holiday cookie project: a roundup and a giveaway.

Here we are, standing at the precipice of November, about to fall into December. I can’t believe we’re at the end of Vegan MoFo 2010. To mark the occasion, I’d like to do a roundup of my favourite cookies from The Holiday Cookie Project thus far – a best of the best, so to speak. I also have a truly fabulous book to give away – more about that after the roundup.

I thought I’d pick a top ten. This was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be because all of the cookies made for the project were wonderful. All were delicious. All baked up as expected. How is a cookie aficionado to choose? I finally decided to make selections based on overall popularity, ease of making, attractiveness (these cookies are, after all, auditioning for a spot on the Holiday cookie tray), and bribes for repeats. This is the list I came up with, in no particular order. It’s completely subjective, of course, but a fairly accurate representation of what I’ll probably be making again for the Holidays. If you wish to learn more about one of them, click on the image to be taken to the post for that particular cookie.

Holiday Cookie Project: Top Ten

Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles

Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles

Macadamia Ginger Crunch Drops

Macadamia Ginger Crunch Drops

Chocolaty Crinkle Cookie

Chocolaty Crinkle Cookie

Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars

City Girl Snickerdoodles

City Girl Snickerdoodles

Gingerbread Biscotti

Gingerbread Biscotti

Chocolate Chip Cookie

Chocolate Chip Cookie

Pumpkin Pie Brownies

Pumpkin Pie Brownies

Citrus Glitters

Citrus Glitters

Cherry Almond Cookies

Cherry Almond Cookies

Green Tea Walnut Biscotti

Green Tea Walnut Biscotti

Okay, so there are eleven cookies there – I couldn’t help myself. Consider it a little homage to This is Spinal Tap.

This is not to say the Kitchen Sink Chocolate BiscottiNYC Black and White CookiesPeanut Butter Chocolate Pillows, Pignoli Almond Cookies, Magical Coconut Cookie Bars, Peanut Butter Crisscrosses, Espresso Chip Oatmeal Cookies, Roasted Almond Cookies with Fleur de Sel, and Blackstrap Gingersnaps weren’t awesome, because they truly were – but hard choices had to be made.

It may be the last day of Vegan MoFo, friends, but The Holiday Cookie Project needn’t end. There were more than a few cookies in Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar that I didn’t get to this month, and I’m hoping to squeeze a few more in before the Holidays are upon us (ahem, sandwich cookies!). I think this may be the start of a deliciously sweet Madcap Cupcake tradition. Next time around, I’ve my eyes on Kelly Peloza’s The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur.

In case you missed it:  all of the cookies made for this year’s Holiday Cookie Project can be found in Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.

And so we bid farewell to Vegan MoFo 2010!I hope you’ve taken a peek at the awesome work of all the vegan bloggers taking part this year. Their talent is staggering – and truly inspiring.

Vegan MoFo

Cookbook Giveaway:


Last month I promised to give away a brand spanking new copy of Fran Costigan’s awesome book, More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts Naturally,and here it is! Just leave a comment right here on this cookie roundup post telling me what your favourite cookie was from the Holiday Cookie Project – and if you have favourites from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar that I didn’t get to this month, please give me your recommendations so I know what to tackle next! I’ll draw a random comment late Sunday night, December 5th.

Good luck – and thanks so much for reading along this month. I’ve loved reading your comments and sharing your enthusiasm for cookies.

…and we have a winner!!

Random.org result

Random.org result

Thanks to Random.org, we have a winner…number 5: Congratulations Chanterelle! I am about to look up your email and send you a message to get your information – so I can send the book out to you :)

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holiday cookie project: kitchen sink chocolate biscotti.

The Holiday Cookie Project has just about reached it’s conclusion with Kitchen Sink Chocolate Biscotti. It’s hard to believe the month has flown by so quickly, and yet here we are on the second last day of Vegan MoFo 2010.

Kitchen Sink Chocolate Biscotti

Kitchen Sink Chocolate Biscotti

These super crunchy, chocolaty biscotti get their kitchen-sink moniker from the option to add up to three of many suggested ingredients that you just might have in your pantry. The authors provide several tempting suggestions ranging from fruit to nuts to candy. For these crunchy numbers, I went with cacoa nibs (adds a fabulous bitterness that contrasts nicely with the overall sweetness of the cookie, as well as some further crunch), crushed candy cane (lends a nice hit of peppermint and chewiness – also caused some biscotti to collapse where pockets of the candy melted during the second baking – so beware), and whole almonds (crunchy, nutty, win).

They disappeared quickly, with nary a trace.

I cannot wait to try these with dried cherries and almonds, and nothing else. I’m pretty sure that would be rad.

These chocolaty biscotti can be found in Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero, along with all the other beauteous cookies from the Holiday Cookie Project.

Vegan MoFo

holiday cookie project: black and white cookies.

The Holiday Cookie Project moves further into the Fancy chapter of Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero, with NYC Black and White Cookies. It is the 26th day of Vegan MoFo.

Black and White Cookies

Black and White Cookies

New York will always be my favourite city – and the ubiquitous Black & White cookie is close to being my favourite cookie of all time. These are the real NYC deal. I knew it as soon as the batter started to come together and those familiar aromas began wafting up. It’s been a decade since I picked up my last genuine black & white cookie from an NYC street vendor, but I recognized that enticing scent instantly: The tiniest essence of lemon and orange in a light as air, vanilla spongecake. Yes, spongecake. These are not really cookies in the traditional, crispy sense at all you see – but rather small, free-form cakes, or drop cakes. That is what they are supposed to be and that is what the recipe delivers. And the texture of these little cakes is beautifully light, delicate and soft. Perfection.

And like all New Yorkers, these cookies are good-looking, edgy, and well-dressed.

Warning: the icing packs a sugar wallop - in future I’d spread it a lot more thinly than I greedily did for this round. A lot thinner. It seems my eyes were writing cheques my teeth couldn’t cash.

As the authors point out in the book, you can easily make these in varying sizes. Just be sure to adjust the baking time for each size and keep an eye on them – especially the smaller ones. I made some big whopping ones, just like those ginormous NYC street-side specimens, using an ice cream scoop (baking time, 18 minutes) – perfect for self-indulgence; and a bunch of smaller ones using a tablespoon sized cookie scoop (baking time, 11 minutes) – perfect for spreading the cookie love around.

Looking at those little ones, I can’t help but think that this recipe would make a promising base for a little whoopie pie alchemy. A little cocoa here, a little matcha there, no? We shall see.

Vegan MoFo