Chocolate Coated Coconut Oaty bars

You may have noticed that I’m quite a fan of chocolate and coconut! The biscuit tin was looking empty and Little S had a friend coming to play on Friday, so this is a concocted recipe that kept them happy after a long day at school. Think a less gooey coconut flapjack affair topped with dark chocolate, and you get the picture!

Chocolate Coated Coconut Oaty Bars (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, peanut-free, vegetarian and vegan)

Makes 20 small bars

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup soft brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free spread, such as Pure
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 85g dairy-free dark chocolate, such as Kinnerton
– Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade/Gas Mark 4
– Line a  9 inch square baking tray with foil or baking parchment
– In a small saucepan melt together the dairy-free spread, sugar and vanilla.
– In a separate bowl stir together the oats, flour, baking powder and coconut.
– Pour the sugar/spread mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well.
– Turn into the baking tray, press down firmly and level off.
– Bake for 12 minutes, or until lightly golden.
– Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
– Meanwhile melt the chocolate. Spread over the cooled biscuit base.
– Leave to set.
– Un-mold from the baking tray and cut into even bars.

Rocky Road Bars

This is my first non-vegetarian/vegan recipe on this blog. You can buy vegan marshmallows but I’ve never tried them, and my girls do eat conventional marshmallows (if they don’t contain egg!). These were a BIG hit with the girls, D found them too sweet (but then he never appreciates much of my baking anyway and would rather have a bag of pistachio nuts) and I didn’t try them due to the gelatine, so I can’t give an assessment. They had gone a bit too chewy by the next day, so, if you’re baking these make sure you have enough guests round to polish them all off in one sitting!

Rocky Road Bars (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free)

  • 50g dairy-free spread, melted
  • 200g bourbon biscuits, whizzed/bashed into crumbs (Tesco own brand are dairy-free)
  • 50g marshmallows, cut up
  • 50g dairy-free dark chocolate, such as Kinnerton

– Preheat the oven to 180 Degrees Centigrade/Gas Mark 4

– Line a small square baking pan with foil.

– Mix together the dairy-free spread and crushed biscuits.

– Press firmly into the bottom of the baking tray

– Bake for 10 minutes

– Remove from the oven and scatter the marshmallows and chocolate over the top.

– Return to the oven for 10 minutes until the marshmallows look a little toasted.

– Cool, then cut into bars.

Almond Sandies

So it’s Easter Monday and we spent the day with my mum and step-dad. My mum doesn’t eat chocolate so I made a batch of these nutty delights to give as an easter egg replacement. The original recipe calls for ground, toasted pecan nuts but since they are now out of bounds in this family, I replaced them with ground almonds – which actually worked really well. You’d definitely get the best flavour by toasting and grinding your own nuts but I wasn’t going shopping and only had ground almonds in, and they still turned out fine! These are the perfect accompaniment to a cup of espresso.

Anyway, thanks for a super lovely day mum, and hope you like the almond sandies 🙂

Almond Sandies (dairy-free, egg-free, soya-free, vegetarian, vegan)

makes about 20

  • 1/3 cup ground almonds
  • 65g dairy-free spread ( I used Pure)
  • 3 tbsps caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 3/4 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

– Preheat oven to 180 degrees centigrade/ Gas mark 4

– Whisk together the dairy-free spread, caster sugar, vanilla and almond extracts until very light and fluffy

– Sift in the flour and combine well. Stir in the almonds and form into a soft dough

– Roll out marble sized balls of dough and place on an ungreased baking sheet.

– Bake for 15-20 minutes, until starting to turn golden

– While still hot roll on the granulated sugar to cover. Cool on a wire rack.

Coconut Straws

This is a cobbled together recipe, using store cupboard ingredients, and it worked an absolute treat – I’ve already been asked for the recipe by my helpful tasters!! If you like coconut definitely give this a go… they’re reminiscent of cheese straws but sweet coconut instead (sounds weird, right?). I reckon they’d go brilliantly with a chocolate mousse (that recipe will appear soon!) but also work extremely well as a stand alone cookie.

Coconut Straws (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, vegetarian, vegan)

makes about 24

  • 90g dairy-free spread (I used Pure)
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dessicated coconut
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 2-3 tbsps oat milk

– Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade

– Cream together the dairy-free spread, sugar and salt until well mixed.

– Stir in the coconut and vanilla.

– Stir in the flour and add the oat milk, bring together with your hands. It will seem dry and crumbly but should come together.

