26 October 2013

Treat Time, Tortillas, and Cookies

Happy Almost-Halloween!

Let's begin with a product review. Finding these tortillas was a treat. I half-assedly put "tortillas" on my shopping list since the Engine 2 brown rice tortillas had gone mouldy in my fridge (I bought them in September; what did I expect of 'natural' food?). I digress.

These La Tortilla Factory Smart & Delicious Wraps are made from tapioca, teff, and millet flours, among the other fabulous ingredients present in most industrially-produced foods. They're not vegan since they contain honey. Honey is one of my two exceptions to veganism, one that I really ought to give up since it gives me the same kind of crash as white sugar. I digress again.

These tortillas have a "taste." And I know from "tastes" since people often tell me that what I cook has some kind of offensive, nose-wrinkling oral sensation. Thanks, guys. I ate one straight and had to double-check the ingredients to make sure they didn't contain chickpea flour. They tasted like plastic, a step below a cheap whole-wheat tortilla. Thumbs down on authentically recalling memories of my childhood snack (plain or peanut-butter slathered tortillas). However, as part of a peanut butter and banana wrap post-INSANITY, a wrap did the trick to deliver food from plate to mouth.

Cookie time. A friend called it my "touchstone," that if I want to and go out of my way to bake for someone, then I care about them. 

Said friend and I also shared a container of Trader Joe's salted chocolate-covered almonds (why I was eating sugar, only my sleep-deprived brain can justify). I mentioned Sticky Fingers' salty oatmeal cookies (which my bro likes to order when we visit there), and that I have the cookbook. Due to a fruitless search of Whole Foods Markets across the region for teff flour, I made the cookies with amaranth flour, a similar high-protein GF grain.

Yeah, I just wanted to eat cookie dough and use power tools, who am I kidding?

Salty Maple Oatmeal Cookies
Modified from Petersan, Doron, "Sweet-n-Salty Cookies," Sticky Fingers' Sweets: 100 Super-Secret Vegan Recipes (New York: Avery, 2012), 135-6.

1 cup amaranth flour
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup arrowroot starch
1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup vegan margarine (I used Earth Balance coconut margarine)
1 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup nondairy milk (I used unsweetened almond)
2 tablespoons canola oil

1 1/4 cup GF rolled oats
3/4 cup cacao nibs
2 tablespoons large-flake salt (I used sea salt from a grinder)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line three baking sheets with parchment or Silpats. You can also make the dough ahead of time and chill it, covered, in the fridge.

Sift then whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  In another large bowl, beat the maple syrup and the margarine until curdly. As with all things vegan wet ingredients, beat the shit out of it. Beat in the nondairy milk and canola oil until uniformly combined.  In three additions, stir the flour mixture into the wet ingredients. You may need to add more nondairy milk or a little water (amaranth and buckwheat are "thirsty" flours). Fold in the nibs and oats and mix until well-combined.

Use a tablespoon cookie scoop dipped in water to transfer the dough to the prepared sheets. Flatten cookies with a fork. You could conceivably make four dozen, but in the interest of time, make some big cookies so you only have to dirty three cookie sheets!

Bake two sheets' worth at a time for 12-14 minutes or until browned on the bottoms and the centres spring back to the touch.  Remove from the oven and sprinkle about 1/8 teaspoon of salt on top of the hot cookies. Let cool on the sheets for five minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely. Repeat with the rest of the cookie dough.

Parting shots:

On my grandparents' first date, my grandmother dropped catsup all over herself. Went on a date to Sticky Fingers last night and dropped sriracha all over my quesadillas. Capital Kombucha tastes super-alcoholic.

I bought some Victoria's Secret yesterday as a birthday present to myself, and when I checked the mail, I saw I received a bunch of coupons. Figures.

Did INSANITY after getting a flu shot. Insane? Yes.

If I could find the note where I saved it, I'd be able to tell you where I found the recipe for this chocolate banana bread, aka: Goth banana bread coffins.

I think my grandmother (dad's mother) knows my style well, eh?

Polishing off the last of the unsweetened Almond Breeze (I have been brand-dropping in this post, eh?).

Roasted yellow cauliflower smells like fish.

Apple with cinnamon and nondairy milk-Shakeology-ground flaxseed dip. Don't inhale the protein powder.
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