Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Eat Like An Author: Courtney Elizabeth Mauk

When most people get bored, they eat. When I get bored, I brainstorm new series and features for the blog, and THEN eat. And not too long ago, as I was brainstorming and contemplating what I wanted to eat, I thought how cool it would be to have a mini-foodie series where authors share the things they like to eat. Photos and recipes and all. And so I asked them, and amazingly they responded, and I dubbed it EAT LIKE AN AUTHOR. 

Last week, Caleb J Ross gave up a peek into the least distracting meal ever. 


This week, Courtney Elizabeth Mauk shares a cool vegan recipe:

Vegan Secret Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love baking, and teaching writing workshops out of my apartment means having a steady stream of people to bake for. These cookies are based on a favorite recipe, the “secret ingredient” a product of poor planning.

A little background first:

All my baking gets done with my prized possession, a purple KitchenAid mixer. It’s been a long-standing tradition in my family to give KitchenAids as wedding presents; I got mine when I graduated from my MFA program. I’m not sure if that means they’d given up on me marrying (I didn’t meet my husband until three years later), or if I “married” my writing. Either way, I got my mixer.
I’ve been vegan for six years. I could go on and on about my reasons, but I’ll just say that it’s an ethical and deeply personal choice and leave it at that. In my second novel, Orion’s Daughters (Engine Books, May 2014), the characters, members of a commune, are vegan. I do a lot of twisting and exaggerating and perverting and a little bit of mocking of their belief system, but being vegan is central to who I am.

Non-vegans often express concern/fear/disbelief about vegan baked goods, but the truth is that baking without animal products and making it taste good is really, really easy. So even (especially) if you aren’t vegan, you should give these a try. Maybe a whole new world of compassionate eating will open up to you…

Vegan Secret Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookies
(adapted from The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau)

4 ½ teaspoons Ener-G Egg Replacer (A vegan baker’s best friend; available at Whole Foods and other such places)
6 tablespoons water
These combined are the equivalent of 3 eggs. You could probably use a “flax egg,” too (1 tablespoon of flaxmeal plus 3 tablespoons of water equals 1 egg), but I haven’t tried it.

1 cup vegan butter (I use EarthBalance sticks)
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
4 plus teaspoons vanilla
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3 tablespoons chickpea flour (the secret!)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
12 oz. package of nondairy semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk Ener-G Egg Replacer and water until thick and creamy and egg-like. Set aside.

Cream the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. Add egg replacer mixture and thoroughly combine.

In a separate bowl combine flours, baking soda, and salt. Add to wet mixture and blend. Stir in chocolate chips.

DO NOT TASTE THE DOUGH. I’m sorry, I know that’s the best part of making cookies, but trust me: chickpea flour makes the dough taste icky but the cookies taste awesome. You just have to be patient.

Drop spoonfuls of dough onto a baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

The chickpea flour is what happens when you realize you don’t have enough conventional flour mid-process. It’s a happy accident. Chickpea flour makes the cookies slightly chewy and adds a flavor that I think of as butterscotch and my students have compared to peanut butter. It also boots the protein level. You can add more or less chickpea flour for texture and taste.

Baker’s tip: drink a glass of sangria while working. Good for writing, too. 


Courtney Elizabeth Mauk's second novel, Orion's Daughters, will be published by Engine Books in May. She is the author of Spark (Engine Books, 2012) and an assistant editor at Barrelhouse. Her work has appeared in The Literary Review, PANK, Wigleaf, and Five Chapters, among other venues. She lives in Manhattan, where she teaches at the Sackett Street Writers' Workshop and Juilliard. More information can be found at www.courtneymauk.com

No comments:

Post a Comment