YIKES! It’s been a LOOONG while since I’ve posted. No, I haven’t abandoned my love for or my hobby of baking. Not too long after arriving in the Lone Star state, after settling in and getting my supplies, I baked quite a bit (a whole bunch of batches of cookies, in fact) but haven’t had much time for writing about the baking adventures. So I shall group all the sweet baking adventures I’ve had thus far in one ginormous blog post. You’re welcome.
First try (not pictured) was following the recipe I used in the aforementioned blog post: As usual, I used 3/4 cup of coconut oil instead of the vegan margarine suggested. It came out REALLY thin and crumbly. It was too much oil, even though it came out great before. it tasted fine, and people actually REALLY enjoyed it, but I thought it was WAY too sweet and not “cookie”-esque enough.
For the second attempt, I made them for a potluck and experiment with different flavors (yes, I took a gamble). I made it again using less oil (1/2 cup) and1/4 cup of carob powder instead of 1/4 cup of flour and carob chips instead of chocolate chips (these were a HUGE hit):
and another batch with same amount of carob powder and coconut oil but with chocolate chips (these were also enjoyed, but not as much as the ones with the carob chips):
Then for Eid Al-Adha, I decided to make a whole bunch of different ones, still using the same recipe but changing it up. I made three different kinds:
1. Used only 1/2 cup of coconut oil and substituted 1/4 cup of flour with carob powder (I used a mix of whole wheat and all purpose flour), with chocolate chips (’cause I liked the carob chips so much I wanted to eat them outside of the cookies). Oh, and because no one in the world seemed to have brown sugar and since I didn’t want to buy any (because I told myself I would bring back molasses and just make my own brown sugar), I bought and used jaggery, a sugar from India, instead of the brown sugar. I also reduced the sugar total to about 3/4 cup because I felt it was WAY to sweet before (sorry the picture’s not great):
2. Used 3/4 cup of banana puree instead of coconut oil (no carob flour and I think I used mostly all-purpose flour for this one and only a little bit of whole wheat). These cookies came out very soft and cake like, kind of spongey.
3. Used 3/4 cup banana puree (I had a lot of banana and was traveling, so I needed to use it up), increased the carob powder to 1/2 cup, and used some mix of whole wheat and AP flour that I cannot recall (I usually do 50/50, unless I know people who are not used to whole wheat will be eating it, then I do a 60/40 type of thing). As with above, they were more cake-like than cookie-like due to the banana.
All three (so happy) together:
Then I experimented with making them gluten-free. Again, same recipe. I used a little molasses and regular cane sugar, plus a mix of rice and millet flour, adding a little over 1/2 tsp of xanthan gum to hold it together. I used regular chocolate chips and only 1/3 coconut oil (it was sill a little oily in the other batches):
So, after much experimenting, the standard recipe for this cookie would be:
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup brown sugar (can use coconut sugar or jaggery)
1/2 cup cane sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla coconut or almond milk (or any other milk)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup carob powder, whole wheat flour or all purpose flour, depending on taste preference
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2-1 cup chocolate chips (depending on preference)
Mix the sugar and oil together well, until creamy and smooth. Add in milk (and vanilla flavoring, if using) and blend until well mixed (you may need a hand mixer or whisk for this.
Mix dry ingredients, except for chocolate chips, together and add to wet mixture; mix to combine. Add in chocolate chocolate chips and stir (I find using my (clean) hands to mix them in a lot easier).
To make them gluten-free, simply use the same amount of gluten-free flour and add 1/2 plus 1/16 tsp (or a pinch if you can’t measure that) of xanthan gum.
For the next batch of cookies, I figured I’d exhausted that recipe enough and decided to use chocolate covered Katie’s world’s healthiest chocolate chip cookie recipe, also making it gluten-free (again, a mix of rice and millet flours and adding xanthan gum). I also used coconut sugar and only added the 1 extra TBSP of sugar (because I was afraid they’d be too sweet). I doubled the recipe and added about 4 TBSP of coconut milk, because the dough was dry and not sticking together well. If I make them again, I’d increase the oil a tad because they were really dry to me, even though everyone else REALLY liked them (to my pleasant surprise):
And in non-cookie baking, I introduced my friends to the bean blondies (dubbed by them as hummus blondies because I used chickpeas, since that’s what they had), another recipe by chocolate covered Katie. A few girls were going over their place so that they could leave for the aiport together the next day, so we made it into a fun night of cooking (them) and baking (me) and eating together (all of us). I brought whatever ingredients I had that might be of use and picked out this recipe because it was easy and had all the ingredients I had on hand. I used coconut sugar and peanut butter for this particular batch.
We all enjoyed them with out respective milks; my friends LOVED them (I thought they were tasty, but not a huge fan of peanut buttery baked goods). But, don’t take my word for it. Hopefully they’ll reply and tell you themselves.