By Kylie Hargrave
Elm Staff Writer
One of the first reactions I get from people when they learn that I’m vegan is a surprised expression and the question “Well, what do you even eat then?” This question usually elicits a blank face from me, because in my head I think simply “food.” Over time it becomes so natural eating this way everyday that it doesn’t feel like I’m missing out on anything. Still, I understand where they’re coming from, so I pop out a short list: starches, beans, lentils, lots of pasta, and so on and so forth. The usual response is something along the lines of “I could never do that, I need my bacon.”
Honestly, though, with all the advances of the 21st century, there is no reason to feel like I’m missing out on anything. There are vegan versions of nearly every food under the sun. So I wanted to show how the vegan diet can vary (and be extremely delicious) by sharing a few recipes. For this issue it’s a vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe that my family has come to adore.
One very sad loss moving from vegetarianism to veganism is all the many bakery goods. I was unimpressed by the vegan alternatives I’d found right off the bat for things such as cookies or muffins. Therefore, I made it a goal to find some recipes that are just like the real thing, if not better. My sister was actually responsible for finding this recipe and adding her own tilt as a culinary major in college. These cookies are seriously to die for. They taste amazing and stay soft and chewy for days.
You need: 2 tbsp flax meal (preferably freshly ground), 3 tbsp water, 2¼ cups all-purpose flower, ¾ tsp baking soda, ½ tsp cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¾ cups and 2 tbsp vegan butter (preferably Smart Balance buttery spread—my favorite), 1½ cups sugar, 2 tsp molasses, 2 tsp vanilla, and 1 cup semi-sweet vegan chocolate chips (I’d say don’t use carob chips because they’re not nearly as good).
The quality of these cookies really lies in the preparation. First you preheat the oven to 350 Farenheit. Then you whisk together the water and the flax meal, which will thicken after about 10 minutes and serve the same purposes as an egg in the baking process.
Then mix together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate bowl, preferably a mechanical mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until it’s smooth and almost fluffy. This usually takes less than 10 minutes and my sister told me its what helps the cookies stay so chewy. After it’s well mixed, add in the flax, vanilla, and molasses. Then mix the dry and wet ingredients together with the chocolate chips.
Finally, line two pans with cookies and place the dough 2 to 3 inches apart in 1½ inch spheres. They only need to cook for 15 minutes, but watch out because they don’t brown like normal cookies. They may still look fairly raw after 15 minutes, but no worries, they’ll be nice and crispy on the outside, but warm and chewy on the inside. Enjoy.