Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Vegan Return: Chocolate Mint Cookies (and A Giveaway!)



So, I ran into Lindy yesterday at the library. Boy-O and I stopped there as we were walking back from school. It's funny, how a 2 1/2 hour difference in my day's "schedule" (or really, lack thereof) has really thrown us all for a spin. Suddenly, I'm only able to sleep for about 6 hours a day, since my body can't go to bed early, yet insists on waking up at exactly 6:15 a.m - a good hour before it actually is now "required" to be awake.

I haven't seen Lindy since January - an amount of time that seems impossibly passed but was thoroughly confirmed by the growth of her baby, who was born on Christmas Eve last year. I actually first met her at the Library playground about 2 years ago, where she asked me if I ever went to the story time for the kids. It so happened, that I started going regularly - and I used to see her fairly regularly as well. We liked to chat about foodstuffs and I eventually told her about my blog... and then soon after, I had my first reader giveaway.

Ever since, I've been a little leary of having another giveaway. My online popularity may have grown a tiny little bit since those earlier days, but my first giveaway was truly kind of funny. I had made a jelly out of POM pomegranate juice that I received to experiment with, and I was certain that commenters would come out of the woodwork to be gifted a jar. My ego was knocked right into place when my ever-popular self witnessed exactly 2 people threw their hats into the ring... and one was my best friend, Sasa. But, Lindy won, and I was happy that she did, and that she liked my POM Jelly, and that we have continued to chat about foodstuffs when I run into her at random.

Yesterday, she asked if I was still going to do my Vegan Monday postings. While I do like to have purpose and focus to my kitchen experimenting, I've just felt so busy lately that I hate committing to anything! Most of it is self-created work, but I think that with the newness of school, the coolness of early Autumn, and that year older I suddenly got, time is making me feel exceptionally harried. That said, her little comment yesterday made me pause to think when I turned on the oven in the afternoon to make some cookies... while I was at it, I figured I may as well make them vegan.

Vegan baking in particular always brings a smile to my face. I somehow feel positively guiltless, which is a perfectly wonderful thing to be when dealing in dessert.

I'm newly experimenting with both coconut oil and raw sugar, so I figured both would be happy partners in some chocolate mint cookies. I was right, since the raw sugar leaves addicting crunch in those deeply chocolate bites. If you are looking for a baked good that you could mail across country, these are not your variety. They are fragile and a bit crumbly, and they also cause a fair amount of paranoia, since you will find yourself glancing over your shoulder to see if anyone could be offended that you are literally shoveling bite sized chocolate cookies into your mouth.

I'm fairly sure the leftover half-bag of mint chocolate chips I had were vegan (I couldn't quite see all of the ingredient list since I had cut the bag open), but you could easily substitute any other vegan chips you like. I also technically made half a batch, since I only had about 5 oz. of chips left. My yield was 22 cookies, but you could easily double this recipe.

Vegan Chocolate Mint Cookies (adapted from the back of the Hershey's Mint Chocolate Chip package)
  • 1/3 c. coconut oil (not melted, but room temperature)
  • scant 1/2 c. raw sugar
  • 1 flax egg (1 T. flax meal mixed with 3 T. water)
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/4 c. cocoa powder
  • 1/4 t. baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 5 oz. mint chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350.

Beat the coconut oil with sugar until well blended, then blend in flax egg until well combined.

Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt and mix into wet ingredients. If the mixture is too dry, add a tablespoon or so of water to help it hold together. Stir in mint chips.

Form into disc shaped cookies, (about 1 1/2 T. per cookie), and bake for 8-10 minutes. Let cookies cool completely on sheet before removing them for storage. Or better yet, eat them whilst they are still hot, perhaps with a scoop of rice dream ice cream...



Seeing Lindy yesterday also reminded me that in the spirit of sharing, of Autumn and extremely hot jalapeno peppers, I did want to try my hand at another CakeWalk giveaway. This time, I will not be disappointed if I don't get many commenters, since if you comment to win this pint jar of Candied Jalapeno Peppers, you had better absolutely *LOVE* hot foods. When I was visiting my Parents last weekend, my Mom and I talked briefly with an Amish woman who mentioned that the more overgrown the peppers are, the hotter they are. "Oh, really?", I said. That would explain why I have the hottest candied jalapeno peppers on earth! It's not going to stop me from eating them, however, even if it means that I have to use up most of them in cooking. (Like my Mom said, most Mexican food can stand up to a little sweetness.)

Since technically this is a vegan post, I should also mention that it seems the jury is out on whether or not sugar is vegan. The brand of raw sugar I use is Golden Barrel, and I did not see it listed in the products on their website. I bought it at the Amish Bulk Store, in the middle of the country, Southwestern Wisconsin. So, if you are vegan, but not too picky, I encourage you to try and win these hot babies! They will no doubt put an extra kick in whatever you are up to, vegan or not.

