Saturday, February 28, 2009

Midnight Baking

Due to a recent bout of insomnia, I baked up a storm in my kitchen from 2AM to 6AM. While I made a total of four different cookies, (one batch of which was a complete and utter disaster), the majority were pleasant, despite the half-awake state they were created in.  

Quite surprisingly, the most successful cookie made was found not in a high-end cookbook, but on the back of the whole wheat flour bag. The Whole Wheat Sugar Cookie recipe was not vegan, so I replaced the required egg with a well-mashed ripe banana. Though the technique of using a banana instead of an egg may sound odd, the cookies bind together extremely well, have added health benefits of potassium, and create an almost indistinguishable hint of fruity flavor that enhances the orange zest. In addition, I used margarine instead of butter, which wasn't my first choice but not many grocery stores are open at 4AM. 

So whether you bake these cookies at midnight or during the day, they are sure to be a pleaser. 

Whole Wheat Sugar Cookies
makes around 3 dozen

1 cup sugar

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (or pumpkin pie spice)

1/2 cup butter or margarine

2 tablespoons soy milk

1 tablespoon orange peel zest

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 well-mashed banana

Extra sugar and 2 tablespoons cinnamon for coating

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Vigorously stir the butter or margarine with the sugar. Add the banana, soy milk, vanilla extract, orange zest and the nutmeg. 
In another bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. 
Stir the two mixtures together. 
Take tablespoons of batter and roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture before dropping on a greased cookie sheet. Bake around 10 minutes, until golden on the edges and soft in the middle. 

And if you are feeling extra crafty... It was my friend's birthday the following day, and I decided to create a massive, 7 inch diameter cookie. Though I expected it to burn on the outside and be raw on the inside, it came out perfectly! The trick to making huge cookies is flattening them down prior to baking, and placing them on their own cookie sheet. 

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