Vegan Goodies: Cookies, Brownies, and Cupcakes

16 Jan

Today, all photos kindly brought to you by Tina Phan, my favorite photographer friend! Check out her Flickr and Foodtography Blog!

I got this badass new bike. I found this rad fixie shop in a space behind a bunch of storefronts at Wellborn and Rock Prairie, Lost Souls Fixies. Owner Scooter helped me put together a sweet set up based off of an old vintage Schwinn frame from the 50’s/60’s.

To thank him, I made some vegan chocolate chip cookies from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar (Christmas present from Amanda!). He’s allergic to eggs, so vegan was the way to go. It uses veggie oil instead of Earth Balance or shortening, but I think I want to try it next time using Earth Balance. They spread a lot and were a thin chewy cookie as opposed to the fluffy cakey style I prefer for a chocolate chip cookie. Something about them was incredibly addicting – I ate half a dozen in one fell swoop, and my mom fell victim to the same situation. It’s the texture or the aftertaste or something that just makes you want to eat about 10 of them. So try them out!! My bike parts ended up coming in late, so these went into my freezer at home, where they did wonderfully, so freeze them after baking if you want!

When my bike finally was all put together, I decided to make the Midnight Espresso Brownies from Vegan Cookies Invade Over Your Cookie Jar. I didn’t have instant espresso powder, so I subbed in some hazelnut coffee drink mix and it worked great. These were super dense – Isa says to smooth them out to the edges of the pan because they won’t spread when they are cooked, and boy is she right! Make sure the top is how you want it to look when you pop it into the oven, because that’s how they are coming out! I added a little extra soy milk and it was still like this. But they came out super fudgy and amazing and you definitely need to try these.

I found Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World at the Borders at Gessner and Westheimer for 40% off during their going out of business sale, so I had to pick it up! Tina and Gaby came over and we decided to make Vegan S’mores Cupcakes out of Terry and Isa’s book. Those chicks are badass. Oh yeah, Tina and Gaby are cool, too, bahahaha. We got all decked out in holiday aprons to make them, even though it was New Year’s Day.

We started like good children by gathering the ingredients – but only some of them. Bahahahaha!

The most important part though – Martha Stewart green and red gingerbread man cupcake liners I got from Sarita’s parents for Christmas. Now how’d they know…Notice the Kitty Foreman apron in the background and my too small hand me down sweater that goes to about the top of my belly button. Ok,ok, back to business.

I’m OCD about sifting the dry ingredients. When we bake and you decide that we don’t need to sift, and I say yeah, sure, we don’t need to, I’m really saying, ok…I really love sifting…it was my favorite part of baking when I was little, but if you don’t want to, we don’t have to…my mom’s 40 year old rusty sifter isn’t the ONLY thing I want when she dies :hangs head:. Plus they make little snowy mountains! I think – I’m still not too familiar with what snow looks like.

These cupcakes had graham cracker crumbs in them and were flavored with molasses. The batter was pretty yummy, but it wasn’t really graham crackery per se. We frosted them with vegan buttercream frosting, but I only had Crisco, no Earth Balance, and it was my mortal enemy again, butter flavored Crisco! That stuff is so disgusting! So the frosting we extra greasy, to me at least. Normally, when I make it according to the recipe with a combo of shortening and Earth Balance it’s just amazing. Really great frosting, seriously.

I had those red and green icing gel colors left over from Christmas, so we used those to color the cupcakes. The red came out more of a red hot salmon pink – not so festive. But the green was perfect! We experimented with lots of different piping styles and threw some chocolate shavings on top to bring in the chocolate s’mores usually have and make them extra fancy. Not very s’morey in my opinion, the cake was good and moist, but necessarily graham cracker either. I have loads of ideas for next time! Graham cracker and marshmallow frosting, injections of chocolate or marshmallow, chocolate chunks inside, layered chocolate and graham cracker cake – chocolate and marshmallow baked directly inside the cake…it never ends!

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