Tuesday, September 13, 2011

My Sweet Vegan by Hannah Kaminsky
Book Review and Giveaway!

Desserts are an indulgence I allow myself more than occasionally, and they are my one true weakness. So when I finally became the proud owner of a copy of Hannah Kaminsky's My Sweet Vegan I couldn't wait to sink my teeth into the recipes contained within its spectacular, full-color pages.


And oh, what glorious recipes they are! The fact that each and every one of the more than 75 recipes in this book is accompanied by a mouthwateringly tantalizing, drop-dead-gorgeous color photo, only increased my already excited sensibilities. I had to dive in. There was no stopping me. And with a refrigerator filled with So Delicious Coconut Nog and Greek-style Coconut Milk Yogurt, (coming to stores soon!) I had to start with Hannah's recipe for Not-Nog Cupcakes.


The gooey-chewy, sweet caramel topping was the perfect companion to the lusciously moist nog cake. I don't know what these babies are like made with soy yogurt (which is all that was available at the time the book was published in 2008), but the thick, creamy coconut milk Greek yogurt gave these cupcakes incredible texture. 

When I got home with my copy of My Sweet Vegan I did what I always do with a new cookbook—now don't think this is weird—I read it from cover to cover. (I usually do this at bedtime, which explains why some mornings I wake up feeling famished.) When I landed on the page for Black and White Cookies, my heart skipped a beat. These were one of my most favorite childhood treats, and I have long dreamed of a vegan version. If you have never tasted a Black and White Cookie, you are missing out on one of life's luscious little luxuries. Perhaps you remember this scene in a bakery from an episode of Seinfeld:


This sums up how I feel about Black and White Cookies—chocolate and vanilla are delicious together, and if you could actually eat a whole one of these giant cookies with a bit of chocolate and a bit in vanilla in each bite, you'd be a magician, given that most of the black and most of the white are on opposite ends of the cookie! As a child vanilla-worshipper, I would eat all of the chocolate first and leave the vanilla half of the cookie for last. But for my first vegan Black and White Cookie, I ate all away around the outside of it, savoring a little chocolate, then a little vanilla, and round and round and round I happily ate my way around the whole cookie! All those years of dreaming about a Black and White Cookie. It was even better than I had remembered! Thank you, Hannah!


I experienced a minor disaster when I removed the cookies from the oven. When I opened the oven door, I heard a loud "bang!" and one side of the oven door broke. Hanging down a bit more on the left than the right now, it no longer closes properly, but with a tree full of plums, there was one more recipe in My Sweet Vegan I had to make before writing this post. And oh, how sweet it is! Plum-Good Crumb Cake doesn't begin to describe how good this cake is. I love a good crumb cake, and making crumbs is so much fun! Adding chopped plums made this cake even more memorable. Just look at the vibrant color!


I'm still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that all of the amazing recipes in this book were created and published by Hannah at the tender age of eighteen. I can only imagine the future accomplishments and extraordinary life this brilliant young woman has before her!

A further sampling of what you'll find in this gorgeous book are such yumminess as Green Tea Tiramisu, Coconut Custard Pie, Dried Fruit Focaccia, Golden Glazed Donuts, Orange-Hazelnut Biscotti, and Whoopie Pies. There's even a Canine Cake recipe you can make (and share with) your dog!

All of the lucky duckies who attended Vida Vegan Con walked away with a copy of My Sweet Vegan. But if you're like me, and somehow you went through the last few years without owning copy, wait no more. Click on the link above, and head on over to Amazon.com (or your favorite bookseller) and grab a copy for yourself and second copy for someone who thinks that vegan desserts are anything short of spectacular. They'll be pleasantly surprised at just how sweet vegan can be.

If you haven't visited Hannah's blog, Bittersweet Vegan, head on over for some eye-poppingly amazing photos, delicious recipes, and all kinds of great vegan inspiration. Oh, and Hannah's second book, the aptly titled, Vegan Desserts: Sumptuous Sweets for Every Season is filled with even more heavenly delights like: Roasted Apricot Ice Cream, No-Bake Pumpkin Crème Brulee, Chai Poached Pears, and Golden Saffron Pound Cake! It sounds like she's outdone herself in this book, which is at the top of my holiday wish list! (Hint, hint!)

