Some days you just need to bake something. Anything. It really doesn’t matter what. It’s like retail therapy, only cheaper and it doesn’t piss off your husband.
This past week hasn’t been the best week. I had a job. Now I don’t have a job. It’s a long story and I’ll spare you the details, but any of you who have ever looked for work in Portland know that the job market here isn’t exactly the most friendly of beasts. Hopefully the employment fairy will come visit me soon.
But enough of my pillow crying. Crappy things happen to all of us. It’s what you do after the crappy things happen that defines who you are. And I, of course, decided to make cookies.
I often try to bake something “new” and creative. Something different that isn’t boring or been done a million times. But sometimes – sometimes – you just need a chocolate chip cookie. It’s like good ole macaroni and cheese, only it’s not obviously. You know what I mean. Something familiar and comforting. Something you’ve done before and know will probably turn out alright so you don’t have to worry about being even more ticked off after your time in kitchen therapy.
This is one of those “everything but the kitchen sink” recipes. I typically keep my kitchen pretty well stocked with the basics – flour, sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, chocolate chips, etc, etc. – but I was a bit low on things yesterday. So I hodgepodged a recipe together and, thankfully, it turned out pretty well.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 6 1/2 oz vegan stick butter (Earth Balance)
- 3 1/2 oz brown sugar
- 3 1/2 oz raw sugar
- 3 oz pure maple syrup
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 5 oz AP flour
- 5 oz whole wheat pastry flour (or more AP)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 6 1/2 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 3 1/2 oz dark chocolate, roughly chopped (or more chocolate chips)
In typing these ingredients out I just realized I forgot to put the vanilla extract in my cookies. So your cookies will taste even better than my cookies if you don’t screw that part up.
You can also add a fake egg if you like, either a flax egg or Ener-g egg. I wasn’t feeling it yesterday so I ixnayed the egg (and I don’t think it really made much of a difference).
About the butter, Earth Balance is expensive. And this sucks obviously but that’s just the price you pay for choosing the cow-free lifestyle. You can use the Smart Balance spread (it’s vegan) but there’s a huge difference in moisture content so be aware that the end product may be a bit different than mine.
Cream the butter, sugars and maple syrup together until “creamy” (which actually means “wet” in the vegan world). Add the vanilla extract. Sift in the flours, salt, baking powder and soda and start mixing. If you’re using a stand mixture, go ahead and start adding in the chocolate chips. If you’re mixing by hand, partially mix in the dry ingredients and then add the chocolate chips and finish mixing. Since there isn’t any liquid in here to speak of, you really don’t have to worry about over mixing and causing the glutens to toughen, but it’s just best to mix as little as possible.
Scoop the dough, roll it into a ball in your hands, partially flatten it – trying to keep it as round as possible – and place it onto a half sheet. I used a 1 & 1/2 tablespoon scoop (# 50) and 12 of these fit comfortably on the pan.
These will spread, almost like normal cookies, so the ball rolling and flattening is pretty much up to you. I was aiming for a more uniform cookie, hence the extra steps I took.
Bake at 350 for 7 minutes, rotate the pan and then bake for another 6 minutes. They’ll be soft when they come out, with the bottoms lightly brown, but they’ll firm up quite a bit during cooling. You could probably cook them even a minute or so less if you wanted a softer cookie.
These cookies are really nice (even without the vanilla extract). They’re crunchy but still chewy, and are definitely quite superb when they’re warm.
Well I have bread rising in the kitchen that probably needs my attention so I away I must go. Happy Thursday and have a great weekend!