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Bake up desserts for your vegan Valentine

Patrick M. Gookin II

Bake vegan peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for your Valentine.

Our favorite thing about Valentine's Day? Spoiling our significant others with delicious desserts, from boxes of chocolate to tasty homemade treats baked with love. And even if your sweetie is vegan, they don't have to miss out on the tasty fun!

With more alternatives for milk and eggs readily available, it's easy to bake up vegan treats. 

“It’s healthier cooking with whole plant foods instead of animal products and it doesn’t contribute to animal suffering," Gene Baur, president of Farm Sanctuary, told TODAY.com. "You don’t have to worry about the issue of how it [the product] was raised.” 

So try these vegan recipes to please your Valentine's sweet tooth, without sacrificing the decadence of dessert. 

Celine Steen

You won't be sacrificing taste by going vegan with these peanut butter cups.

Peanut butter cups

For the chocolate

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped vegan semisweet chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons natural creamy no-stir peanut butter
  • Pinch of salt

For the filling

  • 12 tablespoons natural creamy no-stir peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup evaporated cane juice or granulated sugar, packed light brown sugar, or sifted powdered sugar (for less crunchy results)
  • 2 tablespoons vegan graham cracker crumbs (optional)
  • Pinch of salt

Prepare a standard muffin tin with 12 paper liners.

To make the chocolate: Combine the chocolate, peanut butter, and salt in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 1-minute increments until melted and smooth, keeping a close eye to avoid burning and stirring often. Alternatively, use a double boiler.

Place 2 teaspoons of the melted chocolate in each cup-cake liner and with the back of a spoon carefully spread across the bottom and one-fourth of the way up the liner. Repeat with all 12 liners. Place the chocolate-covered liners on a plate and chill in the refrigerator until firm, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling: In a medium-size bowl, stir together the peanut butter, sugar, graham cracker crumbs, and salt.

Divide the peanut butter filling among the 12 liners, about 1 heaping tablespoon per liner, pressing down gently to make sure the filling spreads out. Chill in the refrigerator until firm, about 20 minutes.

Top the filling with 2 teaspoons of the remaining melted chocolate, spreading carefully so that none of the peanut butter can be seen. Let the cups chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before enjoying.

Store in the refrigerator or freezer. 

Yields 12 candies.

Recipe courtesy of Farm Sanctuary. From "Hearty Vegan Meals for Monster Appetites," Celine Steen, Joni Marie Newman, Fair Winds Press 2011.

Peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

  • ½ cup non-dairy butter
  • 3/4 cup organic evaporated cane sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 heaping tablespoons smooth peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons egg replacer, dry (Ener-g egg brand preferred)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ cup un-bleached organic all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup organic rolled oats
  • ¼ cup vegan dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl or bowl of a standing mixer, cream butter and sugar until well mixed and soft. Add vanilla extract, peanut butter, maple syrup, sea salt, egg replacer and cinnamon. Mix until all ingredients are uniform.

Add flour and oats. Mix until all ingredients look evenly distributed. Fold in chocolate chips. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat (or use cooking spray). Scoop the dough with a tablespoon for even-sized cookies. Place about 1 inch apart.

Bake for about 15 to 18 minutes, rotating cookie sheets halfway through, to ensure even baking. Bake until edges are golden-brown.

Yields about 16 cookies.

Recipe courtesy of Farm Sanctuary and Spork Foods, a Los Angeles-based gourmet vegan food company owned and operated by sisters Jenny Engel and Heather Goldberg.