Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dhiary Starry Night Cookies

Since it's Halloween/Samhain/Equinox, I thought it would be apropos to share a particularly sweet and indulgent recipe. It's not so bad, especially compared to most cookie recipes out there, but this is still not something you want to make all the time.

In the holiday spirit, I give you...Dhiary Starry Night Cookies! So named because, well, they look like delicious little representations of the starry night sky.

Dhiary Starry Night Cookies


1 C flour
1/2 C cocoa
1/4 C sugar
1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp applesauce
1-2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp vanilla extract, or to taste
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
pinch salt
handful pecans, crushed
handful cashews, crushed
white chocolate chips, to taste

1) Preheat oven to 350F/175C. Grease a baking sheet and set it aside. In a bowl, combine all dry ingredients except for the nuts and chips, and mix thoroughly.

2) Add the wet ingredients slowly, mixing them in and blending thoroughly.

3) Take the nuts in your hand and crush them (this will be the only circumstances where you ever see me say this) roughly, so that no huge pieces remain. Add them to the batter and mix. Then pour in the chips; you probably won't need more than 1/3 C, but go with your own preference.

4) Mix all ingredients thoroughly. The batter should be quite stiff (oo-er), but if it is too stiff for your liking, add water or soymilk 1 tbsp at a time until it reaches desired consistency. The batter should not be runny, or else you're going to get Dhiary Starry Night Doilies.

5) Spoon onto baking sheet at desired size, leaving room between the batter. Bake for 10-15 minutes.

6) Take from heat and let cool on rack.

Tips and Such

- Be sure to remember to grease the baking sheet, and if you need to bake two batches, be sure that you've re-greased it between batches, otherwise they may stick.

- If your arms aren't up to mixing such stiff batter, use an electric mixer. Cookie batter is generally pretty stiff.

- If you're allergic to nuts, just omit them and add perhaps another kind of chocolate chip, or some other delightful little ingredient. If you like fruit, you could even add small pieces of dried fruit. Just about anything goes nicely with chocolate!

Ingredient Info

I won't cover the ingredients that I have before, so if you're desperately curious, look back over the previous recipes. They're pretty awesome, so I hope you will anyway!

Cocoa usually refers to the dried, fermented, powder derived initially from the seed of the cacao plant. Various circumstances depend on what it's called, such as Dutch-processed or whatnot. For baking purposes you will want to get unsweetened cocoa. This isn't the same thing as hot cocoa mix...if you want to make hot cocoa with baking cocoa, you have to add sweet and spice! I repeat: baking cocoa is not sweet!

Extra virgin olive oil is the best olive oil to use, because it retains the most nutrients and flavour. 'Extra virgin' means that it's the first pressing of the olives, which is why it's so vivid in taste and fuller of valuable nutrition. It's a pretty funny term, though, I've got to admit. When I hear 'extra virgin', I think of Revenge of the Nerds.

Applesauce is what you get when you make a paste from apples. It's basically like mashed potatoes, but with apples instead of potatoes. If you can't find applesauce in your area, it's pretty easy to make, so just take a peek on your search engine of choice for a recipe or, if you can't find one, comment here and I'll post one for you!

If you want to make this recipe without sugar, just add more applesauce. It is naturally sweet and makes the batter smooth and rich.

Rice vinegar is, well, vinegar made from rice. Vinegar is a substance that is created when what amounts to wine is fermented a second time, in a way. That's basically it in a nutshell: fermented wine. Even the name comes from the French for 'sour wine'! Vinegar is amazingly versatile and can be used in a number of ways, and not only in cooking; it's pretty amazing all around the house. Rice vinegar has a smooth, mild taste and aroma that makes it great to use in cooking.

In this recipe, the rice vinegar helps the baking powder to react, plus it adds a certain smooth richness to the taste that can't be beat! Don't worry, you don't taste the sour.

Cream of tartar is a semi-neutralised but still acidic salt. It's useful for making things fluffy. There's a big explanation behind it, but it's just confusing so I'm not going to go into it right now.

White chocolate chips are little chips made of white chocolate. White chocolate is not strictly an actual chocolate because it doesn't generally contain chocolate liquor. However, it does usually contain cocoa butter, sugar or some sweetener, and other flavours. While the standard white chocolate chips have milk solids, you can get vegan white chocolate chips, making this entire recipe a vegan paradise. Just look around online for them. You can see one store's offering here! And as you may notice, the price is pretty much the same for vegan as it is for regular.

And there you have it! I hope you'll enjoy these night-themed cookies. They're always a big hit here at Phantasies, and they're rich enough that you'll be satisfied by just one or two. What's great is that they really don't have nearly as much sugar as most recipes, plus you can actually make it without any sugar at all.

Like all sweets and slightly naughty treats, be sure to handle these in moderation. Make them won't want to run out in just a day or two, after all!

These are fantastic with tea, or delightful just by themselves...

Indulge! Halloween only comes once a year, after all, and it's this time of year that we start to feel the night's presence more and more. Celebrate the warm protectiveness of the dark by making a delightful batch of cookies!

Until next heartily!

};) Dhiar <3

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