Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World

September 18, 2007

Kittee Pumpkin Pretzels

Filed under: Non-Cupcake Objects,Other's People's Baking,Recipes — by isachandra @ 7:26 pm

It seems that the pumpkin fairy has visited kittee, too. Look at this genius invention – pumpkin pretzels!

pumpkinpretzeltwo.jpg

Having had the opportunity to eat some of kittee’s eats in Portland over the summer, I am sure these are wonderful. And if you’ve never made pretzels before, what a perfect time to try something new. You boil the dough before baking, the whole time thinking, “This will never work.” But then it always works and you feel better than everyone else.

Speaking of being better than everyone else, I’ll post that pumpkin brownie recipe tomorrow. I’ve been really lazy. I mean busy. Blazy?

I’ll distract you with a shot of kittee with a chapati bikini. And don’t forget, kittee is now the food editor of Herbivore magazine. A new issue came out today so subscribe, get some wonderful recipes, read some enlightening articles and interviews, and support independent vegan media. Or I will make you feel really guilty.

September 17, 2007

Pumpkin Pie Brownie

Filed under: Baking Porn,Holiday Cupcakes,Non-Cupcake Objects,Recipes — by isachandra @ 12:10 pm

Thank Zod for autumn. I have 6 cans of pumpkin in my pantry that need to get outta’ there and make room for something else. I don’t even know where they came from, it’s possible that I just kept forgetting if I had any canned pumpkin and my collection grew and grew, or it could be the canned pumpkin fairy. And I can’t eat pumpkin in warm weather, it throws off my equilibrium.

Last night I made these Pumpkin Pie Brownies. It’s a brownie base with pumpkin in the batter and then pumpkin pie filling is poured on top and they bake together in perfect harmony. Obviously, these would be like gold at any Halloween event.

Recipe has been added, just click “more.”

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September 10, 2007

Vegan Milano Cookies

Filed under: Non-Cupcake Objects,Recipes — by isachandra @ 12:31 am

Well, obviously they’re vegan – I just titled it that way for google purposes. Or Ask Jeeves, if you prefer.

The PPK messages boards were clamouring for a version of these and what the PPK message board wants, the PPK message board gets. They taste pretty much as I remember them, although I can’t tell you the last time I had one since I am, like, what? A level 11 vegan by now? I didn’t bother coming up with a cutesy name for them, so if anyone can think of one, have at it!

Vegan Milanos
Makes 16 cookies

Vegan Milano Cookies

For those of us who miss suckling at the corporate teat of Pepperidge Farm, here is a veganized version of everyone’s favorite chocolate sandwich cookie. Even though there is a bit of orange zest in the batter, these aren’t orange flavored, the zest just kind of pulls everything together and gives a sunny note of somethin’ somethin’. I think bittersweet chocolate will give the most authentic flavor, but use semi-sweet if that’s what you got. And heed the directions to flour your hands before forming each cookie – otherwise the dough will stick.

1/3 cup rice milk (or soy, whatever you got)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Scant 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped (or use chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 2 large cookie sheets.

In a large mixing bowl, use a strong fork to mix together milk, sugar, oil, vanilla and zest.

Add half of the flour, along with the cornstarch, baking powder and salt; mix well. Add the remaining flour and mix until you have a soft, pliable dough.

Make sure your hands are very clean and dry, and dust them with flour. Stuffs about to get messy. Sort of.

Grab about 1 tablespoon’s worth of dough and roll it into a ball, and then roll into a log that’s about 1 1/2 inches long. Flatten with the palms of your hand to create an oval that is 2 inches long and 1 inch across, then straighten the edges out with your fingers. Basically, if you know what a milano looks like, that’s the shape your going for. But this is homemade, so don’t try to be perfect. You aren’t a machine (or are you?)

Continue with the rest of the dough, flouring your hands before you form each cookie, until you have 16 cookies placed about 1 inch apart (they don’t spread much.) I had to do this in 2 batches because of my small oven, so while these baked I started my next batch of 16. If you’ve got a big oven then do both trays of 16 at once.

Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, until tops are firm and edges are ever so slightly browned. Remove from oven and let rest for 2 minutes. Use a thin, flexible spatula to transfer to a cooling rack. Meanwhile, bake your next batch and melt your chocolate*.

Once cookies are cool enough to handle (only about 10 minutes), take a cookie and dip the bottom into the chocolate. Then take another cookie and dip it, and place the dipped sides together to form a sandwich. Don’t press them hard lest the chocolate smush out. Place them on a tray or several plates that will fit in your fridge. Continue with the remaining cookies until you have 16 sandwiches. Have a wet rag at the ready to wipe your fingers between putting the cookies together, to avoid chocolate fingerprints on the cookies. Or just lick the chocolate off. Or just decide that who cares about chocolate fingerprints.

Place cookies in the fridge to set for at least an hour. Bring back to room temperature before serving (about 1/2 an hour.) Call it a day.

*You know how to melt chocolate, right?

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 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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