Thursday, June 3, 2010

cookie #5

Editor's Note: This is the fifth instalment in my quest to make the best chocolate chip cookies. Please feel free to leave recipe suggestions or tips in the comments below. All related posts can be found by clicking the "in the kitchen" label on the right side of the page.

Recipe #5 on the list was highly recommended by my lovely cousin C. She makes them with raisins, but said they would work well with chocolate chips, too.

Vegan Oatmeal Raisin (or chocolate chip) Cookies

3/4 cup vegan margarine (Cousin C's roommate uses half peanut butter, half margerine, which sounded pretty delish to me, so that's what I did)
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup soy milk
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional) (Husband and I both have a sort of allergy to walnuts, so I used pecans instead)
1 cup raisins (I'm not a raisin person at all, so chocolate chips it is)
3 cups rolled or quick cooking oatmeal

Beat together the sugar, brown sugar, margarine/peanut butter and vanilla until smooth and fluffy. Add the milk and mix until combined.
Add the flour, baking soda, salt and spices, and stir until well mixed. Add the remaining ingredients. Batter will be very thick. (Note: Try not to be intimidated by the three cups of oatmeal at the end. I was very skeptical that it would all combine, but if you work at it with a wooden spoon for a couple minutes, it works in quite well).
Drop onto cookie sheet and flatten slightly. Bake 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees, or until done. Cookies will still be slightly soft and chewy.

These were quick and easy to put together and score extra points for only using one bowl, which makes clean-up easier than with some other recipes I've tried.

I took cousin C's advice and baked them at a lower temperature (around 320) so they wouldn't get overdone in my super hot oven, and it worked perfectly. I cooked each pan for 14 minutes and they turned out very lightly tanned on the outside and chewy on the inside.

I'll admit that my own preference has taken over in the ranking of these cookies. Unlike me, Husband didn't care for these cookies as much. He's a chocolate chip cookie purist and usually doesn't approve of changes in taste and texture. Lovely friend T approved, noting that they're more of a granola bar or breakfast bar texture than a traditional chocolate chip cookie. Creative Partner C liked them a lot too, and she and I brainstormed lots of yummy combos, like switching the chips and nuts for dried cranberries and white chocolate, or using crunchy peanut butter instead of smooth.

Vegan Oatmeal Raisin (chocolate chip) Cookies

Taste: 4 of 5 stars. These are so good! They taste more like a hearty granola bar than a cookie. The slight peanut butter flavour is so good that I think I might try them with all peanut butter and no margarine next time. Since I make them with chocolate chips though, I'll leave out the spices in the next batch ... nutmeg and chocolate isn't my kind of combination.
Texture: 5 of 5 stars. For me, these are perfect. I love the added crunch of the nuts and the texture of the oatmeal. They're chewy, but not greasy, so there's hardly any guilt involved when you decide to have seconds or thirds.
Overall: 4.5 of 5 stars (the highest rating yet!)

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