Gingerbread Cupcakes with Pumpkin Pie Filling

I have a reputation for making deliciously fucked up vegan cupcakes (and note that when I say “reputation”, I mean among the three vegan patrons of the Munchie Machine food truck–who used to sell my goods–and the friends and coworkers unfortunate enough to fall victim to my force-feeding tendencies).   But. Anyway. These really take the cake…and the pie.  So if you feel like settling into a diabetic coma this holiday season, feast upon this orgiastic confection of holiday flavors.

You’ll need:

For the gingerbread (This is just a veganized version of a standard southern gingerbread recipe.  If you have your own, feel free to use it):

  • ¼ c. non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening (non-hydrogenated because, really, we don’t want Dear Readers suffering an expedient death by heart failure)
  • ¼ c.  Earth Balance buttery spread
  • 1 c. hot water
  • 1 c. molasses
  • ¾ c. sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp. each ground ginger and cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 ¾ c. flour
  • ½ c. of plain or vanilla soy yogurt + 2 tbsp. cornstarch, whipped together until you determine it “well-beaten” (it should be somewhat stiff—relative to the viscosity of normal soy yogurt, at least–and hold a few air bubbles.)

For the pumpkin pie filling (this makes way too much, so if you’re feeling mathematically ambitious, feel free to halve this recipe):

  • 1 15-16 oz. can of pumpkin
  • ¾ c. coconut milk
  • 1/3 c. plain soy yogurt
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. each cinnamon and ginger
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. allspice
  • 2 tbsp. molasses
  • ½ c. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch

As good as this, but less humiliating.

Steps!

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees and fill two muffin tins with 18 paper liners.
  • Prepare the pumpkin pie filling first: combine all ingredients in a blender and give it a whirl.
  • Pour the contents of your blender into a shallow, oven-safe bowl and bake for about 10 minutes—just give it enough time to solidify a little bit.
  • Time for the gingerbread: Turn down the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Combine ingredients through spices in a medium saucepan.  As the fats begin to melt down (mmm), whisk everything to incorporation. Heat mixture over medium flame until it comes to a boil, then turn off the heat (removing it from your oven range if necessary) and give it a stir.
  • Sift together the remaining dry ingredients.  Create a well in the center of it.
  • Pour molasses into the well of sifted dry ingredients to create a calorically dense volcano of deliciousness.
  • Stir all of the ingredients together, and then add soy yogurt/cornstarch mixture.
  • Fill muffin tins 1/3 of the way with gingerbread batter, and then place 2 tablespoons (or so) of pumpkin pie filling on top of that.  Add a final layer of gingerbread batter—enough to cover the pumpkin pie filling.  The tins will probably be ¾ full at this point. (These cupcakes are probably going to erupt over the top of the liner mid-baking; they’re a little insecure about their muffin top, so resist the urge to make fat jokes at their expense, please.)
  • Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool, and then refrigerate.
  • When ready to serve, top with non-dairy whipped topping.
  • Groan with pleasure.

Rumnog Cheesecake Squares with Pumpkin Pie Swirl! (On a Graham Cracker Crust!)

These taste exactly how you’d think they would (i.e., amazing).  If you lack gustatory imagination, know that they basically taste like heaven, if heaven were populated with individuals recently released from the earthly shackles of Type II diabetes.  They’re ideal for potlucks, holiday parties, and eating out of the pan with a fork, by yourself, while you watch bad romantic comedies.

So, ready to eat your (delicious) feelings?  Awesome.  You’ll need:

The Graham Cracker Crust:

  • 1 ½ cups crushed cinnamon graham cracker crumbs (one package in a box approximates the amount you need)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 stick (So, eight tablespoons—yep.  Eight) Earth Balance buttery sticks, melted

The Rumnog Cheesecake (P.S.: If this portion of the recipe looks familiar to you, it’s because I stole it from the side of a Silk Nog carton.)

  • 1 tub of Follow Your Heart Non-Dairy Cream Cheese (‘cause Tofutti is for suckas!), softened
  • ¼ c. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 tbsp. dark rum
  • ½ tsp. of vanilla
  • ½ c. Silk Nog
  • ¼ c. plain soy yogurt, whipped with 1 tbsp. cornstarch (This is my go-to egg replacer, and I highly recommend it for most things that would normally require eggs to bind and add moisture.  Just whip the two together in small bowl with a fork; it should be free of lumps and have a few air bubbles in it when done.)

