I’ve eaten my share of delicious vegan cookies, but last week I baked a batch that just might have been the best ever!
The cookies, which are dramatically large and perfect for bake sales, are from a book called Whole Grain Vegan Baking by Celine Steen and Tamasin Noyes. It’s a recipe treasure trove for anyone interested in a plant based diet. And because of the sheer variety of grains and flours used, you’ll never get bored with the recipes. For instance, you’re probably used to using ground flax and oat flour, but this book also includes recipes which call for amaranth, spelt flakes, buckwheat and barley flour. As for sweeteners, you won’t find white sugar, but rather evaporated cane juice crystals, dates, maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar and Sucanat, which is the primary sweetener in these cookies. The recipe is after the jump.
The main component of the cookies is nut butter, so I made one batch with peanut butter and used chocolate chips, and a second batch with almond butter, cinnamon and dried cherries. Both versions were excellent, with a thick shell and moist, crumbly center. They are definitely “high energy” treats and will fill you up for hours, so keep that in mind. If you’re active or need something on-the-go, the cookies are for you. They’d also make good teacher gifts because you can wrap them individually or by the half dozen and make cute labels. The fact that they are completely vegan (well, the one in the photo is not — I cheated and used regular chocolate chips) will make them even more interesting.
- 256 g (1 cup) any natural nut butter or seed butter, such as smooth or crunchy natural peanut butter (I used Jif Natural)
- 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) neutral-flavored oil (I used canola)
- 120 g (1⁄2 cup plus 2 tablespoons) organic turbinado sugar or organic evaporated cane juice
- 120 g (1⁄2 cup plus 2 tablespoons) Sucanat (found at Whole Foods)
- 6 tablespoons (90 ml) vegan milk, more if needed (almond milk, soy)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 240 g (2 cups) whole wheat pastry flour
- 160 g (2 cups) old-fashioned oats or quick cooking Oats (Quick cooking worked really well
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 50 g (1⁄2 cup) chopped pecans (I used salted peanuts)
- 80 g (1⁄2 cup) raisins or dried cherries (I used large dark chocolate chips)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C, or gas mark 5).
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the nut butter, oil, sugars, milk, and vanilla.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking powder, salt,pecans, and cherries.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix to combine. Add extra milk, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) at a time, if the cookie dough is too dry and crumbly. It needs to be moist enough to hold together easily when pinched, without being too wet. Pack a 1⁄4-cup measure with dough (approximately 90 g per cookie, weight will vary with add-ins), place the dough on the sheet, and flatten slightly, because the cookies won’t spread much while baking. Repeat with the remaining dough, placing 7 cookies on each sheet.
- Bake for 14 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown around the edges. Leave the cookies on the baking sheet for minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container, at room temperature or in the refrigerator.