I'm not certain what it is about late night baking, but lately I've found myself settling in around midnight exorcising some floury demon. A few weeks ago a couple hours of indulging in cheeses, olives, bucatini all' amatriciana and three flavors of gelato at Otto resulted in an inexplicable and quite frankly distressing craving for cookies. Maybe olive oil + wine + curds + pig's jowl = cookie, I don't know. Forced to abandon my initial idea to hit up Build A Green Birdbath Milkpaint Corkboard Bakery for their stealth vegan chocolate chip cookie bomb of addiction, I decided that my cookie craving could be standing in for a desire to create and went home and started mixing. [Paul Reiser! Sigourney Weaver and her terrible hairdo do not trust Paul Reiser. He explains 57 lost years in the same tone he'd tell Jamie that Murray ate her slipper. Cats know what humans do not! Oh, oops, dream sequence. Wow I really don't remember a lot of this movie.]
I was going to make these, but my penchant for pseudo-veganization and complications rode high once more. Molasses is my friend of late so there was no question about that oozing in somewhere, and I've been trying to figure out when and how butter substitutes are suitable so I tried an oil and apple-butter combo. [You should believe Ripley, ill-coiffed Lily Tomlin look-alike skeptic and company.] Conceding that my cookie had morphed into a different animal entirely, I threw in cinnamon and pecans for the hell of it.
I was dubious during the preparation process since until the addition of the yogurt the dough has the gritchy consistency of lake sand. The resultant cookie bomb [stick to your guns Ripley, those colonial marines can suck it. And those drinking glasses are completely impractical.] was a fantastically dense hunk of savory nuttiness with enough of a hint of sweetness to still qualify it as a cookie. Their crisp shell masks an unexpected chewiness and have kept marvelously in the freezer. I wouldn't go so far as to suggest everyone adopt "When In Doubt, Add Molasses" (or maybe "Ultimate Badasses Use Molasses"?) as their new baking motto, but I continue to be flummoxed and fascinated by the stuff. Just beware treacle-filled bowlers...
Vegan Cocoa Pecan Molasses CookiesMakes 3 dozen cookies
Adapted from this original non-vegan recipe. The resultant cookie bomb is dense and cakey with a vague nutty and fruity flavor imparted by the apple butter and the molasses. Though many recipes that call for yogurt stipulate full fat, I myself have never had a problem using non- or low-fat and prefer to use Fage when possible. Suggested alternate additions in place of chocolate chips and pecans: peanut butter chips, walnuts, dried cranberries or sour cherries.
1 cup whole wheat pastry flourPreheat oven to 350°F.
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
8 Tbl unsalted butter or oil (safflower) (I used 6 Tbl oil and 2 Tbl apple butter)
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
14 Tbl unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
Mix together the oil and sugar, then add cocoa powder and mix until well-blended. At this point the dough resembles wet dirt.
Stir in yogurt, molasses and vanilla (the dough should become much more manageable after these additions). Mix until just combined and toss in the chocolate chips and pecans.
Evenly place tablespoon-sized dollops on baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes or until the tops of the cookies look set. Remove from oven and leave on baking sheet for a few minutes before removing to a wire rack.