Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Gingerbread Peace Activists

The results from the flurry of baking for CCAN's Open House at Mike Tidwell's home in Takoma Park on the 13th of December included these guys, ready for action and totally vegan !

Mike graciously lets us set up our vegan advocacy tables and tent during the event to offer plant-based food information and bake sale goodies to compliment their message of reducing our impact on the planet. Chesapeake Climate Action Network promotes individual actions such as eating lower on the food chain, replacing old lightbulbs with CFLs , installing solar panels, collecting rain from your roof in barrels for the garden, and writing to our representatives in government demanding clean renewable energy. Check out their website and get involved :>

Mike Tidwell is a tireless, informed and engaging speaker and writer for the cause and can be heard hosting Earthbeat Radio, along with Daphne Wysham and on Jay Tomlinson's excellent podcast, The World On Fire , as well as appearing on numerous television shows. He's written essays for Orion, Audubon, Grist and others as well as authoring the prescient book Bayou Farewell and a follow-up of sorts, Ravaging Tide. It is an honor to be associated with him, CCAN, the small army of dedicated interns, and of course, Jay!

Here's the recipe for the cookies. Of course, use organic ingredients when ever's better for everyone . The dough is easy to work with, and does'nt spread out or puff up too much while baking. Makes 10-12 4" delicious Agents Of Change.

GINGERBREAD FOLKS ( adapted from a Vegetarian Resource Group recipe )
1/4 cup oil
1/3 cup evaporate cane brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses ( not blackstrap...use a mild molasses )
2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup oat flour ( grind some oatmeal in a blender till is is finely crumbled...some bigger particles are don't need it as fine as wheat flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh orange zest ( optional but nice :> )
1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon orange juice
Beat together the first 3 ingredients in a large bowl ( or bowl of stand mixer ). Sift together all the rest of the ingredients except for the orange juice. Add the dry, sifted ingredients to the sugar and oil mixture, alternating with the orange juice. Refrigerate dough for several hours. Roll out dough no thinner than 1/8", cut out shapes, transfer to baking sheets and bake at 350 for 8-12 minute...depending on shape and thickness. The thinner they are rolled the crisper they will be when baked. Don't over-bake ! Cool on racks. These also freeze well.

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