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lazybird has gone vegan.

lazybird vegan cheesecake

ok, well…we haven’t become vegans (dang you delicious cheese!) but we are equal opportunity and can now confidently bake for vegans.

this challenge started with the offer to try tackling some vegan baked goods for a friend’s recent baby shower. i hit the internets right away and ordered two popular and highly recommended cookbooks: “flying apron’s gluten-free & vegan baking book,” by jennifer katzinger and “the joy of vegan baking,” by colleen patrick-goudreau. i read and read, and was inspired to order more books on veganism, nutrition, organics, factory farms etc, etc…and made a pretty significant life change….i gave up pop (or soda, or coke, or whatever you want to call it) i also feel a lot worse about milk, butter, eggs and meat….but….well…i gave up pop….lets take it one step at a time.

long story short, this challenge…was not so challenging (after i was able to track down egg replacer, that is). if you have a whole foods or sprouts or a specialty market nearby…you’re one step closer to whipping up a “cheese”cake of your own.

ingredients:
crust:
4 cups pretzels
1/2 cup melted non-dairy butter (i used earth balance)
3 tablespoons peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar

“cheese”cake (adapted from “the joy of vegan baking,” by colleen patrick-goudreau):
6 teaspoons Ener-G Egg Replacer
1/2 cup water
1 cup nondairy semisweet chocolate chips
24 ounces non-dairy cream cheese, room temperature (i used the highly recommended tofutti)
3/4 cup organic sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

chocolate ganache:
1/2 cup soy creamer
12 oz dairy free chocolate chips

preheat your oven to 350º.

for your crust… combine pretzels, melted butter, peanut butter and sugar together in your food processor till finely chopped.

prepare your springform pan….generously butter the bottoms and side of a 9in springform pan. place a piece of parchment paper, cut to fit, on the bottom of the pan and butter paper as well. coat the bottom of the pan with pretzel crumb mixture. coat sides of your pan as well, about an inch up. set aside.

in a medium size bowl whip together the egg replacer and water till you’ve achieved a thick cream mixture. your mixture will have doubled in size and become white and almost frothy. set aside.

in a heat safe bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, melt your chocolate chips. remove from heat and let cool to room temperature – still give it a stir here and there so it won’t harden back up.

in a large bowl, or your stand mixer beat together “egg” mixture, “cream cheese” and sugar (hah, like all the quotations?!) till smooth. pour in melted chocolate and vanilla and mix till thoroughly blended. (note: if your cream cheese mixture is colder than your chocolate, mixing the two might result in a chocolate chip cheesecake instead of a smooth, blended chocolate….i mean….it could be considered a happy accident, but if you disagree…you’ve been warned)

pour mixture into prepared crust/springform pan.

bake at 350º for 50 minutes. at this point your cheesecake should be set along the edges, but jiggle slightly in the middle. once the timer rings, turn your oven off and let your cheesecake stay put for another 50 minutes. do not open up the oven door during this whole process…lest you risk cheesecake cracks…dum dum dummm. remove from oven and transfer to wire rack to let cool to room temperature. at this point, run a knife around the edge of your springform pan to separate the pan from the cake – this also helps ward off cracks. once your cake has cooled, wrap up tightly and store in fridge overnight.

next morning, or at least a couple hours prior to serving the cheesecake, make your ganache. pour chocolate chips into a medium-sized heat safe bowl and set aside. in a small saucepan heat soy creamer over medium heat till bubbles start forming around the edges of the pan. remove from heat and pour over chocolate chips. let sit for five minutes. slowly begin to stir your mixture, being careful not to incorporate too much air. once your chocolate has melted and you have a creamy texture, set aside and let cool till your ganache has thickened enough to pour out and spread over cheesecake – your ganache shouldn’t be runny, you should need to use either gravity (in tilting your cake back and forth) or a knife to spread out over cake.

add a garnish if you like.…i liked raspberries.

return to fridge till ready to serve.

as a non-vegan, i was nervous about the results. ESPECIALLY because, you can’t really take a sneak taste of a cheesecake….unless you go all cliff huxtable and cover up the bite with the ganache….shoot! why didn’t i think of that?!

