Rakugan Higashi (Dry Sugar Candies)
Jan 24th, 2016 by Alice

From Alice

  • 30 g wasanbon sugar
  • 2 ml water
  • 20 g mijin-ko (kanbai-ko) flour made from sweet rice
  • Food coloring
  • katakuri-ko (potato starch)


Mix water and food coloring. Mix sugar into water and food coloring. Add mijin-ko and mix until the dough holds finger marks.

Dust your molds with katakuri-ko. Fill molds tightly, and tap out onto a plate.

These are dry sugar candies – and go well with the tea ceremony. Shapes of these candies are seasonally linked and generally very specific. Since I only have a few molds, those are what I plan to make.

If you do not have rakugan higashi molds, you can buy candy or chocolate molds at many craft supply stores. They’ll hold you over until you can make a friend in Japan to send you some molds.

Pan Dulces
Jan 24th, 2016 by Alice

From Alice

  • 1 cup oat milk or milk substitute of your choice
  • 6 tablespoons palm oil, butter, margarine, or other solid fat
  • 1 Tablespoon yeast
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 “Eggs” (substitute of your choice)
  • 5 cups flour


  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅔ cups flour
  • 4 Tablespoons palm oil
  • 2 fake egg yolks
  • food coloring (pink, orange, yellow)


Heat the oat milk until it bubbles and remove from heat. Add the palm oil, stir until melted. Add the yeast when it is about the same temperature as tap-hot water. Try not to let the yeast get coated in palm oil.

Add ⅓ cup sugar, fake eggs and 2 cups flour. Add the rest of the flour a little at a time, mixing thoroughly. Knead until smooth, about 8 minutes. Put dough in an oiled, warm bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled in size (1 hour).

Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces. Form into flat ovals on a lined cookie sheet. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled again (40 minutes).

Topping: mix ½  cup sugar, ⅔ cup flour, and palm oil until you get crumbs. Mix coloring with the fake egg, then add to the crumbs. Roll into 16 ovals about the same size as the top of the buns. Place a topping oval on each bun, and press very lightly into place. Do not press hard enough to collapse your buns!

Cut patterns into the oval topping – spiral shapes, criss-crosses, etc.

Bake at 350°F for 15 to 20 minutes, or until sugar topping is almost browned.

Mitarashi Dango (or, Seattle Dango)
Jan 24th, 2016 by Alice

From Alice

  • 200 g joshin-ko (rice flour)
  • 30 g mochi-ko (mochi rice flour)
  • 20 g granulated white sugar
  • 320 ml tap-hot water


  • 1 ⅓ Tablespoons Maggi (or soy sauce)
  • 50 g granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sake
  • 60 ml water
  • 1 Tablespoon katakuri-ko (potato starch)
  • 1 tablespoon water


Combine sauce ingredients (except katakuri ko) in a saucepan. Heat. Add katakuri-ko to 1 tablespoon of water. Add katakuri-ko mixture to sauce. Remove from heat as soon as the katakuri-ko is mixed in. Set aside.

Mix dry ingredients in a glass bowl. Add water a bit at a time, while stirring. Mix thoroughly.
Put into a microwave at 600 watts for 2 minutes. On our microwave (1500 watts) this is setting 4 of 10.

Mix with a wooden spoon as best you can. Repeat until it is so stiff that you can cut it with a knife and it stays in place. You should start microwaving it 1 minute at a time as you get close to this point. It will be a little bouncy/springy.

Wrap in a cool, damp cloth and knead for 2-3 minutes. Rinse your hands often in cool water – the dough is very hot.

Split into 6 parts. Roll each into a 16 cm long sausage. Keep wetting your hands so they don’t stick to the dough. Cut each roll into 8 equal pieces. (“Marume naosu hitsuyou wa nai” – you don’t have to make sure they are all perfectly round. How nice.)

Skewer 4 onto each skewer and roast. “Kirei ni yakeru” – roast until they look pretty.

We roasted them on the oiled rack from a toaster oven positioned over a stovetop burner set on high.

This is very much like roasting marshmallows – you want a nice crusty (though not completely browned) layer on the outside.

Set on a plate, drizzle with sauce. Eat as soon as they’re not too hot for your tongue.

Carob Syrup
Jan 23rd, 2016 by Alice

From Corinne Cooley

  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup carob powder
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • ½ tsp vanilla


Add a small amount of water to carob powder, stir into a paste. Add more water and and the honey. Bring to a boil while stirring in the rest of the water until it is the consistency you want. Simmer for a few minutes and then add the vanilla.

Carob Beer Cake
Jan 23rd, 2016 by Alice

From Jenn Purnell

  • 1 cup Duchesse De Bourgogne beer
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 tablespoons carob powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla


Preheat oven to 350°F. Oil and flour a cake pan.

Mix and sift dry ingredients together.

Mix liquid ingredients.

Add liquids to dry ingredients and stir until smooth.

Bake 25-30 minutes.

Apple Crisp
Jan 23rd, 2016 by Alice

From Debbie Gift

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 ½ cups whole rolled oats (not “quick oats”)
  • 1 ½ cups brown sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • 1 cup butter, margarine, or other solid fat (palm oil works)
  • Apples – peel and slice gazillions of apples. 8 small ones, or 4 big ones.


