Another thing. Todd McClellan is probably doing to Brent Burns what he did to Jamie McGinn last year. He admittedly expected too much out of McGinn too early and as a result, Ginner had a terrible year. Brent Burns is definitely not what I expected to be this year, but at the same time, I, as well as everyone in San Jose had very high expectations of him. Hopefully T-Mac will calm down next year and Brent Burns will reveal himself to be the badass that he is.
So my co-worker Kaila recently moved to California from Florida. One of the first things that I learned about her is that she has a passion for baking cookies. Long before the craze for cupcakes took the amateur baking world by storm, Kaila was experimenting with all sorts of recipes for cookies. Ever since she came to us, it seems like once a week we’ll walk into the break room and find another batch of cookies waiting for us. Probably the most unique things about them is that they are all vegan cookies. I.E. no animal products such as dairy (milk) or eggs. Baking without these things seemed very foreign to me so of course I had to find out how.
I split this entry into two entries because be baked two batches of cookies and after listening to my recording of the baking process, I realize that I was stuck with a glut of information that would be hard to condense into one post.
So Kaila came over with all her baking supplies. It’s important to note that she is currently try to start her own business based around her cookies (check the website: http://kpcookies.wordpress.com/ ,) so I didn’t need to buy anything extra. She practically brought a kitchen with her.
The first batch of cookies I’ll talk about was actually an experiment. Lemon shortbread. Kaila had obtained some lemons straight off the lemon tree from our manager Jackie and what else would Kaila use them for aside from cookies? Nothing that’s what. She didn’t know how the acidity of the lemon would affect the baking of the shortbread, but
Some notes about short bread that I learned from Kaila:
-shortbread cookies usually are not soft cookies, they are dense
-instead of eggs, butter is used in shortbread (Paula Deen would be proud.)
-because shortbread is butter based, it keeps better
We started with vegan butter which is similar to margrine
Then we moved on to creaming the butter. This is not actually making the butter into cream but rather changing the texture from hard to smooth. (Side note, anytime you read someone that sounds professional, it is probably Kaila’s words, not mine.) When creaming the butter, it creates air bubbles which makes the cookies rise (like that sentence for example.)
We added powdered sugar and further creamed the butter.
Side note: With vegan cookies, one can eat the batter without fear of salmonella poisoning. I don’t know about anyone reading this, but this never stopped me with non-vegan cookies and I have yet to get salmonella from baking. This is definitely not an endorsement from to eat raw eggs although if you’re just looking for someone to reaffirm your habit, then yes, this is an endorsement to eat raw eggs just as long as you don’t sue me.
Next we added the vanilla. Kaila had a huge bottle of vanilla. I have a tiny little bottle that cost me $10. She bought like, a liter of pure vanilla from Costco. I would never buy this much, but then I’m not trying to start a cookie business.
More interesting baking facts. Pure vanilla is made from a vanilla bean soaked in vodka for six weeks as opposed to vanilla extract which is made from chemicals. The more you know, right?
We then proceeded to prepare the lemons. We grated peel off the lemons and then added the juice from the lemons later for zest!
Before we added any lemon, we finished the shortbread batter first. We mixed in the cinnamon and kept on going.
From there we added the flour. Kaila had her own flour in a container instead of a store bought bag, which I am used to. Apparently chemicals are used for bleached flour. I wouldn’t have expected any less from her.
Once the flour was thoroughly mixed in, we added the lemon juice and grated lemon followed by another thorough mix.
Once all mixed in we put the batter in a baggie. Normally she would have used a freezer bag, but lo and behold, I didn’t have any (have you noticed a pattern yet?) Then we put the bag of batter into the fridge so it would firm before we put it on the cookie sheet.
Then we started the second batch: vegan chocolate chip! But alas, that recipe is to be continued!