Tuesday, February 15

Cook Book Challenge Week #6

Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar: 100 Dairy-Free Recipes for Everyone's Favorite Treats
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
Cherry Almond Cookies
Peanut Butter Blondies
Bonus: Brooklyn Brownie Cupcakes

This week was supposed to be "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World," which I planned to follow.  BUT I went to the library on Saturday to check out the book, only to find they were closed on Friday and Saturday in observance of Lincoln's birthday (c'mon, my cupcakes are important, too!).  My next plan was to purchase the book from Barnes & Noble, only to find that they were out of the book.  So, my consolation (which really is equally as exciting) was "Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar."  Since Monday was Valentine's Day and I didn't want to eat three dozen cookies in one week, Chad and I spent Saturday night slaving away in the kitchen baking cookies to share at school.  
We started out with the Peanut Butter Oatmeal cookies.  The recipe was pretty straight forward and easy to follow.  I used a generous scoop of my cookie scoop for each cookie and rolled them in chopped peanuts.  There's a lot oats (2 cups!) in the cookies, so they feel a little healthy.  They turned out perfectly, crispy on the edges and still chewy on the inside.

The next batch we made was the Cherry Almond cookies.  I realized as we were gathering the ingredients that we were out of almonds, so we had to skip that.  To make up for it, used almond milk, replaced some of the flour with almond meal and used almond oil instead of canola.  They would have been really good with the extra crunch of almond slivers, so I'll probably make these again.  Plus, cherries are my favorite!  I thought about making a cherry flavored drizzle, but lost ambition!  These turned out surprisingly crispy and crunchy and were really good dunked in almond milk and would also be good with coffee.

I made the Peanut Butter Blondies on Monday for our Valentine's Day dessert.  Chad loves peanut butter, so these were an easy choice.  I love chocolate, so I doctored the recipe a little.   I chopped up some chocolate and mixed it into the batter before baking.  I also bought some peanut flour a while ago at Trader Joe's and have been looking for a reason to use some, so I subbed 1/4 cup of the flour for peanut flour.  Otherwise, I followed the recipe pretty closely again.  In the end, it was the perfect dessert for both of us!  To serve it, I melted some extra chocolate mixed with almond milk to make a chocolaty drizzle topping.  These were SO rich, but really good.  They were really moist, obviously peanut buttery and just a little crumbly.  I even had dreams that I couldn't stop eating them!

Finally, since I planned to make cupcakes, I still wanted to make at least one recipe.  I found the recipe for Brooklyn Brownie cupcakes on Amazon and since I hadn't made any chocolate cookies, I thought this would be a good selection.  This, again, was a pretty simple recipe.  The only thing I changed was using my mom's homemade strawberry jam in place of the cherry preserves.  We also baked these in a mini-muffin tin, so there would be more to share!  I made butter cream frosting from Betty Crocker (subbing EB for the butter and almond milk for the milk) and added about a tablespoon of strawberry jam for some color and flavor.  I was pretty happy with how they turned out, and they were the perfect little snack size.  Yes, we sampled a few before sharing!

That's a whole week in one post!  I have to say, the recipes in this book are really easy to follow.  I remember when I was first considering going vegan, this was one of the cookbooks that I flipped through (dessert's important, right?!).  I don't know what I was expecting, but I was surprised by how simple and basic the ingredients were.  All of the recipes I made this week used flax in place of the eggs and oil in place of butter.  Even if you're not vegan, the recipes are fun, easy and most important, tasty!

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