A Cookie Like Me

by Jen Wanous

This week, I celebrated my birthday.  It was to be a low-key event…but it turned into a very memorable one that lasted for days.

The lead up to my birthday actually started out as a big bummer when my bike was stolen.  As with most obstacles in my life, I tried to look for the silver lining.  Turns out, it was right under my nose within the reach of my friends and family.  I had the thought to reach out to my community to ask for support by setting up a birthday/bike fund.  The response I received was touching.  From five dollars to fifty, from inquires of concern and support, to offering their neighbor’s unused bikes–people gave generously.  It is hard sometimes to ask for help but it was good practice for me.  I was heartened by my community’s support.

My actual birthday fell on a school day.  It was our Raw Foods day and at first, I was not so excited about this.  However, it was actually a very delicious day–complete with cake and ice cream (well, raw brownies and fruit sorbet).  I brought along some vegan cookies to share with my culinary school friends who are vegan.  After some thought, I decided that these cookies are a lot like me; it makes the best out of what it has and it’s sweet, exudes calm and has a sprinkling of saltiness.  The recipe is below.

My birthday was punctuated by the best dinning experience I’ve ever had.  Annie treated me to a dinner at Blue Hill Farms.  This is a farm and restaurant an hour outside of New York City.  We saw deer frolicking and lightning bugs against the rolling crop lined hills.  Needless to say, this really impressed our city-slicker eyes.  They have a five course “farmer’s tasting” menu which leaves you in the masterful hands of the chef.  Each course offered seasonal awe and impressed us with its presentation.  A dinner highlight of a poached and fried egg that was perfectly circular when plated in pea soup and broke into a gooey goldenness.  Of course, Annie was cringing as she watched me eat this because she does not appreciate peas nor raw egg.  Luckily, there was plenty of other samplings to keep us both full and happy.

This birthday leaves me with a deep sentiment of gratitude to the many people who helped make this birthday a memorable one.  Even the person who, (as my friend Kristina said) “infinitely borrowed my bike”, had something to offer me this year.

Lavender Sea Salt Cookies

Yields 25 cookies

1/2 cup Earth Balance Spread (or one stick butter)

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg replacer or egg

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons edible lavender flower (find at your local farmer’s market)

zest of one orange

1/2 teaspoon corse sea salt for sprinkling

1. Preheat the oven to 350.  Prepare two baking sheets either with a silpat pad or with light oil.

2. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.  Add in the egg (replacer).  Mix well.

3. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt.

4. Add the flour mix to the butter/sugar until just combine.  Gently incorporate the lavender and the orange zest.

5. On prepared baking sheets, scoop out 1 teaspoon sized balls and top with a hearty pinch of sea salt.  Bake for 7-10 minutes.  Remove from sheet and cool on a rack.

2 Comments to “A Cookie Like Me”

  1. Jen, I love this blog! Your stories of self discovery are wonderful and the recipes are fantastic! I can’t wait to try these lavender sea salt cookies. Keep writing, keep cooking, and keep sharing! :-)

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