As long time readers of this blog are aware, I took a bit of a blogging break a little while back. Since my return, I looked over my email and realized that I was sent an amazing vegan dessert recipe book to review. I apologized for the delay, and I immediately fired up the stand mixer and preheated the oven.
Claire Goss's Are You Sure That's Vegan? isn't pretending to be health food, it's straight up comfort food for those of us with a serious sweet tooth. It's filled with unapologetically sugary treats such as mint chocolate chip cupcakes, pineapple upside down cake, and creme brulee. These desserts are meant to stand up to all of their non-vegan counterparts, pleasing even the most cynical dairy and egg-lovin' omnivore. There is a bright color photograph for every dessert in the book, and she even includes a photo guide to the baking tools she uses.
Aunt Lena's Oatmeal Shortbread was a real treat with just a hint of nutmeg and a delicate, buttery balance of truly simple ingredients that many of us already have on hand (oats, flour, margarine, brown sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, and baking powder).
The hands down favorite of the three recipes I've tried so far is definitely Peanutty Chocolate Chippers. This is the best cookie I've had in a while. This cookie is so good, that when I'm eating it I'm reminded of every good cookie experience I've ever had with every bite. It really ranks up there with my favorite cookie experience from Whole Foods in New Orleans and with Cooking at the Pacific Outpost's Consummate Chocolate Chip Cookie. It has the best combination of sweet and salty, chocolate and peanut butter. You can bet that I will make these cookies when I really want to impress.
This book is far more than just cookies, though. She includes a recipe for funnel cakes, a summertime boardwalk favorite that I look forward to making soon. I also count Key Lime Pie as one of my favorite desserts ever, so I will be following Claire's very easy Key Lime Cheesecake recipe whenever I need to be reminded of my trip to the Florida Keys. This is a worthwhile addition to any vegan baker's collection of cookbooks. Download the e-book or get five free recipes here. You can also find the actual book version at Amazon.