Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Filling and Lemon Glaze

These little gems just scream spring! A perfect little cupcake, these guys actually got an honorable mention in a recipe contest. Click the link below if you’d like to check them out there. They didn’t get 1st because apparently the filling was finicky to get in. If you have issues let me know please, as I’d like to fix it. Works good for me though and I know you guys are smarties :).
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Cupcake Batter:
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons dairy free margarine
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons ground flax seed plus 6 tablespoons water
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup each of coconut or soy yogurt and unsweetened coconut milk, combined
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Large pinch of salt
Filling:
2 cups diced strawberries
2 tablespoon sugar
Glaze:
1 cup icing sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons unsweetened coconut milk
Preheat oven to 350°. In a food processor mix ground flax seed and water until the mix becomes viscous and ‘egg-like’ to create flax ‘eggs’. In a large mixing bowl cream together butter and sugar. Add in flax eggs an vanilla and mix well.
In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add flour mixture and milk/yogurt mixture in batches, starting and ending with flour. Spoon into mini or regular cupcake tins with liners.
Bake for 12-15 minutes for minis or 18-22 minutes for regular or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
For strawberry filling heat strawberries and sugar over medium heat, whisking while cooking to further break up the strawberries. Cook for approximately 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Mix all ingredients for the glaze in a bowl and set aside. Once cupcakes and filling have cooled, spoon the filling into a piping bag with a round piping tip. Insert the tip into center of cupcake and squeeze some filling into the middle. Repeat until all cupcakes are filled. Dip the top of cupcakes into the glaze or spoon the glaze over them. Enjoy!Makes 32 mini cupcakes or 12 regular.

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Watermelon Pie

Watermelon pie, you say? Yes indeed! It sounds odd and it looks a little freaky. But man oh man does it taste amazing. It’s a no bake pie so it’s perfect for those hot summer days that you dread turning the oven on.

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To start off let’s gather our ingredients and supplies.

For food you’re going to need:

  • 1 cup vanilla cookie crumbs
  • 1/3 cup vegan margarine, such as earth balance
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 6 cups cubed watermelon
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch, plus 6 tbsp water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 lime

For supplies you should gather:

  • A Fine Strainer
  • Cheesecloth
  • 8 inch springform pan, lined with parchment paper on bottom and sides
  • Food Processor
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Bowl
  • Pots
  • Spoons

Once you know you have all the good stuff, let’s get started!

Making the Base:

To start off, we make the cookie crumbs. To get 1 cup of crumbs it took 20 arrowroot cookies. If you’re not a fan of arrowroot, feel free to use your favourite non-creme vanilla cookie. Place the cookies in a food processor and process until they are fine crumbs. Place crumbs in bowl or measuring cup.

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In a small pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, stir in finely chopped chervil. Continue to cook for about 1 minute and then remove from heat.

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Pour butter mixture into the crumbs and mix until thoroughly combined. Put the crumb mixture into the springform pan and press down firmly until you have a nice firm crust. Put in the freezer until needed.

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Filling Fun:

Rinse the cookie crumbs out of the food processor.

Cut 6 cups of cubed watermelon. It took about half a medium watermelon for me, but sizes vary, so just keep cutting until you’ve got your 6 cups worth. Place in the food processor and process until fully blended.

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Line the strainer with cheesecloth and place over a medium pot. Pour the watermelon puree into the the strainer. Force the juice through the cheesecloth using a spoon. Continue until all juice has gone through and only pulp remains. Discard the pulp.

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Add 1/2 cup milk to the watermelon juice. Heat the watermelon juice mix over medium high heat and bring to a boil. While the watermelon juice is heating, create a cornstarch slurry. I a small bowl mix the 1/2 cup cornstarch with the 6 tbsp water, mixing thoroughly until its a smooth liquid.

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Once liquid is boiling, slowly pour the slurry into pt, while whisking quickly. Continue to whisk until the filling has thickened and all the slurry has been incorporated.

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Remove the crust from the freezer. Pour filling over crust. Put into fridge to set, for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.

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Lime Syrup Time:

This really is the most important part of the pie. Without it, the pie is nothing. It brings everything together so nicely while adding that sweetness and tartness and oh-so-goodness.

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Zest the lime, and then cut the remaining lime into quarter wedges. Squeeze juice into small pot. Add the zest, 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water into the pot and stir to combine.

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Over medium heat, bring to a boil stirring constantly, ensuring that all sugar is dissolved. Once it starts to boil, continue to stir and cook for 1 minute. Literally 1 minute. Use a timer or your watch because if you cook to long it will be too thick, and not long enough it will just be sugar water.

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Remove from heat after 1 minute and transfer to glass storage container. I like to use mason jars, but the choice is yours.

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The Finishing Touches:

Everything’s done and now you have to play the waiting game. It sucks, I know, but it’s totally worth it in the end.

Once the pie is set, remove the sides of the springform and gently take the parchment paper off of the sides of the pie. Transfer onto a serving dish, keeping the bottom parchment, or leave on the bottom of the springform pan. Cut it into 12 pieces.

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When serving, make sure you pour the lime syrup generously over each individual piece. As i said earlier, it makes it, so don’t be shy.

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Eat, enjoy and go back for seconds! Hope you love this pie as much as we do!

Chocolate Coconut and Pecan Rice Pudding with Caramel Sauce

Sounds like a bit of a tongue twister doesn’t it? Well twist your tongue around this because it is absolutely to die for. Although I call it a rice pudding, it’s not very pudding-like, more just like rice. But still oh so amazing. The caramel sauce is an extra step and optional but it really makes it in the end. Good luck on not becoming too addicted to this stuff!

Chocolate Coconut and Pecan Rice Pudding with Caramel Sauce

Rice Pudding

Ingredients:

1/3 cup rice

1 1/4 cups unsweetened coconut milk

1 tbsp cocoa powder

1/4 cup pecans

1/4 cup loosely packed brown sugar

1/4 cup toasted coconut

1/4 tsp vanilla

Directions: Add all ingredients into a pot, mixing well. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover, cooking about 12 minutes or until rice is fully cooked through. Serve warm or cold, garnished with caramel, extra pecans, coconut and shaved chocolate.

Caramel Sauce (Optional)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup sugar

2 tbsp water

1 tbsp dairy free margarine

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup original So Delicious coffee creamer

Directions:

Combine water and sugar in a pot over medium low, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Bring heat up to medium high and cook for another couple minutes until sugar starts to brown. At this point whisk in coconut milk creamer, vanilla and margarine. Cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Keep refrigerated up to a week.