Craziness, Cookies, and Cupcakes

It seems I spent all of last week in the kitchen baking, prepping, dicing, kneading, waiting…

I don’t have many pictures to prove it, but trust me. It was a lot of work. Fun work. Rewarding work. My fridge and freezer were stocked full of food my family couldn’t eat. We were living off chik’n strips from the depths of the freezer. And edamame. Because I found some of that kind of chilling out at the bottom as well.

So why the madness? It has to do with church again, of course. The biggest fundraising event of the year was on Saturday, and I was helping to coordinate food (again). My partner-in-crime (who I’ll refer to as Doc) was covering most of the day-of stuff. The guacamole, salsas, etc. After all, Doc has a day job. One of those “real” jobs where you wake up in the morning, put on some somewhat nice clothes, and go in for several hours to do some really geek-intensive science-y stuff. You know, the kind of science-y stuff not in a kitchen. I hear that type of science exists.

I covered flatbread dough, bruschetta, cupakes, cookies, and strawberries. And the booze. LOTS of booze. At least I got to buy that at the store!

All told, we made up six flatbreads with a sundried tomato and olive oil base, onion jam, fresh basil, and (sigh) whole-milk mozzarella. Doc made a queso dip with braised beef in it. It smelled fantastic. I salivated. I remained strong. (Woot!) Three salsas graced the table: pineapple, corn, tomato. We probably went through six bags of tortilla chips. There was leftover guacamole this year, which surprised us.

The bruschetta (LOVED IT) was a recipe I found in a Vegetarian Times magazine, substituting nutritional yeast for Parmesan. And of course, there was the always-present hummus. I don’t think a church gathering is complete without it.

Samoa cupcakes made an appearance again, along with a plain vanilla. Apparently, playing it safe isn’t very popular, since there was still a vanilla left at the end of the intermission. It’s okay. A friend came to the rescue and disposed of it for me.

I tried some new recipes, like these almond cupcakes with green tea glaze and marzipan flowers, inspired by the green tea cupcakes over at The PPK.

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Oreo buttercream was a huge hit.

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Turns out people were getting those Oreo cupcakes just for the frosting. Maybe I’ll just do some frosting shots next year and save the cost of flour.

There were so many cookies I don’t even know where to start. We were still eating them during coffee hour on Sunday, and there was enough left over to make up 44 snack-baggies of cookies for the sandwich line on Tuesday morning.

Since I had leftover marzipan, I made cookies for another church event Tuesday evening. almondCookiesAnd these… I’ll give you the recipe for right now.

Almond Cookies

  • 1 C vegan margarine, softened
  • 1/2 C powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp pure almond extract
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 C AP flour
  • 1/2 C finely chopped almonds or almond meal

Beat margarine, sugar, and extracts in a bowl until fluffy. Beat in flour, then almonds. Divide dough into two halves on plastic wrap. Wrap and roll into logs about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Unwrap dough. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350F. Trim rough ends of dough logs. Cut cookie rounds about 1/2-inch thick. These cookies don’t spread, so you can arrange them on the cookie sheet quite close. Just don’t allow them to touch. Bake 15 minutes or until the edges begin to turn golden. Allow to cool 2-5 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Green Tea Glaze
(recipe from The PPK, but she didn’t include directions for some reason)

  • 2 T margarine, melted
  • 1 C powdered sugar
  • 1/8 – 1/4 tsp unsweetened matcha tea powder
  • 1 – 2 T coconut milk
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • Drop of vanilla

In a small bowl, combine margarine and matcha. Whisk (I used the whisk attachment on my beaters) until combined. Add 1/4 C powdered sugar and beat. Add almond and vanilla extracts and another 1/4 C sugar. Use coconut milk as needed to thin the mixture appropriately to keep it smooth. Add in remaining powdered sugar 1/4 C at a time until entirely incorporated. Use a butter knife or small spreader to spread glaze on the cookies. Decorate elsewise (Is that a word? It should be a word.) as you wish.

 

 

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