Beginning of a new chapter

As I lay with my dog on a sleeping bag in the living room of my empty apartment, I’m finally able to stop and think about everything that was happened in the past couple of weeks: graduation, Christmas, looking for a job, moving, New Years.

Actually, some of that is still in progress. I’m still searching for my exact career path (or really any job) right now, so tomorrow I move back in with my parents. Yep. But anyway, I want to talk about what delicious treats I have made this month.

For my dad’s birthday in the first week of December, I made him a vegan version of those awesome chocolate chip cookie cakes you can get at the mall. Before my parents started eating a vegan diet like me, it was basically a tradition to get him one of these every birthday. Now, he can still have one!

turtle cake

My sister, Lindsay (the artist of the family), is responsible for the awesome icing decoration, while made and baked the cookie from a veganized version of this recipe (using Earth Balance instead of butter and Egg Replacer for two eggs) — all 14″ of it! Also, the turtle is an inside joke and probably wouldn’t make much sense if I explained it, so just admired how cute it is and leave it at that. 😉 Everyone loved it!

My favorite food-related part of this year was Christmas. My gifts to my loved ones: lots of FOOD! I couldn’t help it. I love baking, and I love sugar, and I love giving unique gifts that require a little extra effort… so this was the best thing I could come up with:

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Sweet stuff! I made each person a huge sugar cookie (veganized version of this recipe) with a pretty decoration I drew and their names. I used 3-lb holiday treat tins to put these in. But that’s not all! Underneath each cookie, there was a layer of wax paper followed by a layer of various other treats from my kitchen:

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I’m mad at myself for not getting pictures of those other desserts, but here’s a list of each and links to the recipes I veganized for them:

Oreo cookie truffles, 1/2 covered in baking chocolate, other 1/2 covered in white chocolate

Glitter balls, 1/2 covered in vegan milk chocolate, other 1/2 in white chocolate

Chocolate caramel popcorn, a original vegan recipe from my December 2011 VegNews magazine 🙂

Saltine toffee cookies, a favorite with many

Pecan bars, another huge favorite

Chocolate chip cookies, which I made for my dad because he requested them. I think because of how much he enjoyed the birthday cookie?

For the vegan white chocolate, I ordered these King David chips from Amazon.com:

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White chocolate used to be my obsession and diet health enemy before I went vegan and started eating healthier, and I couldn’t believe how much these brought back memories! Amazing! I had a tiny bit of trouble getting them to melt like baking chocolate, but they still did their job in the end.

I had so much fun making these, and it was a great holiday season. I hope everyone else had a great one as well!