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Chicago Vegan Bake Sale for Japan and MKE bake sales coming up in May!

Finally, the long-awaited bake sale post! I attended one of Chicago’s Vegan Bake Sales for Japan at the beginning of the month and even as a baker, it was one of the few times in my life being surrounded by hundreds, maybe over a thousand cookies, cupcakes, brownies, cakes, and everything in between. The picture above is what I brought: sugar cookie lollipops, vanilla cupcakes, and tropical rum and coke cupcakes.
This bake sale was seriously decked out, and raised an amazing $1526 over the course of 5 hours. There were several other bake sales going on the weekend of April 3rd, as well as throughout the month, and continuing in May. Vegan bake sales around the country easily raised over $10,000 just that weekend, so imagine how much is raised as bake sales are being held regularly, especially with the recent surge of sales in the aftermath of the Japan tragedy. Between the tight-knit nature of the vegan community and the desire to be positive and help when disaster strikes, vegan bake sales are just one way the vegan community is actively making a difference everyday. High five!

Before we get to the cookies, I wanted to touch on an issue that presented itself before this specific bake sale, and was a topic of conversation that day. When the announcement for this bake sale was posted online, it received a disproportionate amount of hateful, ignorant comments that ranged from comments like “sorry. I hate catastrophic earthquakes, but I hate vegans even more” to stupid vegan jokes to the absurdity of a vegan bake sale because it’s not possible to make vegan lemon meringue pie. In general, just argumentative comments about the bake sale being vegan. As if it were crazy to raise money for a humanitarian cause and not exploit animals in the process. Or have baked goods that both vegans and non-vegans can eat.
All I have to say to that is…shut up and start your own non-vegan bake sale if you really care. Jessica, the organizer of this bake sale, got in contact with a few of the naysayers and told them that very same thing, or offered to collaborate in the future to make an even bigger bake sale and raise more money for a good cause. Were they responsive? Nope!

In lieu of lemon meringue pie (I’ve never had lemon meringue pie…am I missing out on something earth-shattering? Though maybe we’ll find a recipe in Isa and Terry’s upcoming pie book!), here is the Chicago Vegan Bake Sale for Japan:

Red velvet whoopie pies!

Root Beer Float Cupcakes (from My Sweet Vegan, I’m guessing)

Bleeding Heart Bakery cupcakes

S’mores Cupcakes

The Ste Martaen vegan food truck came by with some real food to quell our sugar high. This is the Carolina BBQ sandwich.

Here’s what I ended up bringing home with me. Clockwise from upper left: scotcharoos, apple pie turnover (atop a red velvet whoopie pie), green tea raw cheesecake, red velvet cake balls, Bleeding Heart peanut butter and chocolate cupcakes, cookie dough cupcakes, green tea mini cupcake, and raw coconut bar.
Frosting cupcakes with cookie dough is pure genius! Yum yum yum.

Great job, everyone! Can’t wait for the next one!

Speaking of bake sales, there are TWO that are coming up soon in Milwaukee.

Cookies for Kids’ Cancer Bake Sale & Silent Auction – Milwaukee
Saturday, May 21, 2011
1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Best Place At The Historic Pabst Brewery
901 W. Juneau Ave.
More info: www.mkefoodies.com
Facebook invite: http://on.fb.me/gQWLAo
Donation page: http://cookiesforkidscancer.kintera.org/mkefoodies
Cookies for Kids’ Cancer: www.cookiesforkidscancer.org

This sale isn’t exclusively vegan, but there will be many clearly labeled vegan goodies available! So far, I know that my friend Amy and I will be there with baked goods. The awesome organizer, Lori, called out for vegan bakers a few weeks ago, so I’m sure there will be lots more! Come out and support a great cause! See, vegan and non-vegan bake sales can co-exist!

The next Milwaukee vegan bake sale will be on…
Saturday, May 14, 2011, from 10 AM – 5 PM at
Urban Ecology Center
Riverside Park branch
1500 E. Park Pl.
Milwaukee, WI 53211

Plan to come out to the next bi-annual Milwaukee Vegan Bake Sale, and check out the website to sign up on the google doc to donate baked goods.

I know that I’ve been very absent from the blog (and Seitan Beats Your Meat) lately. That’s mostly because I’ve been absolutely slammed with final projects lately. My semester is ending in less than two weeks, so when I’m not in the studio shooting for final photography projects or writing papers, I’m trying to get a few hours of sleep at night, or trying to relax a bit. My writing would have probably reflected my current mush of a brain right now, so I waited to tackle these blog posts! I just finished a huge research paper, so the next couple weeks will be busy, but a little more manageable! The work on the blogs I’ve done recently has been very little things here and there (as well as guest posting on other blogs), and I’m currently working on logos and re-vamping them, so good things will be coming eventually!

Weaved into all the school busy-ness, I am trying to figure out how I’m going to spend the summer (besides 13 hour school days twice a week for summer school…yes, I’m crazy), writing recipes, and maaaaybe starting work on a new book. I’m already in the works of planning to bake for my school’s union in the fall, and may be having a preview bake sale at the very beginning of May. I don’t have details ironed out yet, but it will probably be very last minute, so keep updated on Twitter and Facebook if you’re in the area.
To go along with that, I am going to work on selling baked goods locally, offering catering services, and selling online more frequently. Yay! There’s a lot of work that goes into that with deciding on packaging, health codes, ordering ingredients, promoting, designing, business cards, and so much more, so it’ll be a good project to tackle soon! With wedding season coming up, I was thinking about making cookies like the monogrammed V hearts above on a larger scale, or selling online. What would (local and not-local) vegans like to see in the upcoming months?

Another shout out for Mad City Vegan Fest in Madison, WI on June 19th! Mark your calendars! Amongst the awesome lineup of speakers and food demos, I’ll be doing a baking demo.

For more recipes on sugar cookies, check out Reader’s Digest and try your hand at veganizing them.

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Cookie Cutters and Presses

Spritz Cookies!

I went thrifting in search of some cookie supplies and to my surprise, I found a selection of cookie presses and bought one! $4!
These are basic spritz.
Spritz

This is the book that came with the set. There’s several recipes inside, waiting to be veganized.
Super Shooter Idea Book

Cookie press discs
Cookie Press Discs

Switch gears!

Chocolate Sugar Cookies
Chocolate Sugar Cookies

Chocolate Sugar Cookies

I was at Hobby Lobby one day and could not resist buying a set of 101 cookie cutters. Plus, I had a 40% off coupon, so that made the deal even sweeter.
Wilton 101 Cookie Cutters

Included in the 101 cutters were alphabet cutters!

Vegan cookies, literally.
Vegan Cookies

Letters, baked
Letter Cookies

My name spelled out in cookies
Kelly

Garrick in cookies.
I thought I had made two Rs, but apparently not, so I had to be creative!
Garrick

Liz and EFT, amazing internets friends and also cookie testers!
Liz

EFT