Vegan's Chronicles + [Vegan]

Triple-Eleven, babyyy~
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Today is Nov 11 which means Pepero Day. And this year, it's 11-11-11, or as Koreans have dubbed it, "Millennium Pepero Day"! This annual commercial event seems to get bigger and bigger every time, but this year, it might as well be a national holiday. Supermarkets, convenience stores, cafes and bakeries have gone totally bonkers with their Pepero-theme displays and no one can avoid or escape these cookie sticks. If you thought Pepero days were ridiculous in the past, this year, it's Pepero day on crack.

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I know this is ultimately just a gimmicky business strategy by Lotte, and like Valentine's day it promotes the idea that you need to buy 'stuff' in order to tell people you love them. However,I gotta admit that it's pretty brilliant marketing on their part and I've kind of gotten sucked into all the hype. A day where you get to give and receive chocolate-covered cookies... who wouldn't want to participate!

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However, instead of giving Lotte my hard-earned money by buying their non-vegan pepero, I decided to 'stick' it to the man by making my own cruelty-free version. I did this last year too, but this time I used a slightly different recipe.

The recipe for the cookie part is actually the recipe for my basic homemade crackers. They're really easy to make and don't require many ingredients. You could even substitute the soy milk with just water if you wanted.

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Vegan Stick-it-to-the-Pepero-Man! Sticks

3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 Tbs sugar
pinch of salt
2 Tbs grape seed oil
2 Tbs soy milk

1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
toppings: chopped nuts, fruit, coconut shreds, sprinkles, etc

Preheat oven to 170C. Sift and mix all dry ingredients together. Add the oil and rub it into the flour with your fingers until you get a coarse sandy texture. Add the soy milk (or water) and mix until it comes together in a ball. If it is too sticky, add a bit more flour by the teaspoon, and if it is too dry add a little more soy milk. On parchment paper, roll out the dough to about 4mm thick. Next, use a knife to score lines through the dough. Transfer the whole parchment paper with dough onto a cookie sheet and bake for about 15 minutes, or until it is slightly browned and crunchy. Break the pieces apart and let cool.

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Prepare your toppings by chopping some nuts and/or dried fruit into small pieces. Next, melt your chocolate in a double boiler or microwave. Hold one end of a cookie stick and use a spoon or spatula to cover the cookie in a thin layer of chocolate, before rolling it in the toppings.

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Lay the sticks on sheet of parchment paper and leave for about an hour for the chocolate to cool and set.

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Package them up and give to all your friends on Pepero day. :)

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You could use any toppings you like, but here's my vegan pepero trifecta:

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Coconut

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'The Classic'

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Cranberry-Almond

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The cookie part doesn't have too much flavor or sweetness, but the chocolate and various toppings make up for that. It's really all about the crunch and the fun of biting into the long stick. :P

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Pepero Day or not, any reason to bake cookies and cover them in chocolate is good in my books.

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I know the day's almost over here in Korea, but if you're on the other side of the world, it's not too late to make your own vegan pepero sticks and celebrate this unique date. Happy 11-11-11 day!