Sunday, October 04, 2009

VeganMoFo Day Four: Mexican Hot Chocolate gets chewey - kapow! - or - I heart my new oven.

I'm just sitting here, minding my own. But they are calling to me. And I cannot stop eating them. Are they the best cookies I've ever made? Maybe. They're certainly the fanciest - I haven't delved much into fancy cookies. Not that they're all that fancy. They're an everyman's cookie. A cookie for the people. A cookie that says, "let's put the issues on the table, because I'm here to listen. Now let's get a glass of almond milk and get to the root of this thing." And if it's any foreshadowing of what the new cookie book has to offer, well people, we're all about to become some major effing cookie monsters.

So, what the hell am I talking about?

None other than the PPK's Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles, of course! A little preview from that dynamic duo, Terry and Isa, of their upcoming book "Vegan Cookies Invade your Cookie Jar". I'm not going to write out the recipe here, as you can get it straight from the horse's mouth - that is, from where I got it, the Post Punk Kitchen blog of wonder. I will, however, mention what I did differently, for better or worse.
  • I don't have any white flour right now, so I used whole wheat pastry flour. I'm used to it, but if you're not it might taste a little crunchy-granola-healthy-cookie to you.
  • I am, oh so sadly, out of my awesome chocolate extract. I had to go for all vanilla. At least I have really good vanilla.
  • I have a bit of a problem with cinnamon - that is to say I love it alot alot alot. So I doubled (or maybe tripled) the amount in the cookies, and I stand behind my decision. Yum. (I left the amount of cayenne alone though, and thank goodness. It's just right. These cookies have a little kick, I tell ya!)
  • As with cinnamon, so with cocoa. My mother taught me that while flour is measured level, cocoa is measured by as much as that darned cup measure can hold without spilling out! See photographic evidence below.
  • Because of a paucity of sugar in the house, I only made half the recipe. Even so, it still made 22 good sized cookies!
Other than that, I think I followed the recipe to a T, which is weird for me. But then, I'm scared of new things, so in this instance it makes a certain amount of sense. And the results? Oh man. Oh man oh man oh man. Let's put it this way. Last night I think I ate about six of them. This morning I've been up for less than two hours and I've already had four. Sitting here writing about them, I can hear their siren call... "Come, have more of us!... We're made of whole wheat flour - we're good for you!... You don't need other food, you only need to eat us, for ever, and ever, and ever..."

Yeah, my food talks to me. What, yours doesn't?

Alright. You want pictures. I know you do.

Let's get sifty! I developed this method a couple of years ago when I overcame my fear of ovens and started baking for realz. The wet ingredients go in the big bowl. The dry ingredients go right into the sifter, which has a plate under it. (Crucial to tap the contents of the plate into the bowl before considering the dry ingredients added.) Who of us apartment dwellers has enough counter space for two bowls? I barely have enough room for the one, as should be pretty obvious from my photos. I've found it's best to do the drys first, and then start dealing with the wets. Oh, and here's what I mean about how I measure cocoa.

Weird science: I love this stage. It just looks so cool. All the wets in the bowl before you mix them up. You look at it and some part of your brain is like, OK, there is NO WAY that that is going to end up as delicious cookies. Shows what you know, brain.

Dough! I love love love this stage. This is the moment in the cookie making process where you can be pretty sure you did something right. Instead of a bowl of goo, you have a ball of glistening dough just waiting to be molded by your eager hands! Yesss.

Now here's why I call these cookies fancy. Cinnamon and sugar topping, y'all. Totally rad right? The first two or three were pretty awkward, but it's pretty easy once you get the hang of it. Yeah, I know, I've baked like a million cookies, but I've stayed with the ultra simple ones because I don't challenge myself. That's got to stop. Maybe this is the dawning of a new era?

Ta da! Don't they look beautiful? Hopefully they'll look even better after baking...

A word about the oven in my new apartment. Yes, we moved in in May. But I have to admit it. This is the first time I've used the oven. I know. I know, OK! Look, I'm a busy woman. I'm tired. I struggle with illness. Lay off. I've cooked things in the past five months, I just haven't baked. I don't tend to turn on the oven when it's above 60 degrees outside anyway. But I gotta say. I freaking love this oven. And look! There's a light! And it works!! (Yeah, my oven's dirty. What of it? Don't judge.)

Short baking times rock. After ten minutes I opened up my oven - I didn't even peek, didn't have to what with the working oven light - and what did I find? PERFECT COOKIES! OMG SO BEAUTIFUL! They crackled on the top and everything! Possibly the most photoworthy cookies I have ever baked.

I waited probably a whole eight minutes before eating one. As we all know, the best cookies must be beautiful inside and out. And these suckers do not disappoint... as you may have already gathered. Even the fiance, whose most frequent comment about my baking expeditions is, "I dunno, they're kinda sweet..." (to which I reply "They're COOKIES!") this time replied "ooohhh, cookie. You should make these more often."

Is there anything more satisfying than cookie success? Maybe cupcake success, which could probably be called the cousin of cookie success. I've got notions in my head of leaving out the chocolate, and making Vanilla Cinnabomb cookies... Research, though, indicates that this would basically be a traditional snickerdoodle? And may necessitate cream of tartar? We'll see.

Man, I'm kinda hungry. I think I might need another cookie...


Melanie said...

I saw these in Isa's blog but didn't really give them a second thought.. until now. You've sold me. I must now have these cookies.

Monique a.k.a. Mo said...

These were my second favorite tester behind the gingerbread biscotti. Oh boy!