We have already talked here about my weird fascination with modifying foods. I can’t just make a batch of chocolate chip cookies unless I am testing out recipes to find the best chocolate chip cookies. I spend much of my running time, free time, working time etc. dreaming up ways I can either take classic recipes and make them decidedly inspired. Some say this makes a good cook, and sometimes I think that that’s true. It’s a great way to come upon new discoveries and garner the ability to work with what you’ve got. It’s also a fantastic way to fail.
Yeah, you read that right. I love setting myself up for failure. Am I a baking masochist? Perhaps. With cooking, my experimental tendencies have often saved me in a pinch, allowing me to create meals I’d make again and again from the leftover scraps of an empty pantry. But I carry this tendency over to my baking, and things can get weird.
If you’re a baker, you probably know and love the ritual, almost scientific process of measuring things out perfectly, reading a recipe four times, noting the various steps and timing them out mentally before carrying them out (ahem, just me?) You know the frustration that comes with testing a recipe again and again, and conversely the incredible satisfaction that comes with a successful creation that is everything you’d hoped it would be.
But sometimes, my err- creativity can get in my way. Like when I tried to make vegan meringues, a feat in and of itself, while also trying to make them brightly colored and taste like mint and black licorice? I’m so sorry, world. I thought it would be good. They tasted like crispy, crunchy baked toothpaste that fell flat when I piped it. Facepalm. Times like this, when I just fail so hard at baking, I want to tear my hair out. I want to turn in my apron and admit I’m a fraud.
But then, against my better judgment, I try something odd once again. And it works! It’s good. My serving platter is empty faster than I can blink and ask my testers if they liked it. It’s enabling, you know? Keeps me churning out my strange “creations” in the hopes of something great and unprecedented.
All of this going on to tell you I ground some pear chips in a coffee grinder and put them in citrus-flavored coconut oil shortbread. Pear chips? You know, like apple chips but with pears. If you find that this is an obscure ingredient, I bet apple chips would be just lovely with orange instead of grapefruit, and maybe a touch of cinnamon for good measure. Or make like M. Steezy (I’m sorry) and make your own! These are made with coconut oil instead of butter, so if you do like I did and try and make them into little triangles, they’ll be on the more rustic side. If you do like a normal person would and roll them into a log and slice off rounds, they will probably be a little more uniform. Triangles are my favorite shape, though, what can I say.
Recipe adapted from Wing it Vegan
- 1 + ¼ cups unbleached or refined spelt flour
- ¼ cups ground pear chip meal
- 1 tablespoon grapefruit zest
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ cup coconut oil, soft
- ¼ cup raw sugar
- 2 tablespoons grapefruit juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Make sure your coconut oil is room temperature. You don’t want it completely solidified, but it doesn’t need to be melted. Cream the coconut oil with a hand or stand mixer on high until no longer chunky.
- Add vanilla, grapefruit juice, and raw sugar and beat until well incorporated.
- With a spatula or spoon, stir in the flour and pear meal. Mix in the grapefruit zest uniformly. If too dry, add some water or more grapefruit juice. (Be wary of how citrus-y you like your cookies, though!)
- Plop the whole mess of dough onto some cling wrap and roll into a cylindrical shape. You can leave it like this and stick it in the freezer for an hour, or you can wait 15 minutes until it’s a bit more firm and then shape the log into a triangle, like so. If you’re going this route, stick it back in the freezer for the remainder of the hour.
- When you’re getting ready to take out the dough, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Slice off cookies with a sharp knife and place on baking sheet (if circular) or slice your triangles in half for little mini-triangles and place on the baking sheet.
- Bake these suckers for 15-20 minutes depending on how big you made them. Watch them around the 15 minute mark and take them out when the bottom parts that are touching the baking sheet start to become golden and the cookies have lost the appearance of being wet.
- Cool for a while on the baking sheet, sprinkle with some extra pear dust if desired, and enjoy! They cool pretty quickly- you can probably be eating them in, oh, 15 minutes or so if you’re completely unafraid of burning your mouth.