April 19, 2008

Strawberry Shortcake/Dessert Biscuits

When Michelle said she wanted to make strawberry shortcake, I had a much different idea of what that would be. I imagined the fluffy angel food-cakey stuff, and she kept saying that there were two kinds of strawberry shortcake, and she wanted to make the one that was more like a biscuit. My idea of strawberries on a biscuit was subpar at best. I spent days, years, wondering how ordinary and forgettable strawberry biscuit-cakes would be. After the shortbiscuits came out of the oven, I took a bite and said, "They're like dessert biscuits!"
"Yeah, exactly," Michelle said.
"Why didn't you say that in the first place?" I asked.
"They're like dessert biscuits," she said.

Turns out dessert biscuits with strawberries are pretty fantastic.

Strawberry Shortcake

Dessert Biscuits
1 cup wheat flour
1 cup white flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1/4 cup vegan butter
1 cup soymilk

Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl until it's all one homogenous powdery substance. Cut in the butter. Mix in all the soymilk until it's a doughy batter. Taste the batter and make declarations of how amazing these will be after flattening an icecream scoop full of the batter on a greased cookie sheet and baking for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Proceed to do what you declared.

3 cups diced strawberries
1/4 cup sugar

Put the strawberries in a small bowl, pour the sugar over the top and mix.

April 8, 2008

Many Mini Pies (12 times fast)

The initial ideas for many mini pies originated from a conversation with some friends about baking mini pies, but because mini and many are homophones no one could agree on whether to make many pies or mini pies. And then came the issue of, if we made mini pies, how many mini pies do we make? And how mini should they be?  You can see our dilemma. We decided the mini-ness should be determined by the equipment available to us. Therefore, we used our muffin pan. But feel free to make them as mini and into as many as you'd like. Perhaps a mini muffin pan? These amazing  friends we spoke of watched after Little O for us last weekend while we were on a date.  We made them many mini pies as a thank you. 
Many Mini Pies
We used a recipe we were given for the crust, but any vegan pie crust will do just fine.  And we've got a few disclaimers.  These take quite awhile to put together.  Also, the filling makes a ton.  We only made 12, but we could have gotten at least 24 if we'd had the time.

Blueberry Pie Filling
3 cups blueberries (I used frozen)
4 T corn starch
2 T water
1/3 cup sugar

Mix the corn starch, water and sugar. Pour 
over the blueberries. 
Set aside for about 1/2 hour.

Strawberry Pie Filling
1 quart strawberries, stemmed and chopped
3 T corn starch
2 T water 
1/3 cup sugar

Mix the corn starch, water and sugar. Pour over the strawberries.
Set aside for about 1/2 hour.

Assembly of Many Mini Pies

Preheat your oven to 400. 
Oil your muffin pan. 
Roll out your pie dough.
Using a circular object, slightly larger than your muffin tins, cut out circles from your dough. 
I had some trouble getting them into the pan neatly. After some experimenting I found that cutting them into Pac Man shapes first helped. Then I use some water to help them stick together again.  And, now, for all you visual learners, the pictorial.
Spoon in some filling (about 1 T). 
Bake for about 25 minutes.
I mean, you've got 12 pies, you can't take all those down yourself.

April 4, 2008

Orange Glazed Sugar Cookies

Those orange cookies were haunting my dreams.  They were good, but not just right.  But these.... I couldn't have asked for a better orange/cookie combo.  The sugar cookies are crisp but fluffy and the orange icing takes it to a new level.  Awesome.
Orange Glazed Sugar Cookies
makes about 2 dozen
1 1/4 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/4 cup vegan butter
1 t vanilla
2/3 cup soy milk
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t ginger
2 T apple sauce
2 T brown sugar
To do this recipe only using 4 measuring cups, get out the 1/3 cup, T, t, and 1/2 t.  As a bonus, you'll only need one mixing utensil (a fork in our case).  On the downside, you'll need two bowls, one medium-large for the wet and another small one for the dry.  Pre-heat the oven to 400.  Put the flour in the small bowl (1/3 cup x3 + 4 T) and the sugar in the larger bowl.   Add the rest of the dry ingredients to the smaller bowl and mix.  Toss in the block of butter and smash it up with the sugar (brown too) until it's pretty well mixed, then pour in the soy milk and apple sauce.  Cream it.  Now take the flour mixture and pour half into the dry and mix.  When that's mixed in, pour in the rest and mix.  Try a sample of the batter.  Make comments to self about how tasty that sample was.  Bake for 10 minutes on a lightly greased cookie sheet.  

Orange Glaze
3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 t orange extract
1 T soy milk

Put the glaze on after the cookies have cooled.  The icing is pretty strong, so drizzle it on.