Archive for the 'Vegan' Category

An Old Favorite, Revisited

Have you ever been to the Cheeseboard or Arizmendi? If you have, you know these corn cherry scones are a staple. I just had to make them again…And they were just as delicious as the last time I made them.

The first time I made these scones, I veganized the original recipe because I was vegan (duh). I also added almond meal and millet flour, and it tasted great, but this time I really just wanted the original. So, a few weeks ago I tried making them again. I used the Cheeseboard recipe, because I’m not vegan anymore and I thought of course the recipe filled with butter would be way more delicious. Somehow, they were a total flop: they were flat and spread out all over the pan, the medium-grind cornmeal was too crunchy, and I was confused.

Ultimately, I resorted back to the vegan version and I tried them this week and used a very finely ground cornmeal, and wow, they were good. The best part was that I made them small, much smaller than the Cheeseboard originals, so you could eat one, then another, and another and still feel okay about your tummy. Or thighs. Or whatever.

Corn Cherry Scone Ingredients:


2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour


1/2 tsp. baking soda


1 Tblsp. baking powder

2/3 cup plus 1/4 cup sugar

1 cup finely ground cornmeal

1 cup cold Earth Balance, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 cup dried sweet cherries


1 1/4 cup almond milk


1 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat.

Combine the almond milk and apple cider vinegar in a measuring cup and stir together quickly. Let stand for a few minutes till good and curdled. While you are waiting, sift the flour, soda, and baking powder together into the large bowl for your mixer (you can also use a pastry cutter and do this all by hand). Add the 2/3 cup sugar and cornmeal, and stir with a wooden spoon till combined. Add the cubed Earth Balance and mix using the paddle attachment (or cut it in with a pastry cutter or 2 knives) until it is the size of small peas.

Mix in the cherries. Make a well in the center and add the almond milk-apple cider vinegar mixture. Mix briefly, just until the ingredients come together; some loose flour should remain at the bottom of the bowl. Let the batter stand for 5 minutes so some of the liquid soaks into the cornmeal and millet.

Gently shape the dough into balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter (they should have a rough, rocky exterior) and place them on the prepared pan about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle the 1/4 cup sugar on top of the scones and place the pan in the oven on the middle rack and immediately turn the temperature down to 375 degrees. Bake for 17-20 minutes, until the scones are golden. Transfer the scones to a wire rack to cool.

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Lemon, Chocolate, Champagne, Oh My!

Bria and Dave’s wedding was fantastic and fun – the perfect mix of serious, thoughtful, goofy and joyous. I was honored to bake them their wedding cake and cupcakes! In three flavors, no less! I’m sorry I don’t have the recipes right now as links but you can look them up in my blog archives.

There were three flavors of cupcakes:

1. Chocolate Raspberry (chocolate-raspberry cake with a homemade raspberry filling and chocolate cream cheese frosting)

2. Lemon Almond (gluten-free almond cake with a homemade vegan lemon curd filling and a lemon cream cheese frosting)

3. Champagne (vanilla champagne cake with a white choclate filling and fluffy champagne frosting)

We made at least 200 cupcakes (some didn’t quite make it to the wedding…oops). And they were seriously enjoyed! Just take a look at the happy couple:

Celebrate!

The birds are back! And, so am I!

I can’t believe my last post was in February! I know there are some dedicated readers and bakers out there who have checked in with my blog a zillion times a day and have missed my posts terribly (cough, cough, Gina, cough). I’ll try to bake more this school year, and even better, I’ll try to post about them. In the meantime, I’ll let you know that I went to 7 weddings this summer, and I’ve still got one more to attend in October. I’ve baked two wedding cakes (well, one was a set of cupcakes). I simply HAVE to post about these desserts, especially since I have amazing professionally taken photographs!

This cake was for my friends Rachel and Zach, who had a lovely August wedding. I used the same recipe for this cake as I did for my wedding cake last summer, except I left out the fresh ginger. It was a great fluffy yellow cake, with homemade raspberry jam and toasted slivered almonds in between the layers, and slathered with vegan cream cheese frosting. I piped a dark chocolate ganache swirl around the outside and voila! The cake was ready for the love bird toppers, and for the love bird bride and groom to cut into it! Just look at these cuties:

I’ve gone to so many weddings recently; I’ve eaten a lot of cake and cried a lot of tears (of joy). It was really nice to be a part of some of the weddings and get to bake the desserts. Tune in soon for my wedding cupcakes!

Rachel and Zach, it was a pleasure to bake your wedding cake, and celebrate you both together with so many other people who love you!

Here are some in-process pictures:

I broke your heart…

I know it’s hard right now, but it’s best for the both of us. Happy (belated) Valentine’s Day.

