I just got back from Vida Vegan Con a little over a week ago (and went directly to school to start off the semester!) and spent the weekend mostly unconscious battling the Post Vida Vegan Con Sickness of Death, which is strep and a cold! Fun! I actually didn’t mind having a legitimate excuse to spend the weekend on the couch in pajamas watching movies and horrible horrible television. But anyway, EXCUSES, EXCUSES. I just wanted to quickly check in (I’m blogging in class…awkward!) with a few things before writing my fully-fleshed Vida Vegan Con blog posts.
1. My friend Katie just redesigned her blog with illustrations from Amanda Chronister! And she’s currently doing a really awesome fundraiser and raffle that ends in one week! Send your Ride to Light donation receipt. Read all the details and find out about the prizes here!
2. The Macnocheetoh Burrito and Coconut Deep Fried Oreos from Homegrown Smoker, AKA crack! I’ve been dreaming about this meal in all it’s deep fried glory for over a week. Let’s look at it more:
3. Panda Cookies! My friend Lisa of Panda with Cookie made these cookies in PDX and they are the cutest cookies ever!
4. Vida Vegan Con podcasts! Erika and Jordan of The Cosmopolitan Hour were busy recording during the conference and you can listen to their drastically awesome VVC special in two parts! Jasmin of Our Hen House was recording at the conference too, and you can listen to episode 86 here! The VVC podcasting workshop notes were also posted on Our Hen House, so check them out.
A girl needs to branch out a little! I like variety! I’ve spent the summer making so many different kinds of baked goods: cookies, cupcakes, donuts, cakes, mousses, and more, and loving every minute. It’s not so much of a secret anymore that I’m working on a new book! The theme this time is baked goods inspired by drinks, which includes not only cookies, but every kind of baked good I’ve decided to tackle. Here are a few teaser photos (and a recipe) to get this show on the road!
Chai Latte Milkshake Cupcakes
A sweet vanilla chai-spiced cake with chocolate ganache, and sweet cinnamon vanilla bean buttercream.
Raspberry White Wine Glazed Donuts
Raised, deep-fried donuts are so fun to make. I’m obsessed and working on lots of donut recipes! These donuts are dipped in a white wine, raspberry glaze. I posted the recipe on Rose Pedals last month.
Note: Gnocchi didn’t really eat the donuts.
Espresso Lemon Shortbread
Elizabeth, who is testing for me, said at Italian restaurants on the East Coast it is common for espresso to be served with a bit of lemon zest on the rim of the glass so you can breath in the flavor of the citrus while drinking the espresso. I’ve never heard of that before, but I really liked the idea and it inspired an espresso lemon zest shortbread.
Coconut Shirley Temple Cupcakes
Very similar to the Shirley Temple Cookies, but in cupcake form with a coconut milk base! Yum!
The long overdue Mad City Vegan Fest post!
On June 19th, the very first vegan fest in Madison, WI witnessed an amazing turnout of over 1,300 people for a day of delicious food, cooking demos, vendors, and community. I was so happy to be a part of the demo line-up, all the details of which can be found on the Mad City Vegan Fest website! Thank you so much to the organizers, Hannah West and Courtney Mayhew, and all the volunteers who worked so hard to create such a successful inspiring event!
I did a brief write-up of the event over on Vegansaurus so check it out here for the who/what/where/when and even more puffy heart vegan fest love.
The day was absolutely insane! There was so much going on in every corner and so many people-both familiar faces and new friends. Add in preparing for my demo, and by the time I got to sit down with a bite to eat, the day was starting to wrap up! I started setting up in the kitchen when I first arrived to the Goodman Community Center, then headed over to the exhibitor hall, got some food samples, and ran into lots of amazing people until it was time to prepare for the demo.
Laviyah Ayanna of the Ste Martaen Chicago vegan food truck was one of the food vendors. I was smart and forgot to bring cash to vegan fest, so later in the day when I was able to get mac n cheese, I was too late…oops! Luckily the vegan food truck comes up to Milwaukee pretty regularly on Saturdays, so the mac n cheese-shaped hole in my heart can be filled soon.
Photo courtesy of Sandi Swiss
Nicole working some Upton’s seitan magic.
Pssssst, if you’re near Chicago this upcoming Saturday, July 23rd, there will be a Vegan Chef Showdown by Upton’s Naturals to benefit Mercy for Animals. Check out all the info on the Facebook page. I will be there! And competing!
Photo courtesy of Sandi Swiss
Jasmin Singer and Mariann Sullivan of Our Hen House gave a speech about baketivism called Let the Donut Do the Talking.
