We only own one vegan cookbook. At all. It's a baking cookbook specific to cookies and you probably know it and love it: Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar
I have held onto some of my older non-vegan cookbooks and I do a lot of recipe searches online. Sometimes there is something I really want to make but it calls for animal products. Thankfully in baking, these substitutions can be pretty easy and undetectable by even the most steadfast "omni."
I am no expert, but from my experience, here are some successful baking substitutions:
Butter or Margarine: Forget that cholesterol and carcinogens! I suggest Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread. There are a few varieties available including soy-free. It is made with a variety of vegetable oils that are not partially-hydrogenated. This acts exactly like butter to use the same methods to soften or melt it.
Cow Milk: I'm not too helpful here because my lousy palate does not detect taste differences between non-dairy plant-sourced 'milks.' I use them indiscriminately in baking. Substitute whatever you have in your fridge: soy, coconut, hemp, rice, almond. Make sure it is not flavored- unsweetened is a good idea also so you are in control.
Eggs: Eggs provide a few things in baking- binding, fluff, and rise. For the later two, you may want to experiment with a little extra baking soda and baking powder.
Bananas: This will make whatever you are baking taste banana-y! Mash up an egg-size worth of banana for each banana called for. I usually use this for scratch brownies.
Flax: For each egg, use the ratio 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
~ 3 tablespoons water
Mix in a separate bowl and let sit to become thick. Great way to get some extra omega 3s!
I've heard of using apple sauce but have not tried this. There are also commercial egg replacers.
Standard Sugar (make use bone char, bleach): Go for evaporated cane juice or granules made from something besides sugarcane like beets. If you use a 'wet' sweetener like agave or maple syrup, you need to lessen the other liquid ingredients to balance.
|Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies from Isa Chandra Moskowitz' book|
Weird fact I learned from another vegan blog- most icings you buy in tubs are vegan! This does not mean that they are healthy- full of high fructose corn syrup, trans-fat, preservatives, etc. but in a pinch they would be an easy fix!