November 22, 2010
You probably thought the title of the post referred to me, didn't you? Well, not exactly. It refers to Kelly Peloza's new cookbook, The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur, which includes more than 140 tempting recipes, like Giant Bakery-Style Double Chocolate Cookies, Spicy Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies, and Caramel Apple Bars! Peloza is an art student, blogger and cookzine author, as well as a maker of extraordinary cookies.
She wants her cookies to be made of easily accessible, natural ingredients, and she wants each and every recipe to be delicious. The creative cookie recipes are meant to be a testament to the fabulous taste and texture of vegan cookies, not an ode to healthy vegan fare, and if you are looking to make vegan cookies that are every bit as decadently delicious as butter and egg-laced treats, then this book is for you.
The cookies are divided into chapters such as Totally nuts and Seeds, with myriad versions of peanut-and-other nut butter-filled confections, Blissfully Chocolate Cookies, with recipes for chocoholics, DIY Versions of Mass-Produced Cookies, with recipes for treats like graham crackers and vanilla wafers, and more. There's even a chapter called Healthier Cookies and Baking for Special Needs. The book is loaded with photos — one for each cookie recipe — making it a very colorful and inviting book.
Soft Baked Chocolate Chip Cookies
My son and his girl friend baked a batch of cookies from the Nostalgia: Everyone's Favorite Cookies chapter. I asked them to make Soft Baked Chocolate Chip Cookies, partly because the recipe was lower in fat than some of the others, and partly because I liked the "soft, chewy" description. They used white whole wheat flour instead of unbleached white, but otherwise made the cookie recipe as written.
The cookies were very sweet, as the recipe said they would be, and wonderfully soft and chewy, very much like the classic chocolate chip cookies I (vaguely) remember. They were delicious, and I would make them again.
I think most people would love this book, but here's a note for my more health-oriented readers. I'm probably in the minority, but not only do I prefer to reduce sugar and fat in my general diet, but also in the "treats" I consume. I'll probably try more recipes from the book, but no doubt will alter the recipes a little to make them "healthier." I understand the concept of separating treats from regular food, and not wanting "special occasion" food to taste too "healthy," but in my experience, special occasions happen with more frequency than most of us admit.
That said, there are lots of recipes in the book that would lend themselves to a little alteration, if that's your style, and the author even gives suggestions on how to do it. A lot of the recipes are already pretty low in fat, compared to similar ones I've seen, but I might make them a little less sweet. I'm looking forward to trying some of the other recipes in The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur — there are loads of tempting ones, and I feel very tempted.
Disclaimer: The publisher sent me a free copy of the book but did not require me to write a review. I didn't get paid to write the review.
Weird product discovery of the day (or keep away from heat)
I purchased two new potholders over the weekend to replace the ratty, falling apart ones we've been using, but didn't read the tags until I got home. As I was cutting off the tags, I checked to see if the pot holders could go in the washer and dryer, and I found this warning: keep away from heat. Um, these are pot holders.