Saturday, December 31, 2011

Vegan Banana Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hi Internet, I didn't forget you. Finals just knocked any desire to write further right out of me. There will probably be another post tomorrow for New Year's, so that I have my resolutions/goals all written down to know how I failed a year from now. First though, cookies.

I lied. First for real, lemme tell you about SFF. Student Funded Fellowships are the way some first year students here at Michigan Law fund their summer jobs, if they're working at a public interest place. The org decides which students get the money based on factors like interest and how their summer job will fit into their future career, but of course they can only give out as much money as they have. They raise money throughout the school year in various ways: soliciting donations, when people shop on Amazon using this link, and the SFF Auction.

The auction is a lot of fun; each year they ply us with free booze and auction off donated items to people who have money. Professors and deans dance on tables (they get the free booze too), the admitted students there get an awesome view of the school, etc. There's also a silent auction, and that's where the cookies come in. Since I have a kitchen this year, I'll be donating an offer of baked goods. I figure I'll get more takers if I can advertise vegan baking as well as gluten-free. The problem is I've never done that. The big trick is replacing the eggs, so I turned to the great Google to see what I could do.

Apparently banana is a great replacement for eggs, as long as you don't mind the flavor of banana. Being rather fond of the combination of chocolate & banana, I decided to break out my my favorite cookie recipe. Aside from being delicious, these cookies are very easily adaptable for whatever chocolatey cookie I want. The cookies turned out fantastically, and I've given the adapted recipe below. It's halved because nobody else is back in Ann Arbor yet, and there's no way I'm eating four dozen cookies on my own. Also, if you just want the banana taste you can of course use regular butter and not check if your chocolate chips are vegan.

Vegan Banana Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yield: 2 dozen
Prep time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 20 minutes

1/2 cup softened margarine (I used Fleischmann's soybean-based margarine, but any vegan version will do)
1/4 cup banana (about 1/2 banana, depending on the size of the fruit)
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup all purpose flour (or 1 cup gluten free flour + 1/4 tsp xanthan gum if your gf flour doesn't have it)
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (make sure these are vegan--check for milk products)

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a medium-sized bowl, blend margarine, sugar, banana, and vanilla together until fluffy. In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Mix the dry ingredients in with the wet ones until well blended. Stir in the chocolate chips.
3. Drop the batter by rounded teaspoons onto the cookie sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes until just set. Cool in the pan for a few minutes, then finish cooling on a wire rack.

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