Saturday, December 10, 2011

Vegans Take the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap

As I posted previously, I took part in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap this year. The idea is to bake 3 dozen cookies and send them to 3 assigned food bloggers. In return, you get a dozen cookies each from 3 other food bloggers, secret Santa style. 

I sent Cranberry Almond Cookies to food bloggers at The Yummy Year Project, Rosewater and Thyme, and Healthy Kitschy Vegan. I hope they were enjoyed and there will be a post of that recipe coming up.

Now, on to the cookies that I was lucky enough to receive. Unfortunately one of my secret cookie santas never sent a batch so I only have two to show you today. Fortunately, they were so good that it makes up for the missing batch!

The first batch to arrive was Biscoff No Bake cookies from Tanya at Vegan Faith. They so thoughtfully came in a cute holiday tin.

The second batch to arrive was from Rachel at My Naturally Frugal Family. Rachel was so excited that she forgot to add information about the cookies, or herself! Luckily she found me here and posted all of her (and the cookie) info in a comment on the Thanksgiving post. (I will update this when everyone posts their recipes.) 

I hope that everyone who participated enjoyed all of their cookies! 

Update: Today I received a package from the post office mailed on December 3rd! Bad post office. The lovely Marly from Namely Marly sent the most adorable confetti cookies. They were delicious, pretty and cute all rolled into one sprinkly cookie. They also came in a very pretty box. Thank you Marly!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Fall Favorites: Cranberry Almond Cookies

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2011 

As a vegan participating in a non-vegan cookie swap, I wasn't sure what to expect. It seems that there were (just) enough vegans who participated that we were able to have a vegan "section" of the swap. I decided to make the first recipe I ever created on my own, Cranberry Almond Cookies. One of my friends once said of them, "They taste like Fall". I have two versions of this cookie, one is a lower fat version and the other makes incredibly chewy delicious cookies. Since my cookie recipients were sure to be getting three dozen cookies in total, I opted for the lower fat version which tastes a little more cakey than the chewy cookies. I'm also hoping that they shipped well. A little side note, if you're ever happen to be looking for a cookie to go with red wine, these are the ones.

Sooo, I forgot to take a picture of my cookies before I sent them. I hope that The Yummy Year Project, to whom I sent one of the batches, doesn't mind my pilfering her picture of my cookies. Plus she took a great picture!

Cranberry Almond Cookies (makes 12-18 cookies)
1/2 cup DARK brown sugar (or light brown sugar and added molasses)
1/4 cup Granulated sugar
3/4 cup All purpose flour
1/4 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 tsp Almond Extract
For the lower fat version: Use 5-6 Tbsp oil (I use Canola) and 4-5 Tbsp Apple Sauce. There should be 10 Tbsp of liquid in total.

For the full fat chewy version: Use 10 Tbsp oil (again, I use Canola)
1/3 cup of Dried Cranberries
1/4 cup of Slivered Almonds

- Combine and mix all of the dry ingredients. *If you're making the chewy version of the cookie you may want to dissolve the sugar in the oil first.
- Create a well and add in liquid ingredients.
- Mix well.
- Fold in the dried cranberries and slivered almonds.
- Bake on a cookie sheet, on parchment paper, at 300-325 degrees Fahrenheit
* For the lower fat cookies bake for 14-17 minutes. For the chewy cookies bake for 10-13 minutes.

Thanksgiving 2011

I'm a little late on the Thanksgiving post. I was not even going to bother but apparently some super awesome people read this blog and actually asked to see it. This year I didn't make anything original although I did create a pumpkin pecan pie that was way too rich by taking pieces of different recipes. Some people liked it, some people didn't.

I did manage to make a few things that were so successful that I never even got any pictures. You can check out fantastic pictures of those on the blogs linked here. Those would be C'est La Vegan's Goat Cheese which I added liquid smoke to and Killer Bunnies, Inc's Cashew Truffles. The cashew truffles included Raspberry (added raspberry jam), plain chocolate, and Rocky Road (added Dandies Marshmallows and rolled in chopped peanuts).  For the main course I made Field Roast Celebration Roast with C'est La Vegan's "Poultry" gravy. So now that I'm looking at this, I see that most of what I made for Thanksgiving was not photographed. I'm such a slacker. Here's what I made that was photographed (click on the pics for a better look):

Vegan Dad's Pumpkin Pull-Apart Rolls
Vegan Dad is one of my absolute favorite vegan blogs. Last year I made his apple cider tofu for Thanksgiving and it was amazing.

 And these are the pumpkin rolls on my pretty new dishes...


I took The PPK's Pumkin Cheesecake recipe and substituted Vanilla Wafers for graham crackers and Bryanna's Vegan Pumpkin Pie as sub for the Cheesecake. So mainly I just used the Pecan topping from the PPK on Bryanna's pumpkin pie. It didn't go over well with some people. It was really rich, a little to much so for myself but some people seemed to like it.

And by special request from my sister, Raw Food for Real People's Raspberry Cacao Cheezecake.

 People tested, cat approved (actually cat rejected). I think she just wanted to be on the internets.

  Until next year...