If there is one universally loveable food trend out there, that would be miniature food. We’ve seen all kinds of hand-held, bite-sized edibles come into fashion in the past decade or so, from cupcakes to burger sliders to cake pops to hand pies. And I know these foods have been in existence for more than a decade, but, you know, with foodie culture and all it’s only recently that these things have become widespread and, in some cases, “elevated”.
|We get it. Your overpriced cupcakes are better than ours. source|
In a way, the proliferation of little food isn’t surprising. After all, a bite-sized cupcake is easier to fit into an Instagram shot alongside one’s Starbucks cup than an entire cake.
|The more you know... source|
Not only is miniature food easier to eat and photograph, it is cute. Because small things are cute. Science says so—we are programmed to find things that are small and child-like to be cute, an adaptation that makes us more likely to take care of our young. Or something like that. I mean, if babies were ugly, would we feel like cuddling and coddling and generally doting upon them as much? Fuck no. They’re annoying enough as it is. I know that, and I haven’t even had a kid yet.
So it would make sense that mini food is more attractive to consumers, being all cute and tote-able and Instragram-able. In fact, just the other day I was suckered into buying a little bottle of milk due to how adorably miniature it was. Look at it. Look at this fucking thing of milk.
|Hand for scale.|
As someone who generally drinks soy milk, I have always been very impressed by Califia Farms’ almond milk (even though I have only been able to find it at Whole Foods), so imagine my delight when, while out to lunch at this awesomely hipster gluten-free vegan café, I saw this totes adorbs protein drink in the drink case. Was very delicious (so rich such thick very chocolate), but I must mention that after closer examination of the ingredients list, it is not vegan. Because there is lactose-free whey protein. No idea why they couldn’t use something without animal products, but whatever.
Excuse my tendency to get off topic. What was I talking about? Mini food. Yes. So what does this have to do with the recipe at hand?
Well, these cookie cups are pretty cute, if I do say so myself.
Sometimes, I wonder if I have a fetish for my miniature muffin tin. My heart soars whenever I contemplate the infinite uses for this pan of adorableness—don’t feel like waiting an hour for a quick bread to cook? Make it miniature. Too lazy to chill cookie dough before baking? Stick it in mini muffin tins. Don’t have hemisphere silicone molds for pate a choux? Put it in mini muffin tins like some sort of peasant, goddamit. There is no limit of the power of this pan.
*Insert obligatory thatsmyfetish.gif*
And once again, its virtues have been proven with this beautiful strawberry cookie cup. Observe.
|Can't see shit underneath all that buttercream, but whatever.|
Strawberry oatmeal cookie cups with lemon buttercream
Makes about 30 cookie cups
Cookie dough (adapted from Averie Cooks
62 grams • silken tofu, blended until smooth • ¼ cup
108 grams • olive oil or canola oil • ½ cup
107 grams • brown sugar • ½ cup, packed
50 grams • granulated sugar • ¼ cup
13 grams • vanilla extract • 1 tablespoon
2 grams • lemon zest • 1 tablespoon
37 grams • almond flour / meal • 1/3 cup
81 grams • old-fashioned rolled oats • 1 cup
133 grams • all-purpose flour • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon
4 grams • baking soda • 1 teaspoon
124 grams • strawberries, finely chopped • ¾ cup
113 grams • Earth Balance, softened • ½ cup
240 grams • powdered sugar • 2 cups
6 grams • lemon zest • 1 tablespoon, packed
30 grams • full fat coconut milk • 2 tablespoons
2 grams • lemon extract • ¼ teaspoon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease about 30 mini muffin tins and set aside.
In a small bowl, toss chopped strawberries and 8 grams / 1 tablespoon flour until the strawberries are completely coated. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk tofu, oil, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest until smooth. Fold in almond flour, oats, all-purpose flour, and baking soda just until combined. Fold in strawberry mixture until evenly distributed.
Fill each muffin tin to the top with cookie dough, yielding about 30 cookie cups. Bake for about fifteen minutes or until the sides begin to brown and the cookies appear cooked through. Allow to cool in their tins for about ten minutes, then let cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
To make frosting, place Earth Balance in the bowl of an electric stand mixer and beat until soft and fluffy and wonderful. With mixer on low, add powdered sugar one spoonful at a time until combined. Add lemon zest and coconut milk and lemon extract. Beat until as fluffalicious as possible. If it is too stiff, add a bit more coconut milk; if not stiff enough, add more powdered sugar. Pipe on top of cookies. Try not to eat the entire batch. Fail. Nosh.
So there are a few interesting flavors in these cups of happiness. There’s fresh strawberry of course. Then there is a bit of lemon zest, a bit of almond flour (leftover from making macarons—these vegan cookies are much, much easier). Then there is olive oil. It’s my favorite oil in the whole wide world, I might add, so reaching for that bottle of liquid gold (as an interesting alternative to boring-ass canola) was a no-brainer when developing this recipe.
|Oh yes, Baby June is a profesh recipe developer.|
And according to my preshus beloved Flavor Bible, all of these flavors—strawberry, almond, lemon, oatmeal, and olive oil—do actually go well together. I didn’t just yank them out of my ass. Or whatever.
|What happened to that shitnugget of an almond?|
Sorry. Was trying to make these sound appetizing. Anyway—guess who needs to take Food Writing 101?