Leaving eggs and dairy out of a meal doesn't seem especially challenging - until it's time for dessert.
While oils and rice milk can ably stand in for butter, the binding, leavening and enriching qualities of eggs are difficult to replicate: Various web sites for vegans with sweet teeth recommend silken tofu, flax seeds, bananas, applesauce and soy yogurt.
Charleston's Hanes Swingle isn't saying which substitutes he's using to make his lemon poppy seed, chocolate chip and mocha oatmeal cookie doughs, but his wife Sarah - who blogs as WhatIVegan and serves as A Better Batch's communications director - swears the results have fooled non-vegan eaters.
"Using high-quality vegan ingredients, it's possible to mimic that rich, homemade flavor," Swingle says. "We developed the recipes specifically so that customers tasting the cookies would never know they're vegan."
The mail-order company, which launched earlier this month, sells its dough varieties by the dozen for $17.50. Shipping costs $20, although local customers can pick up orders in North Charleston on Sunday afternoons.
Although the cookies need to be baked before serving, the Swingles ship them pre-shaped. "Because they're not all popped out of a factory machine and identical, these are cookies you can take to a potluck and claim you made from scratch," according to A Better Batch's website.
For more information, visit abetterbatch.com.
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