If you’re like me, you always have a “To Do” list. Sometimes my list is written down, sometimes it’s just in my head. Sometimes the list can be divided into categories of humanly probable, humanly possible, and only-if-something-miraculous-happens. So keeping my blog going kept moving down that hierarchy until, before I knew it, two years had gone by. Then something kind of miraculous happened! A local high school student asked me to mentor her senior project—a vegan blog. Maybe it doesn’t sound all that miraculous, but it is, because here I am, posting on my blog for the first time in two years, and only because her project is inspiring me and pushing me to get back on track. I’m honored that Ally asked me to help her, and I’m very excited to see her launch her blog. I look forward to working with her and to recommitting to my own project.
I think chocolate chip cookies are a really good vehicle for re-entry to the blogosphere. So here is my recipe, the spruced-up-for-the-holidays version—with cranberries and walnuts. But the basic version is pretty sweet too—just chocolate chips, no messing around. Just skip the cranberries and walnuts.
Makes 2 dozen cookies
2 Tablespoons ground flaxseed meal
6 Tablespoons water
2-1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks (1 cup)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 12-ounce package vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips (I like Trader Joe’s)
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Combine ground flaxseed meal and water in a small bowl and mix well with a fork. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl (or a stand mixer), beat Earth Balance until soft. Add white and brown sugar, scraping down sides as needed. Add vanilla extract and the flaxseed/water mixture. Beat until well combined. Add flour mixture and beat until all dry mixture in incorporated. With a spoon, mix in chocolate chips, walnuts and cranberries. Use a 1/4-cup measuring cup or an ice cream scoop to drop 1/4-cup mounds on prepared cooking sheets. Bake for 15–18 minutes, until tops and edges are lightly browned.
Remove from oven. Let them cool for one minute, then use the back of a large wooden spoon to lightly press the center of each cookie down. This will press out some of the air to make the cookies a bit more moist and dense.
Tip: If the weather is warm, or the Earth Balance has softened significantly, it is helpful to chill the cookie dough slightly before dropping on cookie sheets and baking. If the dough is too soft, the cookies will be thin and crispy—still good, and some people like them that way. I like them a little chunky.
You can also place the unbaked cookie mounds in an airtight container in your fridge and bake them one—or a few—at a time.