Top positive review
8 people found this helpful
Great variety of flavors, with a handful of genuine knockouts.
on August 8, 2011
This is a great cookie book with a wide variety of flavors/types of cookie.
I have enjoyed the recipes I've made; if I waited until I'd made them all to review I'd never leave one! (I count 81 recipes; must be 100 including all the variations. I have made 9 or so.)
I have made:
Mocha mamas (once with AP flour and once with their Gluten Frida mix)
Mexican hot chocolate snickerdoodles (once with AP flour and once with their Gluten Frida mix)
Hazelnut fudge dreamies
Key lime shortbread rounds
Gingerbread cutout cookies
(There may be a couple more I'm forgetting...)
The flavors and textures have all worked pretty well for me.
The Gluten Frida mix is wonderful, I use it in all kinds of things. I use it in all the Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World cupcakes with no problems. I prefer to sub sorghum flour for some of the quinoa flour to reduce the "grassy" smell. As mentioned in the book the GF versions of cookies will not spread like the wheat flour ones, but overall I have had huge success with this mix. I did have a few trays of cookies come out a bit dry, so watch your baking time and temperature even more carefully when doing gluten free.
I usually reduce the heat in the Mexican hot chocolate snickerdoodles because I am a wimp, but everyone else I've fed them to loves them, and said I could even go spicier. I'll guess I'll have to make separate "wimp" batches for myself!
I thought the mocha mamas could use a touch more coffee flavor, but they are very tasty, and soft yet with a good bite to them.
I thought the snickerdoodles were perfect! I hate "snickerdoodle" recipes that are just regular sugar or "butter" cookies with cinnamon. A proper snickerdoodle has a different texture. As soon as I saw cream of tartar in the recipe I had hope they'd come out right! It has a crisp, chewy outside, which gives way to a soft almost creamy inside, coated with crunchy sugar & cinnamon on the outside. (I saw another review mention it so I just have to say - spices do not belong mixed into snickerdoodle dough! no no no no!) These are the real deal.
The key lime shortbread rounds had a nice shortbread texture and were deliciously tangy.
I made the gingerbread cutouts for the holidays and they were well received. They are a little crispier than the gingerbread cookies I grew up making, but very tasty and as a bonus the dough is easier to work with.
I could write a book about how good the hazelnut fudge dreamies are. If you are looking for a Fancy Cookie to knock some socks off, this is your buddy. The only downside to them is they are kind of a lot of work, versus throwing a dozen cupcakes in the oven. They are well worth it though!
--Rather than scooping dough as suggested, I like to form the dough into a log and chill it, then slice and bake. It's faster (other than the chilling time, which you can do something else during anyway) and also easier for me to get 1) evenly sized cookies to make pairs for sandwiching, and 2) thinner cookies so you don't get too-much-hazelnut-not-enough-fudge.
--That fudge filling is amazing. There's a recipe note that you can make truffles out of any extra - sometime skip the cookies and just make truffles for the yum of it!
--This recipe also makes perfect Macadamia Nut White Chocolate Fudge Dreamies! Substitute ground macadamia nuts for the hazelnuts, and vegan white chocolate for the chocolate. Do not add all the liquid to make a white chocolate fudge filling, though; the first time I got more of a glaze than a filling, but they were still delicious! If I come up with a perfect white chocolate fudge adaptation I'll post a comment.
I do find some of the cookies to be oily, even after baking and cooling. Now I always under-measure the oil and am trying to make notes in the book for what measurements I like better as far as oil goes.
The chocolate chip cookies are the main offender here. They are tasty. They just aren't... perfect.
These are better than other recipes that I have had come out very crunchy, they just don't have that perfect balance of chewy, crisp edges, not TOO soft. The flavor is good I'm just looking for a very particular texture. They do make great ice cream sandwiches with some homemade vegan ice cream!
....The hazelnut fudge dreamies are so good I can't seem to get around to trying any more recipes now, but I don't know that that counts as a "negative"!
I'll probably stick with veganizing my old recipes for chocolate chip, oatmeal, & PB cookies (childhood favorites, most subject to extremely picky personal preference!) but for new flavor combinations, finicky textured cookies that are trickier to veganize, and cookie types I never baked much in the past (shortbreads, biscotti, etc.), this book can't be beat!