Cookbook review: The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur, by Kelly Peloza!  »

Skyhorse Press sent us a copy of The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur by Kelly Peloza, and we are really, really grateful to them because it is a knockout. Seasonally—and economically!—speaking, with an MSRP under $20, it is also an ideal gift: Confused relatives love you, weirdo vegan nieces/nephews/cousins/grandchildren, but they don’t want to spend more than $20 on your presents, and by the way they have NO IDEA what to get, so send them this link—or send them to Vegansaurus for us to pass it along—and you are guaranteed something awesome. It’s not only hardback, it has a shiny dust cover; can you name five vegan cookbooks with a DUST COVER? No! Skyhorse put a lot of work and money into publishing this treasure trove, and it’s definitely worth it.

Author Kelly Peloza apparently made her name online before putting this cookbook together, but I don’t know anything and hadn’t heard of her prior to getting this in the mail.* Regardless: she’s great. Also she’s from Milwaukee, which we love on principle! Check out my results with some of her recipes!

These are Pixies (pp. 87)! You roll them in powdered sugar before baking.

This is a section of caramel apple bar (pp. 146) that I made in a pie pan, for reasons I cannot now remember. The apple is really nice and tart inside all that caramel.

Hello, chocolate peppermint cream bars (pp. 156)! These took kind of forever to make because of the waiting, but they are pretty delicious. I am afraid the pepperminty frosting part is a little toothpastey, but I am also what you might call neurotic.

She even has a recipe for puppy cookies, specifically peanut butter dog treats (pp. 202). They’ve only got four ingredients and the dogs here love them. Of course they are “anything with peanut butter” so that’s sort of a gimme. Oliver is such a good boy, look at him let me take the picture!

The chewy pumpkin spice cookies (pp. 133) that did not get photographed were also quite good.

Some criticisms: The chewy caramel pecans (pp. 67) are ridiculous—if you make them, just omit that ΒΌ cup of oil from the batter, it’s extraneous and gross. The carrot cake cookies (pp. 248) aren’t nearly carrotty enough, but the texture and spice blend are nice. Overall the recipes are sugar-heavy, and while I bake an excellent cookie, I don’t have super-skills, and cutting sugar in baked goods is tricky business, what with good texture being much more difficult to adjust for than sweetness. I’ll work on it and let you know.

Cookies are whimsical and so classically (U.S.) American. If you love them, you’ll want this book; it’s well written, full of lush photos, and really fun. With The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur Kelly Peloza has made a valuable contribution to vegan cookbooks, and to our cultural heritage, I think, as we evolve beyond eating animals. Vegan cookies are the best! Now go get this cookbook—or get someone to give it to you—and find out for yourself.**

*This is her excuse for not having Vegansaurus on her blogroll? Because I can’t think of another reason.
**Bake a few batches of your favorite whatever for this weekend’s SF Vegan Bakesale!

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