One of the hardest parts of being a new vegan (or even an old seasoned vegan) is trying to keep up with all the new products out there. I must have spent over $50 looking for the "right" vegan cheese my first year being a vegan and I have over 50 vegan/vegetarian cookbooks in my arsenal but not all the recipes are the greatest. I’m the first born so I’m used to being a Guinea Pig and now I’m your Vegan Guinea Pig. So here are my recommendations and critiques. Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Arrowhead Mills Organic Gingerbread Cookie Mix

A million years ago when I lived in Philly and worked in Jersey we used to get these amazing gingerbread men delivered to the office once a month. They were soft, had just the right amount of ginger, just the right amount of sweetness and perfect icing – incidentally his clothes would also change based on the season. Since then I have been unable to find a gingerbread cookie that is as satisfying as those jersey gingerbread men. I saw Arrowhead Mills Organic Gingerbread Cookie Mix on sale at Whole Foods and I thought I would give it a try.

Instead of butter I used 1/3 cup Earth Balance and 1/3 cup vegetable shortening and instead of eggs I used 1 egg equivalent Ener-G egg replacer. I cut them out to be approximately ¼ inch thick so they would be nice and soft just the way I like them. There’s a free gingerbread man cookie cutter that comes with the cookie mix but it is rather minuscule so I only used it on the scraps of dough while using my own larger cutters for the main cookies. The back of the box says it yields approximately 3 ½ dozen cookies. This can only be achieved if you are using the super tiny cookie cutter that comes with the mix. If you’re using a standard size cookie cutter then you’ll probably yield 1 ½ dozen.

While the cookies were baking I whipped up a little cream cheese frosting (vegan of course) to ice the cookies with once they cooled. Thankfully the cookies cooled rather quickly so I was icing them in now time. I was so excited to have my first taste of a gingerbread cookie in years that I didn’t even bother to ice them up all pretty with elaborate designs and such I just slathered the icing on and went for it. Boy was I disappointed! Now don’t get me wrong, they weren’t bad cookies but they just aren’t that good either. I tried them with and without the frosting just to make sure that it wasn’t my frosting that was throwing the taste off, but both times I was disappointed. I can’t quite pinpoint where the failure lies in these cookies. It might be a mix between the lack of ginger, lack of sweetness and an overwhelming taste of saltiness that becomes stronger with every bite. But I still feel like even if those things were rectified it wouldn’t be perfect. On second thought, maybe if that the salty taste could be wrangled under control it would be on the right track to being a bit more pleasing to the palate. Although not on my list of favorites they are definitely edible and with the cream cheese frosting can be salvaged a bit so I won’t be throwing these out just yet. But don't get me wrong out of the 18 cookies that I made only about 6 of them are going to make it into my mouth. The rest will probably be donated to my trash can.

I think if you like super thin, crispy gingerbread men then this might be the mix for you. You can hide a bit more of the taste when you have thinner, crispier cookies with lots of frosting. So, the moral of this story is, if you like crispy gingerbread men go ahead and give this a try. If worst comes to worst you'll be out of $4 and there will probably be about 30-45 minutes of your life spent making these cookies that you'll never get back. But, on the brightside, these little men do contain whole grain flour and sucanat instead of your typical refined sugars so it’s not all bad for you.

1 comment:

  1. Well I loved these cookies. I used flax meal instead, and used the earth balance of course. I do prefer a crisp cookie though I also like soft ones. I thought these were the best gingerbread cookies I've ever had. It was somewhat dissapointing that you gave them such a bad review!srb


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