Monthly Archives: November 2012

Chocolate-Ginger Muffins

I really need a flour sifter.

I keep looking, but the antique stores charge too much for something that’s used, and the thrift stores haven’t turned up one for me yet. And I’m too cheap to go buy a new one. Maybe that’s lame, but there it is.

Anyway, so I use a fork in the meantime to smush up my dry ingredients if I have dry lumpy stuff like brown sugar, cocoa powder, and baking soda in.

Speaking of recipes with dry lumpy stuff, here’s a recipe. For THESE.

Chocolate Ginger Muffins

Ever since my secret sister at church gave me some dark chocolate-covered ginger from Trader Joe’s a while back, I’ve become a little obsessed with the combination. At first I was like, “Uh… chocolate? Ginger? How does that even go together?”

But it DOES. It’s actually really amazing. So I’m on a quest to ginger-ify various chocolatey things.

I found this basic vegan chocolate muffin recipe and adapted it a bit for my purposes. Here’s my version.

Chocolate Ginger Muffins

Mix together dry ingredients in a bowl:
1 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c white flour
1/2 c cocoa powder (just regular – I used half carob in the pictured batch because my cocoa stash was very depleted)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ginger powder
1/2 cup brown sugar (I used a little under 1/2 cup)
1/4 c minced candied ginger (optional)

(If you have a flour sifter, that’s awesome. If not, use a fork.)

Add in the following:
1 1/2 cup natural unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon vanilla

Stir just until combined. Spoon into 12 regular prepared muffin cups or 24 mini ones. Bake at 325 for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

And then eat them.

Update since I originally wrote this post: I NOW HAVE A FLOUR SIFTER.

Categories: breakfast, dessert, nut-free, recipes, snacks, soy-free, vegan | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Cookbook Review: Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar

This is the second installment in the dessert trilogy by Isa Chandra Moskowitz of Post Punk Kitchen and Terry Hope Romero. I have spent a lot of time drooling over the pages and dreaming of the tasty cookies I could make. GooGoo likes looking at it, too.

Here is a sum-up of all the recipes I’ve tried so far. Note: You will notice the numbers are not sequential; this is because I have not made ALL the cookies in the book yet! 🙂

1. Chocolate Chip Cookies – The dough was amazing, but cookie dough generally is. I found the batter to be way too runny and had to add another 1/2 cup of flour to be able to pick it up and shape it. The cookies were very tender, a little bit on the cakey side in texture. My husband thought they were all right but a little lacking in flavour. I liked them, but I think I still like the veganised classic Toll House recipe best. I also thought that the addition of walnuts would be nice, because to me a chocolate chip cookie just isn’t itself without walnuts.

According to another poster on the PPK forums, reducing the oil to 1/2 cup makes the consistency perfect without having to add more flour.

[Edit on 13 March 2014: the abovementioned hack does indeed work, the texture is perfect, and this recipe has now become my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe!]

[Edit on 6 March 2015: these are really awesome with dried tart cherries mixed in, and some of the milk subbed with juice drained off a can of cherries.]

Carrot Raisin Spice Chewies

2. Carrot-Raisin Spice Chewies – I’d wanted to make these from the get-go, but was always missing something. Finally I got around to them. My husband expressed approval, which is a very good sign. I wasn’t quite as excited about them as I had thought I might be; I was expecting a flavour more like carrot cake, and this was nothing like carrot cake.

3. Chocolate Fudgy Oatmeal Cookies – These are easily my favourite that I’ve made out of this book so far. Chocolatey, oaty, the zing of dried cherries? Cannot fail. The dough was amazingly good and a really good consistency – I found that letting it sit 10-15 minutes helped it stiffen up a little which helped to drop the cookies a little more easily, but even freshly mixed it was manageable.

I did change a few things. I didn’t have chocolate chips, so those were missing (and while they’d be good, I found the cookie to be very satisfying without). I used approximately half whole-wheat/half white flour because I was almost out of white flour. For my non-dairy milk I used carob Rice Dream and for the cocoa powder I did half cocoa/half carob powder because I had some carob powder that I needed to use up.

[Edit on 13 March 2014: I have made these with the chocolate chips now! I still like them best without. I know, weird, right?]

4. Blackstrap Gingersnaps – I had been holding off on trying these because I didn’t have blackstrap molasses. I finally decided to just make them with regular, and these are INTENSE! In a really good way. It’s more of a grown-up gingersnap because the ginger flavour is so strong. But I like them and got a lot of compliments from friends who tried them.

