Starbucks now selling vegan cookies

The time has come ... and Starbucks is now offering vegan cookies—and they're delicious! Starting last week, Starbucks stores around the country started offering Lucy's dairy (and gluten!) free cookies in chocolate chip, sugar, and cinnamon thin flavors. As a former Starbucks barista (and iced soy latte addict), I'm pretty thrilled!

Good move SBUX, this will definitely guarantee that I choose you over the competition when in a snacking mood (ie. always).

Coffee Fudge Brownies = Heaven

Recipe from Alicia Silverstone's The Kind Diet.



Start to finish: 2 1/2 hours (20 minutes active)

Servings: 12

For the brownies:

3/4 cup (175 milliliters) whole-wheat pastry flour

3/4 cup (175 milliliters) brown rice flour

1/2 cup (120 ml) unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups (350 ml) maple sugar

3/4 (175 ml) cup soy/rice milk blend (or any nondairy milk)

3/4 (175 ml) cup brewed decaf coffee

1/2 (120 ml) cup canola oil

1/2 (120 ml) cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

For the glaze:

1 1/2 cups (350 ml) grain-sweetened, nondairy chocolate or carob chips

1/2 cup (120 ml) Earth Balance (or other vegan) butter

Heat the oven to 325 Fahrenheit (162 Celsius). Coat an 8- or 9-inch (20-centimeter)-square baking pan with oil or cooking spray.

In a large bowl, sift together both flours, the cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in the maple sugar.

In a separate bowl, stir together the milk, coffee and oil. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir to mix well. Stir in the walnuts, then pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean.

Place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely.

Once the brownies have cooled, prepare the glaze. In a small saucepan bring about 1 inch of water to a boil. Set a stainless steel bowl over it. Add the chocolate chips and butter to the bowl and stir until melted and smooth.

Pour the warm glaze over the entire pan of brownies, smoothing it over the surface. Chill until the glaze has set, about 1 hour.

Perfect Vegan Sugar Cookies

Yesterday there was a Christmas miracle. I decided to bake vegan Christmas cookies from scratch... on my own... it had never been attempted before. I was surprised and delighted by how everything came together and I have to credit the quality of the recipe for that.

As a vegan convert for about a year now, I can still recall the taste of sugar cookies from Christmas' past. I can say with all honestly that the vegan dough and the frosting are just as tasty, if not more so.

If you plan to try the recipe for yourself I recommend using Vegan Cane Sugar from Whole Foods for the dough, Light Agave Syrup in lieu of corn syrup (just use half the amount) for the frosting, and following the baking times exactly. Also you can find the egg replacement at Henrys.

Absolutely perfection!

Here's the recipe:

This makes about 36 cookies. We made two batches.

1 cup margarine 3 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar 2 teaspoons baking powder
2 whole egg replacements (Ener-G) 1/4 cup tofu cream cheese (Tofutti)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar. Stir in the egg replacements and vanilla. Gradually add the flour, baking powder and tofu cream cheese. You may have to use your hands at this point to finish the mixing. Form the dough into a long loaf and wrap in cellophane. Refrigerate for a couple hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease the cookie sheets or use a non-stick foil.
3. On a lightly floured surface (we taped down a sheet of non-stick foil to our countertop instead), roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place about 1 inch apart cookie on sheets.
4. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes in the preheated oven, until bottoms and edges just start to get light brown. Remove from baking sheet and cool on wire racks. Store in an airtight container.

Each batch is enough to easily coat 24 cookies. We made four batches, one for each color.

2 cups confectioners' sugar 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract
6-8 teaspoons of soy milk (Silk Vanilla) Assorted food coloring
4 teaspoons of light corn syrup

1. In medium bowl, stir together confectioners' sugar and soy milk until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup.
2. Add food coloring to desired intensity. Dip cookies and allow to dry overnight.

Buy this cookie dough!

Don't let the Vegan label fool you, this brand of cookie dough is killer in all varieties. It's amazing straight out of the container or cooked in the oven. I tested it out on my non-vegan meat, dairy, and egg loving parents, and they were oohing and aahing.

Find it at Whole Foods.

Vegan Halloween Candy (it does exist!)

If ever there is a time for an out-of-control sugar rush, Halloween night is it. Before pulling treats from the depths of a candy-filled pillowcase or grabbing fistfuls from a skeleton-shaped party bowl, consult VN's comprehensive list of vegan-friendly candy to ensure that all holiday snacking is animal by-product free.