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Inspiration Everywhere

Posted on by MK Carroll

One of my latest projects: wild yeast sourdough starter. I'm using the instructions from Donna Currie's Sourdough Starter-Along over at Slice, and I'm on Day 6 (technically, this has been going for 7 days, but I had to fridge it for a day while I was away). 

It's burbling away contentedly and actually smells like bread, which I am counting as success. To allow air circulation, I'm using a paper towel held down by a canning ring (although I'm going to switch to a plastic screw-top lid later today, so that the lactic acid can start developing). Because I've been sketching out ideas to submit to Defarge Does Chaucer (one of the follow-ups to the fabulous book What Would Mme Defarge Knit, edited by Heather O. of the also fabulous CraftLit podcast), I've been daydreaming about medieval illuminated manuscripts, The Door in the Wall (which I read over and over again as a kid), The Chronicles of Prydain (ditto), the A Song of Ice and Fire series (which I am re-reading), etc. etc. I walked into the kitchen this morning, looked at the jar of sourdough starter, and giggled. It looks like it's wearing a wimple and headrail

I AM VAMPIRE. HEAR ME TWINKLE.* (Twilight Sugar Cookies)

Posted on by MK Carroll

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Recipe: Perfect Vegan Sugar Cookies from the John & Kristie blog; includes recipe for the icing and photos showing how to dip the cookies. I used the edge of the bowl to gently smoosh off some of the excess, and sprinkled the vampires with sparkling sugar while the icing was still wet.
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The icing needs to set for several hours before the cookies can be stacked; if you are also in Hawai'i and dealing with those super-annoying tiny ants that can get into just about anything, including Tupperware, and wondering how I managed, I laid them out in the snap-top plastic containers with the rubber lined lids - the ones I have are branded "Xeonic" and "Snapware" and I've purchased them at Don Quijote. It did occur to me this morning that I could have put them on a tray in the fridge for about an hour - I put the leftover icing in the fridge and it got solid very quickly.

You can find edible glitter, sanding sugar, and crystal sugar at Bake It Pretty (bakeitpretty.com). They also carry cookie cutters (pine tree, "folk" pine tree, and  "folk" gingerbread boy). I found cutters at a local grocery store (Star Market). Bake It Pretty will also be selling gel color paste soon. I used Wilton's Leaf Green gel color paste - about 1/2 teaspoon for half a batch of icing. I was worried about how long it might take to get in the mail (because I waited too long: note to self, order all Christmas-related stuff by Dec. 10th), so instead I had to go to three different stores before I found a white sparkling sugar at a specialty store (Executive Chef in Ward Shopping Center). It's the Dean Jacob's Sparkling Sprinkles. The ingredients list for the white sprinkles looks vegan, but the other colors in the container (I had to buy it as a set of 4) contain confectioner's glaze, which can be vegan but sometimes isn't.

If you are not familiar with Twilight, I like Cleolinda Jones' Twilight in 15 Minutes. I reviewed the book as "I have all kinds of problems with the characters, the plot, the writing style...and I could barely put it down. Grrf." Kidlet, she LOVES the books and the movie, and when the idea for Sparkling Vampire Sugar Cookies popped into my head, I knew what I was making for Christmas.

*line taken from the above-mentioned Twilight in 15 Minutes.