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Monday, November 13, 2006

POWER OUTAGES, CRISPY GINGER COOKIES, AND SEITAN GALORE!

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Big, crisp ginger cookies with a glass of homemade soymilk

Okay, this is Take 3! I’ve been trying to write this blog entry for quite some time now, but the power went off AGAIN! So, I’m writing this on Word, which saves automatically every minute, and I hope to actually post it soon!

It began yesterday, with a planned outage, supposedly to check the underwater cables between Denman and Hornby Islands and the Big Island (Vancouver Island). Power went back on in the afternoon and we thought we were all set. I got up at midnight and the power was off again! No storm. We woke up early and phoned BC Hydro…got their automated message that they were investigating and it should be on again at noon. Of course, it was a Stat Holiday today (for Remembrance Day, which was actually on Saturday), so you couldn’t get a human being on the phone! Long story short-- power went on again at 9:15 am; off again at 10:20; on again at 2: 35, and since then it’s been off and on about 4 times, with dimming in between! Arrrggghhh! I’m taking a chance having the computer on at all. I’ve sneaked in a shower and some laundry.

DH worked at the bakery today, which was challenge because, though the ovens are propane, they need electricity for the proofer and slicer and mixers. They eventually got a generator in, but could only use one machine at a time, and had to knead LARGE batches by hand at times.

It has been very quiet these last two days, but I had time to organize a lot of papers and do a good, long weight routine! We are actually in pretty good shape for outages, with an emergency outhouse, a butane cooker, candles and kerosene lamps, a plug-in phone, etc… But water is tricky, as we are on a well with an electric pump. If you aren’t prepared, you have to pray for rain and collect water in buckets! (Luckily, it rained today!)

Anyway, last night, while the power was on, DH requested ginger cookies. I shouldn’t be making cookies while I’m doing WW, but… it was treat! I took an old recipe of mine and cut the fat in half by substituting corn syrup for 1/2 the Earth Balance. I also cut out the chilling step for the dough and just rolled the soft dough in sugar. They are crispy and delish!

BRYANNA'S BIG, CRISP GINGER-MOLASSES COOKIES
Makes 24 cookies
Good dunkers! Idea: replace all or some of the the corn syrup with applesauce and perhaps get a softer, chewier version. 

1/4 cup vegan butter (UPDATE: try my homemade Palm-oil-free Vegan "Buttah")
1/4 cup corn syrup (you can get organic corn syrup in health food stores)
NOTE: You can try replacing the corn syrup with golden syrup, agave nectar or brown rice syrup-- not sure that it will give the cookies the same texture, though.
1/2 cup brown sugar (you can get the organic variety)
1/2 cup dark molasses
1/2 Tbs baking soda dissolved in 2 T. water
2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 Tbs powdered ginger
3/4 tsp each cinnamon and allspice
1/4 tsp salt
unbleached sugar for rolling

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Cream together the Earth Balance and the sugar in a medium bowl, then blend in the corn syrup and molasses. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and spices. Add the dissolved soda to the molasses mixture, then the flour mixture. Mix well.

Have two large greased or nonstick cookie sheets ready. Also have a flat soup bowl or plate with some unbleached sugar in it ready. Scoop balls of the dough about the size of a large walnut out with a tablespoon and drop them into the sugar Carefully turn the blob of dough until it's covered with sugar and more-or-less round. Place the dough mounds on the cookie sheets with plenty of room between them (they spread).

Now, if you want thin cookies, press them down with the bottom of a smooth glass dipped in sugar (as in picture).

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If you want them thicker, leave "as is".

Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the bottoms are slightly browned. Place the pans on racks and immediately cut the cookies apart from eachother with a table knife, and then, with a thin spatula, loosen them from the pan. (If you don't do this right away, it will be hard to get them off the pan after they cool!) Allow to cool on the pans on the racks for about 10 minutes.

Remove the cookies from the pan and place on racks. Store in a tightly-covered container after thoroughly cooled.

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition (per serving): 103.1 calories; 17% calories from fat; 2.0g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 128.5mg sodium; 230.6mg potassium; 21.0g carbohydrates; 1.3g fiber; 9.3g sugar; 19.6g net carbs; 1.4g protein; 2.0 points.

Before baking:
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After baking:
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I’ve been working on seitan recipes:
UPDATE, NOVEMBER 2014: Obviously, my plan for a seitan cookbook never materialized.  I still have plans for it, though.  If I can't find a publisher (and the ones I've talked to seem reluctant because of the gluten-free mania), I may just do it as an e-book.  Any ideas?

"Neatballs" are an invention of mine to make vegan "meatballs" that don't fall apart in a sauce. This time I also made them into "keftas" (ovals).

