Friday, August 6, 2010

Vegan Chewy Chocolate Cookies with Slivered Almonds

Blackbird Special by Dirty Dozen Brass Band
This is just a great song by a great New Orleans brass band. I don’t think any of them are vegans (because who would want to be a vegan in New Orleans), but you never know. I’m sure they like chocolate at least and I’m sure they would enjoy these cookies.

The other night was the house’s first venture into vegan baking. Why go there? Well we have friends who are vegans and they are sad when they cannot enjoy our delicious baked goods. So we made something especially for them!

Back when everyone lived in JAM, an awesome Ithaca band, Mutron Warriors, came to play in our dorm. Mike and I made cookies for lots of the concerts, and we heard that the sax player was a vegan, so we threw together these vegan cookies for him. We had found the recipe online, when searching for a recipe that didn’t use tricky ‘vegan’ ingredients like flax seeds or almond flour. We didn’t have these ingredients then, and we don’t have them now, so the recipe came through for us yet again!

First we combined the dry ingredients – 2 cups of flour, 3/4 cup of Dutch processed cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. While I did that, Mike attempted to ‘cream’ 3/4 cup of canola oil with 2 cups of sugar. Now, creaming oil is not like creaming butter (oil doesn’t cream), but we just turned a blind eye and kept going. Mike then added 1/2 cup of soymilk and 2 teaspoons of vanilla.

Next came the fun part. Folding! We folded the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, adding the dry ingredients in thirds as instructed by “Baking and Pastry,” the baking bible mentioned (revered? worshiped?) in previous posts. At this point the dough basically looked and tasted just like brownie batter. We added some slivered almonds for mostly aesthetic reasons and then plopped the batter on cookie sheets. We tossed them in the 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes

We then argued about whether they were done or not – they were gooey from start to finish. But, since there were no eggs, we figured as long as they would hold together in the time it takes to lift one from the plate to eat it, they were done.

The cookies tasted pretty much like tasty, chewy Oreo’s, and the almonds were an especially good addition. Everyone, vegans and non-vegans alike, was happy and well fed!

-Laura Schwartz

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