– Turn onto a large sheet of foil. Fold the foil over the top of the dough and roll out to about 1 cm thick. Chill.

– Cut into straw shapes and place on a lined baking sheet.

– Bake for 14 minutes until lightly golden at the edges, turning the baking sheet half-way through.

– Cool on the baking sheet briefly before moving to a wire rack.

– Best eaten fresh, but will keep in an airtight container for a few days.

Celebration Cupcakes

Here (at last) is the recipe for the celebration cupcakes I made for little S, the ones that were to be decorated with the rainbow drops I made on Thursday. They’re a basic vanilla cupcake topped with rich, decadent chocolate buttercream – just what little S asked for to celebrate her end of term certificate (it was for ‘excellent progress in all areas of learning’ – how great is that for a little girl in reception! :-))

Celebration Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, vegetarian and vegan)

This recipe is from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World

Makes 12 cupcakes

  • 1 cup oat milk
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 cups of plain flour
  • 2 tbsps corn flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free spread
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

– Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade. Line a muffin tin with cupcake cases.

– Add the lemon juice to the oat milk and set aside

-Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt. Set aside.

– Cream together the spread and sugar until light and fluffy. Then beat in the vanilla. Then the flour mix and the milk mix in alternate bits.

– 2/3rds fill the cupcake cases.

– Bake for 20-22 minutes, until a knife comes out clean.

– Transfer to a wire rack to cool

Chocolate Buttercream

makes more than enough for these cupcakes

  • 1/3 cup dairy-free spread
  • 2 tbsps vegetable fat (Trex)
  • 1/2 cup sifted cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 1/4 cup oat milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

-Whisk together the spread and fat.

– Whisk in the cocoa powder.

– In stages, whisk in the icing sugar, adding a dash of oat milk now and then.

– Whisk in the vanilla.

Hearty Chocolate Chip Cookies

Here’s a chocolate chip cookie recipe that robust, soft, cakey and a little more substantial than your delicate cookie. They travel brilliantly so are much more suited to a picnic/journey than your usual version, and keep for much longer. I think they make a great, never-fail speedy recipe should you have kids coming over to play. (This recipe comes from Vegan Cookies Invade the Cookie Jar). It’s the school holidays and we’ve got a jam-packed week of play-dates coming up, so I thought it best to get prepared in advance!

Hearty Chocolate Chip Cookies (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, vegetarian and vegan)

makes about 20

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted dairy-free spread (or use oil)
  • 1/2 cup oat milk
  • 2 tbsps cornflour
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 100g dairy-free chocolate, chopped

– Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade

– Whisk together the sugars, melted dairy-free spread, oat milk, vanilla and cornflour.

– Sift in the flour, bicarb and salt. Mix well.

– Gently stir in the chocolate.

– Drop tbsp amounts on a lined baking sheet, and flatten slightly

– Bake for 12 minutes.

– Cool on the baking sheet before moving to a wire rack.

Oaty Apple Crumble

If you’re British people presume that you live off apple crumble and custard. To be honest it’s never been my favourite, mainly due to bad school food consisting of various sponge puddings drowned in lumpy custard! Having revisited Apple Crumble as an adult I can appreciate it’s a fantastic, quick and easy warming pudding…. and the biggest bonus is it very easily converts to being dairy-free. It definitely works best with cooking apples and then the apple layer goes soft and fluffy. I used eating apples which worked fine but be aware that the apples keep some texture and make sure that’s to your taste!

Oaty Apple Crumble (dairy-free, egg-free, soya-free, nut-free, vegetarian, vegan)

serves at least 4

  • 4 apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1/4 cup dairy-free spread (Pure)
  • 1/4 cup soft brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • demerara sugar to sprinkle

– Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade

– Grease an oven proof dish with a smear of dairy-free spread

– Mix together the apples, lemon juice and 1 tbsp of sugar. Pour into the dish.

– Rub the dairy-free spread into the flour with your fingertips (or pulse in a food processor), stir in the sugar and oats.

– Sprinkle over the apple mixture.

– Sprinkle the top with demerara sugar

– Bake for about 30 minutes

– Serve with dairy-free custard if liked (I used Alpro Soya Custard)

Vanilla Thins

For a dairy-free cookie these are remarkably ‘buttery’ and are perfect for cutting into any shape and even icing. I made them for little S to take into school in a flower shape as it’s spring… they went down very well. I reckon these could take any flavour instead of the vanilla – just substitute half the vanilla essence for another extract. This recipe is from Vegan Cookies Invade The Cookie Jar

Vanilla Thins (dairy-free, egg-free, soya-free, nut-free, vegetarian, vegan)

makes lots, at least 28!

