Monday, January 21, 2008

Adult-sized Easy Bake Oven

I always wanted one of these as a kid. I never got one and have thought from time to time that I should buy myself one now just to see what all the hype was about. I'm sure in time Nyssa will ask for one and I can check out the hype with her.

Until then, my desire for small batches of yummy goodness is currently being met by the cookbook, Small Batch Baking, by Debby Maugans Nakos. I picked it up a week ago from Barnes and Noble. At first glance, I thought I had made a mistake as almost all of the recipes call for unsalted butter at least, and some even called for buttermilk. Since we're a non-dairy household, butter and buttermilk aren't welcome in our home.

But always up for a challenge, I decided to attempt a recipe tonight using my dairy substitute for butter, Smart Balance Light spread. Oddly enough, the regular, non-light stuff contains dairy proteins, but the light stuff doesn't. The recipe was the Just Good Cupcakes. Not only did the recipe call for unsalted butter (2 T of the stuff), but it also wanted a quarter-cup of buttermilk.

I love Google! I simply typed, "buttermilk substitute vegan," into the search engine and received the same advice over several web pages; add a tablespoon of vinegar to a cup of soy or rice milk and let it sit for a while. So I did just that, and then stirred it up, poured a quarter cup out, and put the rest in the fridge for later when I decide to make these cupcakes again.

Small batch baking does not equal SPEEDY or simplified baking. No, it was just as much work as if I had made a huge batch of cupcakes. But it was fun to do! I had several prep bowls full of ingredients (it's the only way I will cook now that I am operating with mommybrain). I did have to pitch 1/8 t of baking soda and 1/8 t of salt because I stuck them in the same bowl instead of separate bowls and the recipe has you add them at different stages. Oops! Oh, well, it wasn't anything significant!

I was concerned with how the cupcakes would turn out, given my two substitutions. I am happy to say that they were delicious and all four of them are now gone. And if I had made a huge batch of two dozen cupcakes, they might all be gone, too!

I did frost them with Duncan Hines chocolate frosting (delightfully dairy-free!) as I was feeling lazy after dinner and not up to whipping up a small batch of icing.

I'll definitely make these again. Sorry there are no photos, they weren't all that pretty!

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