Monday, July 10, 2006

Cookies for Mrs. Carlson and Simon

It's official. We have all gone cookie-mad!
And it's not just us, but the animals too...

Take a look at what's going on over at The House of Simon. You must click through to see the whole story.

There's no doubt in my mind, that this IS Simon's house, Carrie! But, that pup has some good tastebuds, imo! :)

Next, Mrs. Carlson posted a comment about a rice crispy square recipe from Cooking Light that she saw. The photo taunted her with memories of marshmallowy squares enjoyed oh-so long ago! She asked me if I could veganize. Well, I checked out the recipe, and really they are the very basic rice crispy square recipe that we all know and (used to) love, with the simple addition of pumpkin seeds and cranberries.

I got to work. I had already been thinking about veganizing rice crispy squares with something other than vegan marshmallows, since I have made them with the vegan marshmallows - but they are hard to find and expensive.

These are my squares, and in my new book I will give the basic recipe as well as this fabuloso variation with pumpkin seeds, pistachios, cranberries, and chocolate chips (here I used white chips). I changed them up a lil' with the pistachios and white chips, Mrs. Carlson, and they taste ah-mazing!

and I must tell you.... oooh, I'm excited, because I have come pretty darn close to mimicking marshmallows! (At least the taste - not so much that sticky gooey texture) But, without vegan marshmallows! With real ingredients! And, they are easy!!

I really can't wait to share this recipe with you all, and Mrs. Carlson, after I give it one more test-through I'll make a note for you to e-mail me so you can test these babies for yourself!

Now, anyone else (pets included) need a cookie problem solved? ha!


Harmonia said...

Oh! Love the idea of mimick mellows without using vegan marshmellows! Neat! Great pics! Hope your weekend was a nice one.

You'll have to see on of my earlier posts for today...I tried another one of your recipes plus an old fave.

Harmonia said...

Oatmeal Blueberry Cookies...I'd add more blueberries or maybe even blueberry and cranberries! What do you think? Wow! I have YOU thinking...that's cool.

Everyone said "gee, I don't hink I've ever had Blueberry Oatmeal cookies before or Gee, I don't think I've ever had blueberries in cookies before." - they seemed to be a hit, tho.


So, how many recipes do you have in the YES pile for your new book so far?

kaivegan said...

>>> Now, anyone else (pets included) need a cookie problem solved?

Yes, yes! Not exactly cookies though. I meant to email you about this, but now here's my opportunity.

Please read my last paragraph here:

Honestly, with every bite, I was thinking: "Dreena."

Michelle said...

those do look good! if i want vegan marshmellows, i'd have to go to Toronto (1.5 hours away), so i'm glad you are making these with REAL ingredients :) we can always count on you for that, huh :)

raising_kahne said...

Dreena, I know Ive said it before, but Im going to say it again: You're torturing me here!!! I NEED that cookbook to hurry up before my taste buds go insane! lol Awesome idea with the added nuts and chips! Cant wait till we can all have the recipe! Do you have an estimated guess of when your book will come out??

Sweet Pea said...

Those do look good. I wonder what you used instead of vegan marshmellows.

EatPeacePlease said...

Killian would looove a cookie, I'm sure!

These treats look amazing and hopefully not baked...
I like that you used real ingredients and I can't wait to see how close you've really come with mimicking marshmallows! This post is great.

Melissa West said...

I have one for you Dreena!

These are called "Marsha, Marsha, Marshmallow Squares" from Crazy Plates.

1 pckg. (400g) marshmallows
1/3 cup margarine or butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 box (525 g) Oatmeal Crsip Raisin Cereal
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

You melt the marshmallows, butter, vanilla together.. then stir in the cereal and choc. chips

It is super easy and tastes sooooo amazing! OK, but the cereal has some trans fats in it and marshmallows and butter... can you veganize it? Create something like it. I loved this treat even more than rice crispie squares.

Kristin said...

If you email me the recipe, I'll be a tester for you!!


Melissa said...

I can't wait to see how you mimicked marshmallow flavour!! :)

Carrie™ said...

Simon is blushing. He can't believe you featured him in your post. He said to say a humble thank you to Dreena.
I've been a so-so fan of rice krispie squares, but with added stuff...especially the chocolate, it sounds great! I'm liking the recipe that Dragonslayer posted. A vegan version of that would be much appreciated.

Cat said...

Cinnamon Rolls, I know they aren't a cookie, but I can't get the glaze right without using milk!

Catherine said...

I'd be happy to test that recipe, too! :) I really, really, really miss krispie squares . . . !!
(Well, I'd be happy to test anything you need help with, actually!)

Urban Vegan said...

wow--finally something fun to bring to bake sales. can't wait!

KleoPatra said...

NICE!!! I love it!

EatPeacePlease said...

Oh yeah, I'll be a taster for these (if not baked) as well as those other ones. These look amazing! I really can't wait for the new cookbook (because I know how great it is going to be).

Dreena said...

