How to Make Vegan Chocolate Cookies from Luminary Bakery in London

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TO Bakery Lighting, pastry is synonymous with brotherhood. The London-based bakery serves as a space where women advocate for other women through the prism of seeking independence, employable skills and stability as they whip cakes and twist the dough into huge buns. cinnamon.

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On the outside, Luminary Bakery may just look like this – a buzzing bakery of pastry chefs sliding sheets of brownies into the oven. But in fact, it supplants the dictionary definition of a bakery: Founded by Alice Williams, the social enterprise works with marginalized women, teaching them a number of skills to get them back on their feet, while selling the same pastries as these women. Make.

“Luminary Bakery was founded by a group of women who saw the lack of opportunities available to women who had experienced extreme disadvantage and wanted to do something to change that,” says Kaila H. Johnson, communications manager. “We use the therapeutic nature of baking to help create a safe space where women feel empowered to achieve independence. “

Many of these women came to Luminary Bakery as a result of gender-based violence, poverty, human trafficking, or had spent time looking for ways to care for a young child, for example, or to study a trade. For many Luminary students, this trauma often puts them at a serious disadvantage in the job market, but finding a job and being financially independent is key to changing their situation.

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“For this reason, our programs focus on employability and entrepreneurship, equipping [the women] with skills transferable to the world of work, ”explains Rachel Stonehouse, bakery trainer at Luminary.

Luminary Bakery works holistically with interns for two years. The program includes learning about baking and work skills, job preparation, tips for building a positive future, and trauma-informed support. Each program has two stages: the 6-month Employability Program, which emphasizes professional cooking and transferable life skills, and the 18-month Progression Support Program, which provides these graduates with a year and an additional half of training oriented towards the world of work.

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This fusion of bakery and vocational training is no accident. “We use cooking as a tool to deal with the past and work towards a positive future,” says Kaila. “Through our trauma-informed training and support, we see healing occur, second chances arise, community developed, and opportunities explored to develop potential.”

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For women, these parallels of experiences allow a more supportive and empathetic community. Monica, one of Luminary Bakery’s graduates, says: “Because of my past, I couldn’t believe in myself. Now I am with women who understand my journey and who believe in me.

Since its launch in 2014, Luminary Bakery has trained 66 women, with 26 more trainees expected to graduate in October. After graduation, these women often take on other jobs in London bakeries or babysitting roles. Others start their own restaurant business or continue their education by attending university. Luminary Bakery has become so well-known and well-known that royals and pastry stars including Megan Markle and Benjamina Ebuehi have notably supported the cause.

For those who live in London, a stop at Luminary Bakery can result in a palm-sized cinnamon bun; vegan cherry and coconut brownies; Cheese scones; and layered cakes, sprinkled with fresh herbs and fruit. But if visiting is impossible at the moment, Luminary Bakery has just published its first cookbook, “Rising Hope: Luminary Bakery Recipes & Stories, Where home bakers can replicate some of the bakery’s beloved pastries and read a host of testimonials from program graduates. Pastry recipes include Irish Roasted Garlic Soda Bread, Lime Bars, and Espresso Shortbread Cookies.

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To give you a taste of the cookbook and Luminary Bakery, try this vegan chocolate and sea salt cookie recipe. makes it much easier to roll into balls and produces a thicker, softer cookie. If you’re looking for perfectly even cookies, she also suggests using a scale to weigh the dough into even-sized pieces. If you don’t have a scale on hand, grab an ice cream scoop instead.

Because these cookies are vegan, they may not look crisp when you take them out of the oven, but trust the timing. “They may look undercooked in the middle,” says Rachel, “but will give you a gloriously chewy center once they cool.”

Mim’s Vegan Chocolate and Sea Salt Cookies Recipe

When Mim joined us, she not only brought a wealth of cake decorating experience and a caring, caring spirit, but also a passion for making delicious vegan treats. Mim says this recipe is inspired by all the women she’s worked with in the kitchen over the years: resilient, strong, and amazing. You’ll savor every bite of these lightly salted cookies!

Vegan chocolate and sea salt cookies

  • 4 fluid ounces of olive oil
  • 2 fluid ounces of cold water
  • 7½ ounces of light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 8¾ ounces of all-purpose flour
  • 1 ounce of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon of baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon of fine salt
  • 6 ounces of vegan dark chocolate chips (70% cocoa solids) or a bar cut into ½ inch pieces
  • Sea salt or kosher salt
  1. Combine the oil, water, sugar and vanilla until the mixture is well combined and looks like caramel.
  2. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix to combine well and create a soft dough.
  4. Add chocolate chips and mix until evenly distributed. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes until firm.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 ° F and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Use a tablespoon to drop balls of dough onto the leaves, spacing them 2 inches apart to allow for spreading. Alternatively, weigh dough balls at 2 ounces each and roll them in your hands before placing them on the sheets. Garnish each cookie with a pinch of salt.
  7. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until cookies have firmed around the edges.
  8. Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Header image by Thomas Rose.

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