Bake sales and Compassionate Cake

The past month has been very long and very busy, but most of all, very full of baked goods and bake sales! I don’t even know where to begin!

May 4th: Mini Bakery at Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design’s Student Union

I held this sale at my school during finals week. Starting in the fall, I am going to set up a bakery stand monthly or so and sell vegan treats to MIAD students and anyone in the city of Milwaukee who can make it to the Third Ward that day!
I put this sale together in 2 days and baked: Vanilla Cupcakes with Pink Vanilla Frosting, Oreo Cupcakes, Espresso Cupcakes, Chai Spice Cupcakes, Mini Cupcakes, Salted Caramel Cupcakes, Chocolate Russian Cupcakes, Lemon Rosewater Cupcakes, Shirley Temple Cookies, Cinnamon Rolls, Blueberry Streusel Muffins, and two kinds of Snickerdoodles! Phew! When I have more time to prepare, I plan on amping up the display!

The next day was a gallery show at the MIAD Union Erie Street Gallery. I talked more about it in detail on this Seitan Beats Your Meat post, but here’s the cupcakes I made for the show again! Salted Caramel and Mexican Hot Chocolate.

May 14th: Milwaukee Vegan Bake Sale

Unfortunately, I was unable to attend this bake sale, but I dropped off a few baked goods with my friend Stephanie, who runs Milwaukee Vegan Bake Sale.
I made Earl Grey Lavender Tea Cakes…

…and more Salted Caramel (these are getting around lately)!

The Milwaukee Vegan Bake Sale raised $922 for Doctors Without Borders and The Urban Ecology Center! Yay!

May 21st: Cookies4Kids Milwaukee Bake Sale

Cookies4Kids Milwaukee was held to raise money for pediatric cancer. Here’s a great post from Lori of Burp! Blog who organized the bake sale. Over 45 bakers donated, and while the bake sale wasn’t vegan, some local vegan bakers including myself baked for this event so there was a selection of vegan treats at the sale! Bon Jovi was in town that day and only 4 blocks away at the Bradley Center. Despite our massive group of people tweeting at him to come visit, we never heard from Bon Jovi. Even so, $2100 was raised at the end of the day!

Part of the sale, and a vegan section.

The haul I brought home that evening, with special Gnocchi appearance.

While setting up the bake sale, a giant cardboard box was delivered to the sale. Upon opening it, I saw dozens of gorgeous cupcakes inside, each elaborately decorated and neatly packaged. When I looked closer, I saw that they were vegan and immediately got excited (and secretly thought that something so awesome just HAS to be vegan)! These cupcakes are Banana Split, Root Beer Float, Strawberry Balsamic, and Coffee and Donuts, made by Jessica Weisnicht.

I sent a picture to Twitter and everyone showered the cupcakes with compliments. I wondered how I didn’t know this awesome lady yet and decided that we need to be friends.

Meet my new friend Jessica! We met up at the Riverwest Co-op last night to talk cupcakes and for dinner with Stephanie, Lindsay, and Colleen. Jessica of Compassionate Cake does stunning work and I was so glad to see more of it in person and spend several hours talking with her!

Fortune Cookie and Peanut Noodles Cupcakes

The “noodles” are made with peanut butter frosting and the broccoli is fondant with frosting and green-colored non-pareils.

She made all four of us a cake! This is the Napa Valley Chocolate Cake, infused with Merlot and it’s all mine (but I’ll share!). Check out the Facebook page to see the other cakes!

If you need more incentive to come to Mad City Vegan Fest this Sunday, Jessica will be there with cupcakes! Done deal now, right?

The schedule for the festival is posted here. If you’re planning on coming, we’ll see you there! ❤


Recap of Boswell signing, MKE’s Vegan Cookies segment, and Riverwest Co-op signing this weekend!

MoFo is over (just in time for my finals) so this blog will be getting a little more love (and updates!) like SBYM got throughout November.
Thanksgiving break was absolutely crazy! I think the whole weekend comprised of working and homework. It was fun, but I was ready to pass out after it all. I was on the Milwaukee news on Black Friday (video here), then spent the rest of the day in Chicago (nomnomz Diner).

Sunday was a book signing at Boswell Book Company, an awesome local bookstore with a great selection run by super nice people. Support your local bookstores!

