Archive for vegetarian

The First Day of Christmas Cookies: Orange Ricotta Chocolate Chip Pillows

Ahh, the holidays are now upon us. And in our household, nothing is more holidayish than the smell of cookies baking in the oven. We do have our traditional favorites that make an appearance year after year. They are always welcomed with outstretched hands and open mouths. But we also like to try out new cookies to keep things exciting and see if any will become new traditionals.

This year, we start the holiday baking extravaganza with a new recipe. These Orange Ricotta Chocolate Chip Pillows are soft, cake-like and have those special flavors that remind us of the holidays.

Ricotta is an impressive ingredient to bake with. It give your cakes and cookies a moist lift and adds a subtle creamy flavor profile that can’t be mimicked by any other ingredient.

Orange and chocolate are like yin and yang.. seriously one of my absolute favorite combinations. 

These cookies are finished with a sweet orange glaze for next-level worthiness. The cookies, themselves, aren’t too sweet, so the glaze really finishes them off nicely.

These cookies are a quick throw-together and can be ready before last minute holiday company arrive. Try them out and post your comments below. I’d love to hear how yours came out!

Orange Ricotta Chocolate Chip Pillows

(Makes 18 cookies)

2 c AP flour

1 1/2 t baking powder

1/4 t salt

3/4 c granulated sugar

6 T unsalted butter, room temperature

Zest from 1 orange

1 egg, large

1 c ricotta cheese (I used part-skim)

2 t vanilla extract

3/4 c chocolate chips

Sweet Orange Glaze

1 c powdered sugar

2 T orange juice

Zest of 1/2 orange

Pinch of salt

Preheat your oven to 350°F. 

Whisk flour and baking soda together in a bowl. Set aside. Cream butter, sugar and salt until well incorporated. Add egg, vanilla and zest. Mix again until blended together. Add ricotta and mix to combine.

Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients along with the chocolate chips. Using a 1.5T cookie scoop, scoop out the dough and place them about 2″ apart on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.

Bake these cookies for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until the edges are lightly Browning and the top of the cookie is no longer wet.

Let the cookies cool on a wire cooling tray while you make your glaze by combining all ingredients in a bowl until smooth and thick. Dip the tops of the cooled cookies into the glaze and let sit on a cooling rack until the glaze is set.

These cookies didn’t last more than a few hours in my house, but they will keep in the fridge, in an airtight container, for about 4 days.

Happy Holidays!

Sweetly ❤ Yours,


*Recipe slightly adapted from Cooking Classy

Express Recipe: Vegan Morning Muffins (V)


There aren’t many things quite as good as a warm muffin and a steamy, hot mug of coffee or tea to start your day.

I’ve got a quick, throw-together kind of recipe for you that comes together in under an hour, which makes it ideal for both weekends and weekdays! And it’s vegan, to boot, so you won’t be needing and butter, eggs or dairy.

These muffins are fluffy and full of moisture. You may need to double your batch, because if your family is anything like mine, they’ll be gone in a heartbeat!

I’ve used almond milk, here, but feel free to use any plant based milk of your choosing. If you don’t mind these muffins not being vegan, regular cow’s milk works as well.

I had a beautiful bunch of blueberries, which I used in this recipe. But, if blueberries aren’t your thing, this is fantastic with other fruit as well as chocolate chips or nuts..! 

Start your morning off right with these delicious studded beauties.😊

Vegan Morning Muffins

2 cups AP flour

2 t baking powder

1/4 t baking soda

1/2 t salt

1 c plant-based milk (or nut milk or cow’s milk. I used almond milk, here)

1 t vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)

1/2 c + 2 T granulated sugar

6 T canola oil

1 1/2 t vanilla extract


Zest of 1/2 lemon & 1 1/2 c blueberries, rinsed and picked through


1 c chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 375°F.

Insert muffin liners into a 12-muffin tin. 

Mix milk and vinegar in a bowl and let sit, to create homemade buttermilk.

In another bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and baking soda together.

In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, oil, salt and vanilla until well incorporated. Pour in the milk mixture and whisk together.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and combine with a wooden spoon until just incorporated, without overmixing.

Fold in your add-ins. Scoop into muffin tin and bake for 18-20 minutes. Muffins will be done when a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Let the muffins cool slightly on your counter and enjoy!

Sweetly ❤ Yours,


Espresso Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

IMG_6810 Closeup Cupcake

I am so excited that I get to showcase my pumpkin pie spice, that I posted a few weeks back, yet again in this recipe. Pumpkin is a great flavor by itself, but when paired with certain other flavors, it really shines. Read more

Caramel Espresso Chocolate Cooked Frosting

IMG_6832 Cooled Frosting Base

There aren’t many words I can use to describe this frosting. It tastes like a cooked flour frosting, but it’s not. It’s full of espresso and chocolate flavor, but since it’s cooked it takes on a deep, caramelized flavor as well. Read more

Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter Truffles (V, GF, Dairy-Free)

IMG_6784 Closeup of Truffle with Background

Hello, friends! Last week, I posted a Basics recipe for a much loved spice that reigns supreme during this season – Pumpkin Pie Spice. While it contains no pumpkin whatsoever, its flavors enhance pumpkin and other members of the squash family so well, it’s used quite often in Fall baking.  Read more

Warm Spiced Gingerbread Cake (V)

IMG_5094 Cake in Hand

The minute the Thanksgiving dessert plates go into the sink, Christmas goodies are on our minds. And at my house, that means lots and lots of Christmas baking. Cookies and traditional cakes such as gingerbread are made nearly daily, in the month of December, to satiate our appetite for all things Merry and Bright! Read more

Perfect Pumpkin Donuts (V)

IMG_5018 Pile of Donuts 2

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope you all have your Thanksgiving menus at least planned by now, as there Thanksgiving is just around the corner! For a number of reasons, I recently started eating a vegan diet; and while my kids are vegetarian and my husband still eats meat, planning our Thanksgiving dinner has been quite a challenge! But I think I’ve come up with a menu that will please everyone. Read more

Easy Autumn Apple Slice

IMG_4881 Peek a Boo Cake

Autumn is such a lovely time of year. The weather starts to get cooler, the wind gently blows the dying, colored leaves off the trees, pumpkins and apples pop up everywhere. This is the most exciting time of year for myself, as a baker, since all these seasonal treats are just begging to be used in both traditional and new and creative recipes. And what better time to enjoy them than now, as the days get chillier and shorter…  Read more

Date Paste (The Perfect Sugar Substitute)

IMG_4768 Spoon in Jar

Dates originate from the Middle Eastern region of the world. They grow in clusters on a date palm tree and their fruit is abundantly sweet with firm meat. There are many different types of dates, Medjools being one of the more popular kinds.  Read more