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Baking to Relax

It’s been a busy week around here.  I went back to school for in-service training Tuesday and Wednesday.  Today (Thursday) was my first “official” day in my classroom doing pre-planning.

Getting up at the crack of dawn these past three days has worn me slap out, and baking has been a desire but not something I’ve been able to actually attend to…

Until this afternoon (Thursday).

One of my key motivations for baking each week is my Small Group, which I attend on Friday evenings.  I’ve had a lot of fun presenting new desserts to their gracious hands and bellies.

I had already decided that I wanted to make Lemon Bars.  The recipe is found in the book Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar; however, a couple of days ago, I received another vegan recipe book by the same authors…

Ignore the one on the left.  That is probably going to be a Read Aloud later in the year.

After thumbing through the Vegan Pie in the Sky book, I decided I also wanted to make the Old Fashioned Chocolate Pudding Pie.

Yum!

With Friday evening a scant twenty-four hours away, time was ticking.

As soon as I got home from work, I got down to business…not even sitting down until almost 7:30.

Here is the fruit of my labor…

Lemon Bars

The Lemon Bars call for agar agar flakes.  I could only find this item at the health food store, and it was expensive…$11 for a small bag (look closely…bottom left of the picture that I was too lazy to crop)…

It turns out that agar agar is a type of seaweed that turns liquid into a gelatinous blob.  It was super-easy to use and did what it was supposed to do.

I also zested lemons for the first time ever.  Go Me!

The bars are very lemony and tart.  The crust turned out well.  I’m pleased with the result.

Here’s my Chocolate Pudding Pie (recipe found in my newest book)…

That’s a graham cracker crust.  I need to work on my crust-making skills.  It was way too crumbly and loose.  My pie plate was also too small, which could account for why the crust didn’t harden up enough.

The texture was arrived at by using arrowroot powder, another first for me.  The consistency is exactly like pudding.

Folks, do you know how many years it’s been since I ate pudding.

Oh word.

The pie is not overly sweet, nor is it overly chocolaty, despite what it looks like.

I’ve gotta tell you, once again, that I could place these desserts in front of any carnivore, and he/she would not know that it was vegan-friendly.

I highly, highly, recommend this recipe book series!!

I also highly recommend baking to get rid of work stress.  The anticipation while waiting for these desserts to set in the refrigerator took my mind off of my long, school-related to-do list, and that is definitely something special!

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