Wednesday, 16 June 2010


Firstly, I must tell you:

I finished my Saroyan and I love her.

She's blue and cotton and oh-so-lovely...

Secondly, in a major fit of jonesing for Chocolate-Chip Cookies (and I'm talking the US-style cookies, not biscuits, not crunchy, crispy or hard English-made things at all) I decided I had to make (or attempt to make) these Vegan-friendly.

This is when I was met with another challenge (as if I had already thought the first bit would be a cake-walk)... The "good", reputable recipes for chewy cookies contain flax seeds. Because I am allergic to oh-so-many things, a lot of various seeds being just a portion of them, I decided to try to make my cookies without them.

But where to start??

What, on earth, can I use to replace flax seeds to give me the "chew" I wanted in my cookies without adding any animal-derived products? Asking this question on a Vegan forum sparked a LOT of debate.... One poster suggested adding more molasses but it was argued that because of the sugar content it would actually -crisp- the cookies.

Someone else suggested using banana or apple sauce, but as was later pointed out; these act more as binding agents than chewiness-givers (yes, that is an official baking technical term *grin*).

This debate went on and on and on among people who have been eating and cooking Vegan-friendly goodies a LOT longer than I have so I left them to it and began experimenting.

After all, what could it hurt to get it wrong a couple of times, right? It would mean I would have a place to start, a template, if you will, of a great cookie "blank" that I could then amend, chop, change the recipe(s) for as I saw fit based solely on the results I was getting from actual cookies.

I took some of their advice (I added a little more molasses, about 1/2 - 1 tsp more) but the mixture was very, I don't know.... grainy.

Because I'm relatively new to Vegan-baking but have been baking for decades I decided that -I- knew best and that I needed a more cohesive cookie dough than this particular recipe had produced.

Oddly, thankfully, luckily even, I had something in my baking arsenal that would (hopefully!) fit the bill.

I measured, made notes, mixed, shaped, balled, pressed, baked and prayed. My cookies didn't -spread- the way I wanted them to, the way I -needed- them to. I watched. I waited. I prayed some more. I even turned up the heat, hoping that I could -melt- the little beggars.

What I got first was the cookie on your left. A hard, little hockey puck of a cookie. A little nugget much like the cookies I have earlier explained I -didn't- want. Damn.

Back to the baking-board. Clearly I wasn't meant to leave them in for -that- long. Oops. What about actually -timing- the little beggars, Tanya?! Baking them for about as long as normal cookies bake, perhaps?

Well, lo and behold! Timing, baking at a slightly lower temperature and viola! A cookie to be proud of!

These cookies have been Vegetarian- and Omnivore-approved! (I don't happen to yet know any Vegans so I can't say they're Vegan-approved but the people who -did- eat them said they tasted just like (or better than) the cookies available with milk and eggs and allsorts inside them.

Meet the Mrs B bakes Chocolate Chip Cookie.

P.S. I must confess that these cookies, and the reception of same, have made me immensely proud. I managed, with my severely limited Vegan-baking knowledge, to make a -good-, a damned-good cookie, if I do say so myself (and if I listen to the semi-official Mrs B bakes taste-testers).

1 comment:

  1. I'm all for cookies vegan, omnivore, or whatever! As long as they don't have raisins in them. The only vegan cookies I've ever had were those ones you always see at cafes or the store with the weird picasso head logo. I don't even know ... gah! Anyway, I've never liked them. They are crumbly and dry and facsimile tasting. Not like food. I bet yours are GREAT! Holy cripes, I'm rambling!