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Friday, March 21, 2008

March 15, 2008: Chocolate raspberry sandwich cookies

I was rather keen to get going with my KitchenAid, and had plenty of gift-giving reasons to put it to use:
  1. A small edible thank-you to L for giving me the mixer was a no-brainer;
  2. I'd be attending a belated birthday dinner for Marty midweek;
  3. We owed Tracy and Lee thanks for lending us camping gear for Golden Plains; and
  4. Mike's birthday was also coming up!
With this much going on, I decided to make a double batch of chewy chocolate-raspberry cookie sammiches from Veganomicon via Lindyloo of Yeah, That "Vegan" Shit. I was determined to maintain their vegan-ness, but did make a few alterations to the recipe:
  1. I used sunflower oil instead of canola because I was all out;
  2. I skipped the almond extract since I hated it last time I used it;
  3. I replaced the shortening in the icing with more margarine, since I couldn't find it (nor copha) at the shops;
  4. I replaced the soy milk with rice milk.
My results were mixed. I don't think the oil type made any difference to the cookie dough, and I was happy to escape the perfume of bitter almond. However my cookies, once cooled, were crunchy and not chewy, actually quite hard on the teeth! (By then I'd baked the entire mix and couldn't alter my baking times.) I went to some effort not to overcook these (I whipped them out of the oven before the bases could colour up at all) so I can only emphasise that they need very little oven time at all.

Margarine doesn't have the firmness of butter, and so this icing doesn't harden from its just-whipped spreadable state. As a consequence, it struggles to support the top cookie during storage and eating. Squishy, even melting, icing everywhere! I suspect that using some shortening or copha would improve on this. As it was, I tended to ice the right number of cookie sandwiches a few hours before giving them away, then popping them in the freezer to firm up before boxing them up just before I dashed out the door. It was a reasonably successful strategy.

Finally, the rice milk. I bought this because, try as I might, I just can't enjoy soy milk. It tastes like tofu, and in my mind tofu is inextricably linked to savoury stir-fries, being crumbed and dipped in salty sauce. So I can't bear to pour it on cereal. By contrast I was really taken by this rice milk! Its consistency is a bit thinner than dairy milk and it's quite sweet. I've been drinking the leftovers with ice and finding it quite refreshing.

The KitchenAid was, of course, a dream to work with. Even with this gargantuan quantity of cookies, the icing barely filled a quarter of the bowl. There are so many more chewy chocolatey sweet treats to come from it, I just know it!

(If you'd like to try this recipe, it's over here.)

4 comments:

  1. I still find it hard to judge when cookies are done - cakes are so much easier to know if they are cooked!

    I found your comments on rice milk interesting - I don't like cow's milk nor soy but maybe I should try rice milk!

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  2. Johanna, I think rice milk is worth a shot! It's not too expensive to try it once ($2-3 for a litre) and if you're not thrilled with the taste, I'm sure you could still work it into your cooking in an agreeable way. :-)

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  3. Awwww. What a bummer! Seems so weird that the oil would have such a drastic effect on them (they seriously are RIDICULOUSLY chewy). Anyways, sorry to hear that they didn't turn out perfect. You should try them again with the canola sometime and see if it DOES make a difference. =)

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  4. Will do, Lindy Loo! The chewy version of these cookies would definitely enter into my rotation of baking faves.

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