Vegan Oatmeal Cookies (tofu as egg substitute)

Accepted an challenge to make dairy free baked goodies.  Tried to use tofu as egg substitute.  Texture turned out very close to real egg.  I put in too much spice but overall it is pretty decent.  Though I still miss eating real butter + egg version.

Ingredients

Quantity Unit Item
150 ml gold shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/2  cup brown sugar
1 1/2  cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger powder
130  g tofu
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F.

Cream shortening & sugar until light and fluffy.  Add tofu, lemon & vanilla extract.  The consistency is actually a little stiffer than your normal batter made with egg.

Stop mixer and add flour all at once and fold in flour by hand. Then add oatmeal and raisins and mix until all are well distributed (but avoid over mixing).

Bake for 9 to 10 minutes or until golden brownie (see above picture for desire colour)

Detail Step-by-step Pictures

Use regular slow cook rolled oat for more texture.  Raisan is optional

Use regular slow cook rolled oat for more texture. Raisan is optional

Sift flour with salt, baking soda and cinnamon

Sift flour with salt, baking soda and cinnamon

Vegan oatmeal cookies batter.  Look just like normal cookies batter.

Vegan oatmeal cookies batter. Look just like normal cookies batter.

Dish out even portions and ready for baking!

Dish out even portions and ready for baking!

Done!  My first vegan oatmeal cookie. Still soft and slightly crumbly.

Done! My first vegan oatmeal cookie. Still soft and slightly crumbly.

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Liebesgrübchen – “Love Pits” jam filled sweet paste cookies

Aren’t these the most adorable looking cookies? These cookies are very buttery delicate and not overly sweet . The jam filling add just extra bonus touch of fresh sweetness. They are also pretty easy to make! I am happy my co-worker’s mom has shared this wonderful recipe with me. Thanks my co-worker for translating the recipe!

For those who can read German.  Here is the original recipe

Zutaten:

  • 175g Mehl,
  • 65g Zucker
  • 1 Packung Vanillezucker (oder 1 Teeloeffel Vanilleessenz)
  • 2 Eigelb
  • 125g Butter oder Margarine

Zubereitung:

Für die Füllung braucht man rote Marmelade, was immer man gerade hat. Die Zutaten werden zu einem Mürbeteig verarbeitet und kühlgestellt.

Anschließend formt man kleine Kügelchen aus dem Teig, macht mit einem mehlbestäubten Holzlöffelstiel eine Vertiefung (Mulde) in die einzelnen Kügelchen und füllt etwas Marmelade hinein.

Auf einem gefetteten Backblech (oder Backpapier) 10-12Min. bei ca.175°Celsius backen.

Here is the translation! ;-)

Ingredients:

  • 175g flour ( I used pastry flour)
  • 65g sugar
  • 1 package of vanilla sugar (I still have my very limited supply from my last Germany trip back in 2010 ;-)  You can also substitute with half a vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract)
  • 2 egg yolks (this is the key why these cookies are so delicate!)
  • 125g butter (I used unsalted butter with a tiny pinch of salt)
  • ~3 tablespoon of your favourite jam – recently I have been using Maple Syrup Pumpkin and I really like it!
All the ingredients

All the ingredients

It is actually very simple. You put together all the above ingredients  following sweet paste method.  The key is don’t warm up and cream you better to incorporate too much air.  Just mix sugar and butter until all evenly incorporated.  Add your yolks gradually, and sift all the flour into the butter mixture at once.  The cookies dough will turn out a bit wet and too soft to handle.  You should warp the dough in plastic warp and put it in the fridge for at least a couple hours (better yet, over night).  Then they will be much easier to handle.

Dough is ready! Always remember to put in "date" & "name"!!

Dough is ready! Always remember to put in "date" & "name"!!

When you are ready to bake this cookies, just take the dough out and evenly portion the dough.  I like to use my ice-cream scoop for quick & easy portioning.   You then roll out the cookie dough into perfectly roll balls.  Then use top of wooden spoon to poke a hole in the middle for filling jam. Be careful when you are poking that hole, you  don’t want to push all the way down to the bottom because jam will be leaking!

Dip tip of wooden spoon in flour before poking a hole in cookie dough to avoid sticking

Dip tip of wooden spoon in flour before poking a hole in cookie dough to avoid sticking

Perfectly even holes punched into the cookies dough and ready for filling with jam!

Perfectly even holes punched into the cookies dough and ready for filling with jam!

Remember  to leave some space in between because this dough will spread

Remember to leave some space in between because this dough will spread

Baking in 350F oven for 10 minutes.

Sweet Christmas Gift – Christmas Cookies

Christmas Cookies Platter

So glad that I can make use of the cookies making I’ve learned from Chef Macro from the Pastry Training Centre of Vancouver.

