Cockadoodledo!

I’ll be honest, I haven’t much felt like baking cookies lately. In fact, I haven’t been near my oven in two weeks. I’ve also been rather down in the dumps (which is silly, because I live on a freaking mountain–how can anyone rightfully claim to be sad when she lives on a mountain??).

I realized that I would need a little kick to get out of my funk and back into the kitchen. And that kick delivered itself in the form of sriracha.

Food porn. Yes, I said it.

If you’re not familiar with sriracha (or colloquially referred to as “rooster sauce”–because of the picture on the bottle of the most famous brand, not because it’s made with rooster, you silly geese!), you need to immediately find yourself a Vietnamese restaurant, have a bowl of pho, and fix that. I’m one of the crazy ones who believes that food isn’t spicy unless it makes you cry, so sriracha is my magic go-to sauce at ethnic restaurants when the waiters think that the pasty Dutch-American girl really only meant to make her order “spicy.” Well, hold the air quotes, I say, because a dash, a dollop, or a heaping quarter cup of this stuff quickly restores the dish to its sweat-and-pain-inducing glory, exactly as it should be.

So what does this have to do with cookies? Well, I’ve been feeling uninspired, and so I figured it was time to think outside of the box. My friend Alex had mentioned the peanut and sriracha combination several months ago, and I figured that now would be the best time to experiment.

I bought a bottle of sriracha (and this brand is vegan, although next time I’d like to go all Bonzai Aphrodite and just make my own all natural sauce) and had Whole Foods grind me some raw peanut butter (and trust me, you can taste the difference when it’s raw and freshly ground. Although again, next time, I’m looking forward to doing it myself instead of expensively–though more conveniently–outsourcing the job) and set to work.

Oil free and freshly ground? Yes PLEASE.

In under 25 minutes, I had concocted a perfectly balanced blend of sweetness and spice, perfectly moist and with a warm heat that creeps up and hits you at the very end. These little “Rooster Cookies” were most definitely a surprising success.

But the most surprising part about these cookies was the response. I’m known for pushing the boundaries on my cookie flavors (garlic hazelnut cookies, anyone?), but I was honestly concerned about how these cookies would be received.

Sharing is caring.

The vast majority of my coworkers who braved the break-room caution sign came back with rave reviews–only a few were a bit skeptical, but mainly because they just weren’t sure how to “contextualize” the sensation, as my friend Amir put it.

These cookies were definitely the kick I needed to get my day going and get my back in the kitchen–a proverbial rooster crow to kick the morning off right.

The proud parents pose for a family portrait with their deliciously spicy offspring!

Love and Cookies,

KP

Pigging out. Sort of.

Hello, 2012. It’s so nice to see you. You have no idea how long I’ve been waiting to meet you…I’ve been in a dysfunctional relationship with 2011, and I’m not sorry to see it go.

Like any good relationship, 2012, this one will start with cookies. I’ve been wracking my brain thinking of the best recipe with which to welcome you into my life.

There are so many cultures that welcome New Years into their lives with food…Almost always, those foods are circular (so cookies were a go). But grapes have been done (in the form of raisins); collard greens, though okay in smoothies, might have been visually unappealing; and sauerkraut? Well, I’m brave, but I’m not that brave.

And then, 2012, I remembered the New Year’s Eve I spent in Austria with one of my best friends and his family. On New Year’s day, they served us little marzipan . And that made me think of the New Year’s ham that had, in the past, graced my step family’s table (kosher we are not). And then my feeble little brain, already overtaxed with visions of sugar plums past, made the almost unimaginable leap to the cookies I made for one of my former roommates as a thank you gift  earlier in the year: Peanut Butter and Chocolate Covered Candied Bacon cookies. (Adapted from the ridiculously inspirational How Sweet It Is.)

The thought looked something like this: Bacon. Ham. Pigs……vegan? Yes.

And so, 2012, I took a risk. A leap of faith, if you will. And I ask you to take that leap of faith with me. Because, oh my god, was that little leap worth it:

I give you 100% Vegan Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter “Bacon”* Cookies!

Happy New Year!

Because it looks like bacon...

...and it smells like bacon...

...and it tastes like bacon...

...But it's 100% VEGAN!

Let’s make this relationship a good one, 2012.

Love & Cookies,

KP

*My “bacon” is a recipe adapted from Just the Foods‘s Imitation Bacon Bits and made with Textured Vegetable Protein, which is just a fancy word for defatted soy flour, or, more colloquially, soy crumbles. Sounds kind of not-yummy, I know; you’d be surprised, however, just how ridiculously tasty this fake bacon can be. I’m not a huge fan of “fake meat” when it comes to dinner; I prefer to accept that I’m not eating meat and enjoy the unique tastes of the different vegetable, nut, and legume proteins that I’m adding to my diet. But that said, this fake bacon is really, really, really good. And, somehow, it works when you throw it in a Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookie.