Vegan Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles

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It’s thawing time. Are you ready to thaw? I’m totally ready to thaw.

Everyone’s emerging from their wintry cocoons. Runners are wearing neon. People are yelling hellos across the street. Smiles just happen. Ducks and swans are chilling on the pond that’s lost its icy sheet.

You know winter is over when windows open. When we start to let the cross breezes clear layers of dust. Turning down the thermostat and wearing ankle-high pants never felt so good.

What’s up, March. I’m springing forward. I’m doing a long jump into this month. I’m mid-air and far from ready to land.

There are a couple of things I want to hold on to, though. Like the flavors of January and February. And, fine, I’ll admit that my love of apple cider should be contained to November. Eggnog should probably be drunk only once.

But hot chocolate? That’s good throughout the year. You won’t want it when it’s 90 degrees out, but when it’s a cookie?

Oh man.

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And when there’s cayenne pepper? Holy zing. Just punch me in the face.

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You guys are so adorable.

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Seriously, quit your cuteness. Those crackly imperfections are too much.

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Oh. These are so vegan. Vegan to the max. And that’s almond milk.

And I might not be doing the vegan thing anymore (Listen. I work at a donut shop. When someone asks me how the hibiscus cherry donut tastes, I’d better have a real answer.), but I’m still cutting out as much dairy and eggs as possible. Plus, when a vegan cookie tastes this unreal, I’ll gladly cut out the butter.

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Peas in a pod.

Vegan Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles.

1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (I used grade B)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons almond or soy milk

For the sugar dusting:
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, sift flour, cocoa, cayenne, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. In a separate medium bowl, whisk canola oil, maple syrup, vanilla, milk, and sugar until fully incorporated.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wets, mixing continuously. The batter will be stiff.

Using the palm of your hands, roll about 3 tablespoons worth of batter into a small ball. Shape into pancake-like disks and cover one side with the sugar-cinnamon dusting.

On a sheet of parchment paper, place each disk about 1 inch apart, sugar side up.

Bake for about 12 minutes.

Makes 15-20 cookies, depending how big you want them.

Make them smaller if you want to share with your coworkers in the morning.

Orange Clove Snickerdoodles

Barely two weeks into the new year and I’m totally killing it.

I finally got everyone Christmas gifts.  Green beans were 99¢ for a monster bag.  The fridge will always have parmesan.  The pantry has Balsamic vinegar.  Three bamboo cutting boards are en route.

Just wait until that crocheting kit gets here.  It’ll be all over.

My shopper’s block is gone thanks to online deals.  A little embarrassing.  A lot of awesome shoes.

Most of all, baking is happening.  All the time.

Assam tea and cookie ingredients.  Plus notebook.  This is how we do it.

I’m guilty of using cloves instead of nutmeg.

Smooshing orange zest into sugar make these snickerdoodles refreshing and light.  They taste like spicy sunshine.

I like oats, okay?  Deal.

Oh my goodness I really want more shoes.

Maybe I should make it a point to always have cookies in the cookie jar.  That could be a new year’s resolution, right?

As long as they’re sort of whole wheat and have some oats, right?

Orange Clove Snickerdoodles.

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup orange sugar
1 large egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons orange sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

To make the orange sugar, zest a large orange and press the zest into granulated sugar until everything’s orange and slightly damp.

In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add the egg and whip until smooth.  Slowly incorporate the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Fold in the oats with a wooden spoon and form a ball.

On a flat surface, make two tablespoons more of orange sugar and mix with ground cloves.  Form the cookie dough into small balls, about two tablespoons worth, and roll around in the sugar.  Slightly press down on the dough to flatten on a baking sheet.

Bake for about 10-12 minutes.

Makes 12 cookies.