Mix the flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Mix in the solid fat, making big crumbles.
Fill a baking dish about half- to three-quarters full of apples. Add ¼ cup water. Sprinkle the crumbles on top. I like to have the topping be almost as thick as the pile of apples, but don’t pat it down.

Bake at 350°F for about an hour or until you can’t stand the wonderful aroma anymore and you just have to eat it.

You can freeze any unbaked topping to use next time.


Chocolate Chip Cookies
Feb 18th, 2013 by Alice

Chocolate chip cookies, non-chocolate non-chip cookies, and decorated cookies! Image (c) 2013 Jason Enevoldsen

Chocolate chip cookies, non-chocolate non-chip cookies, and decorated non-chocolate non-chip cookies! Image © 2013 Jason Enevoldsen

From Alice

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) Butter, margarine, or other solid fat
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 “Eggs” (substitute of your choice)
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda


  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips/chunks
  • red coloring preferred by you
  • frosting (mix powdered sugar/a drop of vanilla/drops of water or lemon juice until it is the right thickness.)


Preheat to 375 F (190 C)

Mix butter and sugars.

Add “eggs.”

Mix flour and baking soda. Add to butter/sugar/”egg” mixture.

Add chocolate chips if you want chocolate chip cookies. Don’t if you want frosted cookies. (Unless you want both.)

Scoop out half.

Add red coloring to the half in the mixer.

Take one small scoop (about a teaspoon) of the red and one of the uncolored. Roll them together and make a flattened cookie-ish shape on your baking pan. If it is too goopy to do this, chill the dough for a bit.

Bake 10 minutes, they should look a little puffy and not quite finished, this way they turn out soft.

Once cool you can frost and decorate them!

I wanted to make frosted Valentine’s Day cookies (hence the red food coloring) with my daughter, but our regular sugar cookie recipe is a little too crumbly. The chocolate chip cookies are stiff enough for even her, so I just left the chips out.  Examples of all three styles are in the picture above.


Caramel Sauce
Jun 10th, 2012 by Alice

From Alice Enevoldsen (this recipe is undergoing testing)

  • 1 Cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 Cup your favorite milk substitute
  • 1/4 Cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup (Cane Sugar)


Combine in a saucepan, stir well. Cook at medium/medium-low heat until simmering. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring to keep from boiling over. The last drips off the spoon should stay separate from each other.

Pour into heatsafe bowl to cool. Serve or refrigerate and serve.

(cut down milk and cook longer for a thicker sauce… but don’t forget it will thicken as it cools!)

Pumpkin Pie Filling (Vegan, Egg-Free, Milk-Free)
Nov 23rd, 2011 by Alice

From Alice Enevoldsen

  • 2 cups pureed pumpkin (you can use canned)
  • 1 cup oat milk
  • ½+ cup honey
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ½ Tablespoon molasses (to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger (I never actually measure spices other than ginger, clove, and cardamom)


Mix all ingredients until smooth. Pour into crust.

Bake 10 minutes at 425F, 50 minutes at 350F (until filling is set). Cool.

IMPORTANT: Refrigerate overnight before serving. This is how you get that firm pumpkin pie without egg or milk.

Shoo-Fly Pie
Feb 1st, 2011 by Alice

From Alice Enevoldsen (modified from Kitty Gift)

Shoo-fly pie
Image © 2011 Jason Gift Enevoldsen


  • ½ cup dark Karo syrup
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • ½ tsp baking soda

Top (you can make a little less than this):

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup palm oil (or your favorite Butter substitute)


Make pie crust, put in pie dish. Place pie dish on a non-stick cookie sheet (you’ll thank me later).

Make top crumbs by mixing flour and brown sugar, then cutting in palm oil until it loosely clumps together.

Measure Karo and maple syrup in 2 cup glass measuring cup (to get a more barrel molasses-y flavor put in more Karo, less maple syrup, and a tablespoon or so of Grandma’s molasses. Do not use blackstrap molasses).  In 1 cup measuring cup, boil water.  Add baking soda to hot water.  Add water to molasses measuring cup and mix thoroughly.

Assemble pie by alternating layers of the liquid and the top crumbs – about 3 layers of each.

Bake at 375F for 35 minutes. (Don’t forget to have that non-stick cookie sheet under your pie, it will save you from any boil-over burning on the oven elements)

Shoo-fly pie
Image © 2011 Jason Gift Enevoldsen

I’ve taken up the Gift family torch to pass on the cult of loving shoo-fly pie to as many as possible. So far I have at least a dozen converts.

When it is described to you – “pie made with innards of brown sugar and molasses” – you have no idea what this will be like. You picture some sort of candy in a pie crust. Tasty sure, but how do you eat it? You’re completely wrong. It is a bit like cake in a pie-crust. But that doesn’t do it justice.

A note on ingredients:

This should be made with barrel molasses instead of Karo and maple syrup. Sometimes this is called Dutch barrel syrup (as in Pennsylvania Dutch – i.e. German). If you have access to this ingredient, first send me some, then make the pie with it instead. For the rest of us, the last sighting of barrel molasses was at a little Mom & Pop style general store in New Jersey. You had to bring your own containers.

You’d think molasses would be a better substitute than corn syrup, but after many, many trials I’ve determined that the closest flavor is dark Karo. There is no bite to barrel molasses, though it has a depth of flavor lacking in Karo, which is why I put in half maple syrup also. The barrel molasses is aged in barrels – giving it the name and the flavor.

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