Chicago Vegan Bake Sale for Japan: Sunday, April 3rd at Greenheart

Hey guys!
There are currently vegan bake sales for Japan happening worldwide! Get in on the action! The vegan community is so tight-knit and it’s amazing to see people band together time and time again as a positive force, raising money for aid, and really making a difference. The Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale is also coming up at the end of the month, and it’s a great opportunity to send the proceeds to a charity providing relief to the earthquake victims in Japan. If your city doesn’t have one planned already, get some friends together and make it happen! Here is a list of tips on the website for organizing one.

I’d like to bring attention to the bake sale that is happening this Sunday, April 3rd from 12-5pm at Greenheart at 1911 W Division St in Chicago, THIS WEEKEND. Chicago is actually having TWO vegan bake sales over the next couple weekends to raise money for relief in Japan. In addition to this one. More info can be found on the Facebook page.

If you can volunteer or bake for the sale (or the one on April 10th), add yourself to the Google doc. I will be there from 1 to 4:30-ish, so I hope to see you there!
Here are Jessica Laskaris’ words from the Facebook page:

“I’m organizing a vegan bake sale for Japan, all of the money will go towards a charity in an effort to aid relief for all of the people suffering right now. The one I had last year for Haiti was really successful, and I would like for this one to be as well! I need lots of help to get baked goods made, to have bodies to help out at the bake sale, as well as lots of people spreading the word so that this raise a lot of money. I haven’t decided on a charity yet, I’m leaning towards donating to red cross, but I’m taking suggestions! Please post about this on your facebooks/blogs/twitters/whatever and invite everyone to the bake sale please!

It’ll be Sunday April 3 (also my 21st birthday, so come and celebrate with me by buying delicious cupcakes and cookies and the like!)
12 -5 at Greenheart on Division!
Contact me at jessicalaskaris@gmail.com if you’d like to help bake/volunteer/whatever or if you have questions! I’ll be making a google document to keep track of who’s baking what and all that jazz! Thanks in advance

PS- I might have people selling prints/tshirts for the bakesale to help raise money as well. If you want to design something, lemme know!”


Candy Canes, Horchata, + seeyounextweek, San Francisco!

True cookie fans don’t stop baking when the holidays are over! Not even in the summer when it’s sweltering hot and turning on the oven may cause you to melt from the heat. Endure!
Well, to cap off the craziness of the holiday season, I used up the last of my candy canes in a batch of giant double chocolate chip cookies as an add-in. I also added 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract to the dough for a full-bodied peppermint chocolate flavor. Eat while sipping on hot cocoa, peppermint chocolate soy milk, soy nog, or your seasonal drink of choice. Mmmm.

A couple weeks ago I made the Creamy Horchata from Terry Romero’s new solo book, Viva Vegan! I cannot wait to delve deeper into this book and indulge in Latin recipe delight. Naturally, horchata cookies were on the mind. This recipe isn’t completely perfected, but it has bursts of spicy and citrusy flavors all in one crispy little cookie. They’re an adaptation of the powdered cream cookies with horchata instead of soy milk, lime, cinnamon, and freshly toasty almonds added to the dough.

Hey Bay Area!
I’m coming for a visit next week and there is a book event planned in Berkeley at the Saturn Cafe. It’s Saturday, January 15th from 6-8pm! RSVP on the Facebook event if you can make it. I can’t wait to meet you guys! There will be cookies and I will be selling books and signing copies.

To keep updated on signings, the events page at the top of the blog is kept updated with upcoming events!


Cinnamon Rollz with Snickerdoodle Topping, Chai Cookies [recipes!]

I had a whole bunch of leftover snickerdoodle cookies and they were getting old. You can’t just throw away snickerdoodles, but they can be given new life as a streusel-like topping!
I made these cinnamon rolls (Evan’s recipe, of course) for my friend Alexis’ end of the semester shindig last week. Halfway through baking, I scattered a mixture of crumbled cookies, brown sugar, agave nectar, a bit of flour, and a splash of soy milk, atop the cinnamon rolls and continued baking.
Thereafter, I still drizzled them with icing, making these super sweet and buttery.

I’m going to re-post the Snickerdoodle recipe here again. I fixed the confusion about the two listings of cornstarch in the ingredients list, and the picture shows up this time!

Makes about 3-4 dozen

3/4 cup margarine
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup soy milk
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 325°F.
Cream together the margarine and sugar until fluffy. Add the vanilla, soy milk, and 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch and mix until incorporated.

Sift in the flour, baking powder, salt, 1 teaspoon cornstarch, and cinnamon. Stir. If the dough is too dry and crumbly, add a splash of soy milk. It shouldn’t be sticky though.

Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Form the dough into 1 1/2″ balls and roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet and flatten slightly. Bake for about 12 minutes until golden around the edges, but still soft on top, then transfer to a wire cooling rack.

The Chai Cookies in the book are a redux of the Snickerdoodles, infused with black tea and chai spice. The recipe for those is currently posted on Earth Balance’s Made Just Right website, so check it out if you’d like to make them! They are my good friend Louzilla‘s go-to cookies for any occasion! L4 endorsed!

I am currently in the process of figuring out what to do about updating the blog in terms of design, user-friendliness, possibly getting a domain…we shall see what comes of that! However, the blogroll is brand new and updated as of yesterday! No more MySpace links and lots of great blogs and vegan websites to check out!


