Monday, December 14, 2009

COOKIE PARTY!! & Cookbooklette!

You know, for years now, I've heard about these fun cookie exchange parties... where everyone makes cookies, and then you get together and everyone takes home a few of each other's cookies. Sounds totally awesome, right?! Except, how fun is it to take your vegan cookies to a big party and come home with no cookies? Answer = No fun at all! Well, yesterday we went to a super fun all-vegan cookie exchange party over at our friend Sophia's place. It was nice to visit with our friendly pals, and there was some SERIOUS cookie abundance.

I've been in some sort of crazed baking mood... so I went a little nuts. First I made these glorious crispy almond cookies. It was my first time making them, and they turned out great. Crisp and not too sweet, but just right. A perfect Christmas cookie, by my reckoning.

Next, I made an old favorite: Glazed Gingerbread Tiles. I love love love these cookies. I'm usually a no-Earth-Balance kind of gal, but I'll make an exception for some special Christmas cookies. These cookies are chewy and dense and have quite a spicy kick - aided by a generous addition of black pepper.

Here you can see the little amorphous designs on top and the crackling glaze. Yummmm...

Finally, I made a recipe I've had my eye on for a while now - Peppermint Topped Brownies, from Sunset Magazine. So beautiful! I used the brownie recipe from Joy of Vegan Baking, then I made half the recommended amount of ganache (which was more than enough). I used mimicreme instead of whipping cream.

The peppermint toppers are made of melted hard peppermint candies. Check out this crazy wonderous beauty!!! I was totally stoked about the whole thing. It might have been different if I had used white parchment paper, but the recipe says to draw out this whole grid of 1 3/4 inch squares on the parchment and then to use that grid as a guide to score the candies when they come out of the oven - but I couldn't see my grid whatsoever, so I was left to eyeball it. As Mr. Vegan Eats & Treats said "Good thing you're good at eyeballing it!" So true!

Here's my smorgasborg of offerings that I brought to the party! ... and then here's what everyone else brought:

Coldandsleepy brought some super delicious Pecan Caramel Bars. This recipe is from Isa's new book Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. Crazy chewy, super sweet, and very good.

Sophia had about 75 persimmons on her dining room table, so it should come as no surprise that she made Persimmon Oatmeal Cookies. These were so good!!

The Lemon Family brought Carrot Chewies (also from VCIYCJ) - they were soft and chewy (as promised) and tasted just like the top of a very good carrot muffin. This amounted to our "vegetable serving" for the afternoon!

They also brought some beautiful Raspberry Oatmeal Bar Cookies from Joy of Vegan Baking. By accident, they forgot to put the jam in the middle of two layers of dough... and put it on top instead. It was less work - and still tasted great!! Note to self!

And Turnip's Mom brought two varieties: some joyfully rich Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies (freak out!) and some very nice Frosted Rum Nog cookies with just the right rummy-ness!

Table full of cookies!! I'll tell you what, it was a bit daunting, even for a well-trained sweetie eater like myself.

No one wanted to induce a diabetic coma, but we couldn't just swap cookies and leave without even sampling all the delicious wares, so we broke the cookies into smaller bits and sampled away. What a delicious and magical Yum Fest. It was so fun, and there was a perfect variety of flavors and textures.

Sophia's cat Gertrude totally stole my heart with her crazy antics and softie-softie fur.

Another kitty picture, because this is a vegan blog and I know you can take it.

Finally, after a nice afternoon chatting and visiting, we dove in and started divvying up the cookies amongst everyone. Frenzy of flying vegan hands!

Mr. ColdandSleepy was very orderly with his take-home arrangement! What a lovely bounty to consume and share with friends. Yay for Cookie Party!

When I mentioned that I've been in a baking mood, I wasn't really kidding. In addition to all that cookie party baking, I also finally broke open my copy of VCIYCJ and made the "kitchen sink biscotti" for our family dinner on Saturday night. I subbed out the the cocoa powder with 2 Tbsp whole wheat pastry flour, and used some anise extract in addition to the vanilla. Then I added almonds and chocolate chips. I have been suffering from a years-long pent up desire to try my hand at biscotti, and I don't know why I waited so long. These were so great! Now that the dam is broken, I already have ideas for more flavor variations to cook up. More baking!

Last but not least... Another year, another holiday season... Faithful Readers, you know what that means...

Another Cookbooklette! Hoorah! Every year I compile a little hand-drawn collection of some favorite recipes I discovered that year. This year is exciting, because there's a recipe for DiSaronno cookies which I made up - all by myself - in honor of my grandpa. I know some of you fancy people make up recipes all the time. But I don't, so I feel all self-congratulatory about the whole thing. I've got 25 of these little cutie books to giveaway to my beloved friends in the blogosphere. International is just fine! Please, if you leave a comment asking for one, make sure to leave your email address or another way for me to track you down & get your mailing address.

