Thursday, October 13, 2011

Day 44--An Attempt at Vegan Baking

So, I've been putting off trying baking, mostly because yummy cookies and breads are some of the very things I've been trying to avoid.  But also because I was super intimidated at the prospect of baking without eggs.  And, I mean, applesauce as a substitute?  Really?   I can't even remember the last time I bought applesauce.  So I found a recipe for vegan sugar cookies that didn't call for anything to really replace the eggs.  I should have known something was off then and there, but whatever, I'm new at this, so I gave it a shot.

I should also know by now when a recipe calls for an ingredient I don't like, I'm probably not going to like the result.  But I figured, how much could a teaspoon of almond extract really bother me even though I hate almonds? Hmm, red flag #2.  Moving on.  Wait, did I mention that this sugar cookie recipe did not have any regular white sugar in it?  Yeah, powdered sugar only, what.  You know, sometimes a guy in a uniform tells you he's a cop, and you just trust that he knows what he's doing with the handcuffs.  I followed the recipe. Sue me.

So the rest of the ingredients went something like water, soymilk, vanilla, cornstarch, and flour.  And, in my classic tradition of making something for the first time, I made a huge mess:
The wine was totally necessary

As you can see, I had the regular sugar out anyway.  That came later.  When I got everything mixed to the consistency of caulking, I decided it was maybe a bit too thick, so I added some water.  Not much change, but it's cool, I've got flour, I can roll this mess into the shape of a cookie....

Then comes my favorite part, toppings.  See, I've long been a fan of the classic chocolate chip cookie, and until now, that was the only kind I ever made from scratch.  But they have a significant downside in that it's never appropriate to garnish them with cinnamon sugar and assorted colored sprinkles.  The sugar cookies were my chance to go all out. 

Two things I found out, one will be a surprise, and one won't--not-surprise first:
  • These cookies were gross.  They were dry and flavorless, oh, except for the almond extract which made them smell like anise.  Ugh.  But surprisingly,
  • The batter, which we were free to eat without fear of salmonella (not that that's ever stopped me before), was actually pretty decent.  Just goes to show that cookie dough is the most awesome thing in the world.  That's right, even better than cookies.

 At least they look really good, right?

Nonetheless, Erica has been a real trooper, "taking one for the team," and eating the cookies.  At least one of us thinks they're edible.  I'll try again someday, but for now, I think baking may be way too much effort and mess for treats I'm not supposed to be eating anyway.

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