Dumplings

I recently found this vintage gem of a cookbook at a thrift store:

Recipes for Young Adults published by Friesen Printers in Canada in 1977 and distributed by the B.C. Sugar Refining Co. Ltd. Incidentally, this week my mother thrifted a “Recipes for Young Homemakers” published by the Manitoba Beet Growers’ Association, and the inside of the cookbook is identical save for the introductions, and the fact that Young Homemakers has a recipe for French Dressing where Young Adults has a recipe for Coleslaw Dressing. Otherwise, I can’t find any discernible difference. Very sneaky!

My mother beat me to being the first to try a recipe from these books. I was going to veganise those weird hot dog sandwiches pictured on the lower left corner of the cover. They are called Wiener Winks, listed as an “after the game” snack. Okay, I partly just wanted to make them so that I could make a million crude jokes about WIENER WINKS. But the wiener winking will have to wait for another time, because today we had DUMPLINGS.

Dumplings – Veganised

Yield: 4 servings

1 c. all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 tbsp vegan margarine

1/3 to 1/2 cup soymilk or water

Cut fat into the sifted flour, baking powder, and salt. Add soymilk slowly and mix.Drop from a tablespoon on top of the stew. Cover closely, and cook for 10 min, without lifting the cover. Arrange with ALL THINGS SOY on a platter.

Mmmmmhm. Mom cleaned out the fridge and made a flavourful spicy vegetable stew with potato, sweet potato, carrot, celery, pepper, cumin, curry, cinnamon, and I’m not even sure what all else. It was such a delicious meal that I went back for a second bowl. The dumplings on top were excellent.

I want to make these next time by dropping them into a pot of soup made with “chicken” broth; chicken dumpling soup was a favourite of mine when I was a kid and I will be very pleased if this recipe helps me re-create it! Let me know if any of you try it.

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Gumdrop Cookies

I baked another batch of cookies last night.

I know, I know, I just baked cookies, but those peanut butter cookies were such a disaster that I had to make up for it by baking something actually delicious. I had the perfect recipe in mind, too.

I was surfing the Internet when I happened to stumble onto Hungry Happenings’ recipe for gumdrop cookies. They looked so bright and cheerful, in a retro sort of way; like something maybe my grandmother would have baked for a church bazaar once upon a time.

Gumdrop Cookies

Thanks to these cookies, I learned a lot about candy over the last day or so. I bought a bag of jujubes at the grocery store, and only thought to google “gumdrops” AFTER I got home with my groceries. That’s where I learned that apparently gumdrops and jujubes are not quite the same thing, but that they are fairly close. Actually, it might be that the only difference is that gumdrops tend to be coated in sugar, but jujubes generally aren’t.

Either way, both gumdrops and jujubes are chewy candies which may be soft or quite firm, and they are typically fruit flavoured, although they can also come in licorice, spearmint, and cinnamon flavours. Apparently in the USA, it is possible to get a gumdrop variant called a spicedrop, and these come in flavours like cardamom, cloves, and ginger. They’d be a good addition to a fruitcake or a gingerbread. The other thing I learned is that Jujubes in the USA refer to one specific brand of candy. Here in Canada, a jujube is pretty much any gummy fruity candy.

Vegetarians and vegans, take note; these candies may contain ingredients like gelatin (connective tissue), or food colourings such as carmine and cochineal (red insects, both!) Take care to check ingredient labels and hopefully you can find a candy made with pectin (fruit) or carnauba wax (palm tree).

All right, on with the recipe!

Gumdrop Cookies

Gumdrop Cookies

8 oz of gumdrop/jujube/fruit slice candy
1/4 cup of sugar to coat the candy, plus 3/4 cup for the dough
1 3/4 cup flour
2 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer Powder
Pinch of salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup of vegan margarine (I used half Earth Balance and half Becel Vegan)
Enough water to make a smooth dough, about ¼ cup

Pre-heat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit.

Measure 1/4 cup of sugar into a bowl. Use a sharp knife or kitchen shears to cut the candy into pieces, and mix the candy pieces in with the sugar to keep them from sticking too much to one another.

In another bowl, mix together the flour, egg replacer powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix in half of the gumdrop candies, along with any sugar in the bottom of the gumdrop bowl.

Measure the 3/4 cup of sugar, the margarine, the vanilla, and half of the water into another bowl. Mix until smooth. Add the flour mixture, and continue to stir or mix with the hands until smooth, adding the rest of the water if necessary to get a smooth dough.

The cookies won’t spread out well in the oven, so roll the dough into small balls and then press them down with the palm of your hand until they are as flat as you like them. Use the remaining gumdrops to fill in any bare spots on top of the cookies.

Bake for 8 – 10 minutes, until very light brown on the bottom.

Makes 24 cookies.

Veganised and adapted from Hungry Happenings. Go take a look at her blog more information about these cookies and for some very lovely photographs! She has great ideas for decorating them, flattening them, and storing them.