Merry Holiday Winter Season!

57 comments:

  1. Yay! I'm the first poster! I'd love a booklette. What a sweet thing to do for those you love (and a few lucky commenters). Happy wintertime to you!

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  2. Oh I would love one!
    Those cookies look absolutely delicious. I'm going to have to try and make some of those crispy almond cookies, they're my favorite.

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  3. So fun! I'd love a copy of your cookbooklette too! Thanks so much for the giveaway!

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  4. I would love, love, love a cookbooklette, Amey!! Still use mine from last year all the time. :) My email is: dewi dot faulkner at gmail dot com. xoxo

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  5. omg omg, this post is an overload of goodies! first of all, those peppermint candy melties are beautiful! it's actually great that you had to eyeball it- they're more interesting because they're a little off-center. wow. cookies up the wazoo, a really cute kitty, and your annual zine! you know I couldn't live without it! My bottle of Disaronno (sp?) is sitting here waiting for your recipe. =)

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  6. Oh my! I'd LOVE a little cookbooklette!
    All the cookies look delicious!
    And if you want some ideas for biscotti, my dad makes some every year, and they're really good dipped in dark chocolate! And they're also great dipped in finely chopped nuts after the chocolate. And they make great Christmas presents!

    Email: Jamiewilcox@comcast.net
    Thank you!

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  7. OOOOH I want one!! And I'd be happy to trade you something either crocheted or baked for it too. :3

    badgie523@gmail.com

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  8. I would love one! What a generous idea. And the cookies make me hungry... even after surviving our own sugar-coma exchange of delicious treats last week : )

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  9. I would love one too, sounds very nice. (valerie.doucette@gmail.com) Those desserts look delish!

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  10. WOW! A vegan cookie swap? I'm frothing at the mouth! And I'd *love* a recipe collection as well- it sounds so cool :-) Bethjserafin_at_yahoo.com

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  11. gorgeous pics. that was so much fun! thanks for posting pictures of my kitty darling!

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  12. Anonymous4:29 AM

    I'd love an Amey book!
    snowdrift52003@yahoo.com

    Kim

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  13. Ill have one please!!!! mmmmm cookies.. (now sings the cookie monster song)...

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  14. Woah, cookie overload!!!!

    The almond ones look the best to me, the look like these german ones my family used to get around christmas, yum!

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  15. I would love love love a cookbooklette! You have my very favorite blog and getting a booklette from you would be super! :) You can contact me at sara.querbes [at gmail] Thanks!!

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  16. Yum. I need to get in on some of that cookie swap action around here. I think I will start one next year.

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  17. I'd love one.
    broccolipotatoes [at] yahoo [dot] com

    Sara

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  18. Oh yay, what a genius idea!
    I'd be tickled pink to get one of your booklettes. x

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  19. Miriam6:33 AM

    Hi Amey! I would LOVE one. Am I too late? Thanks so much for making these. About three years i got one from you, and I still cook from it! I love it! My email is mskurnick22_at_yahoo.com . Thanks again for always giving me lovely things to read, and take care!

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  20. I would love one, Amey. Thank you. melissadiane@hotmail.com

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  21. Oooh, Amey, you know I want your booklet. I look forward to them every year and I'm getting quite a collection!

    I went to a cookie swap recently but it wasn't all vegan. Yours looks like so much fun!

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  22. Oh, I love your little book, Amey! If you have any left I'd love a copy!

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  23. Ooh, I'd love one. I have last year's book, and I love it — I've made the borscht and the meat loaf and both were fantastical...my email is phillipsbianca[at]gmail[dot]com.

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  24. What a generous offer! If you have any left, I would love one of your little cookbooks. Thank you so much!

    Courtney
    cmb0096(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  25. Hi Amey,

    The cookie party looks like crazy fun! The gingerbread tiles sound especially enticing. And Gertrude might be the cutest name for a cat I've heard in a long time.

    You sent me your amazing holiday cookbooks a couple years ago...but I think I've been out of the loop awhile. I'd love this year's addition if you have enough - your drawings are adorable! :-)

    -Kati

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  26. I love your blog...keep it on my list of RSS feeds. Those peppermint candy topped brownies look AWESOME.
    I would really appreciate one of your handmade books. I love to bake, so know that I would read through and try out the ideas and recipes. will send you my address if you write me: stephalise@gmail.com

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  27. Wow, so many cookies! How great to have them all be vegan! I would love a cookbooklette if there's any left. Thanks having such a generous giveaway! :-)

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  28. Well I see I'm too late to get a cookbooklette but I wanted to tell you this is a super cute idea. I think next year I may try the same. I am very jealous of the cookie party, too. Those peppermint brownies look delicious!

