Holiday Cookies!

Whew! Davey and I had a bake-a-thon that went from Friday night through Saturday night. We were going to a Christmas party,and I wanted to bring some cookies. We also, being away from family this year, were looking for the traditional messy kitchen cookie decorating bonanza to get us into the holiday spirit. Because I tend to overdo things a tad... I picked out three recipes. I wanted to do more than one, and two varieties seems silly, so three seems to make sense. It was fun, but I was SO ready to get out of the kitchen by Saturday night. Also, in addition to all of the baking, I made tacos for lunch, Creamed Lentils for dinner and Tempeh Bacon Guac for the party. It was a ton of work, but I can't help but realize how amazingly lucky we are to have all of this delicious food around.

As for the cookies, two of the recipes are online and one is from Vegan With a Vengenance. That one is "Sparkled Ginger Cookies" (the brown ones w/ the colored sugar), p 192. These are delicious and perfect for this time of year. They're sweet and spicy, mildly crunchy but also chewy. They're spiced with ground clove, ground ginger and cinnamon- and coupled with the molasses, it makes for a hearty, spicy, comfort cookie that's great with a hot tea. The recipe calls for Turbinado sugar for the top, but we used colored because... then it's a party. Talking of party- these were very popular with many non-vegans (the true test of a good vegan cookie).

The sugar cookies were the most amazingly pleasant surprise. I just googled "vegan sugar cookies" and trolled around until I found something that looked appealing. These are SO good! They are exactly like the big, crazy neon colored varieties that you get at coffee shops and bakeries. The cookies alone sort of hold back some sweet to allow for the redonkulously sweet icing. As a combo, it's sugar for sure, but not too overpoweringly or sickeningly sweet as some of the iced cookies can be. We got our cookie cutters from Sur La Table and threw in a Triceratops for a new holiday tradition. These are also a huge hit with friends of all dietary persuasions. You can find the recipe HERE.

To save the most decadent for last- I present the vegan magic bar! These are insane. They taste exactly like my mom's dairy version, in fact, I think that they're far gooier. There was a guy at the party who came up to Davey, grasped his shoulder with a fiercely intense death grip and said, "These. Are. The. Best. Thing. EVER!" Of course, after being told that they were vegan and being shocked, he vowed to eat a few pieces of bacon to compensate, but still- it was a nice compliment. They would be easy to prepare too- if not for the vegan condesed milk that you have to make. It needs to reduce for about 30 minutes (my heat was too low in fear of burning it, so mine took about 45 minutes). Also, I think the graham/ margarine combo was too wet, I would increase grahams or decrease the margarine. It may have been that my milk was too hot and saturated the crust too much- but they ended up extremely moist and almost greasy on the bottom. I compensated by putting them on a bed of dry graham crumbs when it was all done, but I would tweak that in the future. But, on the whole, if you're looking for something that will make everyone's eyes roll into the back of their head- this is it. And, it's another awesome recipe from Ellen's chef Roberto that's on their site (love that- this is the man who gave us the Pot Pie and Tamale recipes!) The recipe is HERE.

Happy holidays!