Saturday, September 4, 2010

Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies

Here are my peanut butter cookies and surprise! They're vegan. This was terribly exciting to me because while I realize that these cookies are probably no more healthy for me than if I had just made normal peanut butter cookies, it's fun to find out how versatile everything is and how many viable substitutes there are for things I would consider baking staples like butter and eggs. I also like scouring the internet for things that I become temporarily obsessed with... That last statement is only half true. I didn't want to go shopping so I really did have to scour for a recipe that didn't call for crazy vegan things (no, I don't have ground flax seed on hand).  

Which brings me to my second point. Did anyone see the movie Scott Pilgrim vs. the World? It was really fun and you should see it but the reason I bring it up is for their inclusion of vegans. The vegan academy cracked me up but it kind of has ties back in to real life where vegans are part of this elite club and they look down upon people who are only vegetarians. I have been vegan before and I like to make vegan meals occasionally but one can only go so far. There is no way for me to give up everything out there that employs questionable practices. In my apartment that is, if I had a ten acre farm and the hired help to run it things might be different (I can't make strawberry Twizzlers from scratch). What I'm getting  at is that I think it is good enough to give up what really bothers you and to be mindful about your other choices. Essentially, this is me preaching about how everyone should stop preaching about lifestyle choices. I'm a vegetarian, you're a pescetarian, you're a vegan, you eat meat. Whatever, It's all cool.

But these cookies. They're amazing. And they just so happen to be vegan. 

Just look at the thick lovely cookie dough and there can be no Dads around telling you not to eat raw cookie dough because it has raw eggs in it and you'll get salmonella. Haha!

Be sure to include the traditional fork marks that make a peanut butter cookie a true peanut butter cookie. Of course this isn't completely true but the fork marks will fool anyone.

I found the recipe on here but I changed because of what ingredients I had on hand it a lot and I think it turned out well. Also I changed it because I don't see the point of a peanut butter cookie with smooth peanut butter.

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/2 cup shortening
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
3 generous Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl or mixer, combine the shortening, brown sugar and peanut butter until smooth. Add in the applesauce and vanilla then mix again.

2. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually add this mixture to the rest of the batter. Stir well until blended. 

3. Spoon the batter by rounded teaspoonfuls onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Before putting them in the oven, press each cookie down lightly with the back of a fork, forming a crisscross pattern on top. Bake for 7-9 minutes. Be careful to not over bake. 

Notes: if using crunchy peanut butter as I recommend, you could probably use about 1/4 cup of applesauce if you like gooey cookies. These turned out fine though. Also, watch the oven very closely. Mine were done right at 7 minutes and the original recipe told me 8 to 10. Really excellent cookies though. 

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