Product Review: Eat Pastry gluten-free cookie dough! »
Hey everybody! Because I am such a selfless person, I ate vegan cookie dough for you! And let me tell you, purely scientifically speaking, Eat Pastry’s gluten-free, chocolate chip cookie dough (when baked) is absolutely scrumptious! I know gluten-free baked goods can sometimes be a little funky, with lingering odd tastes, but the geniuses behind Eat Pastry have figured out a formula that stands up to the rich and buttery Tollhouse* cookies of my former omni life. I’m a huge fan of this product! I also fed the cookies to my friend Britney and my roommate Dan, both to positive reactions. Dan is trying to cut gluten from his diet, and had bought some non-vegan chocolate chip cookie dough to bake for himself. He expressed disdain for the omni dough he bought and when fed one the Eat Pastry cookie his immediate response was “WHERE CAN I GET THOSE?”
The only thing, and I notice this when I make gluten-free pastries from scratch myself, is that gluten-free dough in it’s raw form is not so tasty. Unbaked, garbanzo bean flour really stands out. In my mind though, this is a good thing! This means that when it comes to raw cookie dough, there are cookies to bake after I open the container (as opposed to half of the raw dough sitting in my stomach like a brick).
When I bought the container of batter to try out, I wanted to do something really special with it. What goes with chocolate chip cookies better than anything? ICE CREAM AND CHOCOLATE SAUCE!
The ingredients were gathered — it was time to have some fun.
I decided to make an ice cream sandwich, with Luna and Larry’s Cappuccino coconut ice cream and home-made ganache!
HOW TO MAKE AN AMAZING VEGAN ICE CREAM SANDWICH:
First I baked my cookies, and to be honest, I ran into a little trouble with the instructions on the Eat Pastry label. It read to heat the oven to 350 degrees and measure out teaspoons of dough onto a cookie sheet. I was unhappy with my first batch, as I thought the cookies were too thin, with the edges a very dark brown and raw centers. When I made my second batch, I measured out a tablespoon of dough and was much happier with the size and bake of my cookies. However in the future, I will probably only heat my oven up to 325 degrees, as the edges still got brown fast. A little bit of a disclaimer though: it is best to bake chocolate chip cookies when they are cold, because they tend to spread at room temperature. The label of Eat Pastry does say to bake them directly out of the fridge, and I had just taken my sweet time walking home from the grocery store, put the dough in the fridge for about 15 minutes, couldn’t wait any longer, and baked them.
The finished product!
I made my ganache by putting together a homemade double boiler and melting down 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips with 5 Tbls coconut milk (any non-dairy milk would suffice). I brought my pot of water to a boil, put my metal bowl of chips and milk atop, turned the heat down to medium-low, and let the steam melt down my ganache.
To make my ice cream sandwich, I waited until my cookies were completely cool, put a couple spoonfuls of ice cream on the bottom cookie and then a placed another cookie on top. I immediately dipped the sandwich in ganache, sprinkled it with mini chocolate chips, took some pictures and stuck it in the freezer. Britney got to eat the final product, as I had eaten most of the cookies I baked that afternoon and couldn’t take anymore dessert food. She was ecstatic and now you know how I make and keep friends.
In conclusion: Ice cream sandwiches and garbanzo bean flours aside, I LOVED the gluten-free Eat Pastry chocolate chip cookie dough and will definitely be buying it again in the future!
*Easiest recipe to veganize. Sub Earth Balance and egg replacer—that’s it. Most semi-sweet chocolate chips are already vegan. I have used so many vegan chocolate chip cookie recipes that call for such odd and unnecessary ingredients and fortunately for me, those days are now over.
Baking with Blue Balls Bakery: gluten-free, pumpkin spice, chocolate chip cookies! »
Well everyone, fall has officially descended upon us. To tell you the truth, I’m still in denial and I’m not ready to think about squash soups, Halloween OR pumpkin lattes (especially not pumpkin lattes). I’m not ready to lose the glow of my sun-kissed skin for the almost transparent color I get in winter! I WANT IT TO STOP!
