I’m not gluten-free, nor have I delved deeply into gluten-free baking. All those different flours and combinations of grains to deliver the best texture, and xanthan gum…what does it do and why does it cost $14?! Also, some people also have the misconception that veganism is synonymous with gluten-free. There’s plenty of foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that are easily made gluten-free and many candies are naturally free of gluten, but cakes, pastries, cookies, bread, and pies are a little more difficult. I’m not one to reject the unfamiliar, and always willing to learn more about different foods, especially when it’s related to baking. I haven’t been too impressed with the packaged gluten-free cookies I’ve tried before, so I want to taste test as much as possible!
So a little while ago, A Couple Smart Cookies sent me samples of their product to try. Little gluten-free cookie bites in three flavors: Fudge Squared, Peanut Butter <3's Chocolate Chip, and Pumpkin Dates Cherry. Hello, cute names!
I noticed that Vegansaurus reviewed these cookies last year as well and upon trying them, I had a lot of the same feelings. First up, the Pumpkin Dates Cherry cookies. The sweet ginger pumpkin flavor combined nicely with the tart cherries studded throughout. The texture really secured these as my favorite because they were soft and fluffy and I wasn’t thinking about how they were gluten-free. Second, the Fudge Squared cookies. Since these cookies are more like fudge bites than full cookies, they’re very rich in chocolatey flavor. Sometimes fudge bites like this can be overwhelmingly rich, but I think these cookies struck a balance with the amount of flavor and richness. The only letdown was a hint of a grittiness from the rice flour. Finally, the peanut butter cookies were so chewy and sweet, kind of in-between cookie and peanut butter caramel candy, and didn’t really do it for me.
You can buy A Couple Smart Cookies at their online shop. Take my word and try out the Pumpkin Dates Cherry, or check out a sample pack and try them for yourself or a gluten-free friend. You can also check them out on Facebook and Twitter!
A couple weeks ago on Twitter I asked what 17 year old boys like because I was going to make a birthday cake for my brother. Within minutes, the general consensus was BOOBS. While this clearly was the way to go, I wasn’t ready to make a boob cake.
The search went on for a couple days and I finally decided on a cake. His birthday is the day after Halloween and he loves the movies, so a Michael Myers cake it was!
I made the film noir cupcakes and this cake within a few days of each other, so his cake is also pumpkin chocolate chip with sweet cinnamon buttercream.
I was out of red food coloring, so I ended up mixing a rose color with black. Maybe it’s not the same as a true red color, but the pink definitely adds to the gruesome nature of the cake.
Now I’m totally obsessed with painting fondant and cakes, so I ordered a set of food coloring, plus some other colors I wanted to try out, edible glitter, and more fondant. I excitedly found the box waiting for me outside my door over the weekend and can’t wait to make more cakes!
Although Vegan MoFo is over and it was quite a lot of work, I really miss devoting so much time every day to recipe creation, brainstorming blog posts, doing interviews, and actually blogging! Plus reading about what everyone else was doing in their kitchen. MoFo also forced me to use Google Reader, if only to keep up with the hundreds of posts published everyday throughout the month. I quickly realized how intuitive Reader is, and how many blogs I could follow without having to visit them all separately, and now I’m using it full-time.
Looking beyond the grief-stricken lament of Vegan MoFo’s completion, I achieved my goals! The final interviews on Seitan Beats Your Meat were posted days before the deadline and the last post on here made it to a published status while the clock was teetering between 11:59pm and 12am on the first of November. That last post was a sneak peek into today’s post, Film Noir cakes and food coloring paintings!
This semester, I am taking a Film Noir-inspired photography class and one of the major events of the semester was an on-location photoshoot organized by the class. 1940s props and clothing, femme fatales, and dramatic lighting consumed the carefully crafted set. Off-set required just as much planning and organization with the inventory of vintage clothing, props, hair and makeup, model seeking, and food. The necessity of catering obviously made my ears perk up more than usual because I love any opportunity to create thematic baked goods. A thing that I can do! Film Noir? Lustre dust, glitter, food coloring as dark as my soul, fake blood!
I decided to take a more classic approach and paint mini portraits of film noir characters with black food coloring on fondant disks, as well as film negatives and stripes to allude to Venetian blinds. It’s Double Indemnity in cupcake form.
There was totally gold lustre dust to make the mini starlets glitter. The cupcakes were pumpkin chocolate chip (the Vegan Cupcakes recipe) with cinnamon buttercream. I could say the alluring shiny buttercream and sweet pumpkin cake were the façade of a deeper chocolate-studded spicy flavor, much like a manipulative femme fatale seduction of deliciousness, but I’m not gonna lie. I just really like pumpkin cupcakes.
Now I want to paint everything with food coloring onto fondant. I might need to start making up holidays to justify my rampant extraneous cake baking.
I’m catering a photoshoot for my Film Noir class this Thursday and decided to make Noir-inspired cupcakes, so I’m posting a sneak peek of the practicing today. Even if I don’t get to draw and paint as much as I’d like to nowadays (it’s been, like, over a year!), I can pretend I’m painting with food coloring! So here is Barbara Stanwyck’s character in Double Indemnity, 1×1-inch fondant disc version. It’s so nervewrecking painting portraits so tiny with food coloring! Now I’m going to do a billion more of these and I’m assuming my painting skills will return as I go along!
I’ll post a full report later this week after they’re completed and photographed! Happy Halloween and last day of MoFo, everyone! I did it! With about 5 seconds to spare!