Campfire Cookies

As times change and priorities shift, I find myself baking at work more and more and in my own kitchen less and less. I hope to change this... But for now, with these hot and sticky days and nights, I'm not complaining too much that my oven has been cold and dormant.

In lieu of cupcakes, I've been delving into the world of cookies at The Quarters. This is mostly because of storage constraints - cookies don't need to be kept in cold storage like cakes do. And because I also have to work with what we have on-hand at the restaurant, I've been honing my non-vegan baking skills. Fun fact: I learned to bake when I was vegan, so I am much more familiar with vegan baking chemistry than traditional baking with butter/eggs/dairy.

However, I feel very strongly that there should be variety in what we offer at The Quarters. You know? Everyone should have a chance to enjoy a sweet treat - vegan or not. So a couple of weeks ago I made these killer Campfire Cookies - vegan, vegan, VEGAN! Crumbly graham, marshmallows, and semisweet chocolate chips are the stuff of summer dreams! And then I even torched the top of each little cookie just for the sheer fun of it.

Now I am handing over the recipe because these suckers should be in every single one of your kitchens too. They are that good. I promise.

Don't ever say I don't love you.

Yield: approx 1 dozen (large!)

For the graham...
1/4 c Earth Balance (melted)
1 c finely ground graham crackers
1/4 c sugar
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Press onto a cookie sheet in a thin, flat layer of graham. Bake until golden brown and the graham layer is mostly stuck together in one piece (like a crust). Let cool and then break crust into lots of smaller pieces.

For the cookies...
3/4 c Earth Balance
1/4 c coconut cream (refrigerated until solid)
3/4 c sugar
3/4 c brown sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 c flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 c semisweet chocolate chips (or more if you're a chocolate fiend!)
10 oz pkg Dandies marshmallows
Pieces from 1 graham crust (above)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixer, cream Earth Balance, coconut cream and brown/white sugars until fluffy. Add vanilla. Mix flour, baking soda/powder and salt in a separate bowl. Add flour mixture to wet ingredient mixture slowly until fully incorporated. With a spoon, fold in chocolate, marshmallows and graham crust pieces.

Prepare your cookie sheets with parchment paper. Portion dough into 1/4 c servings rolled into balls. Place about 2 inches apart (they will spread!). Flatten the balls of cookie dough slightly with the palm of your hand. Bake for 15-20 minutes (until the bottoms begin to look golden brown). Allow to cool on the cookie sheets for at least 3 minutes before moving to a wire rack to finish cooling. Use a kitchen blow torch on any pieces of exposed marshmallow for a fun, toasted look!