The Bombing of the Cookbook Challenge, et al.

Well, clearly I bombed the cookbook challenge.  I just started graduate school and cooking because I “had to” started to become a heavy weight on my chest, so I just stopped.  I haven’t updated the blog because I figured I would just delete it.  I didn’t end up deleting it, so I should probably post in it, eh?

Vegan Loot!! And this, my friends, is why you should never go shopping with an empty stomach. I went to Whole Foods to see if I could find FYH cream cheese, but instead I got Lara Bars, Luna Bars, Tings, Vegan American cheese slices (I need grilled cheese), Vanilla Soy Dream (which I needed…I was out…so, legitimate), espresso clusters (I don’t know why since I do NOT consume caffeine…I was senselessly hungry…figured I’d have one and give the rest away), chocolate soy pudding, bakery chocolate chip cookies, bakery berry muffin, Wayfare Cheddar Spread (this stuff is AMAZING! Try it!), Wayfare Mexican cheese dip (haven’t tried this one yet), and Tofurky kielbasa. SO much vegan goodness.  I guess I’ll have to try Trader Joes for FYH cream cheese, although I don’t hold out high hopes because the Trader Joes near me stinks.  I haven’t tried the FYH yet and I’m interested to see how it compares to Tofutti.  I like Tofutti cream cheese ok, but I’m not blown away by it.  It’s adequate on a buttered (Earth Balance, not butter!) and broiled bagel, but really, once you butter up a bagel and stick it under the broiler, it’s difficult to ruin.

About Wayfare products.  They sent me a few coupons for free tubs, so I marched right out to get some.  I started with the Cheddar and ate it all in one sitting.  Not ashamed.  It was *that* good.  Since then I’ve been on a Wayfare roll.  If you have not tried their products, I highly recommend them.  They don’t have that chemical taste that so many of the vegan “wannabe” products have, like cream cheeses and such.  The cheddar, for example, is very much cheddar-like, but it doesn’t try to pretend to be dairy cheese.  But oh my, it is so very good.

So, while I haven’t been cookbook challenge cooking, I have been cooking.  I haven’t been taking a lot of pictures, though.  I made the following for the cookbook challenge, but I was ahead of myself.  These are for week 11, which is still some time away. At any rate, I offer up this:

East Coast Coffee Cake (Vegan Brunch)

This coffee cake was tasty, but it lacked a certain something.  I’m thinking the actual cake could have used some cinnamon.  The topping called for cinnamon, but the cake itself didn’t and it was a little bland.  It needed some extra flavors to play around on the palate.  Still, though, very good, and a nice go-to recipe for a simply coffee cake.  In the book there are a few variations listed; in the future I will definitely have to try a few.  I think next time I make this I will add some diced apples tossed in cinnamon to the cake.  I also like dry rolled oats in my streusel type toppings, so maybe I’ll do that, too.

Bakery Style Berry Muffins (Vegan Brunch)

I started getting the ingredients together for this and remembered that I ran out of vanilla extract (how does one run out of vanilla extract??).  I decided to sub 1 scant tsp almond extract instead of the 2 tsp vanilla extract.  I went with blueberries for these.  A few minutes before they were done, I took them out, brushed some melted Earth Balance on the top, and sprinkled some sugar.  I’d have preferred raw sugar because it has larger crystals which go really well on top of baked goods for that extra crunch, but this had to do.  I didn’t get 12 muffins out of this; I made 10 because I hoping that if I filled the tins up more they might have bigger muffin tops…no such luck.  I used frozen blueberries, so I tossed them in a bit of flour and stuck them back in the freezer while I made the batter.  I took them out of the freezer at the last minute and folded them in.  This kept my muffins from turning purple—frozen blueberries make purple muffins if you don’t coat them with something.

These were really good.  The batter was freakin incredible.  The almond flavor was fairly prominent (so reduce by half if you try it this way if you aren’t a huge fan of almond extract) in both the batter and the muffins.  The muffins tasted almost like Spritz cookies. The muffin flavor and the blueberries went well together.

I stuck the muffins in espresso cups because, well, I thought it was cute that way.

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One Response to The Bombing of the Cookbook Challenge, et al.

  1. Ben Clardy says:

    Vegan coupons??? Nice. Gotta get some. Probably not in my local paper though, heh.

    Coffee cake looks delicious! Maybe it needs some very, very, very light dribbles of frosting.

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