Tag Archives: vegan cookies

Almond Orange Cookies

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Easter and springtime are almost upon us. Actually, the spring equinox just passed, and Easter is in four days! And usually, this time of year, we  post a treat for the holiday – typically some sort of candy we’ve tried to make-over with less junk in it.

How about cookies instead? Doesn’t everyone love a cookie? These cookies are easy to make and have bright, sunny-day flavor. They are also gluten-free and will make a fine addition to any spring brunch buffet or afternoon teatime over the holiday weekend. (Let’s be real – we’d eat these anytime!)

almondcookie_lrAlmond Orange Cookies

1 1/2 almond meal flour

2 Tbs. arrowroot starch

1/2 cup vanilla almond milk

1/4 cup sugar

2 Tbs. canola oil

1 tsp. orange extract (or use vanilla extract)

zest of one orange

1/8 cup sliced almonds, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350. Line two cookies sheets with parchment paper or silcone baking mats.

Mix dry ingredients, almond meal and arrowroot in a large bowl. In a second bowl, combine wet ingredients, almond milk, sugar, canola oil, orange extract and orange zest. Whip wet ingredients together, then pour into dry ingredients. Stir together until well combined and smooth. Be sure no lumps of almond meal remain.

Drop  by tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets, leaving room for cookies to spread slightly. Top each cookie with a pinch of sliced almonds.

Bake at 350 for 12 minutes until set up and lightly browned at edges. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 10 more minutes before moving to a cooling rack. Makes about 20 cookies.

Baked: Tiramisu Gingerbread Sandwich Cookies

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When I was  a college student at NYU in the early nineties, tiramisu was all the rage. Funny thing, I believe plenty of folks are still raging over the traditional Italian treat. It’s usually a casserole-ish dessert made with ladyfinger cookies, coffee, mascarpone cheese and chocolate with some kind of liquor for accent. Different sources site different booze as the “traditional” variety- rum, amaretto or marsala wine. Really though, wouldn’t any one of them be delicious?

Over the years, we’ve had various vegan tiramisu desserts, all of which were wonderful. But it’s usually a messy dish and not portable, especially for sharing at the holidays. So we decided to give it a new spin. Why not a cookie sandwich?  And why not with a little holiday flavor? Our version uses a chocolate gingerbread cookie and has a vegan cream cheese filling, with coffee and amaretto extracts. So you’re getting all the usual tiramisu yum, but it’s easier to hold in your hand. Um… it might be a little itsy bit messy, though we suspect you will welcome the chance to lick your fingers!

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Tiramisu Gingerbread Sandwich Cookies

Dry ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

2 1/2 tsp. ground ginger

2 tsp. cinnamon

pinch ground cloves

pinch ground allpsice

pinch ground nutmeg

pinch salt

 

Wet ingredients:

1/3 cup non-dairy milk (we used soy milk)

1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

1 Tbs. ground flax meal

2 Tbs. warm water

1/3 cup molasses

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. instant coffee powder

1/2 cup vegan margarine, softened to room temperature (we use Earth Balance)

 

Filling:

4-oz.  vegan cream cheese, softened to room temperature (1/2 of a container, we used Toffuti)

3 Tbs. vegan shortening (we used Spectrum)

2 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp. arrowroot starch powder

1/3 tsp. coffee extract

1/3 tsp. amaretto extract

 

Decoration/Optional:

melted chocolate, chocolate covered espresso beans, as desired

 

Preheat oven to 350. Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper or reusable silcone baking mats; set aside.

In a small dish, stir together non-dairy milk and apple cider vinegar. Set aside to curdle into “vegan buttermilk.”  In a large mixing bowl, stir together flax seed meal with warm water; set aside to congeal as this will be the binder.

Sift together dry ingredients in a second bowl.

In mixing bowl with flax seed and water, add molasses, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, instant coffee powder, softened vegan margarine and curdled milk/vinegar. Whip together with electric beaters until smooth. Add dry ingredients and combine until just mixed; do not overwork or cookies will become tough.

