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shannon
13 December 2011 @ 12:36 pm
All of my baking escapades are now documented at http://leavesandflours.blogspot.com!
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shannon
27 October 2011 @ 11:18 am
Yesterday I took a rough Remote Sensing midterm and thought the only way to recover was with sugar. I also had a can of pumpkin I wanted to use. I did a search a few days ago and didn't see any vegan chocolate pumpkin cupcake recipes. I thought I would try making my own. The results were a little subpar. The flavors were great, but the textures were not. The cake turned out far too moist and dense and the pumpkin buttercream was too wet and kept separating. I took a few photos and tossed on some Halloween sprinkles and gave them to my partner's roommates, who luckily aren't food snobs. 
I can't decide if I will go back and tweak this recipe a few more times or just move on. 



 
 
 
shannon
18 October 2011 @ 08:01 pm
I had a tupperware container full of leftover cream cheese frosting and tons of pumpkin laying down, so I decided to make a half batch of pumpkin whoopie pies. I used the whoopie pie recipe from Vegan Yum Yum, but the frosting is from VCTOTW.


 
 
 
shannon
16 October 2011 @ 03:55 pm
Today is my friend Sheena's birthday! As she is a wonderful pastry chef, I knew I had to bake her something beautiful for her birthday. Her favorite cake is red velvet with cream cheese frosting, so I was obligated to comply. These were really rushed, I made then in under an hour while her band, Lemuria was practicing in the basement. I was hoping she wouldn't hear the standing mixer from downstairs or walk into the kitchen for water and ruin the surprise. Luckily, it all worked out! 
Both recipes are from VCTOTW. We were out of granulated sugar, so I subbed with brown in a moment of desperation. We were also out of red dye, so these look a little more chocolate than is ideal. Vegan cream cheese is so soft to begin, making the frosting is impossible to pipe into pretty mounds so I went with a rose design. The rose is made using a Wilton 2D tip. 
Now onto more perfect fall weather, birthday magic!



 
 
 
shannon
12 October 2011 @ 04:00 pm
It's been cool enough out to not mind using the oven everyday. Luckily I have also had plenty of excuses to make ridiculous amounts of sweets to pawn off on others too. Today was an 83rd birthday party for my favorite co-worker. I knew that there wouldn't be anything else for me to eat except some carrots or crackers, so I decided to make something really rich. 
I opted for vegan pumpkin pie brownies from a recipe I remembered reading on the PPK last fall. I used dark chocolate instead of bittersweet and dark cocoa powder in place of dutch processed. The pie was tasty, but probably not something that I will make again. I liked it, but I didn't love it. The filling was a little to thin for me, and the brownie portion a little too cake-like.
If I were to make it again however I would have adhered to the original chocolate/cocoa suggestions so that it appeared more aesthetically pleasing (and less like a burnt crust). I also would add more cornstarch/arrowroot to the pumpkin for a thicker consistency. I would probably also bake them in a square pan and cut them in small squares so they are more 'brownie' like.
Also, it isn't easy to take pictures of something you made at work without someone making an awkward comment.
 

 
 
 
shannon
09 October 2011 @ 06:46 pm
Tonight a group of friends are hosting a 'wrap it up' themed potluck at the house I am moving into next month in DC. I promised to make the best desert, and I think I made it happen. I made chocolate chip cookie dough wrapped in a cupcake! I took the idea from a non-vegan blog, and made it work. Best of all though, is that with vegan cookie dough there isn't any fear or getting sick from raw cookie dough.
I made just under 3 dozen cupcakes. I used two batches of vanilla cupcake from VCTOTW, but replaced the granulated sugar for brown sugar. I intentionally underfilled the cups knowing that the cookie dough would take up quite a bit of room. For the cookie dough, I used soy-free Earth balance and Ener-G egg replacer in the recipe on the Ghiradelli bag. I only needed one batch of cookie dough, to fill all the cupcakes with small balls  and make a dozen mini cookies as toppers. I used the frosting from Annie's Eats original recipe with 1 cup of earth balance and 1/2 cup of shortening.
Even though I froze the cookie dough balls for 2 hours prior to baking them in the cupcakes, they still seemed to cook a little. It's possible that a longer freeze might help, but you could also just fill the cookies after baking to not worry about it. 
Overall I am pretty pleased with the result. I think they are pretty cute!





 
 
 
shannon
08 October 2011 @ 09:34 am
My partner is in Seattle these past few days running a demonstration at UW to end the use of ferrets in medical education. He works for the animal rights organization PCRM, and I am really happy that their campaign is going well. While he was there, he went to Mighty-O donuts and shipped me a dozen overnight! I was good and shared them with several other people. We split all the donuts into pieces so we could each try all the flavors. My favorites were the chocolate peanut butter and the raspberry glazed. Some of the others were french toast, pumpkin spice, and coconut! 
Last night I didn't have any plans so I decided to practice with royal icing and cookie decorating. I made sugar cookies with lemon icing. I didn't have much powdered sugar left and I accidentally made my piping icing too thin. I also didn't thin my flooding icing quite enough. I was impatient and moved a little too quickly for my experience level, so there are quite a few air bubbles and dents. My colors also bled. I also didn't think that the sheet I was decorating on had slightly curves sides, so a few cookies had the icing run off a bit. Here are a few of the acceptable cookies.





 
 
 
shannon
03 October 2011 @ 09:30 am
This weekend was a really great one. on Friday I left work early, drank coffee with some friends, went out to dinner with my partner, Will Potter (the author of Green is the New Red), and a bunch of folks from PETA . We went to Everylasting Life, which is a phenomenal vegan soul food restaurant in NW DC. Afterwards we went to the movies to see Drive (for the second time). 
Saturday my partner and I went to Pangea, the vegan super store. I needed some new face wash and felt the urge to buy some more faux honey and vegan marshmallows. When we got back I made vegan smores with Sweet & Sara marshmallows and icelandic dark chocolate. I have been meaning to make my own graham crackers, but decided to just use honey-free Nabisco ones. Following that we went to Busboys & poets to see Dave Zirin & John Carlos speak. Even though I had no previous knowledge on the talk, I was really glad that I went. 
Sunday was a wonderfully lazy day. I made the first batch of pumpkin muffins for this fall. They were rapidly devoured. I did homework and ate my first deep dish pizza from Pi in Chinatown. While there was a sufficient amount of Daiya for most people, I would prefer a normal pizza. Jumbo slice will always be number one. 




 
 
 
shannon
22 September 2011 @ 04:04 pm
lately all i have wanted to eat is oatmeal/granola, smoothies, and salads. it isn't such a bad thing for my body at least. i've been eating a lot of maple brown sugar granola with coconut yogurt and fresh fruit. the smoothie i drank this morning was pineapple, mango, banana, strawberry, and raspberry with flax seed and a touch of agave. 
today was also my lab mate's birthday, so i made my favorite cookie recipe for our lunch potluck. it was the only vegan thing in the room, so it's a good thing i was planning on leaving early today. he also doesn't eat beef, so i brought him some vegan jerky which he seemed to really like!




 
 
 
shannon
18 September 2011 @ 12:02 pm
I have been living with my partner's mom & sister. They are all away for a long weekend in San Francisco, so I needed something to occupy my time this weekend. My friend Sheena came over and in our pajamas we made a two layer 6" chocolate cake with coffee buttercream. We had intended to make red velvet, but the cookbook turned pages while we were using the recipe and neither of us noticed, so chocolate it was.
While I had envisioned using fondant and what not to decorate it, we ended up just making tons of rosettes and coating it in rainbow sprinkles. It was pretty ridiculous, but a lot of fun.
We also made huge salads, twice baked potatoes, and watched many, many hours of Gossip Girl. It was great.




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