There is a restaurant called in San Francisco called Oaxaca on 19th St and Mission St that makes Mexican hot chocolate that I sometimes crave to an embarrassing degree. I once ordered it to go because it was a cold day and I thought it would greatly improve my imminent city bus ride. They told me that it didn’t come to go, only in a full pot. So obviously I had them fill the entire pot of frothy hot chocolate into two to-go cups and walked on my merry way. Now this is feasible I’m sure, but then I unexpectedly ran into a friend and hung out with them for over an hour and didn’t offer the second cup. I drank every single drop. That is how good this cocoa is.
I live in Northern Arizona now, where the weather more often warrants hot cocoa but Oaxaca Restaurant is a 14 hour drive away. I’m a pretty industrious kitchen witch so I decided to throw together my own recipe. Now, this recipe doesn’t quite match the deliciousness of their cup; specifically because I no longer drink dairy so real milk escapes it. But gosh darn, does it get closer than I thought it would. Make this up for a night by the fire, a Winter picnic at the beach (West Coasters only) or a brunch treat. You’ll be glad that you did.
Makes: 2 mugs of thick frothy cocoa
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 heaping TB of brown sugar
1 heaping TB of local honey
4 oz non dairy chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon
a pinch of cayenne pepper
Directions: Simmer the almond milk, brown sugar and honey in a small saucepan whisking frequently until heated but not burnt. About 5 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the vanilla, cinnamon, cayenne and chocolate chips.
Nom Nom Nom I am a sugar fiend. Ever since I quit dairy and tobacoo I’ve let my other vices go wild. I get seriously weird on the sugar and the caffeine on a regular basis, which has seriously messed with my sleeping and mood patterns. But whatever, dessert is luxurious and if I learn moderation it’s all good. Which is why I baked the most decadent dessert yesterday that I have under my belt.
It all started when one of my favorite patients at work brought me fresh lavender, I immediately knew that I wanted to bake with it. I found a recipe online for these lavender whoopee pies and history has been made. I shifted the recipe to be natural and dairy free for my and the lover and pulled out a truly delicious piece of heaven.
- 1/2 cup coconut milk yogurt, unsweetened
- 1/4 cup almond milk, unsweetened
- 4 tsp dried lavender
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup earth balance soy butter, softened
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup earth balance soy butter, softened
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 3 TB almond milk; unsweetened
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor combine yogurt, milk, dried lavender and vanilla. Blend for 1 minute, scraping the mixture from the sides once. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer and diligently rub spatula against strainer to get all of the oils out of the lavender. Make sure you empty all of the contents from the processor to ensure all of the lavender is used. Set the bowl aside and reserve for later.
- In a medium-large mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt for 30 seconds. For about 2 minutes in a separate mixing bowl whip butter, oil and sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. One at a time, blend in the eggs. Slowly add the flour mixture in three parts, only adding the next phase of flour when all is incorporated. Be careful not to overmix, balance is a virtue.
- Transfer batter into piping bag fitted with 1/4-1/2 inch round tip. I’ll be frank with you, I don’t have a piping bag and I made mine out of a plastic baggy. Just cup the tip off of the corner. Pipe little cakes onto parchment paper covered cookie trays. Start in the middle and let the dough expand, making each about 1 3/4 inch rounds about 2 inches apart. Bake in preheated oven 7 minutes, or until tops of cookies appear cooked. Remove from tray immediately to cooling rack.
- In an electric standup mixer combine butter and vanilla until white and fluffed. Next add in the milk and slowly add powdered sugar until desired texture is reached. Mix about 5 minutes. Once cookies are cooled spread frosting on the bottom of two cookies and press together. Store refrigerated in airtight containers, they do best placed with wax paper between them.