Fall officially started for me on August 12th. Yes, it was still hot outside (90+ degrees in the shade…gross) and pumpkin everything had yet to make its annual appearance, but it was still fall. Because school started! My university begins classes earlier than most (which means a longer Christmas break and early graduation, so I am totally fine with that), and on top of that, I had meetings and orientations galore for work. Once meetings started, my fall workload got crazy – this is my last year of graduate school, so I have a thesis to write on top of all my schoolwork – and I had no time to update this blog. I’ve still been cooking and experimenting with vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free food, and now I finally have the time to sit down and talk about it!
Earlier this week, I was exhausted and completely stressed out. Few things will make you panic more than being confronted with having to write a 100 page paper, let me tell you! On Tuesday night, I just kind of snapped. I couldn’t handle the thought of doing any more work. So I decided to take a break and do some “stress baking”…what better way to relax and unwind than making some delicious cookies? 😉 After going through all my recipes, I couldn’t settle on one, so I went with two: a peanut butter chocolate chip version, and a dark chocolate chip sea salt one. It made for a fantastic and delicious night, let me tell you.
So first off: the peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. Imagine the softest, fluffiest peanut butter cookies you’ve ever eaten (think peanut butter cloud). Now add in some smooth dark chocolate, and voila! You have the best peanut butter chocolate chip cookie ever, and it’s gluten-free!
Of course, me being me, I made my own tweaks to the recipe 😉 I’ve been loving my experimentations with vegan baking, so I decided to test out an egg substitute on these cookies. I used 1 TBSP of freshly milled flaxseed and 3 TBSP of water, and I didn’t miss the egg at all. Unfortunately, vegan chocolate chips are hard to get around here (still looking), so I went for mini-chips with the highest percent of cacao possible, in order to minimize any dairy in the chocolate. Still, they turned out fantastic.
These cookies, like pretty much any others, are best served warm and with a glass of organic milk (or even almond milk if you’re full vegan). So much peanut buttery deliciousness, and these cookies are so incredibly easy to make! They’ll definitely be a go-to staple in my house during stressful weeks.
For recipe two, I went for a recipe that had been created vegan. I LOVE dark chocolate, and I love sea salt, and the two of them together make my taste buds dance. So when I found this recipe for dark chocolate sea salt cookies, I knew I had to give it a try ASAP.
Again, I couldn’t find vegan chocolate chips, but I did my best to work with what I had. I used my gluten-free flour, too, and the texture wasn’t affected at all (and my stomach was very happy). I also substituted my trusty Truvia baking blend in place of sugar. The result was far less guilt 😉 These changes made for some delicious gluten-free (and almost vegan) results, let me tell you.
My roommate had some local organic milk, and she was kind enough to give me a class to complement my cookies, and I was one happy baker 🙂 The stress dissipated in a cloud of cookies, and I got back to work the next day feeling much more relaxed. Amazing how cooking does that for you! Stay tuned for more posts this week as I try to get caught up on writing about the recipes I’ve tried this past month!