Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

*Warning, I am currently riding a strong caffeine buzz. I will explain shortly.

As mentioned in my first post, I compiled a "friend cookbook". I was flipping through it today and I saw a recipe for vegan chocolate chip cookies. They just sounded like they would hit the spot and the list of ingredients were rather short. Sounds perfect! I had to go by Whole Foods anyway, so I picked up some vegan chocolate chips and raw sugar. Baking a vegan recipe is rather new to me. Sure many of my recipes end up being vegan by default, but this was a first time baking without ANY animal products. I was curious about the no egg part.

There are a couple of notes to the recipe below. For the cinnamon, she says to put in a LOT of cinnamon. I believe her quote is "obscene". I put in about 2 tablespoons and they seemed about right. Any less would be odd I think. For the vegan chocolate chips, you can get them at Whole Foods - even as a Whole Foods brand, which is cheaper than normal. Also, don't use too many chips or the dough will be crumbly. Lastly, for the sugar, turbinado seems to work the best. Sucanat works as well, but it tends to suck up a lot of the moisture.

2 cups unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cinnamon to taste
Vegan chocolate or carob chips
1 cup raw sugar
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup water

Make sure all ingredients are room temperature. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, and "a ridiculous amount of cinnamon". Add chips and mix well. Make a well in the center and set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, mix the sugar and oil. Mix it well. Add vanilla and water. Mix well. Add this mixture to the flour mixture. Be careful not to overwork it. Add more chips if needed.

Spoon onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake at 375 degrees for five minutes. Flip and rotate the sheets (to make sure they are cooked evenly, in case of hot spots). Bake for another 4 minutes. The cookies aer done when they seem a little bit softer than you want them to be (they'll solidify some as they cool.)

Take them out and move to cooling racks. If they come apart as you move them, let them sit on the pan for 2 minutes.

I'm sure you all have forgotten about the caffeine buzz. Well, I made all of these cookies, so I decided to share them with my neighbors. Being neighborly and all. They invited me in to share some "bun", or coffee in Ethiopia Semitic. Homemade and very, very strong coffee. Being an ex-peace corps volunteer, I couldn't refuse. An opportunity to have cultural AND food exchange was too good to pass up. (Plus, wouldn't I have insulted them to refuse??) It was delicious (saying a lot since I don't actually drink coffee). It may have had something to do with two spoons of sugar, but we'll go with the coffee. Since that was at about 8:00 and I'm still shaking (it's after 10), I think I'm in for a long night. I did enjoy sharing food and culture with my neighbors, as it was the first time we've all really talked. We even watched an Eritrean movie together (they are from Eritrea), one that I couldn't understand, but that's the beauty of acting. Actions speak louder than words. (It did help when they translated some so I didn't get completely lost.) Very sad movie, but again, great experience!

P.S. Discovered a new setting on my camera, well new to me, hense the cool cookie picture above. Pictures will improve, I promise!

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