Saturday, October 11, 2008

The cookies keep on keeping on.

Fall is here but way down south at the near end of Florida you would never know it. Unless perhaps you were sitting in my kitchen with me right now. I've just made a variation of the Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies from Vegan with a Vengance. Which is the precessor to Veganomicon. Like I said before, not a huge cookie person. However since those peanut sesame ginger cookies were so excellent, and since my father was out of the kitchen long enough for me to whip these up and I had most of the ingredients on hand, I damn near jumped at the chance to bake.
I collect varietal honeys. Have for a few years despite the fact that the collecting has slowed down severly since I have a surplus of honey and a defecit of space. The jar I started this collection with was purchased down in Sav-La-Mar in Jamaica. Bottled locally into an old J. Wray & Nephew rum bottle the honey is just as dark as a buckwheat. Thats all well and good until you take your first taste of this carmelized sweetness... and, what the hell? Whats that taste? Is that rum? They never rinsed the bottle before filling it back up with honey! So the bottle resumed a position up in my cabinet until I could find a use for this alcoholic tasting sweetener. Well this honey was the perfect answer to the fact that I still haven't broken down and gotten any molasses, like the recipe called for.
The cookies are very soft and moist. They were supremely easy and will serve as a good base for experimentation. They essentially retain the same shape as they have going into the oven and seem to be rather forgiving in the preparation. While I would not be against making these again I think I have too many other recipes to try before I would be making this one. These cookies get better as they cool, and I was informed they will be better the second day.
Originally just a plain pumpkin oatmeal drop cookie, they really benefit from the addition of a pinch of cloves and powdered ginger, and a vegan "browned butter" icing.
"Browned Butter" Icing
1/6 cup vegan butter
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp- 1 TBL almond/soy milk
Heat the vegan butter until it is clear and starts a mild boil. Remove from heat and whisk in the powdered sugar and almond extract. Add milk 1/2 tsps at a time until you reach a consistency that will drizzle well but is not too watery. If you need to test this, put a small ceramic plate in the freezer ahead of time, and drop some of the icing onto the plate to see if it hardens. Take a small sammich style ziploc bag, cut the tiniest bit off of one of the corners and fill the icing into the bag. Viola! You've made a makeshift piping bag. I also find putting the bag into a coffee mug and wrapping the opening of the bag around the lip of the cup makes pouring the icing in a snap.
Then just drizzle the icing over the cookies of your choice.
Because this is not real butter and tends to have a plant oil base it doesn't brown like traditional butter. I'm going to look into adding a little salt and brown sugar next time in the melting stages. To better mimic the flavours.

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