Form into 1 -tablespoon scoops on prepared cookie sheets. Bake at 350 for ten minutes; allow to cool for 15 minutes on cookie sheet before transferring to a cooling rack. Makes about 40 cookies.

Before filling the cookie sandwiches, cool the cookies completely.

To prepare filling, whip together room temperature vegan cream cheese and shortening with an electric mixer or stand mixer until fluffy. Add powdered sugar and mix on low, so it doesn’t poof all over your kitchen. When powdered sugar is moistened, turn power to medium or high, and combine thoroughly. Finally add arrowroot powder, coffee extract and amaretto extract. Whip filling until all ingredients are smooth and incorporated.

To assemble cookies as in the photo, dip 20 cookie bottoms in melted chocolate and allow to cookie. Top the other 20 cookies with a dollop of filling. Nestle a chocolate-dipped cookie onto the filling, chocolate-side down. Drizzle the top with more melted chocolate in any pattern desired and place a chocolate-covered espresso bean into warm drizzle.

Allow all chocolate to set/cool before serving. Store in fridge – if you have any left long enough!

Need a shortcut? Skip all the melted chocolate and just smear filling between too cookies. It’s still tasty, just not as pretty. Or chocolatey!

Cook’s Notes: Don’t know how to melt chocolate? We use a double boiler method. Basically, we place a glass bowl on a saucepan filled with water. Place of low heat and add chocolate to the glass bowl. The chocolate should never touch the water or steam – it will seize and you’ll have to start over again. Stir frequently until chocolate is smooth and velvety.  This also works in the microwave, using just a glass dish. Microwave on low power a minute at a time, stirring between each heating until smooth.

Wondering why we used coffee and amaretto extracts? In a test, we found that the extracts had more concentrated flavor for the filling. Adding more liquid with real coffee and amaretto made the filling too runny. Feel free to experiment, though!

the Bohemian Girl’s 20 Year Veganniversary

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Probably the most common question I hear is “Why did you go vegan?” Well, it was twenty years ago, so I can’t remember.
KIDDING! Of course I remember. It was a simple choice that changed every aspect of my life for the better. Because so many have asked, I am going to share my story, as this month marks 20 years…
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20 years for me! 5 years for the Dirty Hippie! Woo-hoo!

As a teenager in the 1990s, I was fascinated by the idea of going meat-free. I secretly admired the few girls in my high school who were “out” as vegetarians. They had a rough road. High school kids can be cruel and I remember incidents when jerks would do things like throw lunch meat at them. So I sat by silently and would often choose vegetarian items like omelettes, but never mentioned it to anyone. Around that time, I was lusting after a cookbook in a local bookstore called “Hearty Vegetarian Soups” – the first veg cookbook I remembered seeing. I would stop by and look at it, admiring the luscious-sounding soups. Again, I was terrified about what others would think of me – even if my parents or brother saw this book in my possession. What would they say? So I never bought it and tucked these thoughts way deep inside, trying to ignore them.
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Via the amazing technology of the modern world, I found the book I wanted back in 1993! This is the one. Now I have to find a copy for sale…

In the meantime, I was an active teen environmentalist. I used to paddle canoes for scientists doing water testing in the Maryland Chesapeake Bay, headed up my school’s Eco Club and was active in the effort to bring recycling to my school district. As if the universe was prodding, at an arts festival, I saw a tee-shirt with statistics about animal agriculture and the Earth. It haunted me. I thought about it every time I ate meat. Again, I entertained the idea of going vegetarian, but was too scared to make the first steps. And I really didn’t know how to even make those steps. So again, I tucked the veg idea into my back pocket – for a brief time…
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The shirt I saw was a lot like this one… with statistics about water use, land use and other startling facts about animal agriculture.

At age 19, after only two-ish years in college, I became ill with serious gastric distress. It was on-and-off, but I was sick a lot and at age 20 got the diagnosis of ulcerative colitis (UC).

