It has been an amazing year with fantastic cookbooks coming out and each one is special and wonderful. The book I am reviewing today, Decadent Gluten-Free Vegan Baking: Delicious, Gluten-, Egg- and Dairy-Free Treats and Sweets, brings you what Cara’s philosophy has always been about. Dietary restrictions, food allergies, other reasons or not, you should be able to enjoy whatever you want to!
Cara, who surprises us all with her every post on Fork & Beans blog, brings all of that and more to her cookbook. The book is filled with delicious treats for anytime, for holidays and events, childhood favorites and so much more. There are many ideas that you can apply elsewhere and personalize.
The book is entirely is gluten-free and vegan. The chapters cover:
Childhood faves (Thin mints, Tagalongs, Oreos, Cheez its!)
Cookies, Bars, Brownies (biscotti, blondies, graham crackers)
Donuts, Muffins, scones, biscuits
Cupcakes, Cakes (black out, german chocolate!)
Sauces, toppings, frostings (even some natural colors, icing and sprinkles. Whats food without some bright colors right.)
Here is something for everyone in this book!
I made the Chocolate Chip Blondie Sundae. I mean look at it below and you will know why I made it. Topped with Hemp vanilla Ice cream from Full tilt and vegan caramel sauce from hot cakes. all local seattle fare.
I made some Hot Cocoa Snickerdoodles. gosh the chocolate + cinnamon is killer. It takes the cookies to a whole new awesome level.
I also made the individual chocolate “souffle'” cake which was the simple chocolate fix I needed that day. As you can notice, I did not get to anything other than chocolate :p. I have to try the herbed biscuits, the cinnamon streusel cake, german chocolate cake, donuts, the quick Tiramisu and so much more from the book!
Enter to win a copy of the book at the end of the post, or grab a copy today here.
The thing about gf baking is that it needs a bit of experimentation if you have not tried it before. The flours are different, textures are different and tastes are different. As Cara mentions in the book play around with the flours and recipes and find that works best for you. I swapped the sorghum from my recipes and they worked out perfectly. The recipes in the book help you get a good handle on glutenfree + vegan baking. And the recipes can also be used to make regular with gluten goodies!
The other great thing about the book is that it does not use bean flours in sweet baked treats. For me personally, bean flours make the end product taste quite awful. But then again that is a personal preference. I know several people who love bean flours any which way
Some other recipes on the book’s blog tour to try,
Hot Cocoa Snickerdoodles
A fun twist on the classic snickerdoodle, this version bursts with cinnamon and nutmeg. The perfect melt-in-your-mouth cookie, it will make you believe you are drinking a cup of cocoa. You might even be tempted to cover these with a big batch of nondairy whipped cream. I won’t judge.
Makes 2 dozen cookies
1¼ c/206 g Cara’s All-Purpose Blend (page 166)
¾ c /150 g granulated sugar
¼ c/22 g cocoa powder
1 tsp cream of tartar
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp xanthan gum
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp salt
4 Tbsp/56 g vegan butter
4 Tbsp/56 g non-hydrogenated shortening
1 Tbsp/7 g flaxseed meal plus 3 Tbsp/45 ml water, thickened for 5 minutes
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ c/88 g nondairy chocolate chips
2 Tbsp/26 g granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
Whisk together all of the dry ingredients except the sugar and cocoa powder in a medium bowl. With an electric mixer, beat the vegan butter, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the cocoa powder and flaxseed soaked in water until fully combined. Stir in vanilla extract. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the butter mix until just combined. Fold in the nondairy chocolate chips. Chill the dough for 30.
Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix together the sugar and cinnamon for rolling in a small, shallow dish. For each cookie, roll into a ball with your hands (a heaping tablespoon’s worth), roll them in the cinnamon and sugar and place on the baking sheet. Gently flatten with the back of a fork. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to sit on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
Printed with permission from Decadent Gluten-Free Vegan Baking by Cara Reed. Page Street Publishing (Aug 5, 2014)
Disclaimer: I was given this book to review, but all of the thoughts and opinions expressed are completely my own.
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