Whenever I visit my sister or friends, I like to bring along some treats for them. It gives me something with which to show my appreciation to my sister and her boyfriend for having me as a guest in their home, as well as an opportunity just to remind them and my friends how dear they all are to me. I happen to be staying with my sister in the Bay area again until the weekend, with the trip supplying another opportunity to hit up my copy of Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. There are a few celebratory occasions coming up for some friends soon--unfortunately, I'll be back in southern California when those dates roll around--so rather than sticking to one item to bake, I went for variety so that I could give each of these awesome people a box stuffed with assorted goodies. Who wouldn't love a box of homemade treats? Check out the spread!
As I've mentioned previously, pretzels are among my favorite snacks. I wanted to use up a bit of sourdough starter, which is always a good excuse to bake up a batch of these crisp-and-chewy treats. And salty pretzels sounded like a tasty contrast, and certainly, a nice change from a box filled entirely with sweets.
I followed the recipe from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. While I have had success with the other recipes I've tried from this treasured work of sweet tooth heaven, the Cowboy Cookies were a bit of disappointment. They looked nothing like the cookies photographed in the book. The flavor was there, but the texture was just not right; the finished product had spread into a thin, almost lacy, somewhat greasy puddle. When noticing the stickiness of the uncooked dough, I actually wondered whether the cookies would hold their shape, so I probably should have followed my instincts and added either more oats or flour to the dough.
Peanut Butter Blondies
This was another product of Vegan Cookies. The recipe is so easy and only involves a handful of ingredients--always a plus. I used crunchy, unsalted peanut butter, whole wheat flour, and eyeballed the amount of peanuts for the nutty topping. The bars didn't need to cook for the full amount of time specified in the book, because I used a slightly larger square pan (9x9"). As is often the case with peanut butter cookies, the bars were definitely quite buttery--along with the Cowboy Cookies, they left a few oily stains on the goodie boxes--but were chock-full of peanutty deliciousness. Chocolate chips would probably be an amazing additon.
Sell Your Soul Pumpkin Cookies
These morsels of spiced tastiness were my favorite cookies from this most recent round of Vegan Cookies-assisted baking. Not only did they look so very quaint, but they smelled and tasted wonderful, reminding me of a blissfully cool autumn day. I used whole wheat pastry flour and cooked down frozen Guatemalan blue banana squash to stand in for pumpkin puree. Despite reducing the squash puree as directed, the cookies were still a little cakey, although less so than most other pumpkin cookie recipes I've tried.
I am grateful that, so far, each item has garnered positive reviews from my sister. Hopefully my friends will enjoy these goodies, too.