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  29. Anonymous10:46 AM

    Those peppermint topped brownies are so beautiful! Amazing to see so many vegan cookies all in one place. I seriously need to buy a ton of almonds so I can make the crispy almond cookies, DiSaronnos, and the biscotti!!

    jen e.

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  30. Anonymous10:49 AM

    Loved your cookie exchange post! I wonder if the peanut butter shortbread maker would be willing to share the recipe?!

    Your recipe book looks great. My e-mail address is linkmurphy@hotmail.com

    Thanks--Tam

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  31. Wow. Those peppermint tiles are insanely awesome!

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  32. You may already be out of booklets, but just in case you're not, i would love one! What a generous idea!
    edayem@gmail.com

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  33. The peppermint tiles look SO good! What a fun cookie swap!

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  34. Wow, I am totally impressed! I made two kinds of cookies today and felt eshausted, ha. Everything you made looks really delicious.

    I'd love a copy of your booklette.

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  35. Hey Molly G, Caiti, and Erin,
    your blogger profiles aren't public, so I can't contact you. If you want a booklet still, leave me your email address so I can contact you!
    :)

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  36. Your blog is always the first I visit every day. I'm going to make the crispy almond cookies this weekend. I can get those non vegan ones from Jules de Stroper here in the Netherlands, which I loved in pregan days - so I'm dying to makes your vegan version!
    I would love to win you cookbooklette!
    pdotwater9@upcmaildotnl

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  37. Oh. My. Goodness.

    I'm drooling over here. What amazing ideas and everything looks so beautiful! Well done!

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  38. PS- I'd love a cookbooklette, but I may be too late!

    My email address is inmyveganlife at gmail dot com

    Thanks!!

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  39. Emilia9:20 PM

    Very detailed, great blog-- ALL the cookies look fabulous! I, too, like everybody else would LOVE one of your wholemade cookbooks. I'm actaully trying to get more vegetarian recipes on hand and start being more creative :) My email address: sillygoose505@yahoo.com

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  40. You guys are amazing, and I can't believe you made so many delicious looking things yourself! I totally want to try the gingerbread tiles and peppermint brownies now.

    I know I'm way late on the uptake, but if you have extra zines I would love one.

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  41. Anonymous8:58 AM

    I found a blog that I am so excited about finally. I just started eating vegan at the beginning of the month and was so happy to come across your blog for all your fabulous treats you make so I have not been missing my old treats thanks to you. I sure would love a booklet from you to see what other fabulous items I can make from you.
    SmeltzerE@aol.com

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  42. How much fun! A cookie exchange party sounds like a wonderful idea, I'm going to have one!

    I think those gingerbread tiles are the loves of my life...

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  43. Wow, that sounds like so much fun! Good for you enterprising vegans! Happy holidays and enjoy your cookies!

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  44. I would love one too, sounds very nice.

    Work from home India

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  45. What a mass of beautiful cookies!

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  46. Hi, Amey--I just met you last week at your mom's place and you passed along your blog spot URL but I did not know at the time what a true treat I was in for, although I guessed so from your sparkling personality :P

    Now I have to throw a cookie party at some point because that looks like so much fun!

    Have a happy, healthy new year!

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  47. I would love, love, love one of your books! Your blog and your way of life are such an inspiration to me. Thanks for a great 2009 and here's to an even better 2010!

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  48. I have never thought of using candies as cake toppings or frosting - this is really new to me. Might as well try it.

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  49. Amey,
    Just discovered your blog through "have cake and will travel" Great pics
    mmm....nice and mouth watering

    It would be great to get your Cookbooklette copy.

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  50. I came across your blog while looking for Holiday sweets. What wonderful pictures! Are there any cookbooklets still available? My e-mail address is cassiefox5@gmail.com. If it is possible to get one, be sure to let me know how much $ to send your way for it. Thanks!

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  51. Karen S11:26 AM

    Hiii Amy! You are quite the amazing one - yep, I too found you through the lovely Celine at Have Cake will travel. If you still have a cookbooklet I would be honored to have one - kassies@yahoo.com !! If not, totally understand, and my thanks for a fantastic site!

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  52. Have been away from computer, and blogs. Just saw yours and I am probably way too late for any Cookbooklets, however I would really like the recipe for the Frosted Nog Cookies, they sound so yummy!! Thanks, great blog, I found it via a link from Honey and Jam. Thanks, p

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  53. I adore how the candy frosting looks! Delicious!

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  54. I adore the colors!
    I can feel it in my tongue - the candy toppings and the chocolate bars.

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  55. Delicious, thanks for the idea.
    I am thinking of playing around with colors and add some this and that to this recipe.

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  56. Looks like I'm late to the party on this one... found this page on a Google search while looking at recipes.

    I must say... this looks fantastic! Thanks for sharing this, I think I might try some of this out the next time I get the urge to cook :D

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