Posts Tagged ‘chocolate chip’

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!

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Lately we’ve gotten into the habit of always having a little something sweet after a meal. I can blame part of it on the fact that I’m in culinary school – you need to do your own research right? I blame the other part of it on the fact that school is only 3 hours a day right now and I can’t find a job. Boredom = baked goods. So the other day after lunch, Gary turns and looks at the empty cookie jar and sort of gives off this sad little whimper. I smile. Then about an hour later I’m in the kitchen, baking.

Being that we’ve had so much sweet stuff lately I didn’t want to pour a whole bunch of sugar and fat into something else that I was inevitably going to be snacking on for the next few days. I guess I didn’t mind pouring a whole bunch of chocolate chips in it though (but it’s chocolate, really, who has he ever hurt?). Anyway, the vision of a cute little oatmeal cookie started dancing around in my head. Nothing says healthy like oats! Plus cranberries. And almonds. And chocolate chips, of course.

These were good, and dare I say wholesome. They were just sweet enough to satisfy the sugar fix but not too sweet to make you feel like you were eating junk food. There’s hardly any oil in them either and I bet you could probably take all the oil out and you wouldn’t really miss it, or even substitute applesauce. Applesauce tends to make cookies cakey so I don’t use it too often, but these had a nice chewy texture so it probably wouldn’t have been too bad. You could even make them gluten-free by using a gluten-free flour mixture like this one and certified GF oats. Cherries instead of cranberries would have also been good. Maybe with some dark chocolate.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies with Cranberries and Almonds

yields about 12 cookies
  • 1/3 C whole wheat pastry flour, or GF flour mixture
  • 1/8 t salt
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • Pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon
  • About 1 C quick cooking oats
  • 1/4 C dairy free milk
  • 2 T agave
  • 2 T granulated sugar (or more agave)
  • 2 1/2 T brown sugar
  • 1 T ground flax seed
  • 1 T canola oil (preferably organic)
  • 3/4 t vanilla extract
  • About 1/2 C chocolate chips, cranberries and almonds

Preheat your oven to 350.

Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and spices. In a mixing bowl, combine the milk, agave, sugars, flax, oil and extract and mix well. Add the dry ingredients, oats, choco chips, cranberries and almonds. Mix until everything is uniformly moistened. Drop spoonfuls of batter onto a silpat lined (or parchment) cookie sheet about 1 inch apart. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the edges start to brown. Let them cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

I tend to over-bake my cookies but these I took out before I thought they were totally done, which means they were just right. I don’t think they’ll be as good if they are too crunchy so don’t make them spend too much time in the oven.

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Us foodies seem to overdose on pumpkin recipes this time of year, but that’s ok because they taste so darn good.  You have pumpkin waffles (also gluten-free), pumpkin bread (or simply sub pureed pumpkin for the banana in any banana bread recipe), pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin biscuits, pumpkin lattes, other pumpkin desserts and hopefully some pumpkin cinnamon rolls (we’ll see, not sure if they worked out yet).  But why stop there?  I had half a box of silken tofu sitting in my fridge last night and a craving for something cold and sweet.  Thanks to my handy dandy ice cream maker I had pumpkin chocolate chip ice cream about 30 minutes later.

It’s a cross between Veganomicon’s vanilla ice cream recipe and this recipe with a little tweaking.

  • 6oz firm silken tofu
  • 3/4 C soy milk
  • 1 C pureed pumpkin
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 1/4 C raw or white sugar
  • 1/2 T vanilla extract
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/3 – 1/2 C chocolate chips (chopped up a little – I used this)
  • 2 T rum or vodka*

Throw all the ingredients into your blender and puree until smooth.  Transfer to your ice cream maker and follow the instructions.  Voila!

*I added a tablespoon of rum in hopes that the ice cream wouldn’t get so hard after it had been in the freezer all night (since liquor doesn’t freeze very well).  It is still pretty solid though so I suggest using at least 2 tablespoons or more.  If you’re going to eat the ice cream right away after making it, the alcohol isn’t necessary.

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This woman really knows how to cook.  I’ve tried I don’t know how many of her recipes and haven’t really been disappointed with any of them.  You should definately check out her blog at Fatfree Vegan Kitchen.

I came across these cookies last night while lazily meandering through various recipes.  So today I decided there’s no better way to procrastinate on my homework than baking!  My only complaint is that I couldn’t taste the peanut butter enough so I would use a bit more next time, but they are awesome even in spite of that.  And, they aren’t that bad for you so no guilt included!!  These would probably be super delicious with some soy ice cream, maybe some chocolate syrup….

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