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Archive for the ‘baking’ Category

I can’t believe that I haven’t posted this already! Alan’s birthday was last week and I wanted to bake him a cake. This is not something I’ve ever done before. In the past, I would order a cake for him, usually carrot because that’s his favorite. Since becoming vegan, though, I really didn’t want to purchase anything made with animal products. And even if I did go ahead and buy it, well, I couldn’t eat any.  If there is cake in my house I want to be able to eat some. So I decided to bake one myself.

Now I’m sure for you bakers out there, this is not big deal. But if you read this blog, you know that I have made one other cake in my life, so this was a serious undertaking. At least this time I had a proper cake pan!

I found a recipe in the Native Foods Cookbook that looked pretty easy. In fact, the only hard part was figuring out how to grate carrots when the smallest blade on my food processor says ‘shredder.’ I did have some problems with the icing. It just wasn’t thick enough, even after chilling it (and I’ll admit it, adding powdered sugar in the hopes of thickening it up). It was sweet in any case.

This cake was fabulous! Even if I do say so myself. I am sure that my husband will concur. It was light, it tasted great, it was damn near perfect. I don’t even like carrot cake and I loved it. And even with the thin frosting, it was beautiful, too. Tanya’s recipe tells you to use little carrot-shaped slices of carrot with a little sprig of parsley for decoration, which made it look so cute!

Yep, it was a winner!

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>Mmmmm COOKIE!

>Last February, when I decided to take the next step and go vegan, I pretty much cut most sweets out of my diet. Vegan treats are not readily available here in the desert, and the thought of baking them myself never seriously entered my mind. It actually wasn’t that hard. I mean, I finally had a good reason for not giving in to temptation.

It has been a lot tougher for my husband. The man has a sweet tooth (with a capital S!). We both became vegetarians at the same time four years ago, but, although the desire is there, Alan has yet to take the final step.

I’m about to make that a whole lot easier for him.

A couple weeks ago, I was reading one of my favorite blogs, Almost Vegan. I have loved reading about her recent adventures in becoming a raw food chef at 105degrees Academy. What caught my eye in this post, though, were the vegan cookies she had baked from Kelly Peloza’s new cookbook, The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur. I quickly ordered the book from Amazon. (By the way, thanks Amber. On re-reading your post, I found the page for the vanilla thumbprint cookies (page 144). My favorite, which I had somehow missed while skimming through the book. I ❤ you!)

It has been years since I’ve baked a cookie, let alone a vegan one. It has taken a week, and more than a few $$$, but I have finally assembled a cache of ingredients, implements, and accessories for cookie baking. I had not even purchased sugar for more than a year, let alone flour (I always purchased a small can of the “for gravy” version..it suited my needs), baking powder, molasses, chocolate chips (thanks Trader Joe’s!), vanilla extract, cocoa, and so on. Last night, I came home all proud of myself because I’d found the vegan chocolate chips, then realized I did not have either molasses (for one recipe), or applesauce (for another).

Instead of Soft Baked Chocolate Chip Cookies (page 213), I made the Chinese Almond Cookies (page 68), pictured above. They came out pretty good, if I do say so myself. My husband agrees, as does my (vegan) co-worker, who posted on Facebook: that cookie was so good! yummy crunchy deliciousness 🙂

I picked up some molasses and applesauce on the way home from work today, so I’m ready to bake the aforementioned chocolate chip cookies. I’m a little worried, though. If you’ve read my previous post, you know that I’m not quite training at a level that will support a batch of cookies a day. 

Well, I guess that’s pretty good motivation to get my butt out the door. If you are interested in Kelly’s book, here is the Amazon link: 



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