The Cruelty-Free Review

A review of compassionate products, foods, and recipes

Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar

on May 22, 2012

I’ve made it pretty clear that I don’t consider myself a good cook. I especially don’t consider myself a good baker, but after the success I’ve had recently, I might have to change my opinion. The Key-Lime Habanero Cheesecake I made for the Virtual Vegan Potluck was a huge success at work. Robert even took some for his coworkers and they really liked it as well. I am making it again for a BBQ coming up in June and a whole new set of people will get to try it.

So I made one recipe that was successful. What’s the big deal you ask? Well, I have been very encouraged and inspired to try new recipes since the VVP and since I made a commitment to losing weight. I bought a lot of fresh foods but I thought I would also need some healthy snacks. And for this I turned to Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie jar by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.

Cookies really shouldn’t be the first food you turn to for healthy snacks, but these gals made sure to include a Wholesome Cookie section in the book and their Fruity Oaty Bars caught my eye. Loaded with healthy whole grains, nuts, and fruits but without the sticky-sweetness that you get in most packaged granola bars, these cookies (bars, really) are a filling snack that won’t weight you down. They are slightly chewy and contain no refined sugar. One batch yields approximately 16 bars and I found that eating one between breakfast and lunch was the perfect snack to tide me over.

Fruity Oaty Bars-loaded with cranberries, raisins, pepitas, and whole grains!

I was a bit intimidated by the ingredient list, as it calls for spelt flour, brown rice syrup, barley malt syrup, and several other things I’ve never heard of or used before. But, nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? And boy, am I glad I ventured! Despite the unusual (to me) ingredients, these cookies came together very quickly. I actually bought enough ingredients to make two batches, in case one didn’t work out. But the first batch came out perfect, so I made the second batch to take to work. And again, everyone loved them. A few of my favorite comments were “It tastes just like a granola bar!” and “These are great because they aren’t overly sweet”. And “Reia, you are an excellent cook!” Okay, that last comment came from my own head. Still, everyone was impressed that they were vegan and very tasty. I intended to take these as a snack for hiking last weekend but the Colorado weather once again made a fool out of me for assuming it would be nice and rained all day Saturday.

Branching out and trying new ingredients

There are many other cookie recipes from this book I want to make. Obviously coming from these two authors they are all winners. The recipes cover just about every kind of cookie you can imagine, from the common chocolate chip to more unusual like tahini lime. They have a recipe for Minonos, a vegan version of the deliciously decadent Milano cookies from Pepperidge Farm. There is a whole chapter about the different kinds of ingredients used and what substitutes are commonly used for vegan baking, as well as some general tips for cookie success. After reading this I felt much more confident in my baking skills and even the most complicated-looking recipes don’t look nearly as scary. The directions are clear and well-written and helpful tips are provided throughout. You can find the book on Amazon as well as their other compilation Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.

I do have almost a whole bag of wheat germ leftover from making these. Are there any suggestions as to what I can do with it? I don’t like having stuff just sitting around my kitchen; space is at a premium so I try not to buy things that only get used once. Any ideas would be helpful!

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6 responses to “Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar

  1. Barb says:

    It’s funny, I also bought a bottle of brown rice syrup for one of Isa’s recipes, and it’s the only time I’ve used it.

    Oh and… Reia, you’re a excellent cook! (Now it’s not just in your head 😉 )

    • Thank you! As long as someone else says it, then I’m not crazy 🙂
      I’m not sure what else to use the syrups for. They obviously aren’t sweeet enough to use as a replacement to maple syrup. Guess I’ll just have to make more granola bars!

  2. Firstly, love the new look of the blog!

    Secondly- I was obsessed with this cookbook back even before I went vegan- when I first went vegetarian I made it a mission for a lot of my baking to be vegan and this book really came in handy. My favs: tahini lime cookies, pignoli almond cookies, orange agave chocolate chip cookies and the cornmeal poppyseed biscotti. Especially the tahini lime 🙂 Such a great book!

    Thirdly- of course you are a good cook- that cheesecake you made looked amazing.

    and finally….sorry I can’t be of help with the wheat germ, I’m intolerant to wheat so don’t use it! Maybe muffins?

    • Thank you! I want to make my blog more user-friendly, especially once I get more reviews up. It’s still a work in progress; I’m not a techinically savvy person, so a lot of this is just trial and error.
      I really want to make the tahini lime cookies. Those will probably be the next ones I try. They sound perfect for summer.

  3. mmmmm, I love the idea of home made muesli bars! I usually buy packaged, natural ones but they still have an E number in them that worries me. Good work on tackling this recipe head on!

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