Photo courtesy of Sandi Swiss
I met Jasmin and Mariann for the first time in Madison and we instantly became BFFs like vegans do, and I visited them in NYC a few days later where we did an interview for Our Hen House. It appears on Episode 78, which you can listen to here or through iTunes. Episode 76 is all about Mad City Vegan Fest and includes interviews with Terry Romero and Courtney Mayhew, so listen to that one too! And all the other episodes because Jasmin and Mariann are fantastic and their podcast is informative, inspiring, and witty!
I demo-ed a brand new recipe, Shirley Temple Cookies, a light shortbread-like lemon orange cookie topped with cherry grenadine frosting, a candy straw, paper umbrella, and maraschino cherry.
I chose to demo these cookies because the decorations are elaborate, but fun and easy to do. I called up two volunteers to help decorate the cookies-the first hands that went up belong to Sandi of Canary Confectionery and Ayame. They helped pipe the frosting and top the cookies with all the garnishes to be ready for everyone that came up for a sample. Even with two rounds of Shirley Temple Cookies and a huge sample platter of chocolate peppermint cream bars, the cookies were gone in two seconds flat. Demo success!
Demo photos by Katie Young
My second batch of Shirley Temple Cookies:
Up later was Terry Romero’s demo. Terry being awesome in the kitchen:
Terry did a cooking demo on Chipotle Seitan and Potato Tacos from Viva Vegan!
There was an after-party at High Noon Saloon in Madison after the event with a donation-based cover. Pizza was delivered-my slices had Daiya cheese, pineapple, onions, and jalepenos. But the real star of the show was the cupcakes!
Jessica Weisnicht of Compassionate Cake donated 180 gorgeously decorated cupcakes for the after party.
The cupcakes were all decorated with buttercream, intricate white chocolate shapes, and handmade fondant sculptures. Flavors include soy milk and cookies, almond vanilla sponge cake, and Merlot…
…coffee and donuts, rosewater, Earl Grey agave…
…orange flower water agave honeybees, death by chocolate, chile chocolate, and those butterflies are edible!
…margarita, chocolate ganache, maple bacon, and cherry cheesecake!
Jessica truly went above and beyond with the full table of desserts. Jessica is not new to veganism, but she is to the community and it’s so great to have such an amazing addition to our vegan world (I was debating what word to use here. Circle? Scene? Those all sound so cult-ish…ahem, you know what I mean)! I am continually astounded by the kindness and talent in the vegan community and so happy to know so many wonderful people over the past several years. I’m excited to see what else delicious and cruelty-free is going to happen in the future!
I was lucky enough to be at Mad City Vegan Fest in Madison, WI over this weekend giving a baking demo! I demo-ed my new recipe for Shirley Temple Cookies, a light lemon orange-flavored cookie that melts in your mouth, topped with a cherry grenadine frosting, sour straws, mini umbrellas, and a cherry on top! Mad City Vegan Fest was a great time, the demo went fantastic, and I left simultaneously inspired and needing a good night’s sleep!
I’ll be out of town for the next week, so I’ll be doing a full write up on the fest when I get back (and check Vegansaurus soon for a write up I’ll be doing later today on the demo)! Here is the recipe:
Shirley Temple Cookies
Makes about 2 dozen cookies
These cookies are meant to replicate Shirley Temple drinks. Not the sad, fake lemon-lime corn syrup-flavored concoction, but real kiddie cocktails—fizzy citrus cherry flavored drinks topped with fruit slices, umbrellas, and cherries on cocktail swords to make every eight year old at weddings and social functions their parents dragged them along to feel grown up and sophisticated.
½ cup margarine
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup powdered sugar
1 ½ teaspoons lemon zest
1 ½ teaspoons orange zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed orange juice
¼ teaspoon almond extract
2 cups flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup non-hydrogenated margarine
1/3 cup non-hydrogenated shortening
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon grenadine
1-2 tablespoons juice from maraschino cherries
Maraschino cherries and sour or fizzy candies for garnish (I used Sour Patch Sour Rainbow Belts rolled up and stuck in thick milkshake or bubble tea straws cut into 1-inch pieces)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Stir together the margarine and oil in a large mixing bowl. Gradually add the powdered sugar, then stir in the zest and juice and almond extract.
Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix until just combined. The dough should be somewhat thick. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes until the bottoms are golden and the cookies are firm. The flavors are so delicate, so be careful not to overbake them. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
In the meantime, make the frosting.