Though commonly diagnosed nowadays, UC was rare at the time. Ulcerative Colitis is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and open sores (ulcers) in the lining of the large intestine. It frequently affects the lower section and the rectum, but can affect the entire colon. In general, the more of the colon that’s affected, the worse symptoms will be. The disease can affect people of any age or ethnic heritage. Most people who have it are diagnosed before age 30. No one is sure what causes it and there is no cure. Symptoms include severe abdominal pain, fevers, joint pain, wasting/weight loss, rectal bleeding and diarrhea up to 20-30 times a day. It can lead to an increased chance of colon cancer over time.
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This was the least graphic drawing I could find to show was UC looks like….

My doctor said surgery to remove my large intestine was the only option, and that I would never lead a normal life. This doctor advised me to drop out of school, move back in with my parents and basically wait to die (imagine how well my family took this news!). He cited data that people with my diagnosis had a 40% chance to live even 15 years after first onset of the disease. It was 1995. I wasn’t 21 yet. Despair barely begins to describe the feeling I had.  This doctor’s only lifestyle suggestions were to cut red meat, all dairy foods, coffee and alcohol from my diet. His other suggestions were surgeries, pills – and of course, giving up on my life to wait for death. (As a side note, all the indoor plants in this doctor’s office were dead. I always thought it was weird to take health advice from someone who couldn’t even care for a house plant…)
But a lucky visit to a dietician changed the course. This woman, whose name I wish I still had, told me to get “The McDougall Program” book by Dr. John McDougall. Dr. McDougall recommended a plant-based, low fat diet to control UC. I got my hands on the book and switched overnight to veganism. In only seven months, I was well. Never needed surgery. Was able to go without medication. It was so simple for me: eat a healthy, vegan diet = live a healthy, long life.
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The book that saved/changed my life!

 

That first doctor with the dead plants had said my gastric issues were so serious, I would not live to be 30. I am turning 40 in a few weeks! I’ve met other people with UC and heard them say things like “I’d rather die than change my diet.” It’s always baffled me. I love my life and the food I eat is wonderful – tasty, nourishing and varied. I cannot think of a moment in the past 20 years I felt deprived. Often I think folks focus on what they “can’t” eat and fail to see the bounty of sensational foods that ARE vegan. Really, if a diet change could help avoid costly medicines, surgeries and other treatments, why wouldn’t you try it?!

Now, I will not claim that this road has been without bumps and that my health has been perfect for 20 years. After the initial 7 years in remission, the UC flare-ups occasionally returned. Once the situation was quite serious and I had to be hospitalized for almost a week. Each of these flare-ups has been preceded by a hard hit to my immune system. Things like pneumonia, giardia, flu, tonsilitis and sometimes just plain exhaustion. Flares don’t happen at random for me – a doctor made the connection when going through my history. Even the first flare was predceded by a serious bout of pneumonia (I’ve had it twice). These episodes don’t happen all the time. Most of the time, I am not sick. I can go months, and years, with no symptoms of UC. It is always with me though.

Treatments over the years have included western and Chinese herbalism, macrobiotics, raw diet/juice, acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathy, various kinds of massage/bodywork, chakra balancing, reflexology, aromatherapy, gluten-free/soy-free/oil-free/sugar-free/salt free diets, meditation, talk-therapy and reiki. Each has it’s benefits, for sure. But nothing beats rest, hydration, nourishing foods and being surrounded by positive people. Of all these various modalities of healing, botanical medicine and homeopathy both resonate with me deeply. Perhaps because I love plants, gardens and teas. Plants are healing in so many ways, I feel that in both medical and nutritional ways, they will always be a big part of my life.

Health is only one aspect of veganism, though. If modern medicine came up for a cure for UC tomorrow, I would maintain my vegan lifestyle. The idea of compassion found me first when I was in college. I used to attend meditation each week at a Buddhist Temple that was a 60 minute drive from campus, which was followed by a vegan potluck gathering. I went for the food and company, but I found so much more in the faith. The idea of not taking life to sustain your own was a principle of the Temple I went to.

