Archive for Recipes: Sweet

Blueberry Lemon Bars {Vegan}

Vegan Blueberry Lemon Bars

Well, it’s officially summer here in Vancouver, though the weather seems to be a bit confused as to what season it is. However, July 15 is Blueberry Day, so hence today’s recipe.

To add to the long list of why 2020 sucks, our summer has been pretty cold and rainy so far. OH! And! Apparently it’s also a banner year for mosquitoes. So yeah. Good times.

What this situation calls for is baked goods, because, let’s face it, there’s no situation that cannot be improved by the application of cake.Lemon Blueberry Bars

Given that none of us can venture too far this summer, Michael and I are making plans to explore our “backyard,” by which I mean, our province. We recently headed out to Fort Langley last week to explore.

If you’ve never been to Fort Langley, it’s pretty awesome. It has such charm, and some really lovely places to browse. In addition to the historical Fort (which is only half open, sadly), the town itself has some pretty interesting things to see, including Blacksmith Bakery, which I highly recommend.

BC Blueberries

On our way home, we hit up a couple of berry farms, and came home with some locally-grown berry booty; strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.

Pie ensued. Also a lemon tart with garnished with glazed fresh berries.

Lemon Tart

But the blueberries… what to do with them?

Lemon and blueberries make good friends, so I decided to pair the two. This is a really simple recipe that I think turned out quite elegant and lovely.

Blueberry Lemon Bars Vegan

Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Bars {Vegan}

Ingredients for the crust:

  • 1 cup vegan butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
  • zest of one lemon
  • ½ teaspoon salt

ingredients for the filling:

  • 1 ½ cups blueberries
  • ¼ cup water
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour or cornstarch

Method

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, or using a hand-held mixer in a large bowl, cream together the vegan butter and the sugar. Mix well together until they are light and creamy. Add the vanilla and lemon zest and mix to combine. Add in the flour in three batches, mixing in between each until incorporated. Take a little more than half of the mixture and press it into a 8″x8″ greased (or parchment-lined) square pan. Set aside while you make the filling.
  2. In a medium-sized pot, place the water, blueberries, half the lemon juice and sugar. Bring up to a boil and then turn down the heat and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes. Us a potato masher to squish up the blueberries a little. Place the flour or cornstarch in a small mason jar with the remaining lemon juice and shake well to combine. Add the slurry to your blueberry mixture, bring it back up to the boil and allow to cook down for an additional 5 minutes, until thickened.
  3. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Pour the blueberry compote over the shortbread layer in your pan. Then break the remaining shortbread up into chunks with your hands and scatter it over the blueberry mixture. You want there to be peeks of blueberries through the crust. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes, until the top is golden and the blueberries are bubbly. Cool and cut into squares to serve.

Anzac Biscuits {Vegan}

Well if there’s one thing I love, it’s a recipe with a good story.

The beginning of this story starts with me watching a new netflix cooking series called Nadiya’s Time to Eat (you’ll recall I made her Tortilla Egg Roll-Ups a couple weeks back). While watching the show, she introduced me to a British product I’d never seen before: Lyle’s Golden Syrup.Anzac Biscuits Vegan

Now, here in Canada (and North America in general), we have these kinds of syrups. But they are primarily thickened with corn, and let’s face it, they aren’t that good for you. Yes, I keep a bottle of it on hand because there are certain recipes that are almost impossible to make without it, but in general, I try to avoid using the stuff.

While I wouldn’t classify Lyle’s as healthy, it basically has one ingredient, and that’s sugar. In the UK, they put it on pancakes, and of course they bake with it. It’s a great alternative to honey.

The next day, one of my friends on FB mentioned this exact product, wondering where she might source it. As it turns out.the Gourmet Warehouse carries it, so a few days ago, I went there and got a can for both of us.

Now, what to make with my newly-acquired syrup?

Anzac Biscuits were clearly the most obvious choice. ANZAC is actually an acronym for Australian New Zealand Army Corps, and during the war, women would make these cookies to send to their husbands on the front. The recipe doesn’t call for eggs, and makes a fairly crispy, dry cookie, so Anzac Biscuits packed and shipped well (see another of my favourite war-time recipes here).

It was a very simple recipe to veganize, as the only animal product in them was butter.

The syrup is key here, though. It gives them a dark colour and a beautiful, caramelly taste. If you can’t get true golden syrup, you can sub corn syrup.

By the way, biscuit is the British/Aussie/Kiwi word for cookies. I would call these cookies–my friends overseas would call them biscuits, so in the spirit of remaining culturally true, I’ve titled this recipe Anzac Biscuits.Vegan Anzac Biscuits

Anzac Biscuits

(adapted from King Arthur Flour)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup coconut
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter or coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Method:

  1. Combine the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. In a microwave-safe container, combine the vegan butter or coconut oil and cook on high for 1-1 1/2 minutes. Combine the water and the baking soda together in a cup, and then add it to the hot butter/syrup mixture. Stir (it will fluff up) and then add to the dry ingredients. Mix to combine.
  3. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet, and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes. The cookies will spread quite a bit, so leave room between them.
  4. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
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