I finally made a vegan cookie I enjoyed. With the sandy textures and the
cookies that fall apart before they reach your mouth, I thought it might
not be possible. But with a little bit of help from some leftover chocolate
ganache, these cookies were really well received. I served them at the
Evening with Food Artisans market in Carmel, and nobody walked away
without a smile.

Vegan Chocolate Curry Cookies

It helped to have a jar of ganache leftover from the cafe in my fridge. But
you can make your own ganache using a whisk or electric mixer, some
small chunks of good chocolate, and coconut oil, hot water or hot cream.
Stir it really well until the mixture is emulsified (a whisk is much more
effective than a fork or spoon). (you can also use coconut milk, or your
favorite nuts or seeds blended with water until the mix is smooth. See

the wet ingredients:

1 c coconut sugar
2 t vanilla
1/2 c chocolate ganache (straight up melted chocolate will probably work fine!)
3/4 c olive oil
1/4 c water

the dry:

1 c brown rice flour
1/2 c sorghum flour
3/4 c tapioca starch
3/4 c white rice flour
1 t xanthan gum
1 t salt
1 t baking soda
1 T curry powder
1/4 c flax seed meal

1/2-1 c chocolate chips

Roll cookies into balls, and toss in a bowl of sugar and salt.
Place on a pan lined with parchment paper and flatten.
Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes. The cookies will seem soft and underdone,
but take them out and let them cool!

They will be very moist inside, so if you are saving them for another day,
refrigerate or freeze them. I ate a frozen one the next day and it was so
good cold!

Vegan Sunflower butter cookies

1 c sugar
2 t vanilla
3/4 c olive oil
1/2 c water
1/2 c sunflower seed butter

1 c brown rice flour
3/4 c tapioca starch
3/4 c white rice flour
1/2 c millet flour
1 t xanthan gum
1 t salt
1 t baking soda
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 c flax seed meal

sunflower seeds
chocolate chips

Roll batter into balls and flatten. Bake at 350 12-14 minutes.

I made some of these into thumbprint cookies with leftover ganache in
the middle. They were perfect. Store these in the fridge or freezer as well.

peach crumble

While I am now expending all of my baking energy on breads breads and
more breads, I slipped in a couple desserts to satisfy my sweet tooth.

Peach Crumble

(We had 8 large peaches and nectarines, all rotting at a pretty good clip)

Preheat oven to 375.

For the fruit:

Cut up whatever fruit you have that is starting to turn. Berries, stonefruits
and apples will all work very well. Toss with a teaspoon or so of cinnamon,
a few tablespoons of your favorite flour (I used brown rice) and about 1/4 c
of your favorite sweetener. Pour into your baking dish.

For the crumble:

1/2 c brown rice flour
1/4 c tapioca starch
1/4 c sugar
1/4 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon
2 T water
2 T flax seed meal
2 T olive oil or coconut oil
2 1/2 t apple cider vinegar
1/4 c sunflower seeds

Mix ingredients well. You want to be sure there are still some chunks in the
mix, so do not overmix. Pour the crumble top over the fruit, and bake for 40
minutes. Serve warm.

Note: 40 minutes is long enough for the fruit to start to cook. It will still be
on the crispy side. If you like your fruit melt-in-your-mouth cooked, cook
the fruit for 20-30 minutes before adding the crumble top. Bake for an
additional 30-35 minutes until the crumble starts to brown.

The crumble will store for a few days in the fridge, but the topping will start to
get a little grainy and soft. So I advise you to be gluttonous this time and eat off
all the topping before refrigerating. You can always rebake the fruit with a fresh
crumble top later.

And a final hot tip:
To get some bruised fruit on the cheap, go to your local farmers market and ask
to buy some of the damaged fruits (this works best with stonefruit, which is
hardest to transport). They will probably cut you a deal, or just give you some.
It is courteous to buy something full priced as a thank you.


back to the drawing board, 2

Here are the results of classes 2 and 3 with the Explo folks! We played
with clay for a few hours, warming up with a game of 3D pictionary. Then
everyone built their own sketch model to demonstrate the settling effect of
bay sediment. There were some awesome models, including a transparent sandy
toilet, a water and sand-filled boulder, and a giant french press full of sand
and water.

Class 3 used all the tricks we learned in the first two weeks. Working as a
team, we built a full-scale model of a wheel, which would connect to a
crane in order to lift exhibits out of the water and onto the pier. Here's a
photo-summary of the class!

I had a blast hanging around with the wonderful folks on the Outdoor team.
Thanks to all for having me back.


back to the drawing board

It's been a long time since I posted any drawings that weren't food related,
and in truth I haven't even done any in months. But some prodding from
the folks at the Exploratorium made me kick into gear. Wednesday was
day 1 of a three week course on sketch modeling. It was an awesome class,
made possible by the wonderful Jesse Marsh, who put together the
workstation of my dreams!

Here's cheat sheet number 1 for the class. May it be put to good use!



Once again, life has been a little too crazy for blogging. Sorry for the break
in posts! Some more are coming your way soon, as I finish up some worksheets
from yesterday's model-making class at the Exploratorium. For now, chow down!

Gluten Free Rugelach!

For the dough:

3/4 c tapioca starch
1 c brown rice flour
1/4 c white rice flour
2 T potato flour
2 T sweet rice flour
1 t xanthan gum
1 1/2 T sugar
1/4 t salt
2 sticks butter
8 oz. cream cheese
2 T sour cream

Blend all ingredients in a food processor. Roll into a ball and freeze for 30


I put some figs and leftover juice from making pluot butter into a saucepan
and cooked it down into a jam. Use whatever you'd like. Store-bought jam
works well too!

sugar, cinnamon, preserves, chocolate chips

To assemble:

Remove dough from the freezer, preheat oven to 350.

Divide the dough in 4. Roll each ball out on parchment paper into a 1/4 inch
rectangle. Refrigerate while rolling the others.

For each rectangle, spread on a liberal amount of preserves, cover in cinnamon
and a little sugar, and nuts or chocolate chips if desired. Roll, loosely so as not to
squish out any filling, into a log, and place it seam side down. Refrigerate while
assembling the other logs.

Cut the cookies with a sharp knife, and place them seam side down on a baking pan
lined with parchment. Brush each cookie with milk or egg wash before baking.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. A lot of butter will melt out of the cookies and into your
pan, so make sure to use a baking pan with a rim!

Remove from oven and coat with cinnamon and sugar if desired. Cookies will be
best fresh, but store decently in an airtight container for about 3 days.