It made sense to me, after all, I loved animals. I had a rescued ex-racing greyhound as my companion (another, Lochrima, shares our home currently), and volunteered for other animal groups regularly. Even as a small child, I loved animals and was delighted by birds, squirrels and bunnies in my yard. I used to make birdfeeders and took table scraps outside for wildlife and neighborhood cats.  It took the Buddhist Temple to help me make the connection: not eating animals was the ultimate way to show your love for them.

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This is me with our greyhound companion, Lochrima. We also call her Beastie. Photo was taken outside of Watkins Glen, NY on vacation two years ago.

My love of the environment came full circle too. During an internship in Raleigh NC, I discovered firsthand the environmental impact of animal-based foods. The newspaper I worked at had just won a Pulitzer for uncovering how pig farming affects the water table. The photos were shocking, revolting. Giant lagoons of manure – bigger than entire neighborhoods or college campuses – for one pig farm! The government regulations are so lax on this for pigs, cows, chickens, etc. that much of the waste ends up in the water table – that’s OUR water and OUR ocean. Those ocean dead zones? The issues with climate change? Yes, the tee shirt I saw in 1994 had it RIGHT – according to Oxford University, The United Nations, the World Bank and other experts – people raising animals to eat is the problem. A bigger problem than the entire transportation sector combined! It was one more reason to stay deeply bonded to the vegan lifestyle.

So, how did I do it? How did I learn an entirely new way of eating in the 1990s, WAY before it was cool – with so few resources? Well, I made a lot of mistakes. I got copies of all the vegetarian books I could find and altered recipes. There were some awful meals in the beginning. But I didn’t care. In the start, I was so sick, that the simple act of making hummus (yes, we had to do that from scratch -it was not yet available at the grocery store!) and layering it on a tortilla with lettuce and tomatoes was a victory for me. (Side note – there was no bread unless I made it – at the time, all breads had dairy or eggwashes or both!)

My first vegetarian cookbooks were treasured companions that traveled with me all the time, anyplace I went.  Here they are… my old friends and still the rocks on which I built my perspective of food, flavor and cooking.

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My first veg cookbooks – at that time, I couldn’t find any vegan books, back in 1995. This was pre-blogs, pre-Amazon and pre-Facebook. I was thrilled to have the few books I did! Each of these volumes is very well worn!

And gradually, I got well and learned to cook. I learned to bake my own bread. The kitchen was a place of sanctuary and I not only gained skills with food preparation, cooking and baking became my safe haven. Eventually, I met up with my first all-vegan cookbook, the Vegan Handbook by Debra Wasserman, who I have since met and has signed my well-used copy. And I went back to college and graduated.

For all the goodness I found in the vegan diet, I also found it very socially isolating. The vegetarian club at my university had three members my first year there; it was more like 12 by the time I graduated, but that’s still a small number. No one knew the word “vegan,” so I normally told people I was a vegetarian that didn’t eat eggs or dairy, a practice I continued until only about six or seven years ago. I was made fun of. I endured jokes like “I’m a member of PETA – you know, People Eating Tasty Animals.” Once a well-meaning friend advised me that I wasn’t married because of my diet – that no man wanted a woman who was so “different.” Geez – I was only 25! I wasn’t even looking for a husband!

Like I said, socially isolating. But I stayed the course. I found a few vegetarian friends like Leslie and MJ (shout out!), some who have become lifelong friends. I met a great guy (that’s the Dirty Hippie) and we were married ten years ago; he chose on his own to go vegan 5 years ago, after first stepping from the Standard American Diet to pescetarian, then vegetarian in our time together. All his own decisions.

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The Dirty Hippie & I at a party last year. Married ten years! He’s still the cutest guy I know!!!

In these past 20 years, I have seen vegan go mainstream. There are literally thousands of hits for vegan recipes online. My personal vegan cookbook collection numbers over two hundred volumes. Vegan foods are easy to find at national fast food chains, fine restaurants, cafes and at the grocery store. CVS carries almond milk and I’ve seen hummus in gas stations. Incredible companies have come along, like Vegenaise, Tofurky, Silk, Earth Balance, Beyond Meat, Field Roast, Hampton Creek, Neat, Vegg and Gardein – changing the game for vegan eats nationally. Plus there are now no shortage of non-leather shoes and belts and coats, as well as cruelty-free cosmetics, soaps and beauty products. Even AAA advertises their “vegan luggage options.”  There is a growing vegan community. Basically, I am no longer alone.

