Friday, November 21, 2008

Dark, Dark, Dark!

Update! Bianca asked what my patterned rolling pin looks like - so here's a picture. I think I bought mine from the local kitchen goods store, but I may have bought it online. It's cool, huh? I only use it for my gingerbread cookies, so it was really a splurge!

Here's my first recipe from Makr Bittman's "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian." This bread is called "Black Bread." For the last month or two, I've been craving some nice, dark bread. Weirdly, none of the many great bakeries in Santa Cruz make good dark bread. At least not that I've found. So, pretty much as soon as I saw this recipe - I ran out and bought the ingredients. This bread is so full of flavors: rye, wheat, molasses, vinegar, cocoa... It's really wonderful. I took his advice and made two small loaves. I took the second one, sliced it up, and popped it in the freezer. Mmmm.

And here's another Molasses-rich treat. These are "Glazed Gingerbread Tiles" - they are from the Le Tartine cookbook, but I got the recipe out of Sunset Magazine years ago. They're easy to veganize, and SO FREAKING GOOD! As you can see, I even bought a special patterned rolling pin just for this recipe. :)

The cookies are dense and moist and delicious. Full of molasses and cocoa and black pepper and spices - they pack a serious flavor punch, even a bit spicy. I also love the crackly sugar glaze. These are seriously wonderful cookies, make them as soon as possible!

Here's my veganized version:
3 3/4 cups flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons cloves
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces Earth Balance (1 cup) , a little on the room temperature side
1 cup sugar
1 "egg" - I used EnerG egg replacer
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses

1/4 cup cool water
1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

Combine the flour, cocoa, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, pepper, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. With an electric mixer on medium speed beat the butter until smooth, add the sugar and continue beating until fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add the egg substitute and beat untill combined. With mixer running, pour in the molasses and beat until incorporated. Reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing until thoroughly combined. Divide the dough in half, shape into flat squares (about 7x7 inches), and wrap in plasticwrap. Refrigerate until cool, about an hour. Heat oven to 350F. Place dough on parchement-covered baking sheet and roll it out with a patterned rolling pin until its approximately 1/3 inch thick. In the likely event that you don't have a patterned rolling pin, make some patterns by lightly indenting the dough's surface. Bake the dough until it's no longer shiny - about 10 minutes. Cool on a rack.

To make the glaze: Wisk the water and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Brush the warm cookies with the glaze. I usually do two layers. When cool, cut the cookies into 3-by-4 inch pieces.


  1. I too own that cookbook from Mark Bittman, but have yet to make anything from it - the bread looks lovely!!

    Gingerbread tiles???? How enticing!!! Thanks for sharing your recipe!!! :-)

  2. I love the look and sound of both your dark treats--those tiles are gorgeous! And while I, too, have the cookbook, all I've tried from it is veggies so far! Glad to see it has so much more to offer.

  3. Your gingerbread tiles are absolutely gorgeous - how creative! I'm also a sucker for dark breads - thanks for sharing!

  4. Anonymous7:45 AM

    I love that cookbook! It was my first vegetarian cookbook. There are some great recipes in there.

    The bread and gingerbread look good, nice job!

  5. Those tiles are so unique looking! That would be such a cool thing to bring to a party.

    And I can't believe that anything out of that cookbook is vegan... maybe I should give it a second look.

  6. Those cookies look wonderful!! I need to try them. Thanks for the recipe!

  7. I love those gingerbread tiles! Thanks for the veganized recipe!

  8. Those tiles look totally professional, like something you'd buy from a fancy pastry shop. I'd like to see what the rolling pin looks like. I didn't even know they made patterned pins!

  9. The gingerbread tiles are amazing! I would love to make them - thanks for the recipe.

  10. that bread! and those *cookies*! madness, they both look phenomenal!

  11. Oh wow, I love that rolling pin! Very cool. The cookies sound awesome.

  12. Thanks for this great recipe! My last batch just came out of the oven and they taste amazing. My dough was a bit stiff so I added water by the tablespoon until it came together, and then since I can't roll out neat shapes to save my life, I cut out circles and baked them like that. I'm taking them for my students on evaluation day, so hopefully they'll like them as much as I do... thanks again!

  13. wow, those tiles look amazing. they would make a really beautiful gingerbread house or a tiled walkway for a gingerbread house. too cool.


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