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Washington never had the kind of working-class immigrant communities that brought traditional Old World bakeries to many cities. But some see a unique local bakery culture developing here nonetheless. At area farmers' markets and retail shops you can find vegan cupcakes, artisan breads, and French pastries. Vietnamese, Ethiopian and Salvadoran bakeries offer other sweet and savory options. We explore the evolution bakeries in our region.
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
Yield: Makes 12 large or 24 small whoopie pies
3 cups (15 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
2 cups (14 ounces) brown sugar, packed
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups canned pumpkin
1 tablespoon egg replacer (recommended: Ener-G)
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Cream cheese frosting, recipe to follow
Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and allspice.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together brown sugar and oil with the paddle attachment until well combined.
Add pumpkin puree and mix until combined.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg replacer and water.
Add egg replacer and vanilla to the pumpkin mixture and mix until well combined.
Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture, about a cup at a time, and mix until fully incorporated.
Using a small ice cream scoop with a release mechanism, drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart.
Transfer to oven and bake until cookies are just starting to crack on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of each cookie comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely on pan.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1/3 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening (recommended: Earth Balance)
4 ounces non-dairy cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 to 2 drops of lemon oil
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the shortening until smooth.
Add cream cheese and beat until well combined.
Add confectioners' sugar, vanilla, lemon juice and lemon oil and beat just until smooth. (Frosting can be made in advance. Cover and refrigerate, but let stand at room temperature to soften before using.)
Transfer filling to a pastry bag. When cookies have cooled completely, pipe a large dollop of filling on the flat side of half of the cookies. Top with the remaining cookies, pressing down slightly so that the filling spreads to the edge of the cookies.
Credit: "Sticky Fingers' Sweets: 100 Super-Secret Vegan Recipes" by Doron Petersan. Copyright 2012 by Doron Petersan. Reprinted here by permission of Penguin/Avery. All rights reserved.
Barley whole wheat bread and breakfast vegetable spread:
One of Maryland's federal lawmakers is behind some new ideas about campaign finance reform that have stalled in Congress, but are being taken up by local legislatures, including D.C.