Sunday, September 28, 2008

Mooncakes Part II

Sorry it has taken me this long to post! I have lots and lots of things to post about, but I felt like I owed it to you guys to finish up one project before starting another, so without further ado, I present to you Mooncakes part II

Using a bench scraper or something else of the like, divide your dough into rough 1 1/2 to 2 T increments. (using a half recipe, I got about 8)

Flatten your piece of dough into a rough circle-esque shape. It's okay if it's oblong.

Place about 1 Tablespoon of your preferred filling of choice on the flattened dough. (I used a homemade pineapple as well as adzuki bean filling) Roll into a ball to get....

.......Ta Da! Dough balls!

Flour your molds!

Dust with dough/filling balls with flour before pressing into floured molds. Here's the fun part! Ready, set, BANG!

Twice on the side.....
......aaand once on the top.

Brush any excess flour off the tops of your mooncakes with a pastry or silicon brush.

And voila! They are (almost!) ready to bake. "But wait!" you say. "I have no specialty wooden molds from Asia!" Not to worry friends.....

.....Behold! I give you the cookie cutter. It may be a bit of a hassle finding a set of cookie cutters that are congruent in size though (since you do have to bake these in their molds). If you really don't want to buy that many cookie cutters, then I'm sure you could just press them in shape before freezing (to retain shape) and baking.

Anyways, place a dough ball inside your cookie cutter.
Press! (make sure you fill all the corners if using square ones)

Brush the non cookie cutter ones with soymilk(preferably sweetened) for a better sheen.

REFRIGERATE THESE WHILE YOUR OVEN IS PREHEATING!!! I really can't overstress this, because no refrigeration causes the mooncakes to deform while baking.

SO, preheat your oven to 375 degrees and REFRIGERATE YOUR MOONCAKES!

When your oven has preheated, bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven and flip the cookie cutter ones over and bake for another 3 or so minutes until nice and golden.

Remove to a rack and let them cool.

....and in true Asian fashion, package them up nicely to give away! (or if you're like me, pick the ugliest one and eat it!)

I challenge YOU to make these! Go on, my Asian food loving friends!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Lunar Festival= Mooncakes! (Recipe Part I)

This past Sunday was the actual day of celebration for the Mid-Autumn or Moon Festival, but our town had a major power outage due to the hurricane or something, so celebration was postponed partly because of no light and partly because you simply couldn't see the moon (which is pretty much the whole point of the Moon Festival)!

Anyways, I had the honor of going to our local public school to teach the Chinese Club how to make mooncakes! Of course, I made some at home beforehand so that I would get to eat some before all of the ravaging teenagers finished them off haha.

Here are some of the ones made at the high school:

These are the molds I used for making the mooncakes. Flour them lightly, fill them with your dough-filling package and tap twice on the side and once on the front.

Here's a peek inside of mine (pineapple and sweetened mung bean fillings)!

Now, recipe time!

Vegan Mooncakes
12 1/2 - 13 T EB (in stick form, slightly softened)
2/3 C vegan powdered sugar (sifted)
2 C unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 c plus 1 T Vanilla pudding powder (such as Simply Organics)
1 T Soymilk powder, plain (if you have the sweetened variety, sift out the sugar)
1 Ener-g egg or 3-4 T soy yogurt

  1. Cream the EB and sugar until light and (surprise!) creamy, 2-3 minutes.
  2. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, pudding powder, and soymilk powder.
  3. Gradually beat the flour mixture into the EB mixture in several additions. (It won't be completely compact; don't worry; it's normal for the dough to look crumbly)
  4. Stir in your egg replacer of choice.
  5. Knead it lightly until it comes together.
  6. Flour lightly, wrap and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Seven years have gone so fast.....

......wake me up when September ends*. That's sort of how I felt this morning upon rolling out of bed.

Seven years ago, I was about 7 years old. At the age of 7, my young mind couldn't comprehend what was happening that fateful day. Now, as I look back in retrospect, I see that such grief is a hard thing for a country to bear, much less the individual citizens of America. God Bless the Red, White, and Blue! (with cupcakes, of course)

*it's a Green Day song that used to be popular, in case you were wondering where I got such a random quote.

Where were you on September 11th, 2001?

Monday, September 8, 2008

My Vegan Lunch Box: Stephanie's Sweet and Savory Sandwiches!

In light of the new vegan lunch box book coming out, I decided to make a special lunch post! Here is my lunch box:

Heart shaped PB&J!! It doesn't get any simpler or better than this! Ezekiel bread, peanut butter, and homemade blueberry cinnamon agave preserves!

