I’ve Been Missing Out

Every holiday that warranted a pie meant lemon meringue. It’s my dad’s favorite so it’s what my mom always made. I have never been a fan of lemon meringue. The meringue was always weird and chewy and the lemon was just weirdly congealed lemon juice. If we didn’t have pie we had bishop’s pie dessert, which is as processed and church-food as it gets. I think it originated at a restaurant and it’s basically a graham cracker crust, chocolate pudding mixed with soft ice cream, topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. Classy.

What I’m getting at is we didn’t have those traditional holiday pies until I became a teenager who liked to cook. Then there more be an apple pie or a pumpkin one. But never pecan. Ever. I don’t know why, it just didn’t happen and I made it nearly twenty-six years without having a piece of pecan pie and now that I’ve experienced it I feel sad for all those missed slices. Though truth be told I probably would have had a lot of crappy, overly sweet pie before I got to the one I made today. I was talking about pies at work today and a co-worker was aghast that I’d never had pecan pie so I resolved to make it when I got home. I went with the maple pecan pie from the always awesome and completely fail-proof Isa from the PPK.

I’m fighting every urge to go have another slice. But that can wait until breakfast I suppose. I can promise that this will be making an appearance at an upcoming holiday.

CAKE!

With all the cookies I bake I sometimes get a hankering for something a little different. Something that takes a bit of effort. Something that involves copious amounts of frosting. And finally something that will assure me of not forgetting my frosting skillz acquired so painstakingly in Iowa City.

Of course I could bake a cake for no reason, but where’s the fun in that. So instead I whipped up a celebratory cake for my bike-ridin’ official pancake and coffee maker, whom I happen to share a bed with. He did a 100K gravel bike race on Sunday and because he endured through such shitty weather (rain, hail, snow, cold, etc) I thought he needed a treat. Plus I’m baking the cake for my goddaughter’s fourth birthday in a few weeks so I wanted to practice.

Enter Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World. This tasty little concoction is one layer of peanut butter cake, one layer of banana cake, ganache in the middle, chocolate buttercream all over, and more ganache on top. The little truffle looking things on top are in fact truffles. Cake truffles made from the first pb cake I made before I put parchment in the bottom of the pans (I flipped out a half cake instead of the whole one I wanted).

The cake truffles are actually the wheels on bike I piped on with the extra frosting. Money Shot:

We’ve now devoured about half the cake with very little help from our roommate. We are cows, happy cake eating cows. And this is why I love him so so so much.

The ganache was just 1/2 c. soy milk microwaved until boiling. Then pour in 8-10 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips and let it sit for a few minutes. All you have to do is stir it up until emulsified, let it cool, then eat with a spoon. Well or actually do something constructive with it like fill a cake or make truffles. Speaking of truffles. The cake truffles were simply half a baked peanut butter cake that was left out overnight to stale and the remaining ganache all thrown into a food processor and pulsed until it formed a ball. Chill in the freezer for a while, roll into balls, and cover in something (cocoa, walnuts, coconut, tempered chocolate, the list goes on).

Brownies

Despite the fact that I would rip the head off of anyone who tried to make me do sterotypical female chores circa the 1950’s, I do enjoy some of them. Today I washed dishes by hand, made the bed, and mixed up a batch of brownies for my sweetheart. Just because. But like I said, I find it relaxing and enjoyable. God help the poor soul who tries to make an independent woman do household duties in the same mindset of 60 years ago.

 

I don’t have my camera with me, but maybe sometime in the future I will post of a picture of these delightful brownies. Until then the recipe will have to do. Along with the knowledge that if I was left alone I would eat the entire batch.

Gooey fudgy brownies

 

    1 cup sugar (I used refined and demerera mixed)

    1 cup AP flour

    1 cup whole wheat flour

    2/3 cup dutch process cocoa powder

    1 teaspoon baking powder

    1/4 teaspoon salt

    1 banana, mashed

    1/2 cup canola oil

    1 cup soy milk

    1 teaspoon vanilla

    2 tbsp. maple syrup

    2 handfuls chocolate chips

 

Directions:

 

Mix wet and dry separately. Add wet to dry and mix to combine. Add chips, spread in a greased 9×13 pan. (a 9×9 would make a really thick gooey brownie)

Bake at 350′ for about 20-25 minutes. As soon as the edges are dry and the center is set they are done. Brownies are one of the wonderful treats that are better when underbaked.

The Mango Tango Revolution

The cupcakes were a huge success at the birthday. The best compliments I get are from middle-aged omnivore ladies. And they loved them as much as the rest of us. Since I had some leftover mango pudding I made more today. My mom was really bummed that she didn’t get one so I made mini mango tangos today. Along with some carrot muffins from Veganomicon. 

Yeah I burned the coconut a little. Doing too many things as once. But damn they are good.

And since there was leftover batter of both I made mini cakes. They’re chilling in the freezer for the weekend and I’ll frost them next week. The reason they aren’t being consumer right now is I’m going out of town for my mom’s families’ annual girls’ weekend. All the women 18 and over hang out all weekend eating, chatting, being bums. Its great. Except the food. This will the first time I’ve been since becoming vegan. Hence the plethora of baked goods coming with. This should be an experience.