Beat together the margarine and shortening, then gradually add the powdered sugar, beating after each addition. Add the grenadine and vanilla extract and beat for 5-8 more minutes until smooth and fluffy.
To decorate the cookies, spread or pipe the frosting on. Top each frosted cookie with a cherry half and candy, then serve!
Coconut Hot Chocolate Fudge
Made with coconut milk and oil, these are vegan, soy free, nut free, and gluten free!
Coconut Hot Chocolate Fudge
Makes an 8×8-inch tray
This fudge is made the traditional way and takes a little more work than your average fudge, but it’s beyond average with its smooth texture and rich gourmet chocolate taste! I adapted it from the basic chocolate fudge recipe in a zine I wrote called Vegan Candyland, which I adapted from Alton Brown’s non-vegan recipe. This version uses coconut oil and milk instead of margarine and soy milk, making it soy-free as well!
2 ¾ cups sugar
2/3 cup cocoa powder
3 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1 cup coconut milk
½ teaspoon coconut extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients except the extracts in a medium-large saucepan.
Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and place the lid on the saucepan. Cook for 3 minutes.
Remove lid and cook to soft ball stage (238°F, or when a spoonful of the mixture dropped into a cup of cold water holds its shape and is pliable and squishy like a soft caramel ball), 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently.
Turn off heat and let mixture cool to 110°F, forty minutes or so, then add the vanilla. Stir the mixture like crazy with a wooden spoon for a couple minutes. Pour into a parchment-lined 8×8-inch pan. If the fudge starts to solidify in the midst of pouring it, moisten your hands and press down the fudge. Let cool, cut into small squares, and eat!
The past month has been very long and very busy, but most of all, very full of baked goods and bake sales! I don’t even know where to begin!
May 4th: Mini Bakery at Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design’s Student Union
I held this sale at my school during finals week. Starting in the fall, I am going to set up a bakery stand monthly or so and sell vegan treats to MIAD students and anyone in the city of Milwaukee who can make it to the Third Ward that day!
I put this sale together in 2 days and baked: Vanilla Cupcakes with Pink Vanilla Frosting, Oreo Cupcakes, Espresso Cupcakes, Chai Spice Cupcakes, Mini Cupcakes, Salted Caramel Cupcakes, Chocolate Russian Cupcakes, Lemon Rosewater Cupcakes, Shirley Temple Cookies, Cinnamon Rolls, Blueberry Streusel Muffins, and two kinds of Snickerdoodles! Phew! When I have more time to prepare, I plan on amping up the display!
The next day was a gallery show at the MIAD Union Erie Street Gallery. I talked more about it in detail on this Seitan Beats Your Meat post, but here’s the cupcakes I made for the show again! Salted Caramel and Mexican Hot Chocolate.
May 14th: Milwaukee Vegan Bake Sale
Unfortunately, I was unable to attend this bake sale, but I dropped off a few baked goods with my friend Stephanie, who runs Milwaukee Vegan Bake Sale.
I made Earl Grey Lavender Tea Cakes…
…and more Salted Caramel (these are getting around lately)!
The Milwaukee Vegan Bake Sale raised $922 for Doctors Without Borders and The Urban Ecology Center! Yay!
May 21st: Cookies4Kids Milwaukee Bake Sale
Cookies4Kids Milwaukee was held to raise money for pediatric cancer. Here’s a great post from Lori of Burp! Blog who organized the bake sale. Over 45 bakers donated, and while the bake sale wasn’t vegan, some local vegan bakers including myself baked for this event so there was a selection of vegan treats at the sale! Bon Jovi was in town that day and only 4 blocks away at the Bradley Center. Despite our massive group of people tweeting at him to come visit, we never heard from Bon Jovi. Even so, $2100 was raised at the end of the day!
Part of the sale, and a vegan section.
The haul I brought home that evening, with special Gnocchi appearance.
While setting up the bake sale, a giant cardboard box was delivered to the sale. Upon opening it, I saw dozens of gorgeous cupcakes inside, each elaborately decorated and neatly packaged. When I looked closer, I saw that they were vegan and immediately got excited (and secretly thought that something so awesome just HAS to be vegan)! These cupcakes are Banana Split, Root Beer Float, Strawberry Balsamic, and Coffee and Donuts, made by Jessica Weisnicht.
I sent a picture to Twitter and everyone showered the cupcakes with compliments. I wondered how I didn’t know this awesome lady yet and decided that we need to be friends.
