Denise Mari’s Snazzy Snickerdoodle Macaroons, Mari Manor, and a Giveaway of the Organic Avenue Cookbook
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Denise Mari's Snazzy Snickerdoodle Macaroons // Choosing Raw

Since 2006, Organic Avenue has been a raw and vegan food mecca in NYC. I fondly remember the first OA location, which was nestled on the lower east side, and its wonderful collection of blended soups, juices and raw food specialty products. As the store has expanded and grown (10 locations now, all over the city), it has embraced a slightly more varied array of offerings, including steel cut oats, gluten free baked goods, organic coffee, smoothies and acai bowls, and delicious salads and sides. I love that OA is now a spot where I can find a vegan wrap alongside avocado chocolate pudding, or cashew hemp mylk.

Organic Avenue’s first retail location opened in 2006, but the company itself was founded in 2002 by Denise Mari, a wellness enthusiast and pioneer. She invited doctors, nutritionists, and culinary experts to give talks and workshops about nutrition, all the while offering juice and food delivery to workplaces and homes. Since then, Denise has remained a forceful personality in the wellness sphere, sharing her passion for L.O.V.E. — that is, the “live, organic, vegan experience.” Denise’s journey toward embracing this lifestyle was laced by painful experiences; she watched her sister pass away at the age of six from leukemia. She also recalls with horror her first introduction to the atrocities of animal farming.

Not surprisingly, Denise’s work is animated by two conspicuous forces: first, her passion for health, wellness, and preventive medicine, and second, her compassion for animals. I love how she marries these considerations together, advocating a lifestyle that is loving in all ways: love for the self, love for each other, love for animals.

In the last few months, I’ve witnessed Denise’s loving philosophy at work in two arenas. The first is her wonderful new book, Organic Avenue, which I’ll be reviewing, sharing a recipe from, and giving away today, along with a Mari totebag. The second is her unique bed and breakfast, Mari Manor, a healing haven in Westhampton Beach, NYC. My boyfriend and I were lucky enough to stay there recently, and we had such a lovely time with Denise as our generous host.


But before I get to that, a few words about Organic Avenue, the book.


This recipe collection has been in my hands for a few months now. I spend a lot of time flipping through cookbooks, and I must confess that few have been gazed upon so often as this one. The recipes are totally in keeping with the OA ethos that so many consumers have come to love: fresh, creative, healthy. It’s also much more than just a cookbook. Denise eloquently tells her personal story, explains the L.O.V.E. philosophy, and then guides her readers through outfitting a well stocked pantry, kitchen, and home. The recipes have thorough instructions, and she takes care to provide ample information about the ingredients she highlights, and what makes them special.

The recipes themselves are divided into two sections, which I’d describe as liquids and foods. Part III–titled “The L.O.V.E. Potions”–includes boosters, juices, tonics, and smoothies. Part IV–“The Food of L.O.V.E.”–includes salads & dressings, cheeses, dips & spreads, soups, entrees, snacks, and sweet treats. It’s hard not to feel dazzled by everything, but here are some examples of Denise’s culinary artistry:

  • Sweet strawberry banana mylk
  • Sun-kissed kale and collard salad with coconut miso dressing
  • Awesome avocado mint soup
  • Thai wrap with thai almond cream and sweet and spicy prune dipping sauce
  • Wonderful walnut banana pudding

I’m eager to try all of the recipes just listed; gazing at the lovely photos has made me plenty enticed. Here’s what I have tried so far:


Creative cashew hemp mylk. This creamy, super sweet blend requires no straining, so it’s a cinch to prepare. I have made it at least four times since I tried it the first time (only days after receiving the book). It’s a great way to add richness and sweetness to smoothies.

IMG_8488 IMG_8486

Case in point: Denise’s Blissful Berry Protein Smoothie, made with banana, berries, lemon, coconut oil, and vegan protein. The original recipe actually calls for coconut water, but I was so smitten with the cashew hemp mylk that I used it instead. It was delicious.


