Vegan Baked Goods Galore!September 20, 2011
Oh, what a Sunday it was.
No, that’s not quite right. This is what a Sunday it was.
Why all the vegan baked goods, you ask? What, you mean I need more reason than I was hungry? Okay, I’ll admit: even my stomach isn’t that bottomless. As it turns out, this was all done in preparation for a vegan baking workshop I’m leading at UofT this Friday, where I’ll be teaching some eager students how to bake vegan cookies and cupcakes. As a newly hired philosophy TA, I’m used to teaching people things that I’m not actually qualified to be teaching them, so this workshop should be a snap for me—nonetheless, I wanted to make sure I’d be prepared and somewhat familiar with the recipes myself before teaching them to others.
And it’s a good thing I did, because these practice batches did not go completely smoothly. Take the first batch of cookies I attempted: these Salt-Kissed Peanut Butter Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies from Oh She Glows…
These were, unfortunately, the pretty ones of the bunch. Now, I don’t know what I did wrong (perhaps a little too much spelt flour?), but for whatever reason I couldn’t get these cookies to hold together. The result was still deliciously edible, yet embarrassingly crumbly—in other words, not something I’d want to demo to others.
So it was back to the drawing board, where I decided to try out another recipe: Oh She Glows’s plain Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies!
I had actually made these cookies a few nights before, with great success; however, the original recipe has you creaming butter, and we simply don’t have the time or the equipment to have all our workshop participants cream butter at the same time for their cookies on Friday. So I tried a simple substitution: 1/3 cup canola oil for the called-for 1/2 cup of vegan butter. Thankfully, it worked like a charm, and although I definitely prefer the butter variety, the oil variation is plenty good. As you can see, these cookies came out nicely flat, and they’re wonderfully soft and chewy on the inside. Success!
Last but not least, I wanted to try out our workshop cupcakes. We’re using the basic vanilla cupcake recipe found in the excellent Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World (and also available online here), which is as easy as it is tasty. In addition, I topped mine off with Macadamia Maple Butter Cream frosting, as found in Dreena Burton’s Eat, Drink & Be Vegan, like so:
We probably won’t be using this frosting recipe at the workshop, given its pricey ingredients; I was just trying it out for my own sake. In particular, I wanted an excuse to finally taste maple butter, a creamy spread made by heating, then cooling, then heating, and then stirring maple syrup. And let me tell you: it’s delightful, though I wish its flavor came out more strongly in this frosting, which unfortunately ended up tasting a little too much like the silken tofu that was its base. (Not that that’s gonna deter me from eating these cupcakes in the least.)
So there you go—three stellar vegan desserts, all irresistible and all easy to make. Try them out for yourself. And wish me luck at Friday’s workshop!
Until we eat again,