Meet my new friend Jessica! We met up at the Riverwest Co-op last night to talk cupcakes and for dinner with Stephanie, Lindsay, and Colleen. Jessica of Compassionate Cake does stunning work and I was so glad to see more of it in person and spend several hours talking with her!
Fortune Cookie and Peanut Noodles Cupcakes
The “noodles” are made with peanut butter frosting and the broccoli is fondant with frosting and green-colored non-pareils.
She made all four of us a cake! This is the Napa Valley Chocolate Cake, infused with Merlot and it’s all mine (but I’ll share!). Check out the Facebook page to see the other cakes!
If you need more incentive to come to Mad City Vegan Fest this Sunday, Jessica will be there with cupcakes! Done deal now, right?
The schedule for the festival is posted here. If you’re planning on coming, we’ll see you there! <3
I’ve been meaning to make the blog new and shiny for quite a while! A brand new logo, domain, layout, and features! I’ve been working on making the new blog just right over the past week, getting rid of clutter, and polishing the design to make everything much cleaner and easier to navigate through. Check out the drop down menus at the top of the page for new sections, videos, a new and improved recipe section, FAQs, blurbs about the book from some awesome ladies, and updated everything! The search function is still on the sidebar, but you can find the archives, blog roll, categories, and more at the top of the page. I’ve been testing out the links and settings to make sure everything is working properly and will continue to do so as I add more to the site and work out the kinks while everything is still new, but if you come across anything broken, please let me know and I’ll fix it right away. Thanks for reading! I hope you guys enjoy the new blog!
What’s a first post on the new version of the blog without new cookies? These are Shirley Temple Cookies, a chewy citrus cookie with grenadine cherry frosting. They’re a new tester recipe. Ooh la la!
Comment #9, Danielle, who is partial to craisins and walnuts!
Yay! Email me your mailing address at kellypeloza at gmail dot com and your prize will get to you asap.
P.S. I’ve been working on something for the past week and am going to reveal it later today! Woohoo! Hint: It’s not a new book. I can’t write a whole book in a week. But hey guess what I am working on a new book too.
Here’s some strawberry banana waffles while you wait.
I’ve been keeping really busy lately with recipe writing, research, and behind the scenes work on projects lately. I’m hoping to have lots of new goodies and information to share very soon!
Here are some new recipes that are in the works.
Mexican Mojito Wedding Cookies
A twist on the basic Mexican Wedding Cookie, infused with lime, fresh mint, and a healthy dose of tequila.
This was my first time working with phyllo dough. I’m not one to read instructions most of the time, so I jumped right in with a traditional non-vegan baklava recipe for reference. There was definitely a learning curve, but I made an agave syrup baklava infused with chai spices and tea!
This was kind of a quickie post, but I have a giveaway for you guys! This is a new flavor of Laura’s Wholesome Junk Food: Cranberry Breakfast Bite-lettes. They taste a lot like oatmeal cookie dough with a generous helping of dried cranberries scattered throughout. They also have a hint of a spicy orange flavor. Vegan, wheat-free, and kosher. You can win two 7oz tubs of these cookies.
To enter, comment on this post with your favorite add-in for oatmeal cookies (doesn’t have to be cranberries to win!). I’ll announce the winner next week on Wednesday, July 1st. US entries only, please.
Finally, the long-awaited bake sale post! I attended one of Chicago’s Vegan Bake Sales for Japan at the beginning of the month and even as a baker, it was one of the few times in my life being surrounded by hundreds, maybe over a thousand cookies, cupcakes, brownies, cakes, and everything in between. The picture above is what I brought: sugar cookie lollipops, vanilla cupcakes, and tropical rum and coke cupcakes.
This bake sale was seriously decked out, and raised an amazing $1526 over the course of 5 hours. There were several other bake sales going on the weekend of April 3rd, as well as throughout the month, and continuing in May. Vegan bake sales around the country easily raised over $10,000 just that weekend, so imagine how much is raised as bake sales are being held regularly, especially with the recent surge of sales in the aftermath of the Japan tragedy. Between the tight-knit nature of the vegan community and the desire to be positive and help when disaster strikes, vegan bake sales are just one way the vegan community is actively making a difference everyday. High five!
Before we get to the cookies, I wanted to touch on an issue that presented itself before this specific bake sale, and was a topic of conversation that day. When the announcement for this bake sale was posted online, it received a disproportionate amount of hateful, ignorant comments that ranged from comments like “sorry. I hate catastrophic earthquakes, but I hate vegans even more” to stupid vegan jokes to the absurdity of a vegan bake sale because it’s not possible to make vegan lemon meringue pie. In general, just argumentative comments about the bake sale being vegan. As if it were crazy to raise money for a humanitarian cause and not exploit animals in the process. Or have baked goods that both vegans and non-vegans can eat.
