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I made cookie bars for a friend’s birthday last week, and they came out so yummy and cute.  I decided I wanted to make a vegan chocolate version adapted from Veganomicon.  However, I didn’t have any soy or almond milk, my applesauce had expired, and I wanted to use chocolate chips (which clearly weren’t vegan).  So I adapted a vegan baking recipe to be non-vegan.  Talk about a roundabout way of baking.
I subbed half of the all-purpose flour for my favorite – white whole wheat; no problems there.  I think I’ll do this with all my baking from here on out, now that I found it available in a larger size than the little pounder I was stuck with last year.  I always lay out a napkin and measure my dry ingredients over that.  I can be totally crazy about leveling off, and then just dump it back in the bag.
Even though I swapped out all the good ingredients for things I had lying around without demanding a trip to the grocery store, the recipe included odd things like canola oil instead of butter, or margarine.
Flour and cocoa all sifted together:
And now, the actual reason for wanting to bake – chocolate batter.
It was rough spreading this out in the pan, but I just kept spreading it with the spoon.  It eventually filled the whole pan.
I wasn’t sure about cooking time, since they were supposed to be small drop cookies.  I started out doubling the time allotted for the cookies, but then added 10 more minutes.  I decided I never mind baked goods underdone, but that lead to this:

A brownie masquerading under the name cookie.

I clearly didn’t mind.  They were soft and moist, with an odd bite from the flax seed.  Next time I might whip up the flax seeds to be finer.  (A note about flax seeds that fell into my lap after having a vegan-baking mishap…  When a recipe calls for a tbsp of ground flax seeds, it may mean a tbsp after buying whole and then grinding superfine by hand.  When you use the pre-ground “flaxseed meal” that I keep around, you’re supposed to really use 2 tbsp?  I found this suggested a few different places, and I’m fine with the idea of having more healthy flax than not enough of the binder, so call me convinced.)
The almond extract wasn’t a big enough pour to flavor the entire bit like chocolate almond, but just enough to leave a confusing aftertaste for the people I forgot to tell about it!  Next time, I’ll also use a tiny bit more almond extract (it’s really easy to go overboard with that one, especially with how much I overdo delicious vanilla), and I would stick to all the vegan ingredients.  Love cookie bars, though!
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I generally avoid temptation unless I can’t resist it.  – Mae West
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