i was relieved when the guest of honor took a bite and confirmed success…and even happier when all the non-vegans took to it with pleasure as well. the biggest success, however, was later that evening when i tricked a vegan-dessert-DETESTER into eating a slice (didn’t tell him it was vegan) and got a high-five for its deliciousness. after he demolished it and i told him of my trickery, i received another high-five for making the first vegan dessert he had tried and enjoyed.

if you’ve made it this far…i’m assuming you are vegan, or are at least toying with the idea. i promise, if you’re a cheesecake fan, this one is worth trying…and even tricking your friends into eating.

enjoy!

-L

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they say it’s your birthday, na na na na na na na na!

one year ago: lazy bird birthday!, lazy bird beginnings…

guess who’s a year old?!?! happy birthday lazy bird!

B and I have discovered we’re not compatible in quite a few areas….we don’t like the same scents, we are opposites when it comes to picking nail polish for pedicures and even when it comes to desserts…for instance, coconut and/or pecans will ruin a desert for me while B just can’t get enough! however, in planning this post we were very excited to figure out that we strongly agree on one thing…we’re…dum dum dum…cake compatible! we are both white cake & white frosting girls….or as I like to call it, “wedding cake” girls! and really…what other treat would you make for a birthday party?!

this recipe is super simple and wouldn’t have taken much time at all IF, DFW hadn’t been in the middle of some crazy weather…and we didn’t have to take multiple breaks to park it in front of the weather channel…or even under some cushions in the bathroom. we still finished all our baking much earlier than we usually do….so i’m thinking you could whip these little buddies up fairly quickly as well. and let me take a moment to give a shout out to B’s own “weather man steve” who gave us a running commentary on the storm radar, as we dared to bake in the kitchen. safety first folks.

ingredients:
(yields 2 dozen regular + 2 dozen mini cupcakes)
cake: (adapted from Martha Stewart)
1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
3 1/4 cups cake flour, sifted
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk, room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups sugar
5 large egg whites, room temperature

frosting:
disclaimer, this is scary…but delicious
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup crisco
4 cups powdered sugar
4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup marshmallow cream

preheat your oven to 350º. line your cupcake pan with wrappers.

in a medium sized bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. set aside

measure out milk in another small bowl and stir in vanilla. set aside.

in your stand mixer, with the paddle attachment, beat your butter on a medium high speed till pale and fluffy. add in sugar and continue beating till mixed well.

reduce speed to low and add in 1/3 of your flour mixture. scrape down edges and add in half of your milk mixture. repeat this (flour, milk, flour) till all is mixed in, ending with the flour, and scraping down the sides in between. your batter should look nice and fluffy.

in a seperate medium sized bowl, whisk your egg whites until they form stiff peaks.

with a rubber spatula, fold your egg whites into your cake batter.

spoon your batter out into your cupcake pans, filling only 3/4ths full.

bake for 16 minutes, or until they pass the toothpick test – inserting in the middle of a cake and coming out clean.

remove from oven remove from oven and cool for about 5 minutes, then remove your cakes from the pan and set on a cooling rack. doing so prevents moisture from collecting at the bottom of the pan and cake.

___________________________________

while your cupcakes are cooling go ahead and get your frosting going.

on medium high speed, cream together butter and crisco, till fluffy.

reduce speed to low and slowly add in powdered sugar, stopping a few times to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

mix in vanilla and marshmallow cream. again, pause to scrape down the sides of the bowl. continue mix everything together at a high speed till your mixture resembles whipped cream.

transfer to a piping bag and top your cakes off with a large dollop of frosting…and of course, add confetti and a candle and make a wish :)

the cakes were a big hit. we both agreed that the cakes were better served chilled….maybe it was the frosting that we preferred cold….but who’s to know?! enjoy!

one birthday down, one to go….

