Archive for Vegan

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)


  • 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


  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.

Harissa Brownies {Vegan, Gluten-Free}

I mean, if there’s one thing I love, it’s mixing the savoury with the sweet. It’s fun to put ingredients in a dessert that you’d think have no right being there, and yet turn out to taste so good.

A few months ago, I stumbled across this vegan, gluten-free, four-ingredient brownie recipe. The four ingredients were: cooked sweet potatoes, maple syrup, nut butter and cocoa. I tried it, adding a few key ingredients, and it was…. good. Okay. Not amazing.

So I started to play with the recipe a little. I’d originally used peanut butter, because that’s what I had, but I wondered what a different kind of nut butter would bring to the party. What if I used pumpkin instead of sweet potato? What if I mixed in some different flavours? The end result? Harissa Brownies!

Harissa Brownies

So now the brownies are no longer just four ingredients, but they are still vegan and gluten-free!

This particular version took on a distinctly middle-eastern flair with the addition of tahini and harissa.

Harissa is a new discovery for me in just the last couple of years. It’s a spicy paste made from roasted peppers, and it’s used a lot in Persian cuisine. You can buy it in a tube from your local Persian market (if you’re in Vancouver, go to the Persia Foods, they have several locations around town). Tahini is also heavily used in middle-eastern food, so you can pick some of that up there, while you’re at it. Tahini is just nut butter or paste made from sesame seeds (so less chance someone will be allergic–bonus).

The only downside of this recipe is because it lacks flour and eggs, it is a pretty wet batter, and it takes a full hour to bake properly. But this is, hands-down, the best vegan, gluten-free brownie recipe I’ve tried (and I’ve tried a lot and been really, really disappointed every time).

I cooked my sweet potato by cutting it into 4 pieces and dropping it into the Instant Pot on top of the trivet with a bit of water in the bottom for 10 minutes, but honestly, just toss and extra one in the next time you’re cooking sweet potatoes for dinner. And use it make dessert.

The end result is something akin to Mexican hot chocolate, or a Mole; chocolate, sweet and spice. If you don’t like spice or can’t find the harissa, just leave it out.

Harissa Brownies

  • 1 cup cooked, mashed sweet potatoes (or try with canned pumpkin); about one medium sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp harissa paste
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  1. Add the sweet potatoes to a large bowl and mash them well. I have also used a ricer or a food mill to ensure the silkiest quality, but mashing them with a fork is fine, too. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well until combined.
  2. Line a 7″ square pan with parchment, and scrape the batter into it.
  3. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 60 minutes.
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