Update: Congratulations to Andrea Gardner! She won a copy of My Sweet Vegan! Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway and for all of your wonderful comments! Stay tuned for lots more fun giveaways to come!


One last thing—I promised you a giveaway, didn't I? OK then: One lucky reader will receive a copy of My Sweet VeganAll you need to do to enter is leave me a comment below telling me what your favorite dessert is. That's it! One winner will be selected at random via the handy-dandy number generator at random.org. And if you want to earn additional entries, you can do any or all of the following, and leave me a comment for each one you do:

1. Follow @BitterSweet_on Twitter.
2. Follow @Vegiegail on Twitter.
3. Tweet the following message: Love desserts? Be inspired! Win a free copy of @BitterSweet_'s My Sweet Vegan via @Vegiegail! http://bit.ly/qvWpmg #vegan #giveaway #dessert
4. Follow this blog! (Click in the upper-left corner of this page if you are on google, subscribe via email, or follow via NetworkedBlogs on Facebook.)

Good luck!!

*Sorry international friends. Giveaway open to US residents only.

140 comments:

Noelle said...

My favorite dessert. Hmmm. so hard! Cherry pie is one of my ultimate favorites!

Noelle said...

I already follow @vegiegail on twitter! @singerinkitchen

Noelle said...

I also already follow @bittersweet

Tashina said...

My favorite desert are brownies! I'm a sucker for chocolate. I'm following both accounts on Twitter & subscribed via e-mail.

sparklepie said...

My favorite dessert is hands down...brownies! :)

Lizzie Bordello said...

Probably my favorite of all time is cherry cheesecake (vegan, of course!). :)

Stephanie J said...

Grasshopper Mint Chocolate Pie (Vegan Style)

Followed both and RT contest (anahata_lotus)

:D

Kristie said...

Chocolate cake with a peanut butter icing. Or any chocolate cake at all. I'm always happy to eat chocolate cake.

Jessica said...

This is a hard pick...I've been off sweets and added sugars for 5 days, so EVERYTHING sounds good! I would say anything with chocolate and peanut butter. We have a peanut allergy at our house, so I only get desserts with PB on date night!

Lizzie Bordello said...

I already follow @Vegiegail.

Jessica said...

Following @bittersweet on Twitter.

Lizzie Bordello said...

Just started following @BitterSweet, too! :)

Jessica said...

Following @vegiegal on Twitter.

jessica @ allergictoair dot com

Laura K. said...

I'm so glad there's a Green Tea Tiramisu in this book! Tiramisu is my favorite dessert.

mlleoiseau said...

I just signed up to follow your blog. I love vegan blogs because my daughter is allergic to milk and eggs.

Jessica said...

Following your blog!

jessica @ allergictoair dot com

cabbagecooks said...

I have many favorite deserts. I especially love Black Forest Cake, Boston Creme Pie and Tiramisu. I also love almost any desert that has fruit in it.

Birgit said...

I love Tiramisu:)Shall we make it all vegan?...Yes,please:)

Blanche said...

vegan dark chocolate pudding with fresh berries

bdadams1992 said...

my favorite is pie!!!!

shari said...

My fav dessert is probably coconut pie. If there's options, that's one I will always take!

Kelly said...

Awesome giveaway, but what a tough question! I can't even decide... maybe really perfect, fudgy brownies, even though I haven't had an amazing vegan brownie yet!

Kelly said...

I already follow Hannah on Twitter. (@kelmishka)

shari said...

I'm following @BitterSweet on twitter now.

shari said...

I'm following @Vegiegail on twitter.

Kelly said...

And now I follow you!

(Oh, and I too read cookbooks from cover-to-cover like a normal book...!)

mlleoiseau said...

My favorite dessert would be anything with chocolate--brownies, cake,cookies.

Tiffany said...

My favorite dessert is chocolate cake. Puerile, simple chocolat cake

Tiffany said...

I'm a follower!

Amie Ritchie said...

My favorite Dessert is PLUM PIE!

debmarc said...

Black forest cake and cheesecakes are my favorites.

Abby Bean said...