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Uncooked vegan "neatballs" and "keftas" (or "lady's thighs"!!)

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The same, rolled in flour and ready to bake

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Baked

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Cooking the keftas in a cumin-tomato sauce-- they plump up nicely!

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Ready to be devoured!

The following pictures are of my tender, sliceable vegan "pork tenderloin" roast, which I rubbed with a garlic-herb mixture and I also inserted slivers of garlic into it when I baked it before serving.

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I invented a vegan "kebab meat" and made shish kebab with it on Saturday. DH LOVED them!

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Cooking and flavoring the "kebab meat"

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Marinating

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Ready to grill

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Ready to eat!

Enjoy!

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21 comments:

OshinkoTickle said...

can't wait for the e-book!!! *drools*

Gaia said...

What a day you had Bryanna :/ But what amazing cookies came out of it :)))
If I used regular whole wheat flour instead of pastry flour, would that be ok ? (I want to make the cookies before grocery day LOL)

And you have been busy with that e-book ! Have you ever made Shish Taouk with Seitan ?

Oh and I wanted to tell you that we ate Soupe Habitant yesterday :)))
So so so good ! Thank you so very much again. Very easy ! I will double or triple the recipe next time :p

Anonymous said...

wow! those are some BIG cookies! Love the Neatballs to!!
Amber

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Not sure about using regular ww flour in gthis recipe, Gaia, but you can "make" pastry flour by using 7/8 c regular flour plus 2 T. cornstarch or other starch (or maybe rice or oat flour?).

Gaia said...

thank you Bryanna :)

juliehasson said...

Bryanna, this all looks AMAZING!! I can't wait to order your seitan e-book. When will it be available? What a great gift for the holidays.

P.S. I love your baking sheets : )

Julie

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Don't they look nice, Julie! I'm not sure when the ebook will be ready, but I'm working hard on it!

Anonymous said...

I am anxiously awaiting the e-book. Everything you have posted here looks scrupmtious!

Gaia said...

The Ginger Cookies are exquisite Bryanna. None left ! LOL

The Reluctant Vegan said...

I made the cookies today, with some minor adjustments, and they were *great*.

Anonymous said...

yes we heard that sailings are cancelled from Denman and Hornby Island today..the weather is horrible. The power is going out everywhere. It must be particularly hard and horrible to have no power over on an island you cant really get off of! C

Anonymous said...

hi bryanna,
i just found your blog the other day - i was googleing for "vegan chef", trying to build up some kind of network.
i am currently attending natural gourmet school in nyc and will move to toronto afterwards (internship at fressen).
i LOVE the seitan dishes you've come up with. can't wait to see the recipes.
and if all goes well i'll see you in grand rapids.
hope everything will work out soon with the power!

*a* said...

I'm really looking forward to your e-book (just found your blog-don't know how I've missed it!) on Seitan! I'm allergic to soy so have a difficult time finding "meaty" substitutes! All of those dishes look fantastic! thanks for the cookie recipe. I think I'll try it with applesauce. Should I also use 1/4 cup? Thanks!
Aimee

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

"a", some of my seitan recipes contain some soy, and some do not, so there will be recipes you can enjoy! if you email me, I'll send you my "soy-free vegan" file.

And, yes, the same amount of applesauce-- let us know how they turn out, will you! thanks!

springsandwells said...

Hoorah!
The seitan book will be awesome! I have finally ventured into basic homemade seitan, but I am eager to try some of your more adventurous seitan creations. Very cool indeed!

:) Amey

Erica said...

everything looks great! What do I do to get the recipe for the tenderloin? That would be perfect for thanksgiving!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Erica, I'm afraid you'll need to subscribe to my Vegan Feast newsletter-- if you are interested, go to the "Links" list on the left of this page and click the "Vegan Feast Newsletter" link for information.

Alana said...

What makes these cookies low glycemic? Given the corn syrup, other regular sugars,etc, it seems to me these are as high as any other regular supermarket cookie.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Alana, I didn't advertise them as low glycemic, just lower in fat.

DaviMack said...

Instead of swapping out for applesauce, you might try swapping out for a bit of alternative sweeteners - such as xylitol and brown rice syrup and agave nectar. The reason I say this is because combining different sugars will give you a cookie which will remain chewier & will trick you into thinking it's full of fat, while those sweeteners are lower on the GI scale.

Just a thought. :)

Katie O. said...

I made these cookies last night and they are AMAZING! Almost all gone. :) I used applesauce instead of corn syrup and the cookie stayed very soft just the way I like them. I also added some nutmeg. YUM! Thanks for the great recipe!