Thursday, 19 August 2010

Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies from More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts: Sin-sational Sumptuous Treats

Oatmeal raisin cookies are my absolute favourite. They are great for packing into lunches as they are half-way to being a granola bar. And have you even actually read the package of the grocery store granola bars? You'd be better off with an oatmeal raisin cookie. Even better, one of these all-natural dairy-free oatmeal cookies from the More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts: Sin-sational Sumptuous Treats by Fran Costigan. (Paperback, 224 pages)
Okay, that is rather a cumbersome title, but the book is filled with easy-to-follow recipes for such tempting treats as: Glazed Grape Tart in a Cornmeal Pignoli Crust, Spiced Pumpkin Rice Pudding, Sweet Apple Streusel Pie, and Coconut Cloud Layer Cake.
The recipes don't rely too heavily on soy, and indeed the bulk of the ingredients can be found in regular and natural food stores. The only ingredient listed that I thought I might have trouble finding was natural cane sugar, but I am sure that could be subbed easily enough.

Try out the delicious oatmeal raisin cookie recipe, below, or even one of the variations. Perfect lunch box treats, naturally.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
from More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts: Sin-sational Sumptuous Treats
Yeild: about 16 2-inch cookies

¼ cup raisins
¼ cup orange or apple juice
1 cup rolled oats
¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
½ cup oat flour - (see note, below)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup male syrup
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon canola oil
1 tablespoon molasses or barley malt
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and another rack above it. Preheat to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Soak the raisins in the juice for about 10 minutes, until they are plump. Drain the raisins, reserving the juice.

3. Combine the oats, pastry flour, oat flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl, and stir to distribute the ingredients.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk 1 tablespoon of the reserved juice, the maple syrup, oil, molasses, vanilla, and vinegar until well blended. Pour into the dry mixture and mix until a piece of dough holds together when squeezed. Add more orange juice, a teaspoon at a time, if needed to make the dough moister. Stir the raisins into the dough.

5. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls, place 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets, and flatten slightly with your palm.

6. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes, or until slightly puffed and set. Check the bottom of one cookie; it should be lightly browned.

7. Allow the cookies to rest on the sheets for 1 minutes. With a spatula, transfer the cookies to a rack to cool. Store in plastic containers or zipper-lock plastic bags for up to three days.

*Oatmeal Chip Cookies:
Omit the raisins and stir ¼ cup nondairy chocolate chips into the batter.

*Nutty Oatmeal Raisin Cookies:
Add ½ teaspoon almond extract and ¼ cup chopped nuts to the batter.

*Make Your Own Oat Flour
Oat flour is available in natural food stores and some supermarkets, but if you just have rolled oats on hand, you can grind oats into flour in a blender or food processor, a few cups at a time. To make 1 cup of oat flour, start with 1¼ cups rolled oats. You may have a little extra oat flour; it's difficult to be precise. Store the flour in a zipper-lock plastic bag or tightly closed container in the freezer for up to two months.