Friday, October 31, 2008

VeganMoFo: Trick or Treat!

Happy Halloween Everyone!!

Congratulations to the Peppermint Ritter Sport Winners, Bex, Ricki, and lao80! - all chosen at random. There were so many entrants, I decided to give away 3 bars. After all, I can get more - even if it does take a couple of months!

Also, I decided to do one more giveaway, on this the final day of VeganMoFo, and the traditional day of giving out sweeties: Who wants a jar of quince jelly? Just leave a comment praising quincey goodness to enter the random drawing!

This year I was really feeling the Halloween spirit, and I had lots of different fun ideas for baking projects... so I decided to bake treats for all my yoga classes.

Tuesday and Wednesday, the yogis got "The Best Pumpkin Muffins" (from Vegan With a Vengeance), decorated with little chocolate Halloween designs. I love these muffins so much - a bit sweet, but not overwhelming, full of autumny goodness, and easy to make. Our house smelled downright magical after baking two batches of these babies. And lucky for me, I've got 4 more cups of pumpkin puree in the freezer to make more pumpkin desserts!

Thursday I made two loaves of Pan De Muerto, a traditional Day of the Dead bread. That one on the left is supposed to be a skull and cross bones, but it looks a little more like some sort of weird teddy bear. I'd never had pad de muerto before, but I saw an article in the local newspaper that tipped my curiousity. The bread was easy to make (recipe below), and was really quite yummy. It's just half way between a bread and a light cake, sort of like Italian panettone. It's flavored (lightly) with anise seed and just a bit of sugar, and then glazed with an orange juice-orange zest-sugar glaze which really seals the deal. Yummy!

Here's the first one, all dressed up. After glazing, you are meant to sprinkle on colored sugar for decoration. My only colored sugar was black, appropriately enough. This loaf was shared with my Thursday evening classes. For size reference, that's a big serving platter - it was a pretty substantial loaf of bread. What a nice treat!

This scary guy was smaller, but a bit more skull-like. I think next time I'll make a few smaller skulls, rather than those unsuccessful skull & crossbones. This loaf was shared with my family for our annual Ballot Discussion and Debate. Every time there's an election we get together to discuss the candidates and ballot measures, share thoughts and hearsay, and read the endorsements from various organizations. It's always educational and it's so nice to feel a bit more informed about some of the smaller and less publicized ballot measures and such. I thought this sweet bread was really yummy and I'll definitely make it an annual Dia de los Muertos goodie.

Here's the recipe I used, mostly from this source

Pan de Muerto
(Adapted from Frightfully Festive Halloween Recipes, further veganized by Amey)

1/2 cup Earth Balance
1/2 + 1/3 cup non-dairy milk
6 tsp EnerG egg replacer
8 Tbsp warm water
5 cups flour
2 packets dry yeast
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. anise seed
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp. sugar

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, heat Earth Balance and milk until butter is melted and mixture is very warm but not boiling. In a small bowl, vigorously whisk together the egg replacer & warm water until light and frothy, set aside. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 1 cup flour, yeast, salt, anise seed and sugar. Beat or vigorously whisk in the warm milk mixture until well combined. Add the egg replacer mixture and beat in another cup of flour. Continue adding flour until dough is soft but not sticky (I needed to switch to a stronger mixing utensil). Also, I had to knead in that 5th cup of flour. Knead on a lightly floured surface 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Lightly oil a bowl and place dough in it, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until double in bulk, about 2 hours.

Punch down dough and shape into 1 or 2 loaves resembling skulls or skeletons or round loaves with dough "bones" placed ornamentally around the top. Let rise 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and paint glaze (recipe follows) while bread is warm. Cool to room temperature before serving.

Glaze: Place 1/2 sugar, 1/3 cup orange juice and grated zest of 1 orange in a small saucepan. Boil 2 minutes. Paint on bread with pastry brush.

Last, but not least, I promised my nephew Bloody Eyeball cupcakes! I also got this idea from our local newspaper, but I tweaked it a little to suit my tastes. River, who has accomplished a truly stunning month of vegan Halloween-related food, also made some great eyeball cupcakes. I stole her idea of using an upside-down chocolate chip as the pupil of the eye. These are the Golden Vanilla Cupcakes from "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World" - but they are also filled with my homemade raspberry jam, so that when you bite into them, a big "bloody" sploosh of jam surprises you! Spooky!

Happy Halloween, and happy end of VeganMoFo! I've had a lot of fun blogging everyday, and I feel inspired to blog more often. There's so much to write about! (We'll see how long this cheery enthusiasm lasts!) As with last year's MoFo, I really loved discovered so many new blogs, and reading so many wonderful posts. Nice to know I've got countless backlogged posts to keep me busy in the weeks ahead.


