Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Lazy Samoas ( rushed along )

I had given up on Girl Scout cookies...Samoas were my favorite...they were good but stubbornly not vegan, year after year. I hadnt even thought of Samoas for a good while. And I had thought after making and baking vegan for going on 4 years, that I had seen most of the ideas out there about baking vegan cookies. I even resisted checking out Isa Chandra Moskowitz's new( ish) book...Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. After all...what more could one possibly say/do about making vegan cookies? It had already been proven that not only was it possible to have great ( often superior ) animal-free baked goodies, so why bother? Well, luckily I happened to see VCTOYCJ at our local library, which in itself was a happy moment, and figured i had better see what it's all about ! A quick flip-through revealed a veganized version of ...of...Samoas!!!! I have to buy this book very soon ( and so should you :) ) , since the library would not appreciate me marking up their book, and I can take my time trying all the great looking recipes. Have a look at Vegwebs review of the cookbook, with lots of people chiming in with their experience making the recipes...a fantastic resource if you are wondering about how some recipes worked for others. Also check out this take on Lazy Samoas at The Bad Vegan.
Pictured above are some Lazy Samoas I made yesterday and took to a talk on Animal Behavior. A fellow compassionate cook ( who also organized the talk ) made some fantastic Peanutbutter Cookies too...maybe she'll post her recipe here for us...Meggin ? I ran out of time and so had to rush the drizzle on top, so they are not real pretty... but man, do they taste fantastic! Perfect blend of coconut and chocolate. Don't let the recipe's lengthy instructions scare you off...they come together very easily once you have things lined up. I toasted my coconut the night before. [My comments are in brackets]. Happy baking!
Here's the recipe from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.
Lazy Samoas
2 cups grated unsweetened coconut
1/3 cup unrefined coconut oil [ I used refined...it's what I had]
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup nondairy milk [will try coconut milk next time!]
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

For Decorating:
1 cup chocolate chips
2 Tablespoons unrefined coconut oil

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper [do not be tempted to skip this step...they will stick]
2. Pour the grated coconut into a large heavy skillet and toast over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally and toast coconut to a light golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Watch carefully to avoid burning. Promptly remove the coconut from the heat and stir occasionally as it cools. If the coconut continues to turn overly brown [mine did!]promptly pour from the skillet into a large dish and spread around to hasten cooling and stop cooking.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the coconut oil [warm a bit if it's too solid], brown sugar, nondairy milk, ground flax seeds, and the vanilla until well blended [i let it beat for a few minutes on low on my stand mixer] and smooth. Sift in the all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt and mix to form a batter [note: it'll be fairly soft...a batter, not a dough]. Fold in the coconut.
4. Scoop about 1 Tablespoon of dough 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets. Flatten each cookie with the back of a measuring cup and use your fingers to work a small hole into each center. Bake for 8 minutes, until the edges of the cookies are golden.
5. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely. Transfer the cooled cookies onto waxed paper, then place them on the onto a cutting board or other firm surface that can be easily slid onto a refrigerator shelf.
6. while cookies are cooling, melt chocolate chips in a microwave or double-boiler, then stir in the coconut oil into the melted chocolate [blend very well]. Allow the chocolate mixture to cool for about 5 minutes to thicken slightly. Dip cookie bottom into the chocolate and return them to the waxed paper. Now drizzle the remaining chocolate over the cookies, either by dipping a fork into the melted chocolate [ did not work for me] or by pouring the chocolate into a pastry bag fitted with a very small round tip [ i ran out of time and sloppily drizzled with a spoon ]. Chill cookies for at least 30 minutes to completely firm up the chocolate. Store the cookies in a loosely covered container in a very cool place.

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