12.10.08

Vegetarian...possibly Vegan

I remember the first time I had a mock-dessert, i.e. a dessert that pretended to be something scrumptious but ended up tasting like mud. I was in a bakery and I saw this chocolaty cake-like confection and thought that it would be a perfect thing to have after a light meal.

After taking my first bite, I had to spit it out. I know that people have food allergies and lifestyle choices that make it difficult for them to have a regular chocolate cake. But this was really awful and very sneaky. It was my fault for just pointing at it and telling the bakery counter person "I want that one," instead of actually asking what it was, but it looked so innocuous. Now I always ask.

The point of the story above is that since that mistake of a dessert happened, I've been wary of anything that called itself, say, a "chocolate chip cookie" but didn't actually have any chocolate in it.

However, I feel that I have been prejudiced because when faced with the task of creating a vegetarian cookie for my mom, I realized I'd have to put my prejudice aside and attempt to do my best in baking. And you know what? I actually did!

I made these Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies (which later turned into Vegetarian Peanut Butter Cookies because I added chocolate chips), which I ended up devouring more than anyone else.

So here's a recipe that you can make for the dietary restricted people in your life:

Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies (adapted from a recipe found on Cooks.com)

Ingredients
1 cup shortening
1 cup creamy peanut butter (I used a low sugar, low sodium variety)
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup of buttermilk (see substitution in previous blog post)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups of chocolate chips (optional)

Directions

1)Preheat oven to 350 deg Fahrenheit. Grease two cookie sheets.
2)Cream the shortening with the brown sugar until lighter in color. Add peanut butter and beat well. Add buttermilk and vanilla and beat for about 2 minutes.
3) Mix in flour, baking powder and salt until a smooth batter is formed. Now, if you're only vegetarian, you can add the chocolate chips. If you're vegan, add carob chips or chopped nuts or just leave it plain.
4) Drop teaspoonfuls of the batter, one-inch apart on the cookie sheets. Bake for 10-13 minutes or until the cookie looks set and is a light brown.

Enjoy with a cold glass of milk, see picture for instruction.
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