Friday, November 15, 2013

Where I discover I am a baking genius.

Last week, in my workplace, something like 26 people moved to new cubes/office - including me. In the last six months, most of the building has moved, basically - at least three whole departments + one department moving to a different building and one department being blown up <ugh>. 

Today, we're having a little event called "The People in Your Neighborhood" so we can roam about, and figure out where everyone is living now. We were asked to bring in a dessert or dip to share. 

This weekend also happens to be the official 40th birthday party for Bratty Sister and I am making the desserts. Her brother-in-law (her Spouse's brother) is vegan + I know a number of people attending are gluten-free + I had some canned pumpkin that I thought would make a tasty dessert. Enter my gluten-free, vegan punkin' cookies. And where I discover I am a baking genius. <not really>

Side note: how in the heel <deliberate typo> am I old enough for Bratty Baby Sister to be 40? Egads. 
Us, circa 1977-ish

I'll be writing more about the Epic Birthday Weekend because dayum, it is chocker-block full of fun activities + house guests (woot!), but for now, many have already been asking - since I was totally bragging about the cookies on social media last night. Here's yas go:

Vegan, Gluten Free Punkin' Cookies
Hacked the recipe from VegWeb

nonstick spray
2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
2 cups canned pumpkin (1 can has 15 oz. - close enough for me)
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups all-purpose flour - clearly I used gluten free for the purposes of this recipe
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 cup nuts, chopped (I omitted)
1 1/2 cups raisin (I omitted)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and grease a baking sheet. 
2. Beat sugar, pumpkin, oil, and vanilla.
3. In another bowl, sift together dry ingredients.
4. Make a well in the dry ingredients, and add half of the pumpkin mixture and stir until well blended. 
5. Add second half of pumpkin mixture until all ingredients are well blended.
6. Drop by spoonfuls on prepared baking sheet, and bake for 12-15 minutes. 

- my house smelled scrumptious while they were baking and cooling, so that's a delightful side benefit.
- the cookies are softer than a cookie like a chocolate chip. 
- these cookies don't spread out much while baking, so you don't need to space them widely. 
- I added more vanilla than 1 teaspoon. Duh.
- I think I may do some experimenting with coconut oil, instead of vegetable oil and see how that changes the flavor and texture.
- If you wanted to go all gourmet, I bet a nice vegan icing drizzle would be delicious. They are sweet, with the 2 cups of sugar per recipe, but with the spices and pumpkin, also a bit savory. 

Super easy to make, honestly. I came out with about 45 cookies, and I made them kind of large (like 1.5-2" in diameter). 

Brought half to work and will take half to the par-tay on Sunday. Had a health-conscious colleague try one and she said it was delicious. Score!

This is the first vegan dessert I've made (that I recall anyway) - 
do you have any favorites? 
Or a favorite pumpkin cookie? 
I adore pumpkin and no more so, than this time of year. 

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