Friday, June 25, 2010

Speedy Post

Hi! I'm in Ireland right now and am on a computer that costs €1 per 8 minutes, so I'm gonna type fast and won't type much. (The things I do for my readers....)

Last week I hosted a girl, Marie, from Toulouse, France via couchsurfing. I was lucky enough to couchsurf in Charleston through a friend of a friend of a friend, so I felt that I should try to return the favor. (I know it sounds crazy and ''hippy-esque'' but check it out:

Marie turned out to be awesome! Super cute, hip, vegan feminist with VERY good English.

I know....VEGAN! So, she decided to have her own boxed brownies competition. Boxed brownies vs made from scratch vegan brownies.

Once again I used a box that was given to me.
Here were Marie's main ingredients.
I watched mesmerized/intrigued. Especially when she poured the eggs into the mix. Yes...the ''eggs.''
The chocolate mix was made pretty much the way that my supernatural brownies are made, but this was vegan butter!
Well, I HATED the taste of the brownie mixture and it baked very poorly (as seen below.)
Marie's came out very lovely and moist. They came out THE WINNER!
From Marie:
So here is an approximation of the recipe. The ingredients weren't all right that I used in America, so this recipe is going to work better I think! It's the original one from the Vegansfields website:

Vegan Brownies
150gr/5 ounces dark chocolate
10gr/1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
80gr/2,5 ounces non-dairy milk
120gr/1 cup margarine
20gr/2 teaspoons egg replacement (potato starch or corn starch or proper egg replacer)
90gr/3 ounces flour
90gr/3ounces brown sugar
50gr/1,5 ounces of chocolate chips or chopped nuts or candied orange, anything you like really
1/4 teaspoon raising powder

Preheat oven at 180°C, or thermostat 6.
In a bowl, mix together flour, egg replacement, sugar, raising powder. Slowly melt chocolate via microwave or steamer on stove, cocoa powder and margarine together. When melted, remove from stove and add non-dairy milk. Mix well to get a creamy texture.
Add this cream to the dry ingredients and mix well. The batter will thicken somewhat.
Add the chopped nuts (if adding chocolate chips, wait for the mix to be completely cold before you add them, n'est-ce pas...).
Pour into a "margarined" baking pan (or line it with baking paper (?)).
Bake for 23 minutes or until the top is cooked and the inside is not liquid any more (or use the old knife trick).
When it has cooled off, put in the fridge for a night or 12 hours. Remove from the fridge 10 minutes before eating and cut in any shapes you like.

Bake well and prosper!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Monday Distraction via Off the Mark

There is something about Off the Mark and their comics that get me every time! Or maybe it's something about baking birds that I find funny? (See 1st Off the Mark post: Thank You, Off the Mark) Either way, enjoy this distraction from your Monday work day. :)

For more, visit

Bake well and prosper!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Girl & Boy Meet

I recently went to a friend's engagement party and ended up making cupcakes because a guest (and friend of mine) asked me to bring some. (Hi Michelle!)

I had a box of organic vanilla cake mix bequeathed to me from some people who left my apartment building. (For more info, see here: Me, as told by Cupcakes) So, to make more shelf space in my tiny apartment, I decided to whip up some quick cake batter. I also decided to decorate the cupcakes in pink and blue and added hearts to show the love of the couple (and to make them not look like they were for a baby shower.)

So now....a love story told by cupcakes:
Girl meets boy at a party.
Boy and girl start hanging out.
After many dates, laughs, mishaps, awkwardness, fun times, and miles of running, they realize that they have "love, true love" and get engaged.
(Below photo could represent the wedding...or the kids they will have.)
Ha! In all seriousness, congrats to Tiny Jenna & Tall Boy!

Recipe for cake and frosting: Me, as told by Cupcakes

(Why do cupcakes talk to me/tell stories? I should get this look at.)

Bake well and prosper!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

They're Creepy and They're Cookies

Oh yes I did. I DID make Addams Family Cookies. But the real question is “why?”

