisite.

Well, Colorado is awesome and I am sort of sad to be home because school, man.  School and biking and being out of town have taken up all my time and I haven’t been able to post anything for far too long.  Plus the recipe I was going to post was not up to par…but trust me, this one is!

If  you want to cozy up after a long autumn day drink this.  This coffee-less latte isn’t too sweet and the pumpkin shines.  Make it now and drink up, my friends!

Let’s get cozy!

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Pumpkin Walnut Bread

makes 1 9×5 loaf

The weather is finally getting fall-like! Rather than being 70-80˚F like it was last week, today’s high was 55˚ and I’m not sure if it even reached that.  Although I’m super sensitive to the cold and it sucks me of so much energy, at least everything is feeling a bit more festive.  The yellow aspen leaves are absolutely stunning and if it weren’t for school I’d be in the trees all day long snapping their picture.

On a different note, I have some big news.  The other night I went to see Cowspiracy for my environmental science class.  I really urge you to go to the website and watch the movie because it’s so important.  Even if you don’t change your eating habits, I think it’s good for everyone to know the facts and be educated.  Anyway, because of this movie I am going to go vegan for a month (starting on Wednesday, October 1) and see how it goes from there.

I’m doing this vegan thing mostly for the environment and to reduce my carbon footprint.  I’m really excited about it because not only will I be helping our environment, I get to try awesome new vegan food/recipes.  I know it will be a huge challenge, but I’m trying to focus on what I can eat rather than what I cannot.

With the help of 7 Day VeganMinimalist BakerCookie + KateOh She Glows, and Healthy Happy Life, and more I’m going to thrive this month!  I’m super excited but the only thing I’m worried about is judgement.  I’m not going to try and convince people to be vegan or judge them by how they eat, so they should not judge me.

Well, let’s get to this awesome pumpkin-y, crunchy, chewy, absolutely delicious pumpkin walnut bread.  And, yes, it’s vegan!

Let’s get going!

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Pumpkin Raisin Cookies

yield 36 small cookies

And I’m back on that pumpkin grind.

I know everyone else is but, honestly, it’s SO versatile (and why not go with the seasons?).  Pumpkin can be put in virtually anything, at anytime, anywhere.  I even used it in place of jam on my waffle this morning.  Who woulda thunk?!  Plus, it’s ALWAYS available canned in the store.

I’d say soft, comforting, and gushing with flavor are the best describers for these cookies.  And if you dislike raisins, turn away now because they really give these cookies what they need.  They just ooze with their sweet fruity flavor and juices.  I don’t really want to relate them to Gushers, but really thats what they seem like…just a lot healthier with no red 40 food coloring.  So please, if you’re going to add some chocolate chips to these babies, DON’T omit the raisins.  Just don’t.

Pumpkin is the epitome of autumn and I don’t think anyone can have enough!  It’s filled with vitamins A, C, and E and tons of antioxidants, so get on that pumpkin grind with me and make the dang cookies.

Let’s get a’bakin’

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