Tagged: baking

Thanksgiving FAIL

This year was my first all vegan Thanksgiving. I was so excited to find new recipes and to try all the dishes that everyone else was bringing.

I’ve found so many awesome vegan blogs over the past few months that my recipes bookmark folder is practically overflowing. Yet somehow I hadn’t even glanced at Pinterest. I’ve avoided that site because I don’t need one more site to get sucked into but it won me over with it’s fantastic groupings of fall vegan food. The pictures were all so well lit and fabulous that I wanted to eat my computer.

After drooling over butternut squash and sausage stuffed phyllo cups and pumpkin bread pudding with maple caramel sauce (oh sweet mother of god, WANT!), I decided on chocolate chip cookie cheesecake bars and good ol’ fashioned mac and cheese.

That sounds great, right?

Well, it wasn’t.

Perhaps I read the recipes wrong. Perhaps my taste buds aren’t vegan enough. Perhaps the cookie bars were supposed to look like someone had spermed inside of them. Yes, spermed. It’s a word now.

The cookie bar recipe I found here. I don’t blame that blog. They obviously worked for her. They did not work for me. They were supposed to look like this:

They did not look like that. Though it looked delicious when it came out of the oven. Once we cut into at the Thanksgiving feast though….yeeesh. The cream cheese/cheesecake filling had turned into a clearish liquid that looked like jizz. Straight up. That’s the truth. It looked like someone had cookie fucked my dessert. The boyfriend pointed out that this was an issue with the cream cheese chocolate cupcakes that I so adore. They do look jizzed in but they’re delicious. I could have forgiven the cookie bars for being sluts if they had been delicious sluts. But they were not. I was embarrassed that people ate it. It was a sugary mass of FAIL.

Moving on to the “blue box” style mac and cheese. I found the recipe for this here. Her pictures were gorgeous. I could almost taste the creamy goodness (ew, too soon after all the jizz talk, yes?).

I haven’t made mac and cheese without the help of Daiya yet. Knowing my Thanksgiving hosts were trying to stay away from fake cheese, I wanted to go the extra mile and make my own sauce from scratch. Well, tits. It did not work.

I was wary of a recipe calling for tahini, white beans, mustard and agave but since I know nothing about making fake cheese sauce, I went with it. If the intent was to make a sauce that smelled like peanut butter and tasted like foot stink, then I win the prize. There was nothing even remotely cheese like in the flavor and it looked nothing like the photos. It was sweet, an upsetting texture and even the boyfriend, who loves almost everything, made a horrible face after tasting it.

I’m not sure where I went wrong. Next time I’ll try a cashew cream recipe and see if I get better results. If anyone has a bomb mac and cheese recipe that doesn’t involve Daiya, I would love to have it.

I ended up making my old stand-by mac and cheese with a roux and some of the new Daiya wedges. The host said she liked it but to me it tasted off and plastic like.

All in all : FAIL. 

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Chocolate Sour Cream Banana Bread

The other day at a wedding a friend of mine looked at me awkwardly for a minute before blurting, “So what are you baking lately?”. I thought that it was hilarious because I’ve come a long way from the hard dating, hard partying head case I used to be. So much so that my friends apparently have no idea what to say to me sometimes. I am the girl that bakes somewhat edible, sometimes terrifying things.

After a few 100 degree days here in Portland, I decided it was time to get back on the baking wagon. Sure it was still 90 degrees in my kitchen but I had a bowl full of rotting bananas that were either headed to their grave or to a loaf of banana bread.

I’m not sure if I buy bananas in the hopes that I will not eat them so I can make bread, or if I just suck at eating them. The banana above had been in the freezer. It’s not covered in creepy blue mold.

Did everyone else grow up with black bananas in their freezer? My mom always had some in there. Probably because her children wouldn’t eat them unless she chopped them up, threw some brown sugar on top and then stared down at us while we miserably chewed and gagged down every last piece. Bananas and I have a tortured past.

Now that I’m an adult (with the taste buds of a child) I have my own black bananas and in an ode to my mother, I often make banana bread. I make it multiple ways, switching up ingredients a fair amount. It’s an easy recipe that gives you room to play.

Yesterday I found this one and I had to try it. I had the dead bananas and all the other ingredients already in my kitchen. I’m such a grown up! I own baking powder, people. I am a motherfucking adult.

I found this recipe on Savory Sweet Life. It’s not a vegan website, I just have a habit of taking normal recipes and substituting things. I do this because a lot of the time the vegan versions call for all sorts of things that I don’t own and have no desire to search out. I don’t have soy flour or wheat flour or spelt. I’m not in this for the health, I’m in it for the cows, man.

