Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

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This recipe is all about the cookie dough but guess what? Lily’s chocolate chips are made with stevia instead of sugar and they are also gluten free!  And in case you are interested, I have discovered a couple of other chocolate chip brands that contain healthier ingredients and  fewer additives too, although they are not sugar-free. Enjoy Life  chocolate chips are certified organic, certified vegan, non-GMO, gluten free and soy free. Camino chocolate chips are also  certified organic and the package states that the chips are made in a facility that is free of several priority allergens, including; wheat, milk, eggs, and soy. But, you don’t have to add chocolate chips to these cookies at all – you can  substitute raisins or any other dried fruits you like for the chocolate chips. (By the way, any comments, mentions or recommendations of products on this blog are my own. I am not paid to promote or review  the products I use, nor am I affiliated with any of the companies that manufacture them).

Making a really good cookie without butter and/or eggs is a challenge.  Nut butters or fruit purees are common  substitutes in vegan baking  but  these substitutes generally result in cookies that are dense or cake-y and sometimes they take on the flavour of the nut or fruit used.  They work better in muffin batters than they do in cookie doughs.  This dough is different. The texture is amazing. The cookies turn out slightly crispy on the outside; soft and tender on the inside! It’s simply the best vegan cookie dough I have made. I am still playing with the recipe – trying to make it even better, but I am really happy with the dough as it is written below and will post any enhancements as they are developed.

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This recipe was inspired by an oil-free cookie recipe posted by Plant Powered Kitchen. The secret to the cookie dough is coconut butter – not to be confused with coconut oil. The difference (and bonus, in my opinion) is that coconut butter is a whole food. It is what you get when you process coconut meat into butter, in the same way you get peanut or almond butter from processing peanuts or almonds. It is expensive to buy but it is dead simple to make with a package of unsweetened shredded coconut or coconut chips and a Vitamix blender. (Coconut Butter recipe in  Notes below).

INGREDIENTS (16-18 cookies)

  • ½ cup coconut butter*
  • ½ cup pure organic maple syrup (I use No. 2)
  • 1 cup oat flour, scant
  • 2 tbsp. whole oats (GF or regular)
  • 1½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips (or raisins)

INSTRUCTIONS

If you are making your own coconut butter, make that before continuing with the recipe.

Place the oat flour, rolled oats, baking powder and baking soda in a small bowl and mix with a fork until the ingredients are evenly distributed.  (When measuring out the oat flour, spoon it into a measuring cup without shaking or packing it down. Run a knife along the top of the measuring cup to level the flour). Sprinkle in the salt.

In a larger bowl, place the coconut butter, maple syrup and vanilla. Mix with a fork until the ingredients emulsify. (You can use the same fork you used to combine the dry ingredients). Add the dry ingredients to the wet all at once and mix just long enough to incorporate the ingredients. Stir in the chocolate chips or raisins, or whatever.

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Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  

Scoop about 8-9 mounds (2-tablespoons each)  of the cookie dough on the prepared baking sheets. (I use a #40 scoop for this). If your tray is large, you could easily add more cookies to a tray because they will not spread very much. 

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Flatten each cookie with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake for 12 minutes. Now, baking times are dependent on the size of cookie you make. If the cookies are smaller, bake them for less time – for larger cookies, bake longer. And don’t taste them when they’re still warm from the oven – you might think they’re not done. They are best once they have cooled completely. I happen to be a bit of an anomaly in that I like crisp cookies – not cookies that are soft and chewy so it took me a couple of tries to figure the timing out. 

The cookies will be pretty close to the colour of the raw batter when their done – they won’t turn golden brown the way cookies made with butter and sugar will.  But they are  done.

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These cookies are delicious! They have the texture that other butter or oil-free, vegan cookies lack and the flavour is fantastic!

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Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Notes*

Coconut Butter

16 oz. (1 lb.) shredded, unsweetened coconut or packed coconut chips

Add  1/2 the coconut to a high-speed blender. Puree on high until the mixture becomes creamy. Use a tamper to push all of the coconut down into the jug as it purees. Add the remaining coconut in 2 increments, continuing to use the tamper to  mix in the coconut meat. Puree for about another minute, or until the consistency is creamy, and resembles a thin paste. The whole process should only take 2-3 minutes and yields about 1 cup.

Set 1/2 cup aside for this cookie recipe and place the remainder in a sealed container, either in your fridge or at room temperature. You can half this recipe if you prefer – just make sure you have enough coconut meat for it to process easily in the blender. I usually don’t half the coconut butter  recipe – I double the cookie recipe instead.

Coconut butter will harden at colder temperatures and liquefy at warmer temperatures, which can produce different results in baking as a result. So if you have made the coconut butter ahead and it has hardened, carefully warm it up in a bowl of warm water until it regains a paste-like consistency. That is the consistency you will want the butter to be when you make these cookies.

 

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