My favorite dessert is black forest cake!

Abby Bean said...

I follow you on Twitter.

qt-cakes.com said...

My favorite is dessert is chocolate cake with fudgey chocolate frosting!

Abby Bean said...

I follow BitterSweet_!

Hannah said...

Gail, you are just the sweetest- Literally, perhaps! Thank you so much for the glowing review, I could only hope for such high praise. As I already knew from the photos you posted earlier, everything looks perfectly delicious! :)

Christina Baker said...

My fave dessert has to be chocolate chip cookies. There's something about the rich chocolate (grain sweetened of course)and nuts with a glass of Almond Milk. My mouth is watering. :)

christinabee@hotmail.com is my email.

Abby Bean said...

I tweeted the contest. Good luck to all!

Krista said...

Vegan ice cream!!

candice gidion carroll said...

my favorite dessert would have to be...if i can only eat one dessert for the rest of my life...soo hard..i'm going with Chocolate Decadence Cake with poached pears and fresh whipped creme'.

Anonymous said...

I love apple pie!

susannas said...

chocolate chewy walnut choc frosting, vegan of course :}

Beth said...

Lately my favorite dessert has been frozen bananas blended with a little almond milk and vanilla :) Bonus: topping it with melted dark chocolate peanut butter!! So good!

Beth said...

Following @vegiegail and @bittersweet on twitter :)

@ms_cherry

^_^

Heather said...

Mmmmm chocolate chip cookies and cake! The recipes sound divine!

Vegan Wheekers said...

My favorite is the classic apple pie.

Christine said...

I think my favorite dessert is chocolate cupcakes! There are a lot of amazing desserts. And I love to bake. BUT chocolate is always good.

Christine said...

I am now following your blog! :)

Stacy said...

My favorite dessert is chocolate!

Terri Cole said...

I never met a dessert I didn't like! German Chocolate Cake is prolly my favorite though.

gaia at cinci dot rr dot com

Astrid said...

oooh THE BLACK AND WHITE COOKIE...my love runs sooo deep for you, you are portable, dividable depending on mood...soft and sweet and smooth...I just love you!

vegAnn said...

chocolate chip pumpkin oatmeal cookie <3 with cider of course, lol how's that for being specific?

Terri Cole said...

subscribed!

gaia at cinci dot rr dot com

spin gypsy said...

My favorite desert are these homemade apple pie muffins that I make. Add organic, coconut ice cream and wow; delicious!!

I don't have twitter, but I will for sure be following both of your blogs from now on!!

Peace. Kelly

vegAnn said...

Following @BitterSweet_on Twitter.

vegAnn said...

Following @Vegiegail on Twitter

vegAnn said...

Tweeted http://twitter.com/#!/coniecone/status/113681617670770688

vegAnn said...

Following the blog!

Panda Parables said...

i'm gonna have to say apple pie.

Kasey said...

As a good Southern girl, of course my favorite dessert is vegan peach cobbler!

MariLyn said...

absolutely, hands down, no doubt about it! the Black & Whites! oh, a moment of time to revisit again and again!

Vegan Wheekers said...

I already follow Bittersweet on Twitter.

Vegan Wheekers said...

I also follow you @vegigail!

Vegan Wheekers said...

I've tweeted "Love desserts? Be inspired! Win a free copy of @BitterSweet_'s My Sweet Vegan via @Vegiegail! http://bit.ly/qvWpmg #vegan #giveaway #dessert"

Vegan Wheekers said...

I also subscribed via email. Thanks for the giveaway!

GiGi said...

I follow you both on twitter, and your blog! Did I win? Did I win? And I am an ex Brooklynite who misses black and white cookies sooooo much. Vegan ones that is.

GiGi said...

I follow you and Hanna on twitter. and I follow your blog. OMG I'm an ex-NY and I would love a black and white right now. Did I win? Did I win?

avalonne83 said...

Great giveaway! I'd love to be entered.

My favourite dessert is tiramisù.

Please count me in. Thanks.

avalonne83 [at] yahoo [dot] it

Karen D said...

Apple pie

AnaRoo said...

My favorite dessert is Strawberry Shortcake. Nom, nom, nom
~Andrea Gardner

AnaRoo said...

