Thursday, November 16, 2006

With These Shoulder Pads I Have the Strength to Destroy Villages, Homes and Crops

As you all know, I rarely post recipes from cookbooks on my blog, out of respect to the folks kind enough to compile and publish collections of their fantastic vegan recipes, but today I'm posting one from the most recent issue of the Vegetarian Times. And the reason that I'm doing so is that I have mixed feelings about the magazine--while I appreciate the fact that they go out of their way to publish and designate vegan recipes, I take issue with the other ways in which it handles veganism within its pages. So in publishing their vegan recipes on the rare occasions that I do, I consider it my own tiny little act of protest. So there, Vegetarian Times! Take that! Wappah! *Karate chop*

Anyways, these cookies are fricking amazing. E tried one out the other day and immediately came back with a "best cookie ever" response and the command that I make them again for him. Right then and there. So he may eat them forever and ever. So yeah, he'd probably second the recommendation.

The cookies are called Ginger Gems, but of course when I realized that, I immediately got the song "Gem Sweater" by Leslie and the Lys stuck in my head (you can watch their gloriously campy and bizarre and fricking funny video HERE if you haven't been blessed enough to already have seen it)... So consequently I've taken to calling them "Junior Jems" instead. But you can call them whatever you damn well please, of course.

These cookies are very simple to make, *AND* they're glazed (which just fricking rocks because ANYTHING is just automatically cooler when it's glazed). The only two problems I had with the recipe (and they're minimal ones) were that a) for some reason the VT didn't feel the need to put the 1/4 c. of water in the ingredients list (which I have, so that you may avoid the same confusion as me), so I managed to gloss over the inclusion of water when I put together the cookie dough. Needless to say, I was a bit freaked out when the cookie dough was super-crumbly and not compactible at all. Then I noticed the water in the directions themselves (VT, last time I checked, water *IS* an ingredient--just so you know) and added it last minute--thankfully it didn't cause any problems. However, it'd still be useful for you to know (if you end up baking these) that the dough is very thick, despite the fact that they consider them "drop" cookies. Drop cookies implies to me a bit of mushiness, enough so that the dough will goopily drop off the spoon onto the pan. But these you kinda have to press into a flattened shape to make. So word to the wise. And b) as always, the ingredients for the glaze seemed like it would make enough to glaze a small Volkswagon, so I decided to half it (which are the quantities you see here). I don't know why recipes generally super-overcompensate when it comes to frosting and glaze, but in my past experience, every frosting and glaze recipe I've stumbled across has left me with gratuitous unusable left-over quantities. So word to the wise--you'll be better off starting with the quantities below--they should make more than enough to glaze your cookies, but if not, you can just make more.

  • 3/4 c. sugar

  • 1/4 c. vegan margarine, softened

  • 1/4 c. vegetable oil

  • 1/4 c. crystallized ginger, finely chopped

  • 1 T. molasses

  • 1 T. vanilla extract

  • 1/4 c. water

  • 2 c. whole wheat flour

  • 1 t. baking soda

  • 1/2 t. salt

  • 1 c. finely chopped walnuts

  • 2 1/4 T. lime juice

  • 1.5 c. powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 375. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the sugar, margarine, oil, molasses, and vanilla. Once this is mixed, add in the water and ginger and mix until absorbed. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add your dry ingredients to your wet and mix until completely combined. Cut in the chopped walnuts.

On either a greased pan or parchment paper, begin to spoon out your cookies about 1 inch apart or so. Use about a spoon's worth of dough for each cookie--it's too thick to actually kinda "drop" on the pan, so you may just wanna smoosh together about a spoon's worth and then flatten it out a tiny bit on the pan.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool for 3 minutes before removing from the pan. Place on a cooling rack until completely cooled.

For the glaze, whisk your lime juice into your powdered sugar. Dip the top of each completely-cooled cookie into the glaze and return the cookies to the cooling rack until the glaze hardens.

Eat while singing "Gem Sweater" and busting some cool-ass gem-sweatery moves on your kitchen floor.

Say what? Say what?

Makes 35 cookies.

(recipe from the November/December Issue of the Vegetarian Times (p. 80))

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