My own Scottish shortbread & gingerbread stars are certainly tasty but can look a bit boring in a huge cookie plate.  By adding cookies with names that I am still learning to pronounce, all of a sudden the whole cookie plate looks a lot more interesting.   The top snow white cookies with silver balls decoration is Pfeffernüsse.  The shell like cookies next to Pfeffernüsse are Spekulatius.  There is my personal favourite: Elisenlebkuchen  (but I am still hopeless in saying that German name correctly =P).  At the centre is my own creation of rolling Scottish shortbread little balls into match (green tea) powder and icing sugar.  There is also very neat looking checker-board cookies.  I even created those four tiny swirl pattern cookies with side trimming (did not waste a bit).  That is a pretty impressive collection eh?

The following is gift set of six different kind of cookies:

  • peppermint candy cane biscotti with chocolate drizzle
  • Vanille Kipferl (yes more German name, you know the theme of my baking course ;-)
  • marble cookies
  • “BMW” style checker-board cookies
  • Pfeffernüsse
  • Spekulatius

Cookies Gift Set

Finally as fun activity for my good friends’ kids. I made a stack of “Winnie the Pooh” gingerbread cookies for the little ones to decorate. I had a blast decorating with them. They probably enjoyed the 6 bowls of different type of candies lay out for decoration more than the actual decorating part. That is just the greatest Christmas memory that I will always cherish.
Making of Winnie the Pooh Gingerbread Cookies

Instead of buying a gift card or another electronic gadgets for your friends, consider making them a batch of home made cookies. It is a lot of fun making and consuming =)

The World of Cookies

This past few weeks have been very busy at work.  Hence no blog post update for a month.   I am so glad that even in a very busy week, I could make time (by getting up before 7am and going to bed after 4am) to take my 3rd baking course “The World of Cookies” from chef Marco’s Pastry Training Centre of Vancouver.  I have learned so much and this is definitely the most fun course so far!

You probably make thing anyone can make cookies why bother taking a course.  But the cookies covered is not just the ordinary cookies.  Making them feel like making “dim sum” of pastry.  Small piece of wonder that requires lots of different technique if you want to present a collection of display that can “wow” people.

Base on the following ingredients, can you guess what kind of cookies we are trying to make?

ingredients of the first cookies - chocolate chips cookies (chef macro way)

ingredients of the first cookies - chocolate chips cookies (chef macro way)

We started with the American classic chocolate chips cookies but this is made with real chocolate instead of  never melt during baking chocolate chips.  The resulting cookies have rich caramelized taste with wonderful melt in your mouth chocolate felt.   It is also really nice to learn recipe that can make by hand without bring out kitchen aids.  It is petty nice upper body workout ;-)

Already looking very impressive and colour with only portion of the cookies display

start arranging cookies for display

start arranging cookies for display

Beautiful eisenbahner & linzer (aka hazelnut cookies).  Eisenbahner is the main reason why I take this course and I loved it.  The look and taste is amazing and sophisticated that you simply cannot buy it from regular bakery.

Eisenbahner &; linzer cookies

Eisenbahner & linzer cookies

Learned a couple cookies I have never heard of before: Fianacier  & Florentine .  I really like Florentine (the following pictures) because it so rich yet well balanced with a rather delicate sweat paste bottom.  It was such a smart combo that is rich but not unbearably sweet like most  regular cut square cookies

Florentine

Florentine

Really enjoy this course and I am going back to for more.  Signed up Christmas cookies.  Looking forward to learning making more interesting little wonders of pastry world – cookies :-)

Chocolate Chips Cookies

Browsing my list of recipe and find I actually never post the most basic cookie recipe.  This is because I never come across a recipe that I really like the result until I found this from very interesting post about “A Day in the Life of an Intern-Making the Perfect Chocolate Chips Cookie“.  It is so neat to have peak into such a “sweet” intern job.

Here is the ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups of butter (I used unsalted butter, so I added in 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the recipe)
  • 1 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup of firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 2 cup of chocolate chips ( I used 1 cup of chocolate chips + 1 cup of  chocolate fudge chips)
Sift flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda together and set aside.
With stand mixer, using paddle attachment in medium speed, cream butter with sugar & brown sugar until fluffy and light.  Then in measurement cup, lightly beat the eggs & vanilla and gradually pour in the egg mixture to sugar butter mixture.
Preheat oven to 375F.  Then take mixing bowl out and use hand and spatula to mix the flour into batter. I find hand mixing flour result in more tender cookie and you have less flour flying in your kitchen ;-)
Scope out the cookie with ice-cream disher on parchment paper (or silicon baking sheet) lined cookie sheet.  The cookie will grow!!  So remember to leave a lot of space in between.
Baking 8 Cookies per Sheet

Baking 8 Cookies per Sheet

Look closer, notice I have split the perfect round scope of cookie dough a half and reattached together.  This result in a slightly rough edge (more natural) look.  The cookie can spread more evenly with this slight alternation!  Only take a few more minute but make a huge difference.  Highly recommend this method.
Split and Reattached Cookie Dough

Split and Reattached Cookie Dough

Bake for 10 to 11 minutes until beautifully golden brown.