On this occasion of my veganniversary, I wanted to think about what change in the world my being vegan has meant. First, my own health – after all, I am alive to tell this story against medical prediction. Second, according to some counts, by not eating animals for 20 years, I have spared at least 1,860 lives. How much water, land and natural resources have I saved? Hard to guess, but since eating vegan has a greater impact on conservation than driving a hybrid, my estimate is that the numbers are pretty high. Plus we drive a hybrid.

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My goat friend, Faint, at Burleigh Manor Animal Sanctuary. Second cutest guy I know, after my husband!

 

I feel like there is a lot more I could say about the past 20 years. But instead of going on and on, I’d rather close with two recipes. These were the first two vegan favorites I made. Both are based on Vegetarian Times recipes I altered to be vegan and suit my fancy. Both were made so many times, they were just part of my routine for more than a decade. And they’re still delicious.

To celebrate my 20 year veganniversary, I invite you to share two of my favorite, simple dishes… dijon tofu and carob chip cookies. Enjoy!

Peace, the Bohemian Girl (aka Rissa)

 

Dijon Tofu

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This is just a marinade. You can eat the tofu any way you like. Grill it. Stir fry it. Toss it in a salad. Plop it on some rice. Fold it into a wrap. You may come to crave this as much I as did… beware!

1 block firm tofu, frozen and thawed

3 Tbl. dijon mustard

3 Tbl. Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or soy sauce

3 Tbl. lemon juice

3 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 Tbl. sesame oil (or use olive oil, if that’s what you have)

Once tofu is frozen and thawed, press out water and cut into cubes or strips, as desired. you don’t need to use frozen/thawed tofu, but the texture holds the marinade much better!

Mix together dijon, Bragg’s, lemon juice, minced garlic and sesame oil. Pour over tofu cubes in a container with a lid. Allow to marinade overnight or up to 24 hours. Eat any way you like!

My favorite thing is to put it in a food storage container and shake it up, then just add the tofu to marinade. This can easily be doubled, as well.

~ adapted from the Vegetarian Times

 

Carob Chip Cookies

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1 cup whole wheat or spelt flour

2 cups all purpose or white whole wheat flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup maple syrup

3/4 cup vegan carob chips

Preheat oven to 350. Cover two baking sheets in parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

Sift together whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, baking soda and cinnamon in a large bowl.

In a second bowl, combine applesauce, vanilla and maple syrup. Pour into dry ingredients and fold together. Dough will be thick and sticky. Gently add carob chips until they are speckled throughout.

Roll 1-tablespoon side balls of dough and place them on the baking sheet. Use cool water on your hands if dough is sticky. Makes about 3 dozen cookies

Bake at 350 for 10 to 12 minutes, until cookies are set and carob chips are soft, but not melted. Allow to cool on baking sheets 5 minutes before moving/eating.

~adapted from Vegetarian Times

 

 

 

Happy Holidays 2014!

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It’s here. The holiday season is upon us, and no matter how you celebrate, you’re likely feeling the crush and joy that is December! Once again we find ourselves traveling this year, but just before we dash out the door, we have a few goodies for you!

Getting together with family for Christmas? We have a great, simple and very inexpensive project that kids and adults can enjoy together. Just grab a few twigs and make ornaments! It’s kind of addicting, actually. We found ourselves making more and more of these little cuties!

Complete directions and more ideas are cross-posted on the Sister Eden blog.

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What about Santa? No worries. We’ve got him covered too. Just whip up a batch of our Sparkling Mint Chip Cookies! These are another fun, easy way to spend a day off from school or work. And we guarantee that the joy old elf will love to find a try of these sweets when he visits on Christmas Eve! Just leave them out with a glass of almond milk. Yum!  Click over to Sister Eden to get the recipe.