I also tasted Denise’s Lucky Lebanese Wraps. I made some adjustments to the filling, in keeping with what I had on hand (red cabbage in place of parsnips). But what makes this wrap so distinctive is the tahini filling, a marriage of turmeric, sundried tomatoes, and tahini. It. Is. Amazing. Savory and complex. I loved in the wraps, and I loved it all on its own, as a dip.

Finally, the sweets. They all look fabulous, especially the aforementioned banana walnut pudding. But the treat I tried and loved most immediately–and which I’m sharing with you today–is Denise’s awesome Snazzy Snickerdoodle Macaroons. The addition of vanilla, lucuma, and nutmeg to a regular macaroon mix makes these reminiscent of the popular childhood cookie. They’re cozy and perfect for fall–maybe with a glass of warm almond milk. And, though they’re formulated for dehydrators, you can try my oven settings, offered in step 3, instead.

Denise Mari's Snazzy Snickerdoodle Macaroons // Choosing Raw

Denise Mari's Snazzy Snickerdoodle Macaroons // Choosing Raw
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Denise Mari's Snazzy Snickerdoodle Macaroons

Author - Gena Hamshaw


  • 3 cups 8 ounces/225 grams unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup 4 ounces/120 grams coconut sugar
  • ½ cup 2 ounces/70 grams lucuma powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Small pinch of ground cloves
  • Small pinch of salt
  • ½ cup 120 milliliters melted coconut oil
  • ½ cup 120 milliliters water


  • In a large bowl, combine the coconut, coconut sugar, lucuma powder, vanilla powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Add the coconut oil and water and work the liquid ingredients in with your hands until they are incorporated and the texture resembles wet sand. Make sure the ingredients are thoroughly mixed with the liquid to avoid clumping.
  • Using a 1-ounce cookie scoop, scoop the mixture onto two ParaFlexx-lined dehydrator sheets.** Set the machine to 110°F (40°C) and dehydrate for 5 hours, or until slightly firm on the outside and soft on the inside. Store in a covered container for up to 2 weeks.
  • **If you do not have a dehydrator, you can turn your oven to 175 F and place the macaroons on a baking sheet. Leave the door of the oven slightly ajar (Alessandra's post on dehydrating without a dehydrator has a good tip for using a foil "snake") and leave them in the oven for 4-5 hours. Test them for firmness and give them another hour if they're very soft. Store as directed.

If the wealth of recipes she’s shared in Organic Avenue isn’t enough, Denise also shares her enthusiasm for compassionate, healthful living at her bed and breakfast, Mari Manor. Located in the charming town of Westhampton Beach, Mari Manor is a warm, welcoming, and soothing oasis for any long weekend getaway or retreat.



Mari Manor offers guests plenty of options. It’s the first bed and breakfast to offer a “bed and cleanse” option, featuring OA juices and smoothies. You can also choose, as we did, to add meals into your stay (we did two dinners, two breakfasts, and two lunches, since we were there for an evening). When we first arrived on Friday night, Denise greeted us with delicious, piping hot plates of eggplant marinara, which we enjoyed in her welcoming dining room.


On Saturday morning, my boyfriend and I woke up two two delicious superfood smoothies. A while later, I enjoyed a private yoga lesson with Denise, who has studied with Dharma Mittra. We practiced in her sunroom, on a morning that was anything but sunny, but there was something incredibly soothing about watching the rain pour down over a glass ceiling. As Denise began the class, she noted that there was a lot of synchronicity in the room, referencing our shared passion for animal rights, for positive body image, and for health. And she was right. It was a real treat to practice under her gentle guidance.


My boyfriend and I spent the next few hours resting in our room, which was bright and comfortable. We’ve both been juggling unforgiving schedules this fall (I’m back to full time work + classes), and it had been a long time since we could spend a lazy morning together–a luxury we had so much of when we first met in D.C.. What a treat it was.