Well, the TONYs were on this past Sunday and The Addams Family musical didn’t get many nominations, so I figured I’d help ease the blow by making “They’re Creepy and They’re Cookies” in the musical’s honor for the TONY party I went to. Also, I haven’t made sugar cookies/decorated sugar cookies since 8th grade. It was time to experiment and experiment I did! Check out my cookie lab. Muhahahaha!
I had to use a rolling pin! I think the last time I used a rolling pin was for this recipe, I'm a Sell Out, which was back in February!
And look how cool the black food coloring looks when first being mixed. Nice marble effect for a little bit.
I had to use a lot of the black food coloring paste to match the pitch black of most of the Family’s hair. I used these cartoon images of the cast of characters (which are based off the original cartoon) to create the Family:

And, um, yeah....that was pretty messy.
I cut all the characters and letters by hand and then decorated them as closely as I could to their cartoon counterparts.

Now, without further ado, may I introduce to you *drum roll* the Addams Family!
And their extended family. (Yes, that’s Cousin Itt/It, Uncle Fester, Lurch the butler, Grandma, and Thing.)And yes, that is "Snap Snap" written on cookies.Altogether now *singing* The Addams Family - do do do do *snap* *snap* do do do do *snap* *snap* do do do do, do do do do, do do do do *snap* *snap*

PS I saw the show and I LOVED Nathan Lane as Gomez and what do you know....he turned out to be my favorite cookie!
PPS These sugar cookies and the icing were REALLY yummy, which is hard to come by with decorated sugar cookies. Enjoy!

PPPS Thanks to Michael, my neighbor upstairs, for frosting Cousin It and Thing. :)

3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon milk
Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Place butter and sugar in large bowl of electric stand mixer and beat until light in color. Add egg and milk and beat to combine. Put mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl. Divide the dough in half, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with powdered sugar. Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from refrigerator at a time, sprinkle rolling pin with powdered sugar, and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Move the dough around and check underneath frequently to make sure it is not sticking. If dough has warmed during rolling, place cold cookie sheet on top for 10 minutes to chill. Cut into desired shape, place at least 1-inch apart on greased baking sheet, parchment, or silicone baking mat, and bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges, rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking time. Let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes after removal from oven and then move to complete cooling on wire rack. Serve as is or ice as desired. Store in airtight container for up to 1 week.

Erika's Extra: If the dough seems too cold and stiff to roll out, feel free to warm it up a little by rolling it/kneading it with your hands.

4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup shortening
5 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
food coloring

In a large bowl, cream together the confectioners' sugar and shortening until smooth. Gradually mix in the milk and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth and stiff, about 5 minutes. Color with food coloring if desired.

Bake well and prosper!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

C is for Charleston...and Cookie

Last week I was in Charleston, SC and that's why I didn't post anything....or at least that's the excuse I'm giving. (Don't you worry though! I still baked! I made the Malibu Rum Supernatural Brownies [There IS Nature in NYC] for a Memorial Day pool party.)

Even though my allegiance is to NY, I also heart Charleston. It has GREAT food, friendly people, wonderful music during the Spoleto Festival, nice beaches, fantastic history and historic houses, and beautiful iron work.
Every house in historic Charleston has some type of ironwork. (I think it's a law.) ;) I also think it's a law that the sky has to be the perfect color of blue during the summer.
Many of the old houses are painted in very cheerful colors (check out Rainbow Row if you go.) This house is painted with a color I shall name "Chaw'ston Orange."
After tons of shrimp 'n' grits, southern drinks, and sunshine, I headed back to the big apple. Of course, I needed some chocolate for my flight back so I bought Almond Joy Pieces (which is probably in the top 10 on my list of favorite candy.)

While eating them I realized that I HAD to use them in a cookie. So I decided to make chocolate chip cookies with coconut flour and the Almond Joy Pieces instead of the chips.

While using them, I realized that the blue pieces seemed to emulate the color of the Charleston sky.
And once I baked them, I realized that I had the perfect shade of "Chaw'ston Orange" to capture the goodies on.
The result? Well, they were yummy!
Almond Joy Candy Cookies
Use this chocolate chip cookie recipe [Mixed Messages] but substitute 2 Tablespoons of flour with coconut flour. Then use Almond Joy Pieces (see below) in lieu of chocolate chips.

Bake well and prosper!