Vegan's Chronicles + [Vegan]

11-11: Pepero Day for Vegans
Vegan Pepero Day

Happy Pepero Day!!! For those of you in the unaware, November 11 is 'Pepero Day' because these Korean biscuit sticks (similar to Japanese 'Pocky') resemble all the '1's' that make up this date: 11-11. It's a day when everyone from couples to singles, parents to children, coworkers and students alike, all spread a little love with Pepero sticks. Yea, sounds corny, but here in Korea, it's a big deal.

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For couples, Pepero day is like another Valentines day- another holiday to declare your undying love for one another with expensive flowery baskets filled with chocolate-covered pepero. And then for singles like me, it's another reminder that you're all alone, with no one to get any love-sticks from. Just kidding~! sort of. haha.

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But actually, Pepero Day isn't exclusively for couples- everyone can give and receive pepero, so that's not the depressing part. Unfortunately, the one group of people that is excluded is vegans because Pepero biscuits contain dairy. In the past, I would receive Pepero from friends and coworkers, but I wouldn't be able to eat them, which is just sad. Not to mention, this Korean snack really was a childhood favorite, and I just miss it! So this year, rather than feel left out and be a grumpy Pepero day-hater, I decided to get in on the fun by making my own vegan version.

Vegan Pepero Day

And behold the happy results!

For the biscuit part, I took inspiration from this Korean blogger who also posted a recipe for vegan Pepero. However, while her pepero is made with rice flour so that it is gluten-free, I just used regular flour. I ended up making quite a few other modifications and added a few ingredients, so I'll just post what I did. Since I was using her recipe for reference, all the measurements are in grams.

Vegan Pepero Day

Peace Pepero Sticks

{ What You'll Need }
30g ground almonds
50g oat flour (I just whizzed some rolled oats with my immersion blender)
60g flour (I used half all-purpose, half whole wheat)
10g cornstarch
a pinch of salt
15g canola oil
40g agave syrup
about 1-2 Tbs soymilk (only use if the dough is too dry)

{ Method }
1. Mix all the dry ingredients together.
2. Add the oil and agave syrup to the dry ingredients and mix well. It should start to stick together to form a ball. At this point, if you feel that the dough is too crumbly and dry, you can add some soymilk, a teeny bit at a time, just until it all comes together.
3. Wrap the dough in some plastic, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
4. Take out the dough and roll flat, about 0.5cm thick. Then cut it into long, thin strips.
5. You can either just place the cut dough strips straight onto a cookie sheet and bake, or you can do what I did, which is roll and shape each strip with your fingers, so that the edges become round and smooth. This takes more time and care, but in the end, your pepero sticks will look more authentic. Roll gently though, as they could crumble apart! If that happens, just pinch them back together. hehe.
6. Place all the dough strips onto a cookie sheet (no need to oil it), and bake for 10 minutes at 180C, or 350F, or until lighly browned. Don't stray far from the oven~ Check them mid-bake to make sure that the bottoms don't burn.
7. Remove from the oven and let cool before dunking/drizzling/spreading/sprinkling with melted chocolate and whatever other toppings your heart desires!

Vegan Pepero Day

I got tired of rolling out biscuit sticks, so I also made some squares. Squares need love too~

Vegan Pepero Day

Who wants to play pick-up sticks?

Vegan Pepero Day

After decorating the sticks, I laid them out on parchment paper for the chocolate to harden.

Vegan Pepero Day

1,1,1,1,1,1,1... .

Vegan Pepero Day

In addition to the melted chocolate, I sprinkled a few of the sticks with some raspberry-flavored sugar that Janice gave me this past summer! It was perfect and so pretty~

Vegan Pepero Day
Vegan Pepero Day

These could be the most elegant things I've ever baked.

Vegan Pepero Day

Even the mini squares got some chocolate & sugar. They were so cute and bite-sized, I couldn't help sneaking several of them into my mouth.

Vegan Pepero Day

During the photographing, my hot coffee made the pepero all melty! Chocolate drippage + coffee = mocha goodness.

Vegan Pepero Day

I couldn't wait to bite into one of these, and when I finally did, I knew I had achieved vegan success. The texture was slightly softer and more cookie-like than regular pepero sticks, but these still had a nice bite/crunch to them, and the oatmeal flavor definitely came though in a wonderful robust way. Oh, and the chocolate... . well, you know~

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You can also dip and swirly swirl~

I'm gonna go package these up now to give away to all my single friends. :) Happy Pepero Day!

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