Foray into Vegan Baking: Oatmeal Cookies

There are a lot of awesome baking recipes out there that were vegan from their inception. I haven’t tried them yet but I’m sure they’re great. At this point, however, I feel more comfortable adjusting an originally non-vegan recipe using stuff I’m familiar with and already have. I don’t know why, that’s just how I feel.

So here we go. Oatmeal cookies. Let’s just say, I am so totally sold on vegan baking. These. turned. out. AWESOME.

Oatmeal Cookies
Time commitment: 15 minutes to mix up, plus baking time. Inactive chilling time in between = 1 hour or so.
Makes about 4 dozen 2-inch cookies

Ingredients:
1/2 c. shortening (I used Spectrum Organic)
1/2 c. unsweetened apple sauce
a scant 1 c. white sugar
1 c. packed dark brown sugar (light or medium would probably work too)
2 T ground flax seeds mixed with 1/3 c. water, in mixing cup
1 t. vanilla extract
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1 1/2 generous t. ground cinnamon
3 c. rolled oats (quick cooking are recommended, might work a little better than rolled.)
Optional: 
1/2-1 c. chocolate chips, raisins and/or walnut pieces (I did about 2/3 c. each)

Directions:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip together shortening, apple sauce and sugars till creamy looking (lighter in color, and less conspicuous grains of sugar). Keep the mixer going and pour in flax/water mixture. Add vanilla while still mixing. Combine flour, soda, salt and cinnamon in a bowl. Turn speed down to “stir” and add flour mixture. Then add oats. Remove bowl and fold in your optional deliciousness if you want to. Cover and chill in the fridge for an hour or so.

Preheat oven to 375. Line baking sheets with parchment (or lightly oil). Using a spoon or scooper, form cookies and plop onto sheets. I used a scoop that had a volume of about a tablespoon. Bake for 12-15 minutes, switching sheets* halfway through (if you’re baking more than one sheet at a time). Cool on the sheet for a bit before transferring to cooling rack (if they last that long without getting eaten…).

*by this I mean rotate the sheets; move to the other oven rack if you’re baking two sheets at the same time.

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