Friday, November 12, 2010

Peanut Butter Cookies, Healthi-fied.

Back in July, I went to NYC to visit a friend. It had been about 8 years since I had last been there and in a few short days, I quickly fell in love with the city.

The thing that had always kinda bugged me about NYC previously was the overstimulation. Everywhere you look there are people, cars, bikes, shops, pigeons, hot dog stands. It's so alive and in the past I unfairly held that against it. Back then, I didn't know how to quieten the outside world within my own head, so I would find myself drowning in the everything else-ness that NYC was.

But, 8 years later, I'm a much different person. I can easily silence the noise around me and enjoy things at my own pace, instead of allowing the bustling city to force its hustle upon me.

It was incredible. Central Park! The Ballet! The Bus rides! The Subway rides! The East River Greenway for running! The Brooklyn Bridge! Brooklyn! The Whitney (my first real Edward Hopper painting experience!!!)! The tree-lined streets! The people! The Clearance FLOOR (oh my god an entire floor!!)  at Anthropologie! I have a serious, serious crush on NYC right now. Granted, in general... I'm pretty city-crazy right now. NYC isn't my only city crush.. I'm still reeling from a San Francisco courtship earlier this year and just last weekend Chicago spun me around like a top. So, I'm definitely not a one-city loving woman.

My favorite times in NYC were spent just wandering around. Seeing the storefronts and the homes. Changing course at the drop of a hat, to avoid a no-walk crossing sign. Sitting on numerous park benches in Central Park, and various other parks, to watch the people buzzing by.

When I left to come home, I felt a sense of jealousy. How fair is it that some people get to live and work in that city??? I was merely a visitor, living out of a too small suitcase. Damn you New Yorkers and your fabulous city!

Oh well, the good news is that it's an easy city to get to for visiting (easier than San Francisco, that's for sure) and until then, I can try to be inspired by things that I experienced there. Like vegan baked goods!

For lunch one day I ate at Angelica Kitchen. I had a delicious salad, but what really stuck with me was some of their baked goods! I can't really remember what all that was ordered, but it was all really tasty. I do remember the homemade vegan fig newton!! Yum!!! And there was also some sort of deliciously homey tasting oatmeal cookie and a maple tofu whip!

These peanut butter cookies came out of an attempt to try and find a way to make a simple, healthy, vegan sweet snack. And... they didn't turn out perfect (not quite up to Angelica's standards), but they were damn tasty and I had no problem eating them. A base to build upon and perfect, if you will.

Healthy-ish Peanut Butter Cookies
Adapted from a flourless peanut butter cookie recipe like this one.

Again, this isn't going to be an actual recipe (because I havent perfected it yet), but more of an instruction of what I did.

I started with a flourless peanut butter cookie recipe and instead of egg, I used flax meal with a little bit of water. And instead of sugar, I used date pieces. Originally, I wanted to puree my dates into a paste and incorporate into the dough to sweeten it, but I had the date pieces that were hard and cut up. You know what I'm talking about?? Anyway, they wouldn't pulverize in the food processor, so I just threw them in whole. Thinking of them kind of like a chocolate chip, except a stud of sweetness in the salty peanut butter.

I completely forgot to add any kind of leavener. So, next time, I'll definitely add some baking powder or soda or both.

Overall, these tasted like baked, kinda sweet, intensely flavored peanut butter. A bit crumbly, but satisfying in a weird way.


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