They are really easy. My friend Sam came over (who is known for making a big mess in the kitchen - she usually ends up covered in something or other, and making my kitchen a mess in the process!), and we made the first Xmas treat. She made the traditional non-vegan version with salted butter and brown sugar, whereas I used Earth Balance and Sucanat. I asked her to taste the difference and she said they are similar, but the vegan version is a bit saltier. I didn't notice, but maybe there is a low-sodium Earth Balance out there? But then again, she makes guac with very little salt, whereas I dump a pile in, so perhaps I should seek a second opinion. I'll ask Kyle next time he comes over, although I hope he's not still traumatized from last week's sodium overdose with the basil pesto on the Isa Pizza.
Here's the recipe:
1 sleeve of soda crackers (preferably unsalted)
1 cup Earth Balance
¼ cup Sucanat
1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup ground almonds
Place aluminum foil on a cookie sheet that has sides and lay the crackers tightly together (it’s better to use a really good non-stick cookie sheet and avoid using the aluminum foil as it tends to stick to the cracker base after cooking - omit the foil if you have a good non-stick sheet).
Melt the Earth Balance and add Sucanat. Mix with an electric beater until smooth. Quickly pour hot mixture over crackers and spread with a knife to cover all the crackers. You will see that the two ingredients will separate quite a bit, so try to distribute as evenly as possible.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
When finished baking, remove the pan from the oven and press down on the cracker surface with a fork if the crackers have shifted on top of one another a little bit - you want a single layer. Sprinkle chocolate chips overtop the melted cracker mixture. Spread the chocolate as it melts over the entire cracker surface. Sprinkle with ground almonds.
Refrigerate for 2 hours or freeze until chilled (or, if you've had an ice storm like we had today, place cookie sheets on the pile of ice that's covered your car - that will cool them off in 15 minutes).
If necessary, peel the foil off the bottom of the crackers and break up into small to mid-size pieces.
Here's the result:
The other night, I made my favourite fastest meal ever - Asian Noodles with Edamame in No Time from the September 2005 issue of Vegetarian Times. It honestly takes 15 minutes (including time to bring water to a boil!). The only thing that requires real prep is the onions - they have bagged carrots already cut into matchsticks which is a way better consistency than if I had grated them. I of course make a few subs - for the sauce, I use 2 tbsp each of the rice vinegar and sesame oil and omit the water, and for the pasta part, I use spinach instead of watercress. I make the noodles/edamame/carrot combo, then when I'm about to drain it, I put a PILE of spinach in the colander, then drain the noodles on top. The hot water wilts the spinach and I then transfer everything back to the pot and add the rest of the stuff. Very easy. I also can't believe there's 21 grams of protein per serving!!!
Stay tuned for more Xmas baking and recipe sharing - my mom, Sam and I are having a cookie-making blitz on December 16th and 17th, so my blog entries will be filled with treats!