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The Gallivanting Gourmand
Greg Duncan
Greg Duncan
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is a freelance writer based in the Montreal region. He is particularly keen about good food. In his day job, Greg is the executive director of the Quebec Community Newspapers Association.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 10.17.06
Montreal

GREG DUNCAN

In my book, cookies = vegetables

Just what do you eat after over-indulging in all manner of harvest delights at the Thanksgiving table? There's not much time until another festive turkey day arrives and we all gather for another gravy-laden feast.

Yep, it's an indulgent time of year when we gobble up tons of Halloween candy between gorge fests. If that's not enough, the local school children hit the streets and descend on neighbors selling chocolate bars for a variety of school related activities. Combine all this food with a period of declining physical activity due to waning daylight hours, and you have a recipe for the bulge.

All that's just fine according to the following Internet excerpt and rationale.

Chocolate Is A Vegetable

Chocolate is derived from cocoa beans.
Bean = vegetable.
Sugar is derived from either sugar cane or sugar BEETS.
Both of them are plants, in the vegetable category. Thus, chocolate is a vegetable.
To go one step further, chocolate candy bars also contain milk, which is dairy. So candy bars are a health food.
Chocolate-covered raisins, cherries, orange slices and strawberries all count as fruit, so eat as many as you want.
Remember: "STRESSED" spelled backward is "DESSERTS."

Do we need any more reason to rejoice? The truth is out and now that we have washed up and put away all the dishes and pots and pans we should simply indulge in desserts while we trudge through our leftover turkey meals. If we are gong to toil away, then we might make some decent cookies, eh? For further variations on the theme you can mix and match by changing just a few ingredients to suit your mood. Who knows? Perhaps cookies count as vegetables too.

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

3/4-cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1-teaspoon baking soda
3/4-teaspoon salt
1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate morsels

Beat butter and sugars at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla, beating until blended.
Combine flour, soda, and salt in a small bowl; gradually add to butter mixture, beating well. Stir in morsels. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto lightly greased baking sheets.
Bake at 350 for 8 to 14 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies: Decrease salt to 1/2 teaspoon. Add 1 cup creamy peanut butter with butter and sugars. Increase flour to 2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons. Proceed as directed. (Dough will look a little moist.)

Oatmeal-Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies: Reduce flour to 2 cups. Add 1 cup uncooked quick-cooking oats to dry ingredients and 1 cup raisins with morsels. Proceed as directed.

Pecan-Chocolate Chip Cookies: Add 1 1/2 cups chopped, toasted pecans with morsels. Proceed as directed.

Almond-Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies: Reduce morsels to 1 cup. Add 1/2 cup slivered toasted almonds and 1-cup toffee bits. Proceed as directed.

Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies: Substitute 1 (12-ounce) package dark chocolate morsels for semisweet chocolate morsels. Proceed as directed.
Prep: 30 min., Bake: 14 min. per batch
Yield: Makes about 5 dozen,

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