August was bonkers – I wrapped up SugarSlam III with a bit of controversy, headed to Portland for the International Food Blogger Conference and then to St. Louis for my cousin’s wedding. As soon as I got back Teno started first grade, and then the Chicago public school teachers went on strike* so I hope you’ll understand why the blog has been a little inactive.

I had a great time on my first trip to Portland in 10 years. At the conference I had the pleasure of meeting Stefani from Cupcake Project and having lunch with Jess from Get Sconed! (Sadly, our conference-provided lunch consisted mainly of cauliflower. Hoping for more veggie options if I attend again next year.) I also sat in on some interesting sessions including one on recipe development led by Just a Taste’s Kelly Senyei.

I’m breaking one of her rules by writing such a long story before getting to the recipe, by the way. But besides that, I learned a lot that will help me as I continue to develop recipes for my book (which you can finally read more about, by the way). Anyway, when I finally got home from Portland and St. Louis I wanted to make something yummy for Teno to pack in his lunch for his first day. It’s a tweak on a Post-Punk Kitchen recipe for vegan chocolate chip cookies that has been published online for ages, so I think Kelly would approve of me sharing it with you. ;)

Portland Party & Good Student Cookies Recipe

vegan chocolate cherry almond cookies

By BakeandDestroy Published: September 10, 2012

  • Yield: 24 (12 Servings)
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 8 mins
  • Ready In: 23 mins

Based on the famous Post Punk Kitchen recipe, these soft & chewy cookies only take minutes to throw together. They're sweet, tart & salty and perfect for back-to-school.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease two baking sheets or line with silicone liners.
  2. Mix together sugars, oil, milk and tapioca flour or arrow root starch in a mixing bowl. Mix until it resembled caramel. Stir in the vanilla.
  3. Add 1 cup of the flour, the baking soda and salt. Mix. Then mix in the rest of the flour. Fold in the chocolate chips, cherries and almonds. You might need to use your hands to moosh it together if the dough is stiff.
  4. Roll the dough into about ping pong ball size balls. Flatten them out to about 2 1/2 inches and sprinkle the tops with Kosher salt. Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes – until they are just a little browned around the edges.
  5. Cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.

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    tiger hand tattooAll in all Portland was pretty fantastic. I waited in line way too long at Voodoo Doughnuts, but was rewarded in the end with a huge, cock n’ balls doughnut. I met up with Joy from Lucky Cupcake Hairclips and then later with Agnes from Betty Turbo – I shopped at the mall with one, and toured the famous Vegan Mini-Mall with the latter. And while I was at the mini-mall I stopped into Scapegoat Tattoo and had Silje tattoo a pretty sick tiger on my hand.

    I’m back home for a few weeks so Teno and I can get started on his new column Food Puncher and his reviews for The Snackpot and then I’m taking off again in October for the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Fest and for the Revelation Records anniversary show. CM Punk’s DVD also comes out in October and I’m on it so you should pre-order it!

    *I support the CTU’s decision to strike, and hope that they are offered a fair contract soon so we can all get back into our regular school routines.