So after our very brief snowfall, it’s only natural that I would crave something sweet, like some Crispy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. Ok, I lie… I kinna crave them even if it weren’t snowing. :)
To me, anything with oats in it is comforting. This recipe is one of the most versatile ones I’ve encountered in a long time… you can sub the xanthan gum for arrowroot (which I have been doing consistently since I forget to buy xanthan everytime I go out), with pitch-perfect results. I daresay you can even sub cornstarch, as long as it’s an ingredient that increases density in some way, it should fare ok.
If you’re not a fan of crunchy oatmeal cookies, this is not the recipe for you. Typically, cookies with oil as the fatty component come out crispy and crunchy. I will of course include recipes that allow you to make softer cookies (you can also sub the oil for regular soy butter, which should make them softer).
The recipe comes from the newest addition to my cooking library, BabyCakes Covers the Classics, which I got in a deal in conjunction with 2 cupcakes, 6 brownies and 6 cookies (that was a great week!). The book has some lovely pictures of Erin McKenna in vintage-y garb which are absolutely delightful. It almost makes me want to open my own bakery… sniff…
The book is a little xanthan-gum happy, as mentioned (look for a cookbook review soon!). I guess I’ll eventually have to buckle down and remember to buy some next time I’m at Natural Frontier if I want to make those donuts on the cover (which also have xanthan gum, ugh).
Yield: About 30 delicious cookies!! (they don’t last long though, I can tell you that!)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar (tweak as you like)
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup ground flax meal (very high in nutrients and omegas!)
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum (or similar thickener such as arrowroot, cornstarch, egg replacer)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup melted refined coconut oil or canola oil (I used peanut oil again… we buy in bulk!)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (more on this later)
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup raisins (alternately, you can sub this for anything from chocolate chips to nuts to dried cherries–whatever your fancy.)
In a medium size bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, oats, flax meal, cinnamon, xanthan gum, baking soda, and salt. Add the coconut oil, applesauce*, vanilla and raisins or whatever your mix-in may be and stir until you get a gummy, sticky-ish mixture like this:
After that, it’s just a matter of scooping up the dough balls and forming them into equal amounts to shape into cookies.
Plop the cookies into the oven for about 11 minutes, longer if you like a bit of a burnt taste to it (as my mom does). Remember, the tray on the second tier of the oven cooks faster, so keep that in mind.
The cookies should be golden brown in color, unless you did use another kind of fruit besides apples… see my note below.
After the allotted bake time, you can always leave them in the oven if you like them to be extra crispy (for about an hour or so). It won’t ruin the cookies, promise.
Let them cool (if you left them in the oven it’s not necessary) for about a half hour. They should have formed into a harder, delicately crunchy concoction by then.
This cookie is a perfect pairing with tea and, of course, classic soymilk. It’s not too fatty either, since much of the volume is due to the fruit mix-in. So eat as many as you like! Just please save some for others so they can revel in its oaty-goodness too. :)
*If you don’t have applesauce or even apples to make applesauce, you can still use whatever fruit you have on hand. I’ve had luck with subbing the applesauce with a banana, and most recently, 50/50 of blackberries and blueberries. They turned out quite nice!
Before (with blackberry/blueberry mixture):
After: the cookies are a little darker than usual, but this is no cause for alarm. Eat them as you would a regular cookie, no discrimination here!