Thursday, March 1, 2012

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies - vegan

Yesterday evening, while I was mixing calzone dough for dinner, I started daydreaming about cookies. Then, on top of the cookie craving, I realized it had been a while since my last batch - last year, in fact. Clearly, a pressing problem, a situation, a wrong that needed to be made right. So today, which here in the Bay Area has brought March in like a lion, I made cookies. Personally, I think these could even fall into the current trend of breakfast cookies because they are legitimately not bad for you. Good for you, even.

These cookies have a bit of an outer crunch, they are super soft in the middle, and the apples provide surprising bursts of, well, apple, that are really only surprising if you're not the cook.

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies - vegan
adapted from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian
I made half this recipe and ended up with about 3 dozen cookies. I don't see why it couldn't be doubled for a party, and the dough should freeze beautifully if you want to make up a big batch and save some for later.

1/2 C vegetable oil*
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C brown sugar
1/4 C unsweetened applesauce
1 1/2 C flour
2 C rolled oats
1 1/2 C chopped dried apples (about 5 ounces)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 C nondairy milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
up to 1/2 C cinnamon chips, optional**

Preheat your oven to 375F.

Use an electric mixer to cream together the oil and sugars. Add in the applesauce and beat to combine.

Combine flour, oats, apples, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder in a bowl. Alternating with the milk, add the dry ingredients to the batter a little at a time, and mix to combine. Stir in the vanilla and cinnamon chips, if using.

Drop tablespoon-size globs of dough onto ungreased or parchment paper lined baking sheet 1or 2 inches apart (mine didn't spread much). Bake for 11-14 minutes- if you like softer cookies aim for 11 minutes, longer if you like slightly crunchier cookies.

Remove from oven, and cool a few minutes on the baking sheets before transferring the cookies to a wire cooling rack. Wait until they're cool enough not to burn, and then, quick, pop one in your mouth before anyone counts.

*Bittman suggests a neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn, but I used olive oil and it worked well. Admittedly, it's not the best olive oil out there, so it's flavor isn't as pungent as some.

**Chocolate chips would (obviously) also work. I used these guys from King Arthur Flour, but it looks like Hershey's makes some. They may be available in your regular grocery store??

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