Saturday, July 19, 2014

Vegan blueberry muffins with cinnamon pecan streusel

vegan blueberry muffins with pecan streusel

I’m an indecisive person. Thankfully my life isn’t wracked with life-or-death decisions like, say, should we bomb Syria, or if we should go to Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks (the last one is up to my mom and her credit card). But lately, I’ve been thinking about decisions. Things I’m not certain about.

Turns out, I’m not certain about much. A list, for your enjoyment:\

Things June is not certain about
  1. Lists
  2. If a true vacation really exists
  3. The price of tea in China
  4. The laxative effect of coffee
  5. Coffee vs. tea
  6. Iced coffee vs. iced tea
  7. Latte vs. cappuccino
  8. If it’s really worth the loss of dignity to get cookie dough-flavored syrup in one’s coffee
  9. If an iced latte really exists
  10. Non-alcoholic Irish cream coffee
  11. Whether I should have breakfast food or regular food in the morning
  12. If Kanye West really exists
  13. If President Obama really exists
  14. Waffle machines
  15. Fat-free yogurt
  16. Smoothies
  17. Green smoothies
  18. Green juice
  19. Any kind of juice
  20. If Lipton really is tea
  21. If British folks are okay with me drinking Lipton
  22. Whether I care if British folks are okay with me drinking Lipton
  23. If I should make a sandwich now
  24. Bottled salad dressing
  25. Hot sauce on chocolate cake
  26. Any kind of hot sauce outside of Frank’s Red Hot
  27. Sriracha, mostly
  28. The quality of food at Chipotle
  29. The quality of vegetarian food at Chipotle
  30. If ordering diet soda at Chipotle alongside your burrito, bucket-o-chips and a cookie really means you are on a diet
  31. If diet soda really exists
  32. If I should text someone or lounge around by myself all day
  33. Being by oneself vs. being alone
  34. Being anti-social vs. anti-idiot
  35. Whether people who say “I’m not anti-social, I’m anti-idiot” are actually idiots themselves
  36. If idiots really exist
  37. If Beyonce really exists
  38. Reddit
  39. Facebook
  40. Social media in general
  41. If people who have a lot of followers on Twitter are “successful” according to the modern definition
  42. If getting a certain number of likes on your selfie means you are “famous”
  43. If the proportion of ass-kissers to genuine fans is relative to one’s fame
  44. Fame itself
  45. Whether telling people how much I love Sia is going against her wish to not become famous
  46. Adele vs. Sia
  47. If Sia is sort of like Amy Winehouse or is that just me
  48. The amount of sentences I end with the phrase “or is that just me”
  49. If “corporate” is a portmanteau of “core” and “hypocrite”
  50. If anyone is actually going to read this dumb list
  51. If Homer really existed
  52. Life
  53. Religion
  54. The pursuit of happiness
  55. The pursuit of half-assed contentment with one’s own misery
  56. If Shakespeare really meant to say “To be or to not be”
  57. If anyone really gives a shit about split infinitives
  58. If Shakespeare gave a shit about split infinitives
  59. If Shakespeare invented the rule of split infinitives
  60. If Shakespeare predicted that one day one of his plays would be modernized in a film starring Leonardo DiCaprio
  61. If knowing this would cause him to fanboy wildly
  62. If everyone is actually smarter than me but isn’t letting me in on it
  63. Conspiracy theories
  64. If hackers are watching me make funny faces into my webcam
  65. If the government is watching me make funny faces into my webcam
  66. If the president knows I exist
  67. Sexual innuendo
  68. Most jokes, really
  69. Lemme say it again: sexual innuendo
  70. Whether people laugh at my jokes because they feel sorry for me or because people tend to coincidently suffer seizures as I tell jokes
  71. If white people actually think white people jokes are funny or just laugh because they’re awkward white people
  72. If separating one’s light and dark clothes in the washing machine is segregation
  73. If racist and / or prejudiced people are just insecure or have small dicks
  74. If skirts were invented to make sure women weren’t always kicking men in the soft spot
  75. If some animals can chew gum
  76. If the Catholic Pope is totally just trolling us by now
  77. Muffins
  78. If anyone is still reading this stupid list
  79. If this list is high-quality enough to make it onto the prestigious publication that is Buzzfeed
  80. The health benefits of muffins
  81. How English people feel about American muffins
  82. American muffins vs. English muffins
  83. If American muffins and English muffins are really the same thing, since you cut both of them in half, toast them, and slather them in butter, which is really all that matters
  84. If blueberry muffins really are the best kind of muffin

Wait. Scratch that last one. Because they totally are.

vegan blueberry streusel muffins
Fo sho.

