Thursday, May 14, 2009

Vegan Cookies, jon's first post

Vegan Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal, Peanut Butter Cookies

I thought for my first post I’d use one of my favorite recipes. I’ve made these twice in the past week, and have knocked out a few other batches in the past for parties and birthdays. The cookies are dense and chewy, with an excellent balance of all its flavors, not overwhelmingly peanut buttery, a good hand full of chocolate chips, and just enough oatmeal for texture. The holy trinity of cookies, combined!

It’s a pretty simple recipe and is difficult to go to far wrong. If you have a stand mixer I recommend using that, otherwise you’ll want a good hand mixer as this dough gets pretty thick, especially once you add in the oatmeal.

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon crunchy peanut butter
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup turbinado sugar
1/3 cup soy milk (regular or vanilla flavored)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (4 ounces weight or very lightly scooped)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips — use non-dairy such as Tropical Source
1/3 cup chopped, toasted walnuts or pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together first five ingredients.

In a small bowl, thoroughly stir together flour, soda and salt. Stir into batter. Stir in oats and chocolate chips, followed by nuts if using.

Drop batter by rounded tablespoonfuls onto Silpat or parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until set. Remove sheet from oven and let cool on tray for 5 minutes.

Makes 18 cookies

Notes: The recipe, as I found it online, suggests crunchy peanut butter, I don’t. Between the oatmeal and the chocolate chips these guys are dense and have a ton of texture already, crunchy p.b., and the optional nuts at the end, are going to make them overly textural. As far as brands go I can’t recommend full flavor creamy Jif nearly enough, for this and any other baking application requiring p.b. It blends well and as this is replacing the bulk of the butter you would normally use in a cookie recipe the higher fat content is appreciated for flavor and needed for body and binding.

For a moister cookie substitute half a cup of brown sugar in for half the turbinado. Incidentally, if your natural sugar has larger grains you may need to use more sugar as the larger granules have more space between them.

I prefer almond milk for this and most other sweet vegan applications, it’s richer, creamier, has less of that gaminess soy milks so often does, and the nuttiness compliments the nuttiness of the cookie, but any milk sub will do. Also, you may want to consider adding in an extra tablespoon of milk as this batter is a little on the dry side.

Using pastry flour instead of all purpose makes a lot of difference. The first few times I made these I only had all purpose flour and the cookies came out much denser. While not inedible by any means, using pastry flour yields a lighter, but no less chewy cookie. (For more information on how flour and fat choices affect the out come of your cookie check out the episode of Good Eats entitled “Three Chips for Sister Marsha” here:

When checking for doneness don't wait until the cookie is golden brown and set. Remove cookies when the edges are brown and set. Allowing them to sit on the warm cookie sheet for five minutes or so after will allow the heat stored inside to carry over and finish cooking them out of the oven, thus protecting you from dry or burnt cookies.

When sifting together the dry ingredients—always sift!—I like to add in half-to-three-quarters teaspoon of cinnamon. The cinnamon, oatmeal, and chocolate work so well it’s ridiculous, and it perks up the peanut butter, too.

Baking Playlist, courtesy of iTunes shuffle:

Misfits – Bullet
Pedro the Lion – Eye on the Finish Line
Saturday Looks Good to Me – (even if you die on the ) Ocean
Misfits – Static Age
The National – Cold Girl Fever
James Brown – My Thang
Detachment Kit – Ricochet
Del tha Funkee Homosapien – Signature Slogans
Elliott Smith – St. Ides Heaven
Ol’ Dirty Bastard – Rollin’ Wit You
The Kinks – Muswell Hillbilly
Caetano Veloso –
In the Hot Sun of a Christmas Day
The Dwarves – Back Seat of My Car
Hall & Oates – It’s a Laugh
They Might Be Giants – No One Knows My Plan
They Might Be Giants – Famous Polka
Cibo Matto – Clouds
The Replacements – More Cigarettes
Caribou – She’s the One
Supergrass – Road to Rouen
LCD Soundsystem – Us V Them
Jesus and Mary Chain – Frequency
Stylex – No!
Beulah – Popular Mechanics for Lovers
The White Stripes – Prickly Thorn, but Sweetly Worn
Klaxons – Isle of Her
Crystal Castles – Love and Caring
Rocket From The Crypt – Good Bye
Fugazi – Returning the Screw
Pavement – Fight This Generation


justin said...

30 songs to make 18 cookies? at 3:30 per song (average), that's over an hour for one batch of cookies. dude, i think you burn'ded 'em...

Lucé said...

naw, a good number of those are punk songs 3:30 is waaay to generous...

Heidi said...

I think I will have to try these cookies out!

jon said...

i figure the playlist is around the ninety minute mark which includes all prep and clean up plus baking a double batch, forty cookies or so, in a slow oven (about forteen minutes per batch). sounds about right to me.

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