  1. wow! Delicious looking Halloween treats!
    Thanks for the opportunity to win the Ritter bar, I bet it's crazy good and I can't wait to try it.
    I'm glad I found your blog through mofo and look forward to your future posts.


    Cutest. Halloween. goodies. Period.

  3. You are so lucky that you can talk to your family about politics! That subject is strictly verboten in my household (2 Democrats and 2 very stubborn republicans!)
    Congratulations on all of your canning. I envy your productivity (and all that jam and jelly and applesauce!)

  4. You have been busy baking this week! I would sign up for a yoga class right now if the teacher brought us vegan treats (I know I should sign up anyways though).

    I love the pan de muerto!! I am bookmarking that to make next year (since we still have cupcakes in the fridge)

    And I bet your nephew loved the eyeball cupcakes!!

    I have never tried anything quince, so I can't sing its praises... but I would love to try it!

  5. And oh my goodness that was the cutest video!!! If I was a trick or treater I'd take all three!

  6. That is the best Halloween video ever! It's hilarious! "Crazy vegan lady with bloody eyeball cupcakes scares neighborhood kids" :P

    OMG that bread! It's so awesome!! I love the eyeball cupcakes! Thank you so much for such sweet shoutout and for your super nice comment on my blog! :)

  7. Anonymous2:59 PM

    That was so freakin' funny! thanks for the giggle!

  8. Anonymous3:00 PM

    I love the pumpkin muffins from VwaV--they are so delicious! I hope your friends enjoyed them!


  9. Anonymous3:29 PM

    I am soooo hyped about that peppermint bar! Thanks again! :)

    I love your chocolate decorations and those spooky breads, especially the skeleton. They look great!

    Hope you had a Happy Halloween, too!

  10. Anonymous6:25 PM

    Happy Halloween (okay, I'm one day late).

    I've never tried quince before. In fact, before VeganMoFo I had never even heard of quince. But since then I've read of others singing its praises.

    I'm going to have to bookmark this post for those sweet breads. Yum.

  11. Anonymous8:14 PM

    That's a cute video! Homemade raspberry jam filled cupcakes sound amazing! I've never tried quince either but I love the color of your jelly.

  12. This whole quince thing is intriguing me - not only have I never tasted one, I am not even sure what it is or looks like! I'd love to find out.... :)

  13. Anonymous7:43 AM

    omg those loaves of bread are amazing!!!! i love them. i just made pumpkin muffins too. everyone's been going pumpkin crazy lately. i love it.

  14. HA! very funny!! I loooove those cupcakes!

  15. Aww, I love seeing you on video! The eyeball cupcakes look awesome.

  16. LOVE the death bread and the eyeball Cakes are awesome!
    Good MoFo'ing.

  17. Where's the video??? What's Melisser talkin' about, huh??

    Anyway, I have no idea what quince tastes like, but I'd sure like to try. Your pan de muertos is adorable. You can make colored sugar really easy if you have some Wilton food color paste. Just put a tiny smidge in a bowl with some unbleached granulated sugar and whirl it around in your fingers. You can get any color pretty reliably this way...


  18. wait, you don't see the video kittee? It's right up at the top of my post. I wonder why it wouldn't show up for you??

    Thanks for the colored sugar tip. I should get some of that food color paste. I always love an excuse for another kitchen goodie!

  19. i am a freak, amey. i found it. so funny. i would love quince, but dazee would kill me. we are on a mission to eat up our pantry items before we move. no quince for me quite yet, but thanks for your sweet offer!!

    the video made me really laugh.


  20. The chocolate designs on the muffins are amazing! And I love that you made pan de muerta. I thought about it, then ran out of time. I like the black and white sugars on them.

  21. you are too cute, amey.

  22. Anonymous7:36 PM

    Happy belated Halloween! The decorations on those muffins and cupcakes are absolutely incredible!

  23. I've never tried quince, but I'd love to! Awesome pan de muerto loaves. I haven't had that since high school Spanish class!

  24. Okay, that's just awesome!!!

  25. I love the idea of that bread, it sounds yummy. I don't think we celebrate that day here in the UK, but might be nice to try! And wow, what a good idea to have a day where you get with your family to discuss the election, I'd love to do something like that with mine, I might suggest it for the future!

  26. Anonymous10:36 PM

    Thank you for the delicious Pan de Muertos recipe!!! I just made it and it came out delicious!!


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