So, around Christmas time, I was invited to a cookie swap. I had never been to one before and it was fun but…I didn’t really enjoy baking the cookies. I couldn’t tell you exactly why except…it’s kind of fiddly. I mean, with a cake or cupcakes, pretty much all the work happens at once, it’s baked and you are done (unless you want to frost them). But cookies, much like candy, seem to go on and on. I tried to bake several pans of cookies at a time, but with an entirely accurate oven and all, I got a little twitchy. If burned one batch, I’d burn all of them, so I stuck to two pans at a time. It was fine. I think I made three kinds of cookies and you know, they were all good, but I just didn’t enjoy the experience as much as I wanted to. I’ve baked cookies many times before and you know, it’s not my favorite thing to bake but…this time…I kind of felt guilty that I didn’t enjoy it more. Maybe it was the holiday aspect, maybe it was because I was taking them to a party. It just wasn’t…my thing.
So, I’ve decided I need to dedicate a little more time to cookie baking. And, since I enjoy the vegan cupcake-baking thing so much, AND there is a lovely vegan cookie book by the same authors, I’ve been baking cookies a little bit more.
So far I’ve tried three recipes from the cookbook and I’ve liked them all well enough on their own merits. I do have to say though that a vegan chocolate chip cookie, while perfectly pleasant, even good, is not a chocolate chip cookie to me. It’s like a veggie burger. I enjoy it for what it is, not what it isn’t. I don’t like beef much but I do enjoy a good veggie burger, be it bean, soy or…other. But they don’t taste the same to me at all. One is not a replacement for the other in my book, and so far, I feel the same way about the chocolate chip cookies. Non-vegan chocolate chip cookies get much of their flavor from the butter. The two versions we tried relied more on the chocolate. One was enhanced by a base of whole wheat pastry flour, which gave the cookie a nice nuttiness. The other was, to me rather bland, but with a nice traditional texture, that half-baked chewy thing. But it was this that made me realize that I actually prefer a cake-like cookie and I liked the texture of the whole-wheat version.
Surprisingly, well…to me…the brown sugar flavor of a chocolate chip cookie really kind of fades into the background without butter. Who knew? Nonetheless…we ate all of both kinds. And yesterday my husband asked me where I had hidden the cookies. Um…in my tum. Sorry.
The other recipe I tried was a peanut butter bar cookie and man was it good. It was ever so peanutty and the recipe described it as fudge like. I don’t like fudge. I liked this bar. There you go.
Next, I’d like to try the recipe for… I think they were Mexican flavor influenced snickerdoodles. And there is a recipe for Rocky Road cookies with and accompanying picture that drives me to distraction.
But, in the meantime, while I haven’t had time for the fiddlyness of cookies, I did whip out a batch of wicked good cornbread muffins and a whiskey cake that was very good but could be better.
(PeeEss…if you are interested in the cookie book it’s Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar but Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romeo. I am enjoying it very much.)