Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies (In theory) and Chocolate chip cookies with no butter!

Back in November, the student council (of which I am one of the faculty advisors) at our school had a PJ & pancake day. They cooked up a couple hundred pancakes and had toppings of all kinds for students to pile on their pancakes. In the end, they sold a lot of pancakes and the cafeteria was a sticky mess. However, they raised a lot of money maybe for a charity, I can't remember but they are usually trying to raise money for lots of things. Actually, at our meeting today, it was announced that we raised $1000 to help a 1 year old get a much needed heart transplant. Oh, how proud I was...or am, of these little ones.

Oh, but back to the end of pancake day. There was an unopened bag of chocolate chips left over which I took and left in my teacher mail box until about last week... Needless to say, today at the student council meeting, there were also chocolate chip cookies! Unfortunately, I didn't even think to take any pictures because I wasn't planning on writing about them until one of the students asked for the recipe and so here we are.  Here's a picture of the empty container as proof .

So last night, rather than preparing for my classes, I spent the evening baking two different batches of cookies. Upon checking the fridge, I found out we had no eggs and no butter. The first batch I made came from Erica's Sweet Tooth which looked worrisome while I was reading about the crumbliness of the cookies. In any case, I really liked this recipe because it was just really quick and easy.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies, adapted from Erica's Sweet Tooth

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar 
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips 
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 soy/almond milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp dark molasses (I used 'Fancy' Molasses, whatever that is)


Preparation
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and chocolate chips. In another bowl, combine the vegetable oil, milk, vanilla and molasses (tip: measure the oil first, then pour the molasses into the same measuring device so that it doesn't stick!). Add the wet mixture to the dry and mix well with a wooden spoon until everything is JUST incorporated. Don't overwork that flour. Roll dough into bowl, place on a greased pan or parchment paper-lined pan and squish them down to form saucers. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Let cool on pan for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack.

While re-writing this recipe from memory, I'm realizing that I must be one of the luckiest bakers in the world. The only reason I altered the original recipe was because I started on a different recipe before I realized I didn't have an egg. So I had 1 1/2 cups of flour in a bowl, with 1/2 tsp baking soda and 1/4 tsp of salt. My brilliant thought was to make random estimations to roughly reduce the recipe by a 1/4 (It's clearly not a 1/4 reduction but hey, that's my math teacher skills kicking in). This brilliant thought somehow disappeared halfway through following Erica's cookie recipe and I now realize that I kept the rest of the recipe the same. I also used regular skim milk from a cow, and greased the pan with butter. Two very un-vegan things, but I highly doubt those would have changed the way these cookies turned out. Oh, I also baked them for an extra 3-4 minutes at 400 degrees while I had a pizza going in the oven. Maybe that's the secret...

Well, my wife and I both thought that these cookies turned out pretty amazing and I really hope I can make them again... A lot of the kids were saying the cookies were good, but I didn't know which kids were eating which batch.

Butterless Chocolate Chip Cookies, from Cookie Madness

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup toasted walnuts (I didn't use these, but they probably would've helped)

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, stir together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. Whisk together both types of sugar, oil, egg and vanilla. Add flour mixture to oil mixture and stir until just blended. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts. Make mini golf ball size cookie balls. Put them onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool on sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

To be honest, I wasn't as impressed with these cookies, probably because I followed the recipe though it is more likely that I didn't have walnuts. I initially used the suggested 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips, but I just ended up with a big bowl of chocolate chips at the bottom...

Well, I was happy to supply my students with a rush of sugar at around 4pm today though I hope their parents don't catch wind of this! In an effort to boost the lack of pictures in this post, I was considering posting a picture of them looking incredibly goofy at the start of the year in a 'silly' student council group photo but now that some of them might start reading this, I shan't. Instead, here is a picture of a slice of my birthday rum cake which my wife made for me. Maybe I can convince her to write up the recipe for everyone...
See how that rum glaze glistens in that fluffy cake.

no one sayin' do this