They say everything’s bigger in Texas, but just because you may in theory want to stuff your face full of a massive, Texas-sized piece of chocolaty decadence, doesn’t mean you always should. Besides, I’m all about the portability of desserts wherever possible (which mostly relates back to the fact that if I make a cake the size of my head, I can’t bring it anywhere or share it with anyone. Now on the one hand this is of course amazing, but on the other hand, if I make this a regular habit, I have a bad feeling that I will become much like the Wicked Witch of the West. And by that I mean that my body/ blood will be so over-saturated with sugar that if someone ever throws a bucket of water on me, I will melt into a sugary puddle at their feet. Now that’s a sweet, sweet death 😉 . If this happens, don’t let all that goodness go to waste though, I demand that you incorporate my no longer corporeal self into some sort of delicious treat. I’m all about saving the planet one sugary murder at a time, and that seems like the height of recycling if you ask me 😉 ).
I stumbled across this recipe for Texas sheet cake, and though it mostly seemed to be just chocolate cake to me, the concept and visuals looked pretty delicious, and I couldn’t seem to get it out of my head (in the form of “mmm…sheets made out of cake? Get on that Bed Bath & Beyond!”). My two biggest issues with this was, as previously mentioned, I didn’t really want to make a massively huge cake that was too big to take anywhere. My second problem was that all the icing recipes that go along with this cake were basically “take an entire bag of icing sugar and add just enough liquid to it to make it spreadable.” Now don’t get me wrong, I obviously have no issues with frosting, but I’m not really the biggest fan of overly sweet, headache-inducing spreads. I mean if that’s what you’re looking for, why make icing at all? Just take a spoon and eat some straight sugar right from the bag/box and cut out the middle man. I on the other hand, feel badly for the middle man, so I need to make his role in the frosting creation process worth his time. That’s just my small way of supporting my local economy and/or local businessman. What can I say? I’m very altruistic like that 😉 .
A solution to both of these problems presented itself to me however. Who says cake has to stay in cake form? Why not create a cookie/cake hybrid? I can hear you unconvincingly and sarcastically saying “No Amber, don’t do it” (because really, who would actually conceive of this being a bad idea? Maybe if your name was Cookie, and you were concerned that I meant this in a cannibalistic kind of way? At that point I can understand why you’d be worried, but rest assured all you Cookies out there, I only mean it in the edible dessert kind of way I promise 😉 ).
Ok, so that’s one problem resolved. Delicious, delicious cake bites (I am not getting on the cake pops wagon, so don’t worry. No extra equipment required for these bites of goodness). Problem the second was resolved because I had recently purchased a “jar” of PB2. PB2 is basically powdered peanut butter. Now I had not heard of this myself until recently, but I started seeing it on a number of baking blogs that I enjoy and it made me curious. So when I saw that it was available at an organic produce/ health food store-ish place near me, I had to buy it to give it a go. I figured that using it in a chocolate-peanut butter icing for these cake cookies would be the perfect opportunity. Sometimes it’s difficult to make icing that’s not overly sweet because you also don’t want it to be overly runny. This is where I was thinking that powdered peanut butter + some cocoa powder could make an entrance. It could help thicken up the icing without adding tons of extra sugar. Also, peanut butter + chocolate is never a bad idea (unless you’re allergic of course. Which if you are, may I express my deepest sympathy, I don’t know how you survive. I wonder if you were allergic to both chocolate and peanut butter, if you ate them together if the allergies would cancel each other out? Now that would be the greatest discovery of all time. Especially if it extended to other allergies as well. If you were allergic to strawberries and ragweed for instance, you could just go outside with a big ol’ bowl of strawberries during ragweed season and eat them to your hearts content. One can dream).
The toasted pecans on top I basically just added for a) a little extra visual panache and b) because if you look up other proprietary Texas desserts pecans seemed to make quite the appearance (literally and figuratively 🙂 ).
Also speaking of visual panache, I took one for the team by eating a bunch of cookies so that I could get a good “bitten in half” photo. The things one does for ones art 😉
Yield: 30 cookies
- 1/2 cup vegan butter
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 egg replacer
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips, melted
- 3 tablespoons vegan butter
- 1/4 cup powdered peanut butter (if you can’t find PB2, I’m sure regular peanut butter would work fine too)
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/3 cup icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 teaspoons almond milk
- Toasted chopped pecans to sprinkle on top (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or silpat (or grease it).
- In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to cream together sugar and butter. Add in egg replacer and vanilla and mix until combined.
- In a small bowl, sift together baking powder, salt, cinnamon and flour. Slowly add flour mixture to the wet ingredients. The dough will be very thick.
- Melt chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl or on the stove top. Stir melted chocolate into the cookie dough.
- Using a small cookie scoop or a tablespoon, drop balls of cookie dough onto the baking sheet a couple of inches apart. Flatten ever so slightly with your hand or the bottom of a glass (just enough to flatten out the top slightly). Bake for 6-8 minutes. Keep a close eye on the cookies though, you still want them to be soft, so remove them from the oven when they are just set. Let them firm up on the cookie sheet before moving them to a cooling rack.
- While cookies are cooling make the glaze. In a small bowl, combine the vegan butter and powdered peanut butter. Add the cocoa powder and maple syrup and incorporate. Add the icing sugar, vanilla and almond milk and blend until smooth.
- Spread or drizzle on top of completely cooled cookies and sprinkle with toasted pecans if desired.