Chocolate Chip Cookies and Broken Dreams

>> Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I baked a lot on our snow day. In addition to the 3-hour Naan, I couldn't resist making something sweet. I had been eying the The Post Punk Kitchen's vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies for a while. Especially since the recipe requires no butter or egg substitute.

I couldn't exactly run to the store during a state of emergency to stock up on the usual ingredients.


CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
(A modified version of the PPK's Chocolate Chip Cookies)

What you'll need . . .
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon golden flax meal
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse Kosher salt
  • 3/4 cups chocolate chips

Method . . .
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, toss in the brown sugar, canola oil, almond milk, flax meal, and extracts. Mix on high for a few minutes. Until extremely well blended.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, and salt). Then add them to the wet and mix until everything is moistened.
  4. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  5. Scoop heaping tablespoonfuls onto your cookie sheet and flatten a bit with the palm of your hand. (Because you used oil, the chocolate chips tend to fall out of the dough -- just press 'em back in.)
  6. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes -- until edges are golden brown. Then set aside to cool for a few minutes. If you can wait that long.
***This recipe yielded one full sheet of large-ish cookies. If you want smaller ones -- about two sheets -- use only a tablespoon. And don't let your fingers near the batter. I couldn't resist eating a lot of it -- the almond extract is essential!

WHY I LOVE PARCHMENT PAPER

In the past year or so, I've become a parchment paper convert. I never used the stuff when I started baking. Then I picked up a roll one day, used it, and more time passed before I replenished stock. I make A LOT of cookies. So, I gave the stuff another try . . . and I can't go back now.

But I have a question (because my only experience has been a bad one): What do you think of silicone baking mats? I bought one on a Christmas Tree Shops excursion, and used it once. It smelled like burning plastic . . . so I grew concerned with what was baking into my batch.

Yikes!


IN OTHER NEWS . . .

Our dream house (you know -- the one with the nice view?) is a bust. After some thoughtful deliberations, we decided to stop pursuing it.
  • Location, location, location . . . It was pretty far out in the country. Not that this is a terrible thing. But we're both so used to convenience and being able to shoot from place to place. As we saw our lives moving forward, we couldn't see driving into town to pick up kids from soccer practice, to go to the gym, to pick up sugar at the grocery store, etc.
  • Running routes: Were sort of awful. The place was on top of a hill. Which means running either way on the road entails running at least a mile (or so) downhill before any flat surface. No bueno.
  • $$$ sucker, maybe: The place had electric heat. Not desirable in the Northeast. Though the reported utility bill was low-ish, we're pretty sure the guy living there is a true outdoorsman. Or a hippie (the only non-family photo in the house was of John Lennon -- which initially scored the place extra points). Or both.
  • The unknown! Perhaps the most compelling reason of all. There's a lot of natural gas drilling/fracking going on in our neck of the woods. NY state is holding off on drilling for now -- but this place is around some prime spots. Besides the chance of contaminated well water, the plowing down of trees, and a host of other iffy things -- even if we chose not to lease our land to drilling companies (we wouldn't -- EVER), who's to say our neighbors wouldn't? Or that nice old couple with 80 acres to their name down the road? It could be a huge problem . . . or it may never happen. But the unknown made us pause enough to say: "No, thank you."
Plus, we're not in a bad situation with our current digs. We're off to look at a few other places tonight. So, we'll keep y'all posted!

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