Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Dark Chocolate-Dipped Candied Citrus with Vanilla Infused Sea Salt

conflicted confections.
Dark Chocolate-Dipped
Candied Navel Orange + Clementine Slices 
with 
Vanilla Infused Sea Salt.
confections gotta be confected.

Apparently today (yesterday, as I post this) is (was) national dipping things in chocolate day, or some equivalently contrived BS foodie holiday. I loathe participating in these things and tend to avoid them like the transparently disingenuous plague they are. Yet here I am, joining in. It really couldn't be avoided. Sometimes confections need to be confected and this was a pre-planned, pre-holiday food gift prep day that just so happened to fall on 
an unfortunately coincidental calendar square.
But I feel a little tool-y about it all the same...

Addendum-- all previous complaints notwithstanding, if there's ever a national
vanilla-infused sea salt day, I'm all over it. 
That stuff is worth a cynical and VERY public sacrifice of integrity.

candied.

dipped.


Dark Chocolate-Dipped
Candied Navel Orange and Clementine Slices
with 
Vanilla Infused Sea Salt
(makes about 25 pieces)

3-4 medium sized organic navel oranges +
3-4 organic clementines
(should yield somewhere around 4c, once sliced)
6c water
2c (+ 1-2Tbsp) unrefined sugar
1/2c dark chocolate chips 
2tsp unrefined coconut oil

1Tbsp finely ground sea salt
1/4 fresh vanilla bean pod, halved

Friday, November 14, 2014

Cinnamon-Oat Crumble Stuffed Baked Apples

baking things inside of things.
Cinnamon-Oat Crumble
Stuffed Baked Apples.
again and again and again.

If I read (or consider writing) one more "tis the season" post I may vomit in protest. The seasons are changing, leaves are falling, it's cold all the time, we all get it. That being said... the "cooking things inside of other things" time of year is inevitably upon us. Most of these things inside of things fall into the traditionally squash-based category or the profoundly horrifying category (Turducken, anyone? Of course not, because it's fucking disgusting). Now I'm not much of a stuffed squash person and my views on the other thing should be abundantly clear, but there is something about the concept that feels kind of right. Putting foods inside of other foods seems appropriate as we're stuffing ourselves inside of long sleeve shirts inside of sweaters inside of coats. So bake this cinnamon-oat crumble inside of apples. 
It's like a winter coat for your insides. 
Plus it's a dessert you can eat for breakfast 
and we all need more of that in our lives these days.

soon to be much less colorful.

fallen.


Cinnamon-Oat Crumble Stuffed Baked Apples
(serves 5-6)

5-6 medium sized apples* (I use a mix of macintosh and cortland)
*make sure the apples will fit tightly into your baking dish, I use a 9" square 
which fits 5-6 depending on their size
1/2c vegan butter
1/2c unrefined sugar
1/4c light brown sugar
1/4c whole wheat pastry flour
3/4c rolled oats
2tsp ground cinnamon
1/2tsp ground sea salt
1tsp vanilla bean paste (extract will work, too)
1Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

*1/4c fresh cranberries, halved (optional)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Baked Apple Cider Donuts with Cardamom Cinnamon Sugar

donuting.
Baked Apple Cider Donuts 
with
Cardamom Cinnamon-Sugar.
Donuting, or to donut. Its a verb.

If you live in New England, come fall, you go apple picking. I'm pretty sure it's a law in most states.Like if you don't go a guy in a tricornered hat shows up at your house on horseback and takes you forcefully at musket point. Either that or a hefty "apple-picking non-compliance" fine will be levied against you, probably hand delivered to your house by a guy wearing knickers and ringing a bell. So apple picking we go. Because, and I admit this grudgingly, its actually pretty fun. That is if you can get past the hordes of screaming children, ridiculous shtick-y corn mazes, and annoyingly packed hayrides full of suckers (hayrides are indeed for suckers, unless they're free. that's all I'll say on that subject). Standing in a sun-soaked apple orchard, wearing a seasonally appropriate (!) sweater and picking fruit right from the tree is pretty much the best thing about fall. Throw donuts into the mix and the enjoyment level rockets off the charts. Sadly, for the more plant-based among us farmstand apple cider donuts are not an option. This has been an annual, almost soul-crushing disappointment for me. So this year, instead of giving the side-eye to every overjoyed person around me eagerly shoving apple cider donuts into their facehole, I took action. Apples were picked, donuts were baked, 
and the "autumn in New England" circle was completed.

that sparkle tho...

found. and the one that got away.

Baked Apple Cider Donuts
with
Cardamom Cinnamon-Sugar
(makes one dozen)

dry:
1 1/2c whole wheat pastry flour
2/3c light brown sugar
1/2tsp ground sea salt
1tsp baking soda
1Tbsp ground cinnamon

wet:
1Tbsp finely ground flax seed + 3Tbsp boiling water
1tsp vanilla extract
3/4c applesauce
3Tbsp apple cider
1/3c avocado oil (or other neutral oil)

topping:
1/4c unrefined sugar
1tsp ground cinnamon
1/2tsp finely ground cardamom

Friday, October 3, 2014

Raspberry-Cashew Cream Cheese Pinwheels in a Coconut Oil Crust

my head hurts and everything smells like berries...
Raspberry-Cashew Cream Cheese Pinwheels
in a Coconut Oil Crust.
worth it.

Did you ever have one one of those delayed hangover mornings where you don't realize the full extent of your hungover-ness until you undertake a way too massive baking project? C'mon, anyone? This is not a situation I find myself in too frequently as of late; sadly (?) my reckless "party like a rock star all night then bake vegan treats all morning" days are waning. But the weekend will ALWAYS call for baked goods and in that two day span I will, on occasion, go a little to hard at the brown liquor. And yeah, on some mornings those two things can create slightly unpleasant overlap. Last Saturday was a full day and night of social consumption but I jumped out of bed the next morning bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and almost annoyingly pumped to make use of my handpicked raspberry haul from the previous week. I had battled many a bee for those perfect little berries and they were destined for greatness. So tea was made and dough was cranked out like nobody's business. Then the fatigue set in. My eyeballs started to feel dry and the thought of continuing to move my body in any way at all became massively unappealing. But I was already in too deep, raspberry pinwheels were the chosen course of action for the morning and there was no turning back. The rest was a blur of whirring food processor blades, berry-stained fingers and uncontrollable sweating, but at the end there they were.
All pink and swirly, and totally worth it.
This is life in the fast lane, my friends.
It's not for everyone, but for those that can handle it...
Party like an aging rock star, make raspberry pinwheels, rest, repeat as necessary.
Or sub out the whole party thing and just make the damn pinwheels.
Your head will hurt way less and there are still delicious baked goods at the end.



do what the sign says.

seasonal rituals: u-pick at sunshine farm in sherborn, ma.