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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars25
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on April 19, 2005
WHAT A RELIEF! I really appreciate the fact that I can offer my kids (and friends and family) treats that won't do their bodies harm. Thankfully, I stumbled across an ad for this cookbook on a vegan website and decided to click the link. Now I don't have to spend time experimenting on desserts anymore! My main reason for buying this book was because the author created recipes that are not only vegan but also healthy. There is absolutely no white flour or white sugar in any of them, not even wheat, nothing processed. You'd think...how could a recipe with ingredients like barley flour or maple syrup work, right? It does! Believe me, I've been sharing the cookies with my omnivore friends, and they LOVE them--even the kids! I just got the book about two weeks ago and have already tried 4 types of cookies (pecan sandies, oatmeal raisin, cashew thumbprints, and cinnamon crisps) and two types of muffins (blueberry and corn). Overall they were EXCELLENT! My mistake with the corn muffins was that I should have added a little extra liquid which the author noted I might need. I plan on working my way through the whole book. There are all kinds of quick breads, muffins, scones, cookies, brownies, blondies, cakes, cremes, frostings, fillings, and glazes. Plus, it's written very simply, and the recipes can be put together in no time at all. I've even been in touch with the author through emails. She happily answered all of my questions. Check out her website. [...] It's on line store. She bakes and sells all the goodies in this book and ships them to you (if you don't want to do the work yourself). I'd encourage anyone who loves to bake and is also concerned about using healthy ingredients to purchase Simple Treats today because it's a winner! DELICIOUS!
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on July 23, 2005
I really wasn't thinking when I ordered this book. I'm sensitive to dairy and gluten,and I try to avoid white sugar, so I've had a difficult time finding recipes for treats. Gluten-free recipes tend to have processed sugar. Recipes using sugar alternatives like fruit juice (not artificial sweeteners - yuck) tend to use gluten grains. Barley flour is the flour used in this cookbook. I could probably come up with a gluten-free alternative, but I don't know how to substitute for oatmeal. All the cookie recipes, except macaroons, have oatmeal. But the recipes sound fabulous, so if you don't have a problem with gluten, I'd give it a try. I'm definitely going to try substituting the flour in some of the muffin and bread recipes.
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on September 19, 2004
We LOVE this cookbook! We became vegan when we saw the bumper sticker that said, "Why do you love animals called pets but eat animals called dinner?". The transition was easy when we realized that a vegan lifestyle would not only save, on average, 89 animals' lives per year but also dramatically improve our own health and be better for the environment. But for years, we tried to bake vegan desserts and were always disappointed with the results (quite a letdown for chocoholics like ourselves) . . . until "Simple Treats" came along! The recipes are very, very easy to follow--truly simple--with incredible (and much healthier) results! All ingredients are easy-to-find and available at grocery stores or health food stores. For the first few months we did not try anything new because every time we wanted dessert we made the delicious Chocolate Chip Cookies (two batches at a time). We finally moved on to the Blondies . . . and today we made the decadent Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Tofu Creme Frosting (this tasty concoction is what inspired us to take the time to review the book). This is THE dessert cookbook to buy and we truly cannot imagine life without it!
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on February 5, 2004
Every cookie, brownie and cake recipe in this book has been easy to prepare and tastier than its traditional cousin. Our food-allergic children love these treats as do our vegan and non-vegan friends.
The book is organized and well written. While vital ingredients are often more expensive (pure maple syrup vs. sugar) and somewhat difficult to find (barley flour), our kitchen is now stocked because this book has become our standard. The recipies call for authentic ingredients rather than replacements so the results are flavorful and satisfying.
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on September 16, 2003
I proofread the galleys of this book and can vouch for it! I make the Chocolate Chip Cookies whenever I have to bring dessert to a party or a potluck, and non-vegans always ask me for the recipe. This would be a fine addition to anyone's baking library.
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on March 25, 2009
I own a lot of vegan cookbooks (I stopped counting at 100) and this is my absolute favorite dessert cookbook.
I like it that this cookbook doesn't use any hardened fats, like margarine. That's always the first thing I look at when buying a dessert cookbook.
What I love most though is that the recipes just absolutely taste great!
Many people I've made the brownie recipe for, have told me it's the best they've ever tasted.
The cookies I've made from this cookbook have also received a lot of praise, both from kids and adults.
I do often replace the barley flour with whole wheat pastry flour, because in some recipes I find the barley flavor a bit too overpowering (especially for the cake recipes).
I've almost made every recipe from this cookbook and haven't come across a bad one yet.
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on July 8, 2006
This is a great cookbook for vegan bakers. The brownies are simply amazing - my wife can not believe that they are vegan (compared to my other attempts at vegan brownie making). The recipes are really easy to follow and the ingredients are all available at the local grocery.
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on July 10, 2006
I had high hopes for this book, but they were quickly dashed when I discovered that every single recipe relies on barley flour. What's the point of wheat-free recipes that still contain gluten? I would not have bought this off a store shelf had I been able to leaf through it more thoroughly.

I've given it three stars because I'm sure it's great for people who don't have a problem with gluten, but I think the authors and Amazon should make it very clear that this is NOT a gluten-free cookbook.
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on November 26, 2006
I've made the brownies, the peanut butter fudge cookies, the chocolate chip -- which were one ingredient off from ones I perfected after 5 years -- the blondies...this is just a really great book. The bake times are right on, and the finished products are GREAT. Non-vegans will love these. I'm working my way through the rest of the book -- well worth the very low price.
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on May 28, 2010
I'm not vegan or vegetarian, nor do I have any KNOWN food allergies, but I am health conscious and would like to expand my cooking repertoire so I purchased this cookbook. I also own other wheat and dairy-free baking cookbooks, and they all call for complex flour mixtures (ie. 1/2C garbanzo, 1/4C almond, 1/4C brown rice flour, etc) and things that many people without food allergies do not normally stock their pantries with like xanthan or guar gum. Sadly, buying the desserts pre-made at Whole Foods would be cheaper than if I made the recipes myself.

Then I came across this rather inexpensive cookbook with great reviews so I purchased it. WOW, I read the whole thing cover-to-cover and even though I'm not wheat-intolerant, pretty much all of the ingredients are already in my pantry. The author uses barley flour exclusively, and the recipes are "clean." I've made a few recipes already since I got the book 2 weeks ago and they were all DELICIOUS and so easy. I'm a novice baker and thus far everything came out just well.

My only gripe would be that there are no pictures. I really prefer to see what I'm making so as to know what to expect, but the pros outweigh the con.
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