Compassionate Cake Easter goodies

Jess of Compassionate Cake consistently amazes Milwaukee as she bakes up beautiful, delicious desserts for every holiday and every day in between. She definitely went all out for Easter and so sweetly brought little baskets of chocolate to our last dinner meetup with friends!

A white chocolate bunny:

Giant, decadent peanut butter egg:

Crispy jelly bean chocolate nest:

Thanks, Jess! ❤

For Easter day, I visited my grandma (and followed my holiday dinner rules for the most part!) and made a coconut curry Pad Thai-like noodle dish and a simple batch of cupcakes. I’d post a picture of the entree, but I didn’t photograph the complete, plated product. Showing you guys a photo of noodles in a wok would be like it just got out of the shower and is still hanging around the house in a towel. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s just not photogenic. So, here’s some Coconut White Russian Cupcakes, a coconut coffee Kahlua-infused cake batter with a Kahlua buttercream.

The weather was pretty nice in Illinois on Easter day, but it has cooled off dramatically since. It was 30°F out a couple mornings ago in Milwaukee! Today I saw these flower buds forming on the vines on my windows, so hopefully spring will be here soon (again)!


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!)


Milwaukee’s Vegan Cookies: East Side Ovens Molasses Cookie

I’ve reviewed many an East Side Ovens cookie in the past for this blog segment. Now that I’m back in school and the student union has a basketful of vegan cookies, muffins, and dumplings on a daily basis, I have no excuse to not go through each and every type of cookie, for research purposes of course.

I have yet to try the molasses cookie, so today was the day. With giant crystals of turbinado sugar and fluted edges, it’s a real good looking treat. One bite into the soft and chewy cookie is a burst of sweet and spicy ginger flavor. I approve!


Milwaukee’s Vegan Cookies: Outpost Natural Foods Chocolate Chip Cookie

Outpost Natural Foods is a food co-op with three locations in the Milwaukee area that is reminiscent of a slightly smaller version of a Whole Foods. The location in Wauwatosa has a little deli section where hot sandwiches can be made to order, as well as a bakery case with some vegan options. I chose a basic chocolate chip cookie.
There are so many different kinds of chocolate chip cookies: soft, chewy, crispy, thin, puffy…and that doesn’t begin to cover the variations in flavor. I definitely wasn’t expecting this cookie to taste how it did, so it caught me off-guard in a good way. I assume the bakery used banana as an egg replacer in this specific cookie because it had rich banana-flavored undertones unlike other cookies I’ve had with banana in them. However, it wasn’t so banana-y to lose its title as a chocolate chip cookie and cross over into the banana cookie realm.
As for texture, the edges were crispy, and the center was soft and chewy.

PS. As always, check out the Facebook page for The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur! It’s going strong with over 500 fans now. Join and invite your friends! Just a little over 4 months until the release of the book!


Milwaukee’s Vegan Cookies: Riverwest Co-op

Chocolate Chip Cookie from Riverwest Co-op

I do volunteer work here, so I actually wrapped up this batch of giant chocolate chip cookies. They’re very crispy around the sides and dense and toothsome in the center.
The co-op makes many different cookies on any given day (find a recipe and make it!), but these are the chocolate chip cookies they make and consistently sell.


Milwaukee’s Vegan Cookies: Beans and Barley, East Side Ovens (again)

Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies
The Milwaukee Vegan Meetup group did lunch today at Beans and Barley, so afterward I shopped around a bit in the grocery section and bakery. This was the only kind of vegan cookie they had today, but it was lovely. I liked that it was soft, chewy, fresh, and chocolatey with a hint of peppermint.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
From East Side Ovens again. I thought this was a chocolate chip cookie (they don’t label them at the student union, so I’ve been guessing!), but it turned out to be peanut butter, which was a nice surprise because it was crispy and I’m not a huge fan of crispy chocolate chip cookies. A lot of their baked goods have a bit of a “healthy” twinge to them, but these and their dumplings are an exception. They’re not super sugary or greasy, so a break from that decadence is good every once in a while.

P.S. I promise I’ll never take photos in my dorm room anymore. The lighting is terrible.


Milwaukee’s Vegan Cookies: East Side Ovens

I had this idea where I would spend a weekend finding all the vegan cookies in Milwaukee, taste test them all, and make a blog post about the experience. I decided against it for several reasons:

1. That’s a lot of cookies.
2. That’s a lot of cookies.
3. I’d probably eat them all.
4. That’s a lot of places to hit up in search of vegan cookies, especially relying on the bus system in the winter.
5. That’s a lot of money to spend in one go, all on vegan cookies.
6. There’d be new cookies coming out that I didn’t include, not all varieties offered in one day, etc.

So, I decided to make it an ongoing project that I’ll document in a new segment on my blog, entitled Milwaukee’s Vegan Cookies. If a cookie is a)vegan, b)made in Milwaukee, and c)found at a bakery, health food store, Whole Foods, etc, in Milwaukee, I’m going to find it and put in on my blog. And not just one kind from a Milwaukee establishment or bakery, but every flavor! As a result, I’ll create a collection of delicious Milwaukee vegan cookie photos, the bakery/baker will get a shout out, and I’ll make some cookie recommendations! So if I’m anywhere where there’s baked goods and I see a vegan cookie I haven’t tried yet, I’m buying it.

First up is East Side Ovens, a vegan bakery in the Bayview neighborhood that delivers their goodies all over the city to vegan-friendly places, including my student union, where all the baked goods are vegan and from here. The actual bakery is only open to the public on Saturdays and I have yet to make a visit, so that’s on my to-do list. These are just a couple of their cookie flavors. They definitely have more I have yet to try.

Cranberry Orange Cookies
I got this cookie from Whole Foods way back in August when I first moved here. I was excited by all the vegan options at my fingertips after moving here from a suburb. Thinking back, this cookie had a nice citrus flavor complemented excellently by the tart fresh cranberries baked in. It was just a little bit crumbly.

Oatmeal Raisin
I just got this one today at the student union. I thought it was chocolate chip when I bought it, but took a closer look later and realized it was oatmeal raisin. While not what I expected, the cookie was no letdown.

Okay, this brownie isn’t a cookie, but this is from East Side Ovens, so I thought I’d include it while I’m writing about them.