One more holiday of delicious goodies, and fine drink, before we settle into our annual ritual of focusing on health that makes up the long and cold days of Veganuary. Below are five easy and delicious foods for your New Year’s party, whether you’re the host or a guest, hosting a large party or cuddling up on the couch with your husband, these recipes will minimize your time in the kitchen and maximize your celebration time.
These vintage cookies, which were the height of sophistication in the 50’s, are small and packed with flavor. Perfect for a party since they are a small indulgence.
1 C. Earth Balance Buttery Spread (or another vegan butter)
2 C. All Purpose Flour
1/2 C. Diced Almonds
1/4 C. Organic Cane Sugar
2 tsp. Vanilla Bean (fresh or paste)
Confectioner’s Sugar (for coating cookies)
Mix all ingredients together by hand, except confectioner’s sugar. Use a melon-baller to scoop dough and roll into balls. Roll dough through confectioner’s sugar to coat thoroughly. Place on cookie sheet 1/2 inch apart. (You should be able to fit two dozen on one baking sheet.) Bake @ 350°F 10-12 mins.
After you remove them from the oven, while cookies are still hot, roll them through the confectioner’s sugar again. Coat them well and let sit until cool. Once completely cool, give them another roll and either serve or store in an airtight container.
Yield: 2 dozen
SAVORY ROASTED NUT MIX
You could just open a jar of mixed nuts, or you could give your guests a real treat and pull out your stove-top popcorn popper to roast these savory Rosemary-Sea Salt nuts. The aroma alone is worth the few minutes it takes to make these.
1 C. Macadamia
2 C. Cashews
2 C. Almonds
2 C. Pecans
Sesame Oil (Olive oil can be used but will result in a weaker flavor)
Very Course Sea Salt (to taste)
3-5 fresh Rosemary sprigs (about 4″ long)
1 Tblsp. fresh Thyme leaves
Large wooden spoon
Paper towels covering baking sheet
Popcorn pot (or a regular large pot)
Coat the bottom of the Popcorn Pot with sesame oil. It should be about 1/8 inch deep. Add Rosemary and Thyme leaves, removed from stems, to the oil. Light burner and set temp just below medium. (Ex: If your burner dial goes 1-10, set at 4.)
Add nuts to the pot, by the handful until they are all in. Begin turning the crank to get the nuts coated with oil. Continue to turn the crank to ensure the nuts do not burn.
TIP: After 5 minutes, or so, the crank may stop turning, as the nuts are oil logged and sticking to each other. Use a large wooden spoon to separate the nuts and give them a good stir. You may want to remove the pot from the burner while doing this.
Continue cranking for a full ten minutes of cook time. Then pour the nuts out onto the paper towels that line the baking sheet. The paper towels will absorb excess oil. Dust with course sea salt.
TIP: After a few minutes, you want to transfer the nuts, with a spoon, to another baking sheet lined with paper towels to further absorb oils.
Allow to fully cool before transferring to another container. The nuts need to lay out and cool so they crisp. If this step is skipped, the nuts will be spongy. They will store in an airtight container for 2 weeks.
FROZEN HOT COCOA FREAKSHAKES
When the crowd starts to get drowsy instead of making coffee, load up your blender and give everyone their final sugar rush of 2016. Frozen Hot Cocoa has been all over Pinterest and Instagram, but taking it to the next level and turning it into a freakshake will have everyone crowning you Host of the Year.
1 Pint of Vegan Ice Cream
1 Hot Cocoa Packet
1 Cup Almond Milk
Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth. Pour into glass. Top with vegan marshmallows and Coco Whip (vegan cool whip). I like to add a swirl of chocolate sauce to the glass and some Cocomels. Topping it with a cupcake doesn’t hurt either.
BUFFALO CHICK’N LOG
Here’s your centerpiece. Delicious for the eyes and taste buds. This dish looks complicated and labor intensive, but it takes just minutes to assemble, then the oven does the rest of the work.
1 Bag of Beyond Meat Chick’n Strips (chopped)
1 C. Mild Buffalo Sauce (my recipe is here)
1/2 Container of Tofutti Sour Cream
1/2 C. Vegan Cheese (I used a mix of diced up Chao Creamy Original and Daiya Mozzarella)
1 Tube of Immaculate Baking Crescents
Mix the first four ingredients in a bowl. Then layout the crescents in a Christmas tree pattern on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Invert the top two triangles to create a rectangle. Smoosh the center line of dough together to form a firm bottom.
Now add the filling to the center. Be sure to mound it up very tall. Now, crisscross the long pieces of dough over the mound to create a lacing appearance.
Bake at 375°F for 15 minutes, or until dough is golden and filling is bubbling.
OVEN-ROASTED HASSELBACK POTATOES
You’ve seen them everywhere. The latest potato trend that has taken over Pinterest and Instagram, but did you know that Hasselback Potatoes first made the scene in 40’s Sweden? They were created by a chef at Stockholm’s Hasselbacken Hotel’s restaurant which has been in business since 1748.
Several Potatoes of the same size. Fingerlings and Yukon Gold work best, but I like to use Russets.
Lay a potato on your cutting board. Place the handle of a wooden spoon on each side, to prevent your knife from cutting through the bottom. Now use a sharp knife to cut thin slits from the top of the potato down to the spoon handles. Make your cuts as close together as possible. When finished cutting, your potato should fan out like an accordion and you can run your thumb over the top creating a playing card shuffle sound effect. Repeat until you’ve cut all of the potatoes.
Now place the potatoes in a casserole dish, or in a parchment lined roasting pan, coat the top with vegan butter or drizzle with oil. You could sprinkle with sea salt or adds some fresh herbs, such as Rosemary or Thyme.
Bake at 375°F for 45 mins to 1 hour, depending on the type and size of potatoes that you use.
TIP: If you’d like to stuff yours with slices of cheese, vegan meats, etc., wait until the potatoes are cooked through but could stand another ten minutes in the oven. This way the potato slices will be fanned out and their will be spaces to stuff slices into.
TIP: For extra crisp potatoes, drizzle more oil/vegan butter onto the potatoes half way through baking time.