Of course, when you have a party, you need food! We tried to think of foods that my grandma loved - and since she was such a committed health food fan, we had loads of hummus, veggie trays, sliced fuyu persimmons, sliced apples, baguettes, vegan sushi, trader joes flatbread crackers... all her favorites (& all vegan!). Of course, she was also a big fan of chocolate, and we truly couldn't have celebrated her without some chocolate chip cookies & brownies. So that was one of my jobs.
I used Dreena's wonderful "Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookies" from Vive La Vegan. I love this recipe. I think I made 10 batches... and ended up with about 225 cookies. I was in major circulation with my two little cooling racks.
Here are all my cookie tins, bursting at the seams.
Next, I moved on to the brownies. In truth, I pretty much never make brownies, although I think that's about to change. I looked through lots of different cookbooks for a good looking brownie recipe. I remember everyone talking about Peter Berley's recipe... but it's got a CUP of oil... and when you need to make at least 5 batches, that starts to be pretty unappealing. Then, I saw the recipe in the new book "Vegan Joy of Baking" - and made a sample batch. Wow!! These wonderful brownies use applesauce instead of oil, and are rich, dense, moist, cakey & fudgy all at once, and totally easy. Here you can see how I was having to get creative in my search for more cooling racks. I've staggered two trays on top of a colander!
In the end I made 6 trays of brownies, I cut them up on the small side... and ended up with 160 brownies! In fact, these little babies were so rich and dense that I now have a big blister on my right index finger from cutting up so many brownies! Here's the final product. Of course I had to sample one (or two) to make sure that they were delicious. I really recommend this recipe! I even left one double batch in the oven for 10 minutes too long... and they were no worse for the wear. My kinda recipe!
Overall, it's been a long couple of days, lots of baking and also lots of emotions - reflecting on my wonderful grandma and wishing she could be here forever ... and knowing that it just doesn't work that way. If you're interested, my cousin & her husband made a really great website for my grandma: http://www.patriciasmith.org/
Lots of love to you bloggy friends!