Squidgy Margarita Cookie Pots (Vegan)

Squidgy Margarita Cookie Pots (Vegan)
Sometimes, things come together so easily it’s like the ye olde pudding gods are shining down and blessing you with good baking fortune. This was one of those times. I recently had some limes left over from making my husband’s annual birthday key lime pie, and also some dairy-free white chocolate chips lying around that I’d been itching to use. As I’ve been doing a huge amount of flirting with veganism recently, I thought about using them to make cookies. “I-can’t-believe-they’re-vegan” cookies are my speciality. But then I remembered about Nigella Lawson’s delicious Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Pots (a recipe she said was inspired by seeing something similar online). What if I devised a vegan version? And made them limey? With white chocolate? (And then salted them margarita-style because, well why the heck not.) Would it work? Yes, my friends. Yes it does. And despite containing no tequila (or triple sec for that matter – I use 1/4 tsp orange oil for a similar effect but you can brush a little Cointreau over them when you remove them from the oven if you like) I’m sticking with the margarita description. I’ve based the recipe more on my own blueprint for vegan cookies, which, to be fair, isn’t far off a traditional cookie anyway. This is a super-easy, fabulous dessert – and not just for vegans! All you need are some ramekins and you’re good to go.

You might be wondering what a cookie pot is. Really it’s just an underbaked cookie in a dish. Beneath a crispy top lies a cookie centre so soft, so squidgy – almost foamy –  it must be eaten with a spoon. The idea is to eat them warm, after letting them rest for about 15 minutes out of the oven – any longer and they’ll start to go too crispy. A dollop of vegan ice cream (and a teaspoon of tequila drizzled directly on to each baked cookie, if you like) – would be outstanding additions. Swedish Glace non-dairy ice-cream is available in virtually every supermarket and is an inexpensive joy. Basically, if licking the bowl has always been your thing, you will love these.

Makes 4-6 servings, depending on the size of your ramekins. I used 4 x 175ml (approx) capacity. Reduce the cooking time by a few minutes for smaller sizes.

85g Stork (block, not tub) or Pure (try Earth Balance in the US)*
125g caster sugar
Zest of 2 limes (plus one extra as a finishing touch)
2 tbsp non-dairy milk
1/4 tsp orange oil
1 tbsp golden syrup (try using corn syrup in the US)*
100g dairy-free white chocolate drops, or a bar chopped up
160g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Optional: A scoop of non-dairy ice cream per pot, to serve.

*If you’re not vegan, just use softened butter and replace the non-dairy milk and golden syrup with 1 medium egg.

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Preheat the oven to 190c/375f/gas mark 5. Beat the Stork, sugar and the zest of 2 limes together until nice and creamy. Switch off the motor and add the non-dairy milk, orange oil and golden syrup. Beat again until combined.

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In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, bicarb, baking powder and salt. Add slowly to the mixture, beating thoroughly.

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Spoon the mixture evenly between the ramekins and lightly smooth the tops. Bake in the middle of the oven for 15-20 minutes. I found 20 minutes was just right for my four (quite large) ramekins, but check yours after 15 minutes. They are ready when they are puffed up and deeply golden, especially around the edges. Remove from the oven and leave them t0 stand for around 15 minutes. They will shrink a little, firming up around the edges as they do so, leaving the inside warm and gooey. Just before serving, zest the final lime over the tops and add a scoop of ice-cream if you like. These are best eaten immediately, but you can just about get away with warming them up in a hot oven for 5 minutes the next day, if necessary.
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