It’s been one of those weeks. Kind of. Not really. I find myself saying that and am instantly reminded that life is not nearly as chaotic or messy and out of control as it could be. But sometimes it feels like it. Sometimes I want to sit on the couch and binge eat chocolate chip cookies because my Tuesday got off to a bad start when I woke up with a bloodshot eye and what looked like a ripple in my corneal flap (video not safe for the squeamish). I cleared my schedule even though I had a day filled with what I thought to be a bunch of time sensitive important shit. I cleared my schedule because I didn’t have a choice – eyeballs are kind of top priority, folks.
I spent four hours at the eye doctor. More than half of that time I was waiting and complaining to Thom (via text) about my opthamologist taking so long. SERIOUSLY I CAN HEAR HIM TALKING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THIS DOOR AND HE’S ALREADY AN HOUR LATE. He came in and looked at my eye, poked it a bit, diagnosed me with things I don’t know how to pronounce, and wrote me prescriptions for things I also don’t know how to pronounce. Things that cost me more than I would have liked to have spent on what I thought was just an ordinary Tuesday – like $124 (with insurance!) for this two week supply of eye drops. And in case you haven’t been tuning into Fox News: It’s allllllllllllllllllllll Obama‘s fault, you guys.
After my appointment I went to Costco and bought three bags of organic frozen berries. But not the antioxidant blend because it’s been linked to a hepatitis outbreak and I don’t have the patience for anymore doctors at the moment. I also bought 10 pounds of cane sugar, 4 pounds of chocolate chips, 2 pounds of medjool dates, and a bunch of other stuff we probably didn’t need (except we kinda needed the peanut butter filled pretzels, for sanity). Then I picked up that overpriced eye drop prescription and a pack of antibiotics that’s likely to wipe out the infection (along with all the good bacteria in my gut), and the pharmacist said I probably won’t be able to poop regularly for a week.
I got home around 5PM and Thom drew me a candle-lit epsom salt bath. I soaked in the salty water while talking his head off and I’m pretty sure it was driving him crazy because he tried to leave twice but my incessant yelling was far worse than him sitting in the bathroom and tolerating me while I rambled on about my eyeball and the diagnosis and Do you think my doctor’s full of shit? He’s a good man. Thom, not my doctor (although I’m sure he’s a good man, too). But some days I don’t know what I did to deserve him. I got out, spent a lot of time googling the eye disease I still can’t pronounce and declared that my doctor IS full of shit because HEY THOM! I DON’T HAVE ANY OF THESE SYMPTOMS. Well, except for the dry eye thing but that’s directly related the fact that I had LASIK and I live in dry ass Denver. But that’s beside the point because Thom agreed with me – which is the first (and probably the last) time he’s ever agreed with a self-diagnosis. To celebrate, I made almond blueberry crisp with extra crunchy topping and ate it right as it came out of the oven. I also made definitive plans to make this chocolate chip cookie recipe every day for the next week so I can send out all those care packages I promised my brothers I’d put in the mail after Christmas.
It’s Wednesday morning now. There’s a 1/2″ blanket of snow on the ground that’ll probably be gone by noon. My eyeball’s still bloodshot and it feels like the azithro-whatever is killing off all the good bacteria in my gut despite the fact that I’m supplementing with hella coconut kefir and crossing my toes that the pharmacist was wrong about the whole bowel movement thing. But ya know what? It’s Wednesday morning. There’s snow on the ground, I’m having a good hair day, and my house is about to smell like my favorite chocolate chip cookies.
It’s the little things.
PS – I did an interview, with one of my favorite bloggers, here.
Notes: This recipe has gone through extensive testing and there are some things you need to know before you dive in and start making the best vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe ever. Like, cold butter is superior to room temperature butter (unless you prefer thin cookies) and letting the dough rest is key because it allows the sugar to completely dissolve. Some people like their chocolate chip cookies to have a little more going on so I have some recommendations: 1/4 chopped dried fruit (apricots, cherries, etc) or 1/4 cup chopped nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, etc) all make for delicious additions. If you want to do a combination of fruit and nuts (along with the chocolate chips), keep the add ins at a 1/3 cup maximum and reduce the chocolate chips to 1/3 cup. If you want to make an assortment of cookie sizes, this recipe will make 3 cookies with a 1/4 cup cookie scoop, 8 cookies with a 1 1/2 tablespoon cookie scoop, and 24 cookies with a 1 teaspoon cookie scoop. The 1/4 cup cookies will need to be baked for 14-15 minutes and the 1 teaspoon cookies will need to be baked for 7-8 minutes. If you follow a vegan and gluten free diet, I didn’t forget about you – replace the flour with 1 cup plus 3-4 tablespoons of a gluten free flour blend and you’ll be golden. They’re not going to be exactly the same but they’re still damn good.
And because everyone prefers something a little different – for thin, chewy cookies, increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup cane sugar) and omit 1 tablespoon of flour. For thick, pillow-y cookies, increase the flour to 1 1/3 cups and replace 2 tablespoons of the butter with non-dairy milk during the creaming process. The recipe below is for a balance of the two, and it’s my ideal chocolate chip cookie.
SEA SALT CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
1/2 cup vegan butter, cold
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 flax egg
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 1/4 cups/180g unbleached flour
1/2 cup chocolate chips (or chopped dark chocolate)
Flaky sea salt, for topping
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a large bowl using a hand mixer) (or a whisk, but be prepared to have sore ass arms), beat the butter on medium speed for about 2 minutes, until creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the sugar and vanilla extract; mix on medium speed for an additional minute then add the flax egg and mix just until combined. Off the mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the baking soda, baking powder, salt, and flour; mix until combined. Add the chocolate chips and mix until they’re evenly distributed throughout the dough. Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight (overnight is best, y’all).
When you’re ready to make the cookies, preheat the oven to 350˚F and line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a 1 1/2 tablespoon cookie scoop, drop dough onto the prepared baking sheet and freeze for 10 minutes. Line a large baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper, and line with chilled cookies, leaving 2-3″ between each cookie. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt then bake at 350˚F for 10 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. You can either repeat the process with the remaining scooped dough (which should be in the freezer while the first batch of cookies are baking), or transfer the rounds to an air tight container and store in the freezer for up to 6 weeks. Allow dough that’s been thoroughly frozen to thaw for 10 minutes before baking. Baked cookies will keep in an air tight container for up to four days.
Yield: About 2 dozen cookies