Archive for Vegan

Vegan Compost Cookies

Guys, I failed you. Sorry.

I was in Toronto at this time last year, and I was attending a conference. There was lots to do, lots to see, and lots to eat. I had many entries on my list of places I wanted to eat at. Sadly, more that I had time or stomach for. And one of those places was Milk Bar.

Have you watched the episode of Chef’s Table that features Christina Tosi? It’s a great one. And super inspirational.

Vegan Compost Cookies

Milk Bar is all about over the top comfort baking. Christina does crazy stuff, like infusing cereal into milk, and then making ice cream out of that. Genius! Her Crack Pie is legendary. And those happy, rainbow-sprinkle-filled cakes!

She’s also known for something she invented called the Compost Cookie. It’s basically a kitchen-sink cookie, it is filled with all kinds of random things; pretzels, butterscotch and chocolate chips, potato chips, graham cracker pie crust, and coffee grounds.

Tragically, I’ve not tasted the actual Compost Cookie from MilkBar, BUT the recipe is online, so I thought I’d try to veganize it. And so, voila! Vegan Compost Cookies!

This is an over-the-top junk food cookie that is so bad, it’s good. Texturally, it makes for a very interesting cookie. It’s crispy, and bit lumpy and bumpy from all the additions. It has distinct savoury elements from the coffee and the chips and pretzels. It’s really unlike anything I’ve ever had before.

Anyway, the resident taste-testers liked it a lot, so here it is. Tosi’s recipe calls for graham cracker crust, and I skipped that, but everything else is there.

Compost cookies MilkBar VeganVegan Compost Cookies

(adapted from Milk Bar Bakery)


  • 1 cup vegan butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp corn syrup
  • 3 tbsp aquafaba
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  •  tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped dark vegan chocolate
  • 1/3 cup oats (not instant)
  • 2 1/2 tsp ground coffee
  • 2 cups vegan potato chips
  • 1 cup vegan pretzels


  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the vegan butter, sugars and the corn syrup. Mix well to combine for a couple of minutes on medium.
  2. Add in the aquafaba and the vanilla and beat for about 5 minutes, until the batter is pale and smooth.
  3. Turn the speed down to low and carefully add the dry ingredients and the oats, mixing just until combined. Scrape down the sides and mix briefly again.
  4. Add the chocolate and coffee, and mix until combined.
  5. Carefully add the potato chips and pretzels last, and mix just a few times until they are combined, trying not to break them up too badly.
  6. Place the mixture in the fridge for at least an hour to set up.
  7. Preheat oven to 375 and scoop the cookies out onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. You can make them bigger if you like but I kept mine to the size of my regular cookie scoop. Bake for about 11-12 minutes, or until crispy on the edges and little golden.

Vegan Tamales {Instant Pot}

As the days tick down towards the end of the school year, and the temperature rises, I’m finding myself spending less time in the kitchen.

It’s the natural order of things, I guess. The hotter it gets, the less time I want to spend in the kitchen over a hot stove or a hot oven.

I’ll spare you my rave about how much I love my Instant Pot (god knows I’ve done it enough already), and simply offer you this: now is the time to turn to your IP or your slow cooker.

I know most people think of their slow cooker as a winter thing, slow cooking soups and stews all through the cold months. But these appliances are great for summer, too, because they cook without creating the same kind of heat in your kitchen.

Vegan Tamales Instant Pot


But now, let’s talk tamales.

Mexican cuisine has a million ways to use corn, and tamales are just one of them. They’re a bit time-consuming, but as with anything that requires a little assembly, the key is to do a lot of them all at once, and then freeze the results.

If you’ve never had a tamale, it’s kind of like a package made of masa (or corn) dough, rolled around some kind of centre. Often this is meat, but of course, mine are not. The entire thing, dough and filling, is rolled in a corn husk, which keeps it all nicely together in a lovely package, and then steamed or cooked. The end result is a portable, delicious meal.

Lots of cultures use a similar method; here, we eat a lot of sticky rice; rice, wrapped around an either sweet or savoury filling, and then wrapped in banana or lotus leaves and steamed. It’s super popular at dim sum.

What’s great about making these in the IP is that it takes just 20 minutes to cook them, which is about half what it would take you to steam them on the stovetop.

A quick word about vegetable shortening, which this recipe calls for: some folks consider palm oil (which most vegetable shortenings contain) to not be vegan, as, even though it doesn’t contain animal products, it isn’t harvested in a sustainable way, and is contributing to deforestation and possibly the extinction of orangutans. It’s not an ingredient that I use very often, and I almost never buy it, but I think in this case, it’s needed. Feel free to try subbing in vegan butter if you prefer

Vegan Tamales

Vegan Tamales


  • 3 cups masa flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 8 oz (1 cup) vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • Filling of your choice: you could use refried beans, sautéed veggies, etc, I used BBQ Pulled Jackfruit
  • Corn husks/tamale wrappers


  1. In your mixer (could also do in a food processor, or with your hands), combine the dry ingredients, and then, with the motor running, slowly add in chunks of the shortening, one at a time, until it starts to resemble pea-like crumbs.
  2. Again, with the motor running, slowly start to add in the vegetable stock, a little at a time, until everything is incorporated. You want the texture to be similar to hummus.
  3. Cover and place in the fridge to firm up for 30 minutes or so, while you prepare the filling.
  4. To assemble: take a large bowl and fill it with warm/as hot as you can stand water. Place the corn husks in it, and allow them to sit for 5 minutes or so to soften. Place a kitchen towel on your work surface, and put one of the husks on it, the wide end facing you. Place a dollop of the masa dough (around 1/4 cup?) on the husk, and then spread it out until it’s a flat layer, about 1/2″ thick. Place a dollop of the filling on the centre of the dough, and spread it out in a line. Then roll the whole thing up, from one side to another, making a kind of cigar with it, with the filling in the middle. Twist up the narrow end, and use a scrap of leftover corn husk to tie around the entire tamale to hold it in place. Place 1-2 cups of water or stock in the bottom of your Instant Pot, and place the trivet on top. Load the tamales, open end up, on their ends in the Instant pot, packing them in so they stand up. Place the lid on, and set for manual 20 minutes. When the pot has finished its cycle, release the pressure and remove the tamales. Unwrap and enjoy–serve with salsa!
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