I’ve been kinda into eating healthier lately, but I had about a year there where every day was a cheat day. But don’t think that I’m upset or disappointed about that at all! I was feeling good about myself, and I was having a good time. Not to mention that it was my first year going back to school, so I was happily embracing my Freshman Fifteen. Now that my life is settling down a little bit more, I have a stable job and home, my hobbies are routine and comfortable, I feel more excited to make healthier meals at home rather than going out, and I started lifting weights a little more regularly (I’m super excited to talk more about that some day). I have been working really hard within myself to break my habits of fearing certain foods or loathing myself for eating in certain patterns. I think that’s what I’m most grateful for from my Freshman Fifteen experience: the realization that my body is simply a vessel through which I perceive the world, and it fluctuates. It ebbs and flows. It is different, and it responds differently, depending on where I am and what I am doing in my life.
By feeling comfortable with my body in all of its fluctuation and all of its ebbing and flowing, I have felt so happy to embrace the time in my life that I am working hard at the gym, and the times that I am munching hard with my friends and my family. One of the things that connects me with my friends and coworkers is my love for baking cookies, and though they are (obviously) not the healthiest, I am no longer afraid to indulge in them when I want to make a batch.
The recipe for today is a cookie recipe that I’m drooling at just by reading the ingredients, because I’m remembering how scrumptious this buttery, crumbly, flakey melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookie is. Coated in a little chocolate because chocolate, these cookies will convince anyone that you’re a regular dessert chef. Not only are they extremely simple, but they hold up very well. No premature crumbling or completely drying out your mouth. They are the vegan version or EXACTLY what a shortbread cookie should be.
I love these with a cup of almond milk, hot cocoa, and a few close friends. Don’t forget to share them if you make some!
Simple Vegan Shortbread Cookies
1 1/2cupsEarth Balance butter (or similar vegan butter)softened at room temp
1cupbone char-free sugar
3 1/2-4cupsall-purpose flour
1cupvegan chocolate chips
Let butter sit out at room temperature until softened.
Cream together butter and sugar until well combined, and then add vanilla extract and blend well.
Pour 3 1/2 cups of the flour and the salt over the creamed mixture, and combined the flour and salt together on the top before combining the dry ingredients with the rest. Stir until everything is just combined (no need to over-mix).
If the dough is a little thin, add more flour. Fold in pecans.
Pull the dough out, form into a ball in your hands, and place back in the bowl. Cover bowl and refrigerate for 45-60 minutes.
Pull out of the fridge and preheat oven to 350. Meanwhile, roll the dough out onto a cutting board about 1/2-inch thick.
Cut into any shape you'd like (I seriously used the top ring of a mason jar lid for my circles) and place them onto an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until bottoms are a light golden brown.
Cool for 30 minutes.
Melt chocolate chips in a small bowl in thirty second increments in the microwave, stirring in between.
Dip cooled cookies into the chocolate to coat one side, and place the cookies back onto the baking sheet until the chocolate cools.
Let me just make you the guarantee right now that these will be the best vegan chocolate chip cookies you will ever bake. They are crisp on the edges, but gooey in the middle. They are sweet, buttery, and salty. There is a delicious contrast between the rich, melty chocolate and the thick, chewy cookie that contains it. Best of all, as soon as you take a bite you’ll realize how beautifully they match with a cup of milk. Almond milk that is 😉
I have been making a batch every day since perfecting the recipe, bringing them in to work, and even considering sending some home to my family to show them my proud work. Regardless of if you normally bake plant based recipes, I suggest you try it just to see how absolutely spectacular these cookies are without any animal products. Here is just a short list of the compliments I’ve gotten about them so far:
“They don’t even taste like they would be vegan!”
“You made these? They are, like, professional looking”
“Hey… Where dem cookies at dough? I need more” -my boss
“You DIDN’T get these out of a box?” -Good ol’ Mitch
I think that the secret to this delicious recipe is the dark chocolate and salt combo. I initially tried it with the Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate but have also tried it with the Trader Joe’s brand, and both have been amazing. You just chop the bars up like so:
and roll them into the sweet, buttery dough. I’ll leave you the recipe below, and if you bake them at your next fancy party, let me know! Your people will love them fo’ sho. (IT ALL RHYMED DID YOU NOTICE AND LOVE ME?)
Do you ever just go to sleep with every intention in the world of going to your 8am Psych lecture but then your husband accidentally sets alarms for 5:00am AND 5:30am, waking you up both times; when you finally fall asleep again, your husband has a sleep spasm and accidentally flails his arm into your face to jolt you awake again; you decide to just wake up a little later and skip a shower to get to school on time; and you wake up for a last time to your dog literally vomiting on you (he ate too much too quickly -_-), THEN PEEING ON YOU?
Because I just had that morning. It sounds like a goddamn movie right? A goddamn horror movie. (more…)
I wasn’t sure what to title these because I know that there are so many different names for the same bars: magic bards, hello dolly bars, and seven layer bars. But more than name confusion, I didn’t even know if I should call them by their original name because at this point they are WAY more than that. In addition to the traditional chocolate, pecans, coconut, and sweetened condensed milk, I packed in here some peanuts, almond slivers, pretzels, white chocolate chips, and caramel. PLUS, I exchanged the graham crust for a gluten free almond-date base.
But the real star here is the sweetened condensed coconut milk.