Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Vegan chocolate pomegranate cookies

Breakfast: Fruit tortilla wrap

Lunch: Vegan black bean chili with crusty bread and vegan chocolate pomegranate cookies

Dinner: Vegetable sushi

One of my newest obsessions in pomegranate. It started when Putin started bringing home bottles of Pom, a drink so wonderful and good for you that it's almost bitter. Then I started buying actual pomegranates, and got the art of removing the arils down to a tee. And it is an art, unless you want to hack away at the flesh and get covered in red splatters (which sounds much more morbid than I meant it to).

That fancy word there - arils - refers to the seed-like bits of the pomegranate that are bright red. The seed actually lives within these arils. They contain large amounts of vitamin C, like any good fruit does.

A bit of basic flavour pairing led me to believe that pomegranate would go really nicely with chocolate, and in this recipe it really did! The pomegranate is not the dominant taste, but instead compliments the chocolate taste - much as in this recipe for beet and chocolate cupcakes. These are really easy to make and are a tasty little change from chocolate chip cookies

You'll need:
(Makes 12-14 cookies)
1 cup wholewheat flour
1/2 cup cocoa (make sure its vegan)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup vegan margarine
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup molasses
1/2 cup pomegranate arils
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease a baking tray
Sift together the flour, cinnamon, cocoa, baking soda and brown sugar
In a separate bowl stir together the baking powder, water and canola oil until it becomes gelatinous. This will act as an egg replacer
Stir the molasses, vanilla extract and the margarine into the baking powder mixture and combine with the flour mixture
Stir in the pomegranate seeds until just combined and roll the mixture into 12 or 14 balls
Place them onto the baking tray and press down on each one a little
Bake for 10-12 minutes
Allow to cool on a wire rack for 15-20 minutes then enjoy!

Top tip: when you're removing the arils from the pomegranate flesh, do this over a cup to catch all the juice that falls. Stir this juice into the mixture for an extra little kick of flavour.

If you're trying to be a bit more fancy than normal, these are a nice treat to serve up to guests or even take to the office.

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