I don’t remember the first time I heard of aquafaba. But I do remember thinking that it was weird. Aquafaba is the liquid inside the can of beans, or the liquid leftover after cooking your own. I started seeing all these vegan baking hacks with it and I was like wait… I’m sorry? Baking with bean juice?
I really wanted to try it, but it was one of those things I thought could definitely be gross, and those are sometimes no fun to try making. You go through the process, and then it’s gross, and then it’s all just…over. Nothing to eat or to write home about.
But it’s on my list! Number 24 to be exact. And I did it!
First impressions, this aquafaba stuff is legit.
Attempt #1: Vegan Lemon meringue cookies
My mom always used to make meringue cookies when we were kids. We just called them white cookies. They were so fluffy and so good and she would put chocolate chips inside. YUM.
So, I’m off to create a vegan version! First things first, I drained a can of beans. I was getting ready to use some chickpeas in a salad anyway, so I set the liquid aside from those. The recipe I found on-line said to chill the aquafaba. I placed it in a stainless steel bowl in the fridge for about an hour. When I removed it, I beat the liquid with a hand blender using the whisk attachment. What happened next was pure wizardry. First it just got bubbly, then all of a sudden it was white and thick and “stiff peaks” were forming and I was just blown away. I added in the sugar, kept whisking, then I folded in the lemon zest.
At this point I tasted the mixture because I didn’t want to waste my time moving forward if it was gross. It tasted so good. Perfectly sweet and perfectly lemony!
So I plopped drops of the mixture onto parchment paper on a cookie sheet and baked. What seemed like ages later, I had my meringues!
The taste of them was PERFECT. I was disappointed in how flat they were, though. And also, I think there was a typo in the original recipe in regards to the vanilla extract. She also said that she made about 60, and I probably made more like 30-40. I didn’t count. But it certainly wasn’t 60, so I’m not sure if I made them larger or what. But it was still quite a few melt-in-your-mouth cookies!
Lessons learned here:
- Keep whisking until you get really, really good stiff peaks. You want them to be fluffy, not just collapse on the cookie sheet into little splats
- Pipe the mixture onto the cookie sheet to get really great volume? Not sure. I’m going to try this again and see what happens. I just want them to be fluffier like my mom’s always were.
- The original recipe called for one tablespoon of vanilla. My cookies got really dark in color and were very vanilla-y, so I think that was perhaps a typo. I changed to 1 tsp. below.
- The kitchen lights make all my pictures yellow, and it was dark outside before these were finished baking, so I apologize for the awful pics. Gotta photograph in that natural light!!
- My coworkers are starting to really love my baking experiments because they got to eat a ton of these 🙂
Vegan Lemon Meringue Cookies
from Cook For Good
1/2 cup aquafaba, chilled
2/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. lemon zest
- Preheat the oven to 250°F
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper
- Whip the pre-chilled aquafaba using a mixer with whisk attachment until stiff peaks form, about 6 minutes
- Add sugar small amounts at a time a few tablespoons at a time and keep whisking. After adding all the sugar, whisk in vanilla.
- Fold in lemon zest
- Drop the batter on a parchment covered cookie sheet – you can place them close together because they don’t spread!
- Bake at 250°F for 90 minutes. Meringues will become hard and have little bubbles on the outside.
- Turn off oven, crack the door, and allow to cool for ten minutes.
- Use a metal spatula to remove from the cookie sheets. Store in air tight container!
Attempt #2: Vegan everything mashed potato flatbreads
It’s not that I don’t love sweets, but I’m definitely more of a savory-treat kind of gal, so I wanted to find something to use the aquafaba in that wasn’t a dessert. The recipe that I found was a culmination of several different Pinterest binges and random ideas. So when I found this recipe, it was kind of perfect for what I wanted to do next with the aquafaba. It’s from Lyndsay at Officially Gluten Free. I followed her recipe closely, but not exactly. First, I didn’t make it gluten free, I just used regular flour. Second, I didn’t use butter, I used the Earth Balance olive oil buttery spread because I use it a lot of things when I think I can avoid using real butter and/or to keep something vegan. Third, I used aquafaba in place of egg! Fourth, I omitted cornstarch, but honestly that was just oversight. Forgot to add it. Not sure if it changed the chemistry of my flatbreads at all, but next time I make them I’ll add it in and see.Other than those few substitutions in ingredients, I followed her instructions exactly.
These things were GREAT. We had them on the side with a big salad I made for dinner. They were a nice flavor bomb and super satisfying as well. Here is the adapted recipe below.
Lessons learned here:
- Why did I not double this recipe?! These were great. We had a couple leftover the next day, and they kept really well.
- Aquafaba worked GREAT as an egg substitute in these, as well!
Vegan Everything Mashed Potato Flatbreads
adapted from Officially Gluten Free
2 cups prepared mashed potatoes
1/4 cup Earth balance olive oil buttery spread
3 Tbsp. aquafaba
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
everything bagel seasoning (or just a mixture of poppy seeds, sesame seeds, dried garlic, dried onion, and salt)
- If you are not using pre-prepared or store bought mashed potatoes, then prepare your own mashed potatoes first. Do so by peeling two potatoes, chopping into large cubes, and placing in a pot. Cover with water. Bring the water to a boil and let the potatoes boil until soft. Drain the water, then add salt and pepper to taste and a dab of the Earth Balance butter. Mash.
- Add the mashed potatoes to a large bowl. Then add the melted buttery spread and the aquafaba, mixing until smooth. Add in the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt) and mix until a smooth dough forms. Wrap the ball of dough in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F
- Cut the dough into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, then flatten into discs. Place the discs on parchment paper lined baking sheet. Brush with olive oil, then top with everything bagel seasoning.
- Bake for 15 minutes.