Baking a Difference

You’d think that someone so immersed in baking as myself, whipping up various sugared confections nearly everyday, could care less about similar sweet gifts. Well allow me put that misconception to rest; You’d think wrong. Though there’s no shortage of sweetness in this particular kitchen, that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the craftsmanship and careful pastry art of other bakers. Enjoying a dessert that wasn’t created by me is truly a rare treat now. As the resident baker of the family, it’s up to me to “surprise” myself with my own birthday cake, or plan to go without.

That’s why, so many years ago, when an unassuming but delicately wrapped purple box by Allison’s Gourmet landed on my doorstep, I could barely contain my joy. An unexpected gift, which is always a delight by itself, little did I know that the contents of that package would open my eyes to a whole new option for handmade vegan sweets. Not made by my own hands, but assembled and baked with as much attention to detail as I could muster myself.

Butterscotch Pecan Fudge. More beautiful words were never strung together and attached to something edible. Finding something delicious in the mail was still such a novel concept, and to get something that seemed impossible to make without dairy, it was easily one of my favorite holiday presents that year. Though the packages are all very well wrapped and provide explicit instructions on freezing to make your treasures last, I’m afraid that whole pan of fudge disappeared at warp speed, without any help from hungry gawkers.

Another year, one of my favorite indulgences to date showed up at the party unannounced; Those Peppermint Brownies were legendary. One of my top 5 favorite combinations, chocolate and mint, I already knew it was love at first sight. Taking that initial bite merely sealed the deal. Deeply chocolate-flavored and fudgy to a fault, the sprinkling of crunchy candy cane pieces on top created the most irresistible textural contrast. It’s a shame this offering isn’t for sale this year, because I would recommend it to anyone who likes dessert, period.

My most recent opportunity to sample Allison’s incredible creations was a crazy stroke of luck. Another serendipitous gift, out of the blue, that coincided with the talented baker’s need for a promotional photo. Truly, it just happened that way! A good business deal is one that ends with a rich brownie sundae, peppered with chopped chocolate-covered toffee, a mouth-watering photo, and a new friendship. I can tell you with absolute certainty now that Allison is every bit as thoughtful and kind as her baked goods are irresistible.

My brief sampling doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of all the goodies on offer at Allison’s Gourmet. There are chocolates, cookies, and candies beyond any vegan’s wildest dreams, and I trust that they’re every bit as delicious. Now, lucky for you, Allison has generously offered a very sweet holiday gift indeed- The opportunity to win a $25 gift certificate for anything in her online bakery! Just imagine the possibilities!

To enter, leave me a comment before Midnight EST on Friday, December 9th, telling me what you would buy with your winnings. For extra entries, follow Allison’s Gourmet on Facebook and/or Twitter, and leave separate comments saying as much for each.

119 thoughts on “Baking a Difference

  1. That’s a difficult question to answer… so many tempting things! I’d probably get a sampler of sorts… or the salty peanut brittle. Or the peppermint brownies…. I can’t quite decided yet…

  2. This would totally solve my what-the-hell-should-I-get-Matt-for-Xmas dilemma! He’d love any of the chocolate stuff – brownies in particular – but I’d have to also throw in some of that Butterscotch Pecan Fudge for myself ;)

  3. Holy goodness, how have I never heard of Allison’s Gourmet? Everything looks stellar, so I think I’d need to get one of the samplers and get a little bit of everything. Man oh man does all that fudge look great though, especially the pumpkin pie one.

  4. I really miss chocolate samplers from the old days, so the Artisan Chocolates assortment looks mighty good to me!

  5. definitely the peppermint creme patties – i’m not a big fan of mint chocolate, but it’s my vegan husband’s absolute favourite thing of all time, and i can NEVER find vegan chocolates with the creamy mint center for him. it’s his birthday tomorrow, so i’d love to win this for him!

  6. oh yum, i’d definitely get some toffee or some caramels. i love to make both this time of year, but i’d like to try hers!