All I have to say to that is…shut up and start your own non-vegan bake sale if you really care. Jessica, the organizer of this bake sale, got in contact with a few of the naysayers and told them that very same thing, or offered to collaborate in the future to make an even bigger bake sale and raise more money for a good cause. Were they responsive? Nope!
In lieu of lemon meringue pie (I’ve never had lemon meringue pie…am I missing out on something earth-shattering? Though maybe we’ll find a recipe in Isa and Terry’s upcoming pie book!), here is the Chicago Vegan Bake Sale for Japan:
Red velvet whoopie pies!
Root Beer Float Cupcakes (from My Sweet Vegan, I’m guessing)
Bleeding Heart Bakery cupcakes
The Ste Martaen vegan food truck came by with some real food to quell our sugar high. This is the Carolina BBQ sandwich.
Here’s what I ended up bringing home with me. Clockwise from upper left: scotcharoos, apple pie turnover (atop a red velvet whoopie pie), green tea raw cheesecake, red velvet cake balls, Bleeding Heart peanut butter and chocolate cupcakes, cookie dough cupcakes, green tea mini cupcake, and raw coconut bar.
Frosting cupcakes with cookie dough is pure genius! Yum yum yum.
Great job, everyone! Can’t wait for the next one!
Speaking of bake sales, there are TWO that are coming up soon in Milwaukee.
Cookies for Kids’ Cancer Bake Sale & Silent Auction – Milwaukee
Saturday, May 21, 2011
1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Best Place At The Historic Pabst Brewery
901 W. Juneau Ave.
More info: www.mkefoodies.com
Facebook invite: http://on.fb.me/gQWLAo
Donation page: http://cookiesforkidscancer.kintera.org/mkefoodies
Cookies for Kids’ Cancer: www.cookiesforkidscancer.org
This sale isn’t exclusively vegan, but there will be many clearly labeled vegan goodies available! So far, I know that my friend Amy and I will be there with baked goods. The awesome organizer, Lori, called out for vegan bakers a few weeks ago, so I’m sure there will be lots more! Come out and support a great cause! See, vegan and non-vegan bake sales can co-exist!
The next Milwaukee vegan bake sale will be on…
Saturday, May 14, 2011, from 10 AM – 5 PM at
Urban Ecology Center
Riverside Park branch
1500 E. Park Pl.
Milwaukee, WI 53211
Plan to come out to the next bi-annual Milwaukee Vegan Bake Sale, and check out the website to sign up on the google doc to donate baked goods.
I know that I’ve been very absent from the blog (and Seitan Beats Your Meat) lately. That’s mostly because I’ve been absolutely slammed with final projects lately. My semester is ending in less than two weeks, so when I’m not in the studio shooting for final photography projects or writing papers, I’m trying to get a few hours of sleep at night, or trying to relax a bit. My writing would have probably reflected my current mush of a brain right now, so I waited to tackle these blog posts! I just finished a huge research paper, so the next couple weeks will be busy, but a little more manageable! The work on the blogs I’ve done recently has been very little things here and there (as well as guest posting on other blogs), and I’m currently working on logos and re-vamping them, so good things will be coming eventually!
Weaved into all the school busy-ness, I am trying to figure out how I’m going to spend the summer (besides 13 hour school days twice a week for summer school…yes, I’m crazy), writing recipes, and maaaaybe starting work on a new book. I’m already in the works of planning to bake for my school’s union in the fall, and may be having a preview bake sale at the very beginning of May. I don’t have details ironed out yet, but it will probably be very last minute, so keep updated on Twitter and Facebook if you’re in the area.
To go along with that, I am going to work on selling baked goods locally, offering catering services, and selling online more frequently. Yay! There’s a lot of work that goes into that with deciding on packaging, health codes, ordering ingredients, promoting, designing, business cards, and so much more, so it’ll be a good project to tackle soon! With wedding season coming up, I was thinking about making cookies like the monogrammed V hearts above on a larger scale, or selling online. What would (local and not-local) vegans like to see in the upcoming months?
Another shout out for Mad City Vegan Fest in Madison, WI on June 19th! Mark your calendars! Amongst the awesome lineup of speakers and food demos, I’ll be doing a baking demo.
For more recipes on sugar cookies, check out Reader’s Digest and try your hand at veganizing them.