Done Baking after 10 to 11 minutes

Done Baking!

I am very happy with the result of the cookie.  I like using both baking powder and baking soda for a slightly more puffy cookie.  Using just baking soda will result in much flatter and crispier cookie which not the way I like it.  I will definitely make this recipe again but I need to  find a way to reduce sugar without affecting resulting texture.  2 1/2 cup of sugar + brown sugar is indeed too much.   Too sweet for my taste.

Making Peanut Butter Cookies With My New Baking Buddy (iPad2)

One of the main reason buying an iPad is for baking!  I don’t need to print out any recipe any more!!  So happy about that.

Oopss.. my kitchen does look pretty messy

rabbit cake 243

Slightly alter the recipe from Land O’ Lakes.  Reduced the sugar and replaced butter with golden shortening.  This is the quickest cookie to prepared because you don’t have to cream sugar + butter for a long time by using shortening.  If you need to do some  quick baking, this is definitely the best choice!

Here are the ingredients:

  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar ( I reduced to 3/4 cup and still taste sweet enough)
  • 1/3 cup butter (I replaced with golden shortening)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (I used smooth & creamy kind)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla ( I used slightly more – 1 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1 1/2 cup of AP flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (I omitted this)

rabbit cake 244

Heat oven to 375F (I will reduce to 360F next time as cookies appears to be too brown from my new darker baking pan).   Combine brown sugar, shortening and peanut butter in a large bowl with spatula (the beauty of this recipe, don’t need to bring out my kitchen aid,  much easier to cleanup!)  Keep mixing until well blended.  Add egg and vanilla and continue to mix until well mixed.  Shift in flour in three additions and mix well with the butter mixture.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place 2 inches apart.   I use disher for even portioning.  I am just loving my new cookies baking sheet because it has marked bottom to make evenly spacing cookies such a breeze now.  Flatten balls in criss-cross pattern with fork. Bake for 8 minutes or until edge are lightly browned.

Gingerbread Android – my Practice “Release”

Follow this recipe from my most trusted source Land o’ Lake: http://www.landolakes.com/recipe/1090/holiday-ginger-cookies.

IMG_9463Cookie
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup  Butter, softened
1 large Egg
3 tablespoons molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Royal Icing
2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon egg white powder
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
few drops food colouring: green & red (optional)

Combine sugar, butter, egg, molasses and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Reduce speed to low; add all remaining cookie ingredients. Beat until well mixed. Divide dough in half; wrap in plastic food wrap. Refrigerate until firm (1 to 2 hours).

Heat oven to 375°F. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface, one-half at a time (keeping remaining dough refrigerated), to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut with 4-inch cookie cutter (See picture below for more detail steps). Place cookies, 1 inch apart, onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 6 to 9 minutes or until set. Let stand 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire cooling rack. Cool completely.

Put 1 1/2 cups of icing sugar in a bowl.  Stir in egg white powder.  Add water and cream of tartar.  Beat on high speed for 7 minutes.  Add remaining icing sugar, beat until well mixed.  Always cover with a damp cloth or place in an air tight container and refrigerate.

Really the key part is making ginger “android” instead of traditional gingerbread man/lady.  Started my research by googing image for “gingerbread android”.  Found one image that’s currently used in developer site that’s actually very simple and easy to cut out.  Then download that.  Resized it with that good old basic Paint utility.  Then print out the template and stick on a harder cardboard to make it a sturdy template.

gingerdroid

Then roll out the dough to 1/8 inches thick, and lay out the template to see how you can fit more android on the sheet of rolled dough.

ginger bread 004

Trim/cut cut carefully and you find a cute android

ginger bread 006

Don’t waste the scraps. Gather the remaining to form a dough ball  and roll out the same thickness.

ginger bread 008

Layout on a baking sheet line with parchment paper.  Remember to leave enough space between the cookies because they will *GROW*.  So cute!!! I love ‘em

ginger bread 010

Decorated with green icing the outline the gingerbread. Although it does not look like the original template I was trying to make, I actually think this one is a lot cuter!

IMG_9453

Ok let you be the judge.  Do you agree my invention of a lot better Winking smile Notice there is little fishy and cars because I did not want to waste the remaining bits.

IMG_9457 IMG_9458

Why I am going through all these trouble?  Because I really want to get a Nexus S from this contest: http://twitter.com/#!/googlenexus/status/12605642812428288 Smile