Monday, November 14, 2011

The Smart Cookie Remake Attempt

Recently I had a cookie made by The Cookie Department - "The Smart Cookie." It is made with sweet potato, cranberries, oatmeal, and molasses, and sprinkled with a little bit of sea salt. It's big, sort of flat, and soooo chewy. It is AMAZING. And they sell it at the coffee bar across the street from me. This could be trouble.

Check it out here.

Oh yeah, and it's vegan.

I decided I had to attempt to make it myself. Anything that good, I wanted in my recipe arsenal.

Weeeeellllllll..... it was quite a search, trying to identify what exactly makes a cookie chewy. I came across conflicting information, from adding more oil or butter to less, to adding molasses, to using brown sugar,  to simply using shorter baking times.

I finally settled on 2 sweet potato cookie recipes, and tweaked them both just a tad (one wasn't actually vegan, but was easy enough to change), for a head-to-head cookie-off. Since I didn't need two full batches of cookies, I made one full batch and one 1/2 batch. At the last minute I switched which recipe I chose for the full batch, and wouldn't you know it? I ended up liking the 1/2 batch better. Sigh. In any case, here is that recipe.

Ingredients (for full batch):
  • 1 cup sweet potato puree
  • 2 cups flour (you can use all whole wheat, or part whole wheat; I used white)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice (optional.... but I love the stuff!)
  • dash ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup sugar + scant 1/2 cup agave syrup (or 1 cup sugar total if you don't have agave)
  • 2 Tbsp molasses (not blackstrap)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg replacer, such as Bob's or Ener-G, or other suggestions here.
  • ~1/2 cup  dried cranberries, or more to preference 
  • Sea salt for sprinkling on top

  1. Peel, cut, and boil the sweet potato until tender (1 medium to large sweet potato will be enough for 1 batch). Place in food processor & mix until smooth. I actually added in a little maple agave syrup to sweeten it up just a tad.
  2.  Mix together the flour, spices, baking soda & powder in one bowl.
  3. In another large bowl, mix butter & sugars. Add in the egg replacer, sweet potato puree, and vanilla, and mix well. As a side note, there are many different types of egg replacers- if you are using a mix powder like Bob's or Ener-G, the instructions tell you to mix a given amount with water; but if you use other replacers, don't mix them before you add them (add wet to wet and dry to dry)- such as vinegar and baking power or soda... in case you forgot your elementary school science days ;-). 
  4. Mix all ingredients together, adding in more cranberries if desired.
  5. Preheat oven to 350. 
  6. Drop by spoonful onto non-stick cookie sheets and flatten slightly. Sprinkle each cookie with a little sea salt and bake for about 10-12 minutes.
Soooooo..... did I successfully remake the Smart Cookie? (drumroll please.....)

No. Not even close. My cookie tasted more like a little cake, a sort of muffin-cookie. It was good, it just was not at all like the Smart Cookie. Oh well. I guess some cookies are best left to the professionals. In the meantime, my recipe makes for a good little breakfast bar or snack!

I'm calling them sweet potato muffies. (muffin-cookies- just go with it).

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