Monday, December 15


Internet, this is what I've been up to for the past two months:

My "Christmas card" for this year... little boxes full of tasty stuff. It was tough to find a recipe that would taste good, look cute AND ship well, but I think I finally did. They're even vegan.

christmas sweets

Vegan Peppermint Brownies
(adapted from Vivacious Vegan)

1/2 cup canola or grapeseed oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup unsweetened soymilk
1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp peppermint extract
1/2 cup unbleached white flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1 Preheat oven to 350ºF. Lightly oil an 8-inch square glass pan.
2 In a large bowl whisk together the oil, maple syrup, soy milk, vanilla and peppermint.
3 Combine flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl.
4 Fold the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and mix until just blended.
5 Spread the batter in the prepared pan. Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Vegan Ginger Bars

3/4 cup non-hydrogenated vegan margarine, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg replacer or 2 tbsp mashed silken tofu
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
pinch of cardamom
pinch of nutmeg
zest of 1/4 orange
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup molasses
3 tbsp water

1 Preheat oven to 350ºF. Lightly oil an 8-inch glass pan.
2 Cream margarine with sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in egg replacer and citrus zest.
3 Combine flour, baking soda, spices and salt in a small bowl. Add dry ingredients to margarine mixture and mix until just blended. Mix in molasses and water.
4 Spread in prepared pan. Bake 28-30 minutes or until batter begins to pull away from edges and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Decorating the Bars

I wanted these to look special, so before decorating I cut them into circles with a small biscuit cutter. This also means you get to eat the scraps. Now you know how unbelievably smart I am.

For the peppermint brownies, I spread a little melted chocolate on the top of each one and then covered it in crushed candy canes.

For the ginger bars, I first made candied orange peel (Giada de Laurentiis has a great recipe for it), and glued each piece on with a little dot of (store-bought! shh, don't tell) icing.

See? Easy. and FANCY.