  7. Oh my, what a sweet review, Hannah! :) For many years I have respected you and your inspirational creativity. Although I am often baking up a storm, I share your desire to enjoy other people’s sweets and agree that being thrilled by another’s creations truly is a special and rare event! I am honored that I could do that for you. Muah.

  8. I would get the peanut butter cups and peppermint bark! I can make cookies and brownies, but candy is beyond my current abilities, and holiday candy is something I miss greatly!

  9. Oh my goodness…all of it looks amazing! I’d get a sampler- either cookie or chocolate (maybe cookies AND chocolate), so I could try a bit of everything. Thanks to both of you for the giveaway!

  10. Oh man, that fudge looks DELICIOUS! If I won, I would my fiancé some stocking stuffers… some chocolate almond toffee or some fudge (although I don’t know specifically which. There are so many that look delicious!).

  11. Your family is lucky to have a resident baker as good as you…but still, I can imagine it feels nice once in a while to eat a sweet treat that you didn’t have to make! :) A huge congrats on your promotional photo — your pictures are stunning, Hannah!

    Thanks so much for hosting this giveaway! If I win, I think some of those beautiful chocolates are calling my name. ;)

  12. Yum! I would order anything made without rice syrup since I can’t have it. So far I have my eye on their Fudge or Double Chocolate Brownie. =p

  13. Oh I’m a cookie monster so my choice is quite obvious! And I must say “thank you” Allison for making such amazing AND vegan treats. It’s so wonderful when you share them with your non-vegan friends and get that “are you sure this is vegan’ look! :-)

  14. I would have to go for the double chocolate brownies or one of the ultimate samplers!!! To many yummy things to decide!!!!!

  15. Everything looks so awesome that it’s tough to narrow down what to try first! I think I’d have to go with the Just Cookies Sampler, then go from there. :)

  16. Double chocolate brownies–sadly, I haven’t had a really great brownie since going vegan. The ones I have baked and tried from cafes just haven’t measured up…Anyone have any suggestions?

  17. confection boutique!?! I would have to go for the peppermint patties, caramels, and peanut butter cups! I want them all!!! Artisan chocolate assortment? Um fudge of the month club?

  18. i agree- when you bake a lot, the delight of delightful, delicious and perhaps decadent treats can be enough to make me swoon…

  19. You can’t go wrong with a sampler! I love tossing out the key and having a flavor guessing game with friends

  20. The Salted Confections Gift Set. I haven’t had caramel since I went vegan a year and a half ago. I miss caramel. If I had the money I’d be all over the fudge of the month club too. Everything looks amazing.

  21. You’re making me hungry :) Everything looks so good!! I think I would start with their Original Fudge. The Chocolate Chip Cookies look pretty yummy, too…

  22. oh my gosh I am so drooling!!!! I’ve totally been craving some good vegan chocolate! the chocolate assortment sound delectable and the flavors are so unique! yum!!!!! Of course the baked goods look great too!

  23. I would definitely buy some chocolate almond toffee. It looks scrumptious from the photo on the website. But that peppermint bark does look delicious too!

  24. Definitely the sampler so there are a variety of sweets to try and see what I like best so I can order more :)

  25. I would choose from the vegan gourmet cookies the ‘just cookies sampler’. This way I could try various flavors. After devouring them I would immediately order the vegan truffels – how delicious they look!

  26. I had no idea this existed :o I would definitely get brownies, cookies, fudge, and some chocolates for my mom, who just went vegan this year. And I absolutely want a sampler for myself, too, with some of those peppermint cremes ;)

  27. I would buy an order of the peppermint creme patties and an order of the peanut butter cups- two of the best chocolate combos!

  28. I’ve had Allison’s Gourmet a few times, but there is so much more I want to try! Right now I’d like to try the hot chocolate sampler & maybe some double chocolate cookies, I’ve had those before & they are so good.

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