Posts Tagged ‘Kelly Peloza’

My roommate’s girlfriend and I made these recently and they were awesome, especially since they don’t involve any baking (unless you decide to make your own cookies for the crumbs, which is what we did).

Here’s a link to the recipe: Tiger Balls

We made “Soy Milk’s Favorite Cookie” from Kelly Peloza’s The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur for the crumbs. We also used crunchy peanut butter. The recipe made about 3 dozen balls which didn’t last very long thanks to all of the chocoholics in our house!


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Nick & I celebrated the holidays early with his family by going to Ft. Lauderdale last weekend. Since it was a holiday gathering of sorts we made cookies for everyone to share on the trip. I made the English Toffee Squares from The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur, as well as some Raspberry Bars (check back for the recipe & pics tomorrow) and Nick made his trademark XVX Chocolate Chip Cookies. The cookies were gone long before our trip was through, so next time I’ll have to just make more!

English Toffee Bars w/ Almonds and Walnuts

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The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur contains 140 recipes that range from simple everyday cookies to fancy special occasion cookies. The book is broken up into 13 Chapters (How to Be a Cookie Connoisseur, Cookies Inspired by Drinks, Totally Nuts and Seeds!, Blissfully Chocolate Cookies, No Bakes, DIY Versions of Mass Produced Cookies, Fruity Cookies, Bar Cookies, A Take on Tradition, Healthier Cookies and Baking for Specific Needs, Nostalgia: Everyones Favorite Cookies, Cookies You Would Find at a Tea Party, and, Decorating: Ideas and Recipes for Homemade Cookie Fixin’s). The book also includes an index and a conversion chart.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I received this book. I was hoping for new and exciting recipes, but expecting to be disappointed with unimaginative recipes. I didn’t know anything about the author. All I knew was that I’ve seen a lot of vegan dessert books lately and while they all contain some tasty looking recipes, they aren’t anything that hooks me and I don’t feel like I need them for my collection. The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur, however, was a pleasant and exciting surprise. Though I received this book for review, there is no doubt in my mind that I would have purchased it had I seen it on the shelves of my local book store.
The photographs are inviting and while some ground is retread, there are a lot of new recipes that I was very excited to try. It seemed like every other page made me want to crack out my mixing bowls and measuring cups in order to get baking. Among the must-try recipes are: Spicy Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies, Root Beer Float Cookies, Vanilla Wafer Cookies (the Nabisco Vanilla Wafers were my favorite cookies as a kid!), Graham Crackers, English Toffee Squares, Peanut Butter Cups & more!
The first cookies I tried out of the book were the Giant Bakery-Style Double Chocolate Cookies, which weren’t quite as chocolaty as I’d hoped, but they were still good and the Jam Kolaches (another childhood favorite – see recipe below). I could eat Miss Peloza’s Jam Kolaches everyday. I made them with three different types of jam: strawberry, black cherry, and apricot. I even made some for my friend, Ralph as a birthday gift and shared the extras with the guests at his party and they were a hit!
I was impressed when I found out that Miss Peloza is merely a college student studying art in Milwaukee, WI. Being a published author at 19 is quite the accomplishment!
Aside from containing a bevy of tempting recipes, The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur, also contains helpful tips and inforation, like ways in which variations can be made to recipes, how to bake for people with allergies, tips on baking with a toaster oven and more. Miss Peloza’s instructions are clear, the recipes are easy to make and so far every recipe I’ve made hasn’t contained any ingredients which are hard to find, which is always a plus in my book. So if you’re a cookie lover (and really, who isn’t?) make sure to pick up The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur this winter.

Kelly Peloza is also the author of the Vegan Cookzine Vegan Candyland and writes the blogs: Vegan Cookies and Seitan Beats Your Meat.

Jam Kolaches – from The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur (p. 180-181)

1/2 cup margarine
3 ounces (a heaping 1/3 cup) vegan cream cheese
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup jam, any flavor
About 1/4 powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375 F

Beat together the margarine and cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Sift in the flour and stir until incorporated. Don’t mix too much or the dough might be a bit gummy.
Roll the dough 1/8-inch thick on a floured counter (if you’re having trouble with the dough being sticky, pop it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.)
Cut 2-inch circles out of the dough with a glass, cup or cookie cutter with a 2-inch diameter. If you can’t find anything, a knife works fine, too, but it’s a little more time-consuming.
Plop a heaping 1/4 teaspoon jam in the center of each circle. It’s tempting to add more, but it will melt all over the cookie and onto the tray when baked (personal experice!).
Fold two opposite sides of each cookie to the middle so that the edges touch. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until firm, then remove from the oven and sprinkle with the powdered sugar, preferably using a sifter to make them look pretty.
Transfer to cooling rack and eat!

