Thursday, August 7, 2008

Veggie Might: Rx: Snickerdoodles

Penned by the effervescent Leigh, Veggie Might is a weekly Thursday column about the wide world of Vegetarianism.

It’s been one of those weeks. You know what I’m talking about: a week when nothing quite goes right. You make plans, and plans are foiled; you get surprises, but not the good kind; and just when you think everything is under control…Curses! Foiled again.

Only one thing can cure the kind of ills a bad week brings: cookies, specifically snickerdoodles.

A snickerdoodle is more than a sugar cookie. It’s a sugar cookie with a kick—two actually. The first comes from the cream of tartar, which gives the cookies tanginess, and the second from the cinnamon pressed in before baking. Snickerdoodles may be the perfect cookie.

When I first started baking for my adult self, I made snicks from this recipe. I’ve since tweaked and teased to fit my taste and whims over the years. First of all, a cookie recipe should have vanilla. It just should.

A couple of Christmases ago, I began making the snicks dairy-free for our lovely, lactose-intolerant Rach. Then I thought, why not go the whole nine and make them vegan? That has worked well subbing the eggs for a vegan egg replacer or just leaving out the eggs and adding a little rice milk to alleviate the dryness.

Since I wasn’t the only one in need of a little cookie Rx, I decided to try one more adjustment. One of my coworkers, the effervescent E, has Celiac disease, which means no gluten can ever cross her lips. Quel horror!

I made a quinoa flour batch for E, and any other intrepid palates, and a white flour batch for the rest of the long sufferers. I also wanted to stay within the CHG parameters too, so I cut the fat and sugar by half. (Warning, baking is equal parts art and science. Adjust recipes with care. All amounts have to be changed by the same proportion.)

You’d never know these were light, vegan, or (maybe) gluten-free (Okay, quinoa flour smells pretty strong, so you might notice it, but they came out great!)! Soft in the middle, chewy around the edges, these snicks were just what the doctor ordered.

Snicks with Quinoa Flour

Snicks with White Flour

Light Vegan (Gluten-free) Snickerdoodles
Yields 3 dozen; 3 cookies per serving

1/4 cup vegan margarine, softened
1/4 cup shortening
3/4 cups sugar
1 serving vegan egg replacer
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp rice milk (or soy)
1 2/3 cups flour (Note: substitute same quantity of quinoa flour for gluten-free delight)
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 400º

2. Combine margarine, shortening, sugar, egg replacer, vanilla, and rice milk in large bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt.

4. In three to four stages, blend flour mixture into sugar mixture.

5. Chill for 1 hour. (I skip this step often. They still come out great.)

6. Drop teaspoon-sized dollops on cookie sheet. Press lightly with the bottom of a juice glass dipped in cinnamon/sugar combo.

7. Bake 6 to 8 minutes.

Approximate Calories, Fat, and Price per Serving
133.4 cal, 8.2g fat, $ .20 (with white flour)
*188.4 cal, 9.13g fat, $.37 (with quinoa flour)

vegan margarine: 400 cal, 44g fat, $.45
shortening: 440 cal, 52g fat, $.31
sugar: 600 cal, 0g fat, $.45
vegan egg replacer: 15 cal, 0g fat, $.05
vanilla: negligible calories and fat, $.58
rice milk:6 cal, .2g fat, $.03
flour: 680 cal, 1.6g fat, $.37
*quinoa flour: 800 cal, 13g fat, $2.32*
cream of tartar negligible calories and fat, $.10
baking soda: negligible calories and fat, $.01
salt: negligible calories and fat, $.01
TOTALS:1601 calories, 97.8g fat, $2.48 (with white flour)
PER SERVING: 133.4 cal, 8.2g fat, $ .20 (with white flour)
*188.4 cal, 9.13g fat, $.37 (with quinoa flour)*


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