Double Chocolate Cookies

There is not much to write about these chocolate cookies besides…. YUMMM. To my delight, the east coast was hit with a huge snowstorm a few weeks ago. As a result, the majority of the public and private schools in the area got the whole day off!! I was able to sleep in, wear sweat pants all day, and finally find time to bake. I decided that I would bake some cookies for my volleyball practice that I had that night.  I was so excited for my team to enjoy them after the grilling practice that was sure to come, only to find out an hour later that practice was cancelled. I promised my team that I would bring them to our next practice, but woke up late and forgot them in my scramble to get out the door. Since my team wasn’t able to try these cookies, they are patiently awaiting my promised batch this weekend.
These typical chocolate cookies are somehow the perfect combination between soft and gooey and crunchy. The chocolate flavor, while prominent, is so mouthwatering, and its almost impossible not to go for seconds. I threw in a few white-chocolate chips and used dark-chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet. Although small, this change somehow allowed the a unique taste. As a plus, my entire house smelled of chocolate for days 🙂 . ENJOY!

dsc_0301

dsc_0304

dsc_0309

INGREDIANTS

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups white sugar

1 cup butter, softened

2/3 cup cocoa powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (or chocolate chips of your choice: white, dark, butterscotch will all work)

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In large bowl, beat butter, sugar, eggs on medium for 3 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt together. Beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture in three groups, blending well after each. Beat until well blended
  4. Mix in the chocolate chips and place the mixing bowl in the refrigerator for ten minutes to let it chill slightly.
  5. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. For a less rounded cookie, press the cookie dough balls down slightly.
  6. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or just until set. The cookies will appear very gooey, but will harden as they cool. Cool slightly on the cookie sheets before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
  7. Enjoy with a glass of milk and a snowy day!

Love,

Ally Hodder

Vegan Banana Muffins

There is an incredible little store called “Health Nuts” down the street on the corner of 99th and Broadway. They have a variety of gluten-free mixes, cookies, flowers etc., about 20 different flavors of Stevia extract (didn’t even know it came in any more than one) and, of course, many vegan ingredients. This may sound odd, but on the way home from school, I sometimes walk into the store and just look around for ideas of what to make next. The other day I simply decided that I was going to make a through-and-through moist and savory batch of banana muffins. I found a recipe on my favorite cooking site (http://minimalistbaker.com) and was surprised to see the simplicity of cooking vegan. My goal of making these was to finally use flax-eggs (I had just bought a bag of ground flax at health nuts), and ultimately make a vegan recipe that even non-vegans would love.

I handed out a bunch to my vegan friends at school and everyone devoured them. One of my friends was so excited to to finally eat a muffins that actually tasted good, that she ate three for lunch. She also tricked her non-vegan friend into thinking that they were regular banana cupcakes and he ate the entire thing. Only after did she mention that it was vegan.

I hope you enjoy as much as my friends and I did!

0muffin-favorite

5-muffin-favorite

7-muffin-favorite

6-muffin-favorite

 

INGREDIANTS

Muffins:

2 flax eggs

4 medium ripe bananas (don’t worry about measurements – it’s forgiving)

heaping 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup vegan butter (such as Earth Balance) or coconut oil, melted

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp sea salt

1.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or unbleached all purpose)

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

Crumble Top:

1/4 cup raw sugar

5 Tbsp unbleached all purpose flour

2 Tbsp vegan butter (such as Earth Balance)

DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and lightly grease a standard size muffin tin (will make 10-11 muffins)
  2. Prepare flax egg in a large mixing bowl. Let set for 5 minutes.
  3. Add banana and mash, leaving just a bit of texture.
  4. Add brown sugar, baking soda, salt and whisk for one minute.
  5. Stir in vanilla, melted butter and mix.
  6. Add flour and oats and stir with a spoon or spatula until just combined. Lastly, fold in walnuts (optional).
  7. Divide batter evenly among 10-11 muffin tins, filling a generous 3/4 full (I fill mine practically full for aesthetic effect).
  8. Quickly wipe your mixing bowl and add crumble ingredients. Prepare crumble top by mashing ingredients together with a fork until crumbly like wet sand. Generously top muffins with streusel. You should have leftovers.
  9. Bake for 17-22 minutes or until tops are golden brown and a toothpick or knife comes out clean. Let cool for a few minutes, remove from muffin tin and serve warm. Once completely cooled, store in a covered container at room temp for several days. Freeze for longer term storage.

Thanks to Minimalist Baker for the incredible recipes!!