For the event, I made hypnosis lollipops, cashew cappuccino nanaimo bars, and thin mints, all in the book of course.

Signing bookz

Over 20 books were sold during the hour-ish and a great mix of people came out to the signing.
Awesome! Thanks, Boswell!

For a new segment of Milwaukee’s Vegan Cookies, I have more East Side Ovens cookies I picked up at the bakery of Outpost Co-op over the weekend.

Chocolate Pecan Sandies
These may be my favorite ESO cookies that I’ve tried. They were decadent, flavorful, and nutty, and didn’t taste “healthy” at all, which is something I’ve noticed in some of their other cookies. They’re still awesome, but I’m partial to the most hedonistic desserts I can find.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip
These were pretty good! Lightly flavored, and bursts of chocolate.

Speaking of co-ops, the Riverwest Co-op in Milwaukee has amazing food. And I’m going to be doing a book signing there this Sunday, December 12th from 11am-2pm! If you’re in the area, I’d love to meet you, so c’mon out, get some delicious brunch, cookie, samples, and a book!
I keep the “Events” page at the top of the blog updated with upcoming events, so check it out! I hope to see you guys in Chicago later this month! (And I’ll post about New York with Melisser once finals week is over and I’m not dead!)


Advance copy of the book, announcement of book sales on the blog, and Chicago VeganMania demo!

Earlier this week, I received in the mail the first advance copy of The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur! I am pleased to say the printed book turned out beautifully and I can’t wait for you guys to see it in person!

Now that the release date is quickly approaching, I’d like to announce that I will be selling signed copies of the book on the blog, starting next month! If you haven’t purchased yours yet, check back soon for more info, and to order directly from me!
If you’re in the Milwaukee/Chicago area, check the facebook page for upcoming events where you can get copies of the book.
And if you’re in Milwaukee, I can get your copy to you in person!

I took a video when I opened the package! Check it.

Speaking of events, I’m psyched to announce that I will be one of the featured chefs at Chicago VeganMania 2010 on October 9th, and doing a baking demo! I’m extremely honored and excited to be working alongside some amazing, accomplished people in the vegan community! If you’re near Chicago, or plan on visiting in October, you don’t want to miss this event! There will be chefs doing demos, dancers, musicians, workshops, vendors, local and national businesses, and a lineup of phenomenal speakers! Not to mention it’s free!
There is also an after party planned.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Pulaski Park Fieldhouse
1419 W. Blackhawk
Chicago, IL

Chicago VeganMania 2010 website: http://chicagoveganmania.com/index.htm
Chicago VeganMania Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Chicago-IL/Chicago-VeganMania/84619324901
Chicago VeganMania Facebook event: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=337212799171
Event page for my baking demo: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=148087628562744

(RSVP yes to the event pages if you plan on coming!)

Here is the tentative VeganMania schedule, from the website:
11:00a Chicago Diner chef(s)
12:00p Kelly Peloza
12:45p Fran Costigan
1:45p Isa Chandra Moskowitz
2:45p Soul Vegetarian chef(s)
3:45p Linda Szarkowski

11:00a The Giving Tree Band (modern bluegrass folk)
12:00p The Exponential (worldbeat free jazz)
1:00p Read My Hips (bellydance troupe)
2:00p The Rust Belt Ramblers (countrified punk rock)
3:00p Phenom (rap supergroup)
4:00p Nikki Lynette (hip hop)

11:00a Nathan Runkle
12:00p Carol Adams
1:30p Dr. Milton Mills
2:30p Colleen Patrick-Goudreau
3:30p Zarakyah Ben Sar Ahmadiel
4:30p Dr. Michael Greger

This is my bio photo for Chicago VeganMania 2010! Check out the bio page on the website for photos and info on all the featured chefs, performers, and speakers! Look at the vendors page as well! Do I see Herbivore and Chicago SoyDairy?! This event is going to be so exciting!!!!!

Finally, after three years, the cookbook is ready to go and there are exciting events coming up! Thank you so much to everyone who has been following the blog, and supporting this project! You all are so awesome!



Milwaukee’s Vegan Cookies: East Side Ovens Molasses Cookie

I’ve reviewed many an East Side Ovens cookie in the past for this blog segment. Now that I’m back in school and the student union has a basketful of vegan cookies, muffins, and dumplings on a daily basis, I have no excuse to not go through each and every type of cookie, for research purposes of course.

