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When I was 6 years old, if you would have asked my what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have said I wanted to be a baker. I remember when my kids were little, I would bake with #1 while #2 was napping. Sometimes my husband would call and ask how the day was going, and I would tell him I was making a cake. When life threw a super crazy day at me, baking would calm me down. Frosting a cake is so therapeutic. Making it nice and smooth with an offset spatula. Going round and round until it is just perfect is my idea of an afternoon well spent. I was even inspired by the movie Julie and Julia to bake my way through the Williams-Sonoma, Essentials of Baking cookbook. I made croissants, puff pasty, all kinds of breads and pies. But everything changed when I realized because of my IBS, I could no longer have dairy. How do you make delicious desserts without butter or milk? Soy milk and other dairy alternatives were not even on my radar. Unfortunately, I pretty much stopped baking. Every so often, I would make a cake or special dessert for someone’s birthday. But what fun is it to make an awesome dessert if you can’t eat any of it?!
Several years went by and all of a sudden, dairy free products started popping up everywhere! Different kinds of milk, butters, and even ice cream were readily available at my local Target. The dairy free butter just by itself was awesome. This meant fun desserts like cobblers, pies and cakes with butter cream frosting. I started searching the internet for vegan chefs for some fun recipes. Since vegans do not consume any animal products, all of their recipes were dairy free. One of the first people I absolutely fell in love with was Chloe Coscarelli. I immediately put all of her cookbooks on hold at the library. Each book had tons of fabulous recipes and oodles of brightly colored pictures to go with each recipe. I really love that she uses real ingredients you can find at any store. The peach cobbler pictured is from her cookbook titled Chloe’s Vegan Desserts: More than 100 Exciting New Recipes for Cookies and Pies, Tarts and Cobblers, Cupcakes and Cakes–and More! I highly recommend you check out her books, even if you are not vegan. I topped my cobbler with a little dairy free Cocowhip but it is equally delicious with some dairy free vanilla ice cream!
*Note: the recipe for the peach cobbler is not listed on Chef Chloe’s blog, but she does have a recipe for Summer Berry Cobbler that is exactly the same! Just substitute 16 oz frozen peaches for the berries and bake in an 8×8 pan for 45 mins at 375 degrees.