The title and first line of this post come from an email I received from a friend, who sent me this picture he took of my heart-shaped cake. For a friendly Valentine’s Day potluck, I baked this almond cake with raspberry filling, with a buttercream icing. In the shape of a heart, of course, with no less than pink piping on top. It was whole until we decided to cut into it, and the very creative cutting job was done by the friend…

The cake was enjoyed by all and devoured immediately. I guess that’s what tends to happen when pieces are cut as large as eighths of the cake being slid onto each person’s plate!

I’ve Got My Eye On You…

What do you get when you add your chocolate-loving housemate’s birthday, a request for Raspberry Blackout Cake with Cream Cheese Icing, and an only-sometimes-functioning-oven? Add into the mix an emergency run to the nearest TJ’s for dark chocolate chips, an extra pair of hands for rolling, and a lot of freezer space?

Cake Balls!

Now, I will tell you honestly that Cake Balls are delicious and worth the time spent making them no matter whether you’re whipping them up from scratch for the sole purpose of eating a perfectly crunchy outer shell with moist soft cake inside, or if you’re problem-solving a baked cake that wouldn’t detach from the pan like I was. Cake Balls are bite-sized, tasty, cute no matter how they are decorated, and pretty hip right now. Why not?

However fun these birthday desserts were, I am so glad our new oven is being delivered today! No more baking “disasters”!

Easiest Banana Bread

I love banana bread. Any kind – you can make it “healthier” or not, I always enjoy a hearty slice of sweet banana bread. Chocolate chips, nuts, applesauce, carob, lots of spices, berries mixed in, you name it, I’ll eat it! This week, my brother got a hold of a ton of bananas (literally) and he made the most delicious banana bread ever. He gave me some bananas, I asked for the recipe, and I was shocked to find out that it was incredibly simple. Too simple, it seemed. But delicious. So, I made it exactly as he instructed, except I made two batches – one in a loaf pan and one batch into muffins. They were scrumptious both ways. Consider this recipe tested and perfected and so simple and quick to whip up, you will want to make it all the time. Except somehow you’ll have to have so many bananas you turn yellow. I think I have eaten enough, except now I want more, but magically we have eaten all the bananas he conjured up! Jesse, go find more!

Banana Bread Ingredients:
4 ripe bananas
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup room-temperature margarine (I used Soy-Free Earth Balance)
2 cups white flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
sprinkle of dried coconut or sliced almonds, for topping

Preheat your oven to 350º F.

Mash bananas in a bowl using a potato masher or fork. You want to create as few lumps as possible. Beat in the sugar and margarine, till you have a smooth consistency. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix into the wet ingredients.

Pour into a greased loaf pan, or lined muffin tins. Sprinkle dried coconut, sliced almonds, or a pinch of sugar over batter to give a crunchy topping.

Bake muffins for 25-30 minutes.
Bake loaf for 60-70 minutes.
*Stick a toothpick into the center and it should come out nearly clean (a few crumbs are okay because it is best a bit moist).

Mini Gingerbread Loaves for a Sweet New Year

I haven’t updated my blog in forever. I’m so sorry dear readers! Teaching has consumed so much of my time/life/energy/thoughts/dreams/being. When I do leave school, I may still have inspiration for baking but I have few daylight hours to take pictures and sometimes I just can’t bare to be on the computer any longer than I have to, as I crave adult contact and outside adventures! Over winter vacation though, I have had ample time to relax and recuperate, and be outside to my heart’s content. I have baked up a storm, although it wouldn’t seem like it from the small number of pictures I’ve taken. I did capture these delicious Orange Pumpkin Gingerbread Loaves, and I’m happy to share them with you. My lovely housemate gave me these mini loaf pans for the holidays, but the recipe is versatile and you can bake the batter into a larger loaf pan or a cake pan if you want. The orange juice gives a nice spicy flavor, and really highlights the ginger.

Bake these delicious treats to ring in a sweet new year! Have a happy holiday, everyone!

Gingerbread Ingredients and Recipe:

1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup dark molasses
1 cup orange juice
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (you can use plain white flour, or do as I did: Easily make it gluten-free by using Bob’s Red Mill brand Gluten-Free Baking Mix)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
2 tsp. powdered ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup finely chopped candied ginger (optional)
1 Tbsp. orange zest (optional)

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Mix pumpkin and molasses. Add orange juice.
Sift together the dry ingredients and combine everything together.

Pour into a non-stick 8×8 inch baking pan, or a loaf pan.  Bake 60 minutes. Bake the mini loaves for only about 18 minutes. If you stick a knife into the middle, it should come out nearly clean but not quite – you want it to be a little sticky.


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License. Photos, Original Recipes & Text ©cookiesandcandids 2008-2010 unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved. If you repost any material from this blog, please give credit by including a link back to me. Thank you!