Friday, November 19, 2010

Essentials for Holiday Treats

The week before thanksgiving I start to get really excited for the baking and candy making that generally fills my late November and December calendar. I’m not a big sugar person the rest of the year, but during December I could easily consume thirty pounds of sugar. But before I become a sugar filled Tasmanian devil, I have to stock my pantry with all the staples for the December sugar rush.

Sweetened Condensed Soymilk

Make your own (I just found this and my mind is blown- never tried it- will get on that!) or order it through Pangea (they ran out a while ago, but don’t worry, it’s back). It’s essential for fudge and caramel sauce.

Vanilla Soy Creamer

A key ingredient for baking, I use as a substitute for milk in most baking recipes–it’s a bit thicker than regular soy milk and tends to make consistencies a little thicker, generally ending in better results.

Pumkpin Puree

Essential for pumpkin pies, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin pie fudge, veganized cherpumples (ok, if anyone actually makes one of these, please, please, send me pics!), and pumpkin pasties! (By the way, I am uber excited about Harry Potter 7 pt. 1 opening and will, in celebration, be making some pumpkin pasties tomorrow. I have decided my version will be southern style fried pies, filled with pumpkin pie filling)

Ricemellow Crème

Fudge, fudge, fudge! I really like to make fudge during the winter holidays. I’m sure there are other things you can use for

Vegan White Chocolate Chips

A necessity for cookies and fudge (if you don’t just want chocolate fudge)

Peppermint Candy Canes

Peppermint bark anyone? Peppermint topped fudge? Tree decoration? Many uses, one candy.

Agar Agar

While perusing the lofty shelves at the Seattle Public Library yesterday, I ran across a gem of a cookbook from the 70’s entitled The New Joys of Jell-O (as opposed to the old joys of Jell-O?) and is full of ornately molded “food” in neon colours with bits of fruit and/or vegetables suspended throughout. Watch out world: this holiday season, with the help of agar agar, vegans will join in the garish retro food revolution. (I draw the line at jelled gazpacho. That’s some sick shit.)

Egg Replacers

Bobs red mill…extra firm silken tofu…flax seeds. All must be kept on hand at all times to use in tandem or on their own. Stay tuned for uses.

Cookie Cutters, Pie Cutters and Gelatin Molds.

I’m not even going to ask what you would make for a custom cookie cutter, but the possibilities are endless. And while it’s true that pie crust cutters are totally extravagant, I just love the kitsch factor of trees adorning a pie crust. Also, don’t tell me zombie brain molds are only good for Halloween. Fuck that- don’t you know zombies don’t care what time of year it is? When those bitches want brains, those bitches want brains.

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