Anonymous on Jul 27, 2009
These cookies ... well, let me tell you a story. We stopped by Etisha's stand at the Morningside farmers' market a week before my wife was due to deliver our first child. Neither my wife nor I are vegan, but we're willing to sample most anything around. I stepped up to the counter and mentioned that I'd had a lot of really wretched vegan approximations of otherwise good desserts, and that vegan cookies, especially, had been really disappointing in the past. Etisha just smiled as one of her helpers told me that she made "vegan desserts without the vegan taste." I'll confess: my wife and I were skeptical. Cookies without butter had always been flat and terrible for us in the past, but a vegan baker with enough humor to acknowledge the existence of "the vegan taste" gave us some hope. We bought three cookies, one each of chocolate chip, "kitchen sink," and "hot cocoa." n nWell. Not only do these cookies not have "the vegan taste," they *do* have the taste of everything good about cookies, vegan or no. They're rich, full of excellent chocolate, have great texture, and left us grinning for about an hour after eating them. (The following week my wife delivered our awesomely healthy bouncing baby girl. I don't think the cookies had anything to do with it, but you never know...) n nAnyhow, we've since gone back to buy many more cookies, and all of them have been stellar. Etisha's onto something, here, and we're planning to eat as many of her cookies as we can before fame and fortune inevitably sweeps her away from this particular market. n nIf you live in New York City, do yourself a favor and try these.
Anonymous on Jul 27, 2009
"Hot cocoa?", I asked as I stepped up to the counter at the Morningside farmers' market. "What are they, chocolate cookies with marshmallows in them?" n nEtisha, the baking genius behind "The Chocolate Muffin," grinned at me. "No, they're chocolate cookies with just a bit of cayenne pepper in them." n nI'm a big fan of Mexican-style chocolate-and-chili combinations, and from their color, these cookies looked to be packed with some serious, no-kidding-around amounts of cocoa. Despite some initial skepticism at just how good a vegan cookie could really taste, my wife and I got one to split. n nFirst bite: the slightly glossy top splits open, revealing a midnight-dark interior. It's not just chocolatey, it's like someone took a chocolate wrecking ball to a chocolate warehouse made out of chocolate and coarsely sifted the rubble. It's awesome. n nAnd then, way in the back of my throat, there's a faint heat as the cayenne appears. It's as if I'm a leopard, standing on the steps of a Mesoamerican ziggurat at dusk. There's smoke in the air and the skies are tinged red. We are watching the sun setting and eating these sweet, slightly spicy cookies before slinking off into the jungle. n nAt least, that's an approximation of what it felt like. Seriously, these cookies are little nuggets of brilliant baking. Run, don't walk, to try them.
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