Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Very Dandy Halloween (Part II)

As previously mentioned, I can recognize the hand of fate when it places delicious goodness in my path. But when Dandies, Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar and Halloween all coincide, that's not just fate. That's celestial voices* calling out "Oi! We need some sweets up in here! What are you waiting for?" Never dreaming of ignoring a divine request, I broke out my cookie sheets and made with the baking.

VCIYCJ is the third collaboration between vegan geniuses Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero (the first two being Veganomicon and Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, of course). I don't think I can say enough about Isa and Terry's books. They say "Bake!" I say "How high should I set my oven?" (and their answer is always right). I think I do over half of my cooking from their recipes and I can't remember ever being really disappointed by one. VCIYCJ maintains their high standards with creative, tasty recipes, gorgeous pictures and introductory material that's just fun to read.

So we sat down with our shiny new book and picked out some recipes to try. We set up some ground rules, though, because without rules, it's all anarchy and I can't have that in my kitchen. The rules:

1. No more than two kinds of cookies. Moderation in all things, right?
2. At least one of the cookies should come from the "Wholesome" section of the book (yes, there's a part of the book specifically designed to make you feel a bit less guilty about making a meal of cookies, should you choose to. Thanks, ladies!)
3. We must have all the ingredients on hand. We will not go out of our way for junk food!

We ended up with the Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies and Rocky Roads.

The Banana Oatmeals are incredibly tasty, soft and chewy. The craisins give them just the right amount of a tart kick. With a big cup of tea, they're a total meal, and they're so full of omegas, protein, potassium and other nutrients, that guilt can be kept to a relative minimum. They're even agave sweetened, so there are no white sugar issues. Woohoo!

The recipe is also pretty forgiving. I got halfway through and saw I only had about 1 1/4 cups of oats, when the recipe called for two. I topped it off with about 3/4 cup leftover matzo farfel (matzo crushed into small flakes - larger than matzo meal) and no one knew the difference (but they were very amused when I told them).

The Rocky Roads are far more decadent. There are no excuses for these cookies, just one reason: the awesomeness will change your life. When my mother first tasted them, all she was able to say was "Oh my god!" over and over again. When she was finally able to form real sentences again, she said "It's everything I'd ever hoped it could be, and more!"

I always thought rocky road had three things in it: chocolate, almonds and marshmallows. This recipe called for white chocolate chips, but we didn't have those (and I don't even like white chocolate), so we substituted Dandies for the chips. I don't know if that's what made them spread so much, or if it was just the nature of the recipe, but when I tried to fit a full dozen on the pan, they all merged together and came out looking like pre-perforated rocky road brownies. That was fine with me! We are a brownie people.

A friend made the Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies, so we did a cookie swap and those are really awesome, too. Really hearty and substantial, but also fudgy and amazing. Having already made the Chocolate Chip Cookies and the Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles, I can say without hesitation, that VCIYCJ is well worth the price (and I don't usually buy sweets-only books; the only other one I have is VCTOTW, my very first cookbook).

There are more treats to discuss, but this post is long enough. Wait here; I'll be right back.

* Or maybe just my mother going through a wee bit of withdrawal.


Mandee said...

Yummo! I love the look of the rocky road cookies, I have Dandies in the cupboard, so if they last I might try them once my cookie book arrives

katty said...

I really like halloween, the party and i love to go out with my litle girl, she really enjoy to ask in every house for a candy.
In the night the party is only between my husband and i, usually i buy viagra and my husban is a real machine.