Monday, July 2, 2012

Gluten-Free, Vegetarian Recipe: Amazing Oatmeal Cookies

I've been meaning to post this for like 7 months. Christmas probably would've been the best time, but whatever. I got the recipe here, but have modified it. They're also dairy and soy free, so they're not only quite healthy, but at least two of the batches I've made have easily been better than sex. My ingredients are as follows, and you can of course replace the egg with a flax (since we're already about to use some anyway) or tapioca starch one to make these vegan:

3 cups oats
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup Earth Balance natural spread
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp flaxseed meal

and in this case, Craisins, crushed candied walnuts and a combination of semisweet and unsweetened Baker's chocolate (plus a little vegetable shortening) to taste.
I've tried crushing the walnuts into pieces both standard size and fine. I find that crushing them into powder changes the flavour of the cookies and that just having little bits for variance in texture is preferable.

First, preheat the oven to 350. Mix together the oats, flours, flaxseed meal, baking soda, walnuts and Craisins. In a separate bowl, cream together the eggs, sugars, Earth Balance, and vanilla with a mixer.

Something important to mention here is that you should not by any means allow the Earth Balance to sit and become room temperature, as it is just vegetable oil at that point. If you do, you'll have melty cookies that you end up having to scrape off the sheet and use as granola, so it isn't all bad:

Since I never time anything and just stop when it looks done, I'm guessing these bake for 10-12 minutes. Just keep an eye on them. When they start browning ever so slightly on the edges and on top, whip them out unless they still look completely raw. You want them to be just done so that they're soft and chewy.

Now then, to get a double boiler going on top of the stove. Maybe you're rich and have a fondue pot or something, but if not, then get a glass bowl that fits comfortably inside a saucepan about half-filled with water that you want to keep at a low (not rolling) boil. Make sure it doesn't float too freely; if you splash water into your chocolate, it'll be at least slightly ruined.
I'd recommend breaking two bricks of unsweetened and three bricks of semisweet Baker's chocolate and putting about a teaspoon of vegetable shortening into the bowl for this number of cookies. If you make them all even and not very big, you should end up with about 30-36 cookies.

When the cookies are done, be very careful as they break apart at the drop of a hat. Place them all as close together as you can on some wax paper. When the chocolate is completely melted and pourable, start drizzling. The vegetable shortening makes it more viscous, which I learned when I worked at Edible Arrangements. It should pour beautifully.