March 13, 2012

Vegan Sweet Treats

You may have noticed that there has been a lack of food related entries as of late here. A few reasons for that. First, I have been testing recipes for some upcoming projects for the lovely Isa Chandra Moskowitz (!!!). This is quite exciting as Isa has always been such a favorite of mine. She's written quite a few cookbooks that are essential to any collection such as Veganomicon, Vegan with a Vengeance, Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, Vegan Pie in the Sky, and my favorite, Appetite for Reduction. Right now, I am testing recipes for her contributions to the upcoming Forks Over Knives cookbook (her contribution will be low-fat and low-sugar dessert recipes) as well as meals for her latest cookbook that will focus on easy weeknight meals.

I've also been cooking my way through Blissful Bites, the new cookbook by Christy Morgan. Her publisher contacted me to see if I'd be interested in reviewing her book and I jumped at the chance. Christy's food philosophy is very close to my own - lots of whole foods, veggies, fruits and nothing too complicated. The book is amazing and I'll be posting a full review very soon. I'll also be hosting a giveaway for a copy of Blissful Bites, so keep your eyes peeled!

*** Note that Christy's book tour is underway, so if you're interested in checking her out or attending one of her cooking classes, check here for dates and locations! More about this in my upcoming post, just want to give people a head's up. ***

Anyway, it's been nice not having to be too inventive in the kitchen the past few weeks, but the downside is that I don't have any new recipes to post here! So I thought I'd just share some of my favorite vegan treats that I've been enjoying between mouthfuls of Isa's healthy desserts and Christy's healthy meals. Everything in moderation, right?

On my way home from therapy on Saturdays (yes I go to therapy, I'm a real New Yorker now!) I always walk by this statue at the Polish Consulate's building. He looked so chilly on this day, I kind of felt bad for him. I was tempted to bring him a treat to warm him up. Then I realized why I'm in therapy.

Maple Leaf Sandwich Cookies from Trader Joe's. These are one of those "accidentally vegan" products and hot damn are they ever delicious! They are mapletastic and how they make the "cream" layer without using dairy is beyond me, but it tastes really good. They are very bad for you (like 5g-of-fat-in-each-cookie bad), but for an occasional treat they are perfect. I like mine with black tea and soy milk.

BTW, I use a nifty device called the AeroLatte to froth my soy milk when I'm having tea or coffee at home. It's really neat! You just warm up your milk in the microwave, froth it with the AeroLatte, then add in the tea or coffee. It feels more ceremonious and special than just pouring the milk in.  

Cookie Butter. Cookie butter originated in Europe under the name "Speculoos Spread". The name says it all - this is butter made from blended up Speculoos cookies. This stuff was mythologized by vegans because it contains no animal ingredients and vegans in Europe were always bragging about how good it is. When news hit that Trader Joe's was carrying their own version here in the States... well, let's just say if there was a "Vegans Gone Wild!" video series, the camera guys would be provoking us to show our naughty bits in exchange for a jar of this stuff. I have to say, the best way to enjoy this treat is with a spoon. It tastes just like a buttery cookie full of spices like cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. Delightful! It seems now that the original Speculoos Spread has invaded the U.S. and I've been seeing it in my regular grocery store packaged as Biscoff Spread. Do yourself a favor and try it sometime.

ARGO TEA. Has anyone else experienced this magical place? They are only in select cities for now, like Chicago, NY, St. Louis, and Boston, but I anticipate this place is gonna blow up in the near future. It's like Starbucks, but for tea, and way better. There is one near Johnny's school so he took me in one night. I don't know why I was skeptical (probably because it feels insane to spend $4 on a cup of tea), but I was quickly hooked. So far I've tried the Mojitea (an iced mint tea concoction), the Teapuccino (I got it with black tea, soy milk and vanilla flavoring - cracktastic!), and some sort of sparkling iced tea drink. They have sugar-free options for those watching your sugar intake (as I am obviously failing to do), and they have some yummy looking food including several vegan options.  If you're ever near an Argo Tea you should totally check it out. Oh, and they have coffee, too, but coffee is so passé.
Ritter Sport Dark Chocolate Marzipan Bars. I remember one year for Christmas, my Dad went all out and decided to make a cake that was covered in marzipan. He sculpted it to look like a giant present with a red bow and it took him hours! It was the coolest, yummiest thing ever and I've had a soft-spot for marzipan ever since. So when you fill delicious European dark chocolate with sweet almond paste, you really can't lose. This is one of my very favorite vegan candy bars and the best part is that it's so readily available. If I need a fix, I can always find them at Duane Reade or the grocery store.

Enjoy Life Mini Chips. These little guys are the best chocolate chips I've ever had, vegan or not. Luckily for me, they are dairy-free as well as soy and gluten-free. They are great in cookies and baked goods, but you can also just sneak a few from the bag if you have a sweet tooth. I've also melted some in the microwave with non-dairy milk and blended it with my AeroLatte for a perfect cup of hot chocolate.

So there you have it! I'll be back soon with that book review and giveaway!

No comments:

Post a Comment