Saturday, July 31, 2010

Of conditioners and cookies

There are a lot of things about living in New York City that are inconvenient. But looked at askance, it's easy to see them as charming. One of these things is how in-your-face and drastically affecting of your life/plans/weekend the weather is here. When it's cold, it's f-ing cold. And you have to speed-walk umpteen blocks imagining the toastiest thoughts no matter what, every day (no running to the protected bubble of your car). You have to wear a hat or you will die, and that messes up your hair. And in the summer, it's laughable how quickly your best attempts at a toilette become the sweat trickling down your lower back. And when you're home, you seclude yourself in the one room where you can attempt to control the temperature: your bedroom with the air conditioner hanging out the window. And that drastically affects your electric bill, (although at least now I am environmentally guilt-free on this account because I use WIND POWER!) BUT. Isn't it sort of charming that even though central air conditioning is commonly used across huge swatches of our country, our old NYC buildings still cling to this antiquated solution to the temperature concern? Doesn't it make you smile just a little to see all those boxes in those windows? By the way, how terrifying is it that these colossal, heavy machines are preciously perched on our windowsills?! I frequently have visions of my unit suddenly, soundlessly, swinging backward over the edge of my window to crush some unsuspecting passerby below.

I do still have a so-called beef with my air conditioning unit though, even if I can squint and see the charm in it. And that is that it is ugly. There is no way around that. Well google found my weakness and advertised the above, beautiful air conditioning unit this morning as I was perusing my gmail. If only.

And now on to more delicious talk. Behold:
That may look like any old chocolate chip cookie, but it is not. Oh no, that, my friends, is a picture of some of the most delicious cookies I have ever created. Are you ready for this? Organic, whole grain, vegan, banana-chip dark chocolate chunk almond cookies. (Ok, those aren't MY cookies, they are Heidi Swanson's, from whom I pirated the picture and recipe and substituted to make them vegan.) THEY ARE DELICIOUS GO MAKE THEM NOW AND THANK ME LATER. Well, make them after you get back from Whole Foods because who has wheat germ sitting in their refrigerator? Oh, that's right, after this, you do.

(If you really want to make these un-vegan style, you can check out the original recipe by clicking on Heidi's name above. But go ahead, save some chickens and cows some grief, and make them vegan, because you can.)

Note: I am generally pretty generous when I bake. As in, I might throw in a few more chips, or quite a few more chips, just... because. Well, the measurements for mix-ins here turn out to be pretty spot on, so if you're as generous as myself, you might find that the actual dough isn't quite stretching as far as you'd like to hold the mix-ins together. Mine turned out fine in the end, but just to save yourself the worry, really just use what is recommended on this one.

Banana Chip Cookie Recipe

I look for organic banana chips - the ones I like are made with organic coconut oil and bananas.

1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup (toasted) wheat germ (Toast them in a pan over low heat until they turn a darker brown and smell toasty. Really, this makes a difference.)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/2 cup coconut oil (solid, if it's too hot in your apartment, as in mine, put it in the fridge for an hour)
1 cup natural cane sugar (or brown sugar)
Egg Replacer for 2 eggs, or 1 mashed up banana
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup
banana chips, loosely chopped
1 cup chocolate chips
2/3 cup toasted almond slivers, chopped (or walnuts if you prefer)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, racks in middle/upper middle. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk together the flour, wheat germ, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, or stand mixer, beat the coconut oil, then beat in the sugar until it is the consistency of a thick frosting (this didn't happen for me, so I just beat until well-combined). Beat in the egg substitute, and scraping down the sides of the bowl a few times along the way (important!). Stir in the vanilla. Add the reserved flour mix in two increments, stirring/mixing a bit between each addition (but not too much). By hand, stir in the banana chips, chocolate chips and almonds - mix just until everything is evenly distributed.

Drop 1 heaping tablespoon of dough for each cookie onto the prepared baking sheets 2 inches apart and bake for about 7 - 8 minutes, until barely golden on top and bottom. Resist over baking, they will come out dry and not as tasty. Cook on racks.

Make about 24 cookies.

Each cookie is 140 calories, and is packed with some mighty-fine nutrients. That can be important information to know for guilt-free consumption.


Amy-Alisa said...

looks mighty tasty

Erin said...

I can attest - they were mighty tasty.