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!