Monday, August 27, 2007

They're not vegan: Snickerdoodles

Yesterday on my way home I had a craving for snickerdoodles, a cookie I never really liked until recently. I decided that if I really wanted them I had to bake them from scratch. Fortunately when I got home I discovered that I actually had all of the ingredients including cream of tartar.

I thought these would be quick and easy cookies. No. Yes, it takes like five minutes to mix the batter, but apparently you have to chill the dough for an hour before cooking. I guess this is makes it easier to roll the dough into little balls and hang on to the cinnamon and sugar.

Here it is:

Snickerdoodles (From the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook)
prep: 25 minutes
chill: 1 hour
bake: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 egg (or 1/4 cup egg beaters)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:
1. In a medium mixing bowl beat the butter or margarine with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add the 1 cup sugar, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Beat until combined. Beat in the egg and vanilla till combined. Beat in as much of the flour as possible as you can with the mixer. Stir in the remaining flour. cover and chill one hour.
2. Combine the 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in the sugar mix to coat.
Place 2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 10 or 11 minutes or until edges are golden. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and cool

Makes 36 cookies

Nutrition facts: 66 cal, 3 gram total fat, 0 grm fiber, 1 grm protien


Cook's notes:
1. I misread the directions and combined 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon. This made the cookies extra cinnamony.

These cookies were fantastic! I seriously devoured several fresh from the oven last night when they were all warm and gooey. The were even good at breakfast with my chai tea. I'll take the rest to work to share so I don't continue to eat them all. Next time I make them I'll use splenda for baking so that they aren't quite as sugary.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Yes, it's vegan: red pepper salad

I've been looking a lot of Vegitarian Mediterainan cookbooks as of late and have seen some pretty sweet salads. Recently I decided I really don't like lettuce, at least not enough to contiue to buy it and have it go bad a week later even though I only used half a head. So I've been experimenting with lettuce free salads. This might be my favorite so far.

I made up the recipe.

Ingridients:
1 large red pepper, chopped
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1/8 cup scallions/green onions, chopped
1 large cucumber, chopped
salt and pepper
lemon juice
olive oil (just a dash)
pinch of garlic

Directions: Throw everything in a bowl and mix well. Refridgerate for an hour. Makes about 4 servings.

Yes, it's vegan: black bean "salad"

I don't know why I call it a salad, it looks disgusting even though it tastes great.

There is no actual recipe to this. I just tossed a can of black beans, an avacado, fresh (cooked) corn, grape tomatoes, and some onion in a bowl and zapped it into the microwave for a minute.

I didn't add much seasoning to it, just a dash of garlic salt. The produce was so ripe and sweet it didn't need it.

Makes about 3-4 servings. I also tried to make lettuce tacos out of this but it was too messy.

But it hit the spot and it's pretty healthy!

Nature's Bounty: Summer Produce

My apologies for the hiatus. It's actually been quite warm here and I've been quite lazy. For the past few weeks my meals have pretty much just been raw veggies and hummus, sushi, and salads as it's too hot to turn on the stove.

One of the great things about living and working downtown is the abundance of farmer's markets in the summer and fall. There's a giant one outside of my work that is there twice a week. I've stopped getting my organic produce delivered and started supporting my local farmers.

But seriously you can't get a better deal than a farmers market. Last week I walked away with a zucchini, yellow summer squash, two ears of corn, a green bell pepper, and three cucumbers for $3.75.

Check out my massive produce! (The cucumber was bigger than my arm!)

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Vegan Cupcakes Just Took Over this Blog Part 2

"I gave one of your cupcakes to Rubi, and here’s what she said:

“WOW that cupcake was amazing!! I scarfed it down before I got to the end of the hall.”"

This is a direct quote about the fantastic cupcake goodness that is the vegan Mint Chocolate cupcakes I made for a coworker who just got promoted to Management.

The Mint Chocolate (or MC as I like to call) Cupcake recipe is almost identical to the cookies and cream one, so it was ridiculously easy to make and the batter was even better.

Here goes:

It follows the recipe for a basic chocolate cupcake, but it's anything but basic.

Ingridients:
1 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract, chocolate extract, or more vanilla extract (I used more vanilla)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa poder, Dutch-processed or regular
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mint extract

For the Mint Icing:
1/4 cup non hydrogenated shortening
3 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon soy ccreamer or milk
1 1/2 teaspoons mint extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Small drop of food covering liquid

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin pan with paper or foil liners.
2. Whisk together the soy milk and vinegar in a large bowl, and set aside for a few minutes to curdle.
3. In a seperate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
4. Add the sugar, oil, and extracts to soy milk mixture and beat until foamy.
5. Add the dry ingrideients in two batches to wet ingridients and beat until no large lumps remain.
6. Stir in cookie bits.
7. Pour into liners, filling three-quarters of the way. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Transfer to cooling rack and let cool completely.

Mint Icing Directions:
1. Cream the shortening for a few seconds to soften it. It may be easier to use a fork rather than a handheld mixer.
2. Add 1 cup powdered sugar and a splash (tablesoon) of soy milk and mix to incorperate. Alternately add sugar and milk, mixing after each addition, until all the ingridients are used and the icing is smooth and creamy. Add the mint and vanilla extracts and coloring and mix well.



Now the actual directions also want you to fill a pastry bag with icing to the cupcake, and even though I own one, I was too lazy, so I just smeared the grean icing on the cupcakes. There was also directions to add garnache to the top, but I ignored it and added sprinkles instead.

The icing actually turned out because I made a point to buy sugar along with the mint extract, but there was a slight disaster with the cupcakes.

When the cupcakes were done baking, I pulled them out of the oven and set them on the stove top to cool. Big mistake. Apparently I accidentally hit the burner and turned it on and the next thing I knew the cupcakes were smoking. At first I was confused and I actually said aloud, "why are the cupcakes smoking?" and I rushed to open a window. When I returned to the cupcakes I realized the burner was on, hence the smoke, turned it off, and dumped the cupcakes on the counter. Fortunately only 3 cupcakes were scorched, so there was not a total loss. But my apartment still smells like burned chocolate.



These cupcakes are amazing. They taste like Girl Scout Cookies. Sometimes vegan cupackes get too moist, but these turned out perfect. I will warn you that they are messy to make and after I was done I had to clan out the crevices in my mixer with a q-tip, but they are totally worth it.

They'll make your most carnivorous friends proud.

Next time I think I'll mix the cookies and cream into the mint mix to give make it a double whammy of sugar. I imagine you could use splenda if you were watching your girlish figure, but I haven't tried low fat vegan cupcakes yet. I imagine if I keep eating them at this rate, low fat vegan cupcakes make make an appearance.

Did I mention how awesome these are?