While cooking, listen to this: To Life (L’Chaim) from Fiddler on the Roof
This past Tuesday, these two theater nerds saw Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish. And it was glorious.
If you’ve had a chance to mosey on over to our ‘about’ page, you’ll know my favorite musical is Fiddler on the Roof. I don’t know if it’s the timeless tale of the old country, the heart-piercing songs about leaving home or the crazy on-the-nose Jewish humor, but something about that show gets me misty-eyed before the Overture is even finished.
This production is actually the second time I’ve seen Fiddler on the Roof with Rina - third, if you count the time I saw our high school’s production of the show when I was in eighth grade. She played a supremely memorable Yente the Matchmaker. But the thing that made this production stand above the rest wasn’t just the Yiddish, but the fact that an old friend of ours - a fellow high school theater nerd, Michael, was actually in the show!
It was the perfect opportunity to reminisce about our high school musical days - something Rina and I absolutely love to do. My freshman year (Rina’s sophomore year) we became fast friends in Grease, where she was Marty and I was Rizzo. Grease was where the earliest days of our friendship blossomed - who’d have guessed we’d be so close a decade later, cooking up a storm and sharing this lovely little corner of the Internet together? Any way, Michael was the Kenickie to my Rizzo in Grease - our only show together, since he was three years older than me. Even though it was so long ago, it was so nice to recall how truly awful but wonderful our high school shows were. There are only few times in my life where I can go back and relive the euphoric fun I was having at the time, and performing in high school is one of those times. Good times, good laughs and ridiculous ‘school-friendly’ productions - that’s all life is really about, nu?
So, let me tell you about these cookies. And let me play the role of notorious skeptic-turned-believer. Before you think blech, these cookies sound disappointing, might I remind you of the theme of Fiddler?? Tradition, tradition is what the people of Anatevka are taught to abide by. But what happens when Tevye’s three daughters offer a different life-path? These cookies. Or something like it.
These vegan monsters are everything a chocolate cookie should be - and then some. Slightly coconut-y, perfectly salty and sweet, Rina made these for a work bake-off, and I’m pretty sure she has her entire office under her spell as a result. (In case you were wondering, I fell under that spell long ago.)
It’s like Sleeping Beauty and that needle thing - you know you’re not supposed to touch it, but like it’s just so tempting you can’t help yourself. And then boom, you’re three cookies deep, completely negating the workout class you did that morning.
Do us both a favor and make these cookies to entice others - ignore the naysayers, prove them wrong, let them have an aside with God, as Tevye loves to do. Maybe do a little shimmy to If I Were a Rich Man - hey, we are living in New York! It’s all part of the experience - taking something tried and true and putting a new spin on it. And then let us know how it goes in the comments?
If you’ll excuse me, I’m off to watch Lin Manuel Miranda perform To Life/L’Chaim at his wedding…
Be happy! Be healthy! Long life!
VEGAN MUNCHIES COOKIES
Yield: about 14 cookies
Active Time: 10m | Fridge Time: 30m | Cook Time: 13-15m
Category: Sweet, Cookies, Vegan
Source: base recipe from Tasty
Note: you can add anything you want to these! We went with the below munchies, but make it your own - if you want some of this and none of that, or want to sub something in, DO IT.
½ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup refined coconut oil*, totally melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup non-dairy milk (we went with soy)
1½ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, in chip or chunk form
2-4 ounces pretzels, crushed into small pieces
2-4 ounces potato chips, crushed into small pieces (we use the ruffley ones)
2-3 ounces honey roasted peanuts
*I am sure you could use unrefined as well. I honestly don’t know what the difference is - maybe it’s more rugged?
Make the dough: in a large bowl wisk together the granulated sugar, dark brown sugar, salt and melted coconut oil until combined. Add in the salt and vanilla whisk until the sugar is all dissolved and the batter is smooth. Sift in the flour and baking powder and fold it into the mix with a rubber spatula. Be careful not to overmix - it’s fine if there are a few floury bits since we’re mixing the munchies in, which should incorporate everything nicely.
Add in the munchies: add in the chocolate chips, pretzels, potato chips and peanuts (along with anything else you might be using) and fold in until just incorporated. Pop in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
Prep: preheat the oven to 350 F and line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper.
Form and bake the cookies: Using an ice cream scoop or your hands, form the dough into small balls and place them about an inch or so apart. Bake for about 13 minutes, then check for doneness. Cookies will look underbaked when they’re ready - their internal heat will continue to cook them once they’re out of the oven. If they’re done on the outside and a little underdone on the inside, take them out. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool some more.
To serve: just straight into your face.
To keep: these will keep in a plastic zippered bag or plastic container for a few days, but leftovers will not be a problem here.