Since I can’t stop the hands of time, denial it is. But wait, what’s this? A charming baking tutorial featuring gluten-free, pumpkin spice, chocolate chip cookies? Yep, and I love it! I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact it was created by my internet bestie and future vegan bakery co-owner (we love cats and mimosas, the building blocks to any solid friendship), Amber!
Not only is Amber an extremely talented vegan baker and decorator, she’s super funny and charismatic too! Watching this video, I feel like I’m in the kitchen with her, at least until I’m unable to try one of those delectable looking cookies. But that’s okay, because thanks to her guidance, I can now make my own cookies! Oh my gosh, don’t even get me started on the one-liners! (“Speaking of wet ingredients”, holds up a beer to drink.)
Fingers crossed that with popular demand (you) Amber will start making baking videos on the reg. I heard a rumor (received a text) that a mimosa cupcake tutorial may be in the works… I hope it’s true!
You can follow Amber on Twitter and Instagram at MonkandMao, and be sure to subscribe to her Youtube channel “Blue Balls Bakery”.
[Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com!]
Product review: Wholesome Chow’s Big Yummy (gluten-free) Brownie! »
Okay, here’s the deal you guys: I’m not the biggest sweets fan. In fact, sometimes when I eat too much sugar, my skin gets red, puffy and really warm.* This just happened at my birthday party, and freaked out my entire family. I finished my cake anyway, but everyone kept touching my red, blotchy arm as if I were a science experiment.
Being the incredibly talented (as well as good-looking, charismatic and hilarious) professional pastry chef that I am, people are often quite confused that I don’t really eat sweets anymore. I’m like, “good thing you guys, this way at the end of my shift there’s actually prouduct available for the public to buy!” I mean, makes perfect sense to me—I go home and gorge on pizza, so everyone wins.
Cutting to chase here, I usually pass up on dessert samples for Vegansaurus. However, because of my success with, and complete admiration for, Wholesome Chow’s products in the past, I was not willing to give up the opportunity to try their gluten-free brownies! I was expecting to get a dry mix in the mail that I would then bake, so imagine my delight when I opened a package with three BIG brownies encased. I mean, I’m excited just reminiscing about that evening.
Let me tell it to you straight: The Big Yummy Double Chocolate Brownie by Wholesome Chow is not playing around. It took all the willpower I had not to eat all three brownies in one sitting. They’re quite sizable, and everything no brownie in the past has ever been to me. To be honest, I eat cake and brownies as vehicles for frosting, and these babies didn’t even need it. I didn’t miss a side of fudgy chocolate frosting AT ALL.
I’m someone who stays away from sugar, has never really been a brownie person (I mean, usually they can be SO dry) and doesn’t have to eat gluten-free (though I do feel better when I do). On that note, I crave these. I think about them all time. But where can I find these chocolate sensations, since Wholesome Chow doesn’t deliver them anymore? Well, here’s a handy list for you! (Just try to beat me to Rainbow to buy out their stock, I dare you.) Unfortunately for now, they are only available in California, but maybe you can ask your local natural food store to carry them? Of course you can always buy the brownie dry mix online too, as I’m sure it does not disapoint! Chef Veronica of Wholesome Chow also has a recipe for these decadent treats on their company blog!
*I did not have any type of reaction to the sugar in Wholesome Chow’s brownies, which may have also been because for once I exerted some amount of will power in not eating all three in one sitting.
Product Review: Isabella’s Cookie Company »
Isabella Cookies are damn fine and come in lots of vegan flavors and some are weird and all are wonderful.
They sent me both the V-Ging, a spicy ginger chewy cookie topped with sweet vanilla icing, and the V-RV, a red velvet cookie with vanilla icing. They were both extremely excellent — homemade tasting and chewy and flavorful and absolutely splendid. You could buy a bag of these and polish them off yourself or bring them to a vegan bakesale and pass them off as your own. Or fool any omnivore with their deliciousness if you were inclined to share.
In addition to being gifted those flavors for potential review, I also bought the V-Breakfast cookie — “soft maple cookie with crunchy waffles, mouth-watering chocolate chips and vegan bacon”. It’s freaking weird as hell and also tasty as hell. Plus, it’s just really cool that vegans get to have fun weirdo flavor cookies.
