I learned today that apparently success can happen when I follow directions.
I also learned today that I never follow directions. Even when they are my own.
For example, I told myself today that I would head home straight after work so I could start working on my assignment due in two weeks. It’s a long assignment, trust me, I needed to get started. However, I meandered my way after work towards the direction of my house only to have decided that the horrendous traffic must have meant that Fate wanted me to go to my cousin’s newborn celebration rather than home.
I chose food over homework. It’s comparable, no?
By the time I got home, it was too late to start on my homework so I decided to bake.
This was not my first time using Smitten Kitchen’s Thick, Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookie, however, I don’t like to follow directions remember? So I tested my flax power today by experimenting with the recipe. Twice.
Experiment #1: Flaxseeds
1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) butter, softened 1/3 cup of vegetable oil
2/3 1/2 + 1 tbsp cup light brown sugar, packed
1 egg 2 tbsp flaxseed + 6 tbsp water blended until mixture thickens1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour whole wheat pastry flour1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 cups rolled oats3/4 1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). My family is trying to save gas. I used toaster oven set to bake for 20 mins or until the cookies smelled delicious 🙂
In a large bowl, cream together the oil, brown sugar, flaxseeds until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together. Stir this with wet mixture. Stir in the oats and raisins.
At this point you can either chill the dough for a bit in the fridge and then scoop it, or scoop the cookies onto a sheet and then chill the whole tray before baking them. You could also bake them right away, if you’re impatient, but I do find that they end up slighly less thick.
The cookies should be two inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake them for 10 to 12 minutes if using an oven. Take them out when golden at the edges but still a little undercooked-looking on top. Let them sit on the hot baking sheet for five minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool.
Experiment #2: Eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 + 1 tbsp cup light brown sugar, packed
1 egg (I had maybe a tablespoon of flaxseed mixture left from last batch so I poured that in with the egg)
3/4 cup ww pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup raisins
I don’t know if you guys can tell the difference from the pictures but the cookies made with eggs were definitely puffier and fluffier than the ones made with flaxseeds. Nevertheless, both tasted scrumptious! For those who like chewier cookies with the nutrients, try using flaxseeds. The Post Punk Kitchen actually gives good suggestions on vegan baking substitutes such as eggs, milk and butter.
This second recipe was attempted two weeks ago when my mom bought too many strawberries that were not sweet. I figured we could turn these strawberries into jam. [*If you would like to know the difference between jams, jellies, preserves, and its other siblings, check out this helpful website.]
Did I follow directions? Of course not!
I was looking for a healthy alternative to boiling fruit and sugar together to form the concoction. The results:
Strawberry Kiwi Jam
1 cup honey (use to your own taste)
1 Costco-sized box of strawberries
3 kiwis (they had ripened but no one was eating them)
2 Pink Lady apples (to act as pectin)
Directions: Cook honey and the fruits together until mixture begins to thicken to resemble jam. Add cornstarch until mixture completely thickens. Refrigerate when cooled.
When my lovely mother found out what I was doing. She got excited. The next day, she came home with another big box of strawberries that she had purposely bought to make jam. She had bought the fruit from a market in which that she knows sells not sweet strawberries. My mother claimed asked me how I made my batch and hurried to start her own.
I had left my mother to go hang out with some friends only to come home to hear her brag to my sister that her batch of jam was better than mine! She had also poured my first batch back into the pot to make it “better.”
Better? I don’t know about that but neither do I want to compete with her. What I do know is that she rarely follows directions too.
Mom, thanks for passing on the creativity genes 🙂