Before we left, Denise prepared lunch for us–two remarkably tasty, spice rubbed, twice baked potatoes stuffed with kale and topped with Daiya. They were so, so good; inspiration for me to try my hand at twice baked potatoes soon! Denise also prepared two bowls of cream of broccoli soup, which hit the spot on the chilly, rainy day. The food fortified us as we ventured out into Westhampton Beach for a drizzly afternoon of exploring (bookstores, shops, coffee houses).

Mari Manor was truly a special retreat for us; we were only gone for a night, but when we returned home, we felt as if we’d been gone for much longer. We have Denise and her hospitality to thank for the fact that we were both so restored by our time away. If you’re considering a getaway in the New York area, and you’re interested in wonderful vegan food, warm hospitality, and calming surroundings, I can’t recommend Mari Manor enough (note that the B&B is also available for weddings and special events).


One of the details I found most charming about Mari Manor was the many inspiring quotations that are hung on walls and in guest rooms. They all seemed to focus on themes of love and self-realization. I value Denise’s work because it is so focused on loving, giving, and sharing energy. Many health resources are exclusively focused on personal transformation and health optimization; these are always inspiring themes, but sometimes they can feel a bit self-centric. Denise cares deeply for health, but her messaging has always been suffused with so much love and compassion, so much earnest desire to make a difference. I love that.

And I hope you’ll love Organic Avenue as much as I do. In order to help you get your hands on a copy, Denise is offering one lucky CR reader a signed copy of the book (!), as well as a Mari tote bag. Readers, you don’t want to miss this giveaway! Enter below.**

**US and Canadian residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I hope you enjoy the book!

Tis late for a Saturday post, friends. But I’ll be back tomorrow with weekend reading. And if you’re jazzed about this giveaway, don’t forget that I am also giving away a copy of Cara Reed’s Decadent Gluten Free Vegan Baking! Enter now to win.


This post may contain affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something I may earn a commission. Visit my privacy policy to learn more.

Categories: Recipes, Cookies, Raw Desserts, Snacks
Method: No-Bake
Dietary Preferences: Gluten Free, Raw, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free, Vegan

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  1. i’m excited for this book because i just got a vitamix and it needs to be christened 😉

  2. Snickerdoodle is my favorite flavor for anything! Cookies, oatmeal, waffles…
    I think I’ve seen the stores in NYC but will have to make sure I actually go try one when I visit in December. I love that it’s healthy and natural versions of sweet treats! I’ve been vegan and transitioned to healthy, less processed baking over the last several years so the conventional sugary dishes don’t appeal to me anymore, but I’m still ALL about desserts!

  3. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I’m in love with non-dairy “mylks” and would be interested to try hers! The cashew hemp mylk looks so wonderful.

  4. I think I’ll love everything about this book, and I’m always looking for inspiring new recipes!! 🙂

  5. I LOVE bed & breakfasts, and love the IDEA of a fancy homemade breakfast, but I don’t always love how I feel after eating the greasy, overly cheesy/eggy meals that we get. I love the idea of Mari Manor- the grounds look beautiful, and the bedroom is so peaceful! And what a luxury to have a private yoga lesson.

  6. Health and wellness are extremely important in the daily life in order to put out strong positive energy and receive the same. This book would be such an amazing reference!

  7. This book sounds so inspiring! And everything you mentioned sounds delicious. Thanks for doing this give-away. 🙂

  8. Ever since I left NYC, I’ve been missing the fresh, clean and healthy food and juices from OA. Maybe, maybe, I can try to make them myself????

  9. This book sounds incredible and so inspiring. And, I love the L.O.V.E. acronym. 🙂

  10. You had me at tahini, sun-dried tomato, and turmeric. I’d love to give some of those recipes a try!

  11. Id be excited about everything in the book. It sounds incredible and I have a vegan cookbook addiction! 🙂

  12. What a lovely place. I woke up to cloudy skies this morning and while I prefer sunny days; I appreciate them more when we have a day of gray.