The Pumpkin Pie Swirl

  • 1 15-16 oz. can of pumpkin
  • ¾ c. coconut milk
  • 1/3 c. plain soy yogurt
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. each cinnamon and ginger
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. allspice
  • 2 tbsp. molasses
  • ½ c. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch

Steps:

First! The Crust:

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • If you have not already done so, pulverize your graham crackers until they have a fairly fine crumb.
  • Transfer to a medium-sized bowl and add sugar.  Give it a stir.
  • Melt Earth Balance.
  • Mix everything together.  You should essentially have greasy graham cracker crumbs at this point (mmm).
  • Transfer the crumbs to an 8×8 casserole dish, or cake pan, or whatever.  Press crumbs into your pan, going up about ¾ inch on the sides.
  • Bake the crust for about 5-7 minutes to eliminate a little of the greasy quality.

Now!  The Cheescake:

  • Mix ingredients through salt with a fork until it’s fluffy-ish.
  • Beat in rum and vanilla.
  • Add nog carefully, since your mixture will be pretty liquid-y at this point.
  • Add beaten soy yogurt mixture.
  • Set aside while you make the pumpkin pie swirl.

And then! The Pumpkin Swirl:

  • This is delightfully easy: Combine all of your ingredients together and give it a whirl.  Bam!

Finally!  Assembly:

  • Pour the entirety of your cheesecake mixture into your baked graham cracker crust; it should be between ½-¾ full.
  • Next, drizzle in pumpkin pie mix evenly across the cheesecake mixture until the filling is precariously close to the edges of the crust.  You won’t use all of the pumpkin pie filling; sorry for being wasteful (pumpkin pie shot time?).  Stick a fork into the mixtures and swirl around to make pretty designs.
  • Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes, until the center is no longer jiggly (okay, a little jiggle is okay, but you don’t want your cheesecake looking like an extra in a Ludacris video, youknowwhatImean?)
  • Turn off your oven and crack it to allow your cheesecake to cool for about 20 minutes, then transfer to a counter top to cool to room temperature.
  • Then refrigerate!  These can be served room temperature, but they do taste better cold.  Also, I’d recommend refrigerating them for storage purposes.

* Note: If you do not care about cheesecake cracks, or if you decided to bake this at 5am and have work in three hours, or if you are lazy, just transfer your cheesecake dish directly to the refrigerator/freezer (depending upon how time-pressed you are).  The taste and texture should be the same.

Even Godard wants to nom on these.

ATTACK OF THE KILLER TOMATO SOUP!

I know what you’re thinking: “Tomato soup?  Eh.  Next post, please.”

But you are wrong.  So unbelievably wrong.

Because this isn’t just an accompaniment to your grilled cheeze sandwich: it’s a solution to most of life’s problems, beginning with, “What should I make for dinner?” and ending roughly around, “How can I make him/her love me again?” (with a, “What the hell am I going to do with this can of whole peeled tomatoes?” thrown in the middle somewhere).

And it only takes a modicum more effort than it would to peel open that carton of Imagine Tomato Bisque!

Are you sold?

Great! You’ll need:

  • 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic (chopped as finely as your patience will allow)
  • ½ teaspoon each of: rosemary, oregano, and thyme (crushed in a mortar and pestle so you can feel like a member of a marginalized ethnic group that now runs casinos)
  • ¼ teaspoon of cayenne
  • One 15-ounce can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed thoroughly
  • One 28-ounce can of tomatoes (whole, crushed, fire-roasted, whatever.)
  • 2 teaspoons of kosher salt (or to taste)
  • 1 cup of vegetable broth or soymilk
Rawrrrr. I’m DELICIOUS!

Ready?  Let’s do this.

1.     Heat a wok (or a high-walled pan) on medium heat and add olive oil.

2.     Once the oil has coated the bottom of the pan, add the garlic and crushed herbs.  Once the garlic is translucent and fragrant, add the cayenne.

3.     When the garlic is toasted, add the cannellinis.  Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon until they begin to brown in spots.  I’m bad at time estimation, but I think this takes between 5 and 10 minutes.

4.     Add the entire can of tomatoes with juice, and then sprinkle liberally with kosher salt.

5.     Let everything simmer, stirring occasionally, until it can be easily broken down with the back of your spoon.  This will probably take around 20 minutes.

6.     Transfer the contents of your pan into a blender.  This is a messy process, especially if you are clumsy (I transferred the majority of it with a measuring cup before pouring the remainder directly into my blender). Make sure you close the lid tightly afterward (if you don’t, it will explode; consequently, your kitchen will look like a CSI crime scene, and you will be sad).  Blend on a low setting at first, and then gradually increase speed (that’s what she said).

7.     Once everything is fairly well blended, remove your lid and pour in your vegetable broth or soymilk.  Replace lid and blend until everything is smooth.

8.     Bring to your ailing gentleman caller or ladyfriend, knowing that if bringing them delicious homemade soup doesn’t get you laid, they probably didn’t really like you all that much to begin with.