Ok, so the thing is, I’m no baker. I don’t follow instructions well, and I don’t do enough of it to really understand what’s going on in the mixing bowl. The only thing that I do bake very well is lemon meringue pie, and in that case I adhere slavishly to the recipe and actually do understand what’s going on chemically when the eggs are going from frothy to fluffy.

I had some smart suggestions from B. and Eva about fab sounding savory chocolate dishes for today’s offering (i.e. Mole, chocolate pasta, etc.)  But I decided to go with a more obvious choice for Bittersweet Chocolate and Almond Day—baking—than their haute cuisine suggestions. I’ve been eating a vegan+meat diet (i.e. no eggs or dairy) for about 6 weeks now and I wanted to try some vegan baking.

I read around on the internet and basically cobbled together this recipe. Taking a brief detour at the Yates Street Market, and stopping to turn on the CBC (I *heart* the Massey Lecture Series!) I got down to work. Almond bittersweet chocolate cookie bliss, here I come!

…but wait!…

I don’t follow directions well, and I don’t know what I’m doing! So what follows is the recipe, and my story of what I did… and didn’t do… or didn’t do well.


Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.


1 egg [or in my case, egg powder substitute]
1/4 cup butter
[vegan margarine… did you know lots of margarine has milk in it?)]
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp almond extract
3/4 cup ground almonds
[*^%# … more on this later]
1.5 cups plain flour
Whole almonds to decorate (optional)

Bittersweet Chocolate

Cream together the sugar and butter [vegan margarine].

Maybe a bit more sugar. These will be dipped in bittersweet chocolate after all. What can it hurt?
Do I get out the beaters? Nah, I don’t want to wash them. I’ll just dig in with my hands.
Man, this is lumpy. Oh well, I’m sure the lumps will come out with the mixing.

Add the egg [eggish stuff] and mix well.

Hmmm. Still lumpy.

Add the baking powder, salt, and extracts stirring after each addition.

Yup, still lumpy.

Add the ground almonds.

Alright, I need to grind some almonds. Coffee grinder? Lets try that. Wizzzzzzz. Still lots of chunks. More *wiiiizzzzzz* Shoot—that’s almond butter. Huh. I’ll wash it out and start again.

This is taking forever. Maybe I can make them without the ground almonds? No wait!—they’re almond cookies.  *sigh* keep *wiiiiizzzzzzzzing*. Rinse. Repeat.

Add the flour by half cup increments stirring until you can’t stir easily. At this point, use your hands to kneed into a soft dough.

Well this is too floury. I need more liquid. I’ll just add the dregs of the eggish thing.

Cover with clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes in the fridge. Roll out the dough to about 1/2 a centimeter thick and cut out cookies with a cookie cutter and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet.

Bah. I’ll just flour the counter. I don’t have time for it to chill. It’ll be fine.

Um, whoa, this is really sticking. There’s too much liquid in this stupid recipe! Gah! Ok, maybe I’ll just scrape it back into a ball and roll it out between some parchment paper.Argh! Now it’s coming off in chunks.

So I’ll just slip that in the fridge then? That seems like the best plan.

Press an almond into each cookie and bake for 8 minutes for chewy cookies, 10 for crispy.

Ok, that was more like 12 minutes, because I got distracted watching FlashForward. I’m addicted.

Leave to cool for at least 5 minutes on the tray, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.


What, not even I can mess that last bit up!

I finished these little guys off by melting some nice organic dairy free bittersweet chocolate in a double boiler, and gave them a little roll around in that.

The result? Meh. Doesn’t taste like butter to me.

choco almond