Ingredients
  • 1 stick of Earth Balance, softened to room temp.
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Egg replacer equal to one egg
  • 2 large ripened bananas mashed ( or 2.5 small bananas)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 Tbl. cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup of Tofutti sour cream
  • 1 cup of mini chocolate chips (regular chocolate chips work too, make them vegan, duh)
  • optional 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
Instructions
  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease a 9×5 loaf pan, or 2 mini pans with non-stick spray.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together. Stir in egg replacer, mashed bananas, sour cream, and vanilla until well blended.
  4. Add baking soda, cocoa, and flour.
  5. Mix everything until well incorporated (about 3 minutes in a Kitchenaid mixer).
  6. Add chocolate chips and nuts (if applicable).
  7. Pour batter into loaf pan(s) and bake for 50 minutes – 1 hr.
  8. Insert a tooth pick into the center of the loaf and check to see if it comes out clean when you pull it out.
  9. Remove from heat and allow bread to rest in the loaf pan for 10 minutes.
  10. Invert the loaf pans onto a cooling rack. Enjoy warm or cold.
 My mom recently gifted me with a Kitchenaid. Squeeeee!
I adore it. It makes kneading bread so farkin’ easy. A bread hook?? Who knew. If only she would have gotten me the swarovski crystal one.
I kid, I kid…..a little.
My bread came out like brownies since I took them out a bit too early. The toothpick came out clean though! So I took it out, went on a walk with the dog and came back only to find that when I cut into it, it was a bit gooey. But delicious! Super rich and magical. Especially when spread with butter. Yeah that’s right. That’s how I roll.
Go take your sad bananas and make them into happy, unhealthy treats!

Review: Martha Stewart’s Sanity

I was at work the other day flipping through Martha Stewart’s Living magazine between clients when I found this bonkers recipe: Potato chip cookies. 

Okay so this might not have been Martha’s brainchild but you know she signed off on it because she didn’t get uber rich by sitting back and letting other people run her magazines. I bet she has a big stamp that says REJECTED on one side and APPROVED on the other. Then her minions bring her recipes and she scans them for ten seconds before forcefully stamping their fate on them. At least that’s what I’d like to imagine.

(Am I the only one that didn’t know Martha was freakin’ hot back in the day? Damn, girl!)

After trying to find the exact recipe on the web I have come to realize that this is something batty housewives have been doing for years. Who knew? Not me. My mother never put anything savory into a cookie. She liked her sweets sweet. Am I the only child who grew up without these things? The boyfriend had never heard of them either and he may have cringed when I announced I was making them last night.

I’m posting the recipe, veganized of course, in case you have the desire to spend an hour in your kitchen smashing the shit out of potato chips.

Potato Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Earth Balance, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • Egg replacer equal to 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups crushed potato chips
  • 1 Cup of chopped pecans

Directions

  • In a large bowl, cream Earth Balance and sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg replacer. Combine flour and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in potato chips and pecans.
  • Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 1 minute before removing to wire racks. Yield: 4 dozen.
You also have the option of rolling the dough into balls and then covering them with more crushed potato chips. I opted for that. You can also add chocolate or butterscotch chips. They might have been tastier that way.
I didn’t take any photos of mine because they were hideous. Especially after the first batch. I got distracted watching Despicable Me and drinking beer and burned several batches. Neither I or the boyfriend cared too much.
They should look something like this though:
Sorry, Martha but I give this cookie 3 out of 10 puppies:

Holla At Some Challah Bread!

Yes, I just made that joke. Deal with it.

This whole baking kick I’m on is rad. Except for the fact that even though I’m going to trapeze/aerial class twice a week (okay maybe sometimes just once a week) I’m getting chubbier. I made more cupcakes the other night because I just got Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World. I had to try a recipe! Even if I just made cupcakes last week.

As if constant cupcake baking wasn’t enough to destroy my waistline, I’m really loving baking bread as well. I’ve made french bread a few times already so yesterday I decided to try making some challah.

I just really love saying challah.

I found this recipe on Vocal Vegan. There is a ton of challah recipes out there but this one was the most simple and I already had everything I needed to make it.

2 cups warm water
5 teaspoons yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon salt
2 cups flour (white or wheat or a mix)
1/4 cup oil
1 egg (substitute)
3 to 5 cups flour (white or wheat or a mix)

Combine 2 cups of warm water with yeast and sugar (1 tablespoon).  Let sit until the yeast foams or bubbles.

Mix the 1/4 cup sugar, salt and 2 cups of flour in a bowl.  Add the yeast mixture once it has foamed.  Add the oil and egg substitute, then 3 to 5 cups of flour until the dough has a nice consistency (not to sticky but not too dry).   

Kneed for a few minutes and place in a bowl covered with a towel in a warm spot for one hour to rise.  Punch the bread down and kneed a bit more.  Split it into two pieces.  Then split each of those into three long thin pieces that you can then braid together.  After creating two braided loaves, place on a cookie sheet (oiled lightly or with parchment paper) to rise for another hour.  Bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees.

Most recipes I found called for either whole wheat flour or a mix of white and wheat. I only had white so I went with that. It worked out great.

Make sure to read ALL the directions first so you’re not confused about what amount of flour goes where and when it goes there.

Yeah…so…they’re really ugly looking loaves. Braiding bread dough is effin hard though! If anyone has any tips on how to make a pretty braided loaf, I’d love to hear it.

Not much prettier when baked but good lord, it’s tasty! We’ve eaten it smeared with Earth Balance and dipped in olive oil and salt. God, we’re so healthy.

I give this recipe 10 out of 10 puppies:

Speaking of puppies. I got to hang out with seven at once at my friend’s house the other day. Along with some chickens. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and fell deeply in love with this little guy.

Now go forth and bake some bread so that I’m not the only chubbster around here.