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!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Cookbook Review: Vegan Baking Classics by Kelly Rudnicki

When one thinks of Vegan Baking Classics, the thought of rich fudgy brownies, and classic cakes, pies and cupcakes  is what first comes to mind. The cover of the new book by Kelly Rudnicki Vegan Baking Classics invokes this with it’s cover photo of chocolate chip filled brownies and it’s subtitle “Delicious, easy-to-make traditional favorites”. However, as I began to thumb through the book I saw a lot of recipes that wouldn’t really be considered classics in my home and I was immediately underwhelmed by the size of the book. Unfortunately for Rudnicki, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau wrote The Joy of Vegan Baking first and this widely popular book is the benchmark that all vegan baking books will have to live up to. For me, if a cookbook’s idea isn’t unique then at least the recipes should display some new techniques and flavor combination's. In essence, give the reader something they have never seen before but that is still approachable and tasty. Unfortunately Vegan Baking Classics didn’t do this for me. In fact, a lot of the recipes in Vegan Baking Classics were already in The Joy of Vegan Baking. It would have probably served the author better to thumb through The Joy of Vegan Baking first to see what was missing and then try to fill that need. 

I say all this to say that the book isn’t, in and of itself, a bad book with bad recipes. The recipes I tried out the book were actually pretty good, the molasses cookies being my favorite. But if you want a more comprehensive book of the basic how to’s of vegan baking and a larger breadth of recipes then this might not be the book for you. I don’t have a top 5 recipes for this book but I can say that the molasses cookies were fantastic and so were the Soy Nut Butter Cookies, they are a great alternative to peanut butter cookies for those with peanut allergies.

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