Janet was able to interview Jackie Gran, pastry chef extraordinaire of the Cinnamon Snail Food Truck, a food truck in Manhattan that makes delicious Vegan treats.
Some of your baking is straight out of a magazine cover worthy. As busy parents, or just not artistic enough, we can only just drool and wish we had that talent. What would you say would be the easiest of your creations to recreate for the busy parent?
The most time consuming part of my job is the decorating, because I’m obsessed with detail! The baking I do is quite quick and easy, not technical at all- which makes it perfect for any busy parent or beginner baker. I would highly recommend baking sugar cookies with children, as it’s a very fun and creative process. Rolling the dough, cutting out the shapes with cute cookie cutters, and decorating to your heart’s content with royal icing (made using the liquid from a can of chickpeas and powdered sugar) is a really enjoyable activity for all ages.
While we stalk the cinnamon snail’s pages to find out where you will be next? Do you sell your creations anywhere else? And more importantly, where can we find the instructions for these inspiring recipes?
In the coming months, I am hoping to branch out with my pastries a little more, and take on more private orders. I currently use many of Cinnamon Snail’s recipes, so I’m not at liberty to disclose them, but a quick Google search will find you thousands of delicious vegan recipes. I’m more in control of the design elements of my desserts. I think it could be fun to offer tutorials on decorating in the future!
How did you get into vegan baking?
I went vegan in the summer of 2015, but before that, I had been working in the baking field for 5 years after attending culinary school. After going vegan, I really struggled with the idea of having to use animal products at work. I left my previous job as a cookie decorator, and applied to the Cinnamon Snail. I had never baked vegan pastries before this, so it has been a learning process. Even though it was adjustment, I’ve found it very simple to veganize any kind of dessert.
While we know you work in NYC, and feature a lot of NYC in your creations. Is that where you grew up?
I grew up in Nassau County, Long Island. My heart is really in the suburbs, so I commute to Brooklyn (where Cinnamon Snail’s kitchen is). It’s a long drive- an hour and a half, usually. I find it worth the trip because I love what I do. NYC is incredible for vegan businesses. I’m elated to see how the industry is growing because of the high demand for vegan products. I wish Long Island had more vegan options!
How do you find inspiration for your creations? Are there some social media accounts that you cannot live without?
I have always had an overactive imagination, so my designs usually just pop into my head, but I do I follow many vegan instagram accounts for inspiration and drool-worthy food photography. I love @imhorngry_, @vicveganbakes, @vegantreats, @veganfoodshare, @peacefulprovisions, and @sweetmaresas.
My work can be found at Arstistic Cookies and Sweets