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You’ve gotta have love for the whole family, of course. Like your canine companion! While you’re in the kitchen why not plan to mix up a batch of these Sweet Potato and Coconut Dog Treats? After all, everyone likes to share in the holiday fun. Click here to find our recipe.

Need a last minute gift? We’ve got you covered. Just grab a selection of beans from a local grocer and a few jars, and you’re set to make 15 Bean Soup in a jar! It’s super simple to pull together and the recipe makes about ten jars of soup mix. Give the gift of great health and a happy supper to those you love. Below the photo is a recipe card you can print out for instructions to your giftees. For full soup-in-a-jar mix directions, click over to Sister Eden’s blog.

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It’s important to remember that December 24th is also the last night of Hanukkah this year too. We’re loving Stuffed Latkes! This recipe is chock full of yumminess with Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles and veggies. Yea, it’s fried too. But the Festival of Lights is a joyous celebration and you can deal with the calories on this special occasion. These vegan latkes are best served fresh as made, so get some friends over to you house and make a whole mess of these tasty potato pancakes! Again, we posted this recipe on Sister Eden, so she’s got the goods waiting for you. Just click on over

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Need a main dish that’s going to blow all the non-vegan relatives out of the water on Christmas? Try our Holiday Lentil Loaf. It’s not difficult and the flavors are amazing. White wine, herbs, pecans and miso make a savory and delicious combination. We doubt you will have leftovers, but if you do, turn slices into sandwiches. Eureka!

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We wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season, no matter how you celebrate! Thank you for spending 2014 with us and we’re excited to continue posting recipes, reviews and loads of cute animals photos for you in 2015!

Happy Everything! from the Dirty Hippie & Bohemian Girl

Vegan Girl Scout Cookies!

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Sometimes there are moments of true joy in life. Simple, unadulterated joy. Such as finding out that several of the classic Girl Scout cookies are now available in VEGAN! Yes, you are seeing this correctly. Thin Mints, Peanut Butter Patties (aka Tag-a-longs), Lemonades and Thanks-A-Lots are vegan in some regions. We happen to have hit it big on this one, cause Maryland has the vegan cookies and our next door neighbor’s little girl is selling them. Woo-hoo!
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How does this work, you ask? It’s as simple as, well, cookies. In the USA, there are two bakeries making Girl Scout cookies. ABC Bakery makes the vegan options. And it helpfully says “vegan” on the nutrition facts, so it’s easy to spot, in case your local Girl Scouts aren’t sure who did their baking. You can see what I mean on this label for Thin Mints.

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The ABC logo looks like the one on the label sample below… Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 7.04.37 PM

Notice also that the ABC Bakery is all about sustainable palm oil. A real plus!

So, thank you, ABC Bakery and Girl Scouts of America! We have our supply in hand! OH – and you can also buy cookies to send to soldiers, as well. A nice way to say thank you. There are programs around the country for this, such as Operation Gratitude, Troop to Troops, and Operation Cookie. Your local scouting troop will know more about the program in your area!

 

ExpoFinds: Emmy’s Organics Macaroons

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During our annual trip every summer to the Ithaca/Watkins Glen area, we always look forward to eating some Emmy’s Organics Macaroons. We usually pick them up at the Green Star Natural Foods Co-op. These little treats come in lots of flavors: Chai Spice, Chocolate Chili, Chocolate Orange, Coconut Vanilla, Dark Cacao, Lemon Ginger, Mint Chip, Mocha, Coconut Vanilla Chocolate Dipped, Dark Cacao Chocolate Dipped, and Chocolate Chip.

It’s tough to pick a favorite – it really depends on our moods and what we’re eating them with. If you have a hot cup of tea, Lemon Ginger, Chai Spice and Coconut Vanilla are perfect. But if you love chocolate like the Dirty Hippie, you’ve got the hook-up with Chocolate Chili, Chocolate Orange,  Dark Cacao, Mocha and Chocolate Chip.