I follow Bittersweet on twitter :)
@Organicmommaof4

~Andrea Gardner

AnaRoo said...

I follow Veggiegail on twitter
@Organicmommaof4

~Andrea Gardner

AnaRoo said...

I tweeted: https://twitter.com/#!/organicmommaof4/status/113709276538748928

~Andrea Gardner

AnaRoo said...

I follow via email! (eastcoastgirlatheart...)

~Andrea Gardner

Holly said...

My favorite dessert is any vegan ice cream.

Anonymous said...

I love dessert... baking them too! I think one of my favorites is apple crisp! :)

Anonymous said...

My favorite dessert is Pumpkin Pie.

Maryann D.
twinkle at optonline dot net

Anonymous said...

I Follow @BitterSweet_on Twitter.
macdrap50

Maryann D.
twinkle at optonline dot net

Anonymous said...

I Follow @Vegiegail on Twitter
macdrap50

Maryann D.
twinkle at optonline dot net

Anonymous said...

Tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/macdrap50/status/113724206755217408

Maryann D.
twinkle at optonline dot net

Anonymous said...

I subscribed via email.

Maryann D.
twinkle at optonline dot net

Rob said...

It's hard to pick one, but I think my favorite is tiramisu!

Kaycee said...

I follow @BitterSweet on Twitter!

Kaycee said...

I follow @Vegiegail on Twitter!
kaycee(at)veganmachine(dot)com

Kaycee said...

I subscribed to your blog via feedburner.

Kaycee Bassett
kaycee(at)veganmachien(dot)com

Twitter: @VeganMachine

Carla said...

Ice cream!
and I am a blog follower!

rebecca said...

I already follow @vegiegail on twitter!
@rebeccaablock

Space.Clown said...

I followed the blog!

rebecca said...

My favorite dessert has to beeeeee... a brownie sundae (but the brownie has to be fresh and hot out of the oven<3)

Space.Clown said...

I followed @bittersweet_!

rebecca said...

I tweeted!

Space.Clown said...

I followed @vegiegail! (I'm SpaceClown)

Space.Clown said...

Choosing a favorite dessert is so hard. Right now I will pick brownies. :)

Carrie said...

Anything with chocolate and PB is A-OK by me!

Space.Clown said...

I tweeted about the giveaway. :)

SweetKaroline said...

fav dessert is definitely chocolate chip cookies. straight from the oven into my mouth!

T. Webb said...

My favorite dessert is ice cream (coconut milk version now that I don't eat dairy).

Krista said...

My favorite dessert is this triple layer vegan chocolate cake. It has a layer of chocolate cake, then chocolate mousse, then another layer of cake and then it is topped off with chocolate ganache. It's a chocolate lovers dream!

Michelle said...

Peach cobbler

Marla said...

Cherry pie made with fresh sour cherries and lemon zest. Sweet cherries don't count. Thanks for the contest!

Anastaysa said...

Hi Gail! This is Ana from Cornbread Cafe and I am entering! Great blog!

Anonymous said...

Vanilla 'ice cream'. In a root beer float, with cake, with pie, all alone, with chocolate topping, mashed inbetween two oatmeal raisin cookies. Can never go wrong with vanilla ice cream!

Jill said...

My favorite is probably pumpkin pie or a pumpkin roll (really, almost anything with pumpkin). I would love to win this book! I started following a vegan diet a few months ago and this would really help.

LeahR said...

My favorite dessert is cookies. I love dark chocolate chip cookies with coconut milk for dunking.

Athena said...

My favorite desserts are any that include chocolate and peanut butter together.
cereza25 at yahoo dot com

Athena said...

I follow BitterSweet on Twitter.
cereza25 at yahoo dot com

Athena said...

I already follow Vegiegail on Twitter.
cereza25 at yahoo dot com

Athena said...

tweeted:https://twitter.com/#!/GoddessFoodie/status/113947163469418496

cereza25 at yahoo dot com

Athena said...

I already follow your blog.

cereza25 at yahoo dot com

Patricia Stein said...

My favorite dessert would be a black and white cookie!!

Bethany S. said...

