It hasn’t stopped raining for days, I am ready to go home, drink coffee with my Dad, watch “Sherlock” with Mom, snuggle with my cat and sleep in my pretty mint green room. In a few words: it has been a really, really long and trying week and it isn’t even halfway done yet. There are a few smells that make me think of home, no matter where I am — one of them being chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven.
If I can’t be home for a few more weeks, I was determined to bring a vignette of home to me here. I broke out my recipe book, put on Jack Johnson’s new album, “From Here to Now to You” and got baking.
I have this recipe for chocolate chip cookies that was my personal go-to when cookies were a necessity. My Mom makes Toll House and they are DELICIOUS when she makes them, but I can never seem to get that recipe right. So I stick with the one that works for me. While it doesn’t use eggs, it did use butter and tonight was my first time making it with a substitution for the butter — I used coconut oil.
Here’s what you’ll need and what you’ll need to do:
- 1 cup coconut oil (unsweetened)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp salt (which I forgot to add to my recipe tonight and I just now realized it, oops)
- 1 fake egg — 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, 4 tbsp flour, 6 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 cup chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life vegan semi-sweet mini morsels)
Method: Preheat oven to 350. Cream together the coconut oil, sugars and the salt. **NOTE: I use my stand mixer for all of this but I have also made these by hand and that’s fine, too. If you do use a stand mixer, please take care to scrape the bowl down often and don’t over mix your ingredients. There is no need for you to crank your mixer up higher than 4** In a separate bowl, beat your “egg” mixture until foamy. Add this to the sugar/coconut oil mixture. Combine. Add vanilla and flour gradually and combine well. **NOTE: I add the flour about a half of a cup at a time and scrape the bowl each time I add more so everything gets mixed evenly** Mix in the chocolate chips. Roll into small balls (maybe a tablespoon) and bake for ten minutes. Yields about 4-5 dozen.
I thought my first time substituting coconut oil for butter would be inevitably disastrous but it turned out to be okay. I did a lot of research before I started this, all of the literature affirming the substitution ratio for coconut oil to butter is one to one, so that’s what I did. They were just a tad bit too oily for my taste and I could tell that the dough was a lot more moist, but they baked up marvelously, if I do say so myself. I’m going to take all of them to a class tomorrow to share with my friends and classmates because I’ve no interest in being as big as a house and eating these myself and also, sharing is fun. Especially sharing of the vegan variety. The thing with baking (for me, anyway) is I love to actually bake but I rarely eat what I bake because I don’t eat that many sweets. Strange, I know.
As I was taking cookies in and out of the oven and enjoying Jack Johnson’s new album, a song called “Home” came on and it immediately struck me as one of my favorites on the album. One of the lyrics in the chorus is “home is wherever we are if there’s love here, too” and I thought it was the cutest, most charming little lyric I have heard in a long time. I rarely get really homesick like I am tonight and even though it is nasty outside, paper and project deadlines are sneaking up on me and I am exhausted from meetings and classes, my apartment smells like love and home — which makes everything else seem miniscule. At least for now.