August 26, 2011

Book review: Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar

I first heard about Isa Chandra Moskowitz when I opted to go vegan for baked goods.  My kids are milk-allergic and tolerate eggs just fine but I liked the challenge of making delicious treats that could accommodate more people.  Moskowitz's book, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, has certainly helped pave the way for vegan baking by introducing non-vegans to the idea that dessert can be delicious without milk, butter, and eggs.

I am more of a cookie person so I was much more interested in checking out Isa's follow-up recipe book, Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar.  And check it out I did -- right from my local library.  (A little note: do take advantage of your library's catalog.  Test drive recipe books before you buy so that you don't later suffer from buyer's remorse.)

What I like about Isa's recipes is that she does not just substitute a dairy-free milk or an egg replacer for the real stuff.  And she doesn't use a whole lot of unusual ingredients either.  The majority of recipes she has created use a combination of ingredients that, for the most part, can be found in your local grocery store.  For ingredients that you can't find around town (perhaps blue agave sweetener or arrowroot powder?) I recommend checking out for the best prices and selection.

Isa does the classics with flair.  So far I have tried only a handful of the 100 recipes in the book: whole wheat chocolate chip cookies, chocolate crinkle cookies, cranberry walnut thumbprints (without the nuts), peanut butter pillows (subbing sun butter for the peanut butter), and the Mexican hot chocolate snickerdoodles.  I attempted the Lazy Samoas but I added too much baking soda and I ran out of coconut to give it a legitimate test.  They spread like crazy in the oven so I couldn't really finish the job with drizzling them with melted chocolate.  They were still yummy!

With the exception of the whole wheat chocolate chip cookies (too cakey but they did grow on me over time), I liked all the cookies and hope to make them again!
Ryken adds raspberry preserves to our thumbprints.

Callan loved rolling the crinkle cookie dough in two kinds of sugar.

Thumbprint cookies using white whole wheat, no nuts.

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles

The original recipe called for peanut butter but I made sun butter pillows.

Ryken loved the sunbutter pillows.


  1. I am desperately hoping these taste as good ad they look. They're so gorgeous!

  2. We really liked them although, from the baker's perspective, some were very labor-intensive! (The sun butter pillows especially.) I had never made crinkle cookies before and loved the texture -- slightly crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside. They do contain a little corn syrup to help with the spreading, though. Sigh...of course, it just couldn't be perfect! :)