-L&B

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i mean….does it really get cuter than a bunny cake?! I think not! this build-a-bunny cake is thanks to the lessons of mama G. i tell the story like this, every Easter my brothers and i made this cake with our mom as kids. however, when i told mom we were making this for the blog, she said “i can’t believe you remember making that cake. i think we only made it one time.” needless to say, i was a little crushed to hear her say that. i guess when you’re a child your imagination really does run a little wild and you only remember life the way you want to. oh, well. maybe someday when i have my own children we’ll be sure to make this EVERY Easter! hehe :)

step one: bake your cakes.
Using your favorite cake recipe, prepare two cakes in 9″ round cake pans. bake, remove from pans and cool on wire racks.

step two: cut your cake
only one of your cakes will be cut to form the ears and the fancy bow tie! cut the cake as shown below:

step three: assemble your bunny
this should be self explanatory…ears at the top….bow tie at the bottom…i mean, there’s a picture if you really need it:

step four: frost your bunny

step five: decorate your bunny

(ears)

(bowtie)

(nose)

(eyes)

(whiskers)

while we decorated our bunny piece by piece….laura fell into the typical spindler pattern and gave the bunny a name: edward….my husband then gave edward a voice…oh dear, thank goodness this blog doesn’t have audio. :) please enjoy this adorable bunny cake, not only for easter, but for spring time and birthdays too! we love edward and hope that you too will want to create a new friend. (don’t get too attached though….cause then you might have trouble eating him)

– L & B

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who doesn’t love an oatmeal cream pie? when ever i think of them, i can’t help but remember that scene from ‘Honey I Shrunk the Kids’ where the kids are lost in the backyard and spot a GIANT oatmeal cream pie. i always thought that would be the most amazing thing as a kid, a giant sized snack cake. all of that cream filling. sigh. delicious. so, this post is an ode to childhood, when you could eat what ever you wanted without any regret.

ingredients
cookie
1 1/4 cups butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups uncooked quick-cooking oats

cream filling
2 teaspoons very hot water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow cream
1/2 cup shortening
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

first things first. preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

in your mixing bowl, beat your butter and sugar together until smooth and creamy, then add your egg and the vanilla to the mix and blend together. add all dry ingredients, except for the oats and stir. once mixed together well, add the oats and mix some more. you’re almost there. :)

i used a tablespoon to mold my cookie to make them  consistent in size. however, they didn’t spread out or flatten the slightest bit while in the oven. i was a bit disappointed. i suggest you do the same, but flatten them with a  wooden spoon once you place them on the cookie sheet. unless you want them to look like hamburger buns, but i’ll let you make that call. so, spoon these out onto a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. once baked, let them cool completely on wire racks.

in a very small bowl, dissolve the salt in hot water stirring constantly and until cooled. in your electric mixer’s bowl, combine marshmallow cream, shortening, vanilla and powdered sugar. mix until creamy. once fluffy add salt water and mix.

now for the best part. spread your filling onto the underside of one cookie and smoosh it together with another cookie. and there you have it, your very own mini oatmeal cream pies!

enjoy and have a wonderful week!

b

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“if it was ok to put my face in it, i would”

oh the cheesecake. this is one of those desserts i have been wanting to spend some time on for a quite a while. they make me nervous…don’t overbake…don’t overmix and for goodness sakes….don’t let the top crack! bah! so much pressure! but to tell you the truth….i kind of like pressure and challenges….and i’m not one to give up without a good fight.

the baking bibles (cake, pastry and bread by rose levy beranbaum) are where i usually turn first for quality recipes. rose boasted that this cheesecake recipe has made some turn up their noses to restaurant cheese cakes saying, “I don’t eat cheesecake out!” sounds like a good starting place to me.

ingredients:
crust:
20 oreos
1/4 cup unsalted butter (melted)

cake:
2 8 oz. packages cream cheese (softened)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups sour cream
9 oz white chocolate chips (melted)

equipment:
9 inch springform pan
food processor
aluminum foil
roasting pan – large enough to fit your springform pan

preheat your oven to 350º

begin with you crust. in your food processor finely chop oreo cookies and mix in melted butter.

