Tag Archives: cream cheese

Just Another Chocolate Cupcake

13 Feb

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Today has been… meh.  I’m going to whine for just a few minutes.

I was up late last night due to spa night with the girls in my wing, and actually slept in this morning (8:00am is sleeping in, right?).  Then I put myself together and went down the University Center to have some breakfast… maybe.  The amazing sous chef made me my very own vegan pancakes and tofu scramble (I ate way too much, but it was totally worth it).

It must have been a combination of my full tummy and not so much sleep last night or maybe just a lack of motivation, but by the time I got back to my room to tackle my Spanish homework, I crashed.  I tried as hard as I could to focus, but couldn’t.  All I could think about was how nice it would be to curl up in bed and take a little siesta. But it was sooooo beautiful out today that I couldn’t bear the thought of wasting precious hours of sunshine, especially since the forecast for the next week or so is rain, rain, rain, and oh yes – more rain.  So I hopped on my bike and headed out to the bookstore, hoping that the combination of sun, activity, and the joy of brand new drawing pencils would wake me up.

And it did!  Until I got back to my room.

So then, I figured I would bake, because that’s always a valid answer to an overload of unfinished homework.  But, again my plans were foiled as the produce (which shall remain nameless, because the recipe is yet to come) that I was planning on making cupcakes with were rotten.

Awesome.

Not to mention the fact that my peace and quiet in the lounge was slowly dissipating into not-so-peaceful quiet due to people hanging out in my baking space (ok, fine – it’s not my space, but I do like to be able to watch Food Network while I bake, and this impromptu hang out was messing with my zen).  So… I went back to my list of chocolate flavors, and picked a different one.

I think I’ve already proven to you that blueberry and cream cheese are a match made in heaven.  But what about chocolate, blueberry, and cream cheese?

Oh, yes.  This is what we call the cure-all for the shitty day.  The panacea for foiled plans.  The perfect dose of chocolate and fruit and creamy creamy cream cheese.

You know  you want it.

CHOCOLATE BLUEBERRY CUPCAKES

  • 1 1/2 c. AP flour
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 c. cocoa powder
  • 3/4 c. soy milk
  • 1/4 c. blueberry preserves
  • 1/3 c. oil
  • 1 tbsp. white vinegar
  • 2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F and prep your cupcake tin.  In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients.  Then, in a separate bowl, mix the wet.  Mix the two together just until combined.  Scoop into your cupcake tin and bake for 20 – 25 minutes.

Fill with cream cheese frosting with some blueberry preserves mixed in, then top off with cream cheese frosting and enjoy.

Advertisements

The Triple Threat

24 Jan

Alright, folks.  Fasten your seat belts.  Get ready for an avalanche of awesome.  An inundation of incredible.  A flood of fascinating.  A deluge of deliciousness.  A fountain of “f**k yeah!”  And a Niagra of “no freakin’ way!”

Yes way.  I have recipes.  That’s right.  Plural.  Brace yourselves, ’cause this is gonna be amazing.

These recipes have nothing to do with each other, except for the fact that I baked them all today (okay, fine, I baked them yesterday), and they are all vegan.  Duh.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

First, we have the florentines.

We make these at the bakery where I work back home in Portland.  Basically, they’re almonds and corn syrup, but I decided to put my own little spin on them.  At the bakery, we either dip the flat ones in chocolate, or we roll ’em up and stuff ’em with mocha buttercream, then dip the ends in chocolate.  Wow, they’re good.

Or, they were.  I can’t eat them any more, because they’re not vegan.

So, I made these.  I wanted mine to be smaller, so I used my mini cookie scoop that I rave about all the time.  I was going to mold them around mini muffin cups when they came out of the oven so I could stuff them with the  buttercream, but they kept sticking to the molds, so I stuck with the little tacos.  *Sigh*

Also, after about four pans of them, I realized I wasn’t baking them long enough.  Of course, the pan after I realized this burned.  Whoops.  So, I upped the oven temp a little, and that’s how these happened.  I filled them with buttercream and dusted them with powdered sugar.

FLORENTINES

  • 8 oz. sliced almonds (crush about half of them into smaller pieces)
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. maple syrup (I used this instead of corn syrup for two reasons:  1.) I don’t like using or storing corn syrup, and 2.) I never use corn syrup, so it didn’t make sense to buy a whole bottle for one recipe)
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 stick non-dairy margarine

Toss the almonds and the flour together in a bowl.

