Before you ask, no — I’m not going overboard with all of this yoga stuff and switching to Veganism. Mainly because up until a week or so ago, I didn’t really understand what it meant. But I did a little research, asked some friends, and now I have at least a vague hint about what’s going on.
Just like Episcopalians are basically complicated Methodists, the same is true with Vegans and Vegetarians. Vegans extend their reverence for animals to all things that come from animals, like milk, butter and cheese. Oh, and honey, which you might have heard comes from bees. Bees are technically insects —which are living things, but technically so are plants, so I’m not sure why it’s OK to massacre them, but that’s why I’m not a Vegan, because I’d die of confusion-induced starvation.
So you can see why I haven’t gravitated toward this culinary lifestyle, right? Well, it turns out that karma is conspiring against me. Just like it threw vegetarians Carrie Rollwagen and Jennifer Cloe into my life, now it’s throwing Vegans at me! One of my fellow yoga teachers-in-training, Lauren Lippeat Fields, came to class one day with a Tupperware of Vegan Treats — specifically Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups. Inwardly, I turned my nose up, thinking, “They’re probably made of soy and hippie hair. Not interested.” However, out of politeness, I indulged. And indulged. And indulged. They were delicious! Rich, chocolate-y goodness.
So, should you make these? It depends. They aren’t the cheapest snacks to make. The recipe comes from Alicia Silverstone’s cookbook, and it’s clear she’s not hurting for money. However, if you are curious, and you have some gold pennies to drop at Whole Foods, why not? These freeze wonderfully, so they’re great to keep around for a late-night animal-friendly sugar fix. Here’s what you need if you want to give it a go:
Lah’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
1/2 cup Earth Balance “butter”
3/4 cup organic crunchy peanut butter
3/4 cup of organic graham cracker crumbs (take five graham cracker rectangles)
¼ to 1/2 cup of raw turbinado sugar
1 cup of dark grain-sweetened chocolate chips (Whole Foods)
1/4 cup to half a cup of vanilla almond milk (sweetened)
Since you’re practicing compassionate consumption with this vegan culinary experiment, it means you’ve got a surplus of leftover bloodlust. Might I suggest taking it out on those graham crackers? Throw them in a Ziploc, grab a rolling pin, and get yourself back in balance. I think even Vegans would agree that bludgeoning crackers is OK (or would they, since the crackers are made of wheat, which used be be alive? Damn these non-intersecting circles of logic!).
When you’re done wailing on that bag of crackers, put the mini muffin liners into mini muffin tins. You might want to give a light spray of Pam. Then again, you might not. Pam is a ladies name, and that skirts uncomfortably close to the Vegan Edge. [Speaking of, did you know that although The Edge (from U2) is not Vegan, his bandmate, drummer Larry Mullen Jr. is a Vegetarian. This is not pertinent, really.]
If you don’t have mini muffin tins, just use a plate. If you don’t have mini muffin cups, go buy some. Please make sure the mini muffin cups were not tested on animals. I know this sounds ridiculous, but there are rumors that Chinese factories have tested mini muffin cups by making tiny hats for cats out of them. Think Cat in a Fez. *This is an unconfirmed rumor.
Here’s where I took a detour from Miss Silverstone’s recipe. Her method uses the stove to melt everything. I say forget all that noise. I guess since they’re not out hunting animals, Vegans have lots of spare time for cleaning pots and pans. I do not, so I used the microwave to melt the butter and peanut butter together (20 seconds at a time, stirring until smooth) and I did the same with the chocolate and almond milk (same story, separate bowl). I guess you still end up cleaning the same amount of bowls, but you don’t have to pay attention all the time, which is a big plus because for us non-Vegans, that’s more time for killing.
Back to the cups. Stir the cracker crumbs into the butters, add the sugar, then dollop by the teaspoonful into the muffin cups. Rinse your spoon and then top each cracker dollop with a teaspoon of chocolate.
Then pop them in the fridge for a couple of hours, or the freezer if you’re impatient, and you’re done! Now you have a bite-sized treat that in now way impacts the life of an animal. It’s like eating dessert while hugging a bunny.
All joking aside, many thanks to Lauren for sharing the recipe, and for Vegans in general for their good intentions. If you’d like to enjoy a little more Vegan humor, check out this link to a clip from Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World that Carrie sent me. Hi-larious!
Have a Happy Valentine’s Day, now go make something sweet for your sweetie! 😉