As a baker, I have to evolve, learn and unlearn techniques (I don’t mean to sound all corporate), you know what I mean. For that, I realize I have to first start trying out new ingredients uninhibitedly.
Eleanor Ozich’s little girl developed a condition called Gut and Psychology Syndrome which resulted in eczema and mood fluctuations. That was Ozich’s clue to adopt simple and clean eating and thus was born http://www.petite-kitchen.com/ If you look at the kind of stuff she’s been able to produce with gluten-free alternatives, you will be amazed, just like me; glance through her autumn cake of hazelnut, orange and fennel seeds to get an idea.
All the way up in Canada there’s http://www.thefirstmess.com/ ‘s Laura Wright. She claims she’s learnt more about cooking and food as a vegetable gardener than all of her culinary school and restaurant endeavours, combined. I just loved her gluten free and vegan chocolate hazelnut grahams. And then there’s my favourite, Aran Goyoaga, allergic to gluten, she began http://www.cannellevanille.com/ where she puts up some delicious stuff; I’d kill for her beetroot tarte tatin.
My point is, while people are doing some fabulous things, creating cakes and cookies out of thin air, I can’t afford to be stuck up about my ingredients. So I have begun to use egg substitutes wherever I can as you may have already noticed. Now, I have toyed with the idea of using margarine to check if it produces the same results as butter – yes me the obsequious butter loyalist.
In this case of chocolate and cherry surprise cookies, margarine did wonders I have to confess. They kind of reminded of those bakery biscuits that I was ever so fond of as a child. I don’t feel guilty of cheating on butter, my allegiance is still intact but you’d still never catch me using margarine to ice my cakes, never!
- 260 g (2 cups) plain flour
- 200 g (1 cup) caster sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 113 g (½ cup) margarine
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup chocolate chips
- ¼ cup glace cherries, chopped
- 4 tbsp icing sugar
Makes 12 big cookies
- Preheat the oven to 180 C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- Cream margarine and sugar until light fluffy. Add vanilla and beat further.
- Add the dry ingredients to wet in two additions until you obtain a cookie dough consistency.
- Pull the dough together and place on your work surface.
- Make a small lemon sized ball out of the dough and flatten it out on your work surface. Add a teaspoon of chocolate chips and cherry over the flattened dough (see pic above). Bring the edges together to seal the filling. s Flatten the cookie again. Roll the cookie over icing sugar. Place the cookie sealed side down on the prepared sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until the tops have slightly cracked and the cookies are lightly brown.
Adapted from 100 best Vegan Recipes by Kris Holechek