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Free Flowers

December 2, 2010

I’ve been busting my baking hands in the kitchen this week with holiday cookies.  If I dare eat something sweet, I just might keel over!  Oh course thats probably all I will be sharing now until January, but I’ll try to sneak something savory in my list as well.  I promise Jonathan and I really do eat actual food too!

Now time to share something very special and different from cookie talk.  These “free flowers” were our dessert offering at a potluck today to celebrate Saint Louis Master Gardeners.  I have officially joined the ranks!  I was honored with my MG badge and certificate.  No more trainee name tag!

It doesn’t take a certificate to make a great gardener, but it is an amazing privilege to be part of a community of volunteers who have devoted five months of study and over 50 hours (each, every year) of their time to beautifying and educating Saint Louis and the surrounding areas.  It’s almost impossible not to notice the efforts.  Clean parks with ponds and tall trees, edible urban gardens snuggled on empty lots every couple of blocks, homemade vegetable beds in the backyards of apartment buildings and school gardens.  I actually met a street worker and gardener, on my walk home, who informed me about his neighborhood garden, just blocks from where I volunteer regularly.  What a community-people who like to get their hands dirty to see life emerge from the ground up. Wow.

Here’s what I brought to the potluck.  Jonathan made the adorable cake toppers.  The recipe is half of my chocolate craving cake, only with a very thick frosting and oreo crumbles.  These resemble “mud cakes” that kids love to make.  Enjoy!

A Chocolate Addicts Best Friend Cupcakes
Serves 12

Ingredients:
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. cocoa powder, unsweetened
3/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp. clove powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. canola oil
2 egg replacers
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. soy milk
1/2 c. warm water

To Do:
1: Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Place cupcake papers in tins.
2: In a large bowl sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, clove and salt.
3: In a medium bowl mix together sugar, oil, egg replacers and vanilla. Combine with flour mixture and blend together.
4: Mix in the soy milk and then the water. The mixture will become quite runny, so don’t worry.
5: Equally distribute the batter among the cupcakes and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Thick Chocolate Frosting
Ingredients:
1/3 c. warm soy milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c. unsweetened or dark chocolate flavor cocoa powder
2 c. powdered sugar

Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl until well combined.  Add additional cocoa or sugar if needed for extra thickening.

Crunchy Topping
9 oreo cookies

Mash into a rough, uneven texture that has oreo powder and bite size bits. Sprinkle over the frosting.


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9 Comments leave one →
  1. Bathsheba permalink
    December 2, 2010 10:57 pm

    So cute! We’ve been craving chocolate and almost made your cake the other day, but Jess surprised me with chocolate chip pecan cookies. We’ll definitely try these soon though.

  2. Monica permalink
    December 6, 2010 3:15 pm

    looks great, interesting addition of clove powder, bet it add a nice spiciness to it 🙂

    monica
    http://www.spicediary.com

  3. December 6, 2010 3:26 pm

    These have left me drooling! Delicious recipe and wonderful photos.

  4. December 6, 2010 3:33 pm

    They look delicious! Can you use regular eggs and cows milk rather than soy and egg replacers? I live in Chile and most things like this aren’t the easiest things to find!

    • December 7, 2010 5:52 pm

      Oh yes! I’ve made this recipe most often vegan, but the eggs and milk work too!

  5. December 7, 2010 4:31 am

    That’s one hell of a cute cupcake!

    Raymund
    http://angsarap.wordpress.com

  6. caronlyn permalink
    December 7, 2010 10:16 am

    You have no idea how happy this makes me!
    When I first saw the picture of those delicious cupcakes, I thought, no way they’re vegan!

    Thanks for proving me wrong! I can’t wait to try these!

  7. December 7, 2010 5:54 pm

    Thank you for all of the wonderful comments! Seeing them really made my day!

  8. Denise Evans permalink
    December 17, 2010 2:01 pm

    Lauren, these look awesome, and I also wanted to say CONGRATS!! on your master gardener certification. Quite an accomplishment, and you should be very proud.

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