The PPK girls have ruined my life- and by life I mean waistband. I used to have such a hard time finding sweets I could eat, and didn't have any recipes for making my own. I was left with specialty dark chocolate and pie. Now, I can whip up some awesome vegan cookies in less than a half hour, and have cupcakes in just an hour or so. I literally make cookies almost every day.
In light of my increased sugar intake, I've been doing a little research on kicking a sugar habit. Sadly, I don't like what I've found. I keep reading about quitting "cold [tofurky]" and cleansing your life of sugar. Ugh. I'm not trying to send myself into a coma of boredom, I just don't want to be such a pudge. I already know about agave nectar. It is the fruit of the Gods in my life. Special thanks to Costco for making this branch of my habit semi-affordable. I wanted an even more hard core substitute though. And again, Costco had the answer; dates.
I was reading a Living Without magazine that I picked up at my local health food store, and I saw something about using dates soaked in water in the place of brown sugar. I tried it today with a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe, but I full on used dates and water to replace all the sugar that was called for. They cookies turned out a bit cakey (but I bet if I left out the liquid that was called for they wouldn't be) and delicious! They were sweet without being too sweet and the chocolate chips were able to really stand out. I am looking forward to more experimentation, and when I have a good recipe I'll share. Now I feel like there must be all kinds of ways to avoid the white devil (refined sugar) in my baking. This will be added to my list of experiments under the umbrella of my new passion; allergen-free cooking. Also, with a baby girl who already has plenty of energy, the last thing I need is to give her sugar.
Until then I'll be having sugar plum dreams about sweet sweet treats. I keep waiting for the PPK confection book. I already have some truffle ideas and it's taking all my self control not to act on them.
***Edited March 24, 2010: BINGO! Of course my sugar free cookies are not fat free, and there are ways I could cut back, but it's oil from the pecans and coconut oil! Pecan oil might not be as healthy (I know almonds the "heathy" nut, but I tend to favor all nut oils), but coconut has many benefits and I don't use a ton. As a bonus, I was able to make these cookies gluten free too! Sugar and Gluten Free Cowboy Cookies