In a sauce pan, over medium-low heat, melt the margarine.  Then, add the sugar and maple syrup, upping the heat a little and stirring until the mixture is simmering and bubbly.  Add the flour-almond mixture and stir until it’s all coated and gooey and delicious looking.  Then, take it off the heat, transfer into a bowl, and let it cool off.

Scoop onto your cookie sheets* and bake at 350°F for… oh.  Shoot.  I have no idea how long these baked, so just wing it.  Probably somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes.

*Be sure to space your cookies fairly wide – only four or six to a pan, as they spread like mad.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Next, we have blueberry cream cheese danishes.  Just the name makes me drool.  And I made them!  Successfully!

Here’s the kicker:  I used frozen puff pastry.  Ok, you all have exactly 30 seconds to boo and yell at me and throw tomatoes at your screen, telling me how I really should just learn how to make my own puff pastry, because it’s a valuable life lesson if you’re going to continue on in the baking milieu, and that you can’t believe that I used frozen dough when I’m always complaining about people using cake mixes and claiming that they actually made a cake.

Ok, time’s up.

I know  I should have made my own puff pastry, but I’m going to make it up to you.  I fully intend to learn how to make puff pastry in the next month or so, the problem is, I want to learn how to make it in a kitchen, not in my third floor, carpeted lounge with a teeny tiny oven and a crazy table that’s two feet shorter than what a real kitchen counter should be.   I go home Friday night, so within two weeks of today, you will be able to laugh at my hideous attempt at puff pastry, and I’ll repost this recipe.  Deal?  Ok.

Although the pastry came from the store, the rest of the idea is totally mine.  Trust me.


BLUEBERRY CREAM CHEESE DANISHES

  • 1 recipe of Amy’s puff pastry (which currently does not exist), or a package of the Pepperidge farm stuff, which is vegan!
  • 1 8 0z. container of Tofutti’s cream cheese
  • a heaping 1/4 c. sugar
  • dash of vanilla extract
  • splash of almond extract
  • blueberry preserves (NOT JELLY!)

Thaw out your puff pastry according to the box.  Ahem, I mean prepare puff pastry according to a recipe.

Beat together the cream cheese, almond, vanilla, and sugar until creamy.

Now, to assemble your pastries.  Cut the pastry dough into strips about 1 1/2″ by 6″.  Take a strip and smack it against the table a few times, then twist it up length-wise.  Then, take the long twisted piece of dough and wrap it around your pinky finger, making a flat circle disc thing – aka, your danish.  (And, yes, it is important that it’s your pinky finger, otherwise you end up with a big gaping hole in the middle of your danish, letting all the good stuff fall through to the pan.  Don’t do that.)

Take your handy dandy mini cookie scoop (if you don’t have one, you poor, sad, pathetic soul, you can use a teaspoon or half teaspoon) and dollop a little bit of the cream cheese mixture into the center of your danish.  Again, be sure you can’t see the pan through the middle of the dough – these are danishes, not doughnuts.

Then, top off the cream cheese with a scoop of blueberry preserves, again using your nifty cookie scoop.

Then, stick ’em in a 350°F oven for about 40 minutes (maybe more), or until the bottoms are nice and golden brown.

Once they’re cool, top them off with your favorite glaze.  I usually just start off with a cup or so of powdered sugar, then add milk or lemon juice to it until you get the right consistency.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now, blueberry lime muffins.  I had leftover cream cheese mix and blueberry preserves, so I whipped up these bad boys.  I think my roommate’s exact words were, “holy crap, that’s good.”  So you know they must be good.

LIME MUFFINS

  • 1 3/4 c. AP flour
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 c. canola oil
  • 1 c. nondairy milk + 1 tsp. vinegar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • juice and zest of one lime (I’m going to play the poor college student card one more time – as I wasn’t aware I was making these when I rode my bike to the store the other day, all I had in my room was True Lime, which is basically powdered lime, but it worked fine too)
  • the rest of the cream cheese mixture from the danishes
  • blueberry preserves

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Mix dry ingredients together, then add the wet.  Scoop batter into muffin cups, add a mini scoop each of the cream cheese mix and the blueberry preserves and a little more batter on top, and bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until the tops of the muffins spring back when you touch them.  This recipe made exactly twelve for me, and if you make the muffins and the danishes at the same time, you have exactly enough to do one package of puff pastry and twelve muffins.

