Living With Loose Ends and My New Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies That Are Secretly Vegan

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I can’t seem to tie up any one loose end right now.

I have an unending list of recipes to test a thousand times – but once I cross one off the list, another one pops up. I don’t have a signed lease for a commercial retail space – each option is still in negotiations and there are more spaces to see everyday. I have a pile of invoices and a stack of monies due to me that keep missing my mailbox. And the dishes, the dirty dishes, don’t ever go away. My dishwasher and chapped hands are working overtime.

I’m also starting a brand new project but I can’t tell you about it yet, which bugs me beyond everything. I know it bugs you too because I keep getting emails and texts saying, “just tell me, pretty please, I won’t tell a soul.” I believe you, believe me, but I’m an old-fashioned, superstitious kinda girl. And because I haven’t shared the news, I can’t move ahead on the hundreds of little tasks required to bring that project to life, which most definitely involve all of you because I can’t do this alone. It’s like I see the tornado of tasks waiting to pounce on me – and I’m tackling the random ones that drift through here or there – but I can’t get to the eye of it all just yet.

And who has the time to research and order a brand new food processor for me?! Because mine is busted and it’s the worst time for that to happen and I literally can’t handle it. (Seriously though, do you love your food processor? Tell me about it, please.)

Basically, I’m living a small business nightmare. I feel like I’m in some deep transition and my full transformation is miles away. I know that any transition is the messy part, where everything is upended for what seems like eternity and then things settle. I appreciate transition. My life has always been one big transition. But enough already. I’m so ready to feel grounded. Bring on the final metamorphosis.

I’m not even a little ashamed to admit to at least two full-on ugly cries and I can’t promise they won’t happen again. I did, however, pull it together, if only momentarily. I put our ongoing search for a new place to live on hold, just for now, because a little more time in this old house on a former apple farm isn’t going to break us. I shut off all the search alerts on my cell, to give my brain some quiet time, some “me” time. And I just gave in on everything else and baked some cookies.

It’s remarkable what finding an amazing cookie recipe will do for a human. I don’t mean going to the store to buy a lovely, small batch variety, though that’s wonderful in its own way. I mean, whisking it from scratch in 10 minutes, waiting 24 hours for it to rest (or “hydrate”), and then baking off a tray that knocks your socks off, that’s everything a cookie should be, to me anyway. These Chocolate Chip Cookies are crispy on the edges, sweet but not overly sweet, and soft in the middle. Big chocolate puddles make it so teeth sink into chocolate and cookie simultaneously. And, even better, they’re vegan so no one else should complain. I like to leave all the complaining to me.

Seriously though, I’m okay. I’m not going to break. The world’s not going to end, not because of what’s going on in my life anyway. I make no promises about what happens to your world if you don’t make these cookies though. Yes, they’re that good.

Ovenly's Secretly Vegan Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies

I adapted this recipe, switching out several ingredients, from Ovenly: Sweet and Salty Recipes from New York’s Most Creative Bakery by Erin Patinkin & Agatha Kulaga (Harlequin, 2014). The original recipe appears on Food52. Next time I make these, which will most likely be tomorrow, I’ll add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract to the wet ingredients.

Makes: 18

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (I prefer 60 - 70 percent cocoa content, no higher)
  • 1/2 cup maple sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon safflower oil
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
  • Flaky sea salt like Maldon, for garnish

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the chocolate chips to the flour mixture and toss to coat.
  2. In a separate large bowl, whisk the sugars briskly with the oil and water until smooth and incorporated, about 2 minutes. Note: Use fresh, soft light brown sugar. If there are clumps, break them up with the back of a spoon or your hand before whisking.
  3. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture, and then stir with a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula until just combined and no flour is visible. Do not overmix.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours. Do not skip this step.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two rimmed sheet pans with parchment paper. Remove dough from the refrigerator and use an ice cream scoop or a spoon to portion dough into 2-inch mounds. Freeze the balls of dough for 10 minutes before baking as the cookies will retain their shape better while baking.
  6. Sprinkle the balls of dough with coarse-grained sea salt (if freezing, remove balls of dough from the freezer first), and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the edges are just golden. Do not overbake.
  7. Let cool completely before serving.

Eat Boutique is an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista–shop girl, writer, author, and creative business coach. After hosting pop-up markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie is working to open her first permanent Eat Boutique–a food-retail concept space with a new way to the very best food–as well as coaching women in food to reach life and business goals. Her second cookbook, A New Way to Food: 100 Recipes to Encourage a Healthy Relationship with Food, Nourish Your Beautiful Body, and Celebrate Real Wellness for Life, will be published by Roost Books on February 5, 2019. 

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