21 October 2010

Cookies!

Although my favorite way to cook is by toiling before a hot stove in anticipation of savory concoctions to delight my belly, sometimes I just want to bake.  That was how I first delved into any sort of food preparation--memories of which are mostly associated with classic childhood treats, such as cupcakes and cookies.  I've always had soft spots for both, but particularly for the latter, perhaps because of the ubiquitousness, portability, and versatility of cookies; they come in myriad shapes and flavors, can contain a huge array of add-ins, sandwich various types of fillings, even adorn other sweets (i.e., doll up ice cream, act as a pie crust).  Sure, the current cupcake craze has proven that cupcakes are just as unique and customizable as cookies--and I do occasionally enjoy them, with help in large part from the adorable and deliciousness-filled Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World--but they won't ever replace cookies as my baked good of choice.


Having loads of vegan cookie recipes at my fingertips tends to make narrowing down my baking decisions somewhat difficult.  That recurrent task became even more difficult after I snagged a copy of Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, which boasts so many amazing-sounding cookie recipes to add to the others I've come across elsewhere, I don't know when I'll ever get through trying all of them.  Fortunately, no one seems to protest when I decide to bake cookies, and certainly unsuspecting friends always appreciate care packages filled with tasty, homemade morsels.  The intended gifting of them always seems reason enough for devoting some time to a quick spell in the kitchen, which was exactly the case earlier this week.  I put Vegan Cookies to use, baking from two different recipes--one I had not yet attempted, the other a tried-and-true favorite.


My first batch came in the form of Pignoli Almond Cookies.  I love nutty foods, so these nut-packed gems sounded perfectly appealing.  And these Italian-inspired cookies brim with nuttiness; the triple hit of whole pignoli (pine nuts), almond paste, and almond extract make for sweet, buttery treats with both chewiness and crunch.  Although I followed the recipe exactly as written, the cookies still didn't turn out as expected, spreading and flattening into soft, somewhat delicate discs, unlike the firmer-looking, mounded cookies pictured in the book.  I worried the cookies wouldn't hold up through the shipping process.  Fragility aside, they were at least delectable--an opinion already echoed by one care package recipient.
For my second batch, I baked Minonos, those wonderfully homemade, vegan facsimiles of the well-known, non-vegan Milano cookies.  I also followed the recipe to the letter here, fortunately yielding a batch of well-formed, chocolate-kissed goodies.  Normally, semisweet chocolate chips provide that ever-important glue binding each pair of cookies, but I actually had enough bittersweet chocolate available to do them up right this time (the authors suggest bittersweet chocolate for achieving a more "authentic" taste).  While I fell in love with these cookies upon first baking them (with semisweet chocolate), I enjoyed them even more with the bittersweet chocolate.  The cookies also seemed sturdy enough for travel, following a coffee dunk test.  Yum.
So, my dear readers, I'd love to know: What are some of your favorite cookie recipes?  If you've baked from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, which of the recipes do you recommend?

13 comments:

  1. I've made the Peanut Butter Blondies recipe in VCTOYCJ countless times. It is the recipe I've used most in the book. I'm also a fan of their chocolate chip cookie recipes - so simple, it's practically fool-proof. I haven't felt brave enough yet to try the fancier cookies!

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are a baking queen, Tiffany! Looks wonderful.
    Have a nice weekend,
    Aimee

    ReplyDelete
  3. Perfect timing! I have wanting to learn to bake vegan cookies. I want to make almond ginger. I must find this book! :D

    ReplyDelete
  4. I just found your blog through Mihl's, and can see I've been missing another great blog! I will definitely visit in the future, too. :)

    I have been debating getting the Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar for a while now (I have the cupcake book, too) - maybe as a Christmas present to myself? :) One of my favorite vegan cookie recipes is a chocolate chip cookie from Vive le Vegan. They are fast to make and never disappoint! The recipe can be found here:
    http://viveleveganrecipes.blogspot.com/2006/01/homestyle-chocolate-chip-cookies.html :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks, everyone!

    Amanda,
    I love the peanut butter blondies, too! Give the fancier cookies a try - the ones I've tried so far aren't too difficult and they're tasty.

    Seglare,
    Thanks for posting the link - I'll have to try the recipe sometime. And I'm glad you like the blog. :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Those pine-nut cookies look absolutely incredible. Love the vegan milanos too. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ah, vegan milanos... Sounds so very hard to resist! Now I'm highly tempted to make some, but with a mint-chocolate filling for variety.

    ReplyDelete
  8. So far, I've only made the classic chocolate chip from that book (just got it at the library) but they turned out great and had this smell that reminded me of something my mom used to bake. It makes me wonder if it's the tapioca starch... The batter was really strange, though, more like the consistency of taffy than cookie dough. Didn't affect the results, however.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Mmmm everything here looks amazingly delicious!! <3

    ReplyDelete
  10. I've actually made a lot of the recipes out of VCTOYCJ. I really love the Mexican Chocolate Snickerdoodles, the pumpkin cookies and I don't remember the exact name, but the fudgy oatmeal ones. I think those might be my favorite.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Mmmm everything here looks amazingly delicious!! <3

    ReplyDelete
  12. I've made the Peanut Butter Blondies recipe in VCTOYCJ countless times. It is the recipe I've used most in the book. I'm also a fan of their chocolate chip cookie recipes - so simple, it's practically fool-proof. I haven't felt brave enough yet to try the fancier cookies!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I just found your blog through Mihl's, and can see I've been missing another great blog! I will definitely visit in the future, too. :)

    I have been debating getting the Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar for a while now (I have the cupcake book, too) - maybe as a Christmas present to myself? :) One of my favorite vegan cookie recipes is a chocolate chip cookie from Vive le Vegan. They are fast to make and never disappoint! The recipe can be found here:
    http://viveleveganrecipes.blogspot.com/2006/01/homestyle-chocolate-chip-cookies.html :)

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for reading! Your comments are always welcome and appreciated. :)