Monday, December 7, 2009

Just Desserts

Throughout Thanksgiving dinner, I warned everyone to save room for dessert and they were all very glad they listened. So glad, in fact, that I didn't get to take a picture of the whole table full of sweets before we all started digging in and I forgot to take pictures of the insides of the desserts (the best part) because once they were cut, they went straight into our faces.

That's a plate full of Rocky Road brownies, a new family favorite. To make them, I made the Rocky Roads from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, substituting Dandies marshmallows for the white chocolate chips and poured the dough into a pan instead of shaping it into balls. Easy! This and one other dessert were the only parts of the meal that my mother didn't sign off on and when she saw this, she actually gasped "OHGOD!" because she loves them so much. I think this is her favorite recipe of everything I've ever made, ever.

I also made my mothers' Cranapple Crunch, which everyone in my family loves. The big difference between the way I make it the way she does it, is I use fresh cranberries and she uses canned, so my way is a bit more tart, which I like (and no one's complained about). I posted a variation on this recipe a couple of years ago, as a mini pie. It's still just as tasty as it was back then.

We also had my Gingerbread Pumpkin Apple Cranberry Pie, which, no matter what I do, looks like it's topped with hamburger, but that's just gingerbread crumb topping. Honest.

Side note: I think I want to learn to needlepoint. If I do, I'm going to make myself a sampler to hang in my kitchen that says "It tastes better than it looks, I swear" (which you probably haven't noticed is this blog's new subhead). Or maybe I'll learn to sew and make myself an apron that says the same. All I know is I need some sort of disclaimer like that, and if you didn't think so already, here's proof:

Depressingly, that's the improved version of the cake.

This year, Thanksgiving fell on my grandmother's birthday, so I made her a cake. I made her a cake last year as well, and dropped a table on it, so I thought this year would have to be an improvement, right?


The cake is the Chocolate Chip Pumpkin cupcake recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World with greenified Cinnamon Icicng. I had done this once before, and it was delicious and didn't look too nauseating, so I decided to do it again. I thought I'd have even better luck with the icing this time, since this cake was flat, unlike the previous bundt, but as you can see, I was very, very wrong. Here's the original cake:

The icing was extremely runny, so I added loads of confectioner's sugar, until I thought I was getting close to the point of overpowering the cinnamon, gave up, piped it on, spread some around the sides for more cinnamonny goodness and ended up with a cake that looked like it had narrowly escaped the set of The Exorcist. I couldn't give it to my grandmother like that, so I made some ganache and piped it over the words, so you can almost read what it says, if you focus. (Un)Luckily, my grandmother is rather blind, so she thought it was beautiful, and that's what counts.

One day, I will sit down and just do lettering over and over again, all day. Another day, I will do lines and shapes. Until those days come, it's my pleasure to bring you the very best in the worst looking cakes (aside from Cake Wrecks, of course).

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