Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I steered clear of vegan baking recipes for a long time. I’m not sure if I was intimidated by unfamiliar ingredients, or afraid that the product would be inedible, but I was really reluctant to give up my beloved butter and eggs. Now that I’m head over heels for my local natural food co-op, though, the ingredients are becoming more familiar.

The only thing these cookies call for that you probably don’t have in your pantry is brown rice syrup, and it’s probably time you invested in a jar! It looks like honey, but has a unique flavor. It’s mostly maltose sugar, which takes longer for your body to process than fructose or glucose, so it doesn’t cause a sudden blood sugar spike. I have come to totally love the stuff.

These cookies aren’t exactly healthy, because they do have a decent amount of brown sugar. But they’re also made with whole wheat pastry flour and rolled oats, and are addictively chewy, particularly the day after baking. I’m excited to try this recipe with some variations like dried cranberry and walnut, or dark chocolate and peanut.

Recipe:
(adapted from Veganomicon)

1/2 cup canola oil
1/3 cup brown rice syrup
1/3 cup soy milk
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups raisins

Preheat the oven to 350 F and put parchment or Silpats onto 2 baking sheets.

Stir the oil, brown rice syrup, soy milk, brown sugar, and vanilla together in a large bowl and beat until smooth. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and mix just until a dough forms. Stir in the oats and raisins.

Scoop up 1-2 tbsp of dough at a time and roll into a ball. Flatten slightly and place on the sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for about 10 minutes, then cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.

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