All posts by Stef

About Stef

Archaeologist from Germany who is currently living in Helsinki.

Vegan Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

This year I wanted to try a few more vegan recipes, especially in baking. I saw these cookies on mywifemakes and immediately wanted to try them. They turned out to be delicious and I will definitely make them again. No one would ever guess they’re vegan and they are really easy to make! The raw dough still tasted a bit coconutty but I couldn’t taste any coconut flavour in the baked cookies. I also used my homemade peanut butter which is a really quick 1-ingredient recipe, while store bought jars often include extra oils, salt or sugar.

Ingredients

75 g virgin coconut oil, melted
110 g brown sugar
1 tbsp ground flax seeds
2 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder
110 g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt & some for sprinkling the cookies
80 g vegan chocolate
50 g hazelnuts

Preheat the oven to 175°C, line a baking tray with parchment paper and roast the hazelnut for a few minutes.

To make the flax egg mix one tablespoon of ground flax seed with three tablespoons of water and set aside until it becomes gelatinous. In the meantime chop the nuts and the chocolate.

In a bowl whisk together the sugar, vanilla, coconut oil, peanut butter and flax egg. Add the flour, soda and baking powder and mix until everything is just incorporated. Then you can add the hazelnuts and the chocolate and carefully mix everything together. Drop the cookies with two spoons onto the tray or use your hands (I think hands are the easiest option) and flatten the cookies a bit. Sprinkle with sea salt and bake around 11-13 minutes. Let them cool down because they will be quite soft at first. Enjoy!

Stef

2women2cats: Vegan Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

2women2cats: Vegan Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

2women2cats: Vegan Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Homemade Peanut Butter

Yesterday I wanted to make some vegan chocolate chip cookies until I noticed that I didn’t have any peanut butter at home and of course that was needed for the recipe. I decided to quickly roast some peanuts and make my own.

2women2cats: Homemade Peanut Butter

Making your own peanut butter is the easiest thing ever, way better and cheaper than store bought one. Also no additives, salt, sugar or oil. For peanut butter you’ll only need peanuts, that’s it. Should be obvious but when you look at the back of peanut butter jars in the store you’ll often be surprised.

2women2cats: Homemade Peanut Butter

Ingredients

200 g peanuts (with skin or peeled)

Heat up your oven to around 175°C and gently roast the peanuts for a few minutes on a tray. Don’t let them get too dark, otherwise the peanut butter will be quite bitter. If you bought peanuts that still have the skin, you need to let them cool down a bit and take the skins off. If you bought already peeled ones you can go ahead and start processing the nuts in a food processor. Depending on the type this might take while. I don’t have a Vitamix (unfortunately), so I need to scrape down the sides every once in a while so everything will be mixed evenly. The peanuts will first turn into flour and eventually into butter when the oils are released. Take a deep breath, it will smell awesome! Continue processing until the texture suits you. Store in a jar in the fridge or eat immediately. Enjoy!

Stef

Oh, and if you’re wondering about the cookies I mentioned in the beginning: they turned out perfect and I will put up the recipe here soon.

2women2cats: Homemade Peanut Butter

2women2cats: Homemade Peanut Butter

Moisturizing Avocado Face Mask

2women2cats: Moisturizing Face Mask DIY

In the wintertime my skin often needs a bit more care, especially here in Finland. The changes of temperature (coming from the cold and going to a heated apartment) stress the skin and often leave it a bit dry. This selfmade avocado mask is a great treatment for dry winter skin. Avocado contains lots of unsaturated fats and vitamins and will make your skin soft and nourished. Honey and ghassoul clay are great against blemishes, the rose water and aloe vera will add extra moisture. If you suffer from super dry skin you can also add a mild oil like sesame or grapeseed.

If you have the chance, use the mask in the sauna. The heat and steam will open up the pores on your face. If you don’t have a sauna, put the mask on right after a shower.

2women2cats: Moisturizing Face Mask DIY

Ingredients

1 ripe avocado
1 tsp honey
2 tsp ghassoul clay
rose water
pure aloe vera gel

Puree the avocado or mash with a fork. Add the honey and clay and as much rose water and aloe vera gel as needed to make the mask smooth but not too thin. Apply to clean skin and leave it on for about 20 minutes. Wash off with lots of warm water.

Leftovers can be stored in a jar in the fridge. The mask will stay good for around 4 days.

