Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Maple Chocolate Chip Cookies

There aren’t many recipes that I want to make over and over again. The exception is this chocolate chip cookie from Kelly Peloza. It has a few things going for it. One – it’s versatile. You can add any number of mix-ins. I’ve tried chocolate chips, crushed peppermint and cranberries. Second – it’s so easy. Everything just goes in one bowl. Third - it has maple syrup, my favorite liquid sweetener. 



For the peppermint version, crush up some candy canes with a rolling pin. You can add some in the dough, sprinkle on top, or both.

I got some dried cranberries and intended to use them to make a granola bar, but never got around to it. I remembered this weekend that I never used them, so I added them to this dough.


Also, for a little extra kick add another extract. I just recently tried a little smidge of orange extract.


Here are some pointers for vegan baking specific to this recipe:

1)   Buy applesauce in individual cups. I used to buy it in large jars, but it would always go bad before I could finish it, just creating more waste. It’s hard to juggle food waste and plastic use. In this battle, I chose to eliminate my food waste. I may be using more plastics, but I think it’s worth it in the long run.

a.     Side note – Half of a 4 oz cup of applesauce is the equivalent of one egg. Most every recipe that calls for 2 eggs can be replaced with one 4 oz cup of applesauce. After two eggs, things get tricky, so hold off on adding lots of applesauce in place of lots of eggs, unless you want exploded brownies in your oven! (It's not fun. I know from experience.)

2)   Divide your dough in equal pieces. Lots of cookie recipes say roll dough into 1 inch balls or something like that. Well, I don’t know how much dough that is! So, to simplify the process, I’ve found it’s easiest to just take all your dough and divide it into the number of cookies the recipe is supposed to make. For this recipe, take your dough and divide it in half. (12 cookies for each half.) Then divide each half in four equal pieces. Then divide each half into three equal pieces. The picture below will show you more clearly what I mean. If that doesn't help, take a look at this video:

video


a.     It's also helpful to divide your dough if you're counting calories. To be even more precise, weigh each piece of dough on a food scale. For this recipe I've already found the number of calories, grams of fat, etc. (see below) per cookie. If you come across a recipe you want to get nutrition info for, try SparkRecipes. Then click "Recipe Calculator."       


Chocolate Chip Cookies Adapted from Kelly Peloza

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp other extract (optional - try orange)

  •  2 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup mix-ins (chocolate chips, cranberries, crushed peppermint, nuts, coconut, etc.)
      Instructions
      
      Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine all liquid ingredients from first column.

Once mixed, add all dry ingredients from second column.

Stir until a soft dough forms.

Add mix-ins. Use your hands if dough and mix-ins do not easily combine.

Divide dough into 24 equal pieces. Roll into balls and place on baking sheet. Flatten slightly.

Cook for ten minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.

Nutrition Facts

1 cookie

Calories                          170
Total Fat                            8.5 g
Saturated Fat                     2 g
Cholesterol                        0 mg
Sodium                            80 mg
Potassium                          22 mg
Total Carbohydrate             23 g
Dietary Fiber                     1 g
Sugars                               12 g
Protein                                1 g

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