YYYYY= I have died and gone to heaven YYYY = AMAZING! YYY = Can I have another? YY = Very yummy Y = Ehh

6.29.2009

Tofutti Cutie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Tofutti Cuties Vanilla Snack Size Sandwiches (tofutti.com)

Tofutti Cuties are classic. Little two bite ice cream sandwiches wrapped up in individual wrappers, served in a box containing eight. It's the perfect summer snack, though you can't have just one. The ice cream consistency isn't the best I've ever had, though it's pretty good, and the flavors aren't anything out of the ordinary, but there's just something delicious in the bite-sized portion creaminess of it all. It almost always melts while being consumed and the sandwich wafers almost always stick to the wrapper and break off a little. I don't know why I obsess over these little guys -- maybe it's because they are cuties!

Flavors available are: Vanilla, Cookies n Cream, Totally Vanilla, Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Mint Chocolate chip, Coffee Break, Wild Berry and Key Lime.

Chocolate, Mint Chocolate chip and Coffee Break are my faves.

A pack of 8 will set you back between $5 - $6 dollars.

TASTE TEST: Soy "I Can't Believe it's Tofu" Pudding

Soy "I can't believe it's tofu" chocolate pudding

RATING:


There's this restaurant in the Lower East Side called SOY. It's kind of cute and really cheap, however not 100% vegan, though there are some tofu-heavy vegan options. Their vegan dessert options consisted of 4 flavors of "I can't believe it's not tofu" soy pudding - red bean, green tea, vanilla and chocolate. I went with the chocolate, of course. It was $4, which I found to be kind of pricey for the amount of pudding I was served. I also wasn't too happy with this pudding. It tasted like chalk. The chocolate flavor was too bitter and lacked the sweet. The consistency was kind of strange too, reminded me of that Kozy Shack pudding I tested previously. It had a weird layer of film on top. I mean it was ok, I ate most of it, but I'd rather eat zensoy chocolate pudding.

TASTE TEST: Rice Dream Vanilla Ice Cream Bar with Chocolate Coating

Rice Dream Vanilla Ice Cream Bar (credit: tastethedream.com)

RATING:

NOOOOO. My reaction as half of this ice cream bar fell to the floor. Pretty consistent with my experience with rice dream in general: it melts too fast! What a mess. I was way too much of a spaz for this ice cream bar and didn't get to enjoy it. The part that I did get to eat lacked the creamy consistency I have been spoiled with lately at the great vegan ice cream shops around NYC. If you're craving a bar like this, I would go with something from Klein's instead.

6.28.2009

TASTE TEST: Ciao for Now Double Chocolate Espresso Cookie

Ciao for Now Double Chocolate Espresso Cookie
RATING:

Oh manna. When I used to live in the East Village, I actually lived next door to this cafe called Ciao for Now. They only have a few vegan offerings but their Double Chocolate Espresso Cookie is by far my favorite. This was my daily breakfast throughout my junior year of college (and the other vegan who lived in the building next to me, we often spotted each other with said cookie on the L train). This cookie is ridiculously good. But since it is baked fresh daily, it's best in the morning. I would not advise getting it at night because it gets hard/stale. In the morning though, its super soft and chewy and quite an overload of chocolate. It's not super sweet because of the espresso. It has more of a dark chocolate/bitter flavor which I love. And for $2.00 it's a fairly large cookie!

TASTE TEST: Cookies... for me? Brownies


Cookies... for me vegan brownie (credit: Cookiesforme.com)

RATING:

I love brownies. I often find vegan brownies a little disappointing though. This one from Cookies... for me was really great! I bought them at my local health food store in the refrigerated section. I didn't really get why it needed to be refrigerated, so, I shoved it in my bag for a few hours. When it was time to eat it was a little on the melting side. I liked it like that though because I usually microwave brownies. The brownie was really fudge-y but not overly sweet or rich. This was the kind of brownie you want to wash down with a glass of soymilk or ricemilk. It was so moist and chewy and no weird taste/after-taste. I will definitely pick this up again, even though it was a little pricey ($2.99). Never tried or seen anything from this brand before, definitely fun to try something new!

6.18.2009

TASTE TEST: Sweet & Sara Rocky Road Bark.

Sweet & Sara Rocky Road Bark

RATING:

This Rocky Road Bark from Sweet & Sara was seriously good. I'm a chocolate person, so I notice when I am biting into quality chocolate and let me tell you, this was that sweet dark chocolate that I look forward to devouring. The package indicates that it was belgian dark chocolate. Smart choice. Makes all the difference. The chocolate "bark" was filled with just the right amount of crunchy almonds and chewy sweet & sara marshmallows. I really enjoyed this snack.

You can order it off of Cosmos for $3.50. I bought mine at Lula's Sweet Apothecary for the same price.