Star sandwich!! Brown rice "buns" with a filling of chinese vegetarian protein otherwise known in Chinese as "su song (with a long o)" and vegenaise wrapped in the sesame soy wrapper.
Mexi-rolls! Whole wheat tortilla encasing roasted butternut squash, avocado, roasted red peppers, homemade cashew chipotle cheddar cheese, and pureed black beans.
Sushi! This was a brown rice, tempura tempeh, roasted butternut squash, and avocado wrapped in nori type of maki. yummy :)
What's a meal without dessert? This is an American take on Dorayaki which is sort of like whoopie pies. Here I have whole wheat chocolate chip cakes with raspberry coconut creme. yummy!
Here's everybody all together!

Can you say YUM!?!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

D'OH....... NUTS! and wedding cake! and cookies!

Sooo, what have I been doing over Labor Day weekend? Laboring of course! If you consider baking laboring, that is. Wellllll, I painted too.

My friend came from Boston this weekend for a wedding, and we have this tradition of making oatmeal raisin cookies together, so I brought my ingredients over to her house and we had a blast! (She had already changed out of her clothes by the time we got to her house)

This was the weirdest thing ever! You see the little black curly things? Well, the parchment paper actually burnt off! It was really weird! Oh well. The cookies were good, and that's all that matters.

For fun, I decided to make yeast doughnuts! There are always Krispy Kremes at Sunday School, so I wanted to make my own vegan renditions.

These are my rendition of a Krispy Kreme. Plain ol' vanilla glazed. PURE SUGAR!! and fat, too. yummmm.

Maple donuts!!! These were my personal favorite. I've loved maple donuts all my life, but I didn't know that they were maple until I made the glaze for these! I opened the bottle of maple extract and thought, "This smells familiar!" And so through my scental de ja vu, I rediscovered my old friend. :)

Here they are together. So happy together..... (they can't see each other lovin' nobody but... ok. nevermind)

Happy Heart Donuts! These I coated with a cinnamon-sugar mixture. These were my mom's favorite because they weren't too sweet.

My brother had a "singles" party this past weekend (lol) so I made them a [vegan] wedding cake so that they wouldn't go through life not even having ONE wedding cake to call their own. I know, I'm so thoughtful :) haha

Can you see why I've gained several inches all around in this past weekend? haha

Monday, September 1, 2008

Veg Hawai'i: Part III of III: Tofufreak eats KAUA'I!!!!!

Well people, it's now the very last installment of my trip. Thanks for reading about my travels! Enjoy!

Friends, you are looking at heaven on a plate. Pan fried cheese-free risotto cakes with grilled asparagus and balsamic reduction with a drizzle of basil oil and fresh salsa!!! This was REALLY SUPER GOOD. This was probably one of the best meals that I had on all three islands.
On our last morning, I went to the Lotus Root (albeit a little bit ruefully; I was unable to make it to the Blossoming Lotus :'( ) . I got a breakfast burrito that had scrambled tofu, YUMMY seasoned potatoes, black beans, and salsa. What I really loved about the LR was the fact that they had NOOCH IN A SHAKER !!!!!! That was really exciting ;)
RAW COCONUT FUDGE!!!! OH. MY. GOODNESS. Words cannot describe this at all. It was super rich (this was only a half-piece) . Chocolate, Coconut, (and some kind of nut that I can't remember, for the life of me) . I would go back for THIS piece of fudge. Really. Really. Good.
Brownie!!! How good does this look?!?!?! Unfortunately, that's about as good as it gets. It was moist; yes, but other than that, it lacked chocolate-ness, despite it's color and abundance of chocolate chips. :(
Mint Chocolate Cookies!!! I was a little apprehensive of these at first (I mean, mint and chocolate; sure, but mint, chocolate, and OATS?!) Needless to say(hehe I broke off a corner; couldn't resist!), they were VERY extraordinarily scrumptious!
White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Blondies!!! GAHHH!!! These were the best things that I bought!!!! SOOO yummy. Unbelievable. Unbelievable.

Choco-Macadamia Nut- Coconut Cookie!!!!! This one was particularly rich, toothsome, and textured.
Can you see why I was in a sugar coma for about a week? lol.

For lunch on the way back home, I had a tuna-free tempeh wrap that I bought at the Lotus Root. It was light and refreshingly good, especially when compared to the EXTREMELY oily airport chinese food that everyone else was having.

Thus ends my journey to the lovely islands of Hawai'i. Hope you enjoyed!