Interesting. That’s what someone said about my site recently. I met her when I was out and about in town. “I like your site,” she said. I was beginning to feel good about the way the conversation was going until she added, “It’s interesting.” That’s a word you use when you don’t really know what else to say. I live in the midwest and although vegan and vegetarianism are on the rise here, it’s still not something people come into contact with every day. So I brushed aside her choice of words, choosing to focus on the positive side of what she said. But still this part of me that remained unsettled. So you know what I did? I made cookies. Orange-Infused Chocolate Chip Cookies. Now, that’s what I call interesting!
Do you see a trend here? When I’m happy I bake cake. When I’m mildly unsettled I bake cookies. It’s almost as if when anything of note happens in my life, I head to the kitchen.
I wasn’t always like this. In fact, I went through a period where I ignored the kitchen like a plague. Time spent there was a necessary evil. Go in at risk. Don’t worry about calling for reinforcements because I’ll be out quickly!
I relished more of a “strong woman” version of myself and in my mind, strong women didn’t spend time in the kitchen. It was too domestic.
Then one day I read a book, The Dance of the Dissident Daughter. I realized then that we’re sort of brainwashed to believe that strong and domestic are on opposite sides of a long pole. One can’t be the other.
Sue Monk Kidd was telling me, like she was telling all her readers, it’s important to embrace all of who you are; not to put aside something just because society may deem it to be less important; domestic; trivial even.
When I dare to be powerful – to use my strength in the service of my vision – then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid. — Audre Lorde
And that’s when something stirred in me. It’s not as if I read this book and ran straight into the kitchen. It’s just that I let myself awaken to my desire to create. Cooking, to me, is the ultimate in creativity.
Not all my creations/recipes are winners. But this one is.
Today I love spending time in the kitchen. I feel strong there; moving from pantry to platters. I feel creative there; stirring dough and zesting oranges. Like a painter with her palette mixing colors until she gets just the right hue.
I see where my new friend gets it. Using vinegar in a cookie recipe is…interesting. Oh well. As the Chinese proverb says, may we all live in interesting times!
Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 cup diary-free margarine
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- Zest of one orange
- 2 tablespoons coffee-flavored liqueur
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 ¼ cup flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup Ghirardelli Mini Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
- 1 cup regular chocolate chips, dairy free
- Heat your oven to 350F.
- Combine margarine and sugars in a mixing bowl and mix on medium to medium-high speed until light. Fluffy may be too much to ask for, but light will do.
- Add the orange zest, coffee flavored liqueur (sub with 2 tablespoons of brewed coffee if you prefer not to use alcohol), flax meal, corn starch, water, and vinegar. Mix on medium speed until everything is well combined. Set aside to let the flavors get all infused with each other.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir until well combined.
- Pour the flour mixture in with the orange margarine mixture and stir well. Add the chocolate chips and give it another stir.
- Drop by rounded tablespoonful onto an ungreased cookie sheet, allowing at least two inches between each. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until the cookies get a nice, golden color to them.
- Remove from the oven and allow them to cool for a minute before using a spatula to move the cookies to a wire rack to cool.
- Repeat until all the cookies are done. Or, you can refrigerate this dough for a few days and spread the baking out. That way you have freshly-made cookies all week long!