Saturday, December 22, 2012

I'm a weiner! I'm a weiner!

Back in the late nineties-early 2000's, I used to try to win stuff on the radio all the time. And I guess I had some magic phone dialing skillz, because I won fairly often. Concert tickets were the prize mostly, but occasionally I would score pizza, t-shirts, or a random CD (Oh, THAT'S where that Ween CD came from!) I also attribute my winnings to working in a darkroom, where listening to the radio was the only protection I had from year-round SAD.

The biggest prize I ever won was with a game that a morning show ran every year. They would talk to someone on January 1st, and name them the first caller of the year. Then on the last on-air day in December they would take the first caller who could correctly name the person from January. I wrote that person's name down and put it in my wallet, and on January 2001 I won that prize. It was a pair of tickets to any ten concerts the station had tickets for in the entire year. Ten pairs of tickets! I had more tickets that year than I could find artists I liked enough to go see. I ended up getting tickets for friends because I just couldn't use them all. I've seen Tori Amos in concert almost every time she has toured Atlanta since 1994, and I got those for free that year. I also dragged Ken to an OzzFest to see Black Sabbath that year as well. Barenaked Ladies is one of my embarrassing crush pop bands, and I got to have fun at that show for free, too. A great prize package! That is the last time I remember winning anything at all, a full twelve years ago.

Last week I broke my streak and was shocked to have taken first place in a Holiday Cookie Contest that VegNews Magazine held!! This was the first time I ever entered a cooking or baking contest, and it was harder than I thought it would be. I made several attempts at a dark chocolate peppermint fudge cookie and it kept bombing. After wasting too much flour and sugar I decided "fuck it". But some friends and Ken encouraged me to try again, and I managed to come up with a cookie that I thought sounded weird but good. On the night before the contest deadline, I worked out a soft sugar cookie with pumpkin pie spice and applesauce. I had some old maple extract gathering dust on the shelf, so I added it to a buttercream filling and viloa! Apple Pie Cookies with Maple Cream Filling. Ken said they were awesome, but after tasting the ingredients all night the flavors were making me a bit woozy, so I had to take his word for it. I entered the contest with no real expectations and a week later- BAM! I won a Vitamix! I am totally not bragging, I am just excited and surprised the judges picked my cookies! Wow!

                                VegNews made this pretty picture, not me.

Here's the recipe for you. I hope you enjoy them as much as I will enjoy making green smoothies and cashew cheese sauce in my precious new Vitamix.

Apple Pie Cookie with Maple Cream Filling

Makes 12 cookie sandwiches

What You Need: 
For the cookies:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin-pie spice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup vegan margarine, at room temperature
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
For the filling:
1/2 cup vegan shortening, at room temperature
1/2 cup vegan margarine, at room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup vanilla soymilk
1 teaspoon maple extract

What You Do:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. For the cookies, lightly oil a large cookie sheet or line with parchment paper. In a large bowl, add flours, baking powder, salt, pumpkin-pie spice, and cinnamon. With an electric hand mixer, in a medium bowl, mix together margarine and sugar until creamy. Add applesauce and vanilla and mix again until incorporated. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients in several batches until well mixed.
2. Take 2 tablespoons of batter and roll dough into a ball with your hand, then press down to make a thick cookie. Place cookies about an inch apart on prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, removing from oven when they are slightly soft. Let cool for a few minutes before moving them to a cooling rack. Cookies will firm up as they cool. 
3. For the filling, with an electric mixer or stand mixer, cream together shortening and margarine. Add powdered sugar and continue to mix until incorporated. While the mixer is going, slowly add 1 to 2 tablespoons soymilk until filling is creamy but still thick. Add no more than 1/4 cup soymilk total. Add maple extract and mix on medium speed for about 2 minutes until filling is very creamy with some peaks.
4. Once cookies are completely cooled, scoop a dollop of cream filling on flat side of one cookie. Top with another cookie and squish slightly. Repeat until all cookie sandwiches are assembled.


Glue and Glitter said...

Leigh, that is awesome! So you're officially an award-winning baker now! :D

Leigh said...

Ha! "Award Winning". I better have some cards printed :P

dreaminitvegan said...

How exciting! I just saw your recipe on their website today. I know a couple of people that win all of the time, it's crazy what they win.
Congrats on your new Vitamix don't you love it? I just got one in October for my birthday/Christmas present. I love it!

Leigh said...

Thank you! I don't actually have the Vitamix yet, they are shipping it to me. I can't wait to use it. I'm glad you are enjoying your birthday/Christmas Vitamix, too. A great gift!

Jes said...

Dang girl, congrats!!! (And you're going to love that Vitamix, I use mine every day it seems.) Now I need to try out those cookies ASAP!

Leigh said...

Thanks Jes :) I plan on using the Vitamix every single day until it finally takes it's last high powered spin around a pile of cashews. As soon as they send it to me!

Christy said...

You're awesome! We were destined to be friends. I think I told you what my first word was.

Leigh said...

:) xoxo

adriennefriend said...

Congrats! I am STILL happy for you!!