Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Joy of Cookies: Basic Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

chocolate chip cookies

You know what I love? I love Parks and Recreation. Yes, that's right. I love a television show. Don't worry, the Man of Science knows, and he's cool with it. In fact, this random expression of love is related directly to the fact that he came home on Friday with the Season Two DVDs for us to watch together. And now that we're about seven episodes in, I am even more confident in my love. It is probably my favourite show on TV right now. And not just because I'm personally like, 75% Leslie Knope.

You know what Leslie Knope loves? Sweets. Waffles, whipped cream, chocolate, and probably, though I don't remember seeing it mentioned specifically in any of the episodes, cookies. And since Leslie is a bit of a traditionalist, she'd probably really dig these classic chocolate chip cookies, a veganized recipe from my grandmother's copy of Joy of Cooking.

Joy of Cooking

My mom brought the cookbook over to me a little while ago, thinking I might like to add it to my collection. I accepted it, but didn't think it would be something I'd spend a lot of time looking at. But, it turns out it is kind of useful. Especially for basic baking recipes. I used it as a guideline for the apple pie I made a few weeks ago. And of course there is a perfect basic chocolate chip cookie recipe.

The other cool thing about having this particular copy of the book is that my grandmother occasionally made notes about recipes, so flipping through the book is like getting to hang out with her for brief flashes of time. Which is great because my grandmother was a great lady and I miss her a lot.

Grannie's notes

If you are in the market for an easy, basic, chocolate chip cookie recipe (and who wouldn't be, really?) here is my veganized version of the Joy of Cooking chocolate chip drop cookies recipe. This makes a really chewy, rich cookie that would probably be a great thing to feed any of those people in your life who still haven't figured out that vegan baked goods can be just as awesome as their animal-producty counterparts.

cookies and tea

Vegan Chocolate Chip Drop Cookies
(adapted from Joy of Cooking)

1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tbsp ground flax seed mixed with 3 tbsp warm water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup + 2 tbsp all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional! Like garlic!)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Grease two baking sheets.

Cream shortening with sugars and stir in flax mixture and vanilla.

Sift in flour, salt, and baking soda.

Fold in chocolate chips and nuts if you're using them.

(If batter is too dry, add water (one tablespoon at a time) until it forms a dough that holds together but isn't sticky.)

Drop rounded tablespoonfuls of batter onto cookie sheets. No need to flatten them, they'll do that on their own.

Bake for 12 minutes.

Makes approximately two dozen cookies.

chocolate chip cookies

Some Notes:

-Are you dying to try my award winning cupcakes? Too lazy to make them yourself? Physically located in or around the Ottawa area? Well, you are in luck! I met with Super Baker Mandi Loo last week to discuss how exactly her bakery is going to distribute my cupcakes (which is part of my prize for getting first place) and it seems that this very week there will likely be some for sale in store (and at some of the places where the bakery distributes their goodies)! I will be up bright and early at least once this week to go help out with the mass-production of my recipe at the bakery. Fun! More information to follow.

-Did anyone else see the Top Chef Masters episode two weeks ago where Chef Suvir Saran (a vegetarian who cooks non-vegetarian food) gave a kind of ill-placed anti-meat speech right before he served his veggie burger? It made me cringe, frankly. Not because I didn't agree with him, but because I could tell that he was not going to convince anyone in the dining room that eating meat wasn't a good idea. There is a time and place for vegetarian rhetoric, and whoa, that was not it. It's those kind of diatribes that give vegetarians a bad name. I was sad too, because I really liked him a lot up to that point. He was hilarious most of the time he was on camera.

-This week I get to see shows by both Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings AND The Tranzmitors. I'll get no sleep, but it will be worth it. Except maybe to the Man of Science who has to deal with me when I'm cranky and sleep deprived the next day.



Esen said...

I gotta say I did see Suvir on Top Chef Masters and I'm really glad he did what he did. Even though it made me cringe too! I also HATED how that unibrow guy who served his dish after got all pissy and tried to make some crack about how NOT bad meat is. That annoyed me more. Suvir was just expressing his own opinion and I knew Hugh would do smthg like undercut the importance of what Suvir was saying. Oh well:)

Keep up the good work!

Jes Lacasse said...

The boy and I were watching P&R the other day and apparently I look way too much like Leslie when I'm angry.

He reminds me to count backwards from a thousand by sevens and think of warm vegan brownies.

These cookies will be amazing with soy ice cream smushed between them.

the [sugar] apothecary said...

Chocolate chip coooooooookies! It's been awhile since I've made them, so simple and amazing. Yours look delicious! I saw that anti-meat speech on Top Chef too... Not a good idea, buddy. Timing is everything!

Anonymous said...

This recipe looks amazing! I love to eat "clean."
I am always on the look out for "delicious vegan friendly foods." I am going to use "Xocai Healhty Chocolate" in this recipe and feel "guilt free" about it!

Thanks for sharing!

~Adam Paul Green

Anonymous said...

Props to Suvir for standing up for his convictions and making that comment on national TV (and keeping the caterpillars alive the week before)

Screw the diners, judges and other chefs (espec Unibrow) - if a small percentage of viewers reconsider eating meat or are more compassionate to living beings it's mission accomplished


Cindy said...

YES. P&R is such a great show. Smart and funny and warm and dorky, just like Knope herself. It reminds me that I otherwise ingest way too much snark.

I may or may not also ingest too many cookies. I've really gotta harden up and try making flax seed eggs so I can make recipes like this properly.

Anonymous said...

Cookies are amazing and amazingly addictive. I did have enough margarine/v. shortening so I added a dollop of solid coconut oil and mmmmmmm.

Thanks for the post,