Saturday, August 7, 2010

Baking for Sophie: Recipes and the Baking Experience. Our 50th Post!

This is a long post. But read it. Because there's a really cute picture at the end. It will totally be worth your while.

Sophie's Sale was amazing. The amount of support and love and grief was palpable. And it raised an obscene amount of money. I don't know if I'm allowed to tell you, but I will tell you there are five numbers in there. And no decimal points. And two amazing kids that will benefit hugely from the efforts. It was unbelievable. Hannah is going to tell you more about that. I am going to tell you about how baked we got the day before. Wait, no, how much we baked the day before.

Our bake sale was awesome, as you might expect, since we're pretty awesome. Our also-awesome cousin (and in-house vegan expert), Liz, whipped up three huge batches of vegan cupcakes the night before. She brought two of them. What happened to the Margarita Cupcakes will forever be a mystery. Actually, they're in the compost bin at her parents' house giving some raccoons a pret-ty good time on a Friday night. But anyways, Liz's cupcakes were AWESOME. You couldn't even tell they were vegan. And I mean that from the bottom of my animal-product-loving gut. Now that I'm writing this I am realizing I don't actually have the recipes to post on here. Whoops. Let me go track those down. I'm gonna stop at the compost bin for a quick pick-me-up first.

So, the day before the bake/yard sale, Hannah and I (Julia couldn't be there because she's too busy castrating bulls and saving lives from the spread of epidemiolitis on a farm in Colorado) baked our tushies off. Actually, we kept our tushies right there because we sampled everything. We were snacking on butter, folks. We got up at 9. Okay, SHE got up at 9 and started cooking. Of the many, many things we learned on this baking extravaganza, the first thing we (she) learned was that if the recipe is more than one page, you have to read both pages. Pssht. Lame. Who reads both pages? It wasn't devastating, really just a minor mistake. Muffins that were supposed to look like this:

Ended up looking like this:You guessed it, the crumble's on the second page. Anyways, I picked her right up off the kitchen floor and we made another batch. With crumble. And ay carumble, they were good. Here is the recipe for these delicious crumbly cups of blueberry goodness. Don't forget to tell your sister to read both pages.

So then we were right on to learning another lesson. We were making reverse whoopie pies and we had to cream sugar and butter together. I went out and consulted my mother (the original bitch, you know) because Hannah was making me nervous about creaming the sugar and butter. I came back to tell Hannah what I had learned. Just as I was saying, "...other than not doing it long enough, you can't really do anything wrong" I switched on the mixer and chaos ensued.

There was sugar. There was baking powder. There was butter. There was even vanilla extract.


I hadn't locked the bowl into the bottom of the mixer and I hadn't locked the mixer head in the down position. Turns out, when you're creaming butter and sugar, you really can do it wrong. We laughed belly laughs and exclaimed shouts of disbelief for about five minutes until we got ourselves together and realized what we needed to do.THAT, my friends, is why you have a dog. Okay, this job involved a vacuum too, but Rosie did a great job. She now has diabetes.

Other than being really funny, this mixer experience taught me to a. learn how to use the tool before you turn it on, and b. always put butter, sugar, and vanilla extract in iced coffee. It was delicious. The reverse whoopie pies turned out awesome. They totally looked like hamburgers. They totally tasted like heavenburgers. That may or may not be due to the mass quantities of chocolate, butter, and heavy cream inside.

We actually learned one addition piece of important information during the whoopie pie construction. I made the insides and waited for it to cool, put it in the fridge just like they said, and even put it in the freezer but it just wasn't getting fluffy. If we put that inside of the whoopie pie, it would melt all over the place. It would be like putting a burger-sized amount of barbecue sauce on a hamburger bun. See, they make you think of hamburgers! Anyways, the recipe said to cool it and then whip it. Duh. We finally whipped it and there you have it, perfect hamburgers. Uh, I mean reverse whoopie pies. Here's the recipe. Don't forget to whip it after you cool it.

We made some pretty awesome toffee chocolate chip cookies. It's a secret recipe. I made it up about two years ago. It's my secret. I'm never gonna tell you. Ever. But I will give you a hint. Buy a bag of Toll House chocolate chips. Read the back. Also buy a bag of crushed up Heath Bar (in the chocolate chip aisle). Then hide the other half of the bag of chocolate chips and the other half of the bag of Heath Bar because your boyfriend WILL find them and he WILL eat them.

Don't think you're ever getting this recipe out of me.

Dude, stop licking your computer screen. That's gross.

Next we whipped up some gluten-free chocolate nut bars. Another lesson learned. Read the ingredients of every recipe before going to the grocery store. We had one thing on the list. So I went to the store and got the other eight thousand ingredients and put it all together. These were gooood. They were like candy bars. They went like hot cakes at the bake sale. Check out the recipe and make it for someone you love. As long as they don't have a nut allergy.

Speaking of bars, check out the lemon bars we made. There are a LOT of eggs in this recipe. It's nagev. Backwards vegan. nagev. Get it? The lemon bar making process was pretty uneventful. Hannah didn't think it was puddingey enough. I did. That was about all that happened.

See? Totally puddingey enough.

Then I decided I didn't want to bake anymore. I wanted to sit down and play Puerto Rico. I wanted to watch Project Runway reruns. I wanted to go swimming. I didn't want to bake. But I did.

Next we made the best coffee cake ever. I got this recipe from The Pioneer Woman's Blog. It was so delicious. I am a little uneasy that I just told you that because I am afraid you are going to leave us for the Pioneer Woman. Yes, she is awesome. But don't forget about us, okay? I feel like a smokin' hot supermodel just flirted with my boyfriend. Agh.

Anyways, it's the best coffee cake ever. It is so good. Hannah was getting really good at reading recipes at this point because she saw that the eggs needed to be beaten to stiff peaks. I had beaten them senseless, just short of stiff peaks. Here's the recipe. Hey, stop reading her blog. You can read it once you're done with this one.

So it was about 10pm at this point and we were done, except for the fact that Hannah had to make some zucchini bread. So while she did that I wept in the dining room about not wanting to put price stickers on my grandmother's kitchen utensils.

Hannah will be letting you know all about her zucchini bread, our cute bake sale table signs, and how much fun we had at the sale as soon as she is done globetrotting with her gorgeous family.

Here's the picture you've all been waiting for.


  1. yumm now I'm hungry! I actually like vegan baking just as much as regular. Sometimes vegan is even more moist than regular. :)

  2. Love the helpers!!! Babies and dogs are a must in the kitchen!

  3. We're definitely going to experiment more with vegan baking. Our cousin, Liz, got her cupcake recipes out of a cookbook called "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World"

    Babies and dogs are definitely a must in the kitchen! We don't know what people do without them!

  4. Love the little helper, so cute. And delicious looking Blurberry muffins.

  5. oh my gosh, that picture is waaaaaaay too adorable! i could totally go for some amazing lemon bars right now. i love those things so much, but if i make them i'm sure to eat the ENTIRE pan. i only wish i was joking!

  6. Look at that beautiful little girl! You sure made some delicious looking treats. Are you sure you won't share that toffee chocolate chip cookie recipe? They look amazing!

  7. YUM!! This all looks amazing!! You are totally the next Pioneer Woman (or... Women :)


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