prepare your springform pan. generously butter the bottoms and side of pan. place a piece of parchment paper, cut to fit, on the bottom of the pan and butter paper as well. coat the bottom of the pan with cookie crumb mixture. take three or four pieces of aluminum foil and lay them down on top of each other so they all crisscross in different directions. place your pan on top and pull foil up along the sides of your pan, being careful not to tear it anywhere. this foil’s job is to protect your cake from the water seeping in so take it seriously. transfer to fridge to chill.

in a heat safe bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, melt your chocolate chips. remove from heat and let cool – still give it a stir here and there so it won’t harden back up.

in your stand mixer, mix cream cheese and sugar till well blended. add in eggs one at a time scraping down the sides of the bowl between. add in lemon juice, vanilla and salt. beat in sour cream until just blended. avoid overmixing as it will create air bubbles and possibly cause cracking. add in your melted chocolate, mixing till just blended.

pour batter into pan over crust. add about an inch of hot water to a roasting pan. set your springform pan inside the water and roasting pan. transfer to oven.

bake for 45 minutes. once that timer rings, turn your oven off and let your cheesecake stay put for another hour….trying your very hardest to not open the oven door at all… not while baking and not for the extra hour afterwards. (i mean, i couldn’t help myself….i was too curious….but you try your best not to!) once your hour is up, transfer springform to cooling rack and let cool to room temperature – about another hour and then cover and transfer to fridge to chill overnight.

to unmold, run a knife around the edge of your pan and then remove springform. i added extra cookie crumbs to the side at this point.

serve chilled!

so, lets talk about the waterbath…scared? i was too. i decided to give myself enough time to make two different cheesecakes…just so that i could test out the waterbath method without the pressure of my first cake being the one i would share…which was a good thing, because my first attempt was foiled. i didn’t bake it long enough…so i had a mushy center and the water had seeped into the pan, so i had a soggy crust. waa waa. the outside of the cake was very tasty though, so i was conflicted….should i try the waterbath again…and risk another fail…or just bake it without the waterbath…and not get the experience i wanted.

well, i went for it. i took the two problems into consideration and was extra careful wrapping the springform pan with foil making sure  and double sure there were no tears or gaps. i also gave it an extra 5 minutes in the oven, making my baking time 50 minutes. all the books and blogs will say, when you take it out of the oven, the sides will appear set and the middle will still jiggle when you shake the pan slightly…as it cools…the cake will set all the way through. it’s hard to know how much jiggle is too much…which is probably why i moved forward with my first cake to quickly.

this time it appeared that the cake had set all the way through once it finished cooling…but only in cutting it, would i know for sure. when i brought it into work i had B slice it…cause i was so nervous that it hadn’t baked through. “it’s like butter” she exclaimed when she cut the first slice. phrew! it came out perfectly….creamy, rich cheesecake. mmmm….i want another piece right now, just thinking about it.

so, success! rose…you win, you always do. it will still be a while before i take over cheesecake factory…but watch out! i’m on my way!

happy valentine’s from your lazy birds! hope you have a delicious day!

-L

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“if you eat it in the dark, no one can see it” said my husband after I showed him why we at lazybird bakery do not, and i repeat, do not and will not decorate cakes. it’s too risky. i have FABULOUS ideas in my head that quickly snowball into horrendous displays of creativity. haha. but wow, that cake tastes good, and if you ask me that’s what’s important! remember this, don’t judge a book by its cover.

we’ve been writing this blog for some time now and we’ve yet to run out of ideas which is great, but sometimes we need a little push. so i called my little brother this week and asked him what i should make and the first thing that came out of his mouth was carrot cake. done. perfect. i love carrot cake and pretty much anything with a little spice to it. then throw some cream cheese icing on top, shut the front door. you’re going to need a nap after this one. it’s amazing. thanks Martha Stewart. Read more at Marthastewart.com: Carrot Cake – Martha Stewart Recipes

ingredients

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup water
1 pound grated carrots (8 to 10 medium carrots)
2 cups pecans (1 cup finely chopped for batter, 1 cup coarsely chopped for decorating sides of cake) optional.