Stef

2women2cats: Moisturizing Face Mask DIY

2women2cats: Moisturizing Face Mask DIY

2women2cats: Moisturizing Face Mask DIY

Lemon Poppyseed Cake

2women2cats: Lemon Poppyseed cake

I made this cake on Christmas Eve because I didn’t want a heavy cream cake this year as a dessert. There is usually so much food that eating cake afterwards becomes a challenge. I wanted something a bit lighter with a fresh lemony taste and immediately thought about a lemon poppyseed cake.

The dough is basically the same as my Frankfurter Kranz recipe with added lemon and of course poppyseeds. I used a loaf baking pan for it but I am sure it would also look wonderful as a Bundt cake.

Ingredients
250 g softened butter (add a bit of salt to the batter if you don’t use salted butter)

200 g sugar
1/ 2 tsp ground vanilla
4 eggs
zest of 1,5 lemons
juice of 1 lemon
125 g plain flour
125 g potato or corn starch
1/2 tsp baking powder
50 g poppyseeds

For the glaze
100 g powdered sugar
water or lemon juice
elderflower syrup (optional)
sugared flowers or other decoration

Preheat the oven to 180°C, grease the loaf pan and sprinkle with bread crumbs to prevent the cake from sticking to the sides.

Beat the butter with the sugar and the vanilla until it’s white and fluffy. Add the eggs and the lemon zest.  Beat until the batter is thick and fluffy.

Combine the flour, starch and baking powder in a bowl and slowly add to the mixture until everything is incorporated and the dough is shiny.

Add the lemon juice and mix slowly until everything is smooth, then add the poppyseeds and pour the dough into your baking tin.

Bake for around 60 minutes. If the crust gets too brown, cover the cake with aluminium foil. Let the cake cool down in the baking pan and wait with the glaze until it’s completely cold.

If you want to use elderflower syrup for the glaze, add around two teaspoons to a bowl of powdered sugar and add as much water or lemon juice as needed to make a runny paste. Don’t make it too thin or else it won’t cover the cake but instead run down the sides completely. Decorate with sugared flowers, sprinkles or leave it plain. Enjoy!

Stef

2women2cats: Lemon Poppyseed cake

2women2cats: Lemon Poppyseed cake

Butterbeer For Muggles

2women2cats: Homemade Butterbeer

I was looking for a more unusual winter drink when I found this recipe for a Harry Potter inspired butterbeer. I wanted to make it for Christmas Eve and the recipe seemed to suit well since, unlike the name suggests, there isn’t actually any beer in it. The recipe uses cream soda which I had never had before, so I first bought a bottle to try in case I didn’t like it. In the Finnish stores there aren’t many options for cream soda, so basically the only one I could find was Boylan‘s Creme Cane Sugar. It tasted really great and decided not to look for other brands.

2women2cats: Homemade Butterbeer

I changed the amounts around a bit because first I had made a bigger batch and in the end we had too much cream left over. Not a bad thing though. The maple buttercream is so delicious I think it would work well in a cake as well. Otherwise you can of course always drink another butterbeer but it is quite heavy and I didn’t manage to drink a second one on the same night, although I really much wanted to! This recipe is with the adjusted amounts, so you shouldn’t have any extra cream but of course it depends depends a bit on the type of glasses you’re using. Same for the cream soda. I used a bit less than a bottle per glass.

2women2cats: Homemade Butterbeer

Ingredients (around 4-6 servings)

400 ml heavy whipping cream
4 tbsp salted butter
4 + 2 tbsp maple syrup
sea salt

~ 1 bottle of cream soda per serving, chilled (I used Boylan’s cane sugar cream soda)
Whiskey (optional)

Chill you glasses in the freezer or outside if it’s cold enough and start making the maple butter.

Melt the butter and 4 tbsp of the maple syrup on medium heat on the stove and bring it to a simmer while constantly stirring. It will get thicker and smell like fudge. Set aside and whip the cream with a bit of salt and 2 tbsp of maple syrup until it is light and fluffy but not completely firm. You will still have to add the butter mixture, so don’t overbeat it! Add the maple butter slowly to the whipped cream and mix until everything is smooth and foamy.

Now you can take the glasses out of the freezer and add a little bit of the cream (~heaped tbsp) to the bottom of the glass and also some whiskey if you want. Fill it up slowly with cream soda. It will produce a lot of soda foam, so you should take it off. Top your drink with another spoon or two of buttercream and enjoy! If you have cream left over you can use it for desserts or another drink the next day. My cream went a bit runny the second day in the fridge but I could whip it up easily. Enjoy!

Stef

2women2cats: Homemade Butterbeer