Monday, December 19, 2011

What to bring to a holiday party?

Umm cookies, duh!

I am always trying to subtly turn my meat-devouring family members (who I love very much) onto the deliciousness that is vegan food. My most effective approach has been to make really yummy vegan food whenever we have a family gathering and either leave these dishes out on the table with the rest of the food, or I make a special treat and wrap 'em up real cute and give them as gifts. Whether I pose them as a gift or "regular food", everything always gets eaten.

I made these cookies a while back, I think as father's day gifts, but they would also make really great holiday presents. I took the original veganized recipe and made a few changes to make them gluten-free as well and also to use up a bunch of very ripe bananas I had on hand. They came out great and where really fun (had a little too much fun with this part) to decorate! They would even be a great project to work on together if you weren't trying to hide the absence of milk and butter from the eventual consumers!

Chocolate-dipped peanut butter-banana cookies:

1 cup chunkyy peanut butter
½ cup dairy free margarine, softened (I used Earth Balance brand, could also sub in coconut oil if you wanted to make these less processed and even more crazy flavored!)
½ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
½ cup sugar
¼ cup mashed really ripe banana
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups gluten-free flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup almonds, chopped
2 cups dairy free chocolate chips
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons dairy free margarine

Heat your oven to 400 degrees

In a large bowl beat together peanut butter, margarine, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until light and creamy. Add banana and vanilla.

In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Add flour mix to peanut butter to and stir well.

Cover bowl and refrigerate for 20 – 30 minutes. Make balls about the size of a golf ball, roll in sugar and place on ungreased cookie sheet.

Using a fork make crisscross pattern flattening cookies slightly. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

Remove cookies from the oven and cool on a wire rack (after testing a little piece to make sure they aren't poisonous of course!)

Place a sheet of waxed paper over a cool cookie pan or plate.

Next, heat the chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat. As it begins to melt add the margarine. Once the chocolate is melted, begin dipping half of each cookie in the chocolate, using a spoon to help spread the chocolate evenly over the cookie. Don’t be shy here, a nice thick coating is what you’re looking for.

Place the chocolate-dipped cookie on the waxed paper. Then the fun part! Decorate (or in my case, over-decorate!) with whatever sprinkles, chopped nuts etc you have on-hand. Be sure to do this as you dip each cookie because the chocolate will set quickly. Once you’ve filled up this tray with dipped cookies, place the tray in the fridge to help set the chocolate.

Got a leeeetle bit carried away
When everything has cooled an hardened, stack about 4-5 cookies on top of each other, wrap up in parchment paper and tie with a ribbon. Viola!

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