Archive for April, 2012

Starfest/DigiFest/HorrorFest/etc is this weekend! If you’re going to be there, say hi. Here’s where I’ll be:

Friday, 6PM: Asian Cult Cinema Panel

Saturday, 3:30: Writing the Dark Side

Sunday, 12 noon: Multimedia Reading w/Jesse Bullington. We two are collaborating for ours as we’ll be reading our co-authored story “Tubby McMungus, Fat From Fungus.” If you’re looking for it in the program, David Boop, Mike Hance, and Quincy Allen will also be reading.

But! Here’s what you really came here for today: Tahini Blondies!

So I wanted halva but I couldn’t be bothered to buy a candy thermometer. Thus: Tahini Blondies. Adapted from Vegan Cookies Take Over Your Cookie Jar, these are amazing tahini-ful squares of sesame bliss. Not for tahini-haters. If you’re on the fence, try ’em—they just might change your world. Or at least your ambivalence about tahini.

Tahini Blondies

3/4 cup tahini (I used Joya)

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 c. non-dairy milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1  cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2 tsp sesame seeds (I used a mix of white and black)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease an 8×8  baking dish.

In a mixing bowl, use a fork to vigorously mix  together tahini, oil and sugar. Stir in milk and vanilla. Stir in  flour, salt and baking powder. The batter will be very very thick and won’t spread on its own. Transfer to baking pan and press it into place. Sprinkle on the sesame seeds and lightly press them into the top.

Bake for 22-27 minutes, the edges should be just barely brown. The top will appear soft, that’s okay. Remove  from oven and cool completely before slicing. I bolded that because they are super gooey if you don’t. Also, I had to go the whole 27 because of altitude, so check yours at 22.



So yes! Some brand new Ivybridge madness you never asked for! My story, “The Hour of the Tortoise,” which will be one of the wretched tales of weirdness and uncomfortable sibling relationships in A PRETTY MOUTH (out later this year through Lazy Fascist Press!), will be appearing in THE BOOK OF CTHULHU II. Ross Lockhart’s at the editorial helm again so expect the same high-quality, mind-shattering madness of the original THE BOOK OF CTHULHU, which many many people seemed to enjoy.

Oh, and if you never got around to reading THE BOOK OF CTHULHU, Night Shade is totally having a 50% off sale right now. Just sayin’.

I know, I know. I leave for a million years only to come back with nothing more than THE ULTIMATE RECIPE FOR TIRAMISU.

Yeah. Look at that. What’s that? An inside shot, you say? Oh, no big deal:

Tiramisu. Holy hell. I love this dessert, and always have. It was the first dessert I made my husband during our courtship. I’ve made it a million times, but for the last six years, I’ve only made it in the form of the tiramisu cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. And those cupcakes are great, don’t get me wrong, but they’re not the same.

Why have I never made real tiramisu, then? Ladyfingers, that’s why. The cookie upon which tiramisu is founded. None of the store-bought brands I’ve seen have been even close to being vegan, and I had no notion of how to veganize such a thing. So imagine my delight when, upon googling “vegan tiramisu” (I wanted to make it for my friend Raechel’s birthday), I found this recipe.

It looked amazing! And let me tell you, it was. But I tweaked and messed with the original so I’m posting my update. My version has a tangy raspberry layer and some raspberry jam in the cream that tints it the most precious My Little Pony pink. The original cream recipe also calls for cornstarch and flour, but I figured reducing the heavy cream would work as well to thicken as any thickener. It did. Oh, and as written, the original recipe makes waaaaaaaaay too much cream if you’re doing the 9×9 version (which I did). Like, more than twice as much as is needed. What you see in the above pictures, by the way, is a full 9×9, a full 4.5×4.5, and that wasn’t all of it. I also had a bowl full of the stuff.  So, yeah, it needed some tweaking for us lazy scrubs who love the ease of 9×9 cakes. There will be too many cake slices, but that’s … easily dealt with. Om nom nom.


For one 9″ dish cake.


For the Lady Fingers:

2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon cornstarch

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/3 cup canola oil

1 cup water

spray oil

1 square 9″ pan

For the Cream:

3/4 c Tofutti sour cream

1 cup Tofutti cream cheese (1 container)

1/4 cups heavy unsweetened soy cream

1  teaspoons vanilla

1 tbs raspberry jam

1 tsp coffee liqueur

¾ to 1 c organic powdered sugar, sifted

For Assembly:

1 “shot in the dark” (12 oz coffee w/one or two shots espresso), cooled. Really, go out and get this at a local place, it’ll taste a jillion times better than making instant espresso from powder and then letting the rest go stale in your freezer.

1 tablespoon coffee liqueur

¼ to 1/3 cup good raspberry jam

cocoa powder

dark chocolate bar for shavings (I got an espresso chocolate bar)

one 9×9″ glass pan

Directions for Cream Filling:

Beat the sour cream, cream cheese, soy cream, vanilla, and liqueur to combine using a handheld or standing mixer. Sift the powdered sugar into the mixture. Do not put too much sugar in, taste it frequently (no problem!). If it’s too sugary, it’s going to overpower the espresso and the whole thing will be too sweet to eat. I added ¾ cup of sugar and then taste, add up to another 1/4 cup a little bit at a time. Beat until thickened, stick in the fridge.

Directions for Lady Fingers:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Sift together the dry ingredients, including sugar, and stir just to combine.

2.  Add the oil, vanilla, and water.  Stir until most of the lumps are gone.

3.  Spread into pan, bake for 35 mins. Toothpick test for doneness, then set aside to cool.

4.  Unmold the cake, then slice into 8 equal strips. Line up on a cookie sheet, rebake at 350 for 15 minutes until just brown, flipping once.

5.  Set the cookies aside to cool.

6.  Once cooled, cut the strips in half, then cut each cookie—carefully—in half again. This will give you more strips than you need, but who cares! Use the prettiest ones for the tiramisu and make an ugly one with the leftover cream to eat by yourself whilst watching Parks & Rec reruns on Netflix.

Directions for Assembly:

1.  Pour the cooled espresso into a shallow bowl or pan, and stir in the liqueur.

2.  Line up the cookies, espresso, cream, and 9×9 pan.

3.  Carefully dip each lady finger into the espresso mixture for a few seconds. Do it fast so they don’t fall apart!

4.  Line the cookies along the bottom of a glass dish, pressed together.

5. Take ¼ to 1/3 cup good-quality raspberry jam and spread over the layer.

6. Cover the layer completely with cream.

7. Dust with cocoa powder using a fine mesh strainer

8. Cover with a layer of chocolate shavings.

9.  Repeat process with another layer of espresso-soaked cookies, and cream.

10. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for the day. Before serving, dust with another layer of cocoa powder and chocolate shavings on top.  This is best done with the chocolate bar on the hard side.

Oh, and if you need more dessert—or just a dessert more suited for a picnic/bbq—how about cookies that look like burgers?

These I made after seeing a version in Martha Stewart Living. I made 12 peanut butter cookies (I think I used the recipe in Joy of Vegan Baking, but do whatevs, just not too crispy), and pressed sesame seeds into the tops after flattening. Then I made a pan of the brownies from Joy of Vegan Baking (my favorite recipe!), but in a 9×13, not a 9×9. I baked them less but I wanted thinner “patties.” After everything was completely cool I picked a cup of appropriate size and cut out the “patties” from the brownies, and drizzled them in “ketchup and mustard” icing I made with just powdered sugar, soy milk, and vegan food color. They’re super-good!