Tag Archives: dessert

Original Recipe | Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake



My good friend Regina turned 30 this month and when I asked what she wanted for her birthday she jokingly said, “I want a cookie cake.” So I made her a cookie cake. With Oreo frosting and sprinkles, because she is an angelprincess and deserves only the best. I also made guacamole and chips because that is by far the best thing to serve with cake. Or cookies.


This cake is for people who hate baking cakes and make a mess with frosting. It’s pretty easy and only takes a little bit more time than making a batch of cookies. It would also be fun for kids, probably, if you know of any that would enjoy something special. This is also more creative than cupcakes, because aren’t we all getting sick of cupcakes? I’m calling it. 2014: the year of the cookie cake!


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Original Recipe | Malted Strawberries and Cream


Cliché “New York City Moments” kind of make me sick to my stomach, but when I passed a random guy selling cheap cartons of fresh strawberries out of his truck on a side street in Brooklyn , I couldn’t help but think how out of place, and yet “So Brooklyn,” it was (Did you just roll your eyes? Yea, exactly). And I bought 3 lbs. of strawberries without stopping to think about what I’d actually do with them, of course. At the time my plan was “shovel handfuls of strawberries into mouth,” but after downing one of the cartons, I decided to do something a little more creative with the other two.

I’d never had a malted milk shake, and after discovering malted barley powder as a vegan ice cream topping, I’ve been in love with the idea of malt-y desserts. My experience with malt is limited to malt vinegar, which as a proud Marylander I know from dredging Old Bay fries in the stuff. I didn’t have barley malt, so malt vinegar would have to do. And oh, it did.

Tangy strawberries with sweet, rich cashew “whipped cream” served in baked phyllo cups are a fantastic, rich dessert for when you have too many strawberries and want to do something fancy, yet simple. These are perfect for impressing a group!


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Adventures In Vegan Cronut Making

If you live in NYC, you’ve probably heard of the cronut craze consuming Manhattan. Cronuts are a cross between a yeast doughnut and a croissant, a treat brought to the U.S. by French pastry chef Dominique Ansel who has customers lining up outside of his SoHo bakery as early at 6 am. Ansel only makes a few hundred cronuts a day, making them a rare and somewhat exotic treat. Obviously, people are insane, but I wanted to know what the big deal was, so I tried making vegan cronuts last weekend.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I suck at deep frying. It was never something that happened in my health-conscious household growing up, and it’s been my most dreaded part of this project so far. I like to think I’m a pretty creative, competent cook, but deep frying and cooking rice (I know, I know) are two things I fail miserably at. After I fried a few things for the GGV project, I was certain I had mastered the art and decided cronuts would be easy (Note: I’ve never made yeast doughnuts or croissants before). Not so much.

One of my gripes about many food blogs is that everything always looks so perfect. I understand “food porn” is suppose to be a fantasy, and you’re not suppose to see the mess or the mistakes behind a post, but we all know that’s not how things actually go down in the kitchen. Shit can get crazy.

I made a slightly altered vegan version of The Boy Who Bakes‘ cronut recipe,  and everything was going well until it came to the frying. My oil was too hot and the cronuts ended up golden brown on the outside and almost raw on the inside. Also, my strawberry “frosting” turned out to be more of a glaze, so that’s something I need to work on. The cronut holes, however, were perfect. So if you’re dying for a vegan cronut, there is hope.

I’m going to try this again because I will get it right. But until I’ve perfected it, I’m not going to share the recipe. Instead, here are a few photos of my first try!

cronut3 cronut2

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Guy Fieri Recipe | Vegan S’mores Pizza


Rather than diving into this project head-on, I decided to gently wade into the water (Nacho cheese? Duck fat?) that is Guy Fieri’s cooking. His S’mores pizza recipe is pretty much already vegan and I’d like to think if Fieri ate a slice of this, he wouldn’t know the difference. Plus, the original recipe is available on the Amazon page for Guy Fieri Food for anyone to view.



The key here is vegan air-puffed marshmallows, a rich, dark chocolate and graham crackers without honey. All of these things won’t actually change the taste of the dish, so it’s a good one for fooling skeptical omnivores.

Recipe for Vegan S’mores Pizza:

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Original Recipes | Award-Winning Chocturnal Emissions


These suckers won me my first cooking competition, The Skint’s Vegan Bake-Off, at The Bell House in Brooklyn on February 10th. I took home both people’s choice and the grand prize, and let me tell you, both were totally unexpected.

Have you ever made dessert for 250 people before? If you have, you know what a huge undertaking it is. If you haven’t, I wouldn’t suggest it. I made the smart decision of starting these the day before the competition because I wanted them to be fresh (I was paranoid about the pretzels getting soggy, which didn’t end up being a problem). This resulted in me breaking down at midnight the night before, trying not to cry, and insisting to my partner that this was the worst idea ever and I wasn’t going to win anything, anyway.

I was wrong.

But the truth is, I don’t even like dessert. I did this for the challenge .. and maybe because I got to wear a cute apron in public. Much like this blog’s namesake, I’d rather have a strong, savory cocktail after a meal than a slice of cake (but ultimately, I’ll eat anything). So if I was going to make a dessert, it had to have two things I love: pretzels and peanut butter, and something everyone else loves: chocolate. And it sure as hell couldn’t involve an oven.


So, peanut butter chocolate pretzel balls with a peanut butter drizzle were born. Except, they needed a more concise name. My friends suggested “something with orgasms in it,” which turned into “nocturnal emissions,” which turned into “chocturnal emissions,” because puns are awesome and if you’re going to be competing against 20 other bakers, you need a memorable name that will stick. Even if it’s a play on … well, you know.

The name actually got me in a bit of trouble when I made these for a Sea Shepherd bake sale a week after the competition. A woman told me the description sounded good, but the name was gross and made her not want to buy them. Yes, it’s a little vulgar, but it’s also funny (to me, anyway). I assured her they were delicious (and award-winning!), and she ended up buying several. I learned a valuable lesson about cooking for strangers: what works at a bake-off might not always translate over to a bake sale. So, feel free to go with the long name if you’re going to be making these for, say, a group of mommy bloggers or your child’s 5th birthday party. Or a bake sale.


From L to R: Chef Adam Sobel of Cinnamon Snail fame (judge), me grinning like a fool, Sarah Gross of Rescue Chocolate (judge), second runner-up (I didn’t get her name! My apologies.), first runner-up Amanda Bruchok, and comedian Myq Kaplan (judge)

Overall, the competition was a ton of work, and the amount of effort that went into all of the desserts made was incredible. My favorite was the trio of fruit sorbets made by a couple whose names I don’t remember. If it was you, let me know! I ate like five cups of that stuff.

Here’s my (award-winning!!!) recipe:

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