Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Cookie Invasion Continues, Shows No Sign Of Abating

This is the twentieth cookie recipe I've posted in--oh, hey, exactly one year.  And there are at least a few more I have blogged about without posting the recipes.  Another way to think about it: over ten percent of my posts are about cookies.

I just knew this "Cowboy Cookie" was going to be good.  Every single recipe from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar has turned out nearly perfect, and this one seemed like a killer combination.  With its coconut-oatmeal combo, this time paired with chocolate and nuts, it's actually like a different version of the oatmeal spice (garam masala) cookies I can never get enough of.  Upon looking at the actual recipes, they're even more closely related than I had thought.

So why are they not quite as awesome?  The dough was really hard to handle until I added a lot more liquid; then I had to chill the dough in order to work with it.  The flavor profile, though tasty, was a little flat, and the texture a little tougher--they went from undercooked to almost biscuit-like.

I'm comparing the two recipes, and it appears that, first, the ratio of flour to chunky-other-stuff is slightly less floury in the cowboy recipe.  Strangely, though, there's less liquid in the garam masala recipe, which nevertheless holds together better.  This leads me to one reluctant (though unsurprising) conclusion: sometimes cookies are better when you use solid shortening instead of oil.  What's amazing is that this totally hasn't been true for the other cookies I've tried from this cookbook.

Next time, I'll adjust the recipe to use 1 c earth balance instead of 2/3 canola oil.  I'll probably reduce the soymilk in the process.  For the moment, the recipe I posted below includes cinnamon, more vanilla, and more salt, which really spruced up the flavor.  And, like my instincts told me originally, you can't really go wrong with a cookie that has chocolate chips, nuts (oh yeah, I changed these from pecans to walnuts), and coconut.

I baked these cookies twice this week, and what follows is the revised recipe I tried the second time.  I also tried flattening the cookies, as the recipe calls for, which helped them bake more evenly, I think.  The photos are from the first run.

Cowboy Cookies

2 c quick-cooking oats
2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2/3 c canola oil
2/3 c sugar
3/4 c firmly packed brown sugar
1/2-1 c nondairy milk
1 TB ground flax seeds
2 tsp vanilla
1 c shredded coconut
1 c chocolate chips or chunks
1 c toasted walnut pieces

1. Preheat oven to 350*.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In one bowl, combine dry ingredients through cinnamon.  In another bowl, combine wet ingredients through vanilla.
3. Fold dry ingredients into wet ones.  Then fold in coconut, chocolate, and nuts.  Don't over mix.
4. If dough refuses to occur, add soymilk sparingly as needed until you can squeeze cookie-sized (for me, ping-pong-sized) balls of dough into being.
5. Place dough balls on cookie sheets, with almost 2 inches of space.  Flatten slightly with hands or a cup.  Bake 14-16 minutes until edges and bottoms start to brown.  Then, allow to sit outside oven on baking sheets before doing anything else with them.  Makes about 4-5 dozen small cookies, or 2 dozen large ones.

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