◊ “Are These Cookies Vegan?”


White finger nails from bleach? I think I’ll stick with the fruit flies. There’s no need to go to extremes.

It’s just that I live with 5 people and what can I say… We’re all busy bees in our 20s with no sense of personal or communal responsibility.  But we have homemade fruit fly catchers set up everywhere (fill a bottle with vinegar and cover with saran wrap – easy as pea dip!). And you’ll be very proud that we recently implement a system to keep our sink area more tidy! Each time a housemate washes extra dishes in the sink, or puts away dishes in the sink rack, he/she get’s a sticker! Look at mine.

Are you beaming? If Bubbe saw my sticker chart, she’d call me a balabusta and life would be complete.

Jump To Recipe

I made her cookies.

And when a dinner guest asked, “Are these cookies Vegan?” I responded with a better question: “Are they edible?”

I’m not sure whether I should take, “Are these cookies Vegan?” as a complement or an insult. I really can’t decide. I think it’s an insult. But vegan food is trendy and complex, so maybe it means the cookies seem fancy… which would be a complement. But if they have butter and eggs, shouldn’t they taste like they have butter and eggs? Isn’t that the point?  Do these cookies taste like sandpaper?

Are they edible?

Remember how Bubbe asked that about all of her food?

As we’re shoving her food into our faces — is it edible?

But sometimes her cookies were not edible.  You were spared because Bubbe knows you can’t eat sugar. But she forced those freezer-burned, sandpaper rocks onto all of the kids each time we went to her house. It was a treat when I was little — I ate the cookies four or five at a time, and felt great about it (hence my childhood obesity) because it made Bubbe happy!


Is it right that she put 3 chocolate chips in each cookie? Or was it 6? And the memories of eating them right before bed paired with chunks of velveta cheese! What a delicacy!

Velveta cheese by the chunk for a special bed time snack. Omg.

In the later years, I perfected the art of fake cookie eating. I quickly situated Bubbe cookies in my pockets so that they wouldn’t bulge too much and plunged them at sidewalks from my car window after I had driven out of sight, always fearing that the chocolate would melt in my pants if I kept them there too long. Though it would probably take hours for those rocks to thaw after a lifetime in the freezer. Emptying my pockets of cookies crumbs before I put them back in my closet became habitual.  And Bubbe still thought they were my favorite food – mission accomplished.

I wanted to take a stab at your recipe for nostalgia. Can you believe it’s almost one year since her death? I can still feel the cookie crumbs rubbing against my thighs. What happened to the contents of her freezer (and the ginormous tub itself!)  when you sold her house? Surely there was a stash of goods.

I think my versions of Bubbe cookies were edible.. at least no one hid them in their pockets.

I added the juice of a whole orange instead of half, and lots and lots of zest, which is key. As for the maraschino cherries… where do you even find those? Ew.

I also used half the amount of butter you call for.  And, I didn’t count the chocolate chips – a luxury that I should thank you for.  (Whose mom sends her home with a 15 pound bag of dark chocolate chips after each visit?  Mine, Arielle’s, and probably hundreds of other Jewish mothers across the country.) Thank you for enabling me to use chocolate chips freely.

To conclude, these cookies shouldn’t be marketed as chocolate chip cookies, because it confuses people. They ask, are these cookies vegan?

No. They’re Bubbe cookies. And no one talks about my Bubbe that way.

Love ya!


Bubbe Cookies Redefined Again

  • 1/2 C Butter
  • 3/4 C Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • Lots of Vanilla
  • 3 C Flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • Sea Salt
  • Zest and Juice from large orange
  • Dark Chocolate Chips Galore

Mix and mash – Bake in 375 degrees.

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