How do I pick just one?! I guess the one dessert I wish that I could have more often is a fudgy brownie, covered with vanilla ice "cream", and topped with some chocolate sauce. When I make vegan brownies, I love to add chocolate chips to the batter; they re-harden when cool and add a nice little crunch (since we can't have nuts here).

Bethany S. said...

I subscribe via e-mail. I love all the vegan recipes since we have multiple food allergies (including dairy and egg) at our house.

Kaycee said...

I forgot to leave my favorite dessert! I love mint chocolate brownies and ice cream!

Jessica said...

My favorite dessert is chess bars (Paula Deen calls them "Ooey Gooey Cake").. I haven't found a vegan version of them :'-(
I am just embarking on this Vegan journey, so I desperately need all the help I can get! Thanks for your posts!

Flizzy Led Head said...

Yummmy, Gail!! I already subscribe to your blog AND follow you on Twitter! I'm a FAN! Fave desserts are Carrot Cake & my morsels...

Sonia Davis said...

I followed @bittersweet and @vegiegail! I wanna win! :)

Dawn W said...

Hi!I'm new to this blog.I just signed up for the e-mails yesterday.My favorite dessert would have to be anything involving chocolate.Can't narrow it down more than that!

Dawn W said...

I am now following @BitterSweet on Twitter.

Dawn W said...

Now following @VegieGail on Twitter.

Dawn W said...

Tweeted about the giveaway!I did all of it!

VeganMarr said...

Everyone has a sweet tooth! Look at all the posts!! All the recipes sound amazing. I'd love to give this to a friend I turned vegan about 20 mos ago, cuz when she makes stuff she saves some for me! Which is perfect since Im not a cook/baker, just an eater! ;-) Curious to see her whoopie pie recipe, being from PA, the origin of the WP! OO, that caramel icing...pass me a bowl of THAT! No spoon needed...! I'm not on twitter but am already a subscriber to ur blog. My fave vegan dessert used to be available at Native Foods...Boston Cream Pie! Which I wasnt excited about in non vegan yrs ago but this was moist & amazing. I also adore the BLUEBERRY crumb cake at Golden Temple cafe in Hlwd.

KLO said...

Tiramisu is my favorite!

Eva eidwriter@aol.com said...

My favorite desserts are Apple Pie, Cherry pie or Key Lime pie

Amy said...

I have a major sweet tooth! My husband and I are just embarking on a vegan lifestyle and this would definitely help in the sweets department.
My favorite dessert of all time is tiramasu.

Ashley said...

I follow Bittersweet! :)

Ashley said...

I follow vegiegail on twitter!

Ashley said...

My favorite dessert is warm chocolate chip cookies...amazing! :) Thanks for the giveaway!

Ashley said...

I subscribe!

Maddy said...

This giveaway is amazing! My favorite dessert has to be the classic warm batch of chocolate chip cookies served with cold ice kreme...or warm brownies and cold ice kreme...warm apple pie and cole ice kreme is pretty amazing as well...I think we see a pattern here :)

Maddy said...

I follow your blog!

Flizzy Led Head said...

I LOOOVE Carrot Cake & my Morsels!!
Gail, I LOVE your posts and am a fan...already!

Martha said...

My favorite dessert currently are (because who only eats one?)the Vegan Green Tea Cupcakes from VC's Rule the World. I would LOVE to go to bed reading My Sweet Vegan. Thanks, Hannah.

Amanda said...

I definately LOVE Pumpkin pie and I'm soooo glad it's fall which means....pumpkin time!!! Thank goodness for veganized versions of this yummy dessert!!

Mo said...

GREAT Stuff, Gail!
LOOOVE Carrot Cake & Morselicious Treats for dessert!

Lola said...

Looks so delicious!!! My fave dessert is country crumb apple pie!

Helen said...

I don't think I can pick just one favorite dessert, although I love the Black and White Cookie! This book looks amazing. Thanks for the great giveaway!

foodfeud said...

Yay! My favorite dessert is probably a good cookie (or two), so simple and sweet.

foodfeud said...

I already follow @bittersweet (I'm @antimaud)

foodfeud said...

And now I follow you @vegiegail

Kim said...

My favorite desserts are oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Thanks for offering such a great giveaway!