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5. Chocolatey Crinkle Cookies – I waited way, WAY too long to try these. It was largely due to “do I really want to use precious chocolate chips in a recipe like this?” But it was so, SO worth it. These are delectable. Beautiful to look at. Just don’t over roll in the powdered sugar.

City Girl Snickerdoodles
6. City Girl Snickerdoodles – I don’t really care all that much for snickerdoodles, quite honestly, but for some reason one day I got the urge to make some. So I did. And they were… eh. The first tray was a little gooey, which I was not too concerned about since it’s an eggless recipe, but it still was just weird. By the time I got to the third and last tray I’d figured out exactly how long the oven really took to bake them thoroughly… so yeah. It was not that exciting of an experience and they came out very flat and wafery, and not particularly cinnamon-y like I thought they ought to be.

7. Cowboy Cookies – A huge hit. I rarely have pecans, but when I do have some, these cookies are one of the first things I’ll make with them!

8. Cowgirl CookiesAmazing. When I make these, I skip the chocolate chips and use cocoanut instead. Because, to me, those particular spices with chocolate chips are just… wrong. But with cocoanut? BRING THEM ON.

9. Sell Your Soul Pumpkin CookiesMy friend has made these. They were nice; not something I’m in a huge hurry to make myself.

11. Macadamia Ginger Crunch Drops – These were okay. For some reason, I am just not a fan of macadamia nuts, which I suspect makes me sort of Weird, but it is nonetheless True.

12. Banana Everything CookiesMy grandma made us these. I am not a fan of banana and I couldn’t quit eating them. That, my friends, is a recommendation.

14. Tahini Lime CookiesTahini flavour super strong; lime flavour not strong enough. I wasn’t a big fan of these. Tahini is good, but not this much in a shot.

15. Cherry Almond CookiesI made these to take to a potluck and didn’t have time to take a picture. They were well-received and I thought they were good but just a touch on the salty side, which was odd to me because the amount of salt called for seemed normal.

[Update: I made these again, and they were not salty at all. So… I dunno, guys. They were yum.]

16. Peanut Apple Pretzel DropsI’ve been hanging on to some pretzels since our nonfire, and finally made these. They were all right; I’m not a huge fan of the sweet/salty combo that’s sorta The Thing these days, but these were all right. I took them to a potluck and those who liked them REALLY liked them.

17. Peanut Butter Oatmeal CookiesThese seemed a tad dry and the peanut bits wouldn’t stay put. They were good, but not great.

18. Citrus GlittersBasically the same recipe as the Tahini Lime Cookies, but these ones were all the Tahini Lime Cookies were not. Tender, tangy, and sweet. Would definitely make again.

oatmeal raisin cookies

20. Oatmeal Raisin CookiesTender goodness. This was my first time making cookies with an oil rather than a solid fat, so the process was new to me, but the results were Most Tasty. Then again, I just love oatmeal raisin cookies and it’s hard to go wrong with them, I’ve found. The second time I made them, I used 1/2 cup white and 1/4 cup wheat flour, and the results were very nice.

22. Rocky RoadsMade my a friend, not me. I thought the almond extract was really overpowering. It was all I could taste. Sooo… these are probably fantastic, but I’m not a big user of almond extract. I don’t even have any. I look forward to trying them myself without.

[Edit on 12 March 2017: I have made these a couple times now! I leave out the almond extract and they are NOM. Confession: I can’t find vegan white chocolate chips. I used regular ones.]

Mexican Chocolate Snickerdoodles
26. Mexican Chocolate Snickerdoodles – I was squeamish about these, quite honestly. Chocolate and cinnamon is pushing my taste combination limits, but to throw cayenne in there too? Ack. Yet I really, really was curious and wanted to try them, so after I had a much braver friend (in another state) say she made them and loved them, I finally made a batch for our Friday night study group since the meal was to be baked burritos.

I was surprised. They were actually really good. The cinnamon is subtle, and the warmth of the cayenne doesn’t really hit you until afterwards, and it feels warm and glowy. (I should add I was still chicken enough that I only put in half the amount of cayenne, but I think next time I’ll probably do the full amount just to see how that tastes. Yes, I did say next time.) Mr Pine Nut walked in whilst I was baking them and he said they had a Very Strong Smell. He didn’t say whether that was good or bad. Ha! He didn’t get a chance to eat any of them. The fact that all the kids present ate them and some ate more than one is a pretty good indicator of a good cookie.

[Update on 2 Oct 2014: I’ve made these many times and they are always a hit!]

Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 6.16.25 PM

29. 21st Century Carob Cookies – I’ve kind of got this thinly-veiled hostility towards carob, because I get sick to death of people preaching about how wonderful it is, how much better than chocolate it is, and how it should replace chocolate all the time. Well, it does NOT taste like chocolate, not even remotely, and actually I think it’s pretty gross.

As far as these cookies go, I actually quite liked the dough (I kept snitching it off my cookie sheet above) and the fresh cookies weren’t too bad. The next day, though – bleh. I could hardly stand them. Thankfully I had taken them to a potluck, where some avid carob people were in attendance and I didn’t have to bring any home. 🙂

30. Chocolate Agave TrailmixersI made these with walnuts, raisins, and chocolate chips. They were SO good. I loved the lightly sweet taste and the texture and everything about these cookies. I would totally make them again.

[Edit on 12 March 2017: My note on the cookbook page says “doubleplus yum”. ]

-6

32. Orange Agave Chocolate Chip Cookies – These are amazing. I’ve made them several times. I can feel good about snarfing down the entire batch in no time! They do tend to be a bit on the dry side, even if you get them in a container as soon as they’re cool. But they’re still good, and if you don’t want dry cookies, nom the dough.

33. Peanut Butter Agave Cookies – I made these for Mr Pine Nut as a Christmas present in 2014. He likes a filling, satisfying cookie that’s not full of sugar. These were quite loved by him. I don’t care for peanut butter cookies much, but they were good!

40. Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip CookiesMade by a friend. Very good.

44. Blueberry Spice Crumb BarsI was on the fence about these. They weren’t bad, but neither were they really that good. I guess I like my own version of this concept (press half the dough in a pan, spread fruit, crumble remaining dough on top – see here) so much better.

47. Magical Cocoanut Cookie Bars – These are super rich and absolutely delightful. They are also really tasty when sneaked out in large portions from the freezer. Shh.

Also, for reasons that I cannot fully remember, in my house these are called Magical Cocoanut WOOKIEE Bars now.

48. Call Me BlondiesMade my a friend. Super yum with chocolate chips in! Not so fantastic without.

51. Spiced Sweet Potato BlondiesWhen I was pregnant with Lou Who, my husband was on a sweet potato kick and I was frequently to be seen blocking my nose with my blanket in bed to try to keep from smelling the things. I’ve never liked sweet potatoes, but ever since then I’ve really not liked them. Anyway, I decided that I was going to try these for a potluck, so that I could taste them and not be strapped with a whole pan if I hated them.

Surprisingly, these were actually quite tasty. I did them with walnuts and no chocolate chips. I would make them again.

55. In the Mint Chocolate BrowniesSO. GOOD.

56. Deluxe Cocoa BrowniesAlso made by my friend, these are DELICIOUS to the max. Since she made them, I’ve made them a number of times also!

62. Big Fat Crispy Rice Squares – I love rice krispy treats like you wouldn’t believe. They’re so unhealthy but they’re so addictive! I’ve been wanting to try this since getting the book, and finally I went and splurged on the needed brown rice syrup. I was so, so sadly let down by the results. The bars did not hold together, no matter how hard I pressed them into the pan. But worse was the taste. Brown rice syrup has a heavy taste, not unlike honey, and it was very overpowering. Nobody liked these. Not even my children liked these.

63. Peanut Butter Chocolate PillowsWell, once I could have peanut butter again, it didn’t take me long to try these. I was so disappointed that the chocolate cookie dough was more like brownie batter and the peanut filling balls were so firm. The result was these cookies that looked like… sunnyside-up eggs? hats? UFOs? They tasted good, but I don’t think I’ll make them again without some adjustments.

64. MinonosThese are a vegan knockoff of Milanos. They were pretty good, but I must have made mine too big, because I got 13 instead of 16 cookies in the end! I don’t think it’ll be one I’ll make a lot, but they weren’t really hard to do and would be fun to take to a gathering.

65. Cranberry Walnut Thumbprints – These didn’t look really exciting, but they were very tasty. The same general idea as the linzertorte thumbprints (below), but less hearty and more sweet.

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69. Sweet Chocolate Pretzels – These were charmingly pooplike in appearance, and they were just mediocre in taste.

73. Chocolate Marmalade Sandwich Cookies – I am still not sold on marmalade as an acceptable condiment for toast, but in these cookies, it was Perfect. The cookies were also very good on their own. And so was the raw dough. #nom

74. Lazy SamoasI’ve waited a LONG time to make these, because they call for cocoanut oil, which I don’t always have on hand (and when I do, I am sparing with it), but I finally decided to give it a whirl, and am I glad I did. They were AMAZING.

