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Cookbook Review: Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar

Posted Nov 25 2009 10:02pm
From November 2009 photos

I've been a big fan of Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero's cookbooks since I first read (and began to cook from) Isa's Vegan with a Vengeance back in 2005. Now, they've released Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, and I couldn't wait to read the gems they came up with for this one.

I love all their tips and comical ways of explaining things. One of the most thoughtful things they did was to include a "Gluten Frida Mix" for our gluten-free friends. (I haven't tried it, but I have the ingredients, so I will make something with it soon.)

Another funny bit was the "Shopping with pants: off-line shopping" title to their brick-and-mortar resources list. Per usual, the ladies and I have loads of fun with their cookbooks.

From November 2009 photos

The cookies I made for this review were the super-easy-to-make Chocolate Agave Trailmixers on page 96. I made a few small changes to the recipe, but the main alteration is that I used carob instead of chocolate in the cases of the cocoa powder and the chips. I also substituted almonds for the other suggested nuts, and split the cherries with dried gogi berries. Finally, I omitted the almond extract since I was using almonds in the mix, and I never preheat my oven until the cookies are ready to be scooped out onto prepped sheets. It wastes energy, and my new oven heats very quickly.

The resulting cookies were very tasty. Cooled for about 20 minutes, yet still warm, these reminded me of cakey, nutty brownies (with some dried fruit) when I tried a couple. I quickly brought the remaining cookies with me to the co-op where they were scooped up and enjoyed by the staff and volunteers. I would definitely make these again and underbake them a bit so they get that fudgey brownie feeling.

So, because I didn't stray far at all from the original, I'm reprinting (with permission) the recipe as it is in the book.

Chocolate Agave Trailmixers (From the book Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. Excerpted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright © 2009.)

Makes 2 dozen cookies.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup nondairy milk
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
2/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup agave nectar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
A generous 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup whole roasted peanuts, toasted walnuts, or roasted cashews
1/2 cup dried cherries or raisins

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together nondairy milk, flax seeds, oil, agave nectar, vanilla extract, and almond extract until combined, about 2 minutes. Sift in all-purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt and mix to form a soft dough. Fold in the chocolate chips, nuts, and dried fruit.
3. For each cookie drop about 2 tablespoons of dough, 2 inches apart, onto the baking sheets. If the dough is sticking spray the spoon or dough scoop with nonstick spray. If desired, lightly flatten cookies with the back of a measuring cup sprayed with nonstick spray.
4. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes until firm. Let the cookies cool on a baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely. Store in a tightly covered container.

From November 2009 photos

Oh, one last thing -- I know this is Thanksgiving time, so here's a link to one of the dishes I'll be bringing to Mom's this year. Hope you enjoy the how-to videos. I watched them again this morning and reminded of yet another thing I'm grateful for this year: my new kitchen.
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