Recap: MelisserKelly Brooklyn book signing. Also, I didn’t eat any cookies in NYC.

Mmmmm…above we have the bakery case at the new Champ’s Family Bakery in Brooklyn, NY. Everything is 100% vegan and they are lucky enough to have the cinnamonrollconnoisseur, Evan of bjorkedoff as a baker there. I’m still lusting after those cake rolls that I was thinking about the whole trip, but somehow never ended up trying!

Here is a strawberry cream cheese brownie I ate the morning of the signing:

Before the signing, Jen, Isa, John, Amy, and I indulged in a meal at Foodswings, then headed over to Champs. I don’t know how the room didn’t explode with so much awesome! I’d go on forever listing all the super nice lovely people we got to spend the evening with, like Isa’s mom, Terry, and Moby (yes, Moby!). Luckily we took lots and lots of pictures.

One of the tables of delicious baked goods

We made lots of vegan sammiches, such as:

The LouzillaKellyIsa Sammich

The IsaKellyTerry Sammich

The AmandaIsaLouzilla Sammich
So many people have said all of them look like one another, which is what prompted this photo. Terry too!

The night ended with lots of attack hugs, a trip to Lula’s for more ice cream, and lots of silliness.
Always lots of silliness.

But in all seriousness, thank you so much to everyone who attended this event, and made it such a wonderful time! Thanks to everyone for coming out to all these book events, buying vegan cookbooks from the authors, and showing the world how fantastic veganism can be! To be a part of the movement is so fulfilling (and +1 yummy!) and I’m at my happiest getting lost in brand new cities looking for vegan eats and hanging out with like-minded people.

That said, I am nearly positive San Francisco is next, in January! Info will be released once things are squared away, so keep updated via Twitter and Facebook!
And Horchata Cookies are going to happen in my kitchen in the near future! ❤


Recap of Boswell signing, MKE’s Vegan Cookies segment, and Riverwest Co-op signing this weekend!

MoFo is over (just in time for my finals) so this blog will be getting a little more love (and updates!) like SBYM got throughout November.
Thanksgiving break was absolutely crazy! I think the whole weekend comprised of working and homework. It was fun, but I was ready to pass out after it all. I was on the Milwaukee news on Black Friday (video here), then spent the rest of the day in Chicago (nomnomz Diner).

Sunday was a book signing at Boswell Book Company, an awesome local bookstore with a great selection run by super nice people. Support your local bookstores!

For the event, I made hypnosis lollipops, cashew cappuccino nanaimo bars, and thin mints, all in the book of course.

Signing bookz

Over 20 books were sold during the hour-ish and a great mix of people came out to the signing.
Awesome! Thanks, Boswell!

For a new segment of Milwaukee’s Vegan Cookies, I have more East Side Ovens cookies I picked up at the bakery of Outpost Co-op over the weekend.

Chocolate Pecan Sandies
These may be my favorite ESO cookies that I’ve tried. They were decadent, flavorful, and nutty, and didn’t taste “healthy” at all, which is something I’ve noticed in some of their other cookies. They’re still awesome, but I’m partial to the most hedonistic desserts I can find.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip
These were pretty good! Lightly flavored, and bursts of chocolate.

Speaking of co-ops, the Riverwest Co-op in Milwaukee has amazing food. And I’m going to be doing a book signing there this Sunday, December 12th from 11am-2pm! If you’re in the area, I’d love to meet you, so c’mon out, get some delicious brunch, cookie, samples, and a book!
I keep the “Events” page at the top of the blog updated with upcoming events, so check it out! I hope to see you guys in Chicago later this month! (And I’ll post about New York with Melisser once finals week is over and I’m not dead!)


Talk and baking demo, elementary-style! Catering! **Autographed VCC Giveaway!**

I have quite a few things crammed into this post! And they’re all very exciting!

#1. A couple weeks ago, I went to my friend’s school to talk to his classes about veganism, baking, my book, and art. They seemed very interested, and thought I was HILARIOUS after accidentally uttering the words “shit” and “titties” during my speech. Hah.
We ended the day by baking Giant Bakery Style Double Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Teaching kids about baking and getting in the kitchen with them is something I’d be very interested in doing again in the future! It was so much fun, and they had a blast!

#2. If you’re in the Milwaukee area and would like to order cookies from me for an event, I now am advertising catering services. Click the link at the top of the page for more information! Cookies and prices are currently on a case-by-case basis, but I will get more concrete information up as soon as I can! I’d love to bake for your holiday parties coming up next month, or anything at all, so send me an email at vegancookies@wordpress.com!

#3. Oh hey, I have a contest for a signed copy of The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur, starting NOW!

Write me a haiku
All about vegan cookies,
My lovely readers

If your poem wins
I will bestow upon you
Vegan cookie book

[I’m sure you can write a more eloquent haiku about vegan baked goods that sounds less like caveman speak.]

I am doing a giveaway of a signed copy of The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur, right here, right now! To enter, write a vegan haiku about cookies and post it as a comment on this blog entry!
The contest closes this Thursday at 2pm CST! I’ll select finalists and a panel of judges comprised of awesome vegans will vote on the winner.
I will make a post with the winner and the winning haiku on Friday or Saturday! If it’s you, please send your mailing address ASAP to vegancookies@live.com and I will ship your book on Monday.
**US entries, only please.**