Are you on Linked In? Laura Theodore is one of the many great connections I’ve made on the Linked In network this year. She asked me if I would be willing to review her cookbook, Jazzy Vegetarian Classics. Of course I jumped at the opportunity. You can probably tell that I love reviewing cookbooks, and I’d heard so many good things about her cookbook!
There are so many lovely things about this cookbook. First off, it’s a hardcover, which is a rarity for cookbooks these days. There are tons of full color photographs, which I appreciate since it helps you visualize the food you’ll be making. Another thing I adore about this book is that nearly every recipe uses common ingredients that can be found in almost any grocery store. There are only a few recipes that you’ll need to make a trip to the health food store to get any special ingredients. At the beginning of the book, Laura helps you with menu planning by pairing together which recipes (and the Jazz music to go with it) will go well together for whatever occasion, from casual to having guests for dinner.
Oh, and last but not least, even though the book is titled “Jazzy Vegetarian Classics,” all the recipes in the book are 100% vegan. (as you’ll see in the subtitle below, Vegan Twists on American Family Favorites).
Most of the recipes in this book are oil-free and there are many that are gluten-free. Only unrefined sweeteners and whole grains are used throughout, making this book every bit as healthy as it is delicious.
Now let’s get back to these whole-grain, oil-free Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies. My kids didn’t even notice the oil was missing. They just gobbled them up.
Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
*recipe used with permission
- 2 cups whole-wheat flour (I’m sure gluten-free flour could be subbed here)
- 1 cup maple sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
- 1 cup vegan chocolate chips (grain sweetened variety works well)
- 1 1/2 cups fresh apple puree (see note*)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons nondairy milk.
*Chef’s Note: to make the apple puree, peel and core 3 very large or 4 medium apples. Rough chop the apples. Put the apples in a blender or a food processor until the consistency of smooth applesauce is achieved. Be careful not to liquify!
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
Put the flour, maple sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and stir with a dry whisk to combine. Add the pecans and the vegan chocolate chips, and stir with the whisk to combine. Stir in the apple puree, vanilla extract and nondairy milk and mix just until incorporated. If the dough seems overly wet, stir in a bit more flour, a tablespoon at a time. Alternatively, if the dough seems overly dry, stir in a bit more nondairy milk, a tablespoon at a time.
For each cookie, drop about 2 1/2 tablespoons of the dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Flatten slightly using the back of a flat spatula.
Bake 15 to 18 minutes, or until slightly golden around the edges. Remove the sheet from the oven and let cool for 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack. Cool for about 10 minutes. Stored in and airtight container in the refrigerator, the cookies will keep for about 2 days.
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Day 1: Free Vegan Lifestyle Magazine. Day 2: Free Case of Butler Soy Curls. Day 3: Alternative Outfitters Vegan Boutique $25 Gift Card and Free Messenger Bag. Day 4: Sunwarrior Raw Vegan Protein Powder or Product of Choice Giveaway. Day 5: Tropical Traditions 1 Gallon Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil Giveaway. Day 6: Sweet Debbie’s Organic Treats, Allergy Free & Vegan Recipes. Cookbook Giveaway. Day 7: Extraordinary Vegan Cookbook Giveaway. Day 8: Emaline Delapaix, Music Download Giveaway.