  13. altough the web is an endless source of recipes ideas, I still like to look at recipes books. If I ever go to NYC, I know where to eat now!

  14. I love Organic Avenue. There was a location right by my office when I lived in NYC. Too bad there aren’t any in Minneapolis. But this cookbook sounds great!! I’d love to try that tahini sauce from the wrap. Those are ingredients I always have on hand.

  15. OA is one of my regular nyc haunts! I really want to check out that B&B! My one wish for the OA store would be more chia seed, raw “yogurt” and other breakfast dishes to be made with no or much less sweetener (even though agave/coconut sugar I prefer my “sugar” in breakfasts to come from berries instead of sweeteners!).

  16. I’m out of smoothie inspiration for my daughter – it’s the only breakfast she’ll eat (although she’s only 4). I’d love to try one from this book. ThankS!

  17. Everything about this book looks great! I really want to try the cashew-hemp milk and those wraps. Thanks for the chance to win!

  18. I love trying new recipes and it’s a treat to find vegetarian/vegan cookbooks to add to my collection. Can’t wait to get my hands on Organic Avenue!

  19. I’m a fellow vegan and NYC resident and I’ve actually seen Organic Avenue a bunch of times and never tried it! I’ll definitely check it out, and I’d love to win a copy of the book as well

  20. I’m so excited for the OA cookbook. Every time I try a new smoothie or juice (that I haven’t made myself) I compare it to Organic Avenue. Everything they offer seems to be a balance of nourishing and delicious. Thanks for highlighting it!

  21. I’ve been watching Organic Avenue change and grow over the years, and it’s so exciting to see it thrive. I’m hoping that cookbook has the recipe for their raw falafel… It’s been ages since I last had it, but remember the dish as a standout order!

  22. The perspective of finding fresh inspiration is what makes me excited about cookbooks, and this one is no exception! The “Thai wrap with thai almond cream and sweet and spicy prune dipping sauce” recipe that you’ve mentioned in your review sounds amazing.

  23. Sounds like a fabulous place! I’d love to get my hands on this book. Organic Avenue was a go to spot for me before NYC was flooded with juice bars. I was shocked to go in there recently and find all the new (or new to me) food options they’ve added!

  24. I am always looking for vibrant new vegan recipes. This book would help me expand my repertoire and add extra deliciousness to my kitchen.

  25. Mmm how I miss snickerdoodles. I’ll use some of the ideas from this recipe to try to make some in the future. Those potatoes sound delish as well.

  26. This book looks like an amazing resource — and now I absolutely must plan a trip to the East Coast so I can stay at Mari Manor!

  27. Always excited about a learning new recipes from a fantastic cookbook…I often find myself making the same things and love to be inspired to find new things to add to my repertoire!

  28. I have been back and forth between raw and paleo… my husband, a meat eater makes staying raw tough but I refuse to give up on trying new things that he may like.

  29. I’d like the book so I can have the lebanese wrap recipe! Or something similar!

  30. This book sounds inspiring! I like to see inspirational quotes just hanging around. I saw one yesterday by Winnie the Pooh!

  31. I’m excited about this cookbook because I’ve had the pleasure of trying Organic Avenue’s food in NYC and was truly impressed. Also, thank you so much for including a link to my “how to dehydrate without a dehydrator” article! (One quick note, though: my name is spelled “Alessandra,” not “Alexandra.” A common mistake!). 🙂

    • Ack, sorry — I did know that! Force of habit in writing the name conventionally. Thanks for the great tutorial 🙂

  32. Oh I would love to try all her healthful and life giving recipes! I’m a big fan of Organic Avenue 🙂

  33. You had me at sweet strawberry banana mylk – YUM!! The other recipes sound really good too 🙂

  34. wow, what an incredible looking place. that’s awesome that there’s a bed and breakfast out there that’s dedicated to feeding our souls with lovely vegan/raw cuisine. I would love to get my hands on that book to continue to grow my own repertoire of gluten-free/vegan/raw foods.