Bring Vegan Ice Cream in Oakland: Curbside! »
There are few things as implicitly good as an ice cream cone on a warm summer’s day. It’s one of those restore-your-faith-in-humanity kind of joys. I was lucky enough to sample some vegan offerings from a budding Oakland ice cream business, Curbside Creamery. Curbside is still working on funding to build up their brick and mortar storefront (conveniently located in the Temescal Alley, so hip, so posh), but my friend Riley and I were invited to sample some cones and talk with the owner and proprietor, Victoria “Tori” Wentworth.
While Curbside will have both dairy and vegan options, Tori was inspired to open up her business after visiting the all-vegan powerhouse of deliciousness, Lula’s Sweet Apothecary in New York. Having a delectable vegan option was a high priority to Tori, based both upon her own politics and the dietary preferences of some close friends. “In my personal life, I’ve been vegetarian since 2006, due mostly to a heightened awareness of where meat comes from (or rather what it goes through) these days. Many of my friends over the years have been vegan, so the realities of that diet have always been part of my life in a big way. That’s why I was aware of the real lack of good vegan options… We all know that buying ice cream in a pint from the store is NOT an equal experience to going to a shop with your friends and getting a fresh scoop on a cone.”
While Curbside’s exact process is a trade secret, Tori worked very hard to ensure a good vegan product, toiling with the cashew-base base of the ice cream until she got it just right. Whatever she’s doing with the cashews, it works. We sampled the Valrhona Chocolate and the Chai Tea. Both were a perfect balance of sweet and creamy, and were a delight to eat out of Curbsides mobile tricycle stand. In the future, Tori will cycle through flavors so every concoction will ultimately have a dairy and a vegan version. Curbside also takes cross-contamination very seriously, and has designated scoops and cleaning tubs. This is both for vegans wanting to avoid animal residue and people who come in with nut allergies.
Courtney Flynn lives in Oakland and spends way too much time inventing vegan recipes, reading science fiction and crocheting hats for her dog Blender. She sometimes remembers to update her blog, where she likes to write about food, restaurants and products that don’t suck.
Vegansaurus pal Kelly Peloza is back in action with her super-great blog, Seitan Beats Your Meat, and check out what she’s got: Cherry Canary Melon Sherbet! Doesn’t it look luscious? Just exactly what you want on a sweltering July day.
Kelly is a brilliant gorgeous wunderkind and you should 100 percent be reading her blog, buying her cookbook(s!), and try out all her recipes, which are terrific. Start with this summer-fruit sherbet, it’s sure to treat you right.
Good day, raw little lemon tart with lemon almond poppyseed ice cream from Fragrant Vanilla Cake. Are you an angel descended from heaven to share with us the gospel of lemon dessert? Because I will be your No. 1 evangelizer.
Hail Merry macaroons are hella cheap right now on Vegan Cuts, assuming you want a whole lot of them. A long time ago I told you how obsessed I am with these delicious confections, and like with all good celebrity relationships, time has not weakened my passion.
Here’s what you can do with the 10 bags you get for $30 (free shipping!) with this deal: Stocking stuffers for all seven dwarves, Snow White, the witch, AND the huntsman. Party favors for your softball team. Hella-easy potluck contribution. Eat them all yourself.
[Note:/ Though it might seem like we’re shilling for Vegan Cuts these days, we’re not, they’re just kicking ass with the goodies. We always let you know when we get free stuff.]
OH HOLY MOTHER
Man, it’s cooling down! (Ok, it’s 70 degrees in San Francisco, but our office is freezing. We swear.) Time to bust out some of these vegan S’mores Shots in Chocolate Glasses, don’t ya think? Click here or above for the recipe!
Vegan Maple Turtle Cake WELL HELLO. Fragrant Vanilla Cake does it again! What is WITH this person and their ridiculously delicious looking recipes? I want to be her friend and eat all the cake so that she doesn’t have to and can bake and bake some more and so on and so forth until we’re in extract-my-dead-body-from-my-house-with-the-jaws-of-life territory. DEAL, FRAGRANT VANILLA CAKE?