Since my answer to the Vegend’s question of “Do we have dessert?” is rarely one he wants to hear (“We have grapes!”), I decided to clean up his favorite treat–an oatmeal cookie–so we can have them around the house without much guilt.
In the past, I’ve attempted to satisfy his oatmeal-cookie-specific sweet tooth with all sorts of alternatives–oatmeal cookie “nice cream” (mashed up bananas, frozen and laced with lightly toasted maple cinnamon oats) and whole wheat maple oat bread–with varying levels of success. I think we’ve found our winner after many, many test kitchen versions of this one. I really hope he still likes oatmeal cookies.
Though brown sugar is still a part of this version, I’ve cut it down by half. By using a combination of almond butter and applesauce to replace the butter, neither overtake the oaty, cinnamony flavor you’re going for. Plus, they each lend their natural sweetness to the cookie.
You’d be surprised how quickly you get used to less-sweet desserts but if you feel that this version is a bit too ascetic, replace the raisins with good quality semi-sweet chocolate chips and/or keep the original amount of brown sugar in the dough (total for the original recipe is 2/3 cup). After all, as the Vegend says about this recipe, “At its essence, it’s still a cookie” so by all means, have fun with it. Just don’t share with the Vegend.
Be warned: this dough gets a little bit of chill time before baking (figure an hour), so plan your craving accordingly.
Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Inspired by Smitten Kitchen
1 flaxseed egg (1 TBSP ground flaxseed and 2.5 TBSP water, left to sit about 5 minutes)
1/4 cup unsalted almond butter (stirred so the oil combines)
1/4 cup plain applesauce (homemade or store-bought but without sugar)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2-1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon (depending on preference)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cup rolled oats (old-fashioned or regular)
3/4 cup raisins or chocolate chips (or a combo if you’re into that sort of thing)
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
Combine flaxseed and water in a small bowl and allow it to set. You’ll end up with a slightly gelatinous mixture after about 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, cream almond butter and applesauce together to smooth them out a bit. (Freshly ground almond butter takes a little bit of work while jarred brands like Trader Joe’s unsalted creamy almond butter will be easier.)
Add the brown sugar, vanilla, and flax egg and cream until smooth.
Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a separate bowl. Stir into the wet ingredients mixture until combined.
Stir in the rolled oats and raisins (and/or chocolate chips). Set the dough in the fridge for an hour.
When you can’t take it anymore, preheat the oven to 350 F and begin scooping the cookies onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. If you use a cookie scoop, leaving the cookies dome-like with create a soft center. Pressing them flat will get you slightly crispier cookies.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the bottoms are golden brown. Begin checking the bottoms at around 9 minutes. Remove from oven and let them cool for a few minutes before transferring to a rack to cool.