Have you tried the Sweet & Sara Rocky Road Bark? Have you had any other vegan rocky road flavored products? Post in the comments!

6.15.2009

TASTE TEST: Nasyoa Silken Creations

Chocolate Banana "tofu"-milkshake using Dark Chocolate Nasoya Silken Creations

RATING:

Nasoya typically makes all walks of tofu, noodles, wonton wrappers etc. They are my favorite tofu brand because of the variations available - firm, light, pre-cubed, silken etc. When I was looking at their display at the supermarket I noticed an entirely NEW product from this company - "Nasoya Silken Creations". They are available in three flavors: Dark Chocolate, Vanilla and Strawberry. All three are vegan. I decided to try out the dark chocolate (of course!).

So I went home and was like, um, what do I do with this silken creation? I'm no rocket-scientist in the kitchen and I needed an easy recipe to follow. Luckily I found that Nasoya lists a ton of recipes on their website. So I followed this one for a Chocolate Banana Smoothie:

  1. Put the package of the Dark Chocolate Silken Creations, 2 ripe bananas and 2/3 cup water in a blender (I also added 6 ice cubes)
  2. Blend
  3. my twist was that after this step I put the cup in the freezer for 45 minutes
  4. Serve!
What resulted was an awesomely sweet frozen chocolate banana shake. Damn that was easy & cheap. The drink wasn't too thick, which I was worried about since it was tofu and not soymilk or soy ice cream in the mixture. It was very creamy and frothy. I loved the taste, the bananas were really strong in the drink.

I loved how easy this was to make. There are also some other super easy recipes on their site that I would like to test out. For example - the chocolate mint sorbet recipe says that all you need to do is add some peppermint extract and the silken creation, combine in a bowl then freeze. That sounds way too easy.

Have you tried Nasoya Silken Creations? Lover or a hater? What other products do you use to make soy milkshakes? Post in the comments!

6.11.2009

YUMMIEST: Place to Get Vegan Ice Cream in New York City: Final Installment


Klein's Butter Pecan Soy Milk Ice Cream

KLEIN'S RATING:
KYOTOFU RATING:

I have came, seen and conquered Vegan Ice Cream in New York City. I finally made it to the mysterious and much talked about Klein’s. I went to Kyotofu on a day other than on Monday, when they are closed. I have experienced great happiness upon tasting and great sadness when the cone/serving cup is empty. AND now, I present to you the final installment of the YUMMIEST place to get Vegan Ice Cream in New York City.

Klein’s is a kosher ice cream shop located in Borough Park, Brooklyn which has a heavy population of Orthodox and Hasidic Jews. Those who are kosher do not mix meat and dairy and do not eat dairy up to 6 hours after meat has been consumed. Therefore, Kosher companies often make products that are dairy-free. These products are not always vegan, but those companies that are smart make it a point to have it certified vegan so that their available consumer market can increase. This is why one will see that many vegan products & restaurants are kosher as well.

Anyway this shop rules. The place is small and doesn’t have seating but this is because the walls are lined with freezers that are packed to the brim with ice cream products, many of which are vegan. You can browse through the non-dairy section of their site to get a taste of what’s available. Two things that really stuck out was vegan bon-bons and a vegan version of chocolate ├ęclairs ice cream bars (much like the ones from the good humor truck!).

The case in the front was full of ice cream, one section of dairy and one of non-dairy. They had some interesting vegan flavors such as cherry vanilla, coffee royale and butter pecan. The friendly server let us try as much as we wanted to. They also had vegan soft-serve – chocolate vanilla twist and soft-serve sorbet. I ended up going for the butter pecan because I have not seen that flavor anywhere. What really made my mouth drop was that a single scoop cone was, get this, $2.75. I riddle you not. The cone was packed with ice cream. This was quite a hefty single scoop. This ice cream was great. It tasted so good. I was really pleasantly surprised with how creamy the consistency was and the flavor was spot on. The pecans inside were fresh and crunchy.

Then I took those chocolate ├ęclair bars home. This provided joy for the rest of the week. According to my memory, they tasted almost exactly what the good humor bars tasted like. The crunchy cookies over a hard chocolate shell outside, the creamy vanilla layered on top of a chocolate center inside. Soooo good.