I have yet to try the molasses cookie, so today was the day. With giant crystals of turbinado sugar and fluted edges, it’s a real good looking treat. One bite into the soft and chewy cookie is a burst of sweet and spicy ginger flavor. I approve!


Chris’ 23rd Birthday

My friend Chris turns 23 today. Yesterday, our friend Mary and I made this for him for early birthday celebrations. I needed new pastry bags and we had this upcoming task of making Chris a birthday cake, so we decided to hop a couple busses to this cake decorating warehouse called Cook’s Cake and Candy. We came across this sexy man made of wax and decided to dress it up like Chris and stick it atop the cake.

The bottom layer is a chocolate chip cookie cake, then it is spread with a layer of cookie dough, then about an inch of frosting and ice cream (half and half). It’s topped off with another chocolate chip cookie cake, then decorated. The Happy Birthday candles we got were slightly faulty as there was an extra H instead of a B.

Happy Hirthday, Chris!


Milwaukee’s Vegan Cookies: Outpost Natural Foods Chocolate Chip Cookie

Outpost Natural Foods is a food co-op with three locations in the Milwaukee area that is reminiscent of a slightly smaller version of a Whole Foods. The location in Wauwatosa has a little deli section where hot sandwiches can be made to order, as well as a bakery case with some vegan options. I chose a basic chocolate chip cookie.
There are so many different kinds of chocolate chip cookies: soft, chewy, crispy, thin, puffy…and that doesn’t begin to cover the variations in flavor. I definitely wasn’t expecting this cookie to taste how it did, so it caught me off-guard in a good way. I assume the bakery used banana as an egg replacer in this specific cookie because it had rich banana-flavored undertones unlike other cookies I’ve had with banana in them. However, it wasn’t so banana-y to lose its title as a chocolate chip cookie and cross over into the banana cookie realm.
As for texture, the edges were crispy, and the center was soft and chewy.

PS. As always, check out the Facebook page for The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur! It’s going strong with over 500 fans now. Join and invite your friends! Just a little over 4 months until the release of the book!


Milwaukee’s Vegan Cookies: East Side Ovens

I had this idea where I would spend a weekend finding all the vegan cookies in Milwaukee, taste test them all, and make a blog post about the experience. I decided against it for several reasons:

1. That’s a lot of cookies.
2. That’s a lot of cookies.
3. I’d probably eat them all.
4. That’s a lot of places to hit up in search of vegan cookies, especially relying on the bus system in the winter.
5. That’s a lot of money to spend in one go, all on vegan cookies.
6. There’d be new cookies coming out that I didn’t include, not all varieties offered in one day, etc.

So, I decided to make it an ongoing project that I’ll document in a new segment on my blog, entitled Milwaukee’s Vegan Cookies. If a cookie is a)vegan, b)made in Milwaukee, and c)found at a bakery, health food store, Whole Foods, etc, in Milwaukee, I’m going to find it and put in on my blog. And not just one kind from a Milwaukee establishment or bakery, but every flavor! As a result, I’ll create a collection of delicious Milwaukee vegan cookie photos, the bakery/baker will get a shout out, and I’ll make some cookie recommendations! So if I’m anywhere where there’s baked goods and I see a vegan cookie I haven’t tried yet, I’m buying it.

First up is East Side Ovens, a vegan bakery in the Bayview neighborhood that delivers their goodies all over the city to vegan-friendly places, including my student union, where all the baked goods are vegan and from here. The actual bakery is only open to the public on Saturdays and I have yet to make a visit, so that’s on my to-do list. These are just a couple of their cookie flavors. They definitely have more I have yet to try.

Cranberry Orange Cookies
I got this cookie from Whole Foods way back in August when I first moved here. I was excited by all the vegan options at my fingertips after moving here from a suburb. Thinking back, this cookie had a nice citrus flavor complemented excellently by the tart fresh cranberries baked in. It was just a little bit crumbly.

Oatmeal Raisin
I just got this one today at the student union. I thought it was chocolate chip when I bought it, but took a closer look later and realized it was oatmeal raisin. While not what I expected, the cookie was no letdown.

Okay, this brownie isn’t a cookie, but this is from East Side Ovens, so I thought I’d include it while I’m writing about them.