Sounds like you had a great weekend, Harmonia. Thanks for that bit in your post. :) Well, I like the idea of trying to use fresh and dried blueberries in something, so I'm thinking about both things. How many do I have? I have NO idea. All I know is I have too many recipes notes on paper, even more scribbles of ideas and changes, and then more ideas again floating around in my head. Too many ideas, not enough time!! :)

Kai, I'm "on the case"! ha! Seriously, though, I have dabbled some with a recipe kind of similar, a few of the ingredients were different. But, I wasn't completely happy with the result, so I'll put the thinking/testing cap back on and work with those ingredients (minus the soybean oil, I am thinking I could omit the oil altogether). Thanks!!

Michelle, I struggle with my recipes when I know I can make things easier/faster with more prepared products vs making them healthier with 'real' ingredients. I think I'll throw a selection of goodies in there with some processed stuff like marshmallows/cream cheese, etc, but for the most part the recipes will use natural ingredients. Mostly because that's what I use on a regular basis, and also because, yes, things like marshmallows are not an easy find! (I had to order mine from vegan essentials - $$$$ with shipping/customs!!!)

You're sweet, Savanna! The book is scheduled for Oct/07 right now - that's not too far, right?! :)

Sweet pea, the ingredients are quite basic and easy to throw together. I should note that the taste is quite 'mallowy', but the texture is not that gooey, stringy kind of classic rice krispie squares - but I think that's a good thing (who wants that in their stomach, afterall?!)

Thanks Leslie, and yes, not baked!! woo hooo for you! Still 'sans oven' up until yesterday... then, late in the afternoon the repair guy brought the new part and yay, our oven is now fixed!! (our older girl shouted "yay, the oven is fixed, now we can have pizza for supper" - of course, I *had* to make a pizza after that enthusiastic cheer!)

Dragonslayer, is that Oatmeal Raisin Crisp Cereal by General Mills? Not sure, but that recipe itself is essentially the classic rice krispie squares cereal but using a different cereal and adding in some choc chips. The GM cereal is not vegan, but I'm sure there are similar vegan (and healthier) natural cereals on the shelves that could be used. I think my new recipe could easily be used here, since it is a take on that classic rice crispy square. So, if you sub in that cereal instead of rice krispies, omit the nuts/cranberries, and keep the choc chips, you're all set! :)

Thanks Kristin, I'll make a note in case I need a tester!

Melissa, it was so easy I think that's what got me so excited. (boy, the thrills I get, hey... excitement over rice crispy squares!) And, as I mentioned to sweet pea, the flavor is similar, but the texture *is* a little different - but I'm okay with that!

Well, Carrie, Simon earned that bit of spotlight with his cuteness!!! How could I resist that??!! I was never crazed about rice krispie squares either - but my daughter, well that's another story! I started testing them because at preschool and parties those darn squares are everywhere! Now she's a happy tot (but of course likes the squares plain - no nuts and such)

Thanks for the suggestion, Cat. You know, I have never attempted cinnamon rolls. They seem like SO much work to me - but maybe not. If it's the glaze that's the problem, have you tried using soy or rice milk as a substitute? I did buy some fabulous vegan cinnamon rolls at our farmers' market this past weekend. Then, I wanted to make my own to add even more cinnamon and goodness!!

Hey, thanks Catherine, I'll let you know if I need some testing. I can't imagine how you would want to do any more testing with your own recipe testing going on (you crazy woman!!), but then I know how exciting it is to try new recipes you really are interested in - we must have a cooking addiction!!

Thanks Urban Vegan and Kleo. :)

Leslie, I'll make note (and yes, these would be ideal for you - no baking)!! You are so supportive - thanks.

kaivegan said...

>>> I'll put the thinking/testing cap back on and work with those ingredients...

Dreena, you are the queen of awesomeness. Thanks!

EatPeacePlease said...

I am glad your oven is working again. As for me being supportive... yes I am. I am also being a mooch! Your food is awesome and I'm about to have that pesto for the 5th time now.

raising_kahne said...

Well, it's not too far off, so I guess I can contain myself until then. Was/is it hard coming up with all these ideas for the cookbook, or do they just come easily to you?

Dreena said...

Kai, I just hope I come up with something close to the yumminess that you enjoy in those bars - fingers crossed! Thanks. :)

Leslie, I'm all for food mooches - best sign that my food is being enjoyed! And, you DO like that pesto, don't you?!! I just finished another pesto - basil one (I know, there's lots of basil pesto recipe, but when it's in season, I've GOT to play around with it, just LOVE it!) If you are really into basil, you can test it out if you want.

Savanna, right now I have lots of ideas that pop in my head that I want to try - more ideas than I have time to test at the moment! I keep scratching down notes but I don't know if I'll get to some of the ones I've thought of... and then not all of these ideas turn out tasting great - some are bad, others are disasters! But that's what cooking and testing is about! :)

Harmonia said...

Thanks, Dreena!!!

Kai's are the QUEEN of AWESOMENESS!

Shellen said...

Amazing to be able to make rice krispie squares, which are so wonderful, without having to use any kind of marshmallows, which are so terrible. Can't wait to see how to do it!