Friday, January 22, 2010

Should I Be Making Cookies?

Nope, I shouldn't. Did I make cookies? Why, yes, I did. Should I be eating said cookies? Again, no. Am I eating cookies? Not at this very minute, but I feel a craving coming on....

I received a Borders gift card for Christmas and happily spent a portion of it on Isa's and Terry's (as in the Isa and Terry who wrote "Veganomicon" and "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World") new cookbook, "Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar." The first battle of the invasion began yesterday when I made one of the most basic cookies one can make, chocolate chip cookies. It is one of the most common cookies, I know, but also one of the most difficult to find as a vegan. Oh, they're out there, but they are flat, or too crunchy, or too oily or too funny looking. You get the picture. I've made vegan chocolate chip cookies in the past, but it has never been this easy or this perfect! I highly recommend this recipe.

Chocolate Chip Cookies - makes 2 dozen 2-inch cookies

1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 c white sugar
2/3 c canola oil
1/4 c unsweetened almond milk (or your favorite nondairy milk)
1 T tapioca flour (I just used cornstarch.)
2 t pure vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
3/4 c chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two large baking sheets.
2. Combine sugars, oil, almond milk, and tapioca flour in a mixing bowl. Use a strong fork and mix really well, for about 2 minutes, until the mixture resembles smooth caramel. There is a chemical reaction when sugar and oil collide, so it's important that you don't get lazy about that step. Mix in the vanilla.
3. Add 1 cup of the flour, the baking soda, and the salt. Mix until well incorporated. Mix in the rest of the flour. Fold in the chocolate chips. The dough will be a little stiff, so use your hands to really work the chips in.
4. Roll dough into walnut-size balls and flatten to about 1 and 1/2 inches and bake for six minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes then transfer to wire racks.

Amanda's note: Perhaps because I used cornstarch instead of tapioca flour, my dough wasn't particularly stiff. I dropped the cookies in tablespoon and a half sized globs. They needed to bake for almost 15 minutes. The point is this, if you change a recipe, you may need to change the baking times. Just watch them carefully the first time you make them.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Etsy Winter Gift Guide

I haven't put together a gift guide in some time and thought you could use one! Here are some of my recent finds on etsy. Use the provided links to check out the rest of their items! Oh, and did I mention that it's all on SALE?!

Sterling Silver Earrings by Made by Sam

Lotus Sundae Cups by Tracy McEvilly Ceramics

Messenger Bag in Leaves and Grey by Bayan Hippo Handmade

Fill-In Invitations (5 x 7) by Shalom's Cottage Home Greetings

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What Do Vegans Eat? Cookies!

As promised, here is one of the recipes I mentioned in my holiday post. Unfortunately, all of the cookies were eaten before I had a chance to photograph them. I'll try to do better next time!


I found this recipe a few years ago on Martha Stewart's website. I veganized and simplified it a bit. These aren't a really sweet cookie, so all children may not like them. I prefer cookies that aren't too sweet, so this is one of my all-time favorite cookie recipes.

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 T finely ground Earl Grey tea leaves (I actually don't grind mine. I just empty out the tea bags.)
1/2 t salt
2 sticks of vegan soy margarine (I prefer Earth Balance)
1/2 c confectioner's sugar
1.5 T orange zest

1. Combine the flour, tea and salt in a small bowl.
2. Using an electric stand mixer or hand mixer, combine the butter, sugar and zest until creamy.
3. With the mixture on low, slowly add the flour mixture until well combined.
4. Divide the dough in half and form each half into a log. Wrap the "logs" in parchment paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.
5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
6. Slice the "logs" into 1/4" slices and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
7. Bake for approximately 13 minutes (or until the edges turn a golden brown. Cool on wire racks.

These cookies look like little pillows and are, obviously, delicious with a cup of tea!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Little b Bunny Featured!

Little b Bunny has been featured on the blog of etsy seller Jen of Simply Inviting Cards. You can check out the feature here: Little b Bunny Feature

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Is it Christmas Again?!

Brennan is a little confused. She has had so many Christmas celebrations with different people that she doesn't actually know when Christmas was or that it is now over. We just returned from yet another trip to WV (this one for the weekend) to visit with my brother, sister-in-law, and nephew. They live in York, SC and don't make it up this way very often. I hadn't been down to see them in over a year.We celebrated Christmas again with them, making LB even more confused! It was a good time though. My nephew is so grown up and talking constantly in his cute little Southern drawl. And my sister-in-law is pregnant, and I got to see the bump. We shared gifts, some good food (my stepmother veganized her sweet potato souffle for us), and spent a lot of time talking and playing with the kids.We also celebrated with my cousins from Indiana who were in town staying with my grandmother. Jacob is 22 and Michael is 16 and, at the risk of sounding really old, they are such good kids. Another cousin that lives in town was there as well (David, who is also 16) and he is awesome too. What boys their ages would sit around with relatives playing board games and chatting on New Year's Eve and Day? I was impressed. The pic is of David, Michael and my nephew Clay.

I promise to post some yummy vegan recipes in the next day or two.