Related: baking, Cooking, Vegan, Wellness

The Vegan Cookie Experiment

 
 

Not many people know this, but Vegan treats are delicious!

I often go to our local organic market, Roots, and pick up some Chocolate Chip Cookies from Sticky Fingers Bakery.  These suckers are huge, and my treat after I eat dinner is 1/2 a cookie (maybe a whole one if I did my long run that day).

On a side note, Team Sticky Fingers seems like a nice group of ladies, and you can follow them on their blog HERE as they train for their road and CX cycling races.  Also, their bakery is about 2 miles from Trinity, off the Green Line at Columbia Heights.  You should go!

The other day I looked at the cookie ingredients closely:

flour, Florida Crystals evaporated cane juice, brown sugar, chocolate chips, Earth Balance margarine, canola oil, organic soymilk, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, salt, chocolate chips

I compared this with my usual cookie recipe ingredients:

flour, butter, white sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, baking powder, salt, chocolate chips

I thought, hey, I can experiment can’t I?  I can make this.

So basically 3 things are different here: 1) no eggs, but the canola oil and soymilk will make up for that consistency, 2) no butter, but there is margarine and oil so there are the fats, 3) less sugar, well evaporated cane juice is a fancy name for sugar so I’ll have to figure that out.

The other big drawback is lack of portions for each ingredient, but basic baking is the same when it comes to cookies, the ratio of ingredients does not change much.  I like experimenting, so if the dough looks a little wet or runny I would just add some flour, if it looks stiff I would just add more liquid ingredient.

So I started with the margarine, 1/2 cup, creaming it in my stand mixer.  I then added about 1/4 cup of canola oil and mixed until blended.  I then mixed in 1/4 cup of Agave Nectar (instead of the evaporated cane juice), about 3 tablespoons of unsweetened soymilk, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon of vanilla.

For the dry ingredients, I started with 1 cup of flour, then added 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder and mixed them together (usually the recipes say to sift together) with a wire whisk.

I then gradually mixed in the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in the stand mixer to form a soft dough.

At this point the dough looked at bit thin, so I added more flour until it stiffened up, about 1/4 cup.  I then added chocolate chips…everyone is different for their chocolaty preference, I added about 6 ounces of chocolate chips, or 1/2 of a regular 12 ounce bag.

My oven was preheated to 375, so I dropped the balls of dough onto a greased cookie sheet and baked them on 375 for about 8-10 minutes, until golden brown.  The dough spreads out generously, so don’t expect to have just 1″ around each cookie, unless you want a sheet cookie.

I watched them puff up nicely in the oven…anyone else wonder what the baking soda and baking powder react with to make the little air pockets?  Maybe that’s just me.

After cooling on a cookie rack, the cookies came out great!  They were “great and not too crunchy, chewy”, according to my husband.  I also did not feel guilty eating the raw dough because…no eggs!  No salmonella for me!

The moral of my story: don’t be afraid to experiment, compare what you know to what you want to try, and keep the ratios the same with minor variations.  The best goodies are the ones you make!

Also, the cookies became softer each day as I kept them in a plastic bag, the moisture evened out a bit and made them even chewier.  My husband and I agreed that they were even better at 2 days old.  Yay cookies!

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Director: Shae Agee