A confession: I shunned beer for the first 21.5 years of my life. I didn’t drink at all for the first couple years of college, and then when I dipped my toes into the wild world of alcohol, my exposure to beer was limited to sipping cans of Milwaukee’s Best and then discreetly leaving them on a dresser in the middle of a packed room before slipping out of some awful party a friend had coerced me into attending. I wasn’t a partier by any means, but every so often I’d try to force myself into enjoying myself at such a gathering, only to be reminded that they just weren’t my thaaang. Whatevs, man. I made my own kind of fun, and it did not involve beer.
It wasn’t until I spent a summer studying abroad in Ireland and discovered the joys of Guinness that I discovered that beer could be downright tasty! Now that I’ve veeegan, I no longer partake of that Irish staple (sadface!), but I now consider myself a fan of [good] beer. I went from barely being able to stomach half a can of Budweiser in the first week of my senior year of college to truly enjoying a pitcher of Smithwicks (also not vegan, lamepants!) or a bottle of Corona by the time I graduated. I appreciate the finer things in life, what can I say?
And by “the finer things,” I obviously mean baking chocolate chip cookies at 9:00 o’clock on a Friday night while drinking a locally-brewed beer and dancing around in my sports bra while listening to Lady Gaga. This is truth, folks. My roommate’s on a trip for work (I went on one last week too! More about that later.), so I have the apartment to myself. Clearly this means I need semi-nude solo dance parties.
So after my workout last night, I decided to try my hand at another chocolate chip cookie recipe. I tried one back during Vegan MoFo and was less than thrilled, so I thought maybe the PPK would come through for me. Isa’s like a vegan goddess or something, right? And this was an occasion where the vegan stars aligned and I had all the exact ingredients for this recipe. Usually I haphazardly substitute milks and starches liek whoa, but I recently picked up a bag of tapioca starch from Woodman’s, and almond milk is my alt-milk du jour, so I pretty much followed this recipe to a T (although I did cut down on the amount of oil, and the dough seemed perfect). So – results?
These are better than the VegWeb variety (though, admittedly, it’s been 6 months since I tried them), but again, I don’t think they’re my chocolate chip cookie holy grail. They are pretty damn tasty, though, and the dough was a treat to scrape off the bowl. I’d definitely make these again, but I think I’m still in search of my end-all, be-all of vegan chocolate chip cookie recipes. Anybody have a suggestion?
As for the local beer that accompanied the baking of these cookies, well, I tried New Glarus’ Spotted Cow ale. Honestly, I was underwhelmed, but I think this is because I generally don’t enjoy beers that are light in color. And no, I am not a beer connoiseur, so “light in color” is the most description you’ll get from me! I tried Capital Brewery’s Maibock recently, and it’s freakin’ delicious. It’s their seasonal brew, and I absolutely loved it. I think I prefer heartier, maltier beers with less of a foamy head than the Spotted Cow variety. New Glarus Brewery, however, is very vegan friendly, so I’ll have to give some of their other varieties a fair chance before I swear it off entirely.
Even though the beer and the cookies slightly underwhelmed me, I’m not gonna lie – my Friday night was a freakin’ awesome night. Tipsy one-person dance parties, Lady Gaga, and cookies? Hell to the YEAH.
WHOA UPDATE, DUDES. I wrote this post last night, but guess what? These cookies are FANFREAKINGTASTIC the next day! They’re chewy and sweet and generally AWESOME. Maybe they are my holy grail. Whoaaa.
Oh, and also? I tried some Thai iced bubble tea for the first time today at the Madison farmer’s market, only to discover just now that it contained milk. I guess it did seem a little cloudy, but I never thought that iced tea would have milk in it! I am super ignorant, apparently. And also super upset at myself. :( Sigh.