Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Cookies! The first of the season. (VeganMoFo day 28.)

The heat's been coming on in the house for at least a week. And you know what that means. THAT. MEANS. BAKING! Always, cold weather means baking. There's nothing that makes a house feel more cozy once it starts getting dark so early, and there's the added benefit that you can crack the window for some relief when it gets way to hot in your tiny Queens apartment kitchen.

As I've mentioned previously, Friday at work means Cookie Friday. Now, it doesn't always involve cookies, but I figured that a nice solid chocolate chunk cookie would be an excellent thing to bring for my third Friday in. I developed this recipe by adapting one from the back of a bag of generic grocery store chocolate chips; then I of course added my own touches. I can't help it.

  • 4 tsp. ground flax seed
  • 4 tbsp. warm water
  • 1 1/3 cups margarine, softened
  • 1 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, loosely packed
  • 2 cups white flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon (yup, really.)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 8 to 12 oz. chocolate chips or chunks

  • The secret to making truly great vegan cookies is this: flax eggs.The proportion is basically always 1 tsp. of ground flaxseed - I use Bob's Redmill - to 1 tbsp. of warm water; for those of you not all that up on the imperial system that's a ratio of 1:3. You do not simply mix these two together. What you do is get yourself one of those little two-cup vegetable chopper things. You can usually find them in large grocery stores or drugstores for $10 to $15, and believe me, it's totally worth it. So you combine your meal and your water in your little chopper, and you "chop". Do this for a few minutes; you may want to take a spatula and wipe down what's splashed up onto the sides every minute or two. Do some pulsing. Get innovative. After five minutes or so, something very spooky happens: the innocent flaxseed meal and water gains a texture disturbingly like eggwhites. It's really kind of gross. But it means very, very good things for your cookies. Do this as the very first thing when you begin to bake them, and then set the whole apparatus aside. Don't remove it from the chopper yet; give it another pulse or two before you throw it into the mix.)
  • Cream together the margarine and both sugars.
  • Whisk in the flax eggs and vanilla.
  • Into your sifter dump your flours, baking soda, and salt; gradually add the dry to the wet without overmixing. (For a detailed discussion of how I sift, take a gander at this, after initial babbling but before ingredients.)
  • Fold in chocolate chips or chunks.
  • Spoon tablespoon-size lumps onto nonstick or otherwise prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes at 350 degrees, then let cool slowly.

  • Makes three dozen cookies. Don't try to eat them all yourself - trust me on this one. Instead share them with friends and loved ones, who will suddenly remember that you are the most amazing person on earth.


    Tami (Vegan Appetite) said...

    Pretty cookies!

    melissa bastian. said...

    really, it's all about using a billion sticks of margarine. :)