Saturday, January 14, 2012

Oatmeal cookies with toasted almonds and dates

Today I had a hankering for oatmeal cookies so after eating leftovers for dinner (can be boring but not tonight because they were really yummy!) I decided to make something sweet. I have a big sweet tooth and this can be a problem so I try to make desserts that have some kind of nutritional value to them. I really just wanted to eat some cookie dough and we have a huge Sam's Club container of oatmeal that we're trying to work our way through. So. I got out Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero and looked up "oatmeal" in the index. There are a lot of great oatmeal cookie recipes here! Because I wanted to make a "healthier" cookie recipe I decided to go for the "Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies". Only problem: we just bought our bananas today and they are still a bit green- not good for mashing in cookies. I used soy vanilla yogurt instead and made a few other adjustments which are noted here in the recipe below. This is adapted from the above mentioned book. They just came out of the oven and are delicious! Chewy, full of oatmeal and a wonderful almond taste. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from "Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar"

"Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies"

1 small container soy vanilla yogurt
2 Tbs ground flax seeds
1/4 cup nondairy milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
1/2 cup organic unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup agave nectar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 Tbs almond meal
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups quick-cooking or rolled oats
1 cup chopped, toasted almonds
3/4 cup diced dates

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper OR *silpats (go buy these if you don't' have them already- they will save you a lot of hassle with not only cookie baking but bread baking and loads of other types of baking!)

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine yogurt, flax seeds and nondairy milk and mix until smooth. Mix in the applesauce, agave nectar and vanilla and almond extracts. Sift in all-purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt and mix to form a moist batter. Fold in the oats, almonds and dates. The dough will be moist yet thick and sticky.

3. Drop scant 1/4 cups of dough about 2 inches apart onto the baking sheets. Press down with your fingers or with a measuring cup until they are about an inch thick.

4. Bake the cookies for 14 to 16 minutes or until edges begin to turn golden brown. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely. Store loosely covered as these cookies get rather soft if stored tightly covered. These cookies can stay fresh for up to 2 months int he freezer, just seal tightly in plastic wrap. To thaw, just let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.

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