Tuesday, December 6, 2011

carrot-nut-raisin•breakfast-snack-dessert cookies

I don't get much alone time with Owen these days.  So it was perfect timing today when he woke up early from nap (while Oliver was still sleeping).  I happened to be making cookies, and once they were done we brewed some blueberry tea and had our own personal tea party.  Owen was thrilled.  I'm not sure if it was because he was getting special alone time with his mama, because I was letting him pour his own tea using his own tea set, or because I was letting him eat cookies in the middle of the afternoon.

While eating his treat he said to me "I wish we had a cookie tree in our yard so I could go out and eat cookies whenever I want".  I didn't tell him that even if someone miraculously bred a tree that grew cookies on it there's still no way it would grow in our hardiness zone (but maybe at Nana and Papa's in Florida?).  
In any case, it was a sweet few moments.  Owen got to eat a cookie for snack, and I got some time with my big boy.  I didn't tell him that these cookies are so full of healthy goodness (and vegan, to boot, if you care about that sort of thing) that I would consider letting him eat one whenever he wanted if he asked nicely enough.  Instead, we'll have them again as dessert after dinner.  And if there are any left, I'll probably have one for breakfast with my coffee...

The veggies (etc):
  • 3/4 cup margarine, softened (I like Earth Balance)
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 TBS ground flaxseeds
  • 3 TBS water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup unbleached white flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder*
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup grated carrots (about one large carrot)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

The love:
  1. Preheat your oven to 375°, and prep a couple cookie sheets (I line mine with parchment).
  2. In a big bowl, beat together margarine and syrup until well incorporated (the mixture will look pretty strange at this point-- almost curdy).
  3. Beat in the flaxseeds, water and vanilla.
  4. On top of that, add the oats, then flours, baking powder and soda, salt and cinnamon.  Mix the dry ingredients together as best you can before stirring into the wet.**
  5. Fold in the carrots, raisins and nuts.
  6. Drop the dough onto your cookie sheets (I do about 1/3 cup-size scoops for about 16 really big cookies) a couple inches apart.
  7. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until cookies are just a little firm to the touch in the middle, and a little golden on the edges.
  8. Cool the cookies on the pan for a couple minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.  Eat them in the afternoon with blueberry tea on a tiny plastic tea set or whenever, really.

*This recipe is adapted to the ridiculously high altitude at which we live.  If you live at a more reasonable height above sea level, you might want to double the baking powder and soda.
**I'll give the same disclaimer I gave with my pancake recipe: Most recipes will tell you to mix the dry and wet ingredients separately, then stir them together-- this is to prevent clumping and ensure even mixing.  I'm lazy and don't like getting out and washing an extra bowl, so I do it all in one bowl.  To make up for it I try to mix the dry ingredients together on top of the wet before I really stir it into the the wet stuff.  If this is offensive to you, by all means, get out another bowl.

Where credit is due:
Beyond the Moon Cookbook, by Ginny Callan, has been on my shelf for many, many years.  I especially love her baked goods, which are heartier and healthier than most and often contain whole wheat and honey.  My cookie recipe is a veganized and further-fortified version of one of hers.

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