When I first mentioned to my meat loving friends that I was going to start a vegan baking project, their response was, "Blah!"
I told them not to be so quick to judge. Still, they were skeptical. "How can cookies taste good without butter?" one said.
"You'll see," I said. I took two of my favorite things: chocolate and peanut butter, and with this recipe from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar I set off to prove them wrong.
Here's the recipes that will leave everyone craving more after just one, mouth watering bite:
Peanut Butter Chocolate Pillows (makes 2 dozen cookies)
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons non-dairy milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened dutch processed cocoa powder
2 tablespoons black unsweetened cocoa (or more dutch processed unsweetened cocoa powder)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup natural salted peanut butter, crunchy or creamy style
2/3 cup confectioner's sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons soy creamer or non-dairy milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a large mixing bowl combine oil, sugar, maple syrup, non-dairy milk and vanilla extract and mix until smooth. Sift in flour, cocoa powder, black cocoa if using, baking soda and salt. Mix to form a moist dough.
Make the filling. In another mixing bowl beat together peanut butter, confectioner's sugar, 2 tablespoons of soy creamer and vanilla extract to form a moist but firm dough. If peanut butter dough is too dry (as different natural peanut butters have different moisture content), stir in remaining tablespoon of non-dairy milk. If dough is too wet knead in a little extra powdered sugar.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Shape the cookies. Create the centers of the cookies by rolling the peanut butter dough into 24 balls. Scoop a generous tablespoon of chocolate dough, flatten into a disc and place a peanut butter ball in the center. Fold the sides of the chocolate dough up and around the peanut butter center and roll the chocolate ball into an smooth ball between your palms. If desired gently flatten cookies a little, but this is not necessary.
Place dough balls on lined baking sheets about 2 inches apart and bake for 10 minutes. Remove sheets from oven and let cookies set for 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack to complete cooling. Store cookies in tightly covered container.
I did it! I turned skeptics into believers. You don't even have to tell your non vegan taste testers, but I always do, just to prove you can bake cruelty free without sacrificing taste.