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We have no problem at all sitting down to eat and finishing two or three bags in one sitting. Emmy’s macaroons are delicious: flavorful and tender; sweet but not too sweet; wholesome but without tasting like health food. Yup – we look forward to Emmy’s macaroons every summer – so imagine how excited we were to see Emmy’s Organics with a huge display at EXPO – there were piles of her delicious macaroons (all are raw, vegan and gluten-free)! But there was so much more ~ superfood cerealschocolate sauce and fudge, as well as mini-macaroons and chocolate-dipped macaroons. The line from Emmy’s has really grown!

The company is named after co-founder Ian’s mom, Emmy. It was in Emmy’s kitchen that Ian and Samantha(the other co-founder) started cooking together after they met in 2008. This adorable 20-something couple both shared a passion for raw food, healthy eating and natural wellness. When they made Ian’s macaroon recipe together one night, they knew by the next morning they wanted to go into business and sell their coconut treats.

We’re so glad they did!!  Cuz these macaroons are darn delicious!! Emmy’s Organic Macaroons are already available at locations all over the country. Just use the store locator online to find a retailer near you. All of the products are also available online via Emmy’s website.

Oh – Samantha also keeps a blog we love – try her recipe for Mini Pumpkin Pies with Chai Spice Macaroons, or adorable Macaroon Ice Cream Sandwiches.

Baked: Thick Cookie Sandwiches

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Hardworking people deserve hardworking treats. Like our friend Lisa at Burleigh Manor Animal Sanctuary. Seven days a week in rain, snow, heat and whatever, she cares for her rescued farm animals. Horses, pigs, goats, chickens, sheep, mules, donkeys, bunnies, cats, a dog and a cow.  And each one needs attention and care daily.

Because Lisa is so awesome and took in all these beautiful creatures, we thought she deserved some cookies that work as hard are she does. This sandwich has it all – flax seeds, oats, peanut butter and decadent chocolate filling. If you know someone who deserves a special reward, try these cookies. Or reward yourself. These are great for sharing at parties, potlucks or picnics, too!

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Thick Cookie Sandwiches

Cookies:

1 Tbl. ground flaxmeal

1/2 cup vanilla soy milk

2 cups oats

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

pinch cinnamon

pinch salt

3/4 cup chunky peanut butter, warmed slightly to make soft

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

2 cups mini chocolate chips (we used Enjoy Life)

 

Soak ground flaxmeal in soy milk. It will become thick and gooey.  Preheat oven to 350 and line two baking sheets with Silpats or parchment paper.

Combine dry ingredients: oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, beat peanut butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add the flax meal/soy milk to the liquid ingredients and fold into the mix.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in peanut butter mixture. Incorporate the wet and dry ingredients until throughly mixed and slightly crumbly. Add the mini chips by hand until evenly dispersed.

Dough may be crumbly; if needed add a few drops of water until it holds together. Form 20 large cookies and  place on baking sheets. Bake for about 15 minutes, until cookies are firm and lightly browned. Allow to cool on cookie sheet for 20 minutes. Before making the sandwiches, be sure to cool completely to room temperature, or allow to cool overnight.

Filling:

1/2 cup Earth Balance, room temperature

1 container vegan cream cheese, room temperature (we used Tofutti)

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

2 Tablespoons chocolate soy milk

1 tsp. vanilla

Cream together Earth Balance and vegan cream cheese until smooth and well-combined. This is easiest in a stand mixer, but a hand mixer or a wooden spoon & lots of effort also work. Add sifted cocoa powder and beat well until mixed. Next, add in the powdered sugar in 1-cup increments, being careful to avoid making a cloud of sugar with the beaters. Finally, add in chocolate soy milk and vanilla, and beat several more minutes until fluffy and creamy.

If the filling is too thin to smear on cookies, add more powdered sugar; if it’s thick, add a little more chocolate soy milk. Filling can be made in advance and stored in fridge for a few days.

 

Assemble:

First, make sure you have an even number of cookies, as each will need a sandwich top and bottom.

Using a butter knife or icing knife, smear a heavy coating of filling on half of the cookies. Try to use about the same amount on each cookie. Top with the un-frosted cookie and you’re done!