Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World

July 25, 2007

A Vote For Me Is A Vote For, um, Me!

Filed under: Uncategorized — by isachandra @ 4:27 pm

What I am saying is, please vote for me for favorite cookbook author in the VegNews Veggie Awards. On my livejournal I threatened to cry if I don’t win. But here I will take a different route and threaten violence. I need to work all angles. Vote for me or I swear to Fizzle I will kick your computer screen in from the inside.

July 20, 2007

What’s the Deal With the Icies Cupcake Wrappers?

Filed under: Baking Porn,Decorating — by isachandra @ 1:57 pm

Coconut Lime Cupcakes image stolen from MechanicallySeparatedOk ra.

That was my Seinfeld impression (what’s the deal with…), thank you very much.

I’m saying though – they look so pretty and modern but I would think that it would be a pain to eat a cupcake out of one. From my many years of field research in icies eating, it seems that you need to rip the rim apart to get to the cupcake. Don’t you lose a little bit of the grace that standard cupcake liners afford? I thought that peeling back the wrapper is part of the cupcake ritual that we hold dear. Am I just a luddite? Enlighten me.

July 16, 2007

Bikram Baking: Ginger Chocolate Chunk Scones

Filed under: Musings,Non-Cupcake Objects,Recipes — by isachandra @ 1:52 pm

When I have my period (I know, first the mouse droppings, now the period, can I be any more unappetizing? Unless that’s your thing…) I crave 3 things; ginger, chocolate, punching people.

Unfortunately, I can’t punch people. I don’t even really want to because I generally dislike physical contact. But I can take my aggressions out in the form of baking. Even if it is 98 degrees out and I have no air conditioning. I just think of it as similar to Bikram Yoga.

“Bikram Yoga, also known as Hot Yoga is ideally practiced in a room heated to 105°F (40.5°C) with a humidity of 50%.”

All of your tensions just kind of rise to the surface and you take it out on your product, in this case Ginger Chocolate Scones, ultimately resulting in a calm state of bliss. Scones are a perfect subject for Bikram Baking, because they are pretty forgiving and may take even better to impatience, frustration and lack of precision.

Preheat your oven, not to 350F, 350F is for weaklings. No. To 400F. You can take it.

Violently throw all of the your dry ingredients into a mixing bowl, fork a bunch of mise en place because the ingredients are so few anyway. Forget an actual sifter, just swish it all around with a fork, making nail-on-chalkboard noises as you scrape against the bowl. All the while make sure you are focusing on everyone that’s ever wronged you. Your racist 8th grade dance teacher? Fuck. Her. Screeeeeech. Your FedEx guy that refuses to ring your bell? Hope your polyester uniform is comfortable in this heat, sucker. Scraaaaatch. Dick Cheney? Well, let’s save that one for when we’re making pandowdy.

Now take that chocolate bar and just smash it with your knife. Remember that guy who said that vegans produce more methane than cows do? Your chocolate chunks should be just about the right size now.

By now some tensions have been resolved and the oven is preheated. You want out. But you know that just a few moments more and nirvana or some facsimile will be achieved. Add your wet ingredients, but eyeball those bastards because you can’t quite be trusted with glass at this point. Mix it up quickly. But channel all that impatience because you don’t want to over-mix. Is almost everything just moistened? Are there dustings of flour still left on the surface? Well, good.

Now breathe. Get it together. Gently fold in the chocolate chunks. Yes, it’s getting hot in here, but you’re not in a cramped city kitchen anymore, you’re in the Bahamas. Long before Colombus came and forked everything up.

Your baking sheet. Pristine and glistening like a sea, with a few nicks and the rough spots of history. Lightly grease it.

You have your wits about you now enough to grab a 1/4 measuring cup or perhaps an ice cream scoop. Of the earth but not attached to it. Grease that, too. Now scoop up that dough, however it falls, nice big sloppy scoops, and drop them out on your sheet, close together is fine, they will fit for it is their destiny.

Right then. Still a little anger left in you. Let it manifest itself as hope. Grab pinches of pebbly turbinado sugar and fling them onto your scones like so much fairy dust.

Now get those the oven for 15 minutes and find a room with air conditioning and wait. What are you crazy? Oh, and get someone else to clean up the mess you made.

Ginger Chocolate Chunk Scones Pile Up

Ingredients:

3 cups flour

2 tablespoons baking powder

1 1/2 tablespoons ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

pinch allspice

1/2 cup turbinado sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 1/4 cups non-dairy milk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

About 5 ounces chocolate

July 12, 2007

Magnolia Bakery – Sprinkles or Mouse Droppings?

