Andrew Romashyna started baking cookies for a Toronto café about three years ago. His girlfriend at the time was starting Tucana Coffee when a baker who had been supplying her shop seemed to disappear. She knew that Romashyna, who was working as a bike messenger, liked to bake, so she asked him to come up with something, preferably vegan. He found a recipe, tweaked it and has been supplying the café since. His cookies are also at Capital Espresso and Lourdes Coffee.
Well before Romashyna got into cookies, he raced fixedgear bikes. The messenger work he started in 2009 seemed to lead him to alleycats and events such as the 2012 cycle messenger world championships in Chicago and the 2014 Red Hook Crit in Brooklyn, N.Y. About five years ago, he got into road cycling, but Romashyna hasn’t raced in about two years. This past July, he was thinking about competing once again, but a cash left him with battered ribs. They weren’t broken, but they felt broken. “It’s the most humbling fall,” he said. “For all the close calls I’ve had with vehicles or the huge descents at 65 km/h, which all go smooth and fine, then all of a sudden, I hit a pothole on a sideroad.”
This August, Romashyna started working full-time at a medical marijuana company with a small farm in Toronto. It’s an industry he’d been wanting to get into. Marijuana has been part of his cycling for years. “I’ve found it helpful for recovery,” he said. “After riding, you can still feel quite pumped. Even though you’re exhausted, you might not be able to fall asleep. So, I’ve found it helpful for that.” Romashyna has also used cannabidiol, or CBD, as an anti-inflammatory before and after rides.
And, if you’re wondering, yes, he’s made his cookies with infused coconut oil. And no, the cookies he makes for the cafés aren’t infused. They do taste good, though.
3 cups flour
2 cups oats
2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup semi-sweet, dairy-free chocolate chips (optional)
1 1/2 cups peanut butter
1 cup vegan margarine
1/2 cup apple sauce
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup almond milk
1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Mix flour, oats, salt, baking soda and chocolate chips, if you are adding them.
3. In a different bowl, mix peanut butter, margarine, apple sauce, brown sugar, white sugar and vanilla extract until everything is blended together.
4. Mix both sets of ingredients together well.
5. Mix in almond milk.
6. Let the dough rest in the freezer for 15 minutes. The quick chill makes the dough less sticky and easier to work with.
7. Form balls out of the dough and place them on a cookie sheet. With no eggs or dairy, the cookies won’t expand much, about 25 per cent from their raw size.
8. Bake for about 11 minutes if you like your cookies chewy, or 13 minutes for crispy.
Makes 24-30 cookies