76. Nutter Betters – were really lovely. I’m usually not hugely into peanut butter cookies. They’re good, but not my favourite. But one day I decided I reeeeeeeally wanted to try these, and so I did. I opted to make squirrel-shaped ones. (If you choose a special shape, remember to use a cookie cutter you can flip over to do mirror image cookies with for sandwiching!) I wouldn’t say they really taste like Nutter Butters all that much – not quite crispy enough, maybe? – but the flavour was good and the filling is not overly sweet, just immensely fattening. I would definitely make these again.

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83. Linzertorte Thumbprint Cookies – I made these and they were SO good. So filling and tasty, not overly sweet. My husband even readily approved of them. He likes dense, high-protein cookies that involve nut butters. I totally will make these again. Note, though, that the jam will begin bleeding into the cookie after a bit. They still taste great, but if you’re trying to impress, make them as soon as possible before they’re needed.

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86. Chocolate Chip Mint Leaf Icebox CookiesI’ve made these a couple times, and my only complaint is they seem to be very wafery and run together because the dough is very soft, even after being frozen. I’m still working on how to solve that problem. Flavourwise, though, they are grand, and I have been known to just keep the dough in the freezer and eat globs of raw dough, whilst my cat pretends he doesn’t care.

87. Frosted Grapefruit Icebox Cookies – I’m not a grapefruit fan, but I wanted to try these anyway! My mother-in-law likes grapefruit so I made them for her as a Christmas present. They were very grapefruity and intense, but they weren’t bad even for me. I would make these again with lemon, lime, or orange!

89. Gingerbread Biscotti – These were good fresh, but lost their appeal to me fairly quickly. I made them as Christmas gifts in 2014 and they were well-received, though!

Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 6.11.23 PM

98. Kitchen Sink Chocolate BiscottiThis was AMAZING. For my add-ins, I used chocolate chips, dried cherries, and almonds. They were SO good. The kids weren’t too sure about them, but I was very sure. [I’ve gone on to make them again, with mint extract, crushed peppermint candies, and chocolate chips.]

92. Cranberry White Chocolate Biscotti – THIS WAS SO GOOD I COULD NOT STOP EATING THEM. I was seriously SO IMPRESSED. They strongly reminded me of a delicacy of some kind that I had growing up, but for the life of me I can’t place what. Some sort of storebought cookie or something, I expect.

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93. Key Lime Shortbread Rounds – Guys, I really like lime, and these cookies were delightful.

98. Kitchen Sink Chocolate Biscotti – I’ve made these a lot, too. The mix-in combos are endless!

99. Graham CrackersVery nice. Of course I had to use my IKEA fox cookie cutter, because that’s how I roll. How I don’t roll is thin enough dough, so these were more cookielike than crackerlike in the centre, though the legs and tails of the foxes were nice and crispy crunchy. This was my first time using raw sugar, too, and I think the texture was a little affected. I like that these specifically call for whole wheat flour and part of the sweetener was molasses, so they’re reasonably healthy.

Also, the recipe makes a lovely pie crust for recipes like Optionally Pink Peppermint Pie. 🙂

100. Roll-and-Cut Sugar CookiesI made these for a swap I did for Valentine’s day, but the dough was SO soft even after long refrigeration that the best I could do was roll into balls. The flavour and texture was nice, but there is no way these could have been rolled out. Whether the fault is with me or the recipe I am not sure.

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103. Gingerbread Cut-Out CookiesI was super happy with these! They held their shape really well through baking, something that my usual go-to gingerbread cookie recipe is hit and miss about. And the flavour was good. They did seem to get stale really quickly, though, whereas my usual recipe seems to stay fresher longer.

105. Swedish Chocolate BallsI was not super impressed with these. They were kind of dry. I don’t think I’ll make them again.

Cookie Dough Scoops

106. Cookie Dough Scoops – I don’t have a cookie scoop (boo), so I pressed this into a small Pyrex and cut them into cubes instead. They were Delicious. I think the only thing I’d change would be to reduce the vanilla just a touch; it overpowered the chocolate a bit, I thought. [Update: I now have a cookie scoop!]

***

If you’d like to try a couple recipes out of this book, Isa has shared a few on her site. Or you can buy yourself a copy here: Kindle or paperback.

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Categories: Cookbook Review, dessert | Tags: | 2 Comments

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