Filed under: Cupcakes in the News,Cupcakes NYC,Other People's Cupcakes — by isachandra @ 10:13 am

I know I shouldn’t write something so gross on a cupcake blog, but Magnolia Bakery bothers me. First of all, they use eggs and butter. It’s as if they don’t even realize that the vegan revolution is upon us. Second of all, I had a cupcake of theirs in my pregan days and it was dry. Not quite biscuit dry, but definitely dry. Third, it just annoys me in the way that designer jeans annoy me. Wait, do designer jeans still exist or is that strictly 80s? Whatever.

But they’ve been shut down by the health department, and although the owner is trying to focus the attention on the missing sink, read a little further and see that some mice are missing their droppings.

Sometimes I think people stand in line for them just to be standing in a line. This isn’t communist Russia. There are cupcakes everywhere, go celebrate your freedom. Preferably at Babycakes or ‘snice.

Babycakes cuppers, image stolen from cupcakeplanet at flickr

July 6, 2007

Sunday July 8th, Get Your Cookie On PDX!

Filed under: Events,Non-Cupcake Objects — by isachandra @ 10:55 am

I love Portland. It feels like a living, breathing John Hughes movie, but without the preppy characters. I’ll be there in a week or two, but unfortunately I’m going to miss the Cookie Contest at the Herbivore Store (read the newspaper blurb – and people say vegans are hostile!) But thanks to Julie Hasson, my maple walnut cookies will be fully represented!

VWAV Maple Walnut Cookies, from serenakrantz

But how will maple cookies go over in Portland? Will they be able to embrace their Vermont brothers and sisters? Will they suffer for their lack of hempseed? Julie and I are not above breaking a few kneecaps to make sure they come out on top, keep that in mind.

July 4, 2007

Graham Crackers

Filed under: Non-Cupcake Objects,Recipes — by isachandra @ 5:44 pm

I have an awful habit of posting recipes just a little too late to be used for the holidays. Oh, well. Have vegan smores next 4th of July, if there is one.

I wanted a graham cracker that was relatively hassle free, most graham cracker recipes call for chilling the dough and that sometimes turns me off from baking. I want graham crackers, NOW. Not in 3 hours. I also wanted them to be relatively healthy for a sweet treat, with a hearty wheaty crunch, so I ultimately went for regular whole wheat flour – pastry flour didn’t give me the crunchy crumbs I was wanting. These aren’t too sweet so if you would like them sweeter and more cinnamony sprinkle with a tablespoon of sugar and 1/2 a teaspoon cinnamon before scoring. To add to the beauty of this recipe, everything gets done with just a large mixing bowl and a fork.

I don’t know if these graham crackers will suppress unhealthy carnal urges, but they’ll probably impress the folks.

vegan graham crackers

Gwam Crackers
Makes about 12 crackers

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup oil
2 tablespoons molasses
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup rice milk (plus maybe an extra tablespoon or so), soy milk or water will work, too

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a light colored baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Make a well in the middle and pour in oil, molasses and vanilla. Give the liquid ingredients a quick wisk with a fork and then continue mixing until everything is well combined and crumbly.

Drizzle in the milk and combine. Use your hands to knead the dough a few times until it holds together, add an extra tablespoon of rice milk if needed. You should be able to form a pliable ball of dough.

Line a work surface with parchment. Place the dough on the parchment and work into a rectangle. Flatten a bit with the palms of your hand and sprinkle with flour. Use a rolling pin to roll into a rectangle that is roughly 10 x 14 inches. The dough should be about 1/8 inch thick. If the edges look crumbly, that’s okay.

Cut the edges off so that you have a relatively even 12 x 8 rectangle. Cut the dough into 8 crackers, to do this evenly use a sharp paring knife to slice the dough in half lengthwise and widthwise. Then cut widthwise again on either side of the center widthwise cut. That probably made it sound confusing, read it slowly.

Use a very thin flexible spatula to transfer the crackers to a baking sheet. It helps if you spray the spatula with cooking spray so that it slips on and off easily.

Gather up the scraps of dough and form them into a ball, then roll it out into a 4 by 8 rectangle, or whatever size you can manage. I was able to get 4 more crackers out of the deal, but your mileage may vary. Cut the edges evenly and slice into 4 crackers then transfer to the baking sheet.

Score each cookie with a fork 4 times in 2 columns. You don’t need to poke all the way through. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes. 14 will give you nice crispy crackers, 12 minutes will be better for making ice cream sammiches.

Let cool completely on the baking sheet.

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