Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Easy, Yummy, Cheap Cookies!

The Topic: Homemade cookies that make amazing (and affordable!) gifts with Associate Publisher Colleen Holland

The Dish: I love to bake, but rarely do much of it anymore. Having an entire cake or a couple dozen cookies around the house is, frankly, a recipe for disaster. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Well, most of the time.

The other night, I got a hankering for homemade chocolate chip cookies. We must have been talking about them at the office that day, or maybe it was an ad for vegan cookie dough I had seen. Whatever it was, I could not stop thinking about spoonfuls of fresh, chip-and-nut-filled dough (my weakness) and hot-out-of-the-oven cookies. I had to have them! So I pulled out Claire Gosse's 2010 cookbook 
Are  you sure that's Vegan? and got baking.

When I find a great cookie recipe, I always want to share it. And this was no exception. Claire's Nutty Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies are sinfully delicious, and make a wonderful gift for co-workers, friend's birthdays, or anytime you want say "thanks" to someone special. Hey, anything you can do to get them out of the house, right? This recipe makes a ton of cookies, so each one ends up to cost just pennies. So for not much dough (the green kind), you can share great vegan desserts (always a crowd-pleaser) while saving money on something you would have bought from the store.

Nutty Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
I absolutely adore any cookie with oatmeal, chocolate chips, and nuts—and this recipe has them all. Since I am recipe-challenged and always have to change something, I added white chocolate chips (purchased at Food Fight! vegan grocery in Portland), slivered almonds, and extra vanilla. Yum.

What You Need:

2-1/2 cups oatmeal
1 cup vegan margarine
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
Egg replacer for 2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
12 ounces chocolate chips
4 ounces grated dark chocolate
1-1/2 cups chopped pecans

What You Do:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Blend oatmeal in blender to a fine powder.
2. Cream the margarine and both sugars. Add egg replacer and vanilla; mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and soda. Add chocolate chips, grated chocolate, and nuts.
3. Roll into balls and place 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes and transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

The Final Word: Homemade cookies always make the day a little better, and these were no exception. Pick up a copy of Claire's Are you sure that's Vegan? for excellent renditions of everything from red velvet cupcakes and pineapple upside down cake to vanilla fudge and peanut butter cups. You won't be disappointed.

I am a sucker for raw cookie dough. I love it and eat by the spoonful! But then I don't feel so hot.

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