Kyotofu Soft-Serve

I really liked the ambience of Kyotofu. This place was really cute inside and the server was very accommodating and friendly. This place mostly serves fancy drinks, Japanese dinner plates and non-vegan bakery goods all with a focus on their namesake, tofu. However, they have finally pleased vegans by offering 2 vegan soymilk soft-serve ice cream flavors that rotate weekly. Some examples of flavors are white sesame, matcha green tea, hazelnut and Kyoto miso. When I went the flavors available was Kinako (Soybean flour) and Chocolate. There were no cones (boo!) but we did get one free topping (yay!). I ended up getting the a twist of the Kinako and the Chocolate with a berry compote topping in a large serving bowl (which was very large) for $6.34. My non-vegan friend said that she wouldn’t have known that this soft-serve was vegan. She thinks its as close as you can get to the real thing. I thought it was very smooth and creamy. Really thick unlike most soymilk ice cream that is kind of icey or watery. The kinako tasted like a sour peanut butter and the chocolate was sweeter than I expected. The mix of the two with the berry compote was very good. I really enjoyed.

So where is the yummiest place to get Vegan Ice Cream in New York City?! It’s a tie! Klein’s definitely has the biggest bang for your buck including plenty of frozen treats to take home. However, Lula’s takes the gold for most inventive offerings, flavors and cutest shop ever. It is a must that you go to both of these places this summer, several times.

Please leave your vegan ice cream experiences & comments!


CHECK OUT: veganbaking.net

This is like the facebook of vegans who likes to eat sweets. I spent a good chunk of my day so far on this site. The site has posts on how to make vegan desserts easy AND awesome (Perfect for lazy vegans like me!). This site is so well done and well organized. You can browse recipes by type (ie: breads, cakes, candies, cookies), read the blog, post in the forums etc.

What I love about this site is that it thrives on user submitted content. It creates a great community of other vegans who love to bake and eat treats. It’s always great to have somewhere to go when you want to perfect that chocolate chip banana bread recipe!

In addition they are working on a world wide vegan bakery directory. Seems as if they are currently stocked up in on the coasts so it is your job to fill in the bakeries you know and love!

Definitely sign up and find me on there – VeganSweetTooth

6.08.2009

DIY: PPK Peanut Butter Pillows

Peanut Butter Pillows
RATING:

I like easy, quick recipes. This is why I often bake cupcakes. Baking cookies never seems to work for me and I hate when the recipe calls for egg replacer. That stuff never turns out the way I want it to. I’m a spaz and probably not meant to be in the kitchen but I love baking. Anyway. Isa Chandra Moskowitz of
Vegan Omnicon, Vegan with Avengance, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World and the newly released Vegan Brunch posted a recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Pillows (cookies) on her blog the Post-Punk Kitchen. They looked soo easy so I decided to go for it, and make it a fun girls hang out. The ingredient list was fairly simple, no egg replacer. The one thing we couldn’t get at the super market was soy creamer, so we just got almond milk and winged it. The recipe didn’t require any food processor which was rad. All we needed to do for both the filling and dough was combine ingredients and mix. It took 10 minutes to prepare. The only issue was that the peanut butter filling was really watery. I think it may had to do with the lack of soy creamer? Not sure. So we added a ton of confectioner’s sugar to make up for it and it still wasn't rolling the way it said it would in the recipe. The filling did not work at all. It tasted awesome, but we kind of knew we weren't going to get those pillows. We did our best and put it in the oven.

The end result – a really mushy soft chocolate cookie with a super sweet peanut butter filling. It wasn’t a pillow but, works for me! I love cookies. We ate the majority of these in like 10 minutes. So the whole process of baking & eating was 30 minutes total. These cookies were super rich and chocolate-y so I definitely needed water to wash them down and I think we all would have been more satisfied if they were fluffier but the flavors were still there.

We went out drinking later that night and I put the leftover cookies in my bag. It was a pretty awesome 2am snack as well. My friends had some great suggestions on how we can work out this recipe to our liking (ie: baking for longer – they were definitely undercooked, fixing the Peanut Butter filling’s consistency) so I have a feeling we will be making these more. It’s just so easy and tasty that it’s hard not to!

6.02.2009

TASTE TEST: Alternative Baking Company Cookies


Alternative Baking Company Luscious Lemon Poppy Seed Cookie

RATING: YYYY(4 out of 5 hearts!)

Alternative Baking Company cookies are amazing. The flavors are deep, rich and not overly sugary. The consistency is perfect – soft and chewy. It is near impossible to find packaged vegan cookies of this nature. In addition, many that I have tried have a weird taste or leave a strange aftertaste but these do not. I have tried the luscious lemon poppy seed – had little seeds in it! Full lemon flavor, the explosive espresso chip – heaven and the phenomenal pumpkin spice – great pumpkin taste with little cinnamon spice sprinkled in. Though most of the cookies are not wheat free they do offer two of this nature that are made with barley flour – Snickerdoole and Mac the Chip.

I see these cookies at gourmet stores in the city as well as health food stores. They can also be ordered directly off their site.

What are you favorite packaged vegan cookies? Have you tried Alternative Baking Company cookies? What do you think? Post in the comments!