  • 2 1/3 cups of plain flour
  • 2 tbsps cornflour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup vegetable fat (I used Trex)
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free spread (Pure)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsps vanilla paste (or use one and one of another extract)
  • 1/4 cup oat milk (Oatly)

– Sift together the flour, cornflour, salt and baking powder.

– In another bowl whisk together the fat, spread and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the extracts and oat milk and whisk again.

– Add the flour mix and carefully combine

– Roll out and cut out shapes with cookie cutters. Place on a lined baking sheet and bake at 180 degrees for 10 minutes, or until lightly golden round the edges

– Cool on the sheet before moving to a wire rack.

Double Trouble Extremely Chocolatey Cookies

If you need a chocolate fix, then this is the cookie for you. They’re delicate, rich, very chocolatey, a little chewy and if you eat them soon after they’ve come out of the oven the chocolate is still oozy… yum! They don’t keep very well, so if not eating on day of baking, leave them out in a cool spot (they go soggy in a sealed tin) and then eat asap. This one is my own recipe and the Year 3 children are my guinea pigs again this week…

Double Trouble Extremely Chocolatey Cookies (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, vegetarian, vegan)

makes about 18 cookies

  • 110g dairy-free spread (I use Pure)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup soft brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp flaxseeds
  • 2 tbsps oat milk
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 100g plain chocolate roughly broken (I used Kinnerton)

– Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade

– In a small bowl whisk together the flaxseeds and oat milk, set aside.

– Whisk together the dairy-free spread, sugar, salt and vanilla.

– Beat in the cocoa powder, then mix in the flaxseed mixture.

– Sift in the flour and bicarbonate of soda. Mix well.

– Add the chocolate and gently stir

– Drop tbsp sized balls onto an un-greased baking sheet and flatten slightly.

– Bake for 10 minutes

– Cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack (it will be messy with oozy chocolate everywhere!)

Rocky Brownies

What a morning! We’re looking after our neighbour’s cat Rocky while they’re away on holiday. He’s old and spends a lot of time outside…. but this morning he has been savaged by a dog. The poor thing has now dragged himself into a very small gap between two houses and there is no way we can reach him. So far, the local vet has been useless (apparently we’ve got to take him in, despite the fact we can’t reach him), the RSPCA and the Fire Brigade have said they’ll call back. Meanwhile, the poor injured moggy is losing blood and we can’t help him :-(.

UPDATE: The RSPCA have now called and are on their way but it’ll take half an hour at least. Please hang in there Rocky…

So to while away the waiting time I’m going to make some brownies in his honour (hence the name) – I’ve never had much success with egg-free brownies before, so we’ll see, but this recipe is inspired by Vegan Cookies Invade your Cookie Jar, so I bet they’re lovely….

LATEST UPDATE: the fire service safely got him out. Poor little moggy was in a bad way. We got him to the vet, but sadly they couldn’t save him…. so we’re a pretty sad household now :-(. My youngest (little s) will be devastated, she even asked only yesterday  if we could come and visit Rocky when we eventually move out of our rental house…..

Hopefully, the brownies that are in the oven may cheer them up a bit.

RIP Rocky, these are in memory of you – dark with a few white flecks and a little bit craggy

Rocky Brownies (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, vegetarian, vegan)

makes about 9

  • 90g dark dairy-free chocolate (Kinnerton is great)
  • 75g dairy-free spread
  • 2/3rds cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of oat milk
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 100g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsps drinking chocolate
  • 2 tbsps cocoa powder
  • 1 pack of white chocolate buttons (Humdinger do dairy free ones)
  • pinch of salt

– Line a square baking pan with foil and oil

– Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade

– Melt the dairy-free spread and chocolate together, stir until smooth

– Add the sugar and stir until dissolved

– Whisk together the oat milk, vanilla and cornflour. Add to the chocolate mix and stir

– Sift in the flour, baking powder and drinking chocolate. Gently fold in to combine. Fold in the white chocolate buttons

– Pour into the baking pan and level off

– Bake for 25 minutes until just set in the centre (they will be very fudgy)

– Let cool in the pan, then cut into portions.

– Serve with dairy-free ice cream – yum!