__________

Blueberry muffins with cinnamon pecan streusel

Makes 14 muffins


Ingredients

Streusel

100 grams • light or dark brown sugar • ½ cup, packed

67 grams • pecans, chopped (or other nut) • ½ cup

3 grams • cinnamon • 1 teaspoon

Muffins

113 grams • margarine, softened (try substituting some coconut oil) • ½ cup

100 grams • granulated sugar • ½ cup

50 grams • light brown sugar, packed • ¼ cup

115 grams • bananas, mashed • ½ cup

120 grams • silken tofu, blended until smooth • ½ cup

8 grams • vanilla extract • 2 teaspoons

4 grams • lemon zest, finely chopped • 1 tablespoon

220 grams • all-purpose flour (can substitute up to half white whole wheat) • 1 ¾ cups

4 grams • baking soda • 1 teaspoon

5 grams • baking powder • 1 teaspoon

3 grams • salt • ½ teaspoon

60 grams • nondairy milk • ¼ cup

250 grams • fresh blueberries • 1 ½ cups

Instructions

Start by preheating oven to 425 degrees F and greasing 14 medium muffin tins. Set aside.

To make streusel, simply combine all ingredients in a bowl.

To make muffins, place margarine (and / or coconut oil) in the bowl of an electric stand mixer and beat until light and fluffy. Add sugars and cream until lightened in color and fluffy once again. Add bananas, tofu, lemon zest, and vanilla and combine.

In a separate bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add to batter with mixer on low, alternating with nondairy milk. Fold in blueberries.

I didn’t do this step, but you can try it if you like: scoop batter into muffin tins by the tablespoon, alternating with a scoop of streusel. Fill the muffin tins to the top.

Bake for 5 minutes at 425 degrees F, then lower temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for about 18 to 20 more minutes. You may want to bake for less time if your oven doesn’t lower its temperature very well, like mine (which is why my muffins are, um, sort of burnt). Let cool for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Nosh.
______________

And most importantly, muffins with streusel are always the best kind of muffin. Especially if they are homemade. And filled with fresh fruit. And vegan. And warm and buttery straight out of the oven.

vegan blueberry streusel muffins
DAT STREUSEL DOE
I’m certain about that. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Cook's Illustrated zucchini bread, veganized

cook's illustrated zucchini bread vegan

People these days have no restraint, it seems, when it comes to naming things as “Ze Best”.

That’s it for today’s lesson, folks. For your homework, head over to Google.com and type “best ever chocolate chip cookies” in the search bar. Use a graduated befuddle-o-meter to measure the general trends of your frustration / confusion / anger levels as you delve deeper and deeper into the black hole that is finding a decent chocolate chip cookie recipe.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Neapolitan celebration cakes part III - vanilla layer cake

vegan vanilla layer cake how to philosophize with cake

When you do a lot of baking, you pick up odd tidbits of information that are hard to explain to someone who isn’t as familiar with this form of culinary creation. You learn when you should substitute whole grain flours and when you shouldn’t; you know what ingredients to replace in a pinch; you know if it’s okay to skip a step, if it’s just an unnecessary complication. And most importantly, you learn how to spot a shitty recipe.

I’m still working on that last one.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Cakes, cookies, and pies - part II

best of pinterest desserts

Hi y’all! It’s Baby June, and we’re back with a new installment of “Cakes, cookies, and pies”—starring not only the three aforementioned desserts but ice creams, bars, cups, breakfast foods, and whatever other thoughts happen to pop into June’s head during the course of this episode!

picard facepalm gif
Okay. Go on. source

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Neapolitan celebration cakes part II - gluten-free chocolate layer cake

gluten free chocolate layer cake

If there’s one thing I don’t understand, it’s the fuss over dietary restrictions that people seem to delight in these days. Everyone loves playing “find the vegan”—you know, that condescending game that apparently disqualifies everything ever said in favor of a vegan diet. Some folks (and not just restaurateurs), bitch and moan when an otherwise normal person dares to alter a menu item to fit their needs or preferences. But mostly, it’s the cultural idea that it’s okay to lecture someone about what’s on their plate that disturbs me—the idea that what you should or shouldn’t eat is someone else’s business.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Neapolitan celebration cakes part I - fresh strawberry layer cake

fresh strawberry layer cake vegan

There’s no feeling quite like knowing that there is a celebration coming up which requires cake. Part of my overly-enthusiastic love for Christmas is the quantity of dessert it requires me, the resident pastry chef, to make for various gatherings and parties. You should’ve seen the cakes I spammed my Facebook friends with last year.

Or maybe not. Secondary sugar rush is a serious thing.

I am also happy to make desserts for any other occasion conceivable (trust me—there is no low I won’t sink to if it means I get to make cake); I’ve made cakes for neighbors and schoolteachers and the pseudo-“tea parties” my friends and I would have (and given that we are all avid tea drinkers, it is quite fitting).


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Vegan buckwheat raspberry pancakes with cashew cheesecake sauce

vegan raspberry buckwheat pancakes with cashew cheesecake sauce

It seems that these days, so many things “go viral” it is difficult to keep up with all of the new sensations and celebrities-in-the-making and baby animals who suddenly become more famous than you will ever be. One can only read so many breathless Buzzfeed articles before slamming one’s laptop shot and picking up the New York Times. At those moments, articles not ridden with with LOL’s and OMG’s are very, very refreshing. In their own way.