December 28, 2015 Leave your thoughts
Oh yes. It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for.
…THE RELEASE OF THE RECIPE FOR THE INFAMOUS CHOCOLATE CRINKLE COOKIES!!!
(If you know me, you know I am now hysterically laughing
all by myself and will not stop these maniacal giggles for at least another five minutes.)
But these cookies are #goals and #aspirations. What’s with the hashtags? #idk. Have I lost a great amount of self-respect over the course of the past month? #perhaps. 😉
I am so happy that it’s winter break, and that I’m currently sitting on a beach chair and listening to the ocean waves crash against the shore as my fingers pitter-patter away on my laptop’s keyboard. I think I understand why they call twelfth grade senior year: the stress ages you until you need either a cane, Social Security, or both.
But seriously. The past month has been a tired trudge through college decisions, more applications, endless essay-writing, tears, screams of joy, late-night panic attacks over Facebook Messenger, Snapchats with black and white filters and text labeled “crying and no longer trying,” distribution of sympathy brownies, and miserable mornings where I’ve hidden under my favorite English teacher’s desk clutching a pink blankie (true story). The moments of happiness were wonderful beyond compare, but the rest…
Still, I feel incredibly grateful for everything that has happened. Why?!
Well, throughout this anxiety-ridden time, I’ve honestly made more meaningful connections with the people around me than I have this entire school year. You know that High School Musical song “We’re All in This Together?” That’s what the past four weeks have felt like, at least to me. It’s been so…nice to see everyone giving each other hugs and talking openly and candidly with one another. Even though a lot of my friends received not-so-good news, others received fabulous news, and everyone was there for everyone else either way. In my humble opinion, it’s been a truly beautiful thing to witness, and I feel so lucky to have watched it unfold.
I’ve had wonderful, heart-warming conversations with some of the most lovely, kind people I know, both friends and teachers. I’ve gone on some fabulous adventures with my best friends to take my mind off of things. Yes, I’ve had moments of despair, but I’ve also had many moments of contentment, where I’ve been so happy that the universe has given me exactly what I needed after all. And for that, I will smile, because I can give love, I can feel love, and I can choose love.
You know what else was awesome? The ABBY BAKING RAVE 2k15!!!
Every year, I bake my teachers a variety of goodies around the holidays, but this year, I went all-out, because hey, it’s senior year: go big or go home! (That was the catchphrase that was going to be on our homecoming t-shirt, but then the administration nixed it because it’s supposedly a reference to alcohol. Ouch.)
I certainly went big. I started on a Sunday morning at 8:30 A.M., then baked and boxed almost non-stop until 1:30 A.M., pausing only to go to yoga so I could stretch myself out. (I then got up at 5:30 A.M. to do some more baking because I’m dumb/care too much.) I made croissants and pain au chocolat from scratch, linzer heart cookies with homemade raspberry jam, gingerbread cookies that I hand-decorated meticulously (there were 28 gingerbread folk in total!!!), and of course these crinkle cookies, whose kisses I also made myself. It was a tiring twenty four hours, but each element of the holiday treat box came out perfectly. I must say I’m very proud. 🙂
I healthified/veganized this recipe 100% on my own. Basically, I took a glance at a traditional recipe (loaded with copious amounts of butter and processed ingredients), adjusted some ratios, made some swaps, and VOILA, magic happened. They were so chocolaty, tender, and delicious…I wish I had more than the one I saved for myself. 🙁 Oh well, guess I’ll have to make them again!
Now, you can use regular chocolate kisses from the store, but I personally prefer to DIY them, simply because I can use much better quality chocolate and keep dairy out of the equation. It’s quite easy, really: all you need is some of your favorite melted chocolate and a kiss mold, and you’re set to go! People will be very impressed when you tell them you made the kisses from scratch. 🙂
Hugs and kisses from me to you. <3
Yield 18-24 cookies
FOR THE KISSES:
3 ounces of dark chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
3 ounces of white chocolate, melted and cooled slightly (use dairy-free white chocolate to keep it completely vegan)
Chocolate kiss mold
FOR THE COOKIES:
1 1/4 cups of non-hydrogenated palm shortening (I like Spectrum, which is unrefined and organic)
1 1/2 cups of unrefined cane sugar (you can reduce it down to 1 cup, but don’t go any further!), plus more for rolling (not hating)
2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder + 6 tablespoons of water, whisked together in a small bowl
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
2 cups of whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/4 cups of unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
FOR THE KISSES:
Using a little spoon, layer in white chocolate on the bottom of each slot in the mold, then put a little layer of dark chocolate on top. Keep layering a little bit at a time until you’ve reached the top.
Using a toothpick, gently swirl the white and dark chocolate together, scraping up and down the sides of each mold slot to make the pattern visible.
Chill in the freezer until solid, about 30 minutes. Pop out of the molds and store in an airtight container in the freezer until ready to use.
FOR THE COOKIES:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the palm shortening and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add in the arrowroot/water mixture and vanilla, then beat on medium for another minute or two more.
In a medium bowl, sift together the whole wheat pastry flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the mixture 1 cup at a time to the wet ingredients, setting the mixer on low to ensure that you don’t have flour going up in your face.
Once all of the dry ingredients have been added, test the batter. If it holds together pretty well in a ball and doesn’t feel too sticky, you’re good! If it feels a bit too wet, add in another 1/4 cup of pastry flour and see where you’re at. If it feels too dry, add a splash or two of soy or almond milk to keep things moist.
Pour a bit of unrefined cane sugar into a bowl. Using a decent-sized ice cream scoop, take a large scoop of cookie dough and roll it into a sphere with your hands. Drop it in the sugar, roll it around to coat completely, and place on the prepared baking sheet. Pat the top three times gently with your hand and repeat with the remaining cookie dough. (I recommend placing nine to twelve dough balls on each sheet.)
Bake the cookies for 11-12 minutes, until they begin to feel firm around the edges. Remove from the oven and promptly kiss each one with a frozen kiss that you prepared. Leave the cookies to hang out at room temperature for 10 minutes, then transfer to the fridge to cool completely so the kisses don’t melt.
Thank you, reader, for listening to me babble about my life. It’s been a wild year and I’ve had a lot to say about it, haha! You are a beautiful human being and I love you, whoever you are! May your 2016 be filled with happiness, laughter, and light. xoxo