There is nothing more decidedly worse than a rainy day during Spring Break. Not that I would rather it snow than rain at this point, but a little green would be nice some time soon. I was unusually cheerful despite the tireless rain. So, I decided to put my good vibes to good use by spending a little time in the kitchen.
After pouring through my Instagram feed and Pinterest, I decided on making Almond Pistachio Oat Cookies from one of my favorite food bloggers, Secret Squirrel. A lot of her recipes are nut based, hence the adorable name. These cookies satisfied my desire for green and they were vegan and gluten free! Generally, when I bake I like it to try vegan recipes. Something about serving up vegan baked goods to friends and family seems so much more impressive. It is much more experimental, and you’re not always sure how things are going to turn out. I love the risk! When it’s vegan and it tastes amazing, your audience will be doubly impressed. Trust me, these are just that good.
Find the recipe here.
I’m the kind of person who has to have music on while I’m in the kitchen. Silence is truly maddening to me! I put on one of my favorite records of the moment (and quite possibly of all time!), Turn Blue, by The Black Keys, and got to work. Yes, it was an actual record on an actual record player. My parents are old school and tragically hip. Sifting through their record collection is one of the many joys of visiting home.
The recipe calls for vanilla bean paste, which I couldn’t find, but I splurged for the pod and scraped out the seeds. I wish vanilla bean wasn’t so pricey, because it really does make a huge difference in taste.
To mix it up, I subbed in Carob chips for the raw chocolate the recipe suggests you make. The flavor of the carob is subtler than chocolate, which went perfectly with the cookies because it did not overwhelm the pistachio. You could actually feed these cookies to your dog! However, I would not suggest this, because they are way too good to waste.
I’ve always heard that you are your own worst critic, but when it comes to my cooking, my mom definitely is! She is always a little skeptical when I experiment with vegan or gluten free cooking, but she was nuts for these cookies: begging for the recipe and everything. I like to credit everything I know about food to her. Because of this, I actually appreciate her critiques. It gives me something to learn from. Whenever I’m visiting, I take advantage of her fully stalked pantry and pick her brain for more tips and tricks I can add to my cooking arsenal once I return to Chicago.
Hint! Vegan baking can be expensive, but if you search for some ingredients at Trader Joes and buy just what you will be needing from the bulk bins at Whole Foods, one cookie won’t cost you your your entire paycheck.