Friday, September 13, 2013

Thoughtful Thursdays: Book Review and Giveaway of Whole Grain Vegan Baking

There is simply no denying it.  Summer is officially over, even though it was 85 degrees today!  Pumpkin Spiced Lattes are making there way onto coffee shop menus.  Squash and figs are abundant.  No matter how sunny and warm it is, my mind still wants to turn on the oven and start baking!  Thank goodness I am armed with this amazingly adorable book filled with whole grain vegan goodness.

Whole Grain Vegan Baking by Celine Steen and Tamasin Noyes
Seriously, every single page of this book is friggin' adorable.  From the pictures, to the layout, to the graphic design, all the way down to the fonts.  This book is so damn cute!  But she is more than just a pretty cover and sexy pages.  She is full of amazing recipes.

From sweet to savory, simple breakfasts to decadent desserts, this book has something for everyone.  Some of my favorites so far (and I still have many bookmarked pages!) include the Pesto Knots (page 114) the Whole Wheat Lemon Tartlets (page 167) and the Lemon Ginger Rolls (page 45).

The book is well laid out with a easy to use index, and a short but informative intro that lays down the 4-1-1 on whole grain ingredients and baking techniques.  Celine and Tami are very kind an mindful of those with food allergies and note that many of the recipes can easily be made soy free by making simple substitutions.  And let's not forget to mention the unbelievable photographs. How Celine can continue to impress me with each and every book she puts out (both with content and beauty) never ceases to amaze.

I feel that this book is a must have for every baker's cookbook shelf, whether they are vegan or not!  The recipes are dependable, wholesome, and delicious.  The fine folks over at Fair Winds Press have kindly offered up a copy of this beautiful book, and since they sent it directly to me...I have decided to open this one up to anyone in the world!  So, my overseas friends, please do enter the giveaway!  Simply follow the promts in the widget below to enter.

And to whet your whistle until you can get your hands on this tasty book, here is a sample recipe from the book.  Perfect for the fall!

Ginger and Spice Cookies from Whole Grain Vegan Baking by Celine Steen and Tamasin Noyes.
Photo by Celine Steen
Ginger and Spice Cookies
Perfectly gingery, with a slight molasses flavor, these cookies will permeate your whole home with a holiday scent that just can’t be beat. Gluten-free brown rice flour benefits from the addition of whole spelt flour here to give the cookies a great structure, as well as texture. Note that it’s important for all the ingredients used here to be at room temperature and not cold, so that the coconut oil does not further solidify as you mix the dough. (Quick reminder: Semisolid coconut oil is of the same consistency as slightly softened vegan butter.)

44 g (2 tablespoons) molasses
96 g (1⁄2 cup) Sucanat
56 g (1⁄4 cup) semisolid coconut oil
8 g (1 tablespoon) cornstarch
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1⁄2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder or pain d’epices spice mix
1⁄4 teaspoon fine sea salt
88 g (1⁄2 cup plus 2 tablespoons) whole spelt flour
100 g (1⁄2 cup plus 2 tablespoons) brown rice flour
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegan milk, more if needed
30 g (2 tablespoons) chopped soft candied ginger

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

Combine the molasses, Sucanat, oil, cornstarch, ground ginger, spice powder, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until well mixed.

In a medium-size bowl, combine the flours and baking soda. Pour the dry ingredients onto the wet, and mix to combine. The mixture will look dry and crumbly. Add the milk, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) at a time, until the dough holds together well when pinched. Add more milk if needed. Mix the chopped ginger into the dough until just combined.

Scoop out 1 tablespoon (24 g) packed dough per cookie, placing 9 of them on each baking sheet. Remove them from the tablespoon and place them flat side (the side that you flattened to pack the dough into the tablespoon) onto the sheet.

Bake for 12 minutes (for slightly chewy cookies) to 15 minutes (for crisper cookies). Leave on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes before placing on a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Yield: 18 cookies

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2012 Copyright/Permissions/Disclaimers

All recipes written by me, Joni Marie Newman, unless otherwise noted. Please feel free to refer to or link back to any of my recipes, but please ask for permission, and remember to give credit when reprinting recipes in their entirety. I do provide links to affiliate programs (such as Amazon) in which I receive a small commission for items purchased. I do not provide paid reviews. All reviews done on products or books are of my own unsolicited opinion. On occasion I may receive a book or product to review. I will note when this is the case, but rest assured, it will not affect the authenticity of my review. Thanks!--Joni