Monday, August 31, 2015

Finally Delicious Vegan Cookies!

Miniature Vegan Chocolate Cookies, Sculpture by Stephanie Kilgast
Vegan Cookie Board, find it in my shop

Hey Folks!

I'm quite excited about those cookies. Even though I'm not vegan nor following a plant based diet, I've been trying to make good vegan cookies for quite some time now and so far with mostly disappointing results.
Either the texture wasn't right or the taste meh.
The issue is that often vegan cookie recipe are "healthy" (which makes no sense) or "minimalistic" (which just doesn't work for me taste wise), or they use a lot coconut oil (which is crazy expensive), or they use odd things like chickpeas, beetroot or other veggies, and well. Nope, not working. (yes I tried)

Cookies however need to be fat and sugary, otherwise, just eat fruits and be done with it. I love fruit, but once in a while I want a decadent dessert.

Last Friday, while I was browsing Pinterest for yet another vegan recipe I fell upon "PPK’S Peanut Butter Chocolate Pillows", which looked delicious and sounded promising (Cait found the recipe on PPK, so that would be the real original one).
A quick ingredients check and I was ready to go!
The raw dough tasted nice which is a good sign. It smelled nice too, even better!

Miniature Vegan Chocolate Cookies, Sculpture by Stephanie Kilgast
Vegan Cookie Board, find it in my shop

Hop! In the oven, 15 minutes (I made mine a bit big), about 5 minutes of cooling and I could not resist I had to try.
Oh yes!
Even JY approved! And that's huge, I usually would make real brownies, with butter and eggs and all the vegan baking I've made so far he... let's say he wasn't convinced.
But these cookies? Yup.

Miniature Vegan Chocolate Cookies, Sculpture by Stephanie Kilgast
Vegan Cookie Board, find it in my shop

So here the recipe I used. I tweaked it a bit and it's in gram as I use a balance and not cups.

Also I have to admit I didn't make the cookies really vegan as I used honey (gasp!), but then honey makers keep the bee population alive, so I actually rather encourage honey consumption, at least in Europe, no clue how it's elsewhere.

Best Vegan Cookies Ever
The real deal :)

Chocolate dough
- 110 g nut oil (I used peanut, but canola or sunflower would work too)
- 200 g sugar (I used raw cane sugar)
- 5-6 tbsp vegetable milk (I used rice milk)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 200 g flour (I mixed whole wheat and white flour, for frenchies : 80 g of T150 + 120 g of T65)
- 60 cocoa powder (unsweetened)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt

- 170 g peanut butter
- 60 g honey (for real vegan : sugar and a bit of vegetable milk)
- pinch of salt (my peanut butter was unsalted so well)

For the chocolate dough, mix the oil, sugar, milk and vanilla extract into a smooth paste.
Add flour, cocoa powder and baking soda. Mix until you have a moist dough, adding vegetable milk if it seems too dry.

For the filling, mix the peanut butter (+ pinch of salt if unsalted) and the honey (or sugar and vegetable milk) until you have a nice consistency.

Now to the messy part.
If you have the patience, divide both doughs in equal parts, about 20 of each.
Roll those into balls.
Flatten the chocolate ball, put the peanut ball on top and fold in.
You want to have the peanut inside the chocolate dough, but don't worry if it's not perfect.
I even tried a few marbled ones, that worked as well.

Pre-heat the oven at 180°C (350°F) and bake for about 10-15 minutes. Always check, as oven vary greatly.
Let cool.
Bon appétit!
Best eaten when warm but still delicious cold :)

And if you fancy the miniature cookie board, it is in my shop :)


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Our Awesome and Unfinished Home

Sunshine in our Kitchen

Hello! :)

It is raining here, hence we can't go to the beach sooooo we're working on our home, which is rare enough.
We got the place last year around May, and it was fit to live in (still is) but you always have minor decoration changes to make and also (minor and major) issues to solve.
Right now, we have one (still) unresolved very small leak on the wall in the kitchen. JY has bettered the issue greatly, but it's not quite resolved yet. The floor in our bedroom needs to be changed.
The bedroom upstairs is being painted white for more luminosity and the floor also needs to be changed there...
I could make a longer list, but the rest is really details and not much of a problem.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Behind the Scenes of 'Sweet Summer Melons'

Sweet Melons, Miniature Wall Sculpture by Stephanie Kilgast
Sweet Melons, Miniature Wall Sculpture by Stéphanie Kilgast

Hello :)

Today a bit of the so called creative process, which really is just how I work :D

While browsing for fruit and vegetables for my daily miniature veggie challenge, (which is a bit on hold right now, but I'll get back to it) I stumbled upon this beautiful picture by Iain Bagwell:

Summer Melons by Ian Bagwell
Summer Melons by Ian Bagwell
Needless to say, I went into a melon and watermelon sculpting mode for the daily challenge.
Lots of juicy fun and it also made me eat more melon during summer than I ever did. Watermelon + melon charentais + nectarine has been a (almost) daily fruit salad. Yum!

Various Miniature Melons and Watermelons by Stephanie Kilgast
Various Miniature Melons and Watermelons by Stephanie Kilgast, all part of the dailyminiveggie challenge.
It was juicy (huhu) and fun, and the image of the melon composition kept getting back into my head.
So I made a few melons and put them aside for a bigger composition.

I needed a background and wanted this composition to be able to hang from a wall.
A few sketches for a rough idea how to make this.

The background had to be polymer clay, so the whole piece would be clay 'soldered' instead of glued.
I liked the blue background well enough and so I went for an aged wood.
Btw, want a tutorial about the aged wood made from clay? If yes, say so below ;)

Anyway, so I had the melons, I had the background, I had this beautiful picture of Ian Bagwell, and this is the result.
I put it in my shop, too. Not sure if it'll sell, but it sure was a fun thing to do :)


Sweet Summer Melons by Stéphanie Kilgast
Sweet Summer Melons by Stéphanie Kilgast

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