Vegan's Chronicles + [Vegan]

Cartoons & Cookies
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One of my afternoons last week was spent hanging out with these two munchkins. Their mom is a close friend of the family and actually used to be my french tutor in middle school! It was great to see her again after all these years, and also to finally meet her husband, their three kids (these two girls, and a baby boy). Usually, children tend to scare me, but these kids were so cute and well-behaved that I didn't mind babysitting them for a few hours. Not that I did much anyway. We pretty much just drew some pictures, played with stickers, and watched lots of episodes of Pororo.

Prior to that day, I had no idea who or what Pororo was, but I quickly learned that it's the name of a cartoon penguin in a super popular Korean children's animation series. Has anyone else ever seen this show? If not, you gotta watch this episode:

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riveting stuff.

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Oh, and we ate cookies! Knowing we would have these kids over, my mom and I baked some kid-friendly peanut butter oatmeal cookies.

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Vegan Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
(adapted from www.food.com)
makes 24-26 cookies

1/3 cup natural, smooth peanut butter
1 Tbs non dairy butter (we used Nuttelex)
2/3 cup organic sugar
1/3 cup soy milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup rolled oats
a few shelled peanuts for decoration (optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, non dairy butter, sugar, milk, and vanilla extract until everything is smooth and creamy.
  3. In another bowl, sift together flour, soda and salt. Add the oatmeal and mix well.

  4. Combine the wet with the dry, and mix until just incorporated.
  5. Drop batter by tablespoonfuls onto baking sheet and slightly flatten with your fingers. For decoration, place a peanut on top of each cookie (optional).

  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until set.
  7. Remove sheet from oven and let cool on tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a cookie rack.

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I didn't know this at the time, but one of the girls is allergic to certain store-bought cookies with unnatural additives and preservatives, so her mom only gives her home-made cookies. Luckily she was able to enjoy these vegan cookies without any fear.

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Soft and chewy! The kids gave me their stamp of approval.

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And here's what the grown ups got. Just for fun, I experimented with about 1/4 of the cookie batter to make thumbprint cookies with some homemade mulberry (오디) jam that someone gave us. The jam by itself is amazingly delicious with blobs of whole mulberries in it, stems and all! You can even see a tiny mulberry stem still in the cookie:

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When baked, the berry juices seeped out a bit too much and they dyed the cookies black... . but they still tasted good!

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Take away goodie-bag.

So that was an interesting afternoon of cartoons, cookies, and crayons... . I'm soooo not used to being around small humans. They make me feel self-conscious... probably because they are so honest and innocent, and I feel like they can see right through to all my insecurities. hehe. But I had a surprisingly good time, and I hope they did too! Really, just watching them happily nibble away on vegan cookies made my day.