I'll have more of the "Chicken Cordon Bleu" and lots and lots of holiday cookies.

So, Thanksgiving was definitely a special one- my first vegan holiday. What a fun, new experience (and quite an expensive one, as I got appropriately carried away at my New Jersey Whole Foods and spent over $100 on food!), and I am so lucky, because my mom was equally excited for me. See, my mom always loves learning about everything I have researched about veganism- she loves anything I feel like sharing with her, and it has been such a blessing for me. So, Thanksgiving rolled around, and of course I decided to go wild- I pulled out all the stops. I ordered vegan holiday roasts, pumpkin and cherry pie, roasted autumn vegetables, and I bought ingredients to make mashed sweet potatoes, mashed red bliss potatoes, stuffing, and banana chocolate chip bread pudding. It was a vegan feast to remember, and one my mom's boyfriend Keith enjoyed as well. He enjoyed it so much that he asked my mom for more "Chicken Cordon Bleu", and my mom smiled and said, "No Keith- that's Lindsay's tofurky roasts."

I will always remember Thanksgiving, because it taught me that you can always add new elements to your old family traditions. I also learned that Thanksgiving is so much more than just eating a ton of food- it's about sharing an experience with those you love. I am super lucky to have a small family that I love dearly, and I can't wait to do it all over again on Christmas.

And now... for the cookies.

Yesterday, in addition to decorating Steve and my apartment a flamboyant shade of Christmas, I began my holiday cookie making journey, which has basically been my process of veganizing old holiday recipes. Down below, you'll find recipes to my latest two recipes- Pecan Crisps and Sparkled Ginger Cookies (my all time favorite). I wish so badly I had a digital camera, but alas, my lovely old one is broken. So, for now, you will have to imagine the yummy-ness of these two delectable treats. Enjoy!

Sparkled Ginger Cookies
Recipe by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
(from her cookbook Vegan with a Vengeance)
Makes 2 dozen cookies
4 tablespoons turbinado or demerrara sugar
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup soy milk
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*I found that the cookie mixture was quite sticky, so I added flour to the bowl as I went- that may work for you too*
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two cookie sheets. Place the turbinado sugar in a small bowl.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. In a separate large mixing bowl, mix together the oil, molasses, soy milk, sugar, and vanilla. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and combine well. Roll into 1-inch balls, flatten into a 1 1/2-inch diameter disk, press the cookie tops into the turbinado sugar and place 1 inch apart sugar side up on a prepared cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes, let cool on cookie sheets for 3-5 minutes, transfer to cooling rack.
Pecan Crisps
from a recipe I found in the newsletter of VEGNEWS Magazine

Makes 36 cookies
2 sticks non-hydrogenated margarine
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted
2 cups raw pecans, finely chopped
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or use a nonstick baking sheet. With an electric hand mixer or by hand, cream the non-hydrogenated margarine, granulated sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the flour, mixing until thoroughly combined. Add the pecans, mixing until well blended, about 30 seconds. Measure out generously rounded teaspoonfuls of dough and form into balls. Place about 1 inch apart on baking sheet. Bake until they just begin to turn golden, about 30 minutes. To test for doneness, remove one cookie from the sheet and cut in half. There should be no doughy strip in the center. Roll cookies in powdered sugar while they are still hot. Cool on baking sheets before serving.