Addicted to Baking, Part 2.
If you’re just tuning in, perhaps you should go read Addicted to Baking, Part 1, where I wax poetic about how the only inspiration I’m finding in my kitchen lately is coming in the form of cookies, pies, and loaves. Go on, I’ll wait.
Ok! Now that you’re back, on to the gratuitous photos of delicious baked goods!
These ‘Bakery Style Crispy Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies (with a Hint of Maple)‘ (Shew, what a mouthful! We’ll just call them chocolate chip cookies from here on out.) are from The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur blog. I was recently in the market for finding the perfect chocolate chip cookie, so I went on a bit of a cookie baking binge as a result of this pursuit. I’ve had plenty of vegan chocolate chip cookies, but few take me back to that Tollhouse Cookie memory safe place. These were mighty delicious, but not there for me, texture-wise. They are a little too crispy. Not that that kept me and the boyfriend from eating the holy hell out of them.
They really excelled in tasting buttery and they don’t have too much vanilla, which is my problem with the actual perfect chocolate chip cookie (in terms of texture). By the by, the actual perfectly textured chocolate chip cookie is the very first recipe in Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, which I also made this past week. They didn’t get photographed because they performed a mighty efficient disappearing act within two days. Those cookies are tender, moist, and just slightly chewy. The problem with them is that the recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, which I think makes them taste too flowery. So when I made them this past time, I did 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 tsp almond extract (because almond flavor is amazing), but then they tasted too much like…well, amaretto. Next time! I will perfect those bad boys if it kills me. Anyway, I guess that wasn’t really a review for the cookies pictured as much as it was one for the cookies not pictured, but oh well. Those cookies are good, and I will make them again, when I want something a little crunchier. I just feel like it’s hard sometimes to get vegan cookies to have the same textures as their non-vegan counterparts, which I’m mostly ambivalent about, because, hey, cookies, but when you’re feeding them to non-vegans it gets a little dicey. They want to be all like, ‘Why are they kind of…dry?’ when really they’re just crunchy and I don’t feel like dealing with that most of the time. End of cookie rant, on to more cookies!
Hello, there, snickerdoodles. A couple of weeks ago, I was working at the bakery and the snickerdoodles just smelled amazing and I wanted one so badly. But their snickerdoodles aren’t vegan, so I had to go home and make my own! So glad I did, because these puppies are phenomenal. Speaking of amazing cookies fed to non-vegans, these are those. Do that thing with these. Another recipe from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, these cinnamon flavored gems of buttery wonder really blew away my favorite baked goods tester. Who, by the way, is the owner of the restaurant where I work and who loves meat and bacon and is always saying how crazy I am for being vegan, but the man can’t turn down a sweet, so I’ve been stuffing him full of cookies and things this past month. He loves it, and it makes me smile to see this ‘macho’ type man totally bowled over by a bag full of vegan cookies. It’s kind of adorable.
So! As for the texture of these, they were so tender that they practically fell apart before I could shove them into my face-hole, as ladylike as possible. As they should be, because they have a ton of vegan butter in them. Listen, people, you have to sacrifice some healthiness in order to get genuine results sometimes. Because you know what? Those non-vegan counterparts aren’t healthy! They’re loaded with fat and sugar, like a once-in-awhile treat should be! All things in moderation, friends. So basically, vegan butter plus sugar plus cinnamon equals an amazing, can’t be beat cookie to bring you a spot of joy during your otherwise dismal days (just kidding about the dismal part, hopefully).
Finally, something savory, but still baked.
Recently, I was invited to my friends’ house for dinner, where they made an awesomely creamy roasted red pepper pasta dish. When I asked what I could bring, the answer was bread, so I was like, oh, no big deal, I’ll just bake some. We make a rosemary focaccia at the bakery that is pretty badass, but not like I remember my mom making when I was growing up. So off I went to the cookbook library in my kitchen for a focaccia recipe that looked more like something she would make, and I came across the focaccia recipe in Veganomicon, which I’ve been meaning to make for ages and never had. But then I went and tried to make it healthy, so it’s still not like my mom’s. Still, pretty decent stuff. I mean, it’s hard to go wrong with rosemary, olive oil, and salt.
I think that next time I will let it rise for a third time, and not make it whole wheat, so it’s less dense. It just didn’t have the airy pockets that focaccia needs to have to make it…focaccia. Also, I’d leave off those tomatoes, because they got kind of slimy. Mom always baked hers with slices of tomatoes, which I love, but it didn’t work with those yellow cherries. Still though, so great. Such a strong and aromatic rosemary flavor. It went really well with the pasta, and was sturdy enough to withstand sopping up the remaining sauce on our plates, and my friends liked it, so! But then I gave a piece to a guy I work with, and he was like ‘meh’, but it was three days old at that point, so it’s not like he got to taste it at its peak of deliciousness.
So I think I’ve finally burned myself out on baking. I was going to do a pumpkin pie today, but can’t be bothered, so I’m making progress. Also, it turns out that the boyfriend doesn’t like pumpkin pie, so who on earth is going to eat it all if I make it? Still, the dough is in the fridge…maybe tomorrow.