  35. Now that the weather is getting cooler I love spending free time try new recipes. I am really excited to try some new ideas from the Organic Avenue cookbook.

  36. Those macaroons look delicious! Can’t wait to make them!
    I would love the Denise Mari organic cookbook! Wow! Recipes for life ..made with love~ what’s better than that?!!

  37. I’m eager to try out these delicious recipes! Thank you for the chance to win!

  38. I don’t have any exclusively vegan cookbooks in my collection, so this one looks great to get me started, especially since it covers some key pantry staples.

  39. Such a beautiful review as usual! I lived in NYC for a few months this year and visited OA often! Being vegan and mainly raw myself, I have converted my mother to this lifestyle and would love to share this with her! Hopefully it will help convince my dad and younger brothers that this way of life is the most compassionate and yummiest 🙂

  40. Oh goodness. How incredible do these both look? Mari Manor looks like a great place to unwind after a trip to NYC, and the cookbook looks like a great addition to my bookshelf. The tahini dressing sounds divine — fingers crossed I can be so lucky as to win a copy of the book; if not, I’m going to try to sweet-talk my local bookstore into stocking this book. 🙂

  41. Next she should hold a giveaway for a stay at Mari Manor!! It looks incredible. Her recipes are clean but elegant…the kind of raw food that is perfect for serving to friends and family 🙂

  42. Hi gena,
    This is the first post I ever left on a blog, but I’ve been following yours regularly now for a year and you really should know how much support it has brought to my life. I had anorexia and Orthorexia 15 years ago, and though I am recovered now there are still days or moments when those unhealthy thoughts and desires will show up. It’s hard to find people who understand the whole ED issue or want to discuss it or bring it to public awareness. Thank you for being that brave person! I still receive a lot of criticism and judgement both for having experienced an eating disorder and for choosing to be vegan. Your blog is a wonderful place to visit where all judgement is suspended and I can read about like minded people, as well as being encouraged to keep growing out of old ED behaviors and thoughts that might be lurking in some dark place inside of me.
    I’m way across the country from NYC (CA to be exact) but if I ever visit I’ll be sure to stop in at Organic Avenue and would love to visit Mari Manor!

  43. Last year, my best friend and I spent a few days in NYC and were lucky enough to have booked a hotel across the street from an OA location – we were there daily (sometimes, more than once!) picking up juices, lunches on the go, and sweet but healthy snacks. It was probably the healthiest vacation we had ever taken, given the easy access to such gorgeous healthy goods and juices. I would be thrilled to get her cookbook so I can recreate some of those juices and foods at home!

  44. I live in NYC and have always been curious about trying Organic Avenue…I’d love to read Denise’s book, and see everything there is to offer! These macaroons sound really yummy!

  45. sounds like a unique and inspiring cookbook – would be thrilled to have a signed copy!

  46. I love Organic Avenue!!! They have THE BEST coconut yogurt in all of NYC! Thanks for the chance to win the cookbook!!

  47. Thank you for the terrific give-away! I am quite the cookbook collector and I love learning new recipes that end up becoming old favorites 🙂

  48. love reading about inspirational women, the recipes sound wonderful too. I’m in NYC this weekend and will check her stores out!

  49. While at school I generally follow vegan eating patterns, and at home since I’m lactose intolerant I’m vegan aside from fish here and there. I’m always looking for new vegan recipes and I’m really interested in eating raw

  50. Denise Mari sounds like a lovely giving spirit in the vegan community 🙂
    I’d enjoy reading her story as much as I’d enjoy trying her blissful berry smoothie!

  51. I haven’t experimented much with different mylks or “liquids” and would love to try!

  52. First of all, Mari Manor looks so charming! Fabulous!

    What makes me excited to win Denise Mari’s new book = The dessert recipes (especially the Wonderful Walnut Banana Pudding).

  53. this sounds lovely! id enjoy reading about everything in the book! 🙂 those wraps…. my fav from what youve shared 🙂