you deserve a cookie

I make cookies almost every week. I don't like making them as much as I like making cakes and cupcakes, because I find scooping cookie-sized amounts onto baking sheets more tedious, and also I find that the line between underdone/perfect/slightly burned cookies is basically nonexistent; for me, it's mostly luck. But cookies are the best thing when you've got guests coming or a party to go to or officemates to make happy and you want to make a lot of something quickly. And they're tasty, of course. However I feel about making them, I very much like eating cookies. I don't photograph them much, though, as cookies tend not to be super photogenic. They're basically all little brown and/or beige disks; my cookie pictures all sort of resemble one another, and never convey the tasty cookie experience. That's why while I make them often, I seldom display them here.

I recently noticed that "You [I/We] deserve a cookie" is a thing. A meme, if you will. Lots of people say it, and I don't think we can name any one particular source. It's an interesting meme--it's not flashy, it doesn't appear accompanied by cats or videos or songs; it's just something people say. Unlike some internet humor, it's not poking fun--it's nice. It's universally understandable; no mystery, no wondering if something went over your head: you did a good job, you deserve a cookie.

Well, guys, today I deserve a cookie. Yesterday I sent in my final payment on my student loans. Less than a year out of grad school, I am done paying student loans!!! There is no number of exclamation points that can convey how happy I am about this. So I present you with some cookies.

First, the prettiest cookie picture I have ever taken (due entirely to the light, not to my photography or baking skills):
Ginger Molasses Cookies with Lemon Icing and Basic Peanut Butter Cookies. I am not sure where I got these recipes, as the picture was taken before I owned Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, but that cookbook has recipes for both kinds of cookie. Anyway, these particular molasses cookies were a not sweet enough; hence the icing.

Martha Stewart's Hazelnut Cookies. I found a recipe for hazelnut cookies on Martha Stewart's website. (I think. Sometimes I just find recipes online, make them once, then I don't love them and don't intend to make them again, I don't save the link.) They are shortbready, so the only veganizing that needed to be done was substituting earth balance for butter.
These too were not as sweet as I'd anticipated, so I covered them with chocolate, and they became "nutella cookies," which my coworkers gobbled up quickly.

A BETTER hazelnut cookie was the recipe I made out of Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. I liked the sound of the Hazelnut Fudge Dreamies, but I'm lazy and didn't want to turn them into cookie sandwiches. (Nor, I think, did I have all the fudge ingredients on hand.) So instead I made them like normal cookies, then dipped them into melted chocolate.
I think they're cute this way! And less work.

I usually cut down frosting/ganache recipes in order to avoid having leftoves, but if you find yourself with some extra ganache, chilling then rolling it with various ingredients and shaping them into truffles always feels/looks impressive:
Left to right: Plain, orange zest, coconut, peanut butter, and coconut-orange truffles.

Also chocolaty: These are chocolate-chocolate chip cookies! The recipe is possibly from the Veganomicon but sans walnuts, I dunno.
They're blurry because I REALLY wanted to show you the ones on the left; I used up all my baking sheets while I was making these, so I put a few of the cookies into a little shell cake mold I have. They were so cute! But blurry.

Back to Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. I've already admitted my predilection for citrusy baked goods, so it's probably not surprising that I loved the Citrus Glitters!
I added a little turmeric to the sugar I rolled it in, for extra lemony color.

If you don't own Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, I strongly recommend it. I find that veganizing non-vegan cookie recipes can be really tricky, and requires a lot of troubleshooting. The cookies in this book range from basic, which you can adapt to fit your own cookie needs, to complex and cool. And there are some great veganizations of cookies you probably missed since going vegan. (Like the Girl Scouts' Caramel Delites! [Samoas for you non upstate-NYers]) Like I said, I don't tend to take pictures of cookies, but I've made a lot from this cookbook. Here's a list of what I made and what I thought. You can find most of these recipes transcribed from the book on other people's blogs just by searching, but I'm too busy celebrating my newfound financial freedom to dig them all up myself.
  • Chocolate Fudgy Oatmeal Cookies-These taste amazing and are the easiest and quickest recipe I've tried from the book.
  • Chocolaty Crinkle Cookies-These are my fallback cookies for when I'm baking for other people. Everyone loves them, and they take a lot less work than they look/taste. The dough is a lot more like a batter at first; I find that I have to chill it, in the fridge for 30mins or more, or in the freezer for 10-15, to make it a good texture for rolling.
  • City Girl Snickerdoodles-Uses a lot of margarine. Taste amazing.
  • Tahini Lime Cookies-An interesting tasting cookie. They have a complex flavor that is hard to identify if you don't already know what kind of cookie they are. They make you seem like a foodie.
  • Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies, Peanut Butter Crisscrosses, Peanut Butter Agave Cookies, Peanut Butter Blondies-I'm grouping all the peanut butter cookies together, because I'm not a huge peanut butter cookie fan and I am therefore not the best judge of them. But I made them all, mostly for other people. All kinds were well received! The blondies were really dense, almost more like peanut butter fudge, but a little drier. I love that the cookbook has an option for agave-based peanut butter cookies, since they are hard to adapt on your own.
  • Citrus Glitters-Picture above. Simple and sweet!
  • Rocky Roads-When I had stale vegan marshmallows in my fridge, I chopped them up to use in this recipe in place of white chocolate chips. I've made this recipe quite a few times, but I have very little self control and ended up eating a lot more cookies than necessary, so we are on a break.
  • Sweet Wine Biscuits with Sesame-Another foodie cookie. I wrote about them here.
  • Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Brownies-I dropped the pan when I was taking these out of the oven, so they never set right, but they still tasted great.
  • Pumpkin Pie Brownies-Tasty, and so cool-looking! I wrote about them in this entry.
  • Big Fat Crispy Rice Squares-Rice crispy treats, but without the need for marshmallows. I wrote about them here.
  • Peanut Butter Chocolate Pillows-These were tasty and it was cool to have a cookie with a surprise inside, but I didn’t think they were quite worth the work.
  • Lazy Samoas-THE REASON TO BUY THIS BOOK. I missed Caramel Delites/Samoas SO MUCH, and though these are quite a few steps, the taste is spot-on and so amazingly good. I made them into heart shapes for Valentine's day for the boyfriend last year, and I think I managed to eat more of them than he did. (Oops.)
  • Hazelnut Fudge Dreamies-I wrote about these above. Tasty and can be made simpler if you're lazy.
  • No-Bake Pecan Chocolates-Really decadent, really delicious.
  • Cookie Dough Scoops-I dipped these in chocolate after I made them. Best. Idea. Ever.


panda with cookie said... Best Blogger Tips

Woo! Congrats on paying off loans! I am always down with the cookie.

Végébon said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks for sharing all your tips on these cookie recipes.
I am not good at making cookies so I may buy this book and save your post :).

Joel Jackson said... Best Blogger Tips

Whoa! Cookies! I'm sure you'll feel like a lottery winner if you can finally eat cookies after your gums are healed; especially if you'll eat these cookies! Yum, yum!