The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur
By Kelly Peloza
Skyhorse Publishing
November 2010
ISBN: 9781616081218
Price: $17.95

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If your family still exchages gifts (mine has thankfully moved on from this tradition) or you just feel like treating yourself to something nice, here are a few ethically produced gift ideas, some of which help you give back with each purchase. Luckily most of these items can be ordered online, so you don’t have to set foot in a store or wait hours in line!


Viva Vegan!Terry Hope Romero
This book features awesome recipes for all sorts of Latin American dishes. As a Latina, I was very excited when it came out in April and I’ve been dying to add a copy to my bookshelf (hint, hint), but I’ll have to settle for borrowing it from my local library for now. Don’t let your friends down, get them a copy of their own.

Vegan Girl’s Guide to Life – Melisser Elliot
This book covers everything from how to be a healthy vegan, to how to look good doing it. It contains valuable information on vegan beauty products, clothing, nutrition, and more, as well as, recipes and crafts. (Check back tomorrow for an in depth review!)

Vegan Cookie ConnosieurKelly Peloza
Miss Peloza is only 19 (!!!) and she’s compiled a book filled with beautiful pictures, tasty recipes and valuable info on baking for your friends with dietary restrictions. I’m looking forward to trying out the dog biscuits for my buddy, Ian, and the Polish Kolaches (kolacky) for myself (check back for more on this book, as well).

Chicago Diner Cookbook – Jo A. Kaucher
Try your hand at making some of your favorite Chicago Diner entrees. The Chicago Diner will be donating $1 to Mercy for Animals for each copy sold. They will also donating $1 from each sale of their new Teese Mozzarella Sticks, which are only available for a limited time, so if you’re in Chicago make sure you check them out.


Endangered Species Chocolate
While not all Endangered Species chocolates are vegan, they do have quite a few that are. Check out the Vegan Collection for $19.99 or order it by the bar/pouch ($2-$4 per bar/pouch), simply type “vegan” into the search bar to check out your options. Get 25% of your entire chocolate order when you order between Nov 26 – Nov 30 (use code: GRNGIFT25 at checkout)!

Rescue Chocolate
Rescue chocolates are fair trade, vegan and 100% of the profit from these tasty treats goes to animal rescue organizations around the country. Individual bars are $5/bar or you can get gift boxes starting at $25. I’m planning on getting some of the Peanut Butter Pit Bulls in honor of our rescued guys, Ian & Harley (RIP Harley 11-10-10).

L-R Ian Mackanine & Harley Flannidog

Ste Martaen Artisan Cheeses
Ste Martaen has created some wonderfully delicious soy free artisan cheeses. My favorites are the Pepperjack and the Smoked Gouda. They also offer Colby, Muenster, Olive. These cheeses are as good on their own as they are in grilled cheese and stuffed crust pizza!


Vaute Couture
Vaute Couture has made finding warm, fashionable, vegan winter coats incredibly easy. They’ve expanded their line this winter to include men’s coats and several new women’s coats. I own last year’s Blue Luxe Peacoat and so far it’s holding up well against Chicago’s winter weather. I like it so much that I may just have to buy The Belden for dressier occasions. Vaute Couture’s coats are going to cost you anywhere from 3 to 5 times what you’d pay on a non-vegan coat, however, they are made by hand on fair wages in the United States from durable, weather resistant vegan fibers. All proceeds from the Vaute Coat go to Farm Sanctuary and you can currently get 25% off of your purchase of select coats if you know which page of VegNews contains Vaute Couture’s Company of the Year Award.

Vegetarian Shoes
Vegetarian shoes carries everything from wallets to pleather jackets. I own several of their shoes and a couple of their belts. They make quality products that last and that are ethically made (vegan and sweatshop free!). For Vegetarian Shoe reviews from Nick, go here. You can order them directly from the UK or through one of their US distributors.


Ethically Engineered
Ethically Engineered is a local company which produces soaps, shaving kits, moisturizer muscle balm and lip balm. All of their products are vegan and made in an environmentally responsible fashion. Look for them at Whole Foods or one of the other retailers listed on their website.

Metropolis Soap Co.
Metropolis Soap Co. also offers vegan & environmentally friendly soaps, body butters, lip balms, facial care, foot care and more. Metropolis is based in Brooklyn, NY and their products can be ordered directly through their website. The Call me “Coco” soap smells so good I want to eat it!

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