Monday, April 5, 2010
Delightful vs Disastrous: This Weekend's Adventures in Baking
What you see in this photo is a plate of delicious vegan date walnut oatmeal cookies. Crisp on the outside, chewy in the middle, and amazingly flavourful. Also, easy to bake. This is a winner of a cookie and I will give you the recipe for it in just a minute. We all know nothing around here comes without a story. This particular story goes backwards. Like some kind of avant garde indie film.
Event #5: I bake these cookies.
Event #4: Megan and I meet at a coffee shop on Saturday and she buys a nutty, datey, cookie for us to share. She is feeling a bit sicky. I am also feeling a bit sicky, but not as sicky as Megan, which is why she thinks to get the cookie. The cookie inspires me.
Event #3: Megan and I meet at the The Manx on Friday night for dinner and, as it turns out, multiple ciders for her and an equal number of vodka-club-sodas for me. Oh, and one free shot each because Megan's boyfriend, The Guybrarian, has brought along a friend who is celebrating a birthday. And the bartenders like us.
Event #2 I bake brownies, they turn out like this:
Event #1 Megan and I are making plans to hang out and I tell her, "I'm baking brownies made with spelt flour! I'll bring you one tonight!"
So, there you have it. Disasterous brownies, fun night, rough morning, good cookies. Megan feels that it was the spelt flour that made the brownies go so terribly wrong. I think she might be right. Also, I blame my unconventional use of a muffin pan instead of a regular baking pan. Either way, I don't think I'll be venturing to Brownieland again anytime soon. I'm going to play it safe with these cookies.
Oatmeal Date Walnut Cookies
1/2 cup safflower oil
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup all-purpose white flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp ground flax seeds, mixed with 3 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup pitted dates, chopped
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1 1/2 cups quick cook oats
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine oil and brown sugar. Stir until smooth.
Sift in flour, baking soda, and salt. Blend well.
Add flax seed and water mixture, vanilla, cinnamon, dates, and walnuts.
Gradually add oatmeal until batter becomes thick but not too crumbly. If it does get too crumbly, just add a tablespoon of water at a time until it is dough, not a mass of crumbs.
Using a tablespoon dipped in flour, plop round blobs of cookie dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Press them down with your fingers. These cookies to not spread much when heated.
Bake for 12 minutes, then cool on a rack for as long as you can stand it.
Makes approximately 2 dozen.
-So, what did everyone eat this weekend? We had a fairly low key holiday that included a dinner with my family. We had Italian food, since my mom (who was hosting) is vegetarian and not interested in cooking a turkey or ham or whatever for the meat eaters. She bought a meat lasagna and vegetarian manicotti from a local restaurant and I made the Italian Layered Vegetable Casserole from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen. That was about the extent of the celebrating since none of us are religious in any way, and there are no small children in my family who might have enjoyed an egg hunt of any kind. Mostly, I was just excited to have four days off in a row.
-The garden prep is coming along quite nicely. All my tomato seeds have sprouted and between the Man of Science and myself, we've ripped up all of the useless Ditch Lilies in our back yard to make room to plant all those tomatoes and eventually some beans as well.
-Last night I watched the first episode of Jamie's Food Revolution, which made me about as tense as I'd expected. I agree with everything that he's doing but it makes me cringe to see how unwilling people are to change what they're eating. Though I guess if some British guy who I'd never heard of showed up and started telling me what to do, I'd be wary as well. It just further reinforces my amazement at how strange people's relationship with their food is. Like the guy in my office who was visibly disgusted when I was eating squash as part of my lunch and then told me he only liked "traditional" food, while he was microwaving his TV dinner. I don't know whether to laugh of cry. Anyway, I'm roped in and I'll keep watching to see what Mr. Easy-On-The-Eyes Oliver gets done during his time in America. Fellow Canadians, you can watch it on the CTV site.
This Time Last Year: Cesarish Salad