I will choose a winner using the Random Number Generator on September 18th, so please leave a comment before midnight on Friday, September 17th 2010 to win your very own jar of supremely hot Candied Jalapenos! You can check back at my recent jalapeno post to see just how they were made, and also find the recipe should you want to make some yourself. I'd like to also include a batch of Vegan Chocolate Mint Cookies, but I know they'd never make it to you. Besides, I'd probably eat them all before I had time to box them up...

Good Luck!

22 comments:

  1. You don't even have to count my comment :) But, I'm going to be hoping that tons of people come over here to attempt to win your giveaway. Those jalepenos rock! And the vegan chocolate mint cookies don't look half bad either ;)

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  2. I love these types of recipes. SO easy to make gluten-free. No problem. I'll be saving this one. Thanks! =)
    Melissa

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  3. I'm verklempt. My name...so many times; it's a cybernet/interweb record. Hoping that it comes down to me and Sasa again. Perhaps Candied Jalapeno muffins for the 42 kindergartner snacks that I need to bring on Monday? I think that I'd be done for the whole year then...

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  4. Hehehe, Lindy! That reminds me that I did chop up some candied jalapeños to include in Dorie Greenspan's Corniest Corn Muffins! That was a good use, though perhaps not for children...

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  5. My blog is named "Mad For Mexican Food" though it's a mess, so don't look at it, but I mention it to show our love for Mexican food. We love the spicy - even our teenagers. I have never tried candied jalapenos - they sound DELICIOUS. The wheels of my little brain are turning, thinking of all the ways I can use these morsels of yumminess in my cooking.
    susitravl(at)gmail(dot)com

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  6. I am going to throw my name in the hat even though my standard response to the question, "How hot would you like these on a scale of 1-5?" is "A 0 please." My boyfriend is a pretty good cook and I think he would have fun with the peppers. Hiding them in recipes and seeing if I notice. He is also a hot food lover so I know he will like these. Alas, he refuses to become a blog reader. So, if I win he will have to become one if he wants to share my prize!

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  7. I'm commenting because I fear your jalapenos and sometimes it's good to confront our fears.
    Love you, GOP

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  8. I would love to eat those cookies!

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  9. Hey, it's working now. I got an error code earlier. Okay, I'm a bad person, I read about your POM giveaway and didn't want to be disappointed so I didn't enter. Bad, bad Laurel.
    Several things: I'm a Texan and my husband is addicted to Jalapeno jelly, needless to say the hotter the better.
    Vegan cooking is sooo easy to make GF, it's already casein and egg free and even easier if I don't need a tofu substitute. Yeah.
    Be careful of the Hershey's chips. The last time I checked they had milk solids but I was looking at the "special dark" my favorite; now I use the gold bag of Ghiradelli, semi-sweet because the other kind has milk in it too!
    Great blog and thanks for sharing your kitchen mojo.

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  10. OMG i am making the cookies tonight! They look awesome!

    Candied Jalepenos! Hope i win ^_^

    -Andrew-

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  11. No, I'm not trying to enter twice but I was just thinking about how some really hot jalapeno jelly would be in my favorite cornbread recipe.

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  12. The recipe sounds fantastic. Have you had good luck with flax egg? I've tried a couple times with decent results.

    OK, sign me up for the jalapeños! By the way, are those even hot? You should try candying cayenne or serrano sometime. ;)

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  13. Oh, Neil, Neil, Neil...

    I hope you win, since I have never had any jalapeno as hot as these babies! Good Luck!

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  14. Oh, and as for the flax egg, I have had pretty good luck. I think the key is letting it sit long enough to "gel" a bit. Vegan baking recipes that call for a little vinegar seem to rise better, I think - maybe a reaction of some kind?

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  15. Umm, I'm a wimp when it comes to spicy stuff, but I am sort of mesmerized by these ever since you posted about them. So, consider this my hat tossed into the ring! Too bad the cookies aren't included!!

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  16. Hmmm, I was just wondering what to use those jalapenos for--corn bread!
    Would chia seeds soaked in water also be an "egg"? A chia egg? Curious. They gel, too.
    I don't need to win, but wanted to be on the comment bandwagon:)

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  17. Julia - I never pegged you as wimpy ;)

    Otehlia - thanks for joining the bandwagon! One of my favorite cornbread makings was Mollie Katzen's with blueberries... Blueberry and Jalapeno has got me thinking!! As for chia, I just told E(VillageFiberWorks) that I've never tried it! Maybe it would work? Experiments seem to find me whenever I'm not looking for them!!

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  18. Count me in as a fan of the mad hot pepper jam.

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  19. Great food at your birthday party, Rebecca. The Irish Guinness bread and kombucha were great.

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  20. I like mint cookies. And those peppers aren't THAT hot. Ok...just a little. I like you too, so that should give me 2 chances, right? :)

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