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Friday, June 25, 2010

Cookies and birthday fun!

Today was a busy, but great day. My mom and I decided to give Dan and Jay a date afternoon and watch little Noah. They left for their date while Noah began his nap and I started on a new recipe for cookies (unfortunately Noah woke up just after they left, he's pretty sick today, so it was a feat finishing the cookies while half watching over Noah).

Jay and I were at the bookstore and I showed her this great cookbook I saw earlier (Easy Vegan, I think?... I'm sure she will blog on it later!) and I picked up one on vegan cookies (we all know how much I love to cook!).

It's called Vegan Cookies - Invade Your Cookie Jar (by Moskowitz & Romero)

It has 100 recipes (almost all I would love to make!), so it took a little while to decide which one to make. I thought I would start with a very simple one (sometimes simple can be better). So I made the Orange Agave Chocolate Chip Cookies and they turned out great. This cookbook is great, it has a wide variety of recipes (some less healthy vegan recipes and some that are much healthier) and has a lot of information about substitutions (for example; how to substitute different types of sugar like sucanat, white sugar, agave, stevia...) and many other things.

Orange Agave Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes: 2 dozen large cookies (mine only made 20 large cookies)

2/3 cup agave nectar
2/3 cup canola oil
2 Tbsp nondairy milk
1 Tbsp ground flax seeds
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Grated zest of one orange
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
Generous 1/4 tsp salt
1 cup vegan chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet... my fave!)

1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together agave nectar, oil, nondairy milk, flax seeds, vanilla, and orange zest until smooth, about 2 minutes. Sift in the all-purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda, and salt and mix to form a soft dough. Fold in chocolate chips.
3. Drop generously rounded tablespoons of dough 2 inches apart onto the baking sheets. Bake cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, until the edges are golden. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Store in a tightly covered container.

Notes: Next time I will use mostly unsweetened applesauce and only a small amount of oil (I usually do this, but I like to bake exactly according to recipe the first time just to see what they're like and the consistency of the dough, but this dough is very greasy and could definitely sub mostly applesauce instead of oil). I think I will also try subbing in more whole wheat flour than white flour. I baked for about 14-15 minutes and they turned out cakey (which they were supposed to) in the middle, but solid on the edges.

They have a great orange-zest taste, so they are delicious!

After the cookies were all done we headed to the park for some fun in the sun! Unfortunately it was so hot and humid that unless we were at the beach or in the pool (we even filled the kiddie-pool for Noah, but he was too sick to enjoy it) we just couldn't stay outside. So we headed to my grandma's place for a visit (aka 'Great Oma' according to Noah). They had a great time together. Grandma would pour water from her water glass into a tea pot and Noah would take it and pour the water into the bath tub.

Isn't that just precious? We had a great time!

After that we headed home (Noah was missing Mama and Papa a little bit). It's one of my brother's birthdays today (Dan's birthday was on Tuesday and Nick's is today.... Happy Birthday Nick!) and he chose to go to Moxies... mmm!

It was a great day!

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