Friday, February 13, 2009

sucanat is my boyfriend

Don't be afraid of the orangey coating the cookies have. It is merely Sucanat, your new ally in the war against inclusion in mainstream American food culture.

You guys. I've made a breakthrough.

You know how I'm on a quest to make myself entirely despicable? To become That Lady, food scold version? Remember my cookies that I'd ruined with all the healthy substitutions? I cast my memory back, and I realized that it was when I replaced the granulated sugar with honey that I lost the crispy outer, gooey inner that I love. A cookie has to primarily be delicious, and I was worried that I might have to add the sugar back in. You can get away with doing 2/3-3/4 the amount of sugar called for (and often less fat as well) with no discernible difference in flavor or texture. I think it actually makes the cookie better, because the sugar doesn't get to sit on all the other ingredients and spit loogies in their hair. But I wanted no sugar at all, and honey gave me cakey cookies--most objectionable. What to do? Such a quandary.

Then my neighbor recommended trying Sucanat. What is Sucanat, you ask? Well, we wikked it, and here's the story: in a nutshell, it is dried sugar cane juice. The juice is extracted by mechanical means, heated and cooled. It is higher in nutritional value than sugar, because it retains its molasses, and is lower in sucrose. Don't go crazy, though, it's still sugar. Just a tiny bit less bad for you.

So I made some cookies today, Martha's Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread cookies from her book that I still have checked out and am starting to wish I owned. I used Sucanat in place of the brown sugar it called for, and added a tablespoon of honey to replace the moisture. I also rolled them in Sucanat instead of sugar. And they are crispy in the right places and gooey in the right places. They doth rock! As do the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal cookies I made with Sucanat the other day. And since I can't keep all these cookies around all the time, my neighbors are loving me. I wonder if I can use a honey/Sucanat combo . . .

I still have to try it in meringue and cake and such, because the crystals are a lot bigger and don't dissolve as readily. But it's a start. Before you know it we'll be eating bulgur and drinking our recycled urine, because we don't abuse our bodies or the world we live in*. GOSH.

*Courtesy Neil from The Young Ones.


Sarah said...

Where did you go about finding sucanat? Those cookies look awesome, and I'm pretty sure I need to become one of your neighbors.

All8 said...

Man, I wish I was your neighbor.

My mom swears by Agave, but I'll just have to take her word on it. I've never heard of sucanat. I'll be on the look out for it.

Amy said...

Thank you for the introduction. I've been experimenting with artificial sweeteners. So far, my favorite is Xylitol (except that it costs and arm and a leg). Do I find this at my local health food store?

Layne said...

You can get Sucanat at Kitchen Kneads on 30th-ish and Grant.