equipment

stand mixer
mixing bowls/prep bowls
veggie peeler
crisco shortening
3 – 9″ cake pans
parchment paper

preheat oven to 350 degrees.

carrot cake

first things first. i went ahead and grated my carrots because it took forever. i haven’t peeled and grated in so long. i forgot just how time-consuming a task it was. so once i grated them, i covered with plastic wrap and placed back in the fridge while i got everything else together.

before using crisco to coat pans, go ahead and trace three circles the size of your pans, onto parchment paper. cut out and set aside. now coat your pans, place the parchment paper down into the bottom of the pan, and cover the paper with more crisco. lightly dust with flour, making sure to flour the edges of your pans. this will ensure that your cake doesn’t stick to the pans once baked!

in a large bowl go ahead and add your flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon. whisk together, making sure all ingredients are well mixed. in your stand mixer bowl, mix your sugars and your butter and whip until creamy. once creamy add eggs one at a time, mixing continuously, followed by vanilla, water and carrots. reduce the speed then add the flour mixture. if adding pecans go ahead and add them now.

using a spatula scrape out dough evenly into the three 9″ pans. bake pans for 15 minutes. turn pans half way around and bake for 10 more minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. once ready pull from oven and set pans on a wire rack for about 15 minutes. scrape edges with a knife to help loosen the cake. flip over onto wire racks and let cool completely.

while that’s cooling or even baking, go ahead and start your cream cheese icing. read more at Marthastewart.com: Cream Cheese Frosting – Martha Stewart Recipes

ingredients

16 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 lbs. of powdered sugar

cream cheese icing

first things first. in your mixer blend cream cheese and vanilla extract. once creamy cut the butter into T size slices and one by one, add to the cream cheese while the mixer is going. lower your speed and add the powdered sugar. your icing should be fluffy and smooth. this icing will keep in an airtight container for two days. bring to room temp. and mix well before icing your cake.

now that your icing is ready, set aside and clear off a space so that you can start assembling your cake. there are lots of ways to do this, but here is what i did. I took my first layer and laid it bottom side up. this way i have a flat surface to ice. apply icing. lay second layer same way, apply icing. for the third layer and lay correct side up, so that it is dome shaped. ice. here is where i should have stopped. cakes look great when their layers are exposed. but due to a lapse in judgement i just kept going, as did Martha, if you check her icing recipe. her cake is beautiful and she decided to use the remaining pecans as decoration to the sides. it’s elegant. but if you’re going for a circus big top look, such as myself, GO CRAZY. the sky’s the limit!

please enjoy.

-b

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“ice cream stroke”

we were blessed with some wonderful interns at work recently. unfortunately two of their internships ended this past friday, and we just had to celebrate them and their hard work with this week’s lazybird treat. so, when i asked them to give me a list of their favorites here is what they said;

bisciuts

cinnamon rolls

anything with nutella, peanut butter, or cheese in it

croissants

funfetti

the obvious choice to me was funfetti. i LOVE funfetti and always have. typically at lazybird bakery we make things from scratch or at least some part of the recipe from scratch. this time i decided since funfetti already existed, we would give you a recipe on how to assemble something rather share a recipe.

so, i thought i was a genius until i googled my idea and was quickly slapped in the face when i found out that people have been baking cupcakes in ice cream cones for a while now. :( oh well, at least this way there were already plenty of testimonials. so here’s how to create ice cream cone cup cakes.

box of ice cream cones

cake mix

funfetti frosting (comes with the cutest sprinkles)

mini muffin pan

something to pipe frosting with (bag or cookie press with tip)

preheat oven as directed on box.

mix cake as directed on back of box. poor mix into cones a little past where the cone widens at the top, just a hair. if you over fill you will make quite the mess in your oven. place cones filled with batter into mini muffin pan. carefully place pan in oven on middle rack and bake as if you were making cupcakes. once baked, carefull take out of oven and let cool. your cake should rise just about the cone.

once completely cooled, fill piping bag with desired frosting and decorate to look like soft served ice cream top with sprinkles and ta da! cupcakes that look like ice cream cones! please enjoy and have lots of fun!

-b

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