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed my recipes!  More to come later today…

Maple Cupcakes

18 Oct

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This is my protest against this month’s Cupcake Hero.  I would be okay with a theme ingredient that was dairy – because you can use soy milk and it’s still milk, or almond-based cheese and it’s still considered cheese.  But honey?  You can’t sub for that without removing the innate honey-ness of it.

Let me clarify.  I’m not a huge bee-rights advocate.  If a recipe unequivocally, undeniably calls for honey or I’m having a bad day and absolutely craving honey-dijon kettle chips, then I’ll break down and use the gosh darn bee regurgitation.  And I have to have my burt’s bees chapstick.  But honey?  As a theme ingredient?  No.  I can’t bring myself to construct a cupcake of honey and then post it on my vegan blog, and then still claim to be vegan.

So I decided to make a cupcake of the vegan version of honey.  No, not agave nectar.  That’s lame.  And I’ve never actually used it.  Nope, I’m using maple syrup – it’s plant based, it’s vegan, it’s delicious, and it’s fall-ish (fall-y?  fall-esque?  fall-like?)

Simple, yummy, sweet cupcakes that smell AWESOME right out of the oven.

Can you say “om nom nom”?  No, say it out loud.  Come on now, say it with me “OM NOM NOM.”

There you go.

MAPLE CUPCAKES

Heat oven to 350̊F. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt. (Note:  this is total crap.  I never sift, and my cupcakes always come out fine.  I just throw it all in the bowl at the same time, and it saves you having to lug out another bowl.)  Whisk the oil and sugar together.  Add in the egg replacer, syrup, and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture by thirds, alternating with the buttermilk (end with the flour).  Scoop into cupcake tin and bake for about 20 minutes.

Makes 24-ish (Ok, fine.  24 exactly with enough left over for my roommate to have some decent bowl-lickin’ time.  But I don’t like saying how many a recipe will make because it never makes what you say it will make.  This recipe was supposed to make 18.  Case in point.)

Another note:  These cupcake rise more than normal ones.  Usually, I do one and a half cookie scoops-worth, but these only needed one scoop.

MAPLE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

  • 1 8-oz package Toffuti cream cheese
  • 1 stick non-dairy margarine
  • 1/2 c. maple syrup
  • Almond and vanilla extract
  • 4 c. powdered sugar

Just like any other frosting.  Cream the tofutti, margarine, vanilla, almond.  (The recipe says to add the maple syrup here, too, but I would wait until the end because my frosting was a smidge on the soupy side)  Then add the sugar about a cup at a time.

Pumpkin Cupcakes

3 Oct

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I have a friend from Texas who doesn’t like pumpkin pie.  WHAAAAT?  How can you not like pumpkin pie?  When I asked her how she could be American, she answered, “sweetie, I’m not American, I’m Texan.”  Fair point.  Anyway, I guess if you’re from anywhere besides Texas you’ll love these.  And even if you are from Texas, maybe you’ll be able to find a place in your heart for these little cakes –  adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe.

It took all I had while I was making these not to just eat the batter right out of the bowl.  It tasted just like pumpkin pie.  And when you top them off with cream cheese frosting?  It’s almost enough deliciouness to kill you.  Om nom nom.

PUMPKIN CUPCAKES (makes about 24)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) non-dairy margarine, melted and cooled
  • 4 large eggs-worth of Ener-G egg replacer
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree

Preheat oven to 350̊F.  Basically, just mix together all wet ingredients (except the pumpkin).  Then add the dry ingredients, then the pumpkin, mixing just until it’s all incorporated.  Bake for maybe 20 minutes or so, until they pass the toothpick test.  Top off with some cream cheese frosting and you’re good to go.

Cream Cheese Frosting

29 Jul

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. (vegan) cream cheese
  • 1 stick (vegan) margarine
  • Vanilla & Almond extracts
  • 4 to 4 1/2 c. powdered sugar

Directions:

Duh.  Just like every other frosting recipe out there.  Cream the margarine and cream cheese, then add the extracts and finally add the sugar until it’s the right consistency.  Bam.  Most amazing cream cheese frosting you’ll ever taste.  And it’s vegan, if you’d like it to be.