Wednesday, April 11, 2007

chocolate almond cookies

these are the dreaded "trucker ass" cookies that have been sustaining me throughout these long days and nights of servitude. the Worm is a harsh master. there is much about this breeding thing they don't mention. and some of the things they do mention are lies, fabrications, and straight up fantasies. to be nice, lets just call them myths. myth 1: babies smell good. no way. at least mine doesn't. she stinks. she smells like pooh and vomit and urine and that gross powdery diaper smell. and she also smells like cheese. breastmilkcheese. drooling like a giant, unkempt shaggy dog the milk dribbles and gushes out the mouth into the fatty neck folds where it turns into cheese. breastmilkneckcheese. and it stinks. myth 2: babies are cute. okay, maybe they get cuter as they get older, but newborns are not cute. misshapen blobs of undifferentiated flesh, to the untrained eye, they look pretty much all alike. and that something is an unholy cross pollination between carl malden and archie bunker. having said that, there does seem to be a hardwired switch in the brain that makes you think yours really is cute. or sweet. or at least not totally repulsive. at least not until the infant acne pops out. yep, infant acne. never heard of it? another little thing they don't tell you. they say 40% of babies get it. needless to say, the Worm is in that silent 40% and is giving us a preview of adolescent delights to come.

okay, before you call child protective services, let me just say that i like my Worm just fine, despite the stink, the lack of sleep, the rotten neck cheese, the high-velocity-face-spraying feces, the inexpicable crying jags, zits and all...

so back to my ass-expanding buddies. these cookies are based on the double chocolate almond explosion cookies from vive le vegan. when cooked properly they have a crisp exterior and an ever so slightly chewy interior delivering a good chocolate flavor without being too sweet. the toasted almonds lend an interesting deviation from the expected. my modifications included increasing the amount and type of almonds (chopped in lieu of slivered), omitting almond extract ('cause i don't have any), and fiddling with the wet/dry ratio. i found that the original recipe was too dry and i had to add a bit of water to make it mixable. in the rendition below i decreased the amount of flour instead of adding additional liquid - it may still seem to be on the dry side but it will work out, i promise. also, if you have any black cocoa on hand, swap out 2 Tablespoons of the regular stuff for the black stuff. it will make them taste a little bit more like oreo cookies.

if you're interested in the unadulterated recipe, or if you're just in the market for a new vegan cookbook, i recommend picking up a copy of vive le vegan. the recipes are simple, kid friendly (if that's of any concern to you) and pretty easy to put together. because many of the recipes look so simple, i was initially skeptical, but those that i've tried have, for the most part, delivered (scalloped potatoes, anyone?). even such simple recipes as tomato lentil pasta sauce, a dish i've been improvising for years, has a depth of flavor that belies it's simplicity. so without further ado, here is my version of the chocolate almond explosion cookies.

chocolate almond cookies
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder (2 T. dutch processed, 2 T. black cocoa, if you have it)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup chopped toasted almonds
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup canola oil

preheat oven to 350 f. sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and baking powder. mix in the almonds, chocolate chips, and salt. in another bowl combine the wet ingredients (and sugar) and whisk until well blended. add wet mixture to dry mixture and stir until just combined. the batter will be a bit thick, almost like a loose dough. roll dough out into little balls and flatten onto a parchment lined baking sheet. to help minimize the dough from sticking to your hands, moisten them prior to rolling and pressing. bake for about 11 minutes and cool on a rack. then, as suggested by a commentor to my last post, go out and buy a truck to go along with the ass. or, more likely, to haul it around.
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