I went to my first A2 crafty meet-up the other night at Pot and Box, a sweet shop focused on “beautiful, ethically-sourced and responsibly-serviced flowers and plants.” I’d heard a lot about the space and its owner, but hadn’t been until a new crafty vegan friend invited me to the night of craftiness. Her invite provided the perfect opportunity to try a bit of vegan baking while making molasses cookies, which I’ve been craving for a while. Are we vegan? Not even remotely. Are we considering going vegan? Not a chance. But that’s no reason not to incorporate vegan and vegetarian recipes into our diets and repertoires – especially when they can be surprisingly delicious. Yes, I said it. Surprisingly delicious.
We’ve both long been skeptical of vegan baked goods. What about the butter! The eggs! The full-fat dairy! Baked goods made with substitutes for those things – margarine instead of butter, light cream cheese instead of full-fat, skim milk instead of cream – are often so sad that we both had a hard time imagining tasty baked goods lacking dairy altogether. I had a vegan cupcake at Sticky Fingers last summer and oh boy, BORING.
Our skepticism was challenged last month, though, when we devoured peanut butter chocolate chip cookies at a potluck – and then discovered that they were vegan. These cookies were fantastic – delicious, chewy, and super flavorful. We ate at least half a dozen between us, and I immediately had to request the recipe.
So it was with cautious enthusiasm that I tackled these molasses cookies. The blog photos looked great. I had flaxseed meal on hand, so I didn’t have to worry about grinding flax seeds. The batter was spicy and sweet, a little crumbly after being chilled, but sticky enough to roll into balls the size of small walnuts. I baked them up in two batches in the toaster oven, giving them about 9 minutes instead of 6, and they came out soft and chewy and totally delicious – and even better the next day. I’m sold.