Skip to content

Remembering

December 6, 2010

December is a time to remember. We gather around family and friends and share memories of yet another year gone by. But why do we remember? We remember because we want to hold something – we want to hold what we have lost, but we also want to hold all that we have gained. So much can happen in a year and always life demands that we keep it together, move on, be present in family life, stay on track at work, oftentimes amid deep internal turmoil. And mostly we do exactly what life demands of us; one way or another we make it through to the next phase where we can breathe, look back, take stock, consolidate.

December is always that time for me. And when I look back I see big losses in my own life – some of the worst pain I have had to deal with lies in the wake of 2010. I also see immense bravery and once again I marvel at the grit and grace of the human spirit. I am thankful to all my teachers, family and friends, and I know that the long hours of yoga did not only look after my body, but also forged my spirit, calmed my mind, and renewed me altogether.

So here we are. Remembering, and preparing to give – because December is also a time of sharing and giving back. But gifts do not necessarily have to be bought. Few things are nicer than receiving homemade cookies or a dozen beautifully decorated cupcakes. So in keeping with the festive season, we’re going cookie-crazy this month with delectable cookie and cupcake recipes.

I wish for you all a season of rest – rest for the body, rest for the mind, rest for the soul. And if you have to work during December, approach work with a restful attitude, taking in each moment, remembering that all moments are equally wonderous when the spirit is open to life.

_______________________________________________________________

Spicy Sugar Cookies

 

Ingredients

 

Cookies

 

1 ½ cups unbleached flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground allspice

½ cup organic brown sugar

½ cup vegan margarine

10ml vanilla extract

30ml apple puree

10ml soy milk

Icing

 

2 cups icing sugar

20ml soy milk

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

 

Method

 

Cookies

 

These cookies need to be prepared in advance as the dough needs to cool and set in the fridge for 1 to 6 hours.

In a bowl, cream the margarine and sugar, gradually adding the vanilla extract, apple puree and soy milk. In a different bowl, sift together the dry ingredients and then add in batches to the creamed ingredients until it forms a soft dough. Form a sausage with the dough, wrap it in cling plastic and place it in the fridge for at least an hour, or up to 6 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a floured counter, roll the dough out and cut out any shape you want – there are so many different cookie cutter shapes that you can really go wild if you want to! Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes and allow them to cool a bit before removing them and placing them on a cooling rack.

Once the cookies have cooled completely you can ice them, but you can start preparing the icing sugar in the meantime.

 

Icing

Place the milk, cinnamon and icing sugar in a bowl and whisk until it has the desired thickness. Add milk or icing sugar if needed. For fun, why not string the cookies together and hang them all over the house, or add loops so that your cookies can be hung on the Christmas tree. Your children may start thinking that cookies really do grow on trees (even if money doesn’t!).

_____________________________________________________________________

Very Vanilla Cupcakes

Ingredients

 

Cupcakes

 

1 ¼ cups unbleached flour

20ml cornstarch

¾ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

Pinch of salt

½ cup vegan margarine

¾ cup organic white sugar

1 cup soy milk

10ml apple cider vinegar

20ml vanilla extract

2ml almond extract

 

Frosting

1/3 cup cashew butter (you can make your own by blending cashews until a smooth buttery paste forms)

30ml peanut oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup almond milk powder (or soy milk powder)

½ cup maple syrup

Method

 

Cupcakes

 

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Line a muffin pan (medium sized muffins) with cupcake liners and set aside to fill with batter when ready.

In a bowl, whisk the soy milk and apple cider vinegar and set aside. Now sift together the dry ingredients. In yet another bowl, cream the margarine and sugar. Add the vanilla extract and gradually add the dry ingredients. Once the batter has been mixed thoroughly, fill the cupcake liners about two thirds and bake for approximately 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cupcakes to cool on a cooling rack before frosting.

 

Frosting

Blend all the ingredients, except the almond milk powder which should be added little by little, until the frosting appears creamy. Place the frosting in the fridge for 15 minutes to firm. When ready, add a thick layer to the cupcakes and sprinkle with ground nuts, coloured sprinkles, chocolate sprinkles, cinnamon, or any other complimentary ingredient your heart desires. These cupcakes are sure to merry up any old heart!

__________________________________________________________________________

Chomping Chocolate Cupcakes

 

Ingredients

 

Cupcakes

 

3 cups cake flour

20ml baking powder

5ml bicarb of soda

2 cups organic white sugar

Pinch of salt

1/3 cup of cocoa

2 cups boiling water

1 cup oil

50ml white vinegar

10ml vanilla extract

Ganache

 

150g vegan (dark) chocolate, broken into small chunks

¼ – ½ cup soy milk

20ml maple syrup

Dark chocolate sprinkles (the Woolies brand is vegan)

Method

 

Cupcakes

 

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Line a muffin pan (medium sized muffins) with cupcake liners and set aside to fill with batter when ready.

Sift together all the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix together the other ingredients and then gradually add the dry ingredients, removing air bubbles with a fork. Once the batter has been mixed thoroughly, fill the cupcake liners about two thirds and bake for approximately 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cupcakes to cool on a cooling rack before adding the ganache.

 

Ganache

 

Bring the soy milk to boil. Now remove the milk from the heat and add both the chocolate chunks and the maple syrup, allowing the chocolate to melt. You can use a rubber spatula to mix the chocolate into the milk. Now set aside until the mixture stiffens. Do not place it in the refridgerator but allow the ganache to set at room temperature. When ready, add a thick layer to the cupcakes and sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles or chocolate vermicilly. On that note, yu-u-uuum and namaste.

________________________________________________________

ChantelleChantelle Roelofse teaches yoga in Muizenberg and co-owns a vegan restaurant, CLOSER, in the area as well. When she isn’t in an asana or thinking about food, she runs, plays piano and writes. She is interested in the philosophy of yoga and how